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tionably, without this complete lending of his capacities to the Nazi Government, and all of its ambitions it would have been impossible for Hitler and the Nazis to develop an armed force
sufficient to permit Germany to launch an aggressive war." The fact that that was in Schacht's mind was shown at a very early date most clearly in a secret report issued by his Ministry of Economics on 30th September 1934. I have already referred to his Deputy's report showing the amazing detail in which plans and preparations for the management of German economy in time of war had been worked out before Schacht resigned in 1937 (EC-128, USA 623; EC-258, USA 625).
It is not surprising that on Schacht's 60th birthday the then German Minister of War, von Blomberg, said to him:
“Without your help, my dear Schacht, none of this armament could have taken place."
In the witness box Schacht says that as early as the second half of 1934 and the first half of 1935 he found he was "wrong in thinking" that Hitler would bring the “revolutionary forces” of Nazism into the regular atmosphere and he discovered that Hitler did nothing to stop the excesses of individual Party Members or Party Groups. He was pursuing a "policy of terror".
That accords very closely with Schacht's statement to the American Ambassador in September 1934 (EC-451, USA 626):
the Hitler Party is absolutely committed to war and the people too are ready and willing. Only a few Government officials are aware of the danger and are opposed."
Schacht's further suggestions that his purpose in the Government was to be critical and was to act as a brake are as we submit, impossible to reconcile with his own actions. He need not have become Minister of Economics according to his own account, but he did so nonetheless. In May 1935, the month in which he undertook his task as General Plenipotentiary for War Economy, "to put all economic forces in the service of carrying on the war and to secure the life of the German people economically”, he wrote to Hitler (1168-PS, USA 37):
“All expenditures which are not urgently needed in other matters must stop and the entire, in itself small, financial power of Germany must be concentrated toward the one goal—to
In May 1936 he told a secret meeting of Nazi Ministers that his programme of financing armaments had meant “the commitment of the last reserve from the beginning". He said he would continue to work since he stood "with unswerving loyalty to the
Fuehrer because he fully recognises the basic idea of National
In 1937, when Hitler bestowed the Golden Party badge upon him, Schacht appealed to all his colleagues (EC-500):
“Further to devote with all their hearts their entire strength to the Fuehrer and the Reich. The German future lies in the
hands of our Fuehrer." The mercy killings; the persecution of the Jews. These things must have been known at that time. Were his hands so clean?
In the light of these quotations it is not unexpected to find Ambassador Dodd, whom Schacht counted among his friends, recalling in his diary on 21.12.37 (EC-461, USA 58):
“Much as he dislikes Hitler's dictatorship he (Schacht) as most other eminent Germans wishes annexation, without war if possible, with war if the United States will keep hands off.”
These quotations, in our submission, make it clear that Schacht knew well that Hitler's aim was war very much earlier than he himself admits. He does admit, however, that he knew that the plot to discredit General von Fritsch meant war. Despite that knowledge, on 9.3.38, he accepted the appointment as Reichsbank President for an additional four years. He joyously took part in the acquisition of the former Austrian National Bank on 21.3.38 and on 7.6.39 wrote to Hitler (EC-369, USA 631):
“From the beginning the Reichsbank has been aware of the fact that a successful foreign policy could be attained only by the reconstruction of the German Armed Forces. It therefore assumed to a very great extent the responsibility to finance the rearmament in spite of the inherent dangers to the currency. The justification thereof was the necessity—which pushed all other considerations into the background—to carry through the armament at once, out of nothing and furthermore under camouflage which made a respect-commanding foreign policy possible.”
These words, and others like them, are merely putting in fine phrases Schacht's knowledge that, if the proposed victims resisted, Hitler was prepared and would be able to plunge into war conditions to achieve his aims. Schacht's intellect and international position only increased the cynical immorality of his crimes.
Moreover Schacht must face these facts. The Tribunal has seen evidence of the film which showed his sycophantic trotting beside Hitler and swarming over him in 1940. Long before 1943 he must have known of the treatment of the Jews and the reign of terror in occupied countries. Yet until 1943 Schacht remained a Minister without Portfolio and at all events lent his name and weight to
this regime of horror. Should anyone be left to boast that he did this with impunity?
Funk carried on Schacht's work. He had already rendered invaluable service to the conspirators by his organization of the Ministry of Propaganda. From 1938 on he was Minister of Economics, President of the Reichsbank and Chief Plenipotentiary for Economics, mobilising economy for aggressive war well knowing the Nazi plans for aggression. We find him in every field; attending Goering's conference on 12 November 1938, the meeting of the Reich Defense Council in June 1939, advising on decrees to be issued against the Jews at the former and the employment of concentration camp and slave labor at the latter. The final proof of the welcome with which he viewed aggression is found in his letter to Hitler on the 25th August 1939, the day before the invasion of Poland had been said to begin; he said (699-PS, GB 49):
"How happy and how grateful we must be to you to be favored to experience these colossal and world-moving times, and that we can contribute to the tremendous events of those days. General Field Marshal Goering informed me last night that you—my Fuehrer—have approved in principle the measures prepared by me for financing the war, for setting up the wage and price system and for carrying out the plan for an emergency contribution.
With the proposals worked out by me regarding a ruthless choking of any unessential consumption and any public expenditure and project not necessary for war, we will be able to meet all financial and economic demands without any serious reverberations.”
His part during the war needs no further mention than reference to the minutes of the Central Planning Board and to his arrangement with Himmler for the exploitation of the S.S. loot which, as he knew, came in truckloads from Auschwitz and the other concentration camps to the vaults of the Reichsbank. The Tribunal will also remember the document which shows that his Ministry of Economics received enormous quantities of civilian clothing from these unhappy victims (1166-PS, USA 458).
Was Doenitz ignorant, when he addressed to a Navy of some 600,000 men, a speech on the “spreading poison of Jewry”? Doenitz, who thought fit to circulate to the Naval War Staff Hitler's directive for dealing with the general strike at Copenhagen—“terror should be met by terror”—and asked for 12,000 concentration camp workers for the shipyards, recommending collective reprisals for Scandinavian workers in view of the efficacy of similar methods in France (2878-PS, GB 187; C-171, GB 210; C-195, GB 211).
Are Raeder's hands unstained with the blood of murder? As early as 1933, to use his own words (C-135, GB 213):
“Hitler had made a clear political request to build up by the 1st April 1938 armed forces which he could put in the balance as an instrument of political power."
When, therefore, he received successive orders to fight if war resulted from Hitler's foreign policy, he knew very well that war was a certain risk if that policy went awry. Again and again he had this warning, first when Germany left the Disarmament Conference, again at the time of the negotiations for the Naval Agreement in 1935, at the time of the Rhineland and later when he attended the famous Hossbach conference. He has tried to persuade this Tribunal that he regarded Hitler's speeches at these meetings as mere talk, yet we know that they gave Neurath a heart attack. His old Service comrades, von Blomberg and von Fritsch, who were unwise enough to object at the Conference which sealed the fate of Austria and Czechoslovakia, were dealt with in a manner which, in his own words, shook his confidence not only in Goering but in Hitler as well.
Can Raeder have been ignorant of the murder of thousands of Jews at Libau in the Baltic ? You will remember the evidence that many were killed in the naval port and the facts reported by his naval officers at the Local Headquarters to Kiel. We now know from the report of the Commando which dealt with the Jews of Libau that at the end of January 1942 they had accounted for 11,860 in that district alone. Raeder who, on Heroes Day, 1939, spoke of the clear and inspiring summons to fight international Jewry. Do you really believe, when he was always helping individual Jews, he had never heard of the horrors of concentration camps or the murder of millions? Yet he still went on (D-841, GB 474; L-180, USA 276; D-653, GB 232).
Von Schirach. What need one say of him? That it were better that a millstone had been placed round his neck
*? It was this wretched man who perverted millions of innocent German children so that they might grow up and become what they did become—the blind instruments of that policy of murder and domination which these men carried out.
The infamous "Heu Aktion" by which between forty and fifty thousand Soviet children were kidnapped into slavery was a product of his work. You will remember the weekly S.S. reports on the extermination of the Jews found in his office. (031-PS, USA 171; 345-PS, USA 869)
What is the crime of Sauckel whose Gau contained the infamous camp of Buchenwald ? Sauckel may now seek to put a gloss on his order to shanghai Frenchmen, to deny that he advocated the
hanging of a Prefect or a mayor to crush opposition, to say that references to ruthless action referred to interdepartmental disputes and that reformatory labor camps were purely educational institutions. You who have seen the documents which attest the horrors perpetrated in what we are now told was the produce of an emergency—the urgent need for workers to feed the Nazi machine, you who have heard and read of the conditions in which 7 million men, women and children torn from their homes were dragged into slavery at his orders can need no further proof of guilt.
Papen and, if mercy can survive his record in Czechoslovakia, Neurath, are in like case with Raeder. Like him they professed old family and professional integrity, factors which carry with them a great responsibility from which men like Ribbentrop and Kaltenbrunner are free.
Within 18 months of putting Hitler in power Papen knew that Hitler's Government meant oppression of opponents, ill-treatment of the Jews and persecution of the Churches including his own. His recent political friends had been sent to concentration camps or killed, including men like von Schleicher and von Bredow. He had himself been arrested, two members of his staff killed and another compelled to witness killing. None of these things were hidden from von Neurath, yet he remained in office.
In 1934 Papen was writing sycophantic letters to Hitler and shortly afterwards we find him in Austria working for a man he knows to be a murderer undermining a regime for which he professed outward friendship. Even after the Anschluss he was still working for a regime which he knew used murder as an instrument of policy and after losing yet another secretary by murder he was ready to accept a post in Turkey. The Concordat with his own Church which he had himself negotiated is treated as "a scrap of paper" to use his own words, and Catholics from Archbishops to simple believers were outraged. He has said
“Hitler was the greatest crook that ever lived”. The case for the Prosecution in a sentence is that, knowing this only too well, von Papen gave Hitler his support and co-operation because his greed for power and office made it “better to reign in Hell than to serve in Heaven.”
Defense Counsel has sought to portray Papen as an advocate of Peace. If he preferred to attain the objects of the conspiracy by the methods of assassination, bullying and blackmail rather than open war, the reason may be that provided by him in his own evidence, namely that he feared that: "If a World war were to break out, Germany's situation would be hopeless”.
As to Seyss-Inquart, you will remember Goering's instructions