German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock acknowledged that repentance for war crimes against Ukrainians was not sufficient. She stated this during a video address at the conference of heads of foreign missions of Ukraine, which took place on December 21-22 in Huta, as European Truth reports.
"Our friendship with Ukraine cannot be taken for granted. During World War II, the Germans committed horrific crimes against Ukrainians. These crimes are not as present in German historical consciousness as they should be," the statement said.
It is noted that Baerbock proposed to mark next year's anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between the countries as a starting point for further deepening bilateral contacts and rapprochement between Ukraine and the EU.
"I see enormous potential for greater cooperation in the field of green energy. I would like to move forward by addressing our common history," the German Foreign Minister said.
It is noteworthy that at least 14 million Ukrainians died during World War II, including the military and civilians. More than 28,000 villages and 700 towns were destroyed. Of the 41.7 million people who lived in the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic before the war, only 27.4 million remained in 1945.
About 3 million Ukrainians were deported to Germany for slavery. More than 1 million were deported to Siberia, Kazakhstan and the Far East.
Germany pays reparations to affected during the war countries. Recently, the Ambassador of Ukraine to Germany Andriy Melnyk stated that the Ukrainian side expects compensation for the huge losses of Ukraine's cultural heritage during the Nazi occupation.
He has also repeatedly criticized Germany's policy of remembrance in connection with the crimes of Nazism. He even boycotted a commemorative event with the participation of the President of Germany in the German-Russian Museum Berlin-Karlshorst.
In 2020, Melnyk called for a review of German school history programs, as they lack information on Germany's historical responsibility to Ukraine.