Rauscher, Ulrich

(1884-1930)
   journalist and diplomat; served as Minister to Poland* from 1922 until his death in December 1930. Born to a Gymnasium professor in Stuttgart, he studied law and completed his legal train-ing in Strassburg. Fluent in French, he scrapped a legal career in 1910 to work as the Frankfurter Zeitung s Strassburg correspondent; from 1913 he wrote also for Marz, a monthly edited by Theodor Heuss.* The rigid jurisdiction practiced in Alsace-Lorraine* led him to write two blistering attacks in Marz against the military authorities; the second essay inspired a libel suit by General Erich von Falkenhayn. In 1914, before the outbreak of war, Frankfurter Zeitung moved him to Berlin.* During the war he worked in the War Press Office and as a member of the Foreign Office's occupation regime in Belgium. For several months in 1917-1918 he was an officer on the Western Front. He spent the war s closing weeks as a Berlin journalist, joined the SPD, and in November became Philipp Scheidemann s* personal secretary. On 4 January 1919 he was named press chief of the interim government, a post he retained until June 1920 and used to facilitate the general strike that defeated the Kapp* Putsch. He returned to the diplomatic corps in 1920 and became envoy to the autonomous Georgian Republic; when Soviet dominion over Georgia was recognized, he moved to Warsaw.
   Germany could not have found a more astute individual for the delicate War-saw post. Recollecting the history of Alsace-Lorraine, he argued that the Ver-sailles Treaty,* by ceding so much territory to Poland, had concocted a state that could only be a "permanent enemy of Germany. He opposed any treaty that might recognize the borders, arguing that such an accord would demoralize the Germans in the lost territories while making Germany appear "half sover-eign and defeated. Yet he consistently urged amelioration of German-Polish tensions through economic agreement and the establishment of formal relations. Both Berlin and Warsaw deemed him a positive influence. Although he never advised the use of force, he was persuaded that war with Poland was inevitable. "The Corridor and Upper Silesia, he wrote, "will return to Germany only as a result of a war and the related power-political convulsion of Poland.
   Gustav Stresemann* judged Rauscher one of his foremost diplomats. In 1928, upon the death of Ulrich von Brockdorff-Rantzau,* he wanted to appoint Rauscher Ambassador to Moscow; however, President Hindenburg,* who mis-trusted the socialist diplomat, overruled him. Stresemann's death nullified efforts to bring Rauscher to the Foreign Office as State Secretary.
   REFERENCES:Doss, Zwischen Weimar und Warschau; Harold Gordon, Reichswehr; Kimmich, Free City; Von Riekhoff, German-Polish Relations.

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

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