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Forward or backward looking? The Treaty of Versailles

Cartoon: At the Peace Table. Treaty of Versailles. Clemenceau says, "Take your seats, gentlemen!" The food and chairs look dangerous, and there are handcuffs on the table, worried and suspicious German delegates.

German anger at the Treaty of Versailles between the wars is well known. Hitler, in his rise to power, exploited this deep resentment. So how did such a contentious document come into existence and why was it signed?

What was happening between the armistice and the opening of the Paris peace talks?

Posted by: , Posted on: - Categories: Foreign affairs and diplomacy, Foreign Office Historians
Council of Four at the WWI Paris peace conference, (L - R) Prime Minister David Lloyd George (Great Britain) Premier Vittorio Orlando, Italy, French Premier Georges Clemenceau, President Woodrow Wilson

The armistice agreement with Germany was signed on 11 November 1918, but the Peace Conference did not start proceedings until 18 January 1919.  With so much at stake, why did it take 2 months for discussions to start?