The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

Shofar FTP Archive File: imt/tgmwc/tgmwc-09/tgmwc-09-83.04


Archive/File: imt/tgmwc/tgmwc-09/tgmwc-09-83.04
Last-Modified: 1999/12/8

Q. The consequence was, if I may draw, this conclusion - and
I ask you to state this - that Dr. Funk, in his capacity as
Plenipotentiary-General for Economics as well as President
of the Reichsbank, was entirely subordinate to your
directives as head of the Four-Year Plan. Is that correct?

A. Naturally, according to the Plenipotentiary powers that
were given me, he had to comply with my economic directives
as far as the Ministry of Economics and the Reichsbank were
concerned. That was a reason for the change, because I could
not follow this procedure with Schacht; but from the
beginning, Funk held a good attitude toward me in this
respect. The directions or the economic policy which the
Reich Minister of Economics and Reichsbank President, Funk,
carried out are fully and entirely my exclusive
responsibility.

Q. Perhaps you remember a birthday letter which the
defendant Funk wrote to Hitler about a week before the
Polish campaign, I believe on 25th August, in which he
thanked the Fuehrer for something or other. In this letter
Funk stated that he had prepared and executed certain
measures which in the case of a war would be necessary in
the field of civilian economy and finance. You will remember
this letter, and it has been read already.

A. Yes.

Q. Do you remember when you gave Funk these special duties?
The letter is dated, I believe, 25th August, 1939, if I may
mention this again. When did you give this task and these
directions to the defendant Funk?

A. Just as military mobilisation, or better, the
mobilisation preparations, have to be kept current and have
to keep pace with the political situation - whether it be
tense or relaxed or when it changes - economic matters also,
as I mentioned in my concluding remarks yesterday, have to
keep pace in the same way.

Thus, I ordered thorough preparations for mobilisation in
this field also. In the matters of foreign exchange and
finance it was the duty of the Reichsbank president, as of
the Reich Economics Ministry in economic matters, to make
all preparations which would put me in the position, in the
event of war, of having the utmost security for the German
people in the economic field as well. At what time exactly I
ordered this I cannot tell you, for it was a general basic
directive which was always in effect.

Q. What powers did Funk have in the issuing of regulations,
etc., for the economic administration in the occupied
territories?

A. I can no longer remember in detail now. The general
directive he received from me. How far and to whom he,
proceeding from this directive, issued departmental
instructions in his special field in the occupied territory,
I cannot say in detail. But they always originated from my
personal responsibility.

Q. Is it correct that the Four-Year Plan in the occupied
territories had special plenipotentiaries and agencies to
the exclusion of Funk for carrying out your directives?

                                                  [Page 163]

A. In some areas of the occupied territory this was the
case. In other areas I made use of the agencies existing
there, and if I considered it necessary I gave directives to
the Economics Ministry also to have this or that done with
regard to the occupied territories.

Q. Then during the war the Ministry of Armaments was
created, I believe in the spring of 1940. Is it correct that
in the course of the war, to an ever-increasing degree, the
authority of the Reich Ministry of Economics and, at the
end, the entire civilian production also, were transferred
to that Ministry, so that finally the Ministry of Economics
remained as a commerce Ministry only?

A. On my suggestion, on my urgent suggestion, the Fuehrer
created a Ministry of Munitions under the then Minister
Todt. This strictly munitions Ministry became, in the course
of further developments, the Armaments Ministry under
Minister Speer, and gradually more and more tasks were
transferred to it. As armament was the focus of the whole
economy, and everything else in the economy had to be
brought exclusively into this focus, a number of tasks of
the Ministry of Economics were transferred to the Ministry
of Armaments; in particular, the entire production. It is
correct that in the end the Ministry of Economics, by and
large, was left a hollow shell retaining only very
subordinate departments.

Q. Now, I have a final question regarding the defendant
Funk. It is a question in connection with the matter of
central planning, that is, concerning the matter of foreign
workers. I would be interested to learn whether you know,
witness, that Funk was called to attend the meetings of this
Central Planning Board for the first time at the end of
November, 1943, and never before that time? Is that known to
you?

A. I know of the Central Planning Board. I never interfered
in their internal matters. I cannot state exactly when Funk
was called to this board. With the recruiting of foreign
workers, however, he had nothing to do.

DR. SAUTER: Mr. President, if you will permit me, I have a
few brief questions on behalf of the defendant Schirach.

Q. Do you know whether the so-called "Flying H.J." that is,
a subdivision of the Hitlerjugend, ever received flying
training?

A. The "Flying H.J." pursued the sport of gliding
exclusively. After this training was completed these men
were taken into the National Socialist Flyer Corps, the
former Reichsluftsportverband, and there continued their
training in aircraft flying.

Q. Then another question: Did any conferences take place
between you and the defendant Schirach, especially while he
was Reich Youth Leader, which concerned themselves with the
question of military training, or pre-military training of
the youth in flying? Did such conferences take place or not?

A. Whether we discussed these matters occasionally I do not
know. There was no need for official conferences, because
the situation was entirely clear. The "Flying Hitler Youth"
were interested in gliding, and after they had received
preliminary training they were taken into the Flying Corps.

Q. Do you recall the chart we were shown on the wall
representing the organisation of the Reich Cabinet? In the
lower part below the remark "other participants in Cabinet
meetings" this chart showed the name of the defendant
Schirach along with Bohle, Popitz, Dietrich, and Gerecke.
For that reason I would like now to put the following
question to you: Was Schirach ever a member of the Reich
Cabinet, or what functions or rights did he have in this
connection?

A. The Reich Cabinet as such consisted solely of the Reich
Ministers. We differentiated between the two kinds of
sessions, Cabinet sessions and Ministerial Council sessions.

The Cabinet sessions were normally attended by the Ministers
and their State secretaries. In some cases when special
subjects were to be discussed, ministerial

                                                  [Page 164]

directors or higher officials of the Ministries concerned
could be called in for a short report. Then there were the
so-called Top Reich agencies. The Reich Youth Leadership was
also one of these. If, therefore, legislation affecting, the
Reich Youth Leadership was to be discussed by the Cabinet,
and Schirach learned about it, he could, by virtue of his
position as Reich Youth Leader, request to be called to this
meeting. On the same basis the Chief of the Reich
Chancellery could order him to attend such a meeting. These
representatives never attended the other regular Cabinet
sessions. I believe I attended almost all sessions and, as
far as I know, Schirach was never present. In contrast to
that were the Ministerial Council sessions to which only
Reich Ministers were. admitted and no one else.

Q. I come now to the period after the fall of Mussolini,
when Badoglio took over the Government in Italy. Do you
recall, witness, that at that time the defendant von
Schirach sent a wire with certain suggestions to you?

A. Yes.

Q. What did he suggest and what did he want to accomplish?

A. He suggested that I tell the Fuehrer to make a change in
the Foreign Office immediately and to replace Ribbentrop by
von Papen.

Q. Then, a last question on behalf of the defendant
Schirach. Do you recall another letter which the defendant
Schirach wrote, as far as I know, in the spring of 1943?
This was a letter occasioned by one from Bormann and, so
that you will know just which letter I mean, I shall briefly
explain the connection. Bormann at that time dispatched
letters, as a formality, to all Gauleiters, according to
which the Gauleiters were to report whether they had any
ties with foreign countries. Schirach was well aware at the
time that this letter was meant solely for him, for the
other Gauleiters had no relatives in foreign countries.
Schirach wrote a letter which, as far as I know, you read.
And thereupon you are supposed to have intervened on behalf
of Schirach. Please tell us what kind of letter it was, what
was the danger that was threatening Schirach, and what you
and others did to avert this danger?

A. I must correct that, and I am fully acquainted with this
incident. This letter of Bormann was not directed to the
Gauleiters to establish whether they personally had
connections abroad. Bormann directed, by order of the
Fuehrer, a letter to all Gauleiters, and it was not a pro
forma letter intended solely for Gauleiter Schirach, but was
intended for all. They were to check the political leaders
within their jurisdiction to establish whether any of their
co-workers or any political leader subordinate to them had
family ties or connections abroad, especially in enemy
countries, whereby the individuals affected might, in some
circumstances, have a conflict of conscience or might be of
questionable reliability. That was a general directive of
the Fuehrer which also applied to the Officer Corps and not
solely to the case of Schirach. I was at headquarters when
Schirach's letter arrived and Bormann gave it to the
Fuehrer. Schirach replied that, before he could take any
steps in this matter with regard to his collaborators or
subordinates, he would have to clarify his own position to
the Fuehrer, and went on to describe in brief in his letter
his family ties in the United States of America, on his
mother's side, and also mentioned in this letter that his
connection with his relatives abroad was a very cordial one
and asked whether, under these circumstances, it was still
possible for the Fuehrer to retain him in his position as
Gauleiter. At that time the Fuehrer had not been kindly
disposed to von Schirach for several months, and had
repeatedly considered retiring him from office. He said on
this occasion - and that is how I came into possession of
this letter, for he handed it to me: "Schirach seems to plan
for his future protection. I have a certain suspicion."
Then, in the presence of Bormann, I told the Fuehrer very
clearly and definitely that this was entirely unfounded,
that I could not understand his attitude toward Schirach,
and that Schirach had done the only possible

                                                  [Page 165]

and decent thing when, before dismissing any of his
collaborators or subordinates for such reasons, he demanded
the clarification of his own position, since his connections
were known, and that, in my opinion, this letter had no
other purpose.

Q. Then, however, in connection with this letter, a rather
strange suggestion seems to have been made by someone for
further action against Schirach?

A. I know that Bormann and Himmler were opposed to Schirach.
Whether they wanted to give this letter an entirely
different interpretation in order to induce the Fuehrer to
call in Schirach and eliminate him, and how far Himmler's
suggestion went, whether protective custody was considered,
I do not know. But I heard about these things from other
sources later on.

DR. SAUTER: Your Honour, I have no further questions.

DR. KRANZBUEHLER (counsel for defendant Donitz):

Q. Reichsmarschall, when did you become acquainted with
Admiral Donitz?

A. I met Grand Admiral Donitz for the first time in his
capacity as Admiral and Commander of U-boats during the war,
as far as I remember in 1940, at a conference in my special
train, I believe, in France.

Q. Was the conference concerned with military or political
questions?

A. Purely military questions, namely as to how far now and
in the future the Luftwaffe could provide reconnaissance for
U-boats in the Atlantic. The then Admiral Donitz complained
that the reconnaissance was too weak, and urgently requested
me to strengthen it and, as far as I remember, to have it
extended to as far as 30 degrees.

Q. Did you have further conferences with Admiral Donitz
before his promotion to Commander-in-Chief in 1943?

A. No.

Q. Did you, as Commander-in-Chief of the Air Force, use so-
called emergency seaplanes for the rescue of flyers shot
down in the Channel?

A. There were several squadrons of emergency seaplanes
assigned to the Channel for the rescue of flyers shot down,
both German and enemy flyers, as the order clearly proves.

Q. What did these planes look like?

A. These planes were, as far as I remember, marked with the
Red Cross.

Q. Were they armed?

A. Not at first.

Q. And how were these emergency planes treated by the
British?

A. There were some instances where they were not molested,
but there were a number of cases in which they were shot
down while they were engaged in rescue actions. Since these
cases became predominant, I said it would be more expedient
not to use the Red Cross markings any longer, to have these
planes armed and thus try to rescue our comrades from the
sea. We had tremendous losses in these emergency sea
squadrons.

Q. Did you have lifebuoys anchored in the Channel for shot
down flyers?

A. Quite a number of lifebuoys were anchored, to which ropes
were attached and to which flyers who had been shot down
could cling. The lifebuoys were also equipped with
foodstuff, drinking water, swim-vests, lifebelts, and the
like. Besides these small lifebuoys there were larger ones
in the form of small rafts which the flyers could board.
There also they found food, drink, first-aid kits, blankets
and the like.

Q. How were these lifebuoys treated by the British?

A. In different ways. Some remained; others were destroyed.

DR. KRANZBUEHLER: I have no further questions.

DR. EXNER (counsel for defendant Jodl):

Q. Is it known to you that, particularly in 1942, a severe
conflict arose between the Fuehrer and Colonel-General Jodl?

A. Yes.


Home ·  Site Map ·  What's New? ·  Search Nizkor

© The Nizkor Project, 1991-2012

This site is intended for educational purposes to teach about the Holocaust and to combat hatred. Any statements or excerpts found on this site are for educational purposes only.

As part of these educational purposes, Nizkor may include on this website materials, such as excerpts from the writings of racists and antisemites. Far from approving these writings, Nizkor condemns them and provides them so that its readers can learn the nature and extent of hate and antisemitic discourse. Nizkor urges the readers of these pages to condemn racist and hate speech in all of its forms and manifestations.