The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

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Last-Modified: 2000/02/23

Q. You told Lammers -

THE PRESIDENT: Mr. Dodd, is not this letter that you have
just read the very letter which is referred to in the letter
which you put to him immediately before?

MR. DODD: Yes, sir, it is. It referred to Document EC-271. I
am sorry, I said 271, I meant 270.

THE PRESIDENT: Exhibit GB-No. 649 is the letter you just
read. Will you look at the first paragraph of Document EC-
270; the letter referred to there, criticising, is the
defendant Funk's letter you just read.

MR. DODD: Yes, it is, your Honour.

BY MR. DODD:

Q. My point here, Witness, is that, you see, you told the
Tribunal that you really just worked under Goering; that you
did not have much to say about these things, but now we find
that you were writing a letter asserting your supreme
authority and saying now, "it is a fact that I am really
only answerable to Hitler," and, you see, these two are
quite inconsistent. What have you to say about that?

A. Yes; in fact, I was never successful.

Q. Now, let us see if you were not. Now you turn to another
page in that document and you will find another letter from
Lammers, written on 6th April, 1938, and it is written to
you, and he tells you that you are just right in what you
understood to be your position; that you are indeed only
subordinate to the Fuehrer and that he has sent a copy of
your letter to both Field Marshal Goering and the Commander
of the OKW. Now, what do you say about that?

A. I see from this that I tried at that time to obtain that
post, but in fact I never succeeded because the
Reichsmarshal himself stated later that he would never turn
over the war economy to me. The formal authority of the
Plenipotentiary for Economy was turned over to the Four-Year
Plan by a decree of the Fuehrer of December, 1939.

Q. Well, is that your answer?

Now, you also have told the Tribunal, as I understood you at
least, that you really did not have much to do with the
planning of any aggressive wars, and that your activities
were restricted to regulating and controlling the home
economy, so to speak. Now, actually on 28th January, 1939,
which was some months before the invasion of Poland, you
were considering the use of prisoners of war, weren't you?

A. That I do not know.

Q. Are you sure about that? Now I will ask that you be shown
another document, EC-488, which becomes Exhibit USA 842.
This is an unsigned letter, a captured document from your
files. This letter, by the way, was transmitted under the
signature of Sarnow. You know who he was; he was your
deputy.

Now, this letter dated 28th January, 1939, says that its
subject is "Re: Employment of Prisoners of War." Then it
goes on to say:-

                                                  [Page 148]

  "Under the Reich Defence Law of 4th September, 1938, I
  have the direction for the economic preparations for the
  Reich Defence, except the armament industry."

Then it goes on, "For the utilization of Labour..." and so
on.

But what I want to call your attention to particularly is
the sentence in the second paragraph which says:-

  "The deficit in labour has to be made up by the
  employment of eventual prisoners of war as far as
  possible and practical. The preparations, therefore, have
  to be made in close co-operation with the OKW and GBW.
  The offices under my jurisdiction will be duly informed."

Remember that communication?

A. No, I have never seen that letter, and never signed it.
But that letter relates to the matters about which I spoke
this morning. The Office of the General Plenipotentiary for
Economy - moreover I see "General Plenipotentiary for War
Economy" is scratched out - was continuously occupied with
these things. I personally had nothing to do with it.

Q. Well now, that is rather playing with words. This was
your ministry that was making these suggestions, and your
principal deputy who transmitted this letter, isn't that so?

A. No, that was -

Q. (Interposing). Now, look up in the right-hand corner of
that letter and see if it does not say "The Plenipotentiary
General for the Economy," and then it gives the address and
the date.

A. Yes, and it is signed "By Order of Sarnow."

Q. That's right, and he was your principal deputy, wasn't
he?

A. No.

Q. What was he?

A. He only worked in the office of the General
Plenipotentiary. My main deputy, who was in charge of those
things, was Posse.

Q. Well now, at any rate -

A. (Interposing). As I have said before, I personally had
nothing to do with these things whatsoever.

Q. It has just been called to my attention that if you say
the man was Posse, then in the second paragraph of that
letter you can find his name: "I can refer to the statements
of Colonel General Keitel, Secretary of State Dr. Posse."

In any event, important people in your organization were
involved in this thing, weren't they?

A. Certainly.

Q. All right. Now, you remember the Document 3562-PS. It was
introduced here as Exhibit USA 662. It is the minutes of a
meeting set out by Dr. Posse, your deputy, which discussed a
memorandum for financing the war, and you talked about that
this morning and you said that despite the fact that there
is a note on it "to be shown to the Minister," you never saw
it.

A. I would have had to initial it if I had seen it.

Q. Well, whether that is so or not, I am not concerned about
that just now. Instead, I want you to listen while I read an
excerpt from it. If you would like to see the document you
can have it, but I hardly think it is necessary.

You recall that in that document one of your memoranda is
referred to, is it not? Do you remember? Do you remember
that Posse said:-

  "It was pointed out that the General Plenipotentiary for
  Economy is primarily concerned with introducing, into the
  legislation for war finance the idea of financing war
  expenditures by anticipating future revenues, to be
  expected after the war."

A. Yes.

Q. All right. That is all I have to ask about that document.
We can move right along here.

                                                  [Page 149]

Referring again to your own direct testimony, I understood
you to tell the Tribunal that in so far as the war against
Poland was concerned, you did not really know until some
time in August that there was even a likelihood of war with
Poland; some time in August you thought it would be settled
by diplomatic means. Is that not so?

A. In all probability not. For months there was a latent
danger of war, but already in August one could see that it
was imminent.

Q. Had you been planning or making economic plans for war
with Poland for more than a year before the attack on
Poland? You can answer that yes or no.

A. I do not know.

Q. You mean you do not know whether you had or not? What do
you mean by that kind of an answer? Don't you remember?

A. I do not remember.

Q. All right. Then I can help you.

There is a document, 3324-PS, which is already in evidence.
You must remember it; it is Exhibit USA 661. That is a
speech that you made. Isn't that so? Don't you remember
saying in that speech that you had been planning in secret
for well over a year for the war on Poland? Do you remember
that? Would you like to see the document?

A. Yes, please.

Q. The sentence is here:-

  "Although all the economic and financial departments were
  engaged in the tasks and work of the Four-Year Plan,
  under the leadership of General Field Marshal Goering,
  the war economic preparation of Germany has also been
  advanced in secret."

Do you remember that?

A. Yes, now I know.

Q. You will also notice it says here "for well over a year,"
and you went on to say this had been done under you. Is that
true?

A. Yes, that was the activity of the General Plenipotentiary
for Civilian Economy. I already explained that this morning.

Q. Very well. I just wanted to have your answer -

A. (Interposing). I did not speak of Poland.

Q. Well, that is the only war that was on when you made this
speech. It was October, 1939.

A. The preparations were not made for a specific war, it was
-

Q. All right.

A. It was a general preparation.

Q. Now, actually you and Goering were even contesting for
power to some extent, weren't you? Was the Goering door one
of those that you were also trying to open?

You can answer that very simply. You told us you were trying
to get in through various doors, but you would get as far as
the threshold and never get in. I now ask you if the Goering
door was one of those.

A. I do not believe that I was so presumptuous as to want to
obtain Goering's post. That was far from being my intention.
I had very little ambition.

Q. I didn't say that you wanted to obtain his post, but you
wanted to have some of his authority, didn't you? Or don't
you remember? Maybe that is the solution.

A. No.

Q. Well, your man Posse was interrogated here by
representatives of the prosecution and the Document is No.
3894-PS. He was asked these questions:-

   "Question: What was the nature of the conflict between
   the Plenipotentiary for Economy and the Four-Year Plan?
   
   Answer: The struggle for power.
   
                                                  [Page 150]
   
   "Question: The struggle for power between Funk and
   Goering?
   
   "Answer: The struggle for power between Funk and
   Goering, between Funk and the Ministry for Agriculture
   and the Ministry of Communications.
   
   "Question: How was the struggle finally resolved?
   
   "Answer: It never was. It was a struggle always
   continuing under the surface."

Then we move on:-

  "Question: Did Funk, who had very important powers as
  Minister of Economics and later as Reichsbank President
  and as Chief Plenipotentiary for Economy, actually
  exercise these powers?
  
  "Answer: Yes. But the powers of Goering were stronger.
  
  "Question: Nevertheless, Funk did exercise important
  powers?
  
  "Answer: Yes, as President of the Reichsbank, Minister of
  Economics, and Plenipotentiary for Economy."

Posse was your chief deputy, wasn't he?

A. Yes, but Posse's position was somewhat different. My
deputy was Landfried and in the Reichsbank, Puhl. They knew
these things better than Posse.

Q. Well, all right.

A. They should know more about it than Posse.

Q. You do not think he really knew what he was talking about
when he said you were in the struggle for power? Is that
your answer?

A. No.

MR. DODD: That becomes Exhibit USA 843. We have not offered
it up to now.

BY MR. DODD:

Q. Now, Witness, I want to ask you about when you first
heard of the impending attack on Russia. I understood you to
tell the Tribunal that you heard about it sometime - I think
you said - in May. Is that right? Or June?

A. When Rosenberg was appointed.

Q. Well, that is what we want to know. When Rosenberg, in
April of 1941, was appointed, you knew then there was to be
an attack on Russia, didn't you? But this morning I don't
think you made that clear. Isn't that right, Dr. Funk?

A. Yes, I said that the reason given us for that appointment
was that the Fuehrer considered a war with Russia to be
likely.

Q. Yes, but you know what you told the Tribunal this
morning. You said that Lammers sent you notice of
Rosenberg's appointment because of your interest in
improving the trade relations with Russia. That is the
answer you made this morning. Now, that was not so, was it?

A. Yes, Lammers has said that here, too.

Q. I don't care what Lammers said. I am asking you now if it
isn't a fact that you were told by Lammers, because you were
to co-operate with Rosenberg in making ready for the
occupation of those territories after the attack began. Now
you can answer that very simply. Isn't that true?

A. No.

Q. Now, we'll see. You know, on another occasion you have
given another answer, by the way, I might say
parenthetically. Do you remember telling the interrogator
that you first heard from Hess about the impending attack on
Russia? Do you remember you gave that answer at one time as
the source of your first knowledge? Do you remember telling
us that?

A. No.

Q. I'll tell you about that in a minute. We will continue
with the question of Rosenberg.

There is a document, 1031-PS, and it is dated 28th May,
1941, which would be a little more than a month after the
Rosenberg appointment, "Top Secret Notes; Meeting with Reich
Minister Funk." Do you know what you were

                                                  [Page 151]

talking about that day, about counterfeiting money for use
in Russia and the Ukraine and the Caucasus? Do you remember
it?

A. No.


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