First World War ended 100 years ago with an atrociously false and unfair peace

Published by carolyn on Thu, 2018-11-08 19:29

Artist's depiction of the World War I armistice signing in the rail car at Compiegne: Germany's Matthias Erzberger (center, standing) and France's Marshal Ferdinand Foch (at right, standing) negotiate what is now called in fake history the German capitulation.

By Carolyn Yeager

ON THE 11TH DAY OF THE 11TH MONTH OF NOVEMBER 1918, a German government delegation led by Mathias Erzberger crossed into France and signed a cease-fire at the 11th hour in the presence of Marshall Ferdinand Foch and other French and British military commanders. Yet this is now called by official historians a German surrender.

Update: See some great pics and news items in real time here:

Germany never intended to surrender militarily, but between this date and 28 June, 1919 when a peace treaty was signed in the Hall of Mirrors at the Versailles palace outside Paris, the United States, Britain, France and Italy colluded in separating Germany from her allies, bullying and blockading (starving) her into accepting unacceptable conditions of peace. They did the same with Austria and Hungary, in separate treaties.

The great “European war” was originally instigated by the irresponsible trade and economic ambitions of the British foreign office (see here), but it got out of control and became a titanic struggle that conservatively took the lives of 8.5 million military personnel, and around 13 million civilians. [An estimated nine million combatants and seven million civilians died as a direct result of the war, while it is also considered a contributory factor in a number of genocides and the 1918 influenza epidemic, which caused between 50 and 100 million deaths worldwide. (Rachel Williams, 2014. Dual Threat: The Spanish Influenza and World War I. University of Tennessee Thesis)].

Because the carnage was so terrible and also for no good purpose, the Allied Powers (British Empire, France, Russia, Italy, and the U.S. after 1917) agreed to fix the blame for starting the war on the Central Powers (Austria-Hungary, Germany, Turkish Ottoman Empire and Bulgaria). While it is not very much emphasized today (WWII has taken its place in that regard), that blame is still officially recognized in the history of this war, the conclusion of which the victors are commemorating on Sunday.

Assigning war guilt

One provision in the Versailles treaty required Germany "[to] accept the responsibility of Germany and her allies for causing all the loss and damage" during the war. Article 231 later became known as the War Guilt clause. The other members of the Central Powers were forced to sign separate treaties (Saint-Germaine and Trianon) containing similar articles.

Georges Clemenceau, French Prime Minister, rebuffed the protestations of German delegation head, Count Ulrich von Brockdorff-Rantzau with regard to German liability, arguing that it was a legal necessity, not a political question. (On May 5, Brockdorff-Rantzau had been informed that the Germans would have no negotiating powers at Versailles. They could only accept or reject the conditions offered within a 15 day window!) Lloyd George of Britain commented that "the English public, like the French public, thinks the Germans must above all acknowledge their obligation to compensate us for all the consequences of their aggression. When this is done we come to the question of Germany's capacity to pay; we all think she will be unable to pay more than this document requires of her." [MacMillan, Margaret; Holbrooke, Richard (2003). Paris 1919: Six Months that Changed the World. New York: Random House.]

The German Chancellor Schiedemann resigned his office rather than sign the treaty. But Field Marshal Hindenburg advised his government that Germany was in no condition to resume the war, and because the population was suffering greatly, Germany unconditionally signed the peace treaty on 22 June 1919, hoping for merciful treatment.

How Europe's leaders are commemorating the Centennial

Commemorative events in Europe began on Sunday, Nov. 4 with a concert in Strasbourg's cathedral attended by German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier and French President Emmanuel Macron (seen embracing above). Macron has since traveled across northern and eastern France to visit former battlefields. On Friday, Macron and British PM Theresa May will lay wreaths in the town of Albert to honor British soldiers who died at the Battle of the Somme. On Saturday, Macron will meet German Chancellor Angela Merkel in the village of Rethondes for a ceremony at the train carriage where the armistice was regrettably signed by the Germans in 1918.

The culminating event will be the ceremony at the Arc de Triomphe in Paris on Sunday, November 11, where some 60 heads of state and government, including Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin, are expected to attend. World leaders will then attend a 3-day 'peace forum' arranged by Macron and to be opened by Merkel.

Notably, no armistice ceremonies have been planned in Germany, or in Austria or Hungary. Instead of peace, the armistice and following treaties brought only years of punitive demands, economic hardship, widespread poverty and hunger to Germans, Austrians and Hungarians.

Two of my podcasts and a short article on WWI can be found here, here and here.

Macron attacks Nationalism, Hitler

As he toured centennial sites this week, Macron warned about the “risng threat of far-right nationalism” currently, telling a regional newspaper that “complacency was what allowed for the rise of Hitler and Mussolini.”

"I would suggest that you reread what was said at the time," the 40-year-old president said.

"Well-educated, well-informed people said that we could get along with the nationalists. As I recall, nobody, not even the wealthiest and the best educated, blocked the rise of Hitler in one country and Mussolini in another.

Yet he upset the Jewish community by announcing that Marshal Philippe Petain would be honored alongside seven other generals at the Saturday ceremony with Merkel. Petain was a national hero in WWI for defeating the Germans at Verdun in 1917, but later was imprisoned as a traitor after France was so soundly defeated by the Wehrmacht in 1940 that the honorable Petain, as Chief of State, had to agree to an armistice and the occupation of Vichy France by Adolf Hitler's regime. As usual, Jews only really care about what affects them.

Macron also pointed to the success of the National Front in France and Matteo Salvini's League party in Italy as a threat to peace:

"I want to draw everyone's attention to this point. Is it the case that nationalist sentiments are rising? Yes. Are the people who are pushing for a return to conflict not those who are gaining ground in a number of European countries? Yes."

"We must look these (nationalisms and extremes) in the face and tackle the root causes of the inequalities that exist. That's what I'm trying to do."

This will probably be addressed at the world 'peace forum' scheduled for next week.

Woodrow Wilson's Vision of Peace

U.S. President Wilson came into the war in 1917 with high-sounding words about bringing lasting peace and democracy to the world, i.e. "The war to end all wars" and "Making the world safe for democracy." At the website, you can read a selection, in German and English, of his incredibly biased speeches to Americans, meant to convince them to join the fight in Europe, and note his increasingly hostile attitude toward Germans once the US was in the fight.

It must be pointed out that Wilson's 14 Points were used to give self-determination to the various Slav groups that had been a part of the Austro-Hungarian empire. This empire was already breaking up in 1918 and becoming the separate Republic of Austria and Kingdom of Hungary. But after the Poles', Czechs', Slovaks', Romanians' and other south Slav independent territorial demands were met, Austria had lost 60% of its former land mass and Hungary was 72% smaller! Both became land-locked nations where previously they had access to the sea and even had a substantial navy. These two nations were screwed by the “peace process” even worse than was Germany. Their economies were destroyed by eliminating their self-sufficiency in many essential commodities, which they did not have the money to purchase. See here.

Notice there was no Poland in 1914; Poles lived mainly in Russia and Prussia. The Czechs, Slovaks and South Slavs were in Austria-Hungary primarily. All the new countries that were carved out for them after the war, seen in the bottom map, failed. (click to enlarge)

President Wilson, however, ignorant of European realities, must have been impressed by his own sense of moral right and his lofty phrases. For instance:

Address to Congress, Jan. 1918 -

The program of the world's peace, therefore, is our program; and that program, the only possible program, as we see it, is this ...

Point VIII. All French territory should be freed and the invaded portions restored, and the wrong done to France by Prussia in 1871 in the matter of Alsace-Lorraine, which has unsettled the peace of the world for nearly fifty years, should be righted, in order that peace may once more be made in the interest of all. [Germany's interest of course doesn't count.]

Point X. The peoples of Austria-Hungary, whose place among the nations we wish to see safeguarded and assured, should be accorded the freest opportunity of autonomous development. [Reneged on this, as the Austrians who were ethnically German were prevented from joining with Germany as they wished to do by a vast majority. They also could not “develop” as so much of their resources were given to the new states.]

Point XIII. An independent Polish state should be erected which should include the territories inhabited by indisputably Polish populations, which should be assured a free and secure access to the sea, and whose political and economic independence and territorial integrity should be guaranteed by international covenant. [By cutting German West Prussia off from East Prussia to provide a Polish-owned corridor to the Danzig port, this only set the stage for conflict with Germany, not peace.]

Point XIV. A general association of nations must be formed [League of Nations] under specific covenants for the purpose of affording mutual guarantees of political independence and territorial integrity to great and small states alike.

We have no jealousy of German greatness, and there is nothing in this program that impairs it. We grudge her no achievement or distinction of learning or of pacific enterprise such as have made her record very bright and very enviable. We do not wish to injure her or to block in any way her legitimate influence or power. We do not wish to fight her either with arms or with hostile arrangements of trade if she is willing to associate herself with us and the other peace-loving nations of the world in covenants of justice and law and fair dealing. We wish her only to accept a place of equality among the peoples of the world, the new world in which we now live, instead of a place of mastery. [Mastery is reserved for the inner circles of London and New York, where Jewry rules. That's how I see it.]

Speech in New York, September 27, 1918.

We are all agreed that there can be no peace obtained by any kind of bargain or compromise with the Governments of the Central Empires, because we have dealt with them already and have seen them deal with other Governments that were parties to this struggle, at Brest-Litovsk and Bucharest. They have convinced us that they are without honor and do not intend justice. They observe no covenants, accept no principle but force and their own interest. We cannot "come to terms" with them. They have made it impossible. The German people must by this time be fully aware that we cannot accept the word of those who forced this war upon us. We do not think the same thoughts or speak the same language of agreement.

The reason we can't get it right today is because we're still getting it wrong about then. When will you put historical exactitude first, Europe?


Jerry writes that he has trouble posting comments on this page, so I am posting it for him. -Carolyn

 I was able to post a comment at the American Legion's magazine.

There seems to be some disagreement about which side got American assistance.

What were they fighting for?  My Mom's Uncle Dan came back from France. I wish I would have gotten a chance to talk to him about Remus Baker.

When President Woodrow Wilson sent U.S. troops to hold the Trans-Siberian railroad, secret instructions were given by Woodrow Wilson in person to General William S. Graves. We have not yet located these instructions (although we know they exist), but a close reading of the available files shows that American intervention had little to do with anti-Bolshevik activity, as the Soviets, George Kennan and other writers maintain.

So grateful were the Soviets for American assistance in the Revolution that in 1920 - when the last American troops left Vladivostok - the Bolsheviks gave them a friendly farewell.

Reported the New York Times (February 15, 1920 7:4): 


I'm not a fan of Anthony Sutton's conclusions from his research.

And Jerry, don't just copy and paste text from incompatible formats into the comment box. Clear all the formatting first using something like Notepad. That might be your problem.

Jump on and see Tweets froM WWI, if you can: It's been chronicling every day of WWI for the past four years. Right now it's featuring the break-up of Germany and Austria-Hungary in real time.
I'm amazed at the sudden proliferation of communist movements and governments in this period (October-November 1918). It's one thing to read about it in a history book, another to see it in Twitter's calender-style format: you get a real sense of immediacy. We can understand now how Hitler and other returning veterans believed that Europe was sinking into chaos. 

Thanks, Carolyn.  Excellent stuff.  I'm counting on Prof. Faurisson to deliver thunderbolts from on high until we get the exactitude that is so needed.
Trying to get a .pdf of A. C. Bell's History of the Blockade but not having much luck.  May have to make due with the online version at

An Australian historian denounces the usual histories written of WWI because they didn't look at German records which he has done.

“What we’ve had for a hundred years now is one side of the story. Although the information from the German side exists and can corroborate what the Allies say, no-one has looked at their primary sources, and the Germans tell a very different story to the British and the Australians.”

“[The officers] were not to blame [for defeats], really. The Germans were to blame. They were just very, very well organised.”

Having a privilege of being able to read about the War in several languages, to me this war is like an elephant and several blind men. Wherever one's heart is, understands that war accordingly. It is exceedingly hard to find people, even historians able to transcend the blindness and see the elephant at least from the other side. This is sad but we people are very imperfect, irrational creatures.
The Poles, the world champions in historical short-sightedness, will tell you that WW1 was just a prelude to Poland regaining its independence, and they are very grateful to the US for Wilson's and to Colonel House's help. One of the reasons why the US is very popular there. A Russian will tell you that the WW1 was no more and no less than England's attempt to murder Russia with German hands and vice versa. One of the reasons why most Russians like Germany and consider it consistently Russia's nr. 2 friend in the world (after Byelarus, of course) in yearly opinion polls.  Only the Germans say nothing lest anybody consider them a Nazi. Most are so brainwashed that they think WW1 was also Germany's fault. Sad. 

Hasso, what you say about the Poles seeing WWI only in terms of the outcome gaining them a state again, what do you think that says about them? To me, it says they are so much like the Jews in seeing all events only in terms  of what is gained by them. It's fine to want independence, but at what cost? Always seems to be at someone else's expense. Seems offensive to me to name that day as their Independence Day. Maybe you can give a different take on it.

What were the Netanyahus doing at the WWI centennial event in Paris on Sunday?! And sitting in the front row only 3 places to the right of Melania and Donald Trump, who were right in the middle with Merkel and the Macrons. Can anyone explain what Jews or Israel have to do with WWI?

I caught sight of that in a video only, so can't post it here. But here's a picture of the spouses on Sunday, and there is the poisonous little dwarf in between Melania and Brigitte. I believe she must have jumped in there just in time for the picture! (click to enlarge)

I recall a book published around 1960 by some German historian by the name of Fischer entitled “Germany’s War Aims In World War I“ in which he claims Germany had indeed expansionist territorial ambitions in that war.  Are you saying such claims have no merit?

Everyone in that war had expansionist territorial ambitions (except the USA, but it wanted to direct the world order politically). No one would go to war without goals and purpose. However, you need to compare the ambitions of the other parties involved before you can make a judgment.

Great Britain wanted to remove competition from Germany in both world wars, and thought the best most thorough way (and how it had succeeded in the past) was to defeat it militarily. The US was in agreement in both instances. So no matter what Germany hoped to gain from a victory doesn't change that it was the British who wanted the war. Germany did not want a war. Germany also had an inkling of how it would be treated if it lost.

Not on topic (sorry for that), but maybe interesting as well:
"German CDU youth wing filmed singing Nazi-era military song"
Good lord, some drunken CDU-Youth sang the "Westerwald-Lied" ("Oh du schöner Westerwald" and even the more popular version and not the Wehrmacht one) and it is made a scandal here. One can only shake ones head seeing what is going on in Germany. :-(

I think there is a lot to this. I have read similar things before and find it very compelling. But just like with the 2nd WW, everyone involved is happy to blame German 'aggression', especially Britain, which is why it won't change. They won't  let it.

The Russian Origins of the First World War

Sean Mcmeekin


The catastrophe of the First World War, and the destruction, revolution, and enduring hostilities it wrought, make the issue of its origins a perennial puzzle. Since World War II, Germany has been viewed as the primary culprit. Now, in a major reinterpretation of the conflict, Sean McMeekin rejects the standard notions of the war’s beginning as either a Germano-Austrian preemptive strike or a “tragedy of miscalculation.” Instead, he proposes that the key to the outbreak of violence lies in St. Petersburg.

It was Russian statesmen who unleashed the war through conscious policy decisions based on imperial ambitions in the Near East. Unlike their civilian counterparts in Berlin, who would have preferred to localize the Austro-Serbian conflict, Russian leaders desired a more general war so long as British participation was assured. The war of 1914 was launched at a propitious moment for harnessing the might of Britain and France to neutralize the German threat to Russia’s goal: partitioning the Ottoman Empire to ensure control of the Straits between the Black Sea and the Mediterranean.

Nearly a century has passed since the guns fell silent on the western front. But in the lands of the former Ottoman Empire, World War I smolders still. Sunnis and Shiites, Arabs and Jews, and other regional antagonists continue fighting over the last scraps of the Ottoman inheritance. As we seek to make sense of these conflicts, McMeekin’s powerful exposé of Russia’s aims in the First World War will illuminate our understanding of the twentieth century.

I wasn't very interested in celebrating this, as I agree with many historians who said nothing was worth WWI, but there were the usual talk radio types who bravely talked about fighting for  freedom and if we hadn't gone 'over there', 'the world would be speaking German.' One of my most detested phrases. Some angry caller dumped on Macron, saying 'if America hadn't been around, the French would have been goose-stepping for one hundred years!' Wow. 
A childhood book I read said WWI began, much like people in a dark room with guns bump into each other and start shooting. This seems more realistic. I remember a BBC dramatization of the Lusitania sinking that in the end blamed it on Churchill, but not the British seem to have swung the other way and keep trumpeting 'we won the war.'
One book I enjoyed was The German Wars, written in the 70's by a Canadian historian. He has no sympathy for Hitler, but stated Germany wasn't totally responsible for the war, and in fact he puts a lot of the blame for France, who desperately wanted Alsace and Lorraine back, and were looking for any allies anywhere. He held that the French plunged europe into this disaster, then bled themselves dry. But every major power had a reason for war, and sadly, there were too many who believed it would be a quick war. What might be more sinister is how Wilson could claim to be neutral, but then once in, sought to remake the world according to American plotocratic ways...the League and UN are our creations, and how J.C. F. Fuller stated the war, and WWII, was a struggle between Heroic man and Economic man. It began a hundred years war of consumerist society and 'Kultur'. The results are now before us. 
Then, I beleive it was Churchill who said that 'Germany is getting too strong and we must destroy it.'
Probably Germany's tragedy was it had weak leadership. Wilhelm was no Bismarck. It's sad how the denigration of the Germans began then and still lingers, but as Herman Wouk observed, the British are excelent propagandists. Recall how much bad press Richard III still has, or how Cleopatra is still seem as a sexed-up tart seducing Marc Anthony, not the brilliant ruler she was.