The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

Nazi Conspiracy & Aggression
Individual Responsibility Of Defendants
Wilhelm Frick
(Part 3 of 11)

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Frick's appointment as Reichminister of the Interior in the first Hitler Cabinet of 30 January 1933 gave him the task of

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"strengthening the power of the government and to secure the New Regime" (3128-PS).

(1) Powers of Frick as Minister of Interior. To this task his Ministry was perfectly suited. As Minister of the Interior Frick became responsible for the realization of a large part of the conspirators' program, through both legislation and administration. His Ministry was charged especially with the following tasks:

(a) Internal Administration (State and local governments; State and Local Civil Service).

(b) Relations between Nazi Party and State.

(c) Elections.

(d) Citizenship.

(e) Racial Law and Policy (Jewish Question, Eugenics)

(f) Armed Forces and Reich Defense (Conscription).

(g) Establishment of the New Order in occupied and annexed territories.

(h) Legislation, Constitutional Law (civil liberties).

(i) Police Forces (including Gestapo, protective custody, concentration camps). (3303-PS; 3475-PS)

The names of the men who, according to (3475-PS), worked under Frick's supervision are significant. Among the subordinates of Frick were "Reich Health Leader, Dr. Conti," "Reich Fuehrer SS and Chief of the German Police, Heinrich Himmler," and "Reich Labor Service Leader, Konstantin Hierl." Frick was, therefore, supreme commander of three important pillars of the Nazi state: The Nazi Public Health Service, the Police System, and the Labor Service.

The wide variety of the activities of Frick as Reich Minister of the Interior can be judged from the following catalogue of his functions: He had final authority on constitutional questions, drafted legislation, had jurisdiction over governmental administration and civil defense, and was the final arbiter of questions concerning race and citizenship. The Manual for Administrative Officials also lists sections of his ministry concerned with administrative problems for the occupied territories, including annexed Bohemia and Moravia, and the New Order in the East (3475-PS).

The Ministry of the Interior also had considerable authority over the civil service, including such matters as appointment, tenure, promotion and discharge. The Manual for Administrative Officials (3475-PS) states that Frick's functions included supervision of the general law of civil servants, civil servants' policies, civil service aspirants, education and training of civil

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servants and political and other officials. Frick's Ministry also had extensive jurisdiction over the German civil servants detailed to the administration of the occupied countries. This fact was admitted by Wilhelm Stuckart, former Under Secretary of Frick's Ministry of the Interior, who stated in an interrogation:

"As far as I know, the officials for the new territories were selected by the Personnel Office [of the Ministry of the Interior] according to their qualifications, their physical condition and maybe also their knowledge of the language." (3570-PS)

In the full use of these broad powers, Frick made his essential contribution to the advancement of the conspiracy.

(2) Nazi seizure of power of German States. His first act after the Conspirators' accession to power was to install Nazi governments and administrations in all German States where they were not already in power. The State governments which refused to hand over their constitutional authority to the Nazi successors designated by Frick were removed on Frick's orders. This was the case in Bavaria, Hamburg, Bremen, Lueback, Hessen, Baden, Wuerttemberg, and Saxony.

The manner and purpose of this program was clearly stated in the book, "Dr. Frick and his Ministry," which was published by his Under-Secretary Wilhelm Pfundner for Frick's 60th birthday in order to establish the full scope of his contribution to the creation of the Nazis' "Thousand-Year Reich"

"While Marxism in Prussia was crushed by the hard fist of the Prussian Prime Minister, Hermann Goering, and a gigantic wave of propaganda was initiated for the Reichstag elections of 5 March 1933, Dr. Frick prepared the complete seizure of power in all states of the Reich. All at once the political opposition disappeared. All at once the Main [River] line was eliminated. From this time on only one will and one leadership reigned in the German Reich." (3119 PS; 3132- PS)

(3) Abolition of political opposition. Frick then proceeded to destroy all opposition parties in order to establish the political monopoly of the Nazi Party over Germany. Here again he acted by legislative fiat against all parties which did not dissolve voluntarily. Among the laws which he initiated for this purpose were the law of 26 May 1933 confiscating Communists' property (1396-PS); the law of 14 July 1933 confiscating property inimical to nation and state (1388-PS); the law of 7 July 1933 void-

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ing the mandates of all Social Democrat candidates elected to Reich state and local diets (2058-PS); and the law of 14 July 1933 outlawing all political parties other than the Nazi Party (1388-A-PS; see 2403-PS).

Frick drafted and administered the laws which assured the control of the Nazi Party over the State and "placed the government machinery *** at the disposal of the Party." Chief among these enactments were the Law to Secure the Unity of Party and State, of 1 December 1933, which provided that all government agencies should "lend legal and administrative aid to the Party agencies" (195-PS), and the law of 1 August 1934 consolidating the positions of Chief of State and Leader of the Party (2003-PS; see 3119-PS).

The success of this series of measures was accurately described b Frick himself in the following terms:

"In National Socialist Germany, leadership is in the hands of an organized community, the National Socialist Party; and as the latter represents the will of the nation, the policy adopted by it in harmony with the vital interests of the nation is at the same time, the policy adopted by the country ***." (3258-PS)

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