The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

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This document shows the close collaboration that existed between the
military administration and the administration of foreign affairs, a
collaboration which, as I have already said on several occasions, is
one of the determining elements for establishing responsibility in
this trial, a collaboration of which I shall later on give examples
of a criminal character.

                                                           [Page 60]

I now wish to mention to the Tribunal that I eliminate the
production of the next document, which would have been Exhibit RF
1062. Although I am personally certain of the value of this
document, which comes from a French judicial file, I have not the
original German text. This being so, the translation might create
difficulties. and it is naturally essential that each document
produced should present incontestable guarantees. I shall therefore
pass directly to the last document, which I wish to put in and which
I submit as Exhibit RF 1063. This is a detail -- if I may call it
such -- concerning this problem of the collaboration of the German
administrations, but sometimes formal documents concerning details
may present some interest. It is a note taken from the German
archives in Paris, a note dated 5th November, 1943, which gives the
distribution of the numbering of the files in the German Embassy. I
shall read only the first three lines of this note: "In accordance
with the method adopted by the military administration in France the
files are divided into ten chief groups." There follows the
enumeration of these methods and groups used for the classification
of the files. I simply wish to point out that under their system of
close collaboration the German Embassy, a Civil Service department
of the Foreign Office, and the Military Command, had adopted filing
systems under which all records and all files could be kept in the
same way.

I have now concluded my second section, which was devoted to the
general examination of this seizure of sovereignty in the occupied
territories, and I should like to point out that these files have
been established with the collaboration of my assistant, M.
Monneray, a collaboration which also included the whole brief which
1 present to the Tribunal.

I shall now ask the Tribunal to take the files relative to the third
section, devoted to the ideological Germanisation, and to

When I had occasion to speak to the Tribunal about forced labour and
economic pillage, I said that the Germans had taken all available
manpower, goods and raw materials from the occupied countries. They
drained these countries of their reserves. The Germans acted in
exactly the same manner with regard to the intellectual and moral
resources. They wished to seize and eliminate the spiritual
reserves. This expression "spiritual reserves," which is extremely
significant, was not invented by the prosecution. I have borrowed it
from the Germans themselves. I have quoted to the Tribunal another
extract from a work, which document was submitted as Exhibit RF 5 of
the French documentation. This was a book published in Berlin by the
Nazi Party. The author was Dr. Friederich Didier. This work has a
preface by the defendant Sauckel and is entitled "Working for
Europe." The quotation which I would like to make appears in the
document book as Exhibit RF 1100, which is simply the order of
sequence, as the book itself has already been presented and
submitted. The book includes a chapter entitled '1deological
Guidance and Social Assistance." The author is concerned with the
ideological guidance of the foreign workers who in their millions
were taken away to the Reich by force. This preoccupation with the
ideological guidance of such an important element of the population
of the occupied countries is sufficiently remarkable in itself; is, furthermore, quite evident that this preoccupation is
general with regard to all the inhabitants of the occupied
countries, and the author in this case has simply confined himself
to his subject. I have chosen this quotation to begin my section
because its wording seemed to me to be particularly helpful in
enabling us to get an idea of the German plans in regard to

Quotation, Page 69 of the book that has been put in evidence, reads:

     "The method of ideological guidance of the foreign worker is
     not so simple as that used in regard to his German comrade. The
     elimination, for instance, of the spiritual reserves of the
     foreign workers is of the

     greatest importance. The foreigner must accustom himself to a
     working atmosphere which is unknown to him. His ideology must
     be expurgated. The conceptions of the nationals of ex-enemy
     States must be actively combated as the manifestation of
     foreign conceptions."

In the occupied countries the Germans undertook to eliminate the
spiritual reserves and to expurgate the ideology of each man in
order to substitute for them the Nazi conception. Such was the
object of the propaganda. This propaganda had already been
introduced in Germany and it was carried on there unceasingly. We
have seen from the article just quoted that there was also a
preoccupation with the ideological guidance of the German worker,
although the problem was considered there to be more simple. When we
speak to-day of Nazi propaganda we are often tempted to
underestimate the importance of this propaganda. There are grounds
for underestimating it, but they are false grounds. On the one hand,
when we consider the works and the theses of propaganda, we are
often struck by their crudeness, their obviously mendacious
character, their intellectual or artistic poverty. But we must not
forget that the Nazi propaganda utilised all means, 'the crudest as
well as the more subtle and skilful methods. From another point of
view the crudest affirmations are those that carry most weight with
some simple minds.

Finally, we must not forget that if the Germans had won the war
these writings, these films which we find ridiculous, would have
constituted in the future our chief and very soon our sole spiritual

Another remark that is often heard is that German propaganda
achieved only very poor results. Indeed, these results are quite
insignificant, especially if one takes into account the means which
this propaganda had at its disposal. The enslaved peoples did not
listen to the news and to the exhortations of the Germans. They
threw themselves into the resistance. But here again we must
consider that the war continued, that the broadcasts from the
countries which had remained free gave out magnificent
counter-propaganda, and that finally the Germans after a time
suffered military reverses.

If events had been different, perhaps this propaganda would, in the
long run, have brought about an acquiescence, on the part of the
more important elements of the populations, which would have been
worse than the oppression itself. It is fortunate that only a very
small minority in the different countries were corrupted by the Nazi
propaganda, but however small this minority may have been it is for
us a cause for sadness and of just complaint.

The slogans of Nazi propaganda appear to us less childish and less
ridiculous when we consider the few wretches who, influenced by it,
enrolled in a legion or in the Waffen S.S. to fight against their
countries and against humanity. By their death in this dishonourable
combat, or after their condemnation, some of these men have expiated
their crimes. But Nazi propaganda is responsible for the death of
each one of them and for each one of these crimes.

Finally, we are not sure that we know to-day exactly the real effect
of Nazi propaganda. We are not sure that we are able to measure all
the harm which it has done to us. The nations count their visible
wounds, but propaganda is a poison which dissolves in the mental
organism and leaves traces that cannot be discerned. There are still
men in the world who, because of the propaganda to which they have
been subjected, believe, perhaps obscurely, that they have the right
to despise or to eliminate another man because he is a Jew or
because he is a Communist. The men who believe this still remain
accomplices and, at the same time, are victims of Nazism.

One of my colleagues has shown that while the physical health of the
occupied peoples was severely undermined, their moral health appears
more robust, but it must still be anxiously watched for some time to

                                                           [Page 62]

For these reasons, the Frencii prosecution has considered that there
was room in this accusation for the section on spiritual
Germanisation and propaganda. The propaganda is an onslaught which
is, in itself, criminal. It is an onslaught against the spiritual
condition, according to the definition of M. de Menthon, but it is
also a means and an aggravation of the whole of the criminal methods
of the Nazis, since it prepared their success and since it was to
maintain their success. It was considered by the Germans themselves,
as numerous quotations show, as one of the most reliable weapons of
total war. It is more particularly a means and an aspect of the
Germanisation which we are studying at this moment.

I must add that German propaganda has been constantly developed for
many years and over considerable areas. It assumed very diverse
forms. We have therefore only to define some of its principal
features and to quote merely a few characteristic documents, chiefly
from the point of view of the responsibility of certain persons or
of certain organisations.

Over a long period of time the Reich had developed official
propaganda services in a ministerial department created as early as
1933 under the name of Ministry of Popular Enlightenment and
Propaganda, with Gobbels at the head and the defendant Friusche
performing important functions. But this Ministry and its department
were not the only ones responsible for questions of propaganda. We
shall show that the responsibility of the Minister and of the
Department of Foreign Affairs is equally involved. We shall likewise
show that the Party took an active part in propaganda.

Finally, I mention here that in the occupied countries the Military
Commands constituted organs of propaganda and were very active. This
fact must be added to all those which show that the German Military
Command exercised powers wholly different from what are normally
considered to be military powers. By this abnormal extension of
their activities, apart from the crimes committed within the
framework of their direct competence, the Military Chiefs and the
High Command have furnished justification for the allegation of
joint responsibility.

The German propaganda always presents two complementary aspects, a
negative aspect and a positive aspect: a negative or, in a sense, a
destructive aspect, that of forbidding or. of limiting certain
liberties, certain intellectual possibilities which existed before;
a positive aspect, that of creating documents or instruments of
propaganda, of spreading this propaganda, of imposing it on the
eyes, on the ears, and on the mind.

An authority has already said that there are two different voices:
the voice that refuses truth and the voice that tells lies. This
duality of restrictive propaganda and of constructive propaganda
exists in the different realms of the expression of thought.

I shall mention now, in my first paragraph, the measures taken by
the Germans as regards meetings and associations. The German
authorities have always taken measures to suppress the right of
assembly and association in the occupied countries. We are here
concerned with the question both of political rights and of thought.
In France, a decree of 21st August, 1940, which appeared in the
Official Gazette of German Decrees of 16th September, 1940, forbade
any meeting or association without the authorisation of the German
military administration.

It must not be thought that the Germans utilised their powers in
this matter only in regard to associations and groups which were
hostile to them, or even those whose object was political. They were
anxious to avoid any spreading of an intellectual or moral influence
which would not be directly subordinated to them. In this connection
1 present to the Tribunal, merely by way of example, a document
which becomes Exhibit RF 1101. It is a letter from the MilitAr
befelilshaber dated 13th December, 1941, addressed to the General

                                                           [Page 63]

of the French Government and it deals with the Youth groups. Even
with regard to associations or groups which should have a general
public character, the German authorities gave their authorisation
only on condition that they would be able to exercise not only their
control over these organisations, but a real influence by means of

I shall read the first paragraph:

     "The General Secretariat of Youth has notified us, in its
     communication of 11th November, 1941, of its intention to
     organise in occupied territory social youth centres whose aim
     shall be to give to youth a civic education and to safeguard it
     from the moral degeneracy which threatens it. The creation of
     these social youth centres, as well as their organisation, must
     be authorised by the Commander-in-Chief of the Military Forces
     in France. Before being able to make a final decision as to the
     creation of these social centres, it appears indispensable that
     greater details should be furnished, particularly as regards
     the representatives of these centres in the various communes,
     the points of view which will prevail when selecting their
     leaders, the circles where this youth will be specially
     recruited, and what kind of programmes will be provided for the
     teaching and education of these young people."

I shall now produce Exhibit RF 1102. This document is a note dealing
with ...

THE PRESIDENT (interposing): M. Faure, could you tell us how long
you think you will be on this subject of propaganda?

M. FAURE: I expect to speak for about two hours, or two and a half

THE PRESIDENT: What is the programme after you have done with this
subject of propaganda?

M. FAURE: Mr. President, as I indicated at the beginning of my
presentation, it includes four sections. The propaganda section,
about which I am speaking now, constitutes the third section. The
fourth section is devoted to the administrative organisation of the
criminal action. It corresponds, more exactly, to the second heading
under Count 4 of the Indictment relative to the persecution of the
Jews in the occupied countries of the West.

After this section I shall have completed my presentation.

Does the Tribunal likewise wish me to indicate what will follow in
the programme of the French prosecution?

THE PRESIDENT: Yes, we would like to know.

M. FAURE: M. Mounier will deal with the analytical brief, and the
recapitulation of the individual accusations of the prosecution.
Then I think M. Gerthoffer is to speak rather briefly about the
pillage of art treasures which has not been dealt with; it appears
now that it would be suitable to deal with it within the framework
of the presentation.

Mr. President, I should like to ask the Tribunal if it is convenient
for it to see to-morrow, in the course of my propaganda section, a
few projections on the screen of documents which relate to this

THE PRESIDENT: Yes, I think so. Certainly.

DR. BABEL (counsel for S.S. and S.D.): Regarding the questions which
I asked the witness, there is something I did not understand. I did
not want, in any case, to speak about the Resistance, or about its
methods, which were animated by patriotism. I did not want to judge
or even think anything derogatory about it. I wanted only to prove
that deeds which are said to have been committed by the German
troops were, in many cases, caused by the attitude of the civilian
population, and that actions against Germans which were contrary to
International Law have not been judged in the same way as lapses
laid to the charge of members of the German Welirmacht. I am of the
opinion that the Indictment of the Organisations ...

                                                           [Page 64]

THE PRESIDENT (interposing): Dr. Babel, will you forgive me for a
moment. You concluded your cross-examination some time ago, and the
Tribunal does not ...

DR. BABEL (interposing): Yes, Mr. President, but I thought that by
this statement I could clarify it for the Tribunal.

THE PRESIDENT: We do not need any clarification at all. We quite
understand the point of your cross-examination and we shall hear you
when the time comes, very fully in all probability, in support of
the arguments which you desire to present.

DR. BABEL: I did so because I thought that you ...

THE PRESIDENT: You must give the Tribunal credit for understanding
your cross-examination. We really cannot continue to have
interruptions of this sort. We have some 20 defendants and some 20
counsels, and if they are all going to get up in the way that you do
and make protests, we shall never get to the end of this trial.

(The Tribunal adjourned until 5th February, 1946, at 10.00 hours.)

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