1919-1939: The Treaty of Versailles, a truce that led to another war
The controversial Treaty of Versailles was signed 100 years ago, bringing an end to World War I. FRANCE 24's Florence Gaillard took an in-depth look at the agreement, hailed by some as bringing peace but nicknamed the "Diktat" by the humiliated Germans – and sowing the seeds that led to another devastating conflict that began in 1939.
After four years of a war that raged across five continents, ravaged Europe and left 10 million soldiers dead, the Paris Peace Conference (also known as the Versailles Peace Conference) opened on January 18, 1919. Some 32 countries were invited to Paris and delegations from around the world took part in the first international conference to be open to the press and public.
The Treaty of Versailles was signed in the famous French château outside Paris, but it proved to be one of the most controversial agreements in history, leading to claims that the treaty itself gave rise to World War II. Defeated Germany lost part of its mainland territory plus all of its colonies, and was made to pay huge sums in war reparations. These circumstances fuelled German resentment and led, a decade later, to the rise of the Nazis.
Through interviews and previously unseen archival footage, our reporter Florence Gaillard brings us a fascinating look into the pivotal inter-war years.