The Treaty of Versailles: in the words of those who were there

Collections - Posted 28-06-2019

The first signing of the Treaty of Versailles happened 100 years ago today in the Hall of Mirrors in the Palace of Versailles near Paris. Although the fighting in World War I had finished with the signing of the armistice on 11 November 1918, it took 6 months of negotiations at the Paris Peace Conference to agree the Treaty of Versailles. The treaty outlined the terms of the peace between Germany and the Allied Powers.

In this video, learn more about the Peace Conference and the negotiations that formed the Treaty of Versailles with our expert, Rob Phillips who will lead you through original documents that shed light on the fraught discussions.

The British Prime Minister, David Lloyd George, was one of the Big Three who shaped the Treaty of Versailles, and you can learn more about him in our digital David Lloyd George exhibition.

You can also read the letters of his personal secretary at the time, Frances Stevenson, sent from the Paris Peace Conference to her family. They give insight not only into the goings on at the Conference, but to the thought of David Lloyd George himself. She writes that he thought the treaty was a ‘terrible document’, he of course felt strongly that Germany should not be punished too harshly.


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