Tuesday, 7 February 2012

THE EUROPEAN LEAGUE OF GENEVA



THE EUROPEAN LEAGUE
             OF GENEVA
            POB 36 CH-1211 GENEVA 20
                 Tel. 0041 22 733 04 73
             Tel. mob. 0041 79 304 89 92
           euroleague.geneva@gmail.com
              nicolas.kaloy@sunrise.ch
                      Skype: kaloyer
      



              
 The European League is a non-profit making private organization with the purpose of promoting the ideals of the EU.
                         It is led by an international Committee of men of science and of letters and is stationed in Geneva, CH.


Geneva 31st Jabuary 2012

Honorable members of the European Parliament
Honorabler members of the EU Commission

The steering Committee of the ELG, mindful of the duty of solidarity by and equality of all members of the European Union, observes for some time now with dismay the hostile attitude of the officials of the German Government and of the German press and public, against the Greek Nation and the people of Greece in its present difficult situation. It observes that although Greece with a public debt of $532 bln is last in the list of countries with excessive public debt, far after UK ($8,980 bln), Germany ($4,712 bln),Ireland ($2,131 bln) Austria ($754 bln), Denmark ($559 bln), yet it is facing an unprescedented attack against the national dignity of its people, particularly from the part of Germany. the country which is most responsible for  Greece having suffered, in the words of The German Minister Walter Funk, "the tribulations of war like no other country in Europe". Notwithstanding these facts, Greece is the only country after the war that received no war reparations from Germany; yet it is the only country that actually receives humiliating blows to its national dignity by the german officials, press and public!

In view of the relentless attitude of the German officials in Brussels, the following account of facts and figures must be brought to the knowledge and attention of all Europeans that are concerned with the solid future and performance of the European Union.

For the European League of Geneva, 
The President, 
Dr Nicolas Kaloy, Ph.D..

Should Germany First Pay its Long-overdue Obligations to Greece?

The European League of Geneva requests the German government to honor its long-overdue obligations to Greece by repaying the forcibly obtained occupation loan, and by paying war reparations proportional to the material damages, atrocities and plundering committed by the German war machinery.
Der Spiegel on June 21, 2011, quotes the economic historian Dr. Albrecht Ritschl, who warns Germany to take a more chaste approach in the euro crisis of 2008-2011, as it could face renewed and justified demands for WWII reparations.
Indicative of the current value of the German obligations to Greece are the following: using as interest rate the average interest rate of U.S. Treasury Bonds since 1944, which is about 6%, it is estimated that the current value of the occupation loan is $163.8 billion and that of the war reparations is $332 billion.
The French economist and consultant to the French government Jacques Delpla stated on July 2, 2011, that Germany owes to Greece 575 billion euros from Second World War obligations (Les Echos, Saturday, July 2, 2011).
 Historical facts
 In October 1940, Greece was dragged into the Second World War by the invasion of its territory by Mussolini. After Greece’s long and succesful resistance, Hitler invaded Greece in April 1941. The Greek Army resistance to the invaders lasted from October 1940 to June 1941 thus postponing Hitler’s invasion to Russia with disastrous consequences for the German war operations in this endeavor..
 Greece was looted and devastated by the Germans. The German minister of Economics, Walter Funk, said Greece suffered the tribulations of war like no other country in Europe.
Upon their arrival, the Germans started the extravagant looting of the country. They appropriated whatever they needed for their stay in Greece, and shipped back to Germany whatever they could lay their hands onMussolini complained to his minister of foreign affairs Count Ciano “The Germans have taken from the Greeks even their shoelaces”(Ciano p.387 - see bibliography below).
The massive looting of the country, the hyperinflation generated by the uncontrolled printing of German Occupation Marks by German local commanders, and the consequent economic collapse of the country, precipitated a devastating famine. Greek fruits, vegetables, livestock, cigarettes, water, and even refrigerators were shipped from the Greek port of Piraeus to Libyan ports (Iliadakis p. 75). The International Red Cross and other sources have estimated that between 1941 and 1943 at least 300,000 Greeks died from starvation (Mazower p.23).
Germany and Italy imposed on Greece exorbitant sums as occupation expenses to cover not only their occupation costs but also to support the German war efforts in North Africa. As a percentage of GNP, these sums were multiples of the occupation costs borne by France (which were only one fifth of those extracted from Greece), Holland, Belgium, or NorwayGhigi, the Italian plenipotentiary in Greece, said in 1942, “Greece is completely squeezed dry” (Mazower p. 67).
In addition to the occupation expenses, Germany obtained forcibly from Greece a loan (occupation loan) of $ 3.5 billion. Hitler himself had recognized the legal (intergovernmental) character of this loan and had given orders to start the process of its repayment. After the end of the war, at the Paris meeting of 1946 Greece was awarded $ 7.1 billion, out of $ 14.0 billion requested, for war reparations, which it never received.
Italy repaid to Greece its share of the occupation loan, and both Italy and Bulgaria paid war reparations to Greece. Germany paid war reparations to Poland in 1956, and under pressure from the USA and the UK (to placate Tito and keep him from joining the Soviet block) paid war reparations to Yugoslavia in 1971. Greece demanded from Germany payment of the occupation loan in 1945, 1946, 1947, 1964, 1965, 1966, 1974, 1987, and in 1995 (after the unification of Germany). Before the unification of Germany, using the London Agreement of February 27, 1953, West Germany avoided to pay its obligations arising from the occupation loan and war reparations to Greece on the argument that no “final peace treaty” had been signed. In 1964, German chancellor Erhard pledged repayment of the loan after the reunification of Germany, which occurred in 1990. Up to this day the German Government refuses to pay its obligations.
Der Spiegel on June 21, 2011, quotes the economic historian Dr. Albrecht Ritschl, who warns Germany to take a more chaste approach in the euro crisis of 2008-2011, as it could face renewed and justified demands for WWII reparations.
Indicative of the current value of the German obligations to Greece are the following: using as interest rate the average interest rate of U.S. Treasury Bonds since 1944, which is about 6%, it is estimated that the current value of the occupation loan is $163.8 billion and that of the war reparations is $332 billion.
The French economist and consultant to the French government Jacques Delpla stated on July 2, 2011, that Germany owes to Greece 575 billion euros from Second World War obligations (Les Echos, Saturday, July 2, 2011).
According to conservative estimates, the deaths resulting directly from the war before the war ended adds up to about 578,000.These deaths were the result of the persistent famine, caused by the looting and economic policies of Germany, and of the atrocities committed either as reprisals, as a response to the resistance, or as means to terrorize the Greek population. The above number does not include the deaths which occurred after the end of the war from diseases such as TB (400000 cases) and malaria, from persistent malnutrition, wounds and exposure, all of them a direct result of war conditions. Thus, in WWII Greece lost as many lives, mostly of unarmed men women and children, as the USA and the UK together.
Most of the atrocities committed by the Germans in Greece stemmed directly from executive orders issued at the highest levels of the Third Reich. One of these orders, signed by Marshal Wilhelm Keitel, specified that for every German killed, a minimum of 100 hostages would be executed, and for every wounded one, 50 would die (Payne 458ff, Goldhagen pp 189-190 and pp 367-369,).
Mass executions took place in Crete even before the island fell to the Germans. In 1945, under the auspices of the United Nations, a committee headed by Nikos Kazantzakis enumerated the destruction of more than 106 Cretan villages and the massacre of their inhabitants (see video on Kontomari massacre). During the occupation, the Germans murdered the population of 89 Greek villages and towns (see the massacre at Distomo), while over 1,700 villages were totally or partially burned to the ground and many of their inhabitants were also executed (see the Greek Holocaust). To the Greek victims of the German reign of terror should be added about 61,000 Greek Jews who, along with about 10,000 Christians, were deported to the concentration camps and most of them never returned.
Another aspect of the Greek occupation is the systematic looting of Greece’s many museums, both under orders from the occupation authorities, and as a result of the individual initiative of officers in position of command. The names of General von List, commander of the 12th Army, of General Kohler, of the Larissa command, and of General Ringel, of the Iarakleio and Knossos command, are associated with the removal of significant archeological treasures. Although some of these antiquities were returned to Greece in 1950, the majority of the stolen museum pieces have never been traced.
We request the German government to honor its long-overdue obligations to Greece by repaying the forcibly obtained occupation loan, and by paying war reparations proportional to the material damages, atrocities and plundering committed by the German war machinery.
BIBLIOGRAPHY
  1. Ciano, Galeazzo, The Ciano Diaries, 1939-1943, Hugh Gibson Editor. New York: Doubleday & Co, 1946.
  2. Doxiadis, Konstantinos, Oi Thysies tis Ellados ston Deftero Pangosmio Polemo [The Sacrifices of Greece in the Second World War]. Athens: Ministry of Reconstruction, 1946.
  3. Goldhagen, Daniel Jonah. Hitlers’ Willing Executioners, Ordinary Germans and the Holocaust. New York: Vintage Book, 1997.
  4. Mazower, Marc. Inside Hitler’s Greece , The Experience of the Occupation 1941-1944. New Haven and London: Yale University Press, 1993.
  5. Sbarounis, Athanasios I. Studies and Memoires from the Second World War. Athens: Government Printing Office, 1950.

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