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Walther Rathenau and the Weimar Republic

'Walther Rathenau and the Weimar Republic' cover image

Walther Rathenau and the Weimar Republic

The Politics of Reparations

Originally published in 1971. Walther Rathenau and the Weimar Republic examines reparations in Germany following the First World War. Financial reparation was the most difficult and dangerous of the conditions imposed upon Germany by the Versailles Treaty. The amount of reparations - three times the country's annual income - was beyond Germany's capacity to pay. The United States, by insisting on the payment of Allied war debts, forced the Allies in turn to insist on reparations. Postwar polemics concentrated on German aggression and war crimes, but the real issue was the damage done to the world's economic mechanism. In the end all nations suffered, including the United States.