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CONFERENCE "WAR LOSSES SUFFERED BY POLAND AS A RESULT OF GERMAN AGGRESSION AND OCCUPATION IN THE YEARS 1939-1945"
The Nowy Sącz region, including Nowy Sącz itself, suffered severe and still uncompensated losses by the German side as a result of the German invasion and occupation. A conference organised by the Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Arkadiusz Mularczyk and the Director of the Jan Karski Institute for War Losses, Dr. (hab.) Konrad Wnęk, Prof. at the Jagiellonian University, served to bring this issue closer.
This event took place on 22nd September, in the building of the Business College in Nowy Sącz. It was preceded by a short briefing by Deputy Minister Arkadiusz Mularczyk, during which he expressed his satisfaction at the growing interest among local authorities in calculating the losses inflicted on local communities during the Third Reich's invasion.
During the first item on the conference agenda, the Deputy Minister mentioned, among other things, the unwillingness of the German authorities to discuss reparations both before German reunification in the autumn of 1990 and afterwards. At the same time, he noted: "(...) we are concerned to see signs that Germans are pushing away the awareness of the enormous damage caused by their ancestors". The Deputy Minister emphasized also that: "If we do not write our history, others will write it for us and we will be horrified by it. Unfortunately, this is already happening and therefore we must act decisively".
The floor was then taken by ISW Director Konrad Wnęk, who gave an overview of the scale of war losses caused by the Germans in the Nowy Sącz region during the Second World War. He particularly emphasised the losses among the intelligentsia who were murdered by the Germans with full knowledge that it was representatives of this class who could emerge as organisers of possible resistance. He also referred to the statements of Dr. Paweł Pońsko (a member of the Council of the Institute of War Losses and a lecturer at, among others, the Warsaw School of Economics), according to which Poland, devastated by the turmoil of war, lost 54 per cent of its resources, and thus the equivalent of the wealth earned during the entire inter-war period.