“What must we lose!”
German reparations after World War I were the core point of the negotiations in the Paris Peace Conference, and the focus of the power struggle between France and Germany. While the peace conference following “the war to end all wars” (in the words of British commentator H.G. Wells) was supposed to establish perpetual peace in Europe, the reparations imposed to Germany were aimed at destroying and humiliate the enemy. The most important economist of the 20th Century, John Maynard Keynes, quit his role as delegate of the British Treasury, and called the treaty a Carthaginian peace that would economically destroy Germany.