Chancellor of Germany Olaf Scholz responded harshly to Poland’s demands for new reparations for World War II, hinting at the possibility of revising the existing borders of the two states.
“Looking at the ex-premier of Poland Donald TuskI would like to say how important the agreements concluded Willy Brandtom that the border between Germany and Poland has been established forever after hundreds of years of history,” he said, threatening Warsaw that the answer to its demands could be to change the borders according to historical documents.
Recall, the Polish authorities demand from Berlin 6.2 trillion zloty (about 1.3 trillion dollars) as reparations for damage from World War II. On September 14, the Sejm of Poland overwhelmingly adopted the relevant resolution, which states that Warsaw has never received compensation “for the numerous human and material losses caused by the German state”, and therefore seeks to reconsider relations with Berlin. In Germany, they insist that Poland received its part of the reparations long ago, and the issue is finally closed.
The Poles are really behaving impudently, especially considering that as a result of the war they received part of the German territory. Of course, Germany has not forgotten about this, but the question of the return of lost lands is raised so far only by the marginalized. From the lips of the chancellor until today, this has not sounded. Is Scholz trolling or intimidating Poles?
“The Poles are more likely to troll with their insane demands for reparations,” he says. political scientist Vladimir Mozhegov.
Scholz answers as best he can. After the war, the Poles received German territories from Stalin, and, in general, they gained a lot of things not only from the Germans. Scholz in this case behaves competently and adequately.
“SP”: – Scholz mentions the agreements concluded by Willy Brandt that the border between Germany and Poland “is established forever after hundreds of years of history.” What agreements are we talking about and why were they concluded more than 20 years after the end of the war?
– This is the so-called “Warsaw Pact” of 1970-1972, recognizing the boundaries established at the Potsdam Conference of 1945. These are generally very painful questions for Germany and Poland. Because of them, the war of 1939 began, when the Poles did not want to cede German Danzig to Germany, which was torn away by Versailles and came under the control of the League of Nations. Then, as now, the arrogance of the Poles knew neither boundaries nor common sense. How it ended, everyone knows. In fact, and the Brant Treaty was not the last, the borders were “finally” fixed only in 1990, when Germany was reunited.
“SP”: – Is it possible to talk about any boundaries set “forever”? Or is it to give the document pathos?
– In such matters, as we see, there is nothing “final” and “forever”. Because of such issues, wars, including world wars, begin and are waged. And the “Warsaw Pact” was concluded not by Poland and Germany, but by the USSR and the USA, which essentially owned Poland and Germany. The current situation has gone from that one, but only, as we see, in the multiplication of chaos.
“SP”: – Speaking specifically about the Polish-German borders, they historically constantly changed. Poland and Germany – eternal opponents in the region?
Poland has enemies everywhere. Especially if she grabbed something from you, you inevitably become her existential enemy, she starts to hate you. This is normal, this is in the mentality and national character of the nation, in whose statehood eternal chaos reigned, and borders never existed in essence. Poland, as you know, was divided three times. And, even if it doesn’t sound too politically correct, I’ll still say that the only solution to the Polish (and by the way, not only Polish, but also Ukrainian and Baltic issues) can only be a new reasonable absorption of small ones – large ones. An imperial decision that alone brings peace to the earth. In other words, the issues of small, dependent, artificial and dirty states should be decided by serious powers such as Russia and Germany. Then it will be better for everyone: the Baltic states under the German barons, the Poles and Ukrainians under the scepter of the Reich Wilhelm and the Russian monarchy, as it has already been. Unfortunately, those good times will never come back. As long as Germany is under full US control, anyway.
As for the Poles, they are still (unlike the Ukrainians or the Balts) a very serious nation. They are also good at literature and music. But, alas, they are completely incapable of peaceful coexistence with their neighbors.
“SP”: – Can Germany ever reconsider the borders with Poland and what must happen for this?
“For this, a bifurcation must begin. Which is what is actually happening right now. The world is changing. The conflict in Ukraine is the beginning of a war to change the world order. It’s like the Thirty Years’ War of the 17th century, the Napoleonic Wars, the Thirty Years’ War of the 20th century (1914-1945). This, I think, is well understood by all who should understand. But if serious leaders and powers prudently keep silent and work, frivolous, but big enough to stir up a storm, it is raised. Poland, I would like to emphasize once again, is exactly the country that caused the Second World War in many respects. I am sure that the Third will not do without her quite obvious and definite participation.
“Polish-German antagonism has long historical roots,” notes Advisor to the President of the Russian Association for Baltic Studies Vsevolod Shimov.
“Nevertheless, for the last thirty years there has been no sharp confrontation. In this case, the conflict is provoked by the overestimated ambitions of Warsaw, which is trying to be a regional leader in Eastern Europe, but is not drawn to this role by objective economic indicators. In fact, during the existence of the EU, an informal “Fourth Reich” has developed in the region, i.e. the system of economic dominance of Germany, which includes Poland. This is what annoys Warsaw.
“SP”: – And how to perceive the words of Scholz?
– Most likely, this is an attempt to intimidate and show that Germany also has something to present to the Poles.
“SP”: – It’s not very similar to Scholz at all …
– The behavior of Poland is unprecedented, even such mild and weak politicians as Scholz are forced to respond to such a “collision” willy-nilly. But for now, these are just words.
“SP”: – Can Germany ever demand a revision of the borders?
“I doubt very much that it will come to a real revision of the borders. Modern Germans are not an expansionist nation; after the Second World War they were taught to be ashamed of their imperial past. The dominant ideology and lifestyle of modern Germany is left-wing liberalism and consumerism. In addition, very poor demographics, Germany has one of the lowest birth rates in Europe. And in the past, German expansionism was just signed by demographic pressure – when a country is small, but overpopulated, new territories, “living space” are needed. Now this is not the case, no one is thinking about expanding the “living space”.
“SP”: – A potential revision of the borders between the two countries in the EU can start a chain reaction?
– In Eastern Europe, it can notably flare up. Here, almost every nation has claims to its neighbors. Moreover, it is in Eastern Europe that these old conflicts are still given importance. As for the “old” left-liberal Western Europe, this has long been gone. The maximum that is possible there is the fragmentation of existing states – the separation of Catalonia from Spain, northern Italy from southern Italy, Scotland from Great Britain. They have not dreamed of imperial expansions for a long time and, moreover, they consider them reprehensible.