BERLIN/WARSAW | | polen

BERLIN/WARSAW (Own report) - Poland's ambassador to Germany is raising serious accusations against the Federal Republic. "More than half of the past 100 years of German policy toward Poland have been a disaster," the diplomat from Warsaw declared at a conference in Berlin. He also criticized Germany's dealings with Poland since the 1990s. Germany is pursuing its economic interests in Eastern Europe against Poland, even according to German observers, who themselves are critical of the current Polish government. The German government is also using the EU to achieve its goals against Poland's resistance. Poland's ambassador is now calling for dialog "at eye level" and a new approach to German WWII mass crimes in Poland. Berlin rejects these demands for reparations trying to limit itself to cheap commemoration ceremonies. This also concerns a largely unknown group of Nazi victims - those of the "forced Germanization" of Polish children, who had been abducted to the Reich. more…

BERLIN/ATHENS/WARSAW | | griechenlandpolen

BERLIN/ATHENS/WARSAW (Own report) - In reference to Greece and Poland's new demands for reparations for Germany's World War II mass crimes, the German government has reconfirmed its blockade on compensations. Berlin maintains that there are no legal grounds for Athens and Warsaw's demands. No reparations will be paid. A parliamentary commission in Greece has estimated that the material damages inflicted during German occupation between 1941 and 1944, amount to €288 billion. The Polish parliament has estimated the destruction caused by the reign of terror during Nazi occupation is at €840 billion. Athens intends to take initial steps before the end of the year to force German government compliance. Germany, in fact, has successfully avoided honoring any of the compensation claims, by using legal finesse and political pressure. At the same time, German authorities are participating in unofficial memorial ceremonies for the victims of the Nazi reign of terror, ostentatiously begging "forgiveness" from the victims - free of charge. more…

Hans-Rüdiger Minow | AACHEN | | polen
(Hans-Rüdiger Minow)

AACHEN german-foreign-policy.com spoke with Hans-Rüdiger Minow about Polish demands for reparations for the mass crimes committed by the Nazis. Minow is the Spokesperson for the Board of Directors of the "Train of Commemoration." On behalf of the "Train of Commemoration," he had advised Polish and other Eastern European victims' organizations, which had convened in Warsaw in 2010 to quantify their reparations claims. There was a reconstruction of the revenues collected by the German Reich from mass deportations with the "Reichsbahn" railway to forced labor and extermination camps, including Auschwitz. Transport by rail, for the benefit of Berlin's state treasury, had affected three to six million people in Poland. The Federal Republic of Germany owes repayment of these revenues. more…

BERLIN/WARSAW | | polen

BERLIN/WARSAW (Own report) - Polish government politicians' demands for comprehensive reparations for the devastation caused by the German occupation during World War II, have been unanimously turned down in Berlin. A German government spokesperson explained that Poland has long since renounced reparations; German media point to payments Germany - under massive international pressure - was unable to avoid in the 1990s. Warsaw, on the other hand, has reiterated that payments, they have received so far are in no relation to the immense damage the German Reich had inflicted on Poland since September 1, 1939. During World War II, six million Poles were killed, and material damage was estimated a few years ago in the mid-range triple-digit billions. The most recent reparations dispute between Berlin and Warsaw is occurring at a time, when geostrategic tensions between the two countries are intensifying. more…

BERLIN/WARSAW | | frankreichitalienpolenungarn

BERLIN/WARSAW (Own report) - High-ranking German politicians are calling for punitive measures against Poland. The Polish government's measures neutralizing the country's constitutional court as well as its new media laws are "in violation of European values," according to Volker Kauder, Chair of the CDU/CSU parliamentary group. The EU member states must now "have the courage to impose sanctions." Earlier, EU Commissioner Günther Oettinger called for Poland to be placed "under supervision." Even though the new media law, formally placing public service media under direct government control, are in fact more drastic, the forms taken by this official media control are already widespread throughout the EU. Hungary is not the only country to have enacted a media law, a few years ago, showing striking similarities to the new Polish law. Former President Sarkozy had also adopted similar measures in France. The French rulers still exercise considerable influence over public service media. However, particularly in Germany, with its hubris in seeking to discipline Poland, sharp criticism is frequently raised against the state and state parties' control of the public service media. more…

BERLIN | | polen

BERLIN (Own report) - The German government is accelerating the creation of an EU army by means of bilateral military cooperation. The German-Polish "declaration of intent" on military cooperation of the two countries' armed forces, signed in the middle of the week, is the most recent example. The agreement includes the exchange and joint training of officers as well as "placing combat battalions under the other's command." Poland's military already has more than 130 German-made Leopard 2 battle tanks with another 120 due to be added by 2015. A sales contract to this effect was signed last year, only a few months after an agreement "reinforcing" cooperation between the Navies of the two countries was signed. At the time, German Defense Minister Thomas de Maizière (CDU) spoke of a "totally new quality" in the military cooperation between Germany and Poland. His successor, Ursula von der Leyen (CDU), has gone a step further and had her ministry declare that the intended German-Polish military cooperation is a "trendsetting milestone for the development of European integrated military structures." more…

BERLIN/THE HAGUE/WARSAW | | niederlandepolen

BERLIN/THE HAGUE/WARSAW (Own report) - The German Bundeswehr has announced the formation of a permanent military unit of foreigners under German command. Beginning in January 2014, approx. 2,100 soldiers from the Netherlands will be integrated into the "Rapid Reaction Force Division" as a result of a declaration of intent signed in Berlin last week by the defense ministers of both countries. Three dozen projects for closer cooperation between the two armed forces are planned. A second, similar declaration of intent, stipulating closer naval cooperation was also signed between the defense ministers of Germany and Poland. This cooperation includes combat missions. Specialists in military policy have been calling for intensifying military cooperation to increase the Bundeswehr's military clout. Berlin would be well advised to seek cooperation particularly with the smaller countries, because they, it is said, unlike France or Great Britain, are more pliable allies due to their lesser power potentials. more…

WROCLAW | | polen

WROCLAW (Own report) - German right-wing extremists are politically exploiting government funded cultural events for the German-speaking minority in Poland. According to reports, members of the "Silesian Youth" recently established contacts in neighboring Poland during this year's "Cultural Festival of the German Minority" in Wroclaw. The "Silesian Youth" have been classified as right-wing extremist. Several of its leading members had been active members in currently banned neo-Nazi organizations. Another association of German right-wing extremists also called for participation at the festival. Earlier, "Silesian Youth" activists marched in a demonstration in Katowice demanding "autonomy for Upper Silesia." The Saxon regional section claims to be secretly taking care of former German cemeteries ("Evidence of German Presence in Silesia") as well as systematically expanding its relations to the German-speaking minority - in cooperation with a "relief organization" under the direction of a former activist of the neo-Nazi NPD. more…

BERLIN | | polen

BERLIN (Own report) - Extreme rightwing German militants have announced new lawsuits against Poland to have former property of "expelled" Germans returned. The newly formed "Property Owners Association - East (EBO)" announced that it is demanding not only the transfer of property rights to resettled Germans for real estate and buildings in Poland, but are also demanding that a "use compensation" be paid by the so-called expelling country. According to a report broadcast on Swiss television, already in the past, the association's president has forced his way into a house in southern Poland, he claimed belonged to him. The association has also announced its intention to wage a political campaign this spring in several Polish cities. EBO's president is the national executive director of the extreme rightwing "pro-Deutschland" party, affiliated with an extreme rightwing splinter group of the German League of Expellees (BdV). Its honorary president would like to transform a large segment of Polish territory into a neutral country: "Zentropa." The fact that the Federal Republic of Germany has, since 1949, consistently declared the resettlement of Germans "unjust" and the "question of reparations open" is encouragement for the lawsuits demanding reparations for the resettled. more…

BERLIN/PRAGUE/WARSAW | | polentschechische-republikslowakische-republik

BERLIN/PRAGUE/WARSAW (Own report) - German pressure on East European countries to adopt the Euro is meeting resistance. Over the past few months, Berlin has been strengthening its pressure on several Central European governments, to have them soon join the Euro zone - to no avail. Czech Prime Minister Petr Nečas declared that the Czechs, themselves, will decide "if and when we want to take that step." In any case, the European common currency, is an "ambitious but unfinished project," affirms the governor of the Polish Central Bank. Demands to withdraw from the Euro zone are already circulating in Slovak political leadership circles. Whereas countries in the southern Euro zone are helplessly at the mercy of the German export offensive and being driven to their ruin, Poland overcame its economic crisis through the devaluation of its currency. Since Estonia joined the Euro zone, at the beginning of this year, the zone's enlargement has now come to a halt. more…