The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

The Trial of German Major War Criminals

Sitting at Nuremberg, Germany
7th January to 19th January, 1946

Thirty-Fifth Day: Wednesday, January 16th, 1946
(Part 10 of 11)

[Dr. Robert M. W. Kempner]

[Page 331]

The defendant Frick used his authority over the newly centralised police system for the promotion of the Nazi conspiracy. The Tribunal may take judicial notice of Frick's decree of 20th September, 1936, published in the "Ministerial Gazette of the Reich" ("Ministerialblatt des Reichs- und Preussischen Ministeriums des Innern"), 1936, Page 1343, Document 2245-PS.

In this decree Frick reserved for himself the authority to appoint inspectors of the Security Police, subordinated them to his district governors, the Oberprasidenten, and ordered them to have a close co-operation with the Party and the Armed Forces.

Another example of the use of his activities in the police sphere is in his ordinance of 18th March, 1938, concerning the Austrian Anschluss, in which Frick authorised the Reichsfuehrer of the S.S. and Police, Himmler, to take security measures in Austria without regard to previous legal limitations. This decree is published in the Reichsgesetzblatt, 1938, Page 262, and appears in the document book as 1437-PS.

I shall not here repeat the evidence concerning the criminal activities of the German police, over which the defendant Frick had supreme authority. I should simply like to refer the Tribunal to the presentations already made on the subject of concentration camps and the Gestapo, two of the police institutions under Frick's jurisdiction. But I should like to show that not only Himmler's subordinate machine but also Frick's Ministry itself was familiar with these institutions. Therefore, I now offer into evidence Document 1643-PS, as Exhibit USA 713.

This document is a synopsis of correspondence between the Reich Ministry of the Interior and its field offices from November, 1942, through August, 1943, on the subject of the legal aspects of the confiscation of property by the S.S. for the enlargement of the concentration camp at Auschwitz. At the bottom of Page 1 and the top of Page 2 of the English translation there appears a synopsis of the minutes of a meeting held on 17th and 18th December, 1942, concerning the confiscation of this property. These minutes indicate that a further discussion was to be held on the subject on 21st December, 1942, between the representatives of the Reich Minister of the Interior and the Reichsfuehrer S.S. On Page 2 there appears also a summary of a teletype letter dated 22nd January, 1943, from Dr. Hoffmann, representing the Reich Minister of the Interior, to the District Governor in Kattowitz.

The summary begins as follows, and I quote:

"The territory of the Auschwitz Concentration Camp will be changed into an independent estate" - which means an administrative territory of itself.
The fact that the defendant Frick demonstrated personal interest in a concentration camp became known through the testimony of Dr. Blaha, to which I should like to refer the Tribunal, in which he testified that Frick visited the Dachau Camp in 1943.

The next aspect of the participation of the defendant Frick in the Nazi conspiracy concerns his promotion of racial persecution and racialism, involving the wiping out of the Jews.

In addition to the many other responsibilities of Frick, this vast administrative empire covered the entire area of the enactment and administration of racial legislation.

I refer again to Document 3475-PS, "The Manual for German Administrative Officials," previously introduced, and I refer to Pages 2 and 4, showing that

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Frick was administrative and legislative guardian and protector of the German race.

In order to avoid any repetition, I shall not quote the various acts drafted by Frick's Ministry against the Jews. The presentation concerning persecution of the Jews made by Major Walsh before the Christmas recess listed a number of decrees signed by Frick, including the infamous Nuremberg laws and the laws depriving Jews of their property and their rights of citizenship, and stigmatising them with the Yellow Star.

But the activities of Frick's Ministry were not restricted to the commission of such crimes, camouflaged in the form of legislation. The police field offices, subordinate to Frick, participated in the organisation of such terroristic activities as the pogrom of 9th November, 1938.

I refer to a series of Heydrich's orders and reports concerning the organisation of these pogroms - or, as they were termed-by Heydrich, "spontaneous riots" - Documents 3051-PS and 3058-PS, Which are already in evidence as Exhibits USA 240 and 508.

Three days after this pogrom of 9th November, 1938, Frick, his Under-Secretary Stuckart and his subordinates, Heydrich and Deluege, participated in a conference on the Jewish question under the chairmanship of the defendant Goering. At this meeting the various measures were discussed which the individual governmental departments should initiate against the Jews. A stenographic record of this meeting, Document 1816-PS, is already in evidence as Exhibit USA 261. May I briefly refer to the bottom of Page 23 of the English translation, where we find Goering's concluding remarks:

"Also the Ministry of the Interior and the police will have to think over what measures have to be taken."
This remark shows that Goering regarded it as Frick's duty to follow up by administrative devices the pogrom, organised by Frick's own subordinates.

In the foregoing presentation we have shown that the defendant Frick, as a member of the conspiracy, devised the machinery of the State for Nazism. In the following presentation we will show that Frick actively supported the preparation of the Nazi State for war.

May we begin this portion by showing that Frick was in sympathy with the flagrant violations by Germany of her treaties of non-aggression. This is clearly shown by the affidavit of Ambassador Messersmith, Document 2385-PS, previously introduced as Exhibit USA 68. I shall quote only one sentence from this affidavit, Page 4, line 10. It reads as follows:

"High-ranking Nazis with whom I had to maintain official contact, particularly men such as Goering, Goebbels, Ley, Frick, Frank, Darre and others, repeatedly scoffed at my attitude to the binding character of treaties and openly stated to me that Germany would observe her international undertakings only so long as it suited Germany's interests to do so."
In May, 1935, by his appointment as General Plenipotentiary for the Administration of the Reich, Frick became one of the big three in charge of preparing Germany for war. The other two members of the triumvirate were the Chief of the O.K.W. and the General Plenipotentiary for Economy, at that time the defendant Schacht. Frick has admitted that he held the position of General Plenipotentiary since 21st May, 1935, the date of the original secret Reich Defence Law. I refer to his statement of positions, Document 2978-PS, Exhibit USA 8.

His functions as General Plenipotentiary are outlined in the Reich Defence Law of 4th September, 1938, which was classified top military secret and appears in our document book as 2494-PS, Exhibit USA 36. Under this law of 1938, paragraph 3, tremendous power was concentrated in the hands of Frick as General Plenipotentiary for Administration. In addition to the offices under his supervision as Minister of the Interior, the law made the following offices

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subordinate to Frick for the purpose of carrying out the directives of the law: Reich Minister of Justice, Reich Minister of Education, Reich Minister for Religious Matters and the Reich Office for Planning.

Frick admitted the significant part he played in the preparations for war as a member of the triumvirate, in a speech made on 7th March, 1940, at the University of Freiburg. Excerpts appear in the document book as 2608-PS, which I offer in evidence as Exhibit USA 714. I think it would be helpful if the Tribunal would allow me to read two short paragraphs, beginning at the top of Page 1 of the English translation:

"The organisation of the non-military national defence fits organically into the entire structure of the National Socialist government and administration. This state of affairs is not exceptional, but a necessary and planned part of the National Socialist order. Thus, the conversion of our administration and economy to wartime conditions has been accomplished very quickly and without any friction-avoiding the otherwise very dangerous change of the entire structure of the State.

The planned preparation of the administration for the possibility of a war has already been carried out during peacetime. For this purpose the Fuehrer appointed a Plenipotentiary General for the Reich Administration and a Plenipotentiary General for Economy."

Many of Frick's contributions to the preparation of the German State for war are outlined in detail in the book "Dr. Wilhelm Frick and His Ministry," which is already in evidence as Document 3119-PS. May I quote two short sentences from the top of Page 3 of the English translation:
"Besides, the leading co-operation of the Reich Minister of the Interior in the important field of 'military legislation,' and thus in the establishment of our Armed Forces, has to be particularly emphasised. After all, the Reich Minister of the Interior is the civilian minister of the defence of the country, who in this capacity, together with the Reich War Minister, not only signed the military law of 12th May, 1935, but in his capacity as Supreme Chief of the General and Inner Administration, as well as of the police, has also received from the Fuehrer and Reich Chancellor important powers in the fields of the recruitment system and of military supervision."
I have previously mentioned that, as Minister of the Interior, Frick was responsible for the administrative policy in occupied and annexed territories. It was his Ministry which introduced the new German order throughout the vast territory of Europe occupied by the German Armed Forces, and the defendant Frick exercised these powers. I request that the Tribunal take judicial notice of three decrees signed by Frick, introducing German law into Austria, the Sudetenland and the Government General of Poland respectively: Decree of 13th March, 1938, Reichsgesetzblatt, 1938, Part 1, Page 237, Article 8 (Document 2307-PS); Decree of 1st October, 1938, Reichsgesetzblatt,1938, Part 1, Page 1331, paragraph 8 (Document 3073-PS); Decree of 12th October, 1939, Reichsgesetzblatt, 1939, Part 1, Page 2077, paragraph 8 (1) (Document 3079-PS).

Frick's Ministry also arranged the selection and assignment of hundreds of occupation officials for the Soviet territory even before the invasion. This fact appears in a report by the defendant Rosenberg of April, 1941, on preparations for the administration of occupied territory in the East. May I refer to Page 2, paragraph 2, of Document 109-PS, which has previously been introduced as Exhibit USA 146.

One category of Frick's contribution to the planning of and preparation for aggressive war deserves special notice. This is the systematic killing of persons regarded as useless to the German war machine, such as the insane, the crippled and aged, and foreign labourers who were no longer able to work. These killings were carried out in nursing homes, hospitals and asylums. The

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Tribunal will recall that the defendant Frick, in his capacity as Reich Minister of the Interior, had jurisdiction over public health and all institutions. May I refer again briefly to the "Manual for German Administrative Officials," Document 3475-PS, this time to Pages 3, 4 and 7 of the English partial translation. There the following are mentioned as Frick's jurisdictional areas: "Health Administration," "Social Hygiene," "Racial Improvement and Eugenics," "Reich Plenipotentiary for Sanatoria and Nursing Homes."

As proof that Frick's jurisdiction covered the death cases in these institutions, I now offer in evidence Document 621- PS, Exhibit USA 715. This is a letter of 2nd October, 1940, from the Chief of the Reich Chancellery, Dr. Lammers, to the Reichsminister of Justice, informing the latter that material concerning the death of inmates of nursing homes had been transmitted to the Reichsminister of the Interior for further action. In fact, the defendant Frick not only had jurisdiction of these establishments, but he was one of the originators of a secret law organising the murdering.

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