World War One - War Guilt
The Treaty of Versailles was signed ten years before the printing of the attached article, and within that time the German press had literally published hundreds of thousands of editorials objecting to the treaty's clause that placed all blame entirely on Germany for the start of the war. In order to mark this anniversary, the editors of The Literary Digest decided to run this article that reported on how that country felt about "the war-guilt lie".
This surprising article appeared sixteen years after the Versailles Treaty was signed; it argued that the "War Guilt" clause (article 231) had been deliberately mistranslated by the German Foreign Minister, Count Ulrich von Brockdorff-Rantzau (1869 - 1928):
"Brockdorff-Rantzau, coldly, haughtily, in the best German manner but with trembling legs, carried the thick [treaty] back to his hotel and he and his aides made their own translation into German... Count Brockdorff not only exercised his prerogative there; but he inserted words not synonymous with any that the Allies had written."
This article from THE NATION was written by Alfred Von Wegerer in the interest of refuting Versailles Treaty article 231, which reads:
"The Allied and Associated Governments affirm, and Germany accepts, the responsibility of Germany and her allies for causing all the loss and damage to which the Allied and Associated Governments and their nationals have been subjected as a consequence of the war imposed upon them by the aggression of Germany and her allies."
Von Wegerer, like most Germans at that time, got mighty hot under the collar when he stopped to consider that Germany was blamed entirely for the start of the First World War. This article was written nine years after the close of the war when a number scholars on the allied side had already stepped forward to question, what has come to be called, "the war guilt clause".
Read about the total lack of war guilt that existed in 1950 Germany...