The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

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Last-Modified: 2000/02/23

Q. Parts of this are already in evidence as Exhibit USA 654.
And later, in another form, I shall submit this part which I
have just read.

Counsel Sauter, acting for you, this morning referred to a
letter which you had written to Hitler, I believe it was in
1939, which you said was somewhat due to the general feeling
at the time, and also to the fact that it was about your
60th birthday. Is that so? There was another reason for
writing that letter in connection with your birthday, was
there not? Do you know to what I refer?

A. Yes.

Q. You received 520,000 RM from Hitler as a birthday

A. No, that is not correct.

Q. Did you not receive a present from Goering and Goebbels -

A. Yes -

Q. Wait a minute until I finish - you do not seem to
remember - you received a present from Goering and Goebbels
in the first instance which had been made up of 250,000 RM
from leading businessmen in Germany, and 270,000 RM which
came out of special accounts maintained by Goering and
Goebbels. Then Hitler heard about that and ordered you to
return that money due to the fact that some of it came from
industry and he himself gave you a so-called donation to the
sum of 520,000 RM, isn't that so?

A. The first statement is not correct, but the latter is
correct. But may I explain the details; they are of a
completely different nature.

Q. Very well.

A. On my 50th birthday, the President and Directorate of the
Reich Economic Chamber, the chief organization of the entire
German economy, called on me and declared that on account of
more than 20 years of service to German economy they wanted,
with the approval of the Fuehrer, to make me a gift of an
estate in Bavaria. That was somewhat of a white elephant,
for later I had much worry and trouble as a consequence. A
large house was built there because, as I was told, the
Fuehrer had said that he also wanted me to work there. The
taxes were so high, however, that I could not pay them, nor
the remaining construction costs, either. Thereupon I did
not appeal to Goering, but Goering heard about it and had
300,000 RM given to me in order to help me out of my
financial difficulties. I did not receive any money from
Goebbels, but with the approval of Goebbels the film
corporation joined the Chamber of Commerce in giving me this
money. When the Fuehrer heard of the difficulties I had in
paying taxes and making other payments he put a sum of
500,000 RM at my disposal. With the other money I received I
made two donations, one donation of 500,000 RM to the
Reichsbank for the families of the members of the Reichsbank
who were killed during the war, and 200,000 RM to the Reich
Ministry of Economics for the families of those members of
the office staff who died in the war. I was able to live in
and pay for the upkeep of this large house and grounds only
because I had a relatively large income. However, from the
beginning, when I saw the tremendous costs and expenses
connected with it, particularly in taxes, etc., I decided,
in agreement with my wife, that after my death this estate
should again be donated either to

                                                  [Page 140]

the Reichsbank or to my East Prussian homeland. I also
discussed this several times with the Reichsbank

Q. I am not much concerned with what you did with it, I only
want to know if you received it. And you received it, did
you not? You received the 520,000 RM.

A. Yes.

Q. You also made a present out of public funds on your own
account to the defendant Frick on one occasion, did you not?
Did you not give Frick a birthday present of 250,000 RM on
12th March, 1942?

A. That I do not know.

Q. You do not remember, you do not remember that? Do you
know anything about the other gifts that were given to any
of these other defendants out of public funds, either
through your position as President of the Reichsbank or as
an important functionary of the Nazi Party? Do you know
anything about these other men and what they received from
the public treasury?

A. These monies were not given by me. They were given from
the Fund of the Fuehrer by Lammers. I did not dispense such

Q. They were public funds, were they not? They did not come
from anywhere else except the public? You do not know then
that Rosenberg got 250,000 RM? Did you know that?

A. No.

Q. In January, 1944, you were then President of the

A. Yes, but these monies never came from the Reichsbank.
These were monies from funds which were administered by
Lammers and I assume that the monies came from the Adolf
Hitler Donation or from other funds. But the Reichsbank had
nothing to do with these funds.

Do you know that von Neurath received 250,000 RM on 2nd
February, 1943? Do you know anything about that? You were
the President of the Reichsbank then.

A. I know nothing about that.

Q. You heard about Lammers and his 600,000 RM. You know that
Keitel received 250,000 RM on 22nd September, 1942. You
never heard about that?

A. The Reichsbank had nothing at all to do with these

Q. You know that von Ribbentrop received 500,000 RM on 3oth
April, 1943. You never heard of that? General Milch received
500,000 RM in 1941; none of these things ever came to your

A. I never had anything to do with these matters. They were
Lammers' concern and the money did not come from the

Q. Now, I understood you to say that you were not the
economic adviser, in fact, to Hitler or to the Nazi Party of
the early days. That is, in your own judgement you were not?
It is a fact, however, that you were generally regarded as
such by the public, by industrialists, by Party members and
the high Party officials? Is that not so?

A. I was called that, as I said here, on the basis of my
activity in 1932. I acted as a mediator in conversations
between the Fuehrer and some leading economists and for a
short while carried out the activity in the Party which has
been described here.

Q. You have called yourself the economic adviser on
occasion, have you not? At least on one occasion, during an
interrogation, did you not refer to yourself as the economic
adviser for the Party? You remember that?

A. No.

Q. I think you will agree that you were generally recognized
as such, but the really important thing is that the public
thought you were.

A. I have testified here that I was called that by the
Press, and from the Press this designation apparently went
into the record. I did not use this term myself.

Q. Were you the principal contact man between the Nazi Party
and industry in the very early days?

                                                  [Page 141]

A. In 1932, and this is the only year which we need consider
in connection with Party activities on my part, because I
was not active in the Party before or after this year. But I
arranged discussions between Hitler and leading men of
industry, whom I can name. But other men also acted in that
capacity; for example, the Secretary of State Keppler.

Q. I am not asking you about other men, I am asking you
whether or not you were a principal contact man. Actually
you were encouraged by industry, were you not, to become
active in the Party?

A. Yes.

Q. You acted as a go-between between the Nazis and the big
business men in Germany.

A. It did not take up much time, but I did it.

Q. Whether it took much of your time or not, that does not
interest us. It took some of your time. That is what you
were doing?

A. Yes.

Q. You remember the Document EC-440, perhaps. It is really a
statement that you made and prepared on the relationship of
German industry to the Party in the National Socialist
leadership of the State. You remember that paper you drew
upon 28th June, 1945. You may recall that you yourself said
that "Keppler, who later became State Secretary, and who
served as Economic adviser to the Fuehrer before me...." You
used those words. You recall that?

A. Keppler?

Q. Yes, he was the adviser before you. You remember that?

A. Yes.

Q. Now, in the Propaganda Ministry, if I understand you
correctly, you want the Tribunal to believe that you were
something of an administrative functionary and not a very
important man, and you did not really know what was going
on. Is that your position?

A. No, I had quite a big task, and that was the leadership
of an extensive cultural concern. I stated that here. It
consisted of film companies, theatres, orchestras, the
German Trade Publicity Council, and the administration of
the entire German radio, an undertaking worth a hundred
millions, that is to say, a very extensive activity, an
organisational, economic and financial activity. But
propaganda was taken care of solely and exclusively by

Q. Yes. You knew the policies and the purposes of the
propaganda ministries there is not any doubt about that?

A. Yes.

Q. You knew that, did you not?

A. Yes.

Q. All right. Now, we can pass on to one other matter that I
referred to earlier, to clear up another matter. Do you
recall that the defendant Schacht, when he was on the
witness stand, said, I believe, at that now famous meeting
where a number of industrialists were gathered to greet
Hitler, that he did not take up the collection? Schacht said
he did not do it. I think he said that Goering did it or
somebody else. Do you remember that testimony about Schacht?
You remember being interrogated about that subject yourself?

A. Yes.

Q. Do you remember what you told us at the time?

A. Yes.

Q. What did you tell us?

A. I said that Schacht made a brief speech, after which
Goering and Hitler also spoke, and that he asked those
present to contribute and to raise money, that is, raise
money for the election fund, He took over the collection and
said the coal industry -

Q. Who?

A. He said -

                                                  [Page 142]

Q. Who was the one who took up the collection? I do not
understand whom you mean by "he."

A. Schacht.

Q. That is all I wanted to know about that.

When did you first learn that the uprisings of November,
1938, were not spontaneous?

A. On the morning of 9th November, on my way from my home to
the ministry, I saw for the first time what had taken place
during the night. Before that I had not had the slightest
hint that such outrages had been planned.

Q. I think you misunderstood me. I did not ask you when you
first came to know about the uprisings; I asked you when you
first learned that they were not spontaneous; when you first
learned that they were instigated and planned by somebody

A. I only found out about that later.

Q. Well, how much later?

A. I believe very much later. Later on there was much
discussion about this matter, and it was never clear just
who had been the instigator of these measures of terror and
violence and where the order had originated.

We knew that it had come from Munich. We had learned that in
the meantime on 9th November; but whether it was Goebbels or
Himmler and to what extent the Fuehrer himself participated
in this measure, I was never able to find out clearly. From
my telephone conversation with Goebbels which I mentioned
today, one thing was clear: The Fuehrer must have known
about this matter, for he told me that the Fuehrer had
decreed, and Goering also said this, that the Jews were
completely to be eliminated from economic life. From this I
had to conclude that the Fuehrer himself knew about this

Q. Now from that telephone conversation we can also see one
other thing. You knew that Goebbels had started this
business, didn't you, and that was the day after it
happened? You knew it was not spontaneous and that is why
you called up Goebbels and questioned him; is that not so?

A. Yes.

Q. How many days later did you make that inflammatory speech
about what should be done to the Jews? About six days
afterwards, didn't you? I am referring to the one that was
published in the Frankfurter Zeitung; your counsel referred
to it this morning.

A. Yes, to begin with -

Q. And in that speech you tried to make it appear to the
public that that was a spontaneous uprising, didn't you?

A. Yes.

Q. That was not true, was it?

A. I did not know that at the time. At that time I still
believed that it was really the outcome of views held by a
large section of the community. Very much later I found out
that routine machinery had been put in motion.

Q. Are you now telling this Tribunal that on the morning of
your telephone call to Goebbels, when you in effect blamed
him for these uprisings, you were not well aware then that
he had started it? Is that your position?

A. At that time I did not know who had started this regime
of terror and how it had been carried through; that was
entirely new to me.

Q. If you did not know who started it, you knew that
somebody started it and that it was not spontaneous?

A. Yes.

Q. And still in your speech of 15th November you tried to
make it appear to the public that it was just an uprising on
the part of the German people, didn't you?

A. I based that on the attempted assassination of - I don't
know what he was, Attache, in Paris - and actually the
attempt caused much agitation. There is no doubt of it.

                                                  [Page 143]

Q. Now I think you understand my question, Witness. You said
on that occasion, you used these words: "The fact that the
last violent explosion of the indignation of the German
people because a criminal Jewish attack against the German
people took place," and so on, and you went on. You were
trying to make it appear there that this was a spontaneous
reaction of the German people, and I insist that you knew
better and had known it for some days, hadn't you?

A. But I did not know that that is what took place. I admit
that I knew that influence had been exerted by some office
or other.

Q. Well, all right. When did you coin the expression
"crystal week"? Do you know what that expression is; where
it came from?

A. "Crystal week"?

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