The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

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Q. You wish to convince us that this was the personal
initiative of von Jagwitz, and that you as a Minister knew
nothing at all about it?

A. Certainly I knew about it. He did it with my knowledge,
with my knowledge and approval -

Q. Please follow the text and you had better listen to what
I want to say. I will read the last paragraph, which states:

  "The Main Department V is in charge of the Foreign
  Organization of the Reich Ministry of Economics. This
  same department is in charge of all relations between the
  Ministry and the Foreign Organization of the Nazi Party."

This means that no, mention is made of any private
initiative of von Jagwitz, as you tried to persuade us, but
this department really was a part of your Ministry. Have you
found the passage?

A. Yes. Herr von Jagwitz had this liaison office and
essentially it was limited to his person. It was a liaison
office for collaboration with the Foreign Organizations,
which was a perfectly natural procedure in many cases. I
don't see why this should be unusual or criminal.

GENERAL RAGINSKY: Mr. President, I should like to pass on to
another particular part. Would it be convenient to have a
short recess now? I have a few more questions to ask.

                                                  [Page 169]

THE PRESIDENT: Very well; the Tribunal will adjourn.

(A recess was taken.)


Q. You mentioned yesterday that you were the Plenipotentiary
for Economy but not a Plenipotentiary in the full sense of
the word. Schacht was the true Plenipotentiary and you were
merely a secondary one. Do you remember your article
entitled "Economic and Financial Mobilization"? Do you
remember what you wrote at that time?

A. No.

Q. Well, we are not going to waste anytime on that question.
I shall remind you of it. I submit to the Tribunal in
evidence Exhibit USSR 452, an article by Funk, published in
the monthly journal of the NSDAP and of the German Workers'
Front, entitled "Der Schulungsbrief for 1939."

You wrote at that time:

  "As the General Plenipotentiary for Economy appointed by
  the Fuehrer, I must see to it that during the war all the
  forces of the nation should be secured also from the
  economic point of view."

Have you found this passage?

A. Yes, I have found it.

Q. Further on you wrote:

  "The contribution of economy to the great political aims
  of the Fuehrer demands not only a strong and unified
  direction of all the economic and political measures, but
  also above all careful co-ordination. Industry, food
  agriculture, forestry, timber industry, foreign trade,
  transport, manpower, the regulation of wages and prices,
  finance credits must be co-ordinated, so that the entire
  economic potential should serve in the defence of the
  Reich. In order to fulfil this task, I, as General
  Plenipotentiary for Economy, have at my disposal the
  authorities of the Reich in charge of these spheres."

Do you confirm that this is precisely what you wrote in

A. Yes.

Q. Is that question not quite clear to you?

THE PRESIDENT: He said yes.

THE WITNESS: Yes, I certainly wrote that.


Q. You confirm it. You know about the issue in June, 1941,
of the so-called "Green File" of Goering. It was read into
the record here. These are directives for the control of
economy or, rather, directives for the plundering of the
Occupied Territories of the USSR. How did you personally
participate in the planning of these directives?

A. I do not know that. I do not know now whether or not I
participated at all.

Q. You do not remember? How is it possible that these
documents were planned without you, the President of the
Reichsbank and General Plenipotentiary for Economy and the
Armament Industry?

A. First, at that time I was no longer General
Plenipotentiary for Economy. I was never Plenipotentiary for
the Armament Industry. The powers of the Plenipotentiary for
Economy, shortly after the beginning of the war, were turned
over to the Trustee for the Four-Year Plan. That has been
repeatedly confirmed and emphasized and what I did
personally at that time, concerning economy in the Eastern
Occupied Territories, can only have been very, very little.
I do not remember it because the administration of economy
in the Occupied Eastern Territories was in charge of the
Economic Leadership Staff East and the Trustee

                                                  [Page 170]

of the Four-Year Plan and that office, of course, co-
operated with the Rosenberg Ministry for the Eastern
Occupied Territories. Personally I only remember that, as I
mentioned yesterday, in the course of time the Ministry of
Economics sent individual business men, merchants, from
Hamburg to Cologne, etc., and commissioned them to carry on
their individual economic activities in the Eastern Occupied

Q. Yes, we have already heard what "activities" you dealt
with. Your name for plunder is "activities." Do you remember
the Prague Conference of December, 1941. The meeting of the
Economic Organization, or must I remind you of it?

A. No.

Q. Not necessary?

A. During the interrogations, my attention was called by
General Alexandrov to this speech, and I told him at that
time that there was an erroneous newspaper report about me
which I had rectified later, or a short time after it was

Q. Just a minute, defendant Funk. You are slightly
anticipating events.

You do not yet know what I am going to ask you. First listen
to me and then reply. You have informed the Tribunal that
you never attended any meeting of Hitler at which the
political and economic aims of the attack on the Soviet
Union were discussed, that you did not know of any purpose
and of any declared plans of Hitler for the territorial
dismemberment of the Soviet Union, and yet you yourself
declared in your statement that "the East will be the future
colony of Germany," Germany's colonial territory. Did you
say that the East would be the future colonial territory of

A. No; I disputed that in my interrogation. I immediately
said after this was put to me, that I was speaking of the
old German colonial territories. General Alexandrov can
confirm that. He questioned me at that time.

Q. I have no intention of calling General Alexandrov as a
witness. I am only asking you if you did say so, was it
written as stated?

A. No.

Q. You stated that you did not have to be reminded, but that
is precisely what was mentioned in your speech, and I am
going to quote verbatim from that speech:

  "The vast territories of the Eastern European region,
  containing raw materials which have not yet been opened
  up to Europe, will become the promising colonial
  territory of Europe."

And exactly what Europe were you discussing in December,
1945, and what former German territories did you wish to
mention to the Tribunal? I am asking you.

A. I have said that I did not speak about colonial
territories, but of the old colonisation areas of Germany.

Q. Yes, but we are not speaking here of old territories; we
are speaking here of new territories which you wished to

A. The area had been conquered already. We did not have to
conquer that. That had been conquered by German troops.

Q. No. It was not known that they were conquered, since you
were already retreating from them.

You have said that you were the president of the
"Continental Oil Company." This company was organized for
the exploitation of the oilfields of the Occupied
Territories, especially in the districts of Groznay and
Baku. Please answer me: "yes", or "no."

A. Not only of the Occupied Territories. This company was
concerned with oil industries all over Europe. It had its
beginnings in the Rumanian oil interests and whenever German
troops occupied territories where there were oil deposits,
that company, which was a part of the Four-Year Plan, was
given the task by the various economic offices, later by the
armament industry, of producing oil in these territories and
of restoring the destroyed oil-producing districts. The
company had a tremendous reconstruction programme.

                                                  [Page 171]

I personally was the president of the board and I mainly
only had to do the financing of that company.

Q. That I have already heard. But you have not answered my

I asked you if this Company had as the object the
exploitation of the Groznay and Baku oil wells. Did the oil
wells of the Caucasus form the basic capital of the
Continental Oil Company?

A. No.

Q. I am satisfied with your reply.

A. That is not right. We hadn't conquered the Caucasus and
therefore the Continental Oil Company could not be active in
the Caucasus.

Q. But Rosenberg at that time had already made a report on
the conquest and exploitation of the Caucasus.

Do you remember that here, before the Tribunal, a transcript
of the minutes of a meeting held at Goering's office on the
6th August, 1942, with the Reich Commissars of the Occupied
Territories, was read into the record. Do you remember that

A. Yes.

Q. Did you participate in this meeting?

A. That I do not know. Did they speak about the oil
territories of the Caucasus in that meeting? That I do not

Q. No, I do not wish to say anything as yet. I shall ask you
a question and you will answer. I ask you: did you
participate in that meeting?

A. I cannot remember. It may very well be.

Q. You don't remember?

A. No.

Q. In that case you will be shown a document. It has already
been submitted to the Tribunal, and was here read into the
record. It is Exhibit USSR 170, it has already been

As stated at that meeting, the most effective measures for
the economic plunder of the Occupied Territories of the
USSR, Poland, Czechoslovakia, Yugoslavia, and other
countries, were discussed. At this meeting defendant Goering
addressed himself to you. Do you remember whether you were
present at that meeting or not?

A. Yes, indeed. I remember that. But what Goering told me
then refers to the fact that, a long time after the Russian
territories had been occupied, we sent business men there to
bring into those territories any goods that might be of
interest to the population. For instance it says here:-

  "Business men must be sent there - we must send them to
  Venice to buy up these things in order to re-sell them in
  the occupied Russian territories."

That is what Goering told me on that occasion. At least that
is what can be read here.

Q. I did not ask you about that, witness Funk. Were you
present at that meeting or not? Could you answer that

A. Of course. Since Goering talked to me, I must have been
there. It was on 7th August, 1942.

Q. Defendant Funk, you have replied here to certain
questions asked by Mr. Dodd regarding the increase of the
gold reserve of the Reichsbank; I should like to ask you the
following question: you have stated that the gold reserves
of the Reichsbank were only increased by the gold reserves
of the Belgian Bank; but did you not know that 23,000 kilos
of gold were stolen from the National Bank of Czechoslovakia
and transferred to the Reichsbank?

A. I did not know that it had been stolen.

Q. Then what do you know?

A. I stated explicitly here yesterday that the gold deposits
had been increased mostly by the taking over the gold of the
Czech National Bank and the Belgian Bank. I especially spoke
of the Czech National Bank yesterday.

                                                  [Page 172]

Q. Yes, but I am not asking you about the Belgian Bank, but
about the Bank of Czechoslovakia.

A. Yes, I mentioned it yesterday. I said so yesterday -

THE PRESIDENT: He said that just now. He said that he had
spoken about the Czechoslovakian gold deposits.

GENERAL RAGINSKY:: Mr. President, he did not mention
Czechoslovakia yesterday and I am asking him this question
today. But if he replies to this question in the affirmative
I shall not interrogate him any further on the matter, since
he will have confirmed it.

I now pass on to the next question - to the question of
Yugoslavia. On the 14th April, 1941, i.e. - prior to the
complete occupation of Yugoslavia - the Commander-in-Chief
of the German Land Forces issued a directive for the
Occupied Yugoslav Territories. This is Exhibit USSR 140 and
JU 78, and has already been submitted to the Tribunal. Sub-
paragraph 9 of this directive determines the compulsory rate
of Yugoslav exchange - 20 Yugoslav dinars to the German
mark. And the same compulsory rate of exchange, which had
been applied to the Yugoslav dinar, was also applied to the
credit notes (Reichskreditkassenschein) issued by the Reich
Foreign Currency Bureau.

These currency operations permitted the German invaders to
export from Yugoslavia, at a very cheap rate, various
merchandise as well as other valuables. Similar operations
were carried out in all the Eastern Occupied Territories,
and I ask you: do you admit that such operations were one of
the means for the economic plunder of the Eastern Occupied

A. No.

Q. Very well.

A. That depends on the relation of the exchange rate. In
some cases, in particular in the case of France, I protested
against the under-evaluation -

Q. Excuse me just one minute, defendant Funk. You have
already spoken about France and I do not want to take up the
time of the Tribunal unnecessarily. I consider that you
ought to answer my question.

A. At the moment I do not know what the exchange rate
between the dinar and the mark was at that time. In general,
in so far as I had anything to do with it - I did not make
the directive; that came from the Finance Minister and from
the command of the Armed Forces - in so far as I had
anything to do with it I always urged that the rate should
not differ too greatly from the rate which existed and which
was based on the purchasing power. At the moment I cannot
say what the exchange rate for dinars was at that time.

Of course, "occupational currency" had to be introduced with
the troops, because otherwise we would have had to issue
special requisition vouchers, and that would have been much
worse than introducing an official means of payment, as is
now being done here in Germany by the Allies, because
working with requisition vouchers is much more
disadvantageous and harmful to the population and the entire
country than working with a recognized means of payment. We
invented the "occupational currency" ourselves.

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