The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

Nazi Conspiracy & Aggression
Individual Responsibility Of Defendants
Wilhelm Frick
(Part 4 of 11)

[Page 659]

(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 the

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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 (D-43).

(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 1637-PS).

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

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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).

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