Germany strikes down Greek request for further World War I and II reparations

Between 1941 and 1944, about 400,000 Greek citizens were murdered by German forces during the Nazi occupation.

June 5, 2019 19:03
2 minute read.
Germany strikes down Greek request for further World War I and II reparations

INVASTION OF German army into Greece.. (photo credit: YAD VASHEM)


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Germany has refused to give into recent demands from Greece to pay billions of Euros of reparations for World War I And II, AFP reported on Wednesday.

The Greek government called on Germany to enter into negotiations about the matter on Tuesday after its ambassador to the country submitted a formal request for negotiations.

Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras, who's government is considered as leftist, made the formal request as his country faces elections in the coming weeks. Over his time in office, Tsipras has been very vocal about the matter and his broached it several times among his constituents.

AFP reported German Foreign Ministry spokesman Rainer Breul as saying that Germany considered the reparations issue closed.

"Over 70 years after the end of the war and more than 25 years after the Two Plus Four Treaty [negotiated in 1990 to reunify Germany], the question of reparations has been legally and politically settled," he said.

According to the report, Breul made it clear that Germany still stands by its "moral responsibility" and "a common culture of remembrance."

Germany allegedly owes Greece some 270 billion euros for World War I damages and World War II looting, atrocities and a forced loan to the Nazi regime, according to a Greek parliamentary committee that was convened last year.

Following this, Greek MPs voted in April this year to send the formal request, which was sent to Germany on Tuesday.

In April, Greece’s Deputy Foreign Minister, Markos Bolaris, told The Guardian that "it is an open issue that must be resolved.”

“For matters of this kind there is international justice,” he told the British newspaper. “In all disputes the EU abides by it, on principle. Germany may say it has been resolved but what counts is international law.”

In January, German Chancellor Angela Merkel  visited Greece in which she said that Germany "recognized its historical responsibility."

"We know how much suffering we, as Germany in the time of Nazism, brought to Greece," she said.

Germany has apologized to Greece numerous times for its actions but claims that the issue was finalized  and resolved in1960 in a deal with several European governments in which 115 million Deutschmarks were paid.

Between 1941 and 1944, about 400,000 Greek citizens were murdered by German forces during the Nazi occupation of the country and wiped out many villages. Thousands also died of starvation as a famine gripped the country during the Nazi  occupation.

Over 60,000 Greek Jews - amounting to about 81% of the country's Jewish population - were systematically deported and murdered by the Nazis during the Holocaust. There were some 72,000 Jews living in Greece before the World War II broke out.

During 1943, 40,000 Jews from Salonika were deported to Auschwitz, the majority of whom were murdered there.

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