of isolationism and paid little attention to the worsening world situation.
The institutions that had been set up at the Paris Peace Conference in 1919 were losing legitimacy and authority fast. The peace treaty had saddled Germany with a draconian peace treaty, which not only gave the Germans the responsibility for the outbreak of war in 1914, but also decided that Germany had to pay enormous reparations to the victorious powers. This treaty, which was signed in Versailles in 1919, fuelled deep German resentments that gnawed away at the Weimar regime
for Germany; some countries might demand reparations for the atrocities committed by Hitler’s Nazi regime.
The second option was to call in a meeting of the four Great Powers who had occupied Germany in 1945 and divided the country into occupation zones – Britain, France, the USA and the USSR – and then invite East and West Germany to join them in negotiations to renegotiate the division. This was another embarrassment for Germany. The Foreign Minister Hans-Dietrich Genscher preferred to present the negotiating parties as the ‘two-plus-four countries’ – thus
claims that whereas persons can lawfully resort to violent defence only in the moment of danger, states can use armed force for certain offensive purposes as well. States, for example, have the right to avenge themselves and to exact reparations for wrongs suffered in the recent past. In a war between states, then, ‘everything is lawful which the defence of the common weal requires. This is notorious, for the end and aim of war is the defence and preservation of the State’ (Vitoria 1934b , p. lv). A state’s authority to wage war rests with the prince, Vitoria