Withdrawal of Germany from the League of Nations. Letter from Konstantin von Neurath


In October 1933, some nine months after Adolf Hitler was appointed chancellor of Germany, the German government announced its withdrawal from the League of Nations. The ostensible reason was the refusal of the Western powers to acquiesce in Germany’s demands for military parity. With this curt letter, dated October 19, 1933, Foreign Minister Konstantin Freiherr von Neurath informed the League of Nations secretary-general, Joseph Avenol, of Germany’s withdrawal. Germany’s departure from the international organization was followed by its massive military buildup, undertaken in violation of international agreements; renunciation of the Locarno Pact (1936); seizure of Austria (1938); and annexation of the Czechoslovak provinces of Bohemia and Moravia (March 1939). These actions culminated in the German attack on Poland of September 1, 1939, and the outbreak of World War II. The letter is from the archives of the League of Nations, which are preserved at the United Nations Office in Geneva. They were inscribed on the UNESCO Memory of the World register in 2010.

Last updated: August 5, 2016