The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

The Trial of German Major War Criminals

Sitting at Nuremberg, Germany
21st January to 1st February, 1946

Forty-First Day: Wednesday, 23rd January, 1946
(Part 3 of 9)


[Page 87]

From a radio broadcast of 18 March 1941, found at Page 2032 of the BBC translations:
"But the crown of all wrong-applied Rooseveltian logics is the sentence 'There never was a race and there never will be a race which can serve the rest of mankind as a master.' Here too we can only applaud Mr. Roosevelt. It is precisely because there exists no race which can be the master of the rest of mankind, that we Germans have taken the liberty to break the domination of Jewry and of its capital in Germany, of Jewry which believed itself to have inherited the Crown of secret world domination."
In passing, I would merely like to note that it seems to us that this is not only applause for persecution of Jews in the past, but an announcement that more was coming, and an encouragement of it.

I would like to read another excerpt from the broadcast of 9 October, 1941, translated at Page 2101 of the BBC translation:

"We know very well that these German victories have not yet stopped the source of hatred, which, for a long time, has fed the war-mongers

[Page 88]

and from which this war originated. The international Jewish-Democratic Bolshevistic campaign of incitement against Germany still finds cover in this or that fox's lair or rat-hole. We have seen only too frequently how the defeats suffered by the war-mongers only doubled their senseless and impotent fury."
Another broadcast of 8 January 1944. Your Honours, I have tried to pick out illustrative broadcasts from different periods here.
"It is revealed clearly once more that not a system of government, not a young nationalism, not a new and well applied Socialism brought about this war. The guilty ones are exclusively the Jews and the plutocrats. If discussion on the post-war problems should bring this to light so clearly, we welcome it as a contribution for such discussions, and also as a contribution to the fight we are waging now, for we refuse to believe that world history will confide its future developments to those powers which have brought about this war. This clique of Jews and plutocrats had invested their money in armaments, and they had to see to it that they got their interest and sinking funds; hence they unleashed this war."
Concerning the Jews, I had one last quotation from the year 1945. It is from a broadcast of 13 January, 1945, found on Pages 2258 and 2259 of the BBC translations:
"If Jewry provided a link between such divergent elements as plutocracy and Bolshevism, and if Jewry was first able to work successfully in the democratic countries in preparing this war against Germany, it has by now placed itself unreservedly on the side of Bolshevism which, with its entirely mistaken slogans of racial freedom against racial hatred, has created the very conditions the Jewish race requires in its struggle for domination over other races."
And then omitting a few lines in that quotation:
"Not the least result of German resistance in the field, so unexpected to the enemy, is the fruition of a development which began in the pre-war years, the subordination of British policy to far-reaching Jewish points of view. It began long before this, when Jewish emigrants from Germany started their warmongering against us from British and American soil."
And then omitting several sentences and going to the last sentence on that page.
"This whole attempt, aiming at the establishment of Jewish world domination, now increasingly recognisable, has come to a head at the very moment when the peoples' understanding of their racial origins has been far too much awakened to promise success to the undertaking."
Your Honours, we suggest that that is an invitation to further persecution of the Jews and, indeed, to their elimination.

Fritzsche also incited and encouraged ruthless measures against the peoples of the USSR. In his regular broadcasts Fritzsche's incitements against the peoples of the USSR were often linked to, and were certainly as inflammatory as, his slanders against the Jews. If these slanders were not so tragic in their relation to the murder of millions of people, they would be comical, indeed ludicrous. It is ironic that the propaganda libels against the peoples of the USSR, concerning atrocities, actually described some of the many atrocities committed, as we now well know, by the German invaders. The following quotations are again taken from the BBC intercepted broadcasts and their translations, beginning shortly after the invasion of the USSR in June 1941. The first one is taken again from Page 16 of our document book and I will read only the last half of item 7, beginning with the 3rd paragraph:

"The evidence of letters reaching us from the front, of P. K. reporters and may I interrupt my quotation there to say that "P.K" stands for

[Page 89]

"Propaganda Kompanien," propaganda companies were attached to the German Army wherever it went. - "P.K. reporters and soldiers on leave shows that, in this struggle in the East, not one political system is pitted against another, not one view of life is fighting another, but that culture, civilisation, and human decency make a stand against the diabolical principle of a sub-human world."
And then another quotation in the next paragraph
"It was only the Fuehrer's decision to strike in time that saved our homeland from the fate of being overrun by those sub-human creatures, and our men, women and children from the unspeakable horror of being their prey."
In the next broadcast I want to quote from, 10 July, 1941, in the first paragraph, Fritzsche speaks of the inhuman deeds committed in areas controlled by the Soviet Union, and he states that, on seeing the evidence of their commission, one is compelled - and here I quote "... at last to make the holy resolve to assist in the final destruction of those who are capable of such dastardly acts."

And then quoting again, the last paragraph:

"The Bolshevist agitators make no effort to deny that in towns, thousands, and in villages, hundreds, of corpses have been found of men, women and children who had been either killed or tortured to death. Yet the Bolshevik agitators allege that this was not done by Soviet Commissars but by German soldiers. Now we Germans know our soldiers. No German woman or parent requires proof that her husband or son cannot have committed such atrocious acts."
Evidence already in the record or shortly to be offered in this case by our Soviet colleagues will prove that representatives of these Nazi conspirators did not hesitate to exterminate Soviet soldiers and civilians by scientific mass methods. These inciting remarks by Fritzsche make him an accomplice in these crimes because his labelling of the Soviet peoples as members of a "subhuman world" seeking to "exterminate" the German people, and similar desperate talk, helped, by these propaganda diatribes, to fashion the psychological atmosphere of utter and complete unreason, and the hatred which instigated and made possible these atrocities in the East.

Although we cannot say that Fritzsche directed that ten thousand or one hundred thousand persons should be exterminated, it is enough to pause on this question. Without these incitements of Fritzsche, how much harder it would have been for these conspirators to have effected the conditions which made possible the extermination of millions of people in the East.

THE PRESIDENT: Would that be a convenient time to break off?

(A recess was taken)

CAPTAIN SPRECHER: Fritzsche encouraged and affirmed and glorified the policy of the Nazi conspirators in ruthlessly exploiting the occupied countries. Again I read an excerpt from his radio broadcast of 9 October 1941, found at Pages 2102 and 2103, of the BBC translation. I would like to shorten it, but it is one of those long German sentences that just cannot be broken down:

"Today we can only say: Blitzkrieg or no - this German thunderstorm has cleansed the atmosphere of Europe. It is quite true that the dangers threatening us were eliminated one after the other with lightning speed; but in these lightning blows which shattered England's allies on the Continent, we saw not a proof of their weakness, but a proof of the strength and superiority of the Fuehrer's gift as a statesman and military leader; a proof of the German peoples' strength; we saw the proof that no opponent

[Page 90]

can stand up to the courage, discipline, and readiness for sacrifice displayed by the German soldier; and we are particularly grateful for these lightning, unmatched victories, because - as the Fuehrer emphasised last Friday - they give us the possibility of embarking on the organisation of Europe and on the lifting of the treasures" - I would like to repeat that - "lifting of the treasures of this old continent, already in the midst of war, without it being necessary for millions and millions of German soldiers to be on guard, fighting day and night along this or that threatened frontier; and the possibilities of this continent are so rich that they suffice for any of the needs of peace or war."
Concerning the exploitation of foreign countries, Fritzsche states himself, at paragraph thirty-nine of his affidavit
"The utilisation 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."
Fritzsche was a credulous propagandist indeed if he gloriously praised the exploitation policy of the German Reich, chiefly or especially because the competent authorities gave him a sales talk on the voluntary placement of manpower.

I come now to Fritzsche as the high commander of the entire German radio system. Fritzsche continued as the head of the German Press Division until after the conspirators had begun the last of their aggressions. In November 1942 Goebbels created a new position, that of Plenipotentiary for the Political Organisation of the Greater German Radio, a position which Fritzsche was the first and the last to hold. In paragraph thirty-six, document 3469-PS - the Fritzsche affidavit - Fritzsche narrates how the entire German Radio and Television System was organised under his supervision. That is at Page 29 of your document book. He states:

"My office practically represented the highest post of German radio."
As special Plenipotentiary for the Political Organisation of the Greater German Radio, Fritzsche issued orders to all the Reich propaganda offices by teletype. These were used first in conforming the entire radio apparatus of Germany to the desires of the conspirators.

Goebbels customarily held an eleven o'clock conference with his closest collaborators within the Propaganda Ministry. When both he and his undersecretary, Dr. Naumann, were absent, Goebbels after 1943, entrusted Fritzsche with the holding of this eleven o'clock Press conference.

In document 3255-PS the Court will find Goebbels' praise of Fritzsche's broadcasts. This praise was given in Goebbels' introduction to a book by Fritzsche called, "War to the War Mongers." I would like to offer the quotation in evidence as Exhibit USA 724, from the Rundfunk Archiv, at Page 18 of your Honours' document book. This is Goebbels speaking:

"Nobody knows better that I how much work is involved in those broadcasts, how many times they were dictated at the last minute, to find, some minutes later, the willing ear of the whole nation."
So we have it from Goebbels himself that the entire German nation was prepared to lend willing ears to Fritzsche, after he had made his reputation on the radio.

The rumour spread that Fritzsche was "His Master's Voice" (Die Stimme Seines Herrn). This is certainly borne out by Fritzsche's functions. When Fritzsche spoke on the radio it was indeed plain to the German people that they were listening to the high command of the conspirators in this field.

Fritzsche is not being presented by the prosecution as the type of conspirator

[Page 91]

who signed decrees, or as the type of conspirator who sat in the inner councils planning all of the overall grand strategy of these conspirators. The function of propaganda is, for the most part, distinct from the field of such planning. The function of a propaganda agency is somewhat more analogous to an advertising agency or public relations department, the job of which is to sell the product and to win the market for the enterprise in question. Here the enterprise, we submit, was the Nazi conspiracy. In a conspiracy to commit fraud, the gifted salesman of the conspiratorial group is quite as essential and quite as culpable as the master planners, even though he may not have contributed substantially to the formulation of all the basic strategy, but rather contributed to its artful execution.

In this case the prosecution most emphatically contends that propaganda was a weapon of tremendous importance to this conspiracy. We further contend that the leading propagandists were major accomplices in this conspiracy, and moreover, that Fritzsche was a major propagandist.

When Fritzsche entered the Propaganda Ministry, the most fabulous "lie factory" of all time, and thus attached himself to this conspiracy, he did this with a more open mind than most of these conspirators, who had committed themselves at an earlier date, before the seizure of power. He was in a particularly strategic position to observe the frauds committed upon the German people and upon the world by these conspirators.

The Tribunal will recall that in 1933, before Fritzsche took his party oath of unconditional obedience and subservience to the Fuehrer, and thus abdicated his moral responsibility to these conspirators, he had observed at first hand the operations of the Storm Troopers and the Nazi race pattern in action. When, notwithstanding this, Fritzsche undertook to bring the German news agencies in their entirety within Fascist control, he learned from the inside, from Goebbels' own lips, much of the cynical intrigue and many of the bold lies against opposition groups within and without Germany. He observed, for example, the opposition journalists, a profession to which he had previously been attached, being forced out of existence, crushed to earth - either absorbed or eliminated. He continued to support the conspiracy. He learned from day to day the art of intrigue and quackery in the process of perverting the German nation, and he grew in prestige and influence as he practised this art.

The Tribunal will also recall that Fritzsche had said that his predecessor Berndt lost the leadership of the German Press Division, partly because he over-played his hand by the successful but blunt and overdone manipulation of the Sudetenland propaganda. Fritzsche stepped into the gap which had been caused by the loss of confidence of both the editors and the German people, and Fritzsche did his job well.

No doubt Fritzsche was not as blunt as the man he succeeded, but his relative shrewdness and subtlety, his very ability to be more assuring and "to find," as Goebbels said, "the willing ears of the whole nation," these things made him the more useful accomplice of these conspirators.

Nazi Germany and its Press went into the actual phase of war operations with Fritzsche at the head of the particular propaganda instrument, controlling the German Press and German news. In 1942, when Fritzsche transferred from the field of the Press to the field of radio, he was not removed for bungling, but only because Goebbels then needed him most in the field of radio.

Fritzsche is not in the dock as a free journalist, But as an efficient controlled Nazi propagandist, a propagandist who helped substantially to tighten the Nazi stranglehold over the German people, a propagandist who made the excesses of these conspirators more palatable to the consciences of the German people themselves, a propagandist who cynically proclaimed the barbarous racialism which is at the very heart of this conspiracy, a propagandist who

[Page 92]

coldly goaded humble Germans to blind fury against people who were, he told them, sub-human and guilty of all the suffering of Germany; suffering which indeed these Nazis themselves had invited.

In conclusion, I wish to say only this. Without the propaganda apparatus of the Nazi State it is clear that the world, including Germany, would not have suffered the catastrophe of these years, and it is because of Fritzsche's able role on behalf of the Nazi conspirators, and their deceitful and barbarous practices in connection with the conspiracy, that he is called to account before this International Tribunal.

SIR DAVID MAXWELL FYFE: May it please the Tribunal. It was intended that the next presentation would be by Colonel Griffith-Jones in the case of the defendant Hess. I understand that the Tribunal has in mind that it might be better if that were left for the moment; if so, Major Harcourt Barrington is prepared to make the presentation with regard to the defendant von Papen.

THE PRESIDENT: Yes. We understood that the defendant Hess's counsel could not be present today, and therefore it was better to go on with one of the others.

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