Wiesław Misiek, Esq.
Representative of the families of victims of German genocide
committed on ethnic Poles in WWII
Presentation at the “Congress for the Independent”, October 4, 2023, Warsaw
“Republika Polonia” World Association
Poland demands WWII reparations from Germany! I am going to talk about things that are not very pleasant, but we must talk about them because lies and historical revisionism are spreading in the international arena. The victim of this manipulation of the truth about the Second World War and the occupation of Poland is our Nation and State.
For several years I have been dealing with the issue of war reparations for Polish victims and their families. I meet not only victims and their families but also very young people who first claim that this problem does not concern them and that their family has not suffered any losses. Then, a few days later, I found out that their uncle or aunt or grandfather was in a concentration camp or a labor camp, that their grandfather’s chemical factory was taken away, and so on. Then I am told that they do not know the history of their family. There are millions of such people in Poland who do not know the history of their families and, in particular, the losses suffered by these families during one or another occupation. There are many reasons for this situation, but I do not want to talk about them at this moment.
We in Poland still do not fully comprehend our losses
Public knowledge of the cost of the war and the consequence of the barbaric German occupation is negligible. Outside Poland, we are more and more often mentioned in connection with the extermination of the Jewish people and, what is worse, on the side of the executioners. And in the state of the perpetrators of this hecatomb and shame of the 20th century in Germany, the historical truth has been completely suppressed and manipulated.
As early as 1985, Richardt von Weizsacker, a Wehrmacht captain and the son of a war criminal who later became the Federal President of Germany called May 8, 1945, the “day of liberation” from the Nazis. Similar nonsense was spread by Mrs. Merkel, among others, on the 75th anniversary of the Allied landings in Normandy, telling the world that this operation had brought us German liberation from the Nazis. One big lie – the Germans loved their Fuehrer and were by large against their “liberation” from anyone, and the Nazis appeared a few years later after the war.
On the 75th anniversary of the liberation of the Ravensbrück women’s concentration camp, in his speech, which I heard live, the Prime Minister of Brandenburg listed German, Jewish, Sinti, and lesbian women as victims, but completely and brazenly forgot Polish women.
In this camp, out of 130,000 women prisoners, more than 40,000 were Polish, and only 8,000 of them survived this ordeal. One of the results of this revisionist policy is that today more than 70% of German citizens associate 1945 with the “liberation” of their country from the Nazis. According to the makers of the notorious television series ‘Our Mothers, Our Fathers’, the war was a “liberation” from the Nazis. According to the makers of the infamous series “Our Mothers, Our Fathers”, the war began with the invasion of the USSR in 1941.
The aggression against Poland on September 1, 1939, the murdering and looting of our citizens, the concentration camps, the famine, and terror, etc., were nothing important, none of this for the average German. And yet it was, and we Poles do not have to lie to prove it.
The world does not know that in 1939 we were attacked by two bandits, one worse than the other. The world does not know that in the Generalplan Ost, drawn up by “scientists” at the Humboldt University in Berlin, we were destined to be almost completely exterminated – 85% of the population was to be wiped out to create a living space for Greater Germany – Grossdeutschland. A week before the invasion, on August 22, 1939, Hitler told his army commanders that the aim was to “destroy Poland, not to reach some drawn line, but to destroy the living force. Be merciless, be brutal, the law is on the side of the stronger,” he told his generals.
Finally, in 2021, so many years after the war, a historical-legal study was published by the Institute of National Remembrance (IPN) which, based on German source material, conclusively proves that our nation and the Polish state were doomed to extermination. Dr. Maciej Jan Mazurkiewicz, author of “German Genocide against the Polish Nation in the Years 1939-45,” accurately describes the emergence of true evil within the leadership strata of the Third German Reich. Not among the Nazis, but among ordinary Germans. The extermination of the Jews was to be followed by the extermination of the ethnic Poles, and the superhumans largely succeeded.
To this day, the world does not realize what was done to Poland, either.
All the data show that in 1950 the Second Republic would have had the same population as France at that time, i.e., about 42 million, but after the war, there were only 22 million of us, i.e., 12-13 million citizens disappeared, or 1/3 of the 1938 population figure. To this day we do not know what happened to many of these people. This is one of the “blank pages” in our recent history that historians have somehow managed to avoid.
In 1938, Poland’s gross domestic product (GDP) was 1.5 times that of Spain, but in 1989 it was 2.5 times less. This already partially illustrates the scale of the civilizational collapse and catastrophe of our nation, which was initiated by German policy and occupation and sealed by the Allies when they handed us over to Stalin.
I would just like to remind you that researchers agree that on account of the Germans, we lost 40% of our national wealth and that almost 5 million Polish slaves built the power of the Third Reich, often paying for it with their lives, and this unpaid work has benefitted Germany to this very day. In the course of 1940, 41,000 railcars of trophy goods were removed from Poland.
Dozens of figures can be quoted to illustrate our human and material losses and the plundering economy of the occupying authorities, but even these cannot describe the civilizational collapse that the Germans brought upon us.
The human losses are incalculable
The Germans ruined the heritage of many generations, stole at least 516,000 individual works of art, burned, or shredded 90% of Polish books for wastepaper, exterminated 75% of Polish dentists, murdered 33% of our teachers and 700 university professors, and ruined our educational system.
How do we put a price on the death and suffering of children? What does this say about the attitude towards children?
The Germans during the occupation of Poland and Eastern Europe completely violated humanity, and many of their “works” such as the murder of people “unworthy” of life (Aktion T4), experiments on living people with no relation to medical science, various methods of killing, etc. had no relation to the nature of rational human beings – the species we know as homo sapiens.
As an example of German barbarism, I would like to mention only the attitude of the Germans towards children on Polish territory.
The losses suffered by Polish children and youth as a result of German extermination during the Second World War were enormous:
– 2,025,000 children lost their lives, including 600,000 Jewish children,
– 200,000 children were deported to Nazi Germany for Germanization (of which about 15% returned),
– 710,000 minors were sent to forced labor,
- 5 million Polish children were orphaned, half-orphaned, and abandoned after the Second World War (22% of the entire young generation of Poles), of which 320,000 children required immediate care in specialized educational, therapeutic, and medical institutions.
- The Germans created two special concentration camps for Polish children in Łódź and Potulice alone, not counting the various sick rooms and wards in camps such as Auschwitz, Majdanek or Stutthof, and hundreds of others. In these camps, they kept children as young as 2 years old and murdered them with hard labor, hunger, disease, cold, longing, and specially selected sadistic guards.
Who will compensate us for the damage caused by the war to the personality and physical development of children, especially the youngest, which will be passed on to future generations? Mental shock was caused by the death of a loved one, the massacre of entire cities, arrests, witnessing public executions, being in extreme conditions of hunger and starvation, or subject to bestial “experiments,” having nothing to do with science.
People such as Dr. Mengele, a Doctor of Medical Science, were able to kill 14 children in one evening, and in all, he murdered more than 3,000 twins by experimenting on them beforehand.
No one in the West knows or realizes the extent of the German genocide of ethnic Poles in WWII.
In the West, the occupation took a very different course, and the Germans maintained the pretense of applying the international laws of war. There, national governments more or less collaborated with the Third Reich and formed SS legions. There was no underground state and no partisan army of many hundreds of thousands, as in our country. No one was killed there for helping to hide Jews. Himmler warmly thanked the French authorities for deporting 84,000 French Jews to Auschwitz.
The difference between the occupation of Poland and that of Western Europe is well described by Jean-Paul Sartre, the French writer and philosopher who won the Nobel Prize in 1964: “We never felt freer than during the German occupation. There was not even censorship in France – the publishers had signed an agreement with the Wehrmacht to censor themselves (sic/!)” In the same France, women who slept with Germans had their heads shaved, but only after the war, unlike in Poland, where the underground courts carried out their sentences immediately.
The Polish state, despite the historical findings after the Second World War, did not initiate a comprehensive investigation of German crimes committed in Poland. And all references for several decades to reparations and compensation owed to us by the German state, its judicial authorities, and the entrepreneurs who profited from the exploitation of Polish resources and the slave labor of millions of Polish forced laborers were dismissed with silence or trivial excuses.
The Germans first claimed that they could not deal with us because we did not have diplomatic relations. When diplomatic relations were established in the 1970s, they claimed that it was too late, that our claims were “time-barred.” Now they are trying to tell us that we have given them up. The German elites considered and still consider Poland a second-class state.
Poland demands WWII reparations from Germany!
Finally, after years of delay, Poland has passed the bill for this generational tragedy to the successors of the perpetrators. There are various methods of calculating losses, but there is one method that is highly recommended and takes a holistic view of the problem. This is the income method, which estimates the losses on the hypothetical assumption that there had been no war and that our country would have developed according to the average figures from before the war. Prof. Ryszard Domański, using this method, estimated our war losses stand at more than 15 trillion dollars, identifying the German share at about 10 trillion.
The report, which was published on September 1, 2022, assumes that Germany owes us 1 trillion 300 billion euros or about 6 trillion 200 billion zlotys. The authors note that the calculated amounts are based on, as they write, conservative assumptions. As Minister Mularczyk admitted in an interview with Die Welt, our claim could be much higher. Of course, Germany also rejects these underestimated claims, citing various arguments.
In the 1970s and later, as so-called humanitarian gestures, the Germans paid Poland and Polish victims of medical experiments and some forced laborers certain sums, which the Germans today estimate at about 2 billion euros. Using financial engineering, these fractional payments were never called reparations or compensation, but voluntary benefits.
These 2 billion euros is a little more than 2% of the total amount of reparations paid by the Germans to all affected states and individuals. According to the German Ministry of Finance, 17% of these 80 billion euros were paid within Germany, i.e., at least 8 times as much as to a completely ruined Poland.
The Potsdam Agreement stipulated that Poland would collect reparations through and from the Soviet Union. The agreement was signed by the communist government in 1945.
One historian-economist has calculated that a completely ruined Poland at that time added 600 million dollars of the time to these “reparations.”
It is interesting to note that in 1949 we received 6 million books of Marx and Lenin published in Polish from East Germany, and the Soviets counted this as 10% of all shipments for that year! Every year until 1954 we supplied the USSR with 10 million tons of coal at a price of 1 dollar per ton, a price many times lower than the cost of mining (sic!). According to Soviet data, by August 2, 1945, The Russians had exported from Poland some 2,821,000 tons of various equipment and machinery and 2,000 km of railway track with associated equipment, breaking the Allies’ assurance that they would not take reparations from our territory.
Compensation in the civil law sense is not discussed at all in Poland. The few attempts to pursue such claims after 1989 led in 2010 to the Supreme Court ruling on the immunity of the German state from jurisdiction in Poland, even for war crimes. The few lawsuits that have been filed nationwide have been dismissed by district courts citing this Supreme Court decision. In several cases, we have appealed to the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg, unfortunately with negative results. But the pressure on the European institutions should continue.
In the supposedly democratic Germany, there are still laws in force, for example. it was developed in the 1950s and 1960s by former SS men and even war criminals in leading positions in the German judicial apparatus, which does not allow compensation payments to Poles and citizens of Eastern European countries.
Poland demands WWII reparations from Germany!
In Poland, there are organizations for victims of war and for the families of victims. With envy, I read how the Second Republic honored the survivors of the January 1863 Uprising, how it praised and honored them, and how it took care of them. Unfortunately, the Polish People’s Republic and the current free Third Republic have nothing to boast about. Several social organizations try to live up to this dignified attitude, but these tasks often exceed their technical and material capabilities. These issues should have been dealt with systematically a long time ago.
The attitude of the Third Republic of Poland towards the victims of the war and their families is shown, among other things, by a provision in the 1991 agreement with the Federal Republic of Germany: “The Government of the Republic of Poland will not pursue any further claims of Polish citizens that may arise in connection with Nazi persecution.”
The aforementioned Supreme Court decision is arguably an implementation of these provisions, and the agreement itself evokes the worst possible associations.
And an important remark for many: there is talk about a huge amount in the Mularczyk report, which in my opinion is only about 10% of the sums due to us, and that this will “ruin” the German budget /sic/, while these 6 trillion zlotys are less than 1/3 of the savings of German citizens on their private bank accounts.
This is not going to kill the German economy, as some people say, and debts must be repaid.
And one more remark: the reparations for the First World War were completed by Germany in 2010, more than 90 years after the end of the war.
I hope that these brief remarks will make you aware of the complexity of the problem of reparations for the enormity of the crimes and the ruin of Poland, not only in Poland’s relations with Germany, but also in the internal conditions due to the strong German lobby both among politicians of individual parties and groups and, surprisingly, especially among historians and lawyers.
Wiesław Misiek, Attorney at Law
This text was originally published by “Republika Polonia” here: https://republikapolonia.pl/2023/11/03/poland-demands-wwii-reparations-from-germany/