Archive/File: imt/nca/nca-02/nca-02-15-criminality-03-02 Last-Modified: 1997/08/23 (2) The Secret Cabinet Council. Proof that there was only an artificial distinction between the ordinary cabinet, the Secret Cabinet Council, and the Council of Ministers for the Defense of the Reich, is shown by the unity of personnel among the three subdivisions. Thus, on 4 February 1938, Hitler created the Secret Cabinet Council (2031-PS): "To advise me in conducting the foreign policy I am setting up a secret cabinet council. "As president of the secret cabinet council, I nominate: Reichsminister Freiherr von Neurath "As members of the secret cabinet council I nominate: Reichsminister for Foreign Affairs, Joachim von Ribbentrop Prussian Prime Minister, Reichsminister of the Air, Supreme Commander of the Air Forces, General Field Marshall Hermann Goering The Fuehrers Deputy, Reichsminister Rudolf Hess [Page 96] Reichsminister for the Enlightenment of the people and of Propaganda, Dr. Joseph Goebbels Reichsminister and Chief of the Reichs Chancellery Dr. Hans-Heinrich Lammers The Supreme Commander of the Army, General Walther von Brauchitsch The Supreme Commander of the Navy, Grand Admiral Dr. (honorary) Erich Raeder The Chief of the Supreme Command of the Armed Forces Lt Gen Wilhelm Keitel." (2031-PS) It will be noted that every member of this group was either a Reichsminister or, as, in the case of the Army, Navy, and OKW heads, had the rank and authority of a Reich Minister. (3) The Council of Ministers for the Defense of the Reich. On 30 August 1939 Hitler established the Council of Ministers for the Defense of the Reich better known as the Ministerial Council). This was the so-called war cabinet. The decree establishing this Council provided (2018-PS): "Article I "(1) A Ministerial Council for Reich Defense shall be established as a standing committee out of the Reich Defense Council. "(2) The standing members of the Ministerial Council for Reich Defense shall include: General Field Marshall Goering as chairman; Fuehrer's Deputy [Hess]; Commissioner General (or Plenipotentiary) for Reich Administration [Frick]; Commissioner General (or Plenipotentiary) for Economy [Funk]; Reich Minister and Chief of the Reich Chancellery [Dr. Lammers]; Chief of the High Command for the Armed Forces [Keitel]. "(3) The chairman may draw on other members of the Reich Defense Council including further personalities for advice." (2018-PS) Again, all members of this group were also members of the ordinary Cabinet. The Reich Defense Council, for secret war planning, was created by the Cabinet on 4 April 1933 (cf. the unpublished Reich Defense Law of 21 May 1935 (2261-PS) ). The membership of that Council when first created is shown by the minutes of the second session of the working committee of the delegates for Reich Defense, dated 22 May 1933 and signed by Keitel (EC-177): [Page 97] "Composition of the Reich Defense Council: President: Reichs Chancellor Deputy: Reichswehr Minister Permanent Members: Minister of the: Reichswehr Foreign Affairs Interior Finance Economic Affairs Public Enlightenment and Propaganda Air Chief of the Army Command Staff Chief of the Navy Command Staff "Depending on the case: The remaining ministers, other personalities, e.g., leading industrialists, etc." (EC-177) All but the Chiefs of the Army and Navy Command Staff were at that time members of the ordinary cabinet. The composition of this Reich Defense Council was changed by an unpublished law on 4 September 1938, which provided as follows (2194-PS): "*** (2) The leader and Reich Chancellor is chairman in the RVR. His permanent deputy is General Field Marshall Goering. He has the right to call conferences of the RVR. Permanent members of the RVR are "The Reich Minister of Air and Supreme Commander of the Air Force, The Supreme Commander of the Army, The Supreme Commander of the Navy, The Chief of the OKW, The Deputy of the Fuehrer, The Reich Minister and Chief of the Reich Chancellery, The President of the Secret Cabinet Council, The Chief Plenipotentiary for the Reich Administration, The Chief Plenipotentiary for Economics, The Reich Minister of Foreign Affairs, The Reich Minister of the Interior, The Reich Finance Minister, The Reich Minister for Public Enlightenment and Propaganda, The President of the Reichsbank Directorate. The other Reich Ministers and the Reich offices directly subordinate to the Fuehrer and Reich Chancellor are consulted [Page 98] if necessary. Further personalities can be called as the case demands." (2194-PS) On that date all the members also belonged to the ordinary cabinet, for by that time the supreme commanders of the Army and Navy had been given ministerial rank and authorized to participate in cabinet meetings (2098-PS). It is also worth noting that two members of the Reich Defense Council also appear in the Ministerial Council under the same title -- The Plenipotentiary for Administration, and the Plenipotentiary for Economy. The former post was held by Frick, while the latter was first held by Schacht and then by Funk. These facts are verified by Frick on the Nazi governmental organization chart (Chart Number 18). Many other ministries were subordinated to these two posts for war-planning aims and purposes. These two officials, together with the Chief of the OKW, formed a powerful triumvirate known as the "Three-Man College" (Frick, Funk, and Keitel) which figured prominently in war plans and preparations. B. Functions of the Reichsregierung. The utilization of the ordinary cabinet as a manpower reservoir for other governmental agencies, the chronological development of the offshoots of the ordinary cabinet, and the cohesion between all of these groups, is apparent from the Nazi governmental organization chart (Chart Number 18). The chart shows the following offshoots of the ordinary cabinet: 1933, the Reich Defense Council; 1935, the Three- Man College; 1936, the Delegate for the Four Year Plan; 1938, the Secret Cabinet Council; 1939, The Ministerial Defense Council; and 1944, the Delegate for Total War Effort (Goebbels). In every case these important Nazi agencies were staffed with personnel taken from the ordinary cabinet. (1) The Ordinary Cabinet. The unity, cohesion, and interrelationship of the sub-divisions of the Reichsregierung was not the result of a co-mixture of personnel alone. It was also realized by the method in which it operated. The ordinary cabinet consulted together both by meetings and through the so-called circulation procedure. Under the latter procedure, which was chiefly used when meetings were not held, drafts of laws prepared in individual ministries were distributed to other cabinet members for approval or disapproval. The man primarily responsible for the circulation of drafts of laws under this procedure was Dr. Lammers, the Leader and Chief [Page 99] Of the Reich Chancellery. Lammers has described that procedure in an affidavit (2999-PS): "*** I was Leader of the Reich Chancellery (Leiter der Reichskanzlei) from 30 January 1935 until the end of the war. In this capacity I circulated drafts of proposed law and decrees submitted to me by the Minister who had drafted the law or decree, to all members of the Reich Cabinet. A period of time was allowed for objections, after which the law considered as being accepted by the various members of the Cabinet. This procedure continued throughout the whole war. It was followed also in the Council of Ministers for Defense of the Reich (Ministerrat fuer die Reichsverteidigung)." (2999-PS) A memorandum dated 9 August 1943, which bears the facsimile signature of Frick and is addressed to the Reich Minister and Chief of the Reich Chancellery, illustrates how the circulation procedure worked (1701-PS). Attached to the memorandum is a draft of the law in question and a carbon copy of a letter dated 22 December 1943 from Rosenberg to the Reich Minister of the Interior, containing his comments on the draft: "To the Reich Minister and Chief of the Reich Chancellery. in Berlin W8. "For the information of the other Reich ministers. "Subj: Law on the treatment of enemies of the society. "In addition to my letter of 19 March 1942. "Enclosures: 55--. "After the draft of the law on the treatment of enemies of the society has been completely rewritten, I am sending the enclosed new draft with the consent of the Reich Minister of Justice, Dr. Thierack, and ask that the law be approved in a circulatory manner. The necessary number of prints is attached." (1701-PS)
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