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Machine. As a member of the government from the very outset, he was familiar with the political ideology of the movement. If he claims to have been radically upset in 1937 when he learned that Hitler was planning aggression, he nonetheless remained in his office and did nothing to dissuade Hitler. On the contrary, it was his favourable opinion that encouraged Hitler to militarize the left bank of the Rhine, which constituted the first stage in the war of aggression for the conquest of space. He remained Minister of the Reich up to the end
His presence encouraged conservative Germany to cooperate with Hitler. King pin of the Party State machine, von Neurath was closely connected with this machine in the crimes of extermination of which he had full knowledge.
On 31 August 1940 von Neurath transmitted to Dr. Lammers two Notes Verbales, the one drawn up by him, and the other by his Secretary of State Frank, both of which advised the total Germanization of Bohemia-Moravia and the elimination of the Czech intelligentsia. One of the two reports contains the following lines, and Von Neurath accepts the full responsibility for it since he transmitted it:
“As regards the future organization of Bohemia-Moravia, all considerations should be based on the goal set for this territory, from the political and national-political angle. From the political angle there can be but one goal: the total incorporation into the Greater German Reich; from the national political angle, the settling these territories completely with Germans. A brief survey of the actual position as it presents itself from observations and experience gained since the annexation in regard to the political and national-political angle, indicates the path to be followed in order to reach the clear and unequivocal goal; * * * Things present themselves in such fashion that a decision must be taken on the fate of the Czech people so that the objective, which is incorporation of the country and populating it with Germans, might be achieved quickly and as completely as possible.” (3859-PS)
Fritzsche served the Party before it came to power, but he did not join until 1933 and quickly turned into a remarkable propagandist. In the course of the war he became the head of the Radio Service, of the Reich. Expressing the great idea of the system, he incited to the massacre of the Jews.
Moreover, his repeated speeches endeavored to implant into the German people's minds the idea that the Jews and Democracy endangered its very life, and that it was to yield itself with
out reserve to the men whom Providence had sent to govern them.
Schacht's position is something special. On his case I shall go into greater details. He presents himself here as the victim of the System and pretends to be surprised to find himself here at the side of Kaltenbrunner, who was his gaoler. Schacht told us that the program of the Party did not appeal to him. Still, during the Session of 21 May, 1946, former Minister Severing declared that he had learned from a communication of the Berlin Police that Schacht had been holding conversations with the Nazi Chiefs. He added that Schacht's relations with plutocracy and with militarism impressed him as most compromising, and that he himself would not have wished to join the same Cabinet as Schacht.
We know that as early as 1930 Schacht had established contact with Hitler bringing to him his credit both in Germany and abroad. National Socialism benefited from this in a considerable measure.
At the rally of the National Front at Harzburg, in October of 1931, Schacht took his seat by the side of Hitler, Hugenberg and Seldte. He had already attempted to bring Hitler into the Bruening Government. Schacht organized the financing of the decisive elections of March 1933 (USA 874) in the course of a reunion of the leading industrialists in Goering's home, on which occasion Hitler delivered a speech. From the moment of the seizure of power, Schacht played an outstanding role in the machinery of the Party and of the State. He became President of the Reichsbank and Minister of Economy. On 19 January 1939 he left the Reichsbank, but he became Minister of State and held that post until 21 January 1943. Clever, subtle and knowing how to hide his thoughts behind irony or insolence, he never committed himself completely, but it is also established that he persistently demanded extension of vital space for Germany. When he tried to put people in the wrong scent by speaking of colonial claims and the remark was made by his interlocutors that considering world conditions no possession of colonies could assist Germany in solving her domestic problems, he neglected to answer. He knew how to use threats towards democracies and even resorted to blackmail when remarking on a Party success during a visit to America. He stated:
“I warned in the clearest possible language by saying: if you in foreign countries do not change your policy towards Germany, there will very soon be many more members and adherents to Hitler's Party.”
He also said:
"This is all quite clear: we ask for more space in order to feed our people”.
What part did he play in the development of this criminal policy?
As soon as he came to the Reichsbank, a huge program for financing public works was launched; new railroads, motor highways, all of them works of strategic interest. Moreover, an important portion of the credits was secretly used for purely military purposes.
From 1935 on, rearmament was speeded up under the vigorous impulse of new financial measures devised by him. The academic and upright economist turned into an adventurer in order to carry into being the grand idea of the party. By means of accommodation drafts: the MEFO drafts, rearmament was financed. Issued on a drawee who had provided no cover, a Society created to serve the purpose, the drafts had blank endorsement by a second similar Society
When issuing the first draft the drawer annexed extension drafts calculated in such a way that the last became due in January or March 1942. When looking back, the selection of that date attains full significance. The year 1942 was the time appointed by Schacht for the term of his swindle. He hoped that by then the war would help him to solve the problem. The original draft was discounted by the Reichsbank. The bills were not subject to fiscal law in order to prevent the evaluation of the volume in circulation by means of the modifications in the yield of the taxes. The operations were veiled in the utmost secrecy. All the available credits in marks were engaged by the Reichsbank in these armament drafts as far back as 1935. At the end of 1938 there were 6 million MEFO drafts in the assets of the Reichsbank and 6 million to discount, of which 3 million were short term. At the due date, Schacht could not but be aware that there were only three possible solutions:
(1) Consolidation of the debt by foreign loans, but these would be refused of course to a nazified and overarmed Germany;
(2) an inflation comparable to that of 1923 but this would have meant the end of the regime;
The importance of the re-armament financed by Schacht up to 31 December 1938 is shown by the calculation made by us and Mr. Gerthofer of our delegation in particular. Let us not forget that Hitler, in his letter of 19 January 1939 to Schacht, wrote to the latter: “Your name will above all and forever be connected with the first period of national re-armament”. From 1 April 1935 to 31 December 1938 the expenditures for Germany's rearmament which we can now discover although part of them
are missing, amounted to three hundred forty-five milliard four hundred and fifteen million francs. During the same period France spent only thirty-five milliard nine hundred and sixtyfour million francs. This was Schacht's work and only his work. Such a discrepancy shows quite clearly what Schacht's aim was. In 1940 the same proportion was found again on the battlefields of France: ten German armored divisions against one French.
The retirement of Schacht from the Reichsbank or from the Ministry of Economics can in no way militate in his favor. Difficulties arose between Goering and him in regard to the carrying out of the Four-Year Plan. Schacht did not wish to be subordinate to Goering. He resigned from the Ministry of Economy on 26 November 1937, but remained President of the Reichsbank and Minister without Portfolio. On 7 January 1939 he handed Hitler a memorandum in which he established that the volume of the MEFO drafts in circulation through his own fault was becoming a menace to the currency. Technically his position at the Reichsbank had become impossible. The causes therefore underlying his departure were questions of economic organization, not political reasons. He, however, remained Minister without Portfolio. He resigned this post only in January 1943 at the time of the Stalingrad defeat, when the Party-State machinery as well as the Reich were beginning to break down. Evidently he was of no more use to them, but it is equally evident that he might have become useful again later on as negotiator of peace.
Is the balance of his political descent due to the intrigues we can now guess at of Hitler's advisers. Was it machiavelism on his part or was it bad luck? It is of little importance. This nefarious man who succeeded in rounding up and in handing over to Hitler all the financial and industrial pangermanist powers, who helped Hitler to seize power, who by his presence inspired confidence in Nazi Germany, who succeeded through his financial wizardry in providing Germany with the most powerful war machine of the time, and who did all this to enable the Party-State machine to rush to the conquest of space, this man was one of those mainly responsible for the criminal activities of the PartyState machine. His financial cleverness was that of the Nazi, his participation in the crime of that State is beyond doubt. It is capital. His guilt, his responsibility are complete.
With regard to the last of Hitler's confidents, Bormann, we know that he assumed the responsibility of the liquidation of the Jews. There is no need to say anything further.
I am now through with the demonstration of each defendant's guilt, not that the subject is exhausted, but the time allotted by the Court for each Prosecution expound his address to the Court
only allows us to prepare the draft of a working plan, deserving of systematic execution. The example illustrating our thesis could be multiplied. All the facts submitted during the last nine months by the four delegations fit without any effort within our plan, and this single fact proves that our logic is unimpeachable and conforms strictly to reality.
Thus we consider that the proof has been furnished that all these men have been a party to the crime of the German State. That all these men were, in fact, united in the pursuit of the same political purpose and that all of them have in one way or another participated in the greatest crime of all: genocide, the extermination of the races or people from which they intended to conquer the space they deemed necessary for the so-called Germanic race.
We have all heard the objections raised by the defense counsels. Dr. Seidl stated them most forcibly:
“The law in force starts from the fundamental principle that the subject of International Law is solely the sovereign state and not the single individual
In conclusion he denies you the right of sentencing these men. First let us say that not one of the defendants was the "single individual" that Dr. Seidl speaks about. We think that we have demonstrated their cooperation and their solidarity, strengthened by the Party system beyond the usual intercourse between the Ministers and the principal administrators of any democratic country.
Let us yet observe that it seems intolerable for any sensitive conscience to assure immunity to the men who have lent their intelligence, their good will to the “State” entity, to slaughter as is the case, millions of human beings in the execution of a criminal policy long since decided on. The principle of State sovereignty which might cover these men seems to be only a mask. Remove this mask, and the man's responsibility reappears ! Maitre Seidl knows it as we do. But he states “Such is the International Law in force". What a respect on his part for the law in force, and how surprising in his mouth the words which follow. A few moments later, examining the Hague Conventions of 1907, which, let us remember, have not been denounced by any of the signatories, not even by Germany, he satisfies, under stress, that, inspired by the experiences of the wars of XIXth century, they are no longer valid in the XXth. Modern wars would have broken through the limitations foreseen by the Hague Conventions, and he states further:
"One cannot make use of modalities of the Hague Convention regarding land warfare—even in the widest sense and