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German History in Documents and Images
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Gustav Stresemann Converses with the German Ambassador to the Netherlands, Graf Zech (August 25, 1929)
During his brief time in office as Reich Chancellor from August until November 1923, the economist and national-liberal politician Gustav Stresemann (1878-1929) ordered the cessation of passive resistance to the occupation of the Ruhr Valley and managed to end the devastating inflation by introducing both a currency reform and the Deutsche Rentenbank [German Mortgage Bank]. After he stepped down as Chancellor, he served as foreign minister in the next three cabinets and pursued a policy of reconciliation with the Allies in order to integrate Germany back into the international community. Among his successes were the negotiation of the Dawes Plan, the treaties of Locarno, Germany’s admission to the League of Nations, and the Briand-Kellogg agreement. In 1926, Stresemann and French foreign minister Aristide Briand were awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. When Stresemann, who had suffered from ill health for quite some time, died after a stroke in October 1929, the Weimar Republic lost one of its most important and capable politicians. This cover photo taken from the magazine Berliner llustrirte Zeitung shows Stresemann in August 1929, two months before his death, in The Hague, where he was participating in negotiations about reparations which were to result in the Young Plan. He is seen in conversation with Julius von Zech-Burkersroda (1885-1946), who served as German ambassador to The Hague since 1928. Zech joined the NSDAP in 1934 and remained in his post until the German occupation of the Netherlands in 1940. After the end of World War II, the Soviet occupation forces expropriated his estate and interned him in the Bautzen prison camp, where he died in 1946.