Was The Treaty Of Versailles The Seed Of WWII?


First, let me tell you what the ‘Treaty Of Versailles’ is. The First World War ended on November 11, 1918. Nations gathered in France in 1919 to sign the treaty and re-build Europe from scratch. The meeting to sign the treaty was held at the Palace of Versailles, in The Hall Of Mirrors. The treaty, in its soul, was damaging to Germany. They had to bear the entire responsibility of the WWI and paid a heavy fine of 132 Billion Gold Marks which equalled to $33 Billion USD. You can imagine how difficult it would have been for Germany economically to pay the fine.

Unfortunately, the treaty was dominated by the Allies (US, France, UK, and Italy). Apart from the big four, only Germany was invited to sign the treaty. Not a single defeated nation had a say in the overly idealistic treaty. The treaty absolutely failed to resolve the core issues that caused WWI. France was determined to humiliate Germany and make them pay for the war. The allied nations signed many other treaties with Bulgaria, Hungary, Turkey, and Austria.

Germany bore loss in terms of territory also. They had to give up Poland, Belgium, Czechoslovakia. They also had to give back Alsace and Lorraine to France. Germany was an economically strong nation and after paying the large fine, the repercussions resonated in entire Europe. Germans hated the Treaty Of Versailles, they called it ‘Dictated Peace,’ and the leaders who signed the treaty were named as ‘November Criminals.’ Germany failed to pay the fine in its entirety. The treaty was so damaging to Germany that NAZI (the National Socialist) party gained popularity in Germany, came to power with a promise to overturn the damages to Germany. Germany rose to power again under Adolf Hitler’s regime.

The Treaty of Versailles was the seed of WWII as it didn’t solve anything for any nation. It handed Germany to Adolf Hitler and buried the conflicts of WWI without resolving them. Rest as we know is history.