Reconstruction of Warsaw palace destroyed in WWII begins

Photo: Institute of National Remembrance / Twitter

Works on the Saxon Palace, situated on Piłsudski square in Warsaw began on Thursday. The first stage of the reconstruction will focus on fencing off the terrain which will be under construction, after 10 days, earthworks will begin.

The reconstruction of the palace brings up a lot of history, especially when it comes to the people responsible for the destruction of the cultural monument, the Germans, and the issue of WWII reparations still not paid by Germany.

Paying for the reconstruction would not settle the issue of German reparations

Deputy Minister of Culture Jarosław Sellin was asked on Polish Radio 24 whether Poland should take advantage of Germany’s co-financing of the reconstruction of the Saski Palace, the Brühl Palace and the tenements on Królewska Street instead of war reparations.

He said that “Germany likes to try to settle important matters of a moral nature with symbolic gestures… Perhaps they would like to settle the issue of war reparations in this way, but this is a much more serious matter, an unsettled issue in the bilateral relations between Germany and Poland, and we will not agree to settle this matter in this way,” he added.

“The reconstruction of the Saxon Palace, the Brühl Palace and the tenements on Królewska Street will be carried out thanks to the funds available to the Polish state,” he informed.

The deputy minister also announced that the first part of the report being drafted by the Parliamentary Group for Estimating the Amount of Compensation Due to Poland from Germany for Damage Caused during World War II would be published on September 1.

The Saxon Palace

The palace, erected as a result of the expansion of the 17th-century palace of Jan Andrzej Morsztyn (a leading poet of the Polish Baroque era), was rebuilt many times in the following centuries. During the Second Polish Republic, it was the seat of the General Staff of the Polish Army.

After the destruction of the Saxon Palace by the German army at the end of December 1944, the only trace of it remained a fragment of the three central arcades with the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier - a symbolic grave commemorating the nameless soldiers who died in the defence of Poland and the celebration site of the most important national holidays.

The chairman of the board of directors of the company that is responsible for Saxon Palace’s reconstruction told the Polish Press Agency in May that the investment will cost PLN 2.5 billion and is planned to be completed in 2030.