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 9 of 12)

[LIEUTENANT COLONEL GRIFFITH-JONES continues his cross examination of Julius Streicher]

[Page 340]

Q. We are not discussing war now. We are discussing the extermination, the mass murder, of Jews by the National Socialists. That is what we are discussing. Let me read on:-
"When Adolf Hitler stepped before the German people 20 years ago to submit to them the National Socialist demands which pointed the way into the future, he also made the promise which was to have the gravest repercussions, that of freeing the world from its Jewish tormentors. How wonderful it is to know that this great man and leader is also following up this promise with practical action. It will be the greatest deed in the history of mankind."
Do you say that you were not putting forward propaganda for the policy of mass extermination which the Nazi Government had set out to do?

A. We too had freedom of the Press like democratic countries. Every author could write about the forecast, which perhaps later on turned out to be a fact, and that is what I did.

Q. Very well.

A. But in my defence, Mr. Prosecutor, I want to be allowed to say that wars too can be mass murder, with their bombs, etc. And if it is proved that someone says that we were forcing Hitler into war, then I can certainly say that a man who knows that Hitler is being forced into war is a mass murderer.

Q. With the permission of the Tribunal I am going to interrupt you again because we are not discussing whether or not Hitler was forced into war. We will leave that now.

Just let us go on and see if you are really speaking the truth in saying that while you were writing these articles you were not perfectly well aware of what was happening in the Eastern Territories.

We got as far as January, 1943. I would like you to just look at one or two more of the "Israelitisches Wochenblatt" and see if you remember reading any of these.

Will you look at Page 30-b, 26 February, in your "B " bundle?

"Exchange reports from the Polish Government circles in London that Warsaw, Lvov, Lodz and other cities have been 'liquidated,' and that nobody from the ghettos remains alive. The last investigations have ascertained that only about 650,000 Jews remain out of 2,800,000."
Listen to me. Did you read that? Do you remember it?

A. I don't know. For months - perhaps half a year - we didn't get an issue, but if I had read it, I would not have believed that either.

Q. Did you believe Hitler? If you will turn over the page to 31-b, did you

[Page 341]

believe Hitler? According to the last two lines quoted in the "Israelitisches Wochenblatt" of 5 March:-
"Hitler, in his proclamation of 24 February, again proclaimed the extermination of the Jews in Europe as his goal."
Did you believe your own beloved Fuehrer when he was saying the same things as the "Israelitisches Wochenblatt," the United Nations, and "The Times" newspaper in London?

A. No. I declare that whoever got to know the Fuehrer's deepest emotions and his soul, as I have personally, and then later learns from his testament that he, in full possession of his faculties, consciously gave the order for mass extermination, is confronted with a riddle. I state here ...

Q. We really do not want another long speech about the Fuehrer. Just turn over the page and look at what is being said on 26 March:-

"The report of the Polish Government published in the English Press including:-

'In the town of Vilna 50,000 Jews were murdered, in Rovno 14,000 in Lvov half of the total Jewish population.'

Many details are also given about the use of poison gas, as at Chelm, of electricity in Belzec, of the deportations from Warsaw, the surrounding of blocks of houses, and of the attacks with machine guns."

Did you read that one?

A. I do not know. However, shootings must have occurred, of course, where Jews committed sabotage, etc. ... that is self evident. During a war that is considered as a matter of course. However, the figures which are quoted here are not believable.

Q. Yes. I understand you to say that now, but what I do not understand is what you meant when you said this morning that the "Israelitisches Wochenblatt" made no mention of murders and gave no figures. You didn't say that the figures were unbelievable; you told this Tribunal, on your oath, that the newspaper contained nothing except the hints of disappearance, with no mention of figures. What did you mean by that?

A. I have told the truth under oath, but it is possible that one might not remember everything. During an interrogation some time back I stated, based on memory, that an issue must exist which mentions the disappearance of Jews, and so on. It is in the "Israelitisches Wochenblatt." And I thought I said that it was in 1943, and it is true. If one article after the other is put before me - well, even if I had seen it, how can I remember it? But that I, under oath, should have deliberately told you an untruth, that is at any rate not so.

Q. We will deal with the article you mention in 1933 in one moment; but just before we do that, just see if you believe your own staff. Turn, will you, to 38A, Document M-139. Now, on 6 May it so happens just after those last three extracts from the "Das Israelitisches Wochenblatt" we have looked at, within two or three months, one or two months afterwards your newspaper is publishing this article. It is headed "Children of the Devil."

"Der Sturmer paid a visit to the ghettos in the East. Der Sturmer sent its photographic reporter to various ghettos in the East; a member of Der Sturmer's staff is well acquainted with the Jews. Nothing can surprise him easily. But what our contributor saw in these ghettos was a unique experience for him. He wrote, 'What my eyes and my Leica camera saw here convinced me that the Jews are not human begins but children of the devil and the spawn of crime ... It is hard to see how it was possible that this scum of humanity was for centuries looked upon as God's chosen people by the non-Jews ... This satanic race really has no right to exist.'"
Now, you have heard of what was happening in the ghettos in the East

[Page 342]

during 1942 and 1943. Are you really telling this Tribunal that your photographer went with his camera to those ghettos and found out nothing about the mass murder of Jews?

A. Yes, otherwise he would have reported to us about it.

Q. Warsaw ghetto, you remember, exterminated - wiped out - in April, 1943. Your photographer must have been around just about that time, if you were writing this on 6 May, if he had just returned. Did you think he could have been there looking at ghettos for Der Sturmer, for Julius Streicher, the Jew-baiter, and have discovered nothing of what was happening in the ghetto in Warsaw and elsewhere?

A. I can only remember that immediately after the end of the Polish campaign a Viennese reporter went over there, made films and made reports, in 1942. I would like to ask - is there a name, a signature there to show by whom it was written? One thing I know is that the ghetto was destroyed; I read it in a summary - an illustrated report which I think originated in the Ministry of Propaganda. But as to the destruction of the ghetto during an uprising - well, I consider that legal; from my point of view it was right. But mass murders in the ghetto in Warsaw are something I never heard of.

Q. Now, just let us look at the article to which you referred a moment ago. Will you look at 44A of the document book. My Lord, this is the same as was included at Page 53 in the original document book, it was Document 1965-PS, Exhibit GB-176 but there is slightly more of the extract quoted at Page 44A.

Now, I just want you to consider for the last time whether or not you are speaking the truth in telling the Tribunal that you did not know what was happening. You quote in that article from the Swiss newspaper, "Das Israelitisches Wochenblatt," of 27 August, 1943 - you will see that date, my Lord, in the middle of the first paragraph - I start now from that line in the middle. The Swiss Jewish newspaper goes on to say:-

"The Jews of Europe, with the exception of those in England and of insignificant Jewish communities in a few neutral countries have, so to speak, disappeared. The Jewish reservoir of the East that was able to counter- balance the force of assimilation in the West no longer exists."
That is the end of your quotation from the newspaper, and you go on to say:-
"This is not a Jewish lie; it is really true that the Jews have, so to speak, disappeared from Europe, and that the Jewish reservoir of the East from which the Jewish pestilence spread for centuries among the European nations has ceased to exist. If the Swiss newspaper wishes to affirm that the Jews did not expect this kind of development when they plunged the nations into the second world war, this is to be believed, but already at the beginning of the war the Fuehrer of the German nation prophesied the events that have taken place. He said that the second World War would consume those who had conjured it."
Now, are you really saying that when that article was written you did not know how to interpret the word "disappearance," the disappearance of the Jews from the East? Are you really telling the Tribunal that?

A. Yes, the word "disappear" after all does not mean extermination en masse. This deals with a quotation from the "Israelitisches Wochenblatt" and is a repeated quotation of what the Fuehrer had prophesied.

Q. Well, now, would you look at the article from which you quote there, which you will find at Page 36B - and I would like you to follow it and we will read together. Now, the particular paragraph which I want to read with the "Israelitisches Wochenblatt" is that quotation which I have just read to you and you will find the same quotation, my Lord; it starts at the end of the eighth but last line:-

"The Jews were, or rather the Jews of Europe . . ."

[Page 343]

Have you got it in front of you, defendant?

A. I shall listen to you.

Q. It would be better, I think, if you followed it. I want to help you as much as possible. Page 44A and 36B. I will read slowly first of all from your Sturmer again: "The Jews of Europe with the exception of those in England and of the lesser Jewish communities in a few neutral countries have, so to speak, disappeared," and you will see that you then go on in the quotation and say "the Jewish reservoir of the East which was able to counter-balance the force of assimilation in the West no longer exists."

Now, would you look at that original article, "The Jews of Europe" - this is 36B - "the Jews of Europe with the exception of those in England and the lesser Jewish communities in a few neutral countries have, so to speak, disappeared."

Now - there you go on, "The Jewish reservoir of the East" - the original goes on - "three million dead, the same number outlawed, mentally and physically broken."

Are you telling this Tribunal now that on 27 August, or when you read that article of 27 August, you didn't know that Jews were being murdered in the East and that you had not read of those things in the "Israelitisches Wochenblatt?"

A. Whether I had read it or not, I wouldn't have believed it, that three million Jews had been killed. That is something I wouldn't have believed, and that is why I left it out, at any rate. Anyhow, the German censorship wouldn't have allowed the spreading of something which isn't credible.

THE PRESIDENT: You did not read the last part of the line, did you?

LIEUTENANT COLONEL GRIFFITH-JONES: "... were mentally and physically broken. That is the result of the new order." I am very much obliged to you. "That is the result," you say, "of the new order in Europe."

Q. You say you did not believe it. Is that what you say now, that you must have read it - must you not?

A. Yes.

Q. - but you just did not believe it, is that right?

A. No.

Q. Even if you did not believe it, when you were reading this newspaper more or less regularly, when your camera-man had been to the ghettos in the East, did you think it right to go on week after week in your newspaper crying for the extermination, murder, of the Jews?

A. That is not correct. It is not true that murder was demanded week after week. And I repeat again, the sharpening of our tone was the answer to the voice from America that called for our mass murder in Germany - "an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth." If a Jew, Erich Kauffmann, demands mass murders in Germany, then perhaps I, as an author, can say that the Jews too should be exterminated. That is a literary matter. But the mass murders had taken place a long time before without our having known about them, and I state here that if I had known what had in fact happened in the East, then I wouldn't have used these quotations at all.

Q. But, defendant, you must have known then, must you not, after reading that article, after sending your camera men, after the United Nations published their declaration, after Hitler's prophecies had been made again and again in his proclamations, after you said, his prophecy had been fulfilled - you really say you did not know?

A. The photographer is at your disposal. He is in Vienna, and I ask to have him brought here. And I state that this photographer reported nothing, and could not have reported anything about mass murders.

THE PRESIDENT: I think we might adjourn now.

(A recess was taken.)

[Page 344]

DR. MARX: Mr. President, with the permission of the Tribunal, and in the interest of clarification, I should like to point out the following: The Prosecutor, Lieutenant Colonel Griffith-Jones, has mentioned a document, Page 38A, from "Der Sturmer" of 6 May, 1943. That seems to be an error, because we are dealing here with "Der Sturmer" of 6 March, 1943.

That date is of great importance because if the cameraman of "Der Sturmer" published a report of 6 March in "Der Sturmer, " then he must have been at the ghetto in Warsaw before 6 March, 1943.

THE PRESIDENT: Why do you say 6 March? The document I have before me has 6 May.

LIEUTENANT COLONEL GRIFFITH-JONES: There has been a mistake, I am afraid, in the German that Dr. Marx has. I have the original before me, which is 6 May, 1943.

DR. MARX: Excuse me. At the present moment I cannot recall when the destruction of the ghetto of Warsaw took place. That was Document 1061-PS.

LIEUTENANT COLONEL GRIFFITH-JONES: I cannot remember for the moment the number of the document, but the date was, I think from memory, from 1 to 23 April.

DR. MARX: Then, of course, my remark is without foundation. Please excuse me.

Q. Now we had just dealt with the "Israelitisches Wochenblatt," issue for 27 August, the copy that you quoted from. I just refer you to one more copy of that newspaper. Would you look at Page 37-B, which is an issue of 10 September, 1943:-

"Statistics presented by the Convening Committee showed that five millions out of the eight and a half million Jews of Europe had died or been deported ... About three million Jews had lost their lives through forced labour and deportation."
Did you read that one?

A. I do not know, and again I would not have believed it. To this day I do not believe that five million were killed. I consider it technically impossible that that could have happened. I do not believe it. I have not received proof of that up until now.

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