12 Semmler, Goebbels. On the aristocratic side of the Ribbentrop family only one descendant was still living after the First World War, Gertrud von Ribbentrop, by whom the future Foreign Minister was adopted. Until 1918 adoptions of this sort had no legal effect, and in particular the aristocratic title would not have passed on to Ribbentrop. But the Weimar Constitution stipulated that the noble prefix was a component of the name and could accordingly be acquired through adoption. However, the adopted person did not thus become ennobled but merely the bearer of a name encompassing the noble prefix 'von'. Ribbentrop's so-called ennoblement was completely fraudulent, as his letter to Count Maxence de Polignac also proves; in this, according to Paul Schwarz, This Man Ribbentrop: His Life and Times, he maintained he was raised to the nobility because of personal bravery. It is also reported that Goring had in his possession the particulars of a trial in which an action was brought against Ribbentrop by his adoptive mother to collect payment of the sum which he had promised for the adoption; see Diels, Lucifer ante portas. According to reports Ribbentrop's father always dissociated himself from his son's pretentiousness; see Gilbert, Nuremberg Diary.
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