The Versailles Treaty, signed on January 18, 1919, stripped Germany of their colonial empire and forced harsh monetary reparations to be paid by Germany to the allied powers for damages suffered during the war. The treaty also incorporated article 231, known as the War Guilt Clause, which formally placed the blame of the Great War on Germany. Article 231 had a profound effect on German psychology because Germans felt they were at no more fault than any other party involved. The final article of interest was known as the Rhineland Demilitarized Zone, which made Germany remove all troops within a thirty mile belt of the border with France.
The Nazis gained fuel for their growing movement in the form of propaganda denouncing the Versailles treaty. In their twenty-five point party platform of 1920, point two stated that they demanded "equality for the German nation among other nations, and the revocation of the peace treaty of Versailles- Point three demanded "land (colonies) to feed our people and to settle our excess population. "(Remak 28) Hitler carried a copy of Article 231 on his speaking tours to evoke emotion from his crowds. (Remak 20) .
The French took advantage of the demilitarized zone in the Rhineland in January of 1923 and moved into the Ruhr industrial region of Germany. French officials blamed German tardiness of reparation payments as the cause of the invasion. The Invasion proved to be a diplomatic catastrophe for the French and provided a training ground for Germans that were too young to have fought in the war. Herman Fuhrbach, like many other young Germans, gained military training from one of the multiple resistance groups operating in the Ruhr area during French occupation. Fuhrbach officially became a storm trooper of the Nazi party in 1926, and his story resembles those of other young men who resisted the French. (Remak 45,46) .
The men who had fought in the trenches during the First World War were left with feelings of betrayal towards those who did not fight in the war.