Video Duration 25 minutes 00 seconds
From: Inside Story

Does Germany owe Greece over Nazi occupation?

Athens demands compensation for atrocities committed during World War Two, but Berlin insists issue has been settled.

Greece’s newly elected leader has reignited the debate over reparation and compensation for past injustices.

Alexis Tsipras says Germany owes Greece more than $170bn for atrocities committed during the Nazi occupation in World War Two.

The demand is likely to further strain relations between two countries already squabbling over Greek demands to renegotiate the terms of a $260bn bailout. 

Germany insists the question of wartime compensation has been settled.

But in a passionate address to parliament, Tsipras maintained that a deal reached in 1960 did not go far enough.

He said: “This agreement did not concern compensation for the damages suffered by the country, but compensation for the victims of Nazism in Greece. And of course, in no case, did it concern either the forced occupation loan or claims for damages due to war crimes, due to the nearly total destruction of infrastructure in the country and the dissolution of the economy during the war and occupation.”

But can apologies and compensation bring closure? Or should crimes committed during past conflicts be consigned to history?

Presenter: Sami Zeidan


Uli Bruckner – a historian and professor at Stanford University Berlin.

Anastasia Giamali – a journalist at the Dawn Newspaper in Athens.

Eleonora Poli – a researcher at the Italian Institute for International Affairs.