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The Treaty of Versailles fixed German reparations at the end of WW1 at 226 billion Gold Marks.

The Gold Mark was the currency of the German Empire, and Versailles fixed the values of the "papiermark" at 1914 prices.

In order to relate this to todays economics I would be interested to know what 226 billion was as a percentage of overall German GDP. The only figure I can obtain is expressed in 1960 US dollars. I need to know what it was in Gold Marks.

Does anyone know of a way of finding out?

  • Hantke and Spoerer write that "reparation payments were indeed a severe economic burden for Germany" and that "the German economy was deprived of between one and 2.2 billion Reichsmark (RM) annually, which amounted in the late 1920s to nearly 2.5 per cent of Germany's GDP". en.wikipedia.org/wiki/World_War_I_reparations#Modern – rs.29 Nov 12 '18 at 17:54
  • @rs.29 Thank you for that. On that basis the annual GDP was of the order of 100 billion RM. I know the figures were significantly modified under the Dawes Plan. I'm not sure if interest was applied, but assuming it wasn't and the annual amount stayed at 2.2 billion it would have taken roughly 100 years to pay off 226 billion. (This was the figure I got from Ian Kershaw's Hitler 1889-1936 p.157 ). That would be the equivalent of Britain, in 2018, having to pay off US$ 57billion annually - roughly our annual defence budget, including the maintenance of our independent nuclear deterrent. – WS2 Nov 12 '18 at 18:21
  • Well, only saving grace for Germany was they didn't have large defense budget - their army and navy were severely curtailed :) – rs.29 Nov 12 '18 at 18:24
  • @rs.29 But they were desperately in need of post-war reconstruction. Chaos and even starvation were widespread in 1919. – WS2 Nov 12 '18 at 22:33

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