The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

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Last-Modified: 1998/04/23

I must point out, first of all, that as regards
broadcasting, the Germans obviously encountered an obstacle
which was not present to the same degree in other fields.
This obstacle lay in the transmissions broadcast by the Free
Radios which, as the Belgian witness said yesterday, were
followed with the greatest enthusiasm by the inhabitants of
the occupied countries. The German Command then had the idea
of penalising the persons who listened to these broadcasts.
In the document which I am going to quote, the Military
Command went to the length of asking the French authorities
most urgently to provide for the most stringent penalties,
even going so far as to prescribe the death penalty for
persons repeating news heard on the foreign radio service.

I think it will be useful, if I deposit in evidence this
document emanating from the Military Command and signed by
"Stuelpnagel," which demonstrates the criminal intentions 
of the German staff.

I should like to read this document from the beginning of
the third paragraph:

     "The French law of 28th October, 1941, does not provide
     for special sanctions for the broadcasting of news from
     foreign stations calculated to endanger order or public
     security, although this offense constitutes a
     particularly grave danger.
     It is indispensable that the dissemination of such news
     should be punished by hard labor and even -- in
     particularly serious cases -- by the death penalty. No
     account is to be taken of whether the person who passes
     on such news has heard it by listening in himself or in
     some other way.
     The fact that it is now possible to make such an
     offence legally subject to sanctions by having recourse
     to a State tribunal is not enough to make the
     population abstain from listening to the British radio
     and spreading the news heard.
     Inasmuch as the law regulating the functions of the
     State tribunals does not prescribe any punishment for
     the offence of listening to foreign stations, no
     connection has yet been established between the fact of
     listening to and spreading this news, and the sanctions
     of forced labour and the death penalty. The population,
     therefore, has not yet been able to realise that an
     offence of this kind can entail forced labour or even
                                                   [Page 72]
     Consequently, I ask that a draft law modifying the law
     of 28th October, 1941, be submitted to me by 3rd
     January, 1943."
I add as an appendix the German text of the decree
prescribing the preventative measures to be taken in
connection with broadcasting, which will inform you of the
details of this regulation.

I shall now submit a document which I think may interest the
Tribunal. It will be Exhibit RF 1147, and it has quite a
different character from that of the documents which I have
produced up to now. This document consists, firstly of a
letter from Berlin dated 27th October, 1941, the subject of
which is an agreement relating to collaboration with the
Ministry of Foreign Affairs. I read this letter, which is
very short, and which authenticates our documents:

     "With the authorisation of the Ministry, we enclose for
     your information, as a secret matter of the Reich, a
     copy of the agreement relating to collaboration with
     the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, as well as a copy of
     the agreement of execution. The agreement itself is not
     confidential, but details of the contents must not be
The document enclosed with this is the full text, which I
shall not read, of the agreement made between the Ministry
of Foreign Affairs and the Reich Ministry for Public
Enlightenment and Propaganda relating to collaboration
between their respective branches. I think that this
document is of some interest, and that is why I submit it. I
shall merely point out to the Tribunal that it shows at once
the extent of the hold which the Germans wished to make sure
of possessing over the minds of the populations of occupied
and even foreign countries, and the way in which they
accomplished this.

Chapter I of this document is entitled, "Collaboration by
Branches." Letter "A" concerns the cinema, the theatre,
music and exhibitions. Letter "B" concerns publications.

I think it might be interesting to read the first few lines
of letter "B," for after expounding the propaganda from the
point of view of those at whom it was aimed, it is
interesting to look at the question from the point of view
of the persons who put it out. And, on the other hand, I
think we must not lose the opportunity of observing the
extraordinary variety and skill of the German methods.

This quotation is very brief:

     "The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Reich Ministry
     of Information and Propaganda are operating maintain a
     joint company under the name of `Mundus A.G.,' in which
     they have equal shares and under which are grouped the
     publishing houses controlled by both ministries at
     Germany and abroad, These firms will be used for the
     publication of library works intended for foreign
     consumption. The company will also include all those
     firms founded with a view to a future similar interest
     by the two Ministries in this field."
On Page 3, paragraph 4, I should like also to read a

     "The two Ministries take part reciprocally in the
     establishment of the plan for propaganda works
     published by them, or on thier initiative, in this
     country, but intended for foreign consumption."
Finally, on Page 4, I shall read a sentence in the
penultimate paragraph:

     "With the aim of grouping together within a single
     organisation, foreign broadcasting stations openly
     owned by the Germans, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs
     and the Ministry of Information and Propaganda will
     combine in running, on a basis of equal shares, the
     joint company Interradio A.G., domiciled in Berlin."
                                                   [Page 73]
The Tribunal has noticed the phrase "openly owned by the

This will be completed by a final quotation of a sentence on
Page 5, at the beginning of paragraph 2:

     "For political reasons the official activities, carried
     on secretly through foreign broadcasting stations, must
     not be connected with the avowed joint company."
I should like, in concluding this brief on propaganda, to
present Exhibit RF 1148, which is a message circulated to
all the propaganda offices. I think a very brief quotation
from this document will be interesting for its definition of
the very general use of propaganda as the tool of one of the
most premeditated and most serious enterprises of Nazidom,
namely, the extermination of nationality and existence of a
country. In this case Czech culture and tradition are
involved. I quote from paragraph 4:

     "The fact that the Czechs form part of the German
     cultural space in Europe must always be set forth
     positively and prominently. It is proper to insist, on
     all occasions, on the strong influence which German
     culture has exercised over Czech culture, even to
     insist on the fact that the latter was deponent on the
     former; and, further, to insist upon the German
     cultural achievements in Bohemia and Moravia and their
     effect on the cultural activities of the Czechs.
     It is also desirable always to take account of the fact
     that the Czechs speak a Slav language, but that, having
     lived for centuries with German people of superior
     culture, in empires where Germans predominated, they
     are really part of the German cultural environment and
     have scarcely anything in common with other peoples of
     Slav language.
     From the historical point of view, it is always proper
     to emphasise those eras during which the Czechs came
     under the influence of German culture: in the time of
     St. Wenceslas, Charles IV, Ferdinand I, Rudolf II and
Finally, I submit, without reading it, Exhibit RF 1149. I
was anxious to include this document in our document book
because it constitutes a report of a year's propaganda
activities in one of the occupied countries -- Norway, to be
exact. I have spoken at some length of this country, and
that is why I do not wish now to quote the text of this
document, but I do wish to mention that German propaganda
formed the subject of extremely regular reports, and that
these reports touched on every subject: Press, cinema,
radio, culture, theatre, schools, education.

Propaganda in the German sense of the term is, as I have
already stated, something which covers a much wider range
than that previously ascribed to it. No aspect of our life
is foreign to it; it respects none of the things that are
precious to us; it can become a real penitentiary for the
spirit, when even the idea of escape is imprisoned.

If it please the Tribunal, may I suggest that the session be
suspended now, so that the films may be shown immediately
after this presentation, which is now concluded.

My only purpose in showing these films is to illustrate one
of the most disagreeable features of life in the occupied
countries -- the fact that wherever we went we were always
compelled to see before us the stupid and ugly German
propaganda pictures.

THE PRESIDENT: The Court will adjourn for 15 minutes.

                  (A recess was taken.)

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