The Terms of the Treaty of Versailles

· Germany acknowledged that it was solely responsible for causing the war.

· Germany returned the border region of Alsace-Lorraine to France (taken from France in the Franco-Prussian war in 1871).

· Germany surrendered small amounts of German territory to Belgium.

· France occupied Germany’s coal-rich Saar region for fifteen years.

· The Entente Powers occupied all German territory west of the Rhine River for 15 years.

· Austria and Germany, the two German states, were never allowed to unite in the future.

· The Sudetenland, a region that was overwhelmingly German, became part of the new country of Czechoslovakia.

· German port cities on the Baltic were awarded to the new country of Poland.

· Germany surrendered the region of Upper Silesia to Poland.

· The German Army would be limited to 100,000 volunteer troops.

· Germany was forbidden to have an airforce or U-boats.

· Germany would have to pay war reparations.

The German government was outraged that the treaty offer was so severe. Right after he read the Treaty of Versailles, the head German delegate said, “Germany renounces its existence” (Meyer 615) But, German civilians were starving and the Army had disintegrated. The Allies threatened to invade, and the Germans felt they had little choice but to sign. So, they signed. But they felt the treaty unfair and unjust. Many Germans therefore felt they had little responsibility to comply with it in the long run.

The Treaty of Versailles, along with the others signed with other Central Power belligerents, redrew the map of Europe by taking territory from Russia, Germany, Austria-Hungary, and Turkey and turning it over to the victors or to new independent national groups. Austria-Hungary, disintegrated into various nation-states, losing 80% of its territory in the process. Germany lost territory to Poland, France, and Belgium. Russia lost large areas of Eastern Europe that it had controlled before the war. The new nation-states included Czechoslovakia, Finland, Poland, Hungary, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, and Yugoslavia.

Content by Vern Cleary    Design by Stephen Pinkerton