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Polish-German Reconcilliation Seminar



Atch 13 | 1,844    
10 Oct 2017  #1

Oh the irony! A five day 'Reconcilliation and Remembrance' seminar is underway in Krzyżowa in which Poland showcases how to foster better relations with your neighbours to invited students and graduates from the Balkan states. It will include a series of lectures on Polish-German reconcilliation (a big success that's been as we've seen recently). The Polish Ministry for Foreign affairs kindly explains that the path towards European integration involves "building good neighbourly relations and fostering regional cooperation". I wonder how they reconcile that with their demands for war reparations.


Ironside 46 | 8,406    
10 Oct 2017  #2

Hmm..embracing German point of view. Is she sure her hubby is Polish?
Dirk diggler 5 | 1,419    
10 Oct 2017  #3

Sometimes reparations are a part of reconciliation. Dozens of nations and peoples have received reparations or some sort of compensation for horrific things far less evil than ethnic cleansing. Poland wants theirs now.

Poland will get paid its just a matter of how much, when and if the parties decide to make it public or not. The poles simply need to go on the offensive with this much like blacks Jews Koreans etc. Even the Lockerbie bombing victims families received millions despite the prosecutor saying there was no evidence that Gaddafi ordered the bombing.
Ziemowit 8 | 2,636    
10 Oct 2017  #4

I wonder how they reconcile that with their demands for war reparations.

One doesn't exclude the other. What is more to it, war reparations from Germany may only strenghten the flourishing Polish-German friendship as it is now.

A major step backward in that frienship was killing a Polish bison by German hunters which took place near Lebus (Polish 'Lubusz' until 1250). A bison (Bison bonasus) which walked freely across fields in western Poland for many weeks and was admired by lots of people was shot dead as soon as it swam the river Oder and found itself on German soil. This caused a lot of anger on the Polish side of the border and even made the local people in Poland display a large board on the Oder facing the town of Lebus and reading the message "The bison is under protection. MURDERES!" in German addressed to the German people on the other side of the river.

The incident has been reported by major German newspapers such as SZ:
sueddeutsche.de/panorama/abgeschossenes-wisent-tod-eines-grenzgaengers-1.3694522
OP Atch 13 | 1,844    
10 Oct 2017  #5

war reparations from Germany may only strenghten the flourishing Polish-German friendship as it is now.

Not if they're forcibly exracted in a litigious manner.

The problem is that Poland missed the boat regarding reparations because the time to revisit this issue was when Poland became a free country once again with the fall of Communism. But the government at that time were more concerned with building a new democratic modern state than revisiting old woes. They were looking forward not backwards. That was also a time at which Germany had an opportunity to say 'do you want to discuss reparations, in view of the fact that the previous agreement was made under Communist control?' but Germany didn't do that and Poland didn't raise the issue either. Now, al,ost a generation later, trading with Germany, partnering with Germany in the EU etc it's a tad too late - it strikes a very discordant note.

As for the bison, well the actions of the present Polish government are threatening the habitat of that animal, though of course the various 'experts' on this forum will argue otherwise.
Dirk diggler 5 | 1,419    
10 Oct 2017  #6

The problem is that Poland missed the boat regarding reparations because the time to revisit this issue was when Poland became a free country once again with the fall of Communism.

Poland did bring up reparations multiple times during that time period. It didn't gain traction because Poland was so reliant on German investment and so many Poles were crossing into Germany (esp during the summer) to work low skill menial jobs like cleaning, picking strawberries, etc. Now the issue has once again been brought up and is gaining more traction, not only in Poland but also abroad. Actually quite a few UK media outlets are siding with Poland on this issue.
OP Atch 13 | 1,844    
10 Oct 2017  #7

It didn't gain traction because

It didn't gain traction because they didn't persist with it and they didn't persist with it because it wasn't in their best interests to do so at that time - and nothing has changed. It's not in Poland's best interests now either.

Actually quite a few UK media outlets are siding with Poland on this issue.

Adrian, it doesn't matter what a few tabloids say or the often ill-informed opinions of those who read them. That is not going to influence the German government.
cms 9 | 1,170    
10 Oct 2017  #8

Let me guess - the Mail, Express and the Sun ? The same people who thought Brexit would be a success.

This is a non starter - will never happen.

How about if reparations were paid but only to people directly affected ? That might be fair. I believe many forced labourers already received reparations but I don't know how much
OP Atch 13 | 1,844    
10 Oct 2017  #9

the Mail, Express

Those were the two that sprang to mind immediately! Ironically their readers are precisely the types who loathed and detested the influx of Polish immigrants to the UK. Go back ten years and look at the anti-Polish sentiment expressed by readers of the tabloids about Poland and Poles.

How about if reparations were paid but only to people directly affected ?

Somewhat difficult to establish the identities of their descendants at this stage perhaps.
cms 9 | 1,170    
10 Oct 2017  #10

Only reparations to people still alive who suffered material loss from German aggression - my guess is about 3 percent of Poles.
SigSauer 1 | 260    
10 Oct 2017  #11

@cms

I would be way more concerned about rounding up people who held positions of power under the communist government and summarily executing them, than I would the German government paying reparations.

That is really funny the UK detesting Poles right? While the welcome thousands upon thousands of Bronze age savages into their country.
Dirk diggler 5 | 1,419    
10 Oct 2017  #12

Mail, Express and the Sun

So just because a newspaper has a center-right or conservative point of view you won't read it? That's very narrow minded. I identify as a conservative but that doesn't mean I won't read something by MSNBC, NYT, Latimes (which earlier this morning I read an article about California's decriminalization of knowingly infecting someone with HIV and knowingly donating blood despite being HIV+), etc. if it's something I'm interested in. It's better to get both sides of the story so you can understand two points of view rather than just the one you identify with. You'd be surprised - you might actually understand why a person says certain things and say to yourself 'Well I never thought of it like that before - makes sense'

It's not just UK media that's siding with PL government in this regard - US media as well.

The amount of people in UK who detest Poles are rather small. Yes you're right though though - the Brits weren't too happy with a flood of Poles in 2004, 2005, etc. I wouldn't be either if I was a British dude living in London, Manchester, etc. especially since many of the Poles that came esp at first were from the lower classes and many predisposed to crime, hooliganism, etc.The attitude has since changed dramatically. The Brits generally view Poles in a positive light now because they work hard, pay taxes, and generally don't cause problems. When's the last time a Pole living in the UK drove a van into a crowd, or cut off a British soldier's head, or blew people up, or stabbed people in front of government buildings? Not to mention the sharia courts and patrols, living off benefits with their 5 kids, and marching with 'UK go to hell signs.' When have Poles ever paraded with such signs in the UK? Thanks to these radicals, the Brits have seen Poles in a far more positive light and see these radicals as the threat now, not us.

Brexit was the will of the British citizens who voted. Cry about it all you want but clearly the people who came out to vote chose leave - and I don't blame them. Economically and politically, yes there will be short term consequences. However in the long term they won't be cucked by the Gerries and Brussels anymore. They will begin to reap the benefits after 5-10 years of formally departing - assuming of course they actually go through with it and don't keep lagging it or the decision is reversed. The main reason why it passed is that people were sick of the EU passing laws to which the British and their politicians didn't agree to. The majority of laws that passed from year to year weren't ones that local legislature passed but rather laws and regulations the EU forced on them which they had to abide by. Not to mention all the people that they were forced to take in, many of whom preferred the benefits to working as the welfare would far exceed any wage they were use to back in their home country - sadly Poles included.

Besides, we're not talking about Brexit, we're talking about Poland asking for reparations for the crimes they committed against us in WW2. Germany paid reparations to Israeli, Jewish people (a lot of these claims were proven to be fraudulent), Greece, Yugoslavia, Netherlands (received land), etc. Soviet Union too received Kaliningrad as approved by the Big 3. Well,. we suffered way more deaths than Greece did in WW2 so we want ours and we have the right to demand this. You think the great-grandparents, great uncles and aunts, etc including my own, who's homes were shelled, or lost their families, or were themselves killed, don't want reparations for themselves or their families? If you have Polish family that lived during this time period ask them if they'd want reparations or not. I'm willing to bet they'd say yes.
Lyzko 17 | 3,676    
10 Oct 2017  #13

I think that raprochement is critical, no matter the costs! This ongoing hostility between the two countries has got to thaw out at some point, so why not let it be sooner rather than later?

Forgiveness needn't mean forgetfulness. If Israel is willing to let bygones be bygones in terms of loosening various restrictions against German products, not to mention German classical music (Wagner), what's Poland's excuse?

It's always tough to bury the hatchet.
Dirk diggler 5 | 1,419    
10 Oct 2017  #14

If Israel is willing to let bygones be bygones in terms of loosening various restrictions against German products, not to mention German classical music (Wagner), what's Poland's excuse

Israel received billions dollars from Germany, Poland did not.

Not to mention 4 basically free submarines capable of launching nuclear missles and hundreds of millions if not billions of weapons and military tech.

And Israelis (more specifically certain people in government) are STILL demanding more money lol

Even Jews who immigrated to the US during the war received compensation thanks to the power of their lobbies and influence in the US

If Poland and Poles received 1/2 the reparations that the Israel and Jews received well be more than happy to bury the hatchet.
Lyzko 17 | 3,676    
10 Oct 2017  #15

Factually correct, Dirk diggler, although it was the Jews of Poland who suffered far more than the many of the more assimilated, better off, not to mention mobile urban Jews of Germany, most of whom were able to leave their country as early as '34, in certain cases! The latter were usually educated, many even English or French speaking, therefore in a position to emigrate. This is not to generalize, of course.

Furthermore, what purpose would it serve to bleed Germany's coffers dry by launching suit against the entire nation?
cms 9 | 1,170    
10 Oct 2017  #16

I happily read the quality end of the right wing press - Telegraph, FT, Economist, Times, Wall St Journal. I don't read demagogic nonsense.

Rest of your post is too long and too rambling to read. I'm not sure why they didn't teach you how to use paragraphs at those fancy schools you went to.
Lyzko 17 | 3,676    
10 Oct 2017  #17

My post is neither long, nor rambling. Unless you're referring to my colleague, not myself.
mafketis 16 | 4,837    
10 Oct 2017  #18

the time to revisit this issue was when Poland became a free country once again with the fall of Communism.

yes

ut the government at that time were more concerned with building a new democratic modern state than revisiting old woes

they were also more interested in getting Germany to accept the current western border of Poland. If reparations are on the table then why not borders?
cms 9 | 1,170    
10 Oct 2017  #19

Not you of course :). Just saw a few of Dirk's normal long paragraphs staring back at me - and it's the full set of bingo - Jews, sharia, benefits, HIV, liberal California.
OP Atch 13 | 1,844    
10 Oct 2017  #20

just because a newspaper has a center-right or conservative point of view

It's not the viewpoint, it's the quality of the journalism that counts. Publications like the Daily Mail are not quality pieces of research and writing. These are newspapers that feature headline stories about some reality tv star almost stepping in a puddle for God's sake.
kaprys - | 585    
10 Oct 2017  #21

It works both ways. What about Germans like Erika Steinbach?
As for Polish-German reconciliation, it's wrong to say it's happening only know. There were organisations that aimed at it back in the 1990s or 2000s. I know from my family's experience.
Roger5 2 | 1,505    
10 Oct 2017  #22

If he didn't write such long rambling posts, people might read them. He doesn't help his cause by doing this. I notice his Daily Mail comments are much shorter.
OP Atch 13 | 1,844    
10 Oct 2017  #23

it's wrong to say it's happening only know.

One has to differentiate between public demand for such things, private organisations and government backed initiatives.
Dirk diggler 5 | 1,419    
10 Oct 2017  #24

although it was the Jews of Poland who suffered far more than the many of the more assimilated, better off, not to mention mobile urban Jews of Germany,

True. Nonetheless, the more mobile urban Jews (both in PL, Germany, those who had money in Swiss accounts as well as those who pretended to) received compensation - mostly very fair, sometimes very unfairly. The fact is though, roughly as many Poles died as Jews during the Nazi occupation - including members of my own family who were killed, tortured, or simply vanished. More died and were deported under the so-called Soviet 'liberation' but that's another story. Poles simply want similar reparations for the loss of life, industry, destruction.

Furthermore, what purpose would it serve to bleed Germany's coffers dry by launching suit against the entire nation?

Israel, Jews, Greece, U.S. didn't see any problems with it... It's not going to bleed Germany's coffers dry. They just got done paying for WW1 about a decade ago and are still paying off WW2. These type payments aren't lump sum - they're paid out over a long period of time and don't include only currency or reserve transfers. Germany would most likely have decades to pay for this as they did with other reparations. You'll see though - Poland will get something for Germany from this. As long as there's people in power in PL interested in this anyway. This is just one battle out of many that Poles and our government, which is enjoying record support and double that of the 2nd closest party, are fighting for our peace of the pie, our sovereignty, and our dignity.
Roger5 2 | 1,505    
10 Oct 2017  #25

The Mail is a rag that is frequently sued. They pay large amounts of cash every year to people they tell lies about. Wiki has a policy of not accepting the Mail as a source because of its unreliability. It is essentially a lifestyle mag with a little news thrown in, except for election time, when they help out their pals at Tory central office.
Dirk diggler 5 | 1,419    
10 Oct 2017  #26

It's not the viewpoint, it's the quality of the journalism that counts.

You're absolutely right. It seems that almost all outlets produce garbage here and there - BBC, CNN, etc included. I seen articles on BBC.com arguing to the intelligence of chicken... The Mail isn't really meant to be a news source but more enterainment. Idk why you guys keep going on about this - neither have I used it as a source nor did I say it was the only outlet, but one of several, that support Poland's stance.

That being said, I don't really read Daily mail that much. Express more so, along with outlets and people like Ben Shapiro, Tucker Carlson, Vice (before HBO was a lot better), Time, Breitbart (has some good stories despite what you might think), BBC, Al Jazeera, RT, etc. All these outlets have some great stories and journalism and sometimes really it's really poor - same can be said with CNN, MSNBC, BBC, etc.

Poland will get money. Just watch and see.
TheOther 5 | 3,017    
10 Oct 2017  #27

The problem is that Poland missed the boat regarding reparations

Absolutely right. They had their chance several times.

How about if reparations were paid but only to people directly affected ?

Poland received compensation for slave workers in 2006, as far as I remember.

flourishing Polish-German friendship

It was flourishing and still is, but the current Polish government and especially the Kaczyński clown behind it are doing everything in their power to destroy it. How about Poland returns all former German lands to Germany first and then starts negotiating with Germany, Russia and Ukraine about money and territory? Not a good idea? This whole thing about war reparations is a can of worms, no matter how you look at it.

Actually quite a few UK media outlets are siding with Poland on this issue.

Wonder why... . Wasn't there something like a BREXIT? :)
Dirk diggler 5 | 1,419    
10 Oct 2017  #28

...or at least some sort of concessions... The ball is in our court on this one. The Germans have already reached out to the Poles for closed door talks on this issue. It's not even the larger point of reparations - this is a battle for Poland's right to a piece of the pie and a fight for our sovereignty and dignity. PL and the rest of the V4 (and UK with Brexit in a way too) are showing people within European countries that they can be developed, wealthy, and maintain healthy economic growth while rejecting the multiculturalism and EU involvement within our home affairs all while promoting our own unique culture, religion, and identity. That's really what this is about.

Tory

Still kickin' a$$... The conservatives beat labour yet again - more votes, more seats, and Theresa May is MP. Conservatives had a 14 point lead amongst homeowners - you know people that actually contribute to society.

How about Poland returns all former German lands to Germany first and then starts negotiating with Germany, Russia and Ukraine about money and territory?

Than Israel ought to give their billions back too.

The Two Plus 4 agreement didn't involve Poland. It was more to do with unification, lands, etc. not reparations to parties victimized by Germans.

How many of you guys against reparations are actually Polish? Well, if you ask your grandparents or any family (or even friends) that lived through WW2 and ask them if they want reparations.
TheOther 5 | 3,017    
10 Oct 2017  #29

Than Israel ought to give their billions back too

Did Israel receive German territory after WW2?

...or at least some sort of concessions.

It's not about war reparations. The Polish government tries to get back at Brussels for the treatment they received lately. More like Trump tactics.
Dirk diggler 5 | 1,419    
10 Oct 2017  #30

@TheOther

They received land thanks to England and US with the Balfour Declaration. Along with billions of dollars after WW2 from Germany.

2nd - the amount of land that Poland had after WW1 was larger than after WW2 by over 70,000 km2. If we went back to our old borders we'd actually have around 18% more land (depending on what years of the interwar period we're using - now the territory is 312 km2, in 1938 it was 389 km2)

So sure, give us more 15-20% land and we'll go back to the negotiating table.

More like Trump tactics.

Whatever works. Ends justify the means.




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