What Germany has
under the Treaty of Versailles
Lujo (Ludwig Joseph) Brentano,
Professor at the University of Munich.
Walter de Gruyter & Co., Berlin und Leipzig
Vormals G. J. Göschen'sche Verlangshandlung - J. Guttentag,
Georg Reimer - Karl J. Trübner - Veit & Comp.
This digitized version © 2009-2019 by The
Germany's Payments under the Treaty of
I. Principles adopted in estimating the payments
II. The Various Payments
A. The Reparation Payments
b) Payments in
B. Payments not to be credited to
Summary of Germany's Total Payments
Numerous inquiries addressed to me from England, America and France make me
feel convinced of the astonishing ignorance, which prevails abroad concerning
what reparations have hitherto been effected by Germany. In some letters I have
been asked whether it is a fact that Germany has paid nothing at all. Poincaré's speeches reported broadcast in all countries continue to
disseminate this mistake constantly. I therefore willingly consented, when
requested, to edit the present careful survey of Germany's payments. I believe I
can warrant the correctness of the data therein given.
Prien am Chiemsee, the 20th September 1923.
Professor at the University of Munich.
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under the Treaty
The assertion that Germany has so far done practically nothing towards the
fulfilment of her reparation obligations is one of the favourite weapons in the
armoury of Germany's adversaries. M. Poincaré, in particular, has during
the past two years neglected no opportunity of declaring, with
well- feigned indignation, that Germany has made no payments whatever and that
she is endeavouring by all means at her command to escape her obligations. Yet
day after day between September 1919 and January 11, 1923 a coal train1 of 50 trucks crossed the German
frontier every quarter of an hour all for the purpose of supplying French, Belgian
and Italian industries without any consideration in return. This was hardly an
indication of bad faith on the part of Germany.
And these coal deliveries, which amounted in round figures to a total of
54,000,000 tons with a value of 2,424 million gold marks
(£ 121,000,000) are only a small part of the vast tribute that
Germany has paid to her former enemies from the conclusion of the Armistice
down to December 31st, 1922. The total of this tribute has been variously
estimated as follows:
The German figure includes only those payments which, according to the Treaty
of Versailles, may be credited to the reparations account. Germany has, however,
made certain other deliveries of which the total value is estimated at 14,300
million gold marks (£ 715,000,000). These deliveries, which
impose as heavy a burden on the German economic system as the payments and
deliveries on account of reparations, bring up the tribute of German industry
during the four post-war years to a total, in round figures, of 55,900 million gold
marks, or very nearly £ 2,800,000,000.
||According to the official figures of the Reparation Commission at
7,940,426,000 gold marks (about £ 397,000,000).
||According to the calculations of the eminent French economist Professor
Charles Gide at about 14,000 million gold marks
||According to calculations made by Mr. Charles H. Grasty,2 European correspondent of the New
York Times, at 15,400 million gold marks
||According to the calculations of the Washington Institute of Economics
25,800 million gold marks3 (£ 1,290,000,000).
The institute expressly says that this estimate is only
||According to the latest German calculations at 41,600 million gold marks,
or, in round figures, £ 2,000,000,000 (see the Summary).
The last figure
is - irrespective of the altered value of gold - equal to:
||more than ten times the amount of the French indemnity paid to
Germany in the years 1871-1873,
||about twenty times the value of the total average yearly
out-put of coal in the German Empire before the War,
||more than fifteen times the value of the average yearly
out-put of coal and lignite in the United Kingdom before the War,
||more than six times the value of the French imports for the year
||nearly four times the value of the German, English or American annual
||four times the aggregate amount of the gold reserves of all the European
Central Banks at the beginning of 1914,
||more than the total gold out-put of the world between 1900 and 1923.
Further, no account has been taken in the calculation of the losses incurred by the
of Alsace-Lorraine and the German colonies and the German Imperial and State
property in these countries, the capital value of which represents a very
Notwithstanding the disastrous economic consequences of the Ruhr invasion,
Germany continued up to August 11, 1923 to fulfil her obligations towards those
Powers that took no part in the invasion; she did so to the point of exhaustion, as
is sufficiently demonstrated by an exchange rate of 7 million marks to the dollar prevailing
date. During the seven months after the invasion of the Ruhr and in
spite of losses caused by French and Belgian removals of values of all kinds in the
Rhine and Ruhr districts Germany raised 255 million gold marks for reparation
payments and entered into agreements making her responsible for a like sum. If
Germany has since August 11th provisionally stopped payments in kind under the
Treaty, pending the drastic measures  necessary to restore some degree at least of
stability to the German currency, no impartial person can regard this as a reason
for doubting the intention of Germany to fulfil her obligations.
On the contrary, France and Belgium must be held responsible if, for a time, other
claimants go away emptyhanded, since they have tried, in contradiction to the
Treaty of Versailles, to obtain a preferential satisfaction of
Franco-Belgian claims out of the bankrupt German estate to the detriment of the
Such enormous payments as Germany has made in four years under the Treaty of
Versailles have never before been made or imposed upon any people in history.
The favourite French comparison between the way in which France fulfilled the
obligations imposed on her by the Treaty of Frankfort and the way in which
Germany has fulfilled the obligations imposed on her by the Treaty of Versailles
in fact displays the magnitude of Germany's achievement. The big French reserves
of gold and silver at a total of 5 milliard
francs - coupled with the favourable fact that France was absolutely
self-supporting - helped to prevent a depreciation of the franc, although the
paper money was augmented during the war from 1,470 million francs to about
3,000 million francs. Moreover, France paid the indemnity by means of loans
raised at home and abroad. Any direct levy upon private property as well as any
considerable taxation could be avoided.4
In three years, with the franc scarcely below par, with her credit intact and with
the help of foreign loans [placed] partly in Germany, France paid an indemnity of
£ 200,000,000. But apart from the existence of actual reserves, what
facilitated the rapid payment of this amount was, above all and in
contradistinction to the present situation of Germany, the fact that French
industry, from the moment that peace was concluded, knew the sum which had to
be shouldered, since Germany fixed the amount immediately and unequivocally.
Germany within four years without any foreign help and although her currency
sank from 50 % below par to about 0.002 of its nominal value on December 31st,
 1922 produced the gigantic tribute of 41.6
milliard gold marks, solely in connection with the payments to be credited to
The payments made to the Entente States by Germany under the Treaty of
Versailles are multifarious. Besides the cash payments the most varied payments
in kind have been made, e. g. deliveries of coal, timber, ships and railway
A comprehensive summary of these manifold payments is particularly necessary
since so many conflicting estimates of their value have been published.
The figures given in the following summary are the result of careful calculations
and have in every case been subjected to rigorous tests. Any errors in former
calculations have been corrected.
I. Principles adopted in
estimating the payments
The valuation of property is an extremely difficult matter. Even in the case of a
small landed property the estimates of several experts often differ considerably
from one another. The difficulty naturally increases with the size and diversity of
the estate. Seeing that the German reparation deliveries are undoubtedly the
largest, most varied and most complicated transfer of property ever made by one
nation to other nations, it is not surprising that the valuation of these deliveries has
led to innumerable difficulties which are by no means yet overcome.
In estimating the German payments the ordinary market values have been taken.
As a matter of fact, the damage to German economic life caused by the loss
without compensation of the property delivered is, in many cases, considerably
greater than that represented by the figures. For instance, the surrender of the
mercantile fleet involved a much greater loss than that of the mere market value of
the ships, since the whole economic system of the country was crippled by no
longer having a merchant service of its own. In the annexed schedule this indirect
loss is not taken into account and the figures represent merely the ordinary market
The estimation of the German claims on her former
Allies - for particulars see page 11 No.
25 - is a different matter. The amount mentioned
(nominal value) represents the loss which Germany suffered both by the cession
of the claims and by the collapse of her allies. The objective value cannot be
accurately ascertained; it is at present, for example, higher than at the date of the
cession. Unquestionably the value of realisation will always be considerably lower
than their nominal value. But apart from the fact that the value of realisation at
present cannot be determined at all, the nominal value is chosen in the following,
as it alone can provide
a starting-point in any expert assessment of the German payments. Moreover, this
is the method adopted also by the Allies in reference to the settlement
of inter-allied debts.
Another point calls for remark. The Reparation Commission, which receives and
books Germany's reparation payments for the various Entente Powers, has
published its accounts and, as has already been said, its figures do not  agree with those of the annexed schedule. There is
a very good reason for this, namely that the Reparation Commission can book
only the "reparation" payments, that is, the payments made by Germany on
account of reparations as defined by the Treaty of Versailles. These include only
certain categories of the total German payments, others being expressly excluded
by the terms of the Treaty, according to which certain properties, such as the
German State cables, are to be surrendered gratis without being credited to the
reparations account. From the fact that these cables are not to be credited to
Germany in the reparations account nobody will deduce that they are valueless
and are not to be included among Germany's payments. This example alone is
enough to show that there must be a considerable discrepancy between the actual
total of Germany's payments and the figure published by the Reparation
Commission, which represents only that part of those payments credited to a
Moreover, allowance must be made for the fact that the Reparation Commission
has not yet completed the calculations for some of the deliveries which, by the
provisions of the Treaty of Versailles, have to be credited to Germany against the
debt for reparations, one example being the deliveries of railway
rolling-stock under article 371 of the Treaty. Further, there are differences of
opinion between the Reparation Commission and the German Government as to
the valuation of many of the deliveries already made.
Hence, without in any way questioning the importance of the Reparation
Commission's accounts, it must be said that they include only part of the German
payments, namely the reparation payments proper. But the Treaty of Versailles did
not confine itself to demanding from Germany payments and deliveries for the
discharge of the reparation debt. On the contrary, numerous other obligations have
been imposed on Germany, for example, the obligation to compensate all private
persons being nationals of an Entente State for injuries caused by
war-measures, the obligation to pay in gold all private debts owed by German
nationals, the obligation to demolish all war material and military installations, the
obligation to surrender the German State cables etc. All these items necessarily
find no place in the accounts of the Reparation Commission, although they
represent heavy sacrifices on the part of Germany and consequently a very real
expenditure. To omit them, however, from the schedule here given would be
unjustifiable, for it is clear that, in a complete list of the payments and deliveries
made by Germany under the Treaty of Versailles, these items have just as much
right to be included as have the cash payments and payments in kind on account
of reparations. Only when all the payments and deliveries of every kind have been
taken into account will it be possible to realise the strain on the German people
and German industry involved in these payments and deliveries and the
debilitation that has been the necessary consequence.
The following schedule contains both kinds of payments, which is essential to
form an objective total survey of what Germany has paid.
 II. The Various
The Schedule closes with December 31st, 1922.
All values are given in gold marks (M); cf. the Table
on last page.
|A. The Reparation
i.e., the German payments to be credited to Reparation Account under the
stipulations of the Treaty of Versailles.
a) Cash Payments.
||Bills of exchange under the London Schedule of Payments
handed over in August, 1921
||Bills of exchange from January to July, 1922, under the
Decisions of Cannes (January 13th, 1922) and the Moratorium of March 21st,
||Bills of exchange in payment of Treasury bills in favour of
Belgium in accordance with the Note of August 31st, 1922, of the Reparation
||Paper marks paid to the Guarantee Committee from October
15th, 1921, to December 31st, 1921 (proceeds from customs and export levies)
afterwards converted into bills of exchange
||Proceeds of the custom duties levied in the Rhineland from
March to September, 1921, under special sanctions, the yield being 1,379,000,000
paper marks, which, calculated at the exchange current at the time, equalled
||Various smaller credits in cash for:
||Payments of the costs of the offices appointed by the Entente to take over
Germany's payments in kind
||Payments to the reserve funds of the Reparation Commission
||Balance due to Germany from France and Belgium under the postal
|ad a): Total Cash
b) Payments in Kind.
||Coal and Coke. Up to December 31st, 1922,
Germany delivered roughly 54 million tons of coal and coke. Putting the ratio of
coke to coal at 1 to
11/3, the value of the
at world-market prices (English f. o. b. prices) works out at
|| The Reparation Commission credits
these deliveries at the German inland prices, which are very much lower. But
through these deliveries German industry suffers an actual loss equivalent to
the world-market price. Moreover, for the large supplies which she is forced to
import from abroad by the shortage of coal within her own borders, Germany has
to pay the world-market price, too.
||By-products of Coal (benzol, tar, ammoniac) sent to
France, Belgium and Italy, calculated at
|| Here, again, only the lower home
price is credited to Germany.
||Dye-stuffs and Pharmaceutical Products of all kinds.
The world-market figure of these highly valuable deliveries made by the German
chemical industry and comprising items of the most varied character is estimated
by experts at about
|| As a result of special stipulations in
the Treaty of Versailles, only a smaller amount is booked to Germany's
||Livestock. The deliveries included: 101,310 horses,
175,056 cattle, 221,589 sheep, 21,441 goats, 245,700 poultry.
This livestock, withal, was of a high quality and very
valuable. In large measure, it had to be purchased abroad, as the German [stock],
especially in regard to milch cows, did not provide a sufficient number of animals
of the desired high standard.
At a fair price, this livestock must be valued at
|| The Reparation Commission,
however, intends to credit Germany only with the preferentially low figure at
which the Belgian and French Governments supplied this stock to their
||Agricultural Implements of all Kinds.
||Reconstruction Deliveries. These comprise
numberless goods and wares claimed by the various Entente States for restoration
purposes in the devastated districts and for the further development of their
industries. It is not possible to mention the goods individually; the list ranges from
printing paper, sugar and incandescent bulbs through the whole domain of
industrial products to complete
rolling-mills and factories; above all, the timber deliveries demand special
||In the main, the deliveries were made by the German
government to the recipient States (Treaty deliveries). The value of these goods
||Besides the above, however, the nationals of the Entente
States have been able to buy directly from the German producer under
the Cuntze-Bemelmans and
Ruppel-Gillet agreements. These latter deliveries amount to
||Deliveries of books and manuscripts to the University
Library at Louvain and of valuable paintings to Belgium (Ghent altar).
a) Sea-going Vessels. Germany has not only
surrendered all her larger merchant vessels present in her waters at the close of the
war, but has also built for the Entente States a large tonnage of new vessels.
Besides this, under the Treaty of Versailles, she had to renounce her property of
the vessels detained by the Entente States in their waters
(so-called embargo vessels). Finally, in conformity with the sanctions of the Scapa
Flow Note, she had to hand over considerable quantities of dock and harbour
material. These deliveries comprise:
||625 sea-going vessels (incl. new constructions) with a
tonnage of 2,595,752 G. R. T. to a value of
||Embargo vessels transferred to the Allied States: 191 vessels
of 817,763 G. R. T. to a value of
||Floating docks, dredgers, cranes, tugs etc., roughly 220,000
tons to the value of
For these deliveries of vessels
Germany claims credit in the reparation account. The list of losses of merchant
ships suffered by Germany is, however, not exhausted hereby. It must be
remembered that the United States also detain 96 German vessels of 589,085
G. R. T. valued at 1,250,700,000 gold marks.
The appraisal of the vessels transferred is based upon the
peace-time value of each ship augmented by a factor corresponding to the general
increase of prices at.the time of transfer (gold depreciation factor).
The Reparation Commission has appraised the German
ships at a considerably lower figure, although the Commission, in presenting the
ex-enemy vessels sunk by Germany, permitted valuations far in excess of the sum
which it will now grant the German government for vessels of an equal value; for
instance, England's claim for lost steamships of 7,745,654 G. R. T.
was 527,889,000 pounds sterling or more than 10,500 million gold marks.
b) Inland Vessels.
||Inland vessels left in the former occupied territories
||Inland vessels and harbour installations appraised by special
arbitrators designed by the Reparation Commission at a figure which yields
a) Railway material had been delivered by Germany under
the Armistice Agreement even before the ratification of the Treaty of Versailles.
The deliveries from German stocks are to be valued at
|| This estimate is at present a subject
of negotiation with the Reparation Commission, which values the deliveries
provisionally only at 829,266,050 gold marks.
b) Further, Germany in accordance with article 371 of the
Treaty of Versailles delivered railway material for the equipment of the ceded
territories, valued at
|| Of this material (80,538 trucks and
2,955 locomotives) the Reparation Commission has so far credited only a small
part (5,663 trucks and 2,387 locomotives).
||Motor Lorries. Under the Armistice
Agreement, the 5,000 motor lorries delivered have the value of
|| The Reparation Commission intends
to credit a far lower figure, arguing that the motor lorries in full working order
including equipment are worth only 3,500 gold marks apiece.
||German War Material (Scrap) sold by the Reparation
Commission. The war material to be surrendered in conformity with the Treaty of
Versailles was rendered useless by Germany. This useless material (chiefly scrap)
was delivered to the Reparation Commission, and sold. The material is valued by
|| Only the value of this scrapped
material and not the full value of the original is to be credited to Germany by the
||British Reparation Levy. Under the Reparation
Recovery Act of April, 1921, the British importer of German goods is bound to
pay to his government 26% of the purchase price. The German supplier receives
from the German Government the equivalent of this amount, which means that
26% of the goods exported by Germany to Great Britain are delivered gratis as a
reparation payment. The value of the goods so delivered amounts to
||Non-military Stores abandoned on the Western Front.
The movable property alone has been taken into consideration. It is impossible to
enumerate the goods individually owing to the great variety of the items. The
traffic and railway material is especially worth noticing. A comparison of prices
for similar material at the time of delivery showed the value of the goods
delivered to be
|| The Reparation Commission will
only credit the actual proceeds of the sale of the abandoned material. In this way
Germany would be unjustifiably made liable for the losses by theft, want of care
in storing etc. after the retirement of the German troops.
The ceded private cables are worth at least
||As to the figure to be finally settled negotiations are still
pending with the Reparation Commission.
||The ceded shares of the Moroccan State Bank to be valued
||The rights and interests of German nationals in public utility
undertakings or in concessions operating in Russia, China, Turkey, Austria,
Hungary or Bulgaria or other colonies, ceded in conformity with Article 260 of
the Treaty of Versailles. The nominal value of these securities stands at5
||Saar Mines. Insofar as the coal deposits are being
exploited, their value is calculated on the basis of
the pre-war profits. The extremely extensive unexploited
coal-fields have been valued at the usual rate for unexploited deposits, viz., a few
pfennigs per ton. The values as for July, 1914, have been computed
|| for mines working
|| for unexploited fields
||The reduced purchasing power of money which has led to a
general rise in the level of prices on the world market has been so far not taken
into consideration. The claims ceded by the German Administration of Mines,
collected by the French Administration and valued at 1,126,890 gold marks,
should here be added, making the sum total for the Saar mines
||Ceded Property of the Reich and its Component
||The property of the Reich and the Prussian State in the
territories ceded to Denmark, Poland, Lithuania (Memel-territory),
Czechoslovakia and the Free State of Danzig is extremely manifold in character,
of great importance being the numerous premises and buildings of the Army and
Navy Services (garrisons, aerodromes etc.), the total equipment and buildings of
the Postal and Railway Services, Courts of Law, Prisons, the extensive institutions
of the Interior and Financial Administrations, as well as churches and
 At a cautious estimate, they would
figure out at
||The true value, however, is decidedly higher, on account of
the general rise in the
world-market prices. Up till now the Reparation Commission has arrived at no
definite figure for these cessions, Memel and the ceded portions of Upper Silesia,
for example, not yet being put to account; hence the figures so far published by
the Commission cannot be regarded as final.
||Further, there is the value of the Rhine bridges ceded to
France by Germany
||and the property of the German Reich abroad (Shameen,
||Share of the German Imperial Debt and State Debt in the
Ceded Territories. By international law, the State to which another State cedes
a portion of its territory is expected to take over a portion of the State debt
corresponding to the size of the said territory, a rule that is valid, too, for States
which have acquired territory from Germany under the Treaty of Versailles,
France being excepted by special provisions.
But the Treaty of Versailles provides that the claims thus
accruing to Germany shall not be settled by payment to Germany; the payments
are to be made to the Reparation Commission and credited to Germany's
The debts falling to the share of Belgium, Denmark,
Danzig, Poland, Lithuania and Czechoslovakia total
|| Of this sum,
M 483,011,500 has been fixed by the Reparation Commission; the
balance (unconsidered in that fixation) is composed of the debts to be shared by
Upper Silesia, Schleswig and the Memel Territories.
Alsace-Lorraine has not been taken into account.
||Cession of Germany's Claims on her Former Allies.
In conformity with article 261 of the Treaty of Versailles, Germany has transferred
the whole of her claims on her former Allies to the Allied and Associated
The claims, all in all, amount to
9,146,000,000 M, from which, however, the counterclaims of
Germany's allies must be deducted, which for
Austria-Hungary amount to 546,000,000 M; the amounts for
Bulgaria and Turkey have not yet been determined.
Under reservation of the reduction by the counterclaims of
last-mentioned States, the claims to be credited to Germany amount to
|| It should be remembered that, by
international law, the States newly formed in the territories of Germany's former
allies are liable for these claims. The said German claims form a counterpart to
the Inter-Allied debts.
||German Private Property Abroad subject to
Liquidation. Within the total Area of the Entente States, German private
property is, by the Treaty of Versailles, subject to liquidation even after the
conclusion of peace. According to careful estimates the value of the said private
property consisting of numerous individual holdings is about
|| The German property in the United
States of America, in Russia, Brazil and Cuba has not been considered, its final
valuation not yet being fully determined.
(Be it noted, in comparison, that France, in her War
Damages claim presented to Germany, demanded for French property lost during
the War in Turkey an indemnity of 1,125,000,000 frcs.)
The liquidation proceeds are, in the first place, charged
with claims of Allied nationals for damages suffered in Germany and with
clearing payments debited to Germany, the remainder alone being credited to
reparation account. The amount to which these credits will run cannot yet be
determined, being moreover of importance only in regard to the settlement with
the Reparation Commission. Germany has doubtless lost these properties by the
liquidation, whether they are applied to indemnify Allied nationals for damage
suffered in Germany, or handed over to the Reparation Commission.
The ex-enemy property in Germany has been, too, under
liquidation during the war, yet Germany is bound by Article 297 e of the
Treaty of Versailles to pay compensation in full for all damages incurred. Besides
the reparation payments proper, the Allied States, by reason of the said obligation,
receive full compensation for the losses incurred through liquidation, whereas
Germany has no sort of equivalent claims, on the contrary, she has not even the
right to protest against the reckless subhastation of German property.
|ad b): Deliveries
in kind (7-26) total.........
The total reparation deliveries amount to:
|| I. In
|| II. In
B. Payments not to
be credited to Reparation Account
||For a number of very crushing burdens arising either out of
special provisions of the Treaty or its arbitrary interpretation by the Reparation
Commission, no credit whatever is conceded, although they weigh on Germany as
heavily as the Reparation deliveries proper.
||Ceded State Cables
||Property of Reich and States in Eupen and
|| Under special stipulations of the
Treaty of Versailles Germany has been refused credit for this property.
||Restitutions and Substitutions, i. e., restitution
of objects requisitioned in the formerly occupied territories as well as substitutes
for such objects out of German stores. The value of such deliveries amounts
|| These deliveries contain machinery,
implements, live stock, ships, railway supplies and other objects. Among other
articles there have been delivered: about 1,000 railway carriages, about 39,000
railway trucks, about 118,000 living animals, about 300,000 tons of
||Direct Occupation Costs. The costs for the Army of
Occupation amount to about 4,500 million gold marks. The major portion of this
sum has been obtained by the Occupying Powers receiving, through the
re-imbursement of their expenditure (indirect occupation costs) out of the
reparation payments made by Germany (see A above). A
certain proportion of the
costs, however, has been paid directly by Germany to the Occupying Powers
(Direct Occupation Costs), the said costs being above all the
so-called advances in marks - paper marks - received directly from
Germany by the Occupying Powers and further all payments in kind, such as,
barracks, billeting quarters, aerodromes and the like. The Direct Occupation Costs
||Costs for the Inter-Allied Commissions. These costs
charged to Germany under the Peace Treaty amount to
||Warships Surrendered. The value of the warships
surrendered in accordance with Articles 184, 185 and 188 of the Treaty of
Versailles, apart from those interned at Scapa Flow but including the naval
installations ceded to Japan at Tsingtau amounts to about
||Non-Military Stores abandoned on the Eastern Front.
The non-military material left behind by the German army in Poland, Rumania
and Jugoslavia has been computed by experts at
||Military and Industrial Disarmament.
a) Military Disarmament. Under the Treaty of
Versailles, the whole of the German arms, munitions and war material for
military, naval and air forces beyond what is required for the equipment of the
100,000 men and the few ships allowed to Germany, had to be handed over to the
Entente. All special plant intended for the manufacture of military material had to
be rendered useless. 600 buildings belonging to the Reich were demolished for
this purpose alone and more than 20,000 machines were destroyed. The razing of
fortresses provided for has been almost completely carried out, the
harbour-works of Heligoland being completely annihilated. The value of this
effort and labour (after deducting the scrap value) as credited to Germany on
reparation account (vide above No. 17)
|| b) Industrial Disarmament.
Over and above the purely military disarmament, in compliance with the demands
the Inter-Allied Commissions almost all the machinery and plant utilized for the
production of military material has been destructed; this destruction extended to
machine-tools in large quantity which, by remodelling, might have been turned to
account for peace purposes. The total value of such plant annihilated by this work
of demolition is not to be accurately fixed. Experts, however, estimate the
minimum value at
||Clearing Payments. By Article 296 of the Treaty of
Versailles Germany is obligated to pay the debts of German private individuals to
ex-enemy nationals in gold values by way of Clearing Offices. The Payments
Germany has had to effect in cash amount to
||Reimbursement of sums advanced by municipalities in
Alsace and Lorraine during the war for account of the Reich. Continuation of
payments of civil and military pensions to Alsace-Lorrainers who have become
||Non-productive Costs for carrying out the Peace Treaty at
home (Costs of Frontier Alignment, Plebiscites, Care of Refugees and so
||25% of the value of German exports from October 15th to
December 31st, 1921, security paid to the Guarantee Committee.
|Payments and services
not to be credited (27-36) total.........
The above list contains only the direct payments and services effected by
Germany. All the indirect damages caused to Germany's economic life by the
Treaty of Versailles have been here neglected. Further, no consideration has been
paid to the purely economic value of the ceded districts, although their value,
owing to their vast area and economic importance, is exceedingly great, the
territories ceded in Europe alone being larger than Belgium, the Netherlands and
Luxemburg taken together, the colonies being 5½ times the size of the
whole German Reich. Without taking into consideration the values
last-mentioned, the above list shows to what an enormous extent Germany's
productivity has been burdened and weakened by payments and services arising
out of the Treaty of Versailles.
Time and again, Germany has proposed to submit to an impartial international
forum of experts the valuation of the payments and services rendered; and she is
still prepared to do so in the firm conviction that expert opinion would confirm
the values arrived at by the careful calculations made use of in the foregoing.
Summary of Germany's
||Coal and Coke
||By-products of Coal
||Dye-stuffs and Pharmaceutical Products
||Reparations for the University of Louvain (Ghent altar etc.)
||Ships (Sea-going Vessels and Inland Craft)
||War Material (Scrap)
||British Reparation Levy
||Non-military Stores abandoned on the West Front
||Ceded Property of the Reich and its Component States
||Share of the Debts of Reich and States
||German Private Property Abroad subject to Liquidation
B. Other Payments
not to be credited to Reparation Account
by virtue of the Treaty of Versailles.
||Property of Reich and States in Eupen and Malmedy
||Restitutions and Substitutions
||Direct Occupation Costs
||Costs of Inter-Allied Commissions
||Non-Military Stores abandoned on the East Front
||Military and Industrial Disarmament
Total 55,917,309,851 gold marks,
being, in round figures,
Scriptorium comments [edited 2013]: Since this booklet was
published in 1923, the data is necessarily incomplete. According to the British Guardian
payments were concluded in October 2010. We have been unable to
ascertain exactly how much has been
paid, since in light of Brentano's figures the £22 billion mentioned
in the Guardian's article are not the complete total. By 1929 the total paid toward the Reparation Account had
already exceeded 70 billion marks. Readers should keep in mind that
1929 that was a rather larger sum than it seems today.
In January 1921, the total sum
due was decided by an Inter-Allied Reparations Commission and was set
at 269 billion gold marks (2790 gold marks equalled 1 kilogram of pure
gold), about £ 23.6 Billion, about $32 billion (roughly
equivalent to $406.1 Billion US Dollars in 2012). This was a sum that
many economists deemed to be excessive because it would have taken Germany
till 1984 to pay. Later that year, the amount was reduced to 132 billion
marks, which still seemed astronomical to most German observers, both
because of the amount itself as well as the terms which would still have
Germany to pay until 1984.