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I am grateful that I was given the possibility of a defense and with that the possibility of justification against the accusations raised against me.

I remember all the victims of force and horror of the dreadful events of war. Did not millions have to perish without ever being asked and ever being heard? I have surrendered the war diary dealing with my statements and activities, and that at an hour when I lost my liberty. If I really once have been hard, then it was at that moment of the unveiling of my actions in the war and everything that I have done.

I do not wish to leave behind me in this world the hidden guilt undealt with.

In the witness stand I have assumed responsibility for all those things for which I must be responsible. I also recognized that degree of guilt which it must be my part to assume as a fighter for Adolf Hitler, his movement, and his Reich. I have nothing to add to the words of my defense counsel.

There is yet one word which I have to rectify, spoken by me. In the witness stand I mentioned a thousand years, which would not suffice to erase the guilt brought upon our people because of the actions of Adolf Hitler. Not only the activities of our opponents, carefully kept away from these proceedings, with reference to our people and our soldiers, but also tremendous masses of the most awful crimes, I have only now heard, have been committed, mostly in East Prussia, Silesia, Pomerania and the Sudetenland by Russians, Poles, and Czechs against Germans, and are still being committed. They have, even today completely balanced any possible guilt on the part of our people.

Who is to judge these crimes committed against the German people, one day?

With the certain hope that from all the horror of the time of war and all the developments even threatening today perhaps a lasting peace may yet arise in which even our nation may have its beneficial participation, I come to the end of my final statement. God's eternal justice will be the force under which our people will flourish and to which alone I submit.



1. FINAL ARGUMENT by Dr. Otto Pannenbecker,
Defense Counsel

Mr. President, Gentlemen of the Tribunal:

The prosecution has charged defendant Frick with criminal actions according to Article 6, items a, b, and c of the Statute.


However, if one is to proceed in such a manner, then a trial must ensue according to equal principles of law in reference to the question whether the deeds with which the defendant is incriminated are to be regarded as criminal action for which, according to the recognized basis of international custom, punishment is possible. On the basis of international principles of law, there should be no argument if the use of a fundamental law, as is the prohibition of a retroactive law, in its application is to be made dependent on whether or not the defendants concerned themselves with justice and injustice. The decision of the signatory powers, on the basis of considerations which have been seriously weighed to subject the conduct of the defendants to a judicial examination observing all principles of international custom, signifies not only the adherence to legal procedure equipped with all assurances for fair trial, but this decision by the signatory powers also signifies the observance of the fundamental principles of a materialistic guarantee of justice and to these principles belongs the prohibition of retroactive laws.

In this connection I should also like to point to the fact that the decreeing of the retroactive validity of penal laws, when so ordered by the National Socialist government for certain, individual cases, aroused horror in the entire civilized world. At that time, the violation of such a principle of law was generally condemned as a deplorable retrogression in culture.

I also ask the Tribunal to bear in mind that one of the first measures taken by the occupation powers for delivery from National Socialist abuses of law, was to declare void any laws instituting retroactive application of the substantive penal code.

In view of this situation, there exist valid reasons, I believe, which argue that according to its caption, Article 6 of the Charter be regarded an agreement on the jurisdiction of this Tribunal, all the more so as the signatory powers have already and with so much emphasis gone on record for a strict and uniform reobservance of the prohibition against retroactive penal laws.

On the basis of such an interpretation, whereby Article 6 establishes the jurisdiction of this Tribunal, it is up to the Tribunal, through its own decision not only to determine whether the charges on which the indictment is based are substantiated, but also to rule on the legal question as to whether, for the facts established in each case by the prosecution, substantive criminal law provides a law which makes punishment possible. To revert in this way to provisions of substantive criminal law in existence at the time the act was committed does not mean it would be impossible for this Tribunal to call the accused, to account for

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