The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

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Archive/File: imt/tgmwc/tgmwc-06/tgmwc-06-51.04
Last-Modified: 1998/04/25

THE PRESIDENT: With reference to the motion which was made
before the adjournment by counsel for the General Staff, the
opinion of the Tribunal is this.

                                                   [Page 74]
In the first place the Tribunal is not confined to direct
evidence from eyewitnesses, because Article 19 provides that
the Tribunal shall admit any evidence which it deems to have
probative value.

Secondly, there is nothing in Article 21 of the Charter
which makes it improper to call the member of a governmental
committee as a witness to give evidence with reference to
the governmental committee's report. But the Tribunal
considers that if such a witness is called, the governmental
committee's report must be put in evidence. As a matter of
fact, the counsel for the prosecution have offered to put
the committee's report in evidence in this case, and not
only to do that, but also to make available to counsel for
the defence the affidavits of witnesses in respect to that

Thirdly, there were other matters upon which the witness,
Mr. van der Essen, gave evidence which was altogether
outside the report, or so it appeared to the Tribunal.

As to the weight which is to be attached to the witness'
evidence, that, of course, is a matter which will have to be
considered by the Tribunal. It is open to the defence to
give evidence in answer to the evidence of Mr. van der Essen
and also to comment upon or criticise that evidence, and so
far as his evidence consisted of his own conclusions drawn
from facts which he had seen or evidence which he had heard,
the correctness of those conclusions will be considered by
the Tribunal, conclusions being matters for the final
decision of the Tribunal.

For these reasons the motion of counsel is denied.

It is suggested to me that I did not in this statement say
that the report was to be filed in evidence. I intended to
say that. I thought that I had said it. The report must be
filed in evidence and the affidavits, as they are to be made
available to the defendants' counsel will, of course, also
be made available to the Tribunal.

M. FAURE: If it please the Tribunal, M. Fuster is going to
project the films of which I spoke just now.

M. FUSTER: Mr. President, I am to show you a few examples of
direct propaganda in the occupied countries.

During the whole period of the occupation the inhabitants of
the occupied countries had the walls of their houses covered
with enormous posters, varying in color and text. There was
very little paper in any of these countries, but there was
always enough for propaganda; and this propaganda was
carried on without regard for probability or moral
considerations. If the Nazis thought any sort of campaign
would prove effective, no matter in how small a degree, they
immediately launched this campaign.

In France, for instance, the most illustrious names in
history appeared on posters and were made to proclaim
slogans against the enemies of Germany. Isolated sentences
were taken from the works of Clemenceau, Montesquieu, and
many others, who in this way were made to utter sentiments
in favor of Nazism.

But German propaganda went beyond the adulteration of the
works of the great historical geniuses of our nation. They
also tried to pervert and cripple most sacred sentiments. We
saw in France posters advertising work in Germany, which
showed a mother saying to her children, "How happy we are
now that father has gone to work in Germany." In this way,
the family sentiment was made to further the ends of

German propaganda went beyond the adulteration of the works
of the great historical geniuses of our nation. They also
tried to pervert and cripple most sacred sentiments. We saw
in France posters advertising work in Germany, which showed
a mother saying to her children: "How happy we are now that
father has gone to work in Germany." In this way, the
sentiment of family affection was made to further the aims
of Nazidom.

German propaganda tried also to attack the sentiment of
national patriotism. We saw posters asking young men to
serve in the German Forces; and these posters existed in
every country. M. Faure stated yesterday that these
unfortunate wretches who had served in the various legions
must, in spite of their guilt, be considered to a great
extent as victims of the Nazi system. In this way, German
propaganda, in attacking simultaneously the genius of a
nation and

                                                   [Page 75]
the most intimate sentiments of its people, committed a
crime against the spirit -- and that is something which,
according to the quotation used by M. Dubost in his
peroration, cannot be pardoned.

Publicity may be permitted, by all means, but publicity must
remain within limits. It must have some respect for persons,
laws and morality. There are guarantees for the protection
of the individual in every country -- laws against libel,
against defamation -- but in international matters, German
propaganda had an unlimited field, without restrictions or
penalties, at least until the day when this Tribunal was
established to judge it.

That is why it seemed to us a useful and necessary duty to
submit to this Tribunal one or two practical illustrations.
We did not choose the best known examples, but rather those
which were most genuinely characteristic of the excesses and
extremes of this propaganda.

First of all, we are going to show a very short extract from
a very specialised film, directed against Freemasonry, which
was imposed by the Germans in the manner explained in the
brief. The film in itself is of no interest, but it contains
pictures illustrating the crude campaign of lies in which
the Germans indulged in France.

As it is a very short film and will be shown very rapidly --
we cannot slow it down on account of technical difficulties
-- I should like, before showing it, to draw attention to
the two kinds of pictures which will follow one another
without transition:

First you will see a map of the world. This map will be
rapidly covered by a color indicating the influence of the
Jews and the Freemasons, covering all countries except the
two victorious islands, the Nazi-Fascist bloc in Europe, on
the one hand, and Japan on the other.

We give this picture to show the degree of crude simplicity
arrived at by Nazi propaganda and how it submitted to the
people the most stupid and misleading formulas.

An even worse example of calumny follows the portrait of
President Roosevelt with the heading: "Brother Roosevelt
Wants War."

This is all we have taken from the film. It will now be
shown. Mr. Abbett, you can begin.

 (The aforementioned film was projected on the screen in the
M. FUSTER (indicating): It is taken from the film "Hidden
Forces." Here is the map of the world, with the zones of
influence: the Soviet zone of influence, the British zone of
influence, the American zone of influence. "Brother
Roosevelt Wants War." It is May, 1939.

THE PRESIDENT: Is it necessary to have the accompaniment of

M. FUSTER: I am sorry, but it is impossible to cut out the
sound from this film.

THE PRESIDENT: It cannot be helped? Very well.

M. FUSTER: The rapidity of the film made it necessary for us
first to give a few details of the pictures which passed
before the Tribunal. I think, however, that the Tribunal can
appreciate them.

Now, we are going to show a few photographs of posters.
These will be easier to deal with than the film, which
cannot be slowed down. We are going to show them one by one,
commenting on each as may be necessary.

I should like to point out to the Tribunal that the film
which it has
just seen is submitted as Exhibit RF l152 and 1152-bis.

The scenarios of other propaganda films entitled "M.
Girouette, French Workman in Germany" and taken from the
dossier of the proceedings taken against M. Musard before
the Seine Court of Justice, will also illustrate the

                                                   [Page 76]
tendency and the subject-matter of the German propaganda
carried on by this means.

The photographs of posters which we are going to show now
are submitted as Exhibit RF 1153. Before showing these
films, we must say something about the way in which poster
propaganda was organised. It was organised with extreme
care. In this connection we submit a pamphlet which contains
full instructions for displaying and shows that a real
administrative service existed to carry out projects which
had been under consideration for a long time. This is
Exhibit RF 1150. We shall not read it, since it is a
publication, but we will summarise the most important

The Tribunal will see that the most exact provision has been
made for every detail; the sites for the billboards and so
forth. All these posters were issued by the central bureau
in Berlin, D.P.A. In their original form, they consisted
only of pictures. The text was added later in the country
for which they were intended. The text had to be printed in
the language of this country and adapted to suit local

The Germans very often refrained from indicating their
official German origin or even attributed a different origin
to them.

For instance, they used the phrase "Printed in France,"
which has no particular meaning, since it never appears on
genuine French posters. The French posters bear only the
printer's name, and this, in its turn, never appears on
German posters. By the use of the phrase "Printed in
France," however, the Germans could undoubtedly make the
French believe that the propaganda put before them was not
directly of enemy origin. This is a feature at once curious
and revealing.

As we have said, publicity has been practised for a long
time, but Nazi Germany made propaganda into a public
institution, and applied it internationally in a most
reprehensible manner.

We are now going to show to the Tribunal a few of the stages
in the development of this poster propaganda.

  (Whereupon a series of pictures was projected by means of
       lantern slides on the screen in the Courtroom.)
M. FUSTER: There is not enough light in the apparatus. Here
is the first poster (indicating). I am obliged to describe
it because we cannot see it at all well. The text seems to
indicate the noble attitude of the victor towards the French
victims of war. It is expressed as follows: "Abandoned
populations: Have confidence in the German soldier," and we
see a soldier of Germany with little French children in his

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