International Justice

CJ354 Endicott College

German Reparations to Greece – Justice?

Bundesarchiv_Bild_101I-164-0389-23A,_Athen,_Hissen_der_Hakenkreuzflagge

During the German occupation of Greece, more than 20,000 people were killed, around 250,000 died from starvation, and many Greek villages were destroyed. Greece is now demanding monetary reparations from Germany of up to €278.7 bn for crimes committed during the Nazi regime.

Some Germans agree that Greece is owed the money; citing the longer memory of victims and their descendants, while others simply call demands for the reparations “stupid”. A German couple, frustrated over their governments lack of response, hand delivered €875 to a town hall in what they had calculated was due from each German for war reparations.

Germany recently bailed out Greece due to their tough economic situation, and as a result views the demand for more money as unnecessary. While some agree that Greece deserves these reparations, how much of this is truly about justice? It seems that Greece is piggybacking on the institution of justice to obtain money. Are monetary reparations the best solution when it risks tainting justice by abusing its license to obtain reparations? How can a line be drawn for when “justice” is used correctly or incorrectly? Is there a solution that could better help the German people? I am curious as to what other people think about the “correctness” of Greece’s claim, and if the somewhat righteous facade should be overlooked if it holds a claim to true “justice”.

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One response to “German Reparations to Greece – Justice?

  1. dwanger93 April 8, 2015 at 11:51 pm

    I believe that this is an example of when justice is being used incorrectly. Greece has been enduring an extremely difficult economic period in the past few years as well as many protests and public demonstrations of radical ideas. The country needs financial help but seeking it by claiming reparations is not the honorable way to request aid. Paying these reparations will not help the families of those who were killed during the German occupation reconcile or get passed the horrible events their relatives had to endure. Real justice and closure occurs when the families and victims of atrocity crimes are able to witness those who committed the crimes answer for their actions on the world stage; not by the country paying reparations. To me this seems like a pathetic course of action Greece is taking in order to try and repare their economic disaster.

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