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Polish-German Reconcilliation Seminar



TheOther 5 | 3,016    
10 Oct 2017  #31

the amount of land that Poland had after WW1 was larger than after WW2 by over 70,000 km2.

Then they should talk to the Lithuanians, Ukrainians and Russians about reparations.

They received land thanks to England and US with the Balfour Declaration.

Certainly not war reparations.


Ironside 46 | 8,395    
10 Oct 2017  #32

How about Poland returns all former German lands to Germany

Well, good to see your real face, shedding your liberal, progressive front to present us with your German nationalism, on par with AdF. They have the same idea. You should add that Germans should be proud of their soldiers in the WWII and the picture will be complete.

Well, two big lies in post number 5. I'm not surprised.
kaprys - | 577    
10 Oct 2017  #33

@TheOther
What German territory? All of these lands had been Polish.
As for slave labour, all of my grandparents were forced labourers. They all died long before 2006. Only one grandmother was paid some damages and the sum was ridiculously low. She had to be a member of an organisation (I think it was Polsko- niemieckie pojednanie) and pay the member fee to get anything.
Dirk diggler 5 | 1,372    
10 Oct 2017  #34

@kaprys

You'll realize that few people on this forum are actually Polish. They don't have much of an interest in the grandparents, great-parents, etc and their families receiving compensation for being murdered, used as slaves, having their homes confiscated or destroyed... now if they were Jewish/black/etc - different story...Kind of sad how people could go on a forum and not want sufferers of WW2 to receive fair compensation unless they're of the right nationality and faith. I'm willing to bet if they or their families were killed, tortured, robbed or imprisoned by Germans, Russians, etc they'd be singing a different tune and wanting justice and reconciliation.
kaprys - | 577    
10 Oct 2017  #35

@Dirk diggler
I do know that. That's why I speak about it.
Personally, I don't expect any sort of financial support from Germany. My grandparents wouldn't know their tombs look bigger. Because the money should belong to them.

But it hurts to know what my family went through and most of them didn't even hear a single word of apology. And even having been freed from the camps, they came back to a country which had been ruined. Families were separated.

And reading cynical comments by people who know little about it isn't nice.
Some criticise Poland' s claims for reparations. What about German organisations like the Prussian Trust?
Dirk diggler 5 | 1,372    
10 Oct 2017  #36

@kaprys

Same. I have a few family members that were harmed by either Germans/Ukranians/Russians during WW2. Mostly Russians though. It was completely random some said that the Germans were very nice to them others said they would be robbed, one couple said their homes were shelled, one uncle got his fingers chopped off by an ax one by one, one was shot while fighting for AK, etc. Pretty much all of them say though that the Russian treatment was by far the worst. Still, I'd like to see the ones still alive and their descendants to get the justice they deserve. If they have no living relatives - fine the money can go in a trust to the others who suffered during the Nazi invasion or be invested in the country's infrastructure or other projects much like the S. Koreans did with the Japanese WW2 reparations. One family member's life was saved by a Nazi officer though. A Banderist had him lined up against a tree and was about to shoot him (he was a non-combatant) but a Nazi officer intervened. Others weren't so lucky but only one was actually by Germans and it was as a combatant. The Russians though - exile, torture, forced labor... I'd honestly much rather see reparations from Russia - that'd be far more meaningful. I doubt it'll ever happen though. It took them decades just to admit Katyn (which they blamed on the Germans).
kaprys - | 577    
10 Oct 2017  #37

I only had a chance to talk to one of my grandparents about the war. Others had died either before I was born or when I was a toddler. I know she had met both good and bad Germans. She also had a lot of luck in some situations, yet she lost one of her brothers in Germany. Terrible times.
Dirk diggler 5 | 1,372    
10 Oct 2017  #38

@kaprys

Yeah same - that seems to be kind of the general consensus among Poles meeting both 'good' and 'bad' Germans. Nonetheless, it was still an invasion and one can hardly blame Poles esp people in AK for fighting back. The Germans (and Russians to an extent) called the AK terrorists, the Allies considered them freedom fighters.

The consensus of Soviet/Russian oppression is pretty unanimous though amongst Poles. It's become divided with the younger generations - some are patriotic to the core and hate the Russians and Putin, others see Putin as still kind of like an enemy but appreciate the fact that he's promoting Christianity and family values. This 2nd opinion is especially popular within the Polonia.
kaprys - | 577    
10 Oct 2017  #39

Actually I know the name of the bauer my paternal grandparents had to work for and the address of the labour camp they were relocated to because my father still has the note my grandma wrote when she was told to prove her war experience. That information was then confirmed and put on straty.pl.

I know nothing about my maternal grandparents' whereabouts during the war - there are just some photos from their id cards in Germany. My grandma looks as if she had been crying before the photo was taken. I asked my mum if her parents had said anything about that time (they didn't know each other back then but my granddad and my maternal great grandfather met there though) but they didn't. They didn't victimise themselves really.

I know there was Związek Sybiraków. My grandma's neighbour was a member. I don't know if they managed to get any repariations or it was just sort of a support group.

Honestly, I don't know any Poles who think Putin promotes family values.
Dirk diggler 5 | 1,372    
10 Oct 2017  #40

@kaprys

Amongst the polonia more so and its mainly those who just see it as a counter to wests/EU's multiculturalism (shown by a Harvard professor over a decade long study to be detrimental to a society). But yes in general poles tend to be somewhere in the spectrum of outright hostile to weary of Russia. Till Putin goes and the russkiy okupant mindset changes in Russia I doubt attitudes amongst poles will change.

The Czech president suggested that Ukraine and the European community give up hopes on recapturing Crimea and instead ask Russia to make a payment for that land in the form of cash, oil, gas, etc. I don't think that will sit well with ukranians but I can see his point in preventing a war. Still its putting ukraine a losers position at the table
cms 9 | 1,167    
10 Oct 2017  #41

No reparations from Russia of course for the Siberian prisoners. What honestly are the chances of strong leader Putin paying out reparations to the Slav brothers.
kaprys - | 577    
10 Oct 2017  #42

'Gdyby Bóg zechciał wskrzesić wszystkich więźniów lagrow, to w całej Rosji podniosłaby się ziemia' is a quote form 'Dziewczyny z Syberii'- a book which talks about experiences of Poles in the Soviet lagers. It's worth noting that many lager prisoners couldn't go back to Poland until the 1950s. Thousands were killed and forgotten. For over 50 years it was forbidden to talk about Poles in the lagers, the Katyń massacre and so on. Take Eugeniusz Bodo, a pre-war film star who was denied the amnesty because he was half Swiss.

In fact, there have been more attempts at Polish-German than Polish-Russian reconciliation.
Ironside 46 | 8,395    
10 Oct 2017  #43

than Polish-Russian reconciliation

Cause Soviets and Russia run by Chekists is in denial. However such a demand for long overdue reparations should be a move in the right direction.
kaprys - | 577    
10 Oct 2017  #44

@Ironside
I think they're also in denial as far as their own citizens' suffering is concerned.
Ziemowit 8 | 2,630    
10 Oct 2017  #45

I know the name of the bauer my paternal grandparents had to work for

Actually, this is the experience of my family, too. My father-in-law was taken to Germany as a forced labourer during the WW2. At first he found himself on a farm in Eastern Germany with a bauer who was hostile and oppressive to him. Then after some time he decided to escape from that bauer and so reported himself to the local Amt (I think he had no chance to escape back to Poland from an area somewhere in Thuringen) to complain against that bauer and say he would not come back to him again . It may surprise you, but then they assigned him to a different bauer in the same village! He was very glad to work for that bauer and even developed some familial link with them which resulted in his making a child to the daughter of that bauer. This Polish-German friendship then continued and strenghtened to such a degree that the bauer asked him to marry his daughter and stay in Germany after the war. Meanwhile, my father in-law joined the US Army having already appeared in that area and became an American soldier. But as soon as the war ended, he did not decide to come back to that family and to his child, however, since he was afraid to be confronted by the former German soldiers coming back to the village after the war - or at least he said so. He returned to Poland where he settled in his native Mazovian village.

So, as you can see, the Germans had not been always so oppressive as you might think. The thing that amazes me the most in his story was that the local German authorities did not force him to go back to his original employer, but directed him to another one instead. Ironically, the more 'opressive' towards him may have been the Americans who supplied tons of cigarettes to their soldiers and as a result of this my father-in-law had beconme dependend of nicotine and later died of a lung cancer here in Poland.

I say, this is perhaps a better piece for the Polish-German Reconcilliation Seminar of Ms Atch than some ranting on war reparations.
Ironside 46 | 8,395    
10 Oct 2017  #46

I think they're also in denial as far as their own citizens' suffering is concerned.@ kaprys

Oh no, if need to be they can handily play a tube that all people suffered the same fate persecution if there is a need - I suppose from mythical Communist or what have you. If they want to seek justice for their own people that is their internal affairs. What we should look for is to find redress from a state that is a legal continuation of the Soviets Union i.e. Russia.

I don't care about their state of mind of their views. It need to be done regardless..
kaprys - | 577    
10 Oct 2017  #47

@Ziemowit
As I said before my grandma also met some good Germans. My paternal grandparents were a childless couple who were sent to work on a farm near Munich. My grandma got pregnant and hid her pregnancy until the sixth month. They couldn't stay there with a baby and would have been reported so they escaped. They got caught and separated. So my grandma refused to eat. The officials there were kind people though who felt for my desperate pregnant grandma and they let them reunite. Her brother wasn't so lucky. He was shot dead when he was trying to reunite with his family...

She also mentioned some German women who would secretly give her food for the baby even though any Polish-German relations were forbidden. It was clear they were Polish because they had to wear these P-patches.

As for Polish-German love affairs, I think your father-in-law was lucky. Grandma told me a similar story and the Pole was taken by the authorities. The girl disappeared soon afterwards ...

And in the camp, shortly before the American troops arrived, a group of Poles were executed for a silly reason.
Ironside 46 | 8,395    
10 Oct 2017  #48

As I said before my grandma also met some good Germans

The thing is here that alight there were some 'good' Germans they were more oft than not a low key, simple people. German establishment and Germans in charge as well as their legal and state system were an oppressive totalitarian regime that threated Poles (not only) in a despicable, nasty and vile way.

Hence Poland and Poles are due reparations as it was systematic persecution by the legal German state and German elites not by some random criminal elements of the German society.
kaprys - | 577    
10 Oct 2017  #49

@Ironside
Who is supposed to be paid? I don't think I deserve any money. I didn't suffer. My dad who was born in the camp? More likely. He has some health problems which might have been caused by malnutrition as a baby. But I don't see him crying over it. Then he lived his childhood in poor communist Poland - not properly fed due to poor living conditions. Does Poland think of him? He's got some money paid to his pension - less than 100 zł gross, I think. 50 zł more likely.

The reality is that my grandparents' generation had terrible stories to tell - about their lives in Germany, the USSR or occupied Poland. I remember seeing people with numbers tatooed on their forearms in my childhood. They suffered. I didn't. And those who are still alive - very few left - often live in poverty.

It's a shame those who suffered weren't apologised to when they were still alive. It's a shame there are still so many anonymous Polish graves scattered in Germany, Russia or Kazachstan. It's a shame that former Nazi soldiers were able to live better lives after the war than millions of Poles and some even want repariations from Poland.

But we need to move on and make sure no similar sick ideology like nazizm or stalinism never happens again.
Ironside 46 | 8,395    
10 Oct 2017  #50

Who is supposed to be paid? I don't think I deserve any money. I didn't suffer

Poland should be paid that would help to improve infrastructure, health services and many other fields that would need some capital to help develop Poland and improve quality of life of it populace.

You did suffer, experiences of your grandparents as well as the country has a direct and real impact on all people including grandchildren, you're not an exception in this regard and that is a scientifically proven fact.

None is going to force on you any money - don't worry.
kaprys - | 577    
10 Oct 2017  #51

@Ironside
The thing is that if any money is paid it's going to be absorbed by the budget. Just like trzeci filar. The victims won't get paid. It's more about the government looking for money, I'm afraid. And I'm not saying that to upset or annoy you - that's how I see it.
Lyzko 17 | 3,667    
10 Oct 2017  #52

Where oh where does it end, people?? Nearly every group out there feels slighted. Therefore, if you compensate every single organization, nation, prinicpality etc. who or which feels it "deserve" compensation, the whole world would go broke, literally!
Dirk diggler 5 | 1,372    
11 Oct 2017  #53

Nearly every group out there feels slighted.

There's a big difference between slighting a group and invading a sovereign country and murdering millions of them, as the Gerries have. Some Poles were even forced to join the Wehrmacht.

Poles put up a longer resistance with home made small arms against Germany in Warsaw (Warsaw Uprising) the all of France did when they were invaded with all their tanks, planes, and soldiers. Nonetheless, their insurrection failed because the Soviet 'liberators' camped right next to Warsaw and refused to help the AK. Not only that, after it was all over we then had to deal with a$$holes like Michnik's brother sentencing AK members to death..
mafketis 16 | 4,826    
11 Oct 2017  #54

The thing is that if any money is paid it's going to be absorbed by the budget. ...The victims won't get paid. It's more about the government looking for money

From PiS's point of view reparations are like abortion and sunday shopping, a useful device to distract the public and/or get them riled up. And it always works.

If by some weird happenstance reparations were paid, I assume a lot of it would end up in private bank accounts (or envelopes from foresters' daughters)

When I hear PiSi talk about reparations I hear: "Dance little monkeys! Dance!"
Roger5 2 | 1,505    
11 Oct 2017  #55

That's right, maf. Diversion. The oldest trick in the book. trump, for example, uses it on a daily basis. How much EU money has Poland benefitted from? I suspect Polish dipomats tell their German counterparts that this reparations crap is just for domestic consumption.
kaprys - | 577    
11 Oct 2017  #56

@mafketis
The budget and the influential. That's for sure. @Dirk diggler
I'd rather the world finally learned what Poland actually went through. Nowadays ethnic Poles'experience during the war is simply forgotten. In fact, there are people who blame the entire nation for inhumane actions during the war.
Ironside 46 | 8,395    
11 Oct 2017  #57

The thing is that if any money is paid it's going to be absorbed by the budget.

Well, not necessarily, some of it can be used to help people in a number of ways. Why worry about it now? One step at the time. Germans should pay that is clear.
Dirk diggler 5 | 1,372    
11 Oct 2017  #58

Honestly, I'd much rather see Russia pay Poland as well as other parties for damages during WW2 and after - especially since Russia is the legal successor to the Soviet Union. Not just Poland, but just about every country stretching from the Baltic, to the black sea, to the Caucuses, to Central Asia. I doubt that will ever happen though. It was hard enough for them to admit to Katyn and apologize. Of course they never admitted to any genocide, ethnic cleansing, etc. Non Jewish-Poles tend to agree that the treatment at the hands of the Germans tended to be far better given the horrors of war than by the Russians. It was in Russian military doctrine to basically loot, pillage, rape, steal, etc as they made their drive to Berlin since it was cheaper than giving the soldiers provisions and would make them even more ruthless.

In fact, there are people who blame the entire nation for inhumane actions during the war.

People like Jan Gross... funny how he omitted all the killings of Poles (including AK members) by Jews as revenge after the war but yet will say complete falsehoods Poles killed more Jews than Germans during WW2. (Many of whom were UB members - roughly half of the UB leadership after WW2 was Jewish and they were very cruel to Germans and Poles too for whatever reason after the war - despite the fact that yes although there were a few bad Poles who took advantage of the situation in general Poles helped their Jewish neighbors, or were neutral so as not to get shot and interned themselves)

People like Salomon Morel should've been brought to justice too but Israel refused Polish/German/etc requests to extradite him for crimes against humanity and war crimes. He was surprise surprise an UB official.. Of course no mention about that or the Zgoda camp he ran. Not only was Morel saved and hidden by a Polish Catholic so he wouldn't perish (who was later awarded one of the righteous awards by Yad Vashem) he nonetheless took his revenge against innocent Poles after the war, many of whom were partisans against the Nazis, and imprisoned them, killed them, etc. The mofo even received medals and a pension from Poland after retiring... before he left for Israel when Poland started an investigation into WW2/commie crimes committed after WW2.
Lyzko 17 | 3,667    
11 Oct 2017  #59

This double standard is certainly not forgivable, yet at the same time, completely understandable, even if not either legally or morally justified.
Dirk diggler 5 | 1,372    
11 Oct 2017  #60

True. Now you understand why Poles want reparations. It's not even about the total sum or anything (at least to me). It's more about the principle of paying a country and their inhabitants for invasion, millions dead and injured, millions of homes shelled and bombed, etc. Other countries had far less deaths, for example Greece, yet already received their reparations. Same with South Korea from Japan. It's time the world acknowledges that Poland suffered too and deserves compensation for the murders and destruction caused. The Jews who suffered (many of whom were living in Poland as it had the largest Jewish population of any European country at the time) received compensation, the Greeks received reparations, the South Koreans received reparations, Russia's Kaliningrad possession was affirmed as well as millions of German slave laborers (Stalin didn't want money - he wanted land and slave labor),




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