The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

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By DR. DIX, Continued:

I also need not give a wearisome enumeration of figures and
make specialized technical statements to the effect that
this part of rearmament which Schacht first financed with
nine billions and then reluctantly with a further three

                                                  [Page 383]

was by no means sufficient for a war of aggression, let
alone for an effective defence of the German frontiers. The
answers that the witnesses Keitel, Bodenschatz, Milch,
General Thomas, Kesselring, etc., have made to this in their
depositions and affidavits are available and have been
submitted or have been officially brought to the attention
of the Tribunal. In this respect they are unanimously agreed
that even  at the outbreak of war, i.e., one and a half
years later, Germany was not armed sufficiently for an
aggressive war; that, therefore, when Hitler led this nation
into a war of aggression in August, 1930, it was not only a
Crime Against Humanity, but also against his own people, who
trusted his leadership.

Therefore, I also consider it superfluous to go into long
discussions as to whether Blomberg's statement that Schacht
was aware of the progress of rearmament is correct or not,
or the statement of Schacht and Vocke that this was not the
case. I admit without further discussion the sincerity of
Blomberg's statement. But as he had more to do with the
technical side of rearmament than the Reichsbank had,
personal experience favours the opinion that the memory of
Schacht and Vocke is more reliable on this point than
Blomberg's, to whom this report to the Reichsbank was a
matter of secondary importance for his department. For the
Reichsbank, the desire to be informed about the technical
progress of the armament as well as about the financial
expenditures was a very important matter. One remembers such
facts more reliably than unimportant secondary matters. In
any case, it is established that until the budget year
1937/38 only twenty-one billions were spent for armament, of
which twelve billions were financed by credits of the
Reichsbank, and that, according to Colonel-General Jodl's
statement of 5th June, on 1st April, 1938, only 27 to 28
divisions were ready, whereas in 1939 there were as many as
73 to 75 divisions.

It needs no expert to show. that this volume of expenditure
and armament in April, 1938, was entirely insufficient for a
war of aggression. Indeed, Hitler was also of the same
opinion when, in his memorandum of August, 1936, which has
been submitted to the Tribunal, and which was handed over to
Speer in 1944, he pointed out, along with many disapproving
remarks about Schacht's economic leadership, that four
precious years had gone by, that there had been time enough
in those four years to determine what we could not do and
that he was hereby ordering that the German Army would have
to be ready for action in four years, that is, in the course
of the year 1940.

I should like to remind the Tribunal that even after
Schacht's withdrawal as president of the Reichsbank, 31 1/2
billions were spent on armament during the two budget years
1938/39 and 1939/40. The issuing and expenditure of money on
armament, therefore, continued without Schacht, and, indeed,
to an even more considerable extent. Schacht had once
written to Blomberg that he was not a money-making machine.
He exercised a constant restraining pressure on Blomberg. I
refer only to his letter to Blomberg of 21st December, 1935,
which has been submitted to the Tribunal. He exercised a
restraining influence by means of explanatory lectures to
officers of the War Ministry and of the Armed Forces
Academy. He refused the railway loan of 1936, requested by
the Minister of Communications, which was indirectly in the
interests of armament, and he stopped the credits of the
Reichsbank as early as the beginning of 1937, taking a last
step by compromising about the final three billions. He
refused the credit which the Reich Finance Minister
requested of him in December, 1938.

He created an automatic brake for the armament expenditures
through the Mefo bills, which, from the technically
financial point of view, was a rather bold measure but still
legally tenable. These served at first to finance the
armament expenditures, but restricted further armament
expenditures after their expiration on 1st April, 1939,
because the Reich was obligated to redeem them. Schacht's
foresight proved true. The increase in employment brought
such a rise in the State revenues that it would not have
been difficult to liquidate the Mefo bills at their
expiration five years later.

                                                  [Page 384]

Keitel's statement has proved that during the budget year
beginning 1st April, 1938, five billion more marks were
spent for armament than during the preceding year, although
after 1st April, 1938, the Reichsbank credits had completely
ceased. Half of these five billions would have sufficed to
redeem the Mefo bills which matured during the budget year
beginning 1st April, 1939. The use of this money for further
rearmament would have been avoided; but this was exactly
what Schacht intended. From the beginning he had limited the
validity of the Mefo bills to five years; the credit
assistance by the Reichsbank was to cease on 1st April,
1939, in order to limit armament. It was impossible for
Schacht to foresee that Hitler would simply break a strict
credit obligation and not make it good. These facts in
themselves show that his attempts to resign could have had
no other reason than opposition to any further armament, and
the refusal to accept responsibility for it. In this sense,
the assertion of the prosecution that he wanted to evade
responsibility is completely correct.

Nothing shows that any other motives than those which
necessarily appear from the facts just mentioned caused him
to make this endeavour to relinquish his duties. If the
prosecution maintains that the reason was his antagonism to
Goering, this is also right in so far as Schacht was an
opponent of the Four-Year Plan, of which Goering, was the
chief. That the reason was a rivalry of power is a pure
supposition, an interpretation of the actual events which
justifies the quotation: "Interpret to your heart's content,
because if you do not interpret, then you will infer."

The memorandum of the Reichsbank of November, 1938, which
led to the dismissal of Schacht and most of his
collaborators, including Vocke, is also unequivocally and
forcibly opposed to armament. It naturally had to contain
reasons for this which were derived from the departmental
jurisdiction of the Reichsbank. Its aim was generally known.
Hence Hitler's remark: "This is mutiny." The memorandum ends
with the demand for control of the capital and loan market,
as well as the management of taxation by the Reichsbank.
Compliance with this demand would have taken away from
Hitler every possibility of raising money for further
armament, and therefore, this demand was unacceptable to
Hitler. Schacht and his colleagues knew this. Accordingly,
they deliberately sought a break by this step. Schacht now
bore no further responsibility. From now on Schacht could
devote himself exclusively to the plans for a coup d'etat by
the group of conspirators to which he belonged. He became a
traitor to Hitler. By remaining Minister without portfolio,
he hoped to obtain more essential information, which the
group had to have to carry out their aims, than if he
resigned altogether. I shall return to this point later.

The fact of armament, as such, therefore, has no probative
value for the assertion of the prosecution that Schacht
deliberately contributed to the preparation of a war of
aggression. Simultaneous economic armament, however, belongs
of necessity to armament in the modern sense. On the German
side, this had been already recognized for the first time at
the beginning of the First World War by two very important
German Jews, the founder of the Hamburg-America Line, Albert
Ballin, and the great German industrialist Rathenau. This is
the same Rathenau who made the wonderful speech on peace
during the Conference at Genoa, which was received with wild
applause by the delegates of those very Powers which had
opposed his country but four years previously as enemies,
and who, when German Foreign Minister, was the victim of an
anti-Semitic outrage  in the early twenties. I probably can
assume that the personality of Albert Ballin is known to the
Tribunal. Both men recognized, even at the start of the
First World War, the error of omitting economic
mobilization. Rathenau then organized the so-called War Raw
Materials Department of the War Ministry. The first
Plenipotentiary for War Economy, for this is what he really
was, was ideologically a pacifist; and at least since that
time, there is probably no mobilization plan by any nation
which does not arrange for the purely military armament to
be accompanied by a corresponding economic preparation for
war. Therefore, the designation of a General Plenipotentiary
for War Economy, even if he had taken up his

                                                  [Page 385]

duties, which, as the evidence shows most convincingly, he
never did, but remained a dummy, does not provide anything
in the way of proof that the intention to wage a war of
aggression existed. This post is also necessary when arming
for defence. The same applies to the institution of the
Reich Defence Council, the Reich Defence Committee, etc. As
such they are the same, harmless, matter-of-course factors.
They have no incriminating value. Only their misuse for the
purpose of a war of aggression would be incriminating.
However, Schacht's criminal intention in this respect has
not been established, nor has anything else. I therefore
refrain from evaluating the details of this subject.

In conclusion, the prosecution finally sees something
incriminating in the so-called maintenance of secrecy
regarding certain mobilization measures and mobilization
arrangements, as, for example, the second Reich Defence Law.
In this case, too, a natural, worldly way of thinking
relieves these findings of any incriminating character. All
nations are accustomed to carrying out mobilization and
armament measures in "secret." Upon further consideration
and after closer observation this practice can, of course,
be recognized as a very superfluous, routine matter. Only
drafts and technical details can be really kept secret. The
fact of rearmament as such can never be kept secret. The
same applies to the existence of a large body which is to
serve the purpose of this rearmament. Either it becomes
known because it starts functioning, or, like the ominous
Defence Council, it remains hidden and secret only because
it does not function.

In the memoirs of a Tsarist officer regarding his
experiences in the Russo-Japanese war, I found the following
humorous observation:

  "If I, as a member of the General Staff, wished an
  incident to become known, I had it classified as 'secret'
  and my wish was fulfilled. If I wished to keep something
  secret, which was almost an impossibility, I
  unobtrusively gave it free circulation and occasionally
  my wish was fulfilled."

If one wishes to seek the truth one must consider the
teachings of experience based on hard facts.

Thus, the fact of the military activities of Germany after
the seizure of power by Hitler and the subsequent rearmament
were never a secret to the world. These proceedings have
produced a great deal of evidence to this effect. We know
the report of Consul-General Messersmith; we know his sworn
testimony of 30th August, 1945, submitted by the prosecution
under No. PS-2385, according to which the armament programme
- he speaks of a giant armament programme immediately after
the seizure of power - and the rapid development of the air
programme had been apparent to everybody. It had been
impossible to move in the streets of Berlin or in any other
city of importance in Germany without seeing pilots or
aviators in training. He expressly states, on Page 8 of his
testimony, that this giant German rearmament programme was
never a secret and was quite publicly announced in the
spring of 1935.

I would like to remind you of the remark of Ambassador Dodd,
to the effect that he pointed out to Schacht that the German
Government had bought high-grade aeroplanes from American
aeroplane manufacturers for one million dollars, and had
paid for them in gold. Even if Ambassador Dodd perhaps made
a mistake in this detail, yet all this still proves that
German rearmament - the extent of which was surely even
overestimated abroad at that time - must have been an open

Therefore, it is not even necessary to refer to the mutual
visits of the general chiefs of staff, to which Milch and
Bodenschatz testified - the visits of the Chief of the
British Intelligence Service, Courtney, the permanent
presence in Berlin of military attaches of nearly all
countries - to recognize that the so-called secret
rearmament was a public one, and that only technical secrets
were safeguarded as is done in every State.

The outside world knew of the existence of this rearmament,
and in any case considered it for a longer time than Schacht
himself did to be compatible with world peace.

                                                  [Page 386]

It is not for me, nor is it my intention, to criticise the
attitude of the outside world. Each part played in life has
its own rules of tact, even the part played by the defendant
and his defence counsel. Their task is to establish a
defence and not to bring charges and make an attack. In
connection therewith I expressly want to take precautions
against a possible misunderstanding that I want to appear as
an accuser, critic or a know-all in any way. I present all
this only from viewpoint that the indirect circumstantial
evidence submitted by the prosecution is not conclusive.

Furthermore, the prosecution argues that Schacht was a
member of the Reich Cabinet, at least as Minister without
portfolio, from the time of his dismissal in January, 1938,
as Minister of Economics until January, 1943. The
prosecution makes the Reich Cabinet responsible, criminally
responsible for the belligerent invasions of Hitler. This
argumentation has an attractively convincing power for
somebody who starts with the normal concept of a Reich
Cabinet. The effect disappears once it has been ascertained
that the so-called Reich Cabinet was not such in the usual
sense of a constitutional State.

Judgements should not, however, be based on outward
appearances and forms, on fiction, but only on actually
established conditions. This makes it necessary to penetrate
sociologically the nature of the Hitler regime, and to
examine whether a member of the Reich Cabinet, hence of the
Reich Government as such, must, in this capacity, bear the
same criminal responsibility as if he were in any other
normal State set-up, be it a democratic republic, or a
democratic monarchy, or a constitutional monarchy, or an
absolute monarchy, but nevertheless a monarchy based on a
constitution, or of a constitutional nature, which bears the
character of a lawful State based on a constitution. We must
therefore investigate the actual, sociological structure of
the Hitler regime. We have heard an account of the Fuehrer
order (Fuehrerbefehl) in this connection by Professor
Jahrreiss. Here, too, I want to avoid repetition and only
state the following in abbreviated form:

I want to say first of all, in order to avoid again the
danger of a misunderstanding, that, when I speak of the
Hitler regime here, I do so without referring in any ways to
the persons sitting in the defendants' dock; naturally with
the exception of Schacht. For the latter, I do so in the
negative sense, for he did not belong to the regime as such,
in spite of the fact that he was a member of the Reich
Government and President of the Reichsbank. I leave the
question completely open as to whether any of the other
defendants should be considered a member or supporter of the
regime. That question is subject only to the judgement of
the Tribunal and the evaluation of the respective competent
defence counsel.

At the very beginning of my argument I indicated that, even
for those who lived in Germany during the Hitler regime, it
was difficult to differentiate between the seeming, apparent
distribution of power and the actual wielding of this power,
as it requires a great deal of political intuition; and that
for people living outside of Germany this is bound to be too
difficult to judge, and will only be made possible through
the findings resulting from the presentation of evidence
before this Tribunal. We have established here that the
Reich Cabinet, which Hitler termed a club of defeatists, was
convened for the last time in 1938 - and that it met then
only to receive a communication from Hitler. For actual
deliberation and the passing of a resolution it had last
been convened in 1937. We have also established that Hitler
deliberately kept all news of political importance from the
Reich Cabinet, as is proved quite unequivocally by the so-
called Hoszbach Minutes of 10th November. During this
meeting the Fuehrer called the attention of the chiefs of
the branches of the Wehrmacht and the Reich Foreign
Minister, who; were present - Schacht, of course, was not
present and did not learn about the Hoszbach Minutes until
he came here - to the fact that the subject for deliberation
was of such great importance that it would result in full
Cabinet meetings in other countries, and that just because
of its great significance he had decided not to discuss the
matter with the Reich Cabinet.

                                                  [Page 387]

Thus, at least after 1937, the members of the Reich Cabinet
can no longer be considered the architects and supporters of
the political aspirations of the Reich. The same holds true
for the members of the Reich Defence Council, which as such
was nothing but a bureaucratic routine affair. Accordingly,
Hitler also, in the spring of 1939, explicitly excluded the
Reich Defence Council from further war preparations, saying:
"Preparations are being made on the basis of peace-time

Despotism and tyranny hid attained their most absolute
character in 1938. It was a characteristic quality of the
Fascist, as well as of the National Socialist regime, to
concentrate the political will in the head of the Party,
who, with the help of this Party, subjugated and became
master of the State and its people. Justice Jackson also
recognized this when he stated, on 28th February, 1946, that
the apex of power existed in a power group outside of the
State and outside the Constitution.

To speak, in the case of such a regime, of a responsible
Reich Government and of free citizens who, through some
organization or other, could exert influence on the
formation of the political will, would mean proceeding from
entirely wrong hypotheses. Only inconceivable eminence
usually gains irresponsible influence on the head of State
and Party in such regimes. The formation of the political
will can be recognized in its crystallised form only in the
head of the State himself; otherwise it becomes opaque. It
is another characteristic of such a regime that behind the
fa‡ade of seemingly absolute harmony and union, several
power groups fight each other. Hitler not only tolerated
such opposing groups, he even encouraged them and in part
used them as a basis for his power.

If any of the defendants spoke here of the unity of the
German people during this war in contrast with the First
World War, I must stress in reply that hardly at any time
during its history was the German nation so torn internally
as it was during the Third Reich. The apparent unity was
merely the quiet peacefulness of a churchyard, enforced
through terror. The conflicts between the individual high
functionaries of the German people, which we have
ascertained here, reflect the inner strife-torn condition of
the German nation, hidden artificially only through the
terror wielded by the Gestapo.

To give only a few examples, we were confronted here with
the conflicts between Himmler and Frank, between Himmler and
Keitel, between Sauckel and Seldte, between Schellenberg and
Canaris, between Bormann and Lammers, between SA and SS,
between Wehrmacht and SS, between SD and justice, between
Ribbentrop and Neurath, and so on and so forth. The list
could be continued ad libitum.

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