TIL: Joachim von Ribbentropp, the Nazi ambassador to the United Kingdom, once almost knocked the king over by giving him a Nazi salute instead of a handshake

Read more: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Joachim_von_Ribbentrop#Ambassador_to_the_United_Kingdom

What do you think?

12 Points
Upvote Downvote


Leave a Reply
  1. > In February 1937, Ribbentrop committed a notable social gaffe by unexpectedly greeting George VI with the “German greeting”, a stiff-armed Nazi salute: the gesture nearly knocked over the King, who was walking forward to shake Ribbentrop’s hand at the time. Ribbentrop further compounded the damage to his image and caused a minor crisis in Anglo-German relations by insisting that henceforward all German diplomats were to greet heads of state by giving and receiving the stiff-arm fascist salute. The crisis was resolved when Neurath pointed out to Hitler that under Ribbentrop’s rule, if the Soviet ambassador were to give the Communist clenched-fist salute, Hitler would be obliged to return it. On Neurath’s advice, Hitler disavowed Ribbentrop’s demand that King George receive and give the “German greeting”.

    Ribbentrop’s name was immortalized in the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact, the deal to divide Eastern Europe between Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union, that was promptly torn up.

  2. If Ribbentrop wasn’t such an unbearable obnoxious arse then Britain might’ve had a different relationship with Germany. [every cloud and all that.](https://www.historic-uk.com/HistoryUK/HistoryofBritain/Anglo-Nazi-Pact/)

    >However, it was his attitude that most offended the British people. Even his personal secretary, Reinhard Spitzy observed that, “he behaved very stupidly and very pompously and the British don’t like pompous people”. He added that Ribbentrop was, “an insufferable man to work for”.

  3. > Ribbentrop’s time in London was marked by an endless series of social gaffes and blunders that worsened his already-poor relations with the British Foreign Office.

    If it’s endless then Ribbentrop must still be haunting London to this day with his surprise nazi salute slaps.

Leave a Reply