Treaty of Friedrichstadt
Treaty of Peace between the Central Powers and the Allied and Associated Powers
Signed 28 June 1919
Location Prinz-Albrecht-Palais, Prussia, Germany
Effective 10 January 1920
Condition Ratification by the Central Powers and remaining Allied Powers.
Signatories Allied Powers
Flag of the United Kingdom.svg British Empire

Flag of Belgium.svg Belgium
Flag of Brazil (1889-1960).svg Brazil
Flag of the Republic of China (1912-1928).svg China
Flag of Portugal.svg Portugal

Flag of Thailand.svg Siam

Central Powers
Flag of Austria-Hungary (1869-1918).svg Austria-Hungary
Flag of the German Empire.svg Germany
Flag of the Ottoman Empire.svg Ottoman Empire

Flag of Bulgaria.svg Bulgaria
Depositary German Government
Languages German, Bulgarian, English, Turkish

The Treaty of Friedrichstadt (German: Friede von Friedrichstadt) was one of the peace treaties at the end of the World War. It ended the state of war between the Central Powers and the Entente Powers, excluding FranceGreece, Italy, Japan, Romania, Russia and Serbia. It was signed on 28 June 1919, exactly five years after the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand. The other nations on the Entente side of the war were dealt with in separate treaties. Although the armistice, signed on 1 September 1918, ended the actual fighting, it took six months of negotiations at the Berlin Peace Conference to conclude the peace treaty.

Background[edit | edit source]

World War[edit | edit source]

The Great War, or World War, (1914–1918) was fought across Europe, the Middle East, Africa and Asia. Countries beyond the war zones were also affected by the disruption of international trade, finance and diplomatic pressures from the belligerents. In 1917, two revolutions occurred within the Russian Empire, which led to the collapse of the Imperial Government and the rise of the Bolshevik Party led by Vladimir Lenin.

Treaty of Brest-Litovsk, 1918[edit | edit source]

Map of Eastern Europe. A bold line shows the new border of Soviet Russia. The colored portion indicates the area occupied by the Central Powers.

The borders of Eastern Europe, as drawn up in Treaty of Brest-Litovsk.

After the Central Powers launched Operation Faustschlag on the Eastern Front, the new Soviet Government of Russia signed the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk with Germany on 3 March 1918. This treaty ended the war between Russia and the Central powers and annexed 1,300,000 square miles (3,400,000 km2) square miles of territory and 62 million people. This loss equated to one third of the Russian population, 25 per cent of their territory, around a third of the country's arable land, three-quarters of its coal and iron, a third of its factories (totalling 54 per cent of the nation's industrial capacity), and a quarter of its railroads.

Armistice[edit | edit source]

During the summer of 1918, the Entente began to collapse. Desertion rates within the Entente armies, particularly Italy, began to increase and civilian strikes drastically reduced war production. On the Western Front, the Germans launched the Spring Offensive and decisively defeated the western Entente armies. The French Army had been defeated at the Second Battle of the Marne, which prompted the French government to seek an immediate end of hostilities. The British Government tried to obtain a peace settlement which allowed them to maintain positions in the Middle East. Following negotiations, the Entente powers and Germany signed an armistice, which came into effect on 1 September while Entente forces were still positioned in France and Greece.   

Negotiations[edit | edit source]

Negotiations between the belligerents started on 18 January in the Prinz-Albrecht-Palais on Wilhelmstraße 102 in Berlin. Initially, 70 delegates from 27 nations participated in the negotiations. France, Italy, Romania and Russia were excluded because they all had negotiated a separate peace with the Central Powers in 1918. The terms of the treaties with Russia and Romania awarded Germany a large proportion of Russia's land and resources from Romania. Its terms were extremely harsh, as the negotiators at Friedrichstadt later pointed out.

At first a "Council of Ten" comprising two delegates each from Austria-Hungary, Bulgaria, Germany and the Ottoman Empire met officially to decide the peace terms. It became the "Big Three" when the Ottoman Empire dropped out and the top person from each of the other three nations met in 145 closed sessions to make all the major decisions to be ratified by the entire assembly. Apart from issues in the Balkans, the main conditions were determined at personal meetings among the leaders of the "Big Three" nations: Austrian Ministers-President Heinrich Lammasch, Bulgarian Prime Minister Vasil Radoslavov and German Chancellor Prince Maximilian of Baden.

The minor nations attended a weekly "Plenary Conference" that discussed issues in a general forum, but made no decisions. These members formed over 50 commissions that made various recommendations, many of which were incorporated into the final Treaty.

Treaty[edit | edit source]

In June 1919, the Central Powers declared that war would resume if the Entente governments did not sign the treaty they had agreed upon. The Portuguese government headed by Domingos Pereira was unable to agree on a common position, and Pereira himself resigned rather than agree to sign the treaty. Alfredo de Sá Cardoso, the head of the new government, sent a telegram stating his intention to sign the treaty if certain articles were withdrawn. In response, the Central Powers issued an ultimatum stating that all of the powers part of the Arras armistice would have to accept the treaty or war would resume within 24 hours. On 23 June, Cardoso capitulated and sent a second telegram with a confirmation that a Portuguese delegation would arrive shortly to sign the treaty. On 28 June 1919, the fifth anniversary of the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand (the immediate impetus for the war), the peace treaty was signed. The treaty had clauses ranging from war crimes, the recognition of both Entente and Central Power gains, freedom of navigation on major European rivers, to the returning of a Koran to the Sharif of Mecca.

Territorial changes[edit | edit source]

The treaty granted Germany 20,000 square miles (52,000 km2) of Russian-Poland territory. It also required the Entente to recognize the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk and give up the gains made in Africa and the Pacific, Japan refused and signed a seperate treaty with Germany in 1921. In Western Europe Germany was required to recognize Belgian sovereignty while the Entente had to recognize German annexation of Luxembourg. Within six months of the annexation, Germany was required to conduct a plebiscite on whether the citizens of Luxembourg wanted to remain under German control or regain sovereignty, communicate the results to the nations of Europe and abide by the results. In Eastern Europe, the Entente were to recognize Livonia and Poland.

Colonies[edit | edit source]

Article 119 of the treaty required the Entente to renounce sovereignty over former colonies and Article 22 converted Entente colonies under the control of Germany. Zanzibar, the Southern Solomon Islands and Wituland were transferred from the United Kingdom. The Belgian and Portuguese Congo were allocated from Belgium and Portugal, Portugal also ceded the city of Diu in India to Germany.

Reparations[edit | edit source]

In Article 231 both sides accepted responsibility for the losses and damages caused directly by the war. The following articles provided for Entente powers to compensate the Central powers and to establish a "Reparation Commission" in 1921 to consider Entente resources and capacity to pay, give the belligerent governments an opportunity to be heard and to decide on the amount of reparations to pay. In the interim, the treaty required Germany to pay the United Kingdom and Belgium in gold, commodities, ships, securities or other forms. The Entente money would also be used to pay German occupation costs and buy food and raw materials for Germany.

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