Poland has no legal basis for demanding reparations from Germany for damage caused during the Second World War, according to an expert opinion prepared by the analytical service of the Bundestag, the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung (FAZ) newspaper reported on Friday, September 1.
As stated in the document, all claims became null and void at as of the signing of the Treaty on the Final Settlement with Respect to Germany or the "2 + 4" agreement in 1990, "since Poland did not claim reparations by way of silent refusal during the preparation of this treaty." It was then agreed that the treaty "until present blocks any claims for reparations." In addition, the limitation period for such claims has expired.
The authors of the expert opinion also cite the position of the government of the Federal Republic of Germany from 1999 on this issue, in which Berlin points to "reparations, loss of territories and property, more than 50 years after the end of the war," and the "2 + 4" agreement. This position, according to the experts, "must comply with the current international law regarding the absence of state claims for reparations in relations between Poland and Germany."
In addition, citizens of Poland are also unable to file individual claims against Germany, the document goes on to say, because "there has not been a practice before or now that allows private individuals to claim compensation for damage from states," in international law.