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A Greek idea: ‘Let the Germans finally pay their World War 2 debts!’

The historian Albrecht Ritschl of the London School of Economics (LSE) and Nobel Prize winner Joseph Stiglitz share the opinion that such an adjustment is not a weird idea.

By: N. Peter Kramer - Posted: Monday, February 9, 2015

According to the new Greek government, Germany has an enormous unpaid account in Greece.   The Germans never paid anything for the murdering and plundering in the Second World War.
According to the new Greek government, Germany has an enormous unpaid account in Greece. The Germans never paid anything for the murdering and plundering in the Second World War.

According to the new Greek government, Germany has an enormous unpaid account in Greece. 


The Germans never paid anything for the murdering and plundering in the Second World War. 

The ‘Zwangsanleihe’, an extorted loan of half a billion Reichsmark, was never paid back. This claim only is worth more than 11 billion Euros. May be time for an adjustment?

The historian Albrecht Ritschl of the London School of Economics (LSE) and Nobel Prize winner Joseph Stiglitz share the opinion that such an adjustment is not a weird idea. 

Of course, Germany is in debt to Greece and many other European countries such as France, The Netherlands. 

All these countries saw their claims after WW2 vanish into smoke during the debt-conference in London in 1952. 

The German negotiator, a smart former Nazi, Hermann Josef Abs, walked away with 65% cancellation of the war debts of his country that –let us not forget- in 1939 started a massive war, brutally invaded its neighbours, exterminated millions of Jews and other minorities, and destroyed entire cities. 

Germany received a gift of 15 billion Reichsmark; in 1952 65% of its GDP.  At the same time the decision was taken that the remaining 35% should be put back on the table at the moment East and West Germany would be united. 

However in 1990, when Bundeskanzler Helmut Kohl won approval  from the European leaders to unite Germany, nobody talked about the outstanding war debts…

The American economist Jeffrey Sachs said in the Guardian that Germany after the war had not any right to help from the Allied Powers, but it got debt relief nonetheless and the Marshall plan to restore a stable democracy. 

According to Sachs that is the way to look at Greece too. Without debt relief chaos and populism are threatening the democracy in Greece. 

A bad perspective for the existence of the EU. 

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