Archive/File: imt/nca/nca-06/nca-06-3575-ps Last-Modified: 1997/06/24 [Page 267] Nazi Conspiracy & Aggression, Volume VI Translation of Document 3575-PS [Rubber Stamp] Submitted to the Minister [Handwritten note] Dispatched 20 November Berlin, 19 November 1938 Memorandum concerning the meeting of the Reich Defense Council [Reichsverteidigungsrat] on 18 November 1938 Chairman: Field Marshal Goering All Reich Ministers and State Secretaries, with a few exceptions, were present, as were the Commander-in-Chief of the Army, the Commander-in-Chief of the Navy, the Chiefs of the General Staff of the three branches of the Armed Forces, Reichsleiter Bormann for the Deputy of the Fuehrer, General Daluege, SS Major General [SS Gruppenfuehrer] Heydrich, the Reich Labor Leader [Reicharbeitsfuehrer], the Price Control Commissar, the President of the Reich Labor Office, and others. The meeting consisted solely of a three-hour lecture by the Field Marshal. No discussion took place. These were the most important points raised at the meeting: I. Organization of the Reich Defense Council [Reichsverteidigungsrat] The Reich Defense Council had already been created through decisions of the cabinet in 1933-1934, but never met. Through the Reich Defense Law of 4 September 1938 it was reactivated. The chairmanship is vested in the Fuehrer, who has deputized Field Marshal Goering as his permanent representative. The Field Marshal termed it the task of the Reich Defense Council to correlate all the forces of the nation for accelerated building-up of German armament. He stated that armament in the narrow sense of the term would remain the responsibility of the Departments of the Armed Forces, while integration of the economy would remain the task of the Plenipotentiary-General for the Four-Year- Plan, or in some other form. As a rule only the Reich Ministers concerned in each case with the particular questions would be convoked, not such a large group as today. As a rule the Reich Ministers themselves should attend. Should they be prevented from attending, their representatives would have to be authorized to take part in binding decisions during the meeting itself. Ministers could bring their State Secretaries. Special consultants could be brought into the ante-chamber and would be summoned in each case when their [Page 268] specialty was discussed. Particular questions could be referred for discussion to the Reich Defense Committee [Reichsverteidigungsausschuss] by the Reich Defense Council. The minutes of the former would then be returned to the Reich Defense Council for decision. The terms "jurisdiction" and "sphere of authority" were unknown to him, the Field Marshal, and he did not care to hear them again. The agency best suited for a particular field of work would be entrusted with it in each case. The Ministers represented in the Reich Defense Council would have to relegate to the background all individual wishes of their departments, however justifiable they might appear, if they did not serve the single purpose of arming the people, and they would have to make all decisions with a view to the general interest, not from the point of view of their departments. Negotiations and decisions of the Reich Defense Council and Reich Defense Committee are absolutely secret and may be divulged, even within a department, only insofar as necessary to carry out the assignments. II. The Physical Tasks The assignment is to raise the level of armament from a current index of 100 to one of 300. This goal is confronted by almost insuperable obstacles because already now there is a scarcity of labor, because factory capacity is fully utilized, because the tasks of last summer exhausted our reserves of foreign currency, and because the financial situation of the Reich is serious and even now shows a deficit. In spite of this, the problem must be solved. The first task is to safeguard the basic food supply, the second task is to increase armament production, the third, equally important, a substantial increase of exports as a source of foreign exchange. Organizational measures would have to be taken for the marshalling of manpower, for stockpiling of materiel, for expansion and exploitation of the producing plant and finally for finances and foreign exchange. 1. Marshalling of Manpower By establishing a National Card Index [Volkskartei] (General Daluege) a complete survey of all Germans will be created, [Page 269] which shall lead to planning of correct commitment of labor. Material already on hand at the Employment offices will be utilized. Employment Offices, Labor Front, Industry and the Armed Forces must cooperate for this task. It will be the responsibility of the Reich Defense Council to determine the importance of state offices and other organizations from the point of view of National Defense. Within the offices economy must be practiced; the enforcement of which is the duty of the Plenipotentiary- General for Administration. In fields in which the State has already assumed responsibilities it would be superfluous for other organizations to also devote themselves to the same questions. Basic simplification of the legal system would have to be accomplished by 15 February; the task of bringing the legal system closer to the people is connected with this at the same time. Substantial savings of manpower could be accomplished in fiscal administration by a radical simplification of tax legislation. It is doubtful whether the Labor Service did not withdraw too much manpower from the task set. In spite of that he, the Field Marshal, was in favor of retaining it, primarily so as to have reserves for massed commitment in case tasks should suddenly arise. The Women's Labor is to be expanded. Measures to remedy the task of farm laborers. The Four-Year-Plan would have to be retained for our generation. The most important raw materials to be controlled are iron, steel, and cement; their allocation would take place through a Plenipotentiary-General. The great building projects of the Fuehrer would be carried through because of their importance for morale and psychology. For everything else, strictest building restrictions. For this purpose a special agency, to be directly subordinate to the Field Marshal. Basic changes in automotive matters by the Plenipotentiary- General appointed for this purpose. Economy through the most extensive standardization possible. Reorganization of the Reich Railroads [Reichsbahn]. [Page 270] Determination of the priority of all projects. Special small commission with the Four Year Plan for this purpose. Check of all manufacturing plants for essentiality. Check of the working process acceleration of working speed. Trade school education, retraining, etc. Most intensive promotion of export industries. Decision in each individual case whether the task of rearmament or the promotion of exports is more important. No more supply of armament to foreign countries against political credits, but only against payment in foreign currency or, in exceptional cases, by taking into account the political relationship with the particular country, if vital raw materials are supplied. Absolute prohibition of any destruction of real values, such as occurred in the case of the recent anti-Jewish manifestations or the manifestations against Bishops; expressly approved by the Fuehrer. Continued expansion of national auto highway [Reichsautobahnen]. Very critical situation of the Reich Exchequer. Relief initially through the billion [milliarde] imposed on Jewry, and through profits accruing to the Reich in the aryanization of Jewish enterprises. Prospect of a "National Thanksgiving Sacrifice" without commitment to this term) in the form of a single surrender of property, which will represent many times the value of the Armament Contribution [Wehrbeitrag] of the pre-war era. No details about date and particulars. Its tasks is to secure armament production, on a large scale. Strict economy measures at all points. Additional task of the Reich Defense Council: new formulation of all war-time legislation. Concerning foreign policy the Field Marshal mentioned that it would have to be conducted in such a way that the planned armament program could be carried out. (Signed) Woermann
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