Archive/File: imt/nca/nca-02/nca-02-16-responsibility-11-02 Last-Modified: 1997/05/06 Nazi Conspiracy and Aggression, Volume Two, Chapter XIV [Page 716] B. FUNK, BY VIRTUE OF HIS ACTIVITIES IN THE MINISTRY OF PROPAGANDA, ACTIVELY PARTICIPATED IN THE CONSOLIDATION OF THE CONSPIRATORS' CONTROL OVER GERMANY. The Nazis created a vast propaganda machine which they used to proclaim the doctrine of the master race, to inveigh against the Jews, to impose the leadership principle upon the German people, to glorify war as a noble activity, to create the social cohesion necessary for war, and to weaken the capacity and willingness of their intended victims to resist aggression. (See [Page 717] Section 9 of Chapter VII on Propaganda, Censorship and Supervision of Cultural Activities.) The operation of this propaganda machine was principally the responsibility of the Ministry of Public Enlightenment and Propaganda. Funk played a significant role in the operations that Ministry and in related agencies of the Nazi State. On January 1933, the day on which Hitler became Reich Chancellor, Funk was appointed Press Chief of the Reich Government. that capacity, and even after the establishment of the Ministry Public Enlightenment and Propaganda, he reported regularly to Hitler and President von Hindenburg (3505-PS; 3501-PS). On 13 March 1933, the Reich Ministry of Public Enlightenment and Propaganda was established with Goebbels as its Chief an d Funk as its under-Secretary 2029-PS; Voelkischer Beobachter 15 March 1933, p. 2. (South German Edition)). In an interview with a reporter from the Voelkischer Beobachter on 30 March 1933, Funk made clear the importance which propaganda was to have in the Nazi State. He stated: "Propaganda is the most modern instrument of power and fighting weapon of state policy. The establishing of the Propaganda Ministry is vital, for the national political policy of the new State Leadership is to be the general good of the whole people. Therefore, the total political, artistic, cultural and spiritual life of the nation, must be brought on to one level and directed from one central point." (Voelkischer Beobachter, South German Edition, 31 March 1933). In order to achieve this purpose, the Ministry of Enlightenment and Propaganda was organized so as to reach and control every medium of expression within Germany. In the language of the decree defining the duties of the Minister of Propaganda, he was to have "*** jurisdiction over the whole field of spiritual indoctrination of the nation, of propagandizing the State, of cultural and economic propaganda, of enlightenment of the public at home and abroad; furthermore, he is in charge of all institutions serving these purposes." (2030-PS). Under this decree, the Ministry controlled propaganda abroad, propaganda within Germany, the press, music, the theater, films, art, literature, radio and all related institutions. Funk discharged important responsibilities in the Ministry. As Undersecretary he was Goebbels' chief aide. In this capacity he appears to have been the primary organizer of the machine from which flowed Nazi propaganda. This is made clear by the following excerpt from an affidavit dated 19 December 1945, and [Page 718] signed by Max Amann, who held the position of Reich Leader of the Press and President of the Reich Press Chamber. " *** In carrying out my duties and responsibilities, I became familiar with the operations and the organization of the Reich Ministry of Propaganda and Enlightenment. "Walther Funk was the practical Minister of the Ministry of Propaganda and Enlightenment and managed the Ministry. Funk was the soul of the Ministry, and without him Goebbels could not have built it up. Goebbels once stated to me that Funk was his 'most effective man.' Funk exercised comprehensive control over all the media of expression in Germany: over the press, the theater, radio and music. As Press Chief of the Reich Government and subsequently as Under Secretary of the Ministry, Funk held daily meetings with the Fuehrer and a daily press conference in the course of which he issued the directives governing the materials to be published by the German press". (3501-PS). A note for the files prepared by one Sigismund, an SS Scharfuehrer, also stresses the important role which Funk played in The Ministry of Propaganda (3566-PS). That note records a discussion between Sigismund and one Weinbrenner, an official of the Ministry of Propaganda, about the selection of a General Manager for the German Radio. The note states: "Weinbrenner made the following statement: *** it is almost impossible to determine whom the Minister would name General Manager, since Dr. Goebbels reaches most of the important decisions only by agreement with Under Secretary Funk." (3566-PS). In addition to his position as Undersecretary, Funk had many other important responsibilities in subordinate offices of the Ministry for Propaganda (3533-PS). In 1933, for example, he was appointed Vice President of the Reich Chamber of Culture, whose President was Goebbels (3533-PS; Reichsgesetzblatt, 1933, I, p. 798). Funk's position as Vice President of the Reich Chamber of Culture was related to his position as Undersecretary of the Ministry, since the Chamber of Culture and the seven subordinate chambers were by law subject to the control of the Ministry of Propaganda (2082-PS). This control was insured in practice by placing officers of the Ministry of Propaganda in the highest positions of the Chambers. Thus, for example, Goebbels was its President and Funk its Vice President. By virtue of his dual position, Funk directly promoted two fundamental and related [Page 719] Nazi policies: (1) the regimentation of all creative activities in he interest of Nazi political and military objectives; (2) the elimination of Jews and dissidents from the so-called cultural professions. The mechanics by which these policies were carried out have been described in Section 9 of Chapter VII on Propaganda, Censorship and Supervision of Cultural Activities. That description will be supplemented here only by reference to the second decree the Execution of the Law of Reich Chamber of Culture, dated 9 November 1933 (2872-PS). This decree, which was signed by Funk, representing Goebbels, fixed the effective date for the entire scheme for the domination and purging of the cultural professions. The control of the Ministry of Propaganda was based in part on the requirement that persons engaged in so-called "cultural activities" belong to the appropriate Chamber (1933 Reichsgesetzblatt, I p. 797). Decrees were then passed which prescribed standards of admission to these Chambers, which automatically excluded Jews. For example, in the field of journalism, "only persons who were of Aryan descent and not married to a person of non-Aryan descent" were permitted to be so-called Schriftleiter, that is, to perform any work relating to the contents a newspaper or a political magazine (2083-PS). Similarly, newspaper publishers had to submit proof tracing their Aryan descent (and that of their spouses) as far back as the year 1800 (Decree 24 April 1935, issued by the President of the Reich Press Chamber, Article 1, 3 and Article II, 1(f) and 2, reprinted in Karl Friedrich Schrieber in "Das Recht der Reichskulturkammer", vol. 2, 1935, pp. 109-112; Decrees 15 April 1936 and 2 May 1936 issued by the President of Reich Press Chamber reprinted in Karl Friedrich Schrieber "Das Recht der Reichskulturkammer", vol. 4, 1936, pp. 101-102, 120-122; see also: Decree 17 September 1934 reprinted in Karl Friedrich Schrieber's "Das Recht der Reichskulturkammer", vol. 2, 1935, p. 79). In view of Funk's official positions and the policies which he advanced it is natural that Nazi writers have stressed his contribution to the perversion of German culture. Thus Oestreich's biography of Funk states: "Besides, Funk had a special duty from his Ministry received the task to take care of the cultural life. In this position he organized quietly a tremendous concern which represented an investment of many hundreds of millions. In close co-operation with the Reich Leader of the Press, Max Amann, the economic fundamentals of the German [Page 720] press were reconstructed according to the political necessities. The same took place in the film industry and in other cultural fields." The reconstruction of "the economic fundamentals of the German press * ** and other cultural fields" was a biographer's euphemism for the elimination of Jews and dissidents from the field of literature, music, theater, journalism, broadcasting, and the arts. The completeness with which the policy of cultural extermination was carried out is made clear by a pamphlet entitled "The Reich Ministry for Public Enlightenment and Propaganda", by Georg Wilhelm Mueller, an official of the Ministry of Propaganda, which was published by the German Academy for Politics as part of a series on the organization of the Nazi Government. That pamphlet states: "The Department Special Cultural Tasks (a department within the Ministry of Propaganda) serves mainly the purpose to remove the Jews from cultural professions. It reviews the political attitude of all artistic or cultural workers and cultural economic enterprise that are members of the seven individual chambers of the Reich Chamber of Culture (except the Reich Chamber of the Press), it has to supervise the removal of Jews in the entire field of the seven individual chambers and settles as highest authority all complaints and appeals of cultural workers whose membership was rejected by the Chamber because of lack of proof of Aryan descent. At the same time, it is the task of this department to supervise the activities of non-Aryans in the intellectual and entire cultural field, therefore, also the supervision of the only Jewish organization in the cultural field in the entire Reich territory, that is, the 'Jewish Kulturbund' (Jewish Cultural Association). "In this way this department also cooperates with all other professional departments of the Ministry or the Chambers by consulting the local officials of the party, the State police offices, etc, and when supervising the Jewish 'cultural work' with the political police. "It is mainly the merit of this department to 1937 a department in the Managing Office of the Reich Chamber of Culturethat the purge of the entire German cultural life from Jewish or other non-German influences was completely accomplished according to the assignments of the Minister." (Das Reichsministerim fuer Volksafklaerung und Propa- [Page 721] ganda (Reich Ministry of Public Enlightenment and Propaganda) pp. 30-31). Funk contributed to the achievement of the Nazi propaganda program in other capacities. Thus, in 1933, Goebbels appointed him Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Reich Broadcasting Company (3505-PS). That company was the coordinating authority for all German radio broadcasting and supervised all German radio stations, with a view to insuring that radio serve the political purposes of the Nazi State (Das Deutsche Fuehrerlexikon, 1934-193, p. 139; 3505-PS). Moreover, in 1933, Funk also was appointed Vice-president of the Filmkreditbank. The Filmkreditbank was a government-controlled financing corporation which influenced film production in the interests of the Nazi program by granting financial assistance in connection with only those films deemed desirable from the Nazi point of view (Seager, "Der Film im Nationalsocialistischen Staat" ("The Film in the National-Socialist State"), in Frank: "Nationalsozialistisches Handbuch fuer Recht und Gesetzgebung" ("National Socialist Handbook for Law and Legislation"), 1935, 2nd edition, p. 512). It is lear from the foregoing that Funk was from 1933 until the end of 1937 a versatile and key figure in the propaganda field. His activities ranged from daily conferences with the Fuehrer and the organization of a new large Ministry vital to the Nazi program to depriving the most humble Jewish artist of his power to earn a livelihood. Funk appears to have been what Goebbels said he was: Goebbels' "most effective man" (3501-PS).
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