The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

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Last-Modified: 2000/08/15


Q. Very well. Of course, you never thought, defendant
Fritzsche, that because of the acts you committed you would
be sent to a home of rest. It is obvious that you had to
land in a prison and a prison is always a prison. This was
just an aside, however.

I should like to ask you about the following. You stated
that in 1945 you signed this because of a very strict regime
to which you were subjected. Very well.

When you arrived in Nuremberg you were interrogated on 3rd
November, 1945, here in Nuremberg by General Alexandrov; is
that correct?

A. Yes.

Q.  So that is correct - very well. I should like to remind
you of some of your answers. You were asked the following
question: "On 12th September, 1945, questions were put to
you and you replied. Do you remember these statements?" You

  "I have very often been interrogated and I do not know
  what statements and testimony are in question now."

Thereupon, General Alexandrov submitted to you your
testimony of 12th September and you answered him:

  "I am fully aware of this document."

You were asked: "I should like you to peruse this document.
Do you remember these statements?"

You said: "Of course, there is no doubt about it."

And further: "Do you corroborate this document, which you
perused and which was signed by you?" and you replied: "Of

Do you remember these statements which you made in

A. In the statement which you have quoted, all those
passages are missing where I stated, again and again, that
the record was put before me complete and

                                                  [Page 282]

finished for the purpose of obtaining my signature. I had
wanted twenty or thirty alterations to be made. Some of them
were made. Those passages are lacking, wherein I said in
Nuremberg that some of the answers in that protocol
contained a certain amount of truth but that none of them
actually represented my own answers.

Q. Very well. I should now like to remind you of an extract
from your statement of 7th January, 1946.

GENERAL RUDENKO: Your Honours, this is Document 3469-PS. It
is not in my book of documents as it was submitted by
counsel for the defence. I am going to quote from that
document; it is a very short passage.


Q. This is paragraph 39 of your statement.

  "Once Goebbels tried to coerce me into submitting my
  texts for perusal. I refused this request and explained
  that usually I dictated a short resume of my speech
  immediately before my broadcast and consequently, so to
  speak, improvised my speeches. He said it was all right
  but in case he should wish it, I should in the future
  only speak on specific, given themes."

Is that right?

A. Yes.

Q. Does that not indicate the confidence Goebbels had in
you, is that not right?

A. No doubt he had a great deal of confidence in me, and I
do not deny it.

Q. Very well. Let us proceed.

In this very same document, which I have just mentioned to
you, that is to say in your statement of 7th January, 1946,
in paragraph 35 there is the following sentence; I think it
is in your own handwriting. It was in reply to some of the
questions put by your counsel. You say:

  "More and more I became the only official authority in
  the ministry in the field of radio communication."

Is that right?

A. Unfortunately I did not hear the end of your question,
but you have quoted the passage correctly and I did write

Q. So, it does correspond to actual reality?

A. Yes, absolutely.

Q. Well, you therefore will admit that in the German
propaganda machinery you occupied the most prominent
position after Goebbels?

A. No, my previous answer does not contain such a statement.

Q. I am asking you that now.

A. I will admit that I had a most influential position in
German radio, of which I was the head.

If you now put a new question, asking who had the second
position in the entire set-up of propaganda after Dr.
Goebbels I will reply Dr. Dietrich, the Secretary of State,
or Dr. Naumann, the -

Q. Excuse me just a minute, please. I did not say the second
position, I only said the most prominent position. Are you
going to deny this?

A. I have no objection to your using the word "influential,"
but it does not change my answer.

Q. Very well, "influential position," if you like. That is
still stronger. Let us proceed, however.

In the same statement of 7th January you write - it is
contained in paragraph 15 - "During the entire period from
1933 to 1945 the task of the German Press section was the
supervision of the local Press and supplying it with
directives. More than 2,300 German newspapers were thus
supervised." And then:

  "In the execution of this task given to me by Dr.
  Goebbels in accordance with instructions of the Ministry
  of Propaganda, my activity encompassed the entire news
  and information system of the German Press and radio."

                                                  [Page 283]

Is that correct?

A. I don't know whether you have quoted the last sentence
correctly, but I have certainly fully recognized the first
sentences. It is my affidavit Document 3469-PS. That
corresponds word for word with the truth.

Q. Quite correct. Please tell me this: You organized in the
section of the German Press, of which you were the head, the
"Schnelldienst," the so-called Express Service, which
supplied the German Press with provocative material. Do you
admit that?

A. If you will eliminate the word "provocative" and replace
it with the word "propaganda" material, then I will admit

Q. All right. I think the Tribunal will be able to evaluate
this statement. We are not going to argue about it.

Now, the last question from this group of questions: Tell
me, were your broadcasts on the radio, which were presented
with "Hans Fritzsche speaks," considered Government

A. I explained this yesterday. Actually, they were a private
work of my own, but the private work, publicly audible, of a
Ministerialdirektor of the Ministry of Propaganda and the
head of the German radio system would, of course, be
regarded as semi-official, though not fully official, and
this fact I had to consider, and I did consider it.

Q. All right. Now, I should like again to revert to the
testimony of Ferdinand Schoerner, which I have already
submitted to the Tribunal as Exhibit USSR 472. I should like
to quote paragraph 2. Have you got it, defendant Fritzsche?

A. Yes.

Q. I am going to read it into the record.

THE PRESIDENT: General Rudenko, the Tribunal would like to
see the whole of this document, or at any rate would like to
see the questions to which these are answers.

GENERAL RUDENKO: Mr. President, this document has been
submitted to you in full.

THE PRESIDENT: Oh, I see, you mean that what we have got in
English here are only the parts that have been translated
into English?

GENERAL RUDENKO: Yes, that is quite correct. I am going to
read into the record Extract No. 2.


  Q. "I am fully aware that Fritzsche was a prominent
  collaborator of the Ministry of Propaganda and that he
  was extremely popular in National Socialist circles and
  amongst the German people. He became widely known,
  especially for his weekly international political radio
  commentaries. I often heard Fritzsche's broadcasts in
  peace time as well as during the war, and I perceived his
  broadcasts, which were fanatically devoted to the Fuehrer
  as directives from the Party and the Government."

Do you agree with this evaluation?

A. I cannot raise any objection to this quotation, but
beyond that -

THE PRESIDENT: General Rudenko, is the document sworn?

GENERAL RUDENKO: This document was put into official form in
accordance with the processes which are in use in the Soviet

THE PRESIDENT: Where was it taken?


THE PRESIDENT: Was the man who made the statement, was he
free or was he in prison?

GENERAL RUDENKO: He was at the time a prisoner of war.

                                                  [Page 284]

THE PRESIDENT: Did the man who is alleged to have made the
statement sign it?

GENERAL RUDENKO: Of course, it was signed by him.


GENERAL RUDENKO: Thank you. And so you -

 THE WITNESS: May I add that it is known to me that on
distant battle fronts for example, near German colonies
abroad, my radio speeches were considered, shall we say, as
a political compass.


Q. Yes, I understand. I should like to put to you another
document which I will ask you to peruse.

GENERAL RUDENKO: Your Honours, I am submitting as Exhibit
USSR 471 the testimony of Hans Voss.


Q. Defendant Fritzsche, do you know this name, Vice-Admiral
Hans Voss?

A. I know the name, but as far as I remember, not the man.

DR. FRITZ (counsel for defendant Fritzsche): I apologise,
Mr. President. Perhaps not too much should be attached to
the Schoerner record, but at any rate I am unable to
ascertain from the document the place where it was taken.

THE PRESIDENT: General Rudenko says that it was taken at

DR. FRITZ: But the record, the protocol itself does not show
that, and I also notice that the photostatic copy which I
have here does not show the signature of the Field-Marshal.
It just says "signed." Later on in the right margin a hand-
written signature has been affixed, but I do not know
whether this document is admissible from a legal point of

THE PRESIDENT: You can see the original and compare it.


Q. I am speaking about Document 471, which is a written
statement by Hans Voss. Please look at the Extract No. 1,
which is underlined: I quote:

  "In his extreme faithfulness to Hitler and the National
  Socialist Party, Fritzsche rendered priceless services in
  helping to spread National Socialism throughout Germany."
 Is that in accordance with reality?
 A. Well, at least I will not object.
 Q. In other words, you are in accord with it?
 A. As I told you, I do not object, but I do not want to
 say by that that I concur.
 Q. On the other hand, you do not deny this?
 A. No, I say for the third time that I do not raise any
 Q. Very well. I should now like to question you regarding
your attitude toward the racial theory. You gave yesterday a
detailed explanation in this connection to your defence
counsel, so that I am going to put to you only two or three
questions, and I should like you to reply briefly.

Did you adopt this racial theory?

A. Yes, and precisely to the extent which I described to you

Q. All right. In a radio broadcast on 6th April, 1940, you
spoke about Poland.

GENERAL RUDENKO: Your Honours, this Document will be Exhibit
USSR 496. I am not going to read it as I do not want to
propagate the views contained in it, but I should like the
defendant to peruse it.

Q. Please will you look at Extract No. 1, which is contained
in this document It is underlined in red pencil. This refers
to your evaluation of the Polish nation. I just wish to ask
you about this speech of yours.

                                                  [Page 285]

A. It is impossible for me to recognize a radio speech of
mine when I see an extract of only twenty lines, considering
that I have spoken about 1,000 times, as I said yesterday.
In this case, you will have to let me have the whole speech,
so that I can recognize my line of thought at the time.

Q. Did you not examine the document? This is a full text of
your speech of 6th February, 1940, on radio station

A. General, we have twenty lines before us here. They begin
with the words, "Considerable effort was necessary to - "

Q. That is enough, all right. There is no need to quote any
more. That is the document to which I am referring. I am
asking you, is that your speech?

A. It is quite possible, but if you give me only twenty
lines of that speech, then I can only confirm to you this:
At the time I had seen the official German documents dealing
with the atrocities committed against Germans in Poland, and
with great disgust, I talked about that on the radio, talked
about what I saw in those documents.

THE PRESIDENT: Shall we adjourn now?

GENERAL RUDENKO: All right, Mr. President.

DR. THOMA (counsel for defendant Rosenberg): I ask you to
grant leave for defendant Rosenberg to be absent from the
Court this afternoon because I have an important conference
to hold with him.


(A recess was taken until 1400 hours.)


Q. Defendant Fritzsche, extracts from your speech dated 7th
July, 1941, will be handed to you. They concern the
opposition which the German Fascist troops encountered
whilst invading Soviet territory. My Lord, this document,
3064-PS, has already been submitted by the defence.

Will you look at point 7, the last paragraph? I do not
intend to read it.

A. Yes, I have noted it.

Q. Very well. Do you admit having used those expressions?

A. Yes, I admit that and I should like to emphasize, without
quoting, in what connection this statement was made.

Q. Very well. I should like to ask you the following: When,
in your speeches, you call Polish and Russian peoples
"inferior people," when you insult them, don't you consider
that these words express the racial theory?

A. Mr. Prosecutor, I should like to state that I never
called the Russian people or the Polish people an inferior

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