A memoir of Joachim von Ribbentrop, son of Nazi Foreign Minister, was first published in English and contains invisible photos of the author who grew up in London before World War II.
Rudolf von Ribbentrop went to the exclusive Westminster School while his father was Hitler's ambassador to London from 1936 to 1938.
Von Von Ribbentrop was one of Hitler's close associates and stood up to become Foreign Minister of the Third Reich before being executed in Nuremberg in 1946 to orchestrate the Holocaust.
His son continued on both the eastern and western fronts and won the Iron Cross – before becoming a wine merchant after the war. He still lives at the age of 98 today.
His biography was first released in 2008 in German, but has now been translated into English.
Inside, various images, many of which have not been seen before, show the jovial-looking meetings of Ribbentrop with Hitler and the whole family posing for photos.
Von Ribbentrop with Hitler and his children, Adolf and Ursula, enjoy a cup of coffee in 1939 just before the start of the Second World War. He became a good confidant of Hitler, despite the fact that many members of the Nazi party do not like him, because they found him superficial and had no talent.
The Von Ribbentrop family, the Führer and the high-ranking Nazis gather outside the family home. As the war progressed, Ribbentrop's influence declined. Because most of the world was at war with Germany, the importance of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs declined as the value of diplomacy was limited
Rudolf von Ribbentrop depicted during his stay in London in 1936 (left). He spent a year at Westminster School after traveling to the UK while his father was an ambassador in London. Right: Von Ribbentrop depicted in his Nazi uniform in 1943. He was very decorated and wounded in various battles on both the western and eastern fronts.
Rudolf accompanied his father to Britain when he was appointed ambassador to the Court of St James in 1936. He spent a year at Westminster School in London.
About a year after Hitler's death by his own hand, Rudolf Von Ribbentrop would also keep an eye on his own father after he was executed after the Nuremberg trials, convicted on four counts, including the deliberate planning of a war of aggression and war crimes.
The son of the Minister of Foreign Affairs clearly writes about the court's decision to sentence his father to death, but regrets that he has never had the chance to say goodbye and that the court has testified.
& # 39; Before the verdict, I was taken to Nuremberg for a few days and locked up in a cell in the witness wing to be able to talk to my father for about ten minutes every day with my father, with guards on both sides. & # 39 ; Rudolf Von Ribbentrop explained.
& # 39; Actually, we both knew what the verdict would be; not because father was guilty in the sense of the court, but because the court was structured in such a way that she was unambiguously certain that the trial was aimed at the death penalty.
& # 39; After pronouncing the verdict that, as we both expected, was a death sentence, I had no opportunity to say goodbye to my father.
& # 39; After my visit to Nuremberg and the conversations I had there, I made a note for myself of the names of the defendants who could expect a death sentence in view of the course of the trial. My prediction was absolutely right. & # 39;
Despite the alleged & # 39; dreamy & # 39; Joachim Von Ribbentrop's enthusiasm for his father's conviction and his ability to argue with Hitler.
& # 39; If he wasn't & # 39; eliminated & # 39 ;, as he always said about the probable death sentence, father wanted to write his memoirs & # 39 ;, continued Rudolf Von Ribbentrop.
& # 39; I asked him if he did so explicitly to put forward his different view of Hitler's case. My main thought about this was his attempts to prevent the war with the Soviet Union.
& # 39; During the trial, however, father had deliberately refused to expose his inequalities with Hitler before the triumphant tribunal.
Left: Hitler and Ribbentrop standing in front of the special train of the Führer around 1941. Right: Ribbentrop and Hitler meet with Mussolini. Von Ribbentrop was one of the few that Hitler could meet at any time without an appointment, unlike Goebbels or Göring
Joachim Von Ribbentrop stands behind Hitler in 1941. He was one of Hitler's closest confidants. According to initiates, Ribbentrop acquired the habit of attentively listening to what Hitler said, remembering his ideas, and later presenting Hitler's ideas as his own ideas.
Joachim von Ribbentrop with his son Rudolf in May 1940 after the outbreak of hostilities in Western Europe. From 1939 to 1943, Ribbentrop tried to persuade other states to enter the war on the German side or at least to maintain pro-German neutrality
& # 39; In one of his last letters to Mother (of 5 October 1946) he wrote:
& # 39; I did not want me to speak about my serious disputes with Adolf Hitler during this court hearing. The German people would then rightly say: "What kind of man is Adolf Hitler's Foreign Minister and is now turning to him for selfish reasons in front of a foreign court?" You must understand this, no matter how difficult it is for us and the children. But without the respect of decent Germans and especially without self-respect, I could not have lived or wanted to live. & # 39;
& # 39; Today I am grateful that in his defense father & # 39; low road & # 39; against Hitler.
& # 39; When we talked, he regretted the generally weak attitude that was noticeable in Nuremberg. Father and I had short conversations with a great warmth of feeling, which we both free from tension, conscious as we were to submit to an unbreakable destiny. & # 39;
A decorated Nazi soldier in his own right Rudolf Von Ribbentrop, now in the late nineties, had his own personal meetings with Hitler, including a few months before the fascist leader took his own life in a Berlin bunker.
His chance encounter with one of the world's most malicious men came shortly after an Allied bombing raided central Berlin, when the defeat of the Third Reich seemed almost inevitable and put enormous pressure on Hitler.
& # 39; In a flawless attitude, a sentry from the Reichskanzlei invited me & # 39; come to the bunker & # 39;, & # 39; the writer remembered, barely avoiding injury in the robbery.
& # 39; I followed him to the ruins of the Chancellery until I suddenly stepped through a fire door and stood before Hitler.
& # 39; I didn't even have time to properly introduce myself when he grabbed my right hand with both – a typical Hitler gesture – and appreciated my distribution.
The Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact, officially known as the Non-Aggression Treaty between Germany and the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, was a neutrality pact between Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union, signed in Moscow on August 23, 1939 by foreign ministers Joachim von Ribbentrop and Vyacheslav Molotov cases, pictured together
At the Nuremberg trials, Ribbentrop was deemed to have been actively involved in the planning of the Anschluss, as well as the invasions of Czechoslovakia and Poland. He was also deeply involved in the & # 39; final solution & # 39 ;; as early as 1942 he had ordered German diplomats in ash countries to speed up the process of sending Jews to extermination camps in the east
The family of the Nazi Foreign Minister, 1936. Left to right, back row: Rudolf (author) and Bettina. Center: Annelies and Joachim von Ribbentrop. Below: Adolf and Ursula. Von Ribbentrop was arrested in June 1945 and tried during the Nuremberg trials and convicted of his role in starting the Second World War in Europe and enabling the Holocaust. On October 16, 1946, he became the first of those sentenced to death by being hanged for being executed
& # 39; I stood there as if I turned to stone, unable to answer anything; the impact of the sight of Hitler's physical decline was too overwhelming. What had happened to the man who, on April 30, 1939 and 1940 – my father's birthday – sat in a cozy circle, at the same table, listened to me and observed? His body was a wreck. His face was gray and swollen, his posture curved in a way that looked like he had a bump, one hand shaking uncontrollably with the other, his steps a shuffle. Only his striking blue eyes remained a certain brilliance, but without concealing an impression of great weakness.
& # 39; We said goodbye. I could not have said a single word, so the impact of that quarter of an hour in which I stood before the man who represented our country for us soldiers and in whom we believed, despite fights that became increasingly cruel. For more than five years we have been fighting for Germany, our country, not Hitler, under increasingly heavy losses of lives. But Hitler was the personification of our country. & # 39;
The story of Joachim Von Ribbentrop before his death is undoubtedly an interesting one. He was often an isolated figure among the Nazi elite and was occasionally scorned as & # 39; scattered and strange & # 39 ;. In his final report from London, where he acted as an ambassador, Von Ribbentrop informed Hitler that he was convinced that Britain would fight for its position in the world, information that Hitler took too lightly and ultimately proved his downfall.
Von Ribbentrop then played a key role in forging the short-lived pact with the Soviet Union of Stalin, paving the way for the attacks on Poland in 1939, and with it the start of the Second World War.
Nothing uncritical, Rudolf von Ribbentrop wants to paint an objective picture of the role of his father. His unique position sheds a fascinating light on the unfolding dramatic events in the run-up to, and subsequently the execution of, the Second World War. Rudolf Von Ribbentrop briefly describes his personal experiences, including his war service with the SS, in his book, but it is his unique perspective in the higher regions of the decision making process of the Third Reich that involves the reader.
In a statement of his decision to compile his memoirs, which were released in Germany a few years ago and which were often painful to recall, Rudolf von Ribbentrop said:
& # 39; It was looking for an answer to the question – of despair – & # 39; How could it have come to that? & # 39; In the face of a defeated Hitler who finally showed me up to put a pen on paper about what I remembered, what I knew and experienced in the years from 1933 to 1945.
& # 39; What were the exceptional circumstances that allowed me to go through the times that I experienced as a child and as a young man between 11 and 24 years old firsthand, in what I claim was true sense of it word & # 39; intimate & # 39 ;?
& # 39; It was the era of German history that was known in various ways as the Third Reich, the Millennial Empire, or & # 39; Hitler & # 39; s Germany & # 39; s that for the German people it turned out to be so traumatic that the subject is still taboo today, as far as objective analysis – at least foreign policy – is concerned.
& # 39; For the reader to judge whether or not I have the legitimate right to express my opinion, I want to use the English saying: & # 39; Take it or leave it! & # 39; & # 39;
Rudolf von Ribbentrop & my father Joachim von Ribbentrop, first published in English by Pen And Sword Books, is available here.
Left: Hitler greets Ribbentrop after the conclusion of the Navy agreement with Great Britain, 1935. Right: Signature of the German-Soviet Pact of Non-Aggression on August 23, 1939 in Moscow by Ribbentrop. From 1938 to 1939 he tried to persuade other states to join Germany for the coming war
Signing the steel pact between Italy and Germany, May 22, 1939. Von Ribbentrop sits next to Hitler and was responsible for setting up many of the treaties that paved the path for war. Ribbentrop frequently met with leaders and diplomats from Italy, Japan, Romania, Spain, Bulgaria and Hungary. During all this time, Ribbentrop feuded with various other Nazi leaders
Author Rudolf von Ribbentrop pictured in 2016. The striking photos are included in Rudolf von Ribbentrops & # 39; My father Joachim von Ribbentrop & # 39 ;, a candid description of the relationship of the SS soldier with his father when he was the German ambassador to London and during the war years. This is the first English-language edition of his memoirs that appeared in German for the first time in 2008
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