The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

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Q. You had better listen to my questions and then answer
them. I repeat you were collaborating with Hess, and you
worked with Ley in the Labour Front. You were one of the
leaders of the Nazi Party. We will not discuss whether it
was a very high rank or not, but you did have a rank in the
Nazi Party.

Yesterday, in Court, you said that you were one of Hitler's
close friends. You now want to say that so far as the plans
and intentions of Hitler were concerned, you only learned
about them from the book Mein Kampf?

A. I can give you an explanation of this. I was in close
contact with Hitler, and I heard his personal views; these
views of his did not lead one to the conclusion that he had
any plans of the sort which have been revealed in the
documents here, and I was particularly relieved in 1939 when
the non-aggression pact with Russia was signed. After all,
your diplomats too must have read Mein Kampf; nevertheless,
they signed the non-aggression pact. And they were certainly
more intelligent than I am - I mean in political matters.

Q. I do not think we should now examine who read Mein Kampf
and who did not; that is irrelevant.

So you contend that you did not know anything about Hitler's
plans?

A. Yes.

Q. All right, please tell us this. As chief of the Main
Office of Technology of the Nazi Party, what were your
tasks?

                                                   [Page 79]

A. In the Party?

Q. You probably know it better than I, since you were the
head of that office.

A. I only took over that task or that office in 1942; and in
1942, during the war, this Main Office of Technology of the
NSDAP had no task to perform. I took the officials who were
in that department into my ministry, and there they worked
as State functionaries. Detailed information on this is
available in the written testimony of the witness Sauer, and
that is contained in my document book.

Q. What is contained in the testimony of the witness Sauer?

A. The document book also contains a decree which I issued
at the end of 1942, and in which I ordered the transfer of
these tasks to the State.

Q. But you did not answer my question. In order to clarify
this, I will read what Sauer said on this point, and you
will please state whether it is correct or not.

On the tasks of the Main Office of Technology of the Party,
Sauer said:

  "The task of the Main Office of Technology of the Party
  was the unified direction of technical organizations of
  German engineers in scientific, professional and
  political fields."

It was a political organization, was it not?

A. No, it was chiefly a technical organization.

Q. A technical organization which occupied itself with
political questions.

In the document book which has been presented and partly
quoted by your defence counsel, there are indications of the
tasks of the Main Office of Technology. From one document it
is obvious that the engineers were to be taught the National
Socialist ideology, and that this organization was also a
political one, and not only a technical one.

A. Where does it say so? May I have the document?

Q. Of course, the document book of the defence. I shall hand
it to you, if you want to have it. You will see there the
structure of the Kreis leadership.

A. The translation said it was from my document book, but it
is not from my document book. It is from the organisational
handbook of the NSDAP, and -

Q. That is the structure of the Kreis leadership of the
NSDAP. That is Document 1893-PS, which has been presented by
your defence counsel.

A. Yes, but in my document book it says that the Main Office
of Technology in the NSDAP did not have a political task.
This is an extract from the organisational handbook of the
NSDAP, and I would not have included it in my document book
if I had not had the precise impression that it demonstrates
particularly well that, in contrast to all other agencies,
the Main Office of Technology had a non-political task
within the Party.

Q. Was the National Socialist Union of German Technicians a
political organization?

A. By no means.

Q. By no means? Tell me, please, did not the leaders of this
union have to be members of the Nazi Party?

A. They did not have to be members, as far as I know. I
never paid any attention to whether they were members or
not.

THE PRESIDENT: Shall we adjourn now?

(A recess was taken.)

BY GENERAL RAGINSKY:

Q. You were one of the leaders of the Central Planning
Board. Was the search for new sources of raw materials part
of your programme?

A. I do not understand the meaning of the question?

Q. Was the search for new sources of raw materials part of
the programme of the Central Planning Board?

A. No, not actually.

                                                   [Page 80]

Q. All right. I shall read to you from your document book.
Will you listen, please? Otherwise, we shall lose too much
time with you. This is the order dated 22nd April, 1942,
signed by Goering; it is in your document book in the first
volume, Page 14 of the Russian text and Page 17 of the
English text. It states:

  "With a view to assuring priority of armaments as ordered
  by the Fuehrer, and to embrace all the demands which are
  thereby made on the total economy during the war, and in
  order to bring about an adjustment between a secure food
  supply and the raw material and manufacturing facilities
  in the economy, I order:
  
     In connection with the Four-Year Plan a Central
     Planning Board shall be organized."

Farther on it mentions who the members of the Central
Planning Board were. In the third part the tasks of the
Central Planning Board are enumerated. I shall read that
into the record:

     "Point C: The distribution of existing raw materials,
     especially iron and metals, among the places requiring
     them.
     
     Point B: The decision as to the creation of new plants
     for production of raw material or enlargement of the
     plants existing."

This is written in your document book.

A. Well, there is a difference. I was told "sources of raw
materials"; I understand "sources of raw materials" to mean
ore, for example, or coal beds. What this paragraph says is
the "creation of new means of producing raw materials"; that
means the building of a factory for steel production, for
instance, or an aluminium factory.

I myself said that an expanding supply of raw materials for
industry was important, and that I took over this task.

Q. Yes. Of course, it is rather difficult to deny it, since
it is written here in the document.

A. No. These are technical expressions, and it may be that
since they were retranslated into German, they were rendered
inaccurately. The meaning of the paragraph is actually quite
clear, and every expert can confirm it. It is the same
activity -

Q. I understand the sense. Tell us, when you enumerated the
members of the Central Planning Board, was it just
accidental that you did not name Funk as a member of that
board?

A. No. Actually Funk worked hardly at all on the Planning
Board, and therefore I did not list him. He became a member
officially only in September, 1943, but even after that time
he took part in only one or two meetings, so that his
activity was very slight.

Q. I did not ask you about his activity; I am asking you
whether Funk was a member of the Central Planning Board.

A. Yes, from September, 1943.

Q. And it was purely through accident that you did not name
him? Or did you have any particular purpose in not naming
him?

A. I actually named only the three members who were on the
Central Planning Board from the very beginning, since its
foundation, because I was speaking only of the foundation of
the Board. That explains the error. I did not want to occupy
the Tribunal's time with something which was generally
known.

Q. All right. You have maintained here that you were
concerned only with peaceful construction, and that, as far
as the appointment to the post of Minister of Armaments was
concerned, you accepted it without any particular desire,
and you even had your qualms about it. Do you still maintain
the same view?

A. May I have the question repeated?

Q. If you please. You stated here several times, in replying
to the questions of your defence counsel, that you accepted
the post of Minister of Armaments

                                                   [Page 81]

without any special desire for it, and that you had your
qualms about it; and you did not particularly care to accept
it. Do you still maintain that now?

A. Yes.

Q. I shall remind you of what you said to the
representatives of industry in the Rheno-Westphalian
district. Do you remember what you said to them? I shall
quote one paragraph from your speech. You said:

  "In the spring of 1942, without hesitation I accepted the
  demands propounded by Hitler as a programme which must be
  fulfilled, which I am fulfilling now, and which will be
  fulfilled."

Did you say that?

A. Yes. But this has nothing to do with your statement. The
demands which are meant here are demands for an increase in
military armaments. Those are the demands I accepted. But,
in addition, it was a matter of course that I immediately
accepted the appointment as Armament Minister without any
qualms. I have never denied that. I only said that I would
rather be an architect than an armament minister, which has
probably been misunderstood.

Q. And now we shall listen to what you said to the Gauleiter
in your speech in Munich:

  "I gave up all my peace-time activities, including my
  actual profession (architecture), to dedicate myself
  without reservations to the war task. The Fuehrer expects
  that of all of us."

Is this the sort of thing which you are saying now?

A. Yes, I believe that was the attitude in your country,
too.

Q. I am not asking you about our country. We are now talking
about your country. I am asking you whether you now affirm
before the Tribunal what you then said to the Gauleiter.

A. Yes. I only wanted to explain this to you, because
apparently you do not appreciate why in time of war one
should accept the post of Armament Minister. If the need
arises, that is a matter of course, and I cannot understand
why you do not appreciate that and why you want to reproach
me for it.

Q. I understand you perfectly.

A. Good.

Q. When you made your speech before the Gauleiter, you did
not, of course, think that you would be held responsible
before the International Military Tribunal for the words
which you then spoke.

A. Excuse me; one moment, please. I want to say something
else in answer to your question. That this is my view, and
that I think it quite proper, is evident from the fact that
you quoted it from my document book, otherwise I would not
have included it in my own document book. I hope you
consider me sufficiently intelligent to be capable of making
up my document Look correctly.

Q. Quite so, quite so. But these documents are not only in
your possession, they are also in the possession of the
prosecution. However, we shall pass on to the next question.

In response to the questions of your defence counsel, you
testified about the principles and tasks of your ministry.
In connection with this, I should like to ask you a few
questions. Do you remember the contents of your article
entitled "Increase of Production," which was published in
Das Reich on 19th April; 1942?

You will be given a copy of this article in a second.

GENERAL RAGINSKY: Mr. President, I submit this article as
Exhibit USSR 479.

BY GENERAL RAGINSKY:

Q. I shall remind you briefly of what you wrote about the
principles of your ministry.

                                                   [Page 82]

  "One thing, however, will be necessary, and that is
  energetic action, including the most severe punishment,
  in cases of offences committed against the interests of
  the State ... severe prison sentences or death  ... The
  war must be won."

Did you write this?

Now, I shall remind you of another article of yours. You
will be given a copy of it.

A. Just a moment. May I ask you to read the whole paragraph?
You left out a few sentences in the middle.

Q. Yes, yes, I omitted something, but I shall ask you some
questions on that later.

A. But it shows for what offences prison and death sentences
were provided. That is surely relevant. I believe you should
quote the passage fully, otherwise a wrong impression is
given.

Q. You will give your comments or explanations to the
questions afterwards. But meanwhile listen to the questions
as I put them to you. If you want to give your explanation
with regard to this, you are entitled to do so later.

THE PRESIDENT: No, no, General Raginsky, the Tribunal would
prefer to have the comments now.

GENERAL RAGINSKY: Mr. President, if the defendant wishes to
give an explanation with regard to this article, I shall let
him do so, of course.

THE WITNESS: The text which you omitted reads as follows:

  "At my suggestion, the Fuehrer ordered that those heads
  of concerns and employees, and also those officials and
  officers who attempt to secure material or labour by
  giving inaccurate information will receive severe prison
  sentences or the death sentence."

The reasons for this were as follows: When I took over my
office, the demands addressed to the central department were
increased by the' intermediate departments handling the
demands. Each of the many intermediate departments added
something of its own, so that the demands reaching me were
quite enormous and incredible, and made planning quite
impossible.

For example, on account of these additions, the demands
which I received for copper in one year amounted to more
than the whole world's yearly production of copper. And in
order to prevent this and obtain accurate indications, I
issued an order to deter these officials, officers, heads of
concerns, and employees from giving false figures.

In my Gauleiter speech I spoke of this, and I said the
result of this decree would surely be that no one would any
longer dare to forward false information and demands to
higher offices, and that was the purpose of the decree; I
said that it would never be necessary to put the decree into
effect, since I did not believe that the heads of concerns,
employees, officials and officers would, in view of such a
severe penalty, have enough boldness to continue supplying
such false statements.

In fact, no penalty was ever imposed, but the result of the
decree was that demands for materials and workers reaching
me decreased considerably.


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