‘Nazi minister wished to stay in Britain post-retirement’

October 3rd, 2010 - 6:34 pm ICT by IANS  

London, Oct 3 (IANS) A minister in Nazi dictator Adolf Hitler regime wanted to stay in Britain’s picturesque Cornwall county after his retirement following a planned German invasion of Britain during World War II, it has been revealed here.

Joachim von Ribbentrop, Hitler’s foreign minister, had private plans for a stylish retirement and wanted to own a house in Cornwall, Cornish artist Andrew Lanyon has revealed at an exhibition.

Ribbentrop, who also served as Germany’s ambassador to Britain before the war, had set his heart on a home on St Michael’s Mount, The Guardian reported Sunday.

The exhibition, and a book, published last week, are the culmination of three years of research by Lanyon who studied the Nazi diplomat’s many trips to Cornwall in the 1930s.

Lanyon also found documents and new testimony that confirm Ribbentrop’s love affair with the seaside town of St Ives. The documents tally with local stories that the German troops had been instructed to avoid bombing particular sections of the coast during the war.

“I have interviewed people who remember Ribbentrop’s visits and the period in the 1930s when he stayed with Colonel Edward Bolitho, the Lord Lieutenant of Cornwall, in Trengwainton, his Cornish home,” said Lanyon. “He told Bolitho he wanted to live in St Ives and that Hitler had agreed to give him Cornwall.”

In documents written by Ribbentrop’s aides, Lanyon has found that the diplomat was frequently allowed to spend time in Cornwall because he was considered to have become a political liability in London.

Lanyon’s exhibition, “Von Ribbentrop in St Ives”, opened last week at Kestle Barton in Britain.

The postcards of St Ives bought by the German diplomat in affection were later used in a Nazi guidebook to help target the coast. The dossier, which also features images of Land’s End and Brighton pier, was intended to help Nazi troops find landmarks during an attack.

The 1942 guide illustrates attack points along England’s south coast with appealing photographs and large colour maps stretching from the tip of Cornwall to Foreness Point in Kent. Issued by Adolf Hitler to senior officers, a rare copy was sold at an auction Thursday for 6,800 pounds to an anonymous British collector.

Ribbentrop was sentenced to death for war crimes at the Nuremberg trials in 1946. He was the first man to be executed after the trials.

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