Human history becomes more and more a race between education and catastrophe.

Posts tagged “1919

Spectators standing upon couches, tables and chairs to get even a glimpse of the Versailles Treaty being signed, France, 1919

I like the guy on the far left. Keeping it classy with that cane.

I like the guy on the far left. Keeping it classy with that cane.

Here’s Sir James Headlam-Morley’s account on the signing:

“There was very little ceremony or dignity. The plenipotentiaries all walked in casually with the crowd… When they were all seated, the German delegates were brought in; they passed close to me; they looked like prisoners being brought in for sentence… The Gernabs signed first and then all the other delegates… When the signing was finished, the session was closed, and the Germans were escorted out again like prisoners who had received their sentence. Nobody got up or took any notice of them, and there was no suggestion that, the peace having been signed, any change of attitude was to be begun. Looking back, the whole impression seems to me, from a political point of view, to be disastrous… As a matter of fact, what was really being done was not merely to make peace with germany, but to sign the Covenant of the Leage of Nations, but of this no one seemed to think… Just the necessary note of reconciliation, of hope, of a change of view, was entirely wanting.”

Source: Osiander, A. (1995). The States System of Europe, 1640-1990: Peacekeeping and the Conditions of International Stability. New York: Oxford University Press. Page 304.