Study Notes

German Reaction to the Treaty


Last updated 17 Jul 2018

Germany had not been present at the Versailles Treaty which meant that when the Treaty was announced, many in Germany were shocked and appalled by what had been agreed by the Allies. German losses as a result of the treaty were severe. Germany lost all her imperial possessions, 10 percent of her land, and an eighth of her population. In addition to the military restrictions which were placed upon Germany, the war guilt clause was perhaps the biggest source of outrage.

Ordinary Germans were furious with the government for agreeing to the ceasefire. Many of the German citizens had not been aware of the dire state of the German armed forces in the war, so when the harsh terms were announced the citizens of Germany were caught off guard and surprised by the harsh nature of the treaty. Many believed that Germany should have been at the Paris Peace Conference.

Reparations were also seen as unfair as the economy of Germany was not strong enough after the war to sustain such levels of reparations. There was a worry that the payment of reparations would ruin Germany significantly.

Initially, the German government would not sign the peace treaty and the remnants of the German Navy sank their own battle ships. Ebert, the leader of Germany signed the Treaty on 28th June 1919.

© 2002-2024 Tutor2u Limited. Company Reg no: 04489574. VAT reg no 816865400.