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Constantin Neurath, Baron von

Neurath, Constantin, Baron von (kônˈstäntēn bärônˈ fən noiˈrätˌ) [key], 1873–1956, German diplomat. After holding numerous diplomatic posts, he was (1932–38) foreign minister under chancellors Franz von Papen and Kurt von Schleicher. A supporter of Adolf Hitler's foreign policy, he remained in office after Hitler took over the government. In 1938 he was dismissed in favor of Joachim von Ribbentrop. Following the German occupation of Czechoslovakia, Neurath was appointed (1939) "protector" of Bohemia and Moravia; however, he was considered too lenient in his treatment of the Czechs and was replaced by Reinhard Heydrich in 1941. At the Nuremberg war-crimes trial Neurath was sentenced (1946) to imprisonment for 15 years. In 1954 he was released because of illness; he died two years later.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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