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Cover von: Reparationen: Inwieweit ist die Vergangenheit reparierbar?
Jerzy Kranz

Reparationen: Inwieweit ist die Vergangenheit reparierbar?

Rubrik: Essay
Jahrgang 61 (2023) / Heft 1, S. 15-26 (12)
Publiziert 20.07.2023
DOI 10.1628/avr-2023-0003
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The Polish reparation claims against Germany need some clarification. At the Potsdam Conference (1945), the amount and extent of German reparations have not been precisely determined. In chapter VI of the Transition Treaty (1952/1954), the reparation question was deferred until the moment of a peace settlement with Germany as a whole. At the beginning of the 1950s, the issue of reparations focused on individual compensation payments, particularly for Nazi victims in twelve Western European countries. Similar payments to NS-victims from Eastern Europe was made (ex gratia) only at the beginning of the 1990s. With the entry into force of the 2 plus 4 Treaty, the problem of reparations was legally closed. The official Polish demands for reparations (1.3 trillion euros) are currently being made public, primarily for domestic purposes, in order to provoke anti-German resentment. In reaction, emotional opinions also appear in Germany. Unfortunately, in the case of both countries we are approaching a Stammtisch formula. From a political and historical point of view, the problem can hardly be limited to the succinct statement that Poland received nothing from Germany or that Poland received more than other states. This picture is too good to be true. As long as the victims of National Socialism are still alive, innovative and pragmatic solutions for some payments cannot be ruled out. However, this always requires two sides, a favourable climate for discussion and professional diplomacy.