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

The Trial of German Major War Criminals

Sitting at Nuremberg, Germany
9th August to 21st August 1946

Two Hundred and Fifth Day: Friday, 16th August, 1946
(Part 6 of 10)

[MR. DODD continues his cross examination of Walther Emanuel Funk]

[Page 233]

Q. I do not know how long you are going on with this, but as far as I am concerned, you have given me all the information I want about the matter. Really, Mr. President, I do not think this is being very helpful to the Tribunal. This last sort of statement is not in response to any questions I put to him. I just want to ask one or two more questions before lunch. Did you ever have any trouble with Oswald Pohl, the Finance Minister, the man who says that he talked this matter over with you, even to the point of the disgusting fact that the clothing came from dead Jews? Did you have any trouble with him in your life - any personal difficulty?

A. As far as I remember, I only talked with Pohl once and perhaps he visited me twice.

Q. The answer is no, is that right?

A. Yes.

Q. Now, of course, you have seen this affidavit. There he goes into very great detail about when he saw you, where he saw you, who else was present, even the number of people who were at your little lunch in the dining-room there. Do you know of any reason why he should fabricate testimony like this against you? Should it help the Tribunal or should it help yourself? Why should he lie about you in this terrible way? Can you give any suggestion, any motive, any cause?

A. In my opinion the motive is purely psychological, because people who are in the terrible situation that Pohl is in, who are indicted for the murder of millions, usually attempt to incriminate others. We know that.

[Page 234]

Q. May I interrupt you .... You mean in the same position that you find yourself in?

A. No, I do not regard myself as a murderer of millions.

Q. Well, I do not care to argue about that with you, I merely wanted to give you an opportunity to state to the Tribunal any reason that you might have - and I think you have. And then only one other thing. I want to ask you this - and there is no doubt in our minds. Although there were millions - there must have been millions of valuables taken from the people who were killed in the concentration camps and looted through your Economic Ministry, assisted by your Reichsbank - do you want us to understand you knew nothing about that? Can you answer it briefly, yes or no? Am I right in so stating it - you knew nothing about it?

A. I have never asserted that I knew nothing about it. I have always said that I knew that confiscated valuables were deposited in the Reichsbank by the SS and that foreign exchange, gold and other foreign securities and banknotes were converted by the Reichsbank. But that I knew nothing -

Q. Wait a minute, please. I do not think you misunderstood my question. I was asking you about the textiles only at the beginning and I think that you have told this Tribunal that you did not know about the textiles. You did not know about the textile transaction at all, did you?

A. No, I did not know that textiles from the concentration camps were used to this extent

Q. That is all I want you to say, that is your answer.

Now, thousands of other articles of a personal nature, from wrist watches and fountain pens to ladies' bags, all kinds of jewellery and precious stones, an enormous part of these apparently, according to the testimony, was flowing through your Economic Ministry with the assistance of the Reichsbank, and you want the Tribunal to understand that you had very little knowledge, if any, of all those transactions?

A. I knew nothing about those things, nothing at all.

Q. And gold teeth, or gold dentures, were in the vaults of your bank, but you did not know anything about that strange deposit; you knew nothing about that either? So you did not know anything about all these great sums of foreign currency actually going through your Reichsbank and deposited there, did you?

A. I knew nothing about the huge amounts which are being mentioned here. I knew only that foreign currency was being deposited.

Q. Are you sure you were in the Reichsbank in those days?

A. Yes.

MR. DODD: I have no further questions.

THE PRESIDENT: We will adjourn now.

(A recess was taken until 1400 hours.)


THE PRESIDENT: Dr. Sauter, have you any questions you want to put?



Q. Defendant, I am not quite clear about your conversation with Himmler. Was this the first time that a deposit of this sort had been opened by the SS?

A. Yes.

Q. You have never discussed this with any SS personalities before?

A. No, with no one.

Q. And of course it was not Himmler's business to see that gold and notes were brought into the bank under the German law, was it?

[Page 235]

A. Himmler told me that large quantities of valuables had been confiscated by the SS and they included valuables which interested the Reichsbank, such as gold, foreign currency, etc.

Q. I did not ask you that. Will you listen now? Was it any of Himmler's business or duties to see that gold and notes were turned in to the bank? That did not come under his jurisdiction, did it?

A. Yes, if these things, for example, had been taken from the inmates of concentration camps, he would have to -

Q. That is exactly what I meant. So that you knew or suspected, since Himmler was dealing with you, that the gold and the notes had come from concentration camps which were under Himmler. Was not that the reason that you supposed that this material had come from camps? It was obvious, was it not?

A. Not only from concentration camps. Himmler was also in charge of the customs police and the SS also acted as police in the occupied territories. It did not necessarily follow that the material came from concentration camps alone, but -

Q. No, but you suspected it did come from the concentration camps when Himmler talked to you, did you not

A. Yes.

Q. Did you ask him where it came from?

A. No, I did not.

Q. He said these gold and notes were part of other property; there was other property, too?

A. No, he said they were confiscated valuables. The interview was very brief and took place in Lammers's field headquarters, as I recall it, when I met him there. It was a very short conversation. He told me: "We have confiscated a large amount of valuables, especially in the East, and we would like to deposit them m the Reichsbank." May I add something? Then when these things came to the bank, Puhl and, as I recall, Wilhelm were present at a conversation, and they said that I should ask Himmler whether these things which had been sent in by the SS to their deposit - strictly speaking we were not allowed to touch their deposit - whether they could be used by the Reichsbank. I did ask him and he said yes.

Q. Well, now, let us see. The "East" meant the Government General, did it not?

A. At that time vast Eastern territories were occupied.

Q. But he did not mean Germany; he meant occupied territories, did he not?

A. He spoke of "the East." Well, I had to suppose he did.

Q. You had no idea what he meant when he said "the East," I suppose?

A. No. I thought the occupied territories in the East. That is what I understood. The occupied Eastern territories.

Q. This was not one of your regular deposits; I think it would be appropriate to say that, was it? It was not one of your regular deposits, was it? It was unusual?

A. Certainly.

Q. You did not ask him any questions about it at all?

A. No, I did not speak with him any more than I have said here. Last night I racked my brains to reconstruct everything, but I cannot remember anything beyond what I have said.

Q. You were not curious about this deposit at all? You were not curious about it? It did not interest you?

A. No. Once or twice I talked to Puhl - once Wilhelm was there too - quite briefly.

MR. BIDDLE: Thank you; that is all.

THE PRESIDENT: The defendant may return to the dock.

[Page 236]

DR. STAHMER (for the defendant Goering): Mr. President, this morning you asked for information, whether the questions for which I named the witness were dealt with previously. I have ascertained that on the session of 8th March, 1946, the witness Milch was asked by me about two letters and my answers to them. One was from Obergruppenfuehrer Wolff, dated May, 1942. This is in the transcript, in the English transcript on Page 5578.

Then in cross-examination this question was brought up again by Mr. Justice Jackson; it is on Page 5623 of the English transcript. Then General Rudenko, in cross-examination of the same witness Milch, produced another letter of Himmler - to Milch, I believe - of November, 1942. This is in the English transcript on Page 5674.

Up to now I have not been able to find anything more about it in the short time which was available. I do not recall having asked Goering about it. I do not think I did so, for this is quite a small point. I considered it cleared up sufficiently by the testimony of Milch. Milch was examined before Goering. In my opinion, this deals with other events. The question of making sea-water drinkable and the means to combat typhus were not discussed at all. Nor do I think that freezing experiments were mentioned, so that I think these are other subjects than the ones discussed by Milch.

THE PRESIDENT: Do you mean that the defendant Goering did not discuss the subject of experiments on inmates of concentration camps at all? What you refer to are the subjects discussed by General Milch.

DR. STAHMER: Yes. As far as I recall the matter now .... I was not able to investigate it as to Goering .... As far as I recall, I asked only Milch about the subject .... Then in the examination of Goering, which took place later, I did not come back to it because I assumed that this question had been cleared up by Milch. But I should like to examine the transcript carefully. This noon I was not able to do so owing to the limited time.

In this connection I should like to point out one more thing. Mr. President, I made a written application concerning the witness Schreiber, whose statement was referred to by the Russian prosecution a few days ago, should he be brought here as a witness. If the witness Schreiber is really to be produced, I ask to be permitted to examine Goering after the examination of the witness Schreiber so that it will not be necessary to recall him to the witness stand a third time.

THE PRESIDENT: The Tribunal will consider that, too. General Rudenko, can you inform the Tribunal whether Dr. Schreiber is going to be brought here, whether you are going to make use of the affidavit and have him brought here, or not?

GENERAL RUDENKO: We have taken all necessary measures in order to bring the witness Schreiber here to this courtroom, but as yet we have no information as to whether the witness will be brought before the case of the organizations is closed. He is in a prisoner-of-war camp near Moscow. I presume that in the course of today or tomorrow we will be in a position to inform the Tribunal more exactly.

THE PRESIDENT: Now, Sir David, have you been able to find out whether the defendant Goering did give any evidence upon this topic?

SIR DAVID MAXWELL FYFE: My staff are on that matter at the moment. They have not quite completed checking the transcript. I hope to be able to inform your Lordship very shortly.

THE PRESIDENT: Very well. The Tribunal will deal with the question of documents on behalf of the organizations, and I think that Dr. Servatius is going to deal with it first.

[Page 237]

DR. SERVATIUS (Counsel for the Leadership Corp of the Nazi Party): Mr. President, first I shall present the contents of the document book, then I shall comment on the affidavits. I have already introduced the documents as such, following the taking of evidence; and the exhibit numbers were agreed on with the General Secretary.

On Page 1 is Document No. 10. It deals with statistics of the Party. It is an excerpt from an issue of Der Hoheitstrager. Its significance is that it indicates how many people are affected by the present proceedings. If you will look at Page 1 for the year 1935 the number of officials for Block, Zelle, Ortsgruppen, Kreise and Gaue is given as approximately 600,000.

If you will look at Page 2, in the lower half of the page, the above figure is increased by the leadership of the organizations for the year 1935. In order to give the figures, there are the Frauenschaft and Frauenwerk (women's organizations), about 50,000; the students' associations, 1,600; the DAF (Labour Front) and so forth, 800,000; the Office of Public Welfare and NSV (Nazi Welfare), 300,000 - I am giving round figures - and the Reich Food Office about 100,000; the Welfare Office for War Victims, 84,000. Those special offices amount altogether to 1,475,000. If the 600,000 previously mentioned are added, one reaches a figure of over 2,000,000.

THE PRESIDENT: Are these figures figures of persons who were political leaders within the definition?

DR. SERVATIUS: Yes, Mr. President.

THE PRESIDENT: Well, either the Gauleiter or the Kreisleiter -

DR. SERVATIUS: May I explain it briefly? One must make the basic distinction between the real political leaders who directed the political machinery, from the Gauleiter down to the Blockleiter, and apart from them, the large number of people who worked in the Labour Front, NSF (Nazi Welfare), and such other organizations, who were also called "political leaders." This was clearly shown when the witness Hupfauer was examined here; he said that in his organization, which had 20,000,000 members, the leadership was carried out by "political leaders."

Later, in my closing speech, I will explain exactly what this means, but to begin with they are all included in the term "Corps of Political Leaders." It is evident that the Indictment really meant only those who actually directed political offices, from the Gau to the Block; but they are all included in the term. That is why I have given these figures to clear up the matter.

THE PRESIDENT: What have we got to do with anybody except those from Gauleiter to Blockleiter? The rest of them are rank and file so far as the Tribunal is concerned.

DR. SERVATIUS: Mr. President, they are, to begin with, included in the term "Corps of Political Leaders," which the Indictment did not limit - it should have done so at the time. It is of significance because from these organizations, in the technical staffs of these political offices

THE PRESIDENT: You mean that the Indictment does not specify "Gauleiter down to Blockleiter," it says imply the "Corps of Political Leaders"?

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