To what extent do you think the treaties of the Peace of Paris were fair?
Most parts of the treaties of the Peace of Paris, particularly in the treaty of Versailles were a cruel bastardisation of justice. The victorious powers placed outrageous demands on Germany that went far beyond simple justice. The Treaty of Versailles was an exceedingly vindictive document. Particularly harsh was the insinuation of'war guilt' placed solely on the shoulders of Germany. Germany was required to accept the allegations from the Allies that it was solely to blame for the war. How could Germany be the only country to blame for the war? After all, it had started when a Serbian shot an Austrian.
Right from the beginning of the Peace conferences there was uncertainty about what should be done. Some felt the aim was to punish Germany, others felt it was necessary to cripple Germany to the point that it would never be able to start up another war. Some felt the treaties should reward the winning side and yet others (although these seem to number less than the alternative viewpoints) felt that the point of the treaties was to establish a lasting peace. Germany was not invited to participate.
Before the announcement of the peace treaties on the 7th of May 1920, the Germans believed that it would be unpleasant but not unfair to the degree that it was. Germany was humiliated. They were stripped of any colonies they had acquired, forced to reduce the army to 10,000 men and their once powerful Navy down to 6 warships. They were also forced to destroy the entire Air Force and all their submarines. But perhaps most spiteful of all was the demand that Germany remunerate the Allies for all damages caused during the war. With the German economy already crippled and tattered due to the war, Germany was in no shape to pay the excessive reparations demanded. Germany was expected to pay damages of £6,600,000,000, approximately 33 billion US dol