Peace In Our Time

Peace In Our Time

War is over. That would be The Great War, the First World War, World War I. On Sunday, Germany will make the final payment on its WWI debt obligation under the 1919 Treaty of Versailles.

Actually, Germany got a discount. Due to French Premier Georges Clemenceau’s insistence, war damages were originally assessed at 226 billion Reichsmarks, and British peace conference representative John Maynard Keynes resigned over the crippling size of the sum. The German war debt was later reduced to 132 billion Reichmarks (equivalent to $35 billion in today’s values). The size of the debt is generally believed to have fueled the hyperinflation that led to World War II. Repayments were suspended during the National Socialist regime and not resumed until 1953.

Sunday’s payment of 150 million euros ($205 million) is not actually on the war debt principal but on interest accrued on German war debt bonds issued in the 1920s. Why Sunday? Because it is Tag der Deutschen Einheit, the holiday celebrating Germany’s 1990 reunification.

See:

“First World War officially ends,” Allan Hal, The Telegraph.

“Germany pays last of WWI debt,” Marcus Klöckner, Stars and Stripes.

 “Germany kicks off celebrations to mark 20 years since reunification,” Richard Connor, Deutsche Welle.

 

Hat tip: Michael Levy.

 

Comments are welcome if they are on-topic, substantive, concise, and not boring or obscene. Comments may be edited for clarity and length.

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