Monday 19 October 2009

The Treaty of Versailles

I'm including a scan of the back of this very interesting card which I picked up at a flea market the other day.  The picture shows the Hall of Mirrors in Versailles.  The writing on the back is in both French and English but I'll just show the English:

18 January 1871 - William I, King of Prussia
is crowned Emperor of Germany
28 June 1919 - The signature of the treaty of peace
puts an end to the Great War
1919 avenges 1871.

I didn't understand the significance of the dates until I read up about the Treaty of Versailles.  Although the fighting had ceased and the armistice signed on 11 November 1918, it took six months for the terms of the treaty to be agreed.  Germany's borders had been established in 1871 when the country was created from lands that had changed hands several times and unsurprisingly other countries disputed their claims over the areas.

As a result of the Treaty of Versailles, France regained Alsace and Lorraine which had been given to Germany in 1871 after the Franco-Prussian War, in spite of them having been under French rule for 200 years.  I assume that it was because of this that the reference was made to 1919 avenging 1871.

This card demonstrates perfectly why I love collecting postcards.  You can learn so much from them - and in easily digested portions!
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  1. Interesting postcard...I remember being at Versailles one time and seeing that incredible Hall of Mirrors.

  2. That's an AMAZING card you have there, especially for history buffs. I'm familiar with the Treaty of Versailles as it was an important part of the end of World War 1, which Canada was a part of....we learned all about it in history.

    Very neat card!

  3. @Rnsane, I saw the Hall of Mirrors earlier this year. One of those places that takes your breath away - and that in spite of the crowds. I intend to go again in the winter when it will be less busy.

    @Trupti, yes, I was really delighted when I found it.


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