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19 Sep, 2022 12:52

Germany must explain ‘border change’ comment – Polish official

A clarification from the chancellor would help avoid “the worst associations,” the Polish National Security chief says
Germany must explain ‘border change’ comment – Polish official

The German chancellor’s recent suggestion that “someone” may want to review the current border with Poland has raised concern in Warsaw, with National Security chief Pawel Soloch demanding a “deep explanation” from Olaf Scholz. 

Speaking to the TVP Info channel on Monday, Soloch warned that failure to do so may erode trust between the two countries and evoke “the worst associations.”

During an appearance at the M100 Media Awards in Potsdam on Thursday, Scholz said Warsaw’s demands for WWII reparations could lead “someone” to reconsider past border agreements between the two nations.

“I would like to say how important the agreements negotiated by Willy Brandt are that the border between Germany and Poland is clearly and forever established after hundreds of years of history. And I would not like some people to rummage through history books to introduce revisionist border changes,” Scholz said.

Poland, which recently requested over a trillion dollars in reparations from Berlin, said the chancellor’s words were at the very least “awkward” and demanded clarification. 

“Of course, there is the issue of reparations in the background, this coincidence is not accidental. But leaving it without an attempt to explain from the German side may evoke the worst associations,” Soloch said.

Last week, Poland’s lower house of parliament voted in favor of issuing an official demand for $1.3 trillion in reparations from Germany for damages incurred during the Nazi occupation. Jaroslaw Kaczynski, leader of Poland’s ruling Law and Justice party, which put out the proposal in the first place, says that the estimated damages are still on the “conservative” side and that the price tag may yet go up.

Meanwhile, Berlin has insisted that Warsaw waived its rights to reparations in two separate agreements signed in 1953 and 1990. Poland claims it signed these documents under duress from the Soviet Union.