The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

Shofar FTP Archive File: imt/nca/supp-b/nca-sb-02-amann.01-01


Archive/File: imt/nca/supp-b/nca-sb-02-amann.01-01
Last-Modified: 1997/12/09

Q. Isn't it a fact that whenever a newspaper was declared
politically undesirable that one or more of your
representatives participated in that decision?

A. A certain Mr. Winkler always approached me and told me,
"There is another newspaper to be bought." But I didn't want
to many newspapers. I was always afraid of the recollection
I had of Mr. Stinnes, who built up such a huge concern that
he couldn't handle it any more.

Q. This certain Mr. Winkler, to whom you refer, was one of
your employees, is that right?

A. No, he was an expert supplied by the Propaganda Ministry.

Q. He worked for you, didn't he?

A. Yes, he then worked for me. There were some confusions at
the beginning. He first bought newspapers for the Propaganda
Ministry and then I protested and said an official ministry
cannot run newspapers, it has to be run by business men and
then he bought newspapers for me.

Q. When you say, for you, you mean the Eher Publishing
Company? [The publishing house of Franz Eher Verlag was
given a lucrative monopoly on the publication of all works
of Party officials, by virtue of a special decree by Hitler.
See document 2383-PS, vol. V, pp. 9, 19.]

                                                 [Page 1525]
                                                            
A. Yes, that is right.

Q. Whatever private misgivings you may have had about
developing a large number of newspapers, nevertheless the
Eher Publishing Company did buy a large number, isn't that
correct?

A. Yes, that is right.

Q. Now, you remember our discussion yesterday regarding the
purchase by the Gau, of the "Dortmunder Generalanzeiger"?

A. As far as I can remember it must have taken place in 1933
to 1934 and at that time I had not been in the purchasing
business yet.

Q. What do you recall regarding the acquisition of the
property rights of the Ullstein Publishing Company?

A. I have a very good recollection of the case of the
Ullstein Publishing House because that was the first big
publishing house which Winkler tried to buy for the
Propaganda Ministry and I protested successfully at that
time and said, "Such a big publishing house must be bought
by a newspaper expert" and there were long negotiations with
the Ullstein Company. I finally talked it over with their
Director, Mr. Wiesner, and I had a conversation with Dr.
Franz Ullstein, and my proposal was to pay the entire
capital stock at the value of 12 million marks but Winkler
thought I was crazy. He said it was much too much and much
too generous, especially as this publishing house had a
deficit of 3.7 million marks the previous year. My opinion
was that his publishing house should not be continued at
all. It should have been liquidated, as was done with most
publishing houses. But then, I felt the only reason for the
bad state of the Ullstein business was that it didn't have
enough printing orders and, as I could supply that to a
large measure, I decided to buy it.

Q. Wasn't that newspaper purchased through the auspices of
the Deutsche Bank?

A. No.

Q. Who paid the 12 million marks for it?

A. There was quite some friction with Winkler about the
purchase. Winkler said he had the money from a so-called
"Caucio Fund," which represented money given by the Reich
Government to the Propaganda Ministry but I protested
against this procedure. I finally borrowed money from the
Bank der Deutschen Arbeit and refused to take Reich money
for it, or to use Reich money for it.

I only wanted to add that finally, on this occasion, it was
cleared up that Winkler was not buying newspapers for the
Propaganda Ministry but for the Eher Publishing House. The
negotiations,

                                                 [Page 1526]
                                                            
which lasted for many weeks, could be finished within a few
days, the moment I offered the complete capital as the
purchasing price.

Q. As a matter of fact that 12 million marks purchase price
was quite a bargain, wasn't it?

A. In the beginning it looked like a very bad bargain to me,
and Winkler, as I said before warned me against paying so
much, but I knew the only problem was to get enough orders
to keep the machines going and so I did it.

Q. Actually it was worth about 60 million marks, isn't that
true?

A. No, that is impossible. Every layman could find that out
because the purchase price was based on the last year's
balance sheet and that could be ascertained easily. The last
balance sheet for Ullstein for 1933 showed a deficit of 3.7
million marks.

Q. Did you take a look at any of the balance sheets other
than for the year preceding?

A. No, I couldn't remember because as a basis for the
purchase price only the last year was taken.

Q. Yes. It might very well be that the balance sheet for the
year 1933 may have looked bad because the newspapers in the
Ullstein chain had been prohibited from publishing for a
long period of time. Is that right?

A. I cannot remember that Ullstein papers were prohibited
from appearing. The main business was the "Berliner
Illustrierte," which was still appearing. The "Gruene Post"
had a big business. The "Koralle," a weekly, had had an
excellent sale. This weekly, for instance, had a circulation
of 80,000 which was regarded high, but the moment we took it
over we increased it sharply. [It was an excellent
educational paper and we sold a lot to teachers, and so-
forth.]

Q. Would it surprise you if I told you that these papers, to
which you have referred, were shut down for periods of weeks
at a time because they had printed something that the
Propaganda Ministry or somebody else disagreed with
politically?

A. I can only remember the "Gruene Post" was forbidden for a
short period.

Q. Yes. Now, isn't it a fact that the Ullstein interests
were Jewish?

A. Yes, that is right.

Q. Do you think that had anything to do with their sale of
their interests?

A. Yes, that had quite a lot to do with it because Hitler
had ordered, as a matter of principle, to extinguish and
remove forever all former Jewish-controlled newspapers.

                                                 [Page 1527]
                                                            
Q. Do you recall my asking you yesterday, if it was not a
fact, that one of the principle things that assisted you in
your newspaper buying activities were the anti-Semitic laws
and decrees that had been issued?

A. Those anti-Semitic laws were no help to me. I did not
keep within their frame.

Q. I invite your attention to your purchase of the Ullstein
interests.

A. I did this against the direct wish of the Fuehrer, who
had declared, "I wish this published house to be
liquidated."

Q. Wasn't it liquidated when you purchased it?

A. No, it received new life through my purchase.

Q. You don't seriously contend, do you, that the same
editorial policy was followed after your purchase as before
your purchase?

A. I have to state again I had no influence whatsoever on
the political direction and tendency of the newspapers. May
I give you one example, the case of the "Frankfurter
Zeitung"? Hitler wanted to have this newspaper destroyed,
liquidated. Finally, it was ascertained that it was not in
Jewish hands at all but was owned by the I.G. Farben
industry. I hesitated for years from buying the "Frankfurter
Zeitung" but according to the new laws, a stock company like
the I.G. Farben Company could not continue publishing. The
paper was in bad financial shape. About 500,000 marks a year
had to be given as a sinking fund by I.G. Farben to keep the
paper going.


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