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German History in Documents and Images
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Troops Parade through the Versailles Palace (January 18, 1871)
An early example of photographic reportage, this image contrasts starkly with Anton von Werner’s A Billet outside Paris. Here, we see an honor guard of German troops parading through the “Salon de la Paix” ["Salon to Peace"] in the Versailles Palace: one wonders whether the irony of this was entirely lost on the troops, the photographer, or the German public. The proclamation of Prussian King Wilhelm I as German Kaiser took place on the same day in the very next room, the Hall of Mirrors.