Stresemann on German admittance to the League of Nations (1925)


In a letter dated September 7th 1925, foreign minister Gustav Stresemann outlines the interests for Berlin in German admittance to the League of Nations:

“On the question of Germany’s entry into the League I would make the following observations:

In my opinion there are three great tasks that confront German foreign policy in the more immediate future. In the first place the solution of the Reparations question in a sense tolerable for Germany, and the assurance of peace, which is an essential premise for the recovery of our strength.

Secondly, the protection of Germans abroad, those 10 to 12 million of our kindred who now live under a foreign yoke in foreign lands.

The third great task is the re-adjustment of our eastern frontiers; the recovery of Danzig, the Polish corridor, and a correction of the frontier in Upper Silesia. In the background stands the union with German Austria, although I am quite clear that this not merely brings no advantages to Germany, but seriously complicates the problems of the German Reich.

If we want to secure these aims, we must concentrate on these tasks… The question of a choice between east and west does not arise as a result of our joining the League. Such a choice can only be made when backed by military force. That, alas we do not possess… German policy will be one of finesse and the avoidance of great decisions.”