The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

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Last-Modified: 2000/02/24

Q. Didn't he ask for it?

A. No, I didn't know anything about that article beforehand.
I did not order a birthday article for myself.

                                                  [Page 177]

Q. Precisely. So you didn't know anything about that article
and therefore, if I understand you correctly, there is no
guarantee that what is said in this article is completely

A. No. But I find that the tendency of the article is
generally very good. The tendency -

Q. Witness, the American Prosecutor confronted you yesterday
with the matter of your negotiations with Rosenberg in the
spring of 1941, and the fact that at that time, a few months
before the march into Russia, you had these negotiations
with Rosenberg. He apparently wanted to conclude that you
had admitted, or wanted to admit, that you had known about
the intention of Hitler to wage an aggressive war against
Russia. You did not have a chance to say anything on this
yesterday. Therefore I should like to give you another
opportunity now, to state very clearly what your belief was
at that time concerning the intentions of Hitler in the
spring of 1941, when you negotiated with Rosenberg, and what
you knew about any eventual causes for war before that time.

A. As to the question of the American Prosecutor, I did not
understand it to mean that I know anything about an
aggressive war against Russia. The Prosecutor spoke
explicitly about preparations for war with Russia. I myself
had already made it quite clear that I was completely
surprised when the task was assigned to Rosenberg, that the
reason for the assignment was that the Fuehrer was expecting
a war against Russia, because Russia was deploying large
numbers of troops along the entire Eastern frontier, because
Russia had entered Bessarabia and Bukovina and because his
negotiations with Molotov brought proof that Russia
maintained an aggressive policy in the Balkans and the
Baltic area and thereby Germany felt herself threatened.
Therefore preparations had to be made on the part of Germany
for an eventual conflict with Russia. Also, concerning the
meeting which the American Prosecutor has mentioned, I said
explicitly that the measures concerning currency which were
discussed there were approved by me, because we created
thereby stable currency conditions in the Eastern Occupied
Territory. I was therefore opposed to the idea that the
German Reichsmark should be introduced there, which the
Russian population would not have accepted because they
could not even read it.

Q. Witness, the Soviet Russian Prosecutor has pointed out
again and again that  you were not only Reichsbank President
and Reichsminister of Economics, but also General
Plenipotentiary for Economy. You have corrected that already
and pointed out that from the very beginning when you were
appointed, your authority as General Plenipotentiary for
Economy was practically taken over by Goering and that, I
believe, in December of 1939, your authority as General
Plenipotentiary for Economy was also formally turned over to

MR. DODD: I wish to enter an objection not only to the form
this examination is taking but as to its substance. Counsel
is in effect testifying himself, and he is testifying about
matters that the witness testified to on direct examination,
and it seems clear to us that this cannot be helpful at all
to the Tribunal as a matter of re-direct examination.

THE PRESIDENT: Dr. Sauter, is it really proper for you to
make the witness go over again the evidence which he has
already given? The only object of re-examination is to
elucidate any questions which have not been properly
answered in cross-examination. The witness has already dealt
with the topics with which you are now dealing, in the same
sense which you are now putting to him.

DR. SAUTER: I have repeated the statements only because I
want to put a question to the witness now concerning a
document which was submitted only yesterday, which had not
been submitted until then, and on which I could therefore
not have any view. And because the Soviet Russian Prosecutor
has again made

                                                  [Page 178]

the assertion here that the defendant also during the war
was General Plenipotentiary for Economy, although that is
not correct. Mr. President-

THE PRESIDENT: I have myself heard the witness say over and
over again that he was not the General Plenipotentiary for
Economy during the war. He has repeatedly said that.

DR. SAUTER: But it has been repeated from this side. Mr.
President, yesterday a document was submitted which bears
the number EC-488. On the front page it is marked in large
letters "Secret."

THE PRESIDENT: What is the document you want to deal with?

DR. SAUTER: EC-488. It was presented yesterday and is a
letter dated 28th January, 1939. Here in the original is the
heading, which is in capital letters, and it reads, "The
General Plenipotentiary for War Economy." So much for the
heading of the letter paper. Then the word "War" is crossed
out, so that you can only read, "The General Plenipotentiary
for Economy."

Therefore, before 28th January, 1939, the title of General
Plenipotentiary for War Economy must have been changed to a
new title, "General Plenipotentiary for Economy." I now ask
that the defendant -

THE PRESIDENT: Yes, I see. The copy that we have before us
has not got the word "War" in it at all.

DR. SAUTER: It can be seen on my photostat.

THE PRESIDENT: I see it. But what is the question you want
to put?

DR. SAUTER: At the time when this letter was written, the
General Plenipotentiary was the defendant Funk. I should
like to ask to be permitted to put the question to him, how
can it be explained that the title of his office - that is,
Plenipotentiary for War Economy-was changed. The question
would be how it could be explained that the title of his
office, "General Plenipotentiary for War Economy," had been
changed to the new title, "General Plenipotentiary for

THE WITNESS: The reason is -


Q. One moment, Dr. Funk, please.

THE PRESIDENT: I did not ask you to stop putting your
question. You can put your question. Go on. What is the


Q. Go on, Dr. Funk.

A. The reason was that according to the old Reich defence
law, Schacht had been appointed General Plenipotentiary for
War Economy, and on the basis of this second Reich defence
law, which appointed me, I was appointed General
Plenipotentiary for Economy, because at that time it was
quite clear that the special tasks concerning war economy -
that is to say, armament industry, war economy proper -
could no longer be the duty of the Plenipotentiary for
Economy, but that he had essentially to co-ordinate it with
the civilian Economic Department.

DR. SAUTER: In connection with that, Mr. President, may I
call your attention to another document which was submitted
yesterday. That is Document 3562-PS. Here the heading
already has the correct new title, "General Plenipotentiary
for Economy." That is no more "General Plenipotentiary for
War Economy," and that is also a new document which was only
submitted yesterday. Mr. President -

                                                  [Page 179]

MR. DODD: Just to have the record correct, Mr. President,
that Document 3562-PS is in evidence, and it was submitted
by Lieutenant Meltzer, at the time he presented the case
against the individual defendant, Funk.

THE PRESIDENT: Mr. Dodd, am I not right in thinking that the
defendant Funk stated from the outset in his examination in
chief that he was appointed General Plenipotentiary for

MR. DODD: Yes, indeed, Sir. That is as I thoroughly
understand it.

THE PRESIDENT: And you have not challenged that?

MR. DODD: We have not challenged the fact that he said so.
But we do challenge the fact that he, in fact, was only for
economy. We do maintain that he, in fact, had much to do
with the war effort as the Plenipotentiary.

THE PRESIDENT: Yes. But he was not to be named that?

MR. DODD: No. And that Document, 488, was not offered,
anyway, for that purpose, but rather to show that the
defendant was engaged in talking about what prisoners of war
would do after an attack.

DR. SAUTER: Yesterday a document was produced about the
interrogation of a certain Hans Posse. It is Document 3894-
PS. The witness Hans Posse was formerly State Secretary in
the Ministry of Economics and as such Deputy Plenipotentiary
for Economy. That record has been submitted by the
prosecution in order to show that allegedly there was a
struggle for power, as it says here, between Funk and

However, I should like to quote to the witness a few other
points from that record so that several other points can
also be used as evidence:-

Witness - he says, for instance - and I should like to ask
whether this is still your opinion today - State Secretary
Hans Posse says... That is Document 3894-PS, Page 2 of the
German translation, at the bottom of the page.

He was asked, "How often did you report to Funk in
connection with your duties as Deputy Plenipotentiary"?

The witness answered then: "The General Plenipotentiary for
Economy really never went into action."

A. I must repeat what I said again and again, and which has
been confirmed by everybody who has been heard on that
question. That was a post which was merely on paper.


Q. Then the witness was asked with what final purpose you,
Dr. Funk, had worked:

It says, "Dr. Posse, is it correct that the office of
General Plenipotentiary for Economy was established with the
final purpose of uniting all economic functions with a view
to the preparation for war"?

Then the witness answered: "The purpose was what I have just
said, to co-ordinate the various conflicting economic
interests. But there was no talk about the preparation for

And on the same Page, on Page 4, at the bottom, the witness
says, I quote:-

  "It is correct that the aim was to co-ordinate all
  economic questions, but the purpose was not to prepare
  for war. Of course, if war preparation should become
  necessary, it was the task of the Plenipotentiary for
  Economy to concern himself with these questions and to
  act as a co-ordinator."

A. Herr Posse was an old, sick man whom I had put in this
post. He was formerly State Secretary under Schacht, and
when I took over the Ministry,

                                                  [Page 180]

I received a new State Secretary through Goering, who,
unfortunately, later became temporarily unbalanced. And then
State Secretary Dr. Landfried came to me, and Posse, who
formally was still in the Ministry of Economics as State
Secretary, was without a job. Therefore I made him an
executive officer attached to the Plenipotentiary for

Here, of course, he had constant difficulties from the very
beginning. The High Command of the Armed Forces or the War
Economy Staff wanted to reduce the authority of the General
Plenipotentiary which can be seen from the letter which was
presented yesterday. And the civilian Economy Department did
not want to follow his directives because they already had
been subordinated to and had to follow the directives of the
Trustee for the Four-Year Plan. Therefore, as a matter of
fact, that unhappy General Plenipotentiary for Economy held
a post which to all intents and purposes existed only on

THE PRESIDENT: Would this not be a convenient time to break
off now?

(A recess was taken until 1400 hours.)

DR. SAUTER: Mr. President, I have two more questions which I
wish to put to the defendant Dr. Funk.


Q. Dr. Funk, before the recess we stopped at Document 3894-
PS, the testimony of your State Secretary Posse. I should
like to read one passage on Page 7 of the German text and
ask you whether you agree with it. The witness Posse was
asked by the prosecution whether he, as Deputy General
Plenipotentiary for Economy, knew about the international
relations, especially about the war situation and so forth,
and he says, on Page 7, in the middle:

  "We never knew anything about the international situation
  and we never heard anything about it, and if the
  international situation was mentioned in our discussions
  we could only voice merely our personal opinions."

And a few lines further down:

  "We" - he means apparently himself and you, Dr. Funk -
  "We always hoped that there would be no war."

Do you agree with this opinion of your former State
Secretary Posse?

A. Yes. I have said repeatedly that until the end I did not
believe that there would be a war, and the same is true of
my colleagues, and everyone who spoke to me at that time
will corroborate this. Herr Posse was, of course, still less
informed about political and military events than I was.
Consequently, that also applies to him.

Q. Then I have a final question to put, witness. You have
seen the film which the prosecution has presented. Now, you
were the President of the Reichsbank. Consequently, you are
familiar, possibly only superficially, with the conditions
in the vaults of the Reichsbank, at least, I assume, in
Berlin, if not in Frankfurt, where the film was taken; and
you also know how, especially during the war, these items
which had been deposited with the Bank were safeguarded.
Possibly, Dr. Funk, on the basis of your own knowledge of
the conditions you can make a statement regarding this short
film which we have seen.

A. I was completely confused by this film and most deeply
shocked. Photography, and especially films, are always very
dangerous documents because they show many things in a light
different to what they really are. I personally have the
impression, and I believe the prosecution will probably
corroborate this, that all these deposits of valuables and
this entire collection of valuable items came from the
potassium mines, where, at my instigation, all gold, foreign
currency and other valuables of the Reichsbank had been
stored away when, because of a terrific bombing attack on
Berlin, we were no longer able to work in the Reichsbank.
The Reichsbank building alone in this one raid on 3
February, 1945, was hit by twenty-one high explosive bombs,
and it was only by a miracle

                                                  [Page 181]

that I was able to reach the surface from this deep cellar
together with five thousand other people. Foreign currency
and all other deposits of valuables were then taken to a
potassium mine in Thuringia and from there apparently to
Frankfurt, I assume. So this concerns to a large extent
normal deposits by customers who had placed their valuables,
their property, in these safe deposits which could not be
got at by the Reichsbank. Consequently, I cannot tell from
this film which of these items were deliveries by the SS and
which were genuine deposits. The Prosecutor certainly is
correct when he says that no one would deposit gold teeth in
a Bank. It is, however, quite possible that certain
functionaries of concentration camps made genuine deposits
in the Reichsbank which contained such articles, to
safeguard them for future use. I think that is possible.
However, in conclusion I must say once more that I had no
knowledge whatsoever of these things and of the fact that
jewellery, diamonds, pearls and other objects were delivered
from concentration camps to the Reichsbank to such an
extent. I knew nothing about it; it was unknown to me, and I
personally am of the opinion that the Reichsbank was not
authorised to do this kind of business. It is certainly
clear from one document, which contains an account for the
Finance Minister, that most likely everything from the
concentration camps was first brought to the Reichsbank and
then the unfortunate officials of the Reichsbank had to sort
it, send it on to the Finance Minister - or rather to the
pawnbroker, who was under the Finance Minister - and prepare
a statement of account. Therefore, I must request that
someone be examined on these matters - first of all Herr
Puhl himself, and perhaps someone else who was concerned
with these things - in order to explain what actually took
place and above all, to show that I, personally, had no
knowledge whatsoever of these matters except for the few
facts which I myself have described to the Tribunal.

DR. SAUTER: Mr. President, I have finished my interrogation
of the defendant Funk, and I should now like to ask
permission to examine the only witness whom I can call at
this time, the witness Dr. Heiler.

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