Archive/File: imt/nca/nca-06/nca-06-3469-ps-02 Last-Modified: 1997/01/17 12. About the beginning of April 1933, Dr. Goebbels, who in the meantime on 17 March 1933 had become Minister for Peoples Enlightenment and Propaganda, called me. He proposed to take out the Wireless Service from the Reich Radio Corporation and to bring it into his new ministry. Deadline, the 1st of May. At another meeting we discussed the personnel which should be transferred into the ministry. After a long discussion, Dr. Goebbels agreed that almost all editors could come with me. I remember still the names Dr. Kuehner, Zentrum party, and Thormeier, member of no party, who were taken over. I became a member of the NSDAP on the 1st of May 1933 and remained an NSDAP member until the collapse in 1945. When I joined the Propaganda ministry I had to hire only two secretaries who were party members. The two secretaries whom I thereby had to dismiss, Misses Kiepsch and Krueger, I placed with the Reich Radio Corporation, where they were still in higher positions at the beginning of 1945. The editor Hartmann, a Social Democrat, I could place there likewise after a certain period, where he was still working until the end of the war. The editor Eckert, a Democrat, who had some [Page 178] Jewish ancestors, I could not place immediately. For about one to two years he had to fight very hard as a free lance writer. Then, however, I could place him with the Transocean Agency, which was under my official supervision. At the collapse he was still there in a good position. 13. When at the end of April 1933 I reported to Dr. Goebbels that I had accomplished the reorganization, which was based on many technical and organizational changes, and when I asked him for his permission to return to my position with the Telegraph Union, or to be permitted to work as a free lance writer, he asked me to stay. My salary had to be reduced from 1500 marks monthly to 700 marks per month. Things like that happened in the ministry and one could not avoid it. But he wanted to add to my present work as editor a very interesting task, namely, the reorganization of the various small German news agencies such as the Transocean Company, Europa Press, Fast Service Company [Eildienst G.m.b.H.] which had nearly all gone to sleep. In view of this task, which to me as an expert was very interesting, I accepted his offer to join his ministry. Next, as head of the Wireless Service of the Reich Radio Corporation, I entered the press division of the Reich Ministry for Peoples Enlightenment and Propaganda with the greater part of my staff. This is an honest presentation of the circumstances under which I came into the propaganda ministry from the Hugenberg press. Many of my former colleagues from the Wireless Service were able to remain in their old positions or to find employment with the propaganda ministry. In some few cases I could assist them by virtue of my governmental position. My former colleagues from the Telegraph Union were almost without exception taken over in the Deutsche Nachrichten Bureau [D.N.B.], established by the fusion between Telegraph Union and the Wolff News Agency. To clarify my functions and relations within the propaganda ministry I herewith submit the following statement: 14. The main division of the propaganda ministry for the spreading and control of news was the "Press Division of the Reich Cabinet" [Presseabteilung der Reichsregierung] which was headed by Dr. Otto Dietrich from the summer of 1938 until February 1945. This division was composed, since 1938, of three subdivisions, namely: "German Press Division" by far the most important and largest; "Periodical Press Division"; and "Foreign Press Division". Successive heads of the German Press Division were Privy Counsellor [Geheimrat] Walter Alexander Heide, [Page 179] from about March 1933 until June 1933; Ministerial Counsellor [Ministerialrat] Dr. Kurt Jahncke, from June 1933 until about 1935; Ministerial Director [Ministerialdirektor] Alfred Ingemar Berndt, from about 1935 up to 23 December 1938; I myself, from 23 December 1938 up to 3 November 1942; Ministerial Counsellor Erich Fischer, from 3 November 1942 until February 1945; deputy heads of the German Press Division were successively: Ministerial Counsellor Werner Stephan, from 1933 until about 1938; Ministerial Counsellor Dr. Hans Brauweiler, from about the beginning of 1938 up to about June 1938; myself, from June 1933 up to 23 December 1938. 15. During the whole period, from 1933 up to 1945, it was the task of the German Press Division to supervise the entire domestic press and to provide it with directives by which this division became an efficient instrument in the hands of the German State leadership. More than 2300 German daily newspapers were subject to this control. The aim of this supervision and control, in the first years following 1933, was to change basically the conditions existing in the press before the seizure of power. That meant the coordination into the New Order [Neuen Ordnung] of those newspapers and periodicals which were in the service of capitalistic special interests or party politics. While the administrative functions wherever possible were exercised by the professional associations and the Reich Press Chamber, the political leadership of the German press was entrusted to the German Press Division. The head of the German Press Division held daily press conferences in the ministry for the representatives of all German newspapers. Hereby all instructions were given to the representatives of the press. These instructions were transmitted daily, almost without exception, and mostly by telephone, from headquarters by Dr. Otto Dietrich, Reich Press Chief, in a fixed statement, the so-called "Daily Parole of the Reich Press Chief". Before the statement was fixed the head of the German Press Division submitted to him (Dietrich) the current press wishes expressed by Dr. Goebbels and by other ministries. This was the case especially with the wishes of the Foreign Office about which Dr. Dietrich always wanted to make decisions personally or through his representatives at the headquarters, Helmut Suendermann and chief editor Lorenz. The practical use [Auswertung] of the general directions [Ausrichtung] in detail was thus left entirely to the individual work of the individual editor; therefore, it is by no means true that the newspapers and periodicals were a monopoly of the German Press division or that essays and lead- [Page 180] ing articles through it (German Press Division) had to be submitted to the ministry. Even in war times this happened in exceptional cases only. The less important newspapers and periodicals which were not represented at the daily press conferences received their information in a different way-- by providing them either with ready-made articles and reports, or with a confidential printed instruction. The publications of all other official agencies ere directed and coordinated likewise by the German Press Division. To enable the periodicals to get acquainted with the daily political problems of newspapers and to discuss these problems in greater detail, the "Informationskorrespondenz" was issued especially for periodicals. Later on it was taken over by the Periodical Press Division. The German Press Division likewise was in charge of pictorial reporting insofar as it directed the employment of pictorial reporters at important events. In this way, and conditioned by the current political situation, the entire German press was made a permanent instrument of the propaganda ministry by the German Press Division. Thereby, the entire German press was subordinate to the political aims of the government. This was exemplified by the timely measuring and the emphatic presentation of such press polemics as appeared to be most useful as shown for instance in the following themes: the class struggle of the system era [Systerzeit]; the leadership principle and the authoritarian state; the party and interest politics of the system era; the Jewish problem; the conspiracy of world Jewry; the bolshevist danger; the plutocratic democracy abroad; the race problem generally; the church; the economic misery broad; the foreign policy; and living space [Lebensraum]. 16. Finally there was a main section "Archiv und Lectorat" attached to the German Press Division. This main section employed about 30 people. Within this main section the basis was laid for the entire work of the division by production of newspaper clippings, excerpts from and condensing of the contents of domestic and foreign newspapers and periodicals. The material thus obtained was also put at the disposal to the highest Reich authorities regularly, and, if especially requested, also in single cases. In another working group "Room 24" all new information, inquiries, and counter- questions were centralized within a day and night service established for this special purpose. Here was the main nerve of the entire division. With this presentation of the organization and tasks of the German Press Division, I am now able to describe my own position within the propaganda ministry: [Page 181] 17. As mentioned before, I joined the Press Division of the Reich ministry on 1 May 1933 as head of the Wireless Service of the Reich Radio Corporation. At this time Dr. Goebbels suggested to me, as a specialist on news technique, the establishment and direction of a section "News" within the Press Division of his ministry, in order to organize fully and to modernize the German news agencies. In executing the assignment given to me by Dr. Goebbels I took for my field the entire news field for the German press and the radio in accordance with the directions given by the propaganda ministry, at first with the exception of D.N.B. I achieved this reorganization and modernization with the assistance of the following persons, methods and technical means: (1) Examination of the efficiency of the offices compared to foreign competition; (2) Improvement of their news supply; (3) Increase of the funds granted by the Reich to these bureaus from 400,000 to 4,000,000 marks; (4) hiring of good experts, for instance from the United Press; (5) speeding up the elaboration of news; (6) elimination of delaying censorship; (7) generous introduction of teletype and radio- writing [Schreibfunk]; (8) within the ministry for this purpose I had not one collaborator; (9) for Transocean I hired the chief editor von Homeyer, formerly in Cairo; for Europa Press I hired the chief editor Roesgen, formerly in Paris. The directions of the propaganda ministry which I had to follow were essentially the following: (1) increase of German news copy abroad at any cost; (2) No gratis offer to foreign newspapers in order to avoid suspicion of propaganda; (3) avoiding mutual competition at one and the same place abroad; (4) spreading of favorable news on the internal construction and peaceful intentions of the national socialist system. At a later period, about summer 1934, the fusion of the Telegraph Union and of the Wolff Telegraph Agency (WTB) (the most important news agencies) into D.N.B. was achieved by the then Reich press chief Funk. I was never chief editor of the news agency D.N.B. nor was I employed therein in another capacity. Chief editor, respectively director, of the German News Bureau (D.N.B.) was to my knowledge, from its establishment in about 1934 up to 1945, Dr. Gustav Albrecht, a former director of W.T.B.; the former director of the Telegraph Union, Otto Mejer, who at first was also general manager of D.N.B., resigned later on. Head of the radio division of the propaganda ministry were successively to my knowledge: Ministerial Counsellor Horst Dressler-Andress, Eugen Hadamovsky, Alfred Ingemar Berndt, Hans Gottfried Kriegler, Wolfgang Diewerge up to 3 November 1942; and later [Page 182] up to 1945, I myself. As head of the "Section News" I extended the business of Transocean agency and erected several new modern short-wave senders. I intensified the activity of the Europa Press agency and I put the economic news information within the Fast Service Company [Eildienst G.m.b.H.] on a new basis. The Transocean Agency was owned before and afterwards by the Reich; it was directed by chief editor Schredler. The Europa Press was owned before and afterwards by the Reich and was directed by chief editor Fleischer. The Fast Service Company [Eildienst G.m.b.H.] was owned before and afterwards by the Reich and directed by Ministerial Counsellor Puhlmann. Around 1937 I coordinated the work of these offices within the inland Europe and overseas foreign countries with each other and in relationship to DNB. With this office I conflicted the first time by establishing a wireless television radio. The task of the section, until that period, was therefore a purely journalistic, organizational one; actual political directives were only given by the head cf the press division or by his delegate to the news agencies.
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