Skip to comments.We'd have more power in EU if Germans hadn't 'reduced our population' in WWII, says Polish PM
Posted on 06/21/2007 10:54:10 AM PDT by RWR8189
The Polish PM has stunned European leaders today with an astonishing attack on Germany for starting the Second World War.
In a spectacularly undiplomatic outburst, he said his country was losing out in today's European Union as a direct result of the millions of deaths that followed its invasion by Germany in 1939.
"We are only demanding one thing - that we get back what was taken from us," said Jaroslaw Kaczynski at the opening of the EU summit in Brussels, chaired by German chancellor Angela Merkel.
"If Poland had not had to live through the years of 1939-45, Poland would be today looking at the demographics of a country of 66 million."
The issue of population is at the heart of a heated row over voting rights that could wreck Tony Blair's last EU summit.
A proposed new system of sharing out votes rewards countries such as Germany with the biggest numbers - and Poland is angrily demanding more.
Poland's population is 38 million - implying that Mr Kaczynski blames the Germans for the loss of 28 million people.
Mr Kaczynski and his twin brother Lech, Poland's president, are said to be Second World War obsessives, with an encyclopaedic knowledge of their country's sufferings under occupation.
The identical twins, whose father fought in the 1944 Warsaw uprising, have become infamous for their unrestrained comments and dislike of EU integration.
Luxembourg's premier, Jean-Claude Juncker, said they should stop living in the past. "You have to jump into the present," he told FT Deutschland.
"You will not be happy in the long run if you are always looking in the rear-view mirror."
It sets the scene for a rancorous dinner tonight when leaders of the 27 EU states need to thrash out a series of disputes to avoid a crisis.
Mr Blair, notching up his 47th EU summit, told his Cabinet in London that he was prepared to walk away from the table unless his own demands were met in full.
Before flying out, he and Gordon Brown had telephone talks with Mrs Merkel - indicating that Mr Brown is intensely involved in the negotiations.
Mr Blair came under fire for trying to water down the EU's "son of constitution" treaty. Mr Juncker a veteran federalist, fumed: "We will not stand by and see all the substance removed from the treaty."
New French president Nicolas Sarkozy said there were multiple disputes.
"We don't just have problems with Poland," he said. "We have problems with the Netherlands, the United Kingdom, a little bit with the Czech Republic. The problems are numerous."
Privately, No 10 indicated that Mr Blair wanted his demands met "100 per cent". But European Commission president Jose Manuel Barroso retorted: "All the leaders say that they want 100 per cent achievement. But in Europe you've got to be reasonable and rational.
"At the end there has to be some, let's say, agreement."
Mrs Merkel sent an 11th-hour letter pleading with the leaders to compromise, so that Europe could move on from inwardlooking disputes to pressing issues such as climate change, energy supplies and globalisation.
"The European public now expects us to put the necessary reforms of the Union in hand," she wrote. "The time has now come to set out the roadmap for the impending reform of the treaties."
My guess is that almost every German over the age of 15 wishes he had the Deutschmark back.
Please correct me if I am wrong, but I think the twins never wanted Poland to be out of the EU?
They may be stupid, but they aren’t that stupid. Poland is at the moment the biggest beneficiary of EU money.
They have no problem taking the money and making demands after demands, what they still need to learn is, that there are not just benefits but also responsibilities.
Most germans - according to studies from 2004 - apprechiate the euro - and quite right so.
It’s a small but valuable stronghold against the agressive money printers in the US.
(That’s why it creaps slowly out of the cellar as a reserve currency - though it’s still underrepresented as such)
Let’s hope we can hold it after the dollar crash that is immanent.
no - but they want everybody else to leave.
I bet that is right...I know other Euros who feel the same way about their own currency.
The EU is a recipe for failure for Europeans.
No. The responsibility is the West’s. They abandoned Poland and all of Central Europe to the Soviet wolves
The West has a sordid record of abandoning their European brethren in the past.
Here is another example:
Balkans to the Ottoman enlavement for 400 years.
Germans have additional responsibility to SHUT UP! given their terror in WWI and WWII
Got that?...and welcome to FR
You see, that is exactly the problem: the past is used as means to make Germany shut up.
I agree that Germany (and other western European countries) have a special responsibility concerning Poland and I think there were quite some occasions where Germany put in its weight to support Poland (I even read a quote from a Polish newspaper calling Germany “Poland’s lawyer”).
I know and understand the consequences of our WW II past, however, what you should begin to understand is that modern Germans, although knowing their responsibilities, don’t like to be blackmailed by that past. Our Nazi history was a “Totschlagargument” (an argument to make Germans shut up in every discussion) for a long time. However, it is no more.We are aware of what our people has done to Europe and the world, and we won’t forget it, I assure you. But the mood in Germany has changed in recent years, and we won’t step back all the time when someone brings up our terrible history, for the simple reason that we are living in a new world and a new post- cold war - Europe.
We shouldn’t forget our past, but neither should the past dominate our future.
So, yes, I “got that”, but I don’t agree. As one of the biggest and most important countries in Western Europe, Germany has the right to argue for its interests, just like Poland has the right to fight for its interests. Germany has to take responsibility for its past crimes, and is by no means a perfect country, but if you expect us to cower in shame whenever your president brings up our past to push us in acting against our own interests, you will be disappointed.
Was Germany acting in its own interests when it decided to go along with Clinton and Blair’s bombing of civilians in Serbia? If anything Germans should have yelled “HALT!” given the genocide in WWII
You know that incident alone is the death knell for any kind of lasting EU.
Actually, the German politicians back then argued that the bombings were to stop a genocide. I don’t know much about the topic, but I know that the whole area was a mess back then.
If the bombings helped to stop the war or not....dunno.
The only genocide was the one perpetrated against the Serbs..again.
The bombing was aimed at women and children—innocent civilians. Who was the disgusting leader then? I think it was Schroeder...another Clinton buddy.
As I said, Germany should do what is right for Germany but not bomb others who disagree with them.
If they do, then Poland should declare war on Germany and take out just a little over half of their current population.
Sounds fair, eh?
that seems to be the attitude of the polish prime...
it’s hard to see a country like poland fall under the influence of such a sicko.