Archive/File: imt/nca/nca-06/nca-06-3469-ps-01 Last-Modified: 1997/01/17 Nazi Conspiracy and Aggression, Volume 6 [Page 174] TRANSLATION OF DOCUMENT 3469-PS AFFIDAVIT OF HANS FRITZSCHE Nurnberg, 7 January 1946 I, Hans Fritzsche, at present a defendant before International Military Tribunal, herewith declare and state the following after having consulted my defense lawyer: 1. My name is Hans Fritzsche. I was born on 21 April 1900, at Bochum, Westphalia. I attended the classical high school [Humanistisches Gymnasium] in Halle/Saale, Breslau, and Leipzig. Afterwards, I studied history, philosophy, and economics. 2. I started my practical work in 1923 as editor of the Prussian Yearbooks (Economic-Political Review) [Preussische Jahrbuecher] [Wirtschaftspolitische Rundschau]. I held this position for about one year. The publisher of this periodical was Dr. Walther Schotte. 3. I did not belong to any party, after I had resigned in 1923 from the German National Peoples Party [Deutschnationale Volkspartei] in which I had been a member for hardly a half year. In the years 1923-1924, that means before I joined the Telegraph Union International News Agency Company [Telegrafen-Union Internationalen Nachrichten G.m.b.H.], I did not write for other papers or periodicals. My way from the so-called Hugenberg press to the Propaganda Ministry was as follows: 4. To my knowledge, the Alfred Hugenberg Enterprises consisted mainly of the following enterprises or groups of enterprises: Universal Film Corporation [Universum Film Aktiengesellschaft (UFA) ]; Vera Publishing House Incorporated [Vera Verlagsanstalt GmbH]; Deulig Film Corporation [Deulig-Film A.-G.]; Telegraph-Union International News Incorporated [Telegraphen-Union Internationale Nachrichten GmbH]; (abbreviated "T.U." and commonly called the Telegraph Union; after the Wolff Telegraph Agency, the "T.U." was the most important news agency in Germany); The Foreign Company [Auslands-GmbH]; Foreign Advertising Company [Auslands-Anzeigen-GmbH]; Ala- Haasenstein & Vogler Company [ Ala-Haasenstein & Vogler GmbH] Darlehens Mutual Newspaper Bank [Zeitungsbank Mutuum Darlehens A-G] (for investment in and credit for newspapers; this bank also exercised control over a great number of daily newspapers); Provincial Press Service [Wirtschaftsstelle der Provinzpresse] (Wipro) (For producing printed correspondence and ready-made printed mats); West End Publishing Company [Westend-Verlag GmbH]; German Picture Company [Deutsche Lichtbildgesellschaft]. The Hugenberg concern was by far [Page 175] the largest and most influential press concern in Germany. Alfred Hugenberg was a member of the German National Assembly and of the Reichstag from 1920 until after the seizure of power in 1933. He was chairman of the executive committee of the German National Peoples Party [Deutschnationale Volkspartei] from 1928 until its dissolution in 1933. He became Reich Minister of Economics in the Papen government in 1932. He remained a member of the Hitler cabinet from 30 January 1933 up to the complete seizure of power in March 1933. 5. From 1924 until 1932 I was an editor with the Telegraph Union. The Telegraph Union belonged to and was controlled by the Alfred Hugenberg Enterprises. I worked there as chief editor of foreign letters, a service of foreign articles for German newspapers. Besides that, I wrote leading articles almost daily for several domestic services of the same publishing concern mostly dealing with the foreign political questions, frequently writing against the Treaty of Versailles. This treaty at this time was being discussed constantly in Geneva and other cities. The newspapers and periodicals which printed my articles belonged to all parties reaching from the Centrum [Zentrum] and to the National Socialist Party. Mostly, however, they belonged to the so-called "Generalanzeigertyp", a middleclass, national and moderate group of newspapers represented in almost all greater German provincial cities. 6. In the late summer of 1932, probably in August, the director of the Telegraph Union, Otto Mejer (Korvetten Kapitan a.D.), asked me whether I would like to take over the management of the radio news service of the so-called Wireless Service. Mejer had been asked by a member of the Papen government -- whose name I do not know -- to release me for this purpose, because the incumbent editor and chief, Dr. Josef Raeuscher, was politically unbearable. After a first examination I rejected this offer. Subsequently, Dr. Raeuscher, whom I had known for quite some time and who was already my predecessor as editor and chief for the foreign letters with the Telegraph Union, paid me a visit. He advised me to accept the assignment and promised to introduce me for some few months into a field which was entirely new to me. For my part, he asked me to help him to get a position as a German correspondent abroad. Now I accepted the offer, dissolved the contract with TU, with the condition that I could return after one year. I signed a new contract with the Reich Radio Corporation which managed the Wireless Service (the Reich Radio Corporation was owned by the Reich and was managed under the [Page176] supervision of a committee consisting of all parties). Dr. Raeuscher signed a contract as Paris correspondent with the democratic Berliner-Tageblatt which was owned by the Jewish publishing house Mosse. 7. In September 1932 I began to make broadcasts to the German people under the program called "Political Newspaper Review" over the following stations: Deutschland Sender, Stuttgart, Koenigsberg, Breslau, Koeln. My broadcasts were quotations of the opinions of the newspapers of all parties on current events. While I worked for the Wireless Service, I wrote only infrequently articles for the Telegraph Union. 8. In September 1932, assisted in a friendly way by Dr. Raeuscher, I took over my new office. I did not make a single change in the editor's staff or the other kind of personnel. Among the entire personnel of about 30 persons there were about five Jews and Jewesses. 9. I was acquainted with Dr. Goebbels since 1928. Apparently he had taken a liking to me, besides the fact that in my press activities I had always treated the National Socialists in a friendly way until 1931. Already before 1933, Goebbels, who was the editor of the "Attack" [Angriff], a Nazi newspaper, had frequently made flattering remarks about the form and content of my work, which I did as contributor of many "national" newspapers and periodicals, among which were also reactionary papers and periodicals. 10. On the evening of 30 January 1933, the radio chief Dressler-Andrees and his collaborator Sadila-Mantau approached me upon request of the National Socialists, the new government party. They declared that their superior, the propaganda chief of the party, Dr. Goebbels, was still angry at me on account of an essay under the title of "Potempa". In this article I had taken publicly a sharp position against Hitler, after Hitler had sent a telegram of sympathy to several Nazis sentenced on account of political murder. They said Goebbels was also still angry on account of my position against the Nazis concerning an organizational question, the explanation of which here would lead too far. They added that Dr. Goebbels respected my public success since the previous autumn on the radio, and that he would like to keep me if I would comply with several conditions. 11. I should dismiss immediately without notice the Jews and also dismiss the remaining employees by 1 April 1933 in order to replace all of them by party members. I refused the first by re- [Page 177] ferring to contracts and to the fact that except for the Jewish editor Frank, all Jews were only technical auxiliary employees. Moreover, that personnel contracts were not signed by me but by the personnel division of the Reich Radio Corporation which was superior to me. As a matter of fact I succeeded in that not a single Jew was given notice. Nevertheless, during the following three months they were looking for other positions because the demand of the party was not kept a secret. A Jewish secretary went to London, three of them found employment with the publishing house Mosse, and Frank, through Raeuscher's help, found work in Paris. All of them got their salaries paid in full; several of them, for instance the wife of Mr. Frank, thanked me for the protection against this dismissal without notice. The dismissal of the other employees I had likewise refused. However, I agreed to the hiring of one National Socialist. This was Sadila-Mantau. After this I was left undisturbed for about two months with the exception of four to five assault-like [ueberfallartigen] visits by SA Troops. They always asked to give news through the radio which I prevented with some trouble. From 13 January 1933 until April 1933 I gave regularly radio broadcasts, at least once weekly. In my radio speeches, I supported the coalition government, at this time consisting of German Nationalists and National Socialists.
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