The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)
Nuremberg, war crimes, crimes against humanity

The Trial of German Major War Criminals

Sitting at Nuremberg, Germany
16th April to 1st May, 1946

One-Hundred-and-Thirteenth Day: Wednesday, 24th April, 1946
(Part 4 of 9)

[Page 200]

THE PRESIDENT: Dr. Seidl, are there any passages in these documents which express the opinion that the same principles ought to be applied to others than fellow Germans?

DR. SEIDL: In this last quotation the defendant Dr. Frank dealt basically with questions of law without making any difference here between Germans and members of foreign nationalities. However, in his capacity as Governor General he also fundamentally objected, at all times, to the transfer of Poles, Ukrainians and Jews into concentration camps. This can be seen from a whole series of entries in the diary.

With this I have come to the end of my evidence for Dr. Frank. There are left only the answers to questionnaires by witnesses whose provisional interrogation has been approved by the Tribunal. At a later date I shall compile these interrogatories in a small document book and submit the translation thereof to the Tribunal.

THE PRESIDENT: You are speaking of interrogatories where you have not yet got the answers: is that right?

DR. SEIDL: Yes. There are interrogatories to which the answers have not yet been received.

THE PRESIDENT: Yes. Well, as soon as you have received them you will furnish them to the prosecution and to the Tribunal?


THE PRESIDENT: Dr. Pannenbecker.

DR. PANNENBECKER (Counsel for Frick): In presenting evidence for the defendant Frick, I shall forgo calling the defendant himself as a witness. The questions which require an explanation deal mainly with problems relating to formal authority and also with problems which differentiate between formal authority and actual responsibility. These are problems which have already been partly elucidated by the interrogation of Dr. Lammers and which will, for the rest, be cleared up by the submission of documents. One special field, however, cannot be entirely clarified by documents, and that is the question of the actual distribution of the power of the police, but for that special field I have named the witness Dr. Gisevius. He is the only witness whose interrogation seems to be necessary in the case of Frick. Therefore, I shall dispense with the others.

I ask the Tribunal to decide whether I should call the witness Dr. Gisevius first or whether I should submit my documents first. If documents should be presented first, I believe that I could finish by the midday recess.

THE PRESIDENT: You can finish your documents before the adjournment, do you mean?

DR. PANNENBECKER: Yes. I believe so.

[Page 201]

THE PRESIDENT: By 1 o'clock ?


THE PRESIDENT: Are you indifferent whether you call the witness first or whether you present the documents first ?


THE PRESIDENT: The Tribunal thinks that perhaps it would be more convenient to give the documents first. They hope that you will be able to finish them reasonably quickly.


Numbers 1, 2 and 3 of the document book deal with evidence concerning the question of whether the members of the Reich Cabinet knew about Hitler's preparation for aggressive war. I do not have to read the documents; they have already been submitted, and they show that Hitler informed only those of his assistants of his plans for aggression who had to know of these plans for their own work, but did not inform Frick, who, as Minister of the Interior, was responsible for the internal policy.

With the scope of the war preparations, Frick was made Plenipotentiary for the Administration of the Reich by the Reich Defence Law of 4 September, 1938, which has already been submitted, as Exhibit USA 36. This law does not indicate that this position had anything to do with a conscious preparation of aggressive wars; it shows only the participation of the inner administration, in a general preparation and organisation in the event of a future war. I have therefore included an excerpt from this law in the document book under Number 4, in order to correct an error. The defendant Frick himself stated in an affidavit on 14 November, 1945, that he had held the position of Plenipotentiary for Reich Administration since 21 May, 1935. This is the date of the first Reich Defence Law, which has already been submitted as Exhibit USA 24. This first Reich Defence Law of 21 May, 1935, however, does not provide for the position of Plenipotentiary for Reich Administration; that is contained only in the second law of 4 September, 1938.

This second law has been submitted as Exhibit USA 36. According to this erroneous statement, which the defendant Frick made without having the two laws at hand, the prosecution has also stated that Frick had held the position of Plenipotentiary for Reich Administration since 21 May, 1935, while actually he held it only since 4 September, 1938. That is, since the date of the second law.

Documents numbers 5 and 6 of the document book have already been submitted by the prosecution. They also prove nothing except the participation of the defendant Frick in the establishment of civil administration with a view to a possible future war. It is not necessary to read these either.

The prosecution considers Hitler's aggressive intentions to be so well known and so obvious as to require no further proof. The prosecution on that assumption came to the conclusion that participation in the National Socialist Government, in any field whatsoever, would in itself imply the conscious support of aggressive wars. In opposition to that I referred to evidence in documents 7-10 of the Frick document book, which have already been submitted by the prosecution and which show that Hitler in public, as well as in private conversations, from the time he came into power, followed a definite policy of declaring his peaceful intentions - a policy, therefore, which for notable reasons declared to all and sundry that peace was preferable to war.

I believe that these documents, which have already been submitted to the Tribunal, must also be considered in order to decide whether or not Hitler's official policy since his coming to power indicated that he had intentions of waging aggressive war. As evidence in that direction, I should like to submit numbers 11 and 12 of the document book, which have not been presented until now, and which I will submit as Exhibits Frick-I and 2.

[Page 202]

The first is a telegram of 8 March, 1936, from Cardinal Archbishop Schulte to the Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces at the time of the occupation of the Rhineland in 1936. The second document is a solemn declaration by the Austrian Bishops, occasioned by the annexation of Austria in March, 1938. The first document states:-
"Cardinal Archbishop Schulte has sent to General von Blomberg, the Commander-in-Chief of the German Armed Forces, a telegram in which - in that memorable hour when the Armed Forces of the Reich are re-entering the German Rhineland as the guardians of peace and order - he greets the soldiers of our nation with deep emotion, mindful of the magnificent example of self-sacrificing love of the fatherland, stern, manly discipline and upright fear of God, which our Army has always given to the world."
I particularly selected these two documents because the Catholic Church is not suspected of sanctioning aggressive wars or of approving Hitler's criminal intentions in any other way. These statements would have been unthinkable if the accusations of the prosecution were true, namely, that the criminal aims of Hitler and particularly his aggressive intentions had been notorious.

THE PRESIDENT: Dr. Pannenbecker, the Tribunal would like to know what is the source of this telegram from the Archbishop, Exhibit Frick-1.

DR. PANNENBECKER: I took the telegram from the Volkischer Beobachter of 9 March, 1936.

THE PRESIDENT: And the other one?

DR. PANNENBECKER: The other one is from the Volkischer Beobachter of 26 March, 1938.

Number 13 of the document book contains only one sentence, taken from a speech made by Frick, from which it is evident that Frick shared the same opinion. He stated in this speech:-

"The national revolution is the expression of the will to eliminate, by legal means, every form of external and internal foreign domination."
THE PRESIDENT: You gave that the number 13, did you?


THE PRESIDENT: I beg your pardon. That should be 3.

DR. PANNENBECKER: Yes, that is what I wanted to say. I submit it as Exhibit Frick-3.


DR. PANNENBECKER: The defendant Frick has been accused in particular of working for the "Verein fur das Deutschtum im Ausland (Association for Germanism Abroad). The prosecution saw in this activity a contribution by the defendant Frick to the preparation of aggressive wars. Frick's actual attitude regarding the aims of the "Association for Germanism Abroad" can be seen from Document 14, which will be Exhibit Frick-4. In a speech made by Frick, it states:-

"The 'Association for Germanism Abroad' has nothing to do with power politics or with frontier questions; it is, and intends to be, nothing more than a rallying point for German cultural activities the world over."
In Document 15 which is Exhibit Frick-5 -

THE PRESIDENT: (Interposing) Dr. Pannenbecker, I perhaps ought to say that in the index of this document book it looks as though the exhibit numbers were the numbers of the documents in the order in which they are put in the book, but that will not be so.

DR. PANNENBECKER: No, it will not be so.

THE PRESIDENT: That last document which you just put in as Exhibit 4 is shown in the book to be Exhibit 14, which is a mistake. It is Document 14, but not Exhibit 14.

DR. PANNENBECKER:. Document 14, Exhibit 4.


[Page 203]

DR. PANNENBECKER: On the same subject I have entered in Document 15, Exhibit 5, a decree of the Reich Minister of the Interior of 24 February, 1933, which also deals with the question of the work of the "Association for Germanism Abroad." It states:-

THE PRESIDENT: Has that not already been put in? I see it has a PS number.

DR. PANNENBECKER: It has a PS number, but then it was not submitted as evidence by the prosecuting authority. Therefore I quote:

"The suffering and misery of the times, the lack of work and food within Germany, cannot divert attention from the fact that about 30 million Germans, living outside the present contracted borders of the Reich, are an integral part of the entire German people; an integral part, which the Reich Government is not able to help economically, but to which it considers itself under an obligation to offer cultural support through the organisation primarily concerned with this task - the 'Association for Germanism Abroad.'"
In Documents 16-24 of the document book, which I do not have to read in detail, I have collected the legal decrees which deal with the authority of the Reich Ministry of the Interior as a central office for certain occupied territories. The tasks of this central office, which had no authority to issue orders and no executive authority in any occupied territories, have already been described by the witness, Dr. Lammers, and these tasks are a special entry in Document 24. I do not have to submit it in evidence. It is an official publication of the "Reichsgesetzblatt" (Reich Legal Gazette) and has, in addition, already been submitted as 3082-PS. In accordance with the fact that the central office had no authority to issue orders in the occupied territories, there is, in Dr. Frank's diary, a confirmation of the fact that the Governor General alone had authority to issue orders for the administration of his territory. I do not have to quote this passage since it has already been submitted to the Tribunal.

Police authority in the occupied territories was transferred to Reichsfuehrer S.S. Himmler; but Frick, as Reich Minister of the Interior, had nothing to do with this either, since that authority was vested only in Himmler, as Reichsfuehrer S.S. That can be seen from Document 26 of the document book, which also has already been submitted as Exhibit USA 319.

The prosecution further considers the defendant Frick responsible for the crimes committed in the Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia since August, 1943, on the basis that Frick had been Reich Protector in Bohemia and Moravia since that time. In this connection I refer to Documents 28 and 29 of the document book, from which it is evident that at the time that Frick was appointed, the former authorities of the Reich Protector had been sub-divided between a so-called German State Minister in Bohemia and Moravia who, under the immediate supervision of the Fuehrer and Reich Chancellor, had to manage all government affairs, and the Reich Protector Frick, who received some special authority and essentially had the right to grant reprieves after sentences had been passed by the local courts.

Frick has also been accused of being responsible for the political police, that is, the Secret State Police (Gestapo) and the concentration camps. Until 1936, police matters were the affair of the individual States in Germany, and accordingly, in Prussia, Goering, as Prussian Prime Minister and Prussian Minister of the Interior, built up the political police and established the concentration camps. Frick, therefore, as Reich Minister of the Interior, had no connection with these things.

In the spring of 1934 Frick also became Prussian Minister of the Interior. Previously, however, Goering had - by a special law - attended to the political police outside the jurisdiction of the office of the Prussian Minister of the

[Page 204]

Interior, and placed it under the immediate supervision of the Prime Minister, an office which Goering retained for himself.

The corresponding decrees have already been submitted by the prosecution as Documents 2104-PS, 2105-PS and 2113-PS.

The same is evident from Document 30 in the document book, which has also been submitted as Exhibit USA 233.

Thus, in the political police sphere, Frick, until 1936, had only a general right of supervision, such as the Reich had over the individual States. He had, however, no special authority in individual cases, only that of issuing general directives; and in Documents 31-33 of the document book I have entered a few of these directives issued by him.

I quote No. 31, which will be Exhibit Frick-6:

"In order to correct the abuses resulting from the decree for protective custody, the Reich Minister for the Interior, in his directives of 12 April, 1934, to the district (Laender) Governments and Reichsstatthalter anent the promulgation and execution of decrees for protective custody, has determined that protective custody may be ordered only: (a) for the protection of the arrested person; (b) in the event that the arrested person, by his behaviour and especially by activities directed against the State, has directly endangered public security and order. Therefore, protective custody is not permissible when the above-mentioned cases are not applicable, especially (a) against persons who merely make use of their public and civil rights; (b) against lawyers for representing the interests of their clients; (c) for personal affairs, as for instance, insults; (d) because of economic measures (questions of salary, dismissal of employees and similar cases).

Furthermore, protective custody is not permissible as a counter-measure for punishable actions, since the courts are competent to deal with those cases."

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