The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

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Last-Modified: 2000/01/28

DR. MARX: Yes.


Q. Will you state your full name.

A. Ernst Heifer.

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.)

THE PRESIDENT: You may sit down.



Q. Since when have you known Herr Streicher? How did you get
into contact with him, and what position did you have in
"Der Sturmer?"

A. At the end of 1934 I was introduced to the then Gauleiter
Julius Streicher in the "Deutscher Hof" in Nuremberg.
Streicher gave me the assignment of working for his public
health journal "Die deutsche Volksgesundheit." In 1935 I
also wrote reports for "Der Sturmer." Streicher then had me
transferred to the editorial staff of "Der Sturmer."

Eventually, under Streicher's direction and the direction of
other staff members of "Der Sturmer," I did editorial work
as a co-editor. The responsible editor of "Der Sturmer" was
Karl Holz, Streicher's deputy, but the leading spirit of the
paper was Streicher himself. In the year 1938 instructions
came from Berlin to the effect that Holz was permitted to
contribute to "Der Sturmer," but in his capacity as state
official - he was the Deputy Gauleiter - he was no longer to
be mentioned in the editions of "Der Sturmer." Thereupon, on
instruction from Streicher, my name was entered in "Der
Sturmer" as responsible editor. The over-all direction of
the paper and all authority connected therewith remained in
Streicher's hands, and Streicher retained this position
until the collapse.

Q. What was the main idea of "Der Sturmer's" policy? What
was the leitmotiv?

A. Streicher wanted by means of "Der Sturmer," in the
simplest and most popular language, to convey to every man
and every woman of the German nation knowledge about the
Jews. Streicher wanted the entire German people to realise
that the Jew was a stranger among them.

Q. Herr Hiemer, I do not want to know that. I want you to
tell me whether

                                                  [Page 366]

Herr Streicher, let us say, wished to advocate emigration or
whether he followed a different train of thought. Long
expositions on the Jewish problem are not required.

A. Streicher was of the opinion that in Germany the Jewish
question should be solved by emigration. He repeatedly
criticised the leadership of the Reich because the
emigration of Jews was not being carried through in the
manner desired by Streicher. When the war came, Streicher
asserted that the Jewish problem would no longer have had
any significance for a Germany at war, if, in accordance
with his idea, it had been solved by complete emigration of
the Jews during the preceding time of peace.

Q. Is it correct that the Palestine and Madagascar problem
was discussed in the journal?

A. Yes. Streicher stated his opinion in words as well as in
writing, that Palestine and Madagascar would be suitable
localities for absorbing the Jews living in Germany.
However, he did not follow-up this thought, since not
Germany but only England and France could dispose of
Palestine and Madagascar.

Q. What do you think about the influence exerted by
Streicher and "Der Sturmer" since 1933? Is it not true,
since 1933, its influence among the German people was much
in decline?

A. Yes, that is correct. In many circles it was known that
the influence of Streicher and of his paper on the movement
did decrease. After 1933 Streicher had many conflicts with
other Party leaders, and he made many enemies. In
particular, beginning with the year 1937, Streicher was
pushed into the background more and more. The "Institute for
the Study of the Jewish Problem," under the leadership of
Rosenberg, was, on orders of the Party, theoretically
dealing with the Jewish problem, but actual authority over
the Jews belonged, as is well known, exclusively to Himmler.

When finally, in the year 1940, Streicher was relieved of
his post as Gauleiter, he was completely isolated. From then
on he lived on his farm and worked there as a farmer; he
wrote articles only for "Der Sturmer."

Q. What was the circulation of "Der Sturmer" since 1933? Can
you give us figures? Of course, only after the date when you
joined the paper.

A. This question of the circulation could, of course, be
answered best by the publication manager who was concerned
with it. However, I remember approximate figures. "Der
Sturmer" was, in 1933, a very small paper; but by the year
1935 its circulation increased to about 800,000. After that,
however, there was a sharp decline.

Of course, during the war "Der Sturmer" had a smaller
circulation. I cannot give you any exact figures and during
the last months the circulation of the paper was, of course,
extremely small. On the average, I might say that "Der
Sturmer" had a circulation of perhaps half a million. Of
course, there were special issues which had a much larger
circulation. As I said, only the publisher could
authenticate these figures.

Q. What can be the reason for the increase in the year 1935?

A. It is very difficult for me to answer that question.

Q. Wasn't it because Party authorities ... because
subscriptions were made compulsory in factories and other

A. You are putting questions to me which really only a
publisher can answer. I myself cannot answer the question
with assurance, and therefore must remain silent; my
testimony would not be reliable.

Q. Of course, if you don't know, you are free to say "My
knowledge on this point is not sufficient." Did Herr
Streicher know of the happenings in the East, especially in
the concentration camps, and what did he personally tell you
about these things?

A. Streicher himself never told me that he knew about the
happenings in the

                                                  [Page 367]

concentration camps. On the contrary, Streicher said he
learned of these things only in 1944 through the Swiss
Press. Streicher received the Swiss Press regularly, in
particular the "Israelitisches Wochenblatt" of Switzerland,
and in 1944 this journal published rather detailed
descriptions about what was going on in the concentration

Streicher at first refused to credit these reports in the
Swiss Press and called them intentional lies. He declared
that these reports were being printed merely for the purpose
of undermining the prestige of the German people abroad. It
is true, Streicher soon changed his opinion. He began to
doubt that his opinion was right and finally he believed
that the occurrences in concentration camps, as pictured in
the Swiss Press, did after all correspond to the facts.

Streicher said that Himmler was the only man who could have
authorised such crimes.

Q. You said that Streicher soon changed his opinion. What
does that mean?

A. In the beginning he had decidedly said that these reports
could not be true. Then he became uncertain and said that
perhaps they might be true. I had the impression that,
either the detailed manner of the reports in the Swiss Press
had convinced Streicher that these things had actually
occurred, or that Streicher, from one source or another,
either through personal contacts or through letters, had
received knowledge that these happenings were actually
taking place in the concentration camps. To that I ascribe
his change of viewpoint.

Q. And when was that, approximately?

A. I cannot give you the exact date, but I believe it was in
the middle of 1944.

Q. What attitude did he take when he was finally convinced?
Did he express satisfaction at the fact that so many people
had been killed?

A. No. Streicher definitely deprecated what was done in the
concentration camps. It did happen that Streicher, in anger
- if he had been especially upset by political events -
often or at times asserted that the Jew, as an enemy of the
German people, should be exterminated. However, Streicher
talked in that way only in the first phase of excitement.
When he was calm, he always opposed the extermination of the

Q. But repeatedly in articles of "Der Sturmer" there is talk
of the extermination of the Jews?

A. Yes. It is a fact that in reports of "Der Sturmer" the
extermination of Jewry is spoken about. However, on the
other hand, Streicher again and again opposed the murder of
the Jews, and I am quite convinced that Streicher and "Der
Sturmer" had nothing whatever to do with the happenings in
concentration camps. I do not believe it. For it is known
now that these crimes in the concentration camps were
committed on the instructions of individual leading men;
that is, on official orders, and it is my firm conviction
that neither Streicher nor "Der Sturmer" had anything to do
with them.

Q. How were the articles, which you wrote, prepared? Did you
receive directives for the articles from Streicher and then
merely edit them, or were you the real author?

A. Streicher was the founder and the publisher of "Der
Sturmer." But he was in fact also the chief editor, and all
his colleagues, no matter whether it was his deputy, Holz,
or others, all of them had to submit their articles to
Streicher before they were printed. Streicher then ordered
changes if the need arose; he also gave the editors
assignments for articles, that is, he told them on what
lines these articles were to be drawn up, and Streicher knew
of all the articles which appeared in "Der Sturmer." In
fact, he was the editor responsible for "Der Sturmer." All
others were his assistants. He himself was, as he often said
with pride, one and the same with "Der Sturmer." "Streicher
and 'Der Sturmer' are one and the same." That was his maxim.

                                                  [Page 368]

Q. That, of course, he admits; he says that he assumes the
responsibility. What can you tell us about the so-called
pornographic library?

A. "Der Sturmer" was in possession of a large archive. This
archive consisted of many thousands of German and foreign-
language books, documents, edicts and so forth. These books
were either put at the disposal of "Der Sturmer" archive by
friends of "Der Sturmer," or they came from Jewish
apartments. The police put books which were found in Jewish
houses at the disposal of Rosenberg's Institute for the
Study of the Jewish Problem for research purposes. Whatever
remained in the Jewish dwellings in Nuremberg was turned
over to "Der Sturmer" archive. Among these books there were
also numerous volumes which dealt with sexual knowledge,
books by Magnus Hirschfeld, Bloch, and some which were
simply pornographic. These, then, consisted both of books
which had been sent in by friends of "Der Sturmer," and
books which had been found in Jewish buildings.

These books were kept in a special section of "Der Sturmer"
archive under lock and key, and the public did not have
access to them. This literature was no personal pornographic
library of Streicher, but formed a part of "Der Sturmer's"
archive. Streicher never read these books. They were to be
reviewed after the war in the course of the reconstruction.
All those which were not of direct Jewish origin were to be
removed, but as I said, Streicher did not read these books.

Q. Where were these books kept? Were they in the publishing
house, or how is it that a part -

THE PRESIDENT: Dr. Marx, there is no charge here with
respect to these particular sort of books.

DR. MARX: This is my last question. I just wanted to clarify
this matter, since it played an important part in the public
mind. I have no further questions to the witness.

THE PRESIDENT: Then, are there any questions from the other
defence counsel?

BY DR. THOMA (Counsel for defendant Rosenberg):

I have one question only.

Q. Did Rosenberg have any connections with the editorial
staff of "Der Sturmer"?

A. To my knowledge, his connections were almost non-
existent. I only knew personally Dr. Ballensiefen, who
worked with Rosenberg. I also knew Dr. Pohl; but no
relations existed between "Der Sturmer" and the "Institute
for the Study of the Jewish Problem" for the purposes of co-

Q. Did Ballensiefen and Pohl have connections with "Der

A. Pohl had personal connections with me. He was a student
of Hebrew and had made translations of the Talmud; he had
also published the "Talmudgeist." Through that I came to
know him. Ballensiefen also had no personal connection with
"Der Sturmer."

Q. Does this mean that Pohl did have personal connections -

A. Only with me, not with "Der Sturmer."

Q. Or was he sent by Rosenberg in this matter?

A. No.

DR. THOMA: I have no further questions, your Honour.



Q. I have only one matter to ask you about. Do I understand
you to say, that by the middle of 1944 Streicher had become
convinced that the reports in the Swiss newspaper,
"Israelitisches Wochenblatt," were true?

A. I did not understand you. Will you please repeat the

Q. Do I understand you to say, that by the middle of 1944
Streicher had

                                                  [Page 369]

become convinced of the truth of the reports he was reading
in the Swiss newspaper about concentration camps?

A. Yes, I had the impression that Streicher in the middle of
1944 -

Q. I only wanted an answer yes or no. That is quite

Let me just read to you three lines of an article which was
published in "Der Sturmer" on 14 September, 1944.

A. Yes.

Q. "Bolshevism cannot be defeated; it must be destroyed. The
same applies to Judaism; it must be defeated, disarmed and
made defenceless; it must be exterminated." That is Page
52A. Then the word that you use or is cited for
"exterminated" is "ausgerottet," which I understand means
completely wiped out. Why was that article appearing in "Der
Sturmer" in September, 1944, when it was known by the owner
of "Der Sturmer" what was going on in concentration camps in
the East? What was the purpose of that article?

A. I personally did not write this article. I believe that
Streicher wrote it, therefore I myself am not able to judge
the intention of the article. But I do maintain that
Streicher made statements opposing the murders in the
concentration camps, and that he did not want the murder of


My Lord, in the interest of time I do not propose to cross-
examine this witness any further. Perhaps I might be allowed
to draw the Tribunal's attention to those articles contained
in your bundle, which are articles actually written by this
witness. There are about seven of them. Pages 3A, 35A, 38A,
40A, 49A, 50A and 51A. That is covering a period from
January, 1939, up to August, 1944.

And, my Lord, the other matter that I would draw the
Tribunal's attention to is that this witness was the author
of the disgusting children's book which I presented to the
Tribunal in putting the individual case against Streicher.

THE PRESIDENT: Is there any further cross-examination?

Dr. Marx, do you wish to re-examine? You heard what counsel
said about the various articles written by this witness. You
wish to re-examine, or not? Have you any questions you wish
to ask the witness?

DR. MARX: Yes, please.

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