Reply to post: Versailles treaty

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Robert Sneddon

Versailles treaty

The Versailles treaty was not rigorously enforced after the mid-1920s and the removal of French and Belgian troops from the Ruhr after it was occupied in 1923. The Germans remilitarised the Rhineland in 1936 against the treaty obligations and the Allies did nothing. They stopped paying reparations and the Allies did very little. By the mid-1930s the treaty was effectively waste paper. The Germans hated it primarily because it promoted the idea that they had started the war, something their right-wing vehemently denied all the way up to the start of WWII (part of the Dolchstosslegende).

On the other hand, almost within living memory of the 1919 settlement, the Prussians had imposed identical financial reparations (5 billion gold marks, the modern equivalent of $350 billion or so) on the defeated French after the war of 1871 and the French had paid the sum demanded completely in less than years. The flood of free money into the Prussian and German economy caused a property bubble that caused a recession for almost twenty years.

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