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News

The Versailles Treaty is a 100-Year-Old Event

28.06.2019

Referring to the novel “And Quiet Flows the Don” we can remember how the representatives of the newly established Soviet Power gathered a meeting on March 4, 1919, in Tatarsky Village. Speaking at the meeting Commissar Shtokman asked the Cossack audience a question: “What did the war against Germany give you?” and gave his answer: “Thousands of dead Cossacks, orphans, widows, ruins…” Shtokman is a skilled speaker, giving facts he puts pressure on the sore. Yes, the war was to be ceased, but how?

In the end, it turned out that, after joining the Civil War, not only the Cossacks, but Russia itself, turned out to be away from the “winners” according to the results of the First World War, without hitting the number of the winning countries.

Exactly 100 years ago, on June 28, the Versailles Peace Treaty was signed, under which there was no signature of our country, which lost a total of more than 8 million people. Russia was not even invited to Versailles – the Entente did not recognize the Country of the Soviets.

All the blame according to the Versailles Treaty fell exclusively on Germany and the Triple Alliance (which besides Germany included Austria-Hungary and Italy). Those countries were obliged to pay reparations to the victor countries. In addition, the armed forces of Germany were reduced, a ban was imposed on the new military equipment, colonial possessions were rejected, and the territory of Germany itself was curtailed in favour of Poland and Czecho-Slovakia. The economically developed regions of the country westward of the Rhine passed under the control of the Entente representatives.

Some of the territories of the former Russian Empire, which had fought in alliance with the victor states, were transferred to the Baltic countries and Poland.

Politicians predicted a short existence of such a position. Indeed, the excessive pressure on Germany gave rise to a sharp increase in Nazism and revanchism in the country, which brought Adolf Hitler to power. Heavier consequences of the Versailles Peace were not long in coming:after more than two decades, the world swiftly rolled into the abyss of the even bloodier Second World War.

M.A.Sholokhov knew well the morals of that era and truthfully reflected them in his works.

Alexey Kochetov