A series of international agreements developed in Locarno, a Swiss spa town at the northern end of Lake Maggiore. Their aim was to reduce tensions by guaranteeing the common borders of Germany, Belgium and France, as provided for in the Versailles Peace Settlement of 1919. Gustav Stresemann, as German foreign minister, refused to accept Germany`s eastern border with Poland and Czechoslovakia as immutable, but agreed that change must be made peacefully. In the spirit of Locarno, Germany was invited to join the League of Nations. In 1936, Hitler condemned the main Treaty of Locarno and sent his troops to the demilitarized Rhineland; In 1938, he annexed the Sudetenland to Czechoslovakia and invaded Poland in 1939. The present Treaty, which is intended to ensure the maintenance of peace and is in conformity with the Covenant of Nations, shall not be interpreted as limiting the duty of the Covenant to take all measures which can be considered wise and effective for the maintenance of peace in the world. The conference eventually resulted in a series of agreements. The main treaty, known as the “Rhine Pact”, enshrined the obligations of non-aggression with regard to the German, French and Belgian borders; Britain and Italy were guarantors. Germany thus sovereignly recognized what the Treaty of Versailles had prescribed: the definitive cession of Alsace-Lorraine and the demilitarization of the left bank of the Rhine. The treaty provided that in the event of Germany`s occupation of the demilitarized zone, military measures could be taken in response.
This treaty was accompanied by several arbitration agreements between Germany, on the one hand, and France, Czechoslovakia, Belgium and Poland, on the other. Between 1923 and 1929, Germany experienced a golden age under the Weimar Republic. Politician Gustav Stresemann helped secure U.S. loans to rebuild the economy and international agreements that helped restore Germany`s place among the world`s leading nations. Why were the Stresemann years considered a golden age? The era of better feelings between the Allies and Germany, initiated by the Dawes Plan and subsequently promoted by Messrs Mac Donald and Herriot, was further reinforced in Locarno by the attitude of Mr Austen Chamberlain and Mr Briand. Germany has always been treated equally and formal treaties have been complemented by numerous informal agreements reached in personal conversations between Mr Chamberlain and Mr. Briand, on the one hand, and Chancellor Luther and Mr Stresemann, on the other. It is recognized that the adoption of treaties would not have been possible if informal commitments such as Mr. Herr`s had not been made. Chamberlain will do everything possible to ensure that Cologne is evacuated at least partially before 1 December, the day on which the Locarno Treaties are to be officially signed in London. In addition to Stresemann`s personal fame, the signing of the Locarno Pact showed that Germany was gradually being treated as an equal partner in foreign policy. The agreement was concluded with Germany and was not imposed on it like the Treaty of Versailles.
As a result, many moderate Germans had greater confidence in Stresemann and the Weimar Republic. The agreements consisted of (1) a guarantee agreement between Belgium, Germany, France, Great Britain and Italy; (2) arbitration agreements between Germany and Belgium and between Germany and France; (3) a note from the former Allies to Germany explaining the application of sanctions against a State in violation of the Treaty under Article 16 of the Covenant of the League of Nations; (4) arbitration treaties between Germany and Czechoslovakia and between Germany and Poland; and (5) guarantee contracts between France and Poland and between France and Czechoslovakia. The Locarno Treaties were seven agreements negotiated in Locarno, Switzerland, from 5 to 16 October 1925, which were negotiated on 1 October 1925. In December, the Western European Allies during World War I and the new states of Central and Eastern Europe attempted to secure the territorial settlement of the post-war period in exchange for normalizing relations with the defeated German Reich (the Weimar Republic). It was also said that Germany would never go to war with other countries. Locarno divided the borders of Europe into two categories: the western borders, guaranteed by the Locarno Treaties, and Germany`s eastern borders with Poland, which were open to revision. Locarno Pact (December 1, 1925), a series of agreements by which Germany, France, Belgium, Great Britain and Italy mutually guaranteed peace in Western Europe. The contracts were initialled on 16 October in Locarno, Switzerland, and signed in London on 1 December. The fact is that the Locarno Accords were less the result of German or French deception than the reflection of profoundly different visions of European security and peace. Both sides felt that they had made the most important concessions in terms of security or sovereignty, but the results did not meet expectations for both. The remilitarization of the Rhineland by Adolf Hitler (1889-1945) in March 1936 undoubtedly represented the final rejection of the Locarno Pact, but the “spirit of Locarno” had long since died by that time.
A thoughtful view of the causes of this failure must certainly blame both an unwavering France for its insistence on guarantees and a nationalist segment of German opinion which, in 1925, regarded these agreements as another shameful capitulation. German Foreign Minister Gustav Stresemann has given top priority to restoring Germany`s reputation and privileges as a leading European nation. The French withdrawal from the Occupation of the Ruhr was scheduled for January 1925, but Stresemann felt that the France was very nervous about his safety and could cancel the retreat. Realizing that France deeply wanted a British guarantee of its post-war borders, but London hesitated, Stresemann devised a plan that would give all parties what they wanted: through a series of treaties promising these guarantees. When the British Foreign Secretary, Austen Chamberlain, heard this proposal, he enthusiastically accepted. The France realized that its occupation of the Ruhr region had caused a lot of financial and diplomatic damage.  The Foreign Ministers then met in October 1925 in the Swiss seaside resort of Locarno, where they agreed on the treaties. At the beginning of 1925, relations between Germany and its European neighbours, particularly France, were plagued by the difficult issues of war reparations and compliance with the terms of the 1919 Treaty of Versailles. On February 9, German Foreign Minister Gustav Stresemann (1878-1929) sent a note to the governments of the Allied Powers proposing the conclusion of a security pact under which Germany, France, Great Britain and Italy would undertake not to go to war, the United States being the guarantor of the agreement.
An annex to its note also proposed an arbitration treaty between the France and Germany to ensure the peaceful settlement of bilateral disputes between the two States. Stresemann`s proposal also aimed to secure Germany`s western border, but did not include any German commitment to the eastern borders or membership in the League of Nations, both of which were crucial to the France. None of the agreements concluded in Locarno in any way obliged Germany with regard to its eastern borders. Stresemann did not intend to recognize boundaries that he considered unfair and questionable. The France, for its part, hoped to be able to start negotiations on its own borders on the basis of the Franco-Polish and French-Czechoslovak agreements. The British representation in Locarno said Britain wanted to keep its options open in the event of a conflict in Central and Eastern Europe. This explains the bitter disillusionment of the Polish delegate, Foreign Minister Alexander Skrzynski (1882-1931), who believed that the security of his country had been sacrificed on the altar of German-French reconciliation in Locarno. In Berlin, the reaction to the Locarno Accords was furious: three nationalist ministers, Martin Shield, Otto von Schlieben (1875-1932) and Albert Neuhaus (1873-1948), resigned in protest. In Paris, the right`s view was that Briand had been deceived by Stresemann. In 1932, after Briand`s death, there was an even greater outcry over the publication of Stresemann`s articles. These include a letter from the German Foreign Minister dated September 1925 to Crown Prince Wilhelm (1888-1951), eldest son of Wilhelm II (r.
1888-1819), in which Stresemann actually set out his plans to dissolve the order established in the Treaty of Versailles. The Frenchman saw this as a German admission of bad faith in the Locarno negotiations. At the same time, a parallel controversy raged in Germany, in which Stresemann was accused of being deceived by Briand: had it not been until 1930 that the Allies withdrew from the Rhineland? Chamberlain later wrote in his memoirs that there were no villains or fools here — just “a great German and a great Frenchman” who sought to build a temple for peace amidst the bloody ruins of the past. .