1893: The Rise of Joachim von Ribbentrop – Hitler’s Foreign Minister

1893: The Rise of Joachim von Ribbentrop – Hitler’s Foreign Minister
Photo Credit To https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/f/f9/Bundesarchiv_Bild_183-H04810%2C_Joachim_von_Ribbentrop.jpg

Ribbentrop married a very rich girl – Anna Elisabeth Henkell. She was the daughter of the large champagne and sparkling wine producer Otto Henkel.

On this day Hitler’s foreign minister, Joachim Ribbentrop, was born. His birthplace was Wesel on the Rhine, which lies roughly between the Ruhr and the Dutch border. Ribbentrop was a Protestant. Already at approximately 17 years of age, young Ribbentrop moved from Germany to Canada. There he worked in a bank, and then in a construction company. Later he moved to the United States, where he worked as a journalist in New York and Boston. He was fluent in French and English (along with German, of course), and this helped his career significantly.

At World War I, when he was in his 20s, he returned to Germany. There Ribbentrop married a very rich girl – Anna Elisabeth Henkell. She was the daughter of the large champagne and sparkling wine producer Otto Henkel (even today Henkell sparkling wines are among the best known in Germany). The wedding elevated Ribbentrop significantly, and he started working as a wine salesman in Europe. From his aunt Ribbentrop gained an aristocratic status after she, who was a noblewoman, adopted him. He was thus able to add the aristocratic “von” to his last name, and became known as Joachim von Ribbentrop.

In return, he paid rent to his aunt. Von Ribbentrop was presented to Hitler as a successful businessman with many connections in the world. He became a member of Hitler’s Nazi party (NSDAP). Interestingly, the other Nazis did not particularly like Ribbentrop. It was said that he “bought his name” (from his aunt), “married his money” (for the rich Henkell) and swindled his way into political office. It seems that Hitler was one of the few who appreciated him, so he appointed him ambassador in London, and later the Foreign Minister of the German Reich, at which position he signed the well-known Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact.

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