Brockdorff-Rantzau: The ‘Wanderer between Two Worlds’

  • Eleonore Breuning


The post of German Ambassador to Soviet Russia, which Brockdorff-Rantzau occupied from November 1922 until his death in September 1928, was by no means the first delicate and controversial task which he had undertaken. It was one of the Count’s profoundest convictions that he was, more than most men, fitted by birth, breeding and experience to practise the art and craft of high diplomacy. Whether he lived up to his own conception of himself and his role, or fell short of it, or whether, at least during the Moscow period, his usefulness to his country consisted in his fulfilling a function quite other than that which he had envisaged for himself, has remained a matter of disagreement among historians. The present paper seeks only to indicate one or two possible new lines of approach; it does not claim completeness, let alone finality.


Foreign Policy Foreign Minister German People Russian People German Policy 
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  1. 1.
    See Werner Hahlweg (ed.), Lenins Rückkehr nach Russland 1917 (Leiden, 1957).Google Scholar
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    For details, see J. Erickson, The Soviet High Command: A Military-Political History, 1918–1941 (London, 1962), and Francis L. Carsten, Reichswehr und Politik 1918–1933 (Cologne, 1964 ).Google Scholar
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    See K. D. Erdmann, ‘Das Problem der Ost- oder Westorientierung in der Locarno-Politik Stresemanns’, Geschichte in Wissenschaft and Unterricht, VI 3 (Mar 1955), and Rosenbaum, Community of Fate chaps. iv and v.Google Scholar
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Copyright information

© Eleonore Breuning 1974

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  • Eleonore Breuning

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