What if the Greeks Are Really Entitled to War Reparations?

“What if the Greeks are really entitled to war reparations?” This is the title of an article published today by German newspaper Bild. As it highlighted, Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras is willing to finance the social program his government promised from the German World War II reparations. Addressing the Greek Parliament on Sunday, while presenting the government plans, Tsipras characterized the reparations as a “moral responsibility” for Germany.

Already in 1960, the German newspaper explained, Germany had a contact with Greece on “closing” reparations from the country’s 1941-1944 Nazi occupation. According to that agreement, signed by Greek Crown Prince Constantine and German diplomat Albert-Hilger van Scherpenberg, Germany was agreed to pay 115 million German marks to Greece, although, a forced loan of 476 million reichmarks to the Nazi regime signed in 1942 has never been repaid to Athens, while according to a recent Greek official report, its current height is 11 billion euros.


Signed by Albert-Hilger van Scherpenberg (Secretary of State, Ministry of Foreign Affairs) and Crown Prince Constantine: According to the 1960 reparation agreement, all claims were “finally settled.”

At the same time, Germany’s Federal government strongly denies to recognize that war reparations must be paid to Greece. The restitution issue has been “finally settled” by the 1960 Treaty, a number of Berlin officials have repeatedly declared, adding that 70 years after the World War II “the reparations are no longer justified.” As Greek Reporter published yesterday, German Vice Chancellor, Economy Minister and leader of the Social Democratic Party (SDP) Sigmar Gabriel yet again ruled out the possibility of Berlin accepting Athens’ claims regarding the World War II reparations, following a renewed demand from Greece’s new leftist Prime Minister, saying that such claims stand “zero” chances.

Tsipras, in his first major speech before the Greek MPs’ in Parliament, described the country’s new program to exit austerity, while eliminating the possibility of any extension of its 240-billion-euro bailout package and vowed to seek war reparations from Germany. The demand for compensation, which rose for the first time in 2013 by the previous government, was firmly rejected by Gabriel who said that “the possibility is zero,” adding that a treaty signed in 1990 has once and for all wrapped up all similar claims. He referred to the “Treaty on the Final Settlement with Respect to Germany,” also known as the “Two plus Four Treaty,” which was signed 25 years ago, in September 1990, by former West Germany, former East Germany and the four World War II allies just before the German reunification.

According to the Treaty, the four powers that occupied Germany at the end of World War II (USSR, USA, United Kingdom and France) renounced all rights they held in Germany, allowing a united Germany to become fully sovereign the following year. No reference to war reparations was made in the Treaty and it was recognized as a legal commitment within the framework of the Paris Charter, also adopted by Greece.


  1. Greece is to blame for its economic problems (certainly not the Germans as Comrade Tsipiras unfairly claims) but when it comes to WW2, Germany really did stiff Greeks.

    Germany won’t pay what they owe Greece though. Its not because they don’t want to. Germans have a strong sense of duty. They would pay just to say they finally cleared their tab….. if it was only Greece. The problem is if Germany gave a vast sum to Greece then similar claims would arise from many countries. And if Germans had to pay everyone in full.. there would of course be no Germany left.

    I completely understand Germany’s position. I just wish instead of getting overly self-righteous over Greek mistakes, more Germans remembered history before 1946 and understood it is Greece that now needs adequate enough haircut to get back on its feet (but not a cut in austerity as the geniuses that follow Comrade Tsipiras irresponsibly argue, We have to earn our own way to wealth not expect handouts)

  2. Only one country in the world has done what Germany did and until the last minute fighting damages in the courts of the world…Greece is broke but Germany is shameless.

  3. You should read up on how the crisis evolved before you comment. They are not bailing out Greece they are bailing out the German banks who irresponsibly loaned Greece money. I don’t know what happens in your universe, but in mine banks are supposed to loan responsibly. When they don’t they are supposed to pay for their mistakes. Germany just played a shell game so it looked like it was the money of German citizens…and it sounds like at least one person took the bait.

  4. No sir they are not lazy .A eu gallop shows that greek people work more than germans for example.First of all its a good think that stronger economes cain help others in need.That loan money unfortunately didt go to those citizens.EU desides to save banks but not people,and then was the job cuts,salary cuts..Troika made so much mistakes!!But anyway one think is 4 sure that greeks are hard working people

  5. No German (or other) citizen has to give or has given a dime to what you call “lazy” Greek citizens. I know because I live in Germany. Stop this imbecile nonsense. Greece is not stealing from anyone. Germany made a nice cut on the interests paid so far by Greece and has equally benefited of European “Help” Programme funds that should rather have been attributed to countries that are in need. Quite embarrassing for a country that claims to be the leader in Europe and hence thinks it can patronize every single member of the EU.
    As for you, go and get proper information before posting this crap
    H Nikh einai dikh mas

  6. The problem is if Germany gave a vast sum to Greece then similar claims would arise from many countries.WRONG Greece has a signed agreement others dont and when you sign anything these days be a man and stand up for it dont go hide under a rock and hope it passes!

  7. Greece is not stealing anybody’s money.Greece borrowed money and will repay it with interest.So green anarchist eat a little humble green pie and shut up.Otherwise switch your stupid attention to Germans who sat on their debts to Greece and refuse to pay.And this comes natural to Germans who inherited the Nazi genes of their fathers and grand fathers.This is evident in the brutal behavior of Shauble for all to see.


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