Have we really achieved peace?

Paris Peace Order

There was no shortage of effort: 10,000 participants from 32 countries on all continents met in Paris in January 1919. A contract with 440 articles, which take up almost 260 printed pages in a paperback, was passed. [1] Nothing less should be achieved than abolishing war altogether. "The War That Will End War" [2] - the science fiction author H.G. Wells at the beginning of the Great War, and it was carelessly adopted by US President Woodrow Wilson. In 1795, Immanuel Kant had constructed eternal peace as an idea that one should constantly approach, but which could never be overtaken. [3] Now the war, a normal state of "great politics", an anthropological constant, should be done away with with the stroke of a pen. That was actually science fiction, pure utopia.

This utopia concealed and cloaked the real interests and goals pursued by the French under their Prime Minister Georges Clemenceau and Marshal Ferdinand Foch. After all, Clemenceau was chairman of the conference, and although he by no means prevailed with all his goals, but with the basic intentions of revenge, revenge and security - revenge for the defeat against Germany in 1870/71, for the disgrace of the imperial proclamation in Versailles on 18. January 1871; Revenge for the two wars brought into their own country, for the taking away of Alsace-Lorraine, conquered by the Sun King Louis XIV, for the devastation - the Germans had left scorched earth behind when they retreated [4] - and the victims, the dead and the gueules cassées, the faces of many French soldiers, disfigured by war injuries. Clemenceau had ordered five of them to sign contracts in Versailles, in order to make the German delegation aware of their crimes. It is doubtful whether they even saw the disfigured people in the backlight and the overcrowding of the hall of mirrors. [5]

The French desire for security from the militarily, economically and demographically superior "hereditary enemy", for compensation and satisfaction is only too understandable. However, the implementation was devastating. Because the Versailles Treaty broke with all the rules of traditional international law. He disregarded principles of successful peace agreements, as they were practiced in Münster and Osnabrück in 1648, in Vienna in 1815, in Paris in 1856 and in Berlin in 1878, but were also known in antiquity: amnesty and forgetting of the atrocities of war, recognition of the Enemy as negotiating partner and the will to start a new constructive start in a new order. The fact that the accusation of guilt, which was newly included in a peace treaty, was established in the colonial treaties, casts a telling light on the Versailles treaty and the dealings between winners and losers in Europe. [6]