The reversal that has taken place in Germany and that takes itself for “national revolution” or “national uprising” is certain, before all, an event of German domestic politics. At the same time, considering its objective and orientation, it has distinguished itself, having surpassed the habitual position of Germany in global politics. However, it has not exclusively unfolded on the foundations of external politics, but was directly provoked by certain fluctuations in existing international relations.
“The Weimar Republic is the form under which Germany adapts itself most easily to the regime of Versailles.” There was a happy common place. The Weimar state was the executive organ that the Western powers used against the German people. This republic modeled on the constitutional ideas of France. Thus, it made Germany a zone of French influence. France was the true beneficiary of Versailles. The submission of Germany to this regime consequently appeared as a subjugation by France.
The submission was effected under the veil of politics of conciliation and Franco-German entente. In any event, Germany “got along” with France in the measure where it complied to the will of the latter. For the Weimar Republic, the only foreign policy was that of “Franco-German rapprochement.” This policy attained it apogee with the Locarno Pact. At this time, Germany renounced, willingly and without compensation, Alsace-Lorraine. But the arrangements that were at the origin of this ignominy made the German people believe henceforth that the revision of the Diktat of Versailles was started and that a sincere amicable relation was established between Germany and France. Locarno put the people in a state of extreme euphoria. On all horizons, Stresemann appeared with misleading lures of hope. Germany celebrated one of its heaviest defeats in matters of foreign policy as a “victory.” It believed in a chimerical success whereas it had been gravely humiliated and tricked. The jubilation provoked by Locarno was in grotesque opposition with the reality of Locarno that the French had not lost from view at any instant.
It is true that with time we could no longer hide that, at Locarno, Germany had exchanged its perpetual right to Alsace-Lorraine against a plate of lentils and that it declared there its agreement to smother its desire to affirm itself and its pride. The same line connected Erzberger, the father of the peace resolution and the signatory of the Armistice, Hermann Müller and the “centrist” Bell, signatories of the act of Versailles, to Stresemann, signatory of the Locarno Pact. They are the Germans who capitulated and lent a hand to expelling Germany from history. With the Young and Dawes Plans, the German people equally gave a title of obligation to France, so that Paris did not disturb it when it rocked it in illusions of peace.
When the German people understood the deception, the reaction didn’t wait. The German bourgeoisie, partisans of Stresemann, passed to National Socialism. It replaced its “long live Stresemann!” by “Heil Hitler!” Thereby, it hoped to liberate itself from the politics of the execution of treaties and of submission from the following years according to the promises it made. Stresemann died at a good moment: his death coincided with his political bankruptcy.
By rallying itself to Hitler, the bourgeoisie changed the political front. National Socialism was in accord with Mussolini. Its ideas, concerning the constitution, were deeply marked by the model of Fascist Italy. The bourgeoisie, by removing itself from French influence, immediately opposed the Constitution of Weimar, this creation of the state which, in 1918, they themselves introduced as the heritage of 1848.
The Social Democratic workers remained the only defenders of the Weimar state and its submission, in matters of foreign policy, to France. It was not a feat to label them from now on as the only people responsible for the internal and external weakness of Weimar. The curse always struck the latter! In the this moment, the old partisans of Stresemann inveighed against the Social Democrats, their one time allies. The Swastika, that they wore in their button hole, gave them the courage and necessary good conscience for their role of judge and “national” avenger. Thus, they paid the Social Democratic workers for their own tainted past.