"With Hitler firmly in place as Chancellor, the jockeying for position as his number two and therefore his heir took on a new edge, and now there was genuine power at stake. For the moment, there were five possible candidates - Göring, Goebbels, Frick, Roehm and Hess - but two of these could be discounted at once. Roehm was too much of a maverick, a dangerous loose cannon who would never be accepted by the army or the 'respectable' middle classes. Hess had considerable authority within the party, and indeed would be named Deputy Führer (for Party Affairs) on 21 April, but he was essentially a functionary with little practical experience as a political operator and was seen strictly as Hitler's deputy, never as his successor. Of the other three, Frick was a skilful politician already holding high office as Reich Interior Minister, nominally ranking higher in the government than Göring, and clearly enjoying Hitler's confidence. But he was lethargic and colorless, at heart a bureaucrat, lacking both the charisma and the ruthless drive of his two colleagues. And at fifty-six he was an old man by party standards - the average age of the party elite was only forty years: Hitler himself was forty-three, Göring had just celebrated his fortieth birthday, and Goebbels, proud to be the youngest minister in the Cabinet when he was officially sworn in by Hindenberg on 14 March, was only thirty-five." From 'The Devil's Disciples' by Anthony Read.
"To the dinner guests in Berlin, Hitler repeatedly talked about his youth, emphasizing the stictness of his upbringing. 'My father often dealt me hard blows. Moreover I think that was necessary and helped me.' Wilhelm Frick, the Minister of the Interior, interjected in his bleating voice: 'As we can see today, it certainly did you good, mein Fuehrer.' A numb, horrified silence around the table. Frick tried to save the situation: 'I mean, mein Fuehrer, that is why you have come so far.' Goebbels, who considered Frick a hopeless fool, commented sarcastically: 'I guess you never recieved a beating in your youth, Frick.'" -From 'Inside the Third Reich' by Albert Speer.
July 14, 1944: Churchill to Foreign Secretary Eden: "...This requires careful handling. It is quite possible that rich Jews will pay large sums of money to escape being murdered by the Huns. It is tiresome that this money should get into the hands of ELAS (Greek Communist partisans), but why on Earth we should go and argue with the United States about it I cannot conceive. We should take a great responsibility if we prevented the escape of Jews, even if they should be rich Jews. I know it is the modern view that all rich people should be put to death wherever found, but it is a pity that we should take up that attitude at the present time. After all, they have no doubt paid for their liberation so high that in the future they will only be poor Jews, and therefore have the ordinary rights of human beings..."
January 4, 1945: Churchill to Eden: "Treatment of Germany after the war. It is much too soon for us to decide these enormous questions. Obviously, when the German organized resistance has ceased the first stage will be one of severe military control. This may well last for many months, or perhaps for a year or two, if the German underground movement is active. 2. We have yet to settle the practical questions of the partition of Germany, the treatment of the Rhur and Saar industries, etc. These may be touched upon at our forthcoming meeting, but I doubt whether any final decision will be reached then. No one can foresee at the present moment what the state of Europe will be or what the relations of the Great Powers will be, or what the tempers of their peoples will be. I am sure that the hatreds which Germany has caused in so many countries will find their counterpart here. 3. I have been struck at every point where I have sounded opinion at the depth of the feeling that would be aroused by a policy of putting poor Germany on her legs again. I am also well aware of the arguments about not having a poisoned community in the heart of Europe I remember so well last time being shocked at the savage views of the House of Commons and of the constituencies, and being indignant with Poincare when he sent the French into the Ruhr. In a few years however the mood of Parliament and the public changed entirely. Thousands of millions of money were lent to Germany by the United States. I went along with the tolerant policy towards Germany up to the Locarno Treaty and during the rest of Mr. Baldwins Government on the grounds that Germany had no power to harm us. But thereafter a swift change occurred. The rise of Hitler began. And thereafter I once again found myself very much out of sympathy with the prevailing mood "
February 2, 1945: General de Gaulle speaks by radio to the French people: "...our national life, within France and abroad, has gone from upheaval to upheaval for generations and each of these upheavals has been more ruinous than the preceding one. This time France nearly perished as a free nation and the sources of her activity have been cruelly affected. The rest of the world, and above all, the nations of Europe, have greatly suffered because of her weakness, since it is a kind of law that no one is safe when France is in trouble. Now, the cause of all our trials has always been Germany who was favored by errors, illusions or outside help. That is to say, not only the future but also the very life of France depends on what will be done to the defeated Germans..."
March 1, 1945: FDR reports to Congress on the Crimean Conference: "...When we met at Yalta, in addition to laying our strategic and tactical plans for the complete, final military victory over Germany, there were other problems of vital political consequence. For instance, there were the problems of occupational control of Germany after victory, the complete destruction of her military power, and the assurance that neither the Nazis nor Prussian militarism could again be revived to threaten the peace and civilization of the world. Secondly, again for example, there was the settlement of the few differences which remained among us with respect to the international security organization after the Dumbarton Oaks Conference. As you remember at that time, I said afterward we had agreed 90 per cent. A pretty good percentage. I think the other 10 per cent was ironed out at Yalta. Thirdly, there were the general political and economic problems common to all of the areas that would be in the future, or which had been, liberated from the Nazi yoke. There are special problems-we over here find it difficult to understand the ramifications of many of these problems in foreign lands. But we are trying to. Fourth, there were the special problems created by a few instances, such as Poland and Yugoslavia. Days were spent in discussing these momentous matters. We argued freely and frankly across the table. But at the end, on every point, unanimous agreement was reached. And more important even than the agreement of words, I may say we achieved a unity of thought and a way of getting along together. Of course we know that it was Hitler's hope - and German war lords' - that we would not agree, that some slight crack might appear in the solid wall of Allied unity, a crack that would give him and his fellow-gangsters one last hope of escaping their just doom. That is the objective for which his propaganda machine has been working for many months. But Hitler has failed. Never before have the major Allies been more closely united..."
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: "...Future governments in time of threat and crisis will find it possible to accept alternatives to war only if their constituents consider that the peaceful alternative causes no 'loss of face.' Governments in emotional times are particularly susceptible to passionate attack in which this emotion is appealed to, sometimes crudely and sometimes by more sophisticated formulae such as 'impairment of sovereignty,' 'submission to foreign control,' and like shibboleths. We may as well face the fact that it will not be enough to have a mechanism for keeping the peace that a few scholars and statesmen think well of. If it is really to work, it must have such widespread acceptance and confidence that peoples as well as philosophers support it as a thoroughly honorable and reasonably hopeful alternative to war..."
April 30, 1945: An announcement by Doenitz made on the German wireless: Announcer: "It has been reported from the Führer's headquarters that our Führer Adolf Hitler has died this afternoon in his battle headquarters at the Reich Chancellery, fallen for Germany, fighting to the last breath against Bolshevism. On the 30th of April the Führer nominated Grossadmiral Dönitz to be his successor. The Grossadmiral and Fuehrer's successor will speak to the German nation." Dönitz: "German men and women, soldiers of the German Armed Forces. Our Führer Adolf Hitler is dead. The German people bow in deepest sorrow and respect. Early he had recognized the terrible danger of Bolshevism and had dedicated his life to the fight against it. His fight having ended, he died a hero's death in the capital of the German Reich, after having led an unmistakably straight and steady life."
May 10, 1945: Churchill to Field-Marshal Alexander (Italy): "I have seen the photograph. The man who murdered Mussolini made a confession, published in the Daily Express, gloating over the treacherous and cowardly method of his action. In particular he said he shot Mussolinis mistress. Was she on the list of war criminals? Had he had any authority from anybody to shoot this woman? It seems to me the cleansing hand of British military power should make inquiries on these points."
July 16, 1945: Since May, the Allies have been collecting Nazis and tossing the high-ranking ones into a former hotel in Mondorf, Luxemburg, affectionately reffered to as 'Ashcan.' On this day, Ashcan's commander, Colonel Burton C. Andrus, takes representatives of the world's Press on a tour of the facility to squash rumors that the prisoners are living the high-life. "We stand for no mollycoddling here," Andrus proclaims. "We have certain rules and the rules are obeyed.. ..they roll their own cigarettes." (Tusa)
July 19, 1945 International Conference on Military Trials: From the minutes of this days Conference Session:"...Nikitchenko: ...It is quite impossible to give an exhaustive list of the crimes. If, on the other hand, we should confine ourselves to a few matters, that too would not be right. Therefore we should work out a formula which would make it possible to bring to trial and punish those who have committed all the various atrocities. At the same time we should not, of course, confine ourselves to persons who have actually committed the crimes but should also especially reach those who organized or conspired them..."
August 8, 1945: The London Agreement is signed: "...(a) The Indictment shall be read in court. (b) The Tribunal shall ask each Defendant whether he pleads "guilty" or "not guilty". (c) The prosecution shall make an opening statement. (d) The Tribunal shall ask the prosecution and the defense what evidence (if any) they wish to submit to the Tribunal, and the Tribunal shall rule upon the admissibility of any such evidence. (e) The witnesses for the Prosecution shall be examined and after that the witnesses for the Defense. Thereafter such rebutting evidence as may be held by the Tribunal to be admissible shall be called by either the Prosecution or the Defense. (f) The Tribunal may put any question to any witness and to any Defendant, at any time. (g) The Prosecution and the Defense shall interrogate and may cross-examine any witnesses and any Defendant who gives testimony. (h) The Defense shall address the court. (i) The Prosecution shall address the court. (j) Each Defendant may make a statement to the Tribunal. (k) The Tribunal shall deliver judgment and pronounce sentence..."
August 12, 1945: Justice Jackson releases a statement to the American press: "...one price of such international cooperation is mutual concession. Much to which American lawyers would be accustomed is missing in this instrument. I have not seen fit to insist that these prisoners have the benefit of all of the protections which our legal and constitutional system throws around defendants. To the Russian and French jurist, our system seems unduly tender of defendants and to be loaded in favor of delay and in favor of the individual against the state. To us, their system seems summary and to load the procedure in favor of the state against the individual. However, the continental system is the one the Germans themselves have employed and understand. It does not seem inappropriate that a special military commission for the trial of Europeans in Europe, for crimes committed in Europe, should follow rather largely although not entirely the European procedures. The essentials of a fair trial have been assured..."
August 12, 1945: Colonel Andrus and his 15 Ashcan prisoners are loaded onto a US C-47 transport plane bound for Nuremberg. As they fly above Germany, Göring continually points out various geographical features below, such as the Rhine, telling Ribbentrop to take one last look as he is unlikely to ever get the opportunity again. Streicher becomes air-sick. (Tusa)
August 25, 1945 International Conference on Military Trials: Representatives of the Big Four (Jackson, Fyfe, Gros, and Nikitchenko), agree on a list of 22 defendants, 21 of which are in custody. The 22nd, Martin Bormann, is presumed to be in Soviet custody, but Nikitchenko cannot confirm it. The list is scheduled to be released to the press on August 28. (Conot)
August 28, 1945 International Conference on Military Trials: Just in time to delay the release of the names of the final 22, Nikitchenko 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 major 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 International Conference on Military Trials: With the additions of Raeder and Fritzsche, the final list of 24 defendants is released to the press. Bormann, though not in custody (or even alive), is still listed. (Conot, Taylor)
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."
October 5, 1945: Andrus loses his first German prisoner to suicide; Dr Leonard Conti, Hitler's 'Head of National Hygiene.'
October 6, 1945: To the Clerk or Recording Officer, International Military Tribunal: "The representative of the United States has found it necessary to make certain reservations as to the possible bearing of certain language in the Indictment upon political questions which are considered to be irrelevant to the proceedings before this Tribunal. However, it is considered appropriate to disclose such reservations that they may not be unknown to the Tribunal in the event they should at any time be considered relevant. For that purpose, the foregoing copy is filed. Dear Sirs: In the Indictment of German War Criminals signed today, reference is made to Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, and certain other territories as being within the area of the USSR. This language is proposed by Russia and is accepted to avoid the delay which would be occasioned by insistence on an alteration in the text. The Indictment is signed subject to this reservation and understanding: I have no authority either to admit or to challenge on behalf of the United States of America, Soviet claims to sovereignty over such territories. Nothing, therefore, in this Indictment is to be construed as a recognition by the United States of such sovereignty or as indicating any attitude, either on the part of the United States or on the part of the undersigned. toward any claim to recognition of such sovereignty. Respectfully submitted, Robet H. Jackson, Chief of Counsel for the United States."
October 19, 1945: British Major Airey Neave presents each defendant 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. Frick: "The whole indictment rests on the assumption of a fictitious conspiracy." (Tusa)
October 25, 1945: Andrus loses yet another Nazi as Defendant Dr Robert Ley, Hitler's head of the German Labor Front (Deutsche Arbeitsfront, DAF), commits suicide in his Nuremberg cell. Scorecard: There are now officially 23 indicted defendants; 22 of these are actually alive and in Allied custody.
October 29, 1945: Only seven of the defendants have obtained counsel by this date. Frank, a lawyer and former high-ranking jurist, is consulted by more than a few defendants concerning counsel. Frick, Frank, Sauckel and Shairach unsuccessfully apply for the services of a Munich lawyer named Scanzoni. Note: Eighteen of the forty-eight German lawyers who eventually participate in the trial will have Nazi backgrounds. (Conot, Maser)
1945: 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. Frick scores 124. 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: The day before the opening of the trial, a motion is filed on behalf of all defense counsel: "...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..."
December 11, 1945 Nuremberg Tribunal: On the trial's 17th day, the prosecution presents as evidence a four-hour movie, 'The Nazi Plan,' compiled from various Nazi propaganda films and newsreals. The film opens with Rosenberg, plump in his Party uniform, providing the pompous narration for 'Triumph of the Will.' Far from viewing the film as another nail in their coffins, the defendants enjoy it hugely. "From the diary of an eyewitness, Dr. Victor von der Lippe: 'Göring was visibly delighted to see himself once more 'in the good times.'" Ribbentrop spoke of the gripping force of Hitler's personality, another defendant declared himself happy that the Tribunal would see him at least once in full uniform, and with the dignity of his office." (Taylor, Conot)
January 3, 1946 Nuremberg Tribunal: On day 26, Otto Ohlendorf testifes for the defense concerning the murder of hundreds of thousands of Jews by the Einsatz groups. Dr Gilbert records the reactions of some of the defendants during the lunch break: "Fritzsche was so depressed, he could not eat. Frick, however, remarked how nice it would be to be able to go skiing in this fine weather. Fritzsche stopped eating and looked at me in desperation, then glared at Frick." (Gilbert)
January 8, 1946 Nuremberg Tribunal: On day 29, Colonel Leonard Wheeler Jr, Assistant Trial Counsel for the United States, presents the prosecutions case on the Suppression of Churches: "...I now come to the acts of suppression in Czechoslovakia, where, the Court will recollect, the Defendant Von Neurath was Reich Protector for Bohemia and Moravia from 1939 to 1943 and was succeeded by the Defendant Frick. These acts have been summarized in an official Czech Government report..."Czech Official Report for the Prosecution and Trial of the German Major War Criminals by the International Military Tribunal Established according to the Agreement of the Four Great Powers...It describes the maltreatment of Catholic priests - 487 of whom were sent to concentration camps as hostages-dissolutio
"Frick had undoubted abilities as a bureaucrat, but also embodied all the bureaucrat's possible weaknesses. These came to the surface in Nuremerg jail. He was pernickety. A psychologist told the Chicago Daily News: 'He is like a little old woman, worrying about trivial things all the time.' He had lived his life with facts and figures, diagrams and the minutiae of bureaucratic systems. Andrus had received a report from Gilbert which called Frick callous and unimaginative. His fellow defendants found him taciturn and totally cold. He shared their general inability to see connections between his acts and what happened outside his office. Just before his case began he told Gilbert: 'The mass murders were certainly not thought of as a consequence of the Nuremberg Laws...It may have turned out that way, but it certainly wasn't thought of like that.' He felt no responsibility or regret. Frick seemed incapable of feeling, except for himself. He was the most constant and bitter complainer about prison conditions. He was not sybaritic, just totally selfish, and this selfishness must ultimately explain why Frick decided not to go into the witness box. He had decided there was little to be said in his defense. He accepted the prosecutions charges in the main, just wanted to make a few corrections of detail...All these points, thought Frick, could be adequately dealt with by his lawyer and a witness. He could leave it to them to tidy up the record; why bother to go into the witness box...by not going into the witness box, Frick was letting down his fellow defendants. He was dodging the chance to speak on their behalf, to take responsibility for measures which might otherwise be attributed to some of them and defend legal and administrative aspects of the regime they had all served. To make matters worse, the one witness (Gisevius) he intended to call was an inveterate opponent of Nazism and a doughty fighter against Hitler and his henchmen. It was certain that this witness would use his appearance in court to attack those he had regarded with implacable hatred for years. Frick did not care what his witness said, who he implicated, or what crimes he exposed. All that concerned him was to make slight adjustments and corrections in the prosecutions case against him. Let the rest, quite literally, go hang." -From 'The Nuremberg Trial' by Ann and John Tusa.
"Dr. Pannenbecker's argument for Frick was even shorter than Seidl's (for Frank), as befitted the thinnest record of all the defendants cases. Frick had not testified, so there was no cross-examination; Pannenbecker's presentation of documents was brief, as had been Dr. Kempner's offer of prosecution evidence; and Frick's only witness, Gisevius, had spent most of his time on Schacht, Göring, and Keital rather than Frick. Thus Pannenbecker's script was the first systematic, chronological statement of the Frick case. It was very effective in distancing Frick from involvement in aggressive wars and shifting the blame for atrocities to Himmler and his minions. As in Frank's case. however, there was much prosecution evidence damaging to Frick which Pannenbecker ignored or could not confute. The seven defendants dealt with...(up till this point in the trial) all confronted evidence so damaging to them that few people familiar with the Tribunal's proceedings had much doubt about their conviction and severe punishment. Their lawyers had struggled manfully and several of them admirably, but they must have felt the apparent hopelessness of their goal." -From 'The Anatomy of the Nuremberg Trials' by Telford Taylor.
July 12, 1946 From the diary of Dr. Victor von der Lippe (assistant defense attorney for Raeder): "From a court source...the rumor went round today that, irrespective of the final pleas, the Tribunal was so far advanced with its findings that, as things stood, death sentences must be reckoned with except for Schacht, Papen and Fritzsche..."
July 16, 1946 From the letters of Thomas Dodd: "...The defendants reflect the ending of these proceedings. They seem to feel that the days are definitely numbered. Even Göring, who has been positively impish up to very recently, now is gray and crestfallen. Keital wears the mask of the doomed already. And so it goes through the entire dock. General Jodl and Seyss-Inquart being exceptions to some extent and mostly because they are more stable emotionally..."
July 29, 1946 Nuremberg Tribunal: On day 189 of deliberations, General Rudenko, Chief Prosecutor for the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, details Prosecutions closing arguments: "Rudenko: ...The history of the development of the Nazi movement in Germany and the numerous crimes of the Hitlerites is indissolubly connected with the name of the Defendant Wilhelm Frick. As Minister of the Interior of the Hitlerite Government, Frick participated in the promulgation of numerous laws, decrees and other acts directed at the destruction of democracy in Germany, the persecution of the Church, the discrimination against the Jews, et cetera. In this capacity the Defendant Frick contributed actively to the creation in Germany of the Hitlerite totalitarian State..."
August 30, 1946 Nuremberg Tribunal: On day 216 of deliberations, the defendants make their final statements. "The President: I call upon the Defendant Wilhelm Frick. Final Statement of Wilhelm Frick: I have a clear conscience with respect to the Indictment. My entire life was spent in the service of my people and my fatherland. To them I have devoted the best of my strength in the loyal fulfilment of my duty. I am convinced that no patriotic American or citizen of any other country would have acted differently in my place, if his country had been in the same position. For to have acted any differently would have been a breach of my oath of allegiance, and high treason. In fulfilling my legal and moral duties, I believe that I have deserved punishment no more than have the tens of thousands of faithful German civil servants and officials in the public service who have already been detained in camps for over a year merely because they did their duty. I feel in duty and honor bound, as a former long-standing public minister, to remember them here in gratitude."
September 2, 1946 Nuremberg Tribunal: As the defendants await the courts judgement, Colonel Andrus somewhat relaxes the conditions of confinement, allowing those prisoners with wives or children limited visitation. Fricks wife had been one of the two (the other was Göring's wife, Emma) who had actually managed to gain entrance to the Hall of Justice during the trial. When she finally glimpsed her husband, she broke down and was escorted from the courtroom. (Tusa)
September 26, 1946 Nuremberg Tribunal: From the 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 purue then 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 29, 1946 Nuremberg Tribunal: From notes by Dr Pflücker, Nuremberg Prison's German Doctor: "Yesterday, the defendants said farewell to their relatives...Frick is cheerful and is glad that at last the decision is near." (Maser)
September 30, 1946 Nuremberg Tribunal: On the penultimate day of this historic trial, the final judgements are read in open court. Final Judgement: "Frick is indicted on all four Counts. Recognized as the chief Nazi administrative specialist and bureaucrat, he was appointed Reich Minister of the Interior in Hitler's first cabinet. He retained this important position until August 1943, when he was appointed Reich Protector of Bohemia and Moravia. In connection with his duties at the center of all internal and domestic administration, he became the Prussian Minister of the Interior, Reich Director of Elections, General Plenipotentiary for the Administration of the Reich, and a member of the Reich Defense Council, the Ministerial Council for Defense of the Reich, and the "Three Man College." As the several countries incorporated into the Reich were overrun, he was placed at the head of the central offices for their incorporation. Though Frick did not officially join the Nazi Party until 1925, he had previously allied himself with Hitler and the National Socialist cause during the Munich Putsch, while he was an official in the Munich Police Department. Elected to the Reichstag in 1924, he became a Reichsleiter as leader of the National Socialist faction in that body. Crimes against Peace: An avid Nazi, Frick was largely responsible for bringing the German nation under the complete control of the NSDAP. After Hitler became Reich Chancellor, the new Minister of the Interior immediately began to incorporate local governments under the sovereignty of the Reich. The numerous laws he drafted, signed, and administered, abolished all opposition parties and prepared the way for the Gestapo and their concentration camps to extinguish all individual opposition. He was largely, responsible for the legislation which suppressed the trade unions, the Church, the Jews. He performed this task with ruthless efficiency. Before the date of the Austrian aggression Frick was concerned only with domestic administration within the Reich. The evidence does not show that he participated in any of the conferences at which Hitler outlined his aggressive intentions. Consequently the Tribunal takes the view that Frick was not a member of the common plan or conspiracy to wage aggressive war as defined in this Judgment. Six months after the seizure of Austria, under the provisions of the Reich Defense Law of 4 September 1938, Frick became Plenipotentiary, General for the Administration of the Reich. He was made responsible for war administration, except the military and economic, in the event of Hitler's proclaiming a state of defense. The Reich Ministries of Justice, Education, Religion, and the Office of Spatial Planning were made subordinate to him. Performing his allotted duties, Frick devised an administrative organization in accordance with wartime standards. According to his own statement, this was actually put into operation after Germany decided to adopt a policy of war Frick signed the law of 13 March 1938, which united Austria with the Reich, and he was made responsible for its accomplishment. In setting up German administration in Austria, he issued decrees which introduced German law, the Nuremberg Decrees, the Military Service Law, and he provided for police security by Himmler. He also signed the laws incorporating into the Reich the Sudetenland, Memel, Danzig, the Eastern territories (West Prussia and Posen), and Eupen, Malmedy, and Moresnet. He was placed in charge of the actual incorporation and of the establishment of German administration over these territories. He signed the law establishing the Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia. As the head of the central offices for Bohemia and Moravia, the Government General, and Norway, he was charged with obtaining close co-operation between the German officials in these occupied countries and the supreme authorities of the Reich. He supplied German civil servants for the administrations in all occupied territories, advising Rosenberg as to their assignment in the Occupied Eastern Territories. He signed the laws appointing Terboven Reich Commissioner to Norway and Seyss-Inquart to Holland. War Crimes and Crimes against Humanity: Always rabidly anti-Semitic, Frick drafted, signed, and administered many laws designed to eliminate Jews from German life and economy. His work formed the basis of the Nuremberg Decrees, and he was active in enforcing them. Responsible for prohibiting Jews from following various professions and for confiscating their property, he signed a final decree in 1943, after the mass destruction of Jews in the East, which placed them "outside the law" and handed them over to the Gestapo. These laws paved the way for the "final solution," and were extended by Frick to the incorporated territories and to certain of the occupied territories. While he was Reich Protector of Bohemia and Moravia, thousands of Jews were transferred from the Terezin ghetto in Czechoslovakia to Auschwitz, where they were killed. He issued a decree providing for special penal laws against Jews and Poles in the Government General. The Police officially fell under the jurisdiction of the Reich Minister of the Interior. But Frick actually exercised little control over Himmler and police matters. However, he signed the law appointing Himmler Chief of the German Police, as well as the decrees establishing Gestapo jurisdiction over concentration camps and regulating the execution of orders for protective custody. From the many complaints he received, and from the testimony of, witnesses, the Tribunal concludes that he knew of atrocities committed in these camps. With knowledge of Himmler's methods, Frick signed decrees authorizing him to take necessary security measures in certain of the incorporated territories. What these "security measures" turned out to be has already been dealt with. As the supreme Reich authority in Bohemia and Moravia, Frick bears general responsibility for the acts of oppression in that territory after 20 August 1943, such as terrorism of the population, slave labor, and the deportation of Jews to the concentration camps for extermination. It is true that Frick's duties as Reich Protector were considerably more limited than those of his predecessor, and that he had no legislative and limited personal executive authority in the Protectorate. Nevertheless, Frick knew full well what the Nazi policies of occupation were in Europe, particularly with respect to Jews, at that time, and by accepting the office of Reich Protector he assumed responsibility for carrying out those policies in Bohemia and Moravia. German citizenship in the occupied countries as well as in the Reich came under his jurisdiction while he was Minister of the Interior. Having created a racial register of persons of German extraction, Frick conferred German citizenship on certain groups of citizens of foreign countries. He is responsible for Germanization in Austria, Sudetenland, Memel, Danzig, Eastern Territories (West Prussia and Posen), and in the territories of Eupen, Malmedy, and Moresnet. He forced on the citizens of these territories German law, German courts, German education, German police security, and compulsory military service. During the war nursing homes, hospitals, and asylums in which euthanasia was practiced as described elsewhere in this Judgment, came under Frick's jurisdiction. He had knowledge that insane, sick, and aged people, "useless eaters," were being systematically put to death. Complaints of these murders reached him, but he did nothing to stop them. A report of the Czechoslovak War Crimes Commission estimated that 275,000 mentally deficient and aged people, for whose welfare he was responsible, fell victim to it. Conclusion: The Tribunal finds that Frick is not guilty on Count One. He is guilty on Counts Two, Three and Four."
October 1, 1946 Nuremberg Tribunal: On the 218th and last day of the trial, sentences are handed own: "Defendant Wilhelm Frick, on the Counts of the Indictment on which you have been convicted, the Tribunal sentences you to death by hanging." From 'Justice at Nuremberg' by Robert E. Conot: "The eleven condemned to death were no longer permitted to exercise in the yard. Whenever one emerged from his cell, he was handcuffed to a guard. For a few minutes a day, one at a time, they were marched up and down in the center of the cell block in lock step with a military policeman. When they saw their attorneys in the Palace of Justice, a GI sat with each of them like a Siamese twin joined at the wrist...The British and French were so apprehensive about demonstrations or a possible attempt to rescue the prisoners that they insisted that no prior announcement of the executions be made."
October 13, 1946: From 'Spandau Diary' by Albert Speer:: "A guard goes from cell to cell. He asks whether we want to make use of our right to a daily walk on the ground floor. The yard is still barred to us. I have to get out; the cell is begining to feel unbearably oppresive. So I ask to go. But I shudder at the prospect of seeing the men on death row (Note: The 11 condemned men are housed in cells on the ground floor; the 7 sentenced to prison time are being kept in an upper tier of cells). The guard holds out the chrome handcuffs. Linked together, we have some difficulty descending the winding staircase. In the silence, every step on the iron stairs sounds like a thunderclap. On the ground floor I see eleven soldiers staring attentively into eleven cells. The men inside are eleven of the surviving leaders of the Third Reich...Then there is Wilhelm Frick, a taciturn man who as minister of the interior turned Hitler's grudges into laws...As the rules prescribe, most of them are lying on their backs, hands on the blanket, heads turned toward the inside of the cell. A ghostly sight, all of them in their immobility; it looks as though they have already been laid on their biers...I cannot stand it for long. Back in my cell, I decide not to go back down again." Note: German author Werner Maser, in 'Nuremberg: A Nation on Trial,' comments critically on the above passage by Speer: "These and the comments immediately following are typical of Speer's usual fanciful descriptions. Since he was handcuffed to a guard, he could not have seen what was going on in the cells. His remarks on his fellow-defendants speak for themselves."
October 13, 1946: Justice Jackson reports to President Truman: "...By the Agreement and this trial we have put International Law squarely on the side of peace as against aggressive warfare, and on the side of humanity as against persecution. In the present depressing world outlook it is possible that the Nurnberg trial may constitute the most important moral advance to grow out of this war. The trial and decision by which the four nations have forfeited the lives of some of the most powerful political and military leaders of Germany because they have violated fundamental International Law, does more than anything in our time to give to International Law what Woodrow Wilson described as 'the kind of vitality it can only have if it is a real expression of our moral judgement..."
October 16, 1946 Spandau Diary: "At some hour of the night I woke up. I could hear footsteps and indistinguishable words in the lower hall. Then silence, broken by a name being called out: 'Ribbentrop!' A cell door is opened; then scraps of phrases, scraping of boots, and reverberating footsteps slowly fading away. Scarcly able to breathe, I sit upright on my cot, hearing my heart beat loudly, at the same time aware that my hands are icy. Soon the footsteps come back and I hear the next name: 'Keitel!' Once more a cell door opens, once more noises and the reverberation of footsteps. Name after name is called..." (Speer II)
October 16, 1946: Frick's last words: "Long live eternal Germany."
October 20, 1946: From a 'Stars and Stripes' interview with Master-Sergeant John C. Woods, the Nuremberg Executioner: "I hanged these ten Nazis in Nuremberg and I am proud of it; I did a good job. Everything went A1. I have...never been at an execution which went better. I am only sorry that that fellow Göring escaped me; I'd have been at my best with him. No, I wasn't nervous. I haven't got any nerves. You can't afford nerves in my job. But this Nuremberg job was just what I wanted. I wanted this job so terribly that I stayed here a bit longer, though I could have gone home earlier. But I'll say one thing about these Nazis. They died like brave men. Only one of them showed signs of weakness. As Frick climbed the thirteen steps to the gallows, one of his legs seemed to fail and the guard had to hold him up. They were all haughty. One could see how they hated us. The old Jew-baiter Streicher looked at me as he said: 'One day the Bolshevists will hang you.' I looked him back straight in the eye. They couldn't ruffle me. There's not much to say about the executions themselves. They went off...like all other routine executions. Ten men in 103 minutes. That's quick work. Only one of them moved after he fell. He groaned for a bit but not for long. Another, I think it was Sauckel, started to shout 'Heil Hitler' after I had put the hood over his head. I stopped that - with the rope. I used a new rope and a new hood for each man. I put the noose round myself and attached each rope myself to make sure nothing went wrong. The ropes and hoods were burnt with the bodies so that there was nothing left for the souvenir-hunters....What do I think of the gallows job? Someone has to do it after all...But I'm glad the Nuremberg affair is over. It was a strain. I had never seen any of the condemned men before they came through the door of the execution chamber...they gave their names as they came to the scaffold...It is difficult to remember exactly what each one did and said. To hang ten people one after the other it has to go fairly quick, you know. And what I had in my hand was a rope, not a notebook."
"The 'job' had certainly not gone off 'A1,' as the hangman maintained. Streicher groaned for a long time after his execution. Jodl took eighteen minutes and Keital as much as twenty-four minutes to die. Some of the victims' faces were scratched and bleeding. Frick had severe wounds on his face and neck. Possibly the trapdoors were too small or the ropes had not been properly positioned. The hangman's story, which is only a story, is that the faces were smeared with blood because 'they had bitten their tongues at the moment they fell.' As far as the Allies were concerned all this was a closely guarded secret. When a German journalist named Helmut Kamphausen managed to persuade an American-licensed newspaper in Berlin to publish photographs of the blood-smeared faces and wounded heads, he was promptly arrested. The victors only released 'touched-up' pictures of the eleven bodies lying in a row on the gymnasium floor - with Göring at one end. That night the bodies were photographed - both naked and clothed - by a US Army photographer; they were in wooden packing cases. Göring's right eye was open, staring glassily at nothing; all the others still had the rope round their necks. Each carried a long narrow identification plate on the chest showing the initial of the Christian name and the surname in full. The bodies, still in their packing boxes, were then taken to Munich on two US Army lorries. There, in the Heilmannstrasse, they were cremated and the ashes scattered into the Conwentz Brook." -From 'Nuremberg: A Nation on Trial' by Werner Maser, translated by Richard Barry.
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