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World War I ‘Officially’ Ends Sunday


The devastating chapter in history is closing as Germany pays off its final debt

More than nine decades after the last guns fell silent, the First World War will officially be over Sunday when Germany is scheduled to make its final scheduled payment of reparations to the Allies, as outlined in the Treaty of Versailles in 1919.

"On Sunday the last bill is due and the First World War finally, financially at least, terminates for Germany," said Bild, the country's biggest selling newspaper.

Most of the money goes to private individuals, pension funds and corporations holding debenture bonds as agreed under the Treaty of Versailles, where Germany was made to sign the 'war guilt' clause, accepting blame for the war.

France, which had been ravaged by the war, pushed hardest for the steepest possible fiscal punishment for Germany.

After being handed a $35 billion debt of reparations following the war, Germany's final payment Sunday will be about $94 million.  During his tenure as fuhrer, Adolf Hitler famously reneged on the Versailles agreement and used the outstanding debt as political fodder to gain support for his National Socialists (Nazi) Party.

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