Archive/File: imt/nca/nca-02/nca-02-16-responsibility-09-03 Last-Modified: 1997/04/21 Nazi Conspiracy and Aggression, Volume Two, Chapter XIV WILHELM FRICK C. FRICK'S PARTICIPATION IN THE ESTABLISHMENT OF TOTALITARIAN CONTROL OVER GERMANY Frick's appointment as Reichminister of the Interior in the first Hitler Cabinet of 30 January 1933 gave him the task of [Page 657] "strengthening the power of the government and to secure the New Regime" (3128-PS). (1) Powers of Frick as Minister of Interior. To this task his Ministry was perfectly suited. As Minister of the Interior Frick became responsible for the realization of a large part of the conspirators' program, through both legislation and administration. His Ministry was charged especially with the following tasks: (a) Internal Administration (State and local governments; State and Local Civil Service). (b) Relations between Nazi Party and State. (c) Elections. (d) Citizenship. (e) Racial Law and Policy (Jewish Question, Eugenics) (f) Armed Forces and Reich Defense (Conscription). (g) Establishment of the New Order in occupied and annexed territories. (h) Legislation, Constitutional Law (civil liberties). (i) Police Forces (including Gestapo, protective custody, concentration camps). (3303-PS; 3475-PS) The names of the men who, according to (3475-PS), worked under Frick's supervision are significant. Among the subordinates of Frick were "Reich Health Leader, Dr. Conti," "Reich Fuehrer SS and Chief of the German Police, Heinrich Himmler," and "Reich Labor Service Leader, Konstantin Hierl." Frick was, therefore, supreme commander of three important pillars of the Nazi state: The Nazi Public Health Service, the Police System, and the Labor Service. The wide variety of the activities of Frick as Reich Minister of the Interior can be judged from the following catalogue of his functions: He had final authority on constitutional questions, drafted legislation, had jurisdiction over governmental administration and civil defense, and was the final arbiter of questions concerning race and citizenship. The Manual for Administrative Officials also lists sections of his ministry concerned with administrative problems for the occupied territories, including annexed Bohemia and Moravia, and the New Order in the East (3475-PS). The Ministry of the Interior also had considerable authority over the civil service, including such matters as appointment, tenure, promotion and discharge. The Manual for Administrative Officials (3475-PS) states that Frick's functions included supervision of the general law of civil servants, civil servants' policies, civil service aspirants, education and training of civil [Page 658] servants and political and other officials. Frick's Ministry also had extensive jurisdiction over the German civil servants detailed to the administration of the occupied countries. This fact was admitted by Wilhelm Stuckart, former Under Secretary of Frick's Ministry of the Interior, who stated in an interrogation: "As far as I know, the officials for the new territories were selected by the Personnel Office [of the Ministry of the Interior] according to their qualifications, their physical condition and maybe also their knowledge of the language." (3570-PS) In the full use of these broad powers, Frick made his essential contribution to the advancement of the conspiracy. (2) Nazi seizure of power of German States. His first act after the Conspirators' accession to power was to install Nazi governments and administrations in all German States where they were not already in power. The State governments which refused to hand over their constitutional authority to the Nazi successors designated by Frick were removed on Frick's orders. This was the case in Bavaria, Hamburg, Bremen, Lueback, Hessen, Baden, Wuerttemberg, and Saxony. The manner and purpose of this program was clearly stated in the book, "Dr. Frick and his Ministry," which was published by his Under-Secretary Wilhelm Pfundner for Frick's 60th birthday in order to establish the full scope of his contribution to the creation of the Nazis' "Thousand-Year Reich": "While Marxism in Prussia was crushed by the hard fist of the Prussian Prime Minister, Hermann Goering, and a gigantic wave of propaganda was initiated for the Reichstag elections of 5 March 1933, Dr. Frick prepared the complete seizure of power in all states of the Reich. All at once the political opposition disappeared. All at once the Main [River] line was eliminated. From this time on only one will and one leadership reigned in the German Reich." (3119 PS; 3132- PS) (3) Abolition of political opposition. Frick then proceeded to destroy all opposition parties in order to establish the political monopoly of the Nazi Party over Germany. Here again he acted by legislative fiat against all parties which did not dissolve voluntarily. Among the laws which he initiated for this purpose were the law of 26 May 1933 confiscating Communists' property (1396-PS); the law of 14 July 1933 confiscating property inimical to nation and state (1388-PS); the law of 7 July 1933 void- [Page 659] ing the mandates of all Social Democrat candidates elected to Reich state and local diets (2058-PS); and the law of 14 July 1933 outlawing all political parties other than the Nazi Party (1388-A-PS; see 2403-PS). Frick drafted and administered the laws which assured the control of the Nazi Party over the State and "placed the government machinery *** at the disposal of the Party." Chief among these enactments were the Law to Secure the Unity of Party and State, of 1 December 1933, which provided that all government agencies should "lend legal and administrative aid to the Party agencies" (195-PS), and the law of 1 August 1934 consolidating the positions of Chief of State and Leader of the Party (2003-PS; see 3119-PS). The success of this series of measures was accurately described b Frick himself in the following terms: "In National Socialist Germany, leadership is in the hands of an organized community, the National Socialist Party; and as the latter represents the will of the nation, the policy adopted by it in harmony with the vital interests of the nation is at the same time, the policy adopted by the country ***." (3258-PS) (4) Consolidation of power in Reich Cabinet. Frick's next task was to consolidate the executive and legislative control thus achieved. First he drafted the law of 24 March 1933, which gave the Reich Cabinet the power to legislate by decree. This law marked the end of parliamentary government in Germany (2001-PS). As a further step in the same direction, Frick prepared a series of laws which destroyed all autonomous State and local government. Through these laws, all governmental power in Germany was consolidated in the Reich Cabinet. Administration of these laws was placed in the hands of Frick. These enactments include the Temporary Law for the Coordination of the States with the Reich, of 3/31/1933 (2004-PS); the Law the Coordination of the States with the Reich, of 7 April 1933 (2005-PS); the law of 30 January 1934 transferring the sovereignty of the states to the Reich; the first ordinance under the law of 30 January 1934 subjecting state legislation to Reich approval, 2 February 1934; the second Reich Governor Law of 30 January 1935; the German Municipality Act of 30 January 1935 (2008-PS); and the law of 14 February 1934 abolishing the Reichsrat. (see 3119-PS; Frick drafted the laws which abolished the independence of the [Page 660] civil service, including functionaries of the Reich and the States, judges, and university teachers. As Reichsminister of the Interior, he was charged with the administration of these laws. Among these laws was the Civil Service Act of 7 April 1933, paragraphs 3 and 4 of which provided for the elimination of civil servants on the basis of religious or political beliefs (1397-PS; see 3119-PS). This complete subjection of the civil servants to the Nazi controlled Ministry of Interior was well illustrated by an order of Frick demanding a report on civil servants who had failed to vote in the Reichstag elections of 29 March 1936 (D-43). (5) Establishment of the Police State. Having thus taken possession of the entire government machinery, Frick organized a huge Reich police in order to maintain the conspirators' power against all opposition. It should be emphasized that before this time there was no unified Reich police system; each individual German State had a police force of its own. Even then, Frick had complete control over the police forces, through the Reich Governor Act which subjected the State governments to the authority of the Reich government, in the person of the Reich Minister of the Interior (2005-PS; L-82). The decisive change-over to centralized totalitarianism was effected by the Act of 17 June 1936 (RGBl, 1936, Part I, p. 87), which was signed by Frick and Hitler (2073-PS). Section 1 of this decree reads as "For the unification of police duties in the Reich, a Chief of German Police is instituted in the German Ministry of the Interior, to whom is assigned the direction and conduct of all police affairs." Section 2 shows that it was Frick and Hitler, the signers of the decree, who appointed Himmler as Chief of the German Police. Paragraph 2, section 2 of the decree states that Himmler was "subordinated individually and directly to the Reich and Prussian Minister of the Interior" (2073-PS). In other words, Frick not only appointed Himmler but himself became, pursuant to this decree, the supreme commander of the Reich police system in his capacity as Reich and Prussian Minister of the Interior. The official chart of the German police system (1852-PS; see Chart Number 16) clearly shows the position of Reichsminister of the Interior Frick as the head of the entire German police system. [Page 661] This includes the notorious RSHA, of which Kaltenbrunner became chief under Frick in January 1943 (3119-PS). Frick used this newly created authority for the promotion of the Nazi conspiracy. By his decree of 12 February 1936 he established in detail the jurisdiction of the Secret State Police (Gestapo) especially over the concentration camps and in the field of political police information (2108-PS). By his decree of 20 September 1936, published in the Ministerial Gazette of the Reich (Ministerialblatt des Reichs-und Preussischen Ministerium des Innern), 1936, page 1343, (2245-PS), Frick reserved for himself the authority to appoint inspectors of security police and ordered their close cooperation with the Party and with the Army. Furthermore, in an ordinance dated 18 March 1938 (RGBl, 1938, Part I, page 262) (1437-PS) concerning the reunion of Austria with the Reich, Frick authorized Himmler to take security measures in Austria without regard to previous legal limitations. Similarly, in his Decree of 11 November 1938 Frick ordered that all authorities cooperate closely with the SD and RSHA under Himmler (1638-PS). Frick's direct control over Himmler's Reich police can also be shown in numerous other instances. It is necessary only to mention Himmler's order of 26 June 1936 by which he authorized Reinhard Heydrich, Chief of the SD, and Kurt Daluege, Chief of the regular police, to sign "By order of the Minister of the Interior" (1551-PS; 1680-PS). As a result, the Police and part of Himmler's SS became in fact merged under Frick's jurisdiction. An order by Hitler dated 17 August 1938 regulated the functions of the SS, which "have entered into close connection with the duties of the German police" in the Ministry of Interior (647-PS; see 1637-PS). Similarly, Frick gave direct orders to the State Gestapo offices. Thus on 6 November 1934 Frick issued an order addressed, among others, to the Prussian Gestapo, prohibiting the publication of Protestant church announcements (1498-PS), and also issued a secret circular addressed, among others, to the Prussian (Gestapo, subjecting Catholic youth organizations to severe restrictions (1482-PS). It is not necessary here to repeat the evidence concerning the criminal activities of the German police, over which Frick had supreme authority. Reference is made to Chapter XI on Concentration Camps, Chapter XII on Persecution of the Jews, Section 6, Chapter VII on Persecution of the Church, and Chapter XV on the criminal organizations, such as the SA, SS, the Gestapo, and SD. Frick's personal familiarity with these illegal activities [Page 662] may be illustrated by two striking instances. The first instance is contained in a synopsis of correspondence between the Reich Ministry of the Interior and its field offices from November 1942 through August 1943, concerning the legal aspects of the confiscation of property by the SS for the enlargement of the concentration camp at Auschwitz (1643-PS). This document contains the minutes of a meeting held on 17 December 1942 and 18 December 1942 concerning the confiscation of this property. These minutes indicate that a further discussion was to be held on this subject on 21 December 1942, between the representatives of the Reichsminister of the Interior and the Reichsfuehrer SS. There is also a summary of a teletype letter, 22 January 1943, from Dr. Hoffman, representing the Reichsminister of the Interior, to the Regierungspraesident in Kattowitz, a provincial administrator under the direct jurisdiction of the Reichsminister of the Interior. The summary begins significantly with the sentence: "The territory of the Auschwitz Concentration Camp will be changed into an independent estate." (1643-PS) A second illustration of Frick's personal interest in the activities of Himmler's police and SS is the fact that in 1943 Frick visited the concentration camp at Dachau? where he personally acquainted himself with the forced malaria inoculation of healthy camp inmates and with other experiments on human beings carried out by Dr. Rascher. This is borne out by the affidavit of Dr. Franz Blaha, a former inmate of the concentration camp at Dachau, who has stated that Frick made a special tour of inspection of the malaria and cooling experimental stations at Dachau (3249-PS). (6) Suppression and terrorization of opponents. Having established this powerful police organization under his command, Frick used it especially in order to suppress all internal opposition. That this would be his aim he had repeatedly announced even in the years before 1933, when he declared that he was ready to establish the power of the conspirators with terror and violence (2513-PS). As early as 1932, Frick threatened his opponents in the Reichstag with these words: "Don't worry, when we are in power we shall put all of you guys in concentration camps." (L-83) In pursuance of this long-planned campaign of political terrorism, Frick drafted and signed a series of decrees legalizing all those uses of the political police which he considered neces- [Page 663] sary in order to establish the dictatorial power of the conspirators within Germany. Five days after the accession of the conspirators to power Frick signed the first law limiting the freedom of assembly and of the press in Germany. Then, on 28 February 1933, the day after the Reichstag fire, civil rights in Germany were abolished altogether by decree signed by Frick (1390-PS). The preamble of this decree, which was published on the morning after the Reichstag fire, stated that the suspension of civil rights was decreed as a defense measure against Communist acts of violence endangering the State. At the time of publication of this decree, the Nazi government announced that a thorough investigation had proven that the Communists had set fire to the Reichstag building. It is not necessary here to go into the controversial question of who set fire to the Reichstag, but it should be stressed that the official Nazi statement that the Communists had set fire to the building, on which Frick's law was predicated, was issued without any investigation. Proof of this fact is contained in an interrogation of Goering on 13 October 1945, which contains the following passage: "Q. How could you tell your press agent, one hour after the Reichstag caught fire, that the Communists did it, without investigation? A. Did the public relations officer say that I said that? Q. Yes. He said you said it. A. It is possible when I came to the Reichstag, the Fuehrer and his gentlemen were there. I was doubtful at the time but it was their opinion that the Communists had started the fire. Q. But you were the highest law enforcement official in a certain sense. Daluege was your subordinate. Looking back at it now, and not in the excitement that was there once, wasn't it too early to say without any investigation that the Communists had started the fire? A. Yes, that is possible, but the Fuehrer wanted it this way. Q. Why did the Fuehrer want to issue at once a statement that the Communists had started the fire? A. He was convinced of it. Q. It is right when I say he was convinced without having any evidence or any proof of that at this moment? A. That is right, but you must take into account that at that time the Communist activity was extremely strong, that our new government as such was not very secure." (3593-PS) [Page 664] This Act of 28 February 1933 also constituted the basis for the establishment of the concentration camps. Frick himself established in detail the handling of so-called "protective custody' under which inmates were held in concentration camps (779-PS; 1723-PS; L-302). Frick also signed two laws designed specifically to suppress all criticism and opposition to the Government and the Nazi Party (1652-PS; 1393-PS). Frick also signed the laws which brought about the suppression of independent labor unions as a potential source of opposition inside Germany to the progress of the Nazi conspiracy (405-PS; 1861-PS; 1770-PS). Among these decrees was the law providing for the confiscation of all labor union property in favor of the German Labor Front (1403-PS). Furthermore, Frick and his subordinates took an active part in the persecution of the independent churches. An order of the Reich Minister of the Interior dated 6 November 1934 prohibited the publication of Protestant church announcements (1498-PS); likewise Frick issued a circular letter to Reich officials imposing severe restrictions on Catholic youth organizations (1482-PS). Frick further on 5 May 1938 wrote to the heads of government agencies proposing methods for invalidating the concordat between Austria and the Holy See (680 PS). His Ministry was also in correspondence with the SD from 1940-1942 concerning the confiscation of church property (R-101-A, through R-101-D).
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