2 comments on “16th April 1922: Treaty of Rapallo signed by Germany and Russia

  1. For decades now, the interpretation of the German-Russian Treaty of Rapallo (April 16, 1922) has been failed also by professional historians. Together with a strong media reception, a concerning the historical facts quite weird “double myth” in the history of international relations has been constructed.
    Your above mentioned contribution unfortunately adds to this largely misleading interpretation quite strongly: The path to Rapallo had nothing to do with German-Russian intrigue against the “West”. It was the outcome of a dramatic diplomatic situation evolving during the international economic conference in Genoa (April 10 – May 22, 1922), where all the delegations jockeyed to secure their own national financial advantages in the so-called Russian question. Imagining themselves to have been cornered now also on this issue, the leading members of the German delegation claimed that they were acting in financial self-defence. Accordingly, on Easter Sunday they renegotiated the treaty between Germany and Soviet Russia that had been prepared since February 1922. After only a few hours, the agreement was signed in the “Oval Hall” of the “Imperial Palace Hotel” in today’s Santa Margherita Ligure, the temporary residence of the Russian delegation during that time and worth to visit until today. German foreign minister Rathenau, the leading German diplomat Ago von Maltzan and the German Chancellor Wirth were in fact quite right in justifying their ‘Rapallo step’, notably with reference to British and Italian conference management. Referring to article 116 (3) of the Treaty of Versailles in the so-called ‘London Memorandum’, the Allies had unsuccessfully attempted to prevent Germany from representing her own financial and economic interests and to bring Soviet Russia into the fatal Versailles debtors system to keep the first German democracy down instead of trying to support a modern democratic nation-building. That was in part achieved in the years after the Ruhr Crisis 1923.
    See more under http://archiv.ub.uni-heidelberg.de/volltextserver/6751/ or http://www.perspectivia.net/publikationen/francia/francia-retro/34-3-2007/0103-0126