Joachim von Ribbentrop
German Foreign Minister
Ulrich Friedrich Wilhelm Joachim von Ribbentrop (April 30, 1893 – October 16, 1946) was Foreign Minister of Germany from 1938 until 1945. He was later hanged for war crimes after the Nuremberg trials.
- Last words: "Gott schützt Deutschland!" (God protect Germany)
- My last wish is that Germany realize its entity and that an understanding be reached between East and West. I wish peace to the world.
- Last words, 10/16/46. Quoted in "The Mammoth Book of Eyewitness World War II" - Page 562 - by Jon E. Lewis - History - 2002
- Death, death. Now I won't be able to write my beautiful memoirs.
- To Dr. G. M. Gilbert, after receiving the death sentence. Quoted in "Nuremberg Diary" - by G. M. Gilbert - History - 1995
- I think the only way one can arrive at an understanding of his anti-Semitism growing all the time is because in America your Mr. Roosevelt had his brain trust which was made up of so many Jews, Felix Frankfurter, Claude Pepper - was it Pepper? I can't recall the other names. Oh yes, Morgenthau. It made Hitler feel more and more that an international conspiracy had caused the war, with the Jews behind it.
- To Leon Goldensohn, January 27, 1946, from "The Nuremberg Interviews" by Leon Goldensohn, Robert Gellately - History - 2004
- I rather liked Stalin and Molotov, got along fine with them.
- To Leon Goldensohn, February 16, 1946, from "The Nuremberg Interviews" by Leon Goldensohn, Robert Gellately - History - 2004
- I don't mean that it is important whether a few of us like Goering, myself, or the others are sentenced to death or hard labor or whatever, but to the German people we will always remain their leaders, right or wrong, and in a few years even you Americans and the rest of the world will see this trial as a mistake. The German people will learn to hate the Americans, distrust the British and French, and unfortunately, perhaps be taken in by the Russians. That will be the worst calamity of all. I hate to think of Moscow ruling Germany or Germany becoming a territorial possession of the Soviet Union. The Allies should take the attitude, now that the war is over, that mistakes have been made on both sides, that those of us here on trial are German patriots, and that though we may have been misled and gone too far with Hitler, we did it in good faith and as German citizens. Furthermore, the German people will always regard our condemnation by a foreign court as unjust and will consider us martyrs.
- To Leon Goldensohn, June 23, 1946, from "The Nuremberg Interviews" by Leon Goldensohn, Robert Gellately - History - 2004
- I was truly under Hitler's spell, that cannot be denied. I was impressed with him from the moment I first met him, in 1932. He had terrific power, especially in his eyes. Now the tribunal accuses us of conspiracy. I say, how can one have a conspiracy in a dictatorship government? One man and one man only made all the crucial decisions. That was the Fuhrer. In all my dealings with him I never discussed the exterminations or anything of that sort. What I shall never comprehend is that six weeks before the end of the war he assured me we'd win by a nose. I left his presence then and said that from that time forth I was completely at a loss — that I didn't understand a thing. Hitler always, until the end, and even now, had a strange fascination over me. Would you call it abnormal of me? Sometimes, in his presence, when he spoke of all his plans, the good things he would do for the Volk, vacations, highways, new buildings, cultural advantages and so forth, tears would come to my eyes. Would that be because I'm a hysterical weak man?
- To Leon Goldensohn, July 15, 1946, from "The Nuremberg Interviews" by Leon Goldensohn, Robert Gellately - History - 2004
- I know for a fact that this idea of the Jews causing the war and the Jews being so all important is nonsense. But that was Hitler's idea, and...was pure fantasy. As I say, Hitler is a riddle to me and will always remain so.
- To Leon Goldensohn. From "The Nuremberg Interviews" by Leon Goldensohn - Page 190