September 27, 2012

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Germany's STERN - Germany Owes Greece 300 Billion Euros for WWII

The weekly German "Stern" magazine this week dedicated one of its columns to the issue of German war reparations to Greece, while it also at the same time notes that Berlin has only given Greece 37 million Euros to save the almighty Euro. The article said reveals that Greeks wish Germany would finally pay the war reparations because it believes Berlin owes much to the country for the damages and atrocities it caused during World War II.

The issue of war reparations appears regularly in Greek newspapers, claims the article, but notes that no such discussion (or claim) has been raised by both Athens and Berlin. The magazine also blasted the decision by the German government which said two weeks ago that the issue of war reparations to Greece has lost its meaning. A spokesman for the German Ministry of Foreign Affairs said that "the federation of German believes that after many decades, the issue of war reparations has lost its meaning." The statement was made of course after Athens established a working group in order to study old documents and estimate the exact amount of the reparations.
"The fact is, the Greeks are among the nations that suffered the most under Nazi occupation. Their will to resist was fatal. First up was a legendary telegram that the Athens dictator General Metaxas sent in October 1940 to Fascist Italy - in response to Mussolini's ultimatum to surrender. It contained the plain text "ochi" (no), which is why the Greeks celebrate to this day every October to "Ochi Day". Shortly thereafter, the Italians attacked Greece and although numerically more superior, were totally pushed back behind the Albanian border.
Then Hitler sent his troops and was also met with massive opposition. When the Nazis finally triumphed, they set up a brutal occupation regime in order to show the world what can happen when small countries do not submit. In Crete, which was particularly competitive, an order was given that said that for every fallen Wehrmacht soldier, ten Cretans should die. (As a result) 30 island villages were destroyed. On the overall, more than 80,000 Greeks. Or 7.2 percent of the population died between 1941-1944."
The article then speaks about the "interest-free loan" to Hitler

The fascists, claims the same article, attacked, pillaged and destroyed Greece's industrial production equipment, crops, etc. Hitler, it adds, even forced the National Bank of Greece, to lend Germany interest-free money. The total amount "of these government bonds totaled 476 million Reichsmarks, which today corresponds to ten billion Euros."

The subject of war reparations was first negotiated in the autumn of 1945 in Paris. At the time, adds the same article, Greece was asking for ten billion US dollars, which was viewed by all conference participants to be a little over exaggerated, especially the US, so Greece was apparently awarded with 30,000 tons of German industrial goods with an estimated value of approximately US $25 million (or two billion Euros at today's rates). But, the same article writes "these products have never made it to Greece."

The article then speaks about Distomo. It emphasizes that the area near Delphi has demanded an estimated 37.5 billion Euros from the Germans in reparations, while it also notes that the village was also the scene for one of the bloodiest massacres in World War II history. : A Greek court ordered Germany in the late 90s to pay 28 billion Euros (to Distomo). But states have immunity, and therefore the judge's decision was largely symbolic. Meanwhile, the case is at the International Court in The Hague."

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