Many historians, in hindsight, believe that the Allies were excessive in their punishment of Germany and that the harsh Treaty of Versailles actually planted the seeds of World War II, rather than foster peace. The treaty’s declaration that Germany was entirely to blame for the war was a blatant untruth that humiliated the German people. Furthermore, the treaty imposed steep war reparations payments on Germany, meant to force the country to bear the financial burden of the war. Although Germany ended up paying only a small percentage of the reparations it was supposed to make, it was already stretched financially thin by the war, and the additional economic burden caused enormous resentment. Ultimately, extremist groups, such as the Nazi Party, were able to exploit this humiliation and resentment and take political control of the country in the decades following.