Streicher at the Nuremberg Trials
|Born||February 12, 1885|
October 16, 1946 (aged 61)|
Nuremberg, Germany (executed for crimes against humanity
|Occupation||Propaganda writer for Nazi Germany|
|Notable work(s)||Der Stürmer (anti-Semitic newspaper|
Julius Streicher (12 February 1885 - 16 October 1946) made propaganda for Nazi Germany. He published the racist newspaper Der Stürmer. His publishing company also sold three anti-Semitic books for children, including the 1938 Der Giftpilz (The Poison Mushroom). This was one of the most commonly read pieces of propaganda. The book said that Jewish people were dangerous, just like a nice-looking but deadly mushroom.
Early life[change | change source]
Streicher and his wife had two sons: Lothar (born in 1915), and Elmar (born in 1918).
Nazism[change | change source]
In 1919, Streicher was active in the Schutz- und Trutz-Bund, an anti-Semitic organization. In 1920, he turned to the newly formed German Socialist Party (Deutschsozialistische Partei). This political party had nearly the same ideas as the Nazi Party. Streicher wanted to make it more anti-Semitic. Most members of the German Socialist Party did not want this, so Streicher and his followers moved to the "German Working Community" (German: Deutsche Werkgemeinschaft) in 1921.
The German Working Community wanted to bring together all the different anti-Semitic groups in Germany. In 1922, Streicher joined his followers with Adolf Hitler's. This almost doubled the number of people in the Nazi Party. It also made Hitler grateful to Streicher for the rest of his life.
Streicher took part in the Munich Beer Hall Putsch in 1923. That same year, he started the racist newspaper Der Stürmer. He was also the paper's editor. Streicher used the newspaper to stir up a deep hatred of everything and everyone Jewish. At its most popular, in 1935, about 480,000 people read Der Stürmer.
In the newspaper, Streicher argued that the Jews had helped cause the money problems Germany had during the 1920s. These problems included unemployment, inflation, and economic depression (not having enough money going through the economy). He claimed that Jews made white people into slaves, and were responsible for over 90 percent of the prostitutes in Germany.
After the Nazi Party was re-founded, Streicher became Gauleiter (district leader) of Franconia. After 1933, he practically ruled the city of Nuremberg. He was nicknamed "King of Nuremberg" and the "Beast of Franconia."
In 1940, Nazi leaders took away all of Streicher's jobs and power in the Nazi Party. They did this because:
- He caused scandals by stealing Jewish property after Kristallnacht
- He spread untrue stories about Hermann Göring
- He led several attacks on other district leaders
- He had sex with women who were not his wife, without trying to hide it
However, Streicher stayed on good terms with Adolf Hitler until Hitler killed himself on April 30, 1945.
On May 7, Germany surrendered, ending the war in Europe. Two weeks later, on May 23, Streicher was captured by the Americans. Just days before he was arrested, he married his former secretary, Adele Tappe. His first wife, Kunigunde Streicher, had died in 1943 after 30 years of marriage.
Trial and execution[change | change source]
Streicher was not a member of the military during World War II. He also was not part of planning the Holocaust, the invasion of Poland, or the Soviet invasion. But because he encouraged so much support for the hatred and extermination of Jews, the prosecutors decided to try him for crimes against humanity.
Streicher's last words on October 16, 1946, were "Heil Hitler," and "The Bolsheviks will hang you one day!" He is also reported to have cried out "Purim Fest 1946!" He thought that Jews would start a new holiday on the date that he and his fellow Nazis were hanged, just as they had started Purim to mark the execution of Haman.
Streicher's execution did not go as planned. Most eyewitnesses say that he died by slow strangulation rather than by a quick broken neck. This happened to other Nazis too. It happened because of the type of hanging used at Nuremberg. The executioner may have eventually had to kill Streicher, who was still groaning and swinging on the rope some time after he was hanged.
Related pages[change | change source]
References[change | change source]
- Bytwerk, Randall L. (2001). Julius Streicher: Nazi Editor of the Notorious Anti-Semitic Newspaper Der Stürmer. New York: Cooper Square Press. ISBN 0-8154-1156-1.
Other websites[change | change source]
|Wikiquote has a collection of quotations related to: Julius Streicher|
- Spiegel TV short biography (German)
- Caricatures from Der Stürmer
- Der Giftpilz ("The Poison Mushroom")
- Hanging Nazi war criminals Article on Streicher's controversial execution
- The Execution of Nazi War Criminals Primary account of the Nuremberg executions by INS reporter Kingsbury Smith