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WWII reparations: Rare footage from Greece’s occupation by the Nazis (video)

Greek Defense Ministry has published a video with rare footage from the occupation of Greece by the Nazis during the World War II. Among others, the footage shows children suffering from malnutrition and emaciated adults, victims of the Great Famine during the Nazi occupation. The video is should be seen in the context of the Greek claim of 278.7 billion euro in WWII reparations from Germany.

According to the video voice-over, the Enforced Loan by the Nazis was to blame for the mass starvation of estimated 300,000 people in Athens alone.

“The agreement of 14. March 1942 foresaw that Greece paid to its occupiers 1.5 billion drachmas per month, a total of 3.5 billion USD, according to the Dollar value of 1938. The current value of the enforced loan is 54 billion euro without the interest. The agreement had to be implemented retrospectively as of 1.1. 1942.

The agreement was signed by Germany and Italy and Greece was notified later.

Two agreement modifications were added on 2. December 1942, with the effect that Germany had to start repaying the loan by April 1943.

Germany paid back two installments only.

In the Peace Paris Treaties (1947) Greece claimed 14 billion USD in war reparations, but the allies reduced the Greek claim down to 7.1 billion USD.”

Video: from the Archive of the Greek War Museum*

embedded by Embedded Video

YouTube Direkt

According to the video “Greece lost 13% of its population during the WWII. One part was lost in the battlefield, but the largest part due to Famine and the Nazis’ atrocities.”

Nazis Greece Famine1

The Great Famine, the period of mass starvation during the occupation of Greece by the powers of Axis – the fascist Italy and the Nazi Germany – hit especially the urban areas and some islands. The Great Famine was initiated by a large scale plunder by the Axis forces and as soon as the German army entered Athens 0n 27. April 1941. The Nazis confiscated fuel and all means of transportation, including fishing boats, preventing any transfer of food and other supplies and seized strategic industries. They proceeded with the wholesale and food looting , unemployment and hyperinflation skyrocketed, the black market flourished. The price of bread was increased 89-fold from April 1941 to June 1942.

Nazis Greece Famine

During the winter of 1941-1942, the food supplies system had collapsed, the famine was in its peak and mortality exploded.

According to the records of the German army the mortality rate only in Athens reached 300 deaths per day during December 1941, while the estimates of the Red Cross were much higher, at 400 deaths while in some days the death toll reached 1,000.

Next to Famine, the atrocities committees by the Nazi occupiers against the locals ended up in the “murdering of residents in 89 cities and villages, they burned down more than 1,700 villages and killed many of their residents,” so the Defense Ministry video.

The Defense Ministry concludes its narration noting that “Italy paid its share in WWII reparations but Germany did not.”

Last year, Greece concluded a large scale investigation about its claim on WWII reparations to be paid by Germany. The new Greek government made the issue one of its top priorities. Deputy Finance Minister Dimitris Mardas declared the Greek claim was 278.7 billion euro.

Germany vehemently rejects the Greek claims even thought without legally convincing arguments.

Greece is expected to bring up the issue again and again with whatever tools it has in its hands. Until it decides to solve the issue in the courts.

*Deputy Defense Minister Kostas Isychos had recently announced that ministry was in possession of the s-called Wehrmacht- Archive, an archive of 400,000 records of the German occupation,  was currently in the process of digitization. therefore, I am not sure if the filmed material is from the Wehrmacht Archive.


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  1. Try to extract some money from the culprits. Hurry up, because they are in their 90ies. Good luck. Since the enlightment after the middle ages , the concept of the original sin is outdated.

    You try since a mere 70 years to get a case successfully through international courts and you faiked. Always. SYRIZA and ANEL are not the first with this idea.

    By the way: have you already paid reparations to Teheran for the deeds of your Alexander the Great? Quite some compound interest…

    Well, ANEL indeed tries to finish the Eurozone as a peace project. Better be prepared for severe repercussions.

    Finally: Italy initially attacked Greece in WWII and it never paid reparations. Any other statement is factually wrong.

    • Pay Teheran? Dude…you are a total moron. And btw Italy paid her portion of her debt to Greece..
      Now go hung yourself

    • I wonder how many countries of the world are responsible for two world wars, attempted genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes — just in the 20th century.

      Trivialising this history with the excuse that “our parents/grandparents/ uncles/housepet did those things, not us” is unacceptable. The Council of Europe and the European Communities were created to stop the Germans from waging war in Europe ever again. For many commentators, the current problems with Germany began with reunification — again, something Germany did not deign to consult or take advice on. They culminated in the eurozone atrocities — which apparently have nothing to do with any previous atrocities.

      All of the problems that have occurred with the eurozone were predicted. The Germans knew well in advance what they were doing to the weaker eurozone countries. This is economic warfare — if not at the outset (where it may have been German and French incompetence and arrogance) it most certainly is now.

      • You guys are so incredible narrow-minded that you are totally confined to black-and-white thinking:

        Whoever does not share our opinion, must be German.

        Simply because all evil that Greece is suffering from is capitalistic, neoliberal or German.

        Your dumb nationalism will strangle you.

        • If you are denying being a German, I have to tell you that I simply do not believe you. But I notice that you do not even claim another nationality, but think that I and others here are not smart enough to notice!

          Point of information: I am British. Remember which European country (along with Russia and the US) dealt with Germans the last time?

  2. We should have a referendum about Greece being in the EU or not.

    Why should it be up to the Greeks to have a referendum about if they should stay or not in EU. Let people of the EU countries vote about whether Greece should stay in the EU or not.

    I would strongly vote for a Grexit.

    And I agree… Iran and other countries that was under Greek rule should seek damage from the Greeks in that case. What a compound interest indeed!

    • When the moron above is done use his rope and do the same.

      • Feeling the noose get tighter around your neck? Think you have reached the end of the rope?

        Never mind, you will get used to that in the coming months of austerity…

        If not, hang in and don’t let yourself hang loose. Your hangman jury (formerly known as “The Troika”) doesn’t like it when you just hang around.

    • What’s your country? I don´t like you, I want a referendum about if you should stay in EU. Go pay your bills.

    • I presume from your family name Mann that you are of German descent (or maybe actually German). Kindly read my comment above (oh, and by the way, the country that started two world wars is Germany — as I did not state this explicitly).

      • Yet another Greek conspiracy theory could easily
        crumble to dust under scrutiny.

        He could be from Austria, Italy, France, Belgium, Switzerland, Romania (just to name a few where German is spoken as official language or from minorities) or any other country where a family did settle during the last couple of centuries.

        For example Jews, fleeing from the Nazis.

        The Greek radical left and radical right are a perfect match in their dumb racist nationalism. – My hearty congrats for your well deserved government!

  3. This reminds me of this last year thinking about moving to Belarus and reparations. Poor Belarus, it bore the brunt of capitalist murder in this period and has probably never been adequately compensated by the murderers. In my family alone, they possessed $900,000 of storefront property not including the Bloch millionaires who were not included in the 1900 census. Most of that wealth was likely created by the Belarussian peasantry.

    How much is a destroyed civilization worth? How much should the descendants of those brutally murdered men, women and children be compensated? How much should those descendants who never accepted the relationship between Israel and Germany be compensated? Most of those murdered were members of the Bund and hated the zionists. Why were the SS murderers and wehrmacht in the Einsatzgruppen never hunted down and executed?

    Forty percent of Belarussians in this period were killed, exiled or enslaved. Almost all Belarussian Jews were murdered.

    The German petit-bourgeoisie and bourgeoisie who mock the Greeks or support sanctions on Belarus should be beaten.

  4. ‘victims of the Great Famine during the Nazi occupation’
    Yet today Greece is buying into the AUSTERITY which will yet again plunge the nation & it’s people into the even worse status of third world.