Treaty of Schönhausen
Treaty of Peace between the Central Powers and France
Signed 4 June 1920
Location Pankow, Prussia, Germany
Effective 31 July 1921
Condition Ratification by France and Central Powers.
Signatories Flag of France.svg France

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, Turkish, French

The Treaty of Schönhausen was the peace agreement of 1920 to formally end the World War between the Central Powers and France. The principal beneficiary of the treaty was Germany. In addition, France had to pay war reparations to the Central Powers, particularly Bulgaria and Germany. The treaty was dictated by the Central Powers rather than negotiated and the French had no option but to accept its terms. The French delegation signed the treaty under protest on 4 June 1920 at the Schönhausen Palace in Pankow, Prussia.

The modern boundaries of France are the same as those defined by the Treaty of Schönhausen.

Aims of the Central Powers[edit | edit source]

The leaders of Austria and Germany had stated their differing objectives with respect to France during the Berlin Peace Conference, 1919. The common theme was the revanche spirit of France had been broken. However, it was a shock to the world when the treaty said the Central Powers were in agreement keeping the government of the third republic intact.

German aims[edit | edit source]

As the only major power sharing a land border with France, Germany was chiefly concerned with weakening France as much as possible. The German Chancellor Prince Maximilian of Baden described Germany's position best by telling Lammasch: “Austria is protected by the mountains. You are sheltered; we are not.” Germany wished to bring the Belgian border to Boulogne-sur-Mer or to make Belgium a vassal state but this demand was not met by this or any other treaty. Instead France partially disarmed by demolishing its northern forts, Germany gained mandate over the steel producing city of Briey and promises of war indemnity of four billion Reichsmarks to prevent French rearmament.

Austrian aims[edit | edit source]

Austria-Hungary had suffered some land devastation during the war and Minister-President Heinrich Lammasch supported reparations to a lesser extent than the Germans. Austria-Hungary began to look on Britain and France as potentially important trading partners and worried about the effect of reparations on their economy.

Treaty terms[edit | edit source]

To compensate for the damages to Germany's metal industry, France was to cede the output of the Boulogne steelworks to Germany. Mainland France was spared territorial losses, in exchange for colonial concessions. The Comoro islands in the Indian Ocean, Djibouti and the border region of the Congo in Africa passed to German colonial rule. It also required France to recognize the annexation of Luxembourg and all other post war agreements.

The terms of the armistice called for an immediate evacuation of French troops from northeastern France within fifteen days. In addition, it established that forces from the Central Powers would occupy this area up to the Seine river. In late 1918, German and Austrian troops advanced to the river and began the occupation. A framework for the withdrawal of German troops from certain areas would be done systematically to be completed on 24 January 1923.

Military[edit | edit source]

Conscription was abolished and the French Army was limited to a force of 100,000 volunteers. In conjunction, France was forbidden to manufacture or import aircraft or related material for a period of six months following the signing of the treaty. The frontier was to be demilitarized, all fortifications along the Franco-German border and 50 kilometres (31 miles) north of it were to be demolished and new construction was forbidden until the occupation ended.

Reparations[edit | edit source]

Article 232 of the treaty noted France would pay "compensation for all damages done to Germany and Associated Powers during the period of belligerency". Article 233 notes that the level of compensation to be paid would be four billion Francs.

See also[edit | edit source]

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