Germany Should Pay its Debt to Greece [neomagazine]


The French economist and consultant to the French government Jacques Delpla stated on July 2, 2011, that Germany owes to Greece 575 billion Euros from Second World War obligations (Les Echos, Saturday, July 2, 2011). On September 18, 2011, the German newspaper Die Welt admitted that Germany owes to Greece many billions of Euros at least from obligations arising from a forcibly obtained loan from Greece during World War II.

by Dr. Costas Tzanos*

Please go to http://www.greece.org/blogs/wwii/ and sign the petition of the Forum of Hellenic Professors and PhDs requesting the German government to honor its long-overdue obligations to Greece by repaying the forcibly obtained occupation loan, and by paying the World War II war reparations awarded to Greece by international agreements.

In the summer of 1940, Mussolini, perceiving the presence of German soldiers in the oilfields of Romania (an ally of Germany) as a sign of a dangerous expansion of German influence in the Balkans, decided to invade Greece. In October 1940, Greece was dragged into the Second World War by the invasion of its territory by Mussolini. To save Mussolini from a humiliating defeat, Hitler invaded Greece in April 1941.

Greece was looted and devastated by Nazi Germany as no other country under Nazi occupation. The Nazi minister of Economics, Walter Funk, said Greece suffered the tribulations of war like no other country in Europe.

Upon their arrival, the Germans started to live off the country. They appropriated whatever they needed for their stay in Greece, and shipped back to Germany whatever they could lay their hands on: foodstuff, industrial products, industrial equipment and stocks, furniture, heirlooms from valuable collections, paintings, archaeological treasures, watches, jewelry, and from some houses even the metal knobs from the doors. The entire output of Greek mines of pyrites, iron ore, chrome, nickel, magnesite, manganese, bauxite, and gold was obtained for Germany. James Schafer, an American oil executive working in Greece, summed it up: “The Germans are looting for all they are worth, both openly and by forcing the Greeks to sell for worthless paper marks, issued locally” ( Mazower p.24). Mussolini complained to his Minister of Foreign Affairs Count Ciano: “The Germans have taken from the Greeks even their shoelaces”(Ciano p.387).

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