Should Greece claim reparations from Germany for World War II?

This is absolutely unorthodox. The move will bring more oil to the fire between Athens and Berlin and the people of the countries respectively. The heavy austerity measures and the dedication of the Greek people to reboost the economy has made Fitch Ratings to upgrade its sovereign credit rating for Greece, nontheless the people are now exhausted.

From the Greek side

  • Greece had suffered 400 years of Turkish occupation before World War II broke out and was still underdeveloped.
  • Greece played a major role in World War II by keeping many forces occupied in its territories.
  • Greece was never compensated or given any support from the German people as reparations for World War II.

From the German side

  • Germany had to pay extremely high reparations in compensation for World War I, that lead to World War II.
  • Germans today are not the same people who attacked Greece and the rest of the world in 1939.
  • Germany is already spending a lot in aid towards Greece.

Why Greece should claim

  • The Austerity measures enforced in Greece are similar to those enforced to the German people after World War I and the Treaty of Versailles.
  • Greece didn’t attack Germany with an army.
  • Young Greeks today are being asked to deal with a mess they didn’t help create – why should they do that when the Germans didn’t and will never have to pay for their ancestors
  • Money coming towards Greece in aid does not reach the Greek people in a felt-immediate way and is only being received as a heavy burden, after all it is a loan – not a gift.
  • Greeks believe this is Germany’s debt towards Greece.

Euronews: The finance ministry of Greece has put together a dossier with six decades of documentary evidence.

Why Germany will refuse

  • Berlin says the question of reparations relating to the Nazi occupation has already been settled.
  • The German people will absolutely not want to pay (Who would?)
  • If Germany were to pay back any compensation to Greece (they won’t), more countries could possibly start asking for money, causing a domino effect of countries demanding reparations.
  • Germans don’t believe they have a debt towards Greece.

It is very hard to predict what exactly is going to happen, I don’t want the relationship between the two nations to deteriorate further – I believe both nations have extremely much to offer to the EU, the European project and our neighbours and therefore should be united.

I understand the people of Greece who will pursue these claims and demand compensation – I completely understand them. Why should they struggle so much for a national debt caused by bad management and Germany who caused World War II not?

And I understand the German people, who although they have struggled much, managed to turn country and nation around to create the 21st Century Germany we know and admire today.

Both sides are right to believe what they do, so the question remains – what will happen?

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One thought on “Should Greece claim reparations from Germany for World War II?

  1. I appreciate your listings, it’s presenting us with several points not to forget. One more point as the Why should we if the Germans don’t suffer for World War II” ?

    So Germany has not lost any territory? No 20 billions of people from East Prussia had to leave home that largely belonged to them for almost a thousand years?

    No technology and no scientists have simply been removed from Germany? No factories have been dismantled despite of problems to rebuild them in another country?

    Is it still so one-sided or unfair if you consider that Germany has been completely and total defeated to the last man, their men and even kids from 13 years on being wasted in a senseless war with wrong ideologies – their cities being destroyed completely and surely to a higher degree than any other country in WWII (no country so far has been bombed by thousands and thousands of bombers). What always makes me feel strange is that my ancestors told me that even the last remaining farmers (men and woman) had been shot at by low-flying allied airplanes.

    Of course for the other involved nations it was as horrible as for Germany. e.g. Red Army soldiers that had simply been thrown away in masses or British soldiers that had been forced (by their high command) to fight in a hopeless position – or 100 000 soldiers being forced to step out of the trenches into the bullet rain after 25 000 German soldiers had been bombed away … simply useless all this war. Btw if you consider James Clark new book “The Sleepwalkers: Europe on its way to war” then you might see things a bit different too as in world war one we neither were the first to step into this war – it’s been Autria-Hungary while Russians had been planning their invasion in Pommern. It’s not all single-sided. I’m really sorry for German history and especially for World War II I want to apologize a million times.

    I hope Greeks see both sides now in the aftermath and understand that this time is over and we should try to be united for more interesting aims than than destroying other nations (what about a journey to Mars, a share of knowledge, a unified parliament of the people, a real union – what about the “Weltfrieden”?).

Thoughts on that? Leave a comment.

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