Note 049
by Joachim C. Fest

49 Ribbentrop, Memoirs. He says, for example:

'The reason why the Danzig Corridor dispute, as opposed to the Sudetenland question, could not be settled peacefully was that Britain had decided on war because she did not want Germany to become stronger, and that, on the other hand, Hitler did not shun battle if his reasonable proposals were rejected.'

Elsewhere he affirms:

'In this autumn of 1946 ... I most firmly believe that Adolf Hitler would have respected an alliance with Britain in all circumstances.'

Thoughts about the naval agreement which he himself had negotiated obviously did not trouble him at this point. Some time later he said rashly:

'I am convinced that if an Anglo-German understanding had been reached at that time Adolf Hitler would have devoted the rest of his life to the peaceful building of a welfare state.'

G. M. Gilbert, Nuremberg Diary, refers to similarly startling assertions, which were mostly, in view of the astonishment they aroused, dispatched with the remark,

'You know diplomacy is not as simple a matter as it sometimes seems.'

In the face of such pronouncements the view expressed by Sir Hartley Shawcross in his speech for the prosecution that

'never in the history of the world had anyone so degraded diplomacy'

is understandable; see IMT, XIX.

From Chapter 14, Joachim von Ribbentrop , Part 3 of The Face Of The Third Reich by J.C. Fest -- See further Notes

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