Keynes refers to the economic terms as “outrageous and impossible.” 23 France, who pushed for harsher German punishment and reparation levels more than any other Allied Power, wanted the reparations to seriously cripple the German state. Sally Marks in The Illusion of Peace states that the treatment of reparations by both sides was “the continuation of war by other means. … Reparations became the chief battleground of the post-war era, the focus of power between France and Germany over whether the Versailles Treaty was to be enforced or revised.” 24 But were the reparations really so economically damaging? Or was that a farce created by Keynes and supported by the German government who wished to avoid further punishment and humiliation? This will be discussed more in upcoming pages.
BERLIN (AP) — Sixty years after a landmark accord started German government compensation for victims of Nazi crimes, fund administrators and German officials say payments to Holocaust survivors are needed more than ever as they enter their final years. Most Holocaust survivors experienced extreme trauma as children, suffered serious malnutrition, and lost almost all of their relatives — leaving them today with severe psychological and medical problems, and little or no family support network to help them cope. Get The Times of Israel's Daily Edition by email and never miss our top stories Free Sign Up
As West Germany was reorganised and gained independence from its occupiers, the German Democratic Republic was established in East Germany in 1949. The creation of the two states solidified the 1945 division of Germany.  On 10 March 1952, (in what would become known as the " Stalin Note ") Stalin put forth a proposal to reunify Germany with a policy of neutrality, with no conditions on economic policies and with guarantees for "the rights of man and basic freedoms, including freedom of speech, press, religious persuasion, political conviction, and assembly" and free activity of democratic parties and organizations.  This was turned down; reunification was not a priority for the leadership of West Germany, and the NATO powers declined the proposal, asserting that Germany should be able to join NATO and that such a negotiation with the Soviet Union would be seen as a capitulation. There have been several debates about whether a real chance for reunification had been missed in 1952.