This video is part of a series of 19 animated maps.

View series: Europe and nations, 1918-1942

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Germany and the Treaty of Versailles

This map is part of a series of 19 animated maps showing the history of Europe and nations, 1918-1942.

Signed in June 1919, the Treaty of Versailles sealed Germany’s fate. In addition to the loss of its colonies, Germany had to give up Alsace and Lorraine to France and Posnan and part of Prussia to Poland. The Poles were given access to the port of Danzig; this German port together with the city of Memel was placed under the control of the League of Nations. In other regions, local populations were consulted by referendum: the cities of Eupen and Malmédy became part of Belgium, and Northern Schleswig was incorporated into Danish territory. Later, in 1921, part of Upper Silesia was transferred to Poland.

Saarland was placed under the control of the League of Nations until a referendum planned for 1935 decided its future. Meanwhile the Anschluss, a process for reunifying Germany and Austria, was forbidden, regardless of the wishes expressed by both populations.  

As a result of these moves, Germany lost 88,000 square kilometres of territory and 8 million inhabitants, East Prussia was cut off from the rest of the country by the “Dantzig corridor”, the left bank of the Rhine temporarily occupied by France, and the Rhineland was declared a demilitarized zone.  

Finally, Germany, considered morally responsible for the war, was required to pay the Allies a considerable sum – 132 billion gold marks – in reparations.