Controversially challenges the conventional wisdom that the Versailles Peace Treaty sowed the seeds for World War II.
The Versailles Peace Treaty, the pact between Germany and the Allies that ended World War I, has not enjoyed a positive reputation since its signing in June 1919. Conventional wisdom has it that the treaty’s requirements for massive reparation payments crippled the economy of the Weimar Republic and destabilized its political life. Ultimately, it is believed, the treaty prevented the seeds of democracy sown in the aftermath of the Great War from flourishing, and drove the German people into the arms of Adolf Hitler.
In this authoritative book, Jurgen Tampke disputes this commonplace view. He argues that Germany got away with its responsibility for World War I and its behavior during it; that the treaty was nowhere near as punitive as has been long felt; that the German hyperinflation of the 1920s was at least partly a deliberate policy to minimize the cost of paying reparations; and that World War II was a continuation of Germany’s longstanding war aims.