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A Vision of EuropeFranco-German Relations during the Great Depression, 1929-1932$
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Conan Fischer

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780199676293

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: February 2017

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199676293.001.0001

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The Stresemann Memoirs Scandal and Wounds that Failed to Heal

(p.151) 6 Breakdown
A Vision of Europe

Conan Fischer

Oxford University Press

As the Berlin Accord unravelled and became a point of disagreement rather than Franco-German rapprochement, the old wounds reopened, particularly those surrounding reparations and disarmament. The political right gained ground in Germany, undermining French confidence in Berlin’s bona fides while French politics were also gripped by a sense of febrile instability on the eve of fresh elections. Furthermore, French leaders confused a home-grown Alsatian autonomist movement with German-inspired subversion which, despite the best efforts of German diplomacy, triggered one minor upset after another. A greater blow was delivered by the botched publication of the late Stresemann’s private papers alongside sensitive official material. Selective editing in the media left the impression that Stresemann had sought to dupe Briand and that his protestations of friendship were bogus at best. Sporadic efforts continued through 1932 to retrieve the situation, but an impasse at the international disarmament conference simply deepened the sense of estrangement.

Keywords:   Berlin Accord, disarmament, German political right, fall of Brüning, fall of Laval, French elections, Alsace, Stresemann memoirs scandal, Lausanne Conference, London Disarmament Conference

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