The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

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Last-Modified: 2000/02/23

THE PRESIDENT: The Tribunal will adjourn this afternoon at half-past four.

                                                  [Page 131]

BY DR. SAUTER:

Q. Witness, I would like to return to the question of the so-
called plundering of the occupied countries. As Reich
Minister of Economics, which you were at the time, you can
certainly inform us from your personal experience and
observation, of the contribution of the occupied territories
to Germany's war effort.

A. The achievements of the occupied territories for the
joint carrying on of the war were without doubt of great
significance. I have always regarded the occupied
territories as synchronised with the total German economy as
one great productive organism for carrying on the war, which
would lead to a new order in Europe. Usually the same basic
economic principles applied in the occupied countries as in
Germany. In 1944 I had statistics compiled to show just how
much the occupied countries had produced for the war effort
in the three years 1941, 1942, and 1943, and we reached the
figure of 90 billion Reichsmark. That is certainly an
extraordinarily high figure, but one must not forget that
the currencies of the various countries were converted into
Reichsmark. That is, the reduced purchasing power of the
various currencies is not expressed in this figure.
In truth, therefore, the production is lower than this
figure might show.

At the same time Germany utilised at least two-thirds of its
entire production, that is, about 260 billion marks worth,
for the European war effort, in other words, almost three
times as much as the occupied countries. Almost up to the
time of the invasion I succeeded, in the case of France, in
regulating the financial and monetary system and thus also
the economic and social order to such an extent that, at the
end of the German occupation, French finances were actually
much healthier than German finances, and if it had not been
for the circumstances resulting from the elementary impact
of the war, France would have been able to construct a
healthy monetary system on this basis.

My statistics are confirmed to a certain degree by a
document which was submitted here. This is Document RF-22,
and deals with the French deliveries to Germany. It is an
official report to the French Government about forced labour
in France. In this report there are tables on Pages 38, 39,
and 40, showing the amount of French deliveries to Germany
in proportion to the entire French production. Then, figures
show that out of the entire French production with which we
are dealing, in these three years an average of 30 to 35 per
cent was sent to Germany for the joint war effort. In some
fields, and especially those which are necessary for the
provisioning of the French population, such as textiles,
pharmaceutical supplies, gas, electricity, and so forth,
these figures are considerably lower and in some cases
amount to only 5 or 6 percent. But as a political economist
I admit without hesitation, that if these matters are not
regarded from the point of view of the joint carrying on of
the war and the joint economic relationship, a deduction of
35 per cent means a lot and must naturally have serious
repercussions for the entire economy.

I have no specific figures at hand for the Russian
territories. The Ministry of Economics itself was entirely
excluded from the war economy of these territories; we
merely attempted to allow certain firms or companies to
operate in these territories as private enterprises there,
that is to say, they were to buy and sell at their own risk.
I did not participate otherwise in the management of these
regions, outside the fact that I was chairman of the
supervisory commission of the Continental Oil Company, which
operated in these regions in conformity with the provisions
of the Four-Year Plan and the orders of the Wehrmacht. But
I, personally, as chairman of the supervisory commission,
had only to manage the financial affairs of this company.

Q. Witness, at the end of this morning's session you spoke
of the so-called "Central Planning Board," a body about
which we have heard a good deal. You stated, quite briefly,
it is true, that as Minister of Economics you had no
interest

                                                  [Page 132]

in the fact that foreign workers were transported to
Germany, no matter whether for armament or other purposes.
Did I understand you correctly?

A. That applies to the time when I became a member of the
Central Planning Board.

Q. When was that?

A. I was called into the Central Planning Board in the
autumn of 1943 -

Q. Autumn of 1943?

A. - when I turned over all production matters to Speer and
when, for the first time on 22nd November, 1943, I attended
a session of the Board. At that time I not only had no
interest in having foreign workers brought to Germany but
actually, from the economic aspect, I wanted to have the
workers remain abroad, for the production of consumer goods
had, to a large extent, been shifted from Germany to the
occupied countries so that in other words this production,
that is, French production or Belgian production, could work
unhindered, for the German populace; I did not want the
workers taken away, and particularly I did not want them to
be taken away by force, for in that way the entire social
order would be disrupted.

Before that time, as Minister of Economics, I was naturally
interested in seeing that the German economy had workers.
However, these questions were not dealt with in the Ministry
of Economics, instead, either in the Four-Year Plan where a
General Plenipotentiary for Labour had been active from the
beginning -

THE PRESIDENT: Surely we heard all this this morning. It was
all given this morning.

DR. SAUTER: In connection with the Central Planning Board,
perhaps I might refer to one more document, Mr. President.

And this, Witness - and please confine your answer to this
letter only; - is a letter which you once wrote to Field
Marshal Milch and which was submitted I think by the French
prosecution under Document RF-675, I repeat, Document RF-
675. In this letter, Herr Funk, you apologised for
participating so very infrequently in the meetings of the
Central Planning Board. And at that time you sent two
experts from your Ministry to the session, that is, two
experts in the field of administrating civilian supplies and
of the export trade. As deputy of your State Secretary, Dr.
Hayler, who will be called later as a witness, a certain
Ohlendorf participated at this meeting of the "Central
Planning Board." You have already seen this man, Ohlendorf,
in this court room on the witness-stand.

I should be interested to know, what were the functions of
this man Ohlendorf, who apparently belonged to your
Ministry.

A. As far as the negotiations of the Central Planning Board
were concerned, I was essentially interested only in the
fact that at that meeting the necessary raw materials were
allocated for the administration of consumer goods and the
export trade. For that reason Ohlendorf and two other
experts for the administration of consumer goods and the
export trade were sent to the meeting. Ohlendorf was brought
into my Ministry by Dr. Hayler. Before that I had only known
Ohlendorf vaguely from one or two meetings and I had had an
extraordinarily favourable impression of him, for he had an
extremely lucid mind and could always express his thoughts
in a most impressive way. Before that time I did not even
know that Ohlendorf had another position in the Reich
Security Main Office, for he was introduced to me as a
manager of the main organization for German trade. Hayler
was the director of this organization Reich Committee
(Reichsgruppe) for trade, and Ohlendorf was his manager and
was introduced to me as such. Therefore I had no objections
to Ohlendorf being brought into the Ministry and taking over
that field which corresponded to his private business
activities up to now - the province of administration of
consumer goods.

                                                  [Page 133]
Then through Hayler I discovered that Ohlendorf was active
also in the RSHA - or whatever the name is - as an office
chief in the SD. However, I took no exception to this
activity, for I was not fully acquainted with these
assignments and, in any case, I was not convinced that
anything was taking place which was intolerable for the
Ministry. Ohlendorf was active chiefly as manager of the
Committee for Trade. As far as I know, he only had a minor
post in the RSHA, or whatever it was termed. Naturally I was
very much affected and painfully surprised when I heard here
about assignments which Ohlendorf and his Operational Staffs
had had in previous years in Russia. I had never heard one
word about this activity of Ohlendorf. He himself never
mentioned these things to me and until that time I did not
know the type of assignments such Einsatzstab (Operational
Staffs) had.

Ohlendorf never talked about his activity in the SD. Hayler,
who knew him much better and more intimately than I did, is
better qualified to give information.

In any event I knew nothing of this activity of Ohlendorf,
which, after all, he had carried on in years prior to this
date, and I was very much perturbed to find that this man
had done such things.

Q. Witness, I must ask you to state your position in regard
to the testimony given by another witness, whom we have seen
and heard in this Tribunal. This witness is Dr. Blaha, who
made a report in this court-room about the conditions in the
concentration camp at Dachau and who testified - as you
probably will recall - that in and around Dachau it was
common talk that the Reich Minister of Economics, Dr. Funk,
had also been present at one of these official visits to the
camp. As you recall, this witness replied to my question
that he himself had not seen you, but that your name had
been mentioned in this connection by other internees.

Were you ever at Dachau or at any other concentration camp?

A. No. I was neither at Dachau nor in any other
concentration camp.

Q. Can you say that with a clear conscience under your oath?

A. Yes.

Q. The witness, Dr. Blaha, has also testified to the fact
that this inspection of Dachau took place, following a
discussion among the Finance Ministers which had taken place
at Berchtesgaden or at Reichenhall, or somewhere in that
vicinity.

Therefore I ask you: Did you ever participate in a meeting
of Finance Ministers, or at least at the time Blaha claims?

A. No, I never participated in a meeting of Finance
Ministers, because I myself was never a Minister. And at
that time I did not participate in any international
discussions at all. No.

Q. Dr. Funk, as far as your health is concerned, this is not
a good day for you. You have complained about the terrific
pains which you are suffering today. Consequently I do not
wish to put any further questions to you, except one in
conclusion, which I am sure you will be able to answer
briefly.

Why did you remain in your office as Reich Minister of
Economics and as President of the Reichsbank until the very
end?

A. I considered myself bound to remain in this position as
long as I could, in order to serve and be of use to my
people. It was precisely in the last few years of the war
that my position was a very difficult one. The
administration became greatly disorganised and I had to make
exceptional efforts in order to procure supplies for the
people, especially those who had been bombed out. I
continually had to protect the supplies and supply depots
from arbitrary seizures by the Gauleiter. In the case of one
Gauleiter, I had to call the police. I did not follow the
"scorched earth" policy which the Fuehrer had decreed, so
that even after the occupation by the enemy powers the
supplies which were left could be used by the German people.

I had had instructions from the Fuehrer to issue a decree
according to which the acceptance of allied invasion
currency would be high treason and punishable by death. I
did not issue that decree. I made every effort to prevent
State

                                                  [Page 134]

property and State money from being destroyed and wasted. I
saved the gold deposits and foreign exchange deposits of the
Reichsbank which were in the greatest danger. Briefly, until
the last minute I believed it was my duty and responsibility
to carry on in office and to hold out until the very end.
Especially when we Germans learned that, according to the
Morgenthau plan, the status of the German people was to be
degraded into that of shepherds and goat-herds; that the
entire industry would be destroyed, which would have meant
the extermination of thirty million Germans. And especially
after Churchill had declared, personally, that the German
people would suffer from hunger, and that epidemics would
break out, only one thing was possible for me and for every
decent German, and that was to remain at his post and do
everything within his power in order to prevent this chaos.

I had no talent for being a traitor or a conspirator, but I
always loved my father-land passionately and my people as
well, and until the end I tried to do everything possible to
serve my country and my people and to be of use to them.

DR. SAUTER: Mr. President, perhaps in connection with this
alleged visit to a concentration camp I might refer to an
interrogatory which we received from the witness, Dr.
Schwedler, and which is found in the supplementary volume
for the Funk case under No. 14. This affidavit, of the
contents of which I would like to have you take official
notice, essentially confirms that, since the 1st of
February, 1938, the witness Dr. Schwedler, was the daily
companion of the defendant Funk; that Dr. Funk never visited
a concentration camp; and that the witness would have to
know of it if it were the case.

With these words, Mr. President, I conclude my examination
of the defendant Funk. I thank you very much.

THE PRESIDENT: Do any of the Defendants' Counsel wish to ask
questions? Dr. Sauter, you said you were referring to an
affidavit of Dr. Schwedler, which was No. 14. You said you
were referring to Dr. Schwedler's affidavit which you said
was No. 14 in your supplementary book. It does not seem to
be in ours.

THE INTERPRETER: I beg your pardon, Mr. President, it is No.
13. I am in error. Correction: No. 13. No. 13. Dr. August
Schwedler. It is a questionnaire. 13.

BY DR. NELTE (Counsel for defendant Keitel):

Q. Witness, I have one question which I would like to put to
you.

The prosecution has accused the defendant Keitel as chief of
the OKW, and you as General Plenipotentiary for the Economy
and Minister Frick as General Plenipotentiary for
Administration, on a common ground. The men in these three
offices are mentioned in the Reich Defence Law of 1938.
Undoubtedly they probably exerted certain functions which
might be of significance. The prosecution in this connection
spoke of a three-man board, and attributed much authority
and significance to this board in connection with the point
the prosecution is making of the planning and preparation of
aggressive wars.

Now I ask you: Was there such a three-man board and what
were the functions of these three offices which have been
mentioned, according to the Reich Defence Law?

A. Due to the confusion reigning in the German
administration we ourselves could scarcely keep things
straight; so it is not surprising if the prosecution is in
error on this point. I myself never heard of this three-man
committee or three-man board until this proceeding.

I did not know that I belonged to such a three-man committee
or three-man board or triumvirate or anything else. On the
basis of the Reich Defence Law similar powers were given to
the Chief of the OKW, to the General Plenipotentiary for
Administration and to the General Plenipotentiary for
Economics. These three, in deviation from the existing laws,
could issue directives in which they had to mutually
participate.

                                                  [Page 135]

But it was the purport of this order that these directives
could only be of a subordinate nature, which on the whole
applied only to the sphere of activity of the offices
involved. Legislation for more important matters was made
either by the Ministerial Council for Reich Defence, which
later dealt only with the circulation of orders, or by
Fuehrer decrees. As far as I know there were only three,
four or five meetings of this body. Later, the decrees of
the Fuehrer were the real, the essential way of issuing
laws. They were issued by the Fuehrer personally, and the
offices involved were frequently only advised of the same.
Therefore the three-man board is only a fiction.

DR. NELTE: Thank you. I have no further questions.

BY DR. DIX (Counsel for defendant Schacht):

Dr. Funk, you spoke of the law for the regulation of
national labour and you said that that law was issued under
your predecessor. You spoke about "my predecessor."

A. No, you are wrong; I said my predecessors.

Q. Predecessors. Can you tell the Tribunal under which Reich
Minister of Economics that was issued?

A. This law was issued under Reich Minister of Economics,
Dr. Schmidt, as far as I remember. And the subsequent
agreement with the German Labour Front probably took place
in part under Schacht. I would particularly like to call
your attention to the so-called "Leipzig Resolutions."


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