The Propagander ™ FAQ
Did Julius Streicher Deserve his Death Sentence?
Dr. Marx: Witness, another serious accusation made by the Prosecution against you is that a special issue concerning ritual murders was published in the publishing house of Der Stuermer and appeared in one number of Der Stuermer. How did this special issue come about and what was the cause for it? Were you the author of that special issue?
Dr. Marx: Who was the author?
Streicher: My collaborator, the Editor-in-Chief at that time, Karl Holz, who is now dead. But I assume the responsibility.
Dr. Marx: Is it not true that even during the twenties you dealt with that question in Der Stuermer?
Streicher: Yes, and in public speeches.
Dr. Marx: Yes, in public speeches. Why did you now in 1935 stir up again this doubtlessly very grave matter?
Streicher: I should like to ask my counsel to express no judgment as to what I have written; to question me, but not to express judgment. The Prosecution are going to do that. You have asked me how this issue came about. I will explain very briefly...
Dr. Marx: Excuse me, Mr. President. I have to protest against the fact that Herr Streicher here, in the course of his interrogation by me, thinks he can criticize the manner in which I put my questions. Therefore, I ask the Court to give a decision on this, since otherwise I am not in a position to ask my questions at all.
The President: You have already stated your position and the Tribunal has given you full support in your position. Will you please continue? And let me tell you this, Defendant, that if you are insolent either to your counsel or to the Tribunal, the Tribunal will not be able to continue the hearing of your case at this moment. You will kindly treat your counsel and the Tribunal with due courtesy.
Streicher: May I ask to say something about this?
The President: No. Answer the question, please.
After eight relatively straightforward cases, the prosecution now had to tackle a handful of trickier ones, cases which raised real difficulties and needed skill and some luck to win. The first of these--that of Julius Streicher--gave an appearance of simplicity which was highly misleading. The misconception arose from assuming that someone so immediately repellent must be found guilty. Any spectator in court had an instant desire to go and wash thoroughly after being in the same room with the man. The sight of Streicher doing his daily exercises in prison soured the breakfast in the stomachs of prisoners and guards alike. He exercised stark naked. He was revolting. Everyone complained about the spectacle.[Hans] Fritzsche tactfully presented him with a pair of shorts made by cutting down a pair of old trousers, but Streicher refused to wear them.
Julius Streicher was the next defendant in the sequence, and Dr Marx's task was easy to state. To save Streicher from a capital sentence, Marx needed to do two things: persuade the Tribunal that there was insufficient evidence that Streicher had incited the killing of Jews, and prevent hateful reputation and repulsive appearance from crucially influencing the Tribunal's decision. But what did 'incitement' mean? Before the war Streicher and many other Germans 'incited the persecution of Jews,' but under the Charter these acts were not international crimes. Most German Jews were expelled to Poland shortly before the war, and soon after the Germans occupied that country. Within a year or so the Germans were sending Jews from other countries in the East for extermination or forced labor; that was certainly criminal persecution.
But in the meantime the German government had rusticated Streicher, and his voice was heard only in Der Stuermer. It was a small newspaper (some 15,000 subscribers), and Streicher had no connections with Himmler or his subordinates, who were actually carrying out the Holocaust. Marx traced Streicher's record in the Party and his activities with Der Stuermer during the war, and made a very strong argument that the defendant could have little or no impact on the situation and fate of the Jews. A few issues of Der Stuermer contained articles calling for extermination of Jews, but its 'incitement' was surely imperceptible, especially when Field Marshal von Reichenau and other military leaders were issuing instructions to their troops that were just as rabid against Jews as was Streicher's rag. Marx made little effort to rehabilitate Streicher as a human being worthy of the law's protection. Indeed, at the end of his argument Marx declared that he had had 'a difficult and thankless task' as defense counsel (which no doubt was true) and left Streicher's guilt or innocence 'in the hands of the High Tribunal,' thus seeming to wash his own hands of his client.
I had subscribed to the Jewish weekly that appeared in Switzerland [the Israelitisches Wochenblatt]. Sometimes in that weekly there were intimations that something was not quite in order; and I think it was at the end of 1943 or 1944--I believe 1944--that an article appeared in the Jewish weekly, in which it said that in the East--I think it was said in Poland--Jews were disappearing in masses. I then made reference to this in an article which perhaps will be presented to me later. But I state quite frankly that the Jewish weekly in Switzerland did not represent for me an authoritative source, that I did not believe everything in it. This article did not quote figures; it did not talk about mass executions, but only about disappearances.3) By Streicher's own admission, he at least suspected that "Jews were disappearing in masses."
I myself remember, when Dr. Goebbels visited the farm, that Julius Streicher said to him, "Doctor, you dare to come here? Do you not know that it is prohibited by the Party chiefs to visit me?" . . . . Dr. Ley came to the farm on 7 May 1944. The visit of Dr. Goebbels occurred on 4 June 1944.June 4, 1944: Despite the prohibition, Goebbels visits Streicher. Note: Streicher has been in virtual exile on his farm in Pleikershof, prohibited visits by party bigwigs.
Lieutenant Colonel J. M. G. Griffith-Jones (M.C, Barrister-at-Law, Junior Prosecuting Counsel for the UK): I have only one matter to ask you about. Do I understand you to say that by the middle of 1944 Streicher had become convinced that the reports in the Swiss newspaper, Israelitisches Wochenblatt, were true?
Ernst Hiemer: I did not understand you. Will you please repeat the question?
Griffith-Jones: Do I understand you to say that by the middle of 1944 Streicher had become convinced of the truth of the reports he was reading in the Swiss newspaper about concentration camps?
Ernst Hiemer: Yes, I had the impression that Streicher in the middle of 1944...
Griffith-Jones: I only wanted an answer "yes" or "no." That is quite sufficient. Let me just read to you three lines of an article which was published in Der Stuermer on the 14th of September 1944.
Ernst Hiemer: Yes.
Griffith-Jones: [Quoting] "Bolshevism cannot be vanquished; it must be destroyed. The same is true of Judaism; it cannot be vanquished, disarmed, or rendered powerless; it must be exterminated." That is Page 2. Then the word that you use or is cited for exterminated is ausgerottet, which I understand means completely wiped out. Why was that article appearing in Der Stuermer in September 1944, when it was known by the owner of Der Stuermer what was going on in concentration camps in the East? What was the purpose of that article?
Ernst Hiemer: I personally did not write this article. I believe that Streicher wrote it, therefore I myself am not able to judge the intention of the article. But I do maintain that Streicher made statements opposing the murders in the concentration camps, and that he did not want the murder of Jewry.
Griffith-Jones: Very well, I will leave that. My Lord, in the interest of time I do not propose to cross-examine this witness any further. Perhaps I might be allowed to draw the Tribunal's attention to those articles contained in your bundle, which are articles actually written by this witness. There are about seven of them. Page 3A, 35A, 38A, 40A, 49A, 50A and 51A, that is, covering a period from January 1939 up to August 1944. And, My Lord, the other matter that I would draw the Tribunal's attention to was that this witness was the author of the disgusting children's book which I presented to the Tribunal in putting the individual case against Streicher.
The President: Is there any further cross-examination? [There was no response.] Dr. Marx, do you wish to re-examine? You heard what counsel said about the various articles written by this witness. You wish to re-examine or not? Have you any questions you wish to ask the witness?
Dr. Marx: Yes, please. Herr Hiemer, perhaps you did not quite understand the question a moment ago. Please tell us again just when Herr Streicher received knowledge, and when he told you that he was convinced of or believed in these mass murders.
Ernst Hiemer: It is my opinion and conviction that it was in the middle of 1944.
Dr. Marx: But there had been statements to that effect in the Israelitisches Wochenblatt for a number of years prior to that date.
Ernst Hiemer: Yes; at that time Streicher did not believe these things. His change of view took place only in the year 1944 and I remember it was not before the middle of the year.
Dr. Marx: I have no further questions to the witness.
The President: The witness can retire.
In November 1943 Streicher quoted verbatim an article from the Israelitisches Wochenblatt which stated that the Jews had virtually disappeared from Europe, and commented: "This is not a Jewish lie." In December 1942, referring to an article in the London Times about the atrocities aiming at extermination, Streicher said that Hitler had given warning that the second World War would lead to the destruction of Jewry. In January 1943 he wrote and published an article which said that Hitler's prophecy was being fulfilled, that world Jewry was being extirpated, and that it was wonderful to know that Hitler was freeing the world of its Jewish tormentors. In the face of the evidence before the Tribunal it is idle for Streicher to suggest that the solution of the Jewish problem which he favored was strictly limited to the classification of Jews as aliens, and the passing of discriminatory legislation such as the Nuremberg Laws, supplemented if possible by international agreement, on the creation of a Jewish state somewhere in the world, to which all Jews should emigrate. Streicher's incitement to murder and extermination at the time when Jews in the East were being killed under the most horrible conditions clearly constitutes persecution on political and racial grounds in connection with War Crimes, as defined by the Charter, and constitutes a Crime against Humanity.Conclusion: The simple fact that he was calling for the extermination of all Jews at the same time that the Jews were being exterminated--a fact he was almost certainly well aware of--made him an accessory, at the very least. He was thus guilty of complicity in the Holocaust, and well deserved his sentence of Death.
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