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Council which prove that the Reichsfuehrer SS and Chief of the German Police carried out administrative measures in Bohemia and Moravia with the knowledge of the Reich Protector, and that the German Security Police organs in the Protectorate were obliged to inform the Reich Protector, as well as the offices subordinated to him, and keep them aware of all major events.
If I add that, on 5 May 1939, the defendant Neurath appointed an SD Fuehrer and Plenipotentiary of the Security Police to the post of political case reporter in his cabinet; if we recall the testimony of Richard Wienert, the former Premier of Bohemia and Moravia under Neurath, which has been read before the Court, to the effect that the Gestapo carried out arrests on orders of the Reich Protector, we can hardly have any doubt but that Neurath gave his sanction to the mass arrests, summary executions, and other inhuman acts, committed by the Gestapo and police in Czechoslovakia.
I will pass on to the events of the 17 November 1939, when 9 students were shot without trial, while over a thousand were hurled into concentration camps and all the Czech high schools and universities were closed for three years. Neurath said that he heard of these acts of terror post factum. But we have submitted to the Tribunal a report on the shooting and arrests of the students which bears Neurath's signature. Neurath then seeks another loop-hole; he declares that Frank signed this report in his, Neurath's name, and to be more convincing he even adds, that later he heard from an official that Frank often misused his name in documents. Are Neurath's statements to be credited ? One has only to analyze briefly the actual facts in order to answer this question in the negative. Neurath says that Frank misused his
What did Neurath do in answer to this? Did he demand Frank's resignation or his punishment for fraud? No. Did he, perhaps, report this forgery officially, to somebody? Neither.' On the contrary, he continued to collaborate with Frank as before. Neurath says that he heard of Frank's misuses from an official. Who is that official? What is his name? Why wasn't any application made to call him to the witness stand or, at least, to secure his written testimony? This is simply because nobody spoke to Neurath of Frank having forged his signature on the documents, and nobody could have done so for there was no forgery.
But on the contrary, the Tribunal has evidence which confirms the fact that the report of 17 November 1939 was signed by Neurath and that the terroristical measures mentioned therein were actually sanctioned by Neurath. I am speaking of two statements of Karl Frank, who directly participated in these bloody events. During his interrogation on 26 November 1945, Karl.
Frank testified (USSR-60): "This document was dated 17 November 1939 and was signed by von Neurath, who did not protest either against the shooting of the 9 students or against the deportation of numerous students to the concentration camps."
I quote Karl Frank's second testimony on this matter, dated 7 March 1946 (USSR-494): "By countersigning the official reports which informed him of the shooting of the students, the Reich Protector von Neurath, sanctioned this action. I informed von Neurath in detail of the course of the investigation and he signed the report. Had he not agreed and had he demanded a modification of the penalty, or its mitigation, and he had a right to do so, I would have been obliged to give in to his opinion".
In August 1939, in connection with the "special decree" by which he proclaimed Bohemia and Moravia to be an “integral part of the Greater German Reich", Neurath issued a so-called “warning". Therein he stipulated that “not only single persons, but the entire Czech population would be responsible for all acts of sabotage”. Thereby he established the principle of collective responsibility and introduced the hostage system. The events of 17 November 1939, considered in the light of this directive of Neurath, supply more irrefutable proof against the defendant. (USSR-490)
Starting from 1 September 1939, some 8,000 Czechs were arrested as hostages in Bohemia and Moravia. The majority were sent to concentration camps; many were executed, or died of hunger and torture. On this subject you have heard, Your Honors, the testimonies of Weinert, Kreitchi, and Gavelka. There is no doubt that these terror acts against the Czech intellectuals were carried out in conformity with
Neurath's so-called "warning".
I do not need to relate in detail all the events which occurred at Lidice, and later in the village of Lejaki, as they are already well known. Were not the German occupants acting in accordance with Neurath's "warning", did they not conform themselves to his principle that the entire Czech population, and not the individual persons, must bear the responsibility ?
It was Neurath who initiated mass terror against the Czechoslovak population in August 1939. He has on his hands the blood of many thousands of women and men, children and old people, murdered and tortured to death, and I see no difference between Baron von Neurath and the other ringleaders of the criminal Nazi regime.
The defendant Hans Fritzsche's part in conspiracy, the war crimes, and the crimes against humanity is certainly greater than it might appear at a first glance.
The criminal activity of Fritzsche, who was Goebbels' closest assistant, carried out systematically day after day, was a very important link in the general plan or conspiracy and it contributed singularly to the creation of the conditions, under which the numerous crimes of the Nazis were conceived and cultivated. All the attempts made by the defendant himself and his counsel in order to minimize his importance and the part he played in the perpetration of these crimes have clearly failed.
In "Mein Kampf", Hitler describes the very special part attributed in Nazi Germany to mendacious propaganda. He writes: "The problem of the resurrection of German might can be defined not as to 'How we will make weapons' but 'How we will create the spirit which will make our people capable of bearing weapons'. If this spirit invades the people, will power shall discover thousands of ways, and each of them will lead to weapons”. (Quote from pages 365-366 of "Mein Kampf", 64th ed. 1933.)
Neither is it an accident that at the 1936 Congress of the Nazi Party in Nurnberg, the following slogans were proclaimed:
"Propaganda helped us to come to power".
"Propaganda will help us to conquer the world". Owing to his position, the defendant Fritzsche was certainly one of the notorious propagandists and also one of the best informed persons in Nazi Germany. Besides, he enjoyed Goebbels' particular confidence.
As we know, from 1938 to 1942, Fritzsche was head of one of the key departments of the Propaganda Ministry, that of the German press. And ever since 1942 and until the defeat of Nazi Germany, he was head of the German radio.
Having grown up as far as journalism is concerned, in the reactionary press of Hugenberg, Fritzsche, who was a member of the Nazi Party since 1933, in his capacity of Government spokesman, played with his personal propaganda an important part in the dissemination of Nazism throughout Germany, in the political and moral depravation of the German people. This was testified
. to, in detail, by witnesses such as former Fieldmarshal Ferdinand Schoerner and former vice-admiral Hans Voss (USSR-472); USSR-471)
The defendant Fritzsche's broadcasts, taken down by the BBC, and submitted to the Tribunal as document 3064-PS and USSR Exhibit 496 fully confirm these charges of the Prosecution.
German propaganda in general, and the defendant Fritzsche in particular, made good use of provocational methods, lies and slanderous statements, and this was especially the case when Nazi Germany's acts of aggression had to be justified. For did not Hitler himself write in "Mein Kampf" that, page 302: "With the help of an able and continuous application of propaganda, one can even picture to the people, heaven as being hell, and on the contrary, the most sorrowful life can be pictured as heaven." Fritzsche turned out to be the best man to carry out this dirty work. In his declaration to the Tribunal, on the 7 January 1946, Fritzsche gave a detailed description of the provocative methods applied on such a vast scale by German propaganda and by him, personally, in connection with the acts of aggression against Austria, the Sudetenland, Bohemia and Moravia, Poland and Jugoslavia.
On 9 April and 2 May 1940, Fritzsche broadcast mendacious explanations of the reasons which led to the occupation of Norway by Germany. He declared: "Nobody was wounded, not one house was destroyed, life and work continued unhindered as before.”. Meanwhile, the official report presented by the Norwegian Government states: "The German attack against Norway on 9 April 1940, brought war to Norway for the first time in 126 years. For 2 months war was fought throughout the country, causing destruction. Over 40 thousand houses were damaged or destroyed and about 1000 civilians were killed."
German propaganda and Fritzsche, personally, spread insolent slander in connection with the sinking of the British passenger steamer “Athenia”.
But German,propaganda was particularly active on the occasion of Nazi Germany's felonious attack upon the Soviet Union.
The defendant Fritzsche has attempted to assert that he first heard of the attack upon the Soviet Union when he was called on 22 June 1941 at 5 a.m. to a press conference held by Foreign Minister von Ribbentrop. As far as the aggressive purposes of this attack were concerned, he allegedly only had knowledge of them, as a result of his personal observations, in 1942. However, those statements are disavowed by such documentary evidence as the report of defendant Rosenberg. (1039-PS, USA 146) This document establishes the fact that a long time prior to the attack upon the USSR, Fritzsche knew of the appropriate measures which were being taken and that in his capacity of representative of the Propaganda Ministry, he participated in the working out by the Ministry for Occupied Eastern Territories of propaganda measures in the East.
In answer to the questions put to him by the Soviet Prosecution during his cross-examination, Fritzsche stated that he would not
have gone along with Hitler had he had knowledge of the Nazi government's criminal orders of which he heard for the first time here in Court. And here again, Fritzsche has told the International Military Tribunal a lie. He was compelled to admit that he had knowledge of the criminal Nazi orders regarding the extermination of Jews and the shooting of Soviet commissars as early as 1942. And yet he continued thereafter to remain at his post and to spread mendacious propaganda.
In his broadcasts on 16 June and 1 July 1944, Fritzsche made a great case of the utilization of new weapons, doing his best to whip up the army and the people to further senseless resistance
And even on the eve of the crash of Nazi Germany, specifically on 7 April 1945, Fritzsche broadcast an appeal to the German people to continue to resist the allied armies and to participate in the Werwolf-movement.
Thus, the defendant Fritzsche remained true to the last to the criminal Nazi regime. He gave his entire self to the task of realizing the Nazi conspiracy and of perpetrating all the crimes which were conceived and carried out in view of putting that conspiracy into effect.
As an active participant of all the Nazi crimes, he must bear the fullest responsibility for them.
Your Honours, All the defendants have passed before youmen without honour or conscience; men, who hurled the world into an abyss of misery and suffering and brought enormous calamities upon their own people.
Political adventurers, who stopped before no evil deed in order to achieve their criminal designs; cheap demagogues, who concealed their predatory plans behind a veil of mendacious ideas; henchmen, who murdered millions of innocent people, these men joined in a gang of conspirators, seizing power and transforming the German state machinery into an instrument of their crimes.
Now, the hour of reckoning has come. For the past nine months, we have been observing the former rulers of Fascist Germany. In the dock, before this Court, they have suddenly
. become meek and humble. Some of them, even, actually condemned Hitler. But they blame Hitler, not for the launching of a war, not for the extermination of peoples, and the plundering of states; the only thing they cannot forgive him is Defeat. Together with Hitler, they were ready to exterminate millions of human beings, to enslave the elite of mankind in order to achieve their criminal aim of world domination.
But History judged otherwise; victory did not follow upon