Locarno Pact

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.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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