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-Seventeenth Day: Tuesday, 30th April, 1946
(Part 4 of 10)

[Page 369]



Q. Herr Hiemer, perhaps you did not quite understand the question a moment ago. Please tell us again just when Herr Streicher received knowledge of, and when he told you that he was convinced of or believed in these mass murders.

A. It is my opinion and conviction that it was in the middle of 1944.

Q. But there had been statements to that effect in the "Israelitisches Wochenblatt" for a number of years prior to that date.

A. Yes; at that time Streicher did not believe these things. His change of view took place only in the year 1944 and I remember it was not before the middle of the year.

DR. MARX: I have no further questions to the witness.

THE PRESIDENT: The witness can retire.

DR. MARX: With the permission of the Tribunal I would like to call the witness, Phillip Wurzbacher.


PHILLIP WURZBACHER, called as a witness on behalf of the defendant Streicher, took the stand and testified as follows:-


Will you state your full name?

[Page 370]

A. Phillip Wurzbacher.

Q. Will you repeat this oath after me:-

I swear by God, the Almighty and Omniscient, that I will speak the pure truth, and will withhold and add nothing.

(The witness repeated the oath.)

You may sit down.



Q. Witness you were an S.A. Fuehrer in Nuremberg?

A. Yes.

Q. Since when?

A. Since 1928.

Q. And what position did you have?

A. At that time I was an S.A. Standartenfuehrer and had risen from the lowest ranks.


Q. When you see the light, that yellow light, it means you are going too fast. Do you understand?

A. I have been talking too fast?


Witness, please speak more slowly and pause as frequently as possible, as your testimony has to be interpreted into several languages.

Q. Since when have you known the defendant Streicher?

A. I have known him from meetings, since 1922 or 1923; personally, from the time of my activity as an S.A. Fuehrer in the year 1928.

Q. Were you regularly present at the meetings at which Streicher spoke?

A. I cannot say that I was present regularly, but I attended very frequently.

Q. Did Streicher in his speeches advocate the use of violence against the Jewish population, or did he predict it?

A. At no meeting did I hear suggestions that violence should be used against the Jewish population. Nor did I ever hear Streicher suggest or announce that he had any such intention in mind.

Q. Did an act of violence against the Jewish population, originating from and carried out by the people themselves, take place in Nuremberg or the Gau Franconia at any time in the period from 1920 to 1933?

A. No, I cannot remember any incident of that type.

Q. Did the S.A. undertake any such action or was anything like that ordered?

A. The S.A. never undertook anything like that at that time. On the contrary, the S.A. had instructions, unequivocal instructions, to refrain from such acts of violence. Severe punishment would have resulted for anyone who did anything like that, or for an S.A. Fuehrer who gave such orders. Besides, as I have already emphasised, there was never any suggestion or any order to that effect.

Q. What do you say to the events on the night of 9 to 10 November, 1938?

A. I was not in Nuremberg during the events from 9 to 10 November, 1938. At that time I was in Bad Ems on account of chronic laryngitis. I can only say what I know from stories which I heard afterwards.

Q. Did you talk with Obergruppenfuehrer Obernitz?

A. Yes.

Q. About these events?

A. Yes, I talked the S.A. Obergruppenfuehrer von Obernitz in a brief conversation, when I reported my return. We spoke only a few words, since Obergruppenfuehrer von Obernitz was called away, but in the course of another conversation I returned to the subject. I remember that von Obernitz declared at the time that as far as he was concerned the matter had been put in order. That was the sense of what he said.

[Page 371]

Was there within the S.A. a uniform opinion or were there, even in the circles of the S.A., men who disapproved of these incredible occurrences?

A. Opinions were, as far as I could determine upon my return - I believe it was on 23 or 24 November - very much divided. A part of the S.A. was in favour, the other opposed what had happened, but at all events, the majority in general considered it to be wrong and condemned what had been done.

Q. Was there an increase, I mean, an increase of brutality in these circles, after 1933, on account of the growing members of the S.A.?

A. It goes without saying that after the accession to power, when many indeterminable elements joined, the situation was completely different from what it had been before. Up to that time, as a responsible Fuehrer, one knew almost every member individually, but now, with the tremendous influx of new men, a general survey of the new situation had first to be made. But I believe I may say that an increase of brutality did not occur. Perhaps some undesirable elements which, in the name of the S.A., did this or that, had slipped in, but in general I cannot say that an overall increase of brutality took place.

Q. Did you establish that "Der Sturmer" exerted an influence in the S.A. with the result that an anti-Semitic tendency made itself felt among the men under your command? Did you not read a different publication, "Der S.A. Mann"?

A. "Der Sturmer" had a very divided reception, I might say, especially among the people in Nuremberg and in particular in the S.A. There were large numbers in the S.A. who, if they did not exactly reject "Der Sturmer," were in fact not interested because of the tedious repetitions contained in it, and for this reason the paper was of no importance to them. Moreover, it was natural that members of the S.A. read, preferred to read, their own paper, "Der S.A. Mann."

Q. When you participated in a meeting in which Streicher spoke, what impression did you gain of the objectives which he pursued in his speech with regard to the solution of the Jewish problem?

A. The objectives which were stated by Streicher were, I should say, unequivocal and clear. He pursued the policy that the strong elements of the Jewish people which occupied positions in the German economy and, above all in public life and public offices, should be removed, and that, as a matter of necessity, expulsion or emigration should be considered.

Q. Did you participate in the boycott on 1 April, 1933, in any way?

A. Yes, I participated in the boycott. At that time I had instructions from my Gruppenfuehrer to see to it that this boycott should be kept within the limits of order and propriety, and that, in this way, the success of the boycott would be assured. I instructed the Sturmfuehrer under my command to assign to each department store a guard of two S.A. men, who were to see to it that nothing happened and that everything took its course in an orderly and unobjectionable fashion.

Q. Were there not instructions on the part of Streicher also?

A. Yes. The instructions which I received from my Gruppenfuehrer had been issued by Gauleiter Streicher.

Q. Were attacks on Jews not to be prevented by all means?

A. That was so not only in this one case, but in all cases. It was repeatedly pointed out that we were to refrain from attacks or unauthorised acts of violence or other hostile acts against the Jewish people or Jewish individuals, especially in Nuremberg, and that it was strictly prohibited ...

Q. What was Streicher's reaction when he heard that, all the same, such acts of violence had been perpetrated by individuals?

A. I can cite one example in which violence was used. I believe it was a small scuffle; at any rate, something had happened, but I do not recall the

[Page 372]

details of the case. In any event, he called us very sharply to account, and we S.A. leaders were severely reprimanded and rebuked.

Q. And what did he say? Did he make a general statement?

A. If I may give the essence of it, he said that he would not tolerate human beings being beaten or molested in any way in his Gau, and for the S.A. leaders he had rather drastic expressions such as ruffians or similar names - I do not recall them exactly.

Q. But he was called the "Bloody Czar of Franconia." How is that to be explained?

A. Perhaps it was his manner, the way he behaved at times. Sometimes he could be very harsh and outspoken. At any rate I can only say that during my activity I did not experience anything or hear anything suggesting that he was a "bloody czar."

Q. Do you know what his attitude was toward concentration camps? Did he visit Dachau? If so, how often, and what did he do about it?

A. I cannot give you any information on that point. I know just one thing, and that is that he made attempts to ensure, and that he said repeatedly, that people who had been taken to Dachau should be freed as soon as possible if there were no criminal nor other charges against them. I also know of several cases in which people were liberated very soon after their arrest or their removal to a concentration camp. For example the teacher Natt, who was an old adversary of his in the town hall of Nuremberg, was released after a very short time, I believe three or four months. Another man, a certain Lebender, who had been active primarily in labour unions, was also released after a very short period of time. If I remember correctly, it was about the year 1935 or perhaps the beginning of 1936, I do not know exactly, when the last inmates left the camp at Dachau and were greeted with music upon their return.

Q. Was it not held against him that he freed many members of the left-wing parties from Dachau?

A. It was said, here and there, by members of the S.A. that the Gauleiter's action could hardly be justified, that he took too light a view of these things and so on, but we pointed out that after all the Gauleiter carried the responsibility and that he ought to know just what he had to do in this or that case.

Q. Do you know that Himmler told Streicher of his displeasure at these releases and said that disciplinary action would be taken against him if he continued with them? If you know nothing about this matter, please say: No.

A. No.

DR. MARX: I have concluded my questioning of the witness.

THE PRESIDENT: Does any member of the defence counsel wish to ask questions? Does the prosecution wish to cross- examine?

SIR DAVID MAXWELL FYFE: No, no questions.

THE PRESIDENT: Then the witness can retire.

THE PRESIDENT: Does that conclude your case, Dr. Marx?

DR. MARX: Yes, your Honour.

THE PRESIDENT: Then we go on with Dr. Schacht's case next.

DR. DIX (Counsel for defendant Schacht): I begin my presentation of evidence with the calling of Dr. Schacht as a witness and I ask your Lordship to permit Dr. Schacht to enter the witness box.

HJALMAR SCHACHT, a witness, took the stand and testified as follows:


Q. Will you state your full name?

A. Hjalmar Schacht.

Q. Will you repeat this oath after me: I swear by God, the Almighty and

[Page 373]

Omniscient, that 1 will speak the pure truth and will withhold and add nothing.

(The witness repeated the oath.)

THE PRESIDENT: You may sit down.



Q. Please tell the Tribunal briefly about your personal history?

A. The families of both of my parents have lived for centuries in Schleswig Holstein, which until 1864 belonged to Denmark. My parents were both born as Danish citizens. After the annexation by Germany my father emigrated to the United States, to which country three of his older brothers had already emigrated, and he became an American citizen. My two brothers, who were older than I, were born there. Later, my mother's health prompted my father's return to Germany.

I was educated in Hamburg. I studied at universities in Germany and in Paris and, after receiving my doctor's degree, I was active for two years in economic organisations. Then I began my banking career, and for thirteen years I was at the Dresdner Bank, one of the large so-called "D" banks. I then took over the management of a bank of my own, which was later merged with one of the "D" banks, and in 1923 I abandoned my private career and went into public service as Commissioner for German Currency (Reichswahrungs Kommissar). Soon afterwards I became Reichsbankpresident, and I held that office until 1930, when I resigned.

Q. Why did you resign as Reichsbankpresident at that time?

A. In two essential points there were differences of opinion between the Government and myself; one was the internal finance policy of the Government. With the terrible catastrophe of the last war and the dictate of Versailles behind us, it was necessary in my opinion to use thrifty and modest methods in German politics. The democratic and socialist governments of that period could not see that point, but carried on a frivolous financial policy, especially by incurring debts which, in particular, were contracted to a very large extent abroad. It was quite clear that Germany, already heavily burdened with reparation payments, was not in a position to build up as much foreign currency as was necessary for the payments of these debts. We were not even able to pay the reparations from our own economy.

Therefore I objected to the contraction of these debts in which the various governments of that period indulged, and in which they also encouraged communities and private companies. I objected to this financial policy and, at home and abroad, warned continuously against this policy of uncurring [sic] foreign debts. The foreign bankers did not listen nor did the German Government. It was during that period when, if in Berlin one passed the Adlon Hotel Unter Den Linden, one could not be sure that a financial agent would not emerge with the question whether one did not need a loan.

The very same people opposed me strongly later, when Germany was forced to discontinue making payments of her debts. But I wish to state here that I have always and on every occasion been against such a policy of debts. That was one reason. The other reason was in the field of foreign policy. I had not only contributed my part towards the creation of the Young plan, but in 1929 I also assisted in the setting up of the Young Committee; the so-called Young plan had resulted in a number of improvements for Germany, which the German Government was now sacrificing, step by step, during the subsequent negotiations at the Hague. Thus the financial and economic condition of the nation again deteriorated. I revolted against this, and for both these reasons I resigned my office as Reichsbankpresident in protest, in March, 1930.

[ 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.