The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

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Thereby, the entire German Press was subordinate to the
political aims of the Government. This was exemplified by
the timely measuring and the emphatic presentation of such
Press polemics as appeared to be most useful, as shown for
instance in the following themes: the class struggle of the
system era; the leadership principle and the authoritarian
State the party and interest politics of the system era; the
Jewish problem the conspiracy of World Jewry; the
Bolshevistic danger; the plutocratic Democracy abroad; the
race problem generally; the church; the economic misery
abroad; the foreign policy; the living space - "Lebensraum."

This description of Fritzsche establishes clearly - and in
his own words that the German Press Division was the
instrument for subordinating the entire German Press to the
political aims of the Government.

We now pass to Fritzsche's first activities on behalf of the
conspirators within the German Press Division. It is
appropriate to read again from his

                                                   [Page 83]

affidavit - paragraph 17, your document book Page 23.
Fritzsche begins by describing a conference with Goebbels in
late April or early May of 1933:

  "At this time Dr. Goebbels suggested to me, as a
  specialist on news technique, the establishment and
  direction of a section "News," within the Press Division
  of his Ministry, in order to organise fully and to
  modernise the German news agencies. In executing this
  assignment given to me by Dr. Goebbels I took for my
  field the entire news field for the German Press and the
  radio, in accordance with the directions given by the
  propaganda Ministry, at first with the exception of the
  D.N.B., German News Agency."

An obvious reason why the D.N.B. was excepted from
Fritzsche's field at this time is that the D.N.B. did not
come 4nto existence until the year 1934, as we shall see
presently. Later on, in paragraph 17 of the Fritzsche
affidavit, the Tribunal will note the tremendous funds put
at the disposal of Fritzsche 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 Mark. 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 favourable
news on the internal construction and peaceful intentions of
the National Socialist System."

About the summer of 1934, the defendant 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, ordinarily known as D.N.B. It has already been
pointed out to the Tribunal that the indictment is in error
in alleging that Fritzsche himself was Editor-in-Chief of
the D.N.B. Fritzsche held no position whatsoever with the
D.N.B. at any time. However, as head of the news section of
the German Press Division, Fritzsche's duties gave him
official jurisdiction over the D.N.B., which was the
official domestic news agency of the German Reich after
1934. In the last part of paragraph 17 of the affidavit,
Fritzsche states that he co-ordinated the work of the
various foreign news agencies "within Europe and overseas
with each other and in relationship to D.N.B."

The Wireless News Service was headed by Fritzsche from 1930
to 1937. After January, 1933, it was the official instrument
of the Nazi government in spreading news over the radio.
During the same time that Fritzsche headed it, 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 upon 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 Services, which controlled for the
government the spreading of all news by radio.

It is by now well known to the world that the Nazi
conspirators attempted to be - and often were - very adept
in psychological warfare. Before each major aggression, with
some few exceptions based on the strategy of expediency,
they initiated a Press campaign calculated to weaken their
victims, and to prepare the German people psychologically
for the impending Nazi madness. They used the Press, after
their earlier conquests, as a means for further influencing
foreign politics, and in manoeuvring for the next

By the time of the occupation of the Sudetenland on 1
October, 1938,

                                                   [Page 84]

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, then head of
the German Press Division. In paragraph 27 of the Fritzsche
affidavit, Page 26 of your document book, Fritzsche
describes this propaganda which Berndt directed. Speaking of
Berndt, Fritzsche states:

   "He exaggerated minor events very strongly, sometimes
   using old episodes as new - and there were complaints
   even 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 loss of confidence among the German people in
   the trustworthiness of their 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. In addition,
   Berndt, by his admittedly successful but still primitive
   military-like orders to the German Press, had lost the
   confidence of the German editors."

Now, what happened at that time? Fritzsche was 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 history-making 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. In
paragraph 28, of the affidavit, your document book Page 26,
Fritzsche gives his account of the propaganda action
surrounding the incorporation of Bohemia and Moravia as

   "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, did not take so long
   to plan 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 paroles of the Reich Press Chief and
   the Press conference minutes at that time show the
   wording of the corresponding instructions. Typical
   headlines of leading newspapers and the emphatic leading
   articles of the German daily Press at that time were as
   follows: (1) the terrorising 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 kidnapping, deporting
   and persecuting of Slovakian minorities by the Czechs;
   the Czechs must get out of Slovakia; (4) secret meetings
   of Red functionaries in Prague. Some few days before the
   visit to Hacha, I received the instruction to publish in
   the Press very emphatically the incoming news on the
   unrest in Czechoslovakia. Such information came only in
   part from the German News Agency, D.N.B. 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 Volkischer Beobachter which, as I learned
   later on, received its information from the S.S.
   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
   until I had seen it. I wanted to avoid a repetition of
   the very annoying results
                                                   [Page 85]
   of the Sudeten action propaganda, and I did not want to
   suffer a loss of prestige caused by false news. Thus,
   all news checked by me was, though admittedly full of
   tendency, not invented news. After the visit of Hacha in
   Berlin and 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 given
   justification by the indication that the declaration of
   independence of Slovakia demanded interference, and that
   Hacha by signing had avoided a war, and had reinstated a
   thousand-year union between Bohemia and the Reich."

The propaganda campaign of the Press preceding the invasion
of Poland on 1 of September, 1939, and thus just preceding
the precipitation of World War II, bears again the handiwork
of Fritzsche and his German Press Division. In paragraph 30
of Fritzsche's affidavit, document book Page 27, Fritzsche
speaks of the conspirators' treatment of this episode as

   "Very complicated and changing was the Press and
   propaganda treatment in the case of Poland. Under the
   influence of the German-Polish agreement, the German
   Press had, for many years, been generally forbidden to
   publish anything on the situation of the German minority
   in Poland. This remained the case too when, in the
   Spring of 1939, the German Press was asked to become
   somewhat more active about 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 the
   result was an immediate and noticeable sharpening of the
   situation, for all the larger German newspapers had for
   some time quite an abundance of material on complaints
   of the Germans in Poland, without the editors having a
   chance to use it. The German papers, from the time of
   the minority discussion at Geneva, still had
   correspondents or free collaborators in Kattowitz,
   Bromberg, Posen, Thorn, etc. Their material now came
   forth with a rush. Concerning this, the leading German
   newspapers, as the result of directions given out in the
   so-called "daily parole," brought out the following
   headlines with great emphasis: (1) cruelty and terror
   against Germans, and their extermination in Poland; (2)
   forced labour 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
   Poles. The Polish Press replied particularly sharply."

The Press campaign preceding the invasion of Yugoslavia
followed the conventional pattern. You will find the
customary defamations, the lies, the incitement and the
threats and the usual attempts to divide and to weaken the
victim. Paragraph 32 of the Fritzsche affidavit, your
document book Page 28, outlines this propaganda action as

   "During the period immediately preceding the invasion of
   Yugoslavia, on 16 of April 1941, the German Press
   emphasised 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; 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-Serbian feeling in
   Croatia; (5) the chaotic economic and social conditions
   in Yugoslavia."

                                                   [Page 86]

Since Germany had a non-aggression pact with the Soviet
Union and because these conspirators wanted the advantage of
surprise, there was no special propaganda campaign
immediately preceding the attack on the USSR. Fritzsche in
paragraph 33 of his affidavit discusses what line the
propaganda should take in order to justify this aggressive
war to the German people.

   "During the night of 21-22 June 1941, Ribbentrop called
   me to 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 defence of the Fatherland, a
   war which was forced upon us through the immediate
   danger of an attack by 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, and I have, myself, in my regular
   broadcasts, given this presentation of the cause of the

Fritzsche, throughout his affidavit, constantly refers to
his technical and expert assistance to the colossal
apparatus of the Propaganda Ministry. In 1939 he apparently
became dissatisfied with the efficiency of the existing
facilities of the German Press Division in furnishing grist
for the propaganda mill, and for its intrigues. He
established a new instrument for improving the effectiveness
of Nazi propaganda. In paragraph 19 of his affidavit, Page
24 of your document book, Fritzsche describes this new
propaganda instrument as follows:

   "About the summer of 1939 I established within the
   German Press Division a section called 'Speed-Service.'"
   And then further on "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, data
   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 al 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."

Throughout the entire period preceding and including the
launching of aggressive war, Fritzsche made regular radio
broadcasts to the German people under the following titles:
"Political Newspaper Review," "Political and Radio Show,"
and later "Hans Fritzsche Speaks." His broadcasts naturally
reflected the polemics and the control of his Ministry and
thus of the Common Plan or Conspiracy.

We of the prosecution contend that Fritzsche, one of the
most eminent of Goebbels' propaganda team, helped
substantially to bathe the world in the blood bath of
aggressive war.

With the Tribunal's consent I will now pass to proof bearing
on Fritzsche's incitement to atrocities, and his
encouragement of a ruthless occupation policy. The results
of propaganda as a weapon of the Nazi conspirators reach
into every aspect of this conspiracy, including the abnormal
and inhuman conduct involved in the atrocities, and the
ruthless exploitation of occupied countries. Most of the
ordinary members of the German nation would never have
participated in or tolerated the atrocities committed
throughout Europe, had they not been conditioned and goaded
to barbarous convictions and misconceptions by the constant
grinding of the Nazi propaganda machine. Indeed, the

                                                   [Page 87]

propagandists who tent themselves to this evil mission of
instigation and incitement are more guilty than the
credulous and callous minions who headed the firing squads,
or operated the gas chambers, of which we have heard so much
in these proceedings. For the very credulity and callousness
of those minions was in large part due to the constant and
evil propaganda of Fritzsche and his official associates.

With respect to Jews, the Department of Propaganda within
the Propaganda Ministry had a special branch for the
"Enlightenment of the German people and of the world as to
the Jewish question, fighting with propagandistic weapons
against enemies of the State and hostile ideologies." This
quotation is taken from a book written in 1940 by
Ministerial Director Muller, entitled "The Propaganda
Ministry." It is found in Document 2434-A-PS, your document
book, Page 10, offered in evidence as Exhibit USA 722. It is
another excerpt from Ministerial Director Muller's book and
I merely ask that you take judicial notice of it for that
one sentence that I have read.

Fritzsche took a particularly active part in this
"enlightenment" of the Jewish question, in his radio
broadcasts. These broadcasts literally teemed with
provocative libels, the only logical result of which was to
inflame Germany to further atrocities against the helpless
Jews who came within her physical power. Document 3064-PS
contains a number of complete broadcasts by Fritzsche, which
were monitored by the British Broadcasting Corporation and
translated by BBC officials. For the convenience of the
Tribunal I have had those excerpts upon which the
prosecution relies to show illustrative types of Fritzsche's
broadcasts, mimeographed and made into one document, which I
offer into evidence as Exhibit USA 723. Even the defendant
Streicher, the master Jew-baiter of all time, could scarcely
outdo Fritzsche in some of his slanders against the Jews.
All the excerpts in document 3064-PS are from speeches of
Fritzsche given on the radio between 1941 and 1945, which we
have already proved to have been a period of intensified
anti-Jewish measures. With the permission of the Tribunal, I
would like to read some of these excerpts:

Page 14 of our document book, Item 1. From a broadcast of 18
December 1941: It is found on Page 2122 of the translations
from BBC:

   "The fate of Jewry in Europe has turned out to be as
   unpleasant as the Fuehrer predicted it would be in the
   event of a European war. After the extension of the war
   instigated by Jews, this unpleasant fate may also spread
   to the New World, for you can hardly assume that the
   nations of this New World will pardon the Jews for
   causing this misery when the nations of the Old World
   did not do so."

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