Each of the defeated powers was required to make payments in either cash or kind. Because of the financial situation AustriaHungaryand Turkey found themselves in after the war, few to no reparations were paid and the requirements for reparations were cancelled. Bulgariahaving paid only a fraction of what was required, saw its reparation figure reduced and then cancelled.
Historians have recognized the German requirement to pay reparations as the "chief battleground of the post-war era" and "the focus of the power struggle between France and Germany over whether the Versailles Treaty was to be enforced or revised". This figure was divided into three categories of bonds: A, B, and C. The payment of the remaining 'C' bonds was interest free and contingent on the Weimar Republic's ability to pay, as was to be assessed by an Allied committee.
Due to the lack of reparation payments by Germany, France occupied the Ruhr in to enforce payments, causing an international crisis that resulted in the implementation of the Dawes Plan in This plan outlined a new Treaty of versailles reparations yahoo dating method and raised international loans to help Germany to meet its reparation commitments.
With the collapse of the German economy inreparations were suspended for a year and in during the Lausanne Conference they were cancelled altogether.
Between andGermany paid less than 21 billion marks in reparations. The German people saw reparations as a national humiliation; the German Government worked to undermine the validity of the Treaty of Versailles and the requirement to pay.
British economist John Maynard Keynes called the treaty a Carthaginian peace that would economically destroy Germany. His arguments had a profound effect on historians, politicians, and the public at large.
Despite Keynes' arguments and those by later historians supporting or reinforcing Keynes' views, the consensus of contemporary historians is that reparations were not as intolerable as the Germans or Keynes had suggested and were within Germany's capacity to pay had there been the political will to do so. Inthe First World War broke out.
In part, this speech called for Germany to withdraw from the territory it had occupied and for the formation of a League of Nations. Most of the war's major battles occurred in France and the French countryside was heavily Treaty of versailles reparations yahoo dating in the fighting. Furthermore, in during the German retreat, German troops devastated France's most industrialized region in the north-east Nord-Pas de Calais Mining Basin.
Extensive looting took place as German forces removed whatever material they could use and destroyed the rest. Hundreds of mines were destroyed along with railways, bridges, and entire villages. Prime Minister of France Georges Clemenceau was determined, for these reasons, that any just peace required Germany to pay reparations for the damage it had caused.
Clemenceau viewed reparations as a way of weakening Germany to ensure it never threaten France again.
He also argued that reparations should include war pensions for disabled veterans and allowances for war widows, which would reserve a larger share of the reparations for the British Empire.
The same article, with the signatory's name changed, was also included in the treaties signed by Germany's allies. In FebruaryForeign Minister Count Ulrich von Brockdorff-Rantzau informed the Weimar National Assembly Treaty of versailles reparations yahoo dating Germany would have to pay reparations for the devastation caused by the war, but would not pay for actual war costs.
At this meeting Brockdorff-Rantzau stated, "We know the intensity of the hatred which meets us, and we have heard the victors' passionate demand that as the vanquished we shall be made to pay, and as the guilty we shall be punished".
However, he proceeded to deny that Germany was solely responsible for the war. Article of the Treaty of Versailles not correctly translated. Instead of stating " Germany accepts responsibility of Germany and her allies causing all the loss and damage The Treaty of Versailles stated that a Reparation Commission would be established in This commission would consider the resources available to Germany and her capacity to pay, provide the German Government with an opportunity to be heard on the subject, and decide on the final reparation figure that Germany would be required to pay.
The money would be used to pay Allied occupation costs and to buy food and raw materials for Germany. Therefore, the treaty required Bulgaria to pay a sum equivalent of 2. This would not be credited towards the reparation figure. These shipments would not be credited against Bulgaria's reparation sum. They would, however, be credited for these goods.
In Januarythe Allied Powers grew impatient and established the reparation sum at billion gold marks.
The Germans countered with an offer of 30 billion. The London Schedule of Payments of 5 May established "the full liability of all the Central Powers combined, not Germany alone," at billion gold marks. This figure was divided into three series of bonds: Furthermore, "Allied experts knew that Germany could not pay billion marks and that the other Central Powers could pay little.
Thus, the A and B Bonds, which were genuine, represented the actual Allied assessment of German capacity to pay. To pay towards this sum, Germany could pay in kind or in cash. Commodities paid in kind included coal, timber, chemical dyes, pharmaceuticals, livestock, agricultural machines, construction materials, and factory machinery. The gold value of these would be deducted from what Germany was required to pay.
Germany's assistance with the restoration of the university library of Louvainwhich was destroyed by the Germans on 25 Augustwas also credited towards the sum, as were some of the territorial changes the treaty imposed upon Germany. The German Government was to issue bonds at five per cent interest and set up a sinking fund of one per cent to support the payment of reparations. Between the signing of "Treaty of versailles reparations yahoo dating" Treaty of Neuilly-sur-Seine and AprilBulgaria paid million gold francs in reparations.
Inthe Bulgarian reparation obligation was abandoned following the Lausanne Conference. Because Austria was "so impoverished" after the war, and because of the collapse of the Bank of Vienna, the country paid no reparations Treaty of versailles reparations yahoo dating credits for transferred property". When the Treaty of Lausanne was signed inTurkish reparations were "eliminated altogether".
From the initiation of reparations, German coal deliveries were below the level agreed. In an attempt to rectify this situation, the Spa Conference was held in July At this conference it was decided that Germany would be paid five marks per coal ton delivered to facilitate coal shipments and help feed the miners. Despite this, Germany continued to default on her obligations.
French and Belgian delegates urged the seizure of the Ruhr to encourage the Germans to make more effort to pay, while the British supported postponing payments to facilitate the financial reconstruction of Germany. The timber quota was based upon a German proposal and the default was massive. On 9 Januarythe Reparation Commission declared Germany to be in default of her coal deliveries and voted to occupy the Ruhr to enforce the country's reparation commitments.
Britain was the lone dissenting voice to both measures. On 11 January, French and Belgian soldiers—supported by engineers including an Italian contingent—entered the region, initiating the Occupation of the Ruhr.
Judging others by themselves, the English, who are blinded by their loyalty, have always thought that the Germans did not abide by their pledges inscribed in the Versailles Treaty because they had not frankly agreed to them We, on the contrary, believe that if Germany, far from making the slightest effort to carry out the treaty of peace, has always tried to escape her obligations, it is because until now she has not been convinced of her defeat We are also certain that Germany, as a nation, resigns herself to keep her pledged word only under the impact of necessity.
The occupation proved marginally profitable; the occupying powers received million gold marks, and much of this merely covered the military costs of occupation. However, the real issue behind the occupation was not German defaults on coal and timber deliveries, but the forcing of Germany "to acknowledge her defeat in World War I and to accept the Versailles Treaty".
Although the French succeeded in their objective during the Ruhr occupation, the Germans had wrecked their economy by funding passive resistance and brought about hyperinflation. Dawes was formed to consider "from a purely technical standpoint" how to balance the German budget, stabilize the economy and set an achievable level of reparations.
In Aprilthe Dawes Plan was accepted and it replaced the London schedule of payment. While the "C" Bonds were omitted from the plan's framework, they were not formally rescinded. French troops were to withdraw from the Ruhr, a bank independent of the Treaty of versailles reparations yahoo dating Government with a ruling body at least 50 per cent non-German was to be established, and the German currency was to be stabilized.
The payment of reparations was also reorganized. In the first year following the implementation of the plan, Germany would have to pay 1 billion marks. This figure would rise to 2. A Reparations Agency was established with Allied representatives to organize the payment Treaty of versailles reparations yahoo dating reparations.
Furthermore, a loan of million marks was to be raised—over 50 per cent coming from the United States, 25 per cent from Britain, and the balance from other European nations—to back the German currency and to aid in the payment of reparations. Under the Dawes Plan, Germany always met her obligations.
However, they considered the plan a temporary measure and expected a revised plan at a future date. In latethe Agent-General for Reparations "called for a more permanent scheme" for payments and in the Germans followed suit. The French, aware of their weakening political and financial position, acquiesced. On 16 Septembera joint Entente-German statement acknowledging the need for a new reparation plan was issued.