The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

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This position signified the co-ordinated establishment of
the entire civil administration for the purpose of Reich
defence. According to documents which have been submitted to
the Tribunal, it may have been that Hitler already wanted
war at the time when he authorized the second Reich Defence
Law, but it is nevertheless relevant for the defence of the
defendant whether Frick at that time was able to recognize
the aggressive intentions of Hitler from the law itself and
from its preliminary tasks or from other evidence or
information which was communicated to him then.

From the law itself it cannot be discerned that Hitler's
intention was to use it in the sphere of civil life as an
instrument of preparation for a war of aggression.

The kind of tasks which were given to the defendant Frick in
his capacity as Plenipotentiary General for Reich
Administration had to do merely with the concentration of
the domestic administration of Germany in case of a possible
war or of a threat of war, and nothing else can be seen from
Document 3787-PS, Exhibit USA 782, which was submitted

The law is so expressed that it always speaks only about the
defence of the Reich in case of war. It speaks about the
"state of defence" and mentions the case of a "surprise
threat to the Reich territory," in the event of which
certain measures must be taken.

On the other hand, the law does not give any hints of this,
which was in keeping with Hitler's oft-repeated principle
not to divulge any more of his plans to anyone than was
necessary for him to know for the purpose of performing the
task given to him - a principle which was strictly adhered
to even with his closest collaborators. In view of this
principle, it should not be assumed, nor has it been at all
proved, that when the order for this law was given to the
Ministry of the Interior, any other information was imparted
than the necessity for taking precautionary measures, by
concentrating the full strength of the domestic
administration of the country, against a surprise threat to
Reich territory through a possible attack by other States.

It is not necessary for me to state in detail that such a
measure cannot be considered as a premeditated preparation
for a war of aggression when the competent authorities of
the domestic administration are told that it is essential
for the defence of the Reich against the threatened attack
by another State. Hitler knew very well how to dissemble to
all those who had no need to know about his secret plans,
but who, nevertheless, had to carry out the armament and the
organization of the State ordered by him for the eventuality
of war.

I will deal now very briefly with some further documents,
the subject of which is the activity of the defendant Frick
as Plenipotentiary General for Reich Administration.

                                                  [Page 305]

Frick, in his speech of 7th March, 1940, referred to this
position - Document 2608-PS, Exhibit .USA 714 - and stated
that the planned preparation of the administration for the
possible event of war had been already effected during peace
time by the appointment of a Plenipotentiary General for
Reich Administration.

This speech therefore merely confirms that which is already
revealed by the text of the law. The same applies to
Document 2986-PS, Exhibit USA 409, an affidavit by the
defendant to the same effect.

Therefore, according to this law, the position of the
General Plenipotentiary for Reich Administration, combined
with the appointment of a General Plenipotentiary for
Economy, and the post of Chief of the OKW, cannot be
described as a "Triumvirate" holding governmental authority
in Germany.

Nothing has ever been known either inside or outside Germany
of a government by such a triumvirate, and the witness
Lammers too has referred to the strictly subordinate tasks
performed by these persons by means of ordinances - tasks
which had nothing to do with the preparation of a war of

Another field of the defendant's activity is likewise
appraised by the prosecution as participation in preparation
for a war of aggression, namely, Frick's work for the
Association for Maintaining Germanism Abroad. I refer to
Document Frick, Exhibit 4, and Document 3258-PS, the latter
submitted as Exhibit GB 262. Both documents reveal that
Frick supported the said Association as a union for the
fostering of German cultural relations abroad and promoted
its cultural efforts. It cannot, however, be gathered from
the documents that Frick engaged in any capacity whatsoever
for the furtherance of the aims of a so-called "Fifth
Column" abroad. Another document, from which the prosecution
deduced the approval of the policy of aggressive war by
Frick, is the affidavit of Messersmith, Document 2385-PS,
Exhibit USA 68. This affidavit has been characterised by
several defendants as inaccurate, and the defendant Schacht
in particular showed at his examination that in essential
points it cannot be correct at all. The prosecution was not
able to cross-examine the witness.

I protest on behalf of Frick against any use of the
affidavit, all the more so as an additional clarifying
interrogation of the witness through a written questionnaire
only led to the result that the witness, by using general
phrases, avoided giving concrete answers to the questions
put to him. The answers to the questionnaire show plainly
enough that Messersmith cannot make concrete statements at
all and that in his affidavit he obviously was himself
considerably deceived as to the extent of his memory.

I do not believe that his affidavit, which has been refuted
in essential points, can be made use of for passing legal
judgement. As to the question whether the defendant Frick
participated consciously in preparations for a war of
aggression, the prosecution submitted a further document - D-
44-Exhibit USA 428. From this document it is seen that the
Reich Ministry of the Interior is supposed to have issued a
directive in the year 1933 that official publications were
not to be drawn up in a form which might enable people
abroad to infer an infraction of the Versailles Treaty from
such publications. This document does not reveal whether the
directive aimed at masking actual treaty violations, or
whether it was only a matter of avoiding the appearance of
treaty violations.

The same problem arises in the case of Document 1350-PS,
Exhibit USA 742. This contains the minutes of a conference
between the Staff of the SA and the Reich Defence Minister,
who proposed to the SA in 1933 that budgetary funds of the
Reich should be set aside by the Reich Ministry of the
Interior for the military training of the SA. The document
does not throw any light upon the attitude of the Reich
Ministry of the Interior towards this proposal and, if it
had accepted it, this again would have proved only that the
Reich Ministry of the Interior furthered the restoration of
the Wehrmacht, a fact which, apart from this, is already

                                                  [Page 306]

Thus, all these documents do not furnish proof that the
defendant Frick recognized as a preparation for war of
aggression the measures ordered by Hitler as necessary for
the defence of the Reich.

During the war, in the year 1941, a few days before the
start of the war with the Soviet Union, a conference
certainly took place between the defendant Rosenberg and
representatives of various ministries concerning measures to
be taken in the event of a possible occupation of parts of
the Soviet Union. This is shown in Document 1039-PS, Exhibit
USA 146, Rosenberg's report concerning these discussions in
which it is stated that negotiations took place with "Reich
Minister Frick (State Secretary Stuckart)." These
parentheses mean that-the Reich Ministry of the Interior was
represented in these negotiations by State Secretary
Stuckart, therefore that Frick did not personally
participate in the negotiations. As the negotiations took
place only a few days before the beginning of the war in the
East, it is not proved by the document that Frick himself
was informed about the negotiations before the beginning of
the war, which, as is generally known, was afterwards
proclaimed by Hitler as a necessary measure of defence
against an imminent attack by the Soviet Union. It has been
made clear by a mass of evidence in this trial how far
Hitler kept his true aggressive intentions secret, and how
well he knew how to cover up the true aim of all his.
political measures for years with thousands of convincing
reasons to justify the individual measures of his policy of

There was a very small circle of collaborators whom Hitler
informed about his war plans, but this circle was not
selected according to the position of the person concerned
in the Cabinet, or according to his position in the Party
hierarchy, but exclusively from the point of view of whether
it was necessary for the person concerned, with respect to
his own tasks in the field of preparations for the war, to
know the aggressive character of Hitler's general policy or
even his detailed plans of aggression.

Document 386-PS, Exhibit USA 25, shows how effectually the
principle of secrecy was kept, even as regards the older
members of the Party and the administrators of important
departments in the Reich Cabinet.

Whoever, such as the Minister of the Interior, had merely to
carry out measures within the framework of preparations for
war, which could well be similar to tasks of a purely
defensive character, was, in accordance with Hitler's
principle, not informed of the latter's aggressive

For this reason, the presence of the defendant Frick is not
shown in even a single one of these secret conferences in
which Hitler informed a circle of selected men about his
plans for foreign policy and his war aims. In the Document
386-PS, just mentioned, Hitler especially emphasized, and
gave reasons for, the exclusion of the Reich Cabinet as a
body to which such plans should be made known.

In another record concerning a similar conference - Document
L-79, Exhibit USA 27 - the additional principle is laid down
that no one should be told anything concerning the war plans
who did not need to know of them for the accomplishment of
his actual work.

Frick's name is not only missing from the list of those
present at Hitler's conferences on his policy of aggression,
which took place before the war, but the same applies also
to the numerous conferences concerning Hitler's further war
aims and aggressive intentions which were held during the
war. The defendant Frick was also not informed of the later
attacks or employed in their preparation, as is shown by the
list of those present at Hitler's lectures concerning his
plans, which have in part been submitted here.

Frick, purely an expert in domestic administration, who was
not considered competent for military questions and
questions of foreign policy, was good enough for organising
the civilian administration for the eventuality of any
possible war, but in Hitler's opinion, his (Hitler's)
foreign policy and military plans were none of Frick's
business. However, the prosecution asserts further that
after the conquest of foreign territories and their
occupation, the defendant Frick shaped

                                                  [Page 307]

the administrative policy in those territories and that he
is responsible for it. The prosecution considers this
activity of the defendant, according to Article 6 (a) of the
Charter, as "Participation in the execution of wars of
aggression." According to the submission of the prosecution,
Frick exercised an overall control of the occupied
territories, especially in his capacity as chief of the
"Central Office" for the occupied territories.

On the basis of the same function, he is also said to be
responsible for all war crimes and crimes against humanity
which were committed in the occupied and incorporated
territories before and during the war, until his recall as
Reich Minister of the Interior on 20th August, 1943.

It is a question of legal interpretation whether the
activity in the administration of occupied territories,
pursuant to Article 6 (a) of the Charter, is to be
considered as the "execution of wars of aggression," or
whether criminality comes into consideration only under the
point of view of crimes against the rules of war or against
humanity. In deciding this question, it appears important to
me that it is not one of the tasks of an official of a civil
administration to examine, after the conclusion of military
operations, whether a legal or illegal occupation according
to the standards of International Law is in question. The
duty of such an examination would mean overburdening the
department of the civil administration as well as the
administrative chief, whose activity cannot be described as
illegal because the territory administered by him had been
annexed a short or even a long time ago in violation of the
regulations of International Law. There is no obligation for
such examination in the practice of civil administration.
The Charter, moreover, does not demand such an
interpretation since, if freely construed, the military
operations themselves might be understood to constitute an
execution of wars of aggression, but not the later civil
administration of conquered territories.

The punishment of crimes which occurred in the
administration of the occupied territories would not be made
impossible through such an interpretation. These crimes are
likewise subject to punishment as crimes against humanity or
against the rules of war according to the Charter. And now
mention must be made of those territories in particular for
which the defendant Frick bears a responsibility.

First of all there are the territories which were
incorporated, in accordance with constitutional law, into
the German Reich, which are therefore called the
"incorporated territories." By their constitutional
incorporation into the Reich these territories came under
his administration, but only to that extent. That is, they
came under the authority of the Reich Minister of the
Interior. Consequently the defendant Frick bears the
constitutional responsibility of a minister for the internal
administration of these territories up to 20th August, 1943.
In the East, it is mainly a question of the territories of
West-Prussia-Posen-Danzig, in other words, the so-called
returned Eastern territories which belonged, until the
Versailles Treaty, to Germany. In the East the Memel
district came under the same constitutional treatment; in
the West the Eupen-Malmedy district; and in the South-east,
the Sudetenland. Furthermore, the country of Austria was
incorporated into the German Reich. For all those
territories Frick had a share in the laws and administrative
measures relative to the incorporation. He bears the usual
responsibility of a Minister of the Interior for the
domestic administration of these territories up to the time
of his dismissal in August, 1943. For the territory of
Bohemia and Moravia, on the other hand, there was a special
protectorate government which was described as autonomous in
the decree concerning the establishment of the protectorate
- Document 2119-PS - and it therefore was not controlled by
the Reich Ministry of the Interior. In a similar way, an
administration not dependent on the Reich Ministry of the
interior existed in the Polish territories which were
collectively designated "Government General" and were put
under the jurisdiction of a "Governor General." In contrast
to the so-called "incorporated Eastern territories," the
Reich Ministry of the Interior had no right to issue orders
or to handle administrative matters m the Government General

                                                  [Page 308]

- Document 3079-PS - which contains Hitler's decree
concerning the administration of the occupied Polish
territories. This appears in numerous other documents, among
them Exhibit USSR 223, the Frank diary, in which Frank
states that no Reich central offices are authorized to
intervene in the government of his territory.

The same applies to all other occupied territories for which
a special administration was established under any legal

These separate administrations were not dependent on the
corresponding administrative ministries in the Reich at any
given time, but they were under the jurisdiction of the
administrative chief of the corresponding territories and he
himself was directly subordinate to Hitler.

This applies to the occupied Soviet Russian territories, the
entire administration of which was under the jurisdiction of
a Reich Minister for the Occupied Eastern Territories. The
same applies to Norway, where a Reich Commissioner was
appointed. In a similar way, a Reich Commissioner was
appointed for the Netherlands who was also independent of
the Reich Ministry of the Interior, and was directly
subordinate to Hitler.

In Luxemburg, in Alsace and in Lorraine, there were also
chiefs of civil administrations who were not subordinate to
the Reich Ministry of the Interior, whilst in Belgium and
Northern France there was a military administration which
was also not dependent on the Reich Ministry of the

In the same way the administrative chiefs of the territories
which were occupied in the South-east of Europe were
completely independent of the Reich Ministry of the
Interior. For part of the occupied territories there exists
in the decree issued at the time, concerning the creation of
a separate civil administration, the stipulation that the
Reich Minister of the Interior was to be appointed as the
central agent, and from this formulation the prosecution has
deduced a responsibility of the defendant Frick for the
administration of all the territories, as is stated in the

The actual tasks of the central agency were shown in the
order concerning the establishment of a central agency for
Norway - Document 3082-PS, or 24 in the Frick document book.
The witness, Dr. Lammers, has given a further explanation of
the tasks. At that time it was the primary task of the
central agency to put on request personnel at the disposal
of the chiefs of the civil administrations in the occupied
territories. Therefore, if a civil official was needed for
any district, the administration of the district concerned
applied to the central agency in the Reich Ministry of the
Interior, which then put some official from the Reich at the
disposal of the chief of the civil administration. The Reich
Ministry of the Interior was especially fitted for this, as
it had at its disposal numerous officials of the domestic
administration in Germany.

But the transfer of an official from his own department to
another office, which alone gives its orders to that
official from that moment on, does not establish
responsibility for the further activity of that official in
his new department, to which the Reich Ministry of the
Interior could issue no orders whatsoever. To take as an
example: If the Minister of justice transfers one of his
officials to the Foreign Minister, naturally the Foreign
Minister only is responsible for the further activity of
this official. This activity of the central agency therefore
does not justify the assumption of responsibility for the
administration of the occupied territories by Frick.

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