Germany's First World War debt ends officially on Sunday

Posted Sep 29, 2010 by Gemma Fox
This Sunday will see the official financial end of the First World War as Germany pays off the last of the debt imposed on the country by the Allies.
Royal Irish Rifles ration party Somme July 1916
Royal Irish Rifles ration party Somme July 1916
Royal Engineers No 1 Printing Company.
Sunday will see the final £60 million payment of the £22 billion debt imposed on Germany for starting one of the bloodiest wars in history.
The Allies, primarily the USA, France and Britain, set the debt as part of the negotiations of The Treaty of Versailles, which was finally signed on June 28th 1919 after months of talks.
The original total set by the 'big three' was 226 billion Reichsmarks, however, it was later reduced to 132 billion, equal to £22 billion at the time. It was looked upon as compensation and punishment for causing the war which claimed the lives of around 10 million soldiers and left over 20 million injured.
Many of Europe's cities and towns were also left devastated by the war that was known as 'The Great War' and 'The War To End All Wars'.
The Federal Office for Central Services and Unresolved Property Issues in Germany said that the bond has been issued to pay the final instalment of the debt due on Sunday October 3.
Bild, Germany's best selling daily newspaper wrote, "On Sunday the last bill is due and the First World War finally, financially at least, terminates for Germany."
October 3 this year will also be the 20th anniversary of the reunification of Germany.
The debt could have been paid off earlier but Hitler refused to pay during his dictatorship and the payments were stopped again when Germany split to East and West, only resuming again after the 1990 reunification.
The money paid by Germany generally goes to pension funds and private individuals.