Reparations are payments made to a person or country for damages caused to their property and or livelyhood.
The intent is to help the victim or, in the case of war, victor repay their costs and rebuild their lives. Reparations were used as a tool of peace in wars prior to World War II. The loser was usually required to pay a large sum to the victor to cover war costs. This proved ineffective in the aftermath of World War I, and was one of the direct causes of the rise of Nazism and World War II.