The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)
Nuremberg, war crimes, crimes against humanity

The Trial of German Major War Criminals

Sitting at Nuremberg, Germany
2nd May to 13th May, 1946

One Hundred Ninteenth Day: Thursday, 2nd May, 1946
(Part 9 of 12)

[MR. JUSTICE JACKSON continues his cross examination of Hjalmar Schacht]

[Page 33]

Q. So there will be no misunderstanding about that. And you deny that von Blomberg was telling the truth, when he says that he reported to you in writing those facts?

A. Yes, unfortunately I must deny it. Evidently he does not remember.

Q. Now, you testified yesterday, or the day before, that the so-called New Plan had nothing to do with the armament programme, did you not?

A. Nothing in particular with armament.

Q. Oh, nothing in particular.

A. No. I mean, of course, that the Tribunal was expressly asked whether I was to discuss the New Plan here and whether it was to be discussed at your cross-examination. I am prepared to inform you now about the New Plan before you -

Q. Now, Dr. Schacht you have no objection to answering my questions, have you?

A. Certainly not.

Q. I am referring to the answer which you gave - the one which you were not allowed to discuss. "Question: Some of your economic policies during the time you were Minister of Economy, which have been cited as being in preparation for war, were the so-called New Plan. What was that?"

[Page 34]

And your answer:
"May I state first of all that the New Plan had nothing at all to do with rearmament."
And then you began going into an explanation of the New Plan, which the Tribunal did not allow, and I am asking you only this question:

Did you not say, in your speech on the Miracle of Finance, on the 29th day of November, 1938, after quoting a great number of figures, "These figures show how much the New Plan contributed to the execution of the armament programme as well as to the securing of our food."

Did you say that or didn't you?

A. Yes.

Q. That is Document 611-EC, Exhibit USA 622.

Q. Now, I understood you to say in your testimony that you really didn't have anything to do socially with Hitler or with the other Nazis, and that you refused their invitation to luncheon at the Reichschancellery, and one of the chief reasons was that those present showed such abject humility to Hitler. Did you say that?

A. Yes.

Q. Now, I want to read to you from your speech, Document 501- EC, your inaugural speech on the occasion of the Fuehrer's birthday. This was a public speech, by the way, wasn't it?

A. I don't know. I don't remember.

Q. You made a speech on the Fuehrer's birthday on 21st April, 1937, published in the newspapers?

A. Maybe.

Q. "We are meeting together here to remember with respect and love the man to whom the German people entrusted the control of its destiny more than four years ago."

And then, after some other remarks, you say, "With the limitless passion of a glowing heart and the infallible instinct of a born statesman, Adolf Hitler, in a struggle which he led for 14 years with calm logic, has won for himself the soul of the German people."

Was that a part of your published and public speech?

A. I assume that you have quoted it quite correctly. I do not believe that anyone, on the occasion of the birthday celebration of the head of a State, could say anything very much different. Mr. Justice Jackson, may I make one request. You have completely passed over the New Plan, while the Tribunal has pointed out that it was to be discussed here in cross-examination. If you are not going to refer to the New Plan, may I ask that the New Plan be discussed again in re- examination by my counsel.

Q. I did not ask you what the New Plan was; I asked whether your statement that it had nothing to do with armaments was true or not. But if your counsel wants to ask about it, it is open to ruling by the Tribunal. You quoted today Hitler's letter of 19th January, 1939, in which you were dismissed from the presidency of the Reichsbank, and you did not quote the concluding sentence, as I recall it, which reads: "I am happy to be able to avail myself of your services for the solution of new tasks in your position as Reich Minister." That is a correct quotation, is it not?

A. I refer to the testimony by the witness Gisevius, who has already said that outwardly Hitler would never indicate that there was dissension between himself and his officials, but that he always attempted to give a false impression to the world. After January, 1939, Hitler never asked for my opinion or my co-operation.

Q. Were you asked by anyone else?

A. No. I cited the occasions when I was asked for assistance this morning. That was in connection with Belgium and in connection with the periodical Das Reich. I think that was all.

[Page 35]

Q. And you performed no functions whatever in reference to Belgium?

A. No.

Q. Now, I quote your letter of 17th October, 1940, to the Reich Minister for Economics, Document 504-EC, Exhibit USA 830. At that time you had ceased to be President of the Reichsbank, had you not?

A. Yes. I was only a Minister without portfolio.

Q. "So that the German banks in the occupied western territories need not work side by side, or rather against each other, you had assigned the Deutsche Bank the task of clearing the way for closer economic co-operation with Holland, and you entrusted the Dresdner Bank with the same task for Belgium." And you go on to describe that situation and say:

"In order to remove this difficulty, you, Herr Reich Minister, have agreed that the undersigned comply with the requests of both banking houses for an objective expression of opinion in this question. I have subsequently discussed the situation with both banks, and it was confirmed in the course of the conversation, that at present there is no tendency on the part of Dutch or Belgian financial institutions to enter into general ties with the German business men."
Do you recall?

A. Yes, I remember it, now that you have read it to me. May I make a statement, or what was your question?

Q. I just wondered if you remembered that.

A. Yes, and I ask permission to make a statement. It concerns -

Q. If you think it needs explaining -

A. I would think so; but, of course, I leave that to the Tribunal. If I may speak; it concerns a rivalry between two large banks. Both these large banks approached me, as a former banker and President of the Reichsbank, to decide the matter, and I did. I really don't see what that has to do with the official participation in the Belgian administration.

Q. And the purpose of your intervention was to avoid misunderstandings in the occupied country between the banking interests of the occupied countries and the German banks, was it not?

A. Certainly, they were to work together peacefully.

Q. Yes. Although you have said to the Tribunal that you were entirely opposed. to the Germans being in there at all?

A. Of course. But now that they were there I tried to keep peace.

Q. You also were approached by Krupp von Bohlen about raising a fund known as the "Hitler spending fund," were you not?

A. No.

Q. You never were?

A. Never.

Q. Well, that is most unfortunate - that your name should be connected with -

A. Yes, I know the letter.

Q. You never received such a letter?

A. Yes, I know the letter, but I was not assigned the task of raising that donation.

Q. Well, you assisted in raising it, didn't you?

A. No.

Q. Did you contribute to it?

A. I, personally, certainly not. I don't know what you are accusing me of.

Q. I thought you knew about the letter from von Bohlen.

A. Yes, but I ask you of what are you accusing me. Please tell me.

Q. Did you raise any money or help to organize a loan with Krupp von Bohlen in May of 1933 - the Hitler spending fund?

A. No.

Q. How did you answer Krupp von Bohlen's letter asking you to do so?

[Page 36]

A. Would you please remind me of what Krupp von Bohlen wrote to me at the time?

Q. Have you the letter of 29th of May?

A. Yes, one moment, please, I have nearly finished. May I reply now? From this - .

Q. First of all, did you receive such a letter?

A. Yes, of course.

Q. All right. Tell us what happened.

A. In that letter, Herr von Bohlen informed me that industry and other economic circles, such as agriculture, etc., intended to organize a joint Hitler donation, in order to combine in one collection the wild Party collections which were making the entire country insecure. He informed me of this, and also of the fact that a board of trustees was to be appointed for this Hitler donation. I want to say that I never joined the board of trustees and was not a member of it. He further informed me that the representatives of the banks, Dr. Fischer and Dr. Mosler, would contact me and inform me about these things. That is all that the letter says.

MR. JUSTICE JACKSON: That I offer as Exhibit USA 831.

Q. Will you look at the following letter of 30th of May, 1933, which says they had the opportunity of mentioning it to you?

A. One moment, please. I don't think the letter is in my document book. No, it is not here.

(A paper was handed to the witness.)

Q. I asked you to read the letter 29th of May first; one of the 29th May, and of the 30th. The 29th of May one has not been translated.

A. I see. Just a minute. I read.

(Pause.) (Through the interpreter.) This letter never reached me. It has been crossed out and apparently it was not sent, because von Bohlen and I had a personal conversation to which he refers in the letter of the following day, the 30th of May; the letter begins: "As Dr. Hottgen, and I had the opportunity of mentioning to you yesterday... " That apparently was a personal conversation.

Q. Yes, and you had also said, "You were kind enough to promise to obtain for me from Messrs. Otto Christian Fischer and Dr. Mosler full particulars and especially information as to how far banks, which are public corporations, can participate in this task."

A. No, Mr. Justice Jackson, it does not say that in the letter. Please, will you be good enough to read the letter of the 29th of May? Where does it say that I spoke to Dr. Fischer or would speak to Dr. Mosler?

Q. Do you deny receiving the letter of the 29th?

A. Yes.

Q. You never received it?

A. No.

Q. Do you deny having a conversation with Krupp von Bohlen- Halbach, the substance of which is set forth in that letter?

A. No ... One moment. Please, let me answer. I do not wish to be accused of anything without replying. I did not receive that letter on the 29th of May, nor did I receive it later. Instead, there was a personal conversation. The subject of that conversation is contained in the letter of May 30th, which we read before, and which I received. You have just asserted that I had promised Krupp von Bohlen to speak to Dr. Fischer and Dr. Mosler. The letter makes no mention of that.

Q. Does it not say so in the memorandum which you say was replaced by a conversation? That is what I am trying to ask you.

A. At any rate, I did not promise to talk to the gentleman.

Q. Anything more you want to say?

A. No.

[Page 37]

Q. Now, yesterday, I think it was, you testified that you had made public statements against the terror policy of the regime, and in evidence you quoted from your Konigsberg speech.

A. Yes.

Q. Unfortunately, Dr. Schacht, you stopped just at the point where I got interested in it.

A. Yes, that is generally the case. (Laughing.)

Q. After you had stated that there are people who ran Germany - let me quote the part you quoted, because it is important in connection - .

A. Quote the whole thing.

Q. Yes. This is what you quoted:

"Those are the people who heroically smear window-panes in the middle of the night, who brand every German who trades in a Jewish store as a traitor, who condemn every former freemason as worthless, and who, in the just fight against priests and ministers, who talk politics from the pulpit, cannot themselves distinguish between religion and misuse of the pulpit. The goal at which these people aim is generally correct and good."
That is what you quoted?

A. Yes.

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