The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

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Last-Modified: 2000/02/24

Q. In other words, you wish to state that you had nothing to
do with it and that the entire matter rested with the
Ministry of Finance. Then tell me, please, are you aware of
the testimony given by your assistant, Landfried, an
affidavit of which was submitted by your Defence Counsel?

You will remember that Landfried stated and affirmed
something totally different. He said that in the
determination of exchange rates in the Occupied Territories
yours was the final and determining voice. You do not agree
with this confession?

A. When these rates were determined, of course, I, as
President of the Reichsbank, was consulted and, as can be
confirmed by every document, I always advocated that the new
rates should be as close as possible to the old rates
established on the basis of the purchasing power, that is to
say, no under-evaluation.

                                                  [Page 173]

Q. Consequently, the compulsory rate of exchange in the
Occupied Countries was introduced with your knowledge and
according to your instructions.

A. Not on the basis of my directive. I was only asked for
advice.

Q. Your advice?

A. I had to give my approval. That is, the Reichsbank
Directorate formally gave the approval, but -

Q. I am satisfied with your reply.

I now go on to the next question. On the 29th May, 1941, the
Commander-in-Chief in Serbia issued an order regarding the
Serbian National Bank, which order has already been
submitted as Exhibit USSR 135. This order liquidated the
National Bank of Yugoslavia and divided the entire property
of the bank between Germany and her satellites. Instead of
the National Bank of Yugoslavia a fictitious so-called
Serbian Bank was created, whose directors were appointed by
the General Plenipotentiary for National Economy in Serbia.
Tell me, do you know who was the General Plenipotentiary for
National Economy in Serbia?

A. It was probably the Consul-General, Franz Neuhausen, the
man in charge of the Four-Year Plan.

Q. Yes. It was Franz Neuhausen.

A. He was a Plenipotentiary.

Q. Was he a collaborator in the Ministry of Economics?

A. No.

Q. He never worked in the Ministry of Economics?

A. No.

Q. He never worked there?

A. No, never.

Q. Was he a collaborator of Goering?

A. Yes, that is correct.

Q. Do you admit that such specific currency operations, as a
result of which the Yugoslavian Government and its citizens
were robbed of several million dinars, could not have been
carried out without your participation and without the co-
operation of the departments within your jurisdiction?

A. I do not know the directives in detail, according to
which the liquidation was carried out and by which the new
Serbian National Bank was founded, but it goes without
saying that the Reichsbank participated in such a
transaction.

Q. I want to ask you two more questions. Together with the
unconcealed plunder, consisting in the confiscations and
requisitions which the German invaders carried out in the
Occupied Territories of Eastern Europe, they also exploited
these countries to the limit of their economic resources by
applying various exchange and economic measures, such as
depreciation of currency, seizure of the Banks, artificial
decrease of prices and wages, thus continuing the economic
plunder of the Occupied Territories. Do you admit that this
was precisely the policy of Germany in the Occupied
Territories of Eastern Europe?

A. In no way whatsoever.

Q. I now submit to the Tribunal Exhibit USSR 453, No. JU
119. This is a new document, consisting of notes on a
conference held by the Reich Commissar on the 22nd April,
1943, for the determination of prices. Price experts from
all the Occupied Territories attended this conference. I
shall now read into the record some excerpts from this
document.

It says on Page 2:

  "On 1st October, 1942, in Germany there were 5 1/2
  million foreign workers.
  
  "Of these:-
  
  1 1/2 millions were prisoners of war.
  4 millions were civilians.

                                                  [Page 174]

The document also says:-

  "1,200,000 came from the East.
  1,000,000 came from the former Polish territories.
  200,000 came from Czechoslovakia.
  65,000 were Croatians.
  50,000 were Serbians, etc."

Further this document also says in connection with the
equalisation of prices:

  "Price equalisation should be operated to the debit of
  the producer countries, that is, through the Central
  Clearing Office, which for the most part is to the
  advantage of the occupied countries."

On Page 14 it is stated that "these price adjustments were
of no importance to the occupied territories, since the main
interest did not lie in the welfare of the population but in
the utilization of all the economic forces of the country."

On Page 16 we find the following excerpt:-

  "Concerning the Eastern Occupied Territories
  Ministerialrat Romer has stated that prices there are far
  below German prices, and so far the Reich has already
  reaped large import profits."

Mention is made, on Page 19, of Germany's clearing debt,
which amounted to 9,300,000 marks. At the same time the
clearing balance for Czechoslovakia showed a deficit of
2,000,000, for the Ukraine of 82,500,000, for Serbia of
219,000,000, for Croatia of 85,000,000 and for Slovakia of
301,000,000.

And finally, on Page 22 of the document, it says:-

  "The prices in the occupied Eastern territories are kept
  at the lowest possible level. We have already realised
  import profits which are being used to cover Reich debts.
  Wages are generally only one-fifth of what they are in
  Germany."

You must admit that the planned robbery perpetrated by the
German invaders on so gigantic a scale could never have been
carried out without your active participation as Minister of
Economics, President of the Reichsbank and Plenipotentiary
for Economy?

A. I must again stress that during the war I was no longer
Plenipotentiary for Economy. But may I state my position to
this document?

First, there is the figure of the number of the workers
which were brought from the occupied territories and other
foreign countries into Germany. I have emphasized, myself,
and it has been confirmed by other statements, that I was
basically against bringing in foreign manpower from occupied
territories to such an extent as to impair the economic
order in those territories. I am not even speaking about
recruitment of forced labour. I also opposed that. When an
expert whom I do not know, says that the deliberations about
price policy were of no importance to the occupied
territories, because the main interest did not lie with the
welfare of the population but in the exploitation of
economic forces, I must contradict that point of view. In
any case, it is not my point of view. I do not know who the
man was who said that, but it is a matter of course that a
territory cannot produce well unless the economy is kept on
a good footing and prices are fixed at a level which enables
the people to exist, and unless social order is maintained.
So I have to oppose this point of view also.

As far as the clearing debt is concerned, I explained
yesterday in detail that the clearing system Was in common
usage for Germany, and that I have always recognized and
confirmed that these clearing debts were genuine debts
which, after the war, had to be repaid in the currency in
which they were incurred and based on the purchasing power
at that time. I do not see any plundering here.

Moreover, I must again stress the fact that I was not
responsible for the economy in the Occupied Territories,
that I had no power to give a directive there, and that I
only participated in so far as I detailed officials to
individual offices, just as all

                                                  [Page 175]

other departments, and that, of course, there was co-
operation between these offices and the department at home.
But I cannot assume responsibility for the economy in the
occupied territories. The Reichsmarshal definitely admitted
that, as far as economic questions are concerned, it was his
responsibility.

Q. I understand. You collaborated, and now you do not wish
to admit that you collaborated. You say that the expert
thrust himself forward, but do you remember your testimony,
which you gave on the 22nd October, 1945 during your
interrogation, when you were asked about the compulsory
mobilization of foreign workers? You were asked if you knew
about it and if you had ever protested against it. Is that
correct? You replied: "No, why should I be the one to
protest against it?"

A. That is not correct. I protested against the compulsory
recruitment of workers, and against so many workers having
been taken out of occupied territory that the local economy
could no longer produce. That is not correct.

Q. I have one last question to ask you. Do you remember an
article published in the newspaper Das Reich, dated the 18th
August, 1940, in connection with your fiftieth birthday?
This article is entitled: "Walter Funk, Pioneer of National
Socialist Thought." I shall read into the record a few
excerpts from this article -

  "From 1931 on, Walter Funk, as personal economic adviser
  and Plenipotentiary of the Fuehrer for Economics, and
  therefore the untiring middleman between the Party and
  German Economy, was the man who paved the way to the new
  spiritual outlook of the German industrialists.
  
  "If in the putsch of 1933 the differences which had
  existed for more than a decade in the public life of
  Germany between politics and economy, and especially
  between politics and the industrialists, disappeared
  overnight, if from the outset, the guiding rule of all
  labour has been an ever-increasing contribution towards a
  common end, this is due to the pioneering work of Funk,
  who since 1939 has directed his speeches and his writings
  to that end."

And in the last paragraph of this article:-

  "Walter Funk remained true to himself because he was and
  is and will remain a National Socialist, a fighter who
  dedicates all his work to the idealistic aims of the
  Fuehrer."

The whole world knows what the ideals of the Fuehrer were.

Do you admit that this is a correct appreciation of your
personality and your activities?

A. Generally yes.

GENERAL RAGINSKY: I have no more questions to ask.

(Dr. Dix came to the lectern.)

THE PRESIDENT: What is it you wish to say, Dr. Dix?

DR. DIX: I have only one question to put to the witness,
which was brought up by the cross-examination of Mr. Dodd. I
could not put this question any sooner, since I am only
asking it because of what Mr. Dodd said.

THE PRESIDENT: Yes, go on.

BY DR. DIX:

Q. Witness, Mr. Dodd has put to you a record of your
interrogation, according to which Schacht, after leaving the
Reichsbank, still had a room there. You have heard the
testimony of Schacht here. He has testified clearly that he
did not have a room at the Reichsbank but that the Reich
Government put a room in his apartment at his disposal by
contribution to the rent, and that the Reich Government paid
a secretary whom he took with him from the Reichsbank, but
who was now paid by the Reich Government. That was the
testimony of Schacht. By your answer given to Mr. Dodd it
was not quite clear whether you have any doubt about the
correctness of that statement by Schacht. I ask for your
opinion.

                                                  [Page 176]

A. I do not know anything about the apartment of Dr.
Schacht. I was told at the time that he still came
frequently to the Reichsbank and that a room was reserved
for him. If that information was not correct, then it is not
my fault. I do not doubt that what Dr. Schacht said is
correct. He must know the arrangements concerning his
apartment better than I do.

(There was no further question from Dr. Dix)

THE PRESIDENT: Dr. Sauter, do you wish to re-examine?

DR. SAUTER: Mr. President, we have found this final
questioning of the defendant Funk harder to follow than in
the other cases, because the translation caused serious
difficulties. I have to admit, frankly, that I have only
been able to understand part of what has been said here. The
defendant may probably have had the same difficulty and
therefore I should like to reserve the right, Mr. President,
after I receive the stenographic record, to make one or two
corrections, if the transcript should show this to be
necessary. It has also been made more difficult for us, Mr.
President, because in the course of cross-examination a
large number of extensive documents was submitted to the
defendant, Dr. Funk. We are gradually becoming used to those
surprises. Moreover, the defendant Funk was supposed to give
answers concerning documents which he had not issued, which
had nothing to do with his activities, which he -

THE PRESIDENT: Dr. Sauter, the Tribunal saw no sign at all
of the defendant Funk not being able to understand
thoroughly every question put to him. And I think that,
therefore, there is no reason for any protest on your behalf
and you should go on to put any question you wish to put in
re-examination - let's say, questions which arise out of the
cross-examination.

DR. SAUTER: Mr. President, on our earphones, at least - on
this side - we could not understand a number of questions.
Whether it was a defect of these particular earphones or
with the entire apparatus I don't know.

THE PRESIDENT: Well, if the defendant Funk did not
understand any questions put to him, he could have said so.
He did not say so. He answered all the questions from a
logical point of view, perfectly accurately. You can ask him
if you like, if he did not understand any of the questions
put to him.

RE-DIRECT EXAMINATION

BY DR. SAUTER:

Q. Now, Herr Funk, the prosecution among other things has
put to you that you participated in the exploitation, the
plundering of France. In this connection, is it correct that
the merchandise, the consumer goods which came from France,
were in many cases manufactured from raw materials which had
come from Germany?

A. Certainly. We continuously delivered coal, coke, iron,
and other raw materials to France, so that they could
produce goods - we delivered especially those raw materials
which the French did not have in the country themselves.
There was a very active exchange of production and a very
close productive co-operation between the German and French
economy. Even the same organisational methods were used.

Q. Dr. Funk, excerpts from an article have been read before,
which appeared on the occasion of your birthday. Do you know
the author of that article?

A. Yes, from the earlier years.

Q. Did he receive any factual material from you for that
article?

A. No.


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