This 1921 article questioned how Germany would ever pay off its World War I debts. The answer: very, very slowly. They only finished paying those debts in 2010.
Some day Germany will pay. How much and when are problems still to be decided. Cotinuance of divided councils among the Allies, more particularly within France, may defer the solutions for some time; but pay she will.
Part of the solution came from future Vice President Charles G. Dawes, who as a member of the Allied Reparations Commission in 1924 suggested a system whereby them U.S. would lend money to Germany, which in turn would pay back what they owed to the U.K. and France. The plan won Dawes the 1925 Nobel Prize.
Alas, the plan’s success proved short-lived. First, Germany suspended the payments in 1931 during the global Great Depression, although they’d only paid about one-eighth of what they owed at the time. Then, Hitler refused to continue the payments once in power. Germany split into East and West in 1949, and West Germany specifically agreed to resume World War I debt payments in 1953, paying off the principle during the 1980s. After Germany’s reunification in 1990, the country continued paying off the interest — not finishing until 2010.
Slow and steady wins the race.
How Germany Will Pay
Published: Sunday, February 20, 1921