The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

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Last-Modified: 2000/01/27

DR. LATERNSER: Yes, indeed. In the course of his testimony
today the

                                                  [Page 297]

witness mentioned the fact that he had in his possession
documentary evidence of murders in Poland and Russia. I
wanted to ask him who had prepared these reports and, in
particular, whether he is acquainted with a very thorough
and scientifically prepared report made by Blaskowitz,
commander in Poland, and intended for transmission to his
superiors. That would be an extremely important point.
Colonel General Blaskowitz is a member of the group which I
represent. From the facts to be shown, it is clear that the
members of this group have always taken a stand against
cruelty, if such cases were reported to them through
official channels. I must therefore establish whether these
reports, the object of which was to prevent atrocities, are
to be ascribed to the co-operation of generals belonging to
the indicted group.

MR. JUSTICE JACKSON: It seems tome, if I may suggest it,
your Honours, that counsel is under the apprehension that he
has here to deal with individual generals. We are dealing
only with the group. If what counsel says about General
Blaskowitz is true, that is a defence for him, and he is
right to say that General Blaskowitz did defy this Nazi
conspiracy. And if that fact is ever verified, he certainly
should not be subject to penalties for the acts which he
stood up against.

It seems to me that we are going into individual defences
here under a mis-apprehension that this is the occasion to
try each and every one of the generals. We make no charge
against them that they either did or did not have a putsch
or a Fritsch affair. The Fritsch affair is only referred to
here as fixing the time when the defendant Schacht became
convinced that aggressive warfare was the purpose of the
Nazi regime. The putsch is only introduced because, in his
defence, Schacht says he tried to induce a putsch. It enters
not at all into the case against the General Staff. Most of
the General Staff who took any part in the putsch were
hanged, and I cannot see how it could be any defence to
those who remained and are under trial that a putsch was or
was not conducted. It seems that we are off the main track.

DR. LATERNSER: Mr. President, I would like to define my
position with regard to this point. Unless I am permitted to
ask questions about the attitude of the members of this
group and in respect to such an important point, from which
it is clear that they combated atrocities, it is impossible
for me to make clear to the Tribunal the attitude typical of
the high military leaders. It is absolutely necessary for me
to follow up such points, especially since I have no other
evidence at my disposal; for I cannot consider a group
criminal unless - for instance - the majority of its members
actually committed crimes. I must be in a position to ask in
this case what position Colonel General Blaskowitz took in
regard to the murders which took place in Poland.

THE PRESIDENT: The Tribunal will adjourn to consider the

(A recess was taken.)

THE PRESIDENT: Dr. Laternser, the Tribunal considers that
the questions that you have been putting, if relevant at
all, are only extremely remotely relevant, and they cannot
allow the cross-examination to continue for any length of
time, or the time of the Tribunal would be wasted further.
They think, and they rule, that you may put the question
which they understand you desire to put in this form: The
witness has spoken of reports which were received by the
group of which he has spoken about atrocities in the East,
and they think you may ask him who submitted those reports.


Witness, I should like you to answer this question: With
whom did these reports of murders in Poland and Russia

A. I know of one report made by Colonel General Blaskowitz
during the first few months of the Polish campaign on the
basis of information received by him and the military
offices under him. Beyond that, as far as I know, such

                                                  [Page 298]

reports were compiled only by the group Canaris-Oster. But I
should not care to assert that another report had not been
written by someone else somewhere.

Q. What was the aim of the report which Colonel General
Blaskowitz submitted?

A. Colonel General Blaskowitz intended ...

THE PRESIDENT: The report which one particular general made
does not tend to show that the group was either innocent or

DR. LATERNSER: Mr. President, it helps us to find out what
the attitude of the group was.

THE PRESIDENT: The Tribunal think that the report of one
general is not evidence as to the criminality of the whole

DR. LATERNSER: Mr. President, is that question approved? I
asked about the aim of the report.

THE PRESIDENT: No, the Tribunal is of the opinion that what
was contained in that report is not admissible.

DR. LATERNSER: I have no more questions.

THE PRESIDENT: Then the witness may retire.

(The witness retired.)

THE PRESIDENT: Dr. Pannenbecker, that concludes your case,
does it?

DR. PANNENBECKER: The case of the defendant Frick is hereby
concluded, except for the answers to the interrogatories
which I have not yet received.

THE PRESIDENT: Yes. Counsel for the defendant Streicher, Dr.
Marx; proceed.

DR. MARX (Counsel for defendant Streicher): With the
permission of the Tribunal, Mr. President, I now call the
defendant Julius Streicher to the witness box.

JULIUS STREICHER, a witness, took the stand and testified as


Q. Will you state your full name?

A. Julius Streicher.

Q. Will you repeat this oath after me:-

I swear by God, the Almighty and Omniscient, that I will
speak the pure truth and will withhold and add nothing.

(The witness repeated the oath.)

THE PRESIDENT: You may sit down.



Q. Witness, would you give the Tribunal first a short
description of your career?

A. I should like to ask the Tribunal to let me make a brief
statement in respect of my defence. (1) ...

THE PRESIDENT: You really ought to answer the questions that
are put to you.

A. My Lord, my defence counsel cannot say what I must say
now. I should like to ask permission - in short, my defence
counsel has not conducted and was not in a position to
conduct my defence in the way I wanted; and I should like to
state this to the Tribunal.

THE PRESIDENT: Defendant, you understand that the Tribunal
does not wish to have its time taken up with unnecessary
matters. It has no objection to your stating what is
material, or to your reading it if necessary. It hopes that
you will be as brief as possible.

A. I mention only facts, four facts.

(1) The Charter created for this International Military
Tribunal guarantees the defendants the right to an
unhampered and just defence.

(2) Before the trial began the defendants received a list
containing the names

                                                  [Page 299]

of the attorneys from whom each defendant could choose his
counsel. Since the Munich attorney whom I had selected for
my defence could no longer be placed at my disposal, I asked
the Military Tribunal to put the Nuremberg attorney Dr. Marx
at my disposal instead. That was done.

(3) When I met my counsel for the first time, I told him he
must expect, as my counsel, to be attacked in public.
Shortly afterwards, an attack was made by a communist
newspaper published in the Russian zone of Berlin. The
International Tribunal was compelled to make a public
statement repudiating the attack of that newspaper and
assuring my counsel of the express protection of the
Military Tribunal.

(4) Although the statement made by the International
Military Tribunal left no doubt as to the fact that the
Tribunal wished to see the defence of the defendants
unhampered, a renewed attack occurred, this time by radio.
The announcer said, "There are camouflaged Nazis and anti-
Semites among the defendants' counsel." These terroristic
attacks were obviously made with the intention of
intimidating the defendants' counsel, and may have
contributed to the fact - that is my impression - that my
own counsel has refused to submit to the Tribunal a large
number of pieces of evidence which I considered important.

(5) I wish to state that I have not been afforded the
possibility of making an unhampered and just defence before
this International Military Tribunal.

THE PRESIDENT: You can rest assured that the Tribunal will
see that everything, in the opinion of the Tribunal, that
bears upon the case or is relevant to your case or is in any
way material in your case, will be presented and that you
will be given the fairest opportunity of making your

THE WITNESS: I thank you. From my life ...

DR . MARX: Excuse me, Mr. President; may I ask briefly to be
permitted to state my position. May it please the Tribunal,
when I was asked to take over Herr Streicher's defence I
naturally had grave misgivings. I have ...

THE PRESIDENT: Dr. Marx, I don't think it is necessary,
really, for you to make any personal explanation at this
stage. It is very possible that the defendant may have
different ideas about his own defence. I think we had better
let him go on with his defence.

DR. MARX: Nevertheless, I should like to ask permission, Mr.
President, just to mention the following point: As attorney
and as defence counsel of a defendant I have to reserve for
myself the right to decide how I shall conduct the defence.
If the client is of the opinion that certain documents or
books are relevant, while his counsel is of the opinion that
they are not, then that is a difference of opinion between
the counsel and his client.

If Herr Streicher is of the opinion that I am incapable or
not in a position to conduct his defence, then he should ask
for another defence counsel. I am aware that at this stage
of the proceedings it would be very difficult for me to
follow the matter to its logical conclusion and ask to be
relieved of this task of defence. I am not terrorised by any
journalist, but for a counsel to lose the confidence of his
own client is quite another matter; and for that reason I
feel bound to ask the Tribunal to decide whether in these
circumstances I am to continue to defend my client.

THE PRESIDENT: The Tribunal thinks, Dr. Marx, that the
explanation and the statement which you have just made is in
accordance with the traditions of the legal profession and
they think therefore that the case ought to proceed and that
you should proceed with the case. Now, defendant, will you
go on.

THE WITNESS: About my life: I was born on 12 February, 1885,
in a small

                                                  [Page 300]

village in Bavaria. I was the youngest of nine children. My
father was an elementary school teacher. I too became a
teacher. In 1909, after I had taught for several years in my
native district, I was called to the municipal school in
Nuremberg. Here I had the opportunity to contact the
families of the working-class children in the suburbs and of
observing social contrasts. This experience led to my
decision in 1911 to go into politics. I became a member of
the Democratic Party. As a young democratic speaker, I spoke
at the Reichstag elections in 1912. The car put at my
disposal was paid for by the banking firm of Kohn. I stress
this point because at that time I had occasion to associate
a good deal with Jews, even in the Democratic Party. I must
therefore have been fated to become later on a writer and
speaker on racial politics.

The World War came and I too joined up as a lance-corporal
in an infantry regiment. Then I became an officer in a
machine-gun unit. I returned home with both Iron Crosses,
with the Bavarian Order and the rare Austrian Cross of Merit
attached to the ribbon for gallantry. When I had returned
home, I had no desire to go into politics again. I only
intended to stay in private life and devote myself to my
profession. Then I saw the blood-red posters of revolution
in Germany and for the first time I joined the raging masses
at that time. At a meeting, when the speaker had finished, I
asked to be heard as an unknown person. An inner voice sent
me on to the platform and I spoke. I joined in the debate
and I spoke on recent happenings in Germany. In the November
revolution of 1918 the Jews and their friends had seized the
political power in Germany. Jews were in the Reich Cabinet
and in all the provincial governments. In my native province
of Bavaria, the Minister-President was a Polish Jew called
Eisner-Kosmarowsky. The reaction among the middle classes in
Germany manifested itself in the form of an organisation
known as "Schutz und Trutzbund" (Society for Protective and
Offensive Action). Local branches of this organisation were
formed in all the large cities in Germany; and fate willed
that after I had again spoken at a gathering, a man came up
to me and asked me to come to the Kulturverein (Cultural
Society) in the "Golden Hall" and hear what they had to say

In this way, gentlemen of the Tribunal, I became involved in
what brings me here today. Destiny made of me what
international propaganda thought it had made. I was called a
bloodhound - a bloody czar of Franconia; my honour was
attacked, a criminal was paid 300 marks to swear in this
very hall that he had seen me, as an officer in France
during the war, rape a Madame Duquesne, a teacher's wife in
Atis, near Peroine. It was two years before someone betrayed
him and the truth came out.

Gentlemen, the receipt for 300 marks was produced here in
this court. For 300 marks they tried to buy my honour.

I mention this only because mine is a special case, and if
it is to be judged with justice, then I must be allowed to
make such a remark in passing. In this connection, I may say
that it is no coincidence that the first question asked me
by the Soviet Russian officer who interrogated me was
whether I was a sex criminal.

Gentlemen, I told to you how I was fated to be drawn into
the "Schutz und Trutzbund." I told you what conditions were
like in Germany at the time, and it was therefore quite a
natural development that I no longer visited the houses of
revolution to join in debate. I felt myself impelled to call
meetings of my own and so I spoke for perhaps 15 years
almost every Friday before about 5,000 to 6,000 people. I
admit quite frankly that I went on making speeches over a
period of 20 years in the largest cities of Germany,
sometimes at meetings on sport fields and on public squares,
to audiences of 150,000 to 200,000 people. I did that for 20
years, and I state here that I was not paid by the Party.

                                                  [Page 301]

prosecution will never succeed, not even through a public
appeal, in getting anybody into this room who could testify
that I had ever been paid. I still had a small salary which
continued after I was relieved of my position in 1924. None
the less, I remained the one and only unpaid Gauleiter in
the movement. It goes without saying that my writing
supported myself and my assistants later on.

And so, gentlemen, in the year 1921 - I return now to that
period - I went to Munich. I was curious because someone had
said to me "You must hear Adolf Hitler some time." And now
destiny takes a hand again. This tragedy can only be grasped
by those whose vision is not limited to the material, but
who can perceive those higher vibrations which even today
can be felt.

I went to the Munich beer-cellar. Adolf Hitler was speaking
there. I had only heard his name. I had never seen the man
before. And there I sat, an unknown among unknowns. I saw
this man shortly before midnight, after he had spoken for
three hours, drenched in perspiration, radiant. My neighbour
said he thought he saw a halo around his head, and I,
gentlemen, experienced something which transcended the

When he finished his speech, an inner voice bade me get up.
I went to the platform. When Adolf Hitler came down, I
approached him and told him my name.

The prosecution has submitted a document to the Tribunal
which recalls that moment. Adolf Hitler wrote in his book
"Mein Kampf" that it must have cost me a great effort to
hand over to him the movement which I had created in

I mention this because the prosecution thought that these
things in Hitler's book "Mein Kampf" should be submitted and
used against me. Yes, I am proud of it, I forced myself to
hand over to Hitler the movement which I had created in
Franconia. With that Franconia movement and the movement
which Adolf Hitler had created in Munich and Southern
Bavaria, the way was paved to northern Germany. That was my

In 1923 I took part in the First National Socialist
revolution, or, rather, attempted revolution. It will go
down in history as the Hitler putsch. Adolf Hitler had asked
me to come to Munich for it. I went to Munich and took part
in the meeting in which Adolf Hitler searched for an
agreement with representatives of the middle classes to go
to northern Germany and put an end to the chaos.

I marched with them up to the Feldherrnhalle. Then I was
arrested and, like Adolf Hitler, Rudolf Hess, etc., was
taken to Landsberg on the Lech. After a few months I was put
up as candidate for the Bavarian Parliament by the National
Socialist Bloc (Volkischer Block) and was elected in the
year 1924.

In 1925, after the movement had been permitted again and
Adolf Hitler had been released from jail, I was made
Gauleiter of Franconia. In 1933 I became a representative to
the Reichstag. In 1933 or 1934, the honorary title of  S.A.
Gruppenfuehrer was bestowed on me.

In February, 1940, I was given leave of absence. I lived for
five years, until the end of the war, on my estate. At the
end of April I went to Southern Bavaria, to the Tyrol. I
wanted to commit suicide. Then something happened which I do
not care to relate. But I can say one thing: I said to
friends, "I have proclaimed my views to the world for 20
years. I do not want to end my life by suicide. I will go my
way whatever happens as a fanatic in the cause of truth
until the very end, a fanatic in the cause of truth."

I might mention here that I deliberately gave my fighting
paper "Der Sturmer" the sub-title "A Weekly for the Fight
for Truth." I was quite

                                                  [Page 302]

conscious that I could not be in possession of the entire
truth, but I also know that 80 or 90 per cent. of what I
proclaimed with conviction was the truth.

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