The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

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Q. Now I do not want to play upon words, and if you say my
reference to it is a play upon words, you force me to go
into what you told us about Goering.

Is it not a fact that you told Major Tilley this?:-

  "I have called Hitler an amoral type of person, but I can
  only regard Goering as immoral and criminal. Endowed by
  nature with a certain geniality which he managed to
  exploit for his own popularity, he was the most
  egocentric being imaginable. The assumption of political
  power was for him only a means to personal enrichment and
  personal good living. The success of others filled him
  with envy. His greed knew no bounds. His predilection for
  jewels, gold and finery was unimaginable. He knew no
  comradeship. Only so long as someone was useful to him
  was he a friend to him, but only on the surface.
  "Goering's knowledge in all fields in which a government
  member should be competent, was nil, especially in the
  economic field. Of all the economic matters which Hitler
  entrusted to him in the autumn of 1936 be had not the
  faintest notion, though he created a large official
  machine and misused his powers as lord of all economy
  most outrageously. In his personal appearance he was so
  theatrical that you could only compare him with Nero. A
  lady who had tea with his second wife reported that he
  appeared at this tea in a sort of Roman toga and sandals
  studded with jewels, his fingers bedecked with
  innumerable jewelled rings and generally covered with
  ornaments, his face painted and his lips rouged."

Did you give that statement to Major Tilley?

A. Yes.

Q. Yes. And you say you had no personal differences with

A. Mr. Justice Jackson, I ask here again that the different
periods of time be not confused. I found out about all these
things only later and not at the time of which you speak,
that is, the year 1936.

Q. Do you dispute the testimony of Gisevius that in 1935 he
told you about Goering's complicity in the whole Gestapo

A. I have testified here that I knew about the Gestapo camps
which Goering had set up, and said that I was opposed to
them. I am not at all denying that.

Q. But your friendship continued, despite that knowledge.

A. I have never had a friendship with Goering.

Q. Well -

A. I surely could not refuse to work with him, especially as
long as I did not know what kind of a man he is.

Q. All right. Let us take up foreign relations, about which
you have made a good deal of complaint here. I think you
have testified that in 1937, when you were doing all this
rearming, you did not envisage any kind of a war, is that

A. No, that is not correct, what you just said. In 1937 I
did not do everything to rearm, but from 1935, from the
autumn of 1935, on, I tried to do everything possible to
slow down the rearming.

Q. All right. I refer you to your interrogation of 16th
October, 1945, and ask whether you gave these answers to
these questions:

  "Question: Let me ask you then, in 1937, what kind of war
  did you envisage?
  "Answer: I never envisaged war. We might have been
  attacked, invaded by somebody, but even that I never
  "Question: You never expected. Did you expect a
  possibility of a mobilization and concentration of
  economic forces in the event of war?

                                                   [Page 54]

  "Answer: In the event of an attack against Germany,
  "Question: Now, thinking back to 1937, are you able to
  say what sort of an attack you were concerned with?
  "Answer: I don't know, Sir.
  "Question: Did you have thoughts on that at the time?
  "Answer: No, never.
  "Question: Did you then consider that the contingency of
  war in 1937 was so remote as to be negligible?
  "Answer: Yes.
  "Question: You did?
  "Answer: Yes, I have never thought of the possibility of
  a conflict with

Did you give those answers?

A. I have made exactly the same statements, as found in this
interrogation, here before the Tribunal.

Q. Now, you testified that you tried to divert Hitler's plan
which was to move and expand to the East - you tried to
divert his attention to colonies instead.

A. Yes.

Q. What colonies? You have never specified them.

A. Our colonies.

Q. And where were they located?

A. I assume that you know that as well as I do.

Q. You are the witness, Dr. Schacht. I want to know what you
were telling Hitler, not what I know.

A. Oh, what I told Hitler? I told Hitler we should try to
get back a part of the colonies which belonged to us and the
administration of which was taken away from us, so that we
could work there.

Q. What colonies?

A. I was thinking especially of the African colonies.

Q. And those African colonies you would regard as essential
to your plan for the future of Germany.

A. Not those, but generally, any colonial activity; and of
course, at first, I could only limit my hopes for colonies
to our property.

Q. And your property as you call it, was the African

A. Not I personally called them that. That is what the
Treaty of Versailles designated them - "our property."

Q. Have it which way you like, you wanted the colonies you
are talking about.

A. Yes.

Q. You considered that the possession and exploitation of
colonies was necessary to the sort of Germany that you had
in mind to create.

A. If you would replace the word "exploitation" by
"development," I believe there will be no misunderstanding,
and in so far I agree with you completely.

Q. Well, by "development" you mean trading, and I suppose
you expected to make a profit out of trade.

A. No, not only trade, but developing the natural resources,
or the economic possibilities of the colonies.

Q. And it was your proposal that Germany should become
reliant upon those colonies instead of relying on expansion
to the East.

A. I considered every move of expansion within the European
continent as
sheer folly.

Q. But you agreed with Hitler that expansion, either
colonial or to the East, was a necessary condition of the
kind of Germany you wanted to create.

A. No, that I never said, I told him it was insanity to
undertake anything toward the East, that only colonial
development was the solution.

                                                   [Page 55]

Q. And you proposed as a matter of policy that Germany's
development should depend on colonies, with which there was
no overland trade route to Germany, and which, as you knew,
would require a naval power to protect them?

A. I do not think that at all - how do you get that idea?

Q. Well, you do not get to Africa overland, do you? You have
to go by water at some point, do you not?

A. You can go by air.

Q. What was your trade route? You were thinking only of air

A. No, no. I thought of ships also.

Q. Yes. And Germany was not then a naval power?

A. I believe we had a merchant marine which was quite

Q. Did your colonial plan involve rearmament by way of
making Germany a naval power to protect the trade routes to
the colonies that you were proposing?

A. Not in the least.

Q. Then your plan was to leave the trade route unprotected?

A. Oh, no. I believed that International Law would be
sufficient protection.

Q. Well, that is what you disagreed with Hitler about.

A. We never spoke about that.

Q. Well, in any event he rejected your plan for colonial

A. Oh, no. I have explained here that, upon my urgent
request, he gave me the order in the summer of 1936 to take
up these colonial matters.

Q. Did you not give these answers in your interrogation, Dr.

  "Question: In other words, at the time of your talks with
  Hitler, in 1931 and 1932, concerning colonial policy, you
  did not find him, shall we say, enthusiastic about the
  "Answer: Neither enthusiastic, nor very much interested.
  "Question: But he expressed to you what his views were
  alternatively to the possibility of obtaining colonies?
  "Answer: No, we didn't go into other alternatives."

Did you give those answers?

A. Certainly.

Q. Now, after the Fritsch affair, at least, you knew that
Hitler was not intent upon preserving the peace of Europe by
all possible means.

A. Yes, I had my doubts.

Q. And after the Austrian Anschluss, you knew that the
Wehrmacht was an important factor in his Eastern policy?

A. Well, one may express it that way. I do not know exactly
what you mean by it.

Q. Well, do not answer anything if you do not know what I
mean, because we will make it clear as we go along. Except
for the suggestion of colonies you proposed no other
alternative to his plan of expansion to the East?

A. No.

Q. Never at any Cabinet meeting or elsewhere did you propose
any other alternative?

A. No.

Q. Now, as to the move into Austria, I think you gave these

  "Question: Actually Hitler did not use the precise method
  that you say you favoured?
  "Answer: Not at all.
  "Question: Did you favour the method that he did employ?
  "Answer: Not at all, sir.
  "Question: What was there in his method that you didn't
  "Answer: Oh, it was simply overrunning, just taking the
  Austrians over the head - er, what do you call it? It was
  force, and I have never been in favour of such force."
  [N.B. These are the exact words of Schacht, who spoke
  English in this interrogation.]

Did you give those answers?

                                                   [Page 56]

A. Yes.

Q. Now, you have made considerable complaint here that
foreigners did not come to your support at various times in
your efforts to block Hitler, have you not?

A. Certainly.

Q. You knew at the time of the Austrian Anschluss the
attitude of the United States towards the Nazi regime, as
expressed by President Roosevelt, did you not?

A. Yes.

Q. And you knew of his speech suggesting that the Nazi
menace ought to be quarantined to prevent its spread?

A. I do not remember, but I certainly must have read it at
that time, if it was published in Germany, as I assume it

Q. Goebbels started a campaign of attack on the President as
a result of it, did he not?

A. I assume I read that.

Q. As a matter of fact, you joined in the attack on
foreigners who were criticising the methods, did you not?

A. When and where? What attacks?

Q. All right. After the Austrian Anschluss, when force was
used, with your disapproval, you immediately went in and
took over the Austrian National Bank, did you not?

A. That was my duty.

Q. Yes. Well, you did it.

A. Of course.

Q. And you liquidated it for the account of the Reich.

A. Not liquidated; I merged it, amalgamated it.

Q. I beg your pardon?

A. Amalgamated.

Q. Amalgamated it. And you took over the personnel?

A. Everything.

Q. Yes. And the decree doing so was signed by you.

A. Certainly.

Q. Yes. And you called the employees together on 21st March,

A. Yes.

Q. And made a speech to them.

A. Yes.

Q. And did you say the following among other things ...

A. Certainly.

Q. Well, you have not heard it yet.

A. Yes, I heard it during the case of the prosecution.

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