Contribution (from Latin contribuere , literally "to bring together in individual parts", "to contribute") means in modern parlance the forced collection of sums of money in enemy territory by occupying forces. Requisitions , on the other hand, relate to objects, especially for food.
The contribution as more orderly means of warfare broke up into the 18th century before the usual customs of war of plunder and pillage from. Regardless of this, it was initially understood as the equivalent of arson, i.e. the threat of burning down with the aim of extorting monetary payments, as well as generally buying ransom for devastation of any other kind, through looting, etc. Later it was given the meaning of a war levy imposed by the high command of an enemy army on the communities or residents in place of taxes or payments in kind or as a punishment. The contribution could only be made by written order from the Army High Command or a commanding general and had to be made against a receipt (“contribution slip”). Contributions are also money that are imposed on a defeated enemy by the victor at the conclusion of peace, in particular to cover the costs of the war .
In 1899, the Hague Land Warfare Regulations made the contribution levy subject to additional requirements that were binding under international law. In modern international martial law , contributions are considered inadmissible.
Napoleon Bonaparte demanded large contributions from the conquered and occupied territories. In addition to confiscating money and gold, he also forced local authorities to go into debt to pay contributions. See e.g. B. Peace of Tilsit; the Franco-Prussian Agreement (1807).
“In the first weeks of the occupation, the cities of the coal basin also shared the fate of most of the occupied territories: they had to pay fines to the German military authorities , which were considered a contribution to the war. These often very high taxes were regularly imposed during the entire period of occupation. The city of Lens, for example, had to pay the occupier in 1915 a sum of 9,000 francs per trimester. The mining companies were also 'taxed'.
For example, the Courrières company had to pay the German authorities a fine of 6 million francs. The civilian population also had to submit to numerous regulations that had been set by the local commanderships - under threat of a simple fine up to the death penalty. "
- December 1914 to November 1916 40 million francs a month ,
- December 1916 to May 1917 50 million francs per month,
- June 1917 to November 1918 60 million francs a month. (The November 1918 installment was no longer paid).
In the early modern period, various types of special taxes were called "contributions", which the princes demanded from their estates, primarily to finance military matters. The cities and clerical foundations counted among the sovereign chamber estates could be imposed contributions without their express consent. In Brandenburg-Prussia the property tax was called contribution .
- pillage . In: Meyers Großes Konversations-Lexikon . 6th edition. Volume 3, Bibliographisches Institut, Leipzig / Vienna 1905, p. 322 .
- Contribution . In: Meyers Großes Konversations-Lexikon . 6th edition. Volume 11, Bibliographisches Institut, Leipzig / Vienna 1907, pp. 445–446 .
- wegedererinnerung-nordfrankreich.com ( Page no longer available , search in web archives ) Info: The link was automatically marked as defective. Please check the link according to the instructions and then remove this notice.
- Irene Strenge: Spa in the First World War (1914-1918): military hospital and large headquarters. German occupation policy in Belgium , page 10 . Königshausen & Neumann, Würzburg 2007, ISBN 978-3-8260-3693-4 .