Germany was unwise to enforce draconian punishment

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The Handling of Germany by the Allied Powers in WWI and WWII

The Allied Forces, having learnt their lessons during WWI, understood that it was unwise to severely inflict punishment on Germany as it had led to WWII. The Allied Powers offered economic aid at the close of the two wars, but used numerous diplomatic methods to deal with the repercussions. The paper discusses and contrasts the handling of Germany during WW1 and WW2 by the Allied Powers.

WWI: The Versailles Treaty

At the conclusion of WW1, the Allied Powers held a conference that led to the establishment of the Versailles Treaty (United States Holocaust Memorial). Germany was forced to sign a War Guilt Clause imposing significant economic reparation compensation on Germany (United States Holocaust Memorial). However, the United States provided loans to help German to stabilize economically. At the end of WWII, the Allied forces gave similar economic reliefs to rebuild the country.

Different Political Consequences

The Allied Powers treated Germany differently after the two world wars on political consequences. Unlike after WWI, they showed political softness after WWII (United States Holocaust Memorial). At the end of WWI, the Allied Powers signed the Treaty of Versailles that was extremely harsh on the Germans. They imposed onerous restrictions on their military as part of their vengeance. They had suffered high casualties. As a result, they looked for a scapegoat to impose economic sanctions to recover from the losses. The severe treatment of Germany at the end of WW1 contributed to WW2. Having learned a lesson, the Allied Powers took a different response. They partitioned Germany into four regions (South China Morning Post). They believed that a divided Germany would reduce its strength and prevent it from threatening Europe again (U.S Department of State). However, the different approaches taken by the Allied Forces eventually fuelled the Cold War.


In conclusion, the Allied Powers treated Germany similarly economically and differently politically after the WWI and WWII. After WW II, the Allied Powers avoided the mistake of punishment and instead adopted a softer political approach. However, they offered economic assistance after the two wars. After Germany's defeat in WWII, the Allied powers divided it among themselves and thereby spearheaded the era of the Cold War.

Works Cited

U.S Department of State. “Allied Occupation of Germany, 1945-52.” Archive, 20 Jan. 2009,

United States Holocaust Memorial. “World War I: Treaties and Reparations.” The Holocaust Encyclopaedia, 14 Nov. 2017,

South China Morning Post. “Division of Germany After WWII.” South China Morning Post, 24, Feb. 1993.

October 25, 2022

World History



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Germany World History

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