The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

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35.  Around the end of 1942, a growing importance was
attributed to the German radio in securing support of the
direction of the war by the broad masses. The radio appeared
as the only instrument to fill the space behind the then far
extended German fronts. Therefore a relatively independent
position was granted to the radio within the Reich ministry
for people's enlightenment and propaganda. While my
predecessors as heads of the "Radio Division" had to take
into consideration, for example, the demands of the
Propaganda, press, foreign and music divisions, I finally
managed to drop such consideration. An exception was
consideration for the press. After January 1943 I forced the
press, by competition, to somewhat more realistic news
information. However, in view of his superior position with
the Fuehrer, the Reich press chief, Dr. Dietrich, kept a
priority [Primat] over the radio. Finally in February 1945,
Dr. Goebbels overthrew Dr. Dietrich. To an ever growing
extent in the field of radio, I became the sole authority
within the ministry. One after the other I eliminated those
side-governments [Nebenregierungen] which had disturbed my
predecessors. As plenipotentiary for the political
organization of the greater German radio, I had authority
only over the political domestic broadcasts. About six
months later, in the spring of 1943, I also took over
control of the foreign broadcasts which were under the
direction of Dr. Winkelnkemper. About another 6 months later
I also took over control from the hands of
Ministerialdirektor Hinkel, the musical part of the radio
program. In spring 1945 I also had the intention of taking
under my control those broadcasts in Eastern languages,
which still were under foreign direction. However, this
intention was not realized. In any case in my performance of
the office as head of the radio in the field of radio
publication, I was dependent only in my decisions and
measures upon the following: the general political
directions; the personal supervision

                                                  [Page 191]

of Dr. Goebbels, sometime going into the details; the
decisions of the radio-political division of the foreign
office which claimed leadership in the field of transmission
in foreign languages.

36.  As far as my activity as head of the radio division is
concerned, I attended to the following fields: (1) Planning
and organization of the entire German radio and television
system; (2) the issuance of corresponding decrees to the
subordinate sections, the elaboration and submission of
suggestions for the other agencies of the Reich cabinet. In
order to execute these tasks the division was essentially
organized as follows: (A) Radio-Command
[Rundfunkkommandostelle], a section operating day and night,
which received and transmitted orders to the various
sections of radio, and which acted on its own decisions in
case of sending or -program troubles, etc. (B) The section
Reconnaissance Service, organized according to working
fields or countries of origin, which gave extracts from the
gigantic quantities of material of the Radio-Listening-
Service [Rundfunkabhoerdienst] with the name Seehaus. (C)
Section Foreign Radio [Rundfunk Ausland], a small
administrative unit with skimpy tasks, because the practical
work was done by myself in daily conferences with the head
of the foreign division of the Reich radio corporation
[Reichsrundfunkgesellschaft]. During my time in office a
special section for the organization of radio, in case of
war, did not exist. Should it have existed before my time,
in my opinion it could not have achieved anything. When I
took over the radio division, the most important
transmitters had to limit their transmissions to a few hours
daily because of the lack of tubes. Only a few transportable
senders had been developed in prewar times. During the war a
few transportable senders, improved and smaller, were
developed for the front. (D) Section Radio-Economy. This was
in charge of construction and supply of radio receiving
instruments. My office practically represented the high
command of the German radio.

37.  To my knowledge all of my predecessors, as head of the
radio division, were also simultaneously head of the central
radio office of the Reich propaganda directorate of the
NSDAP Reichsamtsleiter Rundfunk der Reichspropagandaleitung
der NSDAP. Personally I never received this party job,
because I was always considered politically unreliable. I
had acquired my reputation and influence as an expert. The
Reichsamtleiter of radio was SA Group Leader Schaeffer. I
was unable to have my way as against him. Even more
difficult for me was the fact that Dr. Goebbels gave ample
power to Reich Main Office Leader [Reichshauptamt-

                                                  [Page 192]

leiter] Corff, the officer in charge of culture in the NSDAP
headquarters. This was allowed out of concern of the
national socialist ideology in radio programs. Corff caused
me the biggest difficulties until I ousted him after a
scandal caused by him in the middle of all my collaborators.
Dr. Goebbels sent him to Italy in November 1944 and did not
name a successor. I then felt freer as to the organization
of radio programs. Subsequently I reintroduced the church
service on the radio which had been prohibited by my
predecessors. This was done in a round-about way, by giving
radio time for Catholic and Protestant services in churches
near the front. My working field can be summarized as

To spread as far as possible the conception of my government
as to the cause, character and goal of the war in Germany,
in the occupied countries, abroad and even in enemy
countries as well. To organize a radio program as artistic
and entertaining as possible, to revive the dwindling
interest of the German people in radio and to grant them an
opportunity to hear as many sendings as possible.

38. Upon my suggestion those directions and instructions
which had been fixed by me daily in writing were transmitted
by teletype to all Reich propaganda offices. Those Reich
propaganda offices used those directions and instructions at
their discretion and transmitted them frequently to their
Gau leaders. This material consisted of: a) the so-called
radio parole. This I worked out until 1943 or 1944 after the
daily morning conference with Dr. Goebbels together with a
representative of the foreign office and the head of the
foreign division of the propaganda ministry Afterwards it
was given verbatim by Dr. Goebbels; b) the comments on this,
which were worked out by one of my collaborators based on a
comment which I gave orally at noon at the radio conference.
Dr. Goebbels himself gave daily a highly confidential radio
speech to the Gau leaders personally, which was spoken
through a microphone and extended over special
transmissions. In his absence, Undersecretary
(Staatssekretaer) Dr. Naumann acted for him. If he was
absent, the radio speech was cancelled. Dr. Goebbels always
rejected the suggestion made by the undersecretary that I
should take over the representation. I acted frequently for
him (Dr. Goebbels) in individual reports, such as with

39. From fall 1932 until April 1945 I regularly made radio
speeches. According to my memory until fall 1939 once weekly
until December 1939 daily, then three times, then twice and
finally once weekly. In my instruction to the press and

                                                  [Page 193]

when head of the German Press Division, I was most strictly
bound by the directions of my superiors. However, in my
radio speeches I enjoyed a greater liberty. Dr. Goebbels
once had tried to make me submit my texts before the
speeches were given. I refused, indicating I dictated a
brief speech just before speaking and hence spoke half-
extemporaneously. Subsequently he renounced the submission
of texts upon the condition that at least certain topics be
discussed upon demand. The addresses formerly were called
"Political and Radio Show"; later "Hans Fritzsche Speaks".
In these addresses I discussed political and human problems
of all kinds and reported on the general situation as well.
According to my memory, I did not take any position on the
Jewish question for many years. In my position as head of
the German press division I had tried twice to forbid the
appearance of "Der Stuermer" without success. Later,
especially during the war and mostly upon request, I took a
position concerning the statements of Jewish individuals and
organizations against Germany. The sharpness of these
polemics, as the sharpness generally of my polemics,
remained less than the sharpness of the opposition
publicists. I remember I stated that Jewish emigrants,
already years before the war, referred to the necessity of a
war against Germany. I also remember that I referred to the
role of this Jewish propaganda in accomplishing an alliance
between the Western powers and the Soviet Union. According
to my knowledge, this alliance was not supposed to have been
established by the German declaration of war against Russia,
but by an Anglo-Saxon secret treaty of 1940. The utilization
of the productive capacity of the occupied countries for the
strengthening of the war potential. I have openly and
gloriously praised, chiefly because the competent
authorities put at my disposal much material, especially on
the voluntary placement of manpower. Where I made claims
before the occupied territories, for instance 3 French radio
transmitters for Spanish and Portuguese night sendings, I
refused any sequestration and saw to it that private
agreements were made with the owners of the transmitters.
Moreover, I had the impression that many production shifts
from the Reich had many advantages for the other territories
and disadvantages for the Reich. In my field for instance,
certain musical productions could only be made in Prague, to
which flowed people, machines and money. All the factory
equipment of the German recording industry came to Prague. A
direct or indirect request for the ruthless utilization of
occupied countries by me was all the more out of question as
it would have meant a strike against my own


propaganda. The goal of it was to win the hearts of the
population of the occupied countries.

40. In 1939 when I talked almost daily over the radio, I
asked for a lump sum of 750 marks monthly, as far as I
remember, for this work. When I took over the direction of
the radio. Dr. Goebbels gave the instruction that the radio
corporation should pay me the difference between my salary
as a government employee (about 1500 Marks) and the salary
as director of the Reich radio corporation (3000 Marks),
thus I received an income in all of 3000 Marks (without
deduction of taxes), namely 1500 Marks as government
employee and 1500 Marks from the Reich radio corporation.
From my other writing I earned until 1942 a yearly average
of 5,000 marks as far as I remember. After taking over the
radio this income ceased almost entirely.

41. While head of the German press division, according to my
knowledge, I never took over the direction of the daily 11
o'clock conference in absence of Dr. Goebbels or Under-
Secretary [Staatssekretaer] Dr. Naumann. Dr. Goebbels held
this conference with his closest collaborators. I took this
over several times, however, as head of the radio division
and this only after 1943. On the average this was the case
once weekly. In this case Goebbels gave his directions by
way of transmitting his manuscript over the phone. All in
all, maybe on 5 days, these directions did not come in. In
these cases I myself initiated the necessary news.

42. In the beginning of 1942 while a soldier in the Eastern
Theater, I saw that extended preparations had been made for
the occupation and the administration of territories,
reaching as far as the Crimea. Based on my personal
observations I came to the conclusion that the war against
the Soviet Union was planned already a long time before its

The correctness of the above given statement is hereby
assured by me under oath.

                                     [signed] Hans Fritzsche

Nurnberg, Germany, 7 January 1946

As Witness:

[signed] Dr. Fritz
Defense Counsel

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