Ribbentrop (1893-1946), Joachim von
This humorless and cold character went into fortune after he married the heiress of the Henckel champagnes. He paid to have the “von” added to his name, which made people call him “von Ribbensnob”. Ribbentrop offered his Berlin luxurious house for the negotiations between Hindenburg, von Papen and Hitler (January 22, 1933), which aimed at getting rid of Chancellor von Schleicher and his government. Under the Nazi regime, Ribbentrop set up the so-called “Ribbentrop Office” that was a direct rival to the Foreign Affairs Ministry. During that time, he kept his job as special adviser for foreign affairs. From 1936 to 1938, he was based in London as ambassador and tried there to negotiate a diplomatic agreement with Great Britain. Coming back from London, he replaced von Neurath at the Foreign Affairs and became a member of [Hitler->315]’s secret cabinet. On October 28, he went to Italy to prepare the “Steel Pact” with Mussolini. On August 23, 1939, he signed the non-aggression pact with Molotov (USSR) and on September 27, 1940, the tripartite pact with Italy and Japan. While he was losing political influence inside the government, he tried to gain it back in being overzealous with the deportation of Jews: he exhorted the occupied and allied countries to try to deport more Jews to the death centers. In April 1943, he declared to Regent Horthy (Hungary) that Jews should be either sent to concentration camps or exterminated, because “there was no other solution”. Judged at Nuremberg, he was the first war criminal to be executed.
Bloch, M., 1992, Ribbentrop, New York: Crown Publishers.