Position Papers on War Guilt

  • United States of America

    Position paper: war guilt

    Dear Delegates, Honourable Chair,

    The Great War that we fought for almost four years now leaves open question like who was actally responsible for the outbreak of the war? Therefore the Delegation of the United States of America looked in depth at the events that occured in the years before the war broke out. The following analysis was taken from a neutral point of view.

    In 1911 Germany was the factor for the beginning of the second Marrocoan crisis. They provocated France by sending the gunboat SMS Panther. This was not only a verbal attack, furthermore a military action by the German Emperor. This taken action obviously showed that Germany already at this point wanted a war.

    After the archduke Franz Ferdinand was murdered, Germany gave Austria-Hungary a blanco-check for any military help, which made it easier for Austria-Hungary to start a war in the Balkans. Another action that the delegation of the United States of America looks at in a very sceptical way, as it is obvious that Germany was one of the parties that provoced an on going war in the Balkan area.

    Following the Russians mobilized their military to intervene in the Balkans and to help its ally Serbia. This action was the same action that Germany did a few days earlier by supporting its ally Austria-Hungary. Germany furthermore set provokingly an ultimatum to Russia, which they did not accept, as they were mobilizing just like Germany did. The subjective view from the German side therefore led to the declaration of war against Russia. As Russia therefore was attacked, its allies France and Britain mobilized to help Russia in an act of war.

    As history shows, German politics were aggresive towards the other states. The delegation of the United States of America interprets the history in that way, that Germany did not even leave any place for diplomatic actions for the Entente powers. After Germany declared war on Russia, the Entente powers needed to focus on the point that according to Germany´s aggressive politics, that the attack of France was only a matter of time. This fear of a German attack was prooven right by history and therefore the actions by the Entente were understandable.

    According to the historical events, the delegation of the United States of America sees Germany as the aggressor who provoked the Great War. Therefore we give Germany the sole responsibility for the outbreak of the Great War.

    Thank you for your attention.




    Committee: Paris Peace Conference

    Country: The United Kingdom

    Topic: War Guilt

    The war of the past four years has left greater scars on the world than any war before it. It has been detrimental to society as a whole with over 17 million deaths. very single soul has been well acquainted with the casualties of war, whether by losing somebody dear or by themselves suffering the wounds of war. The war has also had economic consequences costing the allied and central forces over 180 billion dollars. It has left nations and their relations shattered. It is consequently in every nation’s best interest to attempt to avoid another such occurrence.

    This war has cost the United Kingdom a great deal. About a million of our people have died, 7 million pounds were spent each day, leading to an 11-fold increase in the national debt. In 1914, it was our strong opinion that the war should be avoided. However, despite our efforts in averting it we found ourselves obliged to declare war once Germany had rejected to retreat from Belgium, whom we promised to defend under the Treaty of London in 1839. The United Kingdom fought faithfully to attempt and bring the war to an end and we have suffered our fair share of losses for said cause until late 1918 when Germany signed an armistice.

    The guilt of initiating the war, in the opinion of the United Kingdom, does not lie solely on one country. After the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand, Austria-Hungary delivered an ultimatum that the Serbs could hardly fulfil. Russia however mobilized its army before said offer was refused by the side of the Serbians. The Germans further encouraged the war by declaring war on France and ignoring the neutrality of countries such as Belgium. Ultimately the pre-militarization of Russia and the war mongering of Germany were undeterrable forces in initiating the war. Therefore the delegation of the United Kingdom demands the war guilt be divided between Russia, Germany and Austria-Hungary as the initiators of the war.






    Farmer, A. (2006). Britain: Foreign affairs 1919-1939 (3rd ed.). London: Hodder Murray.

    Macmillan, M. (2002). Paris 1919. Random House Trade Paperback



    Comittee: PPC
    Country: The Japanese Empire
    Topic: War Guilt, Position Paper


    War guilt is the topic of Germany being forced to sign a paper which claims that they are exclusively to be blamed for the cause and all of the damages that occured in World War 1.

    The Japanese Empire played not much part in the start of the war, as our wise Emperor found there to be no place for us in Europe’s pitiful conflicts. However, on the 7th of August the Japanese Empire was directly asked for assistance in taking down German naval fleets; the wise Emperor then on the 14th sent Germany an ultimatum, which went unreplied, making the Japanese Empire to take side with the Allies.

    The delegates of the Japanese Empire believe, and would like to say, on behalf of the wise Emperor, that War Guilt is something that we care not take much part in, seeing as Japan has other far more important topics to care about, and that finding someone to blame for all of these conflicts, is merely a bad excuse for all of the European countries to have something to console themselves about, seeing as the big powers, know that they have done equally as much.

    We would however still like to say that giving the new republic of Germany the whole blame for the war, and also the blame for all the damages caused, is what the Empire finds to be a quite very bad idea.

    Germany will develop a grudge for all the countries involved in this, and will attack them first when they come to power again, this should be done in a more peaceful method, our wise Emperor believes.

    To make peace come out of this, and not develop more problems, the Council of Four should have found out by now, that you shall punish Germany, but not destroy them.



    Committee: Paris Peace Conference

    Country: The delegation of Germany

    Topic: War Guilt


    Honorable Chair, Fellow Delegates,

    The war that we witnessed was the greatest, the most fatal conflict that the human kind has ever seen. Over 8.5 million people died. In trenches, in battlefields or in their own houses – innocent people that were just in the wrong place at the wrong time. Another million will be cripples, mental and physical, for the rest of their lives. If they are villagers they mostly do not have a place to come back to. The war that went through their countries left behind only impoverished fields, ruined farms. All of us have to go back to an average world, but is there anything like that left?

    We all made that hell on Earth. It is not only the Serbian extremists’ fault. The assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand was just the final push of the trigger the we were all waiting for. Since the Franco- Prussian War Europe has not been a truly peaceful land. Encapsulating of Triple Alliance and later Triple Entente proves that we all have been preparing for a long time. The Arms race began, and we as Germany took part in it. What happened in the Balkans? Conflict between Serbians and Austro- Hungary was growing for all these years and the annexation of Bosnia in 1908 only exacerbated that. Another bone of contention was colonies. Our nation and Italy, Great Britain and France were all bitterly fighting for more. The world as a whole was full of enmity and was waiting for such an opportunity. And then it happened: the future leader of our ally was murdered. The war machine had started. We, as Germany, were a part of this, yes, but the Germans, too suffered. Our people experienced exhausting and slow deaths in the trenches. Five thousand people died every day towards the end.

    That is what happened. And we shall not the judge of who are the culprits. We all struggled for our countries, for our colonies, for glory! But there are no victors in this fight, we all lost too much and we all are guilt the same. As such, the German delegation proposes the creation of a neutral commission to be granted the right to investigate the archives of belligerent participant of this Great War. Nothing short of confidence should be given to the question of guilt, and this can only be achieved through the impartial determination of a party inbound by national requirements.

    Thank you for your attention,

    The German Delegation








    Paris Peace Conference

    The Kingdom of Belgium

    War Guilt


    The war we have experienced in these four years was presumed to be the most terrible, bloodthirsty war in our European History. Every decent and innocent countries suffered from it and its outcome. European soils were destroyed by the massive amount of bombardments and artilleries. The men and women who served in the War endured some of the most brutal forms of warfare ever known. Millions were sent to fight away from home for months, and underwent a series of terrible physical and emotional experiences. Regarding the situation, certain solutions are required not to repeat this again.

    We, as the Kingdom of Belgium saw our land conquered by German forces on August 4th. Despite the fact we announced our neutrality on July 24th, we found out the necessity to get armed and resist to the brutal action. The Battle and Siege of Liege which followed after that led to the total destruction of our home country. Our land has been called in a dishonored name “Battlefield of Europe” since many battles were fought in Belgium.

    Some may argue the responsibility of Serbia in the discussion of War Guilt, but the kingdom of Belgium would regard the factor less critical compared to that of Germany and her alley Austria-Hungary Empire. Austria-Hungary first sent an ultimatum to Serbia which was plotted action since she had wanted to take over the country for a long time. Germany exceeded her aid and attacked innocent countries such as us and Luxemburg. Since the invasion of Belgium constituted not only an act of aggression but also a violation of international law. As a conclusion, the kingdom of Belgium suggests the War Guilt should be shared equally between Austria-Hungary and the German Empire.








    War guilt

    Over the past years our world was a witness of probably the biggest and the most terrible war in history. Millions of people have died, millions of people have become wounded, millions of people have become homeless, millions of people have become orphans. Most of them were innocent and now they will be traumatized for the rest of their lives. Most of them were just non-combatant.

    We as Canada were supporting Entente. We are a part of the Britain Empire and the decision about going to the war was not a decision of Canadian Parliament. Most of Canadian soldiers were volunteers. The Canadian Expeditionary Force has been fighting with Great Britain against Central Powers. Our nation has lost 60.000 people and thousands have become wounded. Canada is not in Europe therefore Canada has not big infrastructure damages. Canada is not suffering as much as European countries but our nation is also in not the best situation after war. Canadian were trying to help in this conflict not only on the front. German and Austrian people were dismissed from their jobs and interned.

    The delegation of Canada demand that the guilt for this war belongs to Central Powers. All of them should be equally threated and pay reparations. They have attacked innocent countries and contributed to death of millions of people. Both Germany Empire and Austria-Hungary Empire are guilty and have to pay the penalty of the most terrible conflict.




    Committee: Paris Peace Conference

    Country: The Republic of France

    Topic: War Guilt

    Over the past 4 years, a war, which we have never seen before, has raged over Europe. More than 15 million have died in it, of which over half were innocent civilians. The newest firearms and technology used in it has caused a great amount of damage to architecture and infrastructure of cities and rural areas. The ones who suffered the most however, were the citizens of Europe. The unimaginable cruelty and barbarism have left an impact on their psychology. From this day, many people will be traumatized and won’t be able to forget the things they have seen.

    We, as a French nation, have only one question: What was Germany thinking when they started their offensive towards French territory? Didn’t the Emperor think of the consequences of breaking out the war on a global scale and about breaking the international law? Did he later on think about all this people that lost their lives in this meaningless conflict? Since the beginning of war, the Emperor’s forces started a bloody campaign towards the French nation. The terrains of Northern France have been the place of bloodbaths for 4 years, during which countless of lives were lost, territories were exploited by the Reichswehr and the population was terrorized. However, for these 4 long years, the French Army stood their ground and did not break under the weight of German offensive and today, we stand victorious.

    There were many factors that caused the outbreak of this war, including nationalism and the work of a nation that wanted this war so desperately. It is true that it all started from the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand and it is said that is was the Austro-Hungarian Empire that started the Domino Effect but in fact, it was the German Empire that used it as a pretext so it could later emerge from the conflict as a dominant power in Europe. As a delegation of the Republic of France, we demand that all the responsibility should be placed on German shoulders and that they should answer for all the terrible things they have done to France and the whole Europe.


    E.J. Dillon, Konferencja Pokojowa w Paryżu 1919, Księgarnia i Skład Nut Perzyński, Niklewicz i S-KA, Warszawa, 1921.

    D.L. George, Prawda o Traktacie Wersalskim, Towarzystwo Wydawnicze „Rój” sp. z.o.o, Warszawa, 1938.




    Position Paper

    Committee: Paris Peace Conference

    Country: The Kingdom of Hejaz

    Topic: War Guilt

    In last 4 years, a terrible war has been raging over Europe. Due to the new weapons and technology that have been installed more than 17 million people have died, 20 million were left wounded, and 7 million which were completely innocent. Some died on the battlefield and some were taken by the horrible diseases. Alongside the casualties this war has made, it also cost the countries a great deal of money, over 200 billion dollars. Europe has never faced such terrible consequences of a war, and in all hopes, it will never ever have to.

    We as people of Hejaz have suffered from the Ottoman rule since the beginning of the war. The Ottoman rule brought us great displeasure, but we've had enough when they proclaimed a so called ''Turkification'' policy. Our people made 60% of the whole Empire, and we surely would never take the Turkish language as our official one. The only option for the Kingdom of Hejaz was to join forces with the British people, because 21 of our Arab nationalists were executed in 1916 by the Ottomans. As well as Great Britain we also joined forces with France, which gave us great naval forces on the Red Sea territory. Throughout the revolt, the losses of our people are unknown, but the operations our people led were swift and brief. Furthermore, we attempted to overthrow our Ottoman enemy’s by revolting and fighting until our land is unified and independent. Our people were open to revolt and the Ottoman administrative control collapsed in 1918.

    Many factors contributed to the outbreak of the Great War. Many countries suffered great losses and all of them have demands of their own. As a consequence we, the delegation of the Kingdom of Hejaz, demand that the guilt for this war should be focused on the Ottoman Empire, and the Germans, who supported and supplied the Ottomans, as well as the Austro – Hungary. The assassination of the archduke was a great motive for the outbreak of the war itself, but we also think it was not just the Serbian terrorists who were responsible for the beginning of the war. Russia stepped in to defend the Slavic people from the Austro-Hungarian attack, while Germany attacked France, causing deaths in other countries such as Luxembourg and Belgium. Finally, the Ottoman Empire wanted to gain power and spread their language on our territories, when all we wanted was freedom and neutrality.


    Creating Chaos: Lawrence of Arabia and the 1916 Arab Revolt








    The Great War has been, perhaps, the most terrible event in all of human history. Never before has the world experienced a conflict on such a scale, nor one which has accumulated the amount of suffering this war has. Many early and unnecessary deaths have been brought upon the people of the world, including those of over seven million innocent civilians, and the burden of the large-scale destruction of Europe has brought chaos upon the entire continent. Cities and towns have been flattened, families torn apart, and livelihoods lost, and the Polish people have been no exception to these atrocities. The Polish Peace Delegation believes that this cannot go unpunished, and the countries responsible cannot go without blame.

    The Polish people have been deeply affected by the Great War. Much of the conflict on the Eastern Front has been on Polish land, which has been burned and utterly destroyed by the Imperial Russian Army. Our suffering was not ended with the retreat of the Russians in 1915 by the Germans and Austro-Hungarians, as the Germans later occupied large areas of Polish land, including Warsaw. This action resulted in hundreds of thousands of our people being deported or moved to labour camps, with over a million refugees fleeing Poland. Moreover, all Polish lands were ceded to the German Empire following the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk, which did not allow for the recovery of our statehood. Two million Polish troops fought in the war, conscripted to fight against their Polish brethren in French, Russian, German, and Austrian armies, with half returning wounded and a quarter killed. We cannot shut our eyes to the chivalrous virtue and civic merits of our soldiers. Following negotiations in November 1918, German troops withdrew from Warsaw and the independent Polish state was announced to the Allied governments which became recognized after the delegate’s appointment as Prime Minister.

    The Polish Peace Delegation sees three parties as responsible for the war: The German Empire, the Austro-Hungarian Empire, and Russia. Although it was Gavrilo Princip who assassinated the Archduke Franz Ferdinand which was the cause of the Austro-Hungarian Empire’s attack, this delegation views the Austro-Hungarian Empire as an aggressor. Likewise, Russia entered the war to defend Serbia while fully aware that the conflict could escalate with the likely introduction of the German Empire, which itself displayed too much willing aggression and allowed its ally to go forward. Therefore, war guilt should be divided between the German Empire, the Austro-Hungarian Empire, and Russia, divided in the ration 5:3:2.










    War guilt


    Honourable chairs, distinguished delegates,


    Conflicts – they all differ from each other. Some of them end quickly, some of them last nearly forever. One of them are rapid and brutal, some of them are more tactical and in their own way beautiful, making national heroes, heroic battles, fighting with honour. Sadly the war which took place here in Europe, but also on the other parts of the world, was neither fair, nor beautiful. More than 17 million of people were killed, more than 20 million wounded – mentally or physically. More than one third of killed people were innocent civils. Those war can't be forgotten by citizens of the world, normal human beings, who have suffered from it from the very beginning to the very end. Almost everybody had some connections to the dead.


    And now, here is the question? If they were innocent whose fault was it that this has even happened.

    Sadly we can't say that the war was truly just, the point of view will always be different for different countries. That doesn't obviously mean that we should not debate here, the justice is always needed, even if that will always be some people who will feel that they were treated not fair.


    We represent the newly built Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes, connecting South Slavic people under one country. Citizens of regions like Serbia, Kosovo, Bosnia, Herzegovina, Montenegro, Croatia, Slovenia. We are all brothers, the people with similar language, names, traditions. Sadly, we haven't been able to live peacefully, our nowadays land was torn apart. Regions being provinces of the Austrian-Hungary Monarchy. Northern parts of Croatia being magyarised (hungarised). The invaders wanting to change our religion, language, nationality. Luckily we had our Slavic spirit and unity to rise from the ashes, just like the phoenix. Suddenly something started to change, and the first call was the rebirth of the Kingdom of Serbia in 1878. The others who wanted independence started to rise. We tried to help the allied forces, but we have lost our battles, but not the war. We have always supported the Entente's attempts to fight the evil forces.


    The patriotic organisation ”Black Hand” and Gavril Princip killed the Archduke which has led to the chain of events resulting in the war. Many can say that it was their or our fault. But saying that is like not seeing the basic facts. This was even too late, the people of the Balkan were too long under the hand of other powerful kingdoms and empires. This started the chain of events which could result to war, with Russia helping the Slavic brothers in need. Once again we are sure that the war would still come to live, only a few months later. Germany was already preparing to war and the South Balkan regions were just like a „boiling pot”. But the biggest question is not who passively started the war like this group of nationalists but who has done the most bad. The things like chemical weapons, breaking alliances, treaties and truces. This was obviously both nations of the German empire (attacking France, violating neutrality of Luxembourg and Belgium, using minorities to fight against each other). The other empire who was mainly fault was the Austrian-Hungarian Empire which started the domino effect and has done a lot to fight to the end and attacking quickly without even small wanting of the peace.


    Thank you very much.



    Forum: Paris Peace Conference

    Subject: War Guilt

    Country: Republic of China

    Co-Submitters: -



    The Paris Peace Conference,


    Deeply disturbed by the effects this war had on the whole world,

    Alarmed by the terrible things that had happened,

    Noting with regret, the losses every nation had to pay,

    Noting with concern, that Japan is not aware of the fact it caused the war in East Asia,


    The Paris Peace Conference:


    1. Reminds Germany to give back it‘s colonies in Shangdong


    1. Notes, that Japan was willing to help the Republic of China to conquer back German colonies, however Japan occupied these



    Committee: Paris Peace Conference

    Country: The Dominion of India

    Topic: War Guilt


    The world has been disrupted by a horrendous war, causing millions of deaths and devastation amongst us all. Vast amounts of money have been spent. Enormous damage has been done. Countless people have suffered; and not just in Europe alone. Let us not forget how the burden of this war has rested on all of us.

    However we, The Dominion of India cannot emphasize enough how the war has had a tremendous effect on us. Due to our reputable sense of honor and duty, we have tried doing everything possible to help The British Empire in its time of need. This has included the astonishing, but yet not sufficiently appreciated number of nearly 800 000 soldiers, of whom over 78 000 lost their lives. In addition 500 000 noncombatant volunteers participated in the war. So in total 1.3 million Indians were involved in helping Britain.

    We have endured the consequences of the war and suffered for The British Empire without restraint which is why we seek that our respectable actions are fully acknowledged. The Dominion of India has proven its loyalty, compassion and strength in whatever capacity it could. We have thus proven wrong those who thought we would betray Britain and take advantage of its vulnerable state, which as well causes us to believe we have displayed our stability and competence.

    Just as we have taken responsibility for our duties towards Britain, so responsibility must be taken for causing the war and the misery that has come with it. This responsibility bears on no other nation but The Republic of Germany. It is Germany that invaded neutral Belgium and therefore left Britain no other choice but to protect Belgium and validate The Treaty of London. This caused the war to spread Europe-wide and ultimately worldwide. It is therefore Germany who is as well to blame for our involvement in the Great War.

    The loss of our many men can never be repaid but it is possible for the Germans to make up for the costs that have resulted from the war. Thus, we suggest Germany pays for the damage that has been done by its troops in form of financial charges. Additionally - and we believe this would be in everyone’s best interest – the German naval size should be reduced in order to ensure the safety of the naval economy. This would also clearly reduce the threat that lies in the Germans having too much power.




    Paris 1919 – Six months that changed the world, Margaret Macmillan, 2003, Random House

    BBC Radio 4 - Voices of the First World War Podcast













    Forum: Paris Peace Conference

    Subject: War Guilt

    Submitter: Russia

    Co-submitters: -


    The Paris Peace Conference,


    Alarmed by the number of deceased soldiers and civilians, as well as people who are wounded and considered missing

    Deeply concerned about the capabilities of the new, deadly weapons used during the war

    Convinced that all imperialistic countries are equally responsible for causing the World War I

    Fully believing that imperialism should be replaced with communism

    The Paris Peace Conference:

    1. Considers the First World War a distraction invented by imperialistic countries in order to keep their citizens unaware of the injustice they are experiencing

    2. Further requests bringing the imperialistic regime to an end

    3. Strongly urges all countries to embrace communism and thus stop the maltreatment of their citizens

    4. Condemns the use of chemical weapons and submarines which killed millions of soldiers who were forced and manipulated by imperialists into participating in World War I


    Position paper


    Committee: Paris Peace Conference

    Country: Russia

    Topic: War Guilt


    The First World War which lasted from 1914 to 1918 has been an unprecedented tragedy which brought a tremendous amount of pain and torment across the globe and will for sure be remembered as one of the bloodiest wars in human history. This massive slaughter of both soldiers and civilians was inflicted using extremely deadly, never before seen weapons such as machine guns, as well as chemical weapons, heavy bombers and submarines. The use of innovative technology brought great suffering upon various countries, causing the death of roughly 17 million people and leaving approximately 20 million heavily wounded. Furthermore, 6 million people died solely of starvation and 7.5 million were either left as war prisoners or are considered missing.

    World War I has taken an especially heavy toll on Russia, resulting in 3.8 million deceased soldiers and civilians and thus marking Russia as the country with the highest total number of deaths. We as Russians are still strongly affected by the horrific acts of this terrible war, especially since the monstrous crimes in Russia are still ongoing due to the raging Civil War which has struck our country. The imperial Russia used the Austro-Hungarian declaration of war against Serbia as an excuse to enter the war in order to further tighten its grip on the Russian citizens and distract them from the actual problems in the Russian society by making them fight an external enemy. After the Bolsheviks seized power in Russia we exited the war and signed an armistice with Germany to focus on changing the political regime in Russia and bringing justice to the citizens which had for centuries been used and manipulated by Russian tsars and their imperialistic views.

    Imperialism is without a doubt the true motive behind the outbreak of World War I, as France, Britain, Germany, Austria-Hungary and the Ottoman Empire among other countries all used the war to strengthen their political regime by distracting the citizens from the injustice they were inflicting on them. As the result of this the delegation of Russia demands that all imperialistic countries shall be equally blamed for starting the First World War.