1. In Versailles, at dinner, Balfour told Nicolson that after the official opening of the Conference, Balfour walked down the steps with Clemenceau. A.J.B. wore a top hat: Clemenceau wore a bowler. A.J.B. apologized for his top hat. "I was told," he said, "that it was obligatory to wear one." "So," said Clemenceau, "was I."
Charles L. Mee, 1981
2. [T}his meeting signifies for us the end of this terrible war, which threatened to destroy civilization and the world itself. It is a delightful sensation for us to feel that we are meeting at a moment when this terrible menace has ceased to exist
Woodrow Wilson, Opening Address, 18 January 1919
3. If it is said that the war is won, it would perhaps be more accurate to say that there is a lull in the storm. At the very least, it is necessary to provide for all eventualities. Recent discoveries have enabled us to pierce the enemy's designs to a greater extent than hitherto. They were not merely a dream of military domination on the part of Prussia, but a definite conspiracy expressly aiming at the extermination of France.
George Clemenceau, Interview, 9 February 1919
4. I was one of the millions who trusted confidently and implicitly in your leadership and believed that you would take nothing less than ‘a permanent peace’ based on ‘unselfish and unbiased justice,’” wrote Bullitt. “But our government has consented now to deliver the suffering peoples of the world to new oppressions, subjections, dismemberments—a new century of war., upon reading the draft treaty,
Resignation statement of
U.S. Peace Commissioner William C. Bullitt, 7 May 1919
5. Those insolent Germans made me very angry yesterday. I don't know when I have been more angry. Their conduct showed that the old German is still there. Your Brockdorff-Rantzaus will ruin Germany's chances of reconstruction. But the strange thing is that the Americans and ourselves felt more angry than the French and Italians. I asked old Clemenceau why. He said, "Because we are accustomed to their insolence. We have had to bear it for fifty years. It is new to you and therefore it makes you angry"
David Lloyd George, 8 May 1919 (Quoted in Lord Riddell's Diary)
6. The great day of Versailles has come. The victorious peace will be signed in the Hall of Mirrors on Saturday, June 28. The government wishes the ceremony to have the character and austerity that goes with the memory of the grief and sufferings of our country. Nevertheless, public buildings will be decorated and illuminated. The citizens will surely follow this example.
All measures to preserve order have been taken by the government: the public is asked to conform to them for the successful outcome of the ceremony.
The day of Versailles will take place as should such a great day in the world's history.
Mayor of Versailles, Henri Simon, 28 June 1919
7. Today...the disgraceful Treaty is being signed...The German people will... reconquer the place among the nations to which it is entitled.
Editorial, Deutsche Zeitung, 28 June 1919
8. This is not a Peace. It is an Armistice for twenty years.
Marshal Ferdinand Foch, 1919
9 No political party can acquire any driving force except through hatred; it must hold someone to obloquy. If so-and-so’s wickedness is the sole cause of our misery, let us punish so-and-so and we shall be happy. The supreme example of this kind of political thought was the Treaty of Versailles.
Bertrand Russell, 1928
10. We were preparing not Peace only, but Eternal Peace. There was about us the halo of some divine mission. We were bent on doing great, permanent noble things.
Sir Harold Nicolson, British delegate to the Peace Conference, 1933