February 5, 1942 Goebbels' Diary:
The Jewish question is again giving us a headache; this time, however, not because we have gone too far, but because we are not going far enough. Among large sections of the German people the idea is gaining headway that the Jewish question cannot be regarded as solved until all Jews have left the Reich.
February 14, 1942 Goebbels' Diary:
In that connection it is significant that most of the local population leave with us wherever our troops are compelled to withdraw. Bolshevism is a doctrine of the devil, and anybody who has once suffered from this scourge doesn't want anything to do with it again. The sufferings of the Russian people under Bolshevism are indescribable. This Jewish terrorism must be radically eliminated from all of Europe. That is our historic task. World Jewry will suffer a great catastrophe at the same time as Bolshevism. The Fuehrer once more expressed his determination to clean up the Jews in Europe pitilessly. There must be no squeamish sentimentalism about it. The Jews have deserved the catastrophe that has now overtaken them. Their destruction will go hand in hand with the destruction of our enemies. We must hasten this process with cold ruthlessness. We shall thereby render an inestimable service to a humanity tormented for thousands of years by the Jews. This uncompromising anti-Semitic attitude must prevail among our own people despite all objectors. The Fuehrer expressed this idea vigorously and repeated it afterward to a group of officers who can put that in their pipes and smoke it.
February 18, 1942 Goebbels' Diary:
In the evening I had a look at the Polish-Yiddish motion picture, The Dybuk. This film is intended to be a Jewish propaganda picture. Its effect, however, is so anti-Semitic that one can only be surprised to note how little the Jews know about themselves and how little they realize what is repulsive to a non-Jewish person and what is not. Looking at this film I realized once again that the Jewish race is the most dangerous one that inhabits the globe, and that we must show them no mercy and no indulgence. This riffraff must be eliminated and destroyed. Otherwise it won't be possible to bring peace to the world.
March 6, 1942 Goebbels' Diary:
There is a lot of sub rosa talk in the neutral countries about the possibilities of a separate peace with the Soviet Union. In London they are already scared about it. Such fear, however, is unwarranted. The Soviet Union will and must be knocked out, no matter how long that may take. The situation is right for putting an end to Bolshevism in all Europe, and considering our position we can't give up on that aim.
March 7, 1942 Goebbels' Diary:
A frontal attack on black markets was made in the House of Commons. No bones are made about the fact that Jews were chiefly implicated in profiteering in the food market. Heading the procession were the Jewish immigrants who went from Germany to England. Jews always remain the same. You must either stigmatize them with a yellow star, or put them in concentration camps, or shoot them, or else let them saturate all public life with corruption, especially during a war. There is no halfway measure.
An SD report informed me about the situation in occupied Russia. It is, after all, more unstable that was generally assumed. The Partisan danger is increasing week by week. The Partisans are in command of large area in occupied Russian and are conducting a regime of terror there. The national movements, too, have become more insolent than was at first imagined. That applies as well to the Baltic States as to the Ukraine. Everywhere the Jews are busy inciting and stirring up trouble. It is therefore desirable that many of them must pay with their lives for this. Anyway, I am of the opinion that the greater the number of Jews liquidated, the more consolidated will the situation in Europe be after this war. One must have no mistaken sentimentality about it. The Jews are Europe's misfortune. They must somehow be eliminated, otherwise we are in danger of being eliminated by them.
I read a detailed report from the SD and police regarding a final solution of the Jewish question. Any final solution involves a tremendous number of new viewpoints. The Jewish question must be solved within a pan-European frame. There are 11,000,000 Jews still in Europe. They will have to be concentrated later, to begin with, in the East; possibly an island, such as Madagascar, can be assigned to them after the war. In any case there can be no peace in Europe until the last Jews are eliminated from the continent.
March 16, 1942 Goebbels' Diary:
That, of course, raises a large number of exceedingly delicate questions. What with those related to Jews? In-laws of Jews? Persons married to Jews? Evidently we still have quite a lot to do and undoubtedly a multitude of personal tragedies will ensue within the framework of the solution of this problem. But that is unavoidable. The situation is now ripe for a final settlement of the Jewish question. Later generations will no longer have the will power or the instinctive alertness. That's why we are doing a good work in proceeding radically and consistently. The task we are assuming today will be an advantage and a boon to our descendants.
I read a report of the SD about the situation in the occupied East. The activity of Partisans has increased noticeably during recent weeks. They are conducting a well-organized guerrilla war. It is very difficult to get at them because they are using such terrorist methods in the area occupied by us that the population is afraid of collaborating with us loyally any longer. The spearheads of this whole Partisan activity are the political commissars and especially the Jews. It has therefore proven necessary once again to shoot more Jews. There won't be any peace in these areas as long as any Jews are active there. Sentimentality is out of place here. Either we must renounce the lives of our own soldiers, or we must uncompromisingly prevent further propaganda by criminal and chaotic elements in the hinterland.
March 20, 1942 Goebbels' Diary:
In the East, nationalistic currents are increasingly observable in all former Baltic States. The populations there apparently imagined that the German Wehrmacht would shed its blood to set up new governments in these midget states, which at the end of the war, or possibly even during the war, would veer over to the side of our enemies. That is a childish, naïve bit of imagination which makes no impression upon us. One would have to take the imperial regime of Kaiser Wilhelm as a model if one were to inaugurate so shortsighted a policy. National Socialism is much more cold-blooded and much more realistic in all these questions. It does only what is useful for its own people, and in this instance the interest of our people undoubtedly lies in the rigorous establishment of German order within this area without paying any attention to the claims, more or less justified, of the small nationalities living there.
Finally we talked about the Jewish question. Here the Fuehrer is as uncompromising as ever. The Jews must be got out of Europe, if necessary by applying most brutal methods.
March 21, 1942 Goebbels' Diary:
Sauckel has been appointed Reich Plenipotentiary for manpower...Undoubtedly his strong National Socialist hand will achieve miracles. It should not be difficult to mobilize at least a million additional workers from among the German people.
From Fritzsche's IMT testimony: Reports about these things [forced labor] were sent to me or to my co-workers from the office of Sauckel and the German Labor 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 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 exchange. I also talked with foreign workers many times. I did not hear any special complaints.
March 27, 1942 Goebbels' Diary:
On the other hand, in the Propaganda Ministry, through official channels, I heard a great deal about the care given to foreign workers even along cultural lines. Frequently I was approached by Sauckel or the German Labor 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, et cetera . . . . I did hear the following complaints: First of all, that extravagant promises were made at the time of recruitment of the foreign workers, which could not be kept afterward. 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 one another . . . .
I investigated in Kiev, with the local German radio station...several shootings actually did take place, specifically after the blowing up of certain blocks of houses in Kiev, on which occasion many German soldiers lost their lives. However, they were shootings according to sentences imposed by courts-martial. Then, for 3 days I traveled in all directions between Kiev and Poltava. Mostly I traveled alone. I found the population in utmost peace; there were no signs of terror whatsoever, and by the way, I was received very well myself. At Poltava I checked with officers and soldiers. On these occasions as well, I was told, "Yes, there were some court-martial sentences. The reason for these sentences was sabotage."
Then, in Kharkov itself, I visited the SS command stationed there, and I spoke with the SturmFuehrer Rexlach. He denied any shooting actions. He showed me the prison and there were perhaps 50 inmates, no more. I asked him about camps and he stated that there were none. Then I visited a Ukrainian family; I questioned a German agricultural leader at Bielgorod, and I met with the same result in every case: no shooting actions took place. I certainly assumed from that that it had been an attempted individual action which had not been carried through . . . . I had reports on atrocities specially gathered at that time and selected from the great number of enemy broadcasts which we received every day, and then I had these reports investigated and checked.
Beginning with Lublin, the Jews in the General Government are now being evacuated eastward. The procedure is a pretty barbaric one and not to be described here more definitely. Not much will remain of the Jews. On the whole it can be said that about 60 per cent of them will have to be liquidated whereas only about 40 per cent can be used for forced labor.
The former Gauleiter of Vienna, who is to carry this measure through, is doing it with considerable circumspection and according to a method that does not attract too much attention. A judgment is being visited upon the Jews that, while barbaric, is fully deserved by them. The prophesy which the Fuehrer made about them for having brought on a new world war is beginning to come true in a most terrible manner. One must not be sentimental in these matters. If we did not fight the Jews, they would destroy us. It's a life-and-death struggle between the Aryan race and the Jewish bacillus. No other government and no other regime would have the strength for such a global solution of this question. Here, too, the Fuehrer is the undismayed champion of a radical solution necessitated by conditions and therefore inexorable. Fortunately a whole series of possibilities presents itself for us in wartime that would be denied us in peacetime. We shall have to profit by this.
The ghettoes that will be emptied in the cities of the General Government now will be refilled with Jews thrown out of the Reich. This process is to be repeated from time to time. There is nothing funny in it for the Jews, and the fact that Jewry's representatives in England and America are today organizing and sponsoring the war against Germany must be paid for dearly by its representatives in Europe--and that's only right.
Fritzsche meets with Heydrich concerning reports of mass murders by the Einsatzgruppen units.
From Fritzsche's IMT testimony: In February or March 1942 I received a letter from a medium-ranking SS leader of the Ukraine. I do not recall this man's name. The contents of the letter were to the effect that the author was the commander of an SS unit, that he had received an order to kill the Jews and the Ukrainian intelligentsia of his area. Upon receipt of this order, he had suffered a nervous breakdown and he was now in a hospital. It seemed to him that a complaint along official channels was quite impossible for him. He said he did not know me but had confidence in me; perhaps I could help in some way. He asked me not to mention his name as he was bound to silence at the cost of his life.
Without much hesitation and immediately upon receipt of this letter I called Heydrich, the Obergruppenfuehrer, then leader of the RSHA or the Gestapo. I hardly knew him personally, but he declared himself quite willing to receive me immediately. I visited him and asked him pointblank, "Is your SS there for the purpose of committing mass murders?" Heydrich was quite indignant at this question, and said that larger or smaller SS units had been assigned by him for police purposes to various ministers, Reich commissioners, and so forth. These special details of SS men had been misused on various occasions, and he thought this might apply to the unit which had been placed at the disposal of Gauleiter Koch. He told Me that he would have an investigation started immediately. Next noon he called me, from headquarters as he said, and let me know that this action had actually been attempted on the order of Koch. Koch, for his part, had referred to the Fuehrer. The Fuehrer, however, had not answered as yet. Heydrich said I would receive further details.
Two days later Heydrich asked me to come and visit him and said Hitler had expressly declared that he had not given this order; Koch now said that there was a misunderstanding. I was further told that an investigation of Koch had been started. At any rate, Heydrich promised me that this action would not be carried through. I remember particularly well one sentence which was used in this discussion, words used by Heydrich: "Believe me, Herr Fritzsche, anyone who has the reputation of being cruel does not have to be cruel; he can act humanely." Shortly thereafter, I was made a soldier and asked to be sent to the 6th Army and was sent to the Ukraine.
Fritzsche abandons his position as head of the German Press Division and becomes a soldier detailed to the 6th Army stationed in the Ukraine.
April 27, 1942 Goebbels' Diary:
I talked to the Fuehrer once more in detail about the Jewish question. His attitude is unrelenting. He wants, under all circumstances, to push the Jews out of Europe. That is right. The Jews have brought so much misery to our continent that the severest punishment meted out to them is still too mild.
April 29, 1942 Goebbels' Diary:
The SD gave me a police report on conditions in the East. The danger of the Partisans continues to exist in unmitigated intensity in the occupied areas. The Partisans have, after all, caused us very great difficulties during the winter, and these difficulties have by no means ceased with the beginning of spring. Short shrift is made of the Jews in all eastern occupied areas. Tens of thousands of them are liquidated.
May 15, 1942 Goebbels' Diary:
A report from Paris informs me that a number of those who staged the last acts of terror have been found. About 99 per cent of them are eastern Jews [Ostjuden]. A more rigorous regime is now to be applied to these Jews. As far as I am concerned, it would be best if we either evacuated or liquidated all eastern Jews still remaining in Paris. By nature and race they will always be our natural enemies anyway.
May 27, 1942:
Heydrich is wounded in an assassination attempt in Prague.
June 4, 1942:
Heydrich dies a painful death at the age of 38. Although the exact cause of death has not been definitively established, the autopsy states that his death was most likely caused by bacteria and toxins from the bomb splinters.
From Fritzsche's IMT testimony: ... as far as I could see, all administrations of occupied territories sought this collaboration more or less skillfully. I saw the gigantic efforts which the Allies made to interfere with this German collaboration policy, which was very dangerous for them. I saw that in these efforts the Allies were at first using their means of propaganda. This alone would not have worked. Then I saw that they used other means in these efforts, that is, outrages and sabotage. These latter efforts had great success. Outrages always called for reprisals and reprisals always called forth new outrages. I hope I will not be misunderstood, and this is not meant cynically, if I say the following: I, as a propagandist, considered for example the murder of Heydrich a minor success. The destruction of Lidice, carried out by the Germans, however, was a tremendous success for the Allies. In other words, I always was and had to be an opponent of reprisals of all kinds.
June 10, 1942:
All 192 men over 16 years of age in the village of Lidice are murdered by the Germans in reprisal for the assassination of Heydrich.
From Fritzsche's IMT testimony: I learned of Lidice, which I just mentioned, only after months, because at that time I was at the Eastern Front. I learned--and this is significant--only of the destruction of the houses of Lidice and the driving out of the inhabitants. I learned only here in the courtroom of the killing of a part of the inhabitants. I learned that hostages were taken, but not that they were killed. The killing of hostages was made public only in the occupied territories. If shootings occurred anywhere, I was told that they had been of persons condemned to death on account of outrages or conspiracy. The Night and Fog Decree was also unknown to me. On the other hand, I frequently learned of fines which had been imposed on towns or districts. In our propaganda, we always referred to the causes of such reprisals.
August 20, 1942:
From a Hitler speech:
The law is not an end in itself. Its function is to maintain public order...All means used to this end are justifiable . . . . It must adapt itself to this end . . . . The idea that the judge is there to give absolutely irrevocable judgement, even if the world should come to an end as a result, is nonsense. (Maser)
September 8, 1942:
Churchill addresses the House:
... those who are guilty of the Nazi crimes will have to stand up before tribunals in every land where their atrocities have been committed in order that an indelible warning may be given to future ages and that successive generations of men may say, "So perish all who do the like again...
From the IMT testimony of Moritz von Schirmeister: It was Dr. Goebbels who established the concept "plutocracy" in the sense in which the whole world knows it today, later the concept "Bolshevism" was added from the other side. Sometimes his propaganda was directed against some of the men in power; but he could not get the full co-operation of the German press on that point. That annoyed him; and in a conference he once said, "Gentlemen, if I could put 10 Jews in your place, I could get it done." But later he stopped these attacks on personalities such as Churchill; he was afraid that these men would become too popular as a result of his counter-propaganda. Apart from that he did not hate Churchill personally at all, secretly he actuary admired him; just as, for example, throughout the war he had a picture of the Duke of Windsor on his desk. Therefore the propaganda of hatred was directed temporarily against individual men but always against systems . . . .
November 8, 1942:
The minister [Goebbels] could not use passions at all in his propaganda, for passions flare up and die down again. What the minister did need was a steady and constant line, steadfastness even in hard times. Stirring up of passions, inciting to hatred, or even murder would not have appealed to the German people nor could Dr. Goebbels use anything like that.
Hitler speaks in Munich:
My German racial comrades, we are not asleep. Our builders are not asleep either, and let me point out only one thing to you. During the winter of 1939-1940 a certain Mr. Churchill stated: "The submarine danger is eliminated. Hitler is finished." He has destroyed two, three, five submarines daily. At that time, he destroyed more than we even had then. He was exhausted. He had destroyed nothing, for then I again committed a very great error. The error was: I had only a very small number of our submarines fighting and held back the greater part of the submarines in order to train the crews for the new submarines being launched. At that time the number of submarines operating against the enemy was so small that I am today still ashamed even to speak of it. Most of them, more than nine-tenths, remained at that time in our home waters and trained the new crews, for we started mass production at a certain moment. They just can't comprehend anything but American mass production. They always act as if they are the only ones who understand it. We understand it just as well. When they say they build so-and-so many warships per year--well, when they count all their corvettes and all their uh--uh--herring boats and the rest of them and stick a cannon on them, they act as if this . . . . If we figure in everything, then I guarantee that we are not building fewer ships, only I think we are building more useful ships than they. In any case, this has again been proved. We have now at any rate sunk more than 24,000,000 tons, that is almost 12,000,000 tons more than in the World War, in all. And the number of U-boats is considerably greater than the number of U-boats in the World War. And we go on building...
Fritzsche accepts a newly created position in the Propaganda Ministry, that of Plenipotentiary for the Political Organization of the Greater German Radio. At the same time he also becomes head of the Radio Division of the Propaganda Ministry. In Goebbels' introduction to a book by Fritzsche called War to the War Mongers, Goebbels writes: "Nobody knows better than I how much work is involved in those [Fritzsche's] broadcasts, how many times they were dictated within the last minutes to find some minutes later a willing ear by the whole nation."
From Fritzsche's IMT testimony: I did not agree, among other things, with the colored press reports of my superior, Reich Press Chief Dr. Dietrich. For that reason, I became a soldier and went to the Eastern Front. In the fall of 1942 I was called back by Dr. Goebbels. Dr. Goebbels approved my previous criticism, of which he knew. He offered me the direction of the Radio Section of his Ministry. I answered that I could return to the Propaganda Ministry only if I had the certainty that a termination of the war by political means would be sought and that total military victory would not be striven after, which from the first day of the war I had considered impossible. I told Dr. Goebbels at that time literally, "I am not going to participate as a propagandist in a fight of self-destruction such as was fought by the Goths at Mount Vesuvius."
December 13, 1942 Goebbels' Diary:
Dr. Goebbels answered that Hitler and he, also, were seeking a termination of the war by diplomatic means on the basis of reaching some sort of understanding. He promised me that he would inform me in time if he noticed that the Fuehrer was changing these intentions. Dr. Goebbels repeated this promise at intervals of a few months, up to the end of the war; and each time that he repeated it; he always gave me substantiated indications about the political efforts in progress at the moment. Today I have the feeling that he broke his promise. Well, at that time I took over the Radio Section of the Propaganda Ministry, and I became Ministerial Director.
The question of Jewish persecution in Europe is being given top news priority by the English and the Americans . . . . At bottom, however, I believe both the English and the Americans are happy that we are exterminating the Jewish riff-raff. But the Jews will go on and on and turn the heat on the British-American press. We won't even discuss this theme publicly, but instead I give orders to start an atrocity campaign against the English on their treatment of Colonials.
December 14, 1942 Goebbels' Diary:
Efforts are under way to declare Rome an open city, so that it won't be bombarded. The Pope is studying the question of air raids on Italian cities and seems to be exerting pressure on the English to spare at least certain districts. The declarations issued by the Vatican on this question are extremely clever and cannot but win favor for the Pope, at least in Italy. But the Italians are willing to accept any help offered them in this painful situation.
The Italians are extremely lax in the treatment of Jews. They protect the Italian Jews both in Tunis and in occupied France and won't permit their being drafted for work or compelled to wear the Star of David. This shows once again that Fascism does not really dare to get down to fundamentals, but is very superficial regarding most important problems. The Jewish question is causing us a lot of trouble. Everywhere, even among our allies, the Jews have friends to help them, which is a proof that they are still playing an important role even in the Axis camp. All the more are they shorn of power within Germany itself.
Jewish rabbis in London have held a great protest meeting. The there was "England, Awake." [Note: "Deutschland, erwache" ("Germany, Awake") has long been a Nazi slogan.] It is just too funny for words that the Jews are now compelled, after fifteen years, to steal our slogans and to call upon the pro-Semitic world to fight us, using the same battle-cry with which we once called upon the anti-Semitic world to fight Jewry. But all this won't avail the Jews anything. The Jewish race has prepared this war; it is the spiritual originator of the whole misfortune that has overtaken humanity. Jewry must pay for its crime just as our Fuehrer prophesied in his speech in the Reichstag; namely, by the wiping out of the Jewish race in Europe and possibly in the entire world.
December 15, 1942 Goebbels' Diary:
The Jews are making a terrible rumpus about the revival of the Mosley Fascist party. Generally speaking, the Jewish propaganda has become extraordinarily active of late. The Jews in London proclaimed a day of mourning for the atrocities allegedly committed on Jews in Poland by us.
December 17, 1942:
United Nations Statement: ... those responsible for these crimes shall not escape retribution...
December 18, 1942 Goebbels' Diary:
The Jewish question is receiving a big play both in the enemy and in the neutral news services. The Swedes protest hypocritically against our treatment of the Polish Jews, but are by no means willing to receive them in their country. The leading newspapers of Stockholm warn emphatically against having the Ghetto Jews from Warsaw forced upon them. It would probably be a good thing if the Swedes were to admit several thousand such Jews into their country. That would give them a practical lesson on the Jewish question. In all likelihood they would understand our measures much better than appears to be the case today.
December 18, 1942:
The Jews of Jerusalem have held noisy demonstrations of protest against us. They had a day of fasting. At the Wailing Wall they invoked the Old Testament Jewish curse against the Fuehrer, Goering, Himmler, and me. Until now I haven't noticed any effect on me. One must know these Jews to be able to handle them right. They are now trying to stir up the entire world merely to incite public opinion against the National Socialist Reich and its anti-Semitic convictions. There's only one answer to this, viz., to continue as at present, rigorously and without compromise. You're sunk if you give the slightest indication of weakness.
From a radio speech by Fritzsche:
The fate of Jewry in Europe has turned out to be as unpleasant as the Fuehrer predicted it would be in the event of a European war. After the extension of the war instigated by Jews, this fate may also spread to the New World, for it can hardly be assumed that the nations of this New World will pardon the Jews for the misery of which the nations of the Old World did not absolve them...
From Fritzsche's testimony before the IMT: Criticism was not only allowed, but actually it was done. I had an extensive correspondence with my critics, although only with those who signed their names. There were of course also anonymous critics, but I may add that the anonymous critics had only general complaints. After the outbreak of the war a South German office of public prosecution and later the Ministry of Justice, offered me a certain protection for my publications, apparently on the assumption that they were official or semi-official. It was suggested to me to appear as co-plaintiff in possible libel actions. I categorically refused this, stating, as I have often done both privately and publicly, that people must be allowed to grumble about something. If they are forbidden to criticize the State and the Government, then they must be allowed at least to criticize the press, the radio, and me . . . .
December 19, 1942 Goebbels' Diary:
I always refused to let them be censored beforehand. The material was gathered very carefully. It was kept in the so-called "Archiv-Schnelldienst" which had been applied for and approved by the Tribunal to be brought here but which could not be found. The material consisted of clippings from papers, reports of news agencies, and reports from foreign broadcasts. The investigation of doubtful matters was done by a special official. A rough draft of the speech was then dictated and then delivered freely. Therefore, this procedure was different to that of writing an article; not every sentence had to be polished, because in a written matter every word counts, whereas in a speech it is more the total impression which is decisive.
Eden delivered a speech in the House of Commons on the Jewish problem and answered planted questions. Rothschild, the "venerable MP," as the English press calls him, took the floor and delivered a tear-jerker bemoaning the fate of the Polish Jews. At the end of the session the Commons observed a minute of silence. All members of Parliament rose from their seats as a silent tribute to Jewry. That was quite appropriate for the British House of Commons, which is really a sort of Jewish exchange. The English, anyway, are the Jews among the Aryans. The perfumed British Foreign Minister, Eden, cuts a good figure among these characters from the synagogue. His whole education and his entire bearing can be characterized as thoroughly Jewish.
December 20, 1942 Goebbels' Diary:
Enemy propaganda is exceedingly aggressive. The Jews, too, are talking again. Emil Ludwig Cohn, in an interview in the American press, demands the complete destruction of the German economy and the German war potential. The Jewish campaign against us is growing in volume. What won't the Jews do to discredit the Reich! They are working arrogantly and on a large scale. But they won't reach their goal after all, just as they haven't attained it in the Reich.
January 22, 1943:
From the secret diary of Ulrich von Hassell:
According to people who ... have pipe lines to the Army both on the battle front and at home, there is now a real possibility for peace. The evil of the situation is revealed in the fact that at this same time there come reports from the 'enemy's side' which give rise to ever-increasing doubts as to whether they are now holding out for the complete destruction of Germany.
January 24, 1943 Casablanca:
FDR, flanked by Churchill, announces the controversial policy of Unconditional Surrender:
Some of you Britishers know the old story: we had a general called US Grant. His name was Ulysses Simpson Grant but in my, and the Prime Minister's early days, he was called 'Unconditional Surrender Grant.' The elimination of German, Japanese and Italian war power means the unconditional surrender of Germany, Italy and Japan . . . . It does not mean the destruction of the population of Germany, Italy or Japan, but it does mean the destruction of the philosophies in those countries which are based on conquest and the subjugation of other people.
February 2, 1943:
Paulus surrenders at Stalingrad.
From Fritzsche's IMT testimony: I was not an enemy of the system. It would be ridiculous and unworthy to try to assert that today. But I was definitely an opponent of all misuse of the system. The obvious one which I noticed the most, because it was in my field of work, was whitewashing of news during the war. The aim of all my news policy was realism, and apparently that is what General Dittmar means in the part of his statement which has been read here. I met General Dittmar in December 1942 or January 1943 at the moment when the German 6th Army at Stalingrad was already surrounded, but when this fact was still being kept secret from the German people. Together with General Dittmar, in face of the prohibition, I publicly announced the fact that the 6th Army was surrounded at Stalingrad. This caused a great sensation at the time. In the following months and years I always defended General Dittmar and his realistic presentation of the military situation against all attacks, especially against the attacks of the Party, but also against the attacks of the Foreign Office, which repeatedly pointed out that these sober presentations of Dittmar had a bad effect on Germany's allies.
February 18, 1943 Totalkrieg:
In Berlin, Goebbels delivers his most famous speech:
March 2, 1943 Goebbels' Diary:
The tragic battle of Stalingrad is a symbol of heroic, manly resistance to the revolt of the steppes. It has not only a military, but also an intellectual and spiritual significance for the German people. Here for the first time our eyes have been opened to the true nature of the war. We want no more false hopes and illusions. We want bravely to look the facts in the face, however hard and dreadful they may be. The history of our party and our state has proven that a danger recognized is a danger defeated. Our coming hard battles in the East will be under the sign of this heroic resistance. It will require previously undreamed of efforts by our soldiers and our weapons. A merciless war is raging in the East. The Fuehrer was right when he said that in the end there will not be winners and losers, but the living and the dead...
We are now definitely pushing the Jews out of Berlin. They were suddenly rounded up last Saturday, and are to be carted off to the East as quickly as possible. Unfortunately our better circles, especially the intellectuals, once again have failed to understand our policy about the Jews and in some cases have even taken their part. As a result our plans were tipped off prematurely, so that a lot of Jews slipped through our hands. But we will catch them yet. I certainly won't rest until the capital of the Reich, at least, has become free of Jews.
March 6, 1943 Goebbels' Diary:
Goering realizes perfectly what is in store for all of us if we show any weakness in this war. He has no illusions about that. On the Jewish question, especially, we have taken a position from which there is no escape. That is a good thing. Experience teaches that a movement and a people who have burned their bridges fight with much greater determination than those who are still able to retreat.
Schach gave me a long report on the situation in Berlin as affected by the last air raid. It is extremely serious, after all. The damage done to the Reich capital is very heavy, and it will take us an estimated six or eight months to repair it even halfway.
March 9, 1943 Goebbels' Diary:
Yet that's the very moment the SD thinks favorable for continuing with the evacuation of Jews! Unfortunately there have been a number of regrettable scenes at a Jewish home for the aged, where a large number of people gathered and in part even took sides with the Jews. I ordered the SD not to continue Jewish evacuation at so critical a moment. We want to save that up for a couple of weeks. We can then go after it all the more thoroughly.
With regard to the Jewish question he [Hitler] approved of my measures and specifically ordered me to make Berlin entirely free of Jews. I shall see to it that there is no concubinage between Berlin Jews and foreign workers.
March 11, 1943 Goebbels' Diary:
The evacuation of Jews from Berlin has led to a number of untoward happenings. Unfortunately a number of Jews and Jewesses from privileged marriages were also arrested, thereby causing fear and confusion. The scheduled arrest of all Jews on one day has proven a flash in the pan because of the shortsighted behavior of industrialists who warned the Jews in time. We therefore failed to lay our hands on about 4,000. They are now wandering about Berlin without homes, are not registered with the police and are naturally quite a public danger. I ordered the police, Wehrmacht, and the Party to do everything possible to round these Jews up as quickly as practicable.
March 15, 1943 Goebbels' Diary:
The arrest of Jews and Jewesses living in privileged wedlock caused a terrific commotion, especially in artistic circles, since these privileged marriages are still prevalent among actors. But I can't be squeamish about them. If a German still finds it possible to live with a Jewess as his legal wife, that's a point against him, and it's out of place to be too sentimental about this question in wartime.
You just can't trust the Jews across the street. I therefore told the Fuehrer emphatically once more that I deemed it essential to force the Jews out of the entire Reich as fast as possible. He approved, and ordered me not to cease or pause until no Jew is left anywhere in Germany.
March 20, 1943 Goebbels' Diary:
The Fuehrer is happy over my report that the Jews have for the most part been evacuated from Berlin. He is right in saying that the war has made possible for us the solution of a whole series of problems that could never have been solved in normal times. The Jews will certainly be the losers in this war, come what may.
April 17, 1943 Goebbels' Diary:
The United States has published statistics according to which there are 5,000,000 orthodox Jews in the United States. The United States can certainly be described as a Class-1 Jew state. We are going to step up our anti-Semitic propaganda so much that the word "Jew" will again be pronounced in the derisive manner that it deserves, just as it was in the time of our struggle for power. It must come to pass that even an enemy statesman won't dare to be seen in the company of a Jew without immediately being suspected by his own people of being a stooge of the Jews.
April 18, 1943 Goebbels' Diary:
It was an exceptionally good idea that we raised the Jewish problem again on orders of the Fuehrer. Anti-Semitism is growing rapidly even in the enemy states. Reports to that effect reach us, especially from England. If we continue to high-pressure the anti-Semitic question, the Jews, in the long run, will be much discredited. All one needs to do is be tough and determined, for the Jewish problem has now been frozen so tight that it will be difficult to thaw it out again.
April 25, 1943 Goebbels' Diary:
I gave orders to investigate all Jews still left in Berlin. I don't want to see Jews with the Star of David running about in the capital. Either the Star must be taken from them and they be classed as privileged, or they must be evacuated altogether from the capital of the Reich. I believe I shall have completed one of the greatest political achievements of my career once Berlin is free of Jews. When I consider how Berlin looked in 1926 when I came here, and how it looks now in 1943 when the Jews are being evacuated completely, I get a feeling of what has been achieved in this sector.
From a report from the occupied areas I gather that a truly grotesque situation obtains in Warsaw. The Jews tried to leave the Ghetto by subterranean passages. Thereupon these underground passages were flooded. The Ghetto is now under artillery fire. When such conditions prevail in an occupied city, it certainly can't be said to be pacified. It is high time that we evacuate the Jews just as quickly as possible from the General Government. The Fuehrer would like to talk to me before I go on leave, especially to discuss the next measures in the Jewish question of which he has very great expectations.
Labeled Black May by the Germans, Grand Admiral (Großadmiral) Doenitz loses 47 U-boats this month; one third of those on station. The admiral orders all his boats from the North Atlantic and positions them south of the Azores. Doenitz has decidedly lost the Battle of the Atlantic. (Read)
May 8, 1943 Goebbels' Diary:
Much to my surprise my article The War and the Jews has attracted much attention, even in neutral countries. I should have thought the Jews would try to give it the silent treatment. But that is not the case. It is being quoted to an extent that is simply amazing. That showed the Jews are either so foolish as to let my arguments get out into the world, or else in every editorial office sit secret opponents of the Jews who gladly identify themselves with my anti-Semitic arguments by publishing my article.
May 10, 1943 Goebbels' Diary:
The Fuehrer argued that the anti-Semitism which formerly animated the Party and was advocated by it must again become the focal point of our spiritual struggle. He thinks a great deal of the anti-Semitic movement in England, although he is naturally aware that it lacks organization and therefore cannot constitute a political factor. Nevertheless this anti-Semitism is most embarrassing to the Churchill Government. It is comparable to the anti-Semitic endeavors of certain bourgeois organizations in Germany in the old days. These, too, would never have achieved their end had not the revolutionary National Socialist movement taken up the campaign . . . .
The Jewish question is being solved least satisfactorily by the Hungarians. The Hungarian state is permeated with Jews, and the Fuehrer did not succeed during his talk with Horthy in convincing the latter of the necessity of more stringent measures. Horthy himself, of course, is badly tangled up with the Jews through his family, and will continue to resist every effort to tackle the Jewish problem aggressively. He gave a number of humanitarian counter-arguments which of course don't apply at all to this situation. You just cannot talk humanitarianism when dealing with Jews. Jews must be defeated. The Fuehrer made every effort to win Horthy over to his standpoint but succeeded only partially.
The East will forever regard Europe as an attractive jewel. The East will again and again try to break into this continent in order to dominate it. Our constant, untiring effort must therefore center upon taking the necessary measures for our security. If it be true today that the Bolshevism of the East is mainly under Jewish leadership and that the Jews are also the dominant influence in the Western plutocracies, then our anti-Semitic propaganda must begin at this point. The Jews must therefore be thrown out of Europe.
The fights in the Warsaw ghetto have largely petered out. I received a secret report on the mysterious question as to how the Jews got hold of the large supplies of arms with which they defended themselves. For the most part they bought them from our brave allies as they were fleeing homeward and in Warsaw got rid of their weapons for good money. There are soldiers for you!
May 11, 1943 Goebbels' Diary:
It is interesting to note that many of the London papers printed my article against the Jews. I can't figure it out. Are the Jews so foolish as to believe this article would militate against us and not, on the contrary, strengthen the anti-Semitic feeling in England considerably?
May 13, 1943 Goebbels' Diary:
I have devoted exhaustive study to the Protocols of Zion. In the past the objection was always made that they were not suited to present-day propaganda. In reading them now I find that we can use them very well. The Protocols of Zion are as modern today as they were when published for the first time.
May 19, 1943 Goebbels' Diary:
At noon I mentioned this to the Fuehrer. He believed the Protocols were absolutely genuine . . . . The Jewish question, in the Fuehrer's opinion, will play a decisive role in England . . . . In all the world, he said, the Jews are alike. Whether they live in a ghetto of the East or in the bankers' palaces of the City or Wall Street, they will always pursue the same aims and without previous agreement even use the same means. Once might well ask why are there any Jews in the world order? That would be exactly like asking why are there potato bugs? Nature is dominated by the law of struggle. There will always be parasites who will spur this struggle on and intensify the process of selection between the strong and the weak. The principle of struggle dominates also in human life. One must merely know the laws of this struggle to be able to face it. The intellectual does not have the natural means of resisting the Jewish peril because his instincts have been badly blunted. Because of this fact the nations with a high standard of civilization are exposed to this peril first and foremost. In nature life always takes measures against parasites; in the life of nations that is not always the case. From this fact the Jewish peril actually stems. There is therefore no other recourse left for modern nations except to exterminate the Jew . . . .
There is no hope of leading the Jews back into the fold of civilized humanity by exceptional punishments. They will forever remain Jews, just as we are forever members of the Aryan race.
The Jew was also the first to introduce the lie into politics as a weapon. Aboriginal man, the Fuehrer believes, did not know the lie . . . . The higher the human being developed intellectually, the more he acquired the ability of hiding his innermost thoughts and giving expression to something different from what he really felt. The Jew as an absolutely intellectual creature was the first to learn this art. He can therefore be regarded not only as the carrier but even the inventor of the lie among human beings. Because of their thoroughly materialistic attitude, the English act very much like the Jews. In fact, they are the Aryans who have acquired most of the Jewish characteristics . . . . The nations that have been the first to see through the Jew and have been the first to fight him are going to take his place in the domination of the world.
The English and Americans discuss practically nothing but air warfare. Their successful raid on the German dams created a great sensation both in London and in Washington. Of course they know exactly what they have achieved by this attack. The former Berlin Reuter correspondent, Bettany, claimed that the plan for the attack stemmed from a Jew who emigrated from Berlin. I had this claim written up as a short news item for papers in the Reich, especially in the areas that suffered the disaster. This shows once again how dangerous the Jews are and how right we are in putting them behind bars.
May 22, 1943 Goebbels' Diary:
The battle of the Warsaw Ghetto continues. The Jews are still resisting. On the whole, however, resistance is no longer dangerous and has virtually been broken. Within the area of the General Government assassinations, acts of sabotage, and raids by bandits are on the increase. Conditions there are in some respects truly chaotic. Unfortunately the Fuehrer has refrained from a personnel change in the General Government as intended. Greiser returned to Posen without accomplishing anything. Frank is to be given one more chance to prove his worth. I should have thought it better to kick Frank right out. When you are once convinced that a man is in no way equal to his job, the necessary conclusions should be drawn.
May 26, 1943 Goebbels' Diary:
An interesting report tells about the conference at Casablanca. According to this report it was decided that the Anglo-Saxon powers would create a national home for the Jews in Palestine after their eventual victory. This national home is to take care of 20,000,000 Jews. These Jews are to engage chiefly in intellectual and managerial tasks; the work is to be done, as decided in Casablanca, by middle European and especially German workers. For this a large-scale resettlement would be necessary that would, to a certain extent, depopulate Central Europe. It isn't hard to imagine what's going on in the brains of these plutocratic statesmen who are dependent upon the Jews; but we also know what we must do to protect the German people against such a fate.
July 28, 1943:
FDR delivers a Fireside Chat:
November 1, 1943 Moscow Declaration:
Today our production of ships is almost unbelievable. This year we are producing over nineteen million tons of merchant shipping and next year our production will be over twenty-one million tons. And in addition to our shipments across the Atlantic, we must realize that in this war we are operating in the Aleutians, in the distant parts of the Southwest Pacific, in India, and off the shores of South America. For several months we have been losing fewer ships by sinkings, and we have been destroying more and more U-boats...
November 8, 1943:
Let those who have hitherto not imbrued their hands with innocent blood beware lest they join the ranks of the guilty, for most assuredly the three Allied powers will pursue them to the uttermost ends of the earth and will deliver them to their accusers in order that justice may be done. The above declaration is without prejudice to the case of German criminals whose offenses have no particular geographical localization and who will be punished by joint decision of the government of the Allies...
Hitler speaks in Munich:
The Americans and the English are now planning the reconstruction of the world. I am now planning the reconstruction of Germany. There will, however, be one difference: whereas the reconstruction of the world by the Americans and the English will not take place, the reconstruction of Germany by National Socialism will be carried out precisely and according to plan.
December 24, 1943:
FDR delivers a Fireside Chat:
During the last two days in (at) Teheran, Marshal Stalin, Mr. Churchill and I looked ahead--ahead to the days and months and years that (which) will follow Germany's defeat. We were united in determination that Germany must be stripped of her military might and be given no opportunity within the foreseeable future to regain that might. The United Nations have no intention to enslave the German people. We wish them to have a normal chance to develop, in peace, as useful and respectable members of the European family. But we most certainly emphasize that word "respectable"--for we intend to rid them once and for all of Nazism and Prussian militarism and the fantastic and disastrous notion that they constitute the Master Race...
From the IMT testimony of Moritz von Schirmeister: In this connection [the question of Fritzsche having influenced the German people in the idea of the master race and thus with having incited hatred against other nations], one must know that Dr. Goebbels could not at all use this Party dogma and myth. These are not things which attract the masses. To him the Party was a large reservoir in which as many different sections of the German people as possible should be united; and particularly this idea of the master race, perhaps on account of his own physical disability, he ridiculed and rejected completely; it did not appeal to him . . . .
January 8, 1944:
A propaganda of hatred against other nations was quite contrary to the propaganda line as set out by Dr. Goebbels, for he hoped, and to the end he clung to this hope like a fata morgana, that one day he could change from the policy of "against England" and "against America" to the policy of "with England" and "with America." And if one wants to do that one cannot foster hatred against a nation. He wanted to be in line with the nations, not against them.
From a "Hans Fritzsche Speaks" radio speech by Fritzsche: It is revealed clearly once more that not a new system of government, not a young nationalism, and not a new and well-applied socialism brought about this war. The guilty ones are exclusively the Jews and the plutocrats. If discussion of the postwar problems brings this to light so clearly, we welcome it as a contribution for later discussions and also as a contribution to the fight we are waging now, for we refuse to believe that world history will entrust its future development to those powers which have brought about this war. This clique of Jews and plutocrats have invested their money in armaments and they had to see to it that they would get their interests and sinking funds; hence they unleashed this war.
From Fritzsche's IMT testimony: The topic of this speech was the differences of opinion which existed at that time between the Polish Exile Government in London--and the Soviet Government in Moscow. There was a matter of territorial demands which they disagreed on, and on this occasion I quoted the London Times word for word. The London Times said that "the relinquishing of Polish regions, as demanded by Russia, was only a small and modest price for the absolute and reliable guarantee to Poland of help through the Soviet Union." This statement made by the London Times I used as a matter of course in a polemic statement in which I said, "Well, if the Times had written in such a strain in August of 1939, that it was only about a city or a road, then surely there would not have been any war," and so forth. On this occasion I should like to state that all of these quotations, almost without exception, show only the combination of the concept Jew, Plutocrat, Bolshevik. The question of race was not the primary one, but the thing that was primary was the ideological struggle as it seemed, to my mind, to be taking place.
From the IMT testimony of Moritz von Schirmeister: In May or June 1944 I talked to Fritzsche in his apartment about the fact that on the day of these outrages [against the Jews] he had said to me, "Schirmeister, can one participate in this sort of thing and still be a decent human being?" And then Herr Fritzsche said to me, "You know, I have really always been an anti-Semitic, but only in the sense that some of the Jews themselves also were." ... They [Fritzsche's anti-Semitic statements in various of his radio speeches] had been ordered by the Minister. We had seen from the British press that a certain anti-Semitic current in Britain was growing, but a law in England stopped this from appearing in the British press. Now the Minister tried to find a common factor against which our propaganda abroad could be directed. This common factor was the Jew. To give support to the foreign propaganda by the Reich, Herr Fritzsche received orders that in Germany, too, he should touch upon this subject in some of his broadcasts.
July 1, 1944:
From a radio speech by Fritzsche:
We Germans have been very reserved in our reports on the effect of the new weapons. We could afford this reserve, knowing that sometime or other Britain would break the silence with which she tried at first to gloss over the effect of the V-1. We were right about it. Reports from Britain during the last few days, and especially today, prove that the effects of the first thrusts with the new weapon 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 about this.
From Fritzsche's testimony before the IMT: 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 reads, "We can only repeat that for us the V-1 is the means with which we can break the enemy terror.
From the IMT Affidavit of Franz Scharping: The increasing effect of English and American air bombardments on German cities caused Hitler and his more intimate advisers to seek drastic measures of reprisal. Beginning in the fall of 1944, Dr. Goebbels also spoke about this frequently during his so-called conferences of ministers, to which numerous officials and technicians of his ministry were convened and which, as a rule, I also attended. On such occasions Dr. Goebbels stated that there was no longer any objection to handing over crew members of crashed planes to the wrath of the people.
From Fritzsche's IMT testimony: I never advocated in my propaganda speeches that the crews of aircraft which had been shot down should be killed. On the other hand, I know that Dr. Goebbels, for reasons of intimidation, ordered reports to be sent abroad already in the fall of 1944, reports to the effect that, to quote an example, an Anglo Saxon airplane which had machine-gunned church-goers in the street on a Sunday had been shot down and the members of the crew had been lynched by the people. Actually this report had no factual basis; it hardly could have been true, since it is quite improbable that an airplane is shot down at just such a moment.
December 17, 1944:
I know that Dr. Goebbels, through a circular letter addressed to the Gau Propaganda Offices, asked that details of such incidents, if they actually occurred, should be transmitted to him; but to my knowledge he did not receive any factual details of this sort. That was also the time in which he had an article on this subject written in Reich; I cannot recall the title of this article at the moment. In any event, this campaign, having died down in January or February, flared up again in the days after the air attack on Dresden, and the following incident occurred. Dr. Goebbels announced in the "11 o'clock morning conference," which has been mentioned quite frequently in this courtroom, that in the Dresden attack 40,000 people had been killed. It was not known then that the actual figure was a considerably higher one. Dr. Goebbels added that in one way or another an end would now have to be put to this terror; and Hitler was firmly determined to have English, American, and Russian flyers shot in Dresden in numbers equal to the figure of Dresden inhabitants who had lost their lives in this air attack. Then he turned to me and asked me to prepare and announce this action. There followed an incident: I jumped up and refused to do this. Dr. Goebbels broke off the conference, asked me to come to his room, and there a very heated discussion developed between us.
Finally I had persuaded him at least to the point where he promised me to use his influence with Hitler himself, so that this plan would not be carried through. I then spoke to Ambassador Ruble, the liaison man of the Foreign Office and asked him to enlist the aid of his minister to the same end. I also requested State Secretary Naumann to speak along the same lines with Bormann, whose predominant influence was well known.
Following that, I had a discussion--under the existing regulations this was not really permitted--with the representative of the protecting power. In confidence, I gave him certain indications about the plan of which I had heard and asked him whether he could suggest or supply me with some argument or some means for countering this plan more intensively. He said he would attend to the matter with the utmost speed and he called me up on the following morning. We had a second discussion, and he told me that in the meantime a prospect for an exchange of prisoners had been held out to him-that is, an exchange of German and English prisoners-to comprise, I believe, 50,000 men . . . .
It appeared to me that at a time when we had the opportunity of effecting an exchange of prisoners of war, all thought of an action which was quite outside all human laws had to be repressed; that is, if there was talk about an exchange of prisoners of war, the idea of a gigantic shooting of prisoners had to be shunted into the background.
I conclude briefly. This plan was discussed. I told Dr. Goebbels about it; and it was discussed in the evening with Hitler, according to concurring reports which I had from two different sources. By some strange accident the offer itself ran aground somewhere along the bureaucratic channels many days after the settlement of this exciting incident...in the autumn of 1944 I did not know this order. I have to be extremely careful since I am under oath. I believe I heard of the order only here in this courtroom, but that is somewhat confused in my memory with the campaign of Dr. Goebbels which I have just described...at the time when Dr. Goebbels related the plan, I believed that Hitler wished to carry through this action . . . . I had no doubt that Goebbels also approved it...I cannot say with certainty whether Bormann was in favor of it; he was the only other concerned. I do know, however, that Von Ribbentrop, through Ambassador Ruble, made an attempt to dissuade Hitler from this step. He opposed Hitler's plan.
From a Goebbels article in Das Reich
January 13, 1945:
The time to make history is short, and he who does not use the opportunity fails. The burdens of such a time certainly may seem unbearable, but those burdens decide which nation is called to victory and which is damned to defeat...
From a "Hans Fritzsche Speaks" radio speech:
If Jewry provided a link between such divergent elements as plutocracy and Bolshevism and if Jewry was first able to work successfully in the democratic countries in preparing this war against Germany, it has by now placed itself unreservedly on the side of Bolshevism which, with its entirely mistaken slogans of racial freedom against racial hatred, has created the very conditions the Jewish race requires in its struggle for domination over other races . . . . Not the last result of German resistance on all the fronts, so unexpected to the enemy, is the fruition of a development which began in the prewar years, that is, the process of subordinating British policy to far-reaching Jewish points of view. This development started long before this when Jewish emigrants from Germany commenced their warmongering against us from British and American soil . . . . This whole attempt, aiming at the establishment of Jewish world domination, was obviously made at a time when the national-racial consciousness had been too far awakened to promise success to the undertaking.
From Fritzsche's IMT testimony: On really serious questions of policy and the conduct of war I did not commit a single falsification and did not consciously use a single lie. How often I myself became the victim of a falsehood or a lie I cannot say after the revelations of this Trial. The same is true, as far as I know, of all my fellow workers, but I do not by any means want to deny that I and my fellow workers selected news and quotations following a certain tendency. It is the curse of propaganda during war that one works only with black and white. Only a few great minds remain independent. I believe that this painting in black and white is a luxury which also cannot be afforded any longer.
January 27, 1945:
As to the Propaganda Ministry itself, as such, I must say that I can only judge of the one-twelfth, that is the one section of which I was in charge at any time. But to my knowledge it is a mistake to believe that in the Propaganda Ministry thousands of little lies were hatched out. In details we worked quite cleanly and honestly, technically even perfectly. If we had lied on a thousand small things, the enemy would have been able to deal with us more easily than was the case. But decisive for such a news machine is not the detail but the final fundamental basis on which propaganda is built. Decisive is the belief in the incorruptibility of the leaders of the state, on which every journalist must rely and this basis is shaken by what has become known today of mass murders, of senseless atrocities, and it is shaken by the doubt in the honesty of Hitler's protestations for peace, the factual details of which I am not in a position to judge . . . .
I know very well that international law places no restrictions on propaganda, especially propaganda during war. I also know very well that only in a very few individual treaties between states are there regulations about the use of propaganda; for example in the German-Polish treaty and in the German-Soviet Union treaty. But in all my life as a journalist I have emphasized that the lack of international regulations as to propaganda is no excuse for lies. I always emphasized the moral responsibility of the journalist and newsman. I did so long before the war in an international discussion with Radio Luxembourg but it would lead too far afield to go into that here. If last May I did not seek death, one of the reasons for this was my wish--I wanted to render an account of where, in that system, there were the pure idealism and the heroic sacrifices of millions, and where there were lies and the brutality which did not shrink from committing crimes.
From the notes of a Fuehrer conference:
Hitler: Do you think the English are enthusiastic about all the Russian developments?
January 30, 1945:
Jodl: No, of course not. They have quite different plans. Perhaps we'll discover the full extent of their plans later.
Goering: They certainly didn't plan that we hold them off while the Russians conquer all of Germany . . . . If this goes on we will get a telegram (from the English) in a few days. They were not counting on us defending ourselves step by step...holding them off like madmen while the Russians drive deeper and deeper into Germany, and practically have all of Germany now...
Jodl: The English have always regarded the Russians with suspicion.
Hitler: I have given orders that we shall play a trick on the English--an information sheet telling them the Russians are organizing 200,000 of our men (German POWs) led by German officers, all of them infected with Communism, and they will be marched into Germany. I have ordered this report to be delivered to the English. I have discussed it with the Foreign Minister (Ribbentrop). That will be like sticking them with a needle.
Goering: They entered the war to prevent us from going East, not to have the East reaching out to the Atlantic.
Hitler: That's quite clear. It is something abnormal. The English newspapers are already saying bitterly: Is there any sense in this war?
Goering: On the other hand I have read a report in Braune Blaetter that they can support the Russians with their air force. They can reach the Russian forces with their heavy bombers, even though it is a long flight. But the information comes from an absurd source.
Hitler: Tactically, the English cannot support them. Since we don't know where the Russians are and where we are, how on earth can the English know?Hitler then assures the assembled participants that this strategy--instilling the fear of unchecked Russian expansionism in the hearts of the British and Americans--will yet prevail. However, the conference ends with no decision being made as to the defense of the Oder. (Payne, Shirer, Read)
Hitler delivers a radio address:
March 31, 1945:
I particularly address myself to German youth. In vowing ourselves to one another, we are entitled to stand before the Almighty and ask Him for His grace and His blessing. No people can do more than that everybody who can fight, fights, and that everybody who can work, works, and that they all sacrifice in common, filled with but one thought: to safeguard freedom and national honor and thus the future of life. However grave the crisis may be at the moment, it will, despite everything, finally be mastered by our unalterable will...
A secret codicil (kept secret for over 50 years) to the Yalta agreement is completed. Stalin agrees that as the Russians liberate POW camps in Germany, American and British POW's will be turned over to the American and British forces. Likewise, as the Americans and British liberate German POW camps, Russian POW's will, in all cases, be returned to Russia. Unfortunately, while American and British POW's want to return to their own forces, Russian POW's, in the main, do not want to return to Russia because they know what awaits them. Stalin has made it clear that he considers Russian prisoners traitors to communism. Death or exile will be their fate. FDR and Churchill, aware of these facts, agree anyway; it is hard to see how they could do otherwise without running the risk of having their own troops become virtual hostages. Note: This is one of the events collectively referred to by some as the 'Allied Holocaust.' Ultimately, two million Soviet citizens will be sent back to the communists where they will either be immediately executed or sent to die in the Gulag.
April 12, 1945:
President Roosevelt dies; Truman becomes President. The Allies liberate Buchenwald and Belsen concentration camps.
April 13, 1945:
Former US Attorney General and now Associate Justice of the US Supreme Court, Justice Robert Jackson, speaks before the American Society of International Law:
April 16, 1945:
All else will fail unless we can devise instruments of adjudication, and conciliation, so reasonable and acceptable to the masses of people that future governments will have always an honorable alternative to war. The time when these institutions will be most needed will probably not come until the names that signify leadership in today’s world will have passed into history...
As the Soviets near Berlin and the Americans enter Nuremberg, Hitler addresses what's left of his forces:
April 18, 1945:
The Jewish Bolshevik arch-enemy has gone over to the attack with his masses for the last time. He attempts to smash Germany and to eradicate our nation. You soldiers from the east today already know yourselves to a large extent what fate is threatening, above all, German women, girls and children. While old men and children are being murdered, women and girls are humiliated to the status of barracks prostitutes. Others are marched off to Siberia. We have anticipated this thrust, and since January of this year everything has been done to build up a strong front. Mighty artillery is meeting the enemy. Our infantry's casualties were replenished by countless new units. Reserve units, new formations and the Volkssturm reinforce our front. This time the Bolsheviks will experience Asia's old fate. That is, he must and will bleed to death...
German forces in the Ruhr surrender.
April 20, 1945:
On his fifty-sixth and last birthday, Adolf Hitler appoints Doenitz (a naval officer) commander of German ground forces in the North, and appoints Kesselring (an air officer) as commander of German ground forces in the South. (Read)
From Fritzsche's IMT testimony: I remained in Berlin, in violation of the order which I was given. When Hitler and his entourage took the way of suicide or fled toward the West, I was, to my knowledge, the only higher official to remain in Berlin. At that time I gathered together the employees of the highest Reich authorities, who had been left to their fate, in the ruins of my office. Hitler had left behind an order to fight on. The commander of Berlin could not be found. Therefore, as a civilian, I felt obliged to offer to the Russian Marshal Zhukov the capitulation. As I was sending off the emissaries who were to go across the battle-line, the last military adjutant of Hitler appeared--General Burgdorff--and was going to shoot me in compliance with Hitler's order. Nevertheless, we capitulated, even though it was signed by the commander, who had been found in the meantime. Thus, I believe I kept my oath, the oath which I had taken to the German people in the person of Hitler.
April 21, 1945:
Dr. Goebbels laments the last decisive break-through of the Russians near Berlin: After all, the German people did not want it otherwise. The German people by a great majority decided through a plebiscite on the withdrawal from the League of Nations and against a policy of yielding and chose, instead, a policy of courage and honor; thereby the German people themselves chose the war which they have now lost.
From Fritzsche's IMT testimony: These were the last words which I heard from Dr. Goebbels and these words are untrue. I declare under oath: Dr. Goebbels had never previously given such significance to that plebiscite. Never had he given it that interpretation. The exact opposite was the case. At the time of this plebiscite, the German people were explicitly given once again a solemn assurance of the will for peace on the part of Hitler and his associates. Therefore, I am convinced that Hitler and at least some of his colleagues had deliberately lied to the people on decisive points, right from the beginning of their political career; and, something that is not so important to history, I personally felt deceived on these points, too.
April 21, 1945:
The Red Army reaches Berlin.
From Fritzsche's IMT testimony: ... the most impressive false news of which I was a victim was given out in the last few days of the war. I must describe it for the sake of clearing up matters. In the days when Berlin was surrounded by the Russian Army the people of Berlin were told that a relief army, the army of General Wenk, was marching on Berlin; that there was no more fighting on the Western Front. The news was given out that Ribbentrop had gone to the Western Front and had concluded a treaty there, and handbills were printed in Berlin which contained approximately this text: "Soldiers of the Wenk army, we Berliners know that you are as far as Potsdam. Hurry, come quickly, help us." These handbills were printed at a time when the Wenk army no longer existed and had already been captured. These handbills were apparently dropped over Berlin inadvertently and were to give the inhabitants of Berlin new courage. That happened in the days when Hitler, according to Speer's testimony, had already told his entourage that there was no use trying to do anything for the rest of the German people.
April 22, 1945:
From the last of Goebbels' articles in Das Reich
April 29, 1945:
This is the age of wars between nations. When whole peoples are threatened, whole peoples must defend themselves. The enemy does not want to take a province from us or push us back to more favorable strategic borders; he wants to cut our very arteries by destroying our mines and factories, destroying our national substance. If he succeeds, Germany will become a cemetery. Our people will starve and perish, aside from the millions who will be deported to Siberia as slave labor. In such a situation, any means is justified...
While attempting to escape to Switzerland, Italian Premier Benito Mussolini is captured by Italian anti-Fascist forces and summarily executed, along with his girlfriend, in Dongo, on Lake Como. Their bodies are hung upside down on meat-hooks from the roof of an Esso gas station, then stoned and defiled by a mob.
April 29, 1945:
Hitler dictates his Political Testament in his bunker in besieged Berlin:
April 30, 1945:
Many very brave men and women have resolved to link their lives to mine to the very end. I have requested them, and finally ordered them, not to do so, but instead to take part in the continuing struggle of the nation. I ask the commanders of the army, navy, and air force to strengthen by all possible means the spirit of resistance of our soldiers in the spirit of National Socialism, emphasizing especially that I too, as founder and creator of this movement, have preferred death to cowardly flight or even capitulation. May it be one day a part of the code of honor; as it is already in the navy, that the surrender of an area or of a town is impossible, and above all in this respect the leaders should give a shining example of faithful devotion to duty unto death...
An announcement on the German wireless: "It has been reported from the Fuehrer's headquarters that our Fuehrer Adolf Hitler has died this afternoon...
May 2, 1945:
The Soviets capture what's left of the Reich Chancellery in Berlin.
May 2, 1945:
Fritzsche is captured by the Red Army in Berlin. Note: Only two of the defendants are unfortunate enough to have been captured by the Soviets.
From Fritzsche's IMT testimony: The fact was that Hitler tried to use this defeat for the extermination of the German people, as Speer has now horribly confirmed and as I was able to observe during the last phase of the conflict in Berlin when, through deceit by raising false hopes, boys of 15, 14,13, and l2 years of age were equipped with small arms to fight against tanks and called into battle, boys who otherwise might have been the hope for future reconstruction. Hitler found escape in death, leaving behind him the order to keep on fighting. He also left behind him the official report that he had died in battle. I learned that he had committed suicide; and thus my last public statement, on 2 May 1945, was to let everybody know of this suicide, for I wanted to kill a Hitler legend in the bud.
May 2, 1945:
Executive Order of US President Truman:
May 4, 1945:
Associate Justice Robert H. Jackson is hereby designated to act as the Representative of the United States and as its Chief of Counsel in preparing and prosecuting charges of atrocities and war crimes against such of the leaders of the European Axis powers and their principal agents and accessories as the United States may agree with any of the United Nations to bring to trial before an international tribunal...
Fritzsche is made to identify the charred bodies of Goebbels and his family. It will be several days before he is informed that he is under arrest, then he will be transported to the infamous prison Lubyanka. He will undergo months of severe solitary confinement before ultimately ending up in Nuremberg. (Heydecker, Maser)
May 7-8, 1945 VE Day
: The Allies formally accept the unconditional surrender of Nazi Germany.
May 9, 1945:
Stalin to Truman:
I thank you with all my heart for your friendly congratulations on the unconditional surrender of Hitler Germany. The peoples of the Soviet Union greatly appreciate the part played by the friendly American people in this liberation war. The joint effort of the Soviet, US, and British Armed Forces against the German invaders, which has culminated in the latter’s complete rout and defeat, will go down in history as a model military alliance between our peoples. On behalf of the Soviet people and Government I beg you to convey my warmest greetings and congratulations on the occasion of this great victory to the American people and the gallant US Armed Forces.
June 5, 1945:
The Allies divide up Germany and Berlin and take over the government.
June 6, 1945:
Justice Jackson sends off a progress report to President Truman:
June 21, 1945:
The most elementary considerations for insuring a fair trial and for the success of our case suggest the imprudence of permitting these prisoners to be interviewed indiscriminately or to use the facilities of the press to convey information to each other and to criminals not yet captured. Our choice is between treating them as honorable prisoners of war with the privileges of their ranks, or to classify them as war criminals in which case they should be treated as such...
During a joint US-UK conference, Sir David Maxwell-Fyfe presents a list of ten defendants for consideration. Chosen mainly because their names are well known to the public, they are assumed to be criminals; little effort has yet to be made to determine the actual evidence that will be available against them. The initial ten: Goering, Hess (though the British warned that he was possibly insane), Ribbentrop, Ley (see October 25, 1945, below), Keitel, Streicher, Kaltenbrunner, Rosenberg, Frank and Frick. (Taylor)
June 26, 1945 International Conference on Military Trials:
From the minutes of this days Conference Session:
June 26, 1945:
: Our first task as prosecutors, as we see it, is to get the evidence in the case. We would not wait for any court to be set up to do that because we think of that as a prosecutor's function, and therefore we have already started work on it and have many people trying to examine captured orders and reports. We have interrogated prisoners of war, interrogated civilian prisoners taken since the surrender, interrogated witnesses, and gathered all of the evidence we can get in proof of the charges. Then we envisage the preparation of an indictment or bill of accusation you can call it by various names--in which we would select persons indicated by the evidence to be guilty, they would be charged with crimes, and that indictment would then be presented to the court. That would be the first time there would be any contact between the prosecutors and the court in our system--when the charges are presented. That brings the case into court--when you have an indictment. The Court would then have nothing before it except the indictment but it would fix the time of trial and might assign counsel. On the trial date we would produce in court all of our evidence. The court would not have the evidence merely as a result of its being gathered by the prosecutors but it would have received it in open session. Documentary proof, as we call it, would be offered and some facts would be established by "judicial notice", which means it would not be necessary to prove them...
The United Nations Charter is signed in San Francisco.
July 1, 1945:
US, British, and French occupying forces move into Berlin. HQ USFET, with main headquarters at Frankfurt, Germany, is established.
July 7, 1945:
US Supreme Court Associate Justice Robert Jackson visits a city 91% destroyed by Allied bombs: Nuremberg. He inspects the Palace of Justice and decides to recommend it as a site for the upcoming trials, even though the Soviets much prefer that the trials take place in Berlin, within their own zone of occupation.
July 14, 1945:
SHAEF (Supreme Headquarters Allied Expeditionary Force) is dissolved and, concerning the US forces, is replaced by USFET (US Forces, European Theater).
July 16, 1945 International Conference on Military Trials:
From the minutes of this days Conference Session:
July 17, 1945 International Conference on Military Trials:
: ... we have a considerable group of people who we think come under this classification as major war criminals. I think we have various listings running as high as 350 which the Judge Advocate General's office has classified as such. Our list runs into quite a number of people. I don't want them left on our hands. We have tried to group them to avoid more than one trial. The complication is in trying to reach in a single trial a very large number of people, but we do not want to go through a large number of trials if we can avoid it...
From the minutes of this days Four Power conference session:
July 19, 1945 International Conference on Military Trials:
: It would not be necessary to write down in the charter anything about the rights of the defendant not giving answer, because, if he refuses to give answer to the prosecution and to the counsel and to the Tribunal, nothing is to be done, and therefore we do not think it would be necessary to point it out in the charter. But as regards the rights of the prosecutor to interrogate, that is very important. If we do write anything about the defendant's right not to answer, then it would look as if we were preparing the ground for him to do so, and, if he knows about it, he will take advantage of it and refuse to answer. Therefore it is not necessary to mention it...
From the minutes of today’s Conference Session:
July 21, 1945:
: ... The definition of "war criminals" was set forth in the Moscow and Crimea declarations, and it is our opinion we should act on those declarations. If we turn once again to the terms of the Moscow declaration, we see that apparently the conception of what is a war criminal is quite clear. But the difficulty is in trying to confine this definition to a legal formula which would form the basis of a trial of these war criminals. In my opinion we should not try to draw up this definition for the future. The critics will try to find any inconsistencies and any points that are not clear and to turn these points against those who draw up the definition in the charter. In my opinion our task should be to form the basis for the trial not of any criminals who may commit international crimes in the future but of those who have already done so...
Justice Jackson returns to Nuremberg to inspect possible housing accommodations with British and French representatives.
July 25, 1945 International Conference on Military Trials:
During this days Four Power conference session: "Justice Jackson: ...I think that every one of the top prisoners that we have is guilty...
July 31, 1945 From the letters of Thomas Dodd
, Executive Trial Counsel for the Prosecution at Nuremberg:
Much gossip is abroad about friction between the US, Great Britain, France and Russia over these trials. The truth is there is no trouble between US, Britain and France--but the Russians are just holding up the whole proceeding. They are impossible, in my opinion. I do not know the details but I do know they are not cooperative on this problem so far. I believe they want to put on another Russian farce for a trial. If that happens, I go home, and promptly! The English appointed their chief counsel 21 days after the US appointed Jackson (who was the first to be appointed). The French followed soon after. Thus far no one has been appointed for Russia. Our people meet with certain Russian representatives but nothing happens. When representatives of the United Nations went to Nuremberg to look it over as a possible site for the trial only the Russians failed to make the trip.
August 1, 1945 Potsdam Conference:
At the Twelfth Plenary Session, the subject of trying Nazi war criminals is raised:
Truman: You are aware that we have appointed Justice Jackson as our representative on the London Commission. He is an outstanding judge and a very experienced jurist. He has a good knowledge of legal procedure. Jackson is opposed to any names of war criminals being mentioned and says that this will hamper their work. He assures us that the trial will be ready within thirty days and that their should be no doubt concerning our view of these men.
August 2, 1945 International Conference on Military Trials:
Stalin: Perhaps we could name fewer persons, say three.
Bevin: Our jurists take the same view as the Americans.
Stalin: And ours take the opposite view. But perhaps we shall agree that the first list of war criminals to be brought to trial should be published not later than in one month...
During this days Four Power conference session:
August 6, 1945:
: There is one question. What is meant in the English by "cross-examination"? Lord Chancellor
: In an English or American trial, after a witness has given testimony for the prosecution he can be questioned by the defense in order that the defense may test his evidence verify his evidence, to see whether it is really worthy of credit. In our trials the defendant or his counsel is always entitled to put questions in cross-examination. And I think the same situation prevails in the courts of France. Judge Falco
: Yes, the same. Niktchenko
: According to Continental procedure, that is very widely used too. The final form would be then, "The Defendant shall have the right to conduct his own defense before the Tribunal, to cross-examine any witness called by the prosecution...
The United States drops an atomic bomb on Hiroshima.
August 8, 1945:
The London Agreement
is signed. The Soviets declare war on Japan and invade Manchuria.
August 12, 1945:
Justice Jackson releases a statement to the American press:
August 15, 1945:
The representatives of the United Kingdom have been headed by the Lord Chancellor and the Attorney General. The Soviet Republic has been represented by the Vice President of its Supreme Court and by one of the leading scholars of Soviet jurisprudence. The Provisional Government of France has sent a judge of its highest court and a professor most competent in its jurisprudence. It would not be a happy forecast for the future harmony of the world if I could not agree with such representatives of the world's leading systems of administering justice on a common procedure for trial of war criminals...
Proclamation of V-J Day.
August 15, 1945:
The High Court of Justice finds Marshal Henri-Philippe Petain guilty of plotting against the French republic and of intelligence with the enemy. The court sentences the former Vichy France leader to death. His sentence will later be commuted to life imprisonment.
August 21, 1945:
The US government officially ends Lend-Lease assistance to the Allies.
August 23, 1945:
The four Chief Prosecutors meet in London. Even though Trevor-Roper's findings are not yet known, they determine that Hitler is dead. They also decide, however, that Bormann may very well be alive, but the Russian member is uncertain whether or not he is a captive of the Red Army; it is being investigated.
August 25, 1945:
Representatives of the Big Four (Jackson, Fyfe, Gros, and Niktchenko), agree on a list of 22 defendants (from the original list of 122), 21 of which are in custody. The 22nd, Martin Bormann, is presumed to be in Soviet custody, but Niktchenko cannot confirm it. The list is scheduled to be released to the press on October 28. (Conot)
August 28, 1945:
Just in time to stop the release of the names of the 22, Niktchenko informs the other three Allied representatives that, unfortunately, Bormann is not in Soviet custody. However, he announces that the valiant Red Army has captured two vile Nazis, Erich Raeder, and Hans Fritzsche, and offers them up for trial. Though neither man was on anyone's list of possible defendants, it emerges that their inclusion has become a matter of Soviet pride; Raeder and Fritzsche being the only two ranking Nazis unlucky enough to have been caught in the grasp of the advancing Russian bear. (Conot)
August 29, 1945:
The final list of defendants is released to the press. Bormann, though not in custody, is still listed, though there is no longer a Krupp on the list. (Conot)
August 29, 1945
: The Manchester Guardian
reacts to the release of the list of defendants:
Grave precedents are being set. For the first time the leaders of a state are being tried for starting a war and breaking treaties. We may expect after this that at the end of any future war the victors--whether they have justice on their side or not, as this time we firmly believe we have--will try the vanquished.
August 30, 1945:
The Glasgow Herald
reacts to the release of the list of defendants:
Scanning this list, one cannot but be struck by the completeness of the Nazi catastrophe. Of all these men, who but a year ago enjoyed wide influence or supreme power, not one could find a refuge in a continent united in hate against them.
September 17, 1945 From the letters of Thomas Dodd:
Yesterday, Jackson told the press that the US would be ready to start the trial on November 1. By the way, the Russian representative [Niktchenko] had been suddenly withdrawn. No explanations--mere notice that he will no longer represent Russia in this matter. After weeks of negotiating, weeks of work with him as chief counsel for Russia, he simply goes home and does not come back. These Russians are impossible. What effect this will have on the trial or the trial; date no one knows, but you can imagine the confusion that may arise out of it.
October 5, 1945:
Andrus loses his first German prisoner to suicide; Dr Leonard Conti, Hitler's Head of National Hygiene.
October 8, 1945 From the letters of Thomas Dodd:
It is a secret--but Dr (Leonardo) Conti, on of those who worked medical experiments on concentration camp inmates, hung himself in the jail Saturday morning. No announcement has been made so far so keep this to yourself.
October 9, 1945:
A French court sentences Pierre Laval, the Vice Premier of Vichy France, to death for collaborating with the Germans.
October 14, 1945:
British representative Sir Geoffrey Lawrence is elected The President of the IMT (International Military Tribunal).
October 15, 1945:
Pierre Laval, the former Vice Premier of Vichy France, is executed.
October 18, 1945:
Fritzsche and Raeder, the two defendants in Russian captivity, are presented with a copy of the Indictment in Berlin by a team of Soviet officers, stenographers, photographers, and interpreters. Fritzsche says of the Indictment: "If I am accused of having killed a man, then I can prove the contrary . . . . But if I am accused of being the devil, there is no proof against that. Tens of thousands ... have died for that reason." (Taylor, Maser)
October 19, 1945:
British Major Airey Neave presents the defendants already in Nuremberg each in turn with a copy of the indictment. Gilbert, the Nuremberg psychologist, asks the accused to write a few words on the documents margin indicating their attitude toward the development. Fritzsche, when he finally arrives in Nuremberg, will write: "It is the most horrible indictment of all time. Only one thing is more horrible: the German people's indictment of those who betrayed their idealism." (Heydecker)
October 21, 1945 From the diary of the British Alternate Judge, Mr. Justice Birkett:
He [Jackson] feared the Tribunal was taking on functions which it was not able to carry out . . . . The prosecutors had been prepared to do these things and had written orders ready. They had planned to assign counsel to the defendants if necessary. He felt the problem of interpretation was important and that the General Secretary could not handle it . . . .
October 24, 1945:
He would emphasize that the court should avoid to the utmost the taking on of administrative responsibilities . . . . This is not an ordinary trial. Some of the proprieties went by the way when General Niktchenko, who had been the Soviet Prosecutor, was made a member of the Tribunal . . . . He (Jackson) did not think the defense would want many witnesses. They did not dispute the fact that crimes had been committed. Their defense would be that a particular individual did not participate. They would attempt to lay everything on Hitler.
Vidkun Quisling is executed for treason.
October 24, 1945:
The United Nations is officially established when 29 nations sign the United Nations Charter.
October 25, 1945:
Andrus loses yet another Nazi as the defendant Dr Robert Ley, Hitler's head of the German Labor Front (Deutsche Arbeitsfront
, DAF), commits suicide in his Nuremberg cell.
October 29, 1945:
Only seven of the defendants have obtained counsel by this date.
From Inside the Third Reich by Albert Speer: During the preliminary investigation the prisoners were prevented from meeting. Now this regulation was relaxed, so that we crossed paths more often in the prison yard, where we could talk without surveillance. The trial, the indictment, the validity of the international tribunal, profound indignation at the disgrace--again and again as we walked our rounds of the yard I heard the same subjects and opinions. Among the twenty other defendants I found only one who shared my views. That was Fritzsche, with whom I could consider in detail the principle of responsibility. Later Seyss-Inquart also showed some understanding of this. With the others, all discussion was useless and wearing. We were speaking different languages.
September 5, 1945:
President Truman proposes naming former attorney general Francis Biddle as the American judge at Nuremberg during a meeting in Washington, DC with Justice Jackson. The Justice, who does not think highly of Biddle, suggests alternatives, but Biddle will ultimately get the appointment.
September 10, 1945:
A Norwegian court finds Vidkun Quisling guilty of treason.
Prior to the trial, the defendants are given an IQ test. Administered by Dr. Gilbert, the Nuremberg Prison psychologist, and Dr. Kelly, the psychiatrist, the test includes ink blots and the Wechsler-Bellevue test. Fritzsche scores 130. Note: After the testing, Gilbert comes to the conclusion that all the defendants are 'intelligent enough to have known better.' Andrus is not impressed by the results: "From what I've seen of them as intellects and characters I wouldn't let one of these supermen be a buck sergeant in my outfit." (Tusa)
November 19, 1945:
After a last inspection by Andrus, the defendants are escorted handcuffed into the empty courtroom and given their assigned seats.
November 19, 1945:
The day before the trials opening, a motion is filed on behalf of all defense counsel:
November 20, 1945:
During the last decades public opinion in the world challenged with ever increasing emphasis the thesis that the decision of waging war is beyond good and evil. A distinction is being made between just and unjust wars and it is asked that the Community of States call to account the State which wages an unjust war and deny it, should it be victorious, the fruits of its outrage. More than that, it is demanded that not only should the guilty State be condemned and its liability be established, but that furthermore those men who are responsible for unleashing the unjust war be tried and sentenced by an International Tribunal. In that respect one goes now-a-days further than even the strictest jurists since the early middle ages. This thought is at the basis of the first three counts of the Indictment which have been put forward in this Trial, to wit, the Indictment for Crimes against Peace. Humanity insists that this idea should in the future be more than a demand, that it should be valid international law. However, today it is not as yet valid international law...
The Allied Control Council approves the transfer of almost 7 million Germans from Hungary, Poland, Austria, Czechoslovakia and the German regions east of the Oder-Niesse Line. Through the expulsion of the Germans, these East European countries hope to avoid future problems with German minorities in their territories. Estimates of deaths associated with the expulsions are in the range of 1-3 million, including deaths from all causes. Note: Many of these deaths are the result of the privations of a forced and hasty migration in a postwar environment characterized by chaos, famine, crime, disease, and cold winter conditions, as well as ill-prepared evacuation plans and mindless homicide by vengeful mobs and individuals taking out their frustration on anyone smelling of the Swastika.
November 20, 1945:
Nuremberg Tribunal: On day 1 of the historic trial, the prosecutors take turns reading the Indictment in court. Unfortunately, no one had given any thought to the prisoners lunch break, so, for the first and only time during 218 days of court, the defendants eat their midday meal in the courtroom itself. This is the first opportunity for the entire group to mingle, and though some know each other quite well, their are many who've never met. The defendants do not speak much about the charges, but a few mention the improved quality of the food.
Fritzsche will later write: Anyone entering the courtroom would see a number of men in profound silence and an attitude of gravity. He would hear someone speaking somewhere but the words sounded muffled as if in private conversation. The uninitiated visitor witnessed to all intents and purposes nothing. At best he would see a silent theatre piece with surprisingly little action. There was nothing to indicate that here the victors were pronouncing men guilty of the outbreak and conduct of World War Two . . . . Only if he took up his headphones ... would he realize that anything at all was happening. What the speaker was saying, in such low tones that his neighbor could hardly hear him, then came to life. This was the curious picture of proceedings conducted in four languages simultaneously. (Maser)
November 21, 1945 Nuremberg Tribunal:
On day 2, the defendants enter their pleas: "The President: I will now call upon the defendants to plead guilty or not guilty to the charges against them. They will proceed in turn to a point in the dock opposite to the microphone... Fritzsche: As regards this Indictment, not guilty."
November 21, 1945 Nuremberg Tribunal:
Immediately following the pleas of the defendants, Justice Jackson delivers his opening statement:
November 29, 1945 Nuremberg Tribunal:
: ... Could they expect us to make American custody a shelter for our enemies against the just wrath of our Allies? Did we spend American lives to capture them only to save them from punishment? Under the principles of the Moscow Declaration, those suspected war criminals who are not to be tried internationally must be turned over to individual governments for trial at the scene of their outrages. Many less responsible and less culpable American-held prisoners have been and will continue to be turned over to other United Nations for local trial. If these defendants should succeed, for any reason, in escaping the condemnation of this Tribunal, or if they obstruct or abort this trial, those who are American-held prisoners will be delivered up to our continental Allies...
The prosecution presents as evidence a film shot by US troops as they were liberating various German concentration camps. That evening in their cells, the defendants react to the horrific images. Fritzsche: "No power in heaven or earth will erase this shame from my country--not in generations--not in centuries!" (Conot)
December 1, 1945 Nuremberg Tribunal:
On day 10, prosecution witness Erwin Lahousen is cross-examined by various defense counsel:
Dr Heinz Fritz
December 4, 1945 Nuremberg Tribunal:
(Counsel for Defendant Fritzsche): I would like to ask the witness a few questions. Witness, do you know that the Defendant Fritzsche, when in May 1942 he was transferred to the 6th Army as a soldier and there heard for the first time of the existence of an order for executions, recommended to the Commander-in-Chief of the 6th Army, Paulus, that he should have this order suspended within the jurisdiction of his army and have this decision made known by leaflets to be dropped over the Russian front? The President
: Be careful only to ask one question at a time. You have just asked three or four questions at once. Dr Fritz
: Yes, Sir. Is it known to you that Fritzsche gave Paulus the advice to rescind the order for his army sector? Lahousen
: That order had already been given to his army. Will you kindly give me the approximate date? Dr Fritz
: That was during the Russian campaign, as I mentioned yesterday. Most of these things occurred in May 1942. Lahousen
: No. I do not know anything about this in connection with Fritzsche. In connection with the name Reichenau, which was mentioned before, I do remember a conversation between Reichenau and Canaris at which I was present. It made a great impression on me. During this conversation, and in this circle, where there were several other gentlemen present, Reichenau held quite different ideas and judged things quite differently from what I had expected of him. Apart from that, I do not know anything about this particular question. Dr Fritz
: Also nothing concerning the fact that Paulus had rescinded the order within the sector of his army? Lahousen
: No, not in connection with the name Paulus, but in general I believe, as I also stated yesterday, that several army commanders, whose names are no longer in my memory today, or whose names have been recorded, were mentioned by me...
On day 12, Sir Hartley Shawcross, Chief Prosecutor for the United Kingdom, delivers his opening statement:
December 13, 1945 Nuremberg Tribunal:
: Human memory is very short. Apologists for defeated nations are sometimes able to play upon the sympathy and magnanimity of their victors, so that the true facts, never authoritatively recorded, become obscured and forgotten. One has only to recall the circumstances following upon the last World War to see the dangers to which, in the absence of any authoritative judicial pronouncement, a tolerant or a credulous people is exposed. With the passage of time the former tend to discount, perhaps because of their very horror, the stories of aggression and atrocity that may be handed down; and the latter, the credulous, misled by perhaps fanatical and perhaps dishonest propagandists, come to believe that it was not they but their opponents who were guilty of that which they would themselves condemn. And so we believe that this Tribunal, acting, as we know it will act notwithstanding its appointment by the victorious powers, with complete and judicial objectivity, will provide a contemporary touchstone and an authoritative and impartial record to which future historians may turn for truth, and future politicians for warning...
On day Nineteen
, the prosecution introduces grisly evidence from Buchenwald concentration camp, including the head of an executed Pole used as a paperweight by Commandant Karl Koch, and tattooed human skin allegedly favored by the commandant's wife for use in lampshades and other household furnishings.
December 14, 1945 Nuremberg Tribunal:
The tendency of some of the defendants to denounce, or at least criticize Hitler on the stand, leads to an outburst by Goering during lunch: "You men knew the Fuehrer. He would have been the first one to stand up and say 'I have given the orders and I take full responsibility.' But I would rather die ten deaths than to have the German sovereign subjected to this humiliation." Keitel fell silent, but Frank was not crushed: "Other sovereigns have stood before courts of law. He got us into this..." Doenitz, Funk, Keitel and Schirach suddenly get up and leave Goering's table." (Tusa)
December 20, 1945 Nuremberg Tribunal:
After this days session, the trial adjourns until Wednesday, the 2nd of January, for a Holiday break.
December 23, 1945 Nuremberg Tribunal:
Many of the defendants, most of whom are Protestant, attend Christmas Eve services conducted by Pastor Gerecke. Only Hess, Rosenberg and Streicher never attend services.
From Justice at Nuremberg by Robert E. Conot: Hess ... thought that the extra k-rations, which Dr. Pffuecker weekly divided among the defendants, were intended to poison him, and one day passed a note around the dock inquiring if any of his co-defendants were willing to offer themselves as guinea pigs. Fritzsche volunteered; and, as Hess looked on with alarm, tipped the packet of sugar that Hess handed him into his mouth. The next day, Hess wanted to know what had happened; and Fritzsche, willing to conduct further 'tests,' informed Hess that he had suffered some discomfort, but it was to early to tell. Goering jealously offered to join Fritzsche as a test subject; and together the two of them strove to relieve Hess of his sweets and supplemental rations.
January 7, 1946 Nuremberg Tribunal:
Fritzsche, cooperating completely with the desires of the Tribunal, completes and signs a detailed affidavit.
January 23, 1946 Nuremberg Tribunal:
On day 41, the prosecution presents its case against Fritzsche:
Captain Drexel A. Sprecher
February 7, 1946 Nuremberg Tribunal:
(Assistant US Prosecution Counsel): It seems appropriate to comment on this significant document before proceeding. It is before Your Honors as Document Number 3469-PS, beginning at document book Page 19. As I said, it has been translated into the four working languages of this proceeding.
This affidavit contains materials which have been extracted from interrogations of Fritzsche and many materials which Fritzsche volunteered to give himself, upon request made by me, through his Defense Counsel, Dr. Fritz. Some of the portions of the final affidavit were originally typed or handwritten by the Defendant Fritzsche himself during this Trial or during the holiday recess. All these materials were finally incorporated into one single affidavit.
This affidavit contains Fritzsche's account of the events which led to his entering the Propaganda Ministry and his account of his later connections with that Ministry. Before Fritzsche made some of the statements in the affidavit concerning the role of propaganda in relation to important foreign political events, he was shown illustrative headlines and articles from the German press at that time, so that he could refresh his recollection and make more accurate statements...
From Nuremberg Diary
by Gustave Gilbert:
[In response to the presentation in court that day by France] Fritzsche and Speer showed that Goering's stealing of art treasures was really the damaging accusation in German eyes. "They didn't even mention the worst part of it," Fritzsche pointed out, "that he even sold the stuff he stole. But that Frenchman who presented the case did a really good job--much more effective than name calling, and he cleverly left the word for it up to the court to decide." "You see," said Speer, "how can there be any talk of a united front among the defendants when that man has disgraced himself like that?" Goering came over after lunch while I was reading the papers to some of the others, looking over my shoulder. He started to wisecrack about having a grudge against the brain-doctor. The others walked away to avoid the pretense of joking with him, and Goering expressed great interest in the day's news. (Gilbert)
February 9, 1946 Nuremberg Tribunal:
From the notes of the Nuremberg Prison psychologist, Dr. Gilbert:
Von Schirach's attitude of remorse before the trial has completely disappeared since he came under Goering's influence again in the first weeks of the trial. The essential moral weakness of this narcissist has been clearly shown in the manner in which he has subdued his indignation at the 'betrayal' of German Youth by Hitler, under the influence of Goering's aggressive cynicism, nationalism, and pose of romantic heroism . . . . His original intention to write a denunciation of "Hitler's betrayal" to leave behind with me after he is executed, fizzled out, in spite of efforts by Major Kelly (the psychiatrist) and myself to encourage him to write it. He has acted as Goering's messenger to lay down the 'Party Line' to recalcitrant defendants like Speer...After yesterday's argument in which Goering impatiently attacked both Fritzsche and von Schirach as 'young weaklings' while he was by implication a more heroic nationalist, I decided the time was ripe to make another attempt to draw out von Schirach." (Taylor)
February 9, 1946 From the letters of Thomas Dodd:
Yesterday, Friday, opened the Russian case. General Rudenko made his statement and the Russian photographers were all over the place. It lasted most of the day and about 4 o'clock the Russkies began presenting evidence. I conferred with the Justice about segregating Goering from the other defendants for he is browbeating and threatening them--and particularly those who might admit some guilt. He wants all to hang together--and to prove that Roosevelt was the cause of the war! Well, we will take care of that defense all right but I do not think he is entitled to go on intimidating people as he has done for much of his life.
February 11, 1946 Nuremberg Tribunal:
From Nuremberg Diary
by Gustave Gilbert:
During the afternoon intermission, the military section blew up in an uproar, and they argued with heated invective with their attorneys and each other. "Ask that dirty pig if he's a traitor! Ask him if he has taken out Russian citizenship papers!" Goering shot at his attorney. Raeder saw me watching and shouted at Goering, "Careful! The enemy is listening!" Goering kept right on shouting to his attorney, and there was real bedlam around the prisoners dock. 'We've got to disgrace that traitor,' he roared. Keitel was still arguing with his attorney, and Raeder passed him a note with the same warning. At the other end of the dock, the attitude was more sympathetic to von (sic) Paulus. "You see," said Fritzsche, "that is the tragedy of the German people. He was caught between the devil and the deep blue sea." (Gilbert)
February 15, 1946 Nuremberg Tribunal:
Colonel Andrus tightens the rules for the defendants by imposing strict solitary confinement. This is part of a strategy designed to minimize Goering's influence among the defendants. (Tusa)
February 22, 1946 Nuremberg Tribunal:
In a further move to minimize his influence, Goering is now required to eat alone during the courts daily lunch break. The other defendants are split up into groups, with Fritzsche sharing a table with Speer, Funk, and Schirach in the so-called 'Youth Lunchroom.'
March 5, 1946 Nuremberg Tribunal:
Winston Churchill, now a private citizen, introduces the phrase Iron Curtain into the English language during his famous Cold War speech at Fulton, Missouri. Speer recorded his fellow defendants' reactions:
[The defendants showed] tremendous excitement. Hess suddenly stopped playing the amnesiac and reminded us how often he had predicted a great turning point that would put an end to the trial, rehabilitate all of us, and restore us to our ranks and dignities. Goering, too, was beside himself; he repeatedly slapped his thighs with his palms and boomed: "History will not be deceived. The Fuehrer and I always prophesied it. This coalition had to break up sooner or later." (Speer II)
April 13, 1946 Nuremberg Tribunal:
On day 108, Kaltenbrunner's defense calls Rudolf Franz Ferdinand Hoess, commandant of Auschwitz, to the stand. The court listens in silence to the horrible testimony concerning millions murdered. Only Doenitz and Goering manage a comment later to Gilbert. Both remark that Hoess is obviously a South German; a Prussian could never have done such things. (Tusa)
May 21, 1946 From the letters of Thomas Dodd:
I am continually shocked at the appearance of former German admirals, generals, cabinet officers, bankers, etc., who get on the witness stand under oath and proceed to lie in the most shameful manner. Little wonder that catastrophe attended them.
May 23, 1946 From the diary of the British Alternate Judge, Mr. Justice Birkett:
When I consider the utter uselessness of acres of paper and thousands of words and that life's slipping away. I moan for the shocking waste of time, I used to protest vigorously and suggest matters to save time, but I have now got completely dispirited and can only chafe in impotent despair.
June 22, 1946 From the letters of Thomas Dodd:
We finished von Papen and Speer and this morning we started von Neurath. Only Fritzsche remains in the dock.
June 26, 1946 Nuremberg Tribunal:
On day 164, Fritzsche testifies on his own behalf:
: Was Dr. Goebbels your only and direct superior? Fritzsche
: No. There were many offices between him and me at first, and still a few later on. This is the first times here in the dock, that I am without official superiors. Dr Fritz
: By the way, whom of the defendants did you know or with whom did you have official or personal relations? Fritzsche
: I had two or three official conversations, shortly after 1933, with Funk, who was then State Secretary in the Propaganda Ministry, mainly dealing with economic and organizational matters. I discussed with him the financial plans for the reorganization of the news service. Then, I once had a talk with Grossadmiral Doenitz on a technical matter. I called on Seyss-Inquart in The Hague, and on Papen in Istanbul. I knew all the others only by sight and' first made their personal acquaintance during the Trial. Dr Fritz
: How about Hitler? Fritzsche
: I never had a conversation with him. In the course of 12 years, however, I saw him, of course, several times at the Reichstag on big occasions or receptions. Once I was at his headquarters and was invited to dinner with a large number of other people. Otherwise, I received. instructions from Hitler only through Dr. Dietrich or his representative or through Dr. Goebbels and his various representatives...
From The Anatomy of the Nuremberg Trials by Telford Taylor: Fritzsche was a section chief in the Propaganda Ministry who reported to the Reich Press Chief, Otto Dietrich, who in turn reported to Goebbels. Within the ministry Fritzsche was not unimportant, and his own news program, 'Hans Fritzsche Speaks,' was widely heard. But as a third level official he had little to say about policy questions. Of course his programs hailed the Wehrmacht’s aggressions and denounced the Jews. Thus Fritzsche's case was somewhat analogous to Streicher's, but compared to Der Stuermer, Fritzsche's output was pallid indeed ... of all the defendants he was the most susceptible to the trials' shocking moments.
June 27, 1946 Nuremberg Tribunal:
In November 1945, after the first showing of an atrocity film, Fritzsche 'burst into tears and sobbed bitterly.' He remained prone to emotional distress from both testimonial and visual descriptions of atrocious events. Socially, Fritzsche was friendly, generous, and popular with the other defendants. They all knew that he was in the dock only because of his capture by the Russians who, except for Raeder, had secured no well-known defendants . . . . Fritzsche had never met Hitler and was previously unknown to most of the defendants . . . .
Rudenko himself took the lectern (for cross-examination). It was not a success . . . . It appeared to me that Fritzsche did not emerge from his ordeal as young and innocent as when he began and that he knew much more about German atrocities than he let on. Fritzsche himself expected to be convicted, because he viewed himself as a stand-in for the deceased Goebbels. But if the Tribunal had faults, such chicanery was not among them.
On day 165, Fritzsche testifies on his own behalf:
: Did you know anything about the number of prisoners in these camps? Fritzsche
: At the beginning of the war, foreign reports mentioned millions of prisoners. At that time, together with a few journalists, I asked Obergruppenfuehrer Heydrich to arrange an interview with members of the local and foreign press in order to discuss the matter. He did so. As far as I can recollect, he did not give any definite figures; but rather he compared them with the number of inmates at the prisons and penitentiaries in former days. This comparison did not seem to be disquieting...
From The Nuremberg Trial by Ann and John Tusa: Fritzsche gave a poor performance in the witness box--which was particularly surprising since his broadcasts had often been ably improvised from a few written notes. The professional communicator who had tried to coach other defendants to deliver their testimony cogently and effectively was himself clearly nervous, and he rambled in a diffuse often disjointed style for nearly two days . . . .
June 28, 1946 Nuremberg Tribunal:
Half-buried in his testimony, scattered in fragments among other matters, was the condemnation of Hitler and the Nazi leadership which he had been long considering and over which he had liaisoned with Speer...It was symptomatic of the general exhaustion and boredom which gripped all participants at the trial by this time that Fritzsche's statement evoked little response and virtually no Press coverage. In part this apathy was his own fault. The statement had come in isolated sentences, had been lost in general verbiage and illogicality of his testimony. Yet pieced together, his views are striking. Fritzsche almost alone of all the defendants had blamed both the Nazi leadership and himself. He viewed the regime as a whole, faced its logic, and traced the moral consequences of its beliefs . . . . He had actually learned something from the trial.
On day 166, Fritzsche, while undergoing cross-examination by the Russian prosecutor, is interrupted:
: One moment. What is it you are saying, Defendant? Are you saying that you did not sign this document or that you did? Fritzsche
: Mr. President, I signed the document, although its contents did not correspond with my own statements. The President
: Why did you do that? Fritzsche
: I gave that signature after very severe solitary confinement which had lasted for several months; and I wrote that signature because one of my fellow prisoners, with whom I came into contact once, had told me that once every month a court was pronouncing sentences based merely on such records and without interrogation; and I hoped that in this manner I would at least achieve being sentenced and thus terminate my confinement. So as not to be misunderstood I should like to emphasize that no force was used and that I was treated very humanely, even if my detention was very severe. Rudenko
: Very well. Of course, you never thought, Defendant Fritzsche, that after all you had done you would be sent to a sanatorium? It is obvious that you had to land in a prison and a prison is always a prison...
From The Nuremberg Trial by Joe. J. Heydecker and Johannes Leeb: A minor sensation was created in Nuremberg when during his cross-examination by the Soviet prosecutor, Roman Rudenko, Fritzsche repudiated the statements he had signed in Moscow, where he had lived after being taken prisoner . . . . The Court acquitted Fritzsche, perhaps because some of Rudenko's documents were questionable, perhaps on account of the consideration that war propaganda on both sides cannot be measured by the normal standards of journalism.
June 28, 1946 Nuremberg Tribunal:
Fritzsche's defense calls Moritz von Schirmeister to the stand:
June 29, 1946 Nuremberg Tribunal:
: The Indictment accuses Fritzsche of having made of Germany's news agencies, radio, and press an instrument that played an important part in the hands of the so-called conspirators in carrying out their plans. Was Fritzsche responsible for the organization of the press in the National Socialist State and what can you say to this charge? Schirmeister
: When Herr Fritzsche entered the Ministry, this press department had been set up and organized for some time. Moreover, I can also say that even Dr. Goebbels himself cannot be regarded as belonging to this circle of conspirators as defined by the Indictment; for, after all, he did not want to drive us into war, but always advocated the conquest of countries without bloodshed...
On day 167, Fritzsche's defense calls Moritz von Schirmeister to the stand again:
July 22, 1946 Nuremberg Tribunal:
: Do you know whether, in dealing with reports from abroad concerning alleged German atrocities, not only towards the Jews but towards other peoples as well, Fritzsche always had inquiries made at the RSHA or other authorities concerned? Schirmeister
: Yes. Not only with regard to atrocity reports but all propaganda reports from abroad which were embarrassing to us. He made inquiries sometimes at the office of Muller, at the RSHA in Berlin, and sometimes he inquired of the authorities that were directly concerned in these matters. Dr Fritz
: And what other agencies were concerned besides the RSHA where he might have made inquiries? Schirmeister
: For example, the Ministry of Food and Agriculture, the Armament Ministry, the OKW; it all depended. Dr Fritz
: Do you know whether in reply to such inquiries a clear and completely plausible denial was given, or how was a matter of this sort handled? Schirmeister
: There were not always denials, not at all; very frequently we had quite precise answers...
On day 187, US Justice Jackson details Prosecutions closing arguments against Fritzsche:
Jackson: Fritzsche, radio propaganda chief, by manipulation of the truth goaded German public opinion into frenzied support of the regime and anesthetized the independent judgment of the population so that they did without question their masters' bidding.
July 23, 1946 Nuremberg Tribunal:
On day 188, Sir Hartley Shawcross, Chief Prosecutor for the United Kingdom, details Prosecutions closing arguments:
July 29, 1946 Nuremberg Tribunal:
: Fritzsche's work was to organize the entire German press so that it became "a permanent instrument of the Propaganda Ministry." Propaganda was the most potent factor in all Nazi strategy. Here in turn that factor made all the press its most potent weapon. The fact that he knew and participated in the use of his organization is shown by his attempt to whitewash the successive propaganda actions which led up to each of the various aggressions mentioned in his affidavit. As he said: "All news checked by me was full of tendency while not invented." It is incredible that when he was called upon time after time to conduct what was specifically referred to as actions and when each time he saw the practical results he did not realize the dishonesty with which the German policy was being conducted or that the aim of the Nazi Government was aggressive war...
On day 189, M. Charles Dubost, Deputy Chief Prosecutor for the French Republic, details Prosecutions closing arguments:
July 30, 1946 Nuremberg Tribunal:
: Fritzsche served the Party before it came to power, but he did not actually become a member of it until 1933 and then he quickly became a remarkably efficient propagandist. In the course of the war he became the head of the radio service. Expounding the doctrine of the regime, he agitated for the massacre of Jews. By means of repeated addresses he furthermore endeavored to imprint in the German mind the idea that its very life was imperiled by the Jews and democracy, and that it must yield itself unreservedly to the men of destiny who governed it...
On day 190, General Rudenko, Chief Prosecutor for the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, details Prosecutions closing arguments:
August 30, 1946 Nuremberg Tribunal:
: The Defendant Hans Fritzsche's part in the conspiracy, the War Crimes, and the Crimes against Humanity is certainly greater than it might appear at first glance. The criminal activity of Fritzsche, Goebbels' closest assistant, carried out systematically day after day, constitutes a very important link in the Common Plan or Conspiracy and contributed effectively to the creation of the conditions under which the numerous crimes of the Hitlerites were conceived and nurtured. All the attempts made by the defendant himself and his counsel to minimize his importance and the part he played in the perpetration of these crimes have clearly failed...
On the Two Hundred and Sixteenth Day, the defendants make their final statements.
Final Statement of Hans Fritzsche: May it please the Tribunal: The chief prosecutors in their final speeches have repeated several of the accusations against me, although in my opinion they were clearly refuted by the evidence. I have summarized some of these points. I do not propose to read them. If it is not contrary to the rules of this Tribunal, and if it please the Tribunal, then I shall request that they take judicial notice of this summary, which amounts to six pages. They are available in translation. I should not like to waste the great opportunity for the final word in this Trial by enumerating details, all of which can be found in the transcripts and documents.
September 2, 1946 Nuremberg Tribunal:
I must turn to the sum total of all the crimes, since the Prosecution alleges that I was connected with all these crimes through a conspiracy. To this charge I can only say that if I had spread the kind of propaganda in my radio talks of which the Prosecution now accuses me; if I had advocated the doctrine of the master race; if I had preached hatred against other nations; if I had incited people to wars of aggression, acts of violence, murder, and inhumanity; if I had done all that--then, Gentlemen of the Tribunal, the German nation would have turned from me and would have repudiated the system for which I spoke. Even if I had done this only in disguised form, my listeners would have noticed it and repudiated it. But the misfortune lies precisely in the fact that I did not advocate all these doctrines which were secretly guiding the actions of Hitler and a small circle which, in the light of the testimony of the witnesses Hoess, Reinecke, and Morgen, among others, is now slowly emerging from the mist in which it was hidden until now. I believed, in Hitler's assurances of a sincere desire for peace. Therefore I strengthened the trust of the German people in them. I believed in the official German denials of all foreign reports of German atrocities. And with my belief I strengthened the belief of the German people in the uprightness of the German state leadership. That is my guilt--no more, no less.
The prosecutors have expressed the horror of their nations at the atrocities which occurred. They did not expect any good from Hitler, and they are shattered by the extent of what really happened. But try for a moment to understand the indignation of those who expected good from Hitler and who then saw how their trust, their good will, and their idealism were misused. I find myself in the position of a man who has been deceived, together with many, many other Germans of whom the Prosecution says that they could have recognized all that happened from the smoke rising from the chimneys of the concentration camps, or from the mere sight of the prisoners, and so forth. I feel that it is a great misfortune that the Prosecution has pictured these matters in such a way as if all of Germany had been a tremendous den of iniquity.
It is a misfortune that the Prosecution is generalizing the extent of the crimes which are in themselves horrible enough. As against this I must say that if anyone once believed in Hitler during the years of peaceful reconstruction, he only needed to be loyal, courageous, and self-sacrificing to go on believing in him until, by the discovery of carefully hidden secrets, he could recognize the devil in him. That is the only explanation for the struggle which Germany carried on for 68 months. Such a willingness to sacrifice does not grow from crime, but only from idealism and good faith, and from clever and apparently honest organization. I regret that the Prosecution has undertaken to generalize the crimes, because it is bound to add still more to the mountain of hatred which lies upon the world. But the time has come to interrupt the perpetual cycle of hatred which has dominated the world up to now. It is high time to call a halt to the alternate sowing and reaping of new harvests of hatred.
The murder of five million people is an awful warning, and today humanity possesses the technical means for its own destruction. Therefore, in my judgment, the Prosecution should not replace one hatred by another. I have a right to say this before my conscience, because I have not preached hatred, as the Prosecution asserted, nor have I closed the door to pity. On the contrary, many times, even in the middle of the bitterest struggle, I have raised the voice of humanity. This is proved by the vast majority of my speeches, which one can compare at any time with the statements of my enemies. Even if my addresses could not be submitted here before the Tribunal, they cannot have, simply vanished from this earth. It is perfectly possible, perhaps even understandable, that the storm of indignation which swept the world because of the atrocities that were committed should obliterate the borders of individual responsibility. If that happens, if collective responsibility is to, be attached even to those who were misused in good faith, Your Honors, I beg you to hold me responsible.
As my defense counsel has emphasized, I do not hide behind the millions who acted in good faith and were misused. I will place myself before those for whom my good faith was once an additional guarantee of the purity of purpose of the system. But this responsibility of mine only applies to those who acted in good faith, not for those who originated, assisted in, or knew of these atrocities, beginning with murder and ending with the selection of living human beings for anatomical collections. Between these criminals and myself there is only one connection: they merely misused me in a different way than they misused those who became their physical victims. It may be difficult to separate German crime from German idealism. It is not impossible. If this distinction is made, much suffering will be avoided for Germany and for the world.
As the defendants await the courts judgement, Colonel Andrus somewhat relaxes the conditions of confinement, allowing the prisoners limited visitation.
September 26, 1946 Nuremberg Tribunal:
From the >EM>Daily Telegraph, byline by Rebecca West:
The judgement that is now about to be delivered has to answer a challenge which has been thrown down not only by Germans but by many critics among the Allies. It has to prove that victors can so rise above the ordinary limitations of human nature as to be able to try fairly the foes they vanquished, by submitting themselves to the restraints of law . . . . The meeting of the challenge will also warn all future war-mongers that law can at last pursue them into peace and thus give humanity a new defense against them. Hence the judgement of the Nuremberg Tribunal may be one of the most important events in the history of civilization.
September 1-30, 1946 Nuremberg Tribunal:
The thirty-two American journalists covering the trial had created a blackboard in the foreign press room listing the correspondents' predictions concerning the defendants' sentences in columns headed 'Guilty,' 'Not Guilty,' 'Death Sentence' and 'Prison.' The pressmen were unanimous on the death sentence only for Goering, Ribbentrop and Kaltenbrunner; as regards the rest, bets on the death sentence were: Keitel and Sauckel 29, Hans Frank 27, Seyss-Inquart 26, Rosenberg 24, Hess 17, Raeder 15, Doenitz and Streicher 14, Jodl 13, Frick 12, Speer 11, von Schirach 9, von Papen 6, Schacht 4, von Neurath 3 and Fritzsche 1. (Maser)
September 30, 1946 Nuremberg Tribunal:
On the penultimate day of this historic trial, the final judgements are read in open court.
Final Judgement: Fritzsche is indicted on Counts One, Three, and Four. He was best known as a radio commentator, discussing once a week the events of the day on his own program, "Hans Fritzsche Speaks." He began broadcasting in September 1932; in the same year he was made the head of the Wireless News Service, a Reich Government agency. When on 1 May 1933, this agency was incorporated by the National Socialists into their Reich Ministry of Popular Enlightenment and Propaganda, Fritzsche became a member of the Nazi Party and went to that Ministry. In December 1938 he became head of the Home Press Division of the Ministry; in October 1942 he was promoted to. the rank of Ministerial Director. After serving briefly on the Eastern Front in a propaganda company, he was, in November 1942, made head of the Radio Division of the Propaganda Ministry and Plenipotentiary for the Political Organization of the Greater German Radio.
Crimes against Peace: As head of the Home Press Division, Fritzsche supervised the German press of 2,300 daily newspapers. In pursuance of this function he held daily press conferences to deliver the directives of the Propaganda Ministry to these papers. He was, however, subordinate to Dietrich, the Reich Press Chief, who was in turn a subordinate of Goebbels. It was Dietrich who received the directives to the press of Goebbels and other Reich Ministers, and prepared them as instructions which he then handed to Fritzsche for the press. From time to time, the "Daily Paroles of the Reich Press Chief," as these instructions were labeled, directed the press to present to the people certain themes, such as the leadership principle, the Jewish problem, the problem of living space, or other standard Nazi ideas. A vigorous propaganda campaign was carried out before each major act of aggression.
While Fritzsche headed the Home Press Division, he instructed the press how the actions or wars against Bohemia and Moravia, Poland, Yugoslavia, and the Soviet Union should be dealt with. Fritzsche had no control of the formulation of these propaganda policies. He was merely a conduit to the press of the instructions handed him by Dietrich. In February 1939 and before the absorption of Bohemia and Moravia, for instance, he received Dietrich's order to bring to the attention of the press Slovakia's efforts for independence, and the anti-Germanic policies and politics of the existing Prague Government. This order to Dietrich originated in the Foreign Office. The Radio Division, of which Fritzsche became the head in November 1942, was one of the 12 divisions of the Propaganda Ministry. In the beginning Dietrich and other heads of divisions exerted influence over the policies to be followed by radio.
Towards the end of the war, however, Fritzsche became the sole authority within the Ministry for radio activities. In this capacity he formulated and issued daily radio "paroles" to all Reich propaganda offices, according to the general political policies of the Nazi regime, subject to the directives of the Radio-Political Division of the Foreign Office, and the personal supervision of Goebbels. Fritzsche, with other officials of the Propaganda Ministry, was present at Goebbels' daily staff conferences. Here they were instructed in the news and propaganda policies of the day. After 1943 Fritzsche himself occasionally held these conferences, but only when Goebbels, and his state secretaries were absent. And even then his only function was to transmit Goebbels' directives relayed to him by telephone. This is the summary of Fritzsche's positions and influence in the Third Reich. Never did he achieve sufficient stature to attend the planning conferences which led to aggressive war; indeed according to his own un-contradicted testimony he never even had a conversation with Hitler. Nor is there any showing that he was informed of the decisions taken at these conferences. His activities cannot be said to be those which fall within the definition of the common plan to wage aggressive war as already set forth in this Judgment.
War Crimes and Crimes against Humanity: The Prosecution has asserted that Fritzsche incited and encouraged the commission of war crimes, by deliberately falsifying news to arouse in the German people those passions which led them to the commission of atrocities under Counts Three and Four. His position and official duties were not sufficiently important, however, to infer that he took part in originating or formulating propaganda campaigns. Excerpts in evidence from his speeches show definite anti-Semitism, on his part. He broadcast, for example, that the war had been caused by Jews and said their fate had turned out "as unpleasant as the Fuehrer predicted." But these speeches did not urge persecution or extermination of Jews. There is no evidence that he was aware of their extermination in the East.
The evidence moreover shows that he twice attempted to have publication of the anti-Semitic Der Stuermer suppressed, though unsuccessfully. In these broadcasts Fritzsche sometimes spread false news, but it was not proved he knew it to be false. For example, he reported that no German U-boat was in the vicinity of the Athenia when it was sunk. This information was untrue; but Fritzsche, having received it from the German Navy, had no reason to believe it was untrue. It appears that Fritzsche sometimes made strong statements of a propagandistic nature in his broadcasts. But the Tribunal is not prepared to hold that they were intended to incite the German people to commit atrocities on conquered peoples, and he cannot be held to have been a participant in the crimes charged. His aim was rather to arouse popular sentiment in support of Hitler and the German war effort.
Conclusion: The Tribunal finds that Fritzsche is not guilty under this Indictment, and directs that he shall be discharged by the Marshal when the Tribunal presently adjourns.
September 30, 1946 Nuremberg Tribunal:
On their release at the close of the morning session, Fritzsche, Schacht and Papen are bombarded with questions from the world press:
Question: Where will you live now?
Schacht: I too would like to know.
Question: Will you spend the night in jail?
Fritzsche: No, rather in a Nuremberg ruin; no more gray walls and window bars.
Question: What are your plans?
Papen: I will go to my daughter in the British zone or to my wife and children in the French zone.
Schacht: I will go to my wife and children who live in the British zone, and I hope I shall never again see anyone from the press!
Fritzsche: The problem of freedom is quite new for me. I can't say yet what I shall do.
As the press photographers snapped their pictures, the former defendants were asked for many autographs. After a bit, Schacht (the banker) held up his hand and asked for silence. "My two children, aged three and four, have never had any chocolate. I will only give further autographs in return for chocolate."
October 1, 1946 Nuremberg Tribunal:
On the 218th and last day of the trial, sentences are handed down. From the dissenting Soviet opinion:
For the correct definition of the role of Defendant Hans Fritzsche it is necessary, firstly, to keep clearly in mind the importance attached by Hitler and his closest associates (as Goering, for example) to propaganda in general and to radio propaganda in particular. This was considered one of the most important and essential factors in the success of conducting an aggressive war. In the Germany of Hitler, propaganda was invariably a factor in preparing and conducting acts of aggression and in training the German populace to accept obediently the criminal enterprises of German fascism. The aims of these enterprises were served by a huge and well centralized propaganda machinery. With the help of the police controls and of a system of censorship it was possible to do away altogether with the freedom of press and of speech. The basic method of the Nazi propagandistic activity lay in the false presentation of facts.
October 3, 1946:
Three days after their acquittal, Schacht and Fritzsche, knowing that German authorities are waiting outside the Palace of Justice to arrest them, make a break for it. Both are placed in vans at midnight and driven off at high-speed in opposite directions; both are soon rearrested by German authorities. (Tusa)
Fritzsche is called before the Denazification Court. He will be convicted as a 'Major Offender' and sentenced to nine years hard labor and loss of voting rights.
September 29, 1950:
Fritzsche is pardoned and released.
September 2, 1953:
Fritzsche dies of cancer.
Fritzsche's memoirs are finally released in the US.