The Treaty of Versailles

The German Government agreed to sign the Treaty of Versailles in June 1919, to make peace.

This action was very unpopular in Germany and was used by enemies of the Government to claim that it had ‘stabbed Germany in the back’ by ending the war.

The video below describes the contents of the Treaty of Versailles.

The terms of the Treaty were very damaging to Germany for a number of reasons:

  • Land was taken from Germany and given to other countries.
  • Germany had to accept responsibility for starting the war.
  • Germany had to pay fines of £6.6 billion.
  • Germany's armed forces were reduced and they were not allowed an air force.
  • It left many Germans feeling humiliated.

The ideas of the ‘November Criminals’ and the ‘Stab in the Back’ were used in many of Hitler’s speeches to turn people against the Government.