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January 25, 2011 / jmeuropeana

League of Nations, peace with Germany (times 2), Affair of the Queen’s Necklace

On the 25th of January –

In 1919 the League of Nations is founded. An initivative backed strongly by US President Woodrow Wilson and designed to ‘end all wars’ was officially and ironically created at the Versailles Peace Conference. It grew to encompass 58 members in the mid-1930s, but was mostly ineffective at preventing conflict. It got a lot of negative publicity and a bad rap.
Here is a telling poster from Switzerland, urging the Swiss not to cede any sovereignty to the League:
Schweizervolk - Lass dich nicht Binden! [People of Switzerland - Don't Let Your Hands be Tied!] VADS Collection: Imperial War Museum: Posters of Conflict - The Visual Culture of Public Information and Counter Information
A monument erected to condemn the League’s defence of aerial bombardments as a ligitimate form of warfare:
Anti-Abyssinian War Memorial VADS Collection: Public Monuments and Sculpture Association

The Soviet Union signs a peace treaty with Germany in 1955. A huge propaganda machine was put in place to sell the peace treaty, particular in Western Germany – why was this so important fro GDR/DDR and USSR? I didn’t know this… If any German people read this – could you point me to a source explaining this period? Interestingly enough only months after this peace treaty, BRD joined the NATO and GDR joined the Warsaw Pact.
Here is and example of a propaganda poster:
11 Köpfe 11 Landschaften 11 Berufe aber nur eine Forderung - Der Forderung von 65 Millionen Friedensvertrag mit Deutschland Nationale Front des demokratischen Deutschland

The ‘Affair of the Queen’s Necklace‘ (the Collier de la Reine) takes place in 1785. It was an elaborate con played by one Jeanne de Valois-Saint-Rémy on Marie Antoinette. Despite Marie Antaoinette being the victim here, it did not do much good for the popularity of the French royal family. Four years later the Revolution took place…
This is a drawing of the actual collier:

And these are the Mémoires justificatifs – the (self-?)justifying memoirs – of the main protagonist:
Mémoires justificatifs
If your German is better than your French, we also have the German version on offer.


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