The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

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   Nazi Conspiracy and Aggression, Volume Two, Chapter XIV


In one of his affidavits (8469-PS), which contains numerous
statements in the nature of self-serving declarations,
Fritzsche state. that he first became a successful
journalist in the service of the Hugenberg Press, the most
important chain of newspaper enterprises in pre-Nazi
Germany. The Hugenberg concern owned papers of its own, but
it was important primarily because it served newspaper which
principally supported the so-called "national" parties of
the Reich, including the NSDAP.

In paragraph 5 of this affidavit (3469-PS), Fritzsche
relates that in September 1932, when von Papen was Reich
Chancellor, he was made head of the Wireless News Service,
replacing an of-

                                                [Page  1036]
ficial who was politically unbearable to the Papen regime.
The Wireless News Service was a government agency for
spreading news by radio. Fritzsche began making radio
broadcasts at about this time, with a success which Goebbels
recognized and later exploited on behalf of the Nazi

On the evening of the day when the Nazis seized power, the
30 January 1933, two emissaries from Goebbels visited
Fritzsche. One of them was Dressler-Andrees, head of the
Radio Division of the NSDAP; the other was an assistant of
Dressler-Andrees named Sadila-Mantau. These two emissaries
notified Fritzsche that although Goebbels was angry with
Fritzsche for writing an article critical of Hitler, still
Goebbels recognized Fritzsche's public success on the radio.
They stated further that Goebbels desired to retain
Fritzsche as head of the Wireless News Service on certain
conditions: (1) that Fritzsche discharge all Jews; (2 that
he discharge all other personnel who would not join the
NSDAP; (3) that he employ with the Wireless News Service the
second Goebbels' emissary, Sadila-Mantau. Fritzsche refused
all these conditions except the hiring of Sadila-Mantau.

Fritzsche continued to make radio broadcasts during this
period in which he supported the national National Socialist
coalition government then still existing.

In early 1933 SA troops several times called at the Wireless
News Service and Fritzsche prevented them, with some
difficulty, from making news broadcasts.

In April 1933 Goebbels called Fritzsche to him for a
personal audience. At paragraph 9 of his affidavit (3469-PS)
Fritzsche has described his prior relationship with Dr.

     "I was acquainted with Dr. Goebbels since 1928.
     Apparently he had taken a liking to me, besides the
     fact that in my press activities I had always treated
     the National Socialists in a friendly way until 1931.
     Already before 1933, Goebbels, who was the editor of
     the 'Attack' ["Der Angriff"] a Nazi newspaper, had
     frequently made flattering remarks about the form and
     content of my work, which I did as contributor of many
     'National' newspapers and periodicals, among which were
     also reactionary papers and periodicals." (3469-PS)

(1) Establishment of complete Nazi control over press and
radio. At the first Goebbels-Fritzsche discussion in early
April 1933, Goebbels informed Fritzsche of his decision to
place the Wireless News Service within the Propaganda
Ministry as of 1 May 1933. He suggested that Fritzsche make
certain rearrangements in the personnel so as to remove Jews
and other

                                                [Page  1038]
persons who did not support the NSDAP. Fritzsche debated
with Goebbels concerning some of these steps. During this
period Fritzsche made some effort to place Jews in other

In a second conference with Goebbels shortly thereafter,
Fritzsche informed Goebbels about the steps he had taken in
reorganizing the Wireless News Service. Goebbels thereupon
informed Fritzsche that he would like to have him reorganize
and modernize the entire news services of Germany within the
controls of the Propaganda Ministry. On 17 March 1933,
approximately two months before this time, the Propaganda
Ministry had been created by decree. (2029-PS) Fritzsche was
intrigued by the Gobbles. offer. He proceeded to conclude
the Goebbels inspired reorganization of the Wireless-News
Service and, on 1 May 1933, together with the remaining
members of his staff, he joined the Propaganda Ministry. On
this same day he joined the NSDAP and took the customary
oath of unconditional loyalty to the Fuehrer (3469-PS).

From this time on, whatever reservations Fritzsche may have
had, either then or later, to the course of events under the
Nazis, Fritzsche was completely within the Nazi camp. For
the next 13 years he assisted in creating and in using the
propaganda devices which the conspirators successfully
employed in each of the principal phases of the

From 1933 until 1942 Fritzsche held one or more positions
within the German Press Division. For four years, from 1938
to 1942 the period when the Nazis undertook military
invasions of neighboring countries -- he headed this
Division. By virtue of its functions, the German Press
Division became an important and unique instrument of the
Nazi conspirators, not only in dominating the minds and
psychology of Germans, but also as an instrument of foreign
policy and psychological warfare against other nations.
Thus, the already broad jurisdiction of the Propaganda
Ministry was extended as follows by a Hitler decree of 30
June 1933:

     "The Reich Minister of Public Enlightenment and
     Propaganda has jurisdiction over the whole field of
     spiritual indoctrination of the nation, of
     propagandizing the State, of cultural and economic
     propaganda, of enlightenment of the public at home and
     abroad. Furthermore, he is in charge of the
     administration of all institutions serving those
     purposes." (2030-PS)

An exposition of the general functions of the German Press
Division of the Propaganda Ministry is contained in an
excerpt from a book by George Wilhelm Mueller, a Ministerial

                                                [Page  1039]
in the Propaganda Ministry. (2434-PS) Paragraphs 14, 15 and
16 of Fritzsche's affidavit contain an exposition of the
functions of the German Press Division, a description which
confirms and adds to the exposition in Mueller's book.
Concerning the German Press Division, Fritzsche's affidavit
(3469-PS) states:

     "During the whole period from 1933 to 1945 it was the
     task of the German Press Division to supervise the
     entire domestic press and to provide it with directives
     by which this division became an efficient instrument
     in the hands of the German State leadership. More than
     2,300 German daily newspapers were subject to this
     control. The aim of this supervision and control, in
     the first years following 1933, was to change basically
     the conditions existing in the press before the seizure
     of power. That meant the coordination into the New
     Order of those newspapers and periodicals which were in
     the service of capitalistic special interests or party
     politics. While the administrative functions, wherever
     possible, were exercised by the professional
     associations and the Reich Press Chamber, the political
     leadership of the German press was entrusted to the
     German Press Division. The head of the German Press
     Division held daily press conferences in the Ministry
     for the representatives of all German newspapers.
     Hereby all instructions were given to the
     representatives of the press. These instructions were
     transmitted daily, almost without exception, and mostly
     by telephone, from headquarters by Dr. Otto Dietrich,
     Reich Press Chief, in a fixed statement, the so-called
     'Daily Parole of the Reich Press Chief.' Before the
     statement was fixed the head of the German Press
     Division submitted to him -- Dietrich -- the current
     press wishes expressed by Dr. Goebbels and by other
     Ministries. This was the case especially with the
     wishes of the Foreign Office, about which Dr. Dietrich
     always wanted to make decisions personally or through
     his representatives at the headquarters, Helmut
     Suendermann and chief editor Lorenz. The practical use
     of the general directions in detail was thus left
     entirely to the individual work of the individual
     editor. Therefore, it is by no means true that the
     newspapers and periodicals were a monopoly of the
     German Press Division or that essays and leading
     articles through it had to be submitted to the
     Ministry. Even in war times this happened in
     exceptional cases only. The less important newspapers
     and periodicals which were not represented at the daily
     press conferences received their information in a
     different way -- by providing them
                                                [Page  1040]
     either with ready-made articles and reports, or with a
     confidential printed instruction. The publications of
     all other official agencies were directed and
     coordinated likewise by the German Press Division. To
     enable the periodicals to get acquainted with the daily
     political problems of newspapers and to discuss these
     problems in greater detail, the
     Informationskorrepondenz was issued especially for
     periodicals. Later on it was taken over by the
     Periodical Press Division. The German Press Division
     likewise was in charge of pictorial reporting in so far
     as it directed the employment of pictorial reporters at
     important events. In this way, and conditioned by the
     current political situation, the entire German Press
     was made a permanent instrument of the Propaganda
     Ministry by the German Press Division. Thereby, the
     entire German Press was subordinate to the political
     aims of the Government. This was exemplified by the
     timely measuring and the emphatic presentation of such
     press polemics as appeared to be most useful, as shown
     for instance in the following themes: the class
     struggle of the system era; the leadership principle
     and the authoritarian state; the party and interest
     politics of the system era; the Jewish problem; the
     conspiracy of World Jewry; the Bolshevistic danger; the
     plutocratic Democracy abroad; the race problem
     generally; the church; the economic misery abroad; the
     foreign policy; and living space [lebensraum]."

This description of Fritzsche's establishes clearly that the
German Press Division was the instrument for subordinating
the entire German press to the political aims of the Nazi

Fritzsche's early activities within the German Press
Division on behalf of the conspirators are described in his
affidavit (3469-PS). In a conference with Goebbels the
following occurred:

     "At this time Dr. Goebbels suggested to me, as a
     specialist on news technique, the establishment and
     direction of a section 'News,' within the Press
     Division of his Ministry, in order to organize fully
     and to modernize the German news agencies. In executing
     this assignment given to me by Dr. Goebbels I took for
     my field the entire news field for the German Press and
     the radio in accordance with the directions given by
     the Propaganda Ministry, at first with the exception of
     the DNB, German News Agency." (3469-PS)

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