The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)
Nuremberg, war crimes, crimes against humanity

The Trial of German Major War Criminals

Sitting at Nuremberg, Germany
2nd July to 15th July 1946

One Hundred and Seventy-Sixth Day: Thursday, 11th July, 1946
(Part 9 of 9)

[Page 313]


I have in mind Document 2523-PS, Exhibit No. 235, which contains an excerpt from a speech which Frick allegedly made in the year 1927 - but the excerpt of this speech is taken from a provincial Social Democrat newspaper, a small paper opposed to Frick, the reporter of which thus had no authentic copy of the speech at his disposal - and we all know what mistakes and misunderstandings are often contained in such short reports, the wording of which cannot be checked by the speaker himself. Thus this document, according to which Frick is said to have stated that history is written not only with the ballot, but with blood and iron, is not a reliable source.

The prosecution refers to conferences concerning the expropriation of land in order to extend the grounds of the Auschwitz concentration camp. The general domestic administration is competent for expropriation, and for this reason an official from the Ministry of the Interior was called into the negotiations, who stated, however - Page 2 of the English translation of the document - that he was not authorized to dispose of the ownership of the land. Thus one can also not construe from this document any Political Police activity on the part of the defendant or an approval of the concentration camp system. Finally, in this connection the prosecution states that the defendant Frick personally visited the Oranienburg and Dachau concentration camps.

The defendant does not deny the visit to Oranienburg in the year 1938, about which witness Hoess testified.

At that time, as witness Hoess himself testifies, the external framework of the camps was still generally that of a military training area.

In any case, an official visitor to a camp at that time could not notice any indication of murder, ill-treatment or similar crimes, so that the visit is not a decisive argument for knowledge of crimes in the concentration camps.

On the other hand, Frick never visited the Dachau concentration camp, contrary to the testimony of the witness Blaha.

I refer to the testimony of Gillhuber in regard to this who, as Frick's bodyguard, must have known about such a visit if it had taken place.

I take the liberty of pointing out also that the two other bodyguards of Frick were also mentioned by me as witnesses, but in agreement with the prosecution were considered by the Tribunal as unnecessary on the grounds that one of the bodyguards would be sufficient as a witness.

[Page 314]

At the conclusion of this chapter, I still have to go into the matter of an allusion made by the prosecution which described Frick at one time as the chief of the Reich Security Main Office.

I beg to refer to the testimony of the witness Ohlendorf who stated to the Tribunal that the Reich Security Main Office (RSHA) was a creation of Himmler, who combined in this office his State Police tasks and his functions as Reichsfuehrer SS, with which Frick had no connection of any kind and even less authority to command. The chief of this office was thus Himmler himself alone.

I must go further into the charges which are made against the defendant Frick in respect of the persecution of members of the Jewish race.

Frick collaborated in the legal measures, particularly the Nuremberg Laws, and in administrative measures which he regarded as an expression of a National Socialist racial policy.

On the other hand, there is no proof that Frick himself shared in or knew of the measures of physical extermination which, on Hitler's direct orders, were carried out by Himmler and his organizations, and were kept absolutely secret from those who had no part in these frightful events. Further, in his capacity as Minister of the Interior, the defendant is also accused of collaboration in the killing of the sick and insane.

Hitler's basic order is contained in Document 630-PS, Exhibit USA 342.

This document shows that Hitler did not give an order for this to any government office, but - quite outside the ministries' government order system - to two single persons, namely Bouhler and Dr. Brandt. Moreover, contrary to all rules, Hitler did not sign this order himself in an official capacity as Fuehrer and Reich Chancellor, but used private stationery with the heading "Adolf Hitler." This shows what the witness Lammers has confirmed, that Hitler did not give an order for these measures to the Ministry of the Interior or some other government office, but to two of his Party comrades, and the Party emblem is the only sign on this stationery.

On the other hand, the documents submitted by the prosecution prove that complaints were made which also reached the Ministry of the Interior, but they do not prove that, in contradiction to Document 630-PS, Frick personally had a share in the measures for the killings or that he could have prevented them.

After his departure from the Ministry of the Interior, on 20th August, 1943, Frick was appointed Reich Protector of Bohemia and Moravia. Here he was given a task which, from the start, was unequivocally limited in its competence. I refer to Document 3443-PS (Exhibit USSR 60), No. 29 in the Frick document book, and Document 1366-PS, submitted by me as Frick Exhibit 5a. Furthermore, I refer to the testimony of the witness Lammers. The office of the Reich Protector was originally the unified representation of Reich authority in the Protectorate. In actual practice, however, its authority passed more and more to Frank, the Reich Protector's State Secretary at that time.

With the appointment of Frick in August, 1943, through a Fuehrer decree which was not made public, the executive authority was now formally transferred to Frank, who from that time on received the official title of "The German Minister of State in Bohemia and Moravia." From that time on the Reich Protector retained essentially the right of representation and the right to pardon, the improper use of which by Frick has neither been maintained nor proved by the prosecution On the other hand, Frank, as "German Minister of State" according to the above mentioned Fuehrer decree, derived his executive authority directly from Hitler by whom he had been directly appointed and from whom he received his instructions without Frick's interpolation, Frick being in no way competent to exercise any influence thereon.

Considering this state of affairs, the defendant Frick cannot be incriminated by Document 3589-PS, Exhibit USA 720.

I now come to the prosecution's charge that Frick, by his membership in certain organizations, is responsible for certain criminal actions.

[Page 315]

The SS was one of these organizations mentioned by the prosecution, to which, however, Frick never belonged. Thus he was never a general in the SS, as stated by the prosecution. I would assume this to be merely an error on the part of the prosecution. In any case, the prosecution did not submit any form of proof. Frick was likewise never a member of the SA as shown - probably by mistake - in the chart indicating Frick's membership in various organizations. For this, too, there is no proof.

The prosecution has further charged Frick with being the supreme head of the Gestapo, and therefore designated him as a member of this organization, with the argument that since the appointment of Himmler in 1936 as Chief of the German Police, the Gestapo has been formally incorporated into the Reich Ministry of the Interior. But the Gestapo had its own Chief in the person of Himmler, from whom alone it took orders, and Himmler's formal subordination to the Minister of the Interior does not make the latter a member of the organization which was exclusively under Himmler's orders.

The defendant Frick is further charged, in his capacity as Reichsleiter, with membership in the Political Leadership Corps. My colleague charged with the defence of this organization will, in his turn, deal with its character. As to the defendant Frick, I have only to point out that he held the formal position of a Reichsleiter in his role as Chairman of the Reichstag faction of the NSDAP. The Reichstag itself having lost all political importance after 1933, which needs no further explanation, this position of Frick's was in practice equally unimportant and could not be compared with the position of Reichsleiter who administered important political departments.

Finally, Frick, as Reich Minister, was a member of the Reich Cabinet. Also with regard to the character and the authority of this organization, I refer primarily to the statements which are yet to follow of my colleague who has been appointed defence counsel of this organization.

I will only refer here to the testimony of Lammers and Gisevius, and further to the excerpt from the book of this witness, which I have submitted as Exhibit Frick 13, as evidence of the position and authority which the Reich Cabinet maintained with respect to the dictatorial practices of Hitler.

From all this, the defendant Frick appears as a person who certainly took action politically to bring Hitler to power, and who exerted temporarily a decisive influence on internal policy after this goal had been achieved.

All his measures, however, had domestic-political aims; they were not intended to have anything to do with the foreign policy's aim of a war of aggression, and especially not with crimes against the peace or against the rules of warfare-and only in such cases would this court have jurisdiction according to Article 6 of the Charter, as has been stated by the prosecution itself.

When Frick realised later that the policy was taking a course of which he could no longer approve, he tried to exert all his influence to bring about a change. But he had perforce to see more and more that Hitler would not listen to his remonstrances and complaints. On the contrary, he was forced to realize that these complaints destroyed Hitler's confidence in him, as Hitler preferred to be advised by Himmler and similarly minded persons, so that finally, after the year 1937, Frick was no longer received by Hitler when he wanted to present complaints. Frick then gave up such hopeless attempts to bring about a change in the situation. Things would not have been altered by his resignation either, which the evidence has shown he repeatedly tendered in vain.

So, his tragedy lies in his entanglement in a system, in the first steps of which he had participated enthusiastically and the development of which he had imagined would be quite different.

In any case, it appears important to me in judging his personality and his actions, that even this presentation of evidence which has gone on for months has not given any proof of the personal participation of the defendant in any crime.

[Page 316]

It is not without reason that John Gunther in the book Inside Europe, which I have presented to the Tribunal as evidence, describes exactly the defendant Frick as "the only honest Nazi" and as a "bureaucrat through and through." Hitler himself always called him repeatedly the "pen pusher" ("paragraphenschuster") because Frick - which was typical of him - did not meet him at any public assembly, but in his office in the police department in Munich in the year 1919.

This man felt enthusiasm for Hitler's inciting power, so lacking in himself, a Hitler, who, with big words, appealed to his heart, his honour and his patriotism. It was Hitler who made him proud of being able to participate in the reconstruction of a German nation which, through strong armed forces, was to be in a position to play a peaceful but yet active role in world politics.

However, it was also Hitler, who knew so well how to make his programme appear to the simple official Frick as the only way to prevent Bolshevist rule in Germany - who by this argument and all the superficial truths, twisted statements, and devices of propaganda which fooled so many people who let themselves be carried along by the inciting power of Hitler, and who did not realize in time that they had subordinated themselves to the hypnotic will of a criminal, one who was prepared to overthrow the pillars of civilisation for his aims and who finally would bring Germany to spiritual and material ruin. I pray that this trial may contribute to the nation's reconstruction through a sentence in accordance with law and justice.


DR. MARX (for the defendant Streicher): Gentlemen of the Tribunal, Mr. President.

I begin with the speech for the defence of Julius Streicher.

When in May of the past year the final battles of the greatest and most horrible war of all times came to an end, the Germans were slow to rise again from the stupor in which they had, for the most part, spent the last months of the war. Like all the peoples of Europe, they had suffered unspeakably for years. The last months in particular, with their hail of bombs, had brought so much misery to both the country and the people that it almost surpassed human endurance. This terror was increased by the knowledge that the war was lost and by the fear of the uncertain fate which the occupation period would bring. And when finally the period of first anxiety had passed, when the German people were slowly beginning to breathe again, paralysing horror spread once more.

Through the Press and radio, and motion pictures, knowledge was spread of the atrocities which had taken place in the East, in the steppes, and in the concentration camps. Germany learned that people, men of its own blood, had slaughtered and destroyed millions and millions of innocent Jewish people. Most people felt instinctively that these deeds would necessarily be the greatest of all the accusations the world must make against Germany. The question of whether the German people in its totality had known and approved of these actions was and is the really fateful question. It is the touchstone by which the decision must be made as to whether or not Germany will ever be able to return again as a nation with equal rights into the common cultural and spiritual spheres of the world. As in every case of guilt, there immediately arose here also the question as to who was responsible and the search for that individual. Who had ordered these atrocities, who had carried them out, and how could such inconceivable things have happened at all, the like of which cannot be found in history even of earliest times?

During all this asking and guessing, the news arrived that the former Gauleiter of Franconia and publisher of Der Sturmer, the present defendant Julius Streicher, had fallen into the hands of the American troops. From the echo this news aroused in the Press, which was exclusively directed and published by the occupying Power, as well as in the radio news, it was to be gathered that the world was of the opinion that in the person of Julius Streicher, not only had one of the numerous

[Page 317]

anti-Semitic propaganda agents of the Third Reich been taken prisoner, but in short; enemy No. 1 of the Jews.

In the rest of the world it was evidently the prevailing opinion that in Julius Streicher they had seized not only the most active propaganda agent for the persecution and extermination of the Jews, but the man who had also participated to the highest degree in carrying out these acts of extermination. He was said to have been, as one heard, not only the greatest hater of the Jews and the greatest preacher of extermination of the Jews, but also the person to whose direct influence one could trace back the extermination of European Jewry.

It is only from this angle that it can be explained why the defendant Streicher sits here in the dock, together with the other defendants, among the chief responsible persons of the National Socialist system. For neither by virtue of his personality, nor measured by his offices and positions, does he belong to the circle of leaders of the NSDAP or to the Party's decisive personalities. This opinion, which was probably also held in the beginning by the prosecution, was abandoned by it, however, at an early stage, for even the written Indictment no longer charged the defendant Streicher with any personal and direct part in the abominable mass murders. Rather, it stated that there was less evidence to offer regarding him than regarding any of the other defendants to show direct and personal guilt. Only his propaganda, his effective use of both the written and spoken word, was made the subject of the accusation against him.

As far as particulars are concerned, the counts of the Indictment against the defendant Streicher were summed up as follows:

I. Support of seizure of power and consolidation of the power of the NSDAP after its entry into the Government.

II. Preparation of aggressive wars by propaganda aimed at the persecution of the Jews.

III. Intellectual and spiritual preparation and education to encourage hatred against the Jews,

(a) in the German people,
(b) in the German youth, and
(c) in the active annihilators of Jewry.
Without Julius Streicher, no Auschwitz, no Mauthausen, no Maidanek, no Lublin; thus may the Indictment be summed up briefly.

As far as Count I of the Indictment is concerned, the defendant does not deny that as regards the Party's later seizure of power, he supported and promoted it with all his might from its earliest inception. His support went to the extent of placing a whole movement, which he had built up personally in Franconia, at the disposal of Adolf Hitler's Party, which was small after the First World War, as one can imagine, and limited to southern Bavaria only. Furthermore, after Hitler's release from the fortress of Landsberg, he immediately joined him again and subsequently championed his ideas and goals with the greatest determination.

THE PRESIDENT: I think this is a good time to break off. The Tribunal will adjourn.

(The Tribunal adjourned until 1000 hours, 12th July, 1946.)

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