USSR refused reparations in favour of the Polish People’s Republic

Summary

According to an agreement reached during the Potsdam Conference, Poland should have received reparations from the USSR’s share. During the implementation of the reparations program, the USSR took into account the difficult situation of Poland, the German Democratic Republic, and it refused receiving the reparations. USSR refused in favour of the Polish People’s Republic as well.

Disproof

Мisinterpretation of historical facts. The refusal of the USSR from reparation was not in favor of the Polish People's Republic. On the contrary, the PPR also refused reparations under pressure of USSR.

Following the results of the Potsdam Conference, the USSR received the right to seize property and valuables from the eastern zone of Germany, as well as take German assets in Bulgaria, Hungary, Eastern Austria, Romania and Finland. Britain, the US and France pledged to transfer to the Soviet Union about a quarter of the dismantled equipment from the western zone. At the same time, Moscow was supposed to satisfy the reparation claims of Poland from its share (15%).  In practice, the implementation of these provisions was not always consistent with Poland's expectations.

The supply of equipment for reparations from the western regions of Germany to the USSR ceased in 1949 after the formation of the Federal Republic of Germany. From the eastern parts of the country, the flow of property did not stop until 1954.

Experts at the Polish Institute of International Relations in 2005 calculated that the USSR received reparations worth a total of $ 3.081 billion at the exchange rate of 1938, Poland accounted for 228 million (about 7.5%). But other figures are also called - up to $ 22.1 billion. By estimation of the German Ministry of Finance the Soviet authorities seized property from the GDR for $ 15.8 billion.

During conferences in Yalta and the Postdam, it was specifically stipulated that the volume of reparations should not completely undermine the country's vital activity. According to some reports, for eastern Germany the amount of payments reached a critical 50-60% of GDP.

In 1953, the USSR and the German Democratic Republic have singed an agreement to cease from 1954 all  reparations. The Polish government, under pressure of the Soviet Union, announced it would unilaterally waive its right to war reparations from East Germany, with the exception of reparations for Nazi oppression and atrocities.

publication/media

  • Reported in: Issue 165
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 02/09/2019
  • Language/target audience: , , Armenian, Russian
  • Country: Poland, USSR
  • Keywords: WWII
  • Outlet: Sputnik Armenia time 00:10-00:50
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