Duke of Windsor wanted ‘closest cooperation’ with Hitler’s Germany, letter claims

Edward VIII was king for less than a year before his abdication in Dec 1936.

In 1937, just two years before the Second World War, he and his American wife, Wallis Simpson, toured Nazi Germany.

The Nazis rolled out the red carpet for the royal couple and the itinerary included a private meeting with Hitler at his retreat at Berchtesgaden.

The Duke of Windsor declared the Nazi economic model to be a “miracle” and was infamously photographed giving Nazi salutes on the trip.

His links with the Nazi high command were detailed in the top-secret Marburg files, signed by Ribbentrop, whose discovery in Germany by American soldiers at the end of the war was famously depicted in season two of Netflix’s hit series, The Crown.

In the show, Edward attempts to return to public life in England from France but is turned away by Queen Elizabeth, who berates him for his “betrayal”.

During the war, Edward was at first stationed in France but, after its fall, was appointed governor of the Bahamas.

After the war, Ribbentrop was convicted of crimes against peace, deliberately planning a war of aggression, war crimes, and crimes against humanity at the Allies’ International Military Tribunal in Nuremberg.

His judgment stated that he was “actively involved” in planning the invasions Austria, Czechoslovakia and Poland and the “final solution”, the Nazi term for the systematic murder of Jews.

As early as 1942, he had ordered German diplomats in Axis countries to hasten the process of sending Jews to death camps in the east.

At trial, Ribbentrop repeatedly argued that Hitler made all the key decisions and that he had been “deceived” by the Fuhrer’s claims of “only wanting peace”. 

On Oct 16 1946, Ribbentrop became the first of those sentenced to death at Nuremberg to be hanged, after Herman Göring took his own life.

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