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Military government weekly information bulletin
Number 62 (October 1946)

Press and radio comment,   pp. 18-31 PDF (7.5 MB)


Page 27

tector for Bohemia and Moravia, and served
in this capacity until 27 September 1941. He
held the formal rank of Obergruppenfuehrer
in the SS.
As Minister of Foreign Affairs, von Neu-
rath advised Hitler in connection with the
withdrawal from the Disarmament Con-
ference and the League of Nations on 14 Oc-
tober 1933; the institution of rearmament; the
passage on 16 March 1935 of the law for
universal military service; and the passage
on 21 May 1935 of the secret Reich Defense
Law. He was a key figure in the negotiation
of the Naval Accord entered into between
Germany and England on 18 June 1935. He
played an important part in Hitler's decision
to reoccupy the Rhineland on 7 March
1936....
HAGUE CONVENTION APPLICABLE
Von Neurath was appointed Reich Pro-
tector for Bohemia and Moravia.... The oc-
cupation of Bohemia and Moravia must....
be considered a military occupation covered
by the rules of warfare. Although Czecho-
slovakia was not a party to the Hague Con-
vention of 1907, the rules of land warfare
expressed in this Convention are declaratory
of existing international law and hence are
applicable....
Von Neurath instituted an administration
in Bohemia and Moravia similar 'to that in
effect in Germany.... In August 1939 von
Neurath 'issued a proclamation warning
against any acts of sabotage.... When the
war broke out.... 8,000 prominent Czechs
were arrested-.... and put into protective
custody. Many of this group died in con-
centration camps as a result of mistreatment.
In October and November 1939 Czechoslovak
students held a series of demonstrations. As
a result, on Hitler's orders, all universities
were closed, 1,200 students imprisoned and
the nine leaders of the demonstration shot by
Security Police and SD....
In mitigation it must be remembered that
he did intervene with the Security Police
and SD' for the release of many of the
Czechoslovakians who  were  arrested on
1 September 1939, and for' the release of
students arrested later' in the' fall. On
23 September 1941 he "was summoned before
Hitler and told that he was not being harsh
enough and that Heydrich was being sent to
the Protectorate to combat the Czechoslo-
vakian  resistance  groups. Von Neurath
attempted to dissuade Hitler from sending
Heydrich and when he was not successful
offered to resign. When his resignation was
not accepted he went on leave on 27 Sep-
tember 1941 and refused to act as Protector
after that date. His resignation was formally
accepted in August 1943.
Conclusion: The Tribunal finds' that' von
Neurath is guilty under all four counts
(conspiracy, crimes against peace, war
crimes, crimes against humanity).
Sentence: Fifteen years imprisonment.
Hans Fritzsche
He was best known as a radio com-
mentator.... In 1932 .... he was made the
head of the Wireless News Service, a Reich
Government agency. When on 1 May 1933
this agency was incorporated by the National
Socialists into their Reich Ministry of
Popular' Enlightenment and Propaganda,
Fritzsche became a member of the Nazi
Party and went to that Ministry. In Decem-
ber 1938 he became head of the Home Press
Division of the Ministry; in October 1942
he was promoted to the rank of Ministerial
Director.... He was, in November 1942,'
made head of' the Radio Division of the
Propaganda Ministry and Plenipotentiary
for the Political Organization of the Greater
German Radio.
As head of the Home Press Division,
Fritzsche supervised the German press of
2,300 daily newspapers.... He was, how-
ever, subordinate to Dietrich, the Reich
Press Chief, who was in turn a subordinate to
Goebbels. It was Dietrich who received the
directives to the press of Goebbels and other
Reich Ministers, and prepared them as
instructions, which he then handed to
Fritzsche for the press.... Fritzsche had' no
control of the formulation of these propa-
ganda policies. He was merely a conduit to
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