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Hans Georg Fritzsche

Fritzsche at the Nuremberg trials

Born April 21, 1900 (1900-04-21)
Bochum, Germany
Died September 27, 1953 (1953-09-28)
Cologne, Germany
Nationality German
Political party National Socialist German Workers' Party (NSDAP)
Spouse(s) Hildegard Fritzsche
Occupation Ministerialdirektor in the Ministry for Popular Enlightenment and Propaganda
Profession Journalist

Hans Georg Fritzsche (April 21, 1900 - September 27, 1953) was a senior German Nazi official, war criminal, ending the war as Ministerialdirektor at the Propagandaministerium.

Career

Fritzsche was born in Bochum (a city in the Ruhr Area) and served in the German army in 1917. Post-war he studied briefly at a number of universities before becoming a journalist for the Hugenberg Press and then involved in the new mass media of the radio, working for the German government. In September 1932 he was made head of the Drahtloser Dienst (the wireless news service). On May 1, 1933, he joined the NSDAP. Under Joseph Goebbels' Reich Ministry he continued to head the radio department before being promoted to the News Section at the Ministry. In mid-1938 he became deputy to Alfred Berndt at the German Press Division. Responsible for controlling German news, the agency was also called the Home or Domestic Press Division. In December 1938 he was made chief of the Home Press Division. In May 1942 Goebbels took personal control of the division, and Fritzsche returned to radio work for the Ministry as Plenipotentiary for the Political Organization of the Greater German Radio and head of the Radio Division of the Ministry.

Military Tribunal

1946-10-08 21 Nazi Chiefs Guilty.ogv
Oct 17, 1946 Newsreel of Nuremberg Trials Sentencing

Fritzsche was taken prisoner by Soviet soldiers in Berlin on May 2, 1945. He was tried before the International Military Tribunal. He was charged with conspiracy to commit crimes against peace, war crimes and crimes against humanity. No one really knew why he was there; indeed, rumors abounded that he was only in the dock as a stand-in for Goebbels.[1] He was one of only three defendants to be acquitted at Nuremberg (along with Hjalmar Schacht and Franz von Papen), but he was tried by a West German denazification court and was eventually sentenced to nine years. He was acquitted because it became evident to the tribunal that he had never pushed for the extermination of the Jews, and on two instances he even attempted to stop the publication of the anti-Semitic newspaper Der Stürmer. He was released in September 1950 and died of cancer soon after. His wife Hildegard Fritzsche (born Springer) died the same year.

References

  1. ^ Shirer, William L. The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich. New York City: Simon and Schuster, 1960.

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Quotes

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikiquote

Crime begins with propaganda, even if such propaganda is for a good cause.

Hans George Fritzsche (April 21, 1900September 27, 1953) was a senior Nazi official, ending the war as Ministerialdirektor at the Propagandaministerium. Under Joseph Goebbels' Reich Ministry he continued to head the radio department before being promoted to the News Section at the Ministry. Fritzsche was one of only three Nazi figures to be acquitted at Nuremberg, but he was soon charged with other crimes and was eventually sentenced to nine years. He was released in September 1950 and died of cancer soon afterwards.

Sourced

  • Moreover, there is this completely false trial. I would participate wholeheartedly in a trial if it were to determine the guilt for 5 million murdered people and the guilt for the atrocities. But I see in this trial endless other things brought out and I have the feeling that in the shadow of the guilt of these murders the German people shall be considered guilty of everything, and in the shadow of this guilt the Americans, English, French, and especially the Russians will want to get rid of their own dirty linen.
    • To Leon Goldensohn, March 2, 1946, from "The Nuremberg Interviews" - by Leon Goldensohn, Robert Gellately - History - 2004
  • So if depite that, Hitler prepared war, he perpetrated the greatest lie and betrayal in the world. This trial clearly shows that Hitler did just that. I have no hesitation to state very clearly that Hitler was a liar and a betrayer on a mammoth scale. Even without the death of the 5 million extermination camp victims, Hitler would still go down in history as the greatest villain that ever lived.
    • To Leon Goldensohn, April 6, 1946, from "The Nuremberg Interviews" - by Leon Goldensohn, Robert Gellately - History - 2004
  • What I would like to emanate from the darkness of this tragedy is one spark of life. I mean, the realization that crime does not begin when you murder people. Crime begins with propaganda, even if such propaganda is for a good cause. The moment propaganda turns against another nation or against any human being, evil starts. Whereas the Germans started propaganda toward the end of this tragedy, you Allies stand at the beginning of the tragedy.
    • To Leon Goldensohn, April 6, 1946, from "The Nuremberg Interviews" by Leon Goldensohn, Robert Gellately - History - 2004
  • We Germans carried our hatred from the First World War to the Second World War, and now you are about to carry the hatred about the murder of 5 million people on to another World War.
    • To Leon Goldensohn, April 6, 1946, from "The Nuremberg Interviews" - by Leon Goldensohn, Robert Gellately - History - 2004
I often said that never in the history of the world did one man receive so much faith and trust as Hitler. Similary, no one has ever betrayed so many people and abused so much good faith as he did.
  • The democracy which shows up in the United States and in England is not an ideal democracy, because the will of the people is under the pressure of property, which is in the hands of the wealthy capitalists.
    • To Leon Goldensohn, May 8, 1946, from "The Nuremberg Interviews" - by Leon Goldensohn, Robert Gellately - History - 2004
  • In the first place, there is the Hitler group, among whom are the most guilty of the defendants and about whom very little, if any, good can be spoken. By the Hitler group I include Göring, Ribbentrop, Kaltenbrunner, Keitel, Rosenberg, Frank, and Streicher. Then there is the group which one might call idealistic. Unfortunately, too many of us were indifferent. Not many belonged to the idealistic group, and I don't care to name them because I think I would be stretching a point to call any of the defendants idealists. I feel that perhaps of all the defendants I was the only idealist, although I suffered from blindness and indifference myself. In this respect, I am not like Speer, Schirach, and Funk. Schacht I consider an opportunist.
    • To Leon Goldensohn, May 8, 1946, from "The Nuremberg Interviews" - by Leon Goldensohn, Robert Gellately - History - 2004
  • I often said that never in the history of the world did one man receive so much faith and trust as Hitler. Similary, no one has ever betrayed so many people and abused so much good faith as he did.
    • To Leon Goldensohn, May 24, 1946, from "The Nuremberg Interviews" by Leon Goldensohn, Robert Gellately - History - 2004 - Page 71
  • 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. But to my knowledge it is a mistake to believe that in the Propaganda Ministry thousands of little lies were hatched out. 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.
    • September, 1946, at the Nuremberg Trials, quoted in "The Trial of the Germans" - Page 543 by Eugene Davidson - History - 1997

About Fritzsche

  • ...the 'finely polished word' of Hans Fritzsche was as effective as the surgeon's knife in cutting through the putrefying tissue of lies and laying bare the truth.
    • Review of the Foreign Press, Published 1980, Kraus International Publications
  • 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.
    • Robert H. Jackson

External links

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