After losing World War One, being forced to take the blame for the conflict and the subsequent issues surrounding payment of reparations, Germany was an international outcast. Germans were still incredibly bitter about their treatment in the Treaty of Versailles, where they also lost territory on all sides. As Foreign Minister Stresemann oversaw a dramatic improvement in Germany’s relationship with the rest of Europe between 1925 and 1928. This is best illustrated by three agreements:
These developments meant that Germany was accepted into the emerging ‘international community’ that sought to work together during the 1920s to avoid another destructive war. This ethos of collaboration and peaceful cooperation only lasted, however, until the onset of the Great Depression following the Wall Street Crash of October 1929.
Stresemann had also established the principle of future revision of the Versailles settlement for the German nation, in the ‘open frontiers’ approach in Eastern Europe. He also continued to maintain good relations with the Soviet Union, and signed the Treaty of Berlin in 1926. This Soviet-German agreement renewed the Treaty of Rapallo that they had signed back in 1922. As well as promoting economic co-operation this treaty set up the opportunity for Germany to secretly build up its armed forces on Soviet territory, so the Allies couldn’t find out about this breach of the Versailles treaty. This included the training of German pilots at a Soviet air base.