I think an important question to ask is that, if imperial Germany had been in the position of the victor, would they have treated their vanquished opponents with mercy?
Let's look at a really harsh treaty, the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk, which Imperial Germany forced a defeated Bolshevik Russia to sign in 1917. Let's see how that treaty deprived the Russians of 55 million of their population, large tracts of their lands won since 1878 and much of their natural resources. Observe the plentiful number of German puppet states created in Eastern Europe. See this being implemented on a Europe-wide scale, with a German ruling class at the head of an authoritarian, racist, militaristic state holding sway over all of Europe, and a bunch of Slavic serfs at the bottom. See aggressive settler colonialism of the kind that would make Israel look decent to a lot of its haters. See genocides, forced deportations, ethnic cleansings and general unpleasantness continent-wide. See an unpredictable, dangerous and erratic Kaiser empowered to carry out his most vicious, fascistic fantasies (i.e. bombarding New York). See the German Empire steadily pushing Britain into the position of a client state. See an Ottoman Empire empowered (and infected with German-sponsored Islamic extremism) to carry out even more violence than was customary against its minorities. See a German Empire invading South America and challenging U.S. hegemony.
If you want an idea of how the German Empire treated its minorities:
"In the German province of Alsace-Lorraine, acquired by conquest from France thirty years earlier, there was discontent when a new German Secretary of State was appointed for the province. He had hitherto ruled the Danish majority in North Schleswig, another German imperial conquest of the nineteenth century, and had been hated for his hostility to the Danes under his control; he had even placed restrictions on the use of the Danish language on all those living in the province.
"The swift growth of the Polish population in those parts of East Prussia which ,at the end of the eighteenth century, had been part of the Polish sovereign lands partitioned by Germany, Austria and Russia, was becoming a further cause for internal dissent. There was astonishment throughout Europe when, that December, twenty Polish schoolchildren in the town of Wreschen who refused to say their prayers in German, a language they did not understand, were flogged. On hearing their children's cries their parents broke into the school, but were expelled by the police, and several sent to prison for up to two and a half years for having used abusive language to the forces of order. The highest sentence went to a widow with six children.
"...The policy of trying to turn the Polish-speaking population into a German-speaking one had begun fifteen years earlier, under Bismarck. It was paralleled by the German government's purchase of considerable tracts of land in the Posen region and the settlement of Germans there, but this only further exacerbated the feeling of the Poles against the Germans.
"The German government was determined to suppress all Polish national sentiment. The Polish language was not allowed to be taught in schools - though it could not be forbidden in homes -and Poles were excluded from the civil service, which included the teaching professions. During a raid on several Polish-language newspaper offices, documents were found which confirmed the desire of the Poles inside the German Empire for a national future for Poland, when it would no longer be divided between three empires. Several editors and thirteen Polish students were arrested and imprisoned.
"The crisis continued for many months. It intensified when the German Chancellor, von Bülow, in an interview at the beginning of the following year with the Berlin correspondent of the Paris Figaro, characterized Germans as hares and Poles as rabbits, telling the journalist: 'If in this park I were to put ten hares and five rabbits, next year I should have fifteen hares and a hundred rabbits. It is against such a phenomenon that we mean to defend German national unity in the Polish provinces.' The real problem confronting the Germans was not numbers, however, but, as the chief burgomaster of Posen, a Prussian official, commented, the rise of a vigorous Polish middle class. With this group, whose activities in business and the professions were impressive, the Polish national movement was ceasing to be aristocratic, as it had been in the past, and was becoming democratic and radical. Its appeal was thus far wider than it had been half a century earlier.
Other observers noted that it was not only the Poles in East Prussia, where they constituted 10 percent of the population, but those Poles scattered in many areas of the German Empire, including nearly 20,000 in Berlin, 90,000 in Westphalia and 25,000 in the Rhineland, who were being attracted to Polish nationalism. They published their own newspapers, had their own social clubs, and generally held themselves apart from the Germans among whom they lived."-Martin Gilbert, A History of the Twentieth Century, Volume One: 1900-1933 (HarperCollins Publishers, 1997, p.47-49).