The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

Nazi Conspiracy & Aggression
Individual Responsibility Of Defendants

Gustav Krupp Von Bohlen Und Halbach

(Part 2 of 15)

[Page 776]


(1) With knowledge of the aims and purposes of the Nazi conspiracy, he sought to reorganize the Reich Association of German Industry, of which he was Chairman, so as to bring it into line with the aims of the conspirators and to make it an effective instrument for the execution of their policies.

(a) Upon the invitation of Goering (D-201), Krupp attended a meeting in Berlin on 20 February 1933, during which Hitler, in a speech to a select group of industrialists, announced the conspirators' aims to seize totalitarian control over Germany, to destroy the parliamentary system, to crush all opposition by force, and to restore the power of the Wehrmacht. In the course of this speech, Hitler stated:

"Private enterprise cannot be maintained in the age of Democracy; it is conceivable only if the people have a sound idea of authority and personality. *** Life always tears up humanity. It is therefore the noblest task of a Leader to find ideals that are stronger than the factors that pull the people apart. I recognized even while in the hospital that one had to search for new ideas conducive to reconstruction. I found them in Nationalism, in the value of personality, in the denial of reconciliation between nations, in the strength and power of individual personality. *** If one rejects pacifism, one must put a new idea in its place immediately. Everything must be pushed aside, must be replaced by something better."

"*** We must not forget that all the benefits of culture must be introduced more or less with an iron fist, just as once upon a time the farmers were forced to plant potatoes. For all this, however, courage, and iron will and perseverance are essential."

"*** With the very same courage with which we go to work to make up for what had been sinned during the last 14 years, we have withstood all attempts to move us off the right way. We have turned down the favour (benevolence) of the Catholic Centre Party [Zentrum] to tolerate us.

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Hugemberg has too small a movement. He has only considerably slowed down our development. We must first gain complete power if we want to crush the other side completely. While still gaining power one should not start the struggle against the opponent. Only when one knows that one has reached the pinnacle of power, that there is no further possible upward development, shall one strike. ***"

"Now we stand before the last election. Regardless of the outcome there will be no retreat, even if the coming election does not bring about a decision. One way or another, if the election does not decide, the decision must be brought about even by other means. I have intervened in order to give the people once more the chance to decide their fate by themselves. This determination is a strong asset for whatever must possibly happen later. Does the election bring no result, well, Germany won't go to ruin. Today, as never before, everyone is under the obligation to pledge himself to success. The necessity to make sacrifices has never been greater than now. For Economy I have the one wish that it go parallel with the internal structure to meet a calm future. The question of restoration of the Wehrmacht will not be decided at Geneva, but in Germany, when we have gained internal strength through internal peace. *** There are only two possibilities, either to crowd back the opponent on constitutional grounds, and for this purpose once more this election or a struggle will be conducted with other weapons, which may demand greater sacrifices. I would like to see them avoided. I hope the German people thus recognize the greatness of the hour. It shall decide over the next 10 or probably even 100 years. It will become a turning point in German history, to which I pledge myself with glowing energy." (D-203).

At this same meeting, Goering declared that the impending election of 5 March 1933 would certainly be the last one for the next 10 years, and probably even for the next 100 years (D-203).

In a memorandum dated 22 February 1933 describing this meeting, Krupp wrote that he had expressed to Hitler the gratitude of approximately 25 industrialists present for the clear expression of his views and emphasized, on behalf of all present, that it was time to clarify the political situation in Germany (D-204).

(b) On 25 April 1933, Krupp, as Chairman of the Reich Association of German Industry (Reichsverbandes der Deutschen In-

[Page 778]

dustrie) submitted to Hitler his plan for the reorganization of German industry and in connection therewith, undertook to bring the Association into line with the aims of the conspirators and to make it an effective instrument for the execution of their policies.

1. In the letter of transmittal, Krupp stated that his plan of reorganization was characterized by the desire to coordinate "economic measures and political necessity, adopting the Fuehrer's conception of the New German State" (D-157).

2. In the plan of reorganization itself Krupp stated:

"The turn of political events is in line with the wishes which I myself and the Board of Directors have cherished for a long time. I am convinced that, under the threat of the impoverishment of our people, the machinery of government must be simplified to the utmost. For the same reason I did not fail to recognize a long time ago the necessity of rationalizing our economic system.

"Convinced that the opportunity of the hour must not be missed to obtain the best for our economic system, I am employing the authority bestowed upon me by the Presiding Council to carry out a double task: --

1. In the negotiations with the Reichschancellor and his representatives I shall make it my goal to coordinate, in the field of organization of industrial associations, the economically reasonable with the politically necessary.

2. In reorganizing the Reich Association of German Industry I shall be guided by the idea of bringing the new organization into agreement with the- political aims of the Reich Government and at the same time to make it so rational and forceful that it can be an effective instrument of industrial enterprise, according to the relative importance of the industry." (D-167)

(c) In a speech delivered on 18 October 1933, on the occasion of the first meeting of the Committee for Industrial and Social policy of the Reich Association of German Industry, Krupp reaffirmed his aim to bring the Association into complete accord with the political goals of the Nazi government and stated, inter alia:

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" *** To have united the purposes of an entire Nation, is the great historical achievement of the man in whose strong hands our President has placed the fate of our people. When Reichschancellor and Fuehrer Adolf Hitler called the General Council of Economy together for the first time on the 20th of September, I had the honor to thank him for the confidence which he had put in the men of the practical business world by calling them to the General Council. I pledged to him unrestrained support in his Government in its exceedingly difficult task from all branches and organizations of Economy.

"I may repeat now what I said then: 'The unshakable faith of our Reichschancellor and Fuehrer in the future of our people gives-also to the men of business the courage and the strength to put everything in the reconstruction of a healthy National Economy in a strong National State under National Socialist leadership'.

"You, too, gentlemen, if I am certain of your confidence, are bound to this pledge. It holds in itself, for all of us, the deeply felt obligation to be the guarantors for the unconditional execution of the Fuehrer's will in all links and branches of Industry. May the spirit of devotion to duty which inspires us always dominate this Committee's conferences!

"I ask you, gentlemen, to rise and to join me in the toast: To the venerable President of the German Reich, General Fieldmarshal Von Hindenburg and the German People's Chancellor and Fuehrer, Adolf Hitler: 'Sieg Heil'." (D-353)

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