DESCRIPTION: This is undoubtedly a historic treasure but in my opinion it invokes a sad story overall. This is the story of the above mentioned carving set but also a small capsule review about the life and career of this handsome, soft spoken gentleman and aristocrat. He was born 30 April 1893. He was murdered most foully in 1946 after the infamous Nuremberg tribunal found him guilty of war crimes. They were dubious if not rigged charges. The American executioner Sargent Woods (Serpent that he was) deliberately botched the execution and the rope throttled the former foreign Minister for 20 horrible minutes before he expired. Before this and after being escorted up the 13 steps to the waiting noose. He was asked if he had any final words and he calmly said, “God protect Germany, God have mercy on my soul, my final wish is that Germany should recover its unity and for the sake of peace there should be understanding between east and west. “ As the hood was placed over his head by the demon monster Woods Ribbentrop added ‘I wish peace to the world. This was the final chapter to the story of a brilliant man whom historians today portray as a man who yearned for world peace as did Rudolf Hess and others. We will not in this limited narrative tell the whole story of this remarkable man, much can be found on the world wide web but 98% of this information can be attributed to the old adage “The victors write the history.” Rather than repeat the words of the totally hamstrung defense council and rather than show the positive aspects of the man Von Ribbentrop we instead will summarily indict the whole Nuremberg Star Chamber Court that sat in judgment against the N.S. defendants while fully realizing that they and their respective countries could have and should have been indicted and jailed for equal war crimes as were drawn up for this unlawful procedure. It is positively appalling that the Criminal Empire of Soviet Russia could sit in judgment when their heinous crimes in gigantic scale would make Adolf Eichmann blush in inadequacy. No, we instead would direct the attention of the reader to a web site that can be gained by entering the words, “Reconsidering the Nuremberg Trials”. There you will see the official statements of famous American legal minds, military leaders plus a few foreign academics. We quote for now John f. Kennedy: ”The war crimes trials were a reversion to the ancient practice of the savage extermination of a defeated enemy and particularly its leaders. The precedent set by these trials will continue to plaque their authors.” (Profiles in Courage pages. 189-190).
The Nuremberg enterprise violated ancient and fundamental principles of justice. The victorious Allies acted as prosecutor, judge and executioner of the German leaders. The charges were created especially for the occasion and were applied only to the vanquished defeated, starving, prostate Germany and the Germans were in absolutely in no position to oppose whatever the Allied occupation powers demanded. If I could take the time and space to write the defense of Joachim V. Ribbentrop, I could certainly clear up many misconceptions and purposeful slanders.
Joachim was born in Wesel Renish Prussia. He was educated in private schools in Germany and Switzerland, he was fluent in both French and English and he lived in Grenoble, France and London at various times before traveling to Canada in 1910 during a summer vacation. He fell in love with a wealthy young socialite from a Montreal banking family which led him to choose Canada as his choice of destination. He constantly wandered across North America hoping to fill his inquiring mind with knowledge of its people who for the most part were of good Germanic or Anglo-Saxon stock. He held down jobs as banker, engineer, and as a journalist in N.Y. City and Boston he then returned to Canada and set up a small business in Ottawa importing German wine and champagne. In 1914 he competed for Ottawa’s famous Minot ice skating team participating in the Ellis Memorial trophy tournament in Boston in February. When World War One began, Ribbentrop left Canada which is part of the British Empire and was at war with Germany as of August 4th, 1914 for the neutral United States. He sailed from Hoboken New Jersey on 15 August 1914 on the Holland America ship named the Potsdam bound for Rotterdam. He then returned home and enlisted in the 125th Hussar Regt. He served on the eastern front but was later transferred to the Western Front. He earned a commission and was awarded the Iron Cross in 1918
1st Lieutenant Ribbentrop was stationed in Istanbul Turkey as a staff officer. During his time in Turkey, he became friends with another Staff officer named Franz Von Papen. In 1919 he was married to Anna Elisabeth Henkell daughter of a wealthy Champagne producer from Wiesbaden. They married on 5 July 1920 and Ribbentrop traveled across Europe as salesman of fine wines. He and his wife had five lovely children.. In 1926 Ribbentrop was introduced to Adolf Hitler as a man who “Gets the same price for German champagne as others get from French champagne! By now he was well known as being a successful businessman who had many foreign connections. He was introduced to the National Socialists by the SA leader Count Wolf-Heinrich Von Heldorf whom Ribbentrop had served with in the 12th Torgau Hussars in the First World War He joined the National Socialist German Workers Party on May 1st 1932 at the urging of his wife who herself joined the NSDAP at the same time. In the summer of 1932, Ribbentrop began his political career when he offered to be a secret emissary between the Chancellor, Ribbentrop’s old war comrade Franz Von Papen and Hitler in Jan 1933. His offer was taken up by Hitler and Von Papen. The rest of the story is long and involved with intrigues, secret meetings, and machinations with various auspicious motivations. In this he was no different than any other countries diplomats. He became Adolf Hitler’s favorite foreign policy advisor enjoying very close relationship with his Fuhrer although tremendous jealousy was felt from other top N.S. officials.
Ribbentrop quickly learned that Hitler always favored the most radical solution to any problem and accordingly tendered his advice in that direction. In 1933, he was given an honorary SS officer rank of SS Standartenfuhrer. Ribbentrop began his work as an unofficial diplomat in the summer of 1933 with a series of visits to Paris including audiences with the French Premier Edouard Daladier. In the n summer 1933 Ribbentrop tried unsuccessfully to arrange a secret meeting between Daladier and Hitler. When Ribbentrop persisted in trying to set up the meeting that might have averted the 2nd World War Daladier told him that “I live under a regime which does not allow me to move as freely as does Herr Hitler” in the years preceding the war Ribbentrop visited the courts of many countries with the express intention of avoiding a bloody conflict as he had personally witnessed in the first World War. He struggled unceasingly to bring about a peaceful solution to the many problems that at that point were absolutely explosive. The story from that point is long and involved. He was the person most involved in bringing the Berlin, Tokyo, Rome Axis together and the anti-Commintern Pact between Germany and Japan. The England that he like Hitler loved and respected was now controlled by a select cadre who were English in most cases only because thy carried British passports. Ribbentrop hoped that the England which he hoped to collaborate with was the England of the aristocrats who were the real stuff of ‘Rule Britannia” but now a cartel of ‘different’ folk had taken over. The Brits that Ribbentrop had managed to bring to Germany were a mélange of aristocratic ‘Germanophiles’ such as Lord Londonderry and former Prime Minister David Lloyd George in 1936, George Lansbury and Lord Allen, Lord Lothian, Lord Rothermore and other high class notables But neither Hitler or Ribbentrop knew or sensed that the aristocrats influence had now disappeared and a much more devious and sinister den of ‘Germanophobes’ had triumphed! They who basked in hatred of all Germany represented and were sworn to do all in their power to bring her down ‘The Churchill gang!” Now held sway. Germans historically are a trusting lot and are completely innocent and unfortunately very naïve in their trusting of other people and nationalities. This is the root cause that ended up with Germany losing the 2nd World War. Had Hitler loosed the whirlwind immediately after the complete and total defeat of the British and French at Dunkirk, the probability of there being no 2nd World War would have been possible. Operation Sea Lion should have commenced and with England invaded successfully at that time an accord would have followed and together Germany and England could have and would joined in the crusade against the Soviet menace. One of the many dreamed up indictments against Von Ribbentrop at Nuremberg is that he more than any other pleaded with Hitler to pursue this important mission. In other words he was indicted for advice that would have avoided more than fifty million dead at the end of the horrid war that ensued. Of course there will be criticism of this statement but then critics are like Eunichs in a harem; they know how it is done, they have seen it done every day but they’re unable to do it themselves. I step up to the plate and express my historical opinions “though Hell should bar the way”! And my readers know that and most respect me for it.
So enough of the history lesson for now maybe Lord willing I will write a book on the German ambassador that will be a revisionist study for sure. He remains for me my favorite National Socialist personally deserving of a much better rap than he has been given by the orthodox journalists He was not merely a diplomat he was an adventurer personified. Perhaps his loyalty to the Fuhrer and Germany can be summoned up with his statement when in prison, ‘Even with all I know if in this cell Hitler should come to me and say do this! I would still so it.”
And, now...The Carving Set. This consists of a carving knife, an accompanying meat fork and knife sharpener, fitted with grips of genuine red stag and the metal parts are in 800 fine silver. The set was evidently taken with other loot by neighborhood looters in 1945 from the Castle that Ribbentrop acquired in 1939 this was Schloss Fuschi. Besides being a castle like formation it was a hunting lodge that was near Salzburg. It dated from the 15th century. Together with its estate and village it occupies a breathtaking situation on an Alpine lake and was only 40 minutes’ drive from Hitler’s retreat at Obersalzberg. Fuchi had a spacious and alluring dining hall where he would entertain guests from all over the world (Looted By Neighbors). Yes. This as we have previously stated was rather common practice at the end of the war. The townspeople that lived in the vicinity of Hermann Göring’s Veldenstein castle completely emptied it of possibly thousands of personal items when they were sure that The Reichsmarshal was not going to return rather than let these things fall into the hands of the American’s or even worse the Russians. The same applied here at Fuchi and that basically was how the carving set came to be discovered. The castle is now a grand hotel and resort and we recently stayed there and when one of the hotels employees was alerted to what we collected and sold he put us in contact with an elderly gentleman who with a fine translation job performed by our German colleague decided to sell the magnificent set to us and we were elated to be able to buy it.and that is how it ended up here at Germania and we are proud to offer it to the collecting pubic once again. It is a stunningly beautiful set and it is still in just about mint condition each of the parties who retained it for a time know its importance and thank goodness kept it wrapped in personalized linen table napkins form the castle. We never received the Ribbentrop embroidered napkins but of course they would fade in insignificance next to the carving set.
The end caps of each piece is a beautiful escutcheon or insignia depicting the national eagle emblem that rests upon a globe this reflected Ribbentrop’s office as Reich’s Foreign Minister. The West Point Military Museum displays his service tunic with this insignia on the sleeve, displayed there along with Herman Görings marshal’s baton and other personal items. They are shown there as trophies similar to the way South American Jivaro headhunters show grisly tokens of their prowess in savagely slaughtering their enemies. Incredibly the knife still retains its original sharpness. One can slice through a sheet of paper in one fell swoop without resistance. The steel is the fine (Solingen Steel) there is no company name on the pieces. This is in keeping with the fact that early in the Reich the officials did not want to show any company preference that is why chained SS daggers were not company marked. Later it just didn’t matter. But during the Four Year plan it figures that this would be the case, In order to avoid the accusation of favoritism. Then there is another possibility and that the Reich’s foreign Minister had them contracted with a Sheffield English firm to turn them out. This would be entirely possible in the fact that in his quest for German English business cooperation he might have had this done in Britain. Then (of course) there would be no company and name on them. How could there be?
So in any case, here is a prodigiously important treasure that is astounding in its historical value. We know of Von Ribbentrop’s two SS leather coats that we were sent to procure from an English auction about 20 years ago. That mission was commissioned by a once wealthy North Carolina collector who keeps them in the bowels of his castle. But other than that and the West Point loot we know of no other Ribbentrop relics that have made their way into collections. At least not any that could compare with the beauty and significance of this set of cutlery fashioned for a modern day ‘Beau Brummel’ and a tragic figure who met his end at a notorious conclave of false judgment in revenge not only toward this man but against his nation and its people. However, what goes around eventually comes around as President Kennedy intimated. So far the only pleasant thing that comes up is the revelation that the pudgy ugly little piece of planetary bacilli known as Sargent John Woods was later accidently electrocuted when he came into contact with a high voltage wire while being deployed in the Marshal Islands -- his Grave is unknown (obviously!). May the bastard be walking the hot coals as we write this.