It seems the problems and legacy of World War II is still with us. The Prussian Claims Society (NB: not German but Prussian) has filed yet another lawsuit to the Strasbourg Court against Poland seeking compensation for property and financial losses due to expulsion of German citizens after the war. The lawsuits are nearly always filed against Poland, although the Society is keen on claiming compensation from the Czech Republic also.
If it wasn’t enough that both Poland and the Czech Republic had to deal with the debilitating losses during the War and then suffer the ignominious situation where – as allies – they were treated with as much honour as defeated war criminals. Poland territory was moved west (without their prior consultation), mass expulsions were forced upon the millions living in the eastern territories bringing death and misery to thousands and then, to cap it all off, almost half a century of totalitarian rule by an oppressor who ritually plundered, raped and pillaged the country’s financial and cultural wealth.
Poland joins the EU and what happens? The Germans come crying and moaning saying they were forced out of their homes. Not wanting to be relativistic and compare the suffering of the Poles and Polish Jews with that of the Germans (is it possible to put this on a scale?), the fact of the matter is, Germany lost the war and Poland – as part of the Allied Forces – was on the winning side (not that one could tell) as Germany was granted the millions flowing from the Marshall Plan, Poland was forced (by the USSR) to not take up the offer.
War is a terrible thing and pointing the finger after 50 years just simply won’t help. The Polish government has already announced that if the Society continue with their outrageous attempts to reclaim property and finances, Poland will be forced to seek war reparations from Germany, which of course would probably spell the end for amicable Polish-German relations.
In a sense, this all smells of Versailles…