Membership of Germany in the League of Nations. Letter from Gustav Stresseman


In 1924, the newly appointed foreign minister of Germany, Gustav Stresemann, adopted a new policy toward the League of Nations, which governments in Berlin previously had spurned as an instrument created by the victors of World War I to suppress the defeated Germans. In December 1924, Stresemann dispatched an application for Germany’s admission to the League, but on the condition that it also be made a member of the League Council. This request was denied, but in early 1925 Stresemann made a second attempt. The path to German membership in the League was cleared by the Locarno Conference of October 1925, which resulted in a series of treaties that entered into effect on September 14, 1926. In the most important of these agreements, usually referred to as the Locarno Pact, France, Germany, Belgium, Great Britain, and Italy guaranteed the western frontier of Germany, which was declared inviolable. The pact was to come into force only when Germany was admitted to the League of Nations with a seat on the Council. This letter of February 8, 1926, from Stresemann to Secretary-General Sir Eric Drummond reviews the record of Germany’s efforts to join the League and, noting that all conditions for membership had been met, requests Drummond to place the issue of Germany’s admission on the agenda of the League Assembly as soon as possible. Germany formally became a member on September 8 of that year with a permanent seat on the Council. The letter is in the archives of the League, 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.

Last updated: August 5, 2016