The document presented here is the archival copy of the treaty concluded by the governments of Germany, Belgium, France, Great Britain, and Italy in the city of Locarno, Switzerland, on October 16, 1925. The final page contains the diplomatic seals and the signatures of the representatives of the five signatory powers, who included Foreign Minister Gustav Stresemann of Germany, Foreign Minister Aristide Briand of France, and Prime Minister Stanley Baldwin of Great Britain. The text is in French. Also known as the Locarno Pact, the treaty guaranteed Germany’s western frontier, which the bordering states of France, Germany, and Belgium pledged to treat as inviolable. As signatories of the agreement, Britain and Italy committed themselves to help to repel any armed aggression across the frontier. The Rhineland, a part of western Germany occupied by the victorious Allied Powers after World War I, was permanently demilitarized and occupying forces withdrawn. The agreement was to come into force only when Germany was admitted to the League of Nations with a seat on the Council, which occurred in 1926. Locarno marked the end of the war period and the beginning of a hopeful new era of peace and cooperation in Europe, but one that did not survive the economic and political crisis of the 1930s. In 1936, Adolf Hitler denounced the Locarno Pact and sent German troops back into the Rhineland. The document shown here is in the archives of the League of Nations, which were transferred to the United Nations in 1946 and are housed at the UN office in Geneva. They were inscribed on the UNESCO Memory of the World register in 2010.
Contributor: Belgium | France | Germany | Great Britain | Italy
References: Raymond J. Sontag, A Broken World, 1919-1939 (New York: Harper & Row, 1971).
Note: Includes text and signature page of the "Rhineland Pact" only
Place: Europe; Belgium; Europe; France; Europe; Germany; Europe; Germany; Hesse; Europe; Germany; North Rhine-Westphalia; Europe; Italy; Europe; Switzerland; Ticino; Locarno; Europe; United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
Institution: United Nations Office at Geneva Library