"The World and Japan" Database (Project Leader: TANAKA Akihiko)
Database of Japanese Politics and International Relations
National Graduate Institute for Policy Studies (GRIPS); Institute for Advanced Studies on Asia (IASA), The University of Tokyo

[Title] Treaty of Peace between the Allied and Associated Powers and Germany (Versailles Peace Treaty)

[Date] June 28, 1919
[Source] Modern International Relations: Basic Documents, Volume 1, Kajima Institute of International Peace, pp.386-401.
[Full text]

Preamble (…)

Part I The Covenant of the League of Nations (Article 1~Article 26) (…) [See the Document 193 of this Book, Volume 2]

Part II Boundaries of Germany (Article 27~Article 30) (…)

Part III Political Clauses for Europe

Section I Belgium

Article 31~Article 33 (…)

Article 34 Germany renounces in favour of Belgium all rights and title over the territory comprising the whole of the Kreise of Eupen and of Malmedy.

During the six months after the coming into force of this Treaty, registers will be opened by the Belgian authority at Eupen and Malmedy in which the inhabitants of the above territory will be entitled to record in writing a desire to see the whole or part of it remain under German sovereignty.

The results of this public expression of opinion will be communicated by the Belgian Government to the League of Nations, and Belgium undertakes to accept the decision of the League.

Article 35~Article 39 (…)

Section II Luxemburg (Articles 40~Articles 41) (…)

Section III Left Bank of the Rhine

Article 42Germany is forbidden to maintain or construct any fortifications either on the left bank of the Rhine or on the right bank to the west of a line drawn 50 kilometres to the East of the Rhine.

Article 43 In the area defined above the maintenance and the assembly of armed forces, either permanently or temporarily, and military maneuvers of any kind, as well as the upkeep of all permanent works for mobilization, are in the same way forbidden.

Article 44 In case Germany violates in any manner whatever the provisions of Articles 42 and 43, she shall be regarded as committing a hostile act against the Powers signatory of the present Treaty and as calculated to disturb the peace of the world.

Section IV Saar Basin

Article 45 As compensation for the destruction of the coal-mines in the north of France and as part payment towards the total reparation due from Germany for the damage resulting from the war, Germany cedes to France in full and absolute possession, with exclusive rights of exploitation, unencumbered and free from all debts and charges of any kind, the coal-mines situated in the Saar Basin as defined in Article 48.

Article 46~Article 48 (…)

Article 49 Germany renounces in favour of the League of Nations, in the capacity of trustee, the government of the territory defined above.

At the end of fifteen years from the coming into force of the present Treaty the inhabitants of the said territory shall be called upon to indicate the sovereignty under which they desire to be placed.

Article 50 (…)

Section V Alsace-Lorraine

The HIGH CONTRACTING PARTIES, recognising the moral obligation to redress the wrong done by Germany in 1871 both to the rights of France and to the wishes of the population of Alsace and Lorraine, which were separated from their country in spite of the solemn protest of their representatives at the Assembly of Bordeaux, AGREE upon the following Articles:

Article 51 The territories which were ceded to Germany in accordance with the Preliminaries of Peace signed at Versailles on 26 February 1871, and the Treaty of Frankfort of 10 May 1871, are restored to French sovereignty as from the date of the Armistice of 11 November 1918.

The provisions of the Treaties establishing the delimitation of the frontiers before 1871 shall be restored.

Article 52~Article 79 (…)

Section II Austria

Article 80 Germany acknowledges and will respect strictly the independence of Austria, within the frontiers which may be fixed in a Treaty between that State and the Principal Allied and Associated Powers; she agrees that this independence shall be inalienable, except with the consent of the Council of the League of Nations

Section VII Czecho-Slovak State

Article 81 Germany, in conformity with the action already taken by the Allied and Associated Powers, recognises the complete independence of the Czecho-Slovak State which will include the autonomous territory of the Ruthenians to the south of the Carpathians. Germany hereby recognises the frontiers of this State as determined by the Principal Allied and Associated Powers and the other interested States.

Article 82~Article 86 (…)

Section VIII Poland

Article 87 Germany, in conformity with the action already taken by the Allied and Associated Powers, recognises the complete independence of Poland, and renounces in her favour all rights and title over the territory bounded by the Baltic Sea, the eastern frontier of Germany as laid down in Article 27 of Part II (Boundaries of Germany) of the present Treaty up to a point situated about 2 kilometres to the east of Lorzendorf, then a line to the acute angle which the northern boundary of Upper Silesia makes about 3 kilometres north-west of Simmenau, then the boundary of Upper Silesia to its meeting point with the old frontier between Germany and Russia, then this frontier to the point where it crosses the course of the Niemen, and then the northern frontier of East Prussia as laid down in Article 28 of Part II aforesaid.

Article 88~Article 93 (…)

Section IX East Prussia (Article 94~Article 98) (…)

Section X Memel

Article 99 Germany renounces in favour of the Principal Allied and Associated Powers all rights and title over the territories included between the Baltic, the northeastern frontier of East Prussia as defined in Article 28 of Part II (Boundaries of Germany) of the present Treaty and the former frontier between Germany and Russia.


Section XI Free City of Danzig

Article 100 Germany renounces in favour of the Principal Allied and Associated Powers all rights and title over the territory comprised within the following limits:

Article 101 (…)

Article 102 The Principal Allied and Associated Powers undertake to establish the town of Danzig, together with the rest of the territory described in Article 100, as a Free City. It will be placed under the protection of the League of Nations.

Article 103~Article 108 (…)

Section XII Schleswig

Article 109 The frontier between Germany and Denmark shall be fixed in conformity with the wishes of the population. For this purpose, the population inhabiting the territories of the former German Empire situated to the north of a line, from East to West, (shown by a brown line on the map No.4, annexed to the present Treaty):

Article 110~Article 114 (…)

Section XIII Heligoland (Article 115) (…)

Section XIV Russia and Russian States

Article 116 Germany acknowledges and agrees to respect as permanent and inalienable the independence of all the territories which were part of the former Russian Empire on 1 August 1914.

In accordance with the provisions of Article 259 of Part IX (Financial Clauses) and Article 292 of Part Ⅹ (Economic Clauses) Germany accepts definitely the abrogation of the Brest-Litovsk Treaties and of all other treaties, conventions, and agreements entered into by her with the Maximalist Government in Russia.

The Allied and Associated Powers formally reserve the rights of Russia to obtain from Germany restitution and reparation based on the principles of the present Treaty.

Article 117 (…)

Part IV German Rights and Interest outside Germany

Article 118 In territory outside her European frontiers as fixed by the present Treaty, Germany renounces all rights, titles and privileges whatever in or over territory which belonged to her or to her allies, and all rights, titles and privileges whatever their origin which she held as against the Allied and Associated Powers.

Germany hereby undertakes to recognise and to conform to the measures which may be taken now or in the future by the Principal Allied and Associated Powers, in agreement where necessary with third Powers, in order to carry the above stipulation into effect.

In particular Germany declares her acceptance of the following Articles relating to certain special subjects.

Section I~Section VII (Article 119~Article 155) (…)

Section VIII Shantung

Article 156 Germany renounces, in favour of Japan, all her rights, title and privileges particularly those concerning the territory of Kiaochow, railways, mines and submarine cables which she acquired in virtue of the Treaty concluded by her with China on 6 March 1898, and of all other arrangements relative to the Province of Shantung.

All German rights in the Tsingtao-Tsinanfu railway, including its branch lines together with its subsidiary property of all kinds, stations, shops, fixed and rolling stock, mines, plant and material for the exploitation of the mines, are and remain acquired by Japan, together with all rights and privileges attaching thereto.

The German State submarine cables from Tsingtao to Shanghai and from Tsingtao to Chefoo, with all the rights, privileges and properties attaching thereto, are similarly acquired by Japan, free and clear of all charges and encumbrances.

Article 157~Article 158 (…)

Part V Military, Naval and Air Clauses

In order to render possible the initiation of a general limitation of the armaments of all nations, Germany undertakes strictly to observe the military, naval and air clauses which follow.

Section I Military Clauses

Article 159 The German military forces shall be demobilised and reduced as prescribed hereinafter.

Article 160 (1) By a date which must not be later than 31 March 1920, the German Army must not comprise more than seven divisions of infantry and three divisions of cavalry.

After that date the total number of effectives in the Army of the States constituting Germany must not exceed one hundred thousand men, including officers and establishments of depots. The Army shall be devoted exclusively to the maintenance of order within the territory and to the control of the frontiers.

The total effective strength of officers, including the personnel of staffs, whatever their composition, must not exceed four thousand.


The Great German General Staff and all similar organisations shall be dissolved and may not be reconstituted in any form.

Article 161~Article 163 (…)

Article 164 Up till the time at which Germany is admitted as a member of the League of Nations the German Army must not possess an armament greater than the amounts fixed in Table No.II annexed to this Section, with the exception of an optional increase not exceeding one-twentyfifth part for small arms and one-fiftieth part for guns, which shall be exclusively used to provide for such eventual replacements as may be necessary.

Germany agrees that after she has become a member of the League of Nations the armaments fixed in the said Table shall remain in force until they are modified by the Council of the League. Furthermore she hereby agrees strictly to observe the decisions of the Council of the League on this subject.

Article 165~Article 167 (…)

Article 168 The manufacture of arms, munitions, or any war material, shall only be carried out in factories or works the location of which shall be communicated to and approved by the Governments of the Principal Allied and Associated Powers, and the number of which they retain the right to restrict.

Within three months from the coming into force of the present Treaty, all other establishments for the manufacture, preparation, storage or design of arms, munitions, or any war material whatever shall be closed down. The same applies to all arsenals except those used as depots for the authorised stocks of munitions. Within the same period the personnel of these arsenals will be dismissed

Article 169 (…)

Article 170 Importation into Germany of arms, munitions and war material of every kind shall be strictly prohibited.

The same applies to the manufacture for, and export to, foreign countries of arms, munitions and war material of every kind.

Article 171~Article 172 (…)

Article 173 Universal compulsory military service shall be abolished in Germany.

The German Army may only be constituted and recruited by means of voluntary enlistment.

Article 174~Article 177 (…)

Article 178 All measures of mobilisation or appertaining to mobilisation are forbidden. In no case must formations, administrative services or General Staffs include supplementary cadres.

Article 179 (…)

Article 180 All fortified works, fortresses and field works situated in German territory to the west of a line drawn fifty kilometres to the east of the Rhine shall be disarmed and dismantled.


The construction of any new fortification, whatever its nature and importance, is forbidden in the zone referred to in the first paragraph above.


Section II Naval Clauses

Article 181 After the expiration of a period of two months from the coming into force of the present Treaty the German naval forces in commission must not exceed:

6 battleships of the Deutschland or Lothringen type;

6 light cruisers;

12 destroyers;

12 torpedo boats;

or an equal number of ships constructed to replace them as provided in Article 190.

No submarines are to be included.

Article 182 (…)

Article 183 After the expiration of a period of two months from the coming into force of the present Treaty, the total personnel of the German Navy, including the manning of the fleet, coast defences, signal stations, administration and other land services, must not exceed fifteen thousand, including officers and men of all grades and corps.

The total strength of officers and warrant officers must not exceed fifteen hundred.


Article 184~Article 189 (…)

Article 190 Germany is forbidden to construct or acquire any warships other than those intended to replace the units in commission provided for in Article 181 of the present Treaty.


Article 191 The construction or acquisition of any submarine, even for commercial purposes, shall be forbidden in Germany.

Article 192~Article 193 (…)

Article 194 The personnel of the German Navy shall be recruited entirely by voluntary engagements entered into for a minimum period of twenty-five consecutive years for officers and warrant officers; twelve consecutive years for petty officers and men.

Article 195~Article 197 (…)

Section III Air Clauses

Article 198 The armed forces of Germany must not include any military or naval air forces.

Article 199~Article 202 (…)

Section IV~Section V (Article 203~Article 213) (…)

Part VI Prisoners of War and Graves (Article 214~Article 226) (…)

Part VII Penalties

Article 227 (…) [See the Document 234 of this Book, Voiume 2]

Article 228 The German Government recognises the right of the Allied and Associated Powers to bring before military tribunals persons accused of having committed acts in violation of the laws and customs of war. Such persons shall, if found guilty, be sentenced to punishments laid down by law. This provision will apply notwithstanding any proceedings or prosecution before a tribunal in Germany or in the territory of her allies.

Article 229~Article 230 (…)

Part VIII Reparation

Section I General Provisions

Article 231 The Allied and Associated Governments affirm and Germany accepts the responsibility of Germany and her allies for causing all the loss and damage to which the Allied and Associated Governments and their nationals have been subjected as a consequence of the war imposed upon them by the aggression of Germany and her allies.

Article 232 The Allied and Associated Governments recognise that the resources of Germany are not adequate, after taking into account permanent diminutions of such resources which will result from other provisions of the present Treaty, to make complete reparation for all such loss and damage.

The Allied and Associated Governments, however, require, and Germany undertakes, that she will make compensation for all damage done to the civilian population of the Allied and Associated Powers and to their property during the period of the belligerency of each as an Allied or Associated Power against Germany by such aggression by land, by sea and from the air, and in general all damage as defined in Annex I hereto.


Article 233 The amount of the above damage for which compensation is to be made by Germany shall be determined by an Inter-Allied Commission, to be called the Reparation Commission and constituted in the form and with the powers set forth hereunder and in Annexes II to VII inclusive hereto.

Article 234 (…)

Article 235 In order to enable the Allied and Associated Powers to proceed at once to the restoration of their industrial and economic life, pending the full determination of their claims, Germany shall pay in such installments and in such manner (whether in gold, commodities, ships, securities or otherwise) as the Reparation Commission may fix, during 1919, 1920 and the first four months of 1921, the equivalent of 20,000,000,000 gold marks.

Article 236~Article 244 (…)

Section II Special Provisions (Article 245~Article 247) (…)

Part IX Financial Clauses

Article 248 Subject to such exceptions as the Reparation Commission may approve, a first charge upon all the assets and revenues of the German Empire and its constituent States shall be the cost of reparation and all other costs arising under the present Treaty or any treaties or agreements supplementary thereto or under arrangements concluded between Germany and the Allied and Associated Powers during the Armistice or its extensions.

Up to 1 May 1921, the German Government shall not export or dispose of, and shall forbid the export or disposal of, gold without the previous approval of the Allied and Associated Powers acting through the Reparation Commission.

Article 249~Article 263 (…)

Part Ⅹ Economic Clauses (Article 264~Article 312) (…)

Part XI Aerial Navigation (Article 313~Article 320) (…)

Part XII Ports, Waterways and Railways (Article 321~Article 386) (…)

Part XIII Labour

Section I Organisation of Labour

WHEREAS the League of Nations has for its object the establishment of universal peace, and such a peace can be established only if it is based upon social justice;

AND WHEREAS conditions of labour exist involving such injustice, hardship, and privation to large numbers of people as to produce unrest so great that the peace and harmony of the world are imperilled; and an improvement of those conditions is urgently required: as, for example, by the regulation of the hours of work, including the establishment of a maximum working day and week, the regulation of the labour supply, the prevention of unemployment, the provision of an adequate living wage, the protection of the worker against sickness, disease and injury arising out of his employment, the protection of children, young persons and women, provision for old age and injury, protection of the interests of workers when employed in countries other than their own recognition of the principle of freedom of association, the organisation of vocational and technical education and other measures;

WHEREAS also the failure of any nation to adopt humane conditions of labour is an obstacle in the way of other nations which desire to improve the conditions in their own countries;

The HIGH CONTRACTING PARTIES, moved by sentiments of justice and humanity as well as by the desire to secure the permanent peace of the world, agree to the following:

Article 387 A permanent organisation is hereby established for the promotion of the objects set forth in the Preamble.

The original Members of the League of Nations shall be the original Members of this organisation, and hereafter membership of the League of Nations shall carry with it membership of the said organisation.

Article 388~Article 391 (…)

Article 392 The International Labour Office shall be established at the seat of the League of Nations as part of the organisation of the League.

Article 393~Article 426 (…)

Section II General Principles (Article 427) (…)

Part XIV Guarantees

Section I Western Europe

Article 428 As a guarantee for the execution of the present Treaty by Germany, the German territory situated to the west of the Rhine, together with the bridgeheads, will be occupied by Allied and Associated troops for a period of fifteen years from the coming into force of the present Treaty.

Article 429 (…)

Article 430 In case either during the occupation or after the expiration of the fifteen years referred to above the Reparation Commission finds that Germany refuses to observe the whole or part of her obligations under the present Treaty with regard to reparation, the whole or part of the areas specified in Article 429 will be reoccupied immediately by the Allied and Associated forces.

Article 431~Article 432 (…)

Section II Eastern Europe (Article 433) (…)

Part XV Miscellaneous Provisions (Article 434~Article 440) (…)

〔Signature〕 (…)