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Germany Rejects Polish Demands For WWII Reparations

Polish Flash/ Shutterstock
Polish Flash/ Shutterstock

The German government has rejected claims by Poland for up to $1 trillion in World War II reparations, saying the matter was settled in 1953.

Government spokesman Steffen Seibert on September 8 said that "Poland made a binding decision in August relinquish demands for further war reparations.”

"This issue was, therefore, settled both legally and politically," he added.

Seibert said Berlin had fully accepted its responsibility for the “unspeakable crimes" of Nazi Germany during World War II. But he added that it had already paid Poland "considerable reparations for overall war damages."

An agreement signed in 1953 by Poland’s Communist leaders renounced future claims of reparations against Germany.

But Poland's nationalist-conservative government has argued the deal was made under the orders of the Soviet Union and was not valid.

Polish government ministers have pegged the bill for potential reparations at as high as $1 trillion (830 billion euros).

"In my opinion, Poland has the right to this, and the Polish state has the right to ask for them," Polish Prime Minister Beata Szydlo (eds: female) said.

Based on reporting by AFP, dpa, and AP