Poland wants Schröder to speak out against reparation claims

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Marcus
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Poland wants Schröder to speak out against reparation claims

Post by Marcus » 31 Jul 2004 18:14

Gerhard Schroeder will be the first German chancellor to attend the annual ceremonies [of the Warsaw Uprising] when he visits on Sunday.
Poland's prime minister called on him to dismiss calls for reparations from ethnic Germans driven out of Poland at the end of World War II.
Prime Minister Marek Belka told Germany's Die Welt newspaper that Mr Schroeder's visit was of "huge importance" to Poland.
He said there was a "bad atmosphere" between their two countries, and urged his German counterpart to dispel it.
Mr Belka said it would send a powerful message if Mr Schroeder used the anniversary to speak out against reparation claims by Germans expelled from Poland.
"The bigger and stronger neighbour must always show greater sensitivity," he said.
Mr Belka said he did not suggest the chancellor should drop to his knees - as his predecessor Willy Brandt did in 1970 in a gesture of humility at the site of the 1943 Jewish rebellion in the Warsaw ghetto.
"We do not expect him to kneel but we expect good words," he said.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/3938873.stm

/Marcus

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Klaus Yurk
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Post by Klaus Yurk » 01 Aug 2004 00:39

I don't quite understand this.

I can understand the PM of Germany going there and honoring the dead of the Uprising. But why should he speak out against people who would like to have their land and their property back? Is repression by the Poles somehow better or not as real as was oppression by the Germans? From what little I understand of it, some of the Germans that lost property there have claims dating back hundreds and hundreds of years? Why should Mr. Schroeder speak out against these claims?

Or am I missing the point? Is it some sort of PC thing where because there were deaths during the Uprisings those Germans who were driven out should be glad to give up there family estates in exchange? I don't get this? Do two wrongs make a right? Or what exactly is the issue? The German government is paying off it's war reparations. Why shouldn't Poland?

I am not trying to be contentious or evil, but maybe somebody could expalin this to me. My Mom was born in Pommerania. They owned a house and a store but never much land. But they fled the Russians. And she is happy here in the US. I can't even imagine her going back. I don't think we as a family want anything from Poland.

Maybe you can explain this, Marcus. I mean, what the issues are here? I don't quite understand why the Poles want a statement from Schroeder.

Thanks, Marcus.

Klaus

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Post by Panzermahn » 01 Aug 2004 15:55

The Poles can claim reparations from German brutal occupation of their country but not the Polish citizens of ethnic Germans who were oppressed during 1939's Bloody Sunday and the 1945 Silesian and Pommerania expulsions 8O 8O

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Post by Mostowka » 01 Aug 2004 16:53

The Poles can claim reparations from German brutal occupation of their country but not the Polish citizens of ethnic Germans who were oppressed during 1939's Bloody Sunday and the 1945 Silesian and Pommerania expulsions


Dear Joachim,

If the Poles were to require recompensation for the sacking of Warsaw alone this would cost the Germans at least 30 billion USD, this was never made as well as it was not made for any other Polish town.

The requests from Germans who were opressed by Poles should be heard, of course but they should also remember that Germany has MANY debts left to Poland which the post communist Goverment in Poland choose to ignore.

So lets compare numbers and the suffering of 1939 "Bloody Sunday" with the crushing of the Warsaw uprising which resulted in the death of nearly 200.000 Poles and see who really should be making demands ?

By the way, could you quickly sumarise the so called

The Poles can claim reparations from German brutal occupation


When did Poland demand this and when was it heard by East or West Germany ?

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Post by Marcus » 01 Aug 2004 16:59

The topic of this thread is possible Polish payments to Germans, not the other way around, if you want to discuss Polish claims, please do so in another thread, thanks.

/Marcus

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Post by Panzermahn » 01 Aug 2004 17:07

Hi Mostowka,

So lets compare numbers and the suffering of 1939 "Bloody Sunday" with the crushing of the Warsaw uprising which resulted in the death of nearly 200.000 Poles and see who really should be making demands ?


Numbers are irrelevant. As long as the Germans paid back reparations to the Poles for what they did, i believe it is equally fair enough for the Poles to pay back the reparations for what they did to the ethnic Germans who are not even in the German armed forces.

When did Poland demand this and when was it heard by East or West Germany ?


I believe somewhere in this thread that the West Germany government paid back compensation to the families and relatives of the 36 Polish postal workers in Danzig back in the 70s who although, they were legally and correctly executed by the Germans for violating Geneva Convention

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Post by Marcus » 01 Aug 2004 17:09

Again: The topic of this thread is possible Polish payments to Germans, not the other way around, if you want to discuss Polish claims, please do so in another thread, thanks.

/Marcus

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Post by Mostowka » 01 Aug 2004 17:12

Klaus:

My Mom was born in Pommerania. They owned a house and a store but never much land. But they fled the Russians


With all due respect your mother and her loss but I am noting that you wrote "The Russians", it was the Russians who drove out the Ethnic Germans and it was the Red army that pillaged and destroyed german homes and properties, not the Poles. Also note that it was the Polish communist goverment controlled by Moscow who in the post 1948 years further expelled and relocated Germans, so why should Poland pay anything ?

The German government is paying off it's war reparations. Why shouldn't Poland?


Because the amount Germany owes Poland will never be payed and can never be payed. I am not aware of how much Germany is paying Poland, if they even do, the communist years in Poland did not yield any sums from the Germans, only to the state of Israel and its inhabitants. And mind you, Poland has still not requiered Germany to pay a cent for the destruction of Warsaw with all it´s cultural treasures, losses of life (almost 200.000) and infrastructure destroyed to over 90%. This may quickly become the case if germany decides to require payment from Poland.

I agree with you, this does not make the suffering caused by the red army upon germans any less - it should always be remebered, but remember that Poland is silent about many claims that have never been made, and germany who was the agressor in the war should stay humble in the case before they recieve a bill requiring payment for the rebuilding of Warsaw and homes to over 500,000 persons who lost theirs and all possibilities of livelyhood.

My hope in this case is that everybody can reconsile and remember were the past belongs, something which the Polish goverment has done and the inhabitants of Warsaw (who I dont see demanding money from the german state) - the best would be it the germans did the same.

The German people should not suffer any more for what the thirs reich did, nor should they dare require a dime from the country which Germany so totally thrashed.

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Post by Klaus Yurk » 01 Aug 2004 17:31

Well, sadly, "Mostowka" seems to have lowered this to a mere numbers game.

I have no idea how many Germans died fleeing the Red Army, but I am sure it was considerable. Does the "Wilhelm Gustloff" ring a bell? My mother was almost on that ship. Luckily, took one the next day. But she saw the wreckage and floating bodies. The death toll on both sides might even be close. Who knows! (Not from the ship alone, but other attacks too.) And probably considerably more than 200,000 gave up all their homes and property for nothing.

I hope only that today Germany and Poland can behave civilly settling claims on both sides. Two wrongs rarely make a right. But I still do not see the point of Schroeder just waiving all German claims.

But I know our family wants nothing from anyone. We are Americans. We wish both countries well.

Klaus

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Post by Karwats » 01 Aug 2004 20:27

Hi All

Maybe I can clarify some of the issues here.

Firstly my grandparents fled from Silesia in 1945 from our family estate that we had owned since 1792. However most stayed behind even after the Russians had occupied the territory. These were subsequently expelled late 45-early 46-by the Poles.

There is a thread here called "Polish treatment of German Civilians" or something close to it,I posted some documents relating to this on it.
Sorry but couldn't find the link at short notice. In any event it was the Poles who expelled the Germans and not the Russians for the benefit of Mostowka.

As for the reparations claim,I simply cannot see what the fuss is about. Especially from the Poles. There simply are no official "reparation" channels to follow.

I have been involved in legal proceedings with the Polish Government both State and Local regarding my estate seized in 1945 for the past 8 years. Simply put there is no method of getting "any" reparation be it property or monetary for a Volksdeutshe from 1945-46.

As a last resort we even made a bid to purchase the estate outright, this was refused on 4 occasions along with a refusal to grant entry visas to my family which included my grandparents-then in their 70's. Luckily post EU membership there were a few changes. So our purchase is going ahead. Note purchase as reparations of any kind have turned up zero in all my dealings.

BTW If ANY of our German members have had any success in a similar predicaments I would appreciate greatly any and all information.

Brgds

O ja here is link
http://forum.axishistory.com/viewtopic.php?p=474382&highlight=#474382

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Post by Musashi » 01 Aug 2004 22:09

I have just seen an interview with Cancellor Schröder in Polish TV and he said the German demands had not had legal bases (Grundlage) and that group was very few. He said also Poland should not have worried about those demands. He told the presenter he had learnt much about the Warsaw Uprising and Polish history thanks to books of Norman Davies and the Uprising would be better known in Germany since now.

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Post by Obserwator » 01 Aug 2004 22:23

It is both sad and frightining that the attitude of German people towards their Polish neighbours changed so little since 1939.

Two wrongs rarely make a right

That is both revisionistic AND insulting towards Polish people. Germans waged a campaign of terror and genocide, their aim was to exterminate a couple of nations and become the overlords of people(Poles, Russians) they considered and treated like animals. They build concentration camps, they razed whole cities, they took children from parents, the gassed people, they bombed refugees, they throw granades into churchess full of innocent women and children hiding from the Germans.
On the other side we have Germans fleeing, fighting Russian Army that either died of diseases, hunger or during their attempts to preserve the Reich.
Saying that these are "two wrongs" seems like an attempt to picture Germany and Poland as equals in WWII.

Now after so many years the nationalistic monster of Germany is raising head again. That's what "the fuss is about". It is about Erica Steinbach for example-the leader of the expelled Germans. She was born in a house her father took from Poles in 1939-now she wants it back or "at least" money-for the properity German butchers took from Polish families(many so called "expelled" were colonists in occupied areas).
Now I am quite certain Germans were treated awfull by Russian Army and some fleed their advances, some died from hunger, disease or when they took arms to fight for their dreams of 1000year old Reich of German Ubermenschen. Hard to find compassion for them.To say it more clearly-Germans complain they were expelled. Well...Perhaps Germans should realize, that considering what their nation has done in WWII to others-they should be thanking Allies their country still exists...
Last edited by Obserwator on 01 Aug 2004 22:28, edited 1 time in total.

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Post by Klaus Yurk » 01 Aug 2004 22:27

As for the reparations claim,I simply cannot see what the fuss is about. Especially from the Poles. There simply are no official "reparation" channels to follow.

I have been involved in legal proceedings with the Polish Government both State and Local regarding my estate seized in 1945 for the past 8 years. Simply put there is no method of getting "any" reparation be it property or monetary for a Volksdeutshe from 1945-46.


I'm sure that is done on purpose by the Poles. Maybe they are worried that someday they will be forced, by the courts or somebody, to behave more civily regarding this issue? They are obviously afraid of it.

I'm glad for you, Karwats. Buying your own land back must be sort of bittersweet. But at least you are getting it. Good for you.

Could it also be that Poland needs dollars, and or, Euros?

As for our family's old house in Pommerania, if it still even exists, the Poles can have it.

Klaus

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Post by Karwats » 01 Aug 2004 22:42

Now after so many years the nationalistic monster of Germany is raising head again. That's what "the fuss is about". It is about Erica Steinbach for example-the leader of the expelled Germans. She was born in a house her father took from Poles in 1939-now she wants it back or "at least" money-for the properity German butchers took from Polish families(many so called "expelled" were colonists in occupied areas).


JA and many were not.
As for the fuss-read my and Mushashi's posts carefully. There is no reparation problem because the methods simply do not exist,Herr Schröder just confirmed it on Polish TV.

Klaus.
I suspect lack of foreign currency has something to do with it but maybe a new sort of "lets just get on with business" attitude after the EU integration.

Not really bittersweet,kind of exciting to get something back after 60 odd years. 8)

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Post by Dan » 01 Aug 2004 22:49

Ek is bly vir julle.

There comes a point where you just have to accept the status quo and get on with life. If the Germans and Poles weren't so stupid, they would have realized that they have a natural opportunity for a kind of partnership that could have made both nations great. Hopefully that will change, and they will look towards each other with optimism rather than greed or vengence.

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