Archive/File: imt/nca/supp-b/nca-sb-02-ribbentrop.33 Last-Modified: 1997/11/22 Nazi Conspiracy & Aggression, Supplement B Ribbentrop's Position on the Extermination of the Jews [Page 1239] Testimony of Joachim von Ribbentrop taken at Nurnberg, Germany, on 5 October 1945, by Mr. Justice Robert H. Jackson, OUSCC. Also present: Colonel John H. Amen, IGD; OUSCC Colonel Howard A. Brundage, JAGD; OUSCC Pfc Richard Sonnenfeldt, Interpreter; WOJG Jack Rund, Court Reporter. Q. You knew that the policy advocated by the Nazi Party was to exterminate the Jews, didn't you? A. I did not. Q. Was that a secret from you? A. Yes. Absolutely. Q. Did you hear the speeches of Goering and Streicher? A. Yes, but I may say this. I was personally convinced -- I may say that -- I knew it was considered a long time before entering the party. I know I discussed it with my father who didn't enter until 1933 because of the Jewish question. He was convinced, and I was also convinced, there would be an evolution in the direction of adjustment, after some very evident factors of the Jewish problem in Germany would be done away with -- which as a matter of fact certain important Jews told me, and I remember one telling me himself, that he did not like this development in Germany. I remember that. [Page 1240] Q. How could you have expected a change for the better on the Jewish question when you yourself say that Hitler was so violent on the subject that you couldn't even discuss it with him, and that he was the man everybody had to bow down to without question? What source did you expect improvement to come from? A. You see, in 1933 and `34 I think there were probably quite a number of people living still, and even in 1935 I think, continuously some old Jewish friends in my house. I knew that quite well. Q. I know, but you are not answering the question I am asking you, and perhaps my difficulty is that you are a man of experience in the world, and it is no good for me to assume that you knew so little as you tried to make out you knew. How could you have expected any improvement in the lot of Jews in Germany, when you say that you as foreign minister could not even discuss the problem with him because he was so violent on the subject? A. That was in 1938. In 1933 and 1935 --- Q. But it was in 1938 that you became foreign minister and were a part of this outfit? A. I can say this, in 1935 -- I remember one incident when suddenly it turned out that my chief adjutant was quarter Jew or half -- he had Jewish blood, quarter Jew I think. I went to the Fuehrer, and the Fuehrer made him even in 1935 a member of the National Socialist Party. So the Fuehrer was not at all uncompromising in those years, and I thought he would go in that direction. He saw himself -- and I can name you quite a number of Jews and half-Jews the Fuehrer saw with me occasionally in those years on foreign policy matters, for instance. Later on, of course, things became very uncompromising. Q. You stayed with him after that became more uncompromising? A. Yes.
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