Essay on History: World War Ii and Nations Treaty Series

Submitted By glasgowboy
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Pages: 4

Treaty of Berlin (German-Soviet Neutrality and Nonaggression Pact of April 1926) - the treaty of 24 April 1926 under which Germany and the Soviet Union each pledged neutrality in the event of an attack on the other by a third party for the next five years. Non-aggression treaty reaffirmed the German-Soviet Treaty of Rapallo signed in 1922.[1] Ratifications for the treaty were exchanged in Berlin on June 29, 1926, and it went into effect on the same day. The treaty was registered in League of Nations Treaty Series on August 3, 1926.[2] It was renewed by additional protocol signed on June 24, 1931,[3] ratified on May 5, 1933.[4] The additional protocol was registered in League of Nations Treaty Series on February 15, 1935.[5]

In June 1926, German banks granted to the Soviet Union credits to the total amount of 300 millions marks — "thanks to the cooperation of the German Government"; interest was fixed at 9.4% per annum. In October 1926, the Soviet Government invited a notable group of Reichstag deputies to Moscow. Georgy Chicherin—while visiting Berlin at December 1926—remarked on the improvement of the present German-Soviet relation in comparison with 1925.
From that time forward, however, there was a slow decline in relations, with a complete breakdown reached a few months after Hitler’s 1933 rise to power.[7] Prolongations of the Treaty were signed on June 24, 1931, and in the same year German banks granted the Soviet Union 300 millions marks′ worth of additional credits for purchasing German industrial goods.[8]
In Germany, it was compared with Bismarck’s famous "Reinsurance Treaty" with Russia in 1887. Votes endorsing the treaty in the Foreign Committee of the Reichstag had been unanimous — a first for the Weimar Republic.[6]

Both Germany and the Soviet Union were left vulnerable in the period following the end of World War I. Germany had lost the war, leaving it diplomatically isolated, and the Treaty of Versailles after the war led to the loss of German territories, German disarmament, and the cession of German territories. The Soviet Union had left the war before its end in 1917, due to the Bolshevik revolution and ceded many of its Western territories to Germany in the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk; after Germany′s defeat, this territory was transformed into a number of new, independent states, including Poland. Like the Germans, the Soviets were left diplomatically isolated as their transition to communist rule had led to the loss of western allies.
Germany initially hoped to pursue peaceful changes to the Versailles Treaty, and its main territorial goal was to reclaim certain portions of western Poland. An initially conciliatory posture failed in 1919, leading Germany to institute an economic blockade of Poland in January 1920.[3] This effort to force changes also failed, and led to severe losses for German businessmen.[4] These failures led Germany to look for other alternatives, which reached their most extreme form in the proposal of Hans von Seeckt, commander of the Reichswehr (German military), who suggested that Germany and the Soviet Union should conclude an alliance to jointly invade Poland, followed by a war on France. His proposals did not have much impact on official policy, but the general idea of seeking closer cooperation with Russia began to gain currency among a number of groups, including German businessmen who saw market opportunities in Russia.[5]

Like Germany, Russia hoped to make territorial gains at Poland′s expense, but it was left without an