From the International Herald-Tribune-
WARSAW: With the start of his first official visit to Germany on Monday, Prime Minister Jaroslaw Kaczynski of Poland is calling on Germans to renounce all property claims stretching back to World War II, saying it is time to clear up "misunderstandings" that have brought relations between the countries to their lowest point in many years.Polish distrust of Germany is understandable. Not just because of WWII but that it is barely 200 years since the country was partitioned at the hands of modern day Germany's predecessor Prussia, plus Russia and Austria.
"Misunderstandings can and must be cleared up together," Kaczynski, who leads a nationalist-conservative government, said in an interview to be published Monday in the mass-circulation daily newspaper Bild. "But it makes no sense to remain silent over what causes us in Poland concern."
A few people who were expelled from Poland after World War II are going through the German courts to reclaim their property. The German government has long renounced any restitution claims. But the Polish government remains skeptical.
Seeking to reassure Warsaw, Chancellor Angela Merkel said over the weekend that her government had no property claims on Poland and that the borders between the two countries were recognized.
"With this, we have laid a foundation on which we can work together in trust," Merkel said. She added that Kaczynski's visit was "symbolic of how we should develop our relations as good neighbors in the European Union."
Indeed, the former German chancellor Gerhard Schröder and his Polish counterpart agreed in early 2005 that neither government would support claims pursued by individuals in either country.
The people suing over lost property should be told to get lost. Losing a home is terrible, but nothing compared to the atrocities Poland endured during WWII at the hands of the Nazis. Most of the country's jewish population was wiped out in the concentration camps. Then you have the famous uprising in Warsaw and the Nazi reaction to it. Other horrors include the slaughtering of hospitals, where patients and staff were either shot and burned to death by having the building set ablaze.
These property owners are alive, millions aren't. The title of my post sums up my feelings on the matter. If they want compensation, let the Poles who lost much more get compensated too. Fair is fair.
Note- TFM and his wife toured Poland for 2.5 weeks in 2000. During that trip we visited Auschwitz.
Linked to- Bullwinkle Blog, Cao's Blog, Right Wing Nation,