Friday, June 10, 2005

Today in WW 2 History...

Photo credit here.

This is a picture of Joachim von Ribbentrop. Sixty years ago today he was captured by British forces. He was tried in Nuremburg with the other monsters of that regime and found guilty of war crimes and executed.

If you were at a mall and asked a random sampling of people who this man was I bet you would wait for a very long time before even one person could tell you. In reality, this man is one of the persons most responsible for the millions of casualties of World War Two.

Ribbentrop worked his way up in the National Socialist (Nazi) Party after joining it in 1932. Eventually Hitler appointed him his ambassador to London, where his job was to try to keep the English out of the war. After a few years, Hitler appointed him his foreign minister. This is equivalent to our Secretary of State.

Most give Hitler credit for his wily ways in getting the Allies to concede more and more to him without making him fire a shot. It was actually Ribbentrop who had to put all of the deals together. The worst one (for the entire world, but especially Poland) was the Nazi Soviet Pact, signed on the 23rd of August, 1939.

The public portions of this pact stated simply that Germany and the Soviet Union would not attack each other in the event either went to war. The secret portions of the pact partitioned up Eastern Europe thusly:

Soviets get: Finland, Estonia, Latvia, Bessarabia, Eastern Poland (east of the Vistula River)
Germans get: Lithuania and Western Poland

The German Army invaded Poland on September 1, 1939. The end had begun.

Below is a photo of the signing of the Nazi-Soviet Pact. The Soviet representative, Molotov is shown signing it with Ribbentrop in the background. You can see Stalin there, too. What a collection of monsters.
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