A moratorium had been placed on the war reparations payments in 1931 and a year later the delegates to the Lausanne Conference realized that the deepening world financial crisis in the Great Depression made it nearly impossible for Germany to resume its payments. However, Britain and France and other Allies had borrowed heavily to fight the war and in particular, France and Belgium were struggling after having had their infrastructure severely damaged by the fighting and by the deliberate destruction and plundering from retreating German forces as the war drew to a close. As such, the delegates came to an informal understanding that the permanent elimination of Germany's debt and war reparations would be subject to reaching an agreement with the United States with respect to their outstanding war debts. In December 1932, the U.S. Congress rejected the Allied war debt reduction plan, which technically meant that the war reparations and debt reverted to the debt reduction previously granted Germany by the 1930 Young Plan. However, the system had collapsed and Germany made no further payments. By 1933 Germany made World War I reparations of only one eighth of the sum required under the Treaty of Versailles. After Germany’s defeat in World War II, an international conference decided (1953) that Germany would pay the remaining debt only after the country was reunified. Nonetheless, West Germany paid off the principal by 1980; then in 1995, after reunification, the new German government announced it would resume payments of the interest.
Travel: Take in a Piece of Swiss History; History and Luxury Combine Perfectly on the Shores of Lake Geneva in the Form of the Beau-Rivage Palace Hotel, as Chief Feature Writer Paul Groves Discovers
Mar 06, 2004; Byline: Paul Groves People have been obsessed with having a room with a view for as long as hotels have been offering them....