First World War officially ends on Sunday
The First World War will officially end on Sunday when Germany pays off the last of the enormous debt which was set by the Allies 92 years ago.
The final £60 million instalment is part of a £22 billion debt imposed for starting one of the bloodiest conflicts in history will be cleared on what will also be the 20th anniversary of German reunification.
The Allied victors – primarily Britain, France and America set the reparations in 1919’s Treaty of Versailles – a peace agreement – as both compensation and punishment for waging the four year war, which left 10 million soldiers dead, and European towns and cities devastated.
Germany’s Federal Office for Central Services and Unresolved Property Issues said that the bond issued to pay remaining debts stemming from ‘The War To End All Wars’ will be written off on 3 October.
Germany’s best-selling daily newspaper, Bild, said: “On Sunday the last bill is due and the First World War finally, financially at least, terminates for Germany.”
The initial sum agreed upon for war damages in 1919 was 226 billion Reichsmarks, but was later reduced to 132 billion, £22 billion at the time.
However, the bill would have been settled much earlier had Adolf Hitler not refused to pay the reparations during his dictatorship. The bill was also frozen again when West and East Germany split, and renewed again after reunification in 1990.
Most of the war reparations go to private individuals, pension funds and corporations holding debenture bonds.