The Inter-War Period 1925
With the economy improving in January 1925, Adolf Hitler’s opportunities for political agitation was limited. In a meeting with Heinrich Held, the Prime Minister of Bavaria, on the 4th January 1925, Hitler agreed to respect the state’s authority and promised that he would seek political power only through the democratic process. Although the NSDAP was banned in Bavaria following the failed Beer Hall Putsch the meeting paved the way for the ban on the NSDAP to be lifted on the 16th February 1925. However, after an inflammatory speech he gave on the 27th February 1925, Hitler was barred from public speaking by the Bavarian authorities, a ban that remained in place until 1927. To advance his political ambitions in spite of the ban Hitler appointed Gregor & Otto Strasser and Joseph Goebbels to organise and grow the NSDAP in northern Germany.
Adolf Hitler formally renounced his Austrian citizenship on the 7th April 1925. Whilst in prison and shortly before he was eligible for parole the Bavarian government attempted to have him deported back to Austria. The Austrian federal chancellor rejected the request on the grounds that his service in the German Army made his Austrian citizenship void.
On the 12th May 1925, retired Field Marshal Paul Von Hindenburg took office as President of Germany. Presidential elections were held in Germany on the 29th March 1925, with a second run-off on the 26th April 1925. They were the first direct elections for the President of the Reich, Germany’s head of state during the 1919-1933 Weimar Republic. Following the death of the first President, Friedrich Ebert, in February 1925, the Weimar constitution required that his successor be elected by the “whole German people”. The first President Ebert had been elected indirectly by the National Assembly. Hindenburg was elected as the second president of Germany in the second round of voting.
On the 18th July 1925 Adolf Hitler’s autobiographical manifest Mein Kampf was published. It was a blueprint of his agenda for a Third Reich and a clear exposition of the nightmare that would envelope Europe from 1939 to 1945. The book sold 9,473 copies in its first year.
During October 1925 the terms of the Treaty of Locarno were negotiated and finally signed on the1st December 1926 by Germany, France, Belgium, Britain and Italy. The treaty recognised defeated Germany’s borders with France and Belgium and that Germany would never again go to war with the other countries. However, Britain, Italy and Belgium undertook to assist France in case future German troops marched into the de-militarised Rhineland. The treaty paved the way for Germany’s admission to the League of Nations in 1926.
After his release from prison in December 1924, Adolf Hitler honed his oratorical skills and worked for the advancement of the Nazi Party. Such advance was slow throughout the years 1925 to 1929 because of a fairly stable financial period in Europe.
In Italy, Benito Mussolini gradually dismantled all democratic institutions and by 1925, he had declared himself dictator taking the title “Il Duce” (“The Leader”). To his credit, he carried out an extensive public works programme and reduced unemployment making him very popular with the people.
The Locarno Treaties were seven agreements signed in London on the 1st December 1925, and had been negotiated at Locarno in Switzerland in October 1925. The treaties settled the borders of Western Europe and normalised relations between Germany and the Allied powers. It also stated that Germany would never go to war with the other countries. Locarno divided borders in Europe into two categories. The western borders were guaranteed by Locarno treaties, and the eastern borders of Germany with Poland, which were open for revision.