The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

Shofar FTP Archive File: imt/nca/nca-06/nca-06-3728-ps

Archive/File: imt/nca/nca-06/nca-06-3728-ps
Last-Modified: 1997/08/28
           Nazi Conspiracy & Aggression, Volume VI
                  Copy of Document 3728-PS

                                                  [Page 485]
    Excerpts from Testimony of Dr. Hjalmar Horace Greeley
  taken at Nurnberg, Germany, 16 October 1945, 1430--1630,
           by Lt. Col. Murray Gurfein, AUS, OUSCC
Questions by Colonel Gurfein to the Witness in English:

[Pages 2-9]

Q. Yes. So that, I take it, in March 1937, you were not in
any way opposed to the further extension of the armament
program except insofar as it was limited by technical

A. No. There is another reason in addition to that. I think
that any overdoing of armaments contains the danger of war
in itself.

Q. That is what you said last time that we talked, and I was
interested in that. When did it first come to your mind that
the extent of the German armament was in such a position as
to cause the danger of war in itself?

A. That I can't tell you, because all restrictions and
thoughts in my mind, accumulated in my mind, accumulated by
and by. New points always came in, and the first time that I
really thought Hitler might not be willing to avert a war by
all means was in the Fritsch Affair. That changed my mind

Q. That was in February 1938?

A. May I just add a few remarks to my last interrogation?

Q. Yes.

A. When I made that statement, I didn't say what I meant. I
had, of course, thought of ordinary life and none of the
exceptional pressure under which I came through Hitler. When
I made that statement in Vienna, I was still hopeful that I
would be able to check Hitler some way or another, because
the Fritsch Affair was not yet cleared. It was under trial,
and the acquitting of Fritsch came only, I think somewhat
later. I don't remember the date exactly, but I still hoped
that Fritsch would become restituted to his post, and when
that was not the case, then I said something must be wrong,
because at the same time the Blomberg affair also became
known to me. Some people hinted to me that that also was an
intrigue, played by Himmler or somebody.

                                                  [Page 486]
Q. Tell us a little more clearly, if you will, Dr. Schacht,
what was there about the Fritsch affair that disturbed you?

A. Fritsch was the finest character in the whole army, in my
opinion. Fritsch was certainly not willing to overdo
armaments and certainly he would never have agreed to an
aggressive war, so I relied entirely on him, and I was on
good terms with him, and I knew that he was against any
extension politics of Hitler's.

Q. But I thought we agreed last time that the attack on
Austria was an aggressive one. Was that not your opinion?

A. No, we did not agree, sir. It was an aggressive one by
propaganda, but not by military aggression.

Q. Just to revert to that for a moment scientifically, you
recall that in your speech in Vienna you yourself said that
"through the means of the German will and consciousness, and
through the strength of the Wehrmacht of ours, we achieved
our objectives" or something to that effect?

A. I stated at the same time in our last interrogation that
this was towards the allies and not towards Austria. I have
heard a good deal about propaganda, and such things.

Q. Let us review that for a moment. I don't want to get too
deeply into the Austrian affair, but let us stick to matters
that were of common knowledge. You know that the French
asked the Italians, Mussolini, whether he would stand firm
at the intervention in the independence of Austria? You
remember that?

A. I don't remember the details.

Q. There was a time when Italy threatened to march sometime
before, a good time before that.

A. A good time before that.

Q. There was this development with Schuschnigg being brought
to Berchtesgaden, which was common knowledge.

A. Yes.

Q. And there was this whole question among the European
powers as to whether this Anschluss, which was directly
prohibited by treaty arrangement, would be performed. You
remember that?

A. Yes.

Q. And there was this whole question among the European
powers as to whether this Anschluss, which was directly
prohibited by treaty arrangement, would be performed. You
remember that?

A. Yes.

Q. And you remember that the tension was extremely strong at
the time on the question of whether France and Italy would
move to maintain the integrity of Austria, the guarantee.
You remember that?

A. That was long before.

                                                  [Page 487]
Q. They guaranteed it long before, but the diplomatic
statements were published at the time, were they not?

A. I think that Mussolini had this for his opposition long

Q. What I am trying to say is, and I ask you, was it not the
threat of armed force on the borders of Austria which
preceded this Anschluss?

A. I don't think so.

Q. Was there a mobilization? Do you remember?

A. I don't know. Was there?

Q. I am just wondering what you remembered about it.

A. Yes, but that had nothing to do with Fritsch, because
Fritsch was not in office.

Q. I am not talking about Fritsch now. We went off the
subject as we said we would, Dr. Schacht when I said that it
was parenthetical. I asked you in the first place whether
after the withdrawal of Fritsch it was not an aggressive
action against Austria, and I had thought that we had agreed
last time that, although you said that you had no knowledge
of it beforehand that, nevertheless, you still condemned
Hitler's principles and so forth, and implied that the
matter was an aggressive one.

A. I would even deplore propaganda, an aggressive
propaganda, inside of Austria; not only military threat.

Q. But what I mean is, do you withdraw completely what you
said at Vienna, where you seemed to be pleased at the
success of Hitler's method of obtaining the Anschluss?

A. Would I what?

Q. Will you read the question?

(The question referred to was read by the reporter as set
forth above.)

A. I stand by that statement.

Q. Now, coming back to this question of aggression and
whether or not there was a threat of armed force, do you
recall that on March 11th, Austrian reservists were called
up to meet the crisis? Does that come back to your memory? I
am just trying to get the framework on the situation.

A. I have not been in those details at the time.

Q. Well, but you were a living man at that time. We all
were, and we were very influential, as a matter of fact.

A. No, I was not influential at all, not in that.

Q. What I am trying to do is ask you whether you remember --
and if you don't, say so -- whether you remember the tension
that existed in Europe prior to the Anschluss.

A. Certainly. There must have been.

                                                  [Page 488]
Q. And that tension was caused, was it not, by the poising
of the armed forces of Germany on the borders of Austria?

A. Well, I don't know that.

Q. Do you remember Hitler's speech on the 20th of February
of 1938, for example?

A. No.

Q. Where he told the Reichstag that the Germans in Austria
and the Sudetenland had to have self-determination?

A. No.

Q. Did you attend those sessions of the Reichstag, by the

A. I don't remember.

Q. Weren't you, as a member of the government, entitled to
sit on the government benches at these Reichstag meetings?

A. Yes, but I have missed very, very many meetings.

Q. Do you recall whether or not you were present?

A. That is easily verifiable.

Q. That is why I asked you.

A. No, I don't know. I don't remember.

Q. You don't remember?

A. No, I don't remember.

Q. You remember being on the Reichstag government bench at
the time war was declared on Poland?

A. I certainly was not.

Q. You were not?

A. No.

Q. I just want to ask you this, a little off the beaten
track: There is testimony, Dr. Schacht, to the effect that
after you left the Reichsbank and retained your position as
Minister without Portfolio that you still sat on the
government bench in the Reichstag.

A. Once, sir.

Q. And when was that?

A. After Hitler came back from France.

Q. After the great victory?

A. After the great victory over France. The reason was this:
The ministers were all ordered to meet Hitler at the
station. I was in Berlin at that time. I couldn't escape
joining them, and because I also greeted him from the
station, I couldn't escape going to the Reichstag, and I did
it; but I think that is the only time I attended the
Reichstag after the opening of the war.

Q. There weren't many sessions of course?

                                                  [Page 489]
A. Oh, there were some, for Poland, for America, for
instance, for -- oh, yes there were some. After Poland, yes,
but I don't think I have ever attended any, except this one.

Q. That is the only one you went to, at the moment of the
great victory over France?

A. It is the only one I remember.

Q. Coming back to what we were discussing,  Dr. Schacht, you
recall this tension in Europe, as you say, at the time of
the Austrian Anschluss and you recall even at that time the
Czechs were making statements, saying that they would defend
themselves if attacked?

A. (Pause)

Q. You must.

A. I have never been in these foreign politics and I don't
remember what declarations and speeches were made.

Q. These were things that were in the public press.

A. I have read that as a common reader, but I wasn't very
much interested in the matter.

Q. Let me ask you, then: Would you deny that there was
tension in Europe and the threat of a war prior to the
Austrian Anschluss?

A. I don't think that there was threat of war, not from our

Q. Your intentions were to take Austria, were they not? Not
your personal intentions, but the intentions of the Reich?

A. I think Hitler intended to force the Anschluss.

Q. If Hitler intended to force the Anschluss, it might have
tended toward a general war. That was one of the risks, was
it not?

A. I don't think so.

Q. You don't think there ever was a risk?

A. No.

Q. You didn't think there was a possibility that France
might have protected the integrity of Austria?

A. If France would have done that, then I think the right
moment for any military intervention was when Germany began
to rearm.

Q. But again you are dealing with risks and gambles, are you
not, Dr. Schacht? You are dealing with the other fellow's
point of view as to what he might or might not do.

A. You asked me if I think he could have done something. Of
course he could.

                                                  [Page 490]
[Pages 17-20]

Q. But would you say that the existence of that Wehrmacht as
it was then constituted, gave the means to Hitler to pursue
this foreign policy of his?

A. One of the means, yes.

Q. Now I just want to ask you, because I think you said it
at the time and I am just going to see if you are still of
the same opinion, because if you want to change the opinion,
I `d like to get it -- you made a speech I believe, to the
German Academy for the Wehrwirtschaft. You had a reception
on November 29, 1938, where you spoke on the theme of
Finance Wonder and the New Plan. So you remember that?

A. Yes.

Q. In that speech do you remember saying this: "With the
help of its daring credit policy, Germany created for itself
a strong armament and this in turn had made possible the
success of our politics"?

A. Yes, I stand by that still today.

Q. Then you went on to say: "Despite this, there was no
German financial wonder. The wonder was the reawakening of
the German national conscience and German discipline, and
for this wonder we must thank our Fuehrer, Adolf Hitler"?

A. Yes.

Q. Now, then, what interests me about this is that this was
after the Munich agreement.

A. Yes, after the Sudeten question.

Q. And this was after the cessation of the Sudentenland?

A. Yes.

Q. And again you are in terms opposing the appeasement of

A. Yes.

Q. So I take it the position you take would be what?

A. (Pause)

Q. The position you take is that at the time you said this
publicly, you did not actually mean it, I suppose?

A. I have been satisfied with the results of the Anschluss.
I have disproved the methods. I have certainly not objected
in my mind nor openly to the Anschluss or the Sudenten
Deustche [sic], but I have always disapproved of the methods
I have realized and stated publicly and privately that all
this would not have been fulfilled unless the rearmament of
Germany had taken place and changed the position of Germany
towards the Allies.

                                                  [Page 491]
Q. You realize, of course, that the Czechs had an army, and
the Czechs had munitions works, as well, did they not?

A. Sir, the method toward the Czechs or against the Czechs I
had always disapproved of.

Q. But I am asking you, Dr. Schacht, this: You constantly
speak of the Wehrmacht or the rearmament vis-a-vis the

A. Yes.

Q. Now I ask you whether the fact of this strong standing
army on the German side should not be measured against the

A. No, I would have been absolutely against that, because
that was the wrong method.

Q. You mean that the army would be built up to a strength so
large that the allied powers would not seek to intervene?

A. No, certainly not, but that it could be of some nuisance,
if not justified internationally. Claims could be dealt with
on peaceful basis of negotiations, as for instance, in `32,
the customs union.

Q. Now coming back to this Sudeten problem, you had an army
here that was raised to the point where you say the allies
would recognize the right of Germany to negotiate with the
Czechs diplomatically?

A. Yes.

Q. If Germany did not have this army, the allies would not
have recognized that right?

A. I think that the fact that Germany at that time had an
army -- had great consequences with the allies.

Q. In what sense?

A. Why, for instance, forbid to Germany the customs union
with Austria in `32 by threatening Germany with armed force
and why didn't they do it in `38 when the Anschluss was

Q. You mean by 1938 Germany had created an army which was
sufficiently large to take care of itself in any general

A. Sir, don't ask me these military questions. I can't
answer to that. I only say that the fact that Germany was
strong again and armed has altered the politics of the

Q. Altered them in respect to what?

A. Their attitude toward Germany.

Q. Well, now, the Anschluss with Austria was not certainly
by virtue of any international agreement, was it?

A. No, but they tolerated it.

                                                  [Page 492]
Q. They tolerated it because Germany was strong, is that

A. They had not tolerated the customs union, which would
have been much wiser, because then probably Hitler would
probably never have appeared on the surface.

Q. We keep coming back to the customs union. Let's put our
mind to the period of 1938, this crucial period in the world
history. At that time this Wehrmacht which was created was
strong enough to prevent the nations from interfering with
any aggressive plans that Hitler wanted to plan?

A. I don't know. I can't say whether it was militarily
strong enough. I can only say that it influenced, certainly
must have influenced, the politics and the policies of the

[Page 21]

Q. Let's come back to the turning. Obviously you must have
had certain conflicts of conscience for quite a long time
with respect to this problem.

A. Yes, certainly.

Q. And those conflicts of conscience must have been
revolving themselves in your mind, I should have thought,
for some years.

A. Sir, my first moral doubts about Hitler originated in
`34. I have tried to make sure whether I was right in
judging him that way. That can't be done from one day to
another. It takes a long time, because I have seen him every
few months or so, I mean. My doubts about the overdoing of
the German economic and financial strength originated in the
year about `36. Here, again, it took me some time to talk
things over with Blomberg and Krosigk, and so on. Then I had
to hope that on this field, which was my field, I was able
to check him. That was why I held my position as managing
man of the Ministry of Economics until the fall of `37. Then
I went out, because I say I couldn't hold it against

[Pages 24-29]

In November `38 in that same speech that I referred to: "At
the beginning of the year, the spring of 1938 showed a
change in our financing policy because German economy had
finally reached the point of full employment."

A. Yes.

Q. "On the first of April 1938, the credit creations through
the bank of issue were stopped and the financing of the
State requirements were now put on to the way of taxes and

A. Exactly what I said.

                                                  [Page 493]
Q. Yes. So that it was clear that at that time at least it
was felt that the differences in methods which you had
predicted a long time before would ultimately come through
the recreation of employment and so forth, and would enable
a change of policy, isn't that correct?

A. But within the limits.

Q. But within the limits.

A. Within the given limits, certainly.

Q. Now the limits, however, you have always maintained, that
is, the limits of armaments, you never knew.

A. No.

Q. That is what I don't know. What limits are you talking
about, Dr. Schacht?

A. I doubt very much that any further armaments could have
been financed unless he abused the Reichsbank. New loans
could not any more be found. All that could be levied from
the financial market and from the Germany economy, so that a
further continuation of armaments would not have been

Q. You mean that there would have been no income from loans
and no income from taxes sufficient to have any armament

A. Not beyond the stage reached.

Q. In your speech of November 29, `38, you certainly did not
imply that, did you?

A. I don't?

Q. I don't think so.

A. What did I say?

Q. You say here, following that? "Therefore, the only
correct way was for the bank of issue at the beginning to
place at the disposal the necessary credits for work and
rearmament and only up to the point where the economy again
developed itself into a position where a considerable
condition of savings and consolidation was possible.  Only
from that point on should, and in fact must the financing be
changed over to the financing through taxes and loans."

A. Yes, certainly. That was one of the best speeches I ever

Q. What I am trying to get at is that that was a position
that you held back as far as 1935, was it not, that you
would give credit for a limited time in order to prime the
pump, as we say in America?

A. Yes.

                                                  [Page 494]
Q. And when the time came, when the economy itself, through
the creation of savings, and throughout the act of business
and the workers to absorb higher taxes, that at that time it
would be unnecessary to either have notes printed or to have
an expansion of credit through the Reichsbank, but that
instead you would rely on normal budgetary and loan
revenues? That was always your position?

A. Yes, always.

Q. So nothing changed in the interim?

A. No.

Q. That is what I am trying to get at. So that there was
nothing startling in 1937 about your refusal to give Hitler
any more monies from the bank, because that had always been
your position?

A. Because in `37 I say already that the --

Q. That the time had come?

A. That everybody was employed.

Q. That did not mean, I ask you again, that you were then
opposed to further armaments if by some magic the money
could be obtained from another source?

A. Sir, the money could not be obtained from some other
source, because they had to repay the mefo bills. There were
lots of other things to do. We had to assume a foreign debt
payment on all this.

Q. There was nothing that said that that was inevitable?

A. What is that?

Q. Why did you have to resume the foreign debt payment? You
had defaulted before.

A. I wanted to change the default. I wanted to become an
honest debtor again.

Q. Actually, as a matter of fact, let me ask you this:  At
the time when you started the mefo bills, for example, there
were no ready means available for financing the armament.

A. Quite.

Q. That is to say, through normal budget finance methods?

A. Not enough.

Q. Also you were limited at that time by the statute of the
Reichsbank which did not permit you to give anything near
the sufficient credit which was required for the armament

A. Quite.

Q. And yet you found a way?

A. Yes.

                                                  [Page 495]
Q. And the way you found was by creating a device in effect
which enabled the Reichsbank to lend by a subterfuge to the
government what it normally or legally could not do?

A. Right.

Q. So I think for a resourceful man like yourself, it is
difficult for me to understand how at a given moment in time
in 1938, a situation had so altered itself that some way
could not be found for some continuation of armaments.

A. Colonel, my impression was now it was enough.

Q. What was enough?

A. Money. Enough armaments. Enough money.

Q. I ask you again: You have always maintained that you did
not know the size of the armaments. How did you know it was

A. I don't know. It was simply my feeling.

Q. Just a feeling?

A. Yes. But I knew, for instance, that with General Thomas I
was always in agreement, and he was the man of the

Q. Coming back to this business of your conflict of
conscience that you were talking about, it finally resolved
itself with respect to the Ministry of Economics in your
departure from Goering in November of 1937. Now, for how
long before that would you say had you begun to have
substantial doubts whether you could carry on this post as
Minister of Economics?

A. After the Four Years Plan.

Q. And the Four Years Plan came in when?

A. It was announced in September `36 on the Party day.

Q. Do you say that from the time that the Four Years Plan
came in September 1936, you were already to rid yourself of
your economic duty?

A. No. At that time I had thought that I might maintain my
position even against Goering.

Q. Yes. In what sense?

A. That he would not interfere with affairs which I had to
manage in my ministry.

Q. As a matter of fact, his appointment was not met with
favor by you?

A. I would not have appointed a man like Goering who didn't
understand a bit about these things.

Q. But you had originally, I take it, suggested to Hitler
that he be appointed the Commissar for raw materials and
foreign exchange.

                                                  [Page 496]
A. Not for raw materials, but for foreign exchange. That was
because I had not the least authority with the Party, and
the Party always deceived me in foreign exchange.

A. But, nevertheless, you say that at the time when Goering
became delegate for the Four Year Plan you were not in
sympathy with the appointment?

A. No, not at all.

B. How long did it take for you to crystallize in your mind
the feeling that you could not go along with Goering and
maintain your position as Minister of Economics?

A. The first moment that it happened that Goering interfered
with my business I drew the consequences, and that was in
July `37, when he gave out a law about mining. I don't know
the details any more, but it was about the State interfering
with mining, something like that. That was the end of July.
This law he brought out without even informing me beforehand
of any intention to do so, or without discussing the law or
the method of executing the law, and immediately after that
beginning of August, I wrote a long letter to him, stating
my differences of opinion. This letter is somewhere; perhaps
you have it. I sent a copy of that letter to the Fuehrer and
asked for my resignation as Commissar for the Ministry.

Q. That was towards the end of August?

A. No. The 11th of August. I remember the date.

Q. 11th of August. But before this July incident with
respect to the mining that you speak about, had there been a
series of developments with Goering since 1936?

A. I have stated at some former interrogation -- I don't
know whether it was with you -- that in the middle of
December `36, Goering for the first time in his new position
assembled an assembly of industrialists and outlined his
ideas about German economy before them, saying several
foolish things, and that on the 22nd of January the
following year, five weeks later at the occasion of my
birthday -- that is why I remember the date -- my 60th
birthday, in a public speech I refuted these ideas of
Goering's, so that the difference of opinion between Goering
and myself became already public at that time.

[Pages 34-39]

Q. Let me ask you: Did you in July 1937 have a discussion
with Goering or indeed an argument with Goering about your
retaining your position as Plenipotentiary for the War

A. It was never mentioned.

                                                  [Page 497]
Q. I want you to think carefully about that, Doctor.

A. It was never mentioned, because I remember that very
well. When I retired as Minister of Economics, at the same
time I was withdrawn as Reichsverteidungskommissar. That is
what you mean.

Q. No. It was Generalbevollmaechtigter der Kriegswirtschaft.

A. General?

Q. General Plenipotentiary for the War Economy.

A. It had been information gotten in the document which
relieved me from my post as Minister of Economics, and a few
days later Lammers came and said, "Now here is the other
document about the Plenipotentiary." As to Goering, I have
not discussed it with him. Nobody had thought about it.

Q. Now, let's go back very carefully. Set your mind on this,
because it may turn out to be important. I am not talking
now of the time when you resigned or was dismissed as
Minister of Economics in November of 1937. I am now talking
of the time when you were functioning as Minister of
Economics in July 1937.

A. Yes.

Q. I ask you whether at that time before you had given up
the position as Minister of Economics did you not have a
dispute with Goering with respect to your maintaining or
retaining the position of General Plenipotentiary for the
War Economy?

A. I don't remember that I had it.

Q. Do you remember any discussion with Goering and with
Hitler concerning your desire to continue in the post as
Minister of the War Economy?

A. It is absolutely untrue, absolutely untrue.

Q. Did you have any discussion on that subject of any kind
with Hitler or with Goering?

A. None whatever.

Q. Did you to anybody assert or maintain that you were
entitled to retain the position of General Plenipotentiary
for the War Economy in July or thereabout of 1937?

A. Not that I remember. None whatever, because I didn't lay
any stress upon such a position.

Q. Now, let me refresh your recollection as to this point,
and see if it does. Did you have a discussion with Hitler
and Goering in which you pointed out that in case of war
Goering would be busy with the Luftwaffe and hence probably
be in the field and that, therefore, he could not run the
War Economy in the event of war, and that, therefore, you
had better be left in that position?

A. Not after my dismissal.

                                                  [Page 498]
Q. This is before your dismissal.

A. No. Such a conversation is possible, because I had always
objected to Goering's abilities of managing the Economics,
and that can only have been at the time when my dismissal
was not yet discussed.

Q. Your dismissal was not yet discussed?

A. Yes.

Q. But I asked you, did you urge upon the Fuehrer that you
be permitted to retain the position of Plenipotentiary for
the War Economy in the event of war?

A. Certainly not.

Q. That is your best recollection?

A. My best recollection and conviction.

Q. See if this refreshes your recollection, Dr. Schacht: I
just want to see if it does. This is a document that is
marked Exhibit A of 15 October 1945, Edlow, and bears the
date, "Berlin" 7 of July 1937. It is a copy signed "Herman
Goering" and "Dr. Hjalmar Schacht," and I ask you if you
will refresh your recollection from this document.

A. (Examining document) What does it mean?

Q. I am asking you. Does it refresh your recollection about
the incident?

A. No. That has nothing to do with the question you have
asked me.

Q. Why not?

A. What does it state?

Q. Would you mind reading it? Translate it into English for
the record.

A. "At the request of the Fuehrer and Reich Chancellor, and
examination" --

Q. Let me read it. It may be easier for you, "At the request
of the Fuehrer and Reich Chancellor, and examination by both
undersigned of the previously presented fundamental question
which is hereby resolved had resulted that the tasks of the
delegates of the Four Years Plan and the tasks of the
Plenipotentiary for War Economy be resolved in closest
cooperation. Additional the fact is agreed to that the
Plenipotentiary for War Economy has without doubt the
position of the highest Reich authority," Signed "Goering"
and "Schacht."

A. Yes. Now can you give me an explanation of it?

Q. You remember first signing the document?

A. Certainly. I don't remember it, but there is no question
about it.

                                                  [Page 499]
Q. All right. You remember, then, having a further
discussion with Goering about this situation?

A. No. But I can absolutely now explain how it has come

Q. Please do.

A. After Goering had taken over the Four Years Plan, and I
must say after he had taken over the control of foreign
exchange already since April `36, but still more after the
Four Years Plan, September `36, he has always tried to get
control of the whole economic policy. One of the objects, of
course, was that as Plenipotentiary for War Economy in the
case of war, and he being only too anxious to get everything
into his hands, he tried to get that away from me. Certainly
as long as I had the position of Minister of Economics I
have certainly objected to that, because after he had got
the foreign exchange and after he had got the Four Years
Plan, I didn't want to give away one thing after the other
and then remain as nothing. Therefore, the last sentence
about the Plenipotentiary, I didn't want to dwindle down,
and that is all.

Q. Now, Goering's explanation of the last sentence might
amuse you. He says that made it definite that you would be
under his jurisdiction, because all the Obersten Behorde
were under him.

A. It may amuse you if I tell you that the last conversation
that I had with Goering on these topics was in November `37,
when Luther for two months had endeavored to unite Goering
and myself and to induce me to further cooperate with
Goering and maintain my position as Minister of Economics.
Then I had a last talk with Goering, and at the end of this
talk Goering said, "But I must have the right to give orders
to you." Then I said, "Not to me, but to my successor." I
have never taken orders from Goering, and would never have
done it, because he was a fool in economics, and I knew
something about it, at least.

Q. Well, I gather that was a culminating. Progressive,
personal business between you and Goering. That seems
perfectly obvious.

A. Certainly.

Q. That was the fundamental reason why you could not keep
your position any more, because you would have been in a
position to take orders from a man whom you did not respect
in economic matters?

A. Absolutely, and this is one of the stages where he tried
to take something away from me, and immediately after my
dismissal, after my resignation, this was also taken.

                                                  [Page 500]
Q. What I am trying to analyze now, if I may for a moment,
is what was it that he was trying to take way from here?

A. He wanted to become Plenipotentiary for the War Economy.

Q. Let's go into the duties of that job for a moment and see
what he was trying to take away from you. There are only two
possibilities as it has been explained to me. If I am wrong,
correct me. One would be the preparation for a mobilization,
and the other would be the actual taking charge of this in
the event of war. Otherwise the post had no meaning. So the
things you resisted his taking away from you, as I see it
was the right to be in charge of the preparation for
mobilization, and, secondly, the right to control in the
event of war?

A. Correct.

[Pages 52-54]

Q. Do you recall why you were discussing as early as 1936
this mobilization business?

A. But sir, I was, as you have stated, Plenipotentiary for
War Economics, and I have considered this as a routine
method for the General Staff of the War Ministry, and
certainly we had discussed these methods.

Q. In other words, you didn't consider it a negative or
negligible task, as I think you first said the first time I
asked you about it?

A. I have never thought of any possibility of mobilization,
but, nevertheless, as a routine work, you have to deal with

Q. That is the only explanation you have of that?

A. Certainly.

Q. Goering at those meetings from time to time would speak
about the possibilities of war. Do you think that was in the
same vein?

A. I don't know whether it was in the same day --

Q. Same vein, the same vein, the same ideas as yours, those

A. I doubt it very much, because all those things were just
those that made me suspicious.

Q. For instance, Goering says, "All means must be considered
from the standpoint of assurance of the direction of war."

A. Yes.

Q. And you were present, of course, and you then replied to
him, in which you suggested that there should be price
fixing. Do you remember that?

A. I don't remember that, but certainly, it's true, if it is
in there.

                                                  [Page 501]
Q. So that, I take it, you actually did occupy this position
that you were named to, as Plenipotentiary for the War

A. Certainly.

Q. And just as the Chief of the General Staff worries in
advance about preparations in the event of mobilization from
the military point of view, so you were concerned with it
from the economic point of view?

A. Certainly.

Q. I think that is all for today, Dr. Schacht. I will
probably see you tomorrow or the next day.

Home ·  Site Map ·  What's New? ·  Search Nizkor

© The Nizkor Project, 1991-2012

This site is intended for educational purposes to teach about the Holocaust and to combat hatred. Any statements or excerpts found on this site are for educational purposes only.

As part of these educational purposes, Nizkor may include on this website materials, such as excerpts from the writings of racists and antisemites. Far from approving these writings, Nizkor condemns them and provides them so that its readers can learn the nature and extent of hate and antisemitic discourse. Nizkor urges the readers of these pages to condemn racist and hate speech in all of its forms and manifestations.