Polish war losses report to be published early 2019

The Germans destroyed 80–90% of the buildings in Warsaw during WWII. Photo: Wikimedia Commons

“We want to publish a report on Polish war losses at the beginning of the next year,” the ruling Law and Justice party (PiS) MP Arkadiusz Mularczyk said on Sunday.

Mr Mularczyk is the head of the parliamentary team on assessing the compensation owed to Poland by Germany for damages caused during WWII.

“The experts' work is advanced and hopefully will be finished by the end of September,” Mr Mularczyk said.

The PiS MP stressed that the team is going to submit the report for discussion not only in Poland, but also abroad, and the document will be translated into foreign languages, notably into English and German.

Mr Mularczyk declared that the experts will provide real war losses for Poland calculated in dollars, as well as human capital.

“It is not, unfortunately, known how many Poles were killed,” he said.

There will be an assessment of what the population potential of Poland would be if not for the war victims, and also the Germanisation of about 200,000 Polish children. “We want to determine what the population of the Republic of Poland would be today if there had not been a WWII,” Mr Mularczyk emphasised.

Another important element of the research is the determination of material losses. According to the PiS MP, the team intends to estimate what Poland's economic growth would be today if it wasn't for the war.

“As much as 40 percent of Poland was destroyed and it was rebuilt over the years to reach the pre-war level. Where would we be today if not for the war? At the level of France or Germany? While we were rebuilding our destroyed country ourselves, the Germans received aid from the Marshall Plan," Mr Mularczyk noted.

In September 2017, the parliamentary team on war reparations was set up at the initiative of PiS. It is tasked with assessing the level of damages owed to Poland by Germany for WWII.

In mid-September, the research bureau of the Polish lower house of the parliament published a study saying Poland would be justified in seeking reparations from Germany for WWII damages, as the claims “have not expired”.

Marshall Plan

The Marshall Plan was the American initiative to assist Western Europe in rebuilding its economies after the end of WWII, starting from April 3, 1948.

Eighteen European countries received Plan benefits from the US. The Soviet Union was offered participation, but it refused and also blocked its benefits to Eastern Bloc countries, such as Hungary and Poland.

On August 23, 1953, the communist Polish government announced that as of January 1, 1954, the Polish People’s Republic (PRL) waived any reparations from East Germany (German Democratic Republic), whose legal successor after the German reunification was the Federal Republic of Germany.

Since Germany treats the Republic of Poland as a successor of PRL, it considers Poland to have given up on their reparations.

West Germany received 11 percent of the total quota of USD 13 bn (USD 137 bn in 2018) from the Marshall Plan.