Locarno Pact

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Locarno Pact, 1925, concluded at a conference held at Locarno, Switzerland, by representatives of Great Britain, France, Germany, Italy, Belgium, Czechoslovakia, and Poland. The request of Gustav Stresemann for a mutual guarantee of the Rhineland met with the approval of Aristide Briand; under the leadership of Briand, Stresemann, and Austen Chamberlain, a series of treaties of mutual guarantee and arbitration were signed. In the major treaty the powers individually and collectively guaranteed the common boundaries of Belgium, France, and Germany as specified in the Treaty of Versailles of 1919. Germany signed treaties with Poland and Czechoslovakia, agreeing to change the eastern borders of Germany by arbitration only. Germany also signed arbitration treaties with France and Belgium, and mutual defense pacts against possible German aggression were concluded between France and Poland and France and Czechoslovakia. As an adjunct, Germany was promised entry into the League of Nations. The "spirit of Locarno" symbolized hopes for an era of international peace and goodwill. In 1936, denouncing the Locarno Pact, Hitler remilitarized the Rhineland.

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Locarno, treaties of, 1925. These treaties (1 December 1925) briefly raised hopes that Europe was at last settling down after the First World War. They confirmed the inviolability of the frontiers between France, Belgium, and Germany, and the demilitarization of the Rhineland. Britain, intent on European peace and security at the lowest cost to herself, refused to make any engagements to reinforce French commitments in eastern Europe. German entry to the League of Nations followed in 1926, while the key negotiators— Briand (France), Stresemann (Germany), and Austen Chamberlain (Britain)—continued to meet at the ‘Geneva tea-parties’ (1926–9). Locarno was at best a form of ‘limited détente’.

C. J. Bartlett

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Locarno Pact (1925) Group of international agreements that attempted to solve problems of European security outstanding since the Treaty of Versailles of 1919. The pact established Germany's w borders and enabled Germany to enter the League of Nations. Adolf Hitler's violations of the Treaty of Versailles disturbed the general peace established at Locarno.