The German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier has asked Poles for forgiveness for German atrocities committed during World War II. He did it in a speech in Wielun, the first city bombed by the Luftwaffe.
The German President alongside a number of heads of state and government, was in Poland to commemorate the 80th anniversary of the outbreak of WWII. He met in Wielun the Polish President Andrzej Duda and the mayor of the city, Pawel Okrasa, among others. "We cannot forget about World War II even when its witnesses are gone... in order to make sure that what happened in Wielun and later in many other places in Poland and abroad is never repeated," Duda said. Steinmeier admitted in his speech that too few Germans knew about the tragedy of Wielun.
A memorial service in Poland
Both presidents stressed their commitment towards Polish-German reconciliation. This happens in a moment when discussion on reparations were reopened without changing nothing. “Poland has yet to receive proper compensation from Germany... We lost six million people over the course of the war -- many more than did countries that received major reparations,” Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki said earlier this month. They are estimated to $1.26 trillion today. Berlin has accepted responsibility for Nazi war atrocities but rejects demands for reparation. “The German government’s position remains unchanged. The matter of German reparations is legally and politically closed,” said government spokeswoman Ulrike Demmer.