The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

Dissenting Soviet Opinion:
(Part 2 of 2)

[Page 134]

In the spring of 1937, Schacht participated in the military exercises in Godesberg (EC-174).

(e) In his memorandum to Hitler on 3rd May, 1935, entitled the "Financing of Rearmament" Schacht wrote: "A speedy fulfillment of the program for rearmament on a mass scale is the basis of German policy, and, therefore, everything else must be subordinate to this task; the completion of this task, the achievement of this purpose must meet no obstacles . . ." (PS-1168, US-37).

In his speech on 29th November, 1938, Schacht announced that Reichsbank's credit policy made it possible for Germany to create an "unsurpassed machine, and, in turn, this war machine made possible the realization of the aims of our policy" (EC-611, US-622).

One must exclude the supposition that Schacht was not informed as to what purposes these weapons were to serve since he could not but take into consideration their unprecedented scale and an obvious preference for offensive types of weapons (heavy tanks, bombers, and so on). Besides, Schacht knew perfectly well that not a single country intended to wage war on Germany nor had it any reasons to do so.

(a) Schacht utilized the military might growing under his direction to back Germany's territorial demands which grew in proportion to the increase in armaments.

[Page 135]

Schacht testified in Court that "at first he confined himself (in his demands) to the colonies which had once belonged to Germany" (Transcript, Morning Session, 3rd May, 1946).

In September, 1934, during his talk with the American Ambassador Dodd, Schacht pointed out that he desired annexation if possible without war, but through war, if the United States would stay out of it (EC-461, US-58).

In 1935, Schacht announced to the American Consul Fuller: "Colonies are essential to Germany. If it is possible, we shall acquire them through negotiations; if not, we shall seize them." (EC-450, US-629)

Schacht admitted in Court that military pressure put upon Czechoslovakia was "in some measure the result and the fruit of his labor" (Transcript, Morning Session, 3rd May, 1946).

(b) Schacht personally participated in the plunder of private and State property of the countries which became victims of Hitlerite aggressions.

The minutes of the conference of the Military-Economic Staff on 11th March, 1938, in which Schacht participated, state that those present were given Hitler's latest directives about the invasion of Austria. Further, the minutes state: "After this, at the suggestion of Schacht, it was decided that ..all the financial accounting will be made in Reichsmarks at the rate of exchange: two schillings for one Reichsmark" (EC-421, US-645).

Schacht admitted in Court that he personally was in charge of the seizure of the Czechoslovak National Bank after the occupation of Czechoslovakia (Transcript, Morning Session, 3rd May, 1946).

(c) At the beginning of 1940, Schacht offered Hitler his services for negotiations with the United States in regard to the discontinuance of aid to England and he informed Goering of his offer (PS-3700; US-780).

(d) Schacht considered it his duty to greet and congratulate Hitler publicly after the signing of armistice with France, although Schacht, better than anyone else, understood the usurpatory nature of the armistice (German Documentary Film, US-635).

(e) In his letter to Funk on 17th October, 1941, Schacht suggested a more effective exploitation of occupied territory. In this case, too, Schacht acted on his own initiative (EC-504; US-830).

Schacht also participated in the persecution of the Jews:

(a) He testified in Court that he "agreed to the policy of the persecution of the Jews as a matter of principle (Transcript, Afternoon Session, 2nd May, 1946) although, he stated, "to a certain extent" it was a matter of conscience which, however, "was not serious enough to bring about a break" between him and the Nazis (Transcript, Afternoon Session, 2nd May, 1946; US-616).

(b) In his capacity of Minister of Economy, Schacht signed a series of decrees, in accordance with which the property of the Jews in Germany was subject to plunder with impunity (US- 832; US-616). Schacht confirmed in Court the fact that he had signed a series of anti-Semitic decrees (Transcript, Afternoon Session, 2nd May, 1946).

As to the reasons for Schacht's resignation from the post of the Minister of Economy and the Plenipotentiary General for War Economy in November, 1937, and also from the post of the President of the Reichsbank on 20th November, 1939, and finally from the post of he Minister without Portfolio in January, 1943, the evidence submitted establishes the following:

(a) The reason is not Schacht's disagreement with the economic preparation for aggressive wars.

[Page 136]

Three weeks before leaving the Ministry of Economy and the post of Plenipotentiary General for War Economy, Schacht wrote to Goering: "I also don't consider that my opinion can differ from yours on economic policy . . ." (EC-497, US- 775).

In his reply Goering states:

" You promised me your support and collaboration .... You have repeated this promise many times, even after differences of opinion began to creep up between us." (EC- 493, US-642).

Schacht testified in Court that Goering and he only "differed in matters of procedure" (Transcript, Morning Session, 3rd May, 1946).

In the preliminary examination Goering testified that Schacht's leaving the Reichsbank "had no relation to the program of rearmament" (US-648).

The vice-president of the Reichsbank, Puhl, confirmed that Schacht's resignation from the Reichsbank can be explained by "his desire to extricate himself from a dangerous situation" which developed as the result of Schacht's own crooked financial operations (EC-438, US-646).

(b) The reason is not Schacht's disapproval of mass terror conducted by the Hitlerites.

The witness for the Defense, Gisevius, testified that he constantly informed Schacht of the criminal actions of the Gestapo, created by Goering, and that nevertheless, right up to the end of 1936, Schacht looked for "Goering's support" (Transcript, Morning Session, 24th April, 1946).

In his letter to von Blomberg on 124th February, 1935, Schacht suggested that the Gestapo apply "more cautious methods" since the open terror of the Gestapo "hinders the objectives of the armament" (Transcript, Afternoon Session, 2nd May, 1946).

On 30th January, 1937, Schacht was awarded a golden Party insignia by Hitler (EC-500; Transcript, Afternoon Session, 2nd May, 1946). As stated in an official German publication, "he was able to be of greater help to the Party than if he were actually a member of the Party" (EC-460, US-617).

Only in 1943, having understood earlier than many other Germans, the inevitability of the failure of the Hitlerite regime, did Schacht establish contact with the opposition circles, however, doing nothing to help depose this regime. Therefore, it was not by chance that having found out these connections of Schacht, Hitler still spared Schacht's life.

It is thus indisputably established that:

(1) Schacht actively assisted in the seizure of power by the Nazis;

(2) During a period of 12 years Schacht closely collaborated with Hitler;

(3) Schacht provided the economic and financial basis for the creation of the Hitlerite military machine;

(4) Schacht prepared Germany's economy for the waging of aggressive wars;

(5) Schacht participated in the persecution of Jews and in the plunder of territories occupied by the Germans.

Therefore, Schacht's leading part in the preparation and execution of the common criminal plan is proved.

The decision to acquit Schacht is in obvious contradiction with the evidence in possession of the Tribunal.

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