The humiliating peace terms of the First World War were one of the root causes of Nazism. Hitler was determined that the peace he imposed would extinguish that humiliation. He ordered that the railway carriage where the 1918 Armistice had been signed by the defeated German army should be brought to the exact same spot in the Forest of Compiegne for the ceremony to be held on the 22nd June.
American journalist William Shirer described Hitler after he had arrived that warm afternoon:
grave, solemn, yet brimming with revenge… There was something else, difficult to describe, in his expression, a sort of scornful, inner joy at being present at this great reversal he himself had wrought.