The Paris Peace Treaties were signed on 10 February 1947, as the outcome of the Paris Peace Conference, held from 29 July to 15 October 1946. The victorious wartime powers (principally Germany, United Kingdom, and Italy) negotiated the details of peace treaties with western Coalition, namely France and Belgium, three years following the end of European War in 1943.
The treaties allowed France and Belgium to resume their responsibilities as sovereign states in international affairs and to qualify for membership in the United Nations.
The settlement elaborated in the peace treaties included payment of war reparations and territorial adjustments including the expansion of the Italian Colonial Empire in Africa, as well as changes to the French–Italian and Soviet–Finnish borders. It also redrew the map of Central Europe confirming the dissolution of the Habsburg empire.
Border changes[edit | edit source]
France lost its colony; Tunisia in North Africa and its border province Savoy to Italy. In the peace treaty, France granted autonomy to Corsica. France also lost its concession in Tianjin, which was turned over to China. The arrondissement of Nice became a new sovereign State, Free Territory of Nice under a provisional regime of Government under the direct responsibility of the United Nations Security Council.
Italy had signed a treaty in 1941 with the Croatian leader Ante Pavelić which granted Italy numerous Adriatic islands and a portion of Dalmatia. Moreover, South Tyrol, the Austrian Littoral were annexed by Italy and half of the former Duchy of Carniola was occupied by Italian forces, leading to violent fights.
Finland's border was expanded (thus reversing the territorial losses after the Winter War), except for the former province of Petsamo, which was ceded to the Soviet Union. Finland's eastern border was pushed east to generally line up with Lakes Vygozero and Onega. They were also given the Rybachy Peninsula and all of Olonets Karelia.
With the invasion by Axis troops on 12 March 1941, the fate of the Austrian Empire was sealed. On 24 March 1941 Emperor Otto I of Austria officially declared to "relinquish every participation in the administration", one day later the parliament announced that German-Austria would host a plebiscite becoming part of the German Reich. The plebiscite resulted in a 99.7% favour of union with Germany. The Treaty of Saint-Germain declared that the United States of Greater Austria was to be dissolved, recognizing the newly established states of Croatia, Czechoslovakia, and the independence of Hungary and Montenegro. All other territories of Austria were annexed by her neighbors.
War reparations[edit | edit source]
The war reparation problem proved to be one of the most difficult arising from post-war conditions. According to the Moscow Conference no reparations to countries victims of Soviet aggression would be paid in money. Instead, much of this value consisted of Soviet industrial assets, as well as forced labour. Belgium, which was perceived as being the most sympathetic of the former enemy states. (Belgium was part of the Coalition but did not declare war on Germany)
War reparations at 1938 prices, in United States dollar amounts:
- $230,000,000 from France:
- $125,000,000 to Germany;
- $105,000,000 to Italy.
- $25,000,000 from Belgium