The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

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Last-Modified: 2000/02/24

MR. DODD: Mr. President, may I raise one matter before the
witness is excused? This Document 3894-PS that we have
quoted from, and that the defendant has quoted from,
contains a number of other quotations and I think it would
be well if we submitted the whole document in the four
languages, and I shall be prepared to do that so the
Tribunal will have the benefit of the whole text. So far we
have both been quoting from it, but I think it would be most
helpful to the Tribunal if it had the whole text.

And may we ask, Mr. President, shall we make arrangements or
should I do anything about getting the witness Puhl here?

THE PRESIDENT: Dr. Sauter, have you any request to make with
reference to the witness Puhl, who made an affidavit?

DR. SAUTER: Regarding the witness Puhl I beg to request, Mr.
President, that he be brought here for cross-examination,
the witness Emil Puhl. I was going to make that request in
any case.

THE PRESIDENT: Yes, certainly, Dr. Sauter. The witness Puhl
should be brought here. He will be brought here as soon as
possible.

DR. SAUTER: Thank you.

THE PRESIDENT: Now the defendant can return to the dock.

FRANZ HEILER, a witness, took the stand and testified as
follows:

BY THE PRESIDENT:

Q. Will you state your full name?

A. Franz Heiler.

                                                  [Page 182]

Q. Will you repeat this oath after me: I swear by God, the
Almighty and Omniscient, that I will speak the pure truth
and will withhold and add nothing.

(The witness repeated the oath.)

THE PRESIDENT: You may sit down.

DIRECT EXAMINATION

BY DR. SAUTER:

Q. Dr. Heiler, how old are you?

A. 46 years.

Q. Are you a professional civil servant, or how did you get
into the Ministry of Economics under Dr. Funk?

A. I was an independent business man and merchant and, as
such, first became the head of the "Economic Group Retail
Trade" within the organization of industrial economy. In
this capacity I had very close contact with the Ministry of
Economics. After Minister Funk had been appointed Minister
for Economics I reported to him regarding the scope of my
work, and on that occasion I made his acquaintance. When I
was then put in charge of the "Reich Group Trade," the
working relations between the organization directed by me
and the Ministry, especially between the then State
Secretary Landfried and the Minister himself, became very
friendly.

After the separation of the ministries in the autumn Of
1943, the main task of the Ministry was providing for the
German people, that is, the civilian population.

As head of the Trade Organization I was the person
responsible for the sale of merchandise, that is, for
procuring supplies, and during a conference with Minister
Funk regarding the co-operation between Trade and the
Ministry, Herr Landfried, who was then State Secretary, made
the suggestion that Minister Funk should call me into his
Ministry and make me his deputy. Herr Landfried believed
that under the existing conditions he himself was not strong
enough to carry out this difficult task, since the Ministry
had been deprived of its influence on production. Then, when
Minister Funk told him, in reply to his suggestion, that he,
Landfried, was the deputy of the Minister, Landfried replied
that he could not continue to carry out these tasks and that
he asked to be permitted to retire, and proposed that I
should be his successor. About two or three weeks later, I
was given charge of the affairs of the State Secretary.

Q. When was this conference?

A. This conference took place in October, 1943; my
appointment came on 20 November, 1943.

Q. So that until the autumn Of 1943, Dr. Heiler, you were
employed in your organizations only in an honorary capacity?

A. Yes.

Q. That was, I think, retail trade?

A. Yes, trade.

Q. And beginning in 1943 you became an official in the Reich
Ministry of Economics in the capacity of State Secretary?

A. I became an official with this position of State
Secretary on 30 January, 1944.

Q. In this position you were one of the closest
collaborators of Dr. Funk?

A. I was his deputy.

Q. Dr. Heiler, during a conference that we had on the day
before yesterday, I discussed with you the question of
whether the defendant Dr. Funk was a particularly radical
man or whether, on the contrary, he acted with moderation
and consideration toward others. What do you have to say to
this question which may have a certain importance in forming
an opinion on the personality of the defendant Funk?

                                                  [Page 183]

A. Funk is, above all, a human being and always has been.
Radicalism is quite foreign to his entire character. He is
more of an artist, a man of very fine artistic feeling and
scholarly ideas.

I believe one can say that at no time was he a doctrinaire
or dogmatic. On the contrary, he was conciliatory and
anxious to settle disputes. For this reason in Party circles
in particular, he was considered too soft, too indulgent, in
fact he was accused many times of being too weak. He tried
to protect domestic economy from political encroachment and
from unnecessary severity, and because of his respect and
his regard for enterprising endeavour, and of his own
responsibility to economy and to the people, even during the
war he fought against unnecessary intervention in various
enterprises. He protected industry against mergers and
closures. This finally led to his being deprived of the
responsibility for production in the decisive phase of the
war.

I recall from my time of collaboration with him, when I was
still in charge of the trade organization, that Funk on
various occasions interceded for men in the industrial world
who were in political difficulties.

I believe, however, that because of those individual cases,
such as his intervention on behalf of Consul General
Hollander or for Herr Pietsch, and because of his attempts
to promote peace, he at that time had to expect grave
consequences; also because of his intervention in the case
of Richard Strauss; as is surely known, and in similar
cases. I don't think these individual cases are of as great
importance as perhaps the following: After the catastrophe
of 9 November, 1938, the process of Aryanization was to be
intensified in the Ministry of Economics; at that time a few
political men were forced upon the Ministry, especially Herr
Schmeer. I remember distinctly that at that time Landfried
in particular, as well as Funk, slowed down considerably
this radicalisation of the Ministry, and Funk and the
Ministry were blamed for doing so.

After 8 and 9 November I once had a conference regarding the
events of that date with Himmler in which I voiced my
complaints. Himmler on that occasion finally reproached both
Funk and myself by saying, among other things:

  "Finally, you people on the economic side and connected
  with economic management are also to blame that things
  have gone too far. People like Herr Schacht cannot be
  expected to do anything except go slow all the time and
  oppose the will of the Party, but if you and Funk and all
  you people on the economic side had not slowed things
  down so much, these excesses would not have happened."

Q. Yes, Dr. Heiler, another question. You also worked with
Dr. Funk in matters concerning the economy of the occupied
territories. Dr. Funk is accused of having played a criminal
part in despoiling the occupied territories as well as in
destroying their currency and economic systems. Could you
enlighten the Tribunal as briefly as possible on the
defendant Funk's attitude and activities? As briefly as
possible.

A. I believe two facts must be stated first of all:

First, the influence of the Ministry of Economics on the
occupied territories was relatively limited. Secondly,
during the year in which I was in the Ministry these
questions were no longer particularly important.

Generally speaking, the position was as follows: Funk was
constantly accused of thinking more of peace than of war.
The opinions he proclaimed both in his speeches and in
print, referred to a European economic policy; and I assume
that these talks and publications or articles are before the
Tribunal.

Q. Yes, they are here.

A. Funk looked at the occupied territories from exactly the
same point of view. He raised repeated objections to the
over-exploitation of the occupied territories and expressed
the view that wartime co-operation should form the basis of
later co-operation in peace. His view was that confidence
and willingness to co-operate should be fostered in the
occupied territories during the war. He expressed the view
that the black market could not be combated by the black

                                                  [Page 184]

market and that, since we were responsible for the occupied
territories, we must avoid anything likely to disturb the
currency and economic system of these territories.

I think I remember that he also discussed the question with
the Reichsmarshal and defended his own point of view. He
also repeatedly opposed unduly heavy occupation expenses,
and always favoured the reduction of our own expenditure,
that is, of German expenditure in the occupied territories.

In other words, he regarded the occupied territories in
exactly the same way as other European countries, and this
attitude is best illustrated by the speech he made in
Vienna, I believe, in which he publicly acknowledged as
genuine debts the clearing debts, the high totals of which
were due mainly to differences in prices - i.e. inflationist
tendencies - in the countries which delivered the goods.

Q. Dr. Heiler, the defendant Funk is, furthermore, accused
of playing a criminal part in the enslavement of foreign
workers. This accusation applies particularly to the period
during which you were a co-worker of Dr. Funk. Can you tell
us briefly how Funk thought and acted in regard to this
point?

A. There can be no question of Funk's co-operation in
questions regarding the employment of foreign labour at this
time except within the scope of his responsibility for the
Central Planning. But it remains to be seen whether the
Central Planning was at all responsible for the employment
of workers, or whether the Central Planning did nothing more
than ascertain the manpower needs of the various production
spheres. However, regardless of what the tasks of the
Central Planning may have been, Funk's position in the
Central Planning was the following:

Funk, as Minister of Economics was responsible for the
supplies for the civilian population and for export. In the
period following the separation of the ministries, no
additional foreign worker I believe was employed in the
production of supplies for civilians or for export. On the
contrary, Funk was constantly confronted with the fact that,
during that time, German and foreign workers were
continually being removed from the production of consumer
goods and put into armament production. Consequently, I
cannot imagine that an accusation of this sort can be made
against Funk with reference to this period of time.

I should like to emphasize another point which, seems
important to me. The providing for the foreign workers was a
very serious question. I believe that even Herr Sauckel will
corroborate the fact that, when this question came up, Funk
was at once ready - even though there was already a great
scarcity of provisions for the German people due to the many
air raids and destruction - to release large quantities of
supplies and put them at the disposal of the foreign
workers.

Q. If I understand you correctly, he tried to see to it that
the foreign workers who had to work in Germany were supplied
as well as was possible with consumer articles, food, shoes,
clothes, and so on.

A. Particularly shoes and clothing; Funk was not the
competent authority for food.

Q. Shoes and clothing?

A. Yes, I have specific knowledge of this. And as a result
Funk had considerable difficulty; for the Gauleiter in view
of the great scarcity of goods, did their best to secure
supplies for the inhabitants of their own districts for whom
they were responsible, and in so doing, used every means
which came to hand. Funk had constantly to oppose the
arbitrary acts of the Gauleiter, who broke into the supply
stores in their districts and appropriated stocks intended
for the general use.

Q. Dr. Heiler, do you know whether Dr. Funk - I am still
referring to the time when you worked with him - represented
the viewpoint that the foreign worker should not be brought
to Germany to work here, but that rather the work itself
should be taken from Germany into the foreign countries, so
that the foreign worker could perform his work in his home
country and remain at home?

Please answer that.

                                                  [Page 185]

A. I know very well that Funk represented that viewpoint,
and it is in accordance with his general attitude, for the
political disquiet and dissatisfaction which accompany the
displacement of such large masses of human beings,
temporarily uprooted, was in opposition to the policy of
appeasement and reconstruction which was definitely Funk's
goal.

Q. I now come to the last question which I wish to put to
you, Dr. Heiler. When the German armies retreated and when
German territories were occupied by enemy armies,
difficulties arose regarding the supplying of these
territories with money. At that time Hitler is supposed to
have planned a law according to which the acceptance and
passing on of foreign occupation money was to be punished
even by death. I am not interested now, Dr. Heiler, in
finding out why Hitler planned to do this, but I am
interested in finding out, if you can tell me, how the
defendant Funk reacted to this demand by Hitler and what
success he had.

A. Two facts can be established in regard to this point,
which should be of interest to the Tribunal. I have rarely
seen Funk as depressed as at that time, after he had
received information about the so-called "scorched earth
decree." I believe he was the first Minister to issue at
that time two very clear decrees, one from the Ministry of
Economics in which he gave definite instructions that where
German people were, an administration of economy in some
sort of form must remain; where it is necessary that people
be provided for, the State must continue to provide for
these people.

The second decree was issued at the same time by the
Reichsbank President, in which he decreed that the money
market had to be cared for by the remaining offices of the
Reichsbank in the same way that economy was to be cared for.

Regarding your question itself, I recall very distinctly
that the Fuehrer himself, as it was said, had demanded of
the Ministry of Economics the issuing of a legal regulation
according to which the acceptance of occupation money was
forbidden to every German on pain of death. Herr Funk
opposed this demand very energetically, I believe with the
help of Herr Lammers. He himself phoned headquarters
repeatedly and finally succeeded in having the Fuehrer's
directive withdrawn.

Q. Have you finished?

A. Yes.

DR. SAUTER: Mr. President, I have no further questions to
put to the witness.

THE PRESIDENT: Do the other defendants' Counsel wish to ask
any questions?

(No response.)

Does the prosecution wish to cross-examine?


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