After the Paris Peace Conference was convened on January 18, 1919, the victorious powers – the United States, Great Britain, France, and Italy – needed some months for secret negotiations to finalize the conditions for a lasting peace. On May 7, 1919, they presented their draft to the German delegation. It stipulated, among other things, sizeable territorial losses in the east and west of the country and laid the sole blame for the war on the German Reich. The German counter-proposals were hotly debated by the victors. Whereas France insisted on the retention of all points included in the original draft, the United States and Great Britain were willing to make some concessions.
The photograph shows the representatives of the victorious powers, with the exception of Italy: (from left to right) French Prime Minister Georges Clemenceau (1841-1929), American President Woodrow Wilson (1856-1924), and British Prime Minister David Lloyd George (1863-1945).