The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

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   Nazi Conspiracy and Aggression, Volume II, Chapter XVI

                                                  [Page 489]


According to Ribbentrop's own certified statement (2829-PS),
he became a member of the Nazi Party in 1932, but according
to the semi-official statement in "Das Archiv," he had gone
to work for the Party before that time by extending his
business connections to political circles. Having joined the
service of the Party in 1930 at the time of the final
struggle for power in the Reich, "Ribbentrop played an
important if not strikingly obvious part in the bringing
about of the decisive meetings between the representatives
of the President of the Reich and the heads of the

                                                  [Page 490]
NSDAP, who had prepared the entry of Nazis into power on 30
January 1933. Those meetings as well as those between Hitler
and von Papen took place in Ribbentrop's house in Berlin
Dahlen." (D-472) .

Ribbentrop was therefore present and active at the inception
of the Nazi seizure of power. In that first period he was
advisor to the Party on questions of foreign affairs. His
title was first, "Collaborator to the Fuehrer on matters of
Foreign Policy." He later became Representative in Matters
of Foreign Policy on the Staff of the Deputy.

This was followed by membership in the Nazi Reichstag in
November 1933.

On 24 April 1934 after Germany had left the disarmament
conference, he was appointed Delegate of the Reich
Government in matters of Disarmament. In this capacity he
visited London and other foreign capitals. He was then given
more important and imposing title, the German Minister
Plenipotentiary at Large, and it was in that capacity that
he negotiated the Anglo-German Naval Agreement of 1935.

In March 1936, after the Nazi Government had reoccupied the
Rhineland zone, which had been demilitarized in accordance
with the terms of the Versailles and Locarno Treaties, and
the matter was brought before the Council of the League of
Nations, Ribbentrop addressed the Council in defense of
Germany's action.

On 11 August 1936 he was appointed Ambassador in London, and
occupied that position for a period of some eighteen months.
His activities while holding that position are not highly
relevant to the issues, but during that period, in his
capacity which he still had as German Minister
Plenipotentiary at Large, he signed the original
Anticomintern Pact with Japan in November 1936, and also the
additional pact by which Italy joined it in 1937.

Finally, on 24 February 1938, Ribbentrop was appointed
Foreign Minister in place of von Neurath, and simultaneously
was made a member of the Secret Cabinet Council (Geheimer
Kabinettsrat) established by decree of Hitler of the same
date (1337-PS).

Ribbentrop became an Oberfuehrer in the SS, was subsequently
promoted to SS Gruppenfuehrer in 1938, and later became
Obergruppenfuehrer. There is no question of any honorary
rank. The SS went into his ancestry in detail in order to
deal with the law relating to that subject. Ribbentrop was
also permitted to adopt "von" as a prefix before his last
name (D-66).

These activities of Ribbentrop in the earlier part of his

                                                  [Page 491]
show in themselves that he assisted willing and deliberately
in bringing the Nazis into power, and in the earlier stage
of their obtaining control of the German State.


(1) The Austrian Anschluss. Ribbentrop was present at a
meeting at Berchtesgaden on 12 February 1938, at which
Hitler and von Papen met the Austrian Chancellor von
Schuschnigg and his foreign minister, Guido Schmidt. The
official German account of that interview is contained in
2461-PS. What appears to be the truthful account of that
interview is contained in Jodl's diary, the entries for 11
and 12 February 1938 (1780-PS).

On 11 February Jodl wrote:

     "In the evening, and on 12 February, General Keitel
     with General von Reichenau and Sperrle at Obersalzburg.
     Schuschnigg, together with R. G. Schmidt, are again
     being put under the heaviest political and military
     pressure. At 2300 hours Schuschnigg signs protocol."

The 13 February entry reads:

     "In the afternoon, General Keitel asks Admiral Canaris
     and myself to come to his apartment. He tells us that
     the Fuehrer's order is to the effect that military
     pressure by shamming military action should be kept up
     until the 15th. Proposals for these deceptive maneuvers
     are drafted and submitted to the Fuehrer by telephone
     for approval.
     "14 February:
     "At 2:40 o'clock the agreement of the Fuehrer arrived.
     Canaris went to Munich to the Counter-Intelligence
     Office VII and initiates the different measures.
     "The effect is quick and strong. In Austria the
     impression is created that Germany is undertaking
     serious military preparations."

The next step was the telephone conversation which took
place between Goering and Ribbentrop on 13 March 1938, when
Ribbentrop was still in London. Goering was passing on the
false statement that there was no ultimatum to Austria. The
facts of the ultimatum were explained by the earlier
telephone conversations between Goering and Vienna. But
Goering then passed the falsehood on to Ribbentrop in London
in order that he might placate and reassure political
circles in London (2949-PS).

                                                  [Page 492]
The third step was taken by Ribbentrop after his return from
London. Although he had been appointed Foreign Minister in
February, he had gone back to London to clear up his
business at the embassy. Although he was still in London
until after the Anschluss had actually occurred, his name
appears as a signatory of the law making Austria a province
of the German Reich (2307-PS).

(2) Czechoslovakia. Czechoslovakia furnishes a typical
example of aggression in its various aspects. To summarize
the outstanding features briefly: First, there was the
necessity of stirring up trouble inside the country against
which aggression was planned.

Ribbentrop, as Foreign Minister, helped in the stirring up
of the Sudeten Germans under Henlein, who was in frequent
contact with the German Foreign Office (3060-PS; 2789-PS;
5059-PS). These documents demonstrate how the Foreign Office
stirred up the Sudeten-German movement so that it would act
in accordance with the Government of the Reich.

Later on, Ribbentrop was present on 5/28/1938 at the
conference at which Hitler gave instructions to prepare the
attack on Czechoslovakia (388-PS; 2360-PS). In a speech in
January 1939 Hitler proclaimed that aggression was to take
place against Czechoslovakia (2360-PS):
     "On the basis of this unbearable provocation, which was
     still further emphasized by a truly infamous
     persecution and terrorizing of our Germans there, I
     have now decided to solve the Sudeten-German question
     in a final and radical manner."
     "On 28 May I gave the order for the preparation of
     military steps against this state, to be concluded by 2
     October." (2360-PS)
The important point is that 28 May was the date when the
Fall Gruen for Czechoslovakia was the subject of orders, and
that it was thereafter put into effect, to come to fruition
at the beginning of October.

That was the second stage: To lay well in advance the plans
of aggression.

The third stage was to see that neighboring states were not
likely to cause trouble. Hence, on 18 July 1938, Ribbentrop
had a conversation with the Italian Ambassador, Attolico, at
which the attack on Czechoslovakia was discussed (2800-PS).
Further discussions along the same lines followed (2791-PS;

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