The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

Nazi Conspiracy & Aggression
Individual Responsibility Of Defendants

Hans Fritzsche

(Part 1 of 8)

[Page 1035]


Fritzsche's Party membership and his various positions in the propaganda apparatus of the Nazi State are shown in two affidavits made by himself (2976-PS; 3469-PS). Fritzsche became a member of the Nazi Party on 1 May 1933, and continued to be a member until Germany's collapse in 1945.

Fritzsche began his service with the staff of the Reich Ministry for People's Enlightenment and Propaganda (hereinafter referred to as the Propaganda Ministry on 1 May 1933, he remained within the Propaganda Ministry until the Nazi downfall in the spring of 1945.

Before the Nazis seized political power in Germany, and beginning in September 1932, Fritzsche was head of the Wireless News Service (Drahtloser Dienst), an agency of the Reich Government, which at that time was the government of von Papen. After the Wireless News Service was incorporated into Dr. Goebbels' Propaganda Ministry in May 1933, Fritzsche continued as its head until 1938. Upon entering the Propaganda Ministry in May 1933, Fritzsche also became head of the news section of the Press Division of the Propaganda Ministry. He continued in this position until 1937. In the summer of 1938 Fritzsche was appointed deputy to Alfred Ingemar Berndt, who was then head of the German Press Division. (The German Press Division, in the Indict-

[Page 1036]

ment, is called the "Home Press Division." Since "German Press Division" seems to be a more literal translation, it is referred to as the German Press Division throughout this section. It is sometimes otherwise known as the Domestic Press Division.) This Division, as will be later shown, was the major section of the Press Division of the Reich

In December 1938 Fritzsche succeeded Berndt as the head of the German Press Division. Between 1938 and November 1942, Fritzsche was promoted three times. He advanced in title from Superior Government Counsel to Ministerial Counsel, then to Ministerialdirigent, and finally to Mnisterialdirektor.

In November 1942 Fritzsche was relieved of his position as head of the German Press Division by Dr. Goebbels. In its place he accepted from Dr. Goebbels a newly created position in the Propaganda Ministry, that of Plenipotentiary for the Political Organization of the Greater German Radio. At the same time he also became head of the Radio Division of the Propaganda Ministry. He held both these positions in radio until the Nazi- downfall.

There are two allegations in the Indictment concerning Fritzsche's positions for which no proof is available. The first unsupported-allegation states that Fritzsche was Editor-in-Chief of the official German News Agency, Deutsche Nachrichten Buero. The second unsupported allegation states that Fritzsche was head of the Radio Division of the Propaganda Department of the Nazi Party. Fritzsche, in his affidavit, denies having held either of these positions, and these two allegations must fall for want of other proof.

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