Heinrich Georg Stahmer

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Japanese Foreign Minister Yōsuke Matsuoka (left), Generalfeldmarschall Wilhelm Keitel (center) and Stahmer (right) at a meeting in Berlin on 28 March 1941.

Heinrich Georg Stahmer (3 May 1892, Hamburg, Germany – 13 June 1978, in Vaduz, Lichtenstein), economist by training, served as an aide to German Foreign Minister Joachim von Ribbentrop (1938–1940), special envoy to Japan (1940–1942) and German Ambassador to Japan (January 1943 – May 1945).

A native of Hamburg, Germany, Stahmer fought during World War I and earned both classes of Iron cross.

Diplomatic career[edit]

In 1936, took part in the negotiations for the Anti Comintern Pact between the German and the Japanese governments.

Throughout 1940, worked for a German-Japanese alliance treaty, and on August 13, 1940, was able to notify the Japanese Embassy in Berlin about the decision to conclude such a treaty.[1] In September 1940, took part in the negotiations leading to the conclusion of the Tripartite Pact.[2] Following the conclusion of the pact, was sent to his next mission in Tokyo.

In October 1941 was appointed as German Ambassador to the Chinese government under Wang Jingwei, established in Nanjing by the Japanese occupation,[3] and remained in that position until late 1942.

In January 1943, was appointed ambassador to Japan, and remained in that position until the end of the war. He arrived to Tokyo from Nanjing on January 28, 1943.

On May 5, 1945, as German surrender was approaching, Stahmer was handed an official protest by Japanese Foreign Minister Shigenori Togo, accusing the German government of betraying its Japanese ally.[4] Following the surrender of the German government, the Japanese government broke off diplomatic relations with the German Reich on May 15, 1945, and Stahmer was interned and kept under arrest in a hotel near Tokyo until the Japanese surrender in August 1945.[5]

On September 10, 1945, following Japanese surrender, he was placed under arrest by the US authorities in Sugamo Prison in Tokyo, and in September 1947 was returned to Germany, where he was interned until September 1948.

Following his release, became involved in business with Japanese companies. He died in 1978 at Vaduz, Liechtenstein.

In popular culture[edit]

Heinrich Stahmer is one of the heroes in the alternate history novel The Final Countdown.[6] He is also mentioned in the alternate history novel Sic Semper Tyrannis Germaniae by Chris Oakley.[7]

References[edit]

  1. ^ [1]
  2. ^ US Ambassador to Japan (Joseph C. Grew) to the Secretary of State, September 19, 1940 Foreign Relations of the United States 1940, vol. I, pp. 647-648. For a brief postwar US intelligence report on Stahmer, US Political Adviser in Japan (George Atcheson Jr.) to the Secretary of State, May 31, 1946 Foreign Relations of the United States 1946, Vol. VIII, pp. 432-434
  3. ^ US Consul in Shanghai to the Secretary of State, November 9, 1941 Foreign Relations of the United States 1941, vol. V, pp. 870-872
  4. ^ Togo Shigenori, The Cause of Japan, translated and edited by Togo Fumihiko and Ben Bruce Blakeney, (New York, 1956) p. 275
  5. ^ George H. Johnston, "150 Axis Diplomats in Tokyo" The Argus, September 11, 1945 (Australian newspaper which appeared in Melbourne)
  6. ^ [2]
  7. ^ [3]

Further reading[edit]

  • Heinrich Stahmer, "Germany and Japan" The XXth Century, Feb. 1943 (journal published in Shanghai) [4]

External links[edit]

  • Time article mentioning Stahmer's nomination as Ambassador to Japan [5].
  • Dickinson Magazine article on the German Embassy in Japan under Stahmer [6].
  • Article about the Stahmer mission to Tokyo in September 1940 (in Japanese) [7]
  • "Heinrich Georg Stahmer and Hiroshi Ōshima", Nippon News, No. 18. in the official website of NHK.
Diplomatic posts
Preceded by
Eugen Ott
German Ambassador to Japan
1943-1945
Succeeded by
position terminated following German surrender