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Demands on Germany constitute ‘extortion’ at the behest of the US

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Picture: Reuters – People light candles along the railway tracks in front of the former death camp Auschwitz Birkenau in Poland on January 27, 2005, to mark the 60th anniversary of its liberation by Soviet troops and remember the victims of the Holocaust. Poland is demanding World War II separations from Germany and is threatening to demand the same of Russia says the writer.

By Ilya Tsukanov

The German Foreign Ministry delivered a note to its Polish counterparts on Tuesday reiterating that as far as Berlin is concerned, the issue of World War II reparations “remains closed”.

Warsaw slapped Germany with a $1.3trillion (about R22 trillion) World War II reparations bill in September and has threatened to demand money from Russia, one of its liberators, as well. Poland was almost certainly egged on by its overseas allies in Washington and London to start a diplomatic storm in a teacup with its German neighbour by demanding new World War II reparations, a former US Army psychological warfare operations officer-turned whistle-blower has told Sputnik.

“There seems to be a concerted effort to weaken Germany out of fear of Germany and Russia becoming closer allies. This originates from the United States and the United Kingdom,” Scott Bennett, a veteran of the 11th Psychological Operations Battalion of the US Army, and former State Department counterterrorism analyst, explained.

“The United States and the United Kingdom represent the Atlanticist mindset while Germany is a continental power which is always neutral or potentially ‘in play’. The US and the UK traditionally fear Germany moving closer to Russia and therefore actively engage in subterfuge, sabotage, coercion and other blackmail operations to control the German political leadership and indeed force them to betray the German people,” Bennett said.

Part of this effort included the destruction of the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline, which Warsaw may have had a hand in, according to the observer. In that sense, he suggested, the push for reparations “could be a smokescreen to try to keep Germany from exposing Poland’s role”. In addition, part of the US strategy to weaken Germany economically “is being applied through Poland by exerting political, diplomatic and economic extortion operations against Germany”.

“No doubt Poland is receiving orders from the US to make these demands of Germany to offer a compromise or back-room deal of appeasement. Such a secret deal might be that Poland will drop these reparation demands in exchange for Germany following further US dictates toward Russia and Ukraine. This is part of the long-term US psychological and diplomatic warfare strategy,” Bennett said.

Citing the long-term US objective of “enslaving Europe” politically and economically, Bennett said it remains to be seen whether Berlin will “allow itself to be enslaved” or rediscover its national pride and “reject the slavery the US is attempting to burden them with and become masters of their own destiny in the future”.

Polish Deputy Foreign Minister Arkadiusz Mularczyk slammed Germany over its alleged imperialism on Tuesday after Berlin formally rejected any new negotiations on the World War II reparations issue. “Germany’s response is disrespectful toward the Polish state and the Polish people. Poland’s losses (in World War II) were unimaginable, the Germans received our report on this matter,” Mularczyk said, speaking to Polish media.

“The diplomat suggested that Berlin’s “one sentence” note on the inadmissibility of reparations talks was not legally argued, and expressed annoyance over Germany shutting down the talks while paying Namibia for the colonial legacy and even discussing returning ancient museum artefacts to Egypt.

“Germany is not pursuing a friendly policy toward Poland. They want to build their sphere of influence here and treat Poland as a vassal,” Mularczyk said. “We will continue our activities in the matter of compensation consistently and intensively.”

The official added that Poland would be taking its case to the UN to try to force the creation of a “platform for dialogue”. In September, on the 83rd anniversary of the 1939 Nazi German invasion of Poland, Warsaw officially announced plans to demand 6.2 trillion zlotys (about R22 trillion) from Germany for damage to the country done during World War II.

A formal diplomatic note was delivered to Berlin in October, but was balked at by German authorities, who said that Poland waived the right to further reparations in a diplomatic agreement signed in 1953. Poland’s governing Law and Justice authorities dismissed the terms of the 1953 waiver, claiming the country’s post-war communist government was pressured into abandoning the reparations demands by Moscow.

The government left out the part about Moscow’s role in assuring Poland’s current western borders, which include over 100 000km² of former eastern German lands, including the coal mines of Silesia, agricultural lands and a Baltic Sea coast. German Chancellor Olaf Scholz indirectly waded into the World War II legacy debate with Poland in September, saying he “would not like to see some people rummage through history books to introduce revisionist border changes”.

Polish officials and media interpreted the comments as a threat, with Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki blasting Scholz as a “devil (who) has dressed himself in vestments and is ringing for Mass”. Warsaw has also threatened to demand World War II reparations from Russia. Moscow dismissed the idea as an “immoral” “political fantasy”, pointing out that Poland as a state and the Polish people would not exist were it not for the Soviet victory over Nazi Germany in World War II, and the 600,000+ Red Army soldiers and tens of thousands of Polish People’s Army troops who died kicking the Germans out of Poland.

More than 5.8 million Poles, including up to 3 million Polish Jews, died during World War II, with the country’s losses constituting some of the highest globally after China and the Soviet Union. In percentage terms, Poland’s losses of 17 percent were the second heaviest after Belarus, which lost 25 percent of its population.

Tsukanov is a Moscow-based correspondent specialising in Eastern European, US and Middle Eastern politics, Cold War history, energy security and military affairs. This article was first published by Sputnik.