Locarno Treaties of 1925

The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Locarno Treaties of 1925

 

a series of treaties on guarantees for the western borders of Germany and on arbitration. They were initialed on October 16 at the Locarno Conference of 1925 and signed in London on Dec. 1, 1925.

The basic document of the Locarno Treaties was the Rhine pact, a general guarantee treaty between Germany, Belgium, France, Italy, and Great Britain. Great Britain and France hoped to use this pact to create an anti-Soviet bloc with the participation of Germany, as shown by the fact that the eastern German borders did not come under the system of guarantees produced at Locarno. This pact stipulated the maintenance of the territorial status quo (including the demilitarized Rhine zone) and the inviolability of German-French and German-Belgian borders, as determined by the Versailles Peace Treaty of 1919, as well as the obligation of Germany, France, and Belgium not to commit aggression against one another and to resolve disputes through peaceful settlements (arbitration or judicial solutions). The treaty was to go into effect after Germany became a member of the League of Nations (September 1926) and received a permanent seat in the Council of the League as a great power. Arbitration treaties concluded separately by Germany with France, Belgium, Poland, and Czechoslovakia supplemented the Rhine pact. Additionally, Franco-Polish and Franco-Czech guarantees were signed, under which France obligated itself to aid these two countries in the event of violation of their borders, if the League of Nations did not solve the issue by adopting certain stipulated collective measures.

The adoption of the Locarno treaties was an indication of a definite weakening of the positions of France, since after Locarno its main enemy—Germany—began to be viewed in the West as an “equal partner.” A significant gain was registered by Great Britain, which tenaciously conducted its traditional policy of creating two antagonistic forces on the European continent.

After the fascists came to power, Germany unilaterally abrogated the Locarno Treaties (Mar. 7, 1936) and moved its forces into the demilitarized Rhine zone.

PUBLICATION

Lokarnskaia konferentsiia 1925 g.: Dokumenty. Moscow, 1959.

REFERENCES

Istoriia diplomatii, 2nd ed., vol. 3. Moscow, 1965.
Turok, V. M. Lokarno. Moscow-Leningrad, 1949.
Karoi, L. Velikobritaniia i Lokarno. Moscow, 1961.

D. ASANOV

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.