Joachim von Ribbentrop

SS-Obergruppenführer Ulrich Friedrich Wilhelm Joachim von Ribbentrop (30 April 1893 – 16 October 1946), more commonly known as Joachim von Ribbentrop, was Foreign Minister of Nazi Germany from 1938 until 1945. Ribbentrop first came to Adolf Hitler’s notice as a well-travelled businessman with more knowledge of the outside world than most senior Nazis and as an authority on world affairs. He offered his house for the secret meetings in January 1933 that resulted in Hitler’s appointment as Chancellor of Germany. He became a close confidant of Adolf Hitler, to the disgust of some party members, who thought him superficial and lacking in talent. He was nevertheless appointed Ambassador to the Court of St James (for the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland) in 1936 and then Foreign Minister of Germany in February 1938. Before World War II, he played a key role in brokering the Pact of Steel (an alliance with fascist Italy) and the Nazi–Soviet non-aggression pact, known as the Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact. After 1941, Ribbentrop’s influence declined. Arrested in June 1945, Ribbentrop was tried at the Nuremberg trials and convicted for his role in starting World War II and enabling the Holocaust. On 16 October 1946, he became the first of those sentenced to death to be hanged.

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