German Foreign Relations 1919-1932
International relations for the Weimar Republic had a great impact on day to day life. The isolation that Germany suffered following the war, along with the reparations that were demanded of the German economy, were hugely significant. As a defeated power, the German state was not invited to participate in many international organisations. This status as an international pariah was on one that was challenged in a number of ways. From passive resistance to the reparations payments, to diplomatic efforts. These saw relations between Germany and the Allies, particularly France and Great Britain, vary over time. In the 1920’s the mood changed a little as did the approach to International relations from the Germans and other nations. This led to a number of significant treaties and aid agreements. Some of these are outlined below.
The Locarno Pact
In 1925 representatives of the Governments of Germany, Britain, France, belgium, Italy and Czechoslovakia met in Locarno, Switzerland. Led by Stresemann, Briand and Austen Chamberlain these diplomats engaged in discussions about how to ensure peace in Europe and established a range of agreements.
Firstly the meeting confirmed the German rights to the Rhineland in the form of a mutual guarantee signed by Germany and France. This was significant as it marked a move away from the previous French policy, in which they had occupied the area for failure to keep up with Reparations repayments. The meeting also confirmed and guaranteed the common borders of Germany, France and Belgium as set out in the Treaty of Versailles. This confirmed the peaceful intentions of all nations and signified an end to any potential claims that any of these nations may have had to land: for example, the previously disputed provinces of Alsace and Lorraine.
Arbitration agreements between the German Government and the Governments of France and Belgium were also signed at Locarno, there was also an agreement between the German and Polish Governments regarding border issues – and a statement that any disputes would be settled by arbitration only. These agreements and mutual guarantees opened up the door to Germany’s future membership of the League of Nations.
Recommended links on the Locarno Pact:
The Kellogg – Briand Pact
Recommended links on the Kellogg – Briand pact:
This site hosts copies of a range of documents associated with the Pact.
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