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                           of the
               International Military Tribunal
                           For The
             Trial of German Major War Criminals

               His Majesty's Stationery Office
                                                  [Page 138]

III. The Unfounded Acquittal of defendant Fritsche.

The acquittal of defendant Hans Fritzsche follows from the
reasoning that Fritzsche, allegedly, had not reached in
Germany the official position making him responsible for the
criminal actions of the Hitler regime and that his own
personal activity in this respect cannot be considered
criminal. The verdict characterises him as a secondary
figure carrying out the directives of Goebbels and von
Ribbentrop, and of the Reich Press Director Dietrich.

The verdict does not take into consideration or mention the
fact that it was Fritzsche who until 1942 was the director
de facto of the Reich press and that, according to himself,
subsequent to 1942 he became the "commander-in-chief of the
German radio" (Transcript, Morning Session, 23rd

For the correct definition of the role of defendant Hans
Fritzsche it is necessary, firstly, to keep clearly in mind
the importance attached by Hitler and his closest associates
(as Goering, for example) to propaganda in general and to
radio propaganda in particular. This was considered one of
the most important and essential factors in the success of
conducting an aggressive war.

                                                  [Page 139]

In the Germany of Hitler, propaganda was invariably a factor
in preparing and conducting acts of aggression and in
training the German populace to accept obediently the
criminal enterprises of German fascism.

The aims of these enterprises were served by a huge and well
centralised propaganda machinery. With the help of the
police controls and of a system of censorship it was
possible to do away altogether with the freedom of press and
of speech.

The basic method of the Nazi propagandistic activity lay in
the false presentation of facts. This is stated quite
frankly in Hitler's Mein Kampf: "With the help of a skillful
and continuous application of propaganda it is possible to
make the people conceive even of heaven as hell and also
make them consider heavenly the most miserly existence" (US-
276, p. 302.)

The dissemination of provocative lies and the systematic
deception of public opinion were as necessary to the
Hitlerites for the realization of their plans as were the
production of armaments and the drafting of military plans.
Without propaganda, founded on the total eclipse of the
freedom of press and of speech, it would not have been
possible for German fascism to realise its aggressive
intentions, to lay the groundwork and then to put to
practice the war crimes and the Crimes against Humanity.

In the propaganda system of the Hitler State it was the
daily press and the radio that were the most important

In his court testimony, defendant Goering named three
factors as essential in the successful conduct of modern war
according to the Nazi concept, namely, (1) the military
operations of the armed forces, (2) economic warfare, (3)
propaganda. With reference to the latter he said:
"Propaganda has tremendous value, particularly propaganda
carried by means of radio.... Germany has learned this
through experience better than anyone else".  (English
Transcript, pp. 5981-5982.)

With such concepts in ascendance it is impossible to suppose
that the supreme rulers of the Reich would appoint to the
post of the Director of Radio Propaganda who supervised
radio activity of all the broadcasting companies and
directed their propagandistic content  a man they considered
a secondary figure.

The point of view of the verdict contradicts both the
evidence submitted and the actual state of affairs.

Beginning with 1942 and into 1945 Fritzsche was not only
Chief of the Radio Department of the Reich Ministry of
Propaganda but also "Plenipotentiary for the Political
Organisation of Radio in Greater Germany". This circumstance
is fully proven by the sworn affidavit of Fritzsche himself
(PS-3469, US-721). It thus follows that not at all was
Fritzsche merely "one of the twelve departmental chiefs in
the Ministry of Propaganda" who acquired responsibility for
all radio propaganda only toward the end of the war, as the
verdict asserts.

Fritzsche was the political director of the German radio up
and into 1945, i.e., up to the moment of German defeat and
capitulation. For this reason it is Fritzsche who bears
responsibility for the false and provocative broadcasts of
the German radio during the years of the war.

As Chief of the Press Section inside Germany it was also
Fritzsche who was responsible for the activity of the German
daily press consisting of 2,300 newspapers. It was Fritzsche
who created and perfected the Information Section winning
from the Reich Government for the purpose an increase in the
subsidy granted the newspapers from 400,000 to 4,000,000
marks. Subsequently Fritzsche participated energetically in
the development of the

                                                  [Page 140]

propaganda campaigns preparatory to the acts of aggression
against Czechoslovakia and Poland. (Transcript, Morning
Session, 23rd January,1946). A similar active propaganda
campaign was conducted by the defendant prior to the attack
on Yugoslavia as he himself admitted on oath in Court
(Transcript, Morning Session, 23rd January, 1946.)

Fritzsche was informed of the plan to attack the Soviet
Union and was made au courant of the military intentions at
a conference with Rosenberg (PS-1039, US-146, "Rosenberg's
Written Report to Hitler on the Subject of Preliminary Work
in Eastern European Problems.)

Fritzsche headed the German press campaign falsifying
reports of Germany's aggressive war against France, England,
Norway, the Soviet Union, the United States, and the other

The assertion that Fritzsche was not informed of the war
crimes and the Crimes against humanity then being
perpetrated by the Hitlerites in the occupied regions does
not agree with the facts. From Fritzsche's testimony in
Court it is obvious that already in May, 1944 , while in the
Propaganda Section of the 6th Army, he was aware of Hitler's
decree ordering execution for all Soviet political workers
and Soviet intellectuals, the so-called "Commissar Decree".
It is also established that already at the beginning of
hostilities Fritzsche was fully aware of the fact that the
Nazis were carrying out their decision to do away with all
Jews in Europe. For instance, when commenting on Hitler
statement that "among results of the war there will be the
annihilation of the Jewish race in Europe" (p. 248 of the
transcript), Fritzsche stated that: "As the Fuehrer
predicted it will occur in the event of war in Europe, the
fate of the European Jewry turned out to be quite sad" (P.
3231 of the transcript.) It is further established that the
defendant systematically preached the anti-social theory of
race hatred and characterised peoples inhabiting countries
victimised by aggression as "sub-humans". (Transcript;
Morning Session, 26th April, 1946, p. 83; and of the
Afternoon Session, pp. 1-2.)

When the fate of Nazi Germany became clear, Fritzsche came
out with energetic support of the defendant Martin Bormann
and of other fanatical Hitler adherents who organised the
undercover fascist association, the so-called "Werewolf".

On the 7th of April, 1945, for example, in his last radio
address, Fritzsche agitated for all the civilian population
of Germany to take active part in the activities of this
terroristic Nazi underground organisation.

He said: "Let no one be surprised to find the civilian
population, wearing civilian clothes, still continuing the
fight in the regions already occupied and even after
occupation has taken place. We shall call this phenomenon
"Werewolf" since it will have arisen without any preliminary
planning and without a definite organisation, out of the
very instinct of life." (U.S.S.R.-496.)

In his radio addresses Fritzsche welcomed the German use of
the new terror weapons in conducting the war, specifically
the use of the "V" rockets. On receiving a plan for the
introduction of bacterial warfare he immediately forwarded
it to the OKW for acceptance (U.S.S.R.-484, Evidence
submitted during the Afternoon Session, 28th June, 1946)

I consider Fritzsche's responsibility fully proven. His
activity had a most basic relation to the preparation and
the conduct of aggressive warfare as well as to the other
crimes of the Hitler regime.

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