Keynes refers to the economic terms as “outrageous and impossible.” 23 France, who pushed for harsher German punishment and reparation levels more than any other Allied Power, wanted the reparations to seriously cripple the German state. Sally Marks in The Illusion of Peace states that the treatment of reparations by both sides was “the continuation of war by other means. … Reparations became the chief battleground of the post-war era, the focus of power between France and Germany over whether the Versailles Treaty was to be enforced or revised.” 24 But were the reparations really so economically damaging? Or was that a farce created by Keynes and supported by the German government who wished to avoid further punishment and humiliation? This will be discussed more in upcoming pages.
The communist German Democratic Republic was established in the historic "Mitteldeutschland" ( Middle Germany ). Former German territories east of the Oder and Neisse rivers, mainly the Prussian provinces of Pomerania , East Prussia , West Prussia , Upper Silesia , Lower Silesia , the eastern Neumark of Brandenburg , and a small piece of Saxony were thus detached from Germany. To compensate Poland for the USSR's annexation of its eastern provinces, the Allies provisionally established Poland's post-war western border at the Oder–Neisse line at the Yalta Conference (1945). As a result, most of Germany's central territories became the Sowjetische Besatzungszone (SBZ, Soviet Occupation Zone). All other lands east of the Oder–Neisse line were put under Polish administration, with the exception of historic northern East Prussia , which went to the USSR.