The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

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I shall not dwell further on publishing, and I should like
now to say a few words about the Press. It is a matter of
common knowledge that all the newspapers of the occupied
countries were controlled by the Germans, and that most of
them had been founded at the instigation of the Germans by
persons who

                                                   [Page 69]
were in their pay. As these facts are well known, I shall
refrain from submitting documents on this point, and shall
limit myself to the following remarks:

Firstly, restrictive measures -- censorship. Although all
these newspapers were practically "their" papers the Nazis
nevertheless submitted them to a very strict censorship. I
shall submit, as evidence of this Exhibit RF 1108, which is
a report of a Press conference held on 8th January, 1943, in
the course of which are defined the new censorship orders
and regime. I point out to the Tribunal that this document
and others of the same nature, found in the archives of the
French Office of Information, which was under German
control, have been deposited either in the Bibliotheque
Nationale in Paris or in the Documentation Library of the
War Museum. These documents have been selected by us from
the reports, either in the form of photostats or original
documents from the French collection.

I should like simply to point out, by means of this
document, that the Germans were concerned with the
establishment of a more liberal regime of censorship. On
reading the document, however, it becomes evident that
almost all news items and articles were subject to
censorship, with the exception of serial stories, reviews of
films and plays, items of scientific or university news,
radio programmes and a certain number of completely trivial

The second aspect of the German interference, the positive
aspect, appears in the directives given to the Press, and
these directives were given by means of Press conferences
such as that which I have just described.

I shall submit to the Tribunal, without reading them, a
certain number of documents which will be Exhibits RF 1109
to 1120. I produce these documents in evidence not for the
sake of their contents -- which are simply a repetition of
German propaganda -- but because the mere fact of their
existence is evidence of the continued pressure exerted on
the press.

I should like to say, however, how this was done. The Press
conferences were held either in the Propaganda Staffel,
Avenue des Champs-Elysees, or at the German Embassy. The
representatives of the Press were summoned by the competent
Nazi officials, who issued directives. After the conference,
the substance of these directives was embodied in a dispatch
from the French Office of Information. The Tribunal knows
that agencies sent dispatches to the papers for their
information. When a dispatch had been drawn up by the
office, it was submitted for checking to the German Bureau,
which affixed a seal to it. After that it could be
distributed to the papers.

I stated that I would not read anything on these Press
conferences or on the agency's minutes and notes, which form
Exhibits RF 1109 to 1120.

I should like to read only a very brief document, which I
submit as Exhibit RF 1121, the minutes of a Press conference
held on 16th April, 1943, in the Propaganda Abteilung:

     "At the end of the conference the German commentator
     declared that on Tuesday, 20 April, -- the Fuehrer's
     birthday -- the newspapers would consist of four pages
     instead of two, and on Wednesday, 21st April, they
     would consist of two pages instead of four. He asked
     the reporters present to stress the European
     orientation of the Fuehrer's political personality and
     to treat Franco-German relations very generally. `A
     great deal of tact and reserve are necessary, however,
     in order not to give the newspapers the appearance of
     being no longer French, and in this way shocking public
I am not forgetting the fact that we are participating in a
criminal trial and that we must select, from the extremely
varied facts which we have to present, those elements
characteristic of the intention and realisation of an act
condemned by penal law. In consideration of this, I quote
Exhibit RF 1124, which I am also presenting and which is an
attempt to promote, by means of

                                                   [Page 70]
Press and propaganda, the enlistment of Frenchmen in the
enemy army. Article 65 of the French penal code covers this
crime and I recall that in legal theory proceedings can be
taken even against enemy nationals for crimes of this kind.
I read this document, which is extremely short:

     "At the end of the military conference, Dr. Eich
     announced that the O.F.I. would broadcast this
     afternoon an article devoted to the necessity of the
     inclusion of French sailors in the Kriegsmarine. He
     asked the newspapers to add comments to this text in
     which, for instance, the following theme might be
     treated: 'To be a sailor is to have a profession.'
     The article broadcast by the O.F.I. must appear to-
     morrow (a four-page day) on the first page or must, at
     least, begin on the first page."
Finally, I must point out that, apart from the Press
conference proper, there were so-called cultural conferences
at which the German authorities gave their orders on all
subjects. I should like to read a few very brief extracts
from one of these cultural conferences in order to indicate
the general oppression resulting from the interference of
the Germans in every field without exception. I present
these documents as Exhibits RF 1125 and 1126, and I read two
sentences on Page 1 of 1125, which is a report of the
minutes of the conference held on 22nd April:

     "Reproductions of paintings by Picasso have recently
     been made in spite of the directives to the contrary
     previously given.
     Theatre: Certain Press publications have seen fit to
     praise the operetta `Don Philippe' to an extent belied
     by the reception given to this work by the general
     public. This goes beyond the bounds of what is
I will read a little further. The top of Page 2:

     "The Press has lent an obviously exaggerated backing to
     jazz concerts, particularly that of Fred Jumbo. This
     shows a lack of tact which is all the more regrettable
     in that a very minor place has been accorded, in
     general, to concerts of real value."
Finally, at the end of this document, there is a general
note which is interesting:

     "The nationality of persons of standing in the world of
     science, art, etc., whose names occur in articles
     appearing in the Press, is to be given as that of the
     Greater German Reich in the case of those born in any
     of the countries which have been restored to the
     Greater German Reich or incorporated into it."
We thus see that even in what might seem to us the most
fanciful connections, we can find evidence of the will to
enforce Germanisation, and of the criminal will to strip men
of the nationality which they have the right to retain.

I shall now say a few words about the cinema. To do them
justice, the Germans have never failed to understand the
exceptional importance of the cinema as a means of
propaganda. In France they devoted to this subject seven
ordinances or decrees.

You must know that, in the first place, the Germans
prohibited the showing of films of which they disapproved.

THE PRESIDENT: M. Faure, do you not you think that evidence
that the Germans used the cinema as a method of propaganda
is really somewhat cumulative? You have shown already that
they forbade a great number of books which they considered
hostile to their ideas, and that they controlled the Press,
and is it not almost cumulative and a matter of detail that
they also controlled the cinema?

Unless there is some evidence on behalf of the defendants
contradicting the evidence which you have given, I think the
Tribunal will be satisfied that the Germans did adopt all
these methods of propaganda.

                                                   [Page 71]
M. FAURE: When a brief is presented, it sometimes does
produce the impression that the arguments contained in it
are cumulative, although that may not have been so apparent
when the work of preparation was going on.

I shall not speak, then, on the subject of the cinema. I
wish simply to point something out to the Tribunal. We
thought that with regard to these questions of propaganda
with which we are dealing in the abstract it would, perhaps,
be as well to provide concrete illustrations of a few of the
theses of that propaganda. To this end we propose presently,
with the permission of the Tribunal, to submit very briefly
films which propagate a few of these theses. I wish to point
out that these films are taken from archives which we found.
On the other hand, we intend to present, for one minute
each, two pictures taken from a German propaganda film
produced by a Frenchman at the instigation and with the
financial support of the German Office.

As we are now going to present this picture, with the
permission of the Tribunal, I consider it indispensable to
present just one document, which becomes Exhibit RF 1141,
since it is the interrogation of the producer of the film,
and establishes the fact that this film was made by order of
the Germans and paid for by them. I therefore present in
evidence this document, which is necessary for the
presentation which we are about to make. Since it seems to
me that sufficient evidence has already been advanced
concerning the various methods of propaganda, I shall apply
the same line of reasoning to the part anticipated for
broadcasting. Here I merely wish to present a document which
goes beyond the field of pure propaganda. This is Exhibit RF 1146.

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