Gustav Stresemann

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Stresemann, Gustav

 

Born May 10, 1878, in Berlin; died there Oct. 3, 1929. German political figure.

From 1903 to 1918, Stresemann was deputy chairman of the League of Saxon Manufacturers. In 1903 he joined the National Liberal Party of Germany, and in 1907 he was elected for the first of several times to the Reichstag. During World War I, Stresemann was an active supporter of annexation. After the war he was one of the organizers and leaders of the German People’s Party. During this period he shunned the extreme right groupings of the bourgeoisie and cooperated with Social Democratic leaders. From August to November 1923, Stresemann as chancellor headed the so-called Great Coalition (including representatives ranging from the German People’s Party to the Social Democrats), which helped the German bourgeoisie deal with a severe political crisis. In August 1923, Stresemann became foreign minister. Strengthening German imperialism under cover of peacemaking rhetoric, Stresemann concluded international agreements (Dawes Plan, Locarno Treaties of 1925) and arranged for Germany’s entry into the League of Nations (1926)—all of which constituted a revision of the Versailles Treaty of 1919. Strese-mann carried out a policy of rapprochement with the Western countries while advocating development of relations with the USSR (the Berlin Treaty concerning neutrality of 1926).

L. I. GINTSBERG