The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

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Q. And what was von Lumm's position? What was he doing in Brussels?

A. He was Commissioner for Banking, with the General Command.

Q. General Command of the German Army?

A. Bank Commissioner, Commissioner for the Banks - of the
Occupation Army -

                                                   [Page 90]

Q. Named by Germany?

A. Without doubt.

Q. Well, he was a German, not a Belgian?

A. Yes, he was a German.

Q. Now, some time after that Schacht was dismissed by von
Lumm, was he not?

A. Yes.

Q. And you had a discussion with von Lumm. about that and
you had one with Schacht about it, did you not? Tell me
whether you had the visit -

A. I read the official reports in Berlin about the dismissal
of Schacht. I worked in the Reich Office of the Interior,
and I only spoke about these things with Schacht when he
became Reichsbank President, and spoke to me about it one
day.

Q. Now, before Schacht joined the staff of von Lumm, he was
director of the Dresdner Bank.

A. Yes.

Q. And the dismissal was because Schacht had delivered to
that bank a considerable amount of Belgian francs.

A. Yes. I do not know how large that amount was.

Q. But it was considerable.

A. Maybe.

Q. And that, von Lumm thought, gave to the Dresdner Bank an
advantage which was incompatible with Schacht's duties as a
public official?

A. That, at any rate, was von Lumm's view. He took a very
serious view, which Schacht, not being a civil servant,
could not quite appreciate.

Q. And von Lumm called a meeting and reproached Schacht?

A. Yes.

Q. Schacht then gave an answer to von Lumm which von Lumm
considered was not sincere but was merely a lie?

A. Yes. That was von Lumm's point of view.

Q. Now, that is what von Lumm told you about?

A. That was in the written report which I have read.

Q. Now, when you came to talk to Schacht about it and about
his answer to von Lumm, Schacht told you that it was perhaps
not quite an open answer, but not a lie?

A. Yes.

Q. However, having heard both sides of it, you along with
all of the other directors of the Reichsbank, were opposed
to Schacht's appointment as President, as you have
testified?

A. Yes.

Q. And you took the view, along with all the other
directors, that the behaviour of Dr. Schacht in the Belgian
bank affair was not quite fair and not quite correct?

A. Yes.

Q. Now, when Dr. Schacht came back to the Reichsbank under
the Nazi regime, as I understand it, there was a good deal
of resentment and reserve against him on the part of the
Reichsbank Directorate, because he "in our eyes then was a
Nazi. He was in close touch with Hitler, and kept some
things secret from us, his colleagues." That is correct, is
it not?

A. I could not say that. It is true that there was some
feeling against Schacht. As I explained before, because we
had assumed, and I had assumed - though we were wrong about
it - that he was a Nazi. It is possible that Schacht did
keep things secret from us, but at any rate I do not know
whether he did, or what those things were.

Q. Now, did you not say in a statement that he was in close
touch with Hitler and kept some things secret from "us, his
colleagues"?

A. I do not know whether he kept things secret from us. It
is possible, but I could not prove it.

                                                   [Page 91]

Q. Is it not true that years later, when already a critical
situation was reached in the currency system, circulation,
price and wages system, "Rumours came to our ears through
semi-official channels that Dr. Schacht had given Hitler the
promise to finance armaments"? Did you not say that?

A. That Schacht had given the promise to Hitler? Well, in
certain circles there were rumours of that nature. Whether
it is true, I could not say.

Q. Now, you felt, after the Munich Agreement, and after
Hitler's speech at Sauerbrucken, you felt that that
destroyed all hopes of peace, did you not?

A. Yes.

Q. And from that date, together with Pilseck, you did all in
your power to persuade Schacht that a decision had to be
forced?

A. Yes.

Q. Dr. Schacht agreed with you, but hesitated to take the
decisive step?

A. Yes. He said that Schacht was not against it in
principle, but he himself wanted to decide when our
memorandum should be submitted, and as this memorandum was
to be signed by all of us, and each one of us wanted to make
corrections, the handing in of this memorandum was delayed
from October to 7th of January.

Q. The agreement was prepared by you and Pilseck?

A. Yes.

Q. And you approached Dr. Schacht again and again on it?

A. Yes.

Q. And he kept the draft all this time and told you that he
was in doubt about the best time to bring it before Hitler?

A. Yes.

Q. And it was not until Hitler refused to see him at
Berchtesgaden that he finally sent him the memorandum?

A. That I do not know. I have heard here for the first time
that Hitler refused to receive Schacht at Berchtesgaden. It
may be. I only heard that Schacht was at Berchtesgaden and
after his return, according to my recollection, he talked
about his meeting with Hitler and that now the time had come
to send him the memorandum.

Q. Well, your memorandum is the only source of my
information, and according to my translation it says:

  "Finally, in December, 1938, he resolved to sign it after
  a last attempt to speak with Hitler in Berchtesgaden."

A. Yes.

Q. At that time, there was something of a financial crisis.

A. Yes.

Q. Considerable difficulty, inflation was just round the
corner, as you might say.

A. The Government was confronted with the three billion MEFO
bills which were about to fall due and which had to be
covered, and the Finance Minister had a cash deficit of one
billion. The Finance Minister came to see us, and asked us
to tide it over, because otherwise he could not pay the
salaries on 1st January.

We refused. We did not give him a single penny. We told him
that the best thing that could happen would be that
bankruptcy should become evident in order to show how
impossible it was to continue this system and this policy.
He then received money from private banks.

Q. And you and Hulse, particularly Hulse, had long warned
against this course of the Reichsbank, is that not true?

A. No, that is not true.

Q. Had not you and Hulse, long before this, warned that this
MEFO business would end up in trouble.

A. Of course, the Reichsbank had for years fought against
the MEFO bills, which were to mature in March, 1938, and
from then on the Reichsbank did not give any more armament
credits.

                                                   [Page 92]

Q. Now, after his dismissal from the Reichsbank, you very
frequently discussed matters with Schacht and you found that
he had turned very bitter against the Government. Is that
not true?

A. I did not have frequent meetings with Schacht. We met
every few months in the beginning and then when Schacht went
to Guhlem. our meetings stopped. I saw him there only once
or twice. But it was not only after his dismissal that
Schacht became a bitter enemy of Hitler, but during the
whole of 1938.

Q. And you said, "I think, in his heart he hoped he would be
called after Hitler's defeat to help build a new and better
order of things in Germany"?

A. Certainly. Schacht spoke to me in Guhlem about the men
who would have to come after Hitler had been finally
overthrown, and in conversation we mentioned the Ministers
who then could save Germany from despair, and Schacht was
certain that he also would be called in to assist.

MR. JUSTICE JACKSON: No further questions, your Honour.

THE PRESIDENT: Do any of the other prosecution Counsel want
to cross-examine?

RE-DIRECT EXAMINATION.

BY DR. DIX:

Q. Herr Vocke, in reply to the questions of Mr. Justice
Jackson, you have explained the attitude and the statement
of Herr von Lumm about the incident in Brussels. You also
told the Tribunal about the statement by Minister Severin,
which he made about that incident not so long ago.

A. Yes.

Q. Did you not also speak to the President of the Supreme
Court of the Reich, Simons, who was at that time in the
Foreign Office and knew the case very well? Did you not
speak to him about that case?

A. Yes, I spoke to him and Ministerial Director Lewelt. At
that time I was a young assistant
judge.

Q. You will have to tell the Tribunal who Lewelt was.

A. That is correct. I spoke to Simons who later became
President of the Supreme Court of the Reich, and to His
Excellency Lewelt, who later became State Undersecretary in
the Ministry of the Interior, and whom I came to know
officially in their capacity of experts in the Reich
Ministry of the Interior.

Both gentlemen smiled at the self-important attitude of von
Lumm who made mountains out of molehills and also at the
misfortune of Herr Schacht. They smiled benevolently and saw
the whole thing as a tremendous exaggeration.

DR. DIX: Thank you, that is enough. I have no further
questions.

However, if the Tribunal will permit me, I should like to
point out that Schacht mentioned here that on 2nd January,
1939, he spoke at great length to Hitler, in Berchtesgaden.
I do not know whether I am confusing that with a statement
made by a witness or with a statement made by him. I just
wanted to point it out. If he were still sitting here as a
witness, he could tell us about it.

Your Lordship, I bring that up because it was stated by Mr.
justice Jackson that Hitler did not receive Schacht in
Berchtesgaden and that that was the cause of Schacht's
decision to present that memorandum. I only mention it as
this witness here cannot know it; that Schacht spoke to
Hitler. If he did not say so this morning or yesterday, he
may say it at any time.

I cannot remember now. Sometimes one confuses private
information with what one has heard in the courtroom.

THE PRESIDENT: Put the microphone where the defendant
Schacht can speak and ask him the question.

DR. DIX: You have witnessed the cross-examination. Would you
like to tell the Tribunal what happened?

                                                   [Page 93]

DEFENDANT SCHACHT: When I spoke here, I said that I had a
long conversation on 2nd January, 1939, with Hitler at
Berchtesgaden on the Obersalzberg, and that after that
conversation in which the preposterous suggestion was put to
me to create an inflation, I considered that the time had
come to take that step which the Reichsbank afterwards took,
to dissociate itself from Hitler and his methods.

BY THE PRESIDENT:

Q. There is one question I want to ask you, Witness. Did the
defendant Schacht ever tell you that he had been appointed
General Plenipotentiary for War Economy?

A. Yes.

Q. When?

A. Well, I believe he was appointed to that office in 1935,
I believe that is the date. I could not say for certain.

Q. I did not ask you when he was appointed. I asked you when
he told you.

A. I do not know that because we had nothing to do with
these things. I only know that either in 1935 or 1936 - I
believe it was 1935 - he received such an appointment.

Q. Yes. The question I asked you was: Did the defendant
Schacht ever tell you that he had been appointed?

A. Yes.

Q. When did he tell you?

A. I think in 1935.

THE PRESIDENT: The witness can retire.

DR. DIX: May I put one last question to this witness?

BY DR. DIX:

Q. Did you have any idea of the importance of that office?

A. No. I never heard that Schacht had done anything in that
matter except that he had special letter headings for this.
His activity in the Reichsbank continued in the same way as
previously, without his selecting a staff for that office,
and without - at least as far as my knowledge goes - using
the premises and facilities of the Reichsbank for this new
office.

Q. Have you any knowledge as to whether be had a separate
office or a separate staff for carrying on his activity as
General Plenipotentiary?

A. You mean General Commissioner for Armaments?

Q. General Plenipotentiary for War Economy.

A. No, he had no separate office, and as I have said before,
as far as I know he never had a staff.

THE PRESIDENT: The witness can retire.


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