The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

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Q. This means that, as far as you are concerned, what
Rosenberg writes in his report is untrue?

A. Untrue would be too strong an expression. It may be that
this information of which he talks refers to a later period
of time. I cannot judge, as I have not read the entire
document. It may also be that Rosenberg, in this report, was
not quite accurate when he mentions his reception of the
responsible representatives of the propaganda organization.

Q. Very well. In this connection I would like to put two
questions to you. First of all, I would like to refer to the
written testimony of Hans Voss, which you already have. It
is Excerpt No. 3 of Exhibit USSR 471. Have you found it?

A. Yes, I have found it.

Q. I quote: This is what Vice-Admiral Voss testified:

  "After the defeat of the German troops at Stalingrad, and
  after the start of the general Soviet offensive on the
  whole Eastern Front, Goebbels and Fritzsche took great
  pains to shape German propaganda in such a way as to help
  Hitler very effectively in mastering the situation at the
  front. This propaganda was based on the hope that the
  Germans would be able to hold out for a long time. One
  tried to frighten the German population by disseminating
  calumnious reports of the brutal acts of the Russian
  soldiers and the intention of the Soviet Union to
  annihilate the German nation.
  In the last stage of the war the propaganda conducted by
  Goebbels and Fritzsche made one last attempt to serve
  Hitler and to organize resistance to Soviet troops."

Is that correct?

A. It is not only incorrect, it is nonsense.

Q. You frequently used such terminology. Obviously it is a
matter of a professional deformation. All right, I do not
intend to enter into polemics with you.

I would like you to take a look at your testimony of 12th
September, 1945. It is the third excerpt of Exhibit USSR
474. Have you found that passage? I will quote your
explanations concerning this question.

A. These are not all my statements. What passage are you
referring to, sir.

Q. I mean the marked Excerpt No. 3, which begins with the
words, "The military aggression against the Soviet Union

A. Yes.

Q. Please pay attention:

  "Since we had a treaty with the Soviet Union the military
  attack on the Soviet Union was prepared by Germany in
  secret. Therefore, during the period of preparation for
  war against the Soviet Union, no propaganda was carried
  on. Accordingly, the German propaganda authorities did
  not begin

                                                  [Page 295]

  active anti-Soviet propaganda until after the war had
  started on the Eastern Front. It must be added that the
  main task which Goebbels set the whole propaganda
  machinery was to justify Germany's expansionist policy
  towards the Soviet Union.
  Accordingly, as Chief of the German Press and radio, I
  organized a vast campaign of anti-Soviet propaganda,
  attempting to convince public opinion that the Soviet
  Union and not Germany was the guilty party in this war. I
  must, however, state that we had no documentary basis for
  accusing the Soviet Union of preparing an armed attack on
  In my radio talks I tried especially to instil fear of
  the horrors of Bolshevism in the hearts of the peoples of
  Europe and the German population. Thus I asserted that
  only Nazi Germany was the protective barrier for the
  European countries against Anglo-American plutocracy and
  Red imperialism."

Do you admit this?

A. Here again actual statements made by me have been
changed. If I may I want to give you briefly the factual
basis for the various points.

It is correct to say that I stated in Moscow that the war
against the Soviet Union had not been prepared for by
propaganda, because this war came very suddenly and as a
surprise. Furthermore, it is correct to say that after the
attack on the Soviet Union it was the main task of German
propaganda to justify the necessity of this attack.
Therefore we had to emphasize again and again that we had
merely prevented a Soviet attack. Further, it is correct
that I said that the next task for propaganda was to show
that not Germany but Russia was guilty of this war, which
amounts to practically the same thing. Unfortunately the
most important argument which I quoted is omitted from this
record, namely, that I, and with me millions of Germans,
believed the official communiques given out by the German
Government because it would have seemed to us nonsensical
and crazy if in the middle of a war which had not yet been
decided in the West, we wantonly and wilfully risked another
war in the East.

I continue: it is also correct that the evidence given in
the "White Book" published by the Foreign Office at the time
was rather meagre, and it is furthermore correct to say that
German propaganda wanted to make Europe afraid of
Bolshevism. It is finally correct that German propaganda
again and again emphasized the fact that Germany was the
only bulwark against the Soviet world revolution.

Q. Very well. I would now like to draw your attention to
Excerpt No. 4 of the same document which is in your
possession, in connection with propaganda to keep alive the
spirit of resistance in the German people, notwithstanding
all evidence of Germany's obvious defeat. I would like to
read this very short Excerpt No. 4 from the same exhibit:

  "Beginning in 1943 I tried my best to assert through
  German radio propaganda that Germany was in possession of
  weapons which would shake the power of our enemies. For
  this I used invented data regarding the output of the
  German war industry which had been given me by the Reich
  Minister for Munitions, Speer."

Is that right?

A. One part is wrong, and the part that is correct has been
wrongly stated.

To begin with the latter part: it is correct that I received
figures from the armament industry which gave me great hopes
for progress. I received, for instance, figures dealing with
monthly aircraft production, figures dealing with new and
especially effective fighter planes. In the meantime,
through direct questioning of Speer himself, I have
ascertained that the figures which I received were quite
correct at the time and that the aeroplanes either were used
wrongly, as, for instance, in the Ardennes offensive instead
of for the protection of the home country, or that they
could not be used because of the fuel shortage. The first
half however -

                                                  [Page 296]

Q. You are entering too much into details, defendant
Fritzsche. You are going into a lot of details which have
already been dealt with here and which have nothing to do
with you.

I would like to submit to you the testimony of Speer, who
was interrogated by the Soviet Prosecutor herein Nuremberg
on 14th November, 1945. I submit this document as Exhibit
USSR 492. I would like to read into the record only that
part of the document which deals with the carrying out of
propaganda during this particular period. I quote:

  "In September, 1944, I wrote a letter to Dr. Goebbels. In
  this letter I warned Goebbels that it was wrong to keep
  on giving out propaganda about new V-weapons, for in this
  way he would merely arouse vain hopes in the German
  people. This was secret propaganda which was carried out
  by Dr. Goebbels in order to instil in the German people
  the hope of a favourable outcome of the war."

Is that correct?

A. Only partially. It is a fact that Dr. Goebbels more than
a year before the use of the first "V" weapon, himself
conducted propaganda on its behalf. On the other hand Speer
in the meantime has stated in his testimony here that he now
knows the actual source of the propaganda dealing with
"miracle weapons," namely Standartenfuehrer Schwarz van
Berg. Finally, Dr. Goebbels in the last month of 1944,
likewise tried to stifle this "miracle weapon propaganda"
which he himself had once instigated.

Q. Now I would like to remind you of the part you played in
this propaganda. You used the threat of these new weapons to
instil in the hearts of the German people the hope of a
successful resistance.

I submit to you Exhibit USSR 496. You already have it. It is
your radio speech of 1st July, 1944.

THE PRESIDENT: General, are you going to finish very soon or
shall we adjourn now?

GENERAL RUDENKO: I believe we should adjourn now, Mr.
President, because I will still need about half an hour.

(A recess was taken.)

Q. Well, Excerpt No. 6 from Exhibit USSR 496 has been
submitted to you. It is your speech, dated 1st July, 1944. I
am going to read it into the record:

  "We Germans have been very reserved in our reports on the
  effect of the new weapons. We could afford this reserve,
  knowing that some time or other Britain would break the
  silence with which she tried at first to gloss over the
  effects of the V-1. We were right. Reports from Britain
  during the last few days, and especially today, prove
  that the effects of this first of the new weapons are
  becoming all too obvious. It is completely beside the
  point for the British to complain now about the wave of
  hatred which is supposed to surge from Germany against
  the British Isles. In the fifth year of the war it is
  useless to talk about feelings, although much could be
  said on that score."

Do you admit, defendant Fritzsche, that by means of such
propaganda you duped the German people and incited them to
senseless resistance?

A. On the contrary, in this case I spoke much more
reservedly and much more modestly than, for instance, the
German Press did about the results of the V-1. For that
matter the very next sentence following your quotation

  "We can only repeat that for us the V-1 is the means with
  which we can break the enemy terror."

Q. Now I should like to remind you, defendant Fritzsche, of
your testimony of 12th September, 1945, with regard to the
activity of the "Werwolf" organization. This document is
Exhibit USSR 474, Excerpt No. 5. Have you found it?

A. Yes, I have found it.

                                                  [Page 297]

Q. I am going to read it:

  "At the end of February, 1945, the State Secretary in the
  German Ministry of Propaganda, Dr. Naumann, sent on to me
  instructions from Goebbels to work out a plan for the
  organization of a secret broadcasting station. In reply
  to my question as to why this broadcasting station was
  needed, Naumann explained that the German Government had
  made the decision to transfer members of the NSDAP to an
  illegal secret organization called "Werwolf." Naumann
  also revealed that all these illegal Werwolf groups would
  be directed by means of this broadcasting station, which
  I was to establish."

Some of your testimonies show that you were opposed to the
organization of this radio station and you spoke about it
with Goebbels However, it was created, and the former chief
of the Reich Ministry of Propaganda, Schlesinger, was given
the task of directing the broadcasts. Is that correct?

A. No. Two things have been mixed up here. Firstly, the plan
described in the paragraph which you have read for the
creation of a Werwolf broadcasting station was a plan for a
mobile station, and that mobile station was not built. On
the other hand - incidentally, it happened during my absence
- on 1st April, 1945, by direct order from Dr. Goebbels the
so-called "Old German Broadcasting Station" was opened as a
Werwolf station.

Q. Very well. I do not want to argue with you about it and I
should like to submit to you your own speech broadcast on
7th April, 1945. It is the same document, USSR 496, Excerpt
No. 7. Have you found it?

A. Yes.

Q. At that time, you broadcast as follows:

  "However, as a result of superiority in man-power and
  material reserves, the enemy has now penetrated deep into
  German territory, and at this moment is about to carry
  out his programme of extermination directed against us."

I am omitting a few lines:

  "Let no one be surprised if this desire of strong hearts
  to avenge oppressed human beings does not even need a
  short respite for temporary recovery, but leaps suddenly
  and unexpectedly into flame and becomes active. Let no
  one be surprised if here and there in unoccupied areas
  civilians take part in the fight or even if, after the
  occupation has been carried out, the fight is continued
  by civilians, that is to say, if without preparation and
  without organization there comes into being, springing
  from the pure instinct of self-preservation, that
  phenomenon which we call the 'Werwolf.'"

Well, what can you tell us now?

A. Although this quotation also has been torn from its
context, I recognize it very well. Unfortunately the passage
is missing in which I spoke of right and said: "Right is a
sensitive concept which has its roots in tradition and
ethical consciousness - "

Q. Excuse me if I interrupt you, defendant. I did not ask
you for such detailed explanations. I just wanted to
determine the fact that you did not only explain what the
organization was, but also did your utmost to foster the
Werwolf organization.

Is that correct?

A. That is absolutely incorrect. This is certainly not
propaganda for the Werwolf; it is an apology for cases of
Werwolf activity.

Q. Very well. Let us drop that subject. I should like to ask
you, do you know who the head of the Werwolf organization

A. That has already been stated here. At the very head of it
was Bormann. Under him there was a senior SS Leader whose
name I tried in vain to remember during my interrogations in
Moscow. I knew one of his associates, however. He was
Gunther d'Alquen.

                                                  [Page 298]

Q. Very well. Before putting the last few questions to you,
I should like to ask you, is it not a fact that Rosenberg
and Streicher had great influence on German propaganda?

A. Their influence was negligible. Streicher had no
influence at all on official German propaganda, and
Rosenberg only to an extent which was not noticeable to me.

Q. All right. I still have a few questions to put to you.
You told the High Tribunal that, had you known Hitler's
decrees for the murdering of people, you would never have
followed Hitler and gone with him. Did I understand you

A. You have understood me perfectly correctly.

Q. Now, in other words, I understand you to say that you
would have gone against Hitler?

A. It is hard to say what I would have done. Of course, this
is a question about which I have now thought a great deal.

Q. I should like to ask you if, as you stated here to the
High Tribunal, at the beginning of 1942 you received
information that in one of the regions in the Ukraine, which
was at the time occupied by the Germans, an extermination of
the Jews and the Ukrainian intelligentsia was being
prepared, simply because they were Jews and members of the
Ukrainian intelligentsia? Did you receive such information?
Is that correct?

A. That is correct.

Q. That was in the beginning. In May of 1942 you were with
the Sixth Army, and in the Sixth Army you learned about the
existence of an order to shoot the Soviet Commissars; is
that right?

A. Yes.

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