German Reparations in the Soviet EmpireGernan Axis nations were obliged to pay war reparations according to the Paris Peace Treaties, An early plan for a post-war Germany was the Morgenthau plan with terms that would have essentially transformed Germany to an agrarian east german reparations to ussr. Londoner Schuldenabkommen of After the sustanon equipoise and tren, inGreece accepted million Marks from West Germany as compensation for Nazi crimes. Nevertheless, past Greek governments have insisted that this was only a down-payment, not complete reparations.
German Reparations in the Soviet Empire | Foreign Affairs
When American, British, and Soviet leaders began to grapple with the problem of war debts and reparations resulting from World War II, they had the benefit of the World War I experience. Instead of granting simple war loans, the U. The Allies created a reparations commission at the Yalta Conference of 4—11 February The Soviet Union would receive half of that amount. Truman opposed Soviet efforts to collect reparations from current output until Germany exported enough to pay for imports to feed its labor force and fuel its industry.
He was following the advice of Secretary of State James F. Byrnes, who was acting in accordance with his understanding of the negative impact of the reparations dispute on European reconstruction and world economic and social stabilization in the s, but was unaware that only U. By the time of the Potsdam Conference, Germany's unconditional surrender in May had left the United States, Britain, France, and the Soviet Union with separate zones of occupation in the defeated nation.
Even before Potsdam, Soviet occupation forces had begun to dismantle and transport whole German industrial plants to Soviet territory. The Soviets also designated special factories to produce exclusively for them. Moreover, Moscow kept the services of four million German prisoners of war and demanded forced labor from those living in its occupation zone. It wished to reconstruct its own economy and to retard the reconstruction of Germany, both to stabilize itself and to prevent the stabilization of Germany.
A destabilized Germany would remain militarily weak and the Soviet Union would become militarily strong. Moscow saw that large reparations taken quickly would facilitate both these objectives. During , they concluded that without surplus production, the western zones of Germany would become a vast relief camp dependent on U. Concerns about German postwar economic recovery had not stopped the United States from developing plans and organizations late in World War II for conducting industrial espionage and seizing useful patents in chemicals, machine tools, and other technologically advanced industries in Germany.
Operation Petticoat and Operation Paperclip sought to acquire German equipment, scientific research, and technical information of both military and industrial value, not only in hopes of shortening the war against Japan, but also for postwar economic advantage. Britain and France conducted similar operations, no doubt justifying exploitation of German industry, science, and technology as legitimate reparations.
British, French, and U. Also, defenders of the seizures later would point out that Germany looted French companies, practiced slave labor, expropriated possessions of concentration camp victims, and extracted tribute from the countries it occupied.
Discord between the Allies over reparations contributed to starting the postwar Soviet-American Cold War. Consequently, Soviet Premier Joseph Stalin proposed that the Ruhr Valley industries be administered jointly by the Soviet Union and the three Western powers to secure reparations from the Western-controlled portions of Germany.
The United States and Britain rejected this proposal, revealing the growing differences on matters of priorities to be observed in European reconstruction. Washington increasingly suspected that the Soviet Union's wish to strip Germany, and to slow European reconstruction, meant it wanted to dominate the balance of power in Europe.
This negative view of Soviet intentions seemed to be confirmed by Moscow's refusal to accept the U. After considering the matter, Stalin decided to reject the offer, largely because this would have required the Soviet Union to reveal the secrets of its economic capacity.
Furthermore, the Marshall Plan would have meant priority for west European reconstruction over that of the Soviet Union, as well as that the east European countries would be linked economically to western Europe, functioning largely as raw material suppliers. Once the Soviet Union rejected participation in the Marshall Plan, the logic of its situation was to organize East Germany and other areas of Eastern Europe along lines allowing it to seize resources for its own reconstruction.
Based on its experience with France in the controversy over German reparations following World War I, the United States must have expected that the Soviet Union would fail in its effort to achieve unilateral reconstruction based on reparations forcibly taken.
Since France had no choice but to withdraw from the Ruhr in and accept U. But what had worked against France in — did not work against the Soviet Union in the Cold War period. The Soviet Union and France were two dissimilar political economies.
Because it engaged in state trading and had long been denied supplies for its industry by the Western industrial states, the Soviet Union was in effect isolated from the major impact of the world market.
Unlike France after World War I, it had made its unilateral system of reparations collection in East Germany and much of Eastern Europe a sufficient base for its own reconstruction and for its strategic, political, and economic control of Eastern Europe to the Elbe River. Acting on the same assumptions that guided its policy toward Germany, the United States did not collect reparations from Japan. But the nations victimized by Japanese aggression in World War II demanded compensation immediately after the conflict ended.
In Tokyo, the Far Eastern Commission began discussions on how to meet these demands in the fall of Early in , President Truman named Edwin W.
Pauley as special ambassador, with instructions to conduct a fact-finding mission for recommendations on Japanese payment of reparations. Made public in April , Pauley's plan provided for transferring to the devastated nations of Asia all Japanese industrial equipment beyond that needed to maintain Japan's prewar living standard. Japanese leaders criticized the plan as both unduly harsh and impractical. Many American officials in Tokyo and Washington shared his concern. By the fall of , as Soviet-American relations deteriorated in Europe, serious doubts about Pauley's plan arose in the War and State departments.
Early in , the United States adopted the containment policy. This would lead to implementation of the "reverse course" in U. Its objective was to create an economically powerful and friendly Japan that would be the cornerstone of a postwar U. While the United States abandoned Pauley's plan, the nations serving on the Far Eastern Commission were deadlocked over the complex question of how best to distribute the required reparations equipment.
The War Department first commissioned several reevaluations of the reparations and economic policy that resulted in a two-thirds reduction of the demands. During May , the United States broke the stalemate by unilaterally terminating all demands for reparations payments. The Philippines strenuously objected, compelling Washington to include in the Japanese Peace Treaty an article providing that Japan negotiate and pay reparations in goods and services to any former victim of its aggression that demanded compensation.
Japan's government and its business community would make a virtue of necessity after U. They pursued a successful strategy for establishing friendly and productive relations with its former imperial conquests that utilized reparations payments to help reopen East Asian markets and regain access to raw material sources in Southeast Asia.
After regaining its sovereignty, Japan negotiated a series of agreements providing consumer goods and industrial equipment, often tied to economic assistance and loan programs, with the Philippines, Burma, Indonesia, and South Vietnam after the division of Vietnam in Controversy in Japan surrounding alleged government-business collusion in awarding reparations contracts prolonged the talks, but separate agreements finally were reached with all four countries. Cambodia and Laos accepted "free technical aid" rather than formal reparations.
Under these agreements, recipient nations agreed to provide Japan with necessary raw materials. In addition, receipt of economic aid often required purchase of Japanese manufactured goods, contributing significantly to Japan's economic recovery and later expansion, especially in its steel, shipbuilding, and electronics industries. Japan did not pay reparations to China after World War II because of the outcome of the civil war in that country.
This precluded negotiations regarding reparations with the Chinese communist government, and the Republic of China, in exile on Taiwan, could not make claims because that island had been part of the Japanese empire. In August , Saddam Hussein launched an invasion of Kuwait. The United Nations then authorized the United States to organize military action to liberate Kuwait if Iraqi forces refused to withdraw.
The Gulf War during January and February resulted in Iraq inflicting tremendous destruction on Kuwait, including its oil wells. One of its provisions stated that Iraq was liable under international law for all direct loss, damage including environmental damage , and the depletion of natural resources, or injury to foreign governments, nationals, and corporations, as a result of Iraq's unlawful invasion and occupation of Kuwait.
No concrete plan for collection emerged, because the resolution also called for measures to restrict Saddam's ability to produce weapons of mass destruction.
Accordingly, Iraq was prohibited from selling oil until it met the cease-fire conditions. But Saddam increasingly engaged in defiance and deceit to avoid full compliance with the resolution.
The UN inspectors ultimately left Iraq in protest and new U. The Gulf War showed the supremacy of international power over international law. Reparations - Complications of cold war compensation. Show my email publicly. Type the code shown: