The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

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   Nazi Conspiracy and Aggression, Volume Two, Chapter XIV
                        WILHELM FRICK

                                                  [Page 670]

Frick actively participated in the execution of the
conspirators' program of atrocities and Crimes against
Humanity. Even without such personal participation, however,
Frick has admitted that he could properly be charged with
having for 12 years continued in the Reich Cabinet, after he
had realized the direction the conspiracy was taking (3043-

The scope of Frick's personal and direct responsibility for
Nazi Crimes against Humanity is so broad that reference need
be made only to a few of the most significant instances.

(1) Gestapo atrocities and concentration camps. Frick, as
jurisdictional head of the German Police Administration, is
responsible for the crimes and atrocities perpetrated by the
German police, especially the Gestapo and SS, inside and
outside of Germany. (See 1643-PS; also Chapter XI on
Concentration Camps.)

As already stated, Frick demonstrated particular interest in
the "medical" experiments carried on in the concentration
camps under the personal direction of Himmler. Frick paid a
personal visit to Germany's oldest concentration camp,
Dachau, in 1943, for the purpose of inspecting the malaria
station and Dr. Rascher's Experimental Station (3249-PS).
There he could personally acquaint himself with the forced
subjection of healthy camp inmates to malarial mosquitos and
the air-pressure and freezing experiments on human beings
carried on by Dr. Rascher.

(2) Oppression of inhabitants of occupied territories. As
administrative head of the occupied territories, Frick
issued decrees depriving the inhabitants of their rights and
subjecting them to a

                                                  [Page 671]
cruel and discriminatory regime. Among these enactments were
the decree of 4 December 1941 establishing a special penal
law or the Polish and Jewish inhabitants of the Gouvernment
General (R-96), (1249-PS); the decree of 1 July 1943
depriving Jews of rights remaining to them under the decree
of 4 December 1941 (1422-PS); and the Himmler ordinance of 3
July 1943 charging the Gestapo with the execution of the
decree of 1 July 1943 (published in Frick's Ministry of
Interior Gazette 1943, p. 1085) (3085-PS) .

Similarly, the Decree on the Utilization of Eastern Workers,
Which required that they be paid salaries substantially
below those fixed for German workers holding similar jobs,
was signed by Frick's name by his Secretary of State.

(3) Systematic killing of insane, ill, aged, and
incapacitated foreign slave laborers. Frick's greatest guilt
perhaps rests on his responsibility, as Reich Minister of
the Interior, for the systematic killing of the insane, the
sick, and the aged, including those foreign forced laborers
who were no longer able to work. These killings were carried
out in nursing homes, hospitals, and asylums. Frick, in his
capacity of Reichsminister of the Interior, had full
jurisdiction over all these institutions (3475-PS).

Proof that the Reichministry of the Interior under Frick
actually exercised this jurisdiction is to be found in a
letter of 2 October 1940 (621-PS) from the Chief of the
Reich Chancellery, Dr. Lammers, to the Reichsminister of
Justice. The letter informed the Minister of Justice that
the Chief Prosecutors' reports concerning the death of
inmates of nursing homes had been transmitted to the
Reichsminister of the Interior for further action (621-PS).
Through other correspondence Frick's Ministry of the
Interior was informed of the unexplained deaths of insane
persons (1696-PS; 1969-PS).

The most striking example of the continued killings in these
institutions, which were under Frick's jurisdiction, is the
famous Hadamar case. Systematic killing started at the
Hadamar nursing home as early as 1939. At least as early as
1941 Frick was officially acquainted with the fact that
these killings had become public knowledge. Proof is found
in a letter from the Bishop of Limburg of 13 August 1941 to
the Reichsminister of Justice, copies of which were sent to
the Reichsminister of the Interior and the Reichsminister
for Church Affairs. The letter reads in part as follows:

     "*** About 8 kilometers from Limburg, in the little
     town of Hadamar, on a hill overlooking the town, there
     is an
                                                  [Page 672]
     institution which had formerly served various purposes
     and of late had been used as a nursing home; this
     institution was renovated and furnished as a place in
     which, by consensus of opinion, the above-mentioned
     Euthenasia has been systematically practiced for months
     -- approximately since February 1941. The fact has
     become known beyond the administrative district of
     Wiesbaden, because death certificates from a Registry
     Hadamar-Moenchberg are sent to the home communities.

     "Several times a week buses arrive in Hadamar with a
     considerable number of such victims. School children of
     the vicinity know this vehicle and say: 'There comes
     the murder-box again.' After the arrival of the
     vehicle, the citizens of Hadamar watch the smoke rise
     out of the chimney and are tortured with the ever-
     present thought of the miserable victims, especially
     when repulsive odors annoy them, depending on the
     direction of the wind.
     "The effect of the principles at work here are:
     Children call each other names and say, 'You're crazy;
     you'll be sent to the baking oven in Hadamar.' Those
     who do not want to marry, or find no opportunity, say
     'Marry, never! Bring children into the world so they
     can be put into the bottling machine!' You hear old
     folks say, 'Don't send me to a state hospital! After
     the feeble-minded have been finished off, the next
     useless eaters whose turn will come are the old
     "*** The population cannot grasp that systematic
     actions are carried out which in accordance with Par.
     211 of the German criminal code are punishable with
     death ! ***

     "Officials of the Secret State Police, it is said, are
     trying to suppress discussion of the Hadamar
     occurrences by means of severe threats. In the interest
     of public peace, this may be well intended. But the
     knowledge and the conviction and the indignation of the
     population cannot be changed by it; the conviction will
     be increased with the bitter realization that
     discussion is prohibited with threats but that the
     actions themselves are not prosecuted under penal law.

     "Facta loquuntur.
     "I beg you most humbly, Herr Reich Minister, in the
     sense of the report of the Episcopate of July 16 of
     this year, to prevent further transgressions of the
     Fifth Commandment of God.
                           "(Signed) Dr. Hilfrich" (615-PS).

                                                  [Page 673]
Nevertheless the killings in these institutions continued
year after year. This is shown by a certified copy of the
charge, specifications and findings of the US Military
Commission at Wiesbaden, against the individuals who
operated the Hadamar Sanitarium where many Russians and
Poles were done away with. In this particular proceeding,
seven defendants were charged with the murder in 1944 and
1945 of 400 persons of Polish and Russian nationality. Three
of the defendants were sentenced to be hanged; the other
four were sentenced to confinement at hard labor (3592-PS).

But the murdering in Hadamar was only part of a systematic
program. The official report of the Czechoslovak War Crimes
commission, entitled "Detailed Statement on the Murdering of
Ill and Aged People in Germany," shows that Frick was one of
the originators of the secret law of 1940, which authorized
the killing of sick and aged persons and under which the
Hadamar "murder mill" was operated until 1945. The first 3
paragraphs that report read as follows:

     "1. The murdering can be traced back to a secret law
     which was released some time in the summer of 1940.
     "2. Besides the Chief Physician of the Reich, Dr. L.
     Conti, the Reichsfuehrer SS Himmler, the Reichsminister
     of the Interior Dr. Frick, as well as other men, the
     following participated in the introduction of this
     secret law ***
     "3. As I have already stated, there were -- after
     careful calculation -- at least 200,000 mainly mentally
     deficient, imbeciles, besides neurological cases and
     medically unfit people these were not only incurable
     cases -- and at least 75,000 aged people." (1556-PS).
Thus, Frick bears full responsibility for the systematic
killing of the "unproductive eater," for whom the Nazi war
machine had no use.

(4) Oppression in Bohemia and Moravia. The final phase of
Frick's criminal activities began with his appointment as
Protector in Bohemia and Moravia, on 20 August 1943 (3086-

His authority was clearly defined in a Secret Decree issued
on 29 August 1943. That Decree provided that the Reich
Protector was "the representative of the Fuehrer in his
capacity as Chief of State." In addition to this over-all
authority, Frick was given jurisdiction "to confirm the
members of the government of the Protectorate to appoint,
dismiss and retire the German civil servants in the
Protectorate." He was given full power "to grant

                                                  [Page 674]
pardons and to quash proceedings in all cases except in
cases before the Military and SS Police Courts" (1366-PS).

These broad powers establish the clear responsibility of
Frick for the crimes committed in the Protectorate under his
administration during the last 20 months of the War. As
representative of the Fuehrer in the Protectorate, he
covered these criminal acts with Hitler's name and absolute

As a single example of these crimes, reference may be made
to Supplement 6 to the official Czechoslovak Report on
German Crimes Against Czechoslovakia:

"During the tenure of office of defendant Wilhelm Frick as
Reich Protector of Bohemia and Moravia from August 1943
until the liberation of Czechoslovakia in 1945, many
thousands of Czechoslovak Jews were transported from the
Terezin ghetto in Czechoslovakia to the concentration camp
at Oswiecziem (Auschwitz) in Poland and were there killed in
the gas chambers." (3589-PS).

Frick was also fully responsible for the multiple and
notorious miscarriages of justice by which the population of
the Protectorate was systematically persecuted and
oppressed. His failure to correct these miscarriages of
justice through the exercise of his right to grant pardons
and to quash legal proceedings is tantamount to a
confirmation of the cruel and illegal sentences imposed upon
the inhabitants of the Protectorate (1556-PS; 3589-PS).

Frick's specific responsibility on these counts must be
added to the over-all responsibility which he bears because
of the fact that he was in power as Reich Protector while
such Crimes against Humanity were committed against the
population of Bohemia and Moravia

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