The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

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                                                  [Page 171]

Lastly, we have a letter from Baldur von Schirach, the Reich
Youth Leader, published in "Der Sturmer" of January, 1938:

   "It is the historical merit of 'Der Sturmer' to have
   enlightened the broad masses of our people in a popular
   way as to the Jewish world danger. 'Der Sturmer' is
   right in refusing to fulfil its task in a purely
   aesthetic manner. Jewry has shown no regard for the
   German people. We have, therefore, no cause to be
   considerate and to spare our worst enemy. What we fail
   to do to-day, our youngsters of to-morrow will have to
   suffer for bitterly."

My Lord, it may be that this defendant is less directly
involved in the physical commission of the crimes against
Jews, of which this Tribunal has heard, than some of his co-
conspirators. The submission of the prosecution is that his
crime is no less the worse for that reason. No Government in
the world, before the Nazis came to power, could have
embarked upon and put into effect a policy of mass
extermination in the way in which they did, without having a
people who would back them and support them, and without
having a large number of people, men and women, who were
prepared to put their hands to their bloody murder. And not
even, perhaps, the German people of previous generations
would have lent themselves to the crimes about which this
Tribunal has heard, the killing of millions and millions of
men and women.

It was to the task of educating the people, of producing
murderers, educating and poisoning them with hate, that
Streicher set himself; and for 25 years he has continued
unrelentingly the education - if you can call it so - the
perversion of the people and of the youth of Germany. And he
has gone on and on as he saw the results of his work bearing

In the early days he was preaching persecution. As
persecutions took place he preached extermination and
annihilation; and, as we have seen in the Ghettos of the
East, as millions of Jews were being exterminated and
annihilated, he cried out for more and more.

That is the crime that he has committed. It is the
submission of the prosecution that he made these things
possible, made these crimes possible, which could never have
happened, had it not been for him and for those like him. He
led the propaganda and the education of the German people in
those ways. Without him the Kaltenbrunners, the Himmlers,
the General Stroops, would have had nobody to carry out
their orders. And, as we have seen, he has concentrated upon
the youth and the childhood of Germany. In its extent his
crime is probably greater and more far-reaching than that of
any of the other defendants. The misery that they caused
finished with their incarceration. The effects of this man's
crimes, of the poison that he has injected into the minds of
millions and millions of young boys and girls and young men
and women, lives on. He leaves behind him a legacy of almost
a whole people poisoned with hate, sadism, and murder, and
perverted by him. That German people remain a problem and
perhaps a menace to the rest of civilisation for generations
to come.

My Lord, I submit that the prosecution's case against this
man as set out in the Indictment is proved.

My Lord, Lieutenant Brady Bryson, of the United States
delegation, will present to the Court the case against

LIEUTENANT BRADY BRYSON: May it please the Tribunal, a
document book has been prepared and filed and the
appropriate number of copies has been delivered to the

We ask the Tribunal's permission to file, within the next
few days, a trial brief, which now is in the process of

Our proof against the defendant Schacht is confined to
planning and preparation of aggressive war.

THE PRESIDENT: What was it you said about the trial brief?

                                                  [Page 172]

LIEUTENANT BRYSON: We ask permission to file a trial brief
within the next few days, as our brief is not yet ready.


LIEUTENANT BRYSON: Our proof against the defendant Schacht
is limited to planning and preparation for aggressive war,
and to membership in a conspiracy for aggressive war.

The extent of Schacht's criminal responsibility as a matter
of law, under the Charter of the Tribunal, will be developed
in our brief. Only a few of our 50 odd documents have been
previously submitted in evidence. We have taken special
pains to avoid repetition and cumulative proof, but for the
sake of continuity we would like, in several instances,
simply to draw the Tribunal's attention to evidence
previously received, with an appropriate reference to the
transcript of the record.

Before commencing our proof, we wish to state our
understanding that the defendant Schacht's control over the
German economy was on the wane after November, 1937, and
that by the time of the aggression on Poland his official
status had been reduced to that of Minister without
Portfolio and personal adviser to Hitler. We know, too, that
he is sometimes credited with opposition to certain of the
more radical elements of the Nazi Party; and I further
understand that at the time of capture by United States
forces he was under German detention in a prison camp,
having been arrested by the Gestapo in July, 1944.

Be this as it may, our proof will show that at least up
until the end of 1937 Schacht was the dominant figure in the
rearming of Germany and in the economic planning and
preparation for war; that without his work the Nazis would
not have been able to wring from their depressed economy the
tremendous material requirements of armed aggression; and
that Schacht contributed his efforts with full knowledge of
the aggressive purposes which he was serving.

The details of this proof will be presented in four parts.
First, we will very briefly show that Schacht accepted the
Nazi philosophy prior to 1933 and supported Hitler's rise to

Second, proof of the contribution of Schacht to German
rearmament and preparation for war will be submitted. This
evidence will also be brief, since the facts in this respect
are well known and have already been touched upon by Mr.
Dodd in his preparation of the case on economic preparation
for war.

Third, we will show that Schacht assisted the Nazi
conspiracy purposely and willingly with knowledge of and
sympathy for its illegal ends.

And last, we will prove that Schacht's loss of power in the
German Government did not in any sense imply disagreement
with the policy of aggressive war.

We turn now to our proof that Schacht helped Hitler to

Schacht met Goering for the first time in December, 1930,
and Hitler, early in January, 1931, at Goering's house. His
impression of Hitler was favourable. I offer in evidence
Exhibit USA 615, consisting of an excerpt from a pre-trial
interrogation of Schacht, under date of 20th July, 1945, and
quote two questions and answers related to this meeting,
near the middle of the first page of the interrogation.

THE PRESIDENT: Are you going to give us the exhibit number?
You have not given us the other number?

LIEUTENANT BRYSON: This is an interrogation, Sir, and it
will not have two.

TIM PRESIDENT: Have you got a number for it?

LIEUTENANT BRYSON: You will find it in your document book in
the back, labelled "Schacht Interrogation of 20th July,
1945." I quote from the middle of the first page:

   "Q. What did he (that is, Hitler) say?
   A. Oh, ideas he expressed before, but he was full of
   will and spirit."

                                                  [Page 173]

And near the bottom of the page:

   "Q. What was your impression at the end of that evening?
   A.I thought that Hitler was a man with whom one could co-

After this meeting Schacht allied himself with Hitler, and
at a crucial political moment in November, 1932, he lent the
prestige of his name, which was widely known in banking,
financial and business circles throughout the world, to
Hitler's cause. I offer in evidence Exhibit USA 616,
consisting of excerpts from a pre-trial interrogation of
Schacht on 17th October, 1945. I wish to quote beginning at
the top of Page 36 of this interrogation. This is the
interrogation of 17th October, 1945, at Page 36. I may say
that, when I refer to the page numbers, I speak of the page
of the document.
   "Q. Yes, and at that time (referring to January, 1931)
   you became a supporter, I take it -
   A. In the course -
   Q. Of Hitler's coming to power.
   A. Especially in the course of the years 1931 and 1932."

And I quote further from the lower half of Page 37 of the
same interrogation:

   "Q. But what I mean is - to make it very brief indeed -
   did you lend the prestige of your name to help Hitler
   come to power?
   A. I have publicly stated that I expected Hitler to come
   to power, for the first time that I remember, in
   November, 1932."

I quote further:

   "Q. And you know, or perhaps you do not, that Goebbels
   in his diary records with great affection
   A. Yes.
   Q. The help that you gave him at that time?
   A. Yes, I know that.
   Q. November, 1932?
   A. From the Kaiserhof to the Chancellery and back.
   Q. That is right; you have read that?
   A. Yes.
   Q. And you do not deny that Goebbels was right?
   A. I think his impression was, that this was correct at
   the time."

I now refer the Tribunal to this statement of Goebbels, set
forth in Document 2409-A-PS. The entire diary of Goebbels is
in evidence as Exhibit USA 262. The entry I wish to read,
which appears in 2409-A-PS, was made on 21st November, 1932.
   "In a conversation with Dr. Schacht, I assured myself
   that he absolutely represents our point of view. He is
   one of the few who accepts the Fuehrer's position

It is believed that Schacht joined the Party only in the
sense that he allied himself with the cause. Dr. Franz
Reuter, whose biography of Schacht was officially published
in Germany in 1937, has stated that Schacht refrained from
formal membership in order to be of greater assistance to
the Party. I offer in evidence Document EC-460, Exhibit USA
617, consisting of an excerpt from Reuter's biography, and I
quote the last sentence of the excerpt:

   "By not doing so - at least until the final assertion
   and victory of the Party - he was able to assist it (the
   Party) much better than he would have been able to do
   he become an official Party member."

It was Schacht who organised the financial means for the
decisive March, 1933, election, at a meeting of Hitler with
a group of German industrialists in Berlin. Schacht acted as
the sponsor or host of this meeting, and a campaign fund of
several million Marks was collected. Without reading
therefrom, I offer in evidence Document EC-439, Exhibit USA
618, an affidavit of von Schnitzler under date of 10th
November, 1945, which already appears in the record (Pages
130-1, Part 1).

                                                  [Page 174]

Further evidence on this point is also contained in the
excerpt from the interrogation of Schacht on 20th July,
1945, from which I read a part a moment ago. Schacht lent
his support to Hitler not only because he was an
opportunist, but also because he shared Hitler's ideological
principles. Apart from the entry in Goebbel's diary, this
may be seen from Schacht's own letter to Hitter, under date
of 29th August, 1932, pledging continued support to Hitler
after the latter's poor showing in the July 1932 elections.
I offer this letter in evidence as Document EC-457, Exhibit
USA 619, and quote from the middle of the first paragraph
and further from the next to the last paragraph:

   "But what you could perhaps do with in these days is a
   word of most sincere sympathy. Your movement is carried
   internally by so strong a truth and necessity that
   victory in one form or another cannot elude you for

And further down, and keep in mind that neither Hitler nor
Schacht was then in the German Government, Schacht says:

   "Wherever my work may take me in the near future, even
   if you should see me one day within the fortress, you
   can always count on me as your reliable assistant."

THE PRESIDNET: What do those words mean at the top, "The
President of the Reichsbank in retirement"? Are they on the

LIEUTENANT BRYSON: Yes, they are, Sir. Dr. Schacht had
previously been a President of the Reichsbank. At this time
he was in retirement. You will remember, this is prior to
Hitler's accession to power.

THE PRESIDENT: Yes, of course.

LIEUTENANT BRYSON: And then Hitler reinstated Dr. Schacht as
President of the Reichsbank after the Nazis had taken over.

THE PRESIDENT: And he put that at the top of his letter, did

LIEUTENANT BRYSON: That I cannot say. I will also point out
that Schacht signed this letter "With a Vigorous Heil."

We turn now to the second part of our proof, relating to
Schacht's contribution to preparation for war.

The detailed chronology of Schacht's official career in the
Nazi Government, as set forth in Document 3021-PS, has
already been submitted in evidence as Exhibit USA
11. However, it may be helpful at the outset to remind the
Tribunal that Schacht was recalled to the Presidency of the
Reichsbank by Hitler on 17th March, 1933, which office he
continuously held until 20th January, 1939 that he was
Acting Minister and then Minister of Economics from August,
1934, until November, 1937; and that he was appointed
General Plenipotentiary for War Economy in May, 1935. He
resigned as Minister of Economics and General
Plenipotentiary for War Economy in November, 1937, when he
accepted appointment as Minister without Portfolio, which
post he held until January, 1943. His position as virtual
economic. dictator of Germany in the four crucial years from
early 1933 to the end of 1936 is practically a matter of
common knowledge.

Schacht was the guiding genius behind the Nazi expansion of
the German credit system for rearmament purposes. From the
outset, he recognised that the plan for the German military
supremacy required huge quantities of public credit. To that
end, a series of measures was adopted which subverted all
credit institutions in Germany to the over-all aim of
supplying funds for the military machine. I will briefly
mention some of these measures.

By Cabinet decree of 27th October, 1933, the statutory
reserve of 40 per cent. in gold and foreign exchange
required against circulating Reichsbank notes was
permanently abandoned. By the Credit Act of 1934, the
Government assumed jurisdiction of all credit institutions,
and control over the entire banking system was centralised
in Schacht as Chairman of the Supervisory

                                                  [Page 175]

Board for the Credit System and President of the Reichsbank.
This Act not only enabled Schacht to control the quantity of
credit but also its use. On 29th March, 1934, a system of
forced corporate lending to the Reich was imposed on German
business. And on 19th February, 1935, the Treasury was
authorised to borrow funds in any amounts approved by the
Reich Chancellor, that is, Hitler.

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