Reparations need to be paid and should have been paid a long time ago. That’s my general stance on reparations for any human rights violations, be it WW2 reparations, reparations for the genocide Germany committed in Namibia (and which it STILL does not even acknowledge), or reparations by colonial states for slavery, etc. Of course, no reparations can ever undo the damage and pain caused by those actions, however.
As for Germany and WW2 reparations to Greece in particular, the situation honestly borders on farcical since part of why Greece is seeking reparations is because in WW2, Germany forced Greece to lend it huge sums of money (several billion US dollars) interest-free and never paid it back. And today, as we all know, Germans are always first to preach to Greeks about how they should pay off their debt and first to complain about having to ~bail out~ Greece????? I mean, it’s genuinely just shameless.
Germany has also never paid Greece part of WW1 reparations, money for the debt it ran up in the interwar period, and reparations for WW2 financial and material damage, and that’s sans the hundreds of thousands of Greek citizens who died during the war due to starvation, military action and being sent to concentration camps.
Several other countries (Slovenia among them) have also repeatedly noted that the question of reparations for war damages hasn’t been satisfactorily resolved, but Germany doesn’t want to hear any of it.
Fact is, Germany has always done everything in its power to avoid paying reparations. (In that sense, little has changed since the Weimar Republic.) Someone correct me if I’m wrong, but I don’t think Germany has ever even offered any compensation for the millions of Jewish people who perished in the Holocaust or the Romani who perished in the Porrajmos (it does provide some funds for survivors and it did pay reparations for confiscated property and persecution, but never for the genocide - not that this could ever be quantified). And whenever it has offered restitution, it has tried to pass it off as an act of kindness rather than the moral obligation that it is. Angela Merkel, for example, has referred to compensation to WW2 forced labourers as “humanitarian aid”, as if offering a measly sum (€2500-7500 one-off payments!) over half a century later was some sort of a grand philanthropic gesture.
Although this isn’t directly tied to reparations, I also want to address the common notion that Germany is now paying for everybody else’s financial crisis (very Christ-like, no?). First of all, Germany contributed to a couple of loans with relatively high interest and has benefited from the ridiculously low interest rates on its own bonds due to it being one of the only stable financial markets out there - Germany is making money out of this. And secondly, the reason why Germany is even in the position of Europe’s strongest economy is because its own economy has been heavily subsidised countless times. I mean, even only looking at the post-war period, (West) Germany experienced its Wirtschaftswunder (“economic miracle”) in the 1950s while the states (mostly to the East) it had occupied just under a decade before stagnated, all due to generous loans, reparation suspensions and debt relief as well currency reform. In light of this, its current short-sighted policy is all the more boggling.
Fucking NAILED it.