The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

Fifty-First Day: Tuesday, 5th February, 1946
(Part 3 of 14)

[M. EDGAR FAURE continues]

I must point out, first of all, that as regards broadcasting, the Germans obviously encountered an obstacle which was not present to the same degree in other fields. This obstacle lay in the transmissions broadcast by the Free Radios which, as the Belgian witness said yesterday, were followed with the greatest enthusiasm by the inhabitants of the occupied countries. The German Command then had the idea of penalising the persons who listened to these broadcasts. In the document which I am going to quote, the Military Command went to the length of asking the French authorities most urgently to provide for the most stringent penalties, even going so far as to prescribe the death penalty for persons repeating news heard on the foreign radio service.

I think it will be useful, if I deposit in evidence this document emanating from the Military Command and signed by "Stuelpnagel," which demonstrates the criminal intentions of the German staff.

I should like to read this document from the beginning of the third paragraph:

"The French law of 28th October, 1941, does not provide for special sanctions for the broadcasting of news from foreign stations calculated to endanger order or public security, although this offense constitutes a particularly grave danger.

It is indispensable that the dissemination of such news should be punished by hard labor and even -- in particularly serious cases -- by the death penalty. No account is to be taken of whether the person who passes on such news has heard it by listening in himself or in some other way.

The fact that it is now possible to make such an offence legally subject to sanctions by having recourse to a State tribunal is not enough to make the population abstain from listening to the British radio and spreading the news heard.

Inasmuch as the law regulating the functions of the State tribunals does not prescribe any punishment for the offence of listening to foreign stations, no connection has yet been established between the fact of listening to and spreading this news, and the sanctions of forced labour and the death penalty. The population, therefore, has not yet been able to realise that an offence of this kind can entail forced labour or even death.

[Page 72]

Consequently, I ask that a draft law modifying the law of 28th October, 1941, be submitted to me by 3rd January, 1943."
I add as an appendix the German text of the decree prescribing the preventative measures to be taken in connection with broadcasting, which will inform you of the details of this regulation.

I shall now submit a document which I think may interest the Tribunal. It will be Exhibit RF 1147, and it has quite a different character from that of the documents which I have produced up to now. This document consists, firstly of a letter from Berlin dated 27th October, 1941, the subject of which is an agreement relating to collaboration with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. I read this letter, which is very short, and which authenticates our documents:

"With the authorisation of the Ministry, we enclose for your information, as a secret matter of the Reich, a copy of the agreement relating to collaboration with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, as well as a copy of the agreement of execution. The agreement itself is not confidential, but details of the contents must not be given."
The document enclosed with this is the full text, which I shall not read, of the agreement made between the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Reich Ministry for Public Enlightenment and Propaganda relating to collaboration between their respective branches. I think that this document is of some interest, and that is why I submit it. I shall merely point out to the Tribunal that it shows at once the extent of the hold which the Germans wished to make sure of possessing over the minds of the populations of occupied and even foreign countries, and the way in which they accomplished this.

Chapter I of this document is entitled, "Collaboration by Branches." Letter "A" concerns the cinema, the theatre, music and exhibitions. Letter "B" concerns publications.

I think it might be interesting to read the first few lines of letter "B," for after expounding the propaganda from the point of view of those at whom it was aimed, it is interesting to look at the question from the point of view of the persons who put it out. And, on the other hand, I think we must not lose the opportunity of observing the extraordinary variety and skill of the German methods.

This quotation is very brief:

"The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Reich Ministry of Information and Propaganda are operating maintain a joint company under the name of `Mundus A.G.,' in which they have equal shares and under which are grouped the publishing houses controlled by both ministries at Germany and abroad, These firms will be used for the publication of library works intended for foreign consumption. The company will also include all those firms founded with a view to a future similar interest by the two Ministries in this field."
On Page 3, paragraph 4, I should like also to read a sentence:
"The two Ministries take part reciprocally in the establishment of the plan for propaganda works published by them, or on thier initiative, in this country, but intended for foreign consumption."
Finally, on Page 4, I shall read a sentence in the penultimate paragraph:
"With the aim of grouping together within a single organisation, foreign broadcasting stations openly owned by the Germans, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of Information and Propaganda will combine in running, on a basis of equal shares, the joint company Interradio A.G., domiciled in Berlin."

[Page 73]

The Tribunal has noticed the phrase "openly owned by the Germans."

This will be completed by a final quotation of a sentence on Page 5, at the beginning of paragraph 2:

"For political reasons the official activities, carried on secretly through foreign broadcasting stations, must not be connected with the avowed joint company."
I should like, in concluding this brief on propaganda, to present Exhibit RF 1148, which is a message circulated to all the propaganda offices. I think a very brief quotation from this document will be interesting for its definition of the very general use of propaganda as the tool of one of the most premeditated and most serious enterprises of Nazidom, namely, the extermination of nationality and existence of a country. In this case Czech culture and tradition are involved. I quote from paragraph 4:
"The fact that the Czechs form part of the German cultural space in Europe must always be set forth positively and prominently. It is proper to insist, on all occasions, on the strong influence which German culture has exercised over Czech culture, even to insist on the fact that the latter was deponent on the former; and, further, to insist upon the German cultural achievements in Bohemia and Moravia and their effect on the cultural activities of the Czechs.

It is also desirable always to take account of the fact that the Czechs speak a Slav language, but that, having lived for centuries with German people of superior culture, in empires where Germans predominated, they are really part of the German cultural environment and have scarcely anything in common with other peoples of Slav language.

From the historical point of view, it is always proper to emphasise those eras during which the Czechs came under the influence of German culture: in the time of St. Wenceslas, Charles IV, Ferdinand I, Rudolf II and others."

Finally, I submit, without reading it, Exhibit RF 1149. I was anxious to include this document in our document book because it constitutes a report of a year's propaganda activities in one of the occupied countries -- Norway, to be exact. I have spoken at some length of this country, and that is why I do not wish now to quote the text of this document, but I do wish to mention that German propaganda formed the subject of extremely regular reports, and that these reports touched on every subject: Press, cinema, radio, culture, theatre, schools, education.

Propaganda in the German sense of the term is, as I have already stated, something which covers a much wider range than that previously ascribed to it. No aspect of our life is foreign to it; it respects none of the things that are precious to us; it can become a real penitentiary for the spirit, when even the idea of escape is imprisoned.

If it please the Tribunal, may I suggest that the session be suspended now, so that the films may be shown immediately after this presentation, which is now concluded.

My only purpose in showing these films is to illustrate one of the most disagreeable features of life in the occupied countries -- the fact that wherever we went we were always compelled to see before us the stupid and ugly German propaganda pictures.

THE PRESIDENT: The Court will adjourn for 15 minutes.

(A recess was taken.)

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