"The Allied and Associated Governments affirm and Germany accepts the responsibility of Germany and her allies for causing all the loss and damage to which the Allied and Associated Governments and their nationals have been subjected as a consequence of the war imposed upon them by the aggression of Germany and her allies."
-Article 231 of the Treaty.
Prostrate Germany and her allies were forced to sign this "war guilt clause" in the Versailles Treaty and therein lies the most dangerous heritage of the peace settlement. A proud nation is branded an enemy of society. This charge, which the principal Allied powers knew to be untrue, was the legal basis for the unprecedented reparations and disarmament clauses of the Treaties. It is now definitely established that the charge is false. As a result of revolutions the Romanoff, Hohenzollern and Hapsburg houses fell. Their secret archives then became available. Investigation of the documents for the period from 1870 to 1914, by unprejudiced historians, has made available all of the relevant facts.* In 1926, the British Government, at the request of distinguished historians, decided to break its silence and released its diplomatic documents for the period June 28 to August 4, 1914. Finally France, in 1928, was embarrassed into gradually releasing some of its documentary evidence. It is now conceded that the previous French Yellow Book (1914) was full of fraud and forgery.
The indisputable evidence reveals that: For ten years before the War, Germany had made efforts to come to an amicable understanding with France, Russia and England, but was unsuccessful due to the fact that France had hopes of regaining her lost province, Alsace-Lorraine; that Great Britain feared Germany's growing naval and colonial power; and that Russia desired possession of the Baltic Straits. That from 1912 to 1914, the Russian Ambassador to France, M. Izvolski, carried through with President Poincare, a plan whereby France and Russia agreed to be in readiness for any favorable crisis which would bring England into a war on their side. When the crisis arose in 1914, Germany accepted all of the important diplomatic proposals except one, which was not a serious obstacle, and tried to hold Austria in check after July 27, only to be met with obstinacy on the part of France and Russia. In the midst of the negotiations, Russia, with France's approval, ordered a general mobilization on(text continues on next page)
|Old women of Berlin rummaging in the garbage dumps in search of food, in 1918. Europe seems to have forgotten, for the military spirit is again rampant in virtually every country on the Continent. Children are being given military drills, civilians are taught what to do in case of gas attack, bomb-proof shelters are being erected in metropolitan centers and fortifications have been reinforced along the frontiers.|