2.4) Germany: International position, 1924-28.

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Gustav Stressemann and the Policy of fulfillment:

  • All German Classes agreed that the TofV was unfair and dictated.
  • Denied Germany being a great empire in Europe.
  • Placed many Germans in non-German places.
  • All Governments during 1919-33's foreign policy only obeyed TofV.
  • Caused Party divisions over how to obey it.
  • Nationalists wanted to scrap the treaty and rebuild it's military until it can regain it's lost territories again, being a great independent empire.
  • Stressemann was tact and came up with the 'policy of fulfilment'.
  • The policy of fulfilment meant Germany would Cooperate with the Allies on issues like reparations and removing allied territorial occupation.
  • Stressemann was Foreign minister, brought hyperinflation under control, ended passive resistance and talked for Dawes plan.
  • French left the Ruhr in 1925.
  • Stressemann knew their suspicion was a problem for revising the TofV.
  • Stressemann wanted French to know Germany had peaceful intentions and this was shown in the Locorno Pact in 1925.
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Locorno Pact 1925:

  • October 1925, West Europe powers met at Locorno.
  • Stressemann wanted to rebuild German international position. 
  • Wanted no hostility between Britain and France but German industrial recovery threatened them.
  • France were suspicious but agreed to attend  as well as the Allies. 
  • Agreed on Rhineland Pact and Arbitration Treaties.


  • Germany, France and Belgium respected the western front. It was now fixed and guaranteed. 
  • Germany agreed to keep troops out the Rhineland.
  • Britain agreed to aid Germany and France if attacked.


  • Germany agreed with France, Belgium and Poland that's disputes should be sorted via conciliation committee.
  • France signed a mutual guarantee with Poland and Czechslovakia.
  • France made show Germany didn't didn't break agreements.
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Locorno Pact 1925:

  • Also, any conflict regarding the western borders was to be dealt by the LofN
  • France were not allowed in Germany if there was any dispute between Germany and Poland/Czechslovakia.
  • Locorno Pact was seen as success. Germany finally recognised the western border put in at Versailes.
  • They accepted loss of Alsace Lorraine and Eupen Malmedy to Frae
  • French were promised support from Britain if attacked.
  • Germany's 1923 Occupation of the Ruhr could never be repeated.
  • French withdrew forces in Rhineland and done with no assurance that Germany would disarm.
  • Stressemann saw Locarno pact as his best achievement.
  • Germany was now in the League of Nations too.
  • Stressemann made Germany more diplomatic negotiable with Western powers.
  • He achieved so much and lost little.
  • The Nationalists attacked him for appeasing the allies.
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Relationship with the USSR:

  • After revolution in 1917 in Russia it took a communist path as it became first communist state in 1922. Peoples rights were subordinate to the state.
  • Germany in 1918 took a democratic path, more individual freedom.
  • But Germany had a large communist party that wanted close links with Russia.
  • Both countries had similarities after war.
  • Both were defeated and suffered from punishing treaties.
  • Both felt the creation of Poland threatened their security.
  • Both were treated like outcasts and banned from the LofN.
  • Many thought both countries should be closer as a result. Walther Rathenau negotiated a Treaty of Rapallo with Russia. The Terms were:
  • Both would trade and make economic cooperation.
  • Both would have diplomatic relations.
  • All claims for war damage were dropped.
  • Germany could train pilots and build weapons in Russia without Allied scrutiny.
  • For Germany this was a step away from Post-war isolation. 
  • French were angered as it showed Germany hiding from disarmement terms and refused the Eastern frontier with Poland.
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Treaty of Berlin:

  • April 1926, Germany and USSR renwed the Treaty of Rapallo.
  • Germany wouldn't interfere if USSR was in war as long as it didn't start it. 
  • Signed 1 year after Locorno Pact, it showed despite guarantee to Westen frontiers, it made sure it did the same and get a revision with Eastern frontiers.
  • To do this it needed a close relationship with USSR as they would resist any border changes it didn't agree with.
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Extent of Disarmament:

  • Under the TofV, Germany was limited to 100,000 men, wasn't allowed an air force and it's navy weren't allowed submarines or battleships.
  • Rhine was demiliterised and German forts were dismantled with no troops in the area.
  • In order to make sure they listened, a 'Inter-Allied Contro Commission' was made in Germany to moniter their disarmement. 
  • The disarmament clause caused resentment as the allies maintained their forces.
  • The Treaty of Rapallo showed how Germany tried to find other ways of avoiding disarmament and they made submarines in Spain and Tanks in Sweden.
  • The rearmement didn't Germany fully operational with an air force or army with unlimted weapons.
  • It did make sure Germany wasn't behind in technological developments though.
  • The German forts in the Rhine were dismantled build rebuily along the Polish frontier.
  • Under army general Von Seeckt's command Germany found other ways of getting more men in the army and made sure there was a reserve of highly trained military force via a paramilitary.
  • He tried making a military alliance with Russia which planned to destroy Poland.
  • Von Seeckt secretly rearmed Germany which was tactically approved by Politicians.


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Kellogg-Briand Pact and the End of Allied Occupati

  • 1928, France and USA signed this pact with Germany.
  • US secretary of the state, Frank Kellogg and Arstide Briand, Foreign minister of France.
  • Made international agreements where states would voluntarly renounc the ue of offensive war to resolve disputes.
  • Germany was first to sign.
  • The pact avoided war but it wasn't enforced very effectively.


  • Getting rid of foreign forces on German soil was every parties goal.
  • Policy of fulfilment acheived this by 1930.
  • French were most reluctant to withrdraw, although suspicious of Germany willing to comply with the TofV.
  • The withdrawal of forces was a step by step concession and compromise.
  • The Dawes plan and Locarno pact was evidence of willing to talk with allies.
  • Allies withdrew from the Zone I in Rhineland in 1926 and IMCC.
  • Once the Young Plan was agreed n 1929 the way was clear to withdraw of remaining forces.
  • Allies withdrew from Zone 2 in 1929 and Zone 3 in 1930.
  • Success was due to the policies of Stresssemann.
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