Describe the German perspective of the Versailles Treaty.  

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mkoren eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The German perspective on the Treaty of Versailles is not a very positive perspective. The Germans believed they were treated unfairly and misled.

There was a belief in Germany that if they surrendered without the Allies having to capture Berlin that the peace treaty would be easier on the Germans. That turned out to be a false belief. Germany believed this was a dictated peace instead of a negotiated peace.

Germany was very angry at the terms of the Versailles Treaty. They had to accept the responsibility for the start of the war, known as accepting the war guilt. Germany felt this was very unfair because it was Austria-Hungary that declared war on Serbia, starting World War I. The Allies believed that if Germany wouldn’t have agreed to support Austria-Hungary’s attack, then Austria-Hungary might not have declared war on Serbia.

There were other aspects of the treaty that upset Germany. Germany saw its military dismantled and colonial possessions taken away. Germany was allowed to have a military with defensive capabilities only. They lost their colonies overseas as well as some of their land. They had to pay $33 billion in reparations to the Allies. This basically ruined Germany’s economy.

The Germans view this treaty very negatively. They felt they were punished much more than they should have been punished. It led to a growing anger to get revenge. Adolf Hitler seized upon that feeling. Eventually, World War II would start.