This article summarizes the legal, historical and political developments in regards to the issue of WWII reparations. It suggests that due to the separation between the historical and legal fields which have examined the issue of WWII reparations, no generally accepted notion about their status exists either in the historical, legal or political spheres. It is this lack of clarity that has greatly contributed to this issue remaining unresolved thus far. This paper’s originality lies in its combination of diverse and original sources, both primary and secondary, in addition to referring to the text of the treaties in question to bring the debate on WWII reparations into a single narrative and addressing some of the shortcomings in other studies. It is also original because no previous studies on WWII reparations have addressed the role their ‘settlement’ played in the early European Integration process. In conclusion, the paper responds to arguments stating that the issue is closed, and questions whether or not the US and USSR did in fact have the right to suspend the rights of their allies to claim reparations from Germany upon re-unification.
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