The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

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Last-Modified: 2000/08/12

DR. FRITZ: Mr. President, in this connection I should like
to refer to the document which has already been submitted,
Fritzsche Exhibit 2, affidavit by Dr. Scharping, with
reference to Pages 9 to 11. This document is found in

                                                  [Page 257]

my Document Book 2; however, I do not know whether this book
has been submitted to the High Tribunal.

THE PRESIDENT: Yes, it has.

DR. FRITZ: Pages 9 to 11. I refer to the contents of this
document. The prosecution has quoted a passage from the book
by Muller, dealing with the Propaganda Ministry. According
to this, among other things, it was the task of this
Ministry to enlighten the population about the Jewish
question.

BY DR. FRITZ:

Q. According to the picture drawn by the prosecution,
matters stood as though you were the one charged with the
task of this enlightenment; is that correct?

A. No.

The "Jewry" department was a branch of the "Propaganda"
department which carried on this so-called active propaganda
in opposition to the specialized or administrative
departments. I never directed this department of propaganda.

Q. I should like to interpolate a question. The defendant
Streicher, on 29th April, stated that the Propaganda
Ministry published National Socialist correspondence which
was sent to Der Sturmer as well and which contained in each
issue several anti-Semitic articles. Is that true?

A. No. The National Socialist correspondence was not
published by the Propaganda Ministry but by the Reich-
Pressestelle (Reich Press Office) of the NSDAP; however, I
did not have the impression that the particular policy
followed by Der Sturmer took its character from these
articles. On the other hand, Der Sturmer may have published
one or the other article which was given out by the NSK.

Q. The prosecution quoted a passage from a speech which you
made over the radio on 18th December, 1941. This speech will
be found in full in my Document Book 1, Pages 26 to 32. In
this instance, you said that the fate of Jewry in Europe had
turned out to be as unpleasant as the Fuehrer predicted it
would be in the event of a European war ... and that this
unpleasant fate might also spread to the New World. The
prosecution holds the view that this was a proclamation of
further actions in the persecution of Jews. What can you
tell us about this?

A. In this quotation, I discussed the unpleasant fate of
Jewry in Europe. According to the things that we know today,
this must look as though I meant the murder of the Jews. But
in this connection I should like to state that at that time
I did not know about these murders; therefore I could not
have meant it. I did not even mean the evacuation of Jews,
for even this fact was something which was not carried out
in Berlin at least until a year or two later. What I meant
was simply the elimination of Jews from politics and
economic life. The expression "unpleasant" hints at this:
otherwise it would be quite inexplicable because of its high
meaning and as for the question: Why did I speak about the
Jews in America in this connection? the sentence quoted by
the prosecution is inextricably connected with a
communication preceding it stating that a Jewish National
Council had told President Roosevelt their wish to enter the
war. Not even this connection of thought, which is perhaps
understandable now, was used by me without good reason. The
largest part of this speech in question, perhaps nine-tenths
of it, in fact, deals with the commission set up in the
United States to investigate the causes of the Pearl Harbour
disaster.

THE PRESIDENT: There are a lot of pages in this.

DR. FRITZ: The Document Book 1, Mr. President, Pages 26 to
32.

THE PRESIDENT: Yes; I wanted to know whether first of all we
are on Page 3.

DR. FRITZ: He is referring, in the statements which he is
making now, to the entire contents of the speech, Mr.
President. The prosecution had quoted only the very last
paragraph of this speech.

                                                  [Page 258]

BY DR. FRITZ:

Please continue.

A. In this polemic address I not only suggested
investigating whether the guards of the US navy had been
inattentive but I also advised checking American politics,
as to whether someone might not have been interested in the
outbreak of the war. In this connection, I pointed out that
an investigating committee of the American Senate, twenty
years after the First World War, had investigated the causes
for entry of the United States in the war of 1917. I said:
"This Senate Committee proved that Wilson when entering the
war knew that he was the victim of several warmongers."

I spoke regretfully of -

THE PRESIDENT: The Investigation Committee of the Americans
about the entry into the last war? Is he not going rather
far back?

DR. FRITZ: Mr. President, I believe that the defendant can
stop at this point. He only wanted to show that the
quotation of the last paragraph cited by the prosecution in
order to incriminate him was torn from its contents. That is
the fact he wanted to show, Mr. President.

BY DR. FRITZ:

Q. The second quotation used by the prosecution is an
excerpt from your radio, speech of 18th March, 1941. The
prosecution was of the opinion that this was also an
incitement for the persecution of Jews, and it said,
further, that it was proof of your endorsement of the term
"Master Race."

Mr. President, this speech of 18th March, 1941, may be found
in my Document Book I, Pages 2 to 7.

BY DR. FRITZ:

Q. The prosecution quoted only one paragraph from this
speech. What can you tell us in this connection?

A. I do not wish to read this quotation. I rather ask you
that you read it carefully yourself, and after you have read
it you will see that I completely agreed with Mr. Roosevelt
when he said that there was no master race. I endorsed the
correctness of this statement not only as it applied to the
German people but to Jewry as well. The prosecution
concluded from this sentence that it was a justification for
acts committed in Jewish persecutions in the past and that
it was a foreboding of more persecutions to come. I do not
understand this conclusion; it has no basis whatsoever.

THE PRESIDENT: In our copy there is no date at the top of
Page 2 of your Volume 1 - yes, I see it is in the index.
Which page of it is the passage that the prosecution quotes?

DR. FRITZ: Page 5, under point 5, Mr. President.

THE PRESIDENT: Yes. Very well.

DR. FRITZ: It begins with the words: "But the crown - " and
so forth. That is the quotation used by the prosecution.

BY DR. FRITZ:

Q. The third quotation used by the prosecution is a passage
from the speech which you made on 9th October, 1941.

DR. FRITZ: Mr. President, the whole speech is to be found in
Document Book 1, Pages 20 to 25.

BY DR. FRITZ:

Q. The prosecution quoted only one paragraph from this
speech as well.

In this paragraph, you, Herr Fritzsche, are speaking about a
new wave of international Jewish-democratic-Bolshevistic
agitation. What can you tell us about this?

A. I have very little to say in this connection. This speech
was made in those days of the autumn of 1941 when the Reich
Press Chief had announced that German victory in the East
had been decisive. I had warned the entire German Press

                                                  [Page 259]

about accepting this news without reservations. I did not
believe in this decisive victory which supposedly had
already taken place. I suggested to all German newspapers to
speak about a prolonged duration of the war. In this speech
of mine I wanted to decrease the effectiveness of the
official victory bulletin. Therefore, perhaps for the first
time in Germany, I mentioned those three factors which, in
fact, later on determined the war in the East against
Germany: First of all, the partisans; secondly, the
international help in the way of arms and munitions; and
thirdly, propaganda. This last part alone was quoted by the
prosecution. As I have already said, this last part is quite
in accord with the knowledge and opinion I held at that
time.

Q. The next quotation used by the prosecution is an extract
from a speech which you made on 8th January, 1944.

DR. FRITZ: The complete speech, Mr. President, may be found
in my Document Book 1. It is speech No. 7, to be found on
Pages 40 to 45.

BY DR. FRITZ:

Q. In this speech you state that it was not a new form of
government or a new form of Socialism which had brought
about the war but rather the agitation of Jews and
plutocrats. How did you come to make that statement?

A. To justify it, I should like to refer here too to
everything that I have already said, and beyond that, I
should like to emphasize that this rather heated accusation
was not made by me just out of the blue or just because I
wanted to agitate. This is proved by the context.

If I may be permitted to do so, I should like to state
briefly the connection in this case. The topic of this
speech was the differences of opinion which existed at that
time between the Polish Exile Government in Moscow - rather,
in London - and the Soviet Government in Moscow. There was a
matter of territorial demands which they disagreed on, and
on this occasion I quoted the London Times word for word.
The London Times said that "the relinquishing of Polish
regions, as demanded by Russia, was only a small and modest
price for the absolute and reliable guarantee to Poland of
help through the Soviet Union." This quotation from the
London Times, I used as a matter of course in a polemic
statement in which I said:

  "Yes, if The Times had said these things in August, 1939,
  that we were concerned only with a city and with a road,
  then there would not have been any war," and so forth.

On this occasion I should like to state that all of these
quotations, almost without exception, show only the
combination of the concepts, Jews, plutocrats, Bolsheviks.
It was not the question of race which was the primary thing,
but the ideological struggle which, to my mind, seemed to be
taking place.

Q. The next quotation used by the prosecution refers to
excerpts from your speech of 13th January, 1945.

DR. FRITZ: Mr. President, this is speech No. 8, contained in
full in Document Book 1, to be found on Pages 46 to 51.

The prosecution in this case is quoting only two paragraphs,
one on Page 50 of my document book, paragraph 2.

BY DR. FRITZ:

Q. In these passages you mention Jewish influence on British
policies. How could you make those statements? What were
your reasons?

A. The prosecution believe it to be possible to conclude
from this quotation that it was the introduction to further
persecution of the Jews, and to their complete destruction.
This conclusion, however, is not justified either in the
words or in the sense or when seen in the light of the
context.

I shall forgo giving you in this case a picture of the
connections, even in a brief summary. It can be gathered
when you read the speech in question.

However, I cannot see where an appeal for the destruction of
the Jews is to be found.

                                                  [Page 260]

Q. Forming a part of the general crimes against humanity you
are accused of libel against the Jews. The logical result of
which is said to have been further persecutions.

Therefore, I want to ask you about the murder of Jews. Did
you know Hitler's decree, as testified by the witness Hoess,
a decree according to which the Jews were to be murdered?

A. I should like to state on oath that I did not know of
this order of Hitler. If I had known it, I would not have
served the man who had given this order for another hour. I
should like to state further that evidently this decree, as
well as the entire subsequent action, was concealed with
specific care from me and my co-workers, because once I
almost discovered its existence.

Q. Did you receive at any time an indication about the
killing of a large number of innocent people?

A. Yes. In February or March, 1942, I received a letter from
a low-ranking SS leader of the Ukraine. I do not recall this
man's name. The contents of the letter were to the effect
that the author was the commander of an SS unit, that he had
received an order to kill the Jews and the Ukrainian
intelligentsia of his area. Upon receipt of this order, he
had suffered a nervous breakdown and he was then in
hospital. It seemed to him that a complaint along official
channels was quite impossible for him. He said he did not
know me but had confidence in me; perhaps I could help in
some way. He asked me not to mention his name as he was
bound to silence.

Without much hesitation, immediately upon receipt of this
letter, I called Obergruppenfuehrer Heydrich, then leader of
the RSHA and the Gestapo. I hardly knew him personally, but
he declared himself quite willing to receive me immediately.
I visited him, and in a plain way put this question to him:
Is your SS there for the purpose of committing mass murders?

Heydrich was quite indignant at this question, and said that
larger or smaller SS units had been assigned by him for
police purposes to various ministers, Reich commissars, and
so forth. These special details of SS men had been misused
on various occasions, and he thought this might apply to the
unit which had been placed at the disposal of Gauleiter
Koch. He told me that he would have an investigation started
immediately.

Next noon he called me, from headquarters as he said, and
let me know that this action had actually been ordered by
Koch. Koch, for his part, had referred to the Fuehrer for
his authority. The Fuehrer however, had not answered as yet.
Heydrich said I would receive further details.

Two days later Heydrich asked me to come and visit him and
said Hitler had expressly declared that he had not given
this order; Koch now said that there was a misunderstanding.
I was further told that an investigation of Koch had been
started. At any rate, Heydrich promised me that this action
would not be carried through. I remember particularly well
one sentence which was spoken in this discussion by
Heydrich:

  "Believe me, Herr Fritzsche, a person who has the
  reputation of being cruel does not have to be cruel. He
  can act humanely."

Shortly thereafter I became a soldier and asked to be sent
to the Sixth Army, and was sent to the Ukraine.

Q. Did you -

THE PRESIDENT: Wait a minute. I did not understand that last
sentence. Heydrich said "Believe me, Herr Fritzsche ..." and
then -


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