100 years ago....
War debt demand causes German outcry
Feb 5, 1921
The Allied reparations bill has been received "with pain and indignation'', a German Government spokesman told the Reichstag on Wednesday. Reparations on the scale demanded by Allies would lead to "the economic and political pauperisation of the German nation".
Germany, it is claimed, would disappear from the world as a purchaser and a consumer and her "powers of resistance against the danger of Bolshevism" would be seriously weakened.
The reparations bill, which was agreed at a meeting of experts in Paris last month, requires Germany to pay more than 200 billion gold marks (10 billion pounds) over the next 42 years up to 1963. In addition, an annual 12.5 per cent tax is to be levied on German exports.
German public opinion appears firmly behind the Government. The national Trade Union Federation says the Allies are trying to introduce slavery into the country. In Bavaria, extreme nationalists and communists are joining in demands for an alliance with Soviet Russia against the Western powers.
But Lloyd George, the British Prime Minister, speaking in Birmingham, said Germany must pay for the devastation she had caused in France. The reparations bill was well within Germany's capacity to pay, he said.
Article from "Chronicle of the 20th Century" ISBN 1 872031 80 3