The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

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Q. And you were informed as to the proceedings and decisions
of the Reich Cabinet?

A. Yes.

Q. That was that the reason of your presence there, but your
sole assignment - and please tell me if I am correct - was
to inform the Press, after the Cabinet sessions, of the
decisions made?

A. Yes.

Q. So you had no influence on the drafting or on the
contents of the laws, nor on the voting?

A. Yes, that is right. I had neither a seat nor a vote in
the Cabinet.

Q. Were you responsible for the Press policy of the Reich
Government - and I stress: the Reich Government and not the

A. I have already said that I received my instructions for
the Press from the Fuehrer; that went on for six weeks. Then
Dr. Goebbels took charge of Press policy.

                                                  [Page 109]

Q. You have already said that the Press conferences with
Reich President Hindenburg ended with his death in August,

A. Yes.

Q. And also your Press conferences with Hitler, who was then
Reich Chancellor - from the same date?

A. Yes, that is correct. Reich President Hindenburg had died
in the meantime.

Q. And afterwards the Reich Press Chief and Party official,
Dr. Dietrich, tended more and more to occupy your place?

A. Yes, Dr. Dietrich was one of the Fuehrer's closest
collaborators; and through him the Fuehrer gave his
instructions to the Press.

Q. Dr. Funk, the book by Dr. Ostreich, Documents 3505-PS,
Exhibit USA 653 - which we have already dealt with, contains
the following quotation on your Press policy, and I quote:

  "Many of the journalists who worked in Berlin and the
  provinces are grateful to Funk for the trouble he took
  about their wishes and their complaints, especially
  during the transition period.
  Funk is responsible for the much-quoted saying that the
  Press must not be a barrel organ. He attacked the
  uniformity and standardisation of the Press and demanded
  individuality. But he also protected the Press from
  efforts made by various offices to further their own

A. Yes, I probably did write that; and that was my opinion.
So far as lay within my power, I tried to protect the Press
from standardisation and arbitrary treatment, especially at
the hands of the government offices.

Q. You have already said, I believe, that you took no part
in the political leadership of the Propaganda Ministry - I
stress: the political leadership of the Propaganda Ministry
- or in the actual work of propaganda. Is that correct?

A. Yes, that is correct.

DR. SAUTER: Mr. President, I turn now to a new complex. Do
you wish to have the recess now, your Honour?

THE PRESIDENT: I think we will go straight on. We are going
to adjourn at 12 o'clock.

Q. Defendant, I come now to your attitude to the question of
anti-Semitism. I do so because you are held more or less
responsible, along with others, for the excesses committed
against the Jews. Will you tell us on what principles your
attitude was based?

A. I was never anti-Semitic on the basis of racial
principles. At first I thought that the anti-Semitic demands
of the Party programme were a matter of propaganda. At that
time the Jews, in many respects, held a dominant position in
widely different and important fields of German life, and I
myself knew many very wise Jews who did not think that it
was in the interest of the Jews that they should dominate
cultural life, the legal profession, science and commerce to
the extent that they did at the time ...

The people had a tendency to anti-Semitism at that time.

The Jews had a particularly strong influence on cultural
life, and their influence seemed to me particularly
dangerous in this sphere because tendencies which I felt to
be definitely un-German and inartistic, appeared as a result
of Jewish influence, especially in the spheres of painting
and music. The Reich Chamber of Culture Law
(Reichskulturkammergesetz) was created, radically excluding
the Jews from German cultural life, but with the possibility
of making exceptions. I applied these exceptions whenever I
was in a position to do so. The law, as I have stated, was
decreed by the Reich Cabinet, which bears the responsibility
for it. I was at that time not a member of the Cabinet, so
during the period of my activities in the Propaganda
Ministry, I did what I could to help the Jews, and people
with other views generally, in cultural life.

                                                  [Page 110]

Everyone who knows me from my activities during that period
can and must testify to that.

DR. SAUTER: I have submitted two affidavits in my Document
Book, Nos. 1 and 2. The first was made by the editor of the
Frankfurter Zeitung, Albert Oser, and the second by a
lawyer, Dr. Rosen. I ask you to take judicial notice of both
these documents. The first affidavit proves that the
defendant Funk took a great deal of trouble to protect the
interests of the above-mentioned Albert Oser, the editor of
the Frankfurter Zeitung, and those of a number of members of
the staff of the newspaper, although by doing so he was
endangering his own position. In particular, he persisted in
retaining members of the staff who were not of Aryan
descent, and who, therefore, in accordance with the
intentions of the Party, should no longer have been

A. It was not in accordance with the intentions of the
Party, but in accordance with the law passed for the Chamber
of Culture that they were no longer to be employed.

DR. SAUTER: In accordance with the law passed for the
Chamber of Culture, also.

Then Document No. 2 of the Document Book, an affidavit made
by Dr. Rosen, confirms that the defendant Funk also
intervened, for instance, on behalf of the family of the
composer, Dr. Richard Strauss and his non-Aryan
grandchildren, and by so doing incurred certain dangers on
his own account. These are just a few examples; but the
defendant can probably tell you of other cases in which he
looked after people's interests.

THE PRESIDENT: What exhibit number are you offering those

DR. SAUTER: Nos. 1 and 2 in the Document Book. I have
submitted the originals.


DR. SAUTER: I and 2.

Q. Dr. Funk, I have just said that perhaps you could - quite
briefly - give us some more examples of cases where you used
your official position to protect the interests of
intellectuals and artists, whose views had got them into

A. Richard Strauss is a special case. That remarkable
composer found himself in great difficulties on account of a
libretto written by the Jew Stefan Zweig.

I succeeded in having Richard Strauss again received by the
Fuehrer, and the whole affair was dismissed.

Dr. Wilhelm Furtwangler found himself in similar
difficulties because he wrote an article praising the
composer Hindemith and composers with Jewish wives, such as
Lehar, Kuenneke and others who were always in difficulties
with their efforts to evade the ban placed on the
performance of their works. I always succeeded in getting
permission for these composers to have their works

THE PRESIDENT: The defendant can say that he helped hundreds
of Jews, but that does not really destroy the fact that he
may have acted hostilely by signing decrees against the
Jewish race - his helping a few Jewish friends. Anyhow, I do
not think that it need be gone into in any detail.

DR. SAUTER: We are of the opinion, Mr. President, that in
order to judge the character and personality of the
defendant, it may be important to know whether he signed
decrees which were in any way anti-Semitic because, as an
official, he considered himself bound by his oath to carry
out the law of the land, or whether he signed them because
he himself was an anti-Semite who wished to persecute Jewish
citizens and to deprive them of their rights, and for this
reason only -

THE PRESIDENT: Dr. Sauter, the Tribunal thinks that you have
made the point quite clearly that he helped Jewish friends,
but it is not a question which need be gone into in detail.

                                                  [Page 111]

DR. SAUTER: I come now, in any case, Mr. President, to
another point. I want to ask the defendant how his
activities in the Propaganda Ministry developed in later

A. In exactly the same direction that I have described here.
By decrees I came to be in charge of a large cultural
economic concern, film companies, broadcasting corporations,
theatres and orchestras. I was director and chairman of the
board of trustees of the Philharmonic Orchestra, and of the
Council of German Economy which dealt collectively with the
economic activities in the entire economic field at home and
abroad with the active participation of the economy itself.
Those were the main parts of my work.

Q. Defendant, the prosecution has submitted under Document
3501-PS an affidavit by the former Reich Chief of the Press
- I believe - Max Amann in regard to your activities in the
Propaganda Ministry. I want to refer to this now. In that
affidavit, we find the statement that you, Dr. Funk - and I
quote literally "Were to all intents and purposes Minister
in the Propaganda Ministry ..." And it says further on - and
I quote again: "Funk exerted complete control over all means
of expression in Germany: Press, theatre, radio and music."

Now, I ask you to comment on that; but you can do so quite
briefly because I have already submitted an affidavit by Max
Amann to the contrary to which I will refer later. Reply in
one sentence, please.

A. Amann knew the Ministry only from the outside; and
therefore he had no exact knowledge of its internal affairs.
My work was done in the manner I have described. It is
completely absurd to assert that under a minister such as
Dr. Goebbels, the Ministry could have been led by someone
else who was not the Minister.

Dr. Goebbels assumed such exclusive and all-embracing
functions in the field of propaganda that he dwarfed
everyone else.

DR. SAUTER: Mr. President, I have submitted an affidavit by
that same former Reichsleiter Amann, dealing with the same
subject, in the Appendix to the Funk Document Book, under
No. 14 - that will be Exhibit No. 3 - and I ask you to take
judicial notice of this affidavit. I do not think I have to
read it. I administered that affidavit in the presence of
and with the co-operation of a member of the prosecution.
The essential part of this affidavit of 17th April, 1946, is
that Reichsleiter Max Amann also admits that Funk had
nothing to do with propaganda as such. That is to say, he
did no broadcasting and indulged in no propaganda speeches,
but was mainly concerned with the organization and
administration of the Ministry. Now, Mr. President, I come
to the defendant's position as Minister of Economics.


Q. Dr. Funk, you were State Secretary in the Propaganda
Ministry until 1937. At the end of November, 1937, you
became Reich Minister of Economics, after your predecessor,
Dr. Schacht, had left that post. Can you tell us with the
necessary brevity - of course - how that change took place
and why you were called to that post?

A. That took me completely by surprise, too. During a
performance at the opera, the Fuehrer, who was present, took
me aside in the vestibule during an interval, and told me
that the disputes between Schacht and Goering could no
longer be bridged, and that he was therefore compelled to
dismiss Schacht from his office as Minister of Economics,
and was asking me to take over the post of Minister of
Economics, as he was very well acquainted with my knowledge
and experience in the field of economics. He also asked me
to contact Reichsmarschall Goering who would explain
everything else. That was the only conversation which I had
with the Fuehrer on the subject.

Q. And then you spoke to Goering himself? Will you tell us
about that.

                                                  [Page 112]

A. The Reichsmarschall told me that he had really only
intended to put a
State Secretary in charge of the Reich Ministry of
Economics, but that later he decided that the extensive
machinery of the Four-Year Plan should be merged with the
machinery of the Ministry of Economics, but that the
Minister would have to work in accordance with his
directives, and in particular that the General
Plenipotentiaries for the various decisive branches of
economy would be maintained and would receive their
directives immediately from the General Plenipotentiary for
the Four-Year Plan.

In order to proceed with the necessary reorganisation, the
Reichsmarschall himself took over the leadership of the
Reich Economic Ministry; and in February, 193S, he
transferred it to me.

Q. So Goering himself was to all intents and purposes the
head of the Reich Ministry for Economics for a period of
about three months.

A. The reorganisation was effected under his control. The
control of economic policy was in his hands then as well as

The main control offices under the Four-Year Plan were
maintained; for instance, the Foreign Currency Control
Office which gave directives to the Reichsbank there was the
Food Control Office which gave directives to the Food
Ministry the Manpower Control Office, which gave directives
to the Labour Ministry and also the General
Plenipotentiaries for the separate branches of economics
coal, iron, chemicals, etc., which were under the direct
orders of the Plenipotentiary for the Four-Year Plan. Some
offices were also transferred in this way to the Ministry of
Economics from the Four-Year Plan which continued to
function quite independently. They included the Reich Office
for Economic Research, which was under the direction of
Professor Strauch, and the Reich Office for Soil Research,
directed by State Secretary Kempner, mentioned here in
connection with Slovakia and Austria.

I tried to get these offices disestablished again. I am
still in ignorance of what these offices did. In any case,
they thought themselves responsible to the Four-Year Plan
rather than to the Economic Minister.

Q. Dr. Funk, the essential point of what you have just said,
seems to me to be that you received the title of Minister,
but that in reality you were not the Minister, but might
have had the position of a State Secretary, and that your so-
called Ministry of Economics was completely subordinated to
the directives of the Four-Year Plan-your co-defendant,
Goering, in other words-and was compelled to follow these

Did I understand it correctly?

A. The latter point is correct. The Reichsmarschall has
expressed, explained and thus confirmed that himself. But
the first statement is not correct because formally, at
least, I held the position of Minister, which involved far-
reaching administrative responsibility which the
Reichsmarschall, of course, could not undertake. The whole
point of the reorganisation was that the Reichsmarschall
still had charge and control of economic policy in the most
important and decisive matters, and gave me corresponding
directives, but the execution of these was naturally in the
hands of the Ministry and its organizations. But it is true
that the position of Minister in the usual meaning of the
term, did not exist. There was, so to speak, a higher
ministry. But that has happened to me all my life. I arrived
at the threshold, so to speak; but I was never permitted to
cross it.

Q. Dr. Funk, the prosecution asserts that although you were
not really a Minister with the usual responsibility and
independence of a Minister, you, as Dr. Funk, Reich Economic
Minister, still exercised supervision over those parts of
the German economy which were grouped under war and
armaments industry, that is, in particular, raw materials
and materials for labour, as well as mining, the iron
industry, power stations, handicrafts, finance and credit,
foreign trade and foreign currency. I refer you, Dr. Funk,
to the statements on Page 22 of the German translation of
the trial brief, which I discussed with you several days

                                                  [Page 113]

A. That is formally correct. But I have already explained
how matters stood in reality. I had nothing to do with the
armament industry. The armament industry was at first under
the High Command of the Armed Forces, under the Chief of the
Armament Office, General Thomas, who was a member of
Schacht's conspiracy of which you have heard here. The
armament minister Todt, who was appointed in 1940, at once
took over from me the entire power economy, and later on I
turned over all the civilian production to Armament Minister

Q. What do you mean by civilian production?

A. Coal, chemicals, consumer and other goods. The main
production branches in that field already mentioned here
were, as I said before, under the General Plenipotentiary
for the Four-Year Plan. Thus it came about that the Ministry
of Economics gradually became a new Ministry of Commerce,
which dealt only with the distribution of consumer goods.

DR. SAUTER: Mr. President, perhaps we might let him go on
for a little while longer; because I would then come,
shortly, to the subject of the Reichsbank President.


Q. Will you please continue briefly? You stopped ... I
believe you wanted to say more about manpower, gold and
foreign currency - about the competent authorities there.

A. The head of the Foreign Currency Control Office under the
Four Year Plan was the competent authority for that; and the
Reichsbank had to act in accordance with his directives - in
my time, at least.

Q. And the direction of foreign trade?

A. That was in the hands of the Foreign Office. The Minister
for Foreign Affairs obstinately laid claim to that.

Q. And what did the Ministry of Economics do?

A. The Ministry of Economics and the Reichsbank attended to
the technical side in this sphere - i.e., the technical
execution of clearing agreements, balances, etc.

DR. SAUTER: Mr. President, I come now to a separate theme. I
should like now to discuss his position as President of the
Reichsbank. I believe it might be a good moment to adjourn.

THE PRESIDENT: The Tribunal will adjourn.

(The Tribunal adjourned until 6 May, 1946, at 1000 hours.)

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