Archive/File: imt/nca/supp-b/nca-sb-02-amann.01-03 Last-Modified: 1997/12/09 Q. We have already discussed the decree of 24 April 1935, with reference to the "scandal press." Now, isn't it a fact that this decree was used or could be used against any newspaper that was not covered by the other two decrees that we have discussed? A. That decree against scandal sheets was a very clear matter. The person in question either must have had a criminal record or there must have been an investigation already pending against him on a criminal case. Q. But, the fact of the matter is, a newspaper could be threatened with this decree, is that not so? A. I for myself would never have used any threat because I did not need any more newspapers. Q. What about your assistant, Dr. Winkler? Was he above using such threats? A. He also knew exactly my position that I was not eager to buy additional newspapers. Q. But you bought them? A. I only bought newspapers which were offered voluntarily but later on there was a certain pressure on me by the Gauleiters to buy newspapers and those Gauleiters were quite powerful people and they would tell me to buy certain newspapers. Q. Speaking of Gauleiters, did you ever form a newspaper holding company, by the name of Phoenix? A. Yes, that is right. Q. Do you recall the original capital of this financial outfit? A. Well, the matter about the Phoenix Holding Company was the following. In order to secure for myself the benevolence of the quite dangerous Gauleiters, who always said that the Eher Publishing Company was making money through the Gau newspapers, I founded a separate holding company, the Standarte, and I could always tell the Gauleiters that the profits were put into this holding company and did not reach the Eher Publishing House but were used to increase the business of the Gau newspapers. There was another difference. Into the Phoenix Holding Company, or as we called it, Dachgesellschaft, we took former [Page 1531] Catholic newspapers mainly. There was another holding company, I don't recall the name, into which former German national newspapers were absorbed, which Hugenberg could not continue. The last one which continued to exist was the Standarte, and another was the Herold Publishing Company. The purpose of these holding companies was to have a more rigid control of the administration of the newspapers. Q. Now, as I understand your statement, it is to the effect that the Phoenix Company was the device by which various newspapers were acquired, is that right? A. No. It was a matter of form so as to make it easier to recognize the previous tendency of the newspaper. If it was a former Center newspaper, and so forth, then it would belong to the Phoenix. If it had another direction formerly it would belong to another holding company. Q. In other words, it was used for the acquisition of newspapers, was it not? A. Yes. That is true. But it was not actually the Phoenix Holding Company which acquired newspapers because whatever capital might have been there belonged finally to the Eher Publishing House. Q. Isn't it true that within less than one year this Phoenix Company acquired 365 newspapers of all types and kinds? A. I don't believe that it was that much. Q. How many would you say? A. Perhaps 60 to 80 and that, I think, is a very high estimate. Q. Well, how many did the Eher Publishing House acquire in the space of a year, taking the best year of its operations? A. I cannot say so; I am very weak in figures. Q. You had substantially completed your acquisition of newspapers by 1938, had you not. A. I had substantially completed acquisition of newspapers as early as 1936 or 1937. Q. The party had three hundred newspapers in 1933, and between 1,200 and 1,500 by 1941, and you told me you didn't start acquisition of newspapers until 1935 and now you tell me you completed it in 1937. That means that you had acquired between 800 and 1,100 newspapers in the space of two years. A. I don't remember the figures anymore. But our administrative office has clear statistics on that. Q. Would you say the computation I just gave you is incorrect? A. The Phoenix figure you gave is much too high. [Page 1532] Q. I am talking about the other figure. A. In my estimate it seems to be correct. Q. Would you consider it a fair statement to say that under the decrees, to which we have referred this morning, and the other things to which we have referred, that newspapers were faced with the alternatives of either being ruined and closed down with no compensation received for the properties or of selling out at the price fixed by your representative? A. I would have objected strongly if anybody would have worked with such a threat. Q. I am not speaking of that particularly, but I am speaking of the situation where these newspapers were considered politically undesirable or considered scandal sheets of whatever other reasons there were for closing them down. Those are the situations I am referring to. Isn't it a fact in those situations the publishers were faced with the alternative of having their properties closed down, without any compensation being received, or accepting the price that was offered by your representatives? A. I never bought former scandal sheets. Q. Now, answer my question. A. He could look for a person who was nationally or politically reliable and try to get the price from him. Q. You don't seriously contend there was any competitive bidding for these newspapers, do you? A. Unfortunately there was no competitive bidding. I would have preferred it because with every new newspaper I had additional work. Q. And yet, you were the only bidder for most of these papers, isn't that right? A. I gave a specific order to my agents to look for sons or relatives who could continue the business. Q. Well, my question still remains that when these newspapers were sold you were the only bidder, isn't that right? A. Well, as nobody else was available I was the only bidder. Q. Yes. That is what you told me before. I do not see why you were so reluctant to tell me this time. A. I only wanted to make my point of view clear, that I always followed a fair price policy in the purchases.
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