The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

Nazi Conspiracy & Aggression
Individual Responsibility Of Defendants
Wilhelm Frick
(Part 9 of 11)

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Frick actively participated in the execution of the conspirators' program of atrocities and Crimes against Humanity. Even without such personal participation, however, Frick has admitted that he could properly be charged with having for 12 years continued in the Reich Cabinet, after he had realized the direction the conspiracy was taking (3043- PS).

The scope of Frick's personal and direct responsibility for Nazi Crimes against Humanity is so broad that reference need be made only to a few of the most significant instances.

(1) Gestapo atrocities and concentration camps. Frick, as jurisdictional head of the German Police Administration, is responsible for the crimes and atrocities perpetrated by the German police, especially the Gestapo and SS, inside and outside of Germany. (See 1643-PS; also Chapter XI on Concentration Camps.)

As already stated, Frick demonstrated particular interest in the "medical" experiments carried on in the concentration camps under the personal direction of Himmler. Frick paid a personal visit to Germany's oldest concentration camp, Dachau, in 1943, for the purpose of inspecting the malaria station and Dr. Rascher's Experimental Station (3249-PS). There he could personally acquaint himself with the forced subjection of healthy camp inmates to malarial mosquitos and the air-pressure and freezing experiments on human beings carried on by Dr. Rascher.

(2) Oppression of inhabitants of occupied territories. As administrative head of the occupied territories, Frick issued decrees depriving the inhabitants of their rights and subjecting them to a

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cruel and discriminatory regime. Among these enactments were the decree of 4 December 1941 establishing a special penal law or the Polish and Jewish inhabitants of the Gouvernment General (R-96), (1249-PS); the decree of 1 July 1943 depriving Jews of rights remaining to them under the decree of 4 December 1941 (1422-PS); and the Himmler ordinance of 3 July 1943 charging the Gestapo with the execution of the decree of 1 July 1943 (published in Frick's Ministry of Interior Gazette 1943, p. 1085) (3085-PS) .

Similarly, the Decree on the Utilization of Eastern Workers, Which required that they be paid salaries substantially below those fixed for German workers holding similar jobs, was signed by Frick's name by his Secretary of State.

(3) Systematic killing of insane, ill, aged, and incapacitated foreign slave laborers. Frick's greatest guilt perhaps rests on his responsibility, as Reich Minister of the Interior, for the systematic killing of the insane, the sick, and the aged, including those foreign forced laborers who were no longer able to work. These killings were carried out in nursing homes, hospitals, and asylums. Frick, in his capacity of Reichsminister of the Interior, had full jurisdiction over all these institutions (3475-PS).

Proof that the Reichministry of the Interior under Frick actually exercised this jurisdiction is to be found in a letter of 2 October 1940 (621-PS) from the Chief of the Reich Chancellery, Dr. Lammers, to the Reichsminister of Justice. The letter informed the Minister of Justice that the Chief Prosecutors' reports concerning the death of inmates of nursing homes had been transmitted to the Reichsminister of the Interior for further action (621-PS). Through other correspondence Frick's Ministry of the Interior was informed of the unexplained deaths of insane persons (1696-PS; 1969-PS).

The most striking example of the continued killings in these institutions, which were under Frick's jurisdiction, is the famous Hadamar case. Systematic killing started at the Hadamar nursing home as early as 1939. At least as early as 1941 Frick was officially acquainted with the fact that these killings had become public knowledge. Proof is found in a letter from the Bishop of Limburg of 13 August 1941 to the Reichsminister of Justice, copies of which were sent to the Reichsminister of the Interior and the Reichsminister for Church Affairs. The letter reads in part as follows:

" About 8 kilometers from Limburg, in the little town of Hadamar, on a hill overlooking the town, there is an

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institution which had formerly served various purposes and of late had been used as a nursing home; this institution was renovated and furnished as a place in which, by consensus of opinion, the above-mentioned Euthenasia has been systematically practiced for months -- approximately since February 1941. The fact has become known beyond the administrative district of Wiesbaden, because death certificates from a Registry Hadamar-Moenchberg are sent to the home communities. ***

"Several times a week buses arrive in Hadamar with a considerable number of such victims. School children of the vicinity know this vehicle and say: 'There comes the murder-box again.' After the arrival of the vehicle, the citizens of Hadamar watch the smoke rise out of the chimney and are tortured with the ever- present thought of the miserable victims, especially when repulsive odors annoy them, depending on the direction of the wind.

"The effect of the principles at work here are: Children call each other names and say, 'You're crazy; you'll be sent to the baking oven in Hadamar.' Those who do not want to marry, or find no opportunity, say 'Marry, never! Bring children into the world so they can be put into the bottling machine!' You hear old folks say, 'Don't send me to a state hospital! After the feeble-minded have been finished off, the next useless eaters whose turn will come are the old people.'

" The population cannot grasp that systematic actions are carried out which in accordance with Par. 211 of the German criminal code are punishable with death ! ***

"Officials of the Secret State Police, it is said, are trying to suppress discussion of the Hadamar occurrences by means of severe threats. In the interest of public peace, this may be well intended. But the knowledge and the conviction and the indignation of the population cannot be changed by it; the conviction will be increased with the bitter realization that discussion is prohibited with threats but that the actions themselves are not prosecuted under penal law.

"Facta loquuntur.

"I beg you most humbly, Herr Reich Minister, in the sense of the report of the Episcopate of July 16 of this year, to prevent further transgressions of the Fifth Commandment of God.

"Signed) Dr. Hilfrich" (615-PS).

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