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-Sixteenth Day: Monday, 29th April, 1946
(Part 3 of 12)

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

[Page 315]

Q. The prosecution has stated that after 1 September, 1939, the persecution of the Jews increased more and more. What was that due to?

A. That question only the Fuehrer could answer; I cannot.

Q. But don't you think this had something to do with the outbreak of war?

A. The Fuehrer always said so in public, yes.

Q. A proceeding was instituted against you before the Supreme Party Court. How did that happen? What was the development and the result of that trial?

A. I am grateful that I have an opportunity to state quite briefly before the International Military Tribunal something which I have had to keep silent about up to now because of a Fuehrer order. I myself had introduced proceedings against myself before the Supreme Party Court in order to defend myself against people who were denouncing me. I was being accused -

THE PRESIDENT: (Interposing) Is the defendant talking about some order which Hitler gave that he was not to be allowed to speak or is he talking about something else?

You remember, Dr. Marx, that certain allegations were struck out of the record. If he is talking about those, it seems to me that we have got nothing

[Page 316]

whatever to do with it. Am I right in recollecting that something was struck out of the record?

DR. MARX: Yes, it was, Mr. President, but only certain things from the Goering report were struck out, only the one passage which concerned the affair with the three young persons; but everything else was retained by the prosecution. The defence, therefore, can take a stand in regard to these points, if the prosecution do not say that they are dropping the entire Goering report, and in that connection this proceeding before the Supreme Party Court also plays a role. He can make a brief statement about it.



Q. Be brief, witness, be brief.

A. Yes. It is important, then, that I instituted proceedings against myself about ten points were involved which had been raised against me, among them a matter referring to some shares. An affidavit exists from the Goering report which states that I had been found guilty. May I state here that the trial was never completed and no sentence was passed. That is the answer to the question which you have put to me.

Q. The matter referring to shares, does that have something to do with the shares of the Marx works?

A. We will come to it later. It was not the main point.

Q. And then you were ordered to remain permanently at the Pleickershof? Were you under the guard of the Gestapo there, and was there also a control as far as visitors were concerned?

A. It is not correct that I was ordered to stay at the Pleickershof. What is true is that I retired voluntarily with the intention of never again being active in the Party Movement. It is correct that the Gestapo watched me, and every visitor was called to the police station and interrogated as to the conversations he had had. That is a fact.

Q. During your stay at the Pleickershof did you have any connections or correspondence with any leading personalities of the Party or State?

A. No. As far as prominent persons in the Movement and in the State are concerned, I had no correspondence whatsoever with them; that is why the prosecution could hardly find any letters. I never stated in letters my opinion on the Jewish problem or on other matters. I shall have to state then - in order to answer your question exactly - that I had no correspondence with prominent persons in the Party or the State.

Q. After the outbreak of the war, were you informed of or consulted in any way on any measures intended against the Jews?

A. No.

Q. What were your relations to Himmler? Did you know him at all closely? Did you ever speak to him about measures against the Jews or did he talk about intended mass executions of the Jews?

A. I knew Himmler just as I knew the S.A. leaders, or other S.S. leaders, I knew him as a result of meetings, Gauleiter conferences, etc. I did not have a single political discussion with Himmler, except when he may have touched on this or that, in the presence of others in a group. The last time I saw Himmler was in Nuremberg when he spoke to the officers in their mess. When that was I cannot say exactly but I think it was shortly before the war. I never had a talk with him on the Jewish question. He himself was, of course, well informed on this question. He had an organ of his own called the "Black Corps." And what his inner attitude toward me was is something that I did not discover until my stay on the farm. There were denunciations against me which reached him. It was stated that I was being too humane with the French prisoners. Shortly after that I received a letter in which he reproached me, made serious charges against me. I gave no answer at all. Without having made any

[Page 317]

previous inquiries of me as to whether these denunciations were true, he made a serious charge against me; and I state quite openly that it was actually my feeling at the time that I might possibly lose my liberty through arrest. That was my relationship with Himmler.

Q. That is enough.

During this trial you have heard mentioned the names of a great number of Senior S.S. and Police leaders, who played a leading part in the Jewish persecutions, as for instance, Heydrich, Eichmann, Ohlendorf and so on. Were there any connections between you and one of these Senior S.S. and Police leaders?

A. I heard the names you have mentioned for the first time during an interrogation here. I did not know these men; they may well have seen me, but there was never a discussion involving me and the Senior S.S. or S.A. leaders. Furthermore, I never was in any of Himmler's offices in Berlin, or any ministry in Berlin. Thus no conference ever took place.

Q. The prosecution have drawn the conclusion from numerous articles in "Der Sturmer," that as early as 1942 and 1943 you must have had knowledge of the mass executions of Jews which had taken place.

What statement can you make on this, and when and in what way did you hear of the mass executions of Jews which took place in the East?

A. I had subscribed to the Jewish weekly that appeared in Switzerland. Sometimes in that weekly there were intimations that something was not quite in order; and I think it was at the end of 1943 or 1944 - I believe 1944 - that an article appeared in the Jewish weekly, in which it was said that in the East, I think it was in Poland, Jews were disappearing in masses. I then made reference to this in an article which perhaps will be presented to me later. But I state quite frankly that the Jewish weekly in Switzerland did not represent for me an authoritative source, that I did not believe everything in it. This article did not quote figures; it did not mention mass executions, but only disappearances.

Q. Have you finished?

A. Yes.

Q. Did you make proposals in "Der Sturmer" for the solution of the Jewish question - even during the war?

A. Yes.

Q. And in what sense?

A. As I said yesterday, I represented the point of view that the Jewish question could be solved only internationally, since there were Jews in all countries. For that reason we published articles in my weekly journal referring to the Zionist demand for the creation of a Jewish State, such as had also been provided for or indicated in the Balfour declaration. There were, therefore, two possibilities for a solution, a preliminary solution within the countries through appropriate laws, and then the creation of a Jewish State.

During the war, I think it was in 1941 or 1942, we had written another article - we were subject to the Berlin censorship - and the censorship office sent back the proof submitted with the remark that the article must not be published since we had proposed Madagascar as the place in which to establish a Jewish State. The political relations with France were given as the reason why that article should not be published.

Q. If you had expected that question to be solved by mass executions, would you then have written this article?

A. In that case, at any rate, it would have been nonsensical to publish it.

Q. Did you not feel uneasy in dealing with the Jewish question in a biased way - in a way which left completely out of sight those qualities of the Jews which can be described as great?

A. I did not understand that question fully, perhaps I did not hear it correctly.

Q. You can be accused of treating, in a biased way, only those qualities of

[Page 318]

the Jews that appear respectable to you, whereas the other qualities of the Jewish people you ignored. What is your explanation?

A. I think that this question is really superfluous here. It is perfectly natural that I, as an anti-Semitic person and as I saw the Jewish question, was in no way interested in that. Perhaps I did not see the good traits which you or some others see in the Jews. That is possible. But at any rate I was not interested in investigating as to what particular good qualities might be recognised here.

Q. Thank you.

THE PRESIDENT: This would seem a good time to break off.

(A recess was taken.)

Q. Did you visit concentration camps?

A. Yes. I visited the concentration camp at Dachau.

Q. When was that?

A. I believe the first time was when all the Gauleiter were called together. I believe 1935, I don't know definitely - 1934 or 1935 - I don't know.

Q. At what intervals did you then visit this camp. It is said that you were in Dachau every four weeks.

Herr Streicher, will you make a short pause after each of my questions before you begin with your answer?

A. Will you please repeat that?

Q. It is asserted that you were in Dachau every four weeks. At what intervals were you there?

A. Altogether I was at Dachau four times.

Q. It is asserted that after each of your visits in Dachau, Jews disappeared there.

A. That I don't know - whether Jews disappeared.

Q. What caused you to visit the Dachau camp repeatedly?

A. I went to the Dachau camp to visit Social Democratic and Communist functionaires from my Gau who were in prison there - to have them introduced to me. I looked up - I don't know how many hundreds of them there were - but every time I was in Dachau I looked up ten or twenty of those of whom it had been ascertained by the police that they had no criminal record; I had them picked out of the camp population, and at Christmas every year I had them brought to Nuremberg to the Hotel Deutscher Hof, where I brought them together with their wives and children and had dinner with them.

I should like to ask the Tribunal, for the benefit of the Nuremberg public, to permit me to make a very short statement as to why I took these Communists out. Party proceedings were initiated against me because I did this. There were rumours which were not true. May I make a very short statement as to why I did it?

DR. MARX: I should like to ask the Tribunal to approve this, Mr. President, so that the reasons why the defendant did this may be ascertained.

THE PRESIDENT: Yes, as long as it is brief.

Q. Be brief.

A. When I walked through the streets of Nuremberg children approached me and said, "My father is in Dachau." Women came to me and asked to get their husbands back. I knew many of these officials from the time when I spoke at revolutionary meetings, and I could vouch for these people. I know of only one case where I was wrong in the selection of those people. All the others behaved impeccably. They kept the word which they had given me. Thus, perhaps my Party associates, who sit here in the dock, see now that I did not want to harm my country but that I wanted to do, and did do, something humanely good.

[Page 319]

Q. Now I come to the picture books which appeared in "Der Sturmer" publishing house. You know that two picture books were published, one with the title "Trust no Fox in the Field," and the other one with the title "The Poisonous Toadstool. " Do you assume responsibility for these picture books?

A. Yes. May I say, by way of summary, that I assume responsibility for everything which was written by my assistants or which came in to my publishing house.

Q. Who was the author of these picture books?

A. The book "Trust no Fox in the Field and No Jew under His Oath" was done by a young woman artist, and she also wrote the text. The title which appears on the picture book is by Dr. Martin Luther.

The second picture book was done by the editor-in-chief of "Der Sturmer," who was a former schoolteacher. Two criminal cases in Nuremberg, which were tried here in this courtroom, as far as I know, were the occasion for my publishing these two books. There was a manufacturer, Louis Schloss, a Jew, who with young Nuremberg girls had ...

Q. Herr Streicher, we do not want to hear that now. My question was only as to who was the author of these books and whether you assumed the responsibility for them?

A. It is important for the Tribunal, in fact, right for them to know how it came about that all of a sudden two picture books for young people appeared in my publishing house. I am making this statement absolutely objectively. I am speaking here of legal cases. There are gentlemen here who are witnesses, who were here in this court and were present during the proceedings. Only thus can one understand why these books were published. They were the answer to deeds that had occurred.

Q. Yes, but we are concerned here only with the accusation made against you, that you exerted an influence on the minds of young people which was not beneficial, and which could be considered designed to have a poisonous effect.

A. And I should like to prove by my statement that we wanted to protect youth, because things had, in fact, occurred.

Q. Yes, but young persons could hardly understand the Schloss case, or any such case, could they?

A. It was a matter of public discussion in Nuremberg and all over Germany.

Q. As far as I am concerned, this question is answered, Mr. President.

A. But not for me as defendant.

THE PRESIDENT: You told us that the books were published to answer things which had occurred here. That is sufficient.

Q. Witness, another serious accusation made by the prosecution against you is that a special issue concerning ritual murders was published in the publishing house of "Der Sturmer" and appeared in one number of "Der Sturmer." How did this special issue come about and what was the cause for it. Were you the author of that special issue?

A. No.

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