Julius Streicher cross-examined at the Nuremberg trials (1946)

On April 29th 1946, Nazi propagandist Julius Streicher was cross-examined at Nuremberg by Lieutenant-Colonel Mervyn Griffith-Jones, a British officer on behalf of the prosecution:

Griffith-Jones: “Exhibit Number GB-327… Let me just read to you an extract from an article which you wrote in Der Sturmer of March 1938, immediately after the Anschluss with Austria. I want you to tell me whether or not you are advocating the Nazi policy in regard to Austria. “Our Lord is making provision that the power of the Jews may not extend to heaven itself. What was only a dream up to a few days ago has now become reality. The brother nation of Austria has returned home to the Reich.” And then, a few lines farther down: “We are entering into glorious times, a Greater Germany without Jews.” Do you say that you are not there issuing propaganda on behalf of the Nazi policy?”

Streicher: “I did not indulge in propaganda politics, for Austria was already annexed. I just welcomed the fact. I did not need to make any more propaganda about it.”

Griffith-Jones: “Very well. Perhaps you’ll tell me what you mean by the “Greater Germany” that you are approaching. What Greater Germany are you approaching in March 1938, a Germany greater than it was after the Anschluss with Austria?”

Streicher: “A Greater Germany, a living area in which all Germans, German-speaking people, people of German blood, can live together.”

Griffith-Jones: “Do I understand that you are advocating Lebensraum, greater space, not yet owned by Germany?”

Streicher: “Not at first, no. At first, it was merely a question of Austria and Germany. The Austrians are Germans and, therefore, belong to a Greater Germany…”

Griffith-Jones: “I want to turn now to the question of the Jews. May I remind you of the speech that you made on April 1st 1933, that is to say, the day of the boycott… “For 14 years we have been crying to the German nation, ‘German people, learn to recognize your true enemy … Never since the beginning of the world and the creation of man has there been a nation which dared to fight against the nation of blood-suckers and extortioners who, for a thousand years, have spread all over the world.” … Is it right that for 14 years you had been repeating in Germany: “German people. learn to recognize your true enemy”? … And in doing so, is it true that you had been preaching religious hatred?”

Streicher: “No.”

Griffith-Jones: “Will you look at…”

Streicher: “May I be permitted to make a statement concerning this answer? In my weekly, Der Sturmer, I repeatedly stated that for me the Jews are not a religious group but a race, a people.”

Griffith-Jones: “And do you think to call them “blood-suckers,” “a nation of blood-suckers and extortioners”. Do you think that’s preaching hatred?”

Streicher: “I beg your pardon. I have not understood you?”

Griffith-Jones: “You may call them a race or a nation, whichever you like. But you were saying, on April 1st 1933, that they were a “nation of blood-suckers and extortioners.” Do you call that preaching hatred?”

Streicher: “That is a statement, the expression of a conviction which can be proved on the basis of historical facts.”

Griffith-Jones: “Understand me. I did not ask you whether it was a fact or not. I am asking whether you called it preaching hatred. Your answer is yes or no.”

Streicher: “No, it is not preaching hatred; it is just a statement of facts…”

Griffith-Jones: “We won’t go on with that. You know, do you not, that starting with the boycott which you led yourself in 1933, the Jews were, during the course of the years, deprived of the right to vote, deprived of holding any public office, excluded from the professions; demonstrations were conducted against them in 1938, they were fined a billion marks, they were forced to wear a yellow star, they had their own separate seats to sit on, and they had their houses and their businesses taken away from them. Do you call that “enlightenment”?”

Streicher: “That has nothing to do with what I wrote, nothing to do with it. I did not issue the orders. I did not make the laws. I was not asked when laws were prepared. I had nothing to do with these laws and orders.”

Griffith-Jones: “But as those laws and orders were passed you were applauding them, and you were going on abusing the Jews and asking for more and more orders to be passed; isn’t that a fact?”

Streicher: “I ask to have put to me which law I applauded.”

Griffith-Jones: “You told the Tribunal yesterday, did you not, that you thought you were responsible for the Nuremberg Decrees, which you had been advocating for years before they came into force. Isn’t that a fact?”

Streicher: “The Nuremberg Decrees? I did not make them. I was not asked beforehand, and I did not sign them either. But I state here that these laws are the same laws which the Jewish people have as their own. It is the greatest and most important act of legislation which a modern nation has at any time made for its protection.”