Angela Merkel heckled during speech in German Bundestag
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A Polish government-affiliated foundation has shared the artwork on the side of a house in Warsaw ahead of a visit from the new German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock on Friday. The campaign message demands reparations for the 1939-1945 conflict and features the former German Chancellor, Federal President Frank-Walter Steinmeier and the German ambassador in Warsaw, Arndt Freytag von Loringhoven, in a row with Hitler and the Nazi propaganda minister Joseph Goebbels.
It says: “Dear Mr Freytag, can the German authorities, who are so interested in the rule of law in other countries, finally deal with Germany’s scandalous lawlessness and pay Poland reparations and damages for the German crimes of World War II?”
Nazi-Germany invaded Poland in September 1939 and around six million Polish nationals were killed during the war.
Poland’s Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki previously announced the establishment of an institute for war damage.
A preliminary report published in 2019 put the bill at $850 billion (£643billion).
The federal government in Germany consider the matter to be settled and refer to the Two-Plus-Four Treaty signed in 1990 following the fall of the Berlin wall.
The legislation signed by the Soviet Union, the US, France and Britain paved the way for the reunification of Germany.
The Polish Foreign Office has condemned the poster.
It said: “The Federal Government is aware of the posters showing high-ranking representatives of the Federal Republic of Germany in a disparaging manner.”
The department added the “defamatory representations” do not reflect “the close and trusting German-Polish relations in today united Europe”.
New German Chancellor Olaf Scholz is expected to travel to Poland on Sunday and is under pressure to oppose a new gas pipeline from Russia to Europe.
The Polish Prime Minister has said he will call on Mr Scholz to reject the start-up of Nord Stream 2.
Mr Morawiecki claims the pipeline under the Baltic Sea, bypassing Ukraine, could increase European dependence on Moscow.
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Speaking in Rome, he said: “I will call on Chancellor Scholz not to give in to pressure from Russia and not to allow Nord Stream 2 to be used as an instrument for blackmail against Ukraine, an instrument for blackmail against Poland, an instrument for blackmail against the European Union.”
The intervention comes amid fears over an imminent invasion by Russia following military build-up near the Ukrainian border.
The US has said wants Germany to use its pending approval of the gas pipeline from Russia as leverage in the standoff with Moscow over Ukraine.
Speaking on Wednesday, Mr Scholz said: “We have a very clear view. We want everyone to respect the integrity of borders.
“Everyone understands that there will be consequences if that doesn’t happen but the thing is to do everything to make sure they remain unbreached.”
Additional reporting by Monika Pallenberg
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