History assessment Wibke Czekalla
I was a soldier in World War I. Fighting at the front has changed my life. I lost many friends, but I also saw what the war was like. It was not just ‘‘Germany against the Allies’’, there were many other powers involved. I do not want to defend what the Germans did, but we were often not much better.
When I first saw the treaty of Versailles I agreed to most of the points. However, there are a few points I want to criticize. Article 231 is an example of this. In some parts, it is surely right to give Germany the war guilt, but when one thinks about it, the beginning of the war was a chain reaction and Germany just did the first active step. Netherless the amount of 6.6 billion pounds is too high for one country alone, especially when this country was not the only one who fought against the Allies. Often enough I also fought against Austrian or Hungarian soldiers.
Sure there were also good things about the treaty. I like the idea of the League of Nations, nobody is going to fight against such a superiority. Even if it is going to be really difficult for Germany to enter it. They need the security of the League as much as each other country in Europe. I’m very delighted with the work of our government, especially with David Lyod George. At first, he seemed to be quite aggressive towards Germany, but apparently, he finally decided that ‘‘Peace must be framed on […] equitable a basis […].’’ (Speech at Glasgow June 29th 1917)
Currently, no country would take the risk of another war. It would just be self-damage. However, if someone regenerates themselves quick and starts a war it would be devastating. I look scared into the future. My fears are about Germany, the people there will not be pleased about the treaty. They have to pay a lot and it will take long to rebuild. If they manage it to build their country up again indeed, they carry a lot of anger. This anger is in my opinion not a good base for peace.
Yours sincerely Jack Gimson
January 14th 1920
I am writing to express my insecurity about the treaty of Versailles. I know that many people in France celebrate the peace, I am not so certain about that. Germany made so much damage in France, that I do not believe we can ever rebuild what is destroyed, including the families who are torn apart.
First I want to say that there are some good points in the treaty, like Article 231, also known as the war guilt clause. It is completely right to give Germany the war guilt because they made the first step when they invi...