Hoesch, Leopold von

(1881-1936)
   ambassador; "the greatest of the German professional diplomats of the interwar period (Holborn). Son of a Dresden industrialist, he studied law and completed legal exams in 1905. After a year in the Saxon Horse Guards and judicial preparation with the Dresdner Bank, he was assigned in 1907 to the Peking legation. From 1909 he served successively as an attache in Paris, in Madrid, and at the Foreign Office in Berlin.* During 1912-1914 he was legation secretary in London. His career took him to Sofia in 1915 and Constantinople in 1916. He was named cabinet chief in October 1917 to Foreign Secretary Richard von Kühlmann and took part in the treaty negotiations at Brest-Litovsk and Bucharest. He was assigned to Oslo in 1918, became charge d'affaires in Madrid in 1919, and went to Paris as embassy counselor in 1921.
   When Berlin responded to the Ruhr occupation* in January 1923 by recalling its Ambassador, Hoesch assumed the thorny role of chief emissary in Paris. Gustav Stresemann,* Foreign Minister from August 1923, soon appreciated the energy Hoesch devoted to shaping Germany s position, both during and after the era of German passive resistance. Despite severe tension between Paris and Berlin, Hoesch was popular with French Premier Raymond Poincare; indeed, Poincare discreetly noted that he would welcome Hoesch's promotion to Am-bassador, an appointment bestowed in February 1924. Maintaining close contact with the French Foreign Ministry, Hoesch was pivotal in preparations leading to the Locarno Treaties* (1925) and German admission to the Advisory Council of the League of Nations (1926). He worked diligently for a reparations* accord and was crucial in preliminary work for the Dawes* and Young* plans. He also labored for removal of troops occupying the Rhineland.* "The Rhineland is not evacuated; it has been regained, he asserted in June 1930 as the last Allied troops left the final zone ahead of schedule, due measurably to his determination.
   Hoesch's final years in Paris were diminished by Stresemann's death in 1929 and the imbroglio over Germany s proposed customs union with Austria* (in which his thoughtful counsel to Julius Curtius* was ignored). He was relocated to London in 1932, where he soon won the trust of his new hosts. Yet his ability to carry on constructive diplomacy was thwarted by the Nazi regime. Under Stresemann, Hoesch managed to generate a large reservoir of trust for Germany; he lamented its evaporation with renunciation of the Locarno Treaties and the military occupation of the Rhineland—this last, he judged, being the initial step toward a second world war.
   REFERENCES:Grathwol, Stresemann and the DNVP; Holborn, "Diplomats and Diplo-macy ; Jacobson, Locarno Diplomacy; NDB, vol. 9; Ratliff, Faithful to the Fatherland.

A Historical dictionary of Germany's Weimar Republic, 1918-1933. .

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