Germany owes Greece Nazi gold

From Grumpy Old Sod:

It was Nazi policy to make the people they conquered pay for their own oppression. At its most obscene, the Jews had to pay for their tickets on the cattle trucks that took them to the gas chambers. In Greece, the procedure was marginally more civilised. On March 14, 1942, a team of German and Italian lawyers, in the absence of any Greeks, signed an agreement obliging the Bank of Greece to provide Germany with a war loan of 476 million Reichsmarks (a currency which preceded the Deutschmark). And 70 years later not one penny of it, let alone any interest, has been repaid.

7 comments for “Germany owes Greece Nazi gold

  1. November 9, 2011 at 07:40

    Maybe true.. but thinking precedents do you really think the UK or the US ought to apologise for slavery?

  2. November 9, 2011 at 08:10

    Two different things – one involves a demographic change and crimes of the time and the other involves money currently held which has been stolen by the continuum of government within Germany. If Merkel were to steal billions from Spain, say, then in two generations, when the Spanish want their money back, the debt is not dead.

    As for apologizing, you know this blog is against governments apologizing for past governments’ behaviour. I’d argue that that’s a bit different to theft of money, where reparation can be directly made. Time frame? As long as treaties last. For example, the Brits had Hong Kong for 99 years. Britain repaid war loans recently.

  3. November 9, 2011 at 12:31

    I figure the legitimacy of agreements made, treaties entered in to and laws made by the Nazis must surely be questionable.

    Also the so-called loan would have been in Reich marks. What is the Evro/Reich mark exchange rate these days? Do you take into account of Drachma Inflation?

    The drachmas loaned to the third Reich were revalued after WWII at a rate of 50,000,000,000 to one. Then again in the 1950s that Drachma was revalued again this time at 1000 to one. After that it suffered inflation and was devalued by 14% as part of the switch to the Evro in 1998.

    What I am really asking is… can you really seriously and legitimately hold the current German state responsible for what the Nazi regime did?

    And if you do why not also hold the UK government responsible for the atrocities of slavery.

    There is a clear break between the existing German state and the Nazi state because of both WWII and the partition of Germany. The modern British state has more-or-less continuously existed since the days of the slave trade.

    Most everyone had to take a “haircut” because of WWII.

    My point is that neither modern state should be required to apologise or make reparations for either of those things.

  4. Lord T
    November 9, 2011 at 19:38

    Apologising for something that was OK when it happened is just plain old PC work. It needs no apology despite the crocodile tears our politicians can create for the camera.

    However a debt is a debt. I understand my grandkids kids will still be paying for Gordos splurge. Are you saying that is not going to happen and we can ignore the commitments made by others on our behalf?

    It’s not my simple understanding of legal issues.

  5. November 10, 2011 at 08:27

    About Gordon Brown’s incompetence? Maybe you should ask the Iclandic government that question…

    As for the loan. Germany as a state was basically bankrupt after WWII. Also the State that did the borrowing *no longer existed*, dismantled. I think some land became part of other states and the rest became two new seperate states. Now one of those new states has absorbed the other.

    I figured it quickly, just in Drachma, and unless I got my sums, or the exchange rates, wrong then the principle sum at 7% (expensive) compound interest is now worth something less than 50 Evro. So the whole argument is a moot point.

  6. Lord T
    November 11, 2011 at 12:34

    Why the Icelandic government? I’m in the UK.

    Basically bankrupt. That doesn’t sound the same as bankrupt. When companies merge they don’t just drop their liabilities. Why should countries?

    The amount though is up for discussion of course.

  7. November 11, 2011 at 13:33

    Iceland because they don’t seem to think that debts should be paid and money taken in should be paid back.

    Thinking ^_^ Kaupthing government owned Bank.

    *Sigh* Can’t think of more ways of saying this. Imagine a company ReichIII GmbH goes under and is broken up and sold off by the receivers Allies Inc. that is where the debt ends.

    Two companies are formed from most of the assets seized. Eventually, years later, one company does a takeover of the other.

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