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 and Twentieth Day: Friday, 3rd May, 1946
(Part 12 of 12)

[Page 93]

DR. DIX: May I begin with my documents? I can make the presentation of documents very brief and I am sure that I will conclude it before the end of the session, because I had an opportunity to submit a large portion of my documents during the interrogation of witnesses. May I make the general request to take judicial notice of everything I have not read and everything I do not propose to read. In this connection, I should like to point out that the entire contents of my document book have, with one exception, either been submitted or will be submitted now as exhibits. The exception, the document which has not been submitted, is Exhibit 32. That is the frequently mentioned article of the Basler Nachrichten of 14th January, 1946. Exhibit 32, which for the reasons mentioned yesterday, has not been and will not be submitted by me.

I come now to volume one of my document book, to the exhibits which have not been submitted yet; that is, first Exhibit No. 5, Adolf Hitler's Reichstag speech, 23rd May, 1933. That exhibit was read by Schacht in the course of his interrogation and is now being submitted.

[Page 94]

I further submit Exhibit 23, the letter from Schacht to Goering, of 30th November, 1942. Although that letter has been submitted by the prosecution, we submit it again, and for the following reasons: In the copy which was submitted by the prosecution, the date and the year was left out and, of course, as it has been translated literally, also in our copy. However, a confirmatory note by Professor Kraus based on the testimony given by Schacht has enabled us to make a note on it to the effect that it must be the letter of 30th November, 1942, because it was that letter which caused the dismissal in January, 1943- It is only submitted in order to make it easier for the Tribunal to ascertain the date. That was Exhibit 23.

Then I wish to submit Exhibit 27. I am not going to read it. I only ask you to take judicial notice of it. That is the address given by Dr. Schacht at the celebration meeting of the Reich Economic Chamber of January, 1937.

Then I submit Exhibit 29, excerpts from the book by Gisevius, which we want to put in evidence and I ask you to take judicial notice. I will not read anything.

Exhibit No. 33, in my Document Book is a letter from a certain Morton, a former citizen of Frankfurt on Main, who emigrated to England, a man who was highly respected in Frankfurt. The letter is directed to the Treasury Solicitor in England and we have received it here from the prosecution. I also ask that judicial notice be taken of its contents and want to read only one sentence on the last page. I quote:

"I last heard from Schacht indirectly. Lord Norman, who was then Mr. Montagu Norman, Governor of the Bank of England, told me confidentially in 1939, shortly before the outbreak of the war, that he had just come back from Basle where he had seen Schacht, who sent me his greetings. Lord Norman also told me that Schacht, who bad returned to Germany from Basle, was in great personal danger as he was very much in disgrace with the Nazis."
That concludes Volume I of my Document Book and I pass on to Volume II, which begins with the affidavits. I must go through the individual affidavits, but I shall not read any.

The first is Exhibit No. 34, which has frequently been quoted, the affidavit of the Banker and Swedish Consul General, Schniewind, who is at present in Munich. It is a very instructive and very exhaustive affidavit and in order to save time - there are eight pages which would take up a lot of time - I will confine myself to what I have read from this affidavit; I ask the Tribunal to take judicial notice of the remainder. It has already been submitted. However, I still have to submit Exhibit 35, which has not yet been submitted. I beg your pardon, but it has been submitted before. It is the affidavit of Dr. Franz Reuter. I submitted it when I spoke here about the tendentious nature of this biography. I ask you to take judicial notice of the rest of this affidavit.

The next Exhibit 36, is an affidavit by Oberregierungsrat, Dr. von Scherpenberg, formerly Embassy Counsellor at the Embassy in London, afterwards departmental chief at the Foreign Office and now at the Ministry of Justice in Munich, the son-in-law of Dr. Schacht. I have read a passage and I ask that judicial notice be taken of the unread portion.

The next Exhibit 37-A. It has been submitted. Here also a passage on Page 154 of the German text has been read, about the warning signal given abroad when Schacht resigned as Reichsbank President. I ask that judicial notice be taken of the remainder.

The next affidavit is by the same gentleman, who was also a colleague of Dr. Schacht in the Reichsbank Directorate at the same date as the witness Vocke, whom we have just heard. I submit it. There is no need to read anything. I only ask you to take judicial notice of its contents.

[Page 95]

The next affidavit, 37-C, is by the same gentleman, and has already been submitted. I ask you to take judicial notice of its contents. There is no need to read anything.

The next Exhibit 38, an affidavit by General Thomas. It has not been submitted yet, and I submit it now and ask to be permitted to read one passage, beginning on the first page, that is, Page 172 of the English text and Page 164 of the German text.

"Question: Schacht claims to have influenced Blomberg to delay rearmament. Can you give any information on this matter? When was it? "Answer: I was Chief of the Army Economic Staff, that is the Army Economic and Armament Office at the Supreme Command of the Wehrmacht (OKW), from 1934 to the time of my dismissal in January, 1943. In this capacity I had connection with the Reich Minister of Economic Affairs and Reichsbank President Hjalmar Schacht. Up till 1936 Schacht undoubtedly promoted rearmament by making available the necessary means. From 1936 on he used every opportunity to influence Blomberg to reduce the tempo and extent of rearmament. His reasons were as follows:
1. Danger to the currency.

2. Insufficient production of consumer goods.

3. Danger to foreign relations, which Schacht saw in the excessive armament of Germany.

Concerning the last point he frequently spoke to Blomberg and me and said that on no account must rearmament be allowed to lead to a new war. These were also the reasons which led him to hold out to Blomberg in 1936 and again in 1937 the threat that he would resign. On both of these occasions I was delegated by Blomberg to dissuade Schacht from carrying out his threat to resign. I was present during the conference between Blomberg and Schacht in 1937."
I ask you to take judicial notice of the remainder of that affidavit by General Thomas.

The next Exhibit is 39, and parts of it have been read, that is to say, the part Schacht played in the incident of 2oth July together with General Lindemann, the affidavit by Colonel Gronau. I ask the Tribunal to take judicial notice of the remainder.

The same applies to the next Exhibit 40. That is a sworn statement, also by a colleague of Schacht in the Finance Ministry, Dr. Asmis, now in retirement. I have also read parts of this already, namely the passages concerning the happenings at the time of the dismissal as Minister of Economics; and I ask you to take judicial notice of the remainder.

Then we come to Exhibit 41, which is the affidavit by State Secretary in retirement, Karl Christian Schmidt. I have not yet read anything and I ask to be permitted to read two passages.

The first one is on Page 182 of the German text; Page i go of the English text:

"When the Bruning Cabinet, which had been arranged by General von Schleicher" - That is not legible. I think that should be different, but that is not legible - "When that was torpedoed by Schleicher himself, Schacht considered the early appointment of Hitler as head of the Government to be unavoidable. He pointed out that the great mass of the German people said 'Yes' to National Socialism, and that the left as well as the centre had come to a state of complete, passive resignation. The short life of the transition Cabinets of Papen and Schleicher was clear to him from the very beginning.

"Schacht decisively advocated the co-operation in National Socialism of men experienced in their respective fields, without acceptance of its programme as a whole, which he always referred to ironically - later frequently called it a really bestial ideology in conversation with me; but he held that the influencing of developments from important inner-power positions was an

[Page 96]

absolute patriotic duty, and he strongly condemned emigration and the resort to easy armchair criticism."
And then on Page 184 of the German text, 192 of the English text, two very short passages:
"I recall numerous talks with Dr. Schacht in which he stated that war was an economic impossibility and simply a crazy idea, as, for instance, when he was in Mulheim at the house of Dr. Fritz Thyssen, who was, closely associated with Goering and Hitler before 1933, but was in strong opposition from 1934 on, and who also opposed any idea of war as madness."
And then, further down on the same page, only one sentence:
"When Schacht spoke to me he used to refer ironically to the Himmler-Rosenberg Lebensraum plans against Russia as an example of the mad presumption of extremist circles. Schacht's special fad was an understanding with England."
and so on; and I ask you to take judicial notice of the remainder of the document. The same applies to the whole of Exhibit 42, an affidavit by the director of the Upper Silesian Coke Works, Berkenmeyer.

I come now to Exhibit 43. That has already been submitted and read in part. It is the correspondence between the publisher of Ambassador Dodd's Diary and Sir Neville Henderson. I ask you to take judicial notice of the part not yet read, and whatever comes after Exhibit 44 has been submitted. I ask you to take judicial notice of its contents, and I forgo the reading of it.

That brings me to the end of my presentation in the case of Schacht.

THE PRESIDENT: Now the Tribunal will continue the case against the defendant Funk.

DR. SAUTER (Counsel for Funk): Mr. President, with your permission, I call first the defendant Dr. Funk himself to the witness box.

WALTER EMANUEL FUNK, a witness, took the stand and testified as follows:


Q. Will you state your full name, please?

A. Walter Emanuel Funk.

Q. Will you repeat this oath after me:

I swear by God, the Almighty and Omniscient, that I will speak the pure truth and will withhold and add nothing.

(The witness repeated the oath.)

THE PRESIDENT: You may sit down.


DR. SAUTER: Mr. President, may I begin with one observation: The defendant Funk has been a sick man for many years now, and before he came into the prison he had been in hospital for some time. He was supposed to undergo an operation, which, however, due to conditions at the time, could not be carried out. He still is under medical treatment. In consideration of that fact and because the defendant is extremely anxious to make his own defence as short as possible, I shall put only those questions to the defendant which are absolutely necessary to give you a clear picture about his person and his activities.


Q. Witness, when were you born?

A. On the 18th of August, 1890.

Q. So you are now 56?

A. Yes.

[Page 97]

Q. First, I want to put to you the most important particulars of your life, and to simplify matters you can answer only with yes or no.

You are 56 years old. You were born in East Prussia?

A. Yes.

Q. You come from a merchant's family in Konigsberg?

A. Yes.

Q. Then you studied in Berlin at the University, law and political science, literature and music. You also come from a family which has produced a number of artists?

A. Yes.

Q. During the first World War you were first in the Infantry, and in 1916, because of a bladder ailment you became unfit for service?

A. Yes.

Q. Then you became an editor of several large newspapers, and you told me that for a long time you could not make up your mind whether to become a musician or a journalist. Then you decided in favour of the latter, and in 1922, I believe, you became editor-in-chief of the Berliner Boersenzeitung. Is that all correct?

A. Yes.

Q. Now perhaps you will tell us what were the political tendencies of that paper on which you worked for about ten years as editor-in-chief.

A. The tendency of the paper was somewhere between the centre and the right. The newspaper was not tied to any Party. It was owned by an old Berlin family of publishers.

Q. What was the attitude of that paper to the Jewish question before you took on the editorship and during the time when you were editor-in-chief?

A. Absolutely neutral. It did not deal in any way with the Jewish question.

Q. From an affidavit by Dr. Schacht, I have seen that at that time - that is to say, during the twenties - you moved in circles which were also frequented by Jews, and where economic and political matters, such as gold currency, etc., were often discussed. Is that correct?

A. I do not know anything about that.

Q. Dr. Schacht has asserted that in an affidavit of 7th July, 1945, Document PS-1936?

A. I had a lot to do with Jews. That was in the nature of my profession. Every day at the Stock Exchange I was amongst about 4,000 Jews.

Q. Then in 1931 you resigned your post as editor-in-chief?

A. Yes.

Q. What were the reasons for that?

A. I was convinced that the National Socialist Party would come to power in the Government, and I felt called upon to make my own political and economic opinions heard in the Party.

Q. Would you like to explain a little more in detail what kind of opinions you had, Dr. Funk, especially concerning the clashes between parties, between classes at that time?

A. The German nation at that time was in sore distress; spiritually as well as materially. The people were torn by Party and class struggle. The Government, or rather the Governments, had no authority. The parliamentary system was played out, and I myself, for ten or twelve years before that, had protested and fought publicly against the burden of the Versailles reparations, because I was convinced that those reparations were the chief cause of the economic bankruptcy of Germany. I, myself, have fought all my life for private enterprise, because I was convinced that the idea of private enterprise is indissolubly bound up with the idea of the efficiency and worth of individual human beings. I have fought

[Page 98]

for the free initiative of the entrepreneur, free competition, and, at that time in particular, for putting an end to the mad class struggle and for the establishment of a social national community on the basis of the industrial community.

All those were ideas to which I found a ready response in my conversations, particularly, with Gregor Strasser.

Q. Who was Gregor Strasser, would you tell the Tribunal briefly?

A. Gregor Strasser at that time was leader of the Reich Organization Bureau of the National Socialist Party and was generally considered to be the second man after Adolf Hitler.

THE PRESIDENT: This is the time to break off.

(The Tribunal adjourned until 4th May, 1946, at 1000 hours.)

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