I think it’s about time that the “lazy Greeks” send a strong message to “the hard-working” Germans in memory to those who were massacred some 70 years ago when the Nazis invaded Greece. Since Germany still refuses to negotiate its outstanding debts to Greece, the Greek people should boycott all German products beginning December 23, 2011″ says Manolis Glezos, in his capacity as head of the National Board for German War Reparations owed to Greece. Glezos stresses that the Council has announced its intentions to boycott German products for over two months now, but Germany has yet to respond to this announcement and sit on the table to discuss its outstanding debts to Greece. “We are not like them, we did not grab them by neck,” he said metaphorically in response to the view that the initiative should have taken place a long time ago. The idea is gaining popularity in Greece and Glezos himself is being looked at as a hero for having the courage to stand up to Germany. And why wouldn’t it it since Germany owes a lot of money to Greece.
According to the Board’s experts’ the debt towards the Greek State includes the archeological treasures looted and the war reparations owed for the plunder of the Greek economy during the German occupation which alone amount to 7.1 billion dollars. The forced occupation loan imposed on Greece by the Germans amounts to a 3.5 billion dollars total (in 1938 value) for both sums.
The Board has also presented undeniable evidence on all of this as well as demanded the return of the looted archeological treasures and artifacts, as listed and monitored by the Directorate of Antiquities and Historical Monuments and the Athens University Archeology department.
It should be noted that the Committee of the 19 Second World War European Allies that was held in Paris in 1946 decided that Germany should pay Greece 7.1 billion (1938-value) dollars as reparation for the destruction of the latter’s economy, instead of the initial sum of 14.5 billion dollars the latter claimed. This amounts to 108 billion in current dollars, interest not included. Of course this was never paid.
Let us not forget that the Nazis also gained “forced loans” from Greece during the same period as well (two installments were already paid by Germany at the end of the occupation) amounts to 3.5 billion dollars, that is 54 billion euros in today’s money, interest not included.
Finally, the devastation of the Greek economy is without a doubt the biggest victim of this era because it took place in many different ways, the following being the most important:
- The 51% of all Public and Private Businesses’ shares were taken over by the Germans.
- Greece was forced to pay the occupation costs for all three occupation armies (German, Italian and Bulgarian), a total of 670,000 soldiers. Apart from that, Greece was the sole country burdened with providing food for Romel’s Africa Corps, undertaking a cost of 8 billion drachmas a month.
- The circulation of the counterfeit bill note “Reichs Kredit Kassenschine” resulted in the ravaging of Greek businesses and money. The counterfeit money was bought for 530.894 British golden pounds in August 1941.
- The Germans confiscated 37.77 tones of ten, twenty and five drachma coins, a total of 18.5 tones of silver and paid only 104 golden pounds in return. For 64.5 tones of one, two and half drachma as well as twenty and ten penny coins amounting to 73 tones of copper they paid 5.5 golden pounds.
- A forced loan was imposed on Greece on 23.3.1942 by a mere oral notification, but it was deemed as put to use earlier, from the 1st.1.1942: a sum of 3.5 (1938-purchasing value) billion dollars.
- Confiscations: 10% of the agricultural production. Commandeering: schools, hospitals, hotels, private residences. Seizure: All means of transport, ranging from the railway to private cars, bicycles, even horses and donkeys.
- Pillage and all kinds of robberies throughout Greece (various stores and businesses).
Roughly, the total sum of German compensation owed to Greece approximately amounts to a staggering 1 trillion 200 billion euros.
We here at hellasfrappe agree with the boycott, but we also say that if Germany can “forget” about a loan and its own debts to us for more than 70 years…. then we should “forget” our loans to them in the same way!