Neurath, Constantin, Baron von

Neurath, Constantin, Baron von

(kôn`stäntēn bärôn` fən noi`rät'), 1873–1956, German diplomat. After holding numerous diplomatic posts, he was (1932–38) foreign minister under chancellors Franz von PapenPapen, Franz von
, 1879–1969, German politician. Appointed (1913) military attaché to the German embassy in Washington, he was implicated in espionage activities that led (1915) the U.S. government to request his recall.
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 and Kurt von SchleicherSchleicher, Kurt von,
1882–1934, German general. A leading Reichswehr (army) figure after World War I, Schleicher wielded great power in the years before Adolf Hitler came to power (1933).
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. A supporter of Adolf Hitler's foreign policy, he remained in office after Hitler took over the government. In 1938 he was dismissed in favor of Joachim von RibbentropRibbentrop, Joachim von
, 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 Hitler with his knowledge of foreign languages and countries; he soon
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. Following the German occupation of Czechoslovakia, Neurath was appointed (1939) "protector" of Bohemia and Moravia; however, he was considered too lenient in his treatment of the Czechs and was replaced by Reinhard HeydrichHeydrich, Reinhard
, 1904–42, German police official under the Nazi regime. Forced to resign (1931) from the navy for misconduct, Heydrich joined the SS (see National Socialism).
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 in 1941. At the Nuremberg war-crimes trial Neurath was sentenced (1946) to imprisonment for 15 years. In 1954 he was released because of illness; he died two years later.
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