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-Fifteenth Day: Friday, 26th April, 1946
(Part 8 of 8)

[DR. MARX continues his direct examination of Julius Streicher]

[Page 302]

Q. Witness, why were you dismissed from the teaching profession? Did you ever commit any punishable or immoral act?

A. Actually I have answered this question already. Everybody knows that I could not have been active publicly in this profession if I had committed a crime. I was dismissed from my profession because the majority of the parties in the Bavarian Parliament in the autumn of 1923, after the Hitler putsch, demanded my dismissal. That, gentlemen, was my crime.

Q. You know that two charges are made against you. First, you are accused that you were a party to the conspiracy which aimed at launching a war, or wars, of aggression generally, at breaking treaties and by so doing, or even at an earlier stage, committing Crimes Against Humanity.

Secondly, you are accused of Crimes Against Humanity as such. I should like to ask various questions on the first point now. Did you ever have discussions with Adolf Hitler or other leading men of the State or the party at which the question of a war of aggression was discussed?

A. I can answer that with "no" right away, but I should like to be permitted to make a short statement.

In 1921, as I have already said, I went to Munich, and before the public on the platform I handed over my movement to the Fuehrer. I also wrote him a letter in this connection later. No other conference took place with Adolf Hitler or any other person. I returned to Nuremberg and went on making speeches. When the Party programme was proclaimed I was not present. That proclamation, too, was made in public; the conspiracy was so public that political opponents could make attempts at terrorisation.

To sum up; at none of the secret meetings was any oath taken or anything agreed upon which the public could not have known. The programme stood, it had been submitted to the police; on the basis of the law governing organisations the party, like other parties, was entered in the register of organisations. So that at that time there was no conspiracy.

Q. Witness, one of the most important points of the Party programme was the demand for freedom from the conditions of the Versailles treaty. What were your ideas as to the possibility of some day getting rid of the Versailles treaty?

A. I think I can state that very shortly. I believe the Tribunal has known this for some time. Of course you will sometimes find one traitor in a people like the one who was sitting here today; and you will also find unlimited members of decent people. And after the last war, these decent people themselves took up the slogan: "Get rid of Versailles."

MR. JUSTICE JACKSON: If your Honour please, I think I must object to this sort of procedure. This witness has no right to call another witness a traitor. He has not been asked any question to which that is a response, and I ask that the Tribunal admonish him in no uncertain terms and that he confine himself to answering the questions here and that we may have an orderly proceeding.

THE PRESIDENT: Yes, you will observe that injunction.

THE WITNESS: I ask the Tribunal to excuse me. It was a slip of the tongue.

THE PRESIDENT: The observation that you made apparently I did not catch myself, but it was made with reference to a witness who has just given

[Page 303]

evidence here and you had no right at all to call him a traitor or to make any comment upon his evidence.


Q. Herr Streicher, you will please refrain from making such remarks. Adolf Hitler always spoke on the anniversary days of the Party about a "sworn fellowship." What do you say about that?

A. "Sworn fellowship" - that meant that he, Hitler, was of the conviction that his old supporters were one with him in the convictions, in their hearts and in their political loyalty - a "sworn fellowship" sharing the same views and united in their hearts.

Q. Would not that mean that a conspiracy existed?

A. Then he would have said we were a "fellowship of conspirators."

Q. Was there any kind of close relationship between you and the other defendants which could be termed a conspiracy, and were you better acquainted or did you have especially close relations with any one of these defendants?

A. In as much as they are old members of the Party we were one community of people with the same convictions. We met at Gauleiter meetings or when one of them spoke in the same town of the Gau, he was seen by the others. But I only had the honour of getting to know the Reich Ministers and the gentlemen from the army here. A political group therefore - an active group - certainly did not exist.

Q. In the early days of the Party what solution was foreseen for the Jewish problem?

A. Well, in the early days of the Party, the solution of the Jewish problem was never mentioned, just as the question of solving the problem of the Versailles treaty was never mentioned. You must remember the state of chaos that existed at that time in Germany. An Adolf Hitler who said to his members: "I shall start to promote a war" - would have been dubbed a fool. We had no arms in Germany. Our army of one hundred thousand men had only a few big guns left. The possibility of making or of prophesying war was absolutely excluded, and to speak of a Jewish question at a time when Jews were distinguishable only by their religion or to speak of the solution of this problem, would have been absurd. Before 1933 therefore, the solution of the Jewish problem was not a topic of discussion. I never heard Adolf Hitler mention it; and there is no one here of whom I could say I ever heard him say one word about it.

Q. It is assumed that you had particularly close relations with Adolf Hitler and that you had considerable influence on his decisions. I should like to ask you to describe your relations with Adolf Hitler and to clarify them.

A. Anyone who had occasion to make Adolf Hitler's acquaintance knows that I am correct in saying that those who imagined they could pave a way to his personal friendship were entirely mistaken. Adolf Hitler was a little eccentric in every respect and I believe I can say that friendship between him and other men did not exist. Certainly not a friendship that might have been described as "intimate friendship." It was not easy to approach Adolf Hitler; and anyone who wanted to approach him could only do so by performing some manly deed.

I know what you mean by your question, and I may say that before 1923 Adolf Hitler did not trust me. Although I had handed over my movement to him unreservedly he sent Goering - who later became Marshal of the Reich - some time later to Nuremberg. Goering was then a young S.A. Fuehrer - I think he was an S.A. Fuehrer - and he came to investigate matters and to

[Page 304]

determine whether I or those who denounced me were in the right. I do not mean this as an accusation, but merely as a statement of fact. Soon after that he sent a second and then a third person - in short, he did not trust me before 1923.

Then came Munich and the putsch. After midnight, when most of them had left him, I appeared before him and told him that the public must be told now when the next great day would come. He looked at me intently and said: "Will you do it? " I said: "I will do it."

Maybe the prosecution has the document before it. Then - after midnight - he wrote on a piece of paper:-

"Streicher will be responsible for the entire organisation."
That was to be for the following day, 11 November; and on 11 November I took charge of the propaganda.

One hour before the march to the Feldherrnhalle I returned and everything was in readiness. Our banner - which was to become a banner of blood - flew in front. I joined the second group and we marched into the city towards the Feldherrnhalle. When I saw rifle after rifle ranged before the Feldherrnhalle and knew that now there would be shooting, I marched up ten paces in front of the banner and straight up to the rifles. Then came the massacre and we were arrested. I have almost finished.

At Landsberg - and this is the important part - Hitler declared to me and to the men who were in prison with him, that he would never forget. Thus, because I took part in the march to the Feldherrnhalle and marched at the head of the procession, Adolf Hitler may have felt himself drawn to me more than to the others. That was the friendship born of the deed.

Q. Have you finished?

A. Yes.

Q. Were you consulted by Adolf Hitler on important matters?

A. I saw Adolf Hitler only at Gauleiter conferences; when he came to Nuremberg for meetings we had meals together, along with five, ten or more people. I only recall being alone with him once in the Brown House at Munich, after the completion of the Brown House, and our conversation was not a political one. All the conversations which I had with Adolf Hitler, whether in Nuremberg, Munich or elsewhere, took place in the presence of Party circle members.

Q. Now I come to 1933. On 1 April, 1933, a day of Boycott was decreed throughout the entire German Reich against the Jewish population. What can you tell us about that and what part did you play in it?

A. A few days before 1 April, I was summoned to the Brown House in Munich. Adolf Hitler explained to me something that I already knew, namely, that a tremendous propaganda campaign against the new Germany was being carried on by the foreign Press. Although he himself had only just become Chancellor, although Hindenburg was still at the head of the Reich, although Parliament existed, a tremendous campaign of hate against Germany had begun in the foreign Press.

The Fuehrer told me that even the Reich flag, the emblem of sovereignty, was being subjected to insults abroad and that we would have to tell world Jewry: "Thus far and no farther." We would have to show them that we would not tolerate it any longer.

[Page 305]

Then he told me that an Anti-Boycott Day was to be fixed for 1 April and that I was to organise it. Perhaps it would not be irrelevant to point out the following facts: Adolf Hitler thought that it might be a good thing to use my name in connection with this Anti-Boycott Day. That was not done in the end. So I undertook the organisation of the Anti-Boycott and issued a directive, which I believe is in the hands of the Tribunal. There is no need for me to say much about it. I gave instructions that no attempts should be made on the lives of Jews, that one or more guards should be posted in front of all Jewish premises - that is to say in front of every Jewish store - and that these guards should be responsible for seeing that no damage was done to property. In short, I organised the proceedings in a way which was perhaps not expected of me, and perhaps not expected by many members of the Party. I frankly admit that.

One thing is certain; except for minor incidents, Anti- Boycott Day passed off perfectly. I believe that there is not even a Jew who can contradict this. Anti-Boycott Day was a disciplined proceeding and was not "anti" in the sense of an attack on something. It had a purely defensive connotation.

Q. Was a committee formed at the time consisting of prominent - i.e., leading members of the Party, and did that committee ever appear?

A. As to the committee - it was like the Secret Cabinet Council in Berlin, which never met. In fact, I believe that the members of the committee did not even see or get to know each other.

Q. The committee members?

A. The boycott committee. Goebbels put it into the newspapers. That was a Press affair. I spoke to Goebbels on the telephone once. He asked how things were going in Munich, where I was. I said that everything was going perfectly. Thus, no conference ever took place, it was only done for effect, to make it appear a much bigger thing, than it was.

Q. Witness, you made a mistake a few minutes ago, speaking of the Munich affair in 1923. You meant 9 November - or didn't you - 9 November, 1923. And what did you say?

A. I do not remember.

Q. It should be 9 November, 1923?

A. 9 November, 1923.

Q. Yes. The so-called Racial Law was promulgated at the Reich Party Day in Nuremberg in 1935. Were you consulted about the planning and preparation of the draft of that law, and did you have any part in it, especially in its preparation?

A. Yes, I believe I had a part in it in so far as for years I have written that any further mixture of German blood with Jewish blood must be avoided. I have written such articles again and again, and in my articles I have repeatedly emphasised that the fact the Jews should serve as an example to every race, for they created a racial law for themselves - the law of Moses, which says: "if you come into a foreign land you shall not take unto yourself foreign women." And that, gentlemen, is of tremendous importance in judging the Nuremberg laws. These laws of the Jews were taken as a model for them. When, after centuries, the Jewish lawgiver Ezra discovered that in spite of this many Jews had married non- Jewish women, these marriages were annulled. That was the beginning of Jewry which, because it introduced these racial laws, has survived throughout the centuries, while all other races and civilisations have perished.

Q. Herr Streicher, this is rather too much of a digression. I asked you whether you took part in planning and working out the draft of the law, or

[Page 306]

whether you yourself were not taken by surprise when these laws were promulgated.

A. I was quite honest in saying that I believe I contributed indirectly to the making of these laws.

Q. But you were not consulted on the law itself?

A. No. I will make a statement, as follows:-

At the Reich Party Day in Nuremberg in 1935, we were summoned to the hall without knowing what was going to happen - at least I myself had no knowledge of it - and the racial laws were proclaimed. It was only then that I heard of these laws and I think that, with the exception of Herr Hess, this is true of most of the gentlemen in the dock who attended that Reich Party Day. The first we heard of these decrees was at the Reich Party Day. I did not collaborate directly. I may say frankly, that I regarded it as a slight when I was not consulted in the making of these laws.

Q. It was thought that your assistance was not necessary?

A. Yes.

Q. Were you of the opinion that the 1935 legislation represented the final solution of the Jewish question by the State?

A. With reservations, yes. I was convinced that if the Party programme was carried out, the Jewish question would be solved. The Jews became German citizens in 1848. Their rights as citizens were taken from them by these laws. Sexual intercourse was prohibited. For me, this represented the solution of the Jewish problem in Germany. But I believed that another international solution would still be found and that some day discussions would take place between the various States with regard to the demands made by Zionism and that these demands would lead to a Jewish State.

Q. What can you tell us about the demonstrations against the Jewish population during the night of 9 to 10 November, 1938, and what part did you play in them?

THE PRESIDENT: Dr. Marx, if you are going into that, it is now 5 o'clock and I think we had better adjourn now until Monday morning.

(Thereupon the Tribunal adjourned until Monday, 29 April, 1946, at 10.00 hours.

[ Previous | Index | Next ]

Home ·  Site Map ·  What's New? ·  Search Nizkor

© The Nizkor Project, 1991-2012

This site is intended for educational purposes to teach about the Holocaust and to combat hatred. Any statements or excerpts found on this site are for educational purposes only.

As part of these educational purposes, Nizkor may include on this website materials, such as excerpts from the writings of racists and antisemites. Far from approving these writings, Nizkor condemns them and provides them so that its readers can learn the nature and extent of hate and antisemitic discourse. Nizkor urges the readers of these pages to condemn racist and hate speech in all of its forms and manifestations.