The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

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Last-Modified: 2000/08/12

DR. FRITZ: This quotation from Captain Sprecher's speech for
the prosecution reads:

                                                  [Page 253]

  "The evidence of letters reaching us from the front, of
  P.K. reporters and soldiers on leave shows that, in this
  struggle in the East, not one political system is pitted
  against another, not one view of life is fighting
  another, but that culture, civilisation, and human
  decency make a stand against the diabolical principle of
  a sub-human world."

A. I should like to state the following: With this statement
I was neither calling for ruthless measures against the
population of the Soviet Union, nor did I want to vilify the
people of the Soviet Union. I refer to the total effect of
the speech of 5th July. I do not wish to read this speech,
but I should like permission to sum it up briefly.

DR. FRITZ: Mr. President, in my Document Book 1 - I do not
know whether the tribunal already has it - I have all the
radio speeches -

THE PRESIDENT: No, we have not got it.

DR. FRITZ: I have the full text of all these radio speeches
of the defendant Fritzsche from which the prosecution quoted
passages against him.

THE PRESIDENT: It has just been handed up to me. What page
is it?

DR. FRITZ: Pages 8 to 13, the radio speech of 5th July,


Will you continue?

A. I ask for permission to sum up the contents very briefly.

I spoke of the report which the German public received about
what German soldiers had seen in their advance in the Soviet
Union, especially in connection with prisoners in various
cities. I did not describe these things once more, I only
recalled them from the reports which had been given out at
the time. From them I drew the conclusion that now one saw
how necessary the fight was against a system under which
such atrocities were possible. For the peoples of the Soviet
Union I expressly used words of compassion and sympathy.

Q. In the same connection, and with the same tendency, the
prosecution then quotes a sentence from a paragraph of your
radio speech of 10th July, 1941.

DR. FRITZ: Mr. President, that is in Document Book 1 - the
speech of 10th July, 1941 - also in its full text, on Pages
14 to 19.

Q. (continuing): What do you have to say to this charge?

A. What I just said becomes even clearer in this quotation,
and in this whole speech. I referred once more to the
reports just mentioned. I also referred to the descriptions
coming from foreign correspondents. I then, perfectly
frankly, reported Moscow's attitude towards these events and
I said, quite honestly, "Radio Moscow says that these
atrocities are facts, but it maintains that these atrocities
were not committed by Russians but by Germans."

In view of this attitude of Moscow, I, so to speak, took the
public into my confidence. I called upon millions of German
soldiers as witnesses; I called upon their mothers and
fathers and wives as witnesses. I formally called as
witnesses the inhabitants of the occupied territories in
which Germans were in power at the time, and in which, as I
said, they were subordinated only to the moral laws in their
own breasts. Then I drew the conclusion: These German
soldiers cannot have committed the atrocities, which were
described by Berlin and Moscow in the same way.

The prosecution asserted that this attempt to ascribe German
atrocities to the Russians was ridiculous. I do not consider
it ridiculous, I consider it tragic. It shows clearly, as I
understand it, the absolute cleanliness and honesty of the
whole German conduct of the war. I still believe today that
murder and violence and special commandos (Sonderkommandos)
only clung like a foreign body, like a malignant tumour, to
the morally sound body of the German people and its

Q. Finally, the prosecution quotes a passage from your
speech of 9th October, 1941, another quotation from which
was brought out elsewhere.

                                                  [Page 254]

DR. FRITZ: Mr. President, this is in the Fritzsche Document
Book 1; the speech in its full text is on Pages 20 to 25.
The quotations of the prosecution are summed up in a
document in the Fritzsche Document Book of the prosecution.
I think the Tribunal can easily compare it.

Q. (continuing): The prosecution concludes from this
quotation that you had approved of the policy of the Nazi
conspirators in their ruthless exploitation of the occupied

What have you to say to that?

A. There is no question of ruthlessness either in the
quotation given by the prosecution or in the rest of the
text of the speech of 9th October, 1941. I refer to my
affidavit, Document 3469-PS, paragraph 39, a paragraph which
the prosecution very fairly quoted in this connection.

In addition, may I once more sum up, very briefly, the gist
of this speech.

That was the time when German soldiers were stationed from
the Black Sea right down to the Bay of Biscay. I spoke of
the possibility of using the resources of this enormous
territory. I said, "The possibilities of this continent are
so important that they can cover any need for war and for
peace." I said, in this connection, that a starving-out by
blockade, such as was attempted in 1914-1918, was now out of
the question. I spoke of the possibilities of the
organization of Europe which could begin in the midst of the
war. By that I meant the organization of European nations
with equal rights.

It is beyond all doubt that at that time I was not thinking
of ruthless exploitation of the occupied territories, but
only of winning them over politically and economically after
the storms of war had blown over.

DR. FRITZ: Mr. President, I now come to another subject, so
perhaps this would be a good time to break off.


DR. THOMA (counsel for the defendant Rosenberg): I have a
request, Mr. President. I would like to have my client
excused for the rest of the day because I want to talk to

THE PRESIDENT: Yes, certainly.

(A recess was taken.)


Q. What did you know about the removal of Jews from occupied

A. I did not know anything of their removal, but I heard
that certain individuals were being arrested, both Jews and

Q. What did you know about the topic which we discussed here
of slave labour?

A. I knew that millions of foreign workers were working in
the Reich. I did not consider them slaves, for I saw them
daily walking about free on the streets of all the cities.

Q. What did you know about their treatment, about their
living conditions, and their wages?

A. Reports about these things were sent to me or to my co-
workers from the office of Sauckel and the German Labour
Front. From these reports, among other things, I remember
the fact that the foreign workers were given the same
treatment as the German workers in every respect. I further
recall having heard that the initial inferior treatment
accorded to Eastern workers had been done away with. I
received many reports from listeners complaining about the
fact that foreign workers were allegedly in a better
position than German workers, and in this connection, I
remember a reference to the fact that the foreign workers
were permitted to send home money in the form of foreign

I also talked with foreign workers many times. I did not
hear any special complaints. On the other hand, in the
Propaganda Ministry, through official channels, I heard a
great deal about the care given to foreign workers even

                                                  [Page 255]

cultural lines. Frequently I was approached by Sauckel or
the German Labour Front - I do not remember which it was -
with the request to have radio broadcasts sent to one or
another group of foreign workers. I was approached also with
the request for turning over receiving sets to camps of
foreign workers, etc.

Q. Did you know that most of them did not come to Germany

A. That was exactly what I did not know. Here in this trial
it was mentioned that Sauckel in one meeting or another made
a statement about the fact that only a small percentage had
come voluntarily. That was unknown to me.

I did hear the following complaints: First of all, that
extravagant promises had been made at the time of
recruitment of the foreign workers, which could not be kept
afterwards. In the interest of my propaganda I had
objections raised against that through the propaganda
department of my ministry when I heard about it. Then, I
remember having heard complaints from Poland dealing with
the fact that employers were "pirating" Polish workers from
each other.

Q. Sauckel testified that in this connection he co-operated
with the Propaganda Ministry, with whom he had many
discussions. Did you participate in such discussions?

A. No. I thought that I met Sauckel here for the first time,
but he reminded me of our meeting in the spring of 1945 at
the home of Dr. Goebbels  when some evening gathering took

Q. Did you have anything to do with propaganda used in the
recruitment of foreign workers in occupied countries?

A. No.

Q. What did you have to do with the propaganda which was
disseminated in the occupied countries?

A. This propaganda, as it applied to occupied countries, was
not subordinate to me, not even as regards the Press or
radio. This propaganda was conducted under the direction and
supervision of the Reich Commissar, military commander or
governor. However, I did exert influence on this propaganda
in the occupied countries on two, three or four occasions
when it was contrary to the directives which applied to the
Reich. I usually gathered this from the echo abroad. I
remember one special case which received general attention.
A certain man by the name of Friedrich attacked the Pope
over the German radio in Paris. I had this man Friedrich
dismissed. That was the extent of my influence.

Dr. Goebbels however, exerted much more influence on the
propaganda in the occupied countries, especially through his
department "Foreign Press" or through his liaison officer to
the OKW.

Q. Did you not make any radio broadcasts in the occupied

A. Yes, broadcasts of two types. An example of the first
type is as follows: At the time of the occupation, Radio
Paris was under German influence. Despite that, I retained
the old German broadcast in the French language via Radio
Stuttgart. I wanted to have it understood quite specifically
that the occupation was an abnormal and a temporary
situation, and anything that was taking place during the
period of occupation did not have anything to do with that
part of, let us say, German-French language exchange which
was being carried on by the two mother countries.

The second example is as follows: It concerns German
broadcasts in the Spanish and Portuguese languages. I had
them transmitted through three stations in Southern France,
for it was easier to receive these transmissions in the
Pyrenees peninsula. The basis for my work in this connection
was a contract which we had with these stations, and the
payment of regular charges. Negotiations for this contract
were carried out through the Foreign Office.

Q. I shall now turn to a different topic. You are accused of
making anti-Semitic statements. Were you anti-Semitic, and
in what way did you participate in anti-Semitic propaganda?

A. I was not noisily anti-Semitic. The prosecution has
asserted that all defendants - including myself - had
shouted, "Germany awake, and Judaism

                                                  [Page 256]

die." I will state on oath, that I never did raise a cry to
this effect or one similar to it. I was not anti-Semitic
either in the sense of the radical theories or of the
methods which started with Theodor Fritsch and went on to
Julius Streicher.

The prosecution has stated that even the defendant
Streicher, the main anti-Jewish agitator of all times, could
hardly have excelled Fritzsche when it came to libels
against the Jews. I protest against this statement. I do not
believe that I deserve any such accusation. Never did I give
out any propaganda dealing with ritual murders, Cabala, and
the so-called Secrets of the Elders of Zion. At every period
of my life I considered them machinations of a rather
primitive agitation. For humanitarian reasons, I regret that
I have to make a further statement, but I cannot refrain
from so doing in the interests of truth.

My co-workers and I, in the Press and on the radio, without
exception I would say, rejected Der Sturmer radically. I
personally, during a period of thirteen years of regular
newspaper comments, never quoted this paper, nor was it
quoted in the German Press. The editors did not belong to
the journalistic Union and the publisher did not belong to
the publishers' organization during my term of office. How
things developed along these lines later on, I do not know.

As I have already stated in my affidavit, I tried twice to
prohibit this paper. However, I did not succeed. Then it was
proposed that I censor it. However, I declined the offer. I
wanted to prohibit its publication, not just because the
mere verbatim publication of one of its pages was the most
effective anti-German propaganda which ever existed, but I
wanted to prohibit it simply for reasons of good taste. I
wanted to prohibit it as a source of radicalism against
which I fought wherever I met it.

The great secret of its sudden increase in circulation after
1933 to half a million, already referred to in this Court,
was the same as the secret of the sudden increase of such
organizations as the SA.

The Party in 1933 had blocked the influx of new members, and
a great many people tried to affiliate themselves, if not
directly with the Party, then with some organization
connected with the Party, such as, perhaps, the SA. Or they
tried to show that they had a connection with National
Socialist ideas by subscribing to Der Sturmer and displaying

Therefore, in that sense, I was not anti-Semitic.

But I was anti-Semitic in this sense:

I wanted a restriction of the predominant influence of Jewry
in German politics, economy, and culture, such as had
manifested itself after the First World War. I wanted a
restriction to that extent so that the relative importance
of the participation of the Jews would be in line with the
population. I proclaimed publicly this view of mine on
occasions but I did not exploit these views in extensive
systematic propaganda. Those anti-Semitic statements with
which I am charged by the prosecution have a different
connection. The facts are as follows: After the outbreak of
the war I referred frequently to the fact that Jewish
emigres, immediately after 1933, were the first ones to
emphasize that a war against the National Socialist German
State was necessary; for instance, Emil Ludwig or George
Bernhard or the Pariser Tageblatt. As far as I recall, this
was the only connection in which I made anti-Semitic
statements of any kind. I cannot say this without asking to
be permitted to emphasize one more point: Only in this trial
here did I learn that in the autumn of 1939 there was more
at stake than just one city and a way through the Corridor;
that in truth and in fact, at the least a new partition of
Poland had already been prepared, and only here did I learn
that Hitler had acted on the warnings against the Jews by an
order to murder them in a dreadful manner. If I had known
both of these things at that time, then I would have
pictured the role of Jewish propaganda quite differently
before the outbreak of the war.

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