Assess the successes and failures of the League of Nations Commissions in the 1920s and 1930s
The League of Nations was an international organisation of states, based in Geneva Switzerland. Its main aims were to keep peace and improve people’s lives. In 1920, it began with 42 members and grew to 58 in 1934. It was dissolved in 1946. Its various commissions spanned the length of the 1920s and 30s, they sustained in both successes and failures throughout the time.
The Russian Revolution of 1917 saw many refugees, settling them was a massive job. Adding to this, in 1920, there were half a million prisoners of war waiting to be repatriated. The task at hand was enormous. The Council of the League of Nations requested Fridtjof Nansen, the famous explorer from Norway, and the High Commission for Refugees to find a solution. The High Commission was established on June 27th, 1921. In less than two years Nansen managed to repatriate almost 427,000 prisoners of war in to as many as 26 countries. Initially the High Commission gave material help as well as political and legal protection to the refugees. In 1924, ILO (International Labour Organization) took the responsibility and carried it on five years. After five years the High Commission resumed its role once again. The umbrella of the Refugee Commission spread to Assyro-Chaldeans, Assyrians and Turkish refugees in the Middle East; all being helped by the ‘Nanson Passport’ created in 1922. After the death of Nansen in May 1930, an autonomous body of the League was formed called the Nansen International Office for Refugees, and they gave material assistance. This was a major success for the League as it solved a European crisis. The High Commission was dissolved on December 31st, 1938 and along with this, the Nansen office was also dissolved. In the span of few years the Refugee Commission had repatriated many thousands of people most effectively.
On the other hand, many also saw the failures of this commission during the 1930s. For example, after Fridtjof Nansen died in 1930, The League abolished the post of High Commissioner believing the problem of refugees would decrease during the 1930s however, it evidently got worse. Hundreds of thousands more refugees attempted escape from repressive countries, which carried harsh dictatorships, such as fascist dictator Benito Mussolini in Italy, Francisco Franco in Spain, Hitler in Germany and Joseph Stalin in the USSR from 1929. The League were heavily unprepared for this flood of displacement and failed to help many of them by the time of the outbreak of WWII in 1939. It is clear that the Leagues Refugee Commission did help hundreds of thousands of refugees throughout its active period however, it cannot be ignored that its abolishment of the High Commissions post left millions harmed during the 1930s.
As well as the Refugee commission a drug advisory commission also took its place. Many saw it as a success. With the creat...