But I think there are more relevant and contemporary questions, such as the following: Should the US pay reparations to Iraq? Baghdad is currently considered the worst city in the world. That country was utterly destroyed. There were perhaps a million excess deaths as a consequence of that war. What was the reason for Iraq's destruction? A bunch of politically-motivated BS. Not only should reparations be payed, but it needs to be left alone to rebuild itself based on its own self-determination.
The mass-murder of Jews and other groups during and before wasn't carried out by the German people, it was carried out by the Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei, also known as The National Socialist German Workers' Party, or Nazi Party. The party was led by an Austrian-born German politician named Adolf Hitler. Many people in Germany and Europe had hated Jews since the middle-ages. Others, like my great grandmother, moved to America because they didn't agree with Hitler and his party. Some of my great grandmother's brothers actually stayed in Germany to fight for the Luftwaffe and the Heer, the air force and army. The mass slaughter of Jews also happened in many countries and was carried out by many different peoples. Germans, epically second and third generation Germans shouldn't have to pay reparations. Plus, on a dark note, who would be payed? If you suffered as a Jew during WWII, you likely were killed in an interment camp, and could not be payed reparations anyway.
It's been almost 70 years since the end of World War II, and Germany has spent the first 45 divided, and the other 25 basically holding up the rest of Europe. Nazi symbols are banned except for religious and possibly educational reasons, and the rules are very, very strict. In fact, one person in Germany posted "Heil Hitler" on Twitter as a joke, and his account was completely deleted. Then there's the fact that Hitler wasn't even from Germany, he was from Austria. If Germany still needs to pay for what it did, I expect the US to start paying reparations to Japan for Hiroshima and Nagasaki, to Germany for the massive firebombing of civilian areas, to Native Americans for stealing their land, etc.
The men who gassed Jews are about 95% dead, and that figure will rise and rise quite quickly, as time passes. Actually, the Jews who were actually persecuted are mostly dead due to old age. The people who run Germany now have no links to the Nazi party, much less Hitler's Nazi party.
It's just a terrible chapter in 20th century history at this point.
Nazi German and the Federal Republic of Germany are different countries. Although what NAZI Germany did was extremely horrific, that was over 70 years ago. It is a different countries, a different group of people, and they should not have to pay for reparations. Reparations should be forced on the people who commit the crimes, and those people, and there descendants, are mostly dead.
In 1919 the League of Nations made Germany pay heavy reparations for the damage they caused during world war one. During the time between that the nazi party rose to power but the reason they did was the heavy amount of reparations that tore apart the country's economy. They were basically dying as a country and that mad it so that the worlds most infamous dictator rose to power
I believe what the Nazi's did to the Jews was a horrific thing, but that was 70+ years ago. If this question was asked 50 years ago I would say yes, but I believe it is too late. Paying them would not change the horrific events that happened to them. I believe the Holocaust is the worst act of genocide ever (except abortion, but that's another issue)
There are no longer any living Germans who took part in the genocide that was the Holocaust. To ask their descendants for money for the sins of their ancestors is absurd. When asked the same question about whether I, as a white American female, should pay reparations for slavery, my answer is this: I was born in 1989. I never owned a slave. I wasn't around to be given the opportunity to oppose slavery. So I don't anybody anything. If you manage to find a way to revive my ancestors from the dead, you can have their money. They're the ones who owe you. The same reality is true of German Citizen X. He doesn't owe me any money. He hasn't caused me any harm personally. His great-great grandfather owes my great-great grandfather something for locking him up in Birkenau for two years and killing his wife. Did I mention I'm Jewish and I still think this is ridiculous?
Nazi Germany (not today's Federal Republic) is far from the only state that's committed atrocities. Should every country keep paying reparations to everyone it's ever wronged? Where would it end? Most of the people who suffered from the Nazis' crimes, and almost all of the Nazis themselves, are dead. To make today's Germans pay for crimes they had nothing to do with would be as wrong as the Holocaust itself.
Guilt cannot be inherited. If anyone's tempted to argue with that, remember that the basis of European anti-Semitism is the jews' supposed inherited guilt for killing Jesus.