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Germany rejects Polish claims for World War II reparations

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Germany rejected the Polish government’s claim for World War II reparations, saying that Berlin had closed the case for further discussion.

Poland has estimated its losses in World War II caused by Germany at 6.2 trillion zlotys ($1.40 trillion) and has demanded compensation, but Berlin has repeatedly said that all financial claims related to the war have been settled.

“According to the German government, the issue of reparations and compensation for war losses is still closed, and the German government does not intend to enter into negotiations in this regard,” the German Foreign Ministry said in a statement.

“The Government of the Republic of Poland will continue its efforts to settle the debts arising from the German aggression and occupation in the years 1939-1945.”

About six million Poles, including three million Polish Jews, were killed during the war, and Warsaw was razed to the ground after the 1944 uprising in which some 200,000 civilians died.

In 1953, Poland’s then communist rulers renounced all claims for war reparations under pressure from the Soviet Union, which wanted to free East Germany, also a Soviet vassal, from any obligations.

Poland’s ruling nationalist Law and Justice party says the agreement is not valid because Poland was unable to negotiate fair compensation. It has revived calls for reparations since coming to power in 2015 and has made the promotion of Poland’s wartime victimhood a central plank of its appeal to nationalism.

The hostile attitude towards Germany, which the PiS party often used to mobilize its public, strained relations with Berlin.

There was no immediate confirmation of the diplomatic exchange by Germany.

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