During WW II German and Czech banks were forced to buy the German war bonds. What happened with these bonds? Were they ever paid?

  • It seems quite unlikely, as the entity that owed the money no longer existed. That's one of the risks you take when you invest in a bond.
    – T.E.D.
    Jan 6, 2016 at 14:33
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    @T.E.D. No, West Germany was the legal successor of that entity. Which is why the West German government agreed to (sort of) pay off her pre-war external debts in one of the steps leading up to the restoration of German sovereignty. However I believe the Eastern Bloc was excluded from that.
    – Semaphore
    Jan 6, 2016 at 15:32
  • @Semaphore - I'd be interested in specifics on that. Agreeing to take up some of the debts is a different thing from actually being the legal successor (which presumably would obligate them to cover all debts and liabilities including possibly Shoa-related deaths and thefts).
    – T.E.D.
    Jan 6, 2016 at 16:00
  • @T.E.D., West Germany acknowledged responsibility for that and paid substantial restitution to Israel. If that was (or can ever be) enough is a question which comes up from time to time.
    – o.m.
    Jan 6, 2016 at 16:55
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    @T.E.D. Calling it a legal successor was a shorthand. West Germany considered itself legally "partially identical" to the German Reich (owing to the existence of the GDR). See for the example the 31 July 1973 judgement of the German Federal Constitutional Court. This dates back to the foundation of West Germany: Chancellor Konrad Adenauer told the Bundestag in 1954 that "The organs of the Federal Republic of Germany are the one and only ones that today represent this German state which never ceased to exist".
    – Semaphore
    Jan 6, 2016 at 17:51

1 Answer 1


In 1953 West Germany entered the London Agreement on German External Debts. Communist countries were not included in the agreement.

Further bilateral agreements and payments were made during the 60s (with some Western countries) and the 90s (with some Eastern countries). There were payments to to the Deutsch-Tschechischen Zukunftsfonds, which pays restitution to Nazi victims and supports reconciliation projects.

Note that during the Euro crisis Greece demanded the repayment of similar debts; the official German position was that they had been settled with the 1953 treaty and subsequent 1990 agreements.

  • The answer doesn't tell the reader that the debts were forgiven. I don't think weasel answers have a place here. Jan 7, 2016 at 9:03
  • @DeerHunter, I think that reality is more complicated than you seem to think. As Tyler pointed out in his comment to the OP, Reichsmark are worthless these days. Considering the state of the German economy in '53, the FRG and the reunited Germany paid quite a lot of Deutsche Mark to many of the victims. The GDR paid East German Marks (and goods/territory) to some of the victims. If the communist governments at the time didn't funnel those funds to the real victims, that is another question.
    – o.m.
    Jan 7, 2016 at 10:20
  • I should probably create another question for this answer :-) I only referred to the money the German government has practically confiscated from his own citizens, regardless of genotype.
    – Dan
    Jan 7, 2016 at 12:15
  • How much money Germany paid to Israel has nothing to do with this question. Jan 7, 2016 at 15:46
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    @TheMathemagician, depends on who issued them, who held them and when they were paid. Zero, 6.5% or 10% in DM with delayed repayment (Ausgleichsanleihen).
    – o.m.
    Jan 7, 2016 at 18:11

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