The Debate about Reparations, 1920–22
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The Treaty of Versailles created a preliminary structure for the payment of reparations through the Reparation Commission, but did not define a final total. The multitude of reparations conferences in the early 1920s attempted to calculate a final total of German indemnity. The resolution of this issue was considered by politicians and economic experts to be of fundamental importance to the peaceful development of all aspects of European diplomacy. One of the great challenges to writers of twentieth-century European history has been interpreting and understanding Germany’s economic problems in the early 1920s. Much ink has been spilled by scholars in analysing two key issues: the payment of reparations and the hyper-inflation and subsequent collapse of the German economy in 1922–23 – issues with which D’Abernon was greatly concerned. These subjects cannot be wholly understood within a political or economic context. In fact when the state of Germany’s finances and the efficiency of the economy in this period are examined, the studies of politics and economics merge. This was the main point of the prickly exchange between David Felix and Sally Marks in the early 1970s.1 It is also reasonable to identify a direct connection between German domestic and foreign policy. To make such claims about the link between politics, economics and foreign policy is not new
KeywordsBritish Government German Government German Economy French Government Final Total
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