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Reparations (from the Latin reparare ' to restore') are transfer payments in the form of war compensation. The word “reparations” is mostly used in the plural , except in compound words like reparations payment .

The term refers to economic benefits or compensation in financial or material form that are to be provided by a defeated country for alleged or actual war damage to another, victorious country. Reparations are supposed to put the burden of war on the losers (that is, help to "repair" damage). The burden of war includes damage to property, property and people. The type and scope of reparations are usually the subject of a peace treaty aimed at ending the conflict.

On the other hand, it is not the victorious warring parties that receive reparations , but rather individual soldiers and civilians for individually suffered damage and the consequences of the war.

French reparations after 1815

For the damage and costs suffered by the Allies in 23 years of revolutionary and Napoleonic aggression , the victors imposed 700 million francs on France.

French reparations after 1871

In September 1870 Otto von Bismarck wrote in an official memorandum to the State Ministry : "It will be our task to achieve the greatest possible contribution for all purposes when peace is concluded ".

At the end of the Franco-German War of 1870/1871 estimated German military 1 billion dollars, about 3 billion francs, war costs .

In the preliminary peace of Versailles on February 26, 1871, Bismarck enforced a reparation claim of 5 billion francs in 1450 tons of fine gold , which was specified in the Peace of Frankfurt in May 1871 and laid down in a peace treaty. A protest from England came too late. August Bebel and Crown Prince Friedrich called the German demands cruel. The occupation of four departments and the fortifications of Paris by German troops was intended to ensure the Third Republic's willingness to pay . The payments promoted the economic prosperity of the German Empire during the founding years . Part of it was stored as Reich War Treasure in the Juliusturm of the Spandau Citadel until 1914 .

German reparations after 1918

After the loss of the First World War , the German Reich was obliged by the Treaty of Versailles to make reparations of 20 billion gold marks , the equivalent of over 7,000 tons of gold. These were to be paid in installments between 1919 and 1921. In addition, 90 percent of the merchant fleet had to be handed over. In June 1920, the Allies demanded then 269 billion gold marks at the conference of Boulogne, the equivalent of about 96,000 tons of gold, in 42 annual installments, and also 12 percent of the value of annual exports of Germany. Since Germany refused, they instead agreed on a sum of 132 billion gold marks, which had to be repaid and interest paid, in addition, Germany now had to pay 26 percent of the value of its exports.

Ultimately, the total amount of payments made by the German Reich amounted to 67.7 billion gold marks according to German data, but only 21.8 billion gold marks according to the Allied calculations. The difference can be explained by a different evaluation of numerous performance positions.

In the London Debt Agreement of 1953, the part of the German debt that was due to remaining foreign debts in relation to the reparation claims of the Versailles Treaty was also regulated. The servicing of this foreign debt was completed on October 3, 2010.

German reparations after 1945

Even after the Second World War , which he began , Germany was obliged to pay reparations. In contrast to the reparation obligations after the First World War, they were mostly not made in cash payments, but in dismantling . Some of the states occupied by the Wehrmacht during World War II still claim German reparations.

Other reparations payments after 1945

The other members of the Axis Powers , such as Hungary , Italy , Romania , Finland and Bulgaria, also had to pay reparations after the Second World War, the scope of which was regulated in the Paris Treaty of 1947 . For example, Italy ceded the Dodecanese archipelago to Greece in 1947 and supplied a large number of material goods, including rail vehicles and buses . However, it is controversial whether the Dodecanese, which belonged to the Ottoman Empire until 1912 and were then annexed by Italy , can be counted as legitimate reparations.

After the attack by Iraq in 1990 on Kuwait , the United Nations founded a Reparations Commission , the United Nations Compensation Commission , based in Geneva. As of July 2011 , Iraq , defeated in 1991, was paying $ 34 billion in reparations to victims from its oil revenues.

The Iran sued the United States in 1992 before the International Court of Justice , because the United States two oil production platforms were destroyed Iran. The ICJ passed a verdict in 2003 and rejected Iran's claim for reparations payments.

See also

Web links

Wiktionary: Reparation  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations

Individual evidence

  1. ^ Fritz Stern: Gold und Eisen - Bismarck and his banker Bleichröder . Beck, Munich 2011, ISBN 978-3-406-56847-3 , p. 222.
  2. Quoted from Fritz Stern: Gold und Eisen - Bismarck and his banker Bleichröder . Beck, Munich 2011, p. 223.
  3. ^ Contract text in French and German on Wikisource
  4. ^ Fritz Stern: Gold und Eisen - Bismarck and his banker Bleichröder . Beck, Munich 2011, p. 223 ff.
  5. Peace Treaty of Versailles. June 28, 1919. Chapter I. Article 235.
  6. ^ Heinrich August Winkler : The long way to the west . Vol. 1, German history from the end of the Old Reich to the fall of the Weimar Republic. Beck, Munich 2000, p. 399.
  7. Stephen A. Schuker: American “Reparations” to Germany, 1919-33: Implications for the Third-World Debt Crisis. ( Memento from June 18, 2017 in the Internet Archive ) ( Princeton studies in international finance , No. 61). Princeton 1988, p. 16 f. (PDF file)
  8. Eberhard Kolb : The Peace of Versailles. Beck, Munich 2005, p. 100.
  9. cf. Financial obligations of the Federal Republic of Germany in connection with the Versailles Treaty Scientific Services of the German Bundestag , draft of June 26, 2008, p. 12 ff.
  10. ^ The end of the reparations payments from World War I. Germany pays the last installment on October 3, Deutschlandfunk , October 1, 2010
  11. Markus Eichhorst: Legal Problems of the United Nations Compensation Commission ( online in the Google book search)
  12. Rheinische Post 2000.  ( Page no longer available , search in web archives )@1@ 2Template: Dead Link /
  13. ^ Frankfurter Neue Presse 2011, offline. ( Memento from September 20, 2011 in the Internet Archive )