The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

Nazi Conspiracy & Aggression
Individual Responsibility Of Defendants
Joachim von Ribbentrop
(Part 7 of 10)


[Page 505]

Within a month after the German armies invaded the Soviet Union on 22 June 1941, Ribbentrop was urging Ott, his ambassador in Tokyo, to do his utmost to cause the Japanese Government to attack the Soviet in Siberia .(2896-PS; 2897- PS).

A message, intercepted, which was sent by the Japanese Ambassador in Berlin on 29 November 1941, a week before the attack on the United States at Pearl Harbor, reports the coaxings of Ribbentrop:

"Ribbentrop opened our meeting by again inquiring whether I had received any reports regarding the Japanese-United States negotiations. I replied that I had received no official word.

"Ribbentrop: 'It is essential that Japan effect the New Order in East Asia without losing this opportunity. There never has been and probably never will be a time when loser cooperation under the Tripartite Pact is so important. If Japan hesitates at this time, and Germany goes ahead and establishes her European New Order, all the military might of Britain and the United States will be concentrated against Japan.

" 'As Fuehrer Hitler said today, -there are fundamental differences in the very right to exist between Germany and Japan, and the United States. We have received advice to the effect that there is practically no hope of the Japanese-United States negotiations being concluded successfully because of the fact that the United States is putting up a stiff front.

" 'If this is indeed the fact of the case, and if Japan reaches a decision to fight Britain and the United States, I am confident that that will not only be to the interest of Germany and Japan jointly, but would bring about favorable results for Japan and herself.' "

Then the Japanese Ambassador replied:

" 'I can make no definite statement as I am not aware of any concrete intentions of Japan. Is Your Excellency indicating that a state of actual war is to be established between Germany and the United

"Ribbentrop: 'Roosevelt's a fanatic, so it is impossible to tell what he would do.' " (D-656).

The Japanese Ambassador thereupon concludes:

[Page 506]

"Concerning this point, in view of the fact that Ribbentrop has said in the past that the United States would undoubtedly try to avoid meeting German troops, and from the tone of Hitler's recent speech, as well as that of Ribbentrop's, I feel that German attitude toward the United States is being considerably stiffened. There are indications at present that Germany would not refuse to fight the United States if necessary." (D-656).

Part 3 of the Japanese message quotes Ribbentrop as follows:

"In any event, Germany has absolutely no intention of entering into any peace with England. We are determined to remove all British influence from Europe. Therefore, at the end of this war, England will have no influence whatsoever in international affairs. The Island Empire of Britain may remain, but all of her other possessions throughout the world will probably be divided three ways by Germany, the United States, and Japan. In Africa, Germany will be satisfied with, roughly, those parts which were formerly German colonies. Italy will be given the greater share of the African Colonies. Germany desires, above all else, to control European Russia." (D-656)

In reply the Japanese Ambassador said:

" 'I am fully aware of the fact that Germany's war campaign is progressing according to schedule smoothly. However, suppose that Germany is faced with the situation of having not only Great Britain as an actual enemy, but also having all of those areas in which Britain has influence and those countries which have been aiding Britain as actual enemies as well. Under such circumstances, the war area will undergo considerable expansion, of course. What is your opinion of the outcome of the war under such an eventuality?'

"Ribbentrop: 'We would like to end this war during next year [1942]. However, under certain circumstances, it is possible that it will have to be continued on to the following year.

'Should Japan become engaged in war against the United States, Germany, of course, would join the war immediately. There is absolutely no possibility of Germany's entering into a separate peace with the United States under such circumstances. The Fuehrer is determined on that point.' " (I-656)

Ribbentrop was thus associated in the closest possible way, with the aggression by Japan against the United States.

[Page 507]

Another intercepted diplomatic message from the Japanese Ambassador in Berlin states (D-657):

"At 1 p.m. today [8 December 1941] I called on Foreign Minister Ribbentrop and told him our wish was to have Germany and Italy issue formal declarations of war on America at once. Ribbentrop replied that Hitler was then in the midst of a conference at general headquarters discussing how the formalities of declaring war could be carried out so as to make a good impression on the German people, and that he would transmit your wish to him at once and do whatever he was able to have it carried out promptly. At that time Ribbentrop told me that on the morning of the 8th Hitler issued orders to the entire German Navy to attack American ships whenever and wherever they might meet them.

"It goes without saying that this is only for your secret information.'' (D-657)

Thus, Hitler ordered attacks on American ships before the German declaration of war.

Then on 11 December 1941 Ribbentrop, in the name of the German Government, announced a state of war between Germany and United States.


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