Very interesting (and little known) facts about the cost of war. I wonder how long it will take to pay off the 10 years (and counting) we still have troops in Iraq?
If you're like me, you probably thought that World War One (often shown as World War I, by those people who couldn't manage to spell the word "one").. was over a long time ago.
It actually ended in nineteen hundred and ... er..... sumthin'...yeah.. waaay back there.
But in fact, it didn't.
As part of the Treaty of Versailles, Germany agreed to pay reparations to the Allies as well as giving up territories to France, Belgium, Poland, and the Czechs.
This Sunday - coincidentally the 20th anniversary of East and West Germany unifying about a year after the Berlin Wall fell - Germany will make the last in a series of reparation payments that has spanned more than nine decades.
Their final payment is approximately $93.8 million, according to London's Telegraph newspaper. That's right... $93.8 million dollars!! Germany had to pay Belgium and France for material damages and the rest of the Allies the costs of fighting the war. (Did you know about this...?)
The purpose behind this was to help rebuild the damaged territories, as well as to cripple Germany, so that it wouldn't become warlike again.
France had been the most devastated by the war, and Clemenceau feared Germany might attack France again if it recovered, so he and other European leaders sought to stifle the nation's economic recovery, and in effect, its ability to rearm, the museum said. Restrictions were placed on its army and navy, and it was forbidden to have an air force.
Germany stopped reparations in 1931 because of the global financial crisis, and Hitler declined to resume them (surprise, surprise!) when he took the nation's helm in 1933.
After reaching an accord in London in 1953, West Germany paid off the principal on its bonds but was allowed to wait until Germany unified to pay about 125 million euros ($171 million) in interest it accrued on its foreign debt between 1945 and 1952, the magazine said.
In 1990, Germany began paying off that interest in annual installments, the last of which will be distributed Sunday. So the last chapter, in World War I will be finally written on Sunday.
Ain't that grand?
ALAN MAY, Realtor®
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