The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

Fourth Day: Friday, 23rd November, 1945
(Part 3 of 7)

THE PRESIDENT: Colonel Storey, I understood from you that you proposed to make available to the defendants the trial briefs which contain certain observations upon the documents put in.

COLONEL STOREY: That is right, sir. They have been, are now, and will be completed during the week-end, and, as I understand defence counsel were willing for the briefs to be furnished in English, and if they want a translation, there will be German speaking officers in Defendants' Information Centre at their service. I understood that was agreeable yesterday.

Sir, while I am on my feet, and in order to obviate some misapprehension, for the benefit of defence counsel, when we refer to document numbers as, say, 1850-PS, in many instances that is a document which is a copy of a citation or a decree in the Reichsgesetzblatt, and, therefore, is not a separate document of ours. We have placed In the Defendants' Information Centre ample copies and sets of the Reichsgesetzblatt, and I dare say that one-half of the documents referred to in Major Walllis's presentation will be found in the Reichsgesetzblatt. I assure your Honour that over the week-end we will do the utmost to explain to defence counsel and to make available to them all information that we have and will do so in the future in advance.

THE PRESIDENT: Thank you. The Tribunal will now adjourn for ten minutes.

(The Tribunal then took a ten-minute recess, after which proceedings continued as follows:)

COLONEL STOREY: If your Honour pleases, the next subject to be presented is the economic preparation for aggressive war, by Mr. Dodd.

MR. THOMAS J. DODD: May it please the Tribunal, Mr. President, and Members of the Tribunal: In view of the discussions which took place just before the recess period, I believe it proper for me to inform the Tribunal that a list of the documents to which I shall make reference, has been lodged in the Defendants' Information Centre, and photostatic copies of the originals have also been placed there this morning.

It is my responsibility on behalf of the Chief Prosecutor for the United States of America to present the proof with reference to the allegations of the indictment under Section XV E, on page 6 of the English version of the Indictment, and particularly beginning with the second paragraph under E, which is entitled, "The Acquiring of Totalitarian Control in Germany, Economic, and the Economic Planning and Mobilisation for Aggressive War." The second paragraph:-

" 2. They used organisations of German business as instruments of economic mobilisation for war.
3. They directed Germany's economy towards preparation and equipment of the military machine. To this end they directed finance, capital investment, and foreign trade.
4. The Nazi conspirators, and in particular the industrialists among them, embarked upon a huge rearmament programme, and set out to produce and develop huge quantities of materials of war and to create a powerful military potential."
The fifth paragraph under that same heading A, and the final one in so far as my responsibility goes this morning, is that which reads
"With the object of carrying through the preparation for war the Nazi conspirators set up a series of administrative agencies and authorities. For example, in 1936 they established for this purpose the office of the Four-Year Plan with the defendant Goering as plenipotentiary, vesting it with overriding control over Germany's economy. Furthermore, on 26th August, 1939, immediately before launching their aggression against Poland, they appointed the defendant Funk Plenipotentiary for Economics; and on 30th August, 1939, they set up the Ministerial Council for the Defence of the Reich to act as a War Cabinet."

[Page 127]

I will not take the time of this Tribunal to prove what the world already knows that the Nazi conspirators rearmed Germany on a vast scale. I propose to place in evidence the secret records of the plans and deliberations of the inner councils of the Nazis, which prove that the reorganisation of the German government, the financial wizardry of the defendant Schacht, and the total mobilisation of the German economy largely under the defendants Schacht, Goering and Funk, were directed at a single goal - aggressive war.

I should like to hand to the Court at this point the so- called document book which contains the English translation of the original German document. I do not make an offer at this time of these documents in evidence, but hand them to the Court for the purpose of easing the task of the Court in following the discussion concerning these documents. I might say at this point also that I should like to submit at a little later date a brief for the assistance of the Court after I have concluded my remarks before it this morning.

The significance of the economic measures adopted and applied by the conspirators can, of course, be properly appraised only if they are placed in the larger social and political context of Nazi Germany. The economic measures were adopted while the conspirators were, as has already been shown, directing their vast propaganda to the glorification of war. They were adopted while the conspirators were perverting physical training into training for war. They were adopted while, as my colleagues will show, these conspirators were threatening to use force and were planning to use force to achieve their material and political objects. In short, if your Honour pleases, these measures constitute in the field of economics and government administration the same preparation for aggressive war which dominated every aspect of the Nazi State.

In 1939 and 1940 after the Nazi aggression upon Poland, Holland, Belgium, and France, it became perfectly clear to the world that the Nazi conspirators had created probably the greatest instrument of aggression in history. That machine was built up in its entirety in a period of less than one decade. In May of 1939, Major-General George Thomas, former Chief of the Military-Economic Staff in the Reich War Ministry, reported that the German Army had grown from seven infantry divisions in 1933 to thirty-nine infantry divisions, among them four fully motorised and three mountain divisions; eighteen corps headquarters; five panzer divisions; twenty-two machine-gun battalions. Moreover, General Thomas stated that the German Navy had greatly expanded by the launching, among other vessels, of two battleships Of 35,000 tons, four heavy cruisers of 10,000 tons, and other warships; further, that the Luftwaffe had grown to a point where it had a strength of 260,000 men, twenty-one squadrons, consisting Of 240 echelons, and thirty- three anti-aircraft batteries.

He likewise reported that out of the few factories permitted by the Versailles Treaty there had arisen - and I now quote him from the document EC 28, which consists of a lecture which he delivered on the 24th May, 1939 - in the Nazi Foreign Office: "The mightiest armament industry"; or rather he reported that out of the few factories permitted by the Treaty of Versailles there had arisen "the mightiest armament industry now existing in the world. It has attained the performances which in part equal the German wartime performances and in part even surpasses them. Germany's crude steel production is to-day the largest in the world after the Americans. The aluminium production exceeds that of America and of other countries of the world very considerably. The output of our rifle, machine gun, and artillery factories is at present larger than that of any other State."

That quotation, I repeat, was from a document hearing the lettering "EC" and the number after the dash "28."

These results - the results which General Thomas spoke about in his lecture in May of 1939--were achieved only by making preparation for war the dominating objective of German economy. And, to quote General Thomas from that same

[Page 128]

speech, he stated: "History will know only a few examples of cases where a country has directed, even in peace time, all its economic forces so deliberately and systematically towards the requirements of war, as Germany was compelled to do in the period between the two World Wars."*

[*NB. This quotation is not taken from the lecture given by General Thomas in may 1939, but from his manuscript entitled "Basic Facts for a History of German War Armaments Economy" (1944).]

That quotation from General Thomas will be found in the document 2353-PS.

THE PRESIDENT (interposing): Mr. Dodd, it would help me personally if I knew where, in the document, you were reading from.

MR. DODD: Very well, Sir. Would you like me to refer back to number EC-28.

THE PRESIDENT: I have it before me, but I haven't the particular passage in the document which you were reading.

MR. DODD: That document - the one which I have just been reading, your Honour - is document 2353-PS.

THE PRESIDENT: It is not in EC-28?

MR. DODD: No. It is another quotation from General Thomas, but from another writing of his.


MR. DODD: The document is 2353-PS. The passage will be found on the third page of that document.

THE PRESIDENT: I seem to have only two pages of that document 2353-PS.

MR. DODD: I am sorry; there should be a third page.

THE PRESIDENT: There is a page in between?

MR. DODD: There should be a third page. There may be one page missing.

THE PRESIDENT: Oh, yes; I have it now.

MR. DODD: The task of mobilising the German economy for aggressive war began promptly after the Nazi conspirators' seizure of power. It was entrusted principally to the defendants, Goering and Funk.

The defendant Schacht, as is well known, was appointed President of the Reichsbank in March of 1933 and Minister of Economics in August of 1934. The world did not know, however, that the responsibility for the execution of this programme was entrusted to the office of the Four Year Plan under the defendant Goering.

I should now like to call to your Honour's attention document EC-408, and I should also like to refer at this time to another document for your Honour's attention while I discuss the material, which is number 2261-PS. To continue.

Nor did the world know that the defendant Schacht was designated Plenipotentiary for the War Economy on 21St May, 1935, with complete control over the German civilian economy for war production in the Reich Defence Council, established by a top secret Hitler decree.

I invite your Honour's attention to document 2261-PS, which I referred to a few minutes ago.

The defendant Schacht recognised that the preparation for war came before all else for, in a memorandum concerning the problem of financing rearmament written on 3rd May, 1935, he stated that his comments were based on the assumption that the accomplishment of the armament programme--

THE PRESIDENT (interposing): Pardon me, but you referred us to document 2261.

MR. DODD: Yes, your Honour.

THE PRESIDENT: But you haven't read anything from it.

MR. DODD: I did not; I merely referred the Court to it since it -

THE PRESIDENT: (interposing): It would help us, I think, if, when you refer to a document, you refer to some particular passage in it.

MR. DODD: Very well.

THE PRESIDENT: I think it must be the middle paragraph in the document: "The Fuehrer has nominated the President of the Directorate of the Reichsbank, Dr. Schacht."

[Page 129]

MR. DODD: Yes, that is the paragraph to which I wish to make reference. If your Honour pleases, I refer to the second paragraph, or the middle paragraph, which states, in a letter dated 24th June, 1935, at Berlin:
"The Fuehrer and Reichs Chancellor has nominated the President of the Directorate, Dr. Schacht, to be Plenipotentiary General for the War Economy."
I might point out, in addition to the second paragraph, the last paragraph or the last sentence of that letter, which reads: "I point out the necessity of strictest secrecy once more"; the letter being signed, "von Blomberg."

Through Schacht's financial genius monetary measures were devised to restore German industry to full production; and through the control of imports and exports, which he devised under his plan of 1934, German production was channelled in accordance with the requirements of the German war machine.

I shall, with the Court's permission, later discuss the details of documentary proof of this assertion.

In 1936, with an eye to the experience in the First World War, the Nazi conspirators embarked on an ambitious plan to make Germany completely self-sufficient in strategic war materials such as rubber, gasoline, and steel, in a period of four years, so that the Nazi conspirators would be fully prepared for aggressive war. The responsibility for the execution of this programme was entrusted to the office of the Four-Year Plan under the defendant Goering - and at this point I should like to refer to the document bearing the number and the lettering EC-408. It is dated the 30th day of December, 1936, marked "Secret Command Matter", and entitled, "Report, Memorandum on the Four-Year Plan and Preparation of the War Economy."

This document sets out that the Fuehrer and Reich Chancellor has conferred powers in regard to mobilisation preparations in the economic field that need further definition. In the third paragraph it refers specifically to Minister President, Generaloberst Goering, as Commissioner of the Four-Year Plan, by authority of the Fuehrer and Reich Chancellor granted the 18th day of October, 1936. The existence of this programme involved the reorganisation and control of the whole German economy for war.

Again referring to Major General Thomas - and specifically to our document EC-27 - General Thomas, in a lecture on the 28th of January, 1939, made at the Staff Instructor's Course, stated:

"The National Socialist State, soon after taking over power, reorganised the German economy in all sections and directed it towards a military view-point, which had been requested by the Army for years. Due to the reorganisation, agriculture, commerce and professions become those powerful instruments the Fuehrer needs for his extensive plans, and we can say to-day that Hitler's mobile politics, as well as the powerful efforts of the Army and economy, would not have been possible without the necessary reorganisation by the National Socialist Government. We can now say that the economic organisation as a whole corresponds with the needs, although slight adjustments will have to be made yet. These reorganisations made a new system of economics possible which was necessary in view of our internal and foreign political situation as well as our financial problems. The directed economy, as we have it to-day concerning agriculture, commerce and Industry, is not only the expression of the present State principles, but at the same time also the economy of the country's defence."
If your Honour pleases, this programme was not undertaken in a vacuum it was deliberately designed and executed to provide the necessary instrument of the Nazi conspirators' plans for aggressive war.

In September of 1934 the defendant Schacht frankly acknowledged to the American Ambassador in Berlin that the Hitler Party was absolutely committed to war, and the people too ready and willing.

[page 130]

That quotation is found in the Ambassador's diary and is document 2832-PS, particularly on page 176 of that diary.

At the same time, the defendant Schacht promulgated his new plan for the control of imports and exports in the interest of rearmament. A year later he was appointed Plenipotentiary for the War Economy by the top secret decree referred to a few minutes ago.

In September, 1936, the defendant Goering announced - at a meeting attended by the defendant Schacht and others - that Hitler had issued instructions to the Reich Minister on the basis that the show-down with Russia is inevitable, and added that "all measures have to be taken just as if we were actually in the stage of imminent danger of war."

I refer the Court to document EC-416. Before I discuss the quotation I might indicate that this document is also marked a secret Reich matter in the minutes of the Cabinet meeting of 4th September, 1936, at 12 o'clock noon. It tells who was present: the defendant Goering, von Blomberg, the defendant Schacht, and others.

On the second page of that document, in the second paragraph, is found the quotation by Goering. It starts from the basic thought that: "The show-down with Russia is inevitable. What Russia has done in the field of reconstruction we too can do."

On the third page of that document, in the second paragraph, Goering stated: "All measures have to be taken just as if we were actually in the stage of imminent danger of war."

In the same month the office of the Four-Year Plan was created with the mission of making Germany self-sufficient for war in four years. I refer back, at this point, to document EC-408, and I particularly refer your Honour to the third paragraph, again, of that document, where the statement is made as regards the war economy: Minister President Generaloberst Goering sees it as his task, within four years, to put the entire economy in a state of readiness for war.

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