Von Ribbentrop entered the execution chamber at 1:11 a.m. Nuremberg time. He was stopped immediately inside the door by two Army sergeants who closed in on each side of him and held his arms, while another sergeant who had followed him in removed manacles from his hands and replaced them with a leather strap. It was planned originally to permit the condemned men to walk from their cells to the execution chamber with their hands free, but all were manacled immediately following Goering’s suicide.
Von Ribbentrop was able to maintain his apparent stoicism to the last. He walked steadily toward the scaffold between his two guards, but he did not answer at first when an officer standing at the foot of the gallows went through the formality of asking his name. When the query was repeated he almost shouted, ‘Joachim von Ribbentrop!’ and then mounted the steps without any sign of hesitation.
When he was turned around on the platform to face the witnesses, he seemed to clench his teeth and raise his head with the old arrogance. When asked whether he had any final message he said, ‘God protect Germany (Gott schütze Deutschland),’ in German, and then added, ‘May I say something else? (Darf ich noch etwas sagen?)’
The interpreter nodded and the former diplomatic wizard of Nazidom spoke his last words in loud, firm tones: ‘My last wish is that Germany realize its entity and that an understanding be reached between the East and the West. I wish peace to the world. (Mein letzter Wunsch ist, dass Deutschland seine Einheit wieder findet, dass eine Verständigung zwischen Ost und West kommt für den Frieden in der Welt!)’ As the black hood was placed in position on his head, Von Ribbentrop looked straight ahead. Then the hangman adjusted the rope, pulled the lever, and Von Ribbentrop slipped away to his fate…