Streicher, Julius, born 12-02-1885 in Fleinhausen, Bavaria, one of nine children of the teacher Friedrich Streicher and his wife Anna (born Weiss). He worked as an elementary school teacher like his father, and in 1909 he began his political career, joining the German Democratic Party. He would later claim that because his political work brought him into contact with German Jews, he “must therefore have been fated to become later on a writer and speaker on racial politics.” In 1913 Streicher married Kunigunde Roth, a baker’s daughter, in Nuremberg. They had two sons, Lothar (born 1915)
and Elmar (born 1918) . His second wife was Adele streicher Streicher joined the German Army in 1914. He won the Iron Cross and reached the rank of leutnant by the time the Armistice was signed in November, 1918. In 1919 Streicher became active in the Defense Federation), one of the various radical-nationalist organizations that spin the anti-Semitic Deutschvölkischer Schutz und Trutzbund (German Nationalist Protectiorang up in the wake of the failed German Communist revolution of 1918. Such groups fostered the view that Jews had conspired with “Bolshevik” traitors in trying to subject Germany to Communist rule. In 1920 he turned to the Deutschsozialistische Partei (German-Socialist Party), a group whose platform was close to that of the young NSDAP , or National Sozialistische Deutsche Arbeiter Partei (National Socialist German Worker’s Party). Streicher sought to move the German-Socialists in a more virulently anti-Semitic direction – an effort which aroused enough opposition that he left the group and brought his now-substantial following to yet another organization in 1921, the Deutsche Werkgemeinschaft, German Working Community, which hoped to unite the various anti-Semitic Völkisch movements. In 1921, Streicher finally found his mentor. He visited Munich in order to hear Adolf Hitler (did you know) speak, an experience that he later said left him transformed: I had never seen the man before. And there I sat, an unknown among unknowns. I saw this man shortly before midnight, after he had spoken for three hours, drenched in perspiration, radiant. My neighbour said he thought he saw a halo around his head, and I experienced something which transcended the commonplace. Soon after, Streicher joined the Nazi Party and merged his personal following with Hitler’s, almost doubling the party membership. In May 1923 Streicher founded the newspaper, Der Stürmer, The Stormer, or, loosely, The Attacker. From the outset, the chief aim of the paper was to promulgate anti-Semitic propaganda. “We will be slaves of the Jew,” the paper announced. “Therefore he must go.” In November of that year, Streicher participated in Hitler’s first effort to seize power, the failed Beer Hall Putsch in Munich. Streicher marched with Hitler in the front row of the would-be revolutionaries and braved the bullets of the Munich police. His loyalty earned him Hitler’s lifelong trust and protection; in the years that followed, Streicher would be one of the dictator’s few true intimates. As a reward for his dedication, when the Nazi Party was legalized again and re-organized in 1925 Streicher was appointed Gauleiter of the Bavarian region of Franconia, which included his home town of Nuremberg
. Streicher was also elected to the Bavarian “Landtag” or legislature, a position which gave him a margin of parliamentary immunity, a safety net that would help him resist efforts to silence his racist message. Streicher orchestrated his early campaigns against Jews to make the most extreme possible claims, short of violating a law that might get the paper shut down. He insisted in the pages of his newspaper that the Jews had caused the worldwide Depression, and were responsible for the crippling unemployment and inflation which afflicted Germany during the 1920s. In April 1933, after Nazi control of the German state apparatus gave the Gauleiters enormous power, Streicher organised a one-day boycott of Jewish businesses which was used as a dress-rehearsal for other anti-Semitic commercial measures. As he consolidated his hold on power, he came to more or less rule the city of Nuremberg and his Gau Franken. Among the nicknames provided by his enemies were “King of Nuremberg” and the “Beast of Franconia.” Because of his role as Gauleiter of Franconia, he also gained the nickname of Frankenführer. To protect himself from accountability, Streicher relied on Hitler’s protection. Hitler declared that Der Stürmer was his favourite newspaper, and saw to it that each weekly issue was posted for public reading in special glassed-in display cases known as “Stürmerkasten”. The newspaper reached a peak circulation of 600.000 in 1935. Streicher later claimed that he was only “indirectly responsible” for passage of the anti-Jewish Nuremberg Laws of 1935, and that he felt slighted because he was not directly consulted. In 1938, Streicher ordered the Great Synagogue of Nuremberg destroyed; he later claimed that his decision was based on his disapproval of its architectural design. Streicher’s excesses brought condemnation even from other Nazis. Streicher’s behaviour was viewed as so irresponsible that he alienated much of the party leadership; chief among his enemies in Hitler’s hierarchy was Reichsmarschall Hermann Goering (did you know),
who loathed him and later claimed that he forbade his own staff to read Der Stürmer. When Germany surrendered to the Allied armies in May 1945, Streicher said later, he decided to commit suicide. Instead, he married his former secretary, Adele Tappe. His first wife, Kunigunde Streicher, died in 1943 after 30 years of marriage. On 23-05-1945, Streicher was captured in the town of Waidring, Austria, by a group of American officers led by Major Henry Plitt, who was Jewish. At first Streicher claimed to be a painter named “Joseph Sailer,”
but after a few questions, quickly admitted to his true identity.
Death and burial ground of Streicher, Julius.
During his trial, Streicher claimed that he had been mistreated by Allied soldiers after his capture. By his account they ordered him to take off his clothes in his cell, burned him with cigarettes and made to extinguish them with his bare feet, allowed him to drink only water from a toilet, made him kiss the feet of Negro soldiers and beat him with a bullwhip. He further claimed that some of the soldiers also spat at him and forced his mouth open to spit in it. Streicher was found guilty of crimes against humanity at the Nuremberg War Crimes Trial and sentenced to death on 01-10-1946. Streicher was hanged in the early hours of 16-10-1946, along with the nine other condemned defendants from the first Nuremberg trial, Goering, Streicher’s nemesis, committed suicide only hours earlier.
Streicher’s was the most melodramatic of the hangings carried out that night. At the bottom of the scaffold he cried out “Heil Hitler!”. When he mounted the platform, he delivered his last sneering reference to Jewish scripture, snapping “Purim-Fest 1946!”. The Jewish holiday Purim celebrates the escape by the Jews from extermination at the hands of Haman, an ancient Persian government official. At the end of the Purim story, Haman is hanged, as are his ten sons. Streicher’s final declaration before the hood went over his head was, “The Bolsheviks will hang you one day!” Howard K. Smith, who covered the executions, said in his filed report that after the hood descended over Streicher’s head, he also said what apparently was “Adele, meine liebe Frau!” (“Adele, my dear wife!”). The consensus among eyewitnesses was that Streicher’s hanging did not proceed as planned, and that he did not receive the quick death from spinal severing typical of the other executions at Nuremberg. Howard Kingsbury Smith,
he died age 86, on 15-12-2002, who covered the executions for the International News Service, reported that Streicher “went down kicking” which may have dislodged the hangman’s knot from its ideal position. Smith stated that Streicher could be heard groaning under the scaffold after he dropped through the trap-door, and that the executioner intervened under the gallows, which was screened by wood panels and a black curtain, to finish the job U. S. Army Master Sergeant John Chris Woods was the main executioner and not only insisted he had performed all executions correctly, but stated he was very proud of his work. Streicher and all Nuremberg, Joachim von Ribbentrop, Wilhelm Keitel, Alfred Jodl, Wilhelm Frick, Arthur Seyy Inquart, Alfred Rosenberg, Ernst Kaltenbrunner, Fritz Sauckel, and Hans Frank condemned were secretly transferred in Army trucks to the Ostfriedhof, Eastern Cemetery of Munich, on 16-10-1946 and cremated. The coffins had faked names and they gave Streicher’s coffin ironical a Jewisch name. The same night four Generals, an American, an Englishman, a Frenchman and a Russian were secretly driven straight to the closest bridge, the Reichenbachbrücke over the river Isar and they scattered the ashes downstream.