Daniel Kawczynski is the Conservative MP for Shrewsbury, the county town of Shropshire, England. He is campaigning for Germany to pay billions to help rebuild Poland from the damage the Nazi party caused in World War II. Experts place the cost of rebuilding at £850 billion in modern currency.
He also believes that Germany owes Britain for damages caused in that war. At the end of the war, the cost of damage was determined to be £120 billion in 1945. That would come to £3,620 billion today.
Kawczynski is the only Polish-born member of the British Parliament. His question is: “How has Germany compensated Britain for the destruction it caused this country during the World War II?”
He questions how Germany can demand that Britain fulfills its obligations to the European Union when Germany has never paid any compensation to the British for the damage it inflicted on the UK.
Kawczynski said the issue is a relevant one because of the ongoing Brexit debate. He mentioned that, just four years ago, the British paid off the US loans they had received under the Marshall Plan for rebuilding the country.
But Kaczynski is just as passionate about seeing Germany repay Poland, his country of birth. He pointed out that more than one million Poles now live in Britain.
Kawczynski believes that Britain has both “a duty and responsibility” to aid Poland in getting compensation from Germany for the damage caused by the war. By the end of the war, Warsaw was completely destroyed, and six million people had died on Polish soil, according to Kawczynski.
Kawczynski’s own relatives were killed in the war after it was discovered that they were hiding a Jewish family.
While the Marshall Plan helped many countries recover from the war, Poland was prevented from receiving any of that aid by Josef Stalin.
Kawczynski feels that time is running out to get Germany to pay reparations to Poland and Britain. There are not many alive today who were alive during the war. This generation now may be the last to have direct contact with anyone that lived during that time.
Kawczynski is working to arrange a debate in Parliament within the next few weeks.
Polish foreign minister Jacek Czaputowicz said that Poland is working on its own plan to get reparations from Germany.
He gave a speech to the Polish Parliament that focused on relations between the two countries. He pledged to discuss with Germany their need to repay Poland for the losses it suffered during the war. He intends to use legal, political and financial methods to obtain the compensation he believes Poland is due.
On September 1, 1939, at 4:45 am, 1.5 million German troops invaded Poland while the German Luftwaffe bombed airfields and German warships and U-boats attacked the Polish navy in the Baltic Sea. According to Adolf Hitler, the actions were defensive actions, but England and France did not buy it.
On September 3, both countries declared war on Germany and World War II was underway.
It was Hitler’s plan to annex Poland to provide more living space for the German people while enslaving the native Slavs. It was a continuation of his plan which started with the annexation of Austria followed by the Sudetenland and Czechoslovakia. He had been able to accomplish all of that without provoking the world powers of the time and believed Poland would be no different.
Even with the declaration of war by the European powers, Germany was still able to advance 140 miles and reach Warsaw one week after the invasion began. The Polish military hoped to hold out until their allies could open a western front, but Germany had secretly promised to split Poland with the USSR who joined the German attack at this point. On September 28, Poland fell and was split between Germany and the USSR.
Then, in 1941, Germany violated the agreement they had with the Soviets and attacked the Red Army, seizing the rest of Poland for Germany. While they held Poland, the Germans killed almost three million Polish Jews in concentration camps.
In 1945, the Soviets liberated Poland from Germany and established a communist government.