The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

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Q. Then you also mentioned that there was an office
subordinate to Schacht, General Plenipotentiary for War
Economy. You will remember that the witness Vocke denied the
existence of such an office of Schacht as General
Plenipotentiary of War Economy, and Schacht did the same
thing. Which office did you mean? Describe the office that
you mean.

A. It was not an office in the sense that it might have been
interpreted here. It was a committee of experts of the
various departments which was led by the representative of
the General Plenipotentiary for War Economy, who was
Schacht, and later by my representative as General
Plenipotentiary for War Economy. Under Schacht's term of
office the State Counsellor was Wohlthat, and in my term of
office it was Schacht's former Secretary of State, Posse.

Q. Certainly. Now is it identical with the Labour Committee
which originated on the basis of the old Reich Defence Law
and which existed before 1933?

A. I am not familiar with that.

Q. In any event, this working committee of the various
departments?

A. Yes.

Q. Together with the OKW?

A. With the OKW, with the Ministry of the Interior, and
later, with the decisive participation of the Four-Year Plan
representative.

Q. And the expert for Schacht under Schacht's term was Dr.
Wohlthat.

A. As far as I know, yes.

Q. Then one more question. You talked about the so-called
triumvirate with reference to a question by my colleague for
the defendant Keitel. The creation of the triumvirate, this
activity which you have described, is after Schacht's time,
I believe.

A. Yes, I believe so. But there was no activity.

Q. No. No.

A. I never participated in any session of the so-called
three-man board.

Q. No. You said it was a fiction.

A. Furthermore, no meeting of these three men ever took
place.

Q. No; No. You said it was a fiction.

DR. SERVATIUS: Attorney Servatius (on behalf of Sauckel).

                                                  [Page 136]

BY DR. SERVATIUS

Q. I have a question regarding the wages of the foreign
workers. Did Sauckel make any special efforts in connection
with the transfer of the wages? Do you know anything about
that?

A. Yes. Sauckel insisted very frequently at the Reichsbank
and the Reich Ministry for Economics, that there should be a
large scale transfer of wages to foreign countries and the
occupied territories. Naturally we were in a very difficult
position here, because especially in the South-Eastern
European countries the currencies had been greatly
devaluated, and the purchasing power of German money had
lowered considerably, whereas I maintained the stable rate
of exchange so that the inflationary tendencies in these
countries would not be strengthened and result in complete
economic chaos through the fault of the currency control.
Therefore we had to make additions to the payments, to make
up somewhat for the devaluation of the money in the occupied
and other countries. Altogether, considerable sums were
transferred. I would estimate these sums to be at least two
billion Reichsmark.

Q. Do you know whether Sauckel tried to do something about
the clothing for foreign workers? Was anything done?

A. He made considerable efforts, and this was particularly
hard on the Ministry of Economics. because with the small
amount of raw materials which the Central Planning Board had
made available, this ministry had to take care of the
population, and through the ever growing number of people
who were bombed out, we received increasing demands for
supplies. But, in spite of that, we tried to comply with the
demands of Sauckel as far as possible, but of course we
could not do so entirely.

Q. To what extent was clothing material delivered? Can you
give any figures?

A. No, I cannot.

Q. Do you know anything about Sauckel's attitude toward
Himmler when, according to the prosecution, he collaborated
with him?

A. I remember one particular incident. When I had fled to
Thuringia with my gold reserve and the rest of my foreign
exchange, I called on Sauckel one evening and State
Secretary Keppler, who has been mentioned here frequently,
was present also.

In the course of the conversation Sauckel and Keppler became
involved in a terrific dispute with Himmler. Sauckel told
Himmler quite plainly that he had destroyed the
administrative unity in Germany; that he was mainly
responsible for the disorganisation of the German
administration, for through the SS he had created a State
within a State. Sauckel said further: "How can the people
observe discipline if the top men of the Reich themselves do
not recognize discipline?"

Q. I have no further questions.

DR. KUBUSCHOK: Dr. Kubuschok (on behalf of von Papen).

BY DR. KUBUSCHOK:

Q. Is it true that after von Papen's speech at Marburg in
June of 1934 Hitler asked you to go to Reich President von
Hindenburg, at his country estate in Neudeck and tell him
the following:

  "Vice-Chancellor von Papen, because it was forbidden to
  make his speech public, has asked to be allowed to
  resign. This resignation would have to be granted,
  because von Papen through his speech at Marburg was
  guilty of a severe breach of the Reich Cabinet
  discipline."

A. When the Reich President von Hindenburg was at his estate
at Neudeck he frequently invited me to visit him. I have
already mentioned that I associated with him on friendly
terms. A visit like this took place when the matter of the
von Papen speech at Marburg arose, and the Reichsmarshal
suggested to the

                                                  [Page 137]

Fuehrer, as far as I recall, that I should inform the Reich
President about this incident.

The Fuehrer agreed to this, and I told the Reich President
that a conflict had arisen between the Fuehrer and von Papen
because of a certain speech. I did not know the contents of
this speech, since in the meantime, its publication had been
forbidden. Then the Reich President simply replied, "If he
does not maintain discipline, then he must be prepared to
take the consequences."

Q. Thank you.

DR. FRITZ (On behalf of the defendant Fritzsche).

BY DR. FRITZ:

Q. Witness, when and where did you meet your co-defendant
Fritzsche?

A. When he was active in the Press section of the Propaganda
Ministry. One day he called and asked for money for
"Transozean" and I granted him the money.

Q. You were Secretary of State in the Propaganda Ministry at
that time?

A. Yes.

Q. That was in what year?

A. That must have been in 1933 or 1934.

Q. When he came to you, did you know what position Fritzsche
had in the Propaganda Ministry at that time?

A. I knew that he was in the Press section.

Q. Was this a leading position which he had? Was he perhaps
head of a department?

A. No. At that time the head of this department was Dr.
Hanke as far as I remember. Later it was Berndt.

Q. Could you tell whether Fritzsche was in any close contact
with Goebbels?

A. I was never called in to attend any of the discussions
which Dr. Goebbels had daily with his experts. That was done
through his personal expert, Dr. Hanke, who later became
Secretary of State. But since Fritzsche was not the head of
a department I assume that he was not called in to these
discussions either. As far as I know mostly the heads of
departments were called to these discussions, but certainly
not Fritzsche.

Q. Then according to your knowledge, in your capacity as
State Secretary, at that time, he was not one of the closer
collaborators of Dr. Goebbels, if I understood you
correctly.

A. At that time I do not believe so. Of course, I do not
know what took place later.

THE PRESIDENT: The Prosecution?

CROSS-EXAMINATION

BY MR. DODD:

Q. Witness -

A. Yes.

Q. We have listened to your testimony since late Friday
afternoon, and, as we understand it from your statements,
you admit none of the charges made against you in the
Indictment in any degree, with possibly one exception. I am
not clear as to whether or not you were making an admission
this morning with respect to your part in the persecution of
the Jews. Would you tell us now whether or not you intended
to admit your own guilt or the part that you played in the
persecution of the Jews?

A. I said this morning that I had a deep sense of guilt and
a deep sense of shame about the things which were done to
the Jews in Germany, and that, at the time when the terror
and violence began, I was involved in a strong conflict with
my conscience. I felt, I could almost say, that a great
injustice was being

                                                  [Page 138]


done. However, I did not feel guilty in respect to the
Indictment against me here, that is, that according to the
Indictment I was guilty of Crimes Against Humanity because I
signed the directives for carrying out laws which had been
issued by higher authority - laws that had to be made so
that the Jews would not be entirely deprived of their
rights, and so that they would be given some legal
protection at least in regard to compensation and
settlement. I am admitting a guilt against myself, a moral
guilt, but not a guilt because I signed the directives for
carrying out the laws; in any event not a guilt against
humanity.

Q. All right. That is what I wanted thoroughly to
understand. You also told the Tribunal, that you.... I think
you used the expression "often at the door but never let
in," and I understand that to mean that in your own
judgement, you were really not an important man in this Nazi
organization. Is that so?

A. Yes....

Q. All right. That is an answer. You might want to explain
it later, but for the present purpose that will do.

A. May I give an explanation to this. I wanted to state that
in the position I held there were always superiors who made
the final decision. That was the case in all the positions I
held in the State.

Q. Well, let us both examine some of the evidence, and see
whether or not you were in fact always subordinated and
always an unimportant man who did not get further than the
threshold.

First of all, there is one matter that I do want to clear up
before going into the general examination. You recall when
the defendant Schacht was on the witness stand, he told the
Tribunal that after he left the Reichsbank he had an office
in his apartment, is that so?

A. Yes, he said that.

Q. Now of course you have told us, on another occasion, that
he continued to have an office in the Reichsbank. Is that
so?

A. I do not know whether I said that and where I said that,
but it may be so. I was advised, at the time when he
resigned, that he still went to the Reichsbank rather
frequently, and that a room was reserved there for him. In
addition he still had some personnel, a secretary, whom he
had taken with him from the Reichsbank - and that is all I
know.

Q. Another question. You told us, on another occasion, that
he had an office in the Reichsbank where he worked on
certain bank data, and where he still kept in touch with you
every now and then. Is that so? Do you remember telling us
that or not?

A. No, it was not like that. Schacht seldom -

Q. If you do not remember, then I perhaps can help you a
little. Do you remember being interrogated by Major Hiram
Gans of the US Army on June 2nd, 3rd and 4th, of 1945? Do
you remember that? You know who was there - Goering was
there, von Krosigk was there, Lammers was there -

A. Yes.

Q. All right. You were asked this question, were you not? or
rather preceding this answer there were some questions.

  Question: "Did Schacht retain any governmental position
  after his dismissal as President of the Reichsbank?"
  
  Then Goering answered: "Reich Minister."
  
  Then another question: "Did he have any functions?"
  
  Goering again answered: "He remained Minister without
  portfolio."
  
  Then another question: "Were there any cabinet meetings
  he attended?"
  
  Goering answered again: "There were no cabinet meetings
  at that time."
  
  Question: "Then it was purely honorary?"
  
  Goering said: "Practically."
  
                                                  [Page 139]
  
  Then you interposed with this statement (Funk is
  speaking): "Schacht, after his dismissal, kept an office
  in the Reichsbank, where he worked on statistical data of
  the Reichsbank, and where he still kept in touch with me
  every now and then." "How long did this last?" "This
  lasted until Schacht's dismissal as Minister, probably in
  1943."

You made those answers, that answer, did you not?

A. That is not correct. I did not express myself that way. I
said only that I had been informed that he came to the
Reichsbank frequently, that there was a room reserved for
him and that he very seldom spoke to me. He seldom called on
me. That was not translated correctly.

Q. You know what I am reading from do you not? You know this
document, 2828-PS?

A. No.


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