Joachim von Ribbentrop
Nazi Foreign MinisterThe Allies' plan to destroy Germany will be fought with all our power. On April 27, 1940, just two weeks before Nazi leader Adolf Hitler ordered an attack on the West, Nazi Foreign Minister Joachim von Ribbentrop addressed the German people on what he called the ‘aggression’ of England and France. According to Ribbentrop, Germany's unprovoked invasion of Poland on September 1, 1939, which had started the war, was in fact launched in response to an Allied offensive across the German-Polish border. Such propaganda, swallowed whole heartily by many Germans, was officially discredited at the Nuremberg War Crimes Trial after the war. Ribbentrop, who had helped conclude Germany's alliance with Italy and temporary nonaggression pact with the U.S.S.R., was ultimately condemned for his planning of Germany's invasion of Poland. Convicted of ‘crimes against peace,’ he was hanged along with nine other Nazi war criminals on October 16, 1946.