The Treaty of Versailles

German reactions to the Treaty of Versailles

Reactions from the Allies

Was the Treaty of Versailles fair or unfair?

Fair= ✓, Unfair= ✘

✓ When Russia surrendered in 1917, Germany forced Russia to sign a much harsher treaty (The Treaty of Brest Litovsk), so Germany should not have been given 'special treatment'.

✘ Many people in Germany lacked the self-determination and freedoms promised by President Wilson as they were ruled over by Poland and Czechoslovakia.

✓ The people of Britain and France had suffered from the war, so they deserved compensation.

✘ All of the European powers had played a part in causing the war. The blame should be shared- Germany should not have been forced to sign the war guilt clause.

✓ Although the Army was reduced, it's leaders were not removed from power, so they were able to rebuild the Army under Hitler and the Nazis.

✘ It was the rulers of Germany who had caused the war, but the treaty mainly punish the ordinary citizens.

✘ As their army was significantly reduced, Germany was left vulnerable to attack. 

✓ At the time, reparations were very common. In fact, when France lost the Franco Prussian war in 1871, Germany made them pay 5 billion Gold Francs (worth US$1 bn).

✘ The reparations and lack of industrial area led to huge economic problems in the 1920s.

✘ Germany was not allowed to send a representative to the Paris Peace Conference or invited to join the League of Nations.

✘ As they were forced to sign the Treaty, the new Weimar Government was made to look weak.

The key terms of other peace treaties including the reasons why the Treaty of Sevres with Turkey was revised for the Treaty of Lausanne in 1923

*diktat= dictated peace