The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

Nazi Conspiracy & Aggression
Individual Responsibility Of Defendants

Walter Funk

(Part 1 of 9)

[Page 715]


A recital of Funk's positions and activities is set forth in a statement made by him (3533-PS). Although Funk signed this statement, he inserted several reservations and denials with respect to certain positions and activities. Funk's submissions in this connection, which are indicated in his statement (3533-PS) should be evaluated in the light of the statements set forth in the collection of relevant excerpts from German publications (3563-PS)

An examination of these excerpts will reveal that the German publications directly contradict every contention which Funk has made with respect to his holding the positions and carrying on the activities listed in his statement (3533-PS). For example, in his comment concerning item (b) of his statement Funk denies that he was Hitler's Personal Economic Adviser during the 1930's. On the other hand, there are four German publications, each of which states unequivocally that Funk was Hitler's Personal Economic Adviser (3563-PS).

As is indicated by these documents, Funk, soon after he joined the Nazi Party in 1931, began to hold important positions in the Party and soon qualified as one of the Nazi inner circle. Thus, he promptly became not only Hitler's Personal Economic Adviser, but also Chief of the Economic Division of the Central Nazi Party Directorate and Chairman of the Party's Committee on Economic Policy (3533-PS). In these capacities, he advanced the Party's drive for mass support by drafting its economic slogans. In 1932, for example, he wrote a pamphlet entitled "Economic Reconstruction Program of the NSDAP", which, after its approval by Hitler, became the Party's official pronouncement on economic matters (3505-PS).

Funk also served as the liaison man between the Nazi Party and the large industrialists, from whom he obtained financial and political support on Hitler's behalf (3505-PS; 2828-PS). Thus, for example, he was present at the meeting of approximately 25 leading industrialists held in Berlin on 20 February 1933 (2828-PS). In the course of this meeting, which was arranged by Goering and attended by Funk, among others, and which was designed to obtain the industrialists' financial and political support for the Nazi program, Hitler and Goering announced some of the fundamental Nazi objectives: the destruction of the parliamentary sys-

[Page 716]

tem in Germany; the crushing of all internal opposition by force, the restoration of the power of the Wehrmacht. In addition, Hitler indicated that force was to be used in solving problems with other nations (D-203). The financial and political support for the Nazis which Funk secured from industry promoted the campaign of force and terror by which the Nazis seized and consolidated their control of Germany.

The importance of Funk's general contribution to the conspirators' accession to power has been described in a book published by the Central Publishing House of the Nazi Party:

"No less important than Funk's accomplishments in the programmatic field in the years 1931 and 1932 was his activity of that time as the Fuehrer's liaison man to the leading men of the German economy in industry, trade, commerce and finance. On the basis of his past work, his personal relations to the German economic leaders were broad and extensive. He was now able to enlist them in the service of Adolf Hitler, and not only to answer their questions authoritatively, but to convince them and win their backing for the Party. At that time, that was terribly important work. Every success achieved meant a moral, political, and economic strengthening of the fighting force of the Party and contributed toward destroying the prejudice that National Socialism is merely a party of class hatred and class struggle." (3505-PS)

After he had helped Hitler become Chancellor, Funk, as Reich Press Chief, participated in the early cabinet meetings, in the course of which the conspirators determined upon the means by which they would secure the passage of the Enabling Act and destroy parliamentary government in Germany (2962-PS; 2963-PS). This law destroyed civil liberties in Germany and marked the conspirators' seizure of political control over Germany.

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