The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

Shofar FTP Archive File: imt/tgmwc/tgmwc-14/tgmwc-14-130.05

Archive/File: imt/tgmwc/tgmwc-14/tgmwc-14-130.05
Last-Modified: 2000/03/14

Q. Are you worried about your part in this? I think that is
a fair question in view of your affidavit in your testimony.
Are you concerned about what you had to do with this
business? Are you?

A. No. I myself, once the matter had been set in motion, had
nothing further to do with it, and in the statement, which
you have submitted, Herr Toms himself admits that he did not
see me at all for months. The Directorate never discussed
this matter in its meetings and was never approached for a

Q. You know, when the defendant Funk was on the stand he
said that you were the one who first told him about the SS
business. Is that your version of it?

A. No. My recollection is that the first conversation took
place in the office of President Funk, and he told me, for
reasons which I stated earlier, that we wanted to oblige the
SS by taking over these "deposits" that was the word used.

Q. You put it more strongly than that the other day when you
thought about it, when you said "Can you imagine Himmler
talking to me instead of Funk?" Do you remember saying that
to these gentlemen?

A. I am sorry I did not understand the last question.

Q. Well, it is not very important. I asked you whether you
remembered telling these gentlemen, Lt. Meltzer, Lt.
Margolis, that Himmler would not talk to you as vice-
president of the Bank, but that he would talk to Funk. You
were quite upset when we told you that Funk had said that
you were the man who originated this.

A. Yes.

Q. You got terribly upset about it. Do you not remember

A. Yes.

                                                   [Page 58]

Q. Finally, this question: Are you serious in saying that
you didn't know about these deposits, or their nature, until
you were interrogated in Frankfurt? In view of the Toms
affidavit, this exhibit that I have just shown you, and the
whole examination this morning, do you want your testimony
to close with the statement that you actually did not know
what was in these deposits at any time?

A. I saw the statement put before me today, the statement by
the treasury official put before me today, for the first
time in Frankfurt, and never before. Moreover, I did not and
could not, as vice-president, concern myself with the
details of this transaction for I was responsible for
general economic and currency policy and for credits and
such things. Besides, we had a whole staff of highly
qualified officials in our treasury office, who, if
necessary, could have made a report to the Directorate of
the Reichsbank.

Q. Of course you do not deny that you knew there were jewels
and silver and all these other things in the deposits do

A. The German term "Schmucksachen," jewellery, was always

Q. All right! Let us see what you did know was in the
deposits? You knew there was jewellery, some jewellery,
there. You knew there was some currency. You knew there were
coins. You knew there were other articles. Now, the only
thing you did not know of was the dental gold; is that so?

A. That is true, certainly. It was known from the outset and
Herr Pohl had told me, that the greater part of those
deposits contained mainly gold, foreign currency, silver
coins, and, he added, also some jewellery.

Q. Well, now, the question I think you can answer simply is:
Everything that is mentioned in your affidavit "except the
dental gold" you did know was on deposit from the SS. Do you
not understand that question? I do not think it is
complicated. You do not need to read anything, Herr Puhl. If
you will just look up here, I am asking you if you knew
about everything that is mentioned in your affidavit except
the dental gold.

A. Well, I knew about the jewellery, but I did not know what
kind of jewellery it was.

Q. I am not asking you about details. I am simply asking if
you did not know it was there. You knew there was currency
there, and you knew there were other articles there. That is
about the only things that are mentioned, excepting the
dental gold, and that is one the thing you seem now not to
have known.

A. Yes, I knew, in general, that the deposits contained gold
and foreign currency, and I repeat, -

Q. And jewellery?

A. I knew that there was jewellery.

Q. So the only thing you say now you did not know about was
the dental gold. That is all I am asking you. Why do you not
answer that? It does not take very long. Is not that so? The
only thing you did not know of was the dental gold.

A. No.

Q. Well, what else is mentioned you did not know about?

A. Spectacle frames, for example, were also mentioned.

Q. You did not know about those either? All right, I will
include those, spectacle frames and dental gold. Those are
the two things you did not know about?

A. Information I received contained only the general term

Q. They are the two matters that you had the most to worry
about, are they not, eye-glass frames and dental gold?

MR. DODD: I have no further questions, Mr. President.

THE PRESIDENT: One moment, please. Do not take that man
away. Have you got a copy of your affidavit before you?

THE WITNESS: Of 3rd May, yes.

THE PRESIDENT: Have you only got one copy of it?

                                                   [Page 59]

THE WITNESS: I must just look ... Yes, I have another copy.

THE PRESIDENT: Let me have it, please, will you?

(A document was handed to the President.)

THE PRESIDENT: This document will be identified, and form
part of the record. It had better be given whatever the
appropriate number is.

MR. DODD: I believe, Mr. President, that is already in

THE PRESIDENT: Not this particular document, it is not. This
is the particular document he had before him; it has got a
number of manuscript notes on it, and is in the English
language. Mr. Dodd, you had better look at it.

MR. DODD: All right, sir.

I believe it would become Exhibit USA 851; I think that is
the next number in sequence.

THE PRESIDENT: Exhibit USA 851; very well.

MR. DODD: I might say, I think there is one question that
might be helpful to the Tribunal with respect to this


Q. Herr Puhl, you personally typed a large part of this
affidavit yourself, did you not, or wrote it up, or dictated

A. A complete draft was put before me, and I altered it

THE PRESIDENT: One moment; and then signed it after you had
altered it?


THE PRESIDENT: Do not nod; please answer. You said, "A
complete draft was put before me, and I altered it". And I
ask you, did you then sign it



Q. And did you also initial those places that you altered on
the original? Did you not put your initials in each place
where you wanted to make a change?

Is that not so?

A. No; we copied it again, it was completely re-written ...

Q. I know you copied it anew. Did you not mark the places
that you wanted changed and say how you wanted it changed?
You did, did you not?

A. Yes; but that is of minor importance; for instance, the
word "Reichsbank" was changed to "Gold Discount Bank", and
there were similar editorial changes.

MR. DODD: Well, I thought it might be helpful to the
Tribunal to know that it was re-written and initialled.



Q. Witness, I want to ask you a few questions. The first you
heard about these transactions was from the defendant Funk,
was it not?

A. Yes.

Q. Did Funk tell you who told him about them in the SS?

A. Himmler.

Q. Himmler had spoken to Funk about this? Who else, besides
Himmler and Funk, was present when Funk talked to Himmler
about this?

A. That I do not know.

Q. You do not know if Pohl was there also?

                                                   [Page 60]

A. That I cannot say but I can say that from the very
beginning the name of the Minister of Finance was mentioned
in this connection. But whether he was personally present, I
do not know.

Q. Did Funk tell you what Himmler said to him?

A. He asked that the facilities of the Reichsbank be placed
at the disposal of the SS for this purpose.

Q. Then shortly after that, you took the matter up at the
meeting of the Board of Directors?

A. Yes, yes.

Q. Was Funk at that meeting

A . No, he was not.

Q. What did you say to the Board of Directors?

A. I reported to the Directorate briefly on the

Q. What did you say to them?

A. In a few words I described my conversation with Herr
Funk, and my conversation with Herr Pohl, and I confirmed
the fact that the Reichsbank would take the valuables of the
SS into their vaults.

Q. And then did the Board of Directors approve the action?

A. Yes; there was no objection.

Q. Now, the defendant Funk said to you that these objects
had come "from the East", did he not?

A. Yes.

Q. What did you understand that he meant by that phrase,
"from the East"?

A. Principally Poland, occupied Poland. But some Russian
territories might also have been included in that phrase.

Q. You knew that this was confiscated property, I presume?

A. Yes.

Q. Now, you told Pohl that the Bank would perform certain
services in handling the property, did you not?

A. Pohl asked me to place the good services of the Bank at
the disposal of his men. That I agreed to do.

Q. And did those services include arranging the property,
putting it in sacks and describing it?

A. That was not talked about.

Q. I did not ask you whether it was talked about. I asked
you whether the services included arranging the property and
putting it in different kinds of containers and sacks. Is
that what you did?

A. Yes, that was a matter for the decision of the treasury
directors; if they considered it necessary, they could do

Q. Was that done?

A. That I do not know. It was a treasury matter.

DR. SAUTER: Mr. President, may I put two more questions, two
very brief questions?

THE PRESIDENT: Very well, Dr. Sauter.



Q. The one question, witness, is this: You have been
repeatedly asked here who has talked to you during the past
few days.

A. Here in Nuremberg?

Q. Yes, in Nuremberg. You know that several members of the
prosecution have discussed this with you during the last few
days. I should like to establish here: Have I talked to you?

A. No, I see you for the first time in my life today.

                                                   [Page 61]

I just wanted to establish this, for the sake of
correctness. And the second question is this: - actually you
have already confirmed this, but after the charge of the
prosecution I should like to hear it from you again - in all
these negotiations or in the documents which have been
submitted and which you have of course read, was mention
ever made of the fact that these things came from
concentration camps?

A. The word "concentration camp" was used neither during the
conversation with Herr Funk nor during the conversation with
Herr Pohl.

Q. And Herr Funk did not give you an indication of that
sort, either?

A. No.

DR. SAUTER: Then I have no further questions, Mr. President;
thank you.

THE PRESIDENT: The Witness can retire, and the Tribunal will

(A recess was taken.)

THE PRESIDENT: Mr. Dodd, you did offer Document 3947-PS as
an exhibit, did you not?

MR. DODD: Yes, sir, I did, as Exhibit 850, I believe it was.

THE PRESIDENT: 850, was it? Yes, and then that copy of the
Puhl affidavit was 851?

MR. DODD: Yes sir, that is right. I did not offer the other
affidavit because we discovered it was not sworn to as yet.
I propose to do so and with your permission I delay the
date. I have that witness here. This thing cannot go on
interminably and I do not want to drag it on, but I would
like to offer it as an affidavit when I can have him swear
to it, and if there is going to be any demand for him I
might respectfully suggest that Dr. Sauter states it now. He
is not a prisoner, Mr. President, the witness Toms. He is a
free man in this country.

THE PRESIDENT: You are suggesting that he should be called

MR. DODD: If he is going to be called, I would suggest that
it be done soon.

THE PRESIDENT: If he wants to cross-examine him, he should
be called now.

MR. DODD: I should be glad to have him now.

DR. SEIDL: Mr. President, I am representing Attorney Dr.
Kauffmann for the defendant Goering. The defendant Goering
asked me to put two questions to the witness Puhl during his
re-examination. The questions would probably be connected
with the document which the prosecution brought up in cross-
examination of this witness, Document 3947-PS, of which the
prosecution read Page 2 paragraph 3, beginning:-

"The Reichsmarschall of the Greater German Reich,
Commissioner for the Four-Year Plan ... "

THE PRESIDENT: One moment, Dr. Seidl. If you want to put
questions to the witness Puhl on behalf of the defendant
Goering you can do so, and Puhl will be recalled for that

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