Joachim von Ribbentrop

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Ribbentrop, Joachim von

(yō`aäkhĭm fən rĭb`əntrôp), 1893–1946, German foreign minister (1938–45). After World War I he became a wealthy champagne merchant. He joined the National Socialist party in 1932 and impressed Adolf HitlerHitler, Adolf
, 1889–1945, founder and leader of National Socialism (Nazism), and German dictator, b. Braunau in Upper Austria. Early Life

The son of Alois Hitler (1837–1903), an Austrian customs official, Adolf Hitler dropped out of high school, and
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 with his knowledge of foreign languages and countries; he soon became Hitler's foreign policy expert and set up his own office on foreign affairs, which often superseded the foreign office. At the same time, he was German ambassador at large (1935–36) and ambassador to Great Britain (1936–38), returning a violent Anglophobe. In 1938 he succeeded Constantin NeurathNeurath, Constantin, Baron von
, 1873–1956, German diplomat. After holding numerous diplomatic posts, he was (1932–38) foreign minister under chancellors Franz von Papen and Kurt von Schleicher.
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 as foreign minister. He was influential in the formation of the Rome-Berlin Axis (1936), in the conclusion of the Russo-German nonaggression pact of Aug., 1939, and in planning the attack on Poland that set off World War II. As foreign minister, he was subservient to Hitler. He was dismissed by Admiral Karl DoenitzDoenitz, Karl
, 1891–1980, German admiral. He secretly planned a German submarine fleet in the years following the Treaty of Versailles, was given command of submarine operations by Adolf Hitler in 1935, and replaced Admiral Raeder in 1943 as chief naval commander.
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 after Hitler's death. At the war crimes trials at Nuremberg he was convicted as a war criminal and hanged.
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Ribbentrop, Joachim von


Born Apr. 30, 1893, in Wesel; died Oct. 16, 1946, in Nuremberg. One of the chief war criminals of fascist Germany.

Ribbentrop was a sales agent in the wine business. He joined the Nazi Party in 1930 and soon became a close associate of Hitler. When the fascists came to power in 1933, Ribbentrop headed a bureau set up to carry out special foreign policy assignments of the Nazi leadership. He was ambassador to London from 1936 to 1938 and foreign minister from February 1938 to 1945. Ribbentrop directed the diplomatic preparation for the major Hitlerite acts of aggression. He was executed by verdict of the International Military Tribunal in Nuremberg.

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.