Joachim von Ribbentrop

You’ve probably heard the name before: he was Nazi Germany’s Foreign Affairs Minister and as such played a role in starting World War II (e.g. “Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact”) and in facilitating the Holocaust. For these activities he was tried, convicted, and executed at Nuremberg in 1946. What I did not know is that he had a Canadian connection: starting in 1910 he worked in Montreal, variously at Molson’s Bank, for an engineering firm that reconstructed the Quebec Bridge, for the National Transcontinental Railway, and finally for his own company that imported German wines to Ottawa. In 1914, he skated for Ottawa’s famous Minto figure skating team, even, according to Wikipedia, participating in the Ellis Memorial Trophy tournament in Boston. Of course, when Britain declared war on Germany on August 4, 1914, Canada immediately followed suit, and von Ribbentrop had to escape to Germany via New Jersey. I don’t believe he ever visited Canada again. 

Hat tip to Ron Good. I don’t think they’ll be making a Canadian Heritage Minute out of this one. 

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