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-Seventeenth Day: Tuesday, 30th April, 1946
(Part 2 of 10)

[DR. MARX continues his direct examination of Friedrich Strobel]

[Page 361]

THE PRESIDENT: You may sit down.


Q. Witness, on 3 December, 1938, were you at a meeting of the National Jurists' League in Nuremberg?

A. Yes.

Q. During that meeting the defendant Streicher is supposed to have spoken; is that correct?

A. Yes.

Q. Would you please tell us what the defendant Streicher stated on that occasion concerning the demonstrations of 9 November, 1938?

A. He said: "I should not have carried out this action in this way. In such a manner it is impossible to fight a power like World Jewry." Then he added, "What has been done, cannot be undone," and some more phrases of that kind.

Q. Is it correct that at that time you were surprised that Streicher in public objected against that action, which had been ordered by the highest authorities?

A. Yes. Streicher frequently spoke against measures and directives of the Government when he was of a different opinion, as on this occasion. I had the impression that apparently he had been passed over; for in his speech there was a certain malicious undertone to the effect that the matter was having unfavourable after-effects. I wondered at the time, whether Streicher really had a lucid interval and realised how harmful that anti-Jewish action was, or whether merely his vanity was wounded, or whether he felt that a too quick and radical extermination of the Jews would put an end also to his own importance.

Q. Witness, these are opinions which you are stating and not facts; I did not ask you about that.

A. Well, that was my impression.

Q. All right, I ask you now: On 9 and 10 November, 1938, were you present in Nuremberg?

A. Yes, I believe so. I do not remember exactly, but I believe it was on the night of 8 to 9 November, 1938, when that action was carried out. It was on 7 November that Herr von Rath was shot, and on the 8th he died, and the night after, these things occurred.

THE PRESIDENT: We needn't argue about whether it was the 8th or the 9th. It doesn't matter, does it?


Q. The question which I want to put to you now is after that night during which the demonstrations against the Jewish population took place, what observations did you make on the following morning, and later, about the attitude of the population in Nuremberg toward these demonstrations?

A. I was informed about that action by the personnel in my office. There-

[Page 362]

upon I walked into the city and looked around the streets. People were standing in front of the damaged stores. I had the impression that the vast majority of the population was benumbed and speechless. People shook their heads, looked at each other, muttered something and then walked away. But, generally, I had the impression that people could not speak aloud, and later I heard that those who had objected to these things were treated rather badly, when they were overheard by informers.

Q. But the general impression was, was it not, that the population definitely disapproved of that action, and the general indignation was recognisable though not loudly expressed.

A. Yes. The Russian Radio at the time hit the nail on the head by saying:

"Let it be said to the credit of the German people that they had no part in the events and that they were sleeping."
In fact most people heard of the events of the night only on the following morning.

THE PRESIDENT: What has this got to do with the defendant Streicher?

DR. MARX: Well, the defendant Streicher has been accused of openly approving this action in his speech on 10 November. The defendant Streicher also maintains in his defence that it was an action ordered by the top authorities and not a spontaneous demonstration of the people.

THE PRESIDENT: The fact that a number of people in Nuremberg, or even the whole of the people of Nuremberg, disapproved of it wouldn't show that Streicher disapproved of it.

DR. MARX: Yes, but he maintains that there could have been no question of an incitement, since the action had been ordered and directed from the top, whereas, in the case of an incitement, the action would have been started by the people themselves. That was his conclusion.

THE WITNESS: May I state my opinion about that? The action was definitely not started by the people, themselves, because even the majority of the S.A. men who took part in it did so against their will. It was an order from above; it was an organised affair. The assertion of Dr. Goebbels that the German people had risen spontaneously was an intentional inculpation of the German people.

DR. MARX: I have no more questions to ask of this witness, Mr. President.

THE PRESIDENT: Do any other of the defendants' counsel wish to ask him any questions?

Does the prosecution wish to cross-examine?

Then the witness can retire.

DR. MARX: With the permission of the Tribunal, I now call the witness Ernst Hiemer.

THE MARSHAL: There is no witness.

THE PRESIDENT: Is he not there?

THE MARSHAL: We have no witness there.

THE PRESIDENT: He says, Dr. Marx, that he is not there, and that there are no witnesses there.

DR. MARX: Excuse me, Mr. President. The witness Hiemer is in the prison here, and I talked to him personally.

THE PRESIDENT: Well, did you inform the prison authorities yesterday that you were going to call him?

DR. MARX: I spoke to the Marshal on Monday, and asked that Hiemer be brought up on Tuesday, as far as I can recall. There must be a misunderstanding.

THE PRESIDENT: Well, have you got any other witnesses besides Hiemer?

DR. MARX: Yes; the witness Wurzbacher.

THE PRESIDENT: Where is he? Where is Wurzbacher?

DR. MARX: Wurzbacher is also here in the prison.

[Page 363]

THE PRESIDENT: Well, while he is being brought, can you take up the time in dealing with your documents?

DR. MARX: Yes. We can do that.

THE MARSHAL: They will be here in about five minutes.

THE PRESIDENT: Very well. Go on, Dr. Marx.

DR. MARX: Mr. President, before coming to the question of the documents, I should like to point out the following: During the session yesterday afternoon the prosecution submitted several documents which were new to me, and I have not yet had an opportunity of stating my position with regard to them. Nor have I yet had a chance of speaking to the defendant Streicher about them. From the point of view of the defence, I consider it necessary to explain my position with regard to these very important documents; and I believe that I must now examine all the articles of "Der Sturmer' to see whether Streicher used in some way or other the various pieces of information from the "Israelitisches Wochenblatt"; for his defence is, "I did not believe what I read there." If he did not use these items of information in any of his articles, then his answer is, to a certain extent, corroborated. Therefore I have to review the matter ...

THE PRESIDENT: Wait a minute. In one particular article it was demonstrated yesterday in cross-examination, as I understood it, that he had used an article from the Jewish paper.

DR. MARX: Yes. I know that article. It is one of 4 November, 1943.

THE PRESIDENT: Well, Dr. Marx, what exactly are you applying for now? What is your motion?

DR. MARX: My motion is that the Tribunal permit me to supplement my document book, so as to be able to state my position with regard to yesterday's presentation of documents by the prosecution, by submitting counter documents of my own. My presentation of documents would be incomplete if I had no chance of replying to these new documents submitted by the prosecution.

THE PRESIDENT: Yes, Dr. Marx; the Tribunal grants your motion provided you make it in the ordinary way, in writing, referring to any passages which, you contend, throw light on the passages which have been put in by the prosecution.

DR. MARX: Yes. May I now begin to discuss the individual documents?

Exhibit No. 1 shows that the newspaper "Sturmer," according to the decision of the Fuehrer, was not an official Party organ and was not even entitled to carry the State insignia while all other Press organs displayed the insignia prominently. That is evidence that the paper "Sturmer" was a private publication of the defendant Streicher.

THE PRESIDENT: Dr. Marx, you are going to offer these documents in evidence and give them exhibit numbers are you not?

DR. MARX: I consider these documents as submitted; I have discussed the subject with the prosecution and the prosecution had no objections.

THE PRESIDENT: You see, there is a written transcript being taken down, and unless you offer each document in evidence and say that will be exhibit number so and so, it does not get on to the transcript. If you like, you can do it in a group and say "I offer in evidence such and such documents as, Exhibits 1 to 100," or whatever number you wish.

DR. MARX: Yes.

THE PRESIDENT: The book I have before me does contain certain exhibit numbers for instance, Page 1 to 4 appears to be Exhibit 1 and Page 5 is Exhibit 5 Page 6 is Exhibit 6; Page 7 is Exhibit 7.

DR. MARX: Yes.

THE PRESIDENT: I am told that Page 4 is Exhibit 1; is it?

[Page 364]

DR. MARX: The paging made here is completely different from the one I made and, consequently, it is now arranged altogether differently.

THE PRESIDENT: Very well, let us get on. You only have to tell us what documents you are offering in evidence and under what exhibit numbers. Dr. Marx, you can do it later if you want to.

DR. MARX: I further submit Exhibit 5, an excerpt from an editorial of "Der Sturmer" of July, 1938. No. 28. This article which was not written by the defendant Streicher but by Karl Holz, is worded in very sharp language and says that vengeance will break loose one day and all Jewry will be exterminated. But it is said that the article was caused by a letter which was sent from Nuremberg to New York and which stated that Germany in the case of war would be destroyed from the air. And so this article also falls under the claim, which the defendant made yesterday, namely, that his sharp language was always caused by some preceding action from another side. That is Exhibit 5 and I ask permission to submit it as an exhibit under that number.

Then I submit as Exhibit 6, an excerpt from Number 40 of "Der Sturmer" of October, 1938. I think I can dispense with comment on it because my argument can be seen from the document itself; or is it necessary to speak about it?

THE PRESIDENT: No, you need not speak about them; just put them in.

DR. MARX: I submit as Exhibit 7, an excerpt from the "Volkischer Beobachter" of 25 February, 1942, in answer to Document 31-M of the trial brief against the defendant.

Then I submit Exhibit 8, an excerpt from the "Volkischer Beobachter" of February 8, 1939, Page 2.

Then as Exhibit 9, an excerpt from the political testament of Adolf Hitler, dated 29 April, 1945.

As Exhibit 10, an excerpt from "Der Sturmer," February, 1935, No. 8, Page 4.

As Exhibit 11, an excerpt from "Der Sturmer," of September, 1935, No. 38.

I am giving the next page the exhibit number 12. That is an excerpt from "Der Sturmer," of September, 1935, No. 38, Page 9.

Exhibit 13 is an excerpt from "Der Sturmer," of January, 1938, No. 1.

Exhibit 14, an excerpt from "Der Sturmer," of May, 1938, No. 20.

I do not know now where I stopped, was it 13 or 14? I think No. 14.


DR. MARX: As Exhibit 15, an excerpt from "Der Sturmer," of 5 November, 1943, No. 45.

As Exhibit 16, of the defence, a document submitted by the prosecution under No. 759-PS.

As Exhibit 17, speeches made by Himmler in April, 1943, on 4 October, 1943, and 28 September, 1943, at Posnan and Kharkov.

As Exhibit 18, a photostat of the special issue of "Der Sturmer," of May, 1939, No. 20.

I ask to have these documents admitted. I have limited myself to the utmost.

THE PRESIDENT: That is all, is it?

DR. MARX: Yes.

THE PRESIDENT: Are the witnesses ready yet? Perhaps we might as well adjourn for ten minutes now.

(A recess was taken.)

ERNST HIEMER, a witness, took the stand and testified as follows:-


Q. Will you state your full name.

A. Ernst Hiemer.

DR. MARX: May I just interrupt for a minute, Mr. President. First of all

[Page 365]

I would like to state that I am by no means holding the Marshal responsible for the mistake. The matter was as follows; the mistake in requesting the witness -

THE PRESIDENT: It is quite all right, Dr. Marx.

DR. MARX: I consider it my duty to state here that the Marshal is not responsible for the mistake about the bringing in of the witness. One of my assistants spoke yesterday with a gentleman -

THE PRESIDENT: We quite understand, Dr. Marx.

DR. MARX: Then, Mr. President, I should like to submit Exhibits 1, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, up to 18. I do not know whether it is clear now. The numbers are 1 and 5, and from 6 through 18. Lacking are 2, 3, and 4, which were dropped. All other exhibit numbers are contained therein, numbers 1 and from 5 through 18.

THE PRESIDENT: You include 19, don't you?

DR. MARX: No, 19 and 20 are not necessary.

THE PRESIDENT: No, I beg your pardon. I think I must have been wrong. I have taken down 19, but you haven't got 19, have you?

DR. MARX: Number 18 is my last one, your Honour, and I ask to have that included in the record.

THE PRESIDENT: And now you are going to go on with the witnesses?

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