Image: Ribbentrop

Joachim von Ribbentrop (1893-1946)

Joachim von Ribbentrop (1893-1946), German diplomat, born in Wesel, and educated in France and England. He served in the German army during World War I and later amassed a considerable fortune as a wine merchant. About 1921 he joined Hitler`s National Socialist movement. He was appointed ambassador at large (1935), served as ambassador to Britain (1936-38), and was foreign minister (1938-1945). Ribbentrop negotiated the German-Soviet nonaggression pact of 1939, as well as the system of alliances between Germany, Italy, and Japan known as the Rome-Berlin-Tokyo Axis. He also helped plan and execute the German program of expansion, which led to the annexation of Austria and Czechoslovakia and culminated in World War II. In June 1945, after the defeat and surrender of the German armies, he was arrested by British troops and brought to trial at Nrnberg with the other major National Socialist leaders. He was convicted in 1946 of conspiring and waging aggressive war, of war crimes, and of crimes against humanity, and was hanged. "See "War Crimes Trials.

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