The Impact of the Treaty of Versailles on Germany


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The Impact of the Treaty of Versailles on Germany

Dear Henry,

Have a happy New Year!

How are you? Hope your well. Sorry that I haven’t written for a long
time, but with the war and everything else that has been going on here
in Germany I’ve been quite busy.

I suppose you have seen the terms of the treaty of Versailles? It’s
outrageous!!! What do you think? I can’t believe how harsh they are!
The worst thing is that we accepted the blame for starting the war
(clause 231) so now we have to except all the punishment.

The treaty is causing many problems for people in Germany. It forces
us to pay reparations to the allies; the bill is set at £6600 million
and has to be paid in annual instalments. The economy in Germany is
already in tatters all our colonies and main sources of making money
have been taken away from us, I don’t know how the British and the
French think we are going to repay them. We have tried to reason with
them but they just ignore us.

We paid £50 million for our first instalment in 1921 but last year we
just couldn’t afford to pay it. Our leader Ebert tried his best to
negotiate for more time, but the French just ran out of patience. They
sent soldiers who simply came marching into the Ruhr region and took
what was owed to them in the form of goods and raw materials. This is
quite legal under the treaty of Versailles, although I think that it
shouldn’t be. A lot of people have had their goods taken from them by
the French and have been left with nothing. I particularly hate the
French they just want to cripple our country, they don’t think about
all they people in Germany who have done nothing at all. I know that
France was destroyed and they want to rebuild it but Germany was also
destroyed and we want to rebuild our country too!!!

After the French came and took goods from the Ruhr our government

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ordered us to all go on strike and stop working. That way there would
be nothing for the French to take away. That didn’t turn out well at
all! The French reacted harshly, killing over 100 workers and
expelling over 100,000 protesters from the region. More importantly,
the halt in industrial production meant that our country had no goods
to trade, and no money to buy things with. This worsened the
situation and resulted in our country having even less money than
before. This is probably one of the main causes for the collapse of
the German currency.

The government tried to solve the problem by printing more money and
it worked at first, we were able pay of debts in worthless marks,
including war loans over £2200 million. People soon realised, however,
that this money was worthless and it could not buy anything of value.
Hyperinflation set in.

I would say that I am quite well off and I lead quite a comfortable
life. I have a nice home, plenty of food too eat and can afford to
treat myself. This is because I earn quite a bit of money. Now I have
to use a wheelbarrow to carry home my wages. Now I know what you must
be thinking, that I must be very rich if I have to carry my wages home
in a wheelbarrow. However, that is not the case- although I can dream!
The reason I carry my wages home in a wheelbarrow is because of
Hyperinflation. Wages are now paid daily instead of weekly and the
price of bread can be up too 2 million marks! Infact the price of
goods can rise between joining the back of a queue in a shop and
reaching the front! Money loses half of it’s value in twelve hours.
Now I can only just afford to buy my family food. I’ve had to sell my
possessions to raise money. I suppose I’m lucky some people have died
from starvation as they can not afford food.

I just hope that things improve for us all in the New Year. Best
wishes from me and my family


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