Thursday, September 30, 2010

Peace at last -- officially speaking

Thanks to Paul Halsall and the Telegraph:

The First World War will officially end on Sunday, 92 years after the guns fell silent, when Germany pays off the last chunk of reparations imposed on it by the Allies.
The final payment of £59.5 million, writes off the crippling debt that was the price for one world war and laid the foundations for another.
Germany was forced to pay the reparations at the Treaty of Versailles in 1919 as compensation to the war-ravaged nations of Belgium and France and to pay the Allies some of the costs of waging what was then the bloodiest conflict in history, leaving nearly ten million soldiers dead. The initial sum agreed upon for war damages in 1919 was 226 billion Reichsmarks, a sum later reduced to 132 billion, £22 billion at the time.
The bill would have been settled much earlier had Adolf Hitler not reneged on reparations during his reign.
Hatred of the settlement agreed at Versailles, which crippled Germany as it tried to shape itself into a democracy following armistice, was of significant importance in propelling the Nazis to power.
"On Sunday the last bill is due and the First World War finally, financially at least, terminates for Germany," said Bild, the country's biggest selling newspaper.

3 comments:

  1. I posted about this on a history forum and this a response I got,
    "What makes this even more ironic is that Sunday is Reunification day. The 20th Anniversary of the reunified Germany after the Cold War."

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/German_reunification

    ReplyDelete
  2. 92 years? I have got to get out of my history books more often...

    ReplyDelete