The Treaty of Versailles has been given this name because it was the outcome of negotiations at the end of World War I, which were signed in the Palace of Versailles in France on 28th of June, 1919. Whilst it was hailed across the world as an amazing feat of negotiation, bringing peace to the world by putting an official end to the horrors of World War I, the reaction in Germany to what they call the “Versailler Vertrag” couldn’t have been more different. Yes, of course many people in Germany were also grateful and relieved that the war was finally over. However, soon the realization settled in that the Treaty of Versailles was anything but a fair settlement for all parties involved.
The main questionable part of the Treaty of Versailles was the fact that it forced Germany to accept full responsibility for World War I. This obviously did not sit well with the Germans, who very much felt that it had not just been solely their fault at all. You can see how much the Germans were upset by this, when you consider the fact that this clause, Article 231, was often referred to as Schandklausel in German, meaning the “clause of shame.” In fact, the Treaty of Versailles itself was often referred to as the Schandvertrag, the “treaty of shame,” by Germans, who felt treated very unfairly and victimized as a result of this.
Whilst Article 231 formed more of a psychological punishment of Germany, through public humiliation and shaming, there were also some other aspects of the Treaty of Versailles, which were more of physical nature. For example, the Treaty of Versailles meant loss of considerable amounts of money for Germany, given that it required Germany to pay reparations to the Allied Powers.
Furthermore, Germany also lost a lot of its territory: in total, Germany lost 25,000 square miles of its original territory. This was not only a punishment for the German government, but for the German people themselves, given that many of them lost their homes as a result of these measures.