Joachim von Ribbentrop
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 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 career 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:
The 13 February entry reads:
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).
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):
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; 2792-PS).
The effect of these documents is, that it was made clear to the Italian Government that the German Government was going to move against Czechoslovakia.
The other interested country was Hungary, for Hungary had certain territorial desires with regard to parts of the Czechoslovakian Republic. Accordingly on 23 and 25 August Ribbentrop as present at the discussions and had discussions himself with the Hungarian politicians Imredi and Kanya (2796-PS; 2797-PS). These documents indicate that Ribbentrop endeavored to the assurances of Hungarian help, and that the Hungarian Government at the time was not too ready to commit itself to action, although it was ready enough with sympathy.
Contacts had been established with the Sudeten Germans, for heirs was the long-term grievance that had to be exploited. But the next stage was to have a short-term grievance and to stir up trouble, preferably at the fountainhead. Therefore, between 16 and 24 September, the German Foreign Office, of which Ribbentrop was the head, was engaged in stirring up trouble in Prague (2858-PS; 2855-PS; 2854-PS; 2853-PS; and 2856-PS). An example of the type of these activities is the communication of 19 September from the Foreign Office to the German Embassy in Prague (2858-PS):
Another of these documents deals with questions of arrest and action to be taken against any Czechs in Germany in order to make the position more difficult (2855-PS).
That was the contribution which Ribbentrop made to the pre- Munich crisis, which culminated in the Munich agreement of 29 September 1938
A significant aspect of Nazi plotting with regard to Czechoslovakia, which shows the sort of action and advice which the Wehrmacht expected from the Foreign Office, is contained in a long document putting forward an almost infinite variety of breaches of International Law, which were likely to arise or might have arisen from the action in regard to Czechoslovakia (C-2). On all these points the opinion of the Foreign Office was sought, with a view to explanation and justification. That, of course, remained a hypothetical question because at that time no war resulted.
The second stage of the acquisition of Czechoslovakia occurred when, having obtained the Sudetenland, the Nazis arranged a crisis in Czechoslovakia which would be an excuse for taking the rest. This action is important as constituting the first time that the German Government disregarded its own commitment that its desires did not go beyond the return of German blood to the Reich. On that point, again, Ribbentrop was active. On 13 March, as events were moving to a climax, he sent a telegram to the German Minister in Prague, his subordinate, telling him to
At the same time Ribbentrop attended a conference in Berlin with Hitler and a delegation of pro-Nazi Slovaks. Tiso, one of the heads of the pro-Nazi Slovaks, was directed to declare an independent Slovak State in order to assist in the disintegration of Czechoslovakia (2802-PS). A previous meeting along the same lines had been held a month before (2790-PS). Thus, Ribbentrop was assisting in the task, again, of fomenting internal trouble.
On 14 March 1939, the following day, Hacha, the President of Czechoslovakia, was called to Berlin. Ribbentrop was at this meeting, at which pressure and threats were used to obtain the aged President's consent to hand over the Czechoslovak State to Hitler (2798-PS; 3061-PS).
That was the end of the Czech part of Czechoslovakia. The following week Ribbentrop signed a treaty with Slovakia, Article II of which granted the German Government the right to construct military posts and installations, and to keep them garrisoned within Slovakia (1439-PS). Thus, after swallowing Bohemia and Moravia as an independent state, Ribbentrop obtained military control over Slovakia.
(3) Lithuania. An interesting point concerning the Northern Baltic shows how difficult it was for Ribbentrop to keep his hands out of the internal affairs of other countries, even when it did not seem a very important matter. On 3 April 1939 Germany had occupied the Memeland (TC-5-A). It would have appeared, as far as the Baltic States were concerned, that the position was satisfactory to the Nazis but in fact Ribbentrop was acting in close concert with Heydrich, in stirring up trouble in Lithuania with a group of pro-Nazi people called the Woldemaras Supporters (2953-PS; 2952-PS). Heydrich was passing to Ribbentrop a request for financial support for this group:
At the end of a fuller report on the same matter (2952-PS) there is added in handwriting,
It is signed "W" who was the Secretary of State. Such was the extraordinary interference, even with comparatively unimportant countries.
(4) Poland. In the aggression against Poland, there were several periods. The first was what might be called the Munich period, up to the end of September 1938, and at that time no language the Nazis could use was too good for Poland. Examples of German assurances and reassurances to Poland during this period are Hitler's Reichstag speech on 20 February 1938 (2357-PS), the secret Foreign Office memorandum of 26 August 1938 (TC-76), and the conversation between M. Lipski, the Polish ambassador, and Ribbentrop (TC- 73, No. 40). A final illustration of this technique is Hitler's speech at the Sportzpalast on 26 September 1938, in which he said that this was the end of his territorial problems in Europe and expressed an almost violent affection for the Poles (TC-7, No. 42).
The next stage occupied the period between Munich and the rape of Prague. With part of the German plan for Czechoslovakia having been accomplished and parts still remaining to be done, there was a slight change towards Poland but still a friendly atmosphere. In a conversation with M. Lipski, the Polish Ambassador to Berlin, on 24 October 1938, Ribbentrop put forward very peaceful suggestions for the settlement of the Danzig issue (TC-73, No. 44). The Polish reply, of 10/31/1938, stated that it was unacceptable that Danzig should return to the Reich, but made suggestions of a bilateral agreement (TC-73, No. 45). Between these dates the German Government had made its preparations to occupy Danzig by surprise (C-137).
But although these preparations were made, still some two months later, on 5 January 1939, Hitler was suggesting to M. Beck, the Polish Foreign Minister, a new solution (TC-73, No. 8).
Ribbentrop saw M. Beck on the next day and said that there was to be no violent solution of the Danzig issue, but a further building up of friendly relations (TC-73, No. 49). Not content with that, Ribbentrop went to Warsaw on 25 January to talk of the continued progress and consolidation of friendly relations (2530-PS), That was capped by Hitler's Reichstag speech on 30 January 1939, in the same tone (TC- 73, No. 57). That was the second stage -- the mention of Danzig in honeyed words, because the rape of Prague had not yet been attained.
Then, in the meeting at the Reichschancellery on 23 May 1939, Hitler made it quite clear, and so stated, that Danzig had nothing to do with the real Polish question (L-79). "I have to deal with Poland because I want lebensraum in the East" -- that is the effect of Hitler's words at that time: that Danzig was merely an excuse.
The extent to which Ribbentrop had adopted this attitude of mind of Hitler at this time is shown in the introduction to- Count Ciano's Diary (2987-PS):
That extraordinary declaration closely corroborates Hitler's statement at his Chancellery conference on 23 May -- that it was no longer a question of Danzig or the Corridor, but a question of war to achieve lebensraum in the East (L-79).
It should be recalled in this connection that "Fall Weiss" the plan for operations against Poland, is dated 3 and 11 April 1939, thus showing that preparations were already in hand (C-120). Another entry in Count Ciano's Diary during the summer of 1939 makes this point quite clear:
The next stage in the German plan consisted of sharp pressure over the claim for Danzig, commencing immediately after Czechoslovakia had been formally dealt with on 15 March 1939. The first sharp raising of the claim was on 21 March (TC-73, No. 61)
An interesting sidelight during the last days before the war concerns the return of Herr von Dirksen, the German Ambassador to the Court of St. James, to Berlin on 18 August 1939. When interrogated (after capture) regarding the significance of this event Ribbentrop expressed a complete absence of recollection ever having seen the German Ambassador to England after his return. Ribbentrop thought he would have remembered him if he had seen him, and therefore he accepted the probability that he did not see him (D-490). Thus when it was well known that war with Poland would involve England and France, either Ribbentrop was not sufficiently interested in opinion in London to take the trouble to see his ambassador, or else, as he rather suggests, he had appointed so weak and ordinary a career diplomat to London that his opinion was not taken into account, either by himself or by Hitler. In either case, Ribbentrop was completely uninterested in anything which his Ambassador might have to tell him as to opinion in London or the possibility of war. It is putting the matter with great moderation to say that in the last days before 1 September 1939, Ribbentrop did whatever he could to avoid peace with Poland and to avoid anything which might hinder the encouraging of the war which he and the Nazis wanted. He did that, well knowing that war with Poland would involve Great Britain and France. (See also Section 8 of Chapter IX on Aggression Against Poland.)
M. Lipski, the Polish Ambassador at Berlin, summarized all these events leading up to the war in his report of 10 October 1939 (TC-73, No. 147).
(6) Norway and Denmark. On 31 May 1939, Ribbentrop, on behalf of Germany, signed a non-aggression pact with Denmark which provided that:
And on 7 April 1940 the German armed forces invaded Denmark at the same time they invaded Norway.
Ribbentrop was fully involved in the earlier preparations for the aggression against Norway. Along with Rosenberg, Ribbentrop assisted Quisling in his early activities. A letter from Rosenberg to Ribbentrop on 24 February states:
In a report to Hitler on the Quisling activities, Rosenberg outlined Ribbentrop's part in the preparation of the Norwegian operation:
This sum was paid through Scheidt.
In a letter to Ribbentrop dated 3 April 1940, Keitel wrote:
"Dear Herr von Ribbentrop:
Keitel then proceeds to ask that the Foreign Office get in touch with certain commanders. The important point is Keitel's clear admission to Ribbentrop that the military occupation of Denmark and Norway had been long in preparation. It is interesting to connect this letter with the official Biography of Ribbentrop, in the Archives, which makes a point of mentioning the invasion of Norway and Denmark (D-472):
It is clear that whoever else had knowledge or whoever else was ignorant, Ribbentrop had been thoroughly involved in the Quisling plottings and knew at least a week before the invasion started that the Wehrmacht and Keitel had been long in preparation for this act of aggression. (See also Section 9 of Chapter IX on Aggression against Norway and Denmark.)
(6) The Low Countries: Belgium, The Netherlands, and Luxembourg. The facts as to the aggression against these countries, during the period when Ribbentrop was Foreign Minister, are discussed in Section 10 of Chapter IX. Special attention should be called, however, to the statement made by Ribbentrop 10 May 1940 to representatives of the foreign press with regard to the reasons for the German invasion of the Low Countries. These reasons demonstrated to be false in Section 10 of Chapter IX on Aggression Against The Low Countries.
(7) Greece and Yugoslavia. At a meeting in Salzburg in August 1939, at which von Ribbentrop participated, Hitler announced that the Axis had decided to liquidate certain neutrals (1871-PS):
That demonstrates the policy with regard to uncertain neutrals.
Then, as early as September 1940 Ribbentrop reviewed the war situation with Mussolini. Ribbentrop emphasized the heavy revenge bombing raids in England and the fact that London would soon be in ruins. It was agreed between the parties that only Italian interests were involved in Greece and Yugoslavia, and that Italy could count on German support. Ribbentrop went on further to explain to Mussolini the Spanish plan for the attack on Gibraltar and Germany's participation therein. He added that he was expecting to sign the Protocol with Spain, bringing the latter country into the war, on his return to Berlin (1842-PS). Ribbentrop then gave Mussolini a free hand with Greece and Yugoslavia:
Several months later, in January 1941, at the meeting between Hitler and Mussolini in which Ribbentrop participated, the Greek operation was discussed. Hitler stated that the German troops in Rumania were for use in the planned campaign against Greece (C-134). Count Ciano, who attended that meeting as Italian Foreign Minister, recalls his impression of that meeting in his diary entry for 20/21 January:
Despite that somewhat pessimistic statement to Count Ciano, three weeks later, when it was a question of encouraging the Japanese to enter the war, Ribbentrop took a more optimistic line. On 13 February 1941 he saw Oshima, the Japanese Ambassador. In the course of their conversation Ribbentrop gave an optimistic account of the military situation and the position of Bulgaria and Turkey (1834-PS).
In the course of his efforts to get Yugoslavia to join the Axis, Ribbentrop addressed a note, (2450-PS) on 25 March 1941, to Prime Minister Cvetkovitch, which contained this assurance:
Shortly thereafter, there occurred the coup d'etat in Yugoslavia, when General Simovitch took over the Government. Two days after Ribbentrop's assurance (2450-PS), at a meeting on 27 March 1941 at which Ribbentrop was present, Hitler outlined the military campaign against Yugoslavia and promised the destruction of Yugoslavia and the demolition of Belgrade by the German Air Force (1746-PS).
After the invasion of Yugoslavia Ribbentrop was one of the persons directed by Hitler with the drawing of the boundaries or the partition and division of Yugoslavia. The preliminary directive for that action provided:
8) The U.S.S.R. On 23 August 1939 Ribbentrop signed The German-Soviet non-aggression Pact (TC-25). The first point at which Ribbentrop seems to have considered special problems of aggression against the Soviet Union was just after 20 April 1941, when Rosenberg and Ribbentrop met or communicated to consider problems expected to arise in the Eastern occupied territory. Ribbentrop appointed his Counsellor, Grosskopf, to be his liaison man with Rosenberg and also assigned a Consul General, Brauetigam, who had many years experience in USSR, as a collaborator with Rosenberg (1039-PS) .
The following month, on 18 May 1941, the German Foreign Office prepared a declaration setting forth operational zones in the Arctic Ocean and the Baltic and Black Seas to be used by the German Navy and Air Force in the coming invasion of the Soviet Union:
Thus, it is clear that Ribbentrop was again fully involved in the preparation for this act of aggression. Finally, on 22 June 1941, Ribbentrop announced to the world that the German armies were invading the USSR (3054-PS).
How untrue were the reasons given by Ribbentrop is shown by the report of his own Ambassador in Moscow on 7 June 1941, who said that everything was being done by the Russians to avoid a conflict.
(9) Instigation of Japanese Aggression. On 25 November 1936, as a result of negotiations of Ribbentrop as Ambassador at Large, Germany and Japan signed the Anti-Comintern Pact (2508-PS). The recital states the purpose of the agreement as follows:
There then follow the effective terms of the agreement under which Germany and Japan are to act together for five years. It is signed on behalf of Germany by Ribbentrop (2508-PS).
On 27 September 1940 Ribbentrop, as Foreign Minister, signed the Tripartite Pact with Japan and Italy, thereby bringing about a full-scale military and economic alliance for the creation of a new order in Europe and East Asia (2643-PS).
On 13 February 1941 -- some four months later -- Ribbentrop was urging the Japanese to attack British possessions in the Far East (183-PS).
Then, in April 1941, at a meeting between Hitler and Matsuoka, representing Japan, at which Ribbentrop was present, Hitler promised that Germany would declare war on the United States in the event of war occurring between Japan and the United States as a result of Japanese aggression in the Pacific (1881-PS);
The development of Ribbentrop's views is indicated by the minutes of another conversation with the Japanese Foreign Minister (1882-PS):
That was on April 1941.
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:
Then the Japanese Ambassador replied:
The Japanese Ambassador thereupon concludes:
Part 3 of the Japanese message quotes Ribbentrop as follows:
In reply the Japanese Ambassador said:
Ribbentrop was thus associated in the closest possible way, with the aggression by Japan against the United States.
Another intercepted diplomatic message from the Japanese Ambassador in Berlin states (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.
Ribbentrop also made attempts to get Japan to attack the Soviet Union. In his conversations with Oshima, the Japanese Ambassador, in July 1942 and in March and April 1943, Ribbentrop continued to urge Japanese participation and aggression against the Soviet Union (2911-PS; 2954-PS). The report of discussion between Ribbentrop and Ambassador Oshima reads:
"Ambassador Oshima declared that he has received a telegram from Tokyo, and he is to report, by order of his Government to the Reich Minister for Foreign Affairs the following:
"The suggestion of the German Government to attack Russia was the object of a common conference between the Japanese Government and the Imperial headquarters, during which the question was discussed in detail and investigated exactly. The result is the following: The Japanese Government absolutely recognizes the danger which threatens from Russia and completely understands the desire of its German ally that Japan on her part will also enter the war against Russia. However, it is not possible for the Japanese Government, considering the present war situation, to enter into the war. It is rather of the conviction that it would be in the common interest not to start the war against Russia now. On the other hand, the Japanese Government would never disregard the Russian question." (2954-PS)
Whereupon Ribbentrop returned to the attack:
Ribbentrop's pressure on Japan to attack Russia is shown in an other report of Japanese-German discussions on 4/18/1943 (2929-PS):
(The following discussion concerns only the planning of these crimes. The execution of the crimes was left to the French and Soviet prosecuting staffs for proof.)
(1) The Killing of Allied Aviators. With the increasing air raids on German cities in 1944 by the Allied Air Forces, the German Government proposed to undertake a plan to deter Anglo-American fliers from further raids on Reich cities. In a report of a meeting at which a definite policy was to be established, there is stated the point of view that Ribbentrop had been urging (735-PS). The meeting took place at the Fuehrer's headquarters on 6 June 1944, and proceeded in part as follows:
That is, Ribbentrop was pressing that even where there was an attack on a German city, the airmen who crash-landed should be handed over to be lynched by the crowd.
The minutes of the conference report further as follows:
The sense of this seems to be that if they were-not lynched under the first scheme, by the crowd, then they were to be kept from prisoners of war, where they would be subject to the protecting power's intervention. And if the suspicion was confirmed, they would be handed over to the SD to be killed.
The conference reached a decision on what would be regarded as justifying lynch law:
These were to be the subject of lynching and not, as Ribbentrop had suggested, the case of the bombing of a city.
In the latter part of this report there occurs a somewhat curious comment from Keitel:
That is signed by Keitel.
The remarks of Jodl then appear:
It is important to note that Ribbentrop and the Foreign Office were fully involved in these breaches of the laws and usages of war. The clarity with which the Foreign Office perceived that there were such violations is indicated by a document from the Foreign Office, approved of by Ribbentrop and transmitted by one of his officials, Ritter (728-PS). The approval of Ribbentrop is specifically stated in a memorandum of 30 June 1944 (740-PS). The Foreign Office document
"In spite of the obvious objections, founded on international law and foreign politics, the Foreign Office is basically in agreement with the proposed measures.
Those words show clearly Ribbentrop's point of view:
Thus, on the treatment of aviators, Ribbentrop furthered the deliberate adoption of a procedure evading International Law.
(2) The Destruction of the Peoples in Europe. With regard to Poland, the affidavit of Lahousen reports Ribbentrop participation in a discussion on 12 September 1939 on the Fuehrer's train concerning the extermination of Poles and Jews (Affidavit A).
With regard to Bohemia and Moravia, on 16 March 1939 there was promulgated the decree of the Fuehrer and Reichschancellor, signed by Ribbentrop, establishing the protectorate (T-51). The effect of that decree was to place the Reich Protector in a position of supreme power over Bohemia and Moravia, subordinate only to the Fuehrer. Article 5 of that decree provides:
It is further provided that the promulgation of laws and the execution of certain judgments shall- be annulled if the Reich Protector enters an objection (TC-51).
In part as a result of the sweeping terms of this law, the two Reich Protectors of Bohemia and Moravia and their various deputies were able to commit numerous violations of the laws of war, and crimes against humanity. (Discussion of these matters was assumed as the responsibility of the Soviet prosecuting staff.)
Similarly, with regard to the Netherlands, on 18 May 1940 a decree of the Fuehrer concerning the exercise of governmental authority in the Netherlands was signed by Ribbentrop. Section 1 of that-decree provided (D-639):
On the basis of this decree, the Reich Commissioner, Seyss- Inquart, promulgated such orders as that of 4 July 1940, confiscating the property of those who had, or might have, furthered activities hostile to the German Reich (2921-PS). Tentative arrangements were also made for the resettlement of the Dutch population (1520-PS). (This part of the proof was assumed as the responsibility of the French prosecuting staff.)
With regard to Bohemia and the Netherlands, the charge against Ribbentrop is laying the basis and erecting the governmental structure under which the war crimes and crimes against humanity were directed-and facilitated.
(3) Persecution of the Jews. In December 1938 Ribbentrop, in a conversation with M. Bonnet, who was then Foreign Minister of France, expressed his opinion of the Jews. That was reported by the United States Ambassador, Mr. Kennedy, to the State Department as follows (L-205):
That succinct statement of Ribbentrop's views on Jews is elaborated in a long document which he had sent out by the Foreign Office (3358-PS). This document, entitled "The Jewish Question As A Factor In German Foreign Policy in the year 1938" contains the following:
This document was widely circulated by Ribbentrop's ministry, to all senior Reich authorities and to numerous other people on 25 January 1939, just after the statement to M. Bonnet. Apparently Ribbentrop's anti-Semitic incitements grew stronger, for in June 1944 Rosenberg made arrangements for an international anti-Jewish Congress to be held in Krakow on 11 July 1944. The honorary members were to be Ribbentrop, Himmler, Goebbels, and Frank. The Foreign Office was to take over the mission of inviting prominent foreigners from Italy, France, Hungary, Holland, Arabia, Iraq, Norway etc. in order to give an international aspect to the Congress. However, the military events of June 1944 prompted Hitler to call off the Congress, which had lost its significance by virtue of the Allied landing in Normandy (1752-PS).
It is clear that Ribbentrop supported and encouraged the Nazi program against the Jews, which resulted in their transportation to concentration camps, where things went on which he, as a minister in special touch with the head of the government must have known about. As one who preached this doctrine and was a position of authority, Ribbentrop cannot suggest that he was ignorant of how the policy was carried out.
Hitler summed up Ribbentrop's contribution to the Nazi conspiracy for aggression, as follows:
"In the historic year of 1938 the Foreign Minister, von Ribbentrop, was of great help to me in view of his accurate and audacious Judgment and the exceptionally clever treatment of all problems."
During the course of the war, Ribbentrop was in close liaison with the other Nazi conspirators. He advised them and made available to them, through his foreign embassies and legations abroad, information which was required. He at times participated in the planning of war crime and crimes against humanity. His guilt is clear.
Sources: Nizkor. Nazi Conspiracy & Aggression, Volume II, Chapter XVI, pp.489-515.