The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

Shofar FTP Archive File: imt/nca/nca-02/nca-02-16-responsibility-21-03

Archive/File: imt/nca/nca-02/nca-02-16-responsibility-21-03
Last-Modified: 1997/06/19

   Nazi Conspiracy and Aggression, Volume Two, Chapter XIV

The reason why the DNB was excepted from Fritzsche's field
at this time is that it did not come into existence until

Later on in his affidavit Fritzsche mentions the sizeable

                                                [Page  1041]
put at his disposal in building up the Nazi news services.
Altogether, the German news agencies received a ten-fold
increase in their budget from the Reich, an increase from
400,000 to 4,000,000 marks. Fritzsche himself selected and
employed the Chief Editor for the Transocean News Agency and
also for the Europa Press. Fritzsche states that some of the

     " *** directions of the Propaganda Ministry which I had
     to follow were *** increase of German news copy abroad
     at any cost *** spreading of favorable news on the
     internal construction and peaceful intentions of the
     National Socialistic System. ***"

About the summer of 1934 Funk, then Reich Press Chief,
achieved the fusion of the two most important domestic news
agencies, the Wolff Telegraph Agency and the Telegraph
Union, and thus formed the official German news agency known
as DNB. Although Fritzsche held no position with DNB at any
time, nevertheless as head of the news section of the German
Press Division, Fritzsche's duties gave him official
jurisdiction over the DNB, which was the official domestic
news agency of the Reich after 1934. Fritzsche admits that
he coordinated the work of the various foreign news agencies

     "within the inland Europe and overseas foreign
     countries with each other and in relationship to DNB"

The Wireless News Service was headed by Fritzsche from 1930
to 1937. After January 1933 the Wireless News Service was
the official instrument of the Nazi government in spreading
news over the radio. During the same time that Fritzsche
headed the Wireless News Service, he personally made radio
broadcasts to the German people. These broadcasts were
naturally subject to the controls of the Propaganda Ministry
and reflected its purposes. The influence of Fritzsche's
broadcasts to the German people, during this period of
consolidation of control by the Nazi conspirators, is all
the more important since Fritzsche was concurrently head of
the Wireless News Service, and thus in control of all radio

(2) Use of propaganda to prepare the way for aggressions,
The use made by the Nazi conspirators of psychological
warfare is well known. Before each major aggression, with
some few exceptions based on expediency, they initiated a
press campaign calculated to weaken their victims and to
prepare the German people psychologically for the attack.
They used the press, after their earlier conquests, as a
means for further influencing for-

                                                [Page  1042]
eign politics and in maneuvering for the net following

By the time of the occupation of the Sudetenland on 1
October 1938, Fritzsche had become deputy head of the entire
German Press Division. Fritzsche states that the role of
German propaganda before the Munich Agreement on the
Sudetenland was directed by his immediate chief, Berndt,
head of the German Press Division. Fritzsche describes
Berndt's propaganda as follows:

     "He exaggerated minor events very strongly, used
     sometimes old episodes as new -- and there even came
     complaints from the Sudetenland itself that much of the
     news reported by the German press was untrustworthy. As
     a matter of fact, after the great foreign political
     success at Munich in September 1938, there came a
     noticeable crisis in confidence of the German people in
     the trustworthiness of its press. This was one reason
     for the recalling of Berndt, in December 1938 after the
     conclusion of the Sudeten action and for my appointment
     as head of the German Press Division. Beyond this,
     Berndt, by-his admittedly successful but still
     primitive military-like orders to the German Press, had
     lost the confidence of the German editors." (469-PS)

Fritzsche was accordingly made head of the German Press
Division in place of Berndt. Between December 1938 and 1942,
Fritzsche, as head of the German Press Division, personally
gave to the representatives of the principal German
newspapers the "daily parole of the Reich Press Chief."
During this period he was the principal conspirator directly-
concerned with the manipulations of the press.

The first important foreign aggression after Fritzsche
became head of the German Press Division was the
incorporation of Bohemia and Moravia. Fritzsche describes
the propaganda action surrounding the incorporation of
Bohemia and Moravia as follows:

     "The action for the incorporation of Bohemia and
     Moravia, which took place on 15 March 1939, while I was
     head of the German Press Division, was not prepared for
     such a long period as the Sudeten action. According to
     my memory, it was in February that I received the order
     from the Reich Press Chief, Dr. Dietrich, which was
     repeated as a request by the envoy Paul Schmidt of the
     Foreign Office, to bring the attention of the press to
     the efforts for independence of Slovakia and to the
     continued anti-German coalition politics of the Prague
     government. I did this. The daily
                                                [Page  1043]
     paroles of the Reich Press Chief and the press
     conference minutes at that time show the wording of the
     corresponding instructions. These were the typical
     headlines of leading newspapers and the emphatic
     leading articles of the German daily press at that
     time: (1) the terrorizing of Germans within the Czech
     territory by arrest, shooting of Germans by the state
     police, destruction and damaging of German homes by
     Czech gangsters; (2) the concentration of Czech forces
     on the Sudeten frontier; (3) the kidnaping, deporting,
     and persecuting of Slovakian minorities by the Czechs;
     that the Czechs must get out of Slovakia; (4) secret
     meetings of Red functionaries in Prague. Some few days
     before the visit of Hacha, I received the instruction
     to publish in the press very emphatically the incoming
     news on the unrest in Czechoslovakia. Such information
     I received only partly from the German News Agency,
     DNB. Mostly it came from the Press Division of the
     Foreign Office and some of it came from big newspapers
     with their own news services. Among the newspapers
     offering information was above all the 'Voelkischer
     Beobachter' which, as I learned later on, received its
     information from the SS Standartenfuehrer Gunter
     D'Alquen. He was at this time in Pressburg. I had
     forbidden all news agencies and newspapers to issue
     news on unrest in Czechoslovakia before I had seen it.
     I wanted to avoid a repetition of the very annoying
     results of the Sudeten action propaganda, and I did not
     want to suffer a loss of prestige caused by untrue
     news. Thus, all news checked by me was admittedly full
     of tendency [voller Tendenz] however, not invented.
     After the visit of Hacha in Berlin and after the
     beginning of the invasion of the German Army, which
     took place on 15 March 1939, the German press had
     enough material for describing those events.
     Historically and politically the event was justified
     with the indication that the declaration of
     independence of Slovakia had required an interference
     and that Hacha with his signature had avoided a war and
     had reinstated a thousand-year union between Bohemia
     and the Reich." (3469-PS)

The propaganda campaign of the press preceding the invasion
of Poland on 1 September 1939 bears again the handiwork of
Fritzsche and his German Press Division. Fritzsche speaks of
the conspirators' treatment of this episode as follows:

     "Very complicated and changing was the press and
     propagandistic treatment in the case of Poland. Under
     the influence of the German-Polish agreement, it was
                                                [Page  1044]
     forbidden in the German press for many years to publish
     anything on the situation of the German minority in
     Poland. This remained also the case when in the Spring
     of 1939 the German press was asked to become somewhat
     more active as to the problem of Danzig. Also, when the
     first Polish-English conversations took place, and when
     the German press was instructed to use a sharper tone
     against Poland, the question of the German minority
     still remained in the background. But during the summer
     this problem was picked up again and created
     immediately a noticeable sharpening of the situation,
     namely, each larger German newspaper had for quite some
     time an abundance of material on complaints of the
     Germans in Poland without the editors having had a
     chance to use this material. The German papers, from
     the time of the minority discussion at Geneva, still
     had correspondents of free collaborators in Kattewitz,
     Bromberg, Posen, Thorn, etc. Their material now came
     forth with a bound. Concerning this the leading German
     newspapers, upon the basis of directions given out in
     the so-called 'daily parole' brought out the following
     publicity with great emphasis: (1) cruelty and terror
     against Germans and the extermination of Germans in
     Poland; (2) forced labor of thousands of German men and
     women in Poland; (3) Poland, land of servitude and
     disorder; the desertion of Polish soldiers; the
     increased inflation in Poland; (4) provocation of
     frontier clashes upon direction of the Polish
     Government; the Polish lust to conquer; (5) persecution
     of Czechs and Ukrainians by Poland. The Polish Press
     replied particularly sharply." (3469-PS)

The press campaign preceding the invasion of Yugoslavia
followed the conventional pattern. The customary
definitions, lies, incitement, and threats, and the usual
attempt to divide and weaken the victim, are contained in
Fritzsche's description of this propaganda action:

     "During the period immediately preceding the invasion
     of Yugoslavia, on 16 April 1941, the German press
     emphasized by headlines and leading articles the
     following topics: (1) the planned persecution of
     Germans in Yugoslavia, including the burning down of
     German villages by Serbian soldiers; also the confining
     of Germans in concentration camps and also the physical
     mishandling of German-speaking persons; (2) the arming
     of Serbian bandits by the Serbian Government; (3) the
     incitement of Yugoslavia by the plutocrats against
     Germany; (4) the increasing anti-
                                                [Page  1045]
     Serbian feeling in Croatia; (5) the chaotic economic
     and social conditions in Yugoslavia."

Since Germany had a non-aggression pact with the Soviet
Union, and because the conspirators wanted the advantage of
surprise, there was no special propaganda campaign
immediately preceding the attack on the USSR. Fritzsche's
affidavit discusses the propaganda line which was given the
German people in justification of this aggressive war:

     "During the night from the 21st to the 22nd of June
     1941 [21 June 1941-22 June 1941], Ribbentrop called me
     in for a conference in the Foreign Office building at
     about 5 o'clock in the morning, at which
     representatives of the domestic and foreign press were
     present. Ribbentrop informed us that the war against
     the Soviet Union would start that same day and asked
     the German press to present the war against the Soviet
     Union as a preventative war for the defense of the
     Fatherland, as a war which was forced upon us through
     the immediate danger of an attack of the Soviet Union
     against Germany. The claim that this was a preventative
     war was later repeated by the newspapers which received
     their instructions from me during the usual daily
     parole of the Reich Press Chief. I, myself, have also
     given this presentation of the cause of the war in my
     regular broadcasts." (3469-PS)

Fritzsche, throughout his affidavit, constantly refers to
his expert technical assistance to the apparatus of the
Propaganda Ministry. In 1939, apparently becoming
dissatisfied with the efficiency of the existing facilities
of the German Press Division, he established a new
instrument for improving the effectiveness of Nazi

     "About the summer of 1939 I established within the
     German Press Division a section called 'Speed-Service.'
     *** At the start it had the task of checking the
     correctness of news from foreign countries. Later on,
     about the Fall of 1939, this section also elaborated on
     collecting materials which were put at the disposal of
     the entire German press. For instance, dates from the
     British Colonial policy, from political statements of
     the British Prime Minister in former times,
     descriptions of social distress in hostile countries,
     etc. Almost all German newspapers used such material as
     a basis for their polemics. Hereby was achieved a great
     unification within the fighting front of the German
     press. The title 'Speed Service' was chosen because
     materials for current comments were supplied with
     unusual speed." (3469-PS)

Throughout this entire period preceding and including the

                                                [Page  1046]
launching of aggressive wars, Fritzsche made regular radio
broadcasts to the German people under the program titles of
"Political Newspaper Review," "Political and Radio Show,"
and later "Hans Fritzsche Speaks." His broadcasts naturally
reflected the polemics and the controls of his Ministry and
thus of the conspiracy. Fritzsche, the most eminent member
of Goebbels propaganda team, helped substantially in making
possible, both within Germany and without, the conspirators'
plans for aggressive war.

Home ·  Site Map ·  What's New? ·  Search Nizkor

© The Nizkor Project, 1991-2012

This site is intended for educational purposes to teach about the Holocaust and to combat hatred. Any statements or excerpts found on this site are for educational purposes only.

As part of these educational purposes, Nizkor may include on this website materials, such as excerpts from the writings of racists and antisemites. Far from approving these writings, Nizkor condemns them and provides them so that its readers can learn the nature and extent of hate and antisemitic discourse. Nizkor urges the readers of these pages to condemn racist and hate speech in all of its forms and manifestations.