Minister Mularczyk in London: „Many in the UK support WW2 reparations for Poland from Germany”

Arkadiusz Mularczyk, Poland’s Deputy Foreign Minister, revisited London and celebrated British-Polish friendship and unity in the Central Hall Westminster.

The meeting concerned the Polish-British bilateral relations and the issue of the WWII reparations campaign against Germany. Poland last year formally demanded compensation of €1.3 trillion.

From the left: Professor Aleks Szczerbiak, the University of Sussex, Professor Piotr Wilczek, the Ambassador of the Republic of Poland to the UK and Arkadiusz Mularczyk, Poland’s Deputy Foreign Minister. Photo: British Poles

The meeting was opened by the Ambassador of the Republic of Poland to the UK, Piotr Wilczek, who said: „Today, we are reminded of the profound ties that bind Poland and the UK, ties shaped through shared history, mutual respect, and collaboration (…) A few days ago, we commemorated the 84th anniversary of the beginning of the Second World War. As you know, Poland suffered immense losses during this conflict. Our population was decimated, our infrastructure was ravaged, and our economy was in ruins. Yet, despite these staggering losses, we did not receive any redress in the aftermath of the war. Although the Potsdam Agreement acknowledged the obligations owed to Poland, the decision to channel them through the Soviet Union, which held a dominating influence over us, was grossly unjust. Consequently, my country never received the compensation it was rightfully entitled to. The 'Iron Curtain’ not only physically separated nations but also stifled our voice, denying Poland’s right to self-determination and equitable negotiation. The Polish government wants to correct this historical injustice. We are redoubling our efforts on international platforms and intensifying bilateral engagements. Our goal is clear: to illuminate Poland’s plight and to gather the necessary support for the cause of unresolved wartime compensations.”

From the left: From the left: Professor Aleks Szczerbiak, the University of Sussex and Arkadiusz Mularczyk, Poland’s Deputy Foreign Minister. Photo: British Poles

The speech by Aleks Szczerbiak, the Professor of Politics and Contemporary European Studies at the University of Sussex, followed it. Szczerbiak said: „There is minimal knowledge in the UK about how much the Poles suffered during the Second World War and how much the Poles contributed to the Allies’ victory. The communist government in Poland did nothing, or very little, to promote it. Germany, on the other hand, was extremely successful in promoting its narrative about the Second World War, raising a profile of the anti-Nazi opposition and resistance. My friends know who Schindler was, but nobody knows Irena Sendler. The reparations issue has many dimensions; it is a moral and legal case.”

Lady Munster and Arkadiusz Mularczyk, Poland’s Deputy Foreign Minister. Photo: British Poles

Professor Szczerbiak’s speech was followed by Minister Mularczyk, who said: „I am speaking at what may be the time when Anglo-Polish relations are at their strongest. Bilateral relations between Britain and Poland have become much closer with increasing areas of cooperation in a number of areas, among others, defence, security, medicine and health care, research and development, and emerging technologies. We are looking forward to increasing and improving our Polish-British relations in these areas and others. Socially, the links between Poland and Britain are also getting stronger. Poles now form the largest non-British group in the UK and play an active role in contributing to your economy”.

Arkadiusz Mularczyk, Poland’s Deputy Foreign Minister. Photo: British Poles

He mentioned Polish claims regarding the reparations from Germany and added that Poland had never received compensation for its losses during the Second World War. „Poland and Germany have never signed an agreement or a peace treaty for WW2 (…) Poland is calling Germany to the negotiating table. That’s why Poland is seeking international support. I hope that the UK will support the concept that Germany should enter into negotiations with Poland” – Mularczyk emphasized.

Kasia Madera, BBC and Arkadiusz Mularczyk, Poland’s Deputy Foreign Minister. Photo: British Poles

At the end of the official part of the meeting, there was a film screening showing Warsaw after the war. The 6-minute 3D movie „City of Ruins,” by the Warsaw Uprising Museum, shows the horror and scale of uncompensated devastation the capital city faces after the Second World War. The film is a digital simulation of the flight of a Liberator plane over the destroyed Warsaw in 1945. Minister Mularczyk commented: „Remember, for every damaged building you see, there was a family, a business, a community whose story may not have been told”.

Film „City of Ruins”. Photo: British Poles

You can watch the whole film here.

The meeting was attended by many distinguished guests who joined the reception and networking part of the evening after the official part, discussing the Polish-British bilateral relations.

It has been exactly a year since Poland showed the bill of war reparations to its German neighbour. For the past 12 months, the Polish government has been pressuring Germany to obtain war reparations for the damages caused by the Third Reich to Poland during WWII.

On 1 September 2022, “The report on the losses suffered by Poland as a result of the German aggression and occupation during the Second World War, 1939-1945” was published. The latter was prepared by the Parliamentary Team for Estimating the Amount of Compensation Due to Poland from Germany for Damages Caused During World War II, led by the Law and Justice MP Arkadiusz Mularczyk. A group of 30 scientists, including historians, economists, property appraisers, and reviewers, contributed to the large document. The abridged version of The War Report in English is available here.

Minister Mularczyk visited London three months ago to present the Report on war reparations for Poland. Besides numerous meetings with ministers, MPs, British Lords, representatives of Polish and British diplomatic authorities and the Polish community, he had the opportunity to submit a copy of the Report in English to the Library of the House of Commons. Every MP can now view and learn about the scale of Polish war losses.

Maria Byczynski

Photos: British Poles

 

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