Language knowledge (Goebbels, Ribbentrop)

Discussions on all aspects of the NSDAP, the other party organizations and the government. Hosted by Michael Miller & Igor Karpov.
User avatar
wintersoldier23
Member
Posts: 19
Joined: 10 Feb 2006 03:45
Location: Iowa

Language knowledge (Goebbels, Ribbentrop)

Post by wintersoldier23 » 10 Feb 2006 04:05

Hi all!

First post. I have always been interested in the bi lingual ability of the Nazi high elite. From the history of the regime it is not really well know if any could fluently speak a foreign language. What command of languages did they have? For instance, Ribbentrop orGoebbels? I hope this is a dry topic. Couldn't find it on the site.

Cool site!

User avatar
german-phila
Member
Posts: 20
Joined: 27 Jan 2006 15:08
Location: Berlin, Germany

Post by german-phila » 10 Feb 2006 12:13

Hello wintersoldier23,

thanks for this interesting question:

Joseph Goebbels was very intelligent. He graduated 1917 as high school's best and in 1921 he became a doctor in literature and philosophy with his thesis about German Romantic. I suppose he had not only a good knowledge in Latin, but also in English and French.

Joachim (von*) Ribbentrop lived from 1908 til 1914 abroad, from 1910 til 1914 in Canada. He worked as an importeur of German wine there and he was a member of the Canadian national team in ice hockey. Before he became foreign minister of the German Reich in 1938 he was German Ambassador in London since 1936, because he spoke English fluently.

Hope it was interesting. I suppose Hermann Göring, Rudolf Hess and Albert Speer were able to speak English, too. I don't know anything about Hitler's language knowledge. He spoke German with an Austrian accent.

Regards,

german-phila
______________
* Ribbentrop became a "von" in 1925 when a relative (aunt) with the name "von Ribbentrop" adopted him.

User avatar
Helly Angel
Member
Posts: 4660
Joined: 11 Mar 2002 20:00
Location: Venezuela (Southamerica)

Post by Helly Angel » 10 Feb 2006 18:05

Accord Dr. Schmid, the official translator of Hitler, he never knew speak english and Ribbentrop spoke english all time, he dislike speak german.

User avatar
Beppo Schmidt
Member
Posts: 4324
Joined: 14 May 2003 02:05
Location: Ohio, USA

Post by Beppo Schmidt » 11 Feb 2006 03:39

Goering spoke English fairly well, and Speer speaks English quite well on the World at War documentary

RivaRidge
Member
Posts: 3
Joined: 22 Feb 2005 14:02
Location: Savoy, MA

Post by RivaRidge » 11 Feb 2006 05:04

I think I remember learning somewhere that Jodl spent 5 years as ambassador to Russia and spoke fluent Russian.

User avatar
Helly Angel
Member
Posts: 4660
Joined: 11 Mar 2002 20:00
Location: Venezuela (Southamerica)

Post by Helly Angel » 11 Feb 2006 15:05

RivaRidge wrote:I think I remember learning somewhere that Jodl spent 5 years as ambassador to Russia and spoke fluent Russian.


No, Jodl never was in Russia, never was embassador.

He was assesor in Turkey 8 months between november 1934 and june 1935.


Best,

User avatar
Beppo Schmidt
Member
Posts: 4324
Joined: 14 May 2003 02:05
Location: Ohio, USA

Post by Beppo Schmidt » 11 Feb 2006 16:45

I think I remember learning somewhere that Jodl spent 5 years as ambassador to Russia and spoke fluent Russian.


You may be thinking of Hans Krebs.

User avatar
wintersoldier23
Member
Posts: 19
Joined: 10 Feb 2006 03:45
Location: Iowa

Post by wintersoldier23 » 13 Feb 2006 03:23

Yes, Krebs spoke excellent Russian. What about Himmler, Bormann, Manstein or even Paulus? I'm guessing Paulus was at least familar with Romanian since he was married to one.

Parisien
Member
Posts: 70
Joined: 01 Jul 2004 16:15
Location: Paris

Post by Parisien » 17 Feb 2006 16:00

I read Himmler learned Russian in the 1920.

User avatar
Jeremy Chan
Member
Posts: 1410
Joined: 25 Aug 2003 10:32
Location: Melbourne, Australia

Re: Language knowledge (Goebbels, Ribbentrop)

Post by Jeremy Chan » 20 Feb 2006 09:58

wintersoldier23 wrote:For instance, Ribbentrop orGoebbels?

Hello! Besides his fluent Enlish, von Ribbentrop also spoke fluent French. Rudolf Hess also spoke English quite well, especially so considering his intentions in his famous flight to Britain.

User avatar
Grubendagger
Member
Posts: 19
Joined: 17 Aug 2005 19:20
Location: Dänischer Reich

Post by Grubendagger » 20 Feb 2006 21:12

Beppo Schmidt wrote:Goering spoke English fairly well ...


From Charles Lindbergh's journal, describing the ceremony in Oct. 1938 where he received the
Verdienstkreuz der Deutscher Adler:

Marshal Goering, of coarse, was the last to arrive (at the dinner). I was standing in the back of the room. He shook hands with everyone. I noticed he had a red box and some papers. When he came to me he shook hands, handed me the box and papers and spoke a few sentences in German. I found he had presented me with the German Eagle, one of the highest German decorations, "by order of Der Fuhrer."

Wouldn't Göring have been speaking English to a US citizen, if he could speak English?

User avatar
german-phila
Member
Posts: 20
Joined: 27 Jan 2006 15:08
Location: Berlin, Germany

Post by german-phila » 21 Feb 2006 11:26

In official missions the representatives of a state use to speak in their national language, even when they are able to speak a foreign language. When the Americans arrested Göring in spring 1945 at Bavaria they made a movie (in full color, but without sound). There you can see Göring talking to American officers without translator (and don't believe these Americans spoke German fluently :) ).

Phil Nix
In memoriam
Posts: 9498
Joined: 15 Oct 2002 10:52
Location: Birmingham England

Post by Phil Nix » 21 Feb 2006 12:17

Josias Erbprinz zu Waldeck Pyrmont spoke excellent French
Siegfried Taubert spoke Dutch
Waldemar Wappenhans spoke French and English
Phil Nix

Return to “NSDAP, other party organizations & Government”