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[The Defendant Fritzsche resumed the stand.]
MARSHAL (Lieutenant Colonel James R. Clifford): If it please the Tribunal, the report is made that Defendant Ribbentrop is absent.
DR. FRITZ: Mr. President, Gentlemen of the Tribunal, first a very brief explanation: Yesterday I repeatedly mentioned the Indictment and intend to do so in the course of the examination. Thereby I mean the presentation of Fritzsche's case by Captain Sprecher in the morning session of 23 January 1946.
Herr Fritzsche, yesterday you spoke of your radio speeches concerning the Allied propaganda-my last question: Did you attempt to split the front of the Allies by your propaganda?
FRITZSCHE: Of course I attempted to do that. I elaborated on all ideological and all practical political contrasts or differences between the individual Allied nations. I considered that a permissible method of waging war. At that time I wanted a split between the Allies just as much as today I wish their unity, since Germany would be the first victim of any conflict.
DR. FRITZ: Now, you are accused of assisting in establishing Nazi control throughout Germany. Did you agitate against democracy?
FRITZSCHE: I never agitated against democracy as such. I attacked the democracy of the 36 parties, the democracy which had prevailed in Germany previously, the democracy under which even strong groups such as the two Marxist parties, for example, were powerless. I criticized foreign democracy only on two points: First, the elements which limited the basic concept of democracy-l believe it is superfluous and perhaps it would be misunderstood to enumerate them today. Secondly, I criticized the demands of the foreign democracies to force their form of government on us. According to my knowledge and information at that time, it seemed unjustified to me.
DR. FRITZ: Well, did you consider dictatorship a better form of government?
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FRITZSCHE: I should like to emphasize that at that time, under the existing conditions and only for a temporary emergency period, I did; today, of course, no. After the totalitarian form of government has brought about the catastrophe of the murder of 5 millions, I consider this form of government wrong even in times of emergency. I believe any kind of democratic control, even a restricted democratic control, would have made such a catastrophe impossible.
DR. FRITZ: You are accused, furthermore, of having spread the doctrine of the "master race." The Prosecution makes this charge indirectly against you. How about that?
FRITZSCHE: I never set up or voiced the theory of the "master race." I even avoided this term. I expressly prohibited this term being used by the German press and the German radio when I was in charge of one or the other. I believe that the term "master race" played a greater role in the anti-National Socialist propaganda than in Germany proper. I do not know who invented this term. To my knowledge it was publicly mentioned only by men like Dr. Ley, for example, men-and I must explain this frankly and expressly- who were not taken seriously by anyone in this connection. It is true, however, that this term played a great role, without being expressed openly, among the SS because of its racial exclusiveness; but people of intelligence, tact and insight, and with some knowledge of the world, very carefully avoided the use of this word.
DR. FRITZ: Mr. President, at this opportunity, I should like to offer an affidavit to the Tribunal by Dr. Scharping of 17 May 1946. Dr. Scharping was Government Counsellor in the Propaganda Ministry up to the end. From this affidavit I shall now quote only one sentence from Page 13. I quote:
"In this connection it can be explained that Fritzsche always Opposed the term 'the master race.' He even expressly prohibited the use of this word on the radio."
[Turning to the defendant.] But the Prosecution has quoted a passage from one of your radio speeches to prove this assertion.
FRITZSCHE: The quotation is correct, but I ask you just to read it carefully. The term "master race" is rejected in this quotation for the Jewish and for the German people. The quotation cannot be misunderstood.
DR. FRITZ: Mr. President, that is in Captain Sprecher's speech for the Prosecution, English text, Pages 31 and 32.
[Turning to the defendant.] But you carried on propaganda not only in Germany, but also abroad. What was the difference?
FRITZSCHE: In my radio speeches there was no difference. Before the outbreak of war I made a slight difference in the speeches
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for Germany and those for other countries simply because the audience was different, and because I had to presuppose a different level of knowledge. During the war my speeches on the Reich-German radio were simply transmitted over the short-wave stations. What was said for Germany or for other countries could be controlled by both sides. Moreover in the 12 years during which I spoke on the German radio, I never permitted my speeches to be translated, since that always involved a differentiation in emphasis. Written articles can be translated, perhaps official speeches also, but not rather light and half-improvised chats.
DR. FRITZ: Were your broadcasts abroad criticized internationally?
FRITZSCHE: Yes, very frequently. During the war there was often daily criticism from some country or other. I had these criticisms collected. I asked for them as documents, but my application was refused by the Court. As far as I know, I am not accused of inciting war in these criticisms.
DR. FRITZ: Now you not only acted as a mouthpiece for propaganda, but also as an organizer of it. You are accused of having helped to create an important instrument for the alleged conspiracy. The Prosecution says that for 13 years you aided in the creation of the propaganda machine which the conspiracy was able to put to such good use. Did you create the press organization of the National Socialist State?
FRITZSCHE: No, I did not create this organization nor did I have any part in its creation. It was created by Dr. Goebbels, Dr. Dietrich, and Reichsleiter Amann. When, in the winter of 1938, I became head of the so-called German Press Section, I attempted to loosen the bonds which had been imposed on the German press. I attempted that in the material and personnel field. For example, I called back to their work with the press hundreds of editors of other parties who had been dismissed in 1933 and 1934. Today they will be angry with me. I had the best intentions at that time. In addition to the official press conferences which were very strictly controlled, also as far as their records were concerned, by my superiors, I also arranged the so-called supplementary conferences in which I met the representatives of the 50 or 60 most important papers and discussed more freely the possibilities of their work. I coined the slogan which was often used there: "You may write any criticism you like in the German papers provided such criticism is not shown in big headlines but is buried somewhere in the text in an elegant form." Very many German journalists made use of this possibility in the past 12 years. I should be glad if this work, which was hidden work, would be honored in some way today in
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the interest of these people who, in part, returned to their profession as journalists only out of personal confidence in me. Of course, I must add that the possibility of criticizing was not unlimited.
DR. FRITZ: Mr. President, on this occasion, with the approval of the Prosecution, I offer the Tribunal a document as Document Number Fritzsche-4. It is an excerpt from a letter of the German Lieutenant General Dittmar, who frequently commented on the military situation on the German radio during the war and who is in British captivity. The well-known English radio commentator, Mr. Liddell-Hart, has sent an excerpt from the letter to the British Prosecution. I should like to quote briefly this memorandum which was sent to me. May I quote this passage?
THE PRESIDENT: Yes, you may.
DR. FRITZ: Dittmar writes that the possibility of retaining the critical attitude in his radio commentary is due primarily to the silent approval and the protection of Hans Fritzsche, the director of the political radio. He believes that Fritzsche was a secret opponent of the regime and that he was glad of the opportunity to have found a commentator who discreetly expressed ideas which resembled his own and which insidiously would tend to reduce confidence in the regime.
Following this quotation, there is another quotation from the affidavit of Dr. Scharping, which I have already submitted as Document Number Fritzsche-2. It is on Page 11 of this affidavit. I quote:
"The radio men and the journalists knew Fritzsche's tolerance quite well. It repeatedly happened that, for example, Fritzsche at his conference had a copy of the Volkischer Beobachter in his hand and commented ironically on an anti-Jewish article. I recall that once he expressed his criticism in about the following words:
" 'A Berlin paper'-then he held up the Volkischer Beobachter so that everyone could see it-'has once more, in an editorial, made more than two blunders. Perhaps the publisher may yet succeed in hitting the right tune.'
"With such ironical remarks, Fritzsche always had the approval of his listeners, but there was some danger for him, for Goebbels daily read the records of these press conferences."
Helm Fritzsche, following the statement of Lieutenant General Dittmar, one question: Did you feel yourself to be an enemy of the system, or how does General Dittmar come to this statement?
FRITZSCHE: I was not an enemy of the system. It would be ridiculous and unworthy to try to assert that today. But I was
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definitely an opponent of all misuse of the system. The obvious one which I noticed the most, because it was in my field of work, was whitewashing of news during the war. The aim of all my news policy was realism, and apparently that is what General Dittmar means in the part of his statement which has been read here.
I met General Dittmar in December 1942 or January 1943 at the moment when the German 6th Army at Stalingrad was already surrounded, but when this fact was still being kept secret from the German people. Together with General Dittmar, in face of the prohibition, I publicly announced the fact that the 6th Army was surrounded at Stalingrad. This caused a great sensation at the time.
In the following months and years I always defended General Dittmar and his realistic presentation of the military situation against all attacks, especially against the attacks of the Party, but also against the attacks of the Foreign Office, which repeatedly pointed out that these sober presentations of Dittmar had a bad effect on Germany's allies.
In connection with this struggle for realistic news service, later- and I ask permission to mention this briefly-I waged a desperate battle against the-irresponsible propaganda of miracle weapons. Only 1 year after Dr. Goebbels had mentioned the future miracle weapons did I mention a new type of weapon for the first time. Speer has mentioned SS Standartenfuehrer Berg, who is said to have carried on secret propaganda for the miracle weapon in connection with the Propaganda Ministry. He wrote an article in Das Reich which attracted much attention, with the sensational and very promising heading, "We, the Bearers of Secrets." I had to fight against things like that.
Another especially striking example was this: Another member of the SS, Hernau, wrote, at the moment when the invasion had succeeded, an article in which he presented the situation as if the evacuation of France had been a very secret trick of the German Command, which offered the possibility for a particularly strong counterblow. I prohibited this article in my field, and I repeatedly had to oppose the irresponsible rumors which were spread in secret about mysterious weapons. I did so publicly, and I plainly stated my point of view on the radio against this propaganda.
On the other hand I may point out that at every moment of the war my superiors always made well-founded promises to me, first, of some military offensive which was just being prepared; for instance, a thrust from East Prussia toward the south, a thrust from Upper Silesia to the Vistula, a thrust from Alsace toward the north, and so forth. Hand in hand with these promises, which were thoroughly detailed, were the political promises which were
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mentioned briefly yesterday, that is, the descriptions given by Dr. Goebbels that foreign political negotiations were in progress with the enemy on one or the other side.
DR. FRITZ-: Another question: Who was in charge of press policy?
FRITZSCHE: Reich Press Chief Dr. Dietrich. He gave very specialized instructions, mostly in a precise wording, the so-called "slogan of the day of the Reich Press Chief."
Generally he even gave the wording of the commentaries which were to be added in the press conference.
For the most part, Dr. Dietrich was at the Fuehrer's headquarters and received his instructions directly from Hitler. Dr. Dietrich's representatives were Sundermann and Lorenz. The second factor decisive for German press policy was Reichsleiter Amann who was at the head of the organization of publishers. The third factor was Dr. Goebbels as Reich Propaganda Minister. Dietrich and Amann were nominally subordinate to him; actually, both had the same authority as he had and I always had to adjust differences or coordinate among these three authorities.
DR. FRITZ: Did you create the organization of the journalistic news service?
FRITZSCHE: Yes, I did create this organization. In principle, it originated with me. I may refer to my affidavit, 3469-PS, Point 17. I was in charge of the journalistic news service from about 1934 to 1938. I was proud of the fact that at the beginning of the war even the enemy recognized the good functioning of this news machine. However, at that time I was no longer the head of the socalled news service department. As an expert I created this organization in peacetime without thinking of the possibility of using it during war. The conclusion of the Prosecution that I also determined the contents of the news service is not correct.
DR. FRITZ: The Prosecution has said that the Propaganda Ministry was the most fabulous lie factory of all times. What do you have to say about this?
FRITZSCHE: First, for myself personally, I should like to make the following quite clear. I state under oath: On really serious questions of policy and the conduct of war I did not commit a single falsification and did not consciously use a single lie.
How often I myself became the victim of a falsehood or a lie I cannot say after the revelations of this Trial. The same is true, as far as I know, of all my fellow workers, but I do not by any means want to deny that I and my fellow workers selected news
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and quotations following a certain tendency. It is the curse of propaganda during war that one works only with black and white. Only a few great minds remain independent. I believe that this painting in black and white is a luxury which also cannot be afforded any longer.
As to the Propaganda Ministry itself, as such, I must say that I can only judge of the one-twelfth, that is the one section of which I was in charge at any time. But to my knowledge it is a mistake to believe that in the Propaganda Ministry thousands of little lies were hatched out. In details we worked quite cleanly and honestly, technically even perfectly. If we had lied on a thousand small things, the enemy would have been able to deal with us more easily than was the case. But decisive for such a news machine is not the detail but the final fundamental basis on which propaganda is built. Decisive is the belief in the incorruptibility of the leaders of the state, on which every journalist must rely and this basis is shaken by what has become known today of mass murders, of senseless atrocities, and it is shaken by the doubt in the honesty of Hitler's protestations for peace, the factual details of which I am not in a position to judge.
DR. FRITZ: In this Trial it has been pointed out that there are no regulations in international law on the methods of propaganda in war and peace.
FRITZSCHE: I know very well that international law places no restrictions on propaganda, especially propaganda during war. I also know very well that only in a very few individual treaties between states are there regulations about the use of propaganda; for example in the German-Polish treaty and in the German-Soviet Union treaty. But in all my life as a journalist I have emphasized that the lack of international regulations as to propaganda is no excuse for lies. I always emphasized the moral responsibility of the journalist and newsman. I did so long before the war in an international discussion with Radio Luxembourg but it would lead too far afield to go into that here.
If last May I did not seek death, one of the reasons for this was my wish-I wanted to render an account of where, in that system, there were the pure idealism and the heroic sacrifices of millions, and where there were lies and the brutality which did not shrink from committing crimes.
DR. FRITZ: Please give us examples of cases wherein you felt you were deceived.
FRITZSCHE: During this Trial the news was discussed which circulated at the beginning of the Polish war about the attack on the Gleiwitz radio station. At that time I firmly believed in the
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truth of the official German news. I need say nothing about this case.
Then, in December of last year, here in the prison in Nuremberg, I realized from a talk with Grand Admiral Raeder that it was actually a German submarine which sank the Athenia. Up to that time I had firmly believed in the truth of the official German report that there had been no German submarine in the neighborhood. I have asked my lawyer to pick out the most caustic statements I made in my radio speeches about the Athenia case and include them in my document book. They are utterances which would really speak against me but which, on the other hand, show that I worked not alone on the basis of the official German news, but that I also collected the news which supported the official German version; for example, the fact which was not at first made public and therefore was suspicious, that the wreck of the Athenia, one day after the catastrophe, was sunk by being shelled by British destroyers, which is a matter of Course in the interest of shipping but which at the time seemed to me to be an occasion for suspicion. I also used American news on the same subject. But the most impressive false news of which I was a victim was given out in the last few days of the war. I must describe it for the sake of clearing up matters.
In the days when Berlin was surrounded by the Russian Army the people of Berlin were told that a relief army, the army of General Wenk, was marching on Berlin; that there was no more fighting on the Western Front. The news was given out that Ribbentrop had gone to the Western Front and had concluded a treaty there, and handbills were printed in Berlin which contained approximately this text: "Soldiers of the Wenk army, we Berliners know that you are as far as Potsdam. Hurry, come quickly, help us." These handbills were printed at a time when the Wenk army no longer existed and had already been captured. These handbills were apparently dropped over Berlin inadvertently and were to give the inhabitants of Berlin new courage. That happened in the days when Hitler, according to Speer's testimony, had already told his entourage that there was no use trying to do anything for the rest of the German people.
DR. FRITZ: Mr. President, the two radio speeches which the Defendant Fritzsche has mentioned dealing with the Athenia case are in the Document Number Fritzsche-1, which I submitted yesterday. I refer only to the contents of these radio speeches.
[Turning to the defendant.] Please give examples of untruths which you knew and which you did not consider lies.
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FRITZSCHE: One example is the so-called "V" drive. Colonel Britton, a British colonel, proclaimed this "V" drive, this "Victory" drive on the British radio. On the same evening I stood before a German microphone and said, apparently harmlessly, "We will have a 'V' drive; the 'V' stands for 'Victoria."'
Then Colonel Britton said that I had stolen the "V" from him. I said that was not the case, that I thought of it first.
DR. FRITZ: If you thought you were operating only with the truth, why your sharp language, why the prohibition against listening on the radio to foreign stations?
FRITZSCHE: I have already emphasized in my affidavit that in my opinion the sharpness of my language was always less than that of my opponents. The prohibition against listening to foreign radio stations was issued decidedly against my win. This prohibition was only a hindrance for me in my discussions with my foreign opponents in the various countries. Due to this prohibition my enemy was, so to speak, half in shadow; I could not speak to him officially, but, on the other hand, I knew that many of my listeners had heard him.
May I mention here that I always advocated a mild judgment on the violators of this prohibition against listening to foreign radio stations. Legal authorities often consulted me as an expert. I may emphasize that, particularly after Stalingrad, I established my own listening service for the Russian radio in order to learn the names of German soldiers captured at Stalingrad which were mentioned on the Russian radio and report them to the relatives, because it seemed cruel to me to deprive the relatives of such a source of information about the fate of their people.
Moreover, there was only one alternative with regard to the prohibition of listening to the radio. That was either to confiscate all radios and stop the whole German radio system-the Party often demanded this-or the prohibition against listening to foreign stations, which seemed to me the lesser of the two evils.
Finally, we were in a war, and the enemy was not too particular in his methods. I should like to give an example. that was the station Gustav Siegfried 2, which at the beginning of its work gained listeners in Germany with stories that I do not want to characterize more precisely but which caused me to prohibit my own listening station from receiving this broadcast.
DR. FRITZ: You have been charged with urging a policy of ruthless exploitation of the occupied territories. Do you acknowledge such a policy?
FRITZSCHE: No. me aim of all my propaganda work in Europe was, and had to be, to win over the peoples of Europe to the
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German cause. Anything else would have been illogical. All the radio broadcasts in all European languages, which were made under my direction, had for years only one aim: That was to win the voluntary co-operation, especially of the occupied territories, for the fight of the Reich.
DR. FRITZ: Were you of the opinion that the German administration in the occupied territories recruited voluntary cooperation?
FRITZSCHE: At the beginning, certainly, with one single exception. That was Koch in the Ukraine. Otherwise, as far as I could see, all administrations of occupied territories sought this collaboration more or less skillfully. I saw the gigantic efforts which the Allies made to interfere with this German collaboration policy, which was very dangerous for them. I saw that in these efforts the Allies were at first using their means of propaganda. This alone would not have worked. Then I saw that they used other means in these efforts, that is, outrages and sabotage. These latter efforts had great success. Outrages always called for reprisals and reprisals always called forth new outrages.
I hope I will not be misunderstood, and this is not meant cynically, if I say the following: I, as a propagandist, considered for example the murder of Heydrich a minor success. The destruction of Lidice, carried out by the Germans, however, was a tremendous success for the Allies. In other words, I always was and had to be an opponent of reprisals of all kinds.
DR. FRITZ: Did you know of the reprisals? How did you deal with them in your propaganda?
FRITZSCHE: I learned of Lidice, which I just mentioned, only after months, because at that time I was at the Eastern Front. I learned-and this is significant-only of the destruction of the houses of Lidice and the driving out of the inhabitants. I learned only here in the courtroom of the killing of a part of the inhabitants. I learned that hostages were taken, but not that they were killed. The killing of hostages was made public only in the occupied territories. If shootings occurred anywhere, I was told that they had been of persons condemned to death on account of outrages or conspiracy.
The Night and Fog Decree was also unknown to me. On the other hand, I frequently learned of fines which had been imposed on towns or districts. In our propaganda, we always referred to the causes of such reprisals.
DR. FRITZ: And how did you describe the work of the German administrations in your propaganda?
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FRITZSCHE: I always referred to the constructive work which, in spite of all difficulties and all resistance, was being done in the various occupied territories, especially and far ahead, the work for the intensification of agriculture; then that to increase industrial production. I had references made to the supplying of the occupied territories with food, often, as I should like to emphasize, from scant German stocks. I had reports made of the creation of schools, and I received at times very impressive reports and had them worked on, for example, on the supplying of cities such as Paris, in spite of sabotage by the enemy against railroad lines or other supply channels. I had such reports collected in permanent files and had speeches and whole series of speeches made on them. There were many such reports. I must emphasize that, as far as I know, in not a single German-occupied territory was there an infant mortality of 80 percent, and in none were there fields lying fallow, and it is simply not true, as the Prosecution said here once, although Inca moment of excitement, that Germany and the Germans were well fed and happy during the war while the occupied territories starved. That is not true.
DR. FRITZ: What did you know about bad conditions in the occupied territories?
FRITZSCHE: Above all, the failure to call on the population for their own administration and the lack of decisive political concessions to the countries which administered themselves. Immediately after the French campaign, I had repeatedly demanded the establishment of a Magna Charta for Europe, laying down the basic rights of the European peoples. I prepared many memoranda on this subject which were accepted by Dr. Goebbels and taken to Hitler; and when in the autumn of 1942 I decided to return to the Propaganda Ministry, one of the promises which Dr. Goebbels gave me was that now finally that Magna Charta for Europe would be proclaimed.
DR. FRITZ: Mr. President, on this occasion I should like to quote a passage from the Scharping affidavit, Document Number Fritzsche-2, Page 13 of the affidavit:
"After the occupation of various European countries, Fritzsche issued directives for news releases to the effect that the peoples of Europe were to form a league of states on the basis of equality with Germany. He told me to work out a series of speeches to this effect in which this point of view was to play the decisive role and which at the same time should give the authorities hints for a healthy reconstruction in the occupied territories."
[Turning to the defendant.] Did you know what has been said here by the Prosecution about the activity of the Police in the occupied territories?
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DR. FRITZ: At this point I should like to interpolate a question: I have already asked the witness Paulus about your conduct after you learned of the Commissar Order. How about that?
FRITZSCHE: I learned of the order to shoot captured Soviet commissars at the beginning of May 1942 when I came to the 6th Army. I immediately opposed it. Whether it was carried out or not, I do not know. Field Marshal Paulus, no doubt, is correct when he said that he had already prevented in his army the execution of this order. At any rate, I made it my business to have the order as such rescinded, and I achieved this. The 6th Army, at my advice, gave certain information to the High Command of the Wehrmacht or to the Armed Forces Operations Staff. I am convinced, moreover, that many army leaders acted in the same way as the leader of the 6th Army and simply did not carry out the order. At any rate, it was expressly rescinded afterward.
DR. FRITZ: The Prosecution quotes two paragraphs from your radio speech of 5 July 1941.
Mr. President, that is in the English record of Captain Sprecher, Pages 32 and 33.
[Turning to the defendant.] The Prosecution concludes from this presentation that you had agitated for ruthless measures against the population of the Soviet Union. You are said to have vilified the people of the Soviet Union.
TO PRESIDENT: We cannot find it here. What is the PS number?
DR. FRITZ: It is in the transcript, Mr. President.
THE PRESIDENT: We have not got the transcript here. We have the document book. The document book does not contain 32 and 33 pages. It contains only 32 or 31 and a little bit...
DR. FRITZ: I can give the document number which is 3064-PS,
Exhibit USA-723 and...
THE PRESIDENT: It is Page 14 in our book. Well, did you say 5 July?
DR. FRITZ: 5 July 1941.
THE PRESIDENT: Well, I have got the 7th and 10th of July but not the 5th. What page in the shorthand notes was it? You know it?
DR. FRITZ: On Page 32, Page 33 in the English transcript. I have the English transcript here.
THE PRESIDENT: Well, you had better read it then.
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DR. FRITZ: This quotation from Captain Sprecher's speech for the Prosecution reads:
"Letters from the front, film reporters, propaganda companies attached to the German Army wherever it advanced, P.K. reporters and soldiers on leave confirm: In this battle in the East it is not one ideology fighting against another, not one political system against another, but culture, civilization, and human dignity have revolted against devilish principles of an underworld."
FRITZSCHE: I should like to state the following: With this statement I was neither calling for ruthless measures against the population of the Soviet Union, nor did I want to vilify the people of the Soviet Union. I refer to the full text of the speech of 5 July. I do not wish to read this speech, but I should like permission to sum it up briefly.
DR. FRITZ: Mr. President, in my Document Book 1-I do not know whether the Tribunal already has it-I have all the radio speeches . . .
THE PRESIDENT: No, we haven't got it.
DR. FRITZ: I have all these radio speeches of the Defendant Fritzsche from which the Prosecution quoted passages against him in my document book in their full text.
THE PRESIDENT: It has just been handed up to me. What page is it?
DR. FRITZ: Pages 8 to 13, the radio speech of 5 July 1941.
[Turning to the defendant.] Will you continue?
FRITZSCHE: I ask for permission to sum up the contents very briefly.
I spoke of the reports which the German public received about what German soldiers had seen in their advance in the Soviet Union, especially in connection with prisoners in the prisons in various cities. I did not describe these things once more; I only
recalled them from the reports which had been given out at the time. From them I drew the conclusion that now one saw how necessary the fight was against a system under which such atrocities were possible. For the peoples of the Soviet Union I expressly used words of compassion and sympathy.
DR. FRITZ: In the same connection, and with the same tendency, the Prosecution then quotes a sentence from a paragraph of your radio speech of 10 July 1941.
Mr. President, that is in Document Book 1-the speech of 10 July 1941-also in its full text, on Pages 14 to 19.
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[Turning to the defendant.] What do you have to say to this charge?
FRITZSCHE: What I just said becomes even clearer in this quotation, and in this whole speech. I referred once more to the reports just mentioned. I also referred to the descriptions coming from foreign correspondents. I then quite frankly reported Moscow's attitude toward these events and I said, quite honestly, "Radio Moscow says that these atrocities are facts, but it maintains that these atrocities were not committed by Russians but by Germans." '
In view of this attitude of Moscow, I, so to speak, took the public into my confidence. I called upon millions of German soldiers as witnesses; I called upon their mothers and fathers and wives as witnesses. I formally called as witnesses the inhabitants of the occupied territories in which Germans were in power at the time, and in which, as I said, they were subordinated only to the moral laws in their own breasts. Then I drew the conclusion: These German soldiers cannot have committed the atrocities which were described by Berlin and Moscow in the same way.
The Prosecution asserted that this attempt to ascribe German atrocities to the Russians was ridiculous. I do not consider it ridiculous; I consider it tragic. It shows clearly, as I understand it, the absolute cleanliness and honesty of the whole German conduct of the war. I still believe today that murder and violence and Sonderkommandos only clung like a foreign body, like a boil to the morally sound body of the German people and their Armed Forces.
DR. FRITZ: Finally, the Prosecution quotes a passage from your speech of 9 October 1941, another quotation from which was brought out elsewhere.
Mr. President, this is in the Fritzsche Document Book Number 1; the speech in its full text is on Pages 20 to 25. The quotations of the Prosecution are summed up in a document in the Fritzsche document book of the Prosecution. I think the Tribunal can easily compare it.
[Turning to the defendant.] The Prosecution concludes from this quotation that you had approved of the policy of the Nazi conspirators in their ruthless exploitation of the occupied territories: What have you to say to that?
FRITZSCHE: There is no question of ruthlessness either in the quotation given by the Prosecution or in the rest of the text of the speech of 9 October 1941. I refer to my affidavit 3469-PS, Paragraph 39, a paragraph which the Prosecution very fairly quoted in this connection.
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In addition, may I once more sum up, very briefly, the sense of this speech.
That was the time when German soldiers were stationed from the Black Sea to the Bay of Biscay. I spoke of the possibility of exploiting the resources of this enormous territory. I said, "The possibilities of this continent are so considerable that they can cover any need for war and for peace." I said, in this connection, that a starving-but by blockade, such as was attempted in 1914-18, was now out of the question. I spoke of the possibilities of the organization of Europe which could begin in the midst of the war...
DR. FRITZ: In the midst of war?
FRITZSCHE: . . . in the midst of war, and I meant the organization of European nations with equal rights. It is beyond all doubt that at that time I was not thinking of ruthless exploitation of the occupied territories, but only of winning them over politically and economically after the storms of war had blown by.
DR. FRITZ: Mr. President, I now come to another subject, so perhaps this would be a good time to break off.
THE PRESIDENT: Yes.
DR. THOMA: I have a request, Mr. President. I would like to have my client excused for the rest of the day because I want to talk to him.
THE PRESIDENT: Yes, certainly.
[A recess was taken.]
DR. FRITZ: What did you know about the removal of Jews from occupied countries?
FRITZSCHE: I did not know anything of their removal, but I heard that certain individuals were being arrested, Jews and non-Jews.
DR. FRITZ: What did you know about the topic, which we discussed here, of slave labor?
FRITZSCHE: I knew that millions of foreign workers were working in the Reich. I did not consider them slaves, for I saw them daily walking about free on the streets of all the cities.
DR. FRITZ: What did you know about their treatment, about their living conditions, and their wages?
FRITZSCHE: Reports about these things were sent to me or to my co-workers from the office of Sauckel and the German Labor Front. From these reports, among other things, I remember the fact that the foreign workers were given the same treatment as
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the German workers in every respect. I further recall having heard that the initial inferior treatment accorded to Eastern Workers had been done away with. I received many reports from listeners complaining about the fact that foreign workers were allegedly in better position than German workers; and in this connection, I remember a reference to the fact that the foreign workers were permitted to send home money in the form of foreign exchange.
I also talked with foreign workers many times. I did not hear any special complaints. On the other hand, in the Propaganda Ministry, through official channels, I heard a great deal about the care given to foreign workers even along cultural lines. Frequently I was approached by Sauckel or the German Labor Front-I do not remember which it was-with the request to have radio broadcasts sent to one or another group of foreign workers. I was approached also with the request for turning over receiving sets to camps of foreign workers, et cetera.
DR. FRITZ: Did you know that most of them did not come to Germany voluntarily?
FRITZSCHE: That was exactly what I did not know. Here in this proceeding it was mentioned that Sauckel in one meeting or another made a statement about the fact that only a small percentage had come voluntarily. That was unknown to me.
I did hear the following complaints: First of all, that extravagant promises were made at the time of recruitment of the foreign workers, which could not be kept afterward. In the interest of my propaganda I had objections raised against that through the propaganda department of my Ministry when I heard about it. Then, I remember having heard complaints from Poland dealing with the fact that employers were "pirating" Polish workers from one another.
DR. FRITZ: Sauckel testified that in this connection he cooperated with the Propaganda Ministry and that he had many discussions with the Propaganda Ministry. Did you participate in such discussions?
FRITZSCHE: No, I did not participate in these conferences. I thought that I met Sauckel here for the first time. He reminded me of our meeting in the spring of 1945 at the home of Dr. Goebbels when some evening gathering took place.
DR. FRITZ: Did you have anything to do with the propaganda used in the recruitment of foreign workers in occupied countries?
DR. FRITZ: What did you have to do with the propaganda which was disseminated in the occupied countries?
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FRITZSCHE: This propaganda, as it applied to occupied countries, was not subordinate to me, not even in the branches of the press or radio. This propaganda was under the direction and supervision of the local Reich commissioner, military commander, or governor. However, I did exert influence on this propaganda in the occupied countries on two, three, or four occasions when this propaganda in the occupied countries was contrary to the directives which applied to the Reich. I usually gathered this from the echo abroad. I remember one special case which received general attention. A certain man by the name of Friedrich attacked the Pope over the German radio in Paris. I had this man Friedrich replaced. That was the extent of my influence.
Dr. Goebbels, however, exerted much more influence on the propaganda in the occupied countries, especially through his foreign section or his Foreign Press Department or through his liaison officer to the OKW.
DR. FRITZ: Did you not make any radio broadcasts in the occupied countries?
FRITZSCHE: Yes, broadcasts of two types. An example of the first type is as follows: At the time of the occupation, Radio Paris was under German influence. Despite that, I retained the old German broadcast in the French language via Radio Stuttgart. I wanted to have it understood quite specifically that the occupation was an abnormal and a temporary situation, and anything that was taking place during the period of occupation did not have anything to do with that part of, let us say, German-French conversations, which was being carried on by the two mother countries.
The second example is as follows: It concerns German broadcasts in the Spanish and Portuguese languages. I had them transmitted through three stations in southern France, for it was easier to receive these transmissions in the Pyrenees peninsula. The basis for my work in this connection was a contract which we had with these stations and the payment of regular charges. Negotiations for this contract were carried out through the Foreign Office.
DR. FRITZ: I shall now turn to a different topic. You are accused of making anti-Semitic statements. Were you anti-Semitic, and in what way did you participate in anti-Semitic propaganda?
FRITZSCHE: I was not anti-Semitic in the idea of a noisy anti-Semitism. The Prosecution has asserted that all defendants-that is, including myself-had shouted, "Germany awake and Judaism shall die." I will state under oath that I never raised this cry or one similar. I was not anti-Semitic in the sense of either the
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radical theories or methods beginning with Theodor Fritsch to Julius Streicher.
The Prosecution has stated that even the Defendant Streicher, the main anti-Jewish agitator of all times, could hardly have excelled Fritzsche when it came to libels against the Jews. I protest against this statement. I do not believe that I deserve any such accusation. Never did I give out any propaganda dealing with ritual murders, cabala, and the so-called secrets of the Elders of Zion. At all times of my life I considered them machinations of a rather primitive agitation. For humanitarian reasons, I regret that I have to make a further statement, but I cannot refrain from making this statement in the interests of truth.
My co-workers and I, in the press and on the radio, without exception I would say, rejected Der Sturmer radically. I personally, during a period of 13 years of regular newspaper comments, never quoted this paper. Der Sturmer was not quoted in the German press either. The editors did not belong to the journalists' union and the publisher did not belong to the publishers' organization during my term of office. How things were later on, I do not know.
As I have already stated in my affidavit, I tried twice to ban Der Sturmer. However, I did not succeed. Then it was proposed that I censor Der Sturmer. However, I declined the offer. I wanted to prohibit the publishing of Der Sturmer, not just because the mere verbatim reproduction of a page of the newspaper Der Sturmer was the most effective anti-German propaganda which ever existed, but I wanted to ban Der Sturmer simply for reasons of good taste. I wanted to prohibit it as a source of radicalism against which I fought wherever I met it.
The great secret for the sudden increase in the circulation of Der Sturmer after 1933 to half a million, already referred to in this Court, lay in the same cause as the secret of the sudden increase of such organizations as the SA.
The Party in 1933 had blocked the influx of new members, and a great many people tried to get in somehow, if not directly with the Party, then with some organization connected with the Party, such as, perhaps, the SA. Or they tried to show sympathy with National Socialist ideas by subscribing to Der Sturmer and displaying it. Therefore, in that sense, I was not anti-Semitic.
But I was anti-Semitic in this sense: I wanted a restriction of the predominant influence of Jewry in German politics, economy, and culture, such as was manifested after the first World War. I wanted a restriction based on the ratio of Jews to Germans. I proclaimed publicly this view of mine on occasions, but I did not exploit these views in extensive systematic propaganda.
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Those anti-Semitic statements with which I am charged by the Prosecution have a different connection. The facts are as follows: After the outbreak of the war I referred frequently to the fact that Jewish emigrants immediately after 1933, were the first ones to emphasize that a war against the National Socialist German State was necessary; for instance, Emil Ludwig or George Bernhard or the Pariser Tagblatt. As far as I recall, this was the only connection in which I made anti-Semitic statements of any kind. I cannot say this without asking to be permitted to emphasize one more point. Only in these proceedings here did I learn that in the autumn of 1939 there was more at stake than just one city and a road through the Corridor; that in truth and in fact, a new partition of Poland had already been prepared at least, and only here in these proceedings did I learn that Hitler had confirmed in a dreadful manner the warnings of the Jews against him by an order to murder them. If I had known both of these things at that time, then I would have pictured the role of Jewish propaganda before the outbreak of the war quite differently.
DR.FRITZ: Mr. President, in this connection I should like to refer to the document which has already been submitted, Document Number Fritzsche-2, the affidavit by Dr. Scharping, with reference to Pages 9 to 11. This document is found in my Document Book Number 2; however, I do not know whether this document book has been submitted to the High Tribunal.
THE PRESIDENT: Yes, it has.
DR.FRITZ: Pages 9 to 11. I refer to the contents of this document.
[Turning to the defendant.] The Prosecution has quoted a passage from the book by Muller, dealing with the Propaganda Ministry. According to this, among other things, it was the task of this Ministry to enlighten the population about the Jewish question. According to the picture drawn by the Prosecution, matters stood as though you were the one charged with the task of this enlightenment; is that correct?
FRITZSCHE: No. The "Jewry" department was a branch of the propaganda department which carried on this so-called active propaganda in opposition to the specialized or administrative departments. I never directed this department of propaganda.
DR. FRITZ: I should like to interpolate a question. The Defendant Streicher, on 29 April, stated that the Propaganda Ministry published a National Socialist Correspondence which was sent to Der Sturmer as well and which contained in each issue several antiSemitic articles. Is that true?
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FRITZSCHE: No. The National Socialist Correspondence was not published by the Propaganda Ministry, but by the Reichspressestelle (Reich Press Office) of the NSDAP; however, I did not have the impression that the particular policy followed by Der Sturmer took its character from these articles. On the other hand, Der Sturmer may have published one or the other article which was given out by the ASK.
DR.FRITZ: The Prosecution quoted a passage from a speech which you made over the radio on 18 December 1941. This speech will be found in full in my Document Book Number 1, Pages 26 to 32. In this instance, you said that the fate of Jewry in Europe had been rather unpleasant and that this fate in all probability would stretch over to the New World as well. The Prosecution holds the view that this was a proclamation of further actions in the persecution of Jews. What can you tell us about this?
FRITZSCHE: In this quotation, I discussed the unpleasant fate of Jewry in Europe. According to the things that we know today, this must appear as though I meant the murder of the Jews. But in this connection, I should like to state that at that time I did not know about these murders; therefore I could not have meant it. I did not even mean the evacuation of Jews, for even this was not carried out in Berlin at least until a year or two later.
What I meant was simply the elimination of Jews from politics and economic life. The expression "unpleasant" hints at this; otherwise the inoffensiveness of this term could not be explained. And now to the question of why I spoke about the Jews in America in this connection. The sentence quoted by the Prosecution is inextricably connected with a communication preceding it, stating that a Jewish National Council had submitted to President Roosevelt their wish to enter the war. Not even this association of ideas, which is perhaps understandable now, was used by me without good reason. The largest part of the speech in question, perhaps nine-tenths of it, in fact, deals with the investigation commission set up in the United States to investigate the causes of Pearl Harbor.
THE PRESIDENT: There are a lot of pages in this.
DR. FRITZ: The Document Book Number 1, Mr. President, Pages 26 to 32.
THE PRESIDENT: Yes; I wanted to know whether first of all we are on Page 31.
DR. FRITZ: He is referring in his statements which he is making now to the entire contents of the speech, Mr. President. The Prosecution had quoted only the very last paragraph-of this speech.
[Turning to the defendant.] Please continue.
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FRITZSCHE: In this polemic address I not only suggested investigating whether the guards of the U. S. Navy had been careless but I also advised checking into American politics, as to whether someone might not have been interested in the outbreak of the war. In this connection, I recalled that an investigating committee of the American Senate, 20 years after the first World War, had investigated the causes for entry of the United States in the war in 1917. I said verbatim, "This Senate committee proved that Wilson, when entering the war, knew that he was the victim of a few warmongers." I deplored...
THE PRESIDENT: The investigation committee of the Americans about the entry into the last war? Isn't he going rather far back?
DR. FRITZ: Mr. President, I believe that the defendant can stop at this point. He only wanted to show that the quotation of the last paragraph cited by the Prosecution in order to incriminate him was torn from its contents. That is the fact he wanted to show, Mr. President.
[Turning to the defendant.] The second quotation used by the Prosecution is an excerpt from your radio speech of 18 March 1941. The Prosecution was of the opinion that this was also an incitement for the persecution of Jews, and they said, further, that it was proof of your propaganda with the term "master race."
Mr. President, this speech of 18 March 1941 may be found in my Document Book Number 1, Pages 2 to 7.
[Turning to the defendant.] The Prosecution quoted only one paragraph from this speech. What can you tell us in this connection?
FRITZSCHE: I do not wish to read this quotation. I rather ask that you read it carefully yourself, and after you have read
it you will see that I completely agreed with Mr. Roosevelt when he said that there was no master race. I endorsed the correctness of this sentence not only as it applied to the German people, but to Jewry as well. The Prosecution concluded from this sentence that it was a justification for acts committed in Jewish persecutions in the past and that it was a foreboding of more persecutions to come. I do not understand this conclusion; it has no basis whatsoever.
THE PRESIDENT: In our copy there is no date at the top of Page 2 of your Volume I-yes, I see it is in the index. Which page of it is the passage that the Prosecution quotes?
DR. FRITZ: On Page 5 under Point 5, Mr. President.
THE PRESIDENT: Yes. Very well.
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DR. FRITZ: It begins with the words, "But the crown . . ." and so forth. That is the quotation used by the Prosecution.
[Turning to the defendant.] The third quotation used by the Prosecution is a passage from the speech which you made on 9 October 1941.
Mr. President, the whole speech is to be found in Document Book Number 1, Pages 20 to 25.
[Turning to the defendant.] The Prosecution quoted only one paragraph from this speech as well.
In this paragraph, you, Herr Fritzsche, are speaking about a new wave of international Jewish-democratic-bolshevistic agitation. What can you tell us about this?
FRITZSCHE: I have very little to say in this connection. This speech was made in those days of the autumn of 1941 when the Reich Press Chief had announced that German victory in the East had been decisive. I had warned the entire German press about taking this slogan without reservations. I did not believe in this decision which supposedly had already taken place. I suggested to all German newspapers that they speak about a prolonged duration of the war. In this speech of mine I wanted to weaken the impression of the official victory bulletin. Therefore, in this speech, and perhaps for the first time in Germany, I mentioned those three factors which, in fact, later on determined the war in the East against Germany: First of all, the partisans; secondly, the international help in the way of arms and munitions; and thirdly, propaganda. This last part alone was quoted by the Prosecution. As I have already said, this last part is quite in accord with the knowledge and opinion I held at that time.
DR. FRITZ: The next quotation used by the Prosecution is an extract from a speech which you made on 8 January 1944.
The complete speech, Mr. President, may be found in my Document Book Number 1. It is speech Number 7, to be found on Pages 40 to 45.
[Turning to the defendant.] In this speech you are stating that it was not a new form of government or a new form of socialism which had brought about the war, but rather the agitation of Jews and plutocrats was responsible for this. How did you come to make that statement?
FRITZSCHE: To justify it, I should like to refer here, too, to everything that I have already said, and beyond that, I should like to emphasize that this rather heated accusation was not made by me just out of the blue or just because I wanted to agitate. This is proven by the context.
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If I may be permitted to do so, I should like to state briefly the connection in this case. The topic of this speech was the differences of opinion which existed at that time between the Polish Exile Government in Moscow-bather, in London-and the Soviet Government in Moscow. There was a matter of territorial demands which they disagreed on, and on this occasion I quoted the London Times word for word. The London Times said that "the relinquishing of Polish regions, as demanded by Russia, was only a small and modest price for the absolute and reliable guarantee to Poland of help through the Soviet Union." This statement made by the London Times I used as a matter of course in a polemic statement in which I said, "Well, if the Times had written in such a strain in August of 1939, that it was only about a city or a road, then surely there would not have been any war," and so forth.
On this occasion I should like to state that all of these quotations, almost without exception, show only the combination of the concept Jew, Plutocrat, Bolshevik. The question of race was not the primary one, but the thing that was primary was the ideological struggle as it seemed, to my mind, to be taking place.
DR. FRITZ: The next quotations used by the Prosecution are some excerpts from your speech of 13 January 1945.
Mr. President, this is speech Number 8, contained in full in Document Book Number 1, to be found on Pages 46 to 51. The Prosecution in this case is quoting only two paragraphs, one on Page 50 of my document book, Paragraph 2.
[Turning to the defendant.] In these passages you mention Jewish influence on British policies. How could you make those statements? What were your reasons?
FRITZSCHE: The-Prosecution assumes from this quotation that it was the introduction to further persecution of the Jews and to their complete extermination. This conclusion, however, is justified neither in the words nor in the sense nor when seen in the light of the context.
I shall forego giving you in this case a picture of the connections, not even in a brief summary. It can be gathered when you read the speech in question.
However, I cannot see where an appeal for the extermination of the Jews is to be found.
DR. FRITZ: Forming a part of the general crimes against humanity you are accused of incitive libel against the Jews, the logical result of which is said to have been further persecutions.
Therefore, I want to ask you about the murder of Jews. Did you know of Hitler's decree, as testified by the witness Hoess, a decree according to which the Jews were to be murdered?
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FRITZSCHE: I should like to state under my oath that I did not know of this order by Hitler. If I had known it, I would not have served that person who had given this order for another hour. I should like to state further that evidently this decree, as well as this entire action, was concealed with specific care from me and my co-workers, because once I almost discovered its existence.
DR. FRITZ: Did you receive at any time an indication about the killing of a large number of innocent people?
FRITZSCHE: Yes. In February or March 1942 I received a letter from a medium-ranking SS leader of the Ukraine. I do not recall this man's name. The contents of the letter were to the effect that the author was the commander of an SS unit, that he had received an order to kill the Jews and the Ukrainian intelligentsia of his area. Upon receipt of this order, he had suffered a nervous breakdown and he was now in a hospital. It seemed to him that a complaint along official channels was quite impossible for him. He said he did not know me but had confidence in me; perhaps I could help in some way. He asked me not to mention his name as he was bound to silence at the cost of his life.
Without much hesitation and immediately upon receipt of this letter I called Heydrich, the Obergruppenfuehrer, then leader of the RSHA or the Gestapo. I hardly knew him personally, but he declared himself quite willing to receive me immediately. I visited him and asked him pointblank, "Is your SS there for the purpose of committing mass murders?"
Heydrich was quite indignant at this question, and said that larger or smaller SS units had been assigned by him for police purposes to various ministers, Reich commissioners, and so forth. These special details of SS men had been misused on various occasions, and he thought this might apply to the unit which had been
placed at the disposal of Gauleiter Koch. He told Me that he would have an investigation started immediately.
Next noon he called me, from headquarters as he said, and let me know that this action had actually been attempted on the order of Koch. Koch, for his part, had referred to the Fuehrer. The Fuehrer, however, had not answered as yet. Heydrich said I would receive further details.
Two days later Heydrich asked me to come and visit him and said Hitler had expressly declared that he had not given this order; Koch now said that there was a misunderstanding. I was further told that an investigation of Koch had been started. At any rate, Heydrich promised me that this action would not be carried through. I remember particularly well one sentence which was used in this discussion, words used by Heydrich: "Believe me, Herr Fritzsche,
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anyone who has the reputation of being cruel does not have to be cruel; he can act humanely."
Shortly thereafter, I was made a soldier and asked to be sent to the 6th Army and was sent to the Ukraine.
DR. FRITZ: Did you . . .
THE PRESIDENT: Wait a minute. I did not understand that last sentence. Heydrich said, "Believe me, Herr Fritzsche..." and then... .
FRITZSCHE: May I repeat: ". . . anyone who has the reputation of being cruel does not have to be cruel; he can act humanely."
THE PRESIDENT: Yes, but then you went on about going to the fifth Army?
FRITZSCHE: Yes, shortly thereafter I became a soldier...
DR. FRITZ: He added, Mr. President, that shortly after this meeting with Heydrich, he himself, that is the Defendant Fritzsche, became a soldier and he specifically asked to be detailed to the 6th Army which at that time was stationed in the Ukraine.
THE PRESIDENT: What was the date of this incident?
FRITZSCHE: February-March 1942.
DR. FRITZ: When you were a soldier in the Ukraine, did you try to check the statements of Heydrich as to their correctness?
FRITZSCHE: I had no official authority to do this, but as an old journalist I made investigations on my own, of course.
First of all, I investigated in Kiev, with the local German radio station. The answer was: Yes, several shootings actually did take place, specifically after the blowing up of certain blocks of houses in Kiev, on which occasion many German soldiers lost their lives. However, they were shootings according to sentences imposed by courts-martial.
Then, for 3 days I traveled in all directions between Kiev and Poltava. Mostly I traveled alone. I found the population in utmost peace; there were no signs of terror whatsoever, and by the way, I was received very well myself.
At Poltava I checked with officers and soldiers. On these occasions as well, I was told, "Yes, there were some court-martial sentences. The reason for these sentences was sabotage."
Then, in Kharkov itself, I visited the SS command stationed there, and I spoke with the Sturmfuehrer Rexlach. He denied any shooting actions. He showed me the prison and there were perhaps 50 inmates, no more. I asked him about camps and he stated that there were none.
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Then I visited a Ukrainian family; I questioned a German agricultural leader at Bielgorod, and I met with the same result in every case: no shooting actions took place.
I certainly assumed from that that it had been an attempted individual action which had not been carried through.
DR. FRITZ: Before this letter which the SS leader had sent you, did you not already have suspicions, perhaps from Allied radio broadcasts to which you had access?
FRITZSCHE: These radio broadcasts were accessible to me. I had reports on atrocities specially gathered at that time and selected from the great number of enemy broadcasts which we received every day, and then I had these reports investigated and checked.
DR. FRITZ: And who concerned himself with this checking?
FRITZSCHE: The competent specialist, Oberregierungsrat Korber, in charge of the Schnelldienst office of the Press Department, or one of his co-workers, or I myself.
DR. FRITZ: Where was this checked?
FRITZSCHE: We inquired of the RSHA, for in most of these reports of atrocities the SS or Gestapo were mentioned as the ones who had perpetrated the murders.
DR. FRITZ: At which of the many branches of this office did you inquire?
FRITZSCHE: We inquired at the various competent offices, and I do not doubt that we inquired of Eichmann, who has been mentioned in these proceedings here. Apart from that, we inquired of Sturmbannfuehrer Spengler or his deputy Von Kielpinsky, both of them members of that office which, at that time or later, was taken over by Ohlendorf who has also appeared here as a witness. Frequently we inquired of the branch offices of the Reichssicherheitshauptamt, the so-called state police control offices as well, especially if there were reports from a special area.
DR. FRITZ: What were the answers you received?
FRITZSCHE: We always received the answer that the report in question was either completely wrong and was an invention, or that the report had this or that legal basis.
Frequently figures and details were reported which in effect were quite disarming.
DR. FRITZ: Are there any records of this?
FRITZSCHE: Yes. The more important questions and answers were noted and were even reproduced and sent to the various offices within and outside the Propaganda Ministry. All the material was
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collected in the archives called "Schnelldienst," for which I applied here and which was granted to me but not found.
DR. FRITZ: And you just believed these answers?
FRITZSCHE: Yes, I did believe them, for after all this was information which was given to me by official sources and furthermore I had experienced on numerous occasions that the authenticity of such reports from these sources had been proved very drastically.
DR. FRITZ: What do you mean by that?
FRITZSCHE: Perhaps I might give you an example. The first propaganda action of the war was the report given out by Warsaw about the destruction of the picture of the "Black Madonna" of Czestochowa. This report was transmitted around the world. We took German and foreign journalists to Czestochowa, who could assure themselves that this report was not true.
But I must be quite honest here and say that I really wanted to cite another example in reply to this question put by my counsel, another report which really had its surprising after-effects for me in this courtroom some 2 or 3 days ago. The British newspaper News Chronicle, on 24 September 1939, printed the report that the German. .
THE PRESIDENT: What is the evidential value of the News Chronicle in 1939?
DR. FRITZ: The defendant wants to prove to the High Tribunal that he found that many reports from abroad, dealing with German atrocities, actually were false, so that...
THE PRESIDENT: Well, we do not need details about that. No doubt there were frequent reports which were not accurate. We do not want you to go into details.
FRITZSCHE: I wanted to prove with just one news item how at that time something which the world believed could be denied and then, in the shadow of this denial, quite unnoticed by the German public, something did take place, such as a larger wave of arrests or a similar matter.
THE PRESIDENT: He can state the facts, but he need not go into detail about a particular issue of the newspaper.
DR. FRITZ: Was it only once, Herr Fritzsche, that you learned of the falsehood of such foreign broadcasts?
FRITZSCHE: No, that took place quite frequently.
DR. FRITZ: Please be very brief, Herr Fritzsche.
FRITZSCHE: One of my co-workers gathered the necessary
material for an article entitled, "In 8 Weeks of War 107 Lies." I should like to say only one thing about this. The compilation of
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such false reports given out by our enemy gave me a sense of moral superiority over that type of reporting, and this feeling was the basis of my later work, which could not be explained without this feeling.
DR. FRITZ: Did it not strike you that such false reports occurred only in the beginning of the war?
FRITZSCHE: No, that thought never occurred to me. The reports were so numerous in the beginning and I could also notice them in later years. Some affected me personally.
DR. FRITZ: How far did they affect you personally? Can you sketch it in a few brief words?
FRITZSCHE: Just one of many statements: An enemy front propaganda bulletin accused me of the fact that 600,000 Swedish kroner . . .
THE PRESIDENT: What is he going to now? What is the purpose of this?
DR. FRITZ: He wants to give an example of how a false statement applied to him personally. He wanted to state that briefly.
THE PRESIDENT: Well, as I said already, there were, no doubt, erroneous statements made in the foreign press and every press. We cannot investigate those sorts of matters.
3:)R. FRITZ: Then I shall pass on to another question.
[Turning to the defendant.] Did you not, as an experienced journalist in the news service, have the feeling that where there is smoke there is fire? Did you not believe that at least something must be true of the enemy reports about murders and so forth in the areas under German domination?
FRITZSCHE: Precisely because I was a professional newsman I did not have this feeling. Again and again I thought-and I repeatedly reminded the public-of one erroneous bit of reporting of the first World War. I beg the Tribunal to grant me permission to mention it quite briefly because it is also a part of the fundamentals of the propaganda which I carried on.
THE PRESIDENT: No, I have already pointed out that we assume that there are a variety of errors. We do not want to go into detail.
DR. FRITZ: Then I shall turn to another question.
[Turning to the defendant.] But surely you knew that the Jews had been evacuated from the Reich; you must have noticed that they disappeared from the streets?
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FRITZSCHE: Yes, I did notice that even though this occurred very gradually. Beyond that I heard Dr. Goebbels say on the occasion of a ministerial conference that as Gauleiter in Berlin he had demanded the evacuation of Jews.
DR. FRITZ: Where were these Jews taken in your opinion and what were you told about these things?
FRITZSCHE: Dr. Goebbels told me that they were taken to reservations in Poland. The suspicion that they were taken to concentration camps, or that they were even being murdered, never arose.
DR. FRITZ: Did you inquire about these reservations into which the Jews were allegedly being taken?
FRITZSCHE: Of course I did that. For instance, I learned of various things from a former co-worker of mine who had been transferred into the administration of the Government General and who had an administrative position in the region Biala-Podlaska. He said that the area under his control had become a Jewish area, and he repeatedly pictured the arrival and the housing of these transporters. He also mentioned the difficulties and the employment of Jews as workers or on plantations. His entire description bore witness to his humane point of view. He told me that under him the Jews fared better than they had in the Reich.
DR. FRITZ: What was the name of this man?
FRITZSCHE: Oberregierungsrat Hubert Kuhl.
DR. FRITZ: Did you hear unfavorable reports about these deported Jews?
FRITZSCHE: Yes. Sturmbannfuehrer Radke of the staff of the Reichsfuehrer SS reported, perhaps in the winter of 1942, that the mortality rate of the Jews in the eastern ghettos was abnormally high due to the changeover from mental work to manual labor. He mentioned there were even some isolated cases of typhus.
Apart from that, Dr. Tauber, who was head of the section dealing with Jewish questions in the propaganda department, told me in 1941, if I remember correctly, that there had been pogroms during the occupation of Lvov and Kovno, but they were carried out by the local population. He assured me at the same time that the German authorities had taken steps against these pogroms. Nevertheless the references to such things caused me to criticize matters severely, even though these things today look almost insignificant compared with what we know of today. My criticism was directed against my superiors, particularly Dr. Goebbels, and also against coworkers and members of the Gestapo and of the Party. I referred repeatedly to the legal, political, and moral necessity of protecting these Jews, who, after all, had been entrusted to our care.
27 June 46
DR. FRITZ: Did you learn anything else about the fate of these Jews?
FRITZSCHE: On several occasions Jews or relatives or friends of Jews appealed to me because of discrimination or arrests. A large number of non-Jews also did this as my name had become wellknown to the public. Without exception, I made their pleas my own and I tried to help through various offices such as the RSHA, through the personnel section of my Ministry, through individual ministers and Gauleiter, et cetera.
DR. FRITZ: Why did you turn to so many different authorities and offices?
FRITZSCHE: Very many requests were involved, and if my name had appeared too often at the same office its effectiveness would have been exhausted very quickly.
DR. FRITZ: Did you on occasion turn down these requests?
FRITZSCHE: No, not in one single instance, and I should like to emphasize that particularly because a letter addressed to me in this prison here was not handed over to me but was published in the press. It was a letter in which a woman asserted that I had turned down a request for pardon. I remember this case specifically and I should like to emphasize briefly that in this case I had expressly called on the Reich Minister of Justice...
THE PRESIDENT: It is sufficient for him to say that he did not turn them down. We do not want one instance of somebody who wrote to him.
How long are you going to be, Dr. Fritz?
DR. FRITZ: I believe I shall be able to conclude the entire Fritzsche case tomorrow morning.
Mr. President, I have heard that there is no open session this afternoon . . .
THE PRESIDENT: Yes.
DR. FRITZ: ...otherwise I would have been able to conclude the entire Fritzsche case today. However, I hope to be able to conclude my examination of the defendant in his own case and that
of the witness Von Schirmeister. I hope that tomorrow noon I shall be able to conclude.
THE PRESIDENT: The Tribunal hopes so too, because, as I have pointed out to you, we do not want you to go into such elaborate detail. You have been going, in the opinion of the Tribunal, far too much into detail, and we want the matter dealt with more generally.
[The Tribunal adjourned until 28 June 1946 at 1000 hours.]