Dr. Goebbels offers proof in Reichstag fireplace trial – archive, 9 November 1933 | World information


The 2 most important options of to-day’s Reichstag fireplace trial have been the proof of Dr. Goebbels describing how Hitler and he first heard of the hearth and the testimony of eight witnesses contradicting the prosecution case towards the three Bulgarians.

Dr. Goebbels, who appeared in court docket punctually, requested the President to place single inquiries to him, declining to make a speech as different distinguished witnesses have achieved. He started by ridiculing the suggestion that he or the Nazis had something to do with the Reichstag fireplace.


“On the evening of the hearth,” he mentioned, “Herr Hitler got here to dinner with me in my flat within the west of Berlin. There was nothing exceptional on this as Herr Hitler had not a house in Berlin then. Throughout dinner Dr. Hanfstaengl rang and mentioned ‘The Reichstag is burning.’ I didn’t consider it and thought it was revenge for a joke I had performed on him every week earlier than and hung up the receiver.

“The phone rang once more instantly and Dr. Hanfstaengl repeated his phrases. ‘I can see the flames from my window,’ he mentioned. Thereupon I instructed Herr Hitler and we drove with all velocity to the hearth.”

Dr. Goebbels replied to the President’s questions at size, repeating in a transparent, subdued voice with a great deal of gesture the previous arguments towards Communism. Not until the very finish of Dimitroff’s questioning was the witness provoked to an outburst of anger. The Bulgarian requested: “Mr. Minister, have you learnt that your fellow-Nazis in Austria and Czecho-Slovakia additionally should work illegally and make unlawful propaganda with false and coded addresses and correspondence?”

Dr. Goebbels (significantly): It appears you need to insult the Nazi motion. I reply you with Schopenhauer – “Each man deserves to be checked out, however to not be spoken with.”


Dimitroff was preventing towards heavy odds along with his issue as a foreigner in talking German, and his having to undergo frequent interruptions of Dr. Bünger, the Courtroom President, who shouted at him: “I don’t perceive you; you could converse extra clearly,” or, when he did so, ‘You have to not converse so slowly. You have to go faster.”

Van Der Lubbe at Reichstag fire trial, behind, on the right, Georgi Dimitroff, also accused, November 1933.

Van Der Lubbe at Reichstag fireplace trial, behind, on the precise, Georgi Dimitroff, additionally accused, November 1933. {Photograph}: Keystone-France/Gamma-Keystone through Getty Photos

Dr. Goebbels punctuated his solutions with jokes, which evoked laughter and applause from the general public.

Dimitroff requested if it was true that Dr. Goebbels had used the Reichstag fireplace as a propaganda weapon, not solely towards the Communists but in addition towards the Socialists and different Opposition events.

Dr. Goebbels: I’ve the impression Dimitroff desires to do some propaganda for the Communist get together earlier than this court docket. I do know what propaganda is, and he needn’t attempt to throw me out of my calm by such questions. The connection of the Socialists with the Communists was a truth.

To a later query nonetheless, of Herr Torgler (the accused Communist deputy) Dr. Goebbels replied. “The obstinacy of each the Socialist and Communist events was so nice that they’d relatively be ruined individually than defend the existence of their events collectively.”

Dr. Goebbels’s listening to was taken up largely with dialogue of a Communist catchword issued as much as November, 1930, when it was formally banned by the get together. It ran: “Strike the Fascists wherever you meet them.” The judges, the prosecution, and Dr. Goebbels vehemently argued that this slogan had in reality been propagated ever since and that the official ban was only a blind.


In robust phrases Dr. Goebbels represented the Nazis as going about in terror of Communist homicide bands. There was an extended dialogue of alleged Communist terrorism.

Dimitroff requested: “In August, 1932, there have been a sequence of bomb outrages in Germany. Nazis have been condemned to demise for them. Weren’t these terrorist acts an affair of Nazis?”

Dr. Goebbels: “It’s doable that outsiders despatched provocateurs into the ranks of the Nazi get together to instigate such outrages.”

Dimitroff: “Does the Minister know that Nazis who murdered an opponent, and have been condemned to demise for it, have been solemnly and demonstratively greeted by Chancellor Adolf Hitler?”

Dr. Goebbels: “These Nazis thought they have been appearing proper in crushing the Polish traitor, so the chief couldn’t go away them within the lurch.”

Dimitroff: “Has not the Nazi get together handed an amnesty for all terrorist acts dedicated by Nazis?”

Dr Goebbels: “After all, these males who defended themselves towards the Crimson terror, and who dedicated their deeds to avoid wasting the German nation, couldn’t be allowed to float into jail.”


There adopted a vigorous change between Torgler and Dr. Goebbels extra paying homage to a political debate, Dr Goebbels calling the accused “Deputy Torgler” when the latter put a query. After Torgler had in a sequence of questions indignantly, repudiated the costs of terrorism made by Dr. Goebbels and the bench towards the Communist get together, he requested, “Do you not know that severe makes an attempt at conciliation have been made, and that I personally mentioned the philosophy of Communism and Nationwide Socialism with Nazis?”

Dr. Goebbels, with nice pleasure, “Sure, you mentioned with little Storm Troopers to whom you felt superior. Everytime you have been confronted with my rapier level you dared not reply since you have been then inferior. I usually invited you, however you most popular to make use of pressure.”

Torgler (elevating his voice and really earnestly): “I declare that I spoke at in style conferences in the identical tone of voice, in the identical language, and with the identical actuality as within the Reichstag. If the Minister represents me as posing as a worthy bourgeois citizen I have to reply that the German Labour motion for me was a matter of highest idealism. I’ve by no means considered posing as an mental. I’m a store assistant and a son of the proletariat. This I needed to stay and have remained.”

Referring to the Oberfohren Memorandum, Dr. Goebbels added: “I knew Oberfohren effectively, and I believe he would have been completely incapable of composing the so-called memorandum. Even when the statements in it had been true, he wouldn’t have written them, as they’d have conflicted along with his Nationalist feeling of accountability. Though bold he wouldn’t have thus endangered the protection of the German folks.”

Guardian breaks the Oberfohren Memorandum story, 27 April 1933.

Guardian breaks the Oberfohren Memorandum story, 27 April 1933.
Learn full article {Photograph}: Guardian

Dr. Goebbels additionally declared that though he was not a member of the Cupboard at the moment he knew that they have been united within the view that the Communists set the Reichstag on fireplace.


Referring to the Worldwide Fee Dr. Goebbels says: “The Communists organized this farce in London. I solely remorse that the British Authorities permitted it, and the one clarification I can see is that it doesn’t know the Communist get together.”

Dr. Goebbels mentioned an occasion of Communist terrorist strategies was the threatening letters which he obtained. In occasions when the Communist get together was doing effectively he obtained few, however in unhealthy occasions many. Simply earlier than the hearth he obtained lots of of threatening letters saying: “Wait just a few days. The choice will come,” adopted by an outline of tortures reserved for him.


Of extra significance to the precise case towards the accused than the deal with of Dr. Goebbels was the testimony of seven waiters and the supervisor of the Restaurant Bayernhof, the place the three Bulgarians have been arrested. With substantial unanimity all eight witnesses declared that they’d by no means seen Van der Lubbe of their restaurant with the Bulgarians or alone.

In all vital factors they contradicted the proof of the Nazi waiter Hellmer who testified yesterday that he had seen Dimitroff, Popoff, and Taneff within the restaurant with Van der Lubbe. That they had seen Dimitroff and Popoff, the latter not earlier than November or December of final 12 months, which agrees with Popoff’s personal assertion. A few of them had seen Taneff on the day of his arrest. This agrees with Taneff’s assertion that he went there for the primary time on that day.

The Reichstag in flames during the Nazi ascent to power in Berlin, 1933.

The Reichstag in flames in the course of the Nazi ascent to energy in Berlin, 1933. {Photograph}: Fox Pictures/Getty Photos


Multiple witness mentioned he had seen a person resembling Van der Lubbe, whom he had nearly been ready from police images to establish as Van der Lubbe, however when he noticed the Dutchman within the flesh he was satisfied it was fairly a distinct particular person from the one he had seen with Dimitroff. The latter is, in accordance with the defence, the Austrian writer Rossner, who additionally has a shock of hair like Van der Lubbe, and has been referred to as from Prague to provide proof.

The witnesses mentioned they have been positive from the start that their colleague Hellmer was making a mistake. One mentioned: “One among our waiters had the concept the {photograph} of Van der Lubbe confirmed a likeness to one in every of our company. After we have been confronted with Van der Lubbe we noticed without delay that it couldn’t probably have been him.”

At this Dr. Coenders, one of many judges, angrily interposed, asking: “What number of company come to your restaurant day-after-day?”

The Witness: “Typically 1000’s.”

The Decide (nonetheless angrily): “That may do for me.”

The proof of those eight witnesses is regarded with appreciable curiosity, since had it not been for Hellmer’s assertion to the police that he had seen Van der Lubbe with the Bulgarians within the restaurant it’s unlikely that they’d have been arrested and charged with complicity within the Reichstag fireplace.

Throughout to-day’s proceedings the Courtroom learn out a report obtained from the Bulgarian Authorities of three sentences imposed on Dimitroff in his absence, one in every of demise by strangling, one other of fifteen years’ rigorous imprisonment, each of which have been annulled by amnesties, and the third sentence of fifteen years’ rigorous imprisonment which he would nonetheless should serve if he returned to Bulgaria.

Dimitroff declared: “All these sentences have been pronounced in my absence in a state of emergency and have been of a political nature. I declare earlier than the Supreme Courtroom and the Bulgarian Authorities that I’m prepared after the conclusion of this trial to return to Bulgaria to account for my complete actions earlier than the court docket there and to take complete accountability for them. I make just one situation: free public trial.”

Supply hyperlink


This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.