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When D’Abernon was appointed ambassador to Berlin in June 1920, Germany and the Allies were in the grip of the debate about the implementation of the Treaty of Versailles. Relations between Britain, France and Germany were tense, as considerable doubts remained about the interpretation of the clauses of the treaty relating to the payment of reparations and to disarmament. No country would have countenanced the resumption of military hostilities but a pervading pessimism remained about the likelihood of maintaining peace and encouraging the creation of bonds of trust and mutual friendship. It was also necessary to face the consequences of the most wide-ranging war in modern history that had had a devastating effect on the fabric and psychological well-being of the nations that had fought it. Empires had fallen, old certainties had been challenged and in many cases swept away. It was not clear what would emerge to take the place of the pre-war order, or whether Europe would disintegrate into anarchy. The democratic powers had won the war and the new countries that were emerging from the ruins of the former empires were predominantly democratic in nature. Nevertheless, democracy as a system of government was vulnerable to attack from communism and from reactionary counter-revolutionaries. Nowhere was this more true than in the Weimar Republic.
KeywordsForeign Policy British Government German Government Diplomatic Relation World Affair
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