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from the beginning
Viasat History

Joachim von Ribbentrop

Played a key role in brokering the Pact of Steel with Fascist Italy and the Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact with the Soviet Union.

Joachim von Ribbentrop

Played a key role in brokering the Pact of Steel with Fascist Italy and the Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact with the Soviet Union.

I must again point out that the secret additional protocol signed in Moscow on August 23, together with any possible drafts, is to be kept most strictly secret. All your officials and staff who up to the present have received knowledge of it must be specially pledged to secrecy, and must confirm this pledge with their personal signature. No other persons are to be informed in any way of the existence or contents of the document.

Shortly after noon, I received through one official of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs a report on the ratification of the Anglo-Polish treaty, which was signed on April 6, but without giving it an official form. I hurried with this message to the Imperial Chancellery to induce the Fuhrer to stop the military measures already taken, I went to him with the words that the ratification of the Anglo-Polish treaty on guarantees means, if he comes out against Poland, “war with England” and therefore “the order the statement of troops must be immediately suspended. " See more


Please advise the Führer at once that the first three-hour conference with Stalin and Molotov has just ended. At the discussion-which, moreover, proceeded in a direction favourable to us-it transpired that the decisive point for the final result is the demand of the Russians that we recognize the ports of Libau and Windau as being within their sphere of interest. I should be grateful for confirmation before 8 o'clock German time that the Führer is in agreement. The signing of a secret protocol on the delimitation of mutual spheres of interest in the whole eastern area is contemplated, for which I declared myself ready in principle.


M. Stalin was surely less frightened by the Anti-Comintern Pact than the City of London and the English shopkeepers. What the German people thought of this matter was evident from a joke which had originated with the Berliners, well known for their wit and humour, and which had been going the rounds for several months, namely “Stalin will yet join the Anti-Comintern Pact himself".


Anti-Comintern Pact was basically directed not against the Soviet Union but against the Western democracies. He knew. and was able to infer from the tone of the Russian press, that the Soviet Government fully recognized this fact.


While Germany had available an annual class of more than 300,000 soldiers, France could muster only 150,000 recruits annually. The West Wall was five times as strong as the Maginot Line. If France attempted to wage war with Germany, she would certainly be conquered.


England had recently put out a new feeler which was connected with certain allusions to 1914. It was a matter of a typically English, stupid manoeuvre. The Reich Foreign Minister had proposed to the Führer to inform the British that every hostile British act, in case of a German-Polish conflict, would be answered by a bombing attack on London.


England has always been trying, and is still trying to disrupt the development of good relations between Germany and the Soviet Union. England is weak and wants to let others fight for her presumptuous claim to world domination.


Do not you think that we should reckon with public opinion in our countries? Over the years we muddled each other. And now suddenly everything should be forgotten, as if it did not exist? Such things do not pass so quickly. We - and I think that this also applies to the German government - should be more cautious in informing our peoples about the change that has taken place in relations between our two countries.


Only now I learned that during my absence, Adolf Hitler had a very serious conversation in Oberszalzberg with the British ambassador Henderson, who had handed him a letter from the British Prime Minister. It said that a military conflict between Germany and Poland would intensify actions on the part of England. In his conversation with Henderson, and after that in Mr. Chamberlain on August 23, Hitler stated that he was firmly determined to resolve the question of Danzig and the corridor and would not tolerate further Roman provocations. In the British military measures, he was forced to see an act of threat to the Reich, in which case he would have to announce the immediate mobilization of the German armed forces. The situation is completely at an impasse, the Fuhrer arrived in Berlin.


If Japan wants war, she can get it. The Soviet Union is not afraid of it and is ready for confrontation. If Japan wants peace, then so much the better! Red Army soldiers perekoloshmatili beatnot less than 20 thousand Japanese - the only language that these Asians understand.

The Germans want peace and therefore welcome the establishment of friendly relations between the Reich and the Soviet Union. Knowing how much the German people love their Fuhrer, I would like to drink to their health!

The Soviet Union takes the pact very seriously, and I can honestly assure you that the Soviet Union will not deceive its partner.


With mixed feelings, I set foot on Moscow ground for the first time. For many years we opposed the Soviet Union with hostility and waged an extremely acute ideological struggle with each other. None of us had any reliable knowledge of the Soviet Union and its leaders. Diplomatic messages from Moscow were colorless. And Stalin in particular seemed to us a kind of mystical person.

The Reich Government and the Soviet Government must, judging from past experience, take into account that the capitalistic Western democracies are the implacable enemies of both National Socialist Germany and Soviet Russia. They are today trying again, by the conclusion of a military alliance, to drive Russia into war against Germany. In 1914 the Russian regime collapsed as a result of this policy. It is the compelling interest of both countries to avoid for all future time the destruction of Germany and of Russia in the interests of Western democracies.

As we have been informed, the Soviet Government also feel the desire for a clarification of German-Russian relations. Since, however, according to previous experience this clarification can be achieved only slowly through the usual diplomatic channels, I am prepared to make a short visit to Moscow in order, in the name of the Führer, to set forth the Führer's views to M. Stalin. In my view, only through such a direct discussion can a change be brought about, and it should not be impossible thereby to lay the foundations for a final settlement of German-Russian relations.