What is the Versailles Treaty? What effect did the failure of this treaty have on Germany?© BrainMass Inc. brainmass.com June 3, 2020, 5:34 am ad1c9bdddf
I have copied the text of the most pertinent articles from Versailles and commented in red as to how this would have negatively impacted Germany and could have led to another war. Part III was particularly long and many of the articles were either redundant or not particularly relevant and so I deleted them.
Much of the material I happen to know from my studies, other times it is easier to point you to material available online that can summarize and provide links to additional information if you need the historical background.
I attempted to explain the relevance of the chosen articles, but it is up to you to create a narrative that addresses your assignment.
The bottom line is that the Treaty of Versailles was harsh and blamed the Germans for WWI, adding to a sense of national humiliation and economic hardship that helped fuel the Nazi rise to power. To make matters worse, the Allies failed to enforce the Treaty so as Hitler took various steps during the 1930s to rearm (illegally), and remilitarize the Rhineland (illegally), the Allies did northing.
The only thing worse than a one-sided treaty imposed on a powerful country that lost a war, is Allied indecision and non-cooperation in enforcing its terms.
The boundaries of Germany will be determined as follows:
1. With Belgium:
From the point common to the three frontiers of Belgium, Holland, and Germany and in a southerly direction: the north-eastern boundary of the former territory of netral Moresnet then the eastern boundary of the Kreis of Eupen, then the frontier between Belgium and the Kreis of Montjoie, then the northeastern and eastern boundary of the Kreis of Malmedy to its junction with the frontier of Luxemburg.
Eupen and Malmedy were German municipalities ceded to Belgium.
3. With France:
The frontier of July 18, 1870, from Luxemburg to Switzerland with the reservations made in Article 48 of Section IV (Saar Basin) of Part III.
See part III - this ended up handing back to France areas that had been in German hands since 1870 (Alsace Lorraine) and contained close to 2 million inhabitants, many of which were ethnic Germans. This was a major loss to Germany and provided the French with a boundary that jutted into the heart of Western Germany's Ruhr valley industrial region.
5. With Austria.
The frontier of August 3, 1914, from Switzerland to CzechoSlovakia as hereinafter defined.
6. With Czecho-Slovakia:
The frontier of August 3, 1914, between Germany and Austria from its junction with the old administrative boundary separating Bohemia and the province of Upper Austria to the point north of the salient of the old province of Austrian Silesia situated at about 8 kilometres east of Neustadt.
A small portion of Upper Silesia given to Czechoslovakia.
7. With Poland:
From the point defined above to a point to be fixed on the ground about 2 kilometres east of Lorzendorf: the frontier as it will be fixed in accordance with Article 88 of the present Treaty; thence in a northerly direction to the point where the administrative boundary of Posnania crosses the river Bartsch: a line to be fixed on the ground leaving the following placcs in Poland: Skorischau, Reichthal, Trembatschau, Kunzendorf, Schleise, Gross Koscl, Schreibersdorf, Rippin, Furstlich-Niefken, Pawelau, Tscheschen, Konradau, Johallnisdorf, Modzenowe, Bogdaj, and in Germany: Lorzendorf, Kaulwitz, Glausche, Dalbersdorf, Reesewitz, Stradam, Gross Wartenberg, Kraschen, Neu Mittelwalde, Domaslawitz, Wedelsdorf, Tscheschen Hammer; thence the administrative boundary of Posnania northwestwards to the point where it cuts the Rawitsch-Herrnstadt railway; thence to the point where the administrative boundary of Posnania cuts the Reisen-Tschirnau road: a line to be fixed on the ground passing west of Triebusch and Gabel and east of Saborwitz; thence the administrative boundary of Posnania to its junction with the eastern administrative boundary of the Kreis of Fraustadt; thence in a north-westerly direction to a point to be chosen on the road between the villages of Unruhstadt and Kopnitz: a line to be fixed on the ground passing west of Geyersdorf, Brenno, Fehlen, Altkloster, Klebel, and east of Ulbersdorf, Buchwald, Ilgen,Weine, Lupitze, Schwenten: thence in a northerly direction to the northernmost point of Lake Chlop: a line to be fixed on the ground following the median line of the lakes; the town and the station of Bentschen however (including the junction of the lines Schwiebus-Bentschen and Zullichau-Bentschen) remaining in Polish territory; thence in a north-easterly direction to the point of junction of the boundaries of the Kreise of Schwerin, Birnbaum, and Meseritz: a line to be fixed on the ground passing east of Betsche; thence in a northerly direction the boundary separating the Kreise of Schwerin and Birnbaum, then in an easterly direction the northern boundary of Posnania to the point where it cuts the river Netze; thence upstream to its confluence with the Kaddow: the course of the Netze; thence upstream to a point to be chosen about 6 kilometres southeast of Schneidemuhl: the course of the Kuddow; thence north-eastwards to the most southern point of the reentant of the northern boundary of Posnania about 5 kilometres west of Stahren: a line to be fixed on the ground leaving the SchneidemuhlKonitz railway in this area entirely in German territory; thence the boundary of Posnania north-eastwards to the point of the salient it makes about 15 kilometres east of Flatow; thence north-eastwards to the point where the river Kamionka meets the southern boundary of the Kreis of Konitz about 3 kilometres north-east of Grunau: a line to be fixed on the ground leaving the following places to Poland: Jasdrowo, Gr. Lutau, Kl. Lutau, Wittkau, and to Germany: Gr. Butzig, Cziskowo, Battrow, Bock, Grunau; thence in a northerly direction the boundary between the Kreise of Konitz and Schlochau to the point where this boundary cuts the river Brahe; thence to a point on the boundary of Pomerania 15 kilometres east of Rummelsburg: a line to be fixed on the ground leaving the following places in Poland: Konarzin, Kelpin, Adl. Briesen, and in Germany: Sampohl, Neuguth, Steinfort, Gr . Peterkau; then the boundary of Pomerania in an easterly direction to its junction with the boundary between the Kreise of Konitz and Schlochau; thence northwards the boundary between Pomerania and West Prussia to the point on the river Rheda about 3 kilometres northwest of Gohra where that river is joined by a tributary from the north-west; thence to a point to be selected in the bend of the Piasnitz river about 1 1/2 kilometres north-west of Warschkau: a line to be fixed on the ground; thence this river downstream, then the median line of Lake Zarnowitz, then the old boundary of West Prussia to the Baltic Sea.
There were major territorial adjustments that included:
• Most of the Prussian provinces of Posen and of West Prussia, which Prussia had annexed in Partitions of Poland (1772-1795), were returned to Poland. This territory had already been liberated by local Polish population during the Great Poland Uprising of 1918-1919 (area 53 800 km², 4,224,000 inhabitants (1931), including 510 km² and 26,000 inhabitants from Upper Silesia) (This includes parts of West Prussia were ceded to Poland to provide free access to the sea, along with a sizeable German minority, creating so called the Polish corridor.
• The area of Soldau in East Prussia (railway station on the Warsaw-Gdańsk route) to Poland (area 492 km²),
• From the eastern part of West Prussia and the southern part of East Prussia Warmia and Masuria, a small area to Poland
• The port of Danzig (now Gdańsk, Poland) with the delta of Vistula river at the Baltic Sea was made the Freie Stadt Danzig (Free City of Danzig) under the League of Nations. (area 1 893 km², 408,000 inhabitants (1929)).
These territories were in many cases saturated with ethnic Germans, economically important (Baltic coast - especially the major port of Danzig which became a "Free City" - See Part III) and even included much of the historical heart of Prussia (the original rump German state). These losses really grated on the German people and country and also gave Hitler and the Nazis a ready-made grievance during the 1930s with which to launch provacations. The loss of Danzig was a particularly sore point and was a major German city.
8. With Denmark:
The frontier as it will be fixed in accordance with Articles 109 to 111 of Part III, Section XII (Schleswig).
Northern Schleswig including the German-dominated towns of Tondern (Tønder), Apenrade (Aabenraa), Sonderburg (Sønderborg), Hadersleben (Haderslev) and Lügum in Schleswig-Holstein, after the Schleswig Plebiscite, to Denmark (area 3 984 km², 163,600 inhabitants (1920)),
The boundaries of East Prussia, with the reservations made in Section IX (East Prussia) of Part III, will be determined as follows: from a point on the coast of the Baltic Sea about 1 1/2 kilometres north of Probbernau church in a direction of about 159° East from true North: a line to be fixed on the ground for about 2 kilometres; thence in a straight line to the light at the bend of the Elbing Channel in approximately latitude 54° 19 1/2' North, longitude 19° 26' East of Greenwich; thence to the easternmost mouth of the Nogat River at a bearing of approximately 209° East from true North; thence up the course of the Nogat River to the point where the latter leaves the Vistula (Weichsel);thence up the principal channel of navigation of the Vistula, then the southern boundary of the Kreis of Marienwerder, then that of the Kreis of Rosenberg eastwards to the point where it meets the old boundary of East Prussia, thence the old boundary between East and West Prussia, then the boundary between the Kreise of Osterode and Neidenburg, then the course of the river Skottau downstream, then the course of the Neide upstream to a point situated about 5 kilometres west of Bialutten being the nearest point to the old frontier of Russia; thence in an easterly direction to a point immediately south of the intersection of the road Neidenburg-Mlava with the old frontier of Russia: a line to be fixed on the ground passing north of Bialutten; thence the old frontier of Russia to a point east of Schmalleningken, then the principal channel of navigation of the Niemen (Memel) downstream, then the Skierwieth arm of the delta to the Kurisches Haff; thence a straight line to the point where the eastern shore of the Kurische Nehrung meets the administrative boundary about 4 kilometres south-west of Nidden; thence this administrative boundary to the western shore of the Kurische Nehrung.
• The area of Soldau in East Prussia (railway station on the Warsaw-Gdańsk route) to Poland (area 492 km²),
• The northern part of East Prussia known as Memel Territory under control of France, later transferred to Lithuania without plebiscite.
• From the eastern part of West Prussia and the southern part of East Prussia Warmia and Masuria, a small area to Poland,
Germany recognises the full sovereignty of Belgium over the whole of the contested territory of Moresnet (called Moresnet neutre).
Germany renounces in favour of Belgium all rights and title over the territory of Prussian Moresnet situated on the west of the road from Liege to Aix-la-Chapelle; the road will belong to Belgium where it bounds this territory.
Moresnet was a neutral territory claimed by both Germany and Belgium. It was not very large, but in effect, Germany's claims were renounced due to losing the war.
Germany renounces in favour of Belgium all rights and title over the territory comprising the whole of the Kreise of Eupen and of Malmedy. During the six months after the coming into force of this Treaty, registers will be opened by the Belgian authority at Eupen and Malmedy in which the inhabitants of the above territory will be entitled to record in writing a desire to see the whole or part of it remain under German sovereignty. The results of this public expression of opinion will be communicated by the Belgian Government to the League of Nations, and Belgium undertakes to accept the decision of the League.
Already discussed in Part II - the territories of Eupen and Malmedy were ceded to Belgium. These were once German territories. The later plebiscites mentioned in the text did not return them to Germany.
With regard to the Grand Duchy of Luxemburg, Germany renounces the benefit of all the provisions inserted in her favour in the Treaties of February 8, 1842, April 2, 1847, October 20-25, 1865, August 18, 1866, February 21 and May 11, 1867, May 10, 1871, June 11, 1872, and November 11, 1902, ...
The bottom line is that the Treaty of Versailles was harsh and blamed the Germans for WWI, adding to a sense of national humiliation and economic hardship that helped fuel the Nazi rise to power. To make matters worse, the Allies failed to enforce the Treaty so as Hitler took various steps during the 1930s to rearm (illegally), and remilitarize the Rhineland (illegally), the Allies did nothing.