Paris Peace Treaties, 1947

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This page is about the partial formal conclusion of World War II. For other Paris peace treaties see article Treaty of Paris.

The Paris Peace Conference (July 29 to October 15, 1946) resulted in the Paris peace treaties signed on February 10, 1947. The victorious wartime Allied powers (principally the United States, United Kingdom, France and the Soviet Union) negotiated the details of treaties of peace for their lesser World War II enemies Italy, Romania, Hungary, Bulgaria, and Finland. (See the List of countries involved in World War II.)

The treaties allowed Italy, Romania, Hungary, Bulgaria, and Finland to reassume their responsibilities as sovereign states in international affairs and to qualify for membership in the United Nations.

The settlement elaborated in the peace treaties included payment of war reparations, commitment to minority rights and territorial adjustments including the end of the Italian colonial empire in Africa and changes to the Hungarian-Slovak, Romanian-Hungarian, Soviet-Romanian, Bulgarian-Romanian and Soviet-Finnish frontiers.

The political clauses stipulated that the signatory should "take all measures necessary to secure to all persons under (its) jurisdiction, without distinction as to race, sex, language or religion, the enjoyment of human rights and of the fundamental freedoms, including freedom of expression, of press and publication, of religious worship, of political opinion and of public meeting".

No penalties were to be visited on nationals because of wartime partisanship for the Allies. Each government undertook to prevent the resurgence of Fascist organizations or any others, "whether political, military or semi-military, whose purpose it is to deprive the people of their democratic rights."

Particularly in Finland, the dictated border adjustment was perceived as a major injustice and a betrayal by the Western Powers, after the sympathy Finland had received from the West during the Soviet-initiated Winter War of 1939-40. The Soviet Union's accessions of territory in the Moscow Peace Treaty (1940) were confirmed.

The war reparation problem proved to be one of the most difficult arising from post-war conditions. The Soviet Union felt entitled to the maximum amounts possible, with an exception for Bulgaria, which was perceived as being the most sympathetic of the former enemy states. In the cases of Romania and Hungary, the reparation terms as set forth in their armistices were relatively high and were not revised.

 War reparations at 1938 prices:
 $360,000,000 from Italy
              $125,000,000 to Yugoslavia
              $105,000,000 to Greece
              $100,000,000 to the Soviet Union, 
               $25,000,000 to Ethiopia, 
                $5,000,000 to Albania.
 $300,000,000 from Finland to the Soviet Union 
 $300,000,000 from Hungary
               $200,000,000 to the Soviet Union
               $100,000,000 to Czechoslovakia and Yugoslavia 
 $300,000,000 from Romania to the Soviet Union
  $70,000,000 from Bulgaria
               $45,000,000 to Greece
               $25,000,000 to Yugoslavia

The collapse of the Soviet Union has not led to any formal revision of the Paris Peace Treaties, although the wars of the former Yugoslavia have occasioned fundamental territorial change in south-eastern Europe.

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