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 Twenty-Second Day: Monday, 6th May, 1946
(Part 6 of 10)

[DR. DIX continues his direct examination of WALTER FUNK]

[Page 135]

Q. Then you also mentioned that there was an office subordinate to Schacht, General Plenipotentiary for War Economy. You will remember that the witness Vocke denied the existence of such an office of Schacht as General Plenipotentiary of War Economy, and Schacht did the same thing. Which office did you mean? Describe the office that you mean.

A. It was not an office in the sense that it might have been interpreted here. It was a committee of experts of the various departments which was led by the representative of the General Plenipotentiary for War Economy, who was Schacht, and later by my representative as General Plenipotentiary for War Economy. Under Schacht's term of office the State Counsellor was Wohlthat, and in my term of office it was Schacht's former Secretary of State, Posse.

Q. Certainly. Now is it identical with the Labour Committee which originated on the basis of the old Reich Defence Law and which existed before 1933?

A. I am not familiar with that.

Q. In any event, this working committee of the various departments?

A. Yes.

Q. Together with the OKW?

A. With the OKW, with the Ministry of the Interior, and later, with the decisive participation of the Four-Year Plan representative.

Q. And the expert for Schacht under Schacht's term was Dr. Wohlthat.

A. As far as I know, yes.

Q. Then one more question. You talked about the so-called triumvirate with reference to a question by my colleague for the defendant Keitel. The creation of the triumvirate, this activity which you have described, is after Schacht's time, I believe.

A. Yes, I believe so. But there was no activity.

Q. No. No.

A. I never participated in any session of the so-called three-man board.

Q. No. You said it was a fiction.

A. Furthermore, no meeting of these three men ever took place.

Q. No; No. You said it was a fiction.

DR. SERVATIUS: Attorney Servatius (on behalf of Sauckel).

[Page 136]


Q. I have a question regarding the wages of the foreign workers. Did Sauckel make any special efforts in connection with the transfer of the wages? Do you know anything about that?

A. Yes. Sauckel insisted very frequently at the Reichsbank and the Reich Ministry for Economics, that there should be a large scale transfer of wages to foreign countries and the occupied territories. Naturally we were in a very difficult position here, because especially in the South-Eastern European countries the currencies had been greatly devaluated, and the purchasing power of German money had lowered considerably, whereas I maintained the stable rate of exchange so that the inflationary tendencies in these countries would not be strengthened and result in complete economic chaos through the fault of the currency control. Therefore we had to make additions to the payments, to make up somewhat for the devaluation of the money in the occupied and other countries. Altogether, considerable sums were transferred. I would estimate these sums to be at least two billion Reichsmark.

Q. Do you know whether Sauckel tried to do something about the clothing for foreign workers? Was anything done?

A. He made considerable efforts, and this was particularly hard on the Ministry of Economics. because with the small amount of raw materials which the Central Planning Board had made available, this ministry had to take care of the population, and through the ever growing number of people who were bombed out, we received increasing demands for supplies. But, in spite of that, we tried to comply with the demands of Sauckel as far as possible, but of course we could not do so entirely.

Q. To what extent was clothing material delivered? Can you give any figures?

A. No, I cannot.

Q. Do you know anything about Sauckel's attitude toward Himmler when, according to the prosecution, he collaborated with him?

A. I remember one particular incident. When I had fled to Thuringia with my gold reserve and the rest of my foreign exchange, I called on Sauckel one evening and State Secretary Keppler, who has been mentioned here frequently, was present also.

In the course of the conversation Sauckel and Keppler became involved in a terrific dispute with Himmler. Sauckel told Himmler quite plainly that he had destroyed the administrative unity in Germany; that he was mainly responsible for the disorganisation of the German administration, for through the SS he had created a State within a State. Sauckel said further: "How can the people observe discipline if the top men of the Reich themselves do not recognize discipline?"

Q. I have no further questions.

DR. KUBUSCHOK: Dr. Kubuschok (on behalf of von Papen).

BY DR. KUBUSCHOK: Q. Is it true that after von Papen's speech at Marburg in June of 1934 Hitler asked you to go to Reich President von Hindenburg, at his country estate in Neudeck and tell him the following:

"Vice-Chancellor von Papen, because it was forbidden to make his speech public, has asked to be allowed to resign. This resignation would have to be granted, because von Papen through his speech at Marburg was guilty of a severe breach of the Reich Cabinet discipline."
A. When the Reich President von Hindenburg was at his estate at Neudeck he frequently invited me to visit him. I have already mentioned that I associated with him on friendly terms. A visit like this took place when the matter of the von Papen speech at Marburg arose, and the Reichsmarshal suggested to the

[Page 137]

Fuehrer, as far as I recall, that I should inform the Reich President about this incident.

The Fuehrer agreed to this, and I told the Reich President that a conflict had arisen between the Fuehrer and von Papen because of a certain speech. I did not know the contents of this speech, since in the meantime, its publication had been forbidden. Then the Reich President simply replied, "If he does not maintain discipline, then he must be prepared to take the consequences."

Q. Thank you.

DR. FRITZ (On behalf of the defendant Fritzsche).


Q. Witness, when and where did you meet your co-defendant Fritzsche?

A. When he was active in the Press section of the Propaganda Ministry. One day he called and asked for money for "Transozean" and I granted him the money.

Q. You were Secretary of State in the Propaganda Ministry at that time?

A. Yes.

Q. That was in what year?

A. That must have been in 1933 or 1934.

Q. When he came to you, did you know what position Fritzsche had in the Propaganda Ministry at that time?

A. I knew that he was in the Press section.

Q. Was this a leading position which he had? Was he perhaps head of a department?

A. No. At that time the head of this department was Dr. Hanke as far as I remember. Later it was Berndt.

Q. Could you tell whether Fritzsche was in any close contact with Goebbels?

A. I was never called in to attend any of the discussions which Dr. Goebbels had daily with his experts. That was done through his personal expert, Dr. Hanke, who later became Secretary of State. But since Fritzsche was not the head of a department I assume that he was not called in to these discussions either. As far as I know mostly the heads of departments were called to these discussions, but certainly not Fritzsche.

Q. Then according to your knowledge, in your capacity as State Secretary, at that time, he was not one of the closer collaborators of Dr. Goebbels, if I understood you correctly.

A. At that time I do not believe so. Of course, I do not know what took place later.

THE PRESIDENT: The Prosecution?



Q. Witness -

A. Yes.

Q. We have listened to your testimony since late Friday afternoon, and, as we understand it from your statements, you admit none of the charges made against you in the Indictment in any degree, with possibly one exception. I am not clear as to whether or not you were making an admission this morning with respect to your part in the persecution of the Jews. Would you tell us now whether or not you intended to admit your own guilt or the part that you played in the persecution of the Jews?

A. I said this morning that I had a deep sense of guilt and a deep sense of shame about the things which were done to the Jews in Germany, and that, at the time when the terror and violence began, I was involved in a strong conflict with my conscience. I felt, I could almost say, that a great injustice was being

[Page 138]

done. However, I did not feel guilty in respect to the Indictment against me here, that is, that according to the Indictment I was guilty of Crimes Against Humanity because I signed the directives for carrying out laws which had been issued by higher authority - laws that had to be made so that the Jews would not be entirely deprived of their rights, and so that they would be given some legal protection at least in regard to compensation and settlement. I am admitting a guilt against myself, a moral guilt, but not a guilt because I signed the directives for carrying out the laws; in any event not a guilt against humanity.

Q. All right. That is what I wanted thoroughly to understand. You also told the Tribunal, that you.... I think you used the expression "often at the door but never let in," and I understand that to mean that in your own judgement, you were really not an important man in this Nazi organization. Is that so?

A. Yes....

Q. All right. That is an answer. You might want to explain it later, but for the present purpose that will do.

A. May I give an explanation to this. I wanted to state that in the position I held there were always superiors who made the final decision. That was the case in all the positions I held in the State.

Q. Well, let us both examine some of the evidence, and see whether or not you were in fact always subordinated and always an unimportant man who did not get further than the threshold.

First of all, there is one matter that I do want to clear up before going into the general examination. You recall when the defendant Schacht was on the witness stand, he told the Tribunal that after he left the Reichsbank he had an office in his apartment, is that so?

A. Yes, he said that.

Q. Now of course you have told us, on another occasion, that he continued to have an office in the Reichsbank. Is that so?

A. I do not know whether I said that and where I said that, but it may be so. I was advised, at the time when he resigned, that he still went to the Reichsbank rather frequently, and that a room was reserved there for him. In addition he still had some personnel, a secretary, whom he had taken with him from the Reichsbank - and that is all I know.

Q. Another question. You told us, on another occasion, that he had an office in the Reichsbank where he worked on certain bank data, and where he still kept in touch with you every now and then. Is that so? Do you remember telling us that or not?

A. No, it was not like that. Schacht seldom -

Q. If you do not remember, then I perhaps can help you a little. Do you remember being interrogated by Major Hiram Gans of the US Army on June 2nd, 3rd and 4th, of 1945? Do you remember that? You know who was there - Goering was there, von Krosigk was there, Lammers was there -

A. Yes.

Q. All right. You were asked this question, were you not? or rather preceding this answer there were some questions.

Question: "Did Schacht retain any governmental position after his dismissal as President of the Reichsbank?"

Then Goering answered: "Reich Minister."

Then another question: "Did he have any functions?"

Goering again answered: "He remained Minister without portfolio."

Then another question: "Were there any cabinet meetings he attended?"

Goering answered again: "There were no cabinet meetings at that time."

Question: "Then it was purely honorary?"

Goering said: "Practically."

[Page 139]

Then you interposed with this statement (Funk is speaking): "Schacht, after his dismissal, kept an office in the Reichsbank, where he worked on statistical data of the Reichsbank, and where he still kept in touch with me every now and then." "How long did this last?" "This lasted until Schacht's dismissal as Minister, probably in 1943."
You made those answers, that answer, did you not?

A. That is not correct. I did not express myself that way. I said only that I had been informed that he came to the Reichsbank frequently, that there was a room reserved for him and that he very seldom spoke to me. He seldom called on me. That was not translated correctly.

Q. You know what I am reading from do you not? You know this document, 2828-PS?

A. No.

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