The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

Nazi Conspiracy & Aggression
Individual Responsibility Of Defendants
Herman Wilhelm Goering
Part 3 of 11)

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The range of police terrorism under Goering's leadership was almost limitless. A glance at a few of his police directives in these early days will indicate the extent and thoroughness with which every dissident voice was silenced:

Directive of 22 June 1933 (Ministerial-Blatt fuer die Preussische innere Verwaltung, 1933, p. 731): Ordered all officials to watch the statements of employees of the Prussian civil service and to denounce to Goering those who made critical remarks ("Miesrnacher" failure to do so regarded as proof of hostile attitude.

Directive of 23 June 1933 (Ministerial-Blatt fuer die Preussische innere Verwaltung, 1933, p. 749): Suppressed all activities of the Social Democratic Party, including meetings and press, and ordered confiscation of its property.

Directive of 30 June 1933, (Ministerial-Blatt fuer die Preussische innere Verwaltung, 1933, p. 793): Ordered the Gestapo authorities to report to the Labor Trustees on political attitudes of workers, particularly in cases of criticism of the regime.

Directive of 15 January 1934 (Ministerial-Blatt fuer die Preussische innere Verwaltung, 1933 p. 137): Ordered the Gestapo and frontier police to keep track of and to watch emigres particularly political emigres and Jews, residing in

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neighboring countries, and ordered them arrested and put into concentration camps if they returned to Germany.

After the elimination of the forces of the opposition, the Nazis felt it necessary to dispose of nonconformists within their own ranks. During the Roehm purge of 30 June 1934, many people were murdered who had nothing to do with the internal SA revolt but were just "not liked very well" (2950- PS). Goering's role in this bloody affair was related less than two weeks later by Hitler in a speech to the Reichstag:

"Meanwhile Minister President Goering had previously received my instructions that in case of a purge, he was to take analogous measures at once in Berlin and in Prussia. With an iron fist he beat down the attack on the National Socialist State before it could develop." (3442-PS)

(c) The Reich, 1933-39. Meanwhile, in the central Reich government, Goering occupied a series of the highest and most influential positions. The broad powers which devolved upon him made him, under Hitler, the Chief Executive of the Nazi State.

With the accession to power, Goering retained the somewhat empty title of Reichstag President but was also appointed Minister Without Portfolio and became a cabinet member. When in an early meeting (15 March 19333) the cabinet discussed the pending Enabling Act (which gave the Cabinet plenary powers of legislation) he offered the suggestion that the required two-thirds majority might be obtained simply by refusing admittance to the Social Democratic delegates (2962- PS). He became Reich Air Minister in May 1933 (2089-PS). In his capacity as Air Minister and Supreme Commander of the Luftwaffe, he sat as a member of and the Fuehrer's deputy on the Reich Defense Council, which was established by the secret law of 21 May 1933 and continued by the secret law of 4 September 1938 (2261-PS; 2194-PS). This Council was a war planning group whose purpose was "to plan preparations and decrees in case of war which later on were published by the Ministerial Council for the Defense of the Reich." (2986-PS)

In 1936, Goering was made Plenipotentiary for the Four-Year Plan and acquired plenary legislative and administrative powers over all-German economic life. (1862-PS)

Goering was a member of the Secret Cabinet Council established in 1938 to act as "an advisory board in the direction of foreign policy" (2031-PS).

The Ministerial Council for the Defense of the Reich, created in 1939, took over, in effect, all the legislative powers of the Cabinet

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which had not been reserved to Hitler's personal control or to Goering as the Delegate for the Four-Year Plan. Goering became the Chairman of this Council. (2018-PS)

Finally as the invading Nazi armies marched into Poland, Hitler announced the designation of Goering as successor designate, the heir apparent of the "New Order."

d) Economic Preparation for War, 1933-1939. April 1936, Goering was appointed Coordinator for Raw Materials and Foreign Exchange and empowered to supervise all State and Party activities in these fields (2827-PS). In this capacity he convened the War Minister, the Minister of Economics, the Reich Finance Minister, the President of the Reichsbank, and the Prussian Finance Minister to discuss inter-agency problems connected with war mobilization. At a meeting of this group on 12 May 1936, when the question of the prohibitive cost of synthetic raw material substitutes arose, Goering said:

"If we have war tomorrow, we must help ourselves by substitutes. Then money will not play any role at all. If that is the case, then we must be ready to create the prerequisites for that in peace." (1301-PS)

At a subsequent meeting of the same men on 27 May 1936, Goering suggested a program of plant construction for the production of synthetic substitutes but warned against the financial strain involved in excessive overexpansion. He opposed any limitations dictated by orthodox financial policy and stated:

"All measures are to be considered from the standpoint of assured waging of war.

"Ready reserves must ordinarily be accumulated already in peace in certain amounts." (1301-PS).

On the Nurnberg Party Day in the fall of 1936, Hitler proclaimed the establishment of the Four-Year Plan, a comprehensive program of national self-sufficiency, and announced the appointment of Goering as "Plenipotentiary" in charge. In October, a decree was promulgated which implemented this announcement and provided for the execution of the plan. (1862-PS)

It is clear from Goering's own statements in an interrogation on 25 June 1945 that the purpose of the Plan was to place Germany on a war footing economically:

"Goering: 'My job was to organize the German economy and my energy was put to work to get things started and carried through ***. My main task was to secure the food supply for Germany for many years ahead and to make Germany self-sufficient. The most important items were iron,

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petroleum and rubber. *** The industry only wanted to have very high grade Swedish iron for business reasons. There was danger that during the war Germany would not be able to get iron from Sweden and there would be no iron.'

Interrogator: 'What war are you talking about? This is 1936 you're speaking of.'

Goering: 'Any possibility of war. Perhaps with Russia, or in case there was war with anyone at any time and anywhere.' "

When asked the reasons why the Four-Year Plan lost importance in 1942, Goering explained that his preoccupation with the Air Force did not allow him the necessary concentration on the affairs of the Four-Year Plan, and stated:

"The main task of the Four-Year Plan had been accomplished. This task was to get Germany ready."

These answers confirm the comment Goering made in 1936, that his chief task as Plenipotentiary for the Four-Year Plan was "to put the whole economy on a war footing within four years." (EC-408) As Plenipotentiary for the Four-Year Plan, Goering was virtually the economic dictator for Germany with control over all other interested Reich agencies. He was the "boss of the economy," and all important decisions had to be referred to him.

Two important conferences show clearly how Goering inspired and directed the preparation of the German economy for aggressive war. On 8 June 1938 he addressed a number of leading German aircraft manufacturers, explained the political situation, and laid the groundwork for a vast increase in aircraft production. After stating that war with Czechoslovakia was imminent and boasting that the German air force was already superior in quality and quantity to the English, he continued:

"If Germany wins the war, she will be the greatest power in the world, dominating the world market, and Germany will be a rich nation. For this goal, risks must be taken. The only thing that matters is increased output regarding quantity and quality. Even if the manufacturers know that their present policies may mean their bankruptcy within three years, they will have to do it all the same *** I want you to be perfectly resolved, today already, how you will run your business when war comes. The earlier the manufacturers make their preparations for mobilization today, the less danger there will be of work being held up. It must be determined for every worker whether he is essential for production upon outbreak of war, and measures must be taken to

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secure his deferment in case of mobilization. (3441- PS). An executive will be put in charge to work on nothing but the complete preparation of each plant for mobilization day." (R-140)

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