Joachim von Ribbentrop

from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Joachim von Ribbentrop as a defendant in Nuremberg

Ullrich Friedrich Willy Joachim Ribbentrop , from 1925 von Ribbentrop , (born April 30, 1893 in Wesel , † October 16, 1946 in Nuremberg ) was a German politician ( NSDAP ). In the time of National Socialism he was Reich Minister for Foreign Affairs from 1938 .

Ribbentrop was one of the 24 people indicted in the Nuremberg trial of the main war criminals before the International Military Court . He was found guilty on October 1, 1946, sentenced to death by hanging, and executed on October 16, 1946.



Joachim Ribbentrop was the son of Lieutenant Colonel Richard Ullrich Friedrich Wilhelm Ribbentrop (1859-1941) from his marriage to Johanne Sophie Hertwig (1860-1902). He had a brother named Lothar who was a year older than him and a sister Ingeborg, who was born in 1896. The father raised his children strictly, they were often beaten. Ribbentrop found it a deterrent and was afraid of it. On the other hand, his mother was warm and friendly in his memory. She died of tuberculosis in 1902 . The Ribbentrop family lived in Kassel from 1902 and from 1904 in Metz , which had belonged to the realm of Alsace-Lorraine since the Peace of Frankfurt in 1871 . The father was adjutant to the commanding general there and remarried after the death of his first wife.

The linguistically gifted Ribbentrop learned the French language in Metz, which was strongly influenced by French . He was a good athlete, a good violinist, but a bad student. The father said goodbye in 1908 and moved with his family to Arosa , Switzerland. Ribbentrop had left the grammar school after the upper secondary school with the middle school leaving certificate. During the year and a half in Arosa, the children received private lessons from French and English tutors. Joachim Ribbentrop's main occupations were mountaineering, skiing and bobsleigh. The Ribbentrop children met tourists from many countries in Arosa, including very rich people. In Arosa, Ribbentrop's interest in getting to know the world was aroused. In 1909, the father sent the sons to England to study English for a year. In 1910 Joachim and his brother Lothar moved to Canada . Joachim Ribbentrop worked here as a construction worker, as an employee of a bank, freelance journalist and commercial employee, he also tried to build a foothold as a trader with the help of his mother's inheritance. He traded in wines from Germany. In Montreal , he began an apprenticeship in banking, but did not complete it. In 1914 he became a member of the Canadian national ice hockey team .

First World War

Immediately after the beginning of the First World War , Ribbentrop traveled to Germany via the neutral states of the USA and the Netherlands to register as a volunteer . His ailing brother stayed in Canada and later moved to Switzerland, where he died in 1918. Ribbentrop sailed from New York City to Rotterdam on a Dutch steamer . He evaded arrest by the British Navy , which controlled all ships calling at continental Europe, hidden in the steamer's coal bunker. In Germany he joined the Torgau Hussars regiment through his father's mediation . In the course of the war he was awarded the Iron Cross First Class and promoted to first lieutenant . After being wounded at the front, he was transferred to the German embassy in Istanbul . Here he met Franz von Papen . After the war ended, Ribbentrop moved to Berlin in 1918 , where he worked for the Reichswehr Ministry for some time . Ribbentrop made sure that he got an entry in Who is Who 1919 . It was recorded there that he had been adjutant of the German peace delegation in Versailles . This later turned out to be wrong.

Weimar Republic

In 1919 Ribbentrop took his leave as first lieutenant and opened his own wine trading company for French wines and liqueurs . In Berlin he met Otto Henkell , the owner of the Henkell & Co. sparkling wine cellar in Wiesbaden , and his daughter Anna Elisabeth (Annelies) Henkell in mid-1919 . Ribbentrop married on July 5, 1920 in Wiesbaden Annelies Henkell, daughter of Otto Henkell and Katharina (Käthe) born Michel (1871-1942). The couple had five children:

  • Rudolf von Ribbentrop (born May 11, 1921 in Wiesbaden; † May 20, 2019 in Ratingen), married to Ilse, b. from Münchhausen; from Rudolf-August Oetker at Bankhaus Lampe , later employee of the Henkell sparkling wine cellar .
  • Bettina Rinke, b. Henkell-von Ribbentrop (born July 20, 1922 in Berlin), married to Heribert Rinke.
  • Ursula Painvin, b. Henkell-von Ribbentrop (born December 29, 1932 in Berlin), initially married to Kurt Küppers.
  • Adolf Henkell-von Ribbentrop (born September 2, 1935 in Berlin), initially married to Marion, b. von Strempel, since 1985 with Christiane, geb. Countess Eltz , mother of the later German Defense Minister Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg ; former co-owner of Henkell .
  • Barthold Henkell-von Ribbentrop (born December 19, 1940 in Berlin; † June 5, 2018 in Limassol ), initially married to Brigitte, b. von Trotha, later with Andrea, geb. Vopat; former head of the stock exchange department at Deutsche Bank .

Ribbentrop hoped to join the family company, but only got the Berlin agency for Henkell, which he built up until 1924. His father-in-law also gave him good relationships with other beverage manufacturers. These good relationships resulted in a highly profitable professional opportunity for Ribbentrop in 1920, after the death of the German representative of the whiskey company Johnnie Walker , by taking over the agency.

In the mid-1920s, Ribbentrop's “Impegroma” import / export business for beverages was one of the largest in Germany. In 1924, Ribbentrop put down the Henkell agency and devoted himself exclusively to his own company. Thanks to his entrepreneurial skills and his language skills, he became very rich in a very short time. The renowned Stuttgart architects Bonatz und Scholer built the elegant villa Lentzeallee 7–9 in Berlin-Dahlem for the Ribbentrops in 1922/23 . Through several additions and renovations, the property was expanded to include a park with a tennis court and swimming pool.

At that time there were societies, cocktail parties and bridge evenings in the Ribbentrop house. For this purpose, the best Berlin society (aristocrats, financiers, industrialists) met in the villa. Many of his customers were Jews ; some became his best friends, such as the industrialist Ottmar Strauss and the director of the Dresdner Bank Herbert Gutmann . The Ribbentrops were also collectors of art and valuables, including paintings by Gustave Courbet , Claude Monet and André Derain as well as old tapestries and precious carpets.

Ribbentrop had an affinity for royalty and the nobility , whose members he admired. On May 15, 1925, he was adopted by a distant relative, Gertrud von Ribbentrop (1863-1943), whose father Karl Ribbentrop had been ennobled in 1884 , and from then on he was called "von Ribbentrop". In a contract he undertook to pay Gertrud von Ribbentrop a pension for 15 years. Ribbentrop immediately changed the name of his company to Schöneberg and von Ribbentrop . In addition, Ribbentrop used Gertrud's family coat of arms. If an acquaintance had not noticed Ribbentrop's name change, it would happen that he sent a printed flyer in which the recipient was informed of the name Joachim von Ribbentrops. It was also claimed that Ribbentrop had received the title of nobility “von” for services in the First World War. In 1933, Ribbentrop stated on an SS questionnaire that he had been adopted in order to save his aristocratic line from extinction, without mentioning the year Karl Ribbentrop was ennobled.

Until 1932, Ribbentrop's interest in politics was limited. He only marginally noticed the rise of National Socialism . He certainly had a deep aversion to communism . It was only when Adolf Hitler's successes could not be overlooked that Ribbentrop arranged an audience with the future Führer in the summer of 1932 . On May 1, 1932, he became a member of the NSDAP ( membership number 1.199.927). After the outcome of the Reichstag elections on July 31, 1932 and the failure of the talks between Adolf Hitler and Kurt von Schleicher on August 5, 1932, Franz von Papen , whom Ribbentrop knew from his work at the German embassy in Constantinople, approached him and asked to convey it. Ribbentrop met Hitler on the Obersalzberg in August 1932 .

Because of his admiration for Hitler, Ribbentrop used his social relations in the winter of 1932/1933 to mediate contacts between influential personalities in Berlin and Hitler. These contacts made it easier for Hitler to take power in 1933 without much resistance. Ribbentrop mainly served as a middleman between Papen and Hitler. After Heinrich Himmler met Ribbentrop at the meeting between Hitler and Papen in the house of the Cologne banker Kurt von Schröder on January 4, 1933, he asked him whether he could arrange a follow-up meeting between Hitler and von Papen. Ribbentrop agreed and made his villa in Berlin-Dahlem available for it. Ribbentrop, Papen and Himmler, Hermann Göring , Oskar von Hindenburg , Wilhelm Frick and State Secretary Otto Meißner also took part in these talks, the “decisive coalition negotiations that finally led to the formation of the Hitler cabinet on January 30, 1933 ” . In his memoirs, Papen denied having met Hitler between January 4 and 22, but "Ms. Ribbentrop's dictated notes show," according to the British historian and Hitler biographer Ian Kershaw , that there were "two interviews ], January 10th and 18th ”. On January 25, 1933, it was agreed to eliminate the Reich President Paul von Hindenburg by forming a “National Front” . To confirm this, Ribbentrop wrote to Alfred Hugenberg on January 27, 1933 that only a Hitler cabinet would be considered.

time of the nationalsocialism

When the cabinet was formed in 1933, Ribbentrop did not become foreign minister, as he had hoped, because the NSDAP had designated the " old fighter " Alfred Rosenberg for this office, which the conservatives then claimed for themselves: the Reich Foreign Minister remained under the Reich Chancellors Papen and Kurt von Schleicher incumbent Konstantin Freiherr von Neurath . Ribbentrop became Hitler's foreign policy advisor. This was intended to bypass the Foreign Office in order to enforce Hitler's foreign policy line in the form of special orders. Ribbentrop was appointed SS Standartenführer promptly. He entered the Reichstag for the constituency of Potsdam. On April 24, 1934, he began to set up the "Ribbentrop Office", initially with 13 employees and individual volunteer consultants. From the summer of 1934 the office was located in Berlin Wilhelmstrasse 64 - directly opposite the Foreign Office. Ribbentrop officially received the title of "Foreign Policy Advisor and Commissioner of the Reich Government for Disarmament Issues". In addition, at the end of 1934 he was appointed representative for foreign policy issues on the staff of the Fuehrer's deputy , Rudolf Hess . He was also the head of the NSDAP.

In June 1935 Ribbentrop was then promoted to "Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary Ambassador of the German Reich"; In this position - as Ambassador Extraordinary - he concluded the German-British naval agreement with Great Britain that same month in London , which, contrary to the provisions of the Versailles Treaty , allowed the German Reich to allocate 35% of the British fleet to build. This also made it possible to officially lay the keel of the battleships Bismarck and Tirpitz, which had been planned since 1933 . The drafts for both ships, with over 41,000 tons each, provided for a violation of the Versailles Treaty (which only allowed tonnages up to a maximum of 10,000 tons) from the start, with the actual standard displacement of the designs each being almost 46,000 tons after completion in 1940/41. On the other hand, the official information given to the British government showed 35,560 tons per ship to give the impression that the Reich government had adhered to the fleet agreement. In the same year Ribbentrop founded the German-English Society .

Reich Foreign Minister Joachim von Ribbentrop as SS group leader , 1938
Handshake by Stalin and Ribbentrop after the signing of the Hitler-Stalin Pact, Moscow, August 24, 1939
Ribbentrop at the signing of the German-Soviet border and friendship treaty on September 28, 1939 in Moscow (standing in the back, third from the left)

In July 1935, Hess undertook a reallocation of responsibilities, with Ribbentrop also being entrusted with the processing of the “ethnic German issues in Europe and the USA” in the staff of the Fuehrer's deputy. For the foreign organization of the NSDAP (NSDAP / AO) and its head Ernst Wilhelm Bohle, this decree represented a significant curtailment of the sphere of influence, since now only "ethnic German issues" were allowed to be dealt with in Central and South America. For Hess, but also for Ribbentrop, who saw Bohle as a direct competitor, this meant a significant increase in power. Effective June 1, 1935, Ribbentrop received a small special authority, the Ribbentrop office , which competed with the Foreign Office , the Foreign Policy Office of the NSDAP and the NSDAP / AO. This competitive struggle was typical of the polycracy that characterized the system of rule under National Socialism and, in relation to the Foreign Office, was even deliberate. The Foreign Office was subordinate to Foreign Minister Neurath, but the Bohles and Ribbentrop offices were subordinate to Hess. Peter Kleist became the adviser for Ostpolitik in Ribbentrop's office .

In the development of this office and the further expansion of Nazi foreign policy, Ribbentrop benefited from the support of the SS, of which he had been an SS honorary leader since May 30, 1933 , initially with the rank of SS standard leader . In 1938 Himmler gave him SS no. 63,083 and was now officially listed as a member of the " Staff Reichsführer SS ". In 1940 he was promoted to Obergruppenführer within the Schutzstaffel . This ensured that Hitler's foreign policy decisions were implemented unbureaucratically and unconditionally. After this reallocation of responsibilities, the Ribbentrop office was now much more responsible for Ostpolitik and in mid-1935 was also given the task of taking care of colonial policy . In the meantime, Ribbentrop had expanded its workforce to 160 employees. The office was divided into country and specialist departments, so in addition to the departments for the target countries, it also had a press department, a colonial department and a front-line department. When recruiting new employees, Ribbentrop placed particular emphasis on existing membership in the SS or comparable Nazi organizations. Many of his personal friends were also included. The intended goal was to develop a decidedly National Socialist diplomacy. Even the training of its own staff, which should be clearly different from the tribe of former diplomats at the Foreign Office, was considered.

Ribbentrop was the German ambassador in London from 1936 to 1938 . Right at the beginning it caused a scandal when he greeted the king with "Heil Hitler" on his inaugural visit to the British court. Because of this and other notorious slip-ups, he was dubbed “Ambassador Brickendrop” in London's diplomatic circles. Ribbentrop was supposed to negotiate an alliance with the British government for Hitler, who had long been interested in a pact with Great Britain, but this was rejected by the latter. During this time, Ribbentrop also made it clear that he knew and approved of Hitler's ideology of living space with its murderous consequences. When Churchill , already at that time a staunch opponent of Hitler, visited him once at the German embassy in London in the autumn of 1937, the ambassador, standing in front of a large map of the world, explained to him that the Germans needed living space in the Ukraine and Belarus. The empire would be left untouched, it would only have to accept the German expansion to the east. Churchill rejected these ideas and Ribbentrop replied quite undiplomatically: “In this case, war is inevitable […] The Führer is determined. Nothing will stop him and nothing will stop us. "

On November 25, 1936, the German Reich and Japan signed the Anti-Comintern Pact arranged by Ribbentrop . This envisaged a cooperation between Japan and the German Reich to fight the Communist International (Comintern). In a secret additional protocol, both states undertook to maintain neutrality in the event that the Soviet Union should carry out an unprovoked attack on one of the two contracting parties. It was also agreed not to conclude any treaties with the Soviet Union that ran counter to the emphatically anti-communist goals of the Anti-Comintern Pact. This pact was signed by Italy in 1937 , Manchukuo , Hungary and Spain in 1939 and Bulgaria , Croatia , Denmark , Finland , Nanking-China , Romania and Slovakia in 1941 .

In the course of the Blomberg-Fritsch crisis , Hitler appointed Ribbentrop as Reich Foreign Minister on February 4, 1938. The previous incumbent Neurath had criticized Hitler's war plans in a secret meeting (see Hoßbach minutes ) together with War Minister Werner von Blomberg and the Army Commander-in-Chief , Werner von Fritsch . As a result, these three men were ousted from their offices and, with Ribbentrop, they became an unconditional supporter of Hitler's head of the foreign office.

After German troops marched into Czechoslovakia on March 15, 1939, in violation of the Munich Agreement signed by Hitler , there was a rethink in the English government. She no longer believed Hitler's pledges of peace. First of all, on March 31, the government issued a guarantee for the protection of Poland's borders and announced talks with France and the Commonwealth of Nations to establish an alliance to secure the borders of the still independent European states in the east and south-east. Then Britain and France began to explore an alliance with the Soviet Union against Germany. The Soviet Union was not enthusiastic about this because it feared a coalition of the Western powers with Hitler. Therefore, in April 1939, the Soviet Union secretly declared its readiness to come to an agreement with the German Reich in order to partition Poland. It was not until August 14, 1939 that the Soviet Union invited Ribbentrop to visit Moscow. Ribbentrop arrived there on August 22nd and signed the Hitler-Stalin Pact the next day, August 23, 1939, in the presence of the Soviet Foreign Minister Vyacheslav Molotov . This treaty aroused indignation among the Western powers, although they were not aware of the secret additional protocol that laid down the division of Poland to be defeated between the German Empire and the USSR and the neutrality of the USSR in the event of a war in Western Europe. In addition, the Baltic states of Estonia and Latvia, as well as Bessarabia and Finland , had been assigned to the Soviet sphere of interest just as secretly .

About a week later, the Second World War began with the German invasion of Poland on September 1, 1939 . The defeated Poland divided Germany and the Soviet Union according to the treaty. Another German-Soviet border and friendship treaty negotiated by Ribbentrop, signed on September 28, 1939, stipulated, in secret additions, the exchange of Central Poland territories intended for the USSR with Germany. Furthermore, the resettlement of the Baltic Germans and the Russian Germans from the territories that have now become Soviet to Germany was agreed.

Joachim von Ribbentrop (front, center) at a session of the Reichstag in 1941

On September 27, 1940, Germany, Italy and Japan signed the Tripartite Pact , which was officially announced by Ribbentrop and which was supposed to add military components to the Anti-Comintern Pact. The Balkan states as well as Hungary and Bulgaria also joined this pact in 1940/41; However, Ribbentrop and Hitler failed in their attempt to persuade Spain and Vichy France to join as well ( continental bloc policy).

Since the Foreign Ministry was responsible for the Jews in the Western European territories occupied by the Reich after the Western campaign in 1940, the SS was able to continue the extermination of European Jews without resistance from the Foreign Office , ministerial officials of the Foreign Office were sometimes even actively involved in deportations , e.g. B. by creating deportation orders for French Jews (see e.g. Wilhelmstrasse Trial ). Ribbentrop's cooperation with Himmler's SS in the extermination of the Jews took place primarily through the “Inland II” section of the Foreign Office with its head Horst Wagner , who acted as a liaison between Ribbentrop and Himmler, and the Foreign Office's Jewish advisor , Eberhard von , who holds a doctorate in law Thadden , while the propaganda safeguards and the concealment and justification measures for the persecution of the Jews were carried out by Ribbentrop's press officer Paul Karl Schmidt, alias post-war bestselling author Paul Carell .

There was also close cooperation between the Foreign Office and the Reich Security Main Office in the persecution of Jews and "anti-Nazis" with the police attachés working at the diplomatic missions. Sebastian Weitkamp comes to the conclusion that the conflicts between the heads of mission and these "warriors of extermination with diplomatic status" were exaggerated after 1945. Particularly in the case of the persecution of Jews, a largely smooth cooperation with the police attachés can be observed. At first these were only subordinate to the RSHA. The affair surrounding the monk Chao Kung, alias Trebitsch Lincoln in Shanghai, in which the police attaché Josef Meisinger , stationed at the Tokyo embassy, discredited himself , however, led to a significant shift in power towards the Foreign Office. Ribbentrop, who defended himself against the police attachés who were not subordinate to the Foreign Office but who worked at the foreign missions, used the affair in his power struggle with Himmler and Heydrich. On August 8, 1941, he and Himmler signed an agreement in principle. A little later, on August 28, 1941, an instruction was issued to all police attachés. These were assigned to the diplomatic staff of the embassy or legation and, with regard to their activities abroad, were subordinate to the head of mission. According to the instructions, the police attachés had to carry out orders from the heads of mission even if they were outside their actual scope of duties. All instructions from the offices of the Reichsführer-SS went through the Foreign Office and were forwarded to the police attachés by the ambassador or envoy. The sense and purpose of this procedure, according to the service instructions, was that the ambassador or envoy “assumed political responsibility for the foreign policy expediency of these instructions”.

In a telegram to the German embassy in Rome on January 13, 1943, Ribbentrop denounced Italy's passive role in the persecution of Jews: "While we have recognized Judaism as a disease ... the Italian government believes it can treat Jews individually." Year Ribbentrop received a grant from Hitler of 1 million Reichsmarks .

In Hitler's political will of April 29, 1945, in which he had determined a successor government, Ribbentrop was no longer included. Arthur Seyss-Inquart was to take over his role as Foreign Minister . At the end of the war, Ribbentrop went to Flensburg (see Rattenlinie Nord ). He obviously wanted to take part in the last government of the Reich . In a letter written to Dönitz on May 2, 1945 , but presumably not sent, Ribbentrop attempted to “influence the new government, presumably in the hope that he would be asked to join the new government”, according to the historian Ian Kershaw ". Thereafter, the new Eisenhower and Montgomery government should offer the withdrawal of German troops from the Scandinavian countries in order to be able to keep the Reich government in Schleswig-Holstein in return. In doing so, as Kershaw describes the content of Ribbentrop's letter, "one should let it be known that the British army will one day need the Germans to fight alongside them against the Soviet Union." Ribbentrop's hope was not fulfilled, Dönitz refused to participate personally.

Arrest, Trial, and Execution (1945-1946)

Ribbentrop in his Nuremberg cell, November 1945

After Ribbentrop failed with his request in Flensburg, he then went underground in Hamburg, where he rented a room. He called himself "Johann Riese". After trying to find accommodation with a former business partner, his son reported to the Allied authorities. During a house search on June 14, 1945, Ribbentrop was finally picked up and arrested by British and Belgian soldiers from the Field Security Section . In a subsequent comparison with his sister Ingeborg Jenke, he could then be identified without a doubt. During the search of the British headquarters , a hidden cyanide vial was found on him , three letters he had written (to Field Marshal Montgomery , to Foreign Minister Eden and to British Prime Minister Winston Churchill ) and several thousand Reichsmarks in cash. They were intended for later, when the general situation has calmed down again. Until his transfer to Nuremberg in August 1945, he was only in Lüneburg and then with other Nazi sizes, and military leaders of the armed forces 32 in the POW camp no. Camp Ashcan in Luxembourg Bad Mondorf interned.

After the end of the war, Ribbentrop was indicted before the Nuremberg Tribunal . He has been charged with conspiracies , crimes against peace , war crimes and crimes against humanity . During the 218 days of the trial in Nuremberg, Ribbentrop showed no remorse in the dock. He was finally found guilty of all charges on October 1, 1946, sentenced to death by hanging and, as the first of the twelve people sentenced to death, was executed on October 16, 1946 at 1:12 a.m. in the Nuremberg judicial prison .

The corpse of Ribbentrop was cremated together with Hermann Göring's and the other nine executed persons on October 17, 1946 in the municipal crematorium in Munich's Ostfriedhof and their ashes were then scattered in the Wenzbach , a tributary of the Isar .


No other leading figure in the Third Reich was judged so negatively, both at home and abroad, as Ribbentrop. In particular, the deficiencies in personable features and factual competence met with rejection. Hitler himself was at times very fond of “his” diplomat, whom he is said to have described as a “genius” and - after the successful conclusion of the German-British naval agreement - “my own Iron Chancellor, a second Bismarck ”.

In contrast, many other leading Nazi politicians made decidedly negative judgments about Ribbentrop. Joseph Goebbels said, for example, as he confided in his diary, that Ribbentrop had bought his name, married his money and achieved his way into office and dignity through fraud. In addition, according to the Propaganda Minister, almost all top representatives of the Reich could show at least one praiseworthy quality - Ribbentrop, on the other hand, had none at all.

The French ambassador Robert Coulondre described Ribbentrop as a man with "cold, empty, moon-like eyes" who may look good at first glance, but on closer inspection has "nothing human" about him, except for "the lower instincts". Hans-Otto Meissner , who, as an attaché in the Foreign Office and as the son of Hindenburg's State Secretary Otto Meissner, had the opportunity to observe Ribbentrop up close, remembered him as an "extremely vain one and, apart from his arrogant facial expression , also handsome man ”.

The American historian, journalist and publicist William L. Shirer , who worked as a journalist and reporter in Europe from 1925 until the end of the war, describes Ribbentrop in his Berlin diary as blasé and arrogant based on his description of a press conference at which Ribbentrop appeared , "Looking around as if the world belonged to him".

Other contemporaries also emphasized the impression of arrogance and perfume that Ribbentrop made on them and which stood in peculiar contrast to his achievements, which were perceived as unimpressive. The diplomat von Ribbentrop was accordingly mocked by many as a “champagne traveler”, alluding to his earlier profession. Since the late 1930s, various phrases have been popularly making the rounds that put Ribbentrop in a disrespectful light, for example the comparison that someone is “stupid as Ribbentrop”. In the 1950s, a German journalist saw Ribbentrop as the prototype of the "inflated" diplomat.

Nevile Henderson , who was in close contact with Ribbentrop as the British ambassador in the 1930s, saw in this a rare “combination of vanity, dullness and superficiality”. He also said that the resentments and misjudgments that the German diplomat had towards Great Britain had been a serious obstacle to a better understanding of both countries.

According to Göring, Ribbentrop's habit of imitating Hitler's rhetorical style, gestures and poses prompted many Nazi functionaries to mock the Foreign Minister as a "parrot".

Fritz Günther von Tschirschky , who as adjutant to Hitler's Vice Chancellor Franz von Papen was able to observe the political events in Berlin in 1933/34 at close range, saw in Ribbentrop a man who had no qualities that would have qualified him for a high office , except for the ambition he had: "Ribbentrop was colorless, without a spirit, he wanted to be a master and play a role."

During the Nuremberg trials, Ribbentrop was considered the least popular by his co-defendants, alongside Ernst Kaltenbrunner and Julius Streicher .

Ribbentrop's longtime State Secretary Ernst von Weizsäcker also made negative comments about Ribbentrop in retrospect: “ The fault was in the system as such which made it possible that an apparition of this kind could become foreign secretary and in that capacity serve a nation of seventy million for seven years . ”(German:“ The fault lay in the system itself, which made it possible for a phenomenon of this kind to become foreign minister and in this capacity to serve a nation of 70 million people for seven years. ”)


  • Annelies von Ribbentrop : The War Guilt of the Resistance. From secret British documents 1938/39. Edited from the estate by Rudolf von Ribbentrop. Druffel-Verlag , Leoni am Starnberger See 1974.
  • Joachim von Ribbentrop: Between London and Moscow. Memories and recent records. Edited from the estate by Annelies von Ribbentrop. Druffel-Verlag, Leoni am Starnberger See 1954.


  • Michael Bloch: Ribbentrop. Bantam, London 1992, ISBN 0-593-03635-2 (standard biography ; English).
  • Eckart Conze , Norbert Frei , Peter Hayes and Moshe Zimmermann : The Office and the Past. German diplomats in the Third Reich and in the Federal Republic. Karl Blessing Verlag, Munich 2010, ISBN 978-3-89667-430-2 .
  • Christopher R. Browning : The " Final Solution " and the Foreign Office. Section D III of the Germany Department 1940–1943. From the American by Claudia Kotte. Foreword by Jürgen Matthäus . WBG , Darmstadt 2010. ISBN 3-534-22870-7 . Originally published in English by Holmes & Meier, New York 1978, ISBN 0-8419-0403-0 .
  • Hans-Jürgen Döscher : SS and Foreign Office in the Third Reich. Diplomacy in the shadow of the “final solution” . Ullstein, Frankfurt 1991, ISBN 3-548-33149-1 .
  • Joachim Fest : The Face of the Third Reich. Profiles of a totalitarian rule. Piper, num. Conditions, etc. a. Munich, 11th edition 1994, ISBN 3-492-11842-9 . (The volume also includes a Ribbentrop profile.)
  • Milan Hauner: The Professionals and the Amateurs in National Socialist Foreign Policy. Revolution and Subversion in the Islamic and Indian World. In: Gerhard Hirschfeld and Lothar Kettenacker: The “Führer State”: Myth and Reality. Klett-Cotta, Stuttgart 1981, pp. 305-328.
  • Joe J. Heydecker , Johannes Leeb: The Nuremberg Trial. Series: KiWi 761. Kiepenheuer, Cologne 2003, ISBN 3-462-03240-2 .
  • Jörg Hiltscher: German-Turkish relations 1940–1942 as perceived by Hitler, Ribbentrop and Papen. A study with special consideration of their intelligence service perception. Ludwigsfelder Verlagshaus, Ludwigsfelde 2011, ISBN 978-3-933022-63-9 .
  • Guido Knopp , Matthias von Hellfeld : Hitler's helpers . Goldmann, Munich 1999, ISBN 3-442-15017-5 , p. 231 ff.
  • Lars Lüdicke: Reach for world domination. The Foreign Policy of the Third Reich 1933–1945. Bebra, Berlin 2009, ISBN 978-3-89809-408-5 .
  • Wolfgang Michalka: Ribbentrop and German world politics. 1933-1940. Foreign policy concepts and decision-making processes in the Third Reich. Fink, Munich 1980, ISBN 3-7705-1400-9 .
  • Wolfgang Michalka:  Ribbentrop, Ulrich Friedrich Willy Joachim von. In: New German Biography (NDB). Volume 21, Duncker & Humblot, Berlin 2003, ISBN 3-428-11202-4 , pp. 500-502 ( digitized version ).
  • Paul Schwarz: This man Ribbentrop. His life and times. J. Messner, New York 1943 (two editions; no German translation). (Paul Schwarz was German Consul General in New York until April 11, 1933; on April 29, 1933, he was dismissed from service in the Reich in accordance with Section 4 of the Law for the Restoration of the Professional Civil Service and remained in the USA until 1951, on August 2, 1951 he returned to Germany)
  • Paul Seabury: The Wilhelmstrasse - The History of German Diplomacy 1930-1945. Nest Verlag, Frankfurt 1956 (English 1954).
  • Sebastian Weitkamp: Brown diplomats. Horst Wagner and Eberhard von Thadden as functionaries of the “Final Solution”. Dietz, Bonn 2008, ISBN 978-3-8012-4178-0 .
Fiction :

Web links

Commons : Joachim von Ribbentrop  - Collection of images, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. Wolfgang Michalka : Ribbentrop, Ulrich Friedrich Willy Joachim von (since 1925 by adoption) . In: Deutsche Biographie , accessed on October 2, 2018.
  2. ^ Joachim Lilla , Martin Döring, Andreas Schulz: extras in uniform. The members of the Reichstag 1933–1945. A biographical manual. Including the ethnic and National Socialist members of the Reichstag from May 1924. Droste, Düsseldorf 2004, ISBN 3-7700-5254-4 , p. 509.
  3. ^ Hermann Weiß : Biographical Lexicon for the Third Reich. , Frankfurt 1998, Ribbentrop, Joachim von according to the website of Josef Felder
  4. Michael Bloch: Ribbentrop. Bantam, London 1992, ISBN 0-593-03635-2 , p. 9.
  5. Jürgen Finger, Sven Keller, Andreas Wirsching: Dr. Oetker and National Socialism. History of a family business 1933–1945 . Beck, Munich 2013.
  6. Michael Bloch: Ribbentrop. Bantam, London 1992, ISBN 0-593-03635-2 , p. 12 ff.
  7. Michael Bloch: Ribbentrop. Bantam, London 1992, ISBN 0-593-03635-2 , p. 18.
  8. Michael Bloch: Ribbentrop. Bantam, London 1992, ISBN 0-593-03635-2 , p. 17 ff.
  9. Wolfgang Michalka: Ribbentrop and German World Policy 1933-1940, Wilhelm Fink Verlag, Munich 1980, p. 31 ff.
  10. Ian Kershaw: Hitler 1889-1936. Deutsche Verlags-Anstalt, Stuttgart 1998, ISBN 3-421-05131-3 , p. 517 ff.
  11. Hans-Jürgen Döscher: The Foreign Office in the Third Reich. Diplomacy in the shadow of the final solution. Siedler Verlag, Berlin 1987 ISBN 3-88680-256-6 , p. 148.
  12. Ian Kershaw: Hitler 1889-1936 . Deutsche Verlags-Anstalt, Stuttgart 1998, ISBN 3-421-05131-3 , p. 517 and P. 878, note p. 215.
  13. a b Wolfgang Michalka: Ribbentrop and German world politics 1933-1940. Wilhelm Fink Verlag, Munich 1980, p. 37 f.
  14. Tammo Luther: Volkstumsppolitik des Deutschen Reiches 1933–1938: The Germans Abroad in the Field of Tension Between Traditionalists and National Socialists. Franz Steiner Verlag, Stuttgart 2004, ISBN 3-515-08535-1 , p. 126 (also Univ., Diss., Kiel 2002).
  15. Tammo Luther: Volkstumsppolitik des Deutschen Reiches 1933–1938: the Germans abroad in the field of tension between traditionalists and National Socialists . Franz Steiner Verlag, 2004, ISBN 3-515-08535-1 . Diagram "Attempts to centralize national politics (Volksdeutscher Rat) / Level II (October 15, 1934)", Organigramm Stab Rudolf Heß / Bormann↔Hitler↔Aus External Office, p. 113.
  16. Andreas Zellhuber: "Our administration is driving a catastrophe ..." . The Reich Ministry for the Occupied Eastern Territories and German occupation in the Soviet Union 1941–1945. Vögel, Munich 2006, p. 74. (Source: Kleist: You were there too. War diary by Otto Bräutigam , p. 171.)
  17. Hermann Weiß (Ed.): Biographical Lexicon for the Third Reich . 1998, p. 374.
  18. ^ Roland Ray: Approaching France in the service of Hitler. Otto Abetz and the German policy on France 1930–1942 . Oldenbourg, Munich 2000, p. 124 ff .; Michael Mayer: Actors, Crimes and Continuities. The Foreign Office in the Third Reich - An Internal Differentiation. In: Vierteljahrshefte für Zeitgeschichte 59, issue 4 (2011), p. 514 ff. ( Online , accessed October 1, 2018).
  19. Ian Kershaw: Hitler 1936-1945 . Deutsche Verlags-Anstalt, Stuttgart 2000, ISBN 3-421-05132-1 , p. 58 f.
  20. ^ Thomas Kielinger: Winston Churchill. The late hero. A biography CH Beck, Munich 2014, ISBN 978-3-406-66889-0 , p. 216 ff.
  21. Lars Lüdicke: Reach for world domination. The Foreign Policy of the Third Reich 1933–1945. Bebra, Berlin 2009, ISBN 978-3-89809-408-5 , pp. 117 f.
  22. ^ Wigbert Benz : Deformation of Society? - by Christian A. Braun . In: The future needs memories , accessed April 19, 2020.
  23. Clemens Jochem: Your murderer - I am innocent! On the fate of the journalist Karl Raimund Hofmeier in Japan . In: OAG Notes . No. 04, April 1, 2020, ISSN  1343-408X , pp. 8-36.
  24. ^ Quotation from Ernst Klee : Das Personenlexikon zum Third Reich. Who was what before and after 1945 . Fischer Taschenbuch Verlag, second updated edition, Frankfurt am Main 2005, ISBN 978-3-596-16048-8 , p. 494.
  25. a b Ernst Klee: The dictionary of persons on the Third Reich. Who was what before and after 1945. Fischer Taschenbuch Verlag, second updated edition, Frankfurt am Main 2005, p. 494.
  26. Gerd R. Ueberschär , Winfried Vogel : Serving and earning. Hitler's gifts to his elites. Frankfurt 1999, ISBN 3-10-086002-0 .
  27. a b c German Historical Museum Foundation : Living Museum Online - Joachim von Ribbentrop 1893–1946 , accessed on May 13, 2017.
  28. a b Ian Kershaw: The End. Fight to the end. Nazi Germany 1944/45. Deutsche Verlags-Anstalt, Munich 2011, ISBN 978-3-421-05807-2 , p. 492.
  29. Google Cultural Institute : Detention report of Joachim von Ribbentrop, German Foreign Minister, 23/06/1945, From the collection of Yad Vashem , accessed on January 6, 2018.
  30. Joe Heydecker et al. Johannes Leeb: The Nuremberg Trial Kiepenheuer & Witsch, Cologne 2015, p. 81 f.
  31. ^ The Courier-Mail : Von Ribbentrop Caught in Hamburg , June 16, 1945.
  32. Joe J. Heydecker, Johannes Leeb: The Nuremberg Trial [= KiWi 761]. Kiepenheuer and Witsch, Cologne 2003, ISBN 3-462-02466-3 , p. 65 f.
  33. Thomas Darnstädt : A stroke of luck in history . In: Der Spiegel . No. 14 , 2005, pp. 128 ( online ).
  34. Joachim Fest: Hitler, Eine Biographie, 5th edition 1973, p. 690.
  35. Joachim Fest: Hitler, Eine Biographie, 5th edition 1973, p. 691.
  36. Heidrun B. Görtemaker: Eva Braun - Life with Hitler. Beck, Munich 2012, ISBN 978-3-406-61663-1 , p. 157.
  37. ^ Joachim C. Fest: The Face of the Third Reich , Weidenfeld and Nicolson Ltd., New York 1970, p. 178.
  38. Hans-Otto Meissner: Young Years in the Reich President's Palace. Memories of Ebert and Hindenburg 1919–1934. Bechtle, Essingen / Munich 1988, ISBN 3-7628-0469-9 , p. 339.
  39. ^ William L. Shirer: Berlin Diary . Kiepenheuer, Cologne 1994, ISBN 3-378-00559-9 , p. 203.
  40. Soul of Resistance . In: Der Spiegel . No. 48 , 1950, pp. 15 ( online ).
  41. ^ Fritz Günther von Tschirschky: Memories of a high traitor. Deutsche Verlags-Anstalt, Munich, 1973, ISBN 3-421-01602-X , p. 140.
  42. ^ Telford Taylor : The Nuremberg Trials. ISBN 3-453-09130-2 , p. 411.
  43. ^ Fritz Karl Michael Hillenbrand: Underground Humor in Nazi Germany. Routledge, London / New York 1995, p. 47.
  44. Biographical Handbook of the Foreign Office 1971–1945, Volume 4. pp. 214f., Paderborn 2012.