The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

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   Nazi Conspiracy and Aggression, Volume Two, Chapter XIV
                        WILHELM FRICK

Frick's appointment as Reichminister of the Interior in the
first Hitler Cabinet of 30 January 1933 gave him the task of

                                                  [Page 657]
"strengthening the power of the government and to secure the
New Regime" (3128-PS).

(1) Powers of Frick as Minister of Interior. To this task
his Ministry was perfectly suited. As Minister of the
Interior Frick became responsible for the realization of a
large part of the conspirators' program, through both
legislation and administration. His Ministry  was charged
especially with the following tasks:

(a) Internal Administration (State and local governments;
State and Local Civil Service).

(b) Relations between Nazi Party and State.

(c) Elections.

(d) Citizenship.

(e) Racial Law and Policy (Jewish Question, Eugenics)

(f) Armed Forces and Reich Defense (Conscription).

(g) Establishment of the New Order in occupied and annexed

(h) Legislation, Constitutional Law (civil liberties).

(i) Police Forces (including Gestapo, protective custody,
concentration camps). (3303-PS; 3475-PS)

The names of the men who, according to (3475-PS), worked
under Frick's supervision are significant. Among the
subordinates of Frick were "Reich Health Leader, Dr. Conti,"
"Reich Fuehrer SS and Chief of the German Police, Heinrich
Himmler," and "Reich Labor Service Leader, Konstantin
Hierl." Frick was, therefore, supreme commander of three
important pillars of the Nazi state: The Nazi Public Health
Service, the Police System, and the Labor Service.

The wide variety of the activities of Frick as Reich
Minister of the Interior can be judged from the following
catalogue of his functions: He had final authority on
constitutional questions, drafted legislation, had
jurisdiction over governmental administration and civil
defense, and was the final arbiter of questions concerning
race and citizenship. The Manual for Administrative
Officials also lists sections of his ministry concerned with
administrative problems for the occupied territories,
including annexed Bohemia and Moravia, and the New Order in
the East (3475-PS).

The Ministry of the Interior also had considerable authority
over the civil service, including such matters as
appointment, tenure, promotion and discharge. The Manual for
Administrative Officials (3475-PS) states that Frick's
functions included supervision of the general law of civil
servants, civil servants' policies, civil service aspirants,
education and training of civil

                                                  [Page 658]
servants and political and other officials. Frick's Ministry
also had extensive jurisdiction over the German civil
servants detailed to the administration of the occupied
countries. This fact was admitted by Wilhelm Stuckart,
former Under Secretary of Frick's Ministry of the Interior,
who stated in an interrogation:

     "As far as I know, the officials for the new
     territories were selected by the Personnel Office [of
     the Ministry of the Interior] according to their
     qualifications, their physical condition and maybe also
     their knowledge of the language." (3570-PS)

In the full use of these broad powers, Frick made his
essential contribution to the advancement of the conspiracy.

(2) Nazi seizure of power of German States. His first act
after the Conspirators' accession to power was to install
Nazi governments and administrations in all German States
where they were not already in power. The State governments
which refused to hand over their constitutional authority to
the Nazi successors designated by Frick were removed on
Frick's orders. This was the case in Bavaria, Hamburg,
Bremen, Lueback, Hessen, Baden, Wuerttemberg, and Saxony.

The manner and purpose of this program was clearly stated in
the book, "Dr. Frick and his Ministry," which was published
by his Under-Secretary Wilhelm Pfundner for Frick's 60th
birthday in order to establish the full scope of his
contribution to the creation of the Nazis' "Thousand-Year

     "While Marxism in Prussia was crushed by the hard fist
     of the Prussian Prime Minister, Hermann Goering, and a
     gigantic wave of propaganda was initiated for the
     Reichstag elections of 5 March 1933, Dr. Frick prepared
     the complete seizure of power in all states of the
     Reich. All at once the political opposition
     disappeared. All at once the Main [River] line was
     eliminated. From this time on only one will and one
     leadership reigned in the German Reich." (3119 PS; 3132-

(3) Abolition of political opposition. Frick then proceeded
to destroy all opposition parties in order to establish the
political monopoly of the Nazi Party over Germany. Here
again he acted by legislative fiat against all parties which
did not dissolve voluntarily. Among the laws which he
initiated for this purpose were the law of 26 May 1933
confiscating Communists' property (1396-PS); the law of 14
July 1933 confiscating property inimical to nation and state
(1388-PS); the law of 7 July 1933 void-

                                                  [Page 659]
ing the mandates of all Social Democrat candidates elected
to Reich state and local diets (2058-PS); and the law of 14
July 1933 outlawing all political parties other than the
Nazi Party (1388-A-PS; see 2403-PS).

Frick drafted and administered the laws which assured the
control of the Nazi Party over the State and "placed the
government machinery *** at the disposal of the Party."
Chief among these enactments were the Law to Secure the
Unity of Party and State, of 1 December 1933, which provided
that all government agencies should "lend legal and
administrative aid to the Party agencies" (195-PS), and the
law of 1 August 1934 consolidating the positions of Chief of
State and Leader of the Party (2003-PS; see 3119-PS).

The success of this series of measures was accurately
described b Frick himself in the following terms:

     "In National Socialist Germany, leadership is in the
     hands of an organized community, the National Socialist
     Party; and as the latter represents the will of the
     nation, the policy adopted by it in harmony with the
     vital interests of the nation is at the same time, the
     policy adopted by the country ***." (3258-PS)

(4) Consolidation of power in Reich Cabinet. Frick's next
task was to consolidate the executive and legislative
control thus achieved. First he drafted the law of 24 March
1933, which gave the Reich Cabinet the power to legislate by
decree. This law marked the end of parliamentary government
in Germany (2001-PS).

As a further step in the same direction, Frick prepared a
series of laws which destroyed all autonomous State and
local government. Through these laws, all governmental power
in Germany was consolidated in the Reich Cabinet.
Administration of these laws was placed in the hands of
Frick. These enactments include the Temporary Law for the
Coordination of the States with the Reich, of 3/31/1933
(2004-PS); the Law the Coordination of the States with the
Reich, of 7 April 1933 (2005-PS); the law of 30 January 1934
transferring the sovereignty of the states to the Reich; the
first ordinance under the law of 30 January 1934 subjecting
state legislation to Reich approval, 2 February 1934; the
second Reich Governor Law of 30 January 1935; the German
Municipality Act of 30 January 1935 (2008-PS); and the law
of 14 February 1934 abolishing the Reichsrat. (see 3119-PS;

Frick drafted the laws which abolished the independence of

                                                  [Page 660]
civil service, including functionaries of the Reich and the
States, judges, and university teachers. As Reichsminister
of the Interior, he was charged with the administration of
these laws. Among these laws was the Civil Service Act of 7
April 1933, paragraphs 3 and 4 of which provided for the
elimination of civil servants on the basis of religious or
political beliefs (1397-PS; see 3119-PS).

This complete subjection of the civil servants to the Nazi
controlled Ministry of Interior was well illustrated by an
order of Frick demanding a report on civil servants who had
failed to vote in the Reichstag elections of 29 March 1936

(5) Establishment of the Police State. Having thus taken
possession of the entire government machinery, Frick
organized a huge Reich police in order to maintain the
conspirators' power against all opposition.

It should be emphasized that before this time there was no
unified Reich police system; each individual German State
had a police force of its own. Even then, Frick had complete
control over the police forces, through the Reich Governor
Act which subjected the State governments to the authority
of the Reich government, in the person of the Reich Minister
of the Interior (2005-PS; L-82).

The decisive change-over to centralized totalitarianism was
effected by the Act of 17 June 1936 (RGBl, 1936, Part I, p.
87), which was signed by Frick and Hitler (2073-PS). Section
1 of this decree reads as

     "For the unification of police duties in the Reich, a
     Chief of German Police is instituted in the German
     Ministry of the Interior, to whom is assigned the
     direction and conduct of all police affairs."

Section 2 shows that it was Frick and Hitler, the signers of
the decree, who appointed Himmler as Chief of the German
Police. Paragraph 2, section 2 of the decree states that
Himmler was "subordinated individually and directly to the
Reich and Prussian Minister of the Interior" (2073-PS). In
other words, Frick not only appointed Himmler but himself
became, pursuant to this decree, the supreme commander of
the Reich police system in his capacity as Reich and
Prussian Minister of the Interior.

The official chart of the German police system (1852-PS; see
Chart Number 16) clearly shows the position of
Reichsminister of the Interior Frick as the head of the
entire German police system.

                                                  [Page 661]

This includes the notorious RSHA, of which Kaltenbrunner
became chief under Frick in January 1943 (3119-PS).

Frick used this newly created authority for the promotion of
the Nazi conspiracy. By his decree of 12 February 1936 he
established in detail the jurisdiction of the Secret State
Police (Gestapo) especially over the concentration camps and
in the field of political police information (2108-PS).

By his decree of 20 September 1936, published in the
Ministerial Gazette of the Reich (Ministerialblatt des
Reichs-und Preussischen Ministerium des Innern), 1936, page
1343, (2245-PS), Frick reserved for himself the authority to
appoint inspectors of security police and ordered their
close cooperation with the Party and with the Army.
Furthermore, in an ordinance dated 18 March 1938 (RGBl,
1938, Part I, page 262) (1437-PS) concerning the reunion of
Austria with the Reich, Frick authorized Himmler to take
security measures in Austria without regard to previous
legal limitations. Similarly, in his Decree of 11 November
1938 Frick ordered that all authorities cooperate closely
with the SD and RSHA under Himmler (1638-PS).

Frick's direct control over Himmler's Reich police can also
be shown in numerous other instances. It is necessary only
to mention Himmler's order of 26 June 1936 by which he
authorized Reinhard Heydrich, Chief of the SD, and Kurt
Daluege, Chief of the regular police, to sign "By order of
the Minister of the Interior" (1551-PS; 1680-PS).

As a result, the Police and part of Himmler's SS became in
fact merged under Frick's jurisdiction. An order by Hitler
dated 17 August 1938 regulated the functions of the SS,
which "have entered into close connection with the duties of
the German police" in the Ministry of Interior (647-PS; see

Similarly, Frick gave direct orders to the State Gestapo
offices. Thus on 6 November 1934 Frick issued an order
addressed, among others, to the Prussian Gestapo,
prohibiting the publication of Protestant church
announcements (1498-PS), and also issued a secret circular
addressed, among others, to the Prussian (Gestapo,
subjecting Catholic youth organizations to severe
restrictions (1482-PS).

It is not necessary here to repeat the evidence concerning
the criminal activities of the German police, over which
Frick had supreme authority. Reference is made to Chapter XI
on Concentration Camps, Chapter XII on Persecution of the
Jews, Section 6, Chapter VII on Persecution of the Church,
and Chapter XV on the criminal organizations, such as the
SA, SS, the Gestapo, and SD. Frick's personal familiarity
with these illegal activities

                                                  [Page 662]
may be illustrated by two striking instances. The first
instance is contained in a synopsis of correspondence
between the Reich Ministry of the Interior and its field
offices from November 1942 through August 1943, concerning
the legal aspects of the confiscation of property by the SS
for the enlargement of the concentration camp at Auschwitz
(1643-PS). This document contains the minutes of a meeting
held on 17 December 1942 and 18 December 1942 concerning the
confiscation of this property. These minutes indicate that a
further discussion was to be held on this subject on 21
December 1942, between the representatives of the
Reichsminister of the Interior and the Reichsfuehrer SS.
There is also a summary of a teletype letter, 22 January
1943, from Dr. Hoffman, representing the Reichsminister of
the Interior, to the Regierungspraesident in Kattowitz, a
provincial administrator under the direct jurisdiction of
the Reichsminister of the Interior. The summary begins
significantly with the sentence:

     "The territory of the Auschwitz Concentration Camp will
     be changed into an independent estate." (1643-PS)

A second illustration of Frick's personal interest in the
activities of Himmler's police and SS is the fact that in
1943 Frick visited the concentration camp at Dachau? where
he personally acquainted himself with the forced malaria
inoculation of healthy camp inmates and with other
experiments on human beings carried out by Dr. Rascher. This
is borne out by the affidavit of Dr. Franz Blaha, a former
inmate of the concentration camp at Dachau, who has stated
that Frick made a special tour of inspection of the malaria
and cooling experimental stations at Dachau (3249-PS).

(6) Suppression and terrorization of opponents. Having
established this powerful police organization under his
command, Frick used it especially in order to suppress all
internal opposition. That this would be his aim he had
repeatedly announced even in the years before 1933, when he
declared that he was ready to establish the power of the
conspirators with terror and violence (2513-PS).

As early as 1932, Frick threatened his opponents in the
Reichstag with these words:

     "Don't worry, when we are in power we shall put all of
     you guys in concentration camps." (L-83)

In pursuance of this long-planned campaign of political
terrorism, Frick drafted and signed a series of decrees
legalizing all those uses of the political police which he
considered neces-

                                                  [Page 663]
sary in order to establish the dictatorial power of the
conspirators within Germany.

Five days after the accession of the conspirators to power
Frick signed the first law limiting the freedom of assembly
and of the press in Germany. Then, on 28 February 1933, the
day after the Reichstag fire, civil rights in Germany were
abolished altogether by decree signed by Frick (1390-PS).

The preamble of this decree, which was published on the
morning after the Reichstag fire, stated that the suspension
of civil rights was decreed as a defense measure against
Communist acts of violence endangering the State. At the
time of publication of this decree, the Nazi government
announced that a thorough investigation had proven that the
Communists had set fire to the Reichstag building. It is not
necessary here to go into the controversial question of who
set fire to the Reichstag, but it should be stressed that
the official Nazi statement that the Communists had set fire
to the building, on which Frick's law was predicated, was
issued without any investigation. Proof of this fact is
contained in an interrogation of Goering on 13 October 1945,
which contains the following passage:

     "Q. How could you tell your press agent, one hour after
     the Reichstag caught fire, that the Communists did it,
     without investigation?
     A. Did the public relations officer say that I said
     Q. Yes. He said you said it.
     A. It is possible when I came to the Reichstag, the
     Fuehrer and his gentlemen were there. I was doubtful at
     the time but it was their opinion that the Communists
     had started the fire.
     Q. But you were the highest law enforcement official in
     a certain sense. Daluege was your subordinate. Looking
     back at it now, and not in the excitement that was
     there once, wasn't it too early to say without any
     investigation that the Communists had started the fire?
     A. Yes, that is possible, but the Fuehrer wanted it
     this way.
     Q. Why did the Fuehrer want to issue at once a
     statement that the Communists had started the fire?
     A. He was convinced of it.
     Q. It is right when I say he was convinced without
     having any evidence or any proof of that at this
     A. That is right, but you must take into account that
     at that time the Communist activity was extremely
     strong, that our new government as such was not very
     secure." (3593-PS)

                                                  [Page 664]
This Act of 28 February 1933 also constituted the basis for
the establishment of the concentration camps. Frick himself
established in detail the handling of so-called "protective
custody' under which inmates were held in concentration
camps (779-PS; 1723-PS; L-302).

Frick also signed two laws designed specifically to suppress
all criticism and opposition to the Government and the Nazi
Party (1652-PS; 1393-PS).

Frick also signed the laws which brought about the
suppression of independent labor unions as a potential
source of opposition inside Germany to the progress of the
Nazi conspiracy (405-PS; 1861-PS; 1770-PS). Among these
decrees was the law providing for the confiscation of all
labor union property in favor of the German Labor Front

Furthermore, Frick and his subordinates took an active part
in the persecution of the independent churches. An order of
the Reich Minister of the Interior dated 6 November 1934
prohibited the publication of Protestant church
announcements (1498-PS); likewise Frick issued a circular
letter to Reich officials imposing severe restrictions on
Catholic youth organizations (1482-PS). Frick further on 5
May 1938 wrote to the heads of government agencies proposing
methods for invalidating the concordat between Austria and
the Holy See (680 PS). His Ministry was also in
correspondence with the SD from 1940-1942 concerning the
confiscation of church property (R-101-A, through R-101-D).

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