The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

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The Nazi Government officials provided the leadership in

preparing Germany for war. They received, however, the

enthusiastic co-operation of the German industrialists. The

role played by industrialists in converting Germany to a war

economy is an important one, and I turn briefly to that

aspect of the economic picture.

On the invitation of the defendant Goering, approximately

twenty-five of the leading industrialists of Germany, and

the defendant Schacht, attended a meeting in Berlin on the

20th day of February, 1933. This was shortly before the

election of 5th March, 1933, in Germany. At this meeting

Hitler announced the conspirators' aim to seize totalitarian

control over Germany, to destroy the parliamentary system,

to crush all opposition by force, and to restore the power

of the Wehrmacht.

Among those present on that day, in February of 1933 in

Berlin, were Gustav Krupp, head of the huge munitions firm,

Alfred Krupp, A.G.; four leading officials of I.G. Farben,

one of the world's largest chemical concerns; and, I repeat,

also present was the defendant Schacht. Albert Vogler, the

head of the huge steel trusts, the United Steel Works of

Germany, was there too, as were other leading


In support of the assertion with respect to that meeting at

that time and in that place, I refer your Honour to the

document EC-439, it being an affidavit of George von

Schnitzler, which reads as follows:-

   "I, George von Schnitzler, a member of the Vorstand of

   I.G. Farben, make the following deposition under oath:


   At the end of February, 1933, four members of the

   Vorstand of I.G. Farben, including Dr. Boech, the head

   of the Vorstand, and myself were asked by the office of

   the President of the Reichstag to attend a meeting in

   his house, the purpose of which was not given. I do not

   remember the two other


                                                  [Page 131]



   colleagues of mine who were also invited. I believe the

   invitation reached me during one of my business trips to

   Berlin. I went to the meeting which was attended by

   about twenty persons, who I believe were mostly leading

   industrialists from the Ruhr.


   Among those present, I remember:


   Dr. Schacht, who at that time was not yet head of the

   Reichsbank again and not yet Minister of Economics.

   Krupp von Bohlen, who in the beginning of 1933 presided

   over the Reichsverband der Deutschen Industrie, which

   later on was changed in the semi-official Organisation

   'Reichsgruppe Industrie.'

   Dr. Albert Vogler, head of the Vereinigte Stahlwerke.

   Von Loewenfeld, from an industrial works in Essen.

   Dr. Stein who was head of the I.G. Farben owned mine -

   Gewerkschaft Auguste Victoria - and also an active

   member of the Deutsche Volkspartei.


   I remember that Dr. Schacht acted as a kind of host.


   While I had expected the appearance of Goering, Hitler

   entered the room, shook hands with everybody and took a

   seat at the table. In a long speech he talked mainly

   about the danger of Communism over which he pretended

   that he had just won a decisive victory.


   He then talked about the Bundnis - alliance - into which

   his party and the Deutschnationale Volkspartei had

   entered. This latter party, in the mean-time, had been

   reorganised by Herr von Papen. At the end he came to the

   point which seemed to me the purpose of the meeting.

   Hitler stressed the importance that the two

   aforementioned parties should gain the majority in the

   coming Reichstag election. Krupp von Bohlen thanked

   Hitler for his speech. After Hitler had left the room,

   Dr. Schacht proposed to the meeting the raising of an

   election fund of, as far as I remember, RM3,000,000. The

   fund should be distributed between the two ' allies'

   according to their relative strength at the time being.

   Dr. Stein suggested that the Deutsche Volkspartei should

   be included- "

THE PRESIDENT: (interposing): Mr. Dodd, it seems to me that

really all that that document shows is that there was a

meeting at which Schacht was present, and at which it was

determined to subscribe an election fund in 1933.

MR. DODD: That is quite so, your Honour. I will not trouble

to read it all. There were some other references, but not of

major importance, in the last paragraph, to a division of

the election fund. I just call your Honour's attention to it

in passing.

I should like, at this point, to call your Honour's

attention to the document D-203, which is a three-page


THE PRESIDENT: What is the number?

MR. DODD: D-203. I wish to read only excerpts from it very

briefly. It is the speech delivered to the industrialists by

Hitler, and I refer particularly to the second paragraph of

that document:-

   "Private enterprise cannot be maintained in the age of

   democracy;" .

THE PRESIDENT (interposing): What is the date of that?

MR. DODD: It is the speech made at the meeting on the 20th

February, 1933, at Berlin.



   "Private enterprise cannot be maintained in the age of

   democracy; it is conceivable only if the people have a

   sound idea of authority and personality."

I refer now to page 2 of the document, and I should like to

read an excerpt from the first paragraph on page 9, about

thirteen sentences down, beginning with the words: "I

recognised even while in the hospital that one had to search

for new ideas conducive to reconstruction. I found them in

Nationalism, in the value of strength and power of

individual personality."

                                                  [Page 132]

Then, a little further down, the next to the last and the

last sentence of that same paragraph, Hitler said:-


   "If one rejects pacifism, one must put a new idea in its

   place immediately. Everything must be pushed aside, must

   be replaced by something better."

    Then, in the third paragraph, the last sentence

beginning: "We must not forget that all the benefits Of

culture must be introduced more or less with an iron fist,

just as once upon a time the farmers were forced to plant


Then finally, on that page, in the fourth paragraph - nearly

at the end of it: "With the very same courage with which we

go to work to make up for what had been sinned during the

last fourteen years, we have withstood all attempts to move

us from the right way."

Then, at the top of the next page, in the second paragraph,

these words: "Now we stand before the last election.

Regardless of the outcome there will be no retreat, even if

the coming election does not bring about a decision."

THE PRESIDENT: Why did you not read the last line on page 2:

" While still gaining power, one should not start the

struggle against the opponent"?

MR. DODD: Beginning with the words "while still gaining


THE PRESIDENT: The sentence before, "We must first gain

complete power if we want to crush the other side

completely. While still gaining power, one should not start

the struggle against the opponent. Only when one knows that

one has reached the pinnacle of power, that there is no

further possible development, shall one strike."

MR. DODD: I was going to refer to that, if your Honour

pleases, in a minute.

However, I think it is quite proper to have it inserted


Before starting to read this last paragraph, I suggest that

as it is now the accustomed time, as I understand it, and it

is a rather lengthy paragraph -

THE PRESIDENT (interposing): Yes, we will adjourn until two


 Whereupon at 12.30 hours the Tribunal adjourned, to

reconvene at 14.oo hours of the same date.)

MR. DODD: If your Honour pleases, if I may go back for just

a very little bit to take up the train of thought where I

left off at the noon recess.

We were discussing document D-203, and I had referred

particularly to the third page of that document, and even

more particularly to the second paragraph on that page; and

I wish to read from a sentence approximately eight or ten

lines down in that second paragraph, which reads as follows:

   "The question of restoration of the Wehrmacht will not

   be decided at Geneva but in Germany, when we have gained

   internal strength through internal peace."

I wish to refer again to the same page of the same document,

and to the last paragraph and the last sentence, which

refers to the defendant Goering, who was present at that

same meeting to which this document refers, the meeting of

20th February, 1933, in Berlin. Goering said:

"That the sacrifices asked for surely would be so much

easier for industry to bear if it realised that the election

Of 5th March will surely be the last one for the next ten

years, probably even for the next hundred years."

In a memorandum, dated the 22nd day of February, 1933, and,

for the information of the Court, in the document book,

bearing the number D-204, Gustav Krupp described this

meeting briefly, and in the memorandum wrote that he had

expressed to Hitler the gratitude of the twenty-five

industrialists present at the meeting on 20th February,


There were other expressions in that memorandum, which we do

not deem to be particularly pertinent to the allegations of

the Indictment with which we are now concerned.

I might point out to the Court that this memorandum,

together with the report

                                                  [Page 133]

of the speech of Hitler, were found by the British and the

United States Armies in the personal files of the defendant


I am aware, if your Honours please, that the method I am

pursuing here is a little tedious, because I am trying to

refer specifically to the documents, and particularly to the

excerpts referred to in my remarks, and therefore this

presentation differs very considerably from that which has

gone before. I trust, however, that you will bear with me,

because this part of the case requires some rather careful

and detailed explanations.

In April of 1933, after Hitler had entrenched himself in

power, Gustav Krupp, as Chairman of the Reich Association of

German Industry, which was the largest association of German

industrialists, submitted to Hitler the plan of that

association for the reorganisation of German industry, and

in connection therewith, undertook to bring the Association

into line with the aims of the conspirators, and to make it

an effective instrument for the execution of their policies.

In a letter of transmittal, Krupp stated that the plan of

reorganisation which he submitted on behalf of the

Association of Industrialists, was characterised by the

desire to co-ordinate economic measures and political

necessity, adopting the Fuehrer conception of the new German

State. A copy of that letter of transmittal is set out in

the document book under the number D-157.

In the plan of reorganisation itself, Krupp stated:

   "The turn of political events is in line with the wishes

   which I myself and the Board of Directors have cherished

   for a long time. In reorganising the Reich Association

   of German Industry, I shall be guided by the idea of

   bringing the new organisation into agreement with the

   political aims of the Reich Government."

The ideas expressed by Krupp on behalf of the members of the

Reich Association of German Industry for introducing the

leadership principle into industry, were subsequently


I respectfully refer the Court to the Reichsgesetzblatt of

1934, Part I, 1194, Sections 11, 12 and 16.

Under the decrees introducing the leadership principle into

industry, each group of industry was required to have a

leader who was to serve without compensation. The leaders

were to be appointed and could be removed at the discretion

of the Minister of Economics. The charter of each group was

to be created by the leader, who was bound to lead his group

in accordance with the principles of the National Socialist


I think it is fair to argue that the introduction of the

leadership principle into the organisations of business

permitted the centralisation of authority, and guaranteed

the efficient execution of orders, which the government

issued to business, in the interest of a promotion of a war

economy. And the overwhelming support given by the German

industrialists to the Nazi war programme is very vividly

described in a speech prepared by Gustav Krupp in January of

1944, for delivery at the University of Berlin; and I must

again respectfully refer your Honour to the document in your

book bearing the identification number D-317.

I shall not, of course, bore this court with a reading of

the whole document, but I should like to quote from it

without wrenching any of the material from its true context.

And this statement is found beginning in the third and

fourth paragraphs, being the first large paragraph on the

first page:

   "War material is life-saving for one's own people, and

   whoever works and performs in these spheres can be proud

   of it. Here, enterprise, as a whole, finds its highest

   justification of existence. This justification, I may

   inject this here, crystallised especially during the

   time of interregnum between 1919 and 1933, when Germany

   was lying down disarmed."

                                                  [Page 134]

And further on:

   "It is the one great merit of the entire German war

   economy that it did not remain idle during those bad

   years, even though its activity could not be brought to

   light for obvious reasons. Through years of secret work,

   scientific and basic groundwork was laid in order to be

   ready again to work for the German Armed Forces at the

   appointed hour without loss of time or experience."

And further quoting from that same speech, and the last

paragraph, particularly on the first page:

   "Only through the secret activity of German enterprise,

   together with the experience gained meanwhile through

   production of peacetime goods, was it possible, after

   1933, to fall into step with the new tasks arrived at,

   restoring Germany's military power. Only through all

   that could the entirely new and various problems,

   brought up by the Fuehrer's Four-Year Plan for German

   enterprise, be mastered. It was necessary to supply the

   new raw materials, to explore and experiment, to invest

   capital in order to make German economy independent and

   strong - in short, to make it war-worthy."

Quoting even further from the same speech:-

   "I think I may state here that the German enterprises

   followed the new ways enthusiastically, that they made

   the greatest intentions of the Fuehrer their own, by

   fair competition and conscious gratitude, and became his

   faithful followers. How else could the tasks between

   1933 and 1939, and especially those after 1939, have

   been overcome?"

It must be emphasised that the secret rearmament programme

was launched immediately upon the seizure of power by the

Nazi conspirators. On 4th April, 1933, the Reich Cabinet

passed a resolution establishing a Reich Defence Council.

The function of this council was secretly to mobilise for

war; and at the second meeting of the Working Committee of

the Councillors for Reich Defence, which was, by the way,

the predecessor of the Reich Defence Council, at that second

meeting which was held on 22nd May, 1933, the Chairman was

the defendant Keitel, then Colonel Keitel; and he stated

that the Reich Defence Council would immediately undertake

to prepare for war emergency. He stressed the urgency of the

task of organisms a war economy, and announced that the

Council stood ready to brush aside all @f their obstacles.

Fully aware of the fact that their action was in flagrant

violation of the Treaty of Versailles, the defendant Keitel

emphasised the extreme importance of absolute secrecy - I

quote from page 5, document EC-177 - when he said:-

   "No document ought to be lost, since otherwise it may

   fall into the hands of the enemies' Intelligence

   Service. Orally transmitted, matters are not provable;

   they can be denied by us in Geneva."

The singleness of purpose with which the Nazi conspirators

geared the German economy to the forging of a war machine is

even further shown by the secret minutes of the second

meeting of the Working Committee of the so-called Reich

Defence Council, held on the 7th of February, 1934, as shown

in the document EC-404, marked "Secret Command Matter," and

dated the 7th of February, 1934. At this meeting, Lieutenant-

General Beck pointed out that " The actual state of

preparation is the purpose of this session."

Parenthetically, I may say that on the first page of that

document it appears that besides Lieutenant-General Beck,

the defendant Jodl was present, then Lieutenant-Colonel

Jodl. There were also present a Captain Schmundt, a Colonel

Guderian, a Major-General von Reichenau and a Major

Warlimont. All these are names that your Honour will hear

more of in the course of the presentation of this case.

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