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The Treaty of Versailles

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  • The Treaty of Versailles

    It is acknowledged that the Armistice of 11 November 1918, and the Treaty of Versailles of June 1919 lead directly to the creation of Adolf Hitler as a catalyst in the Second World War. Do board members think that less stringent terms could have been agreed to, and if so, the Second World War could have been averted?

  • #2
    Originally posted by kermit View Post
    It is acknowledged that the Armistice of 11 November 1918, and the Treaty of Versailles of June 1919 lead directly to the creation of Adolf Hitler as a catalyst in the Second World War. Do board members think that less stringent terms could have been agreed to, and if so, the Second World War could have been averted?
    No.

    The fact of Germany's defeat which was inevitable in November 1918 anyway was a factor in Hitler's rise to power. Whether the defeat happened in November 1918 or 6 months later with the Allies entering Berlin, Hitler would still have been pissed.

    Other factors contributed to Hitler's rise to power- the weakness of the Weimar Republic and the Depression. Still others contributed to WW2- British disarmament between the wars, lily-livered government in Britain and France and US isolationism.

    So no, while the Armistice and Versailles contributed to WW they did not create it of themselves.
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    Say NO to violence against Women

    Originally posted by hedgehog
    My favourite moment was when the
    Originally posted by hedgehog
    red headed old dear got a smack on her ginger head

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    • #3
      The fact that the armistice was signed whilst Germany hadn't been invaded or the capital captured also meant that it allowed a "betrayal" myth of "november criminals" to gain some kind of credibility in latter years.

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      • #4
        It was a contributing factor but not the only factor.

        The terms but the German nation in a downward spiral this created a void for a charimatic leader who had changes -> and then came Hitler.

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        • #5
          Hi there
          It is argued in some quarters that the reparations demanded were so swingeing, that Germany was compelled to fight in 1939(bollox, of course)which conveniently forgets the level of physical damage inflicted onto France and Belgium, whose legacy is still with us today in the form of millions of unexploded ordnance and in some places, land so saturated with shellfire that the land is still unusable today. Germany got what it deserved.
          regards
          GttC

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          • #6
            Germany was the only one punished, for a war that really wasn't just their fault...


            Catch-22 says they have a right to do anything we can't stop them from doing.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Goldie fish View Post
              Germany was the only one punished, for a war that really wasn't just their fault...
              The Germans were the ones who attacked Belgium, France and Russia. While the events that led to that attack are complex and not totally the fault of the Germans, the bottom line is they fired the first shots. It is incorrect to say that they were the only ones punished. Austria, Hungary and Bulgaria were subject to similar treatment under different treaties.

              http://www.historyonthenet.com/WW1/versailles.htm

              Whatever the level of reparations initially demanded of Germany, it was subsequently reduced and the Weimar and Nazi governments defaulted on the debts anyway.

              Of course Versailles was more than just a Bill for War Damage presented to Germany. It also redrew the map of Europe.
              Last edited by Groundhog; 15 June 2009, 23:51.
              sigpic
              Say NO to violence against Women

              Originally posted by hedgehog
              My favourite moment was when the
              Originally posted by hedgehog
              red headed old dear got a smack on her ginger head

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              • #8
                A pedantic person would say it was Serbia who fired the first shots.

                A Frenchman from Alsace-Lorraine would say it was a Prussian that fired the first shots, forty years or so before...


                Catch-22 says they have a right to do anything we can't stop them from doing.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Goldie fish View Post
                  A pedantic person would say it was Serbia who fired the first shots....
                  The Serbians started a minor war in the Balkans, one of a series. The Germans started a war that brought the great powers into the conflict.

                  Originally posted by Goldie fish View Post
                  A Frenchman from Alsace-Lorraine would say it was a Prussian that fired the first shots, forty years or so before...
                  You could probably trace the ancestry of Franco-German conflict back to the Late Stone Age if you want.
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                  Say NO to violence against Women

                  Originally posted by hedgehog
                  My favourite moment was when the
                  Originally posted by hedgehog
                  red headed old dear got a smack on her ginger head

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                  • #10
                    The French mentality is very much that 1914-1918 was the final battle in the Franco -Prussian war. Their museums make a point of showing how they lost a part of their country to Germany, which they only got back in 1919. Even the Uniforms their soldiers wore in the trenches of 1914 were the exact same as had been worn in the earlier conflict.


                    Catch-22 says they have a right to do anything we can't stop them from doing.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Goldie fish View Post
                      The French mentality is very much that 1914-1918 was the final battle in the Franco -Prussian war. Their museums make a point of showing how they lost a part of their country to Germany, which they only got back in 1919. Even the Uniforms their soldiers wore in the trenches of 1914 were the exact same as had been worn in the earlier conflict.
                      French propaganda cannot take away from the fact that the Prussians held a victory parade in Paris in February 1871.
                      sigpic
                      Say NO to violence against Women

                      Originally posted by hedgehog
                      My favourite moment was when the
                      Originally posted by hedgehog
                      red headed old dear got a smack on her ginger head

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                      • #12
                        There isn't just one reason for either the First or Second World War.

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                        • #13
                          Hitler was against the treaty of versailles which made him popular among the german people. The treaty contributed to germany's economic decline which Hitler promised to fix. But even if the treaty was less harsh I still think ww2 would have occured. Hitler wanted lebensraum (living space) in eastern europe, and always wanted German expansion.

                          That's just my opinion.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by dingo42 View Post
                            The treaty contributed to germany's economic decline which Hitler promised to fix..
                            Only indirectly in that the US loaned money to Germany to pay reparations to Britain and France. The problem of German debt to the US as well as massive American investment in Germany led to cathastrophe when teh Great Depression hit America. The idea that war reparations alone led to the rise of Nazism and WW2 can be dismissed by the rise of fascism in Italy and Mussolini's belligerence.

                            Originally posted by dingo42 View Post
                            ....Hitler wanted lebensraum (living space) in eastern europe, and always wanted German expansion...
                            Initially he wanted to reclaim German territory in Eastern Europe. Versailles nicked over 70,000 square km of German territory and gave it to Poland, Lithuania, France, Belgium, Czechslovakia and Denmark at the same time creating German minorities in these countries numbering 3.5 million people.
                            sigpic
                            Say NO to violence against Women

                            Originally posted by hedgehog
                            My favourite moment was when the
                            Originally posted by hedgehog
                            red headed old dear got a smack on her ginger head

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                            • #15
                              What Hitler wanted is only relevant because he got enough electoral support from the German people to take over the government in 1933. Germans felt humiliated by the terms of Versailles. On the other hand, would the French people have settled for anything less, given what they suffered during the war?

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