Just after WWI, the treaty of Versailles (June 1919) forced Germany to pay reparations to several countries it had fought. Germany had to pay 20 billion gold-marks before May 1921. A commission had to estimate the total amount of reparations Germany would finally pay. In 1921, at the conference of London, the final estimation of the amount due was 132 billion gold-marks. The repartition was the following: France 52 %, England 22 %, Belgium 10 %, Italy 8 %, and 8 % for other Allies.
But, immediately, voices in England said the reparations were unfair for Germany and bad for the European economy. It started with a book from the famous economist John Maynard Keynes "The Economic Consequences of the Peace" (1919), which knew a great success.
Those fears about economic problems caused by the payment of reparations seemed to become real when hyperinflation hit Germany (between 1923 and 1924). At least, the USA and England seemed to think so. Then, Germany declared it could not pay the reparations and asked for a moratorium.
Quickly, the USA, more and more followed by England, didn't stop pushing for a decrease of the amount of reparations and finally, for an annulation of them.
France, on the other side, which had been hit very hard by the war, defended the idea that reparations had to be paid until the last gold-mark. When Germany said in 1923 it couldn't pay, France, with Belgium, invaded the Ruhr in order to get paid (by taking control of mines, industries, etc…). But, being under the pressure of the USA and England and isolated diplomatically, France finally evacuated the Ruhr in 1925. And progressively, it accepted more and more decreases of the German reparations, until finally, the payment ceased.
So, the USA and England were indeed very merciful with Germany.