WWII victims’ memorial site to be created in Berlin

A memorial site for the victims of WWII and the German occupation in Poland will be created in Berlin, the German parliament decided on Friday.

Accepting the request of the four parliamentary factions, the German parliament Bundestag asked the federal government to create a designated space in Berlin, which, in the context of special Polish-German relations, would be devoted to the Polish victims of WWII and the Nazi occupation of Poland.

The site is intended to serve as a place for meetings and discussions about history, "bringing Germans and Poles together, and thus contributing to closer relations, understanding and friendship, and reducing prejudices".

The exact character of the place is to be thoroughly worked out in cooperation with Polish and German experts from the circles of science and civil society, including with the participation of the German Institute of Polish Affairs. The goal is to create "a space for civil society activities such as youth work, political education and meetings".

“This is a long-awaited step in the right direction”, said Zbigniew Rau, the Polish Foreign Minister commenting on the decision by the Bundestag on Friday.

German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas expressed his satisfaction with the decision of the Bundestag.

"In 1939, the madness of the racially-ideological destructive war was fully revealed in Poland for the first time. I am pleased that the Bundestag decided to document the fate of all victims and countries affected by it and to create a worthy place of remembrance", wrote Mr Maas on Twitter.