On June 28, 1919, on the outskirts of Paris, European dignitaries crowded into the Palace of Versailles to sign one of history’s most hated treaties. Known as the Treaty of Versailles, it formally ended World War I—and at the same time laid the foundation for the Second World War. Though it was preceded by a peace conference that lasted over a year, the treaty was disliked by every nation that signed it.
Over 65 million people had fought in World War I, and more than 8.5 million military members and at least 6.6 million civilians died. The war decimated farmland, towns, and battlefields around Europe. And according to many, Germany was to blame. Though contemporary historians