Изображения страниц

always brought pressure to bear on me previously to make me
agree to the confiscation of Jewish property, and I had re-
fused repeatedly. But later on, when the anti-Jewish meas-
ures and the force used against the Jews came into force,
something legal had to be done to prevent the looting and
confiscation of all Jewish property.
“Q. You know that the looting and all that was done at the
instigation of the Party, don't you?
(Here witness weeps)
"A. Yes, most certainly. That is when I should have left in
1938, of that I am guilty, I am guilty. I admit that I am
a guilty party here." (3544-PS)


Funk was vested with, and carried out, major responsibilities in connection with the planning and execution of the Nazi program of economic mobilization for aggression. Thus, in 1938 he succeeded Schacht as Minister of Economics (3533-PS).

Immediately before Funk actually took over the Reich Ministry of Economics there was a major reorganization of its functions, which integrated the Ministry with the Four Year Plan as the Supreme Command of the German military economy. The reorganization was accomplished by Goering, in his capacity as Commissar for the Four Year Plan, by a decree dated 4 February, 1938 (“The Four Year Plan" (Der Vierjahresplan) official monthly bulletin, issued by Goering, Vol. II, 1938, p. 105). Under this decree, the jurisdiction of the Economics Ministry was defined as covering the following fields of Germany's economy: German raw and working materials, mining, iron industry, power industry, handicrafts, finance and credit, foreign trade, devisen, and exports. As a result of this decree, sectors of the German economy which were strategic in the organization of war and armaments economy were placed under the immediate control of Funk.

Furthermore, the Reich Office for Economic Development, charged by the decree, with "research, planning and execution of the Four Year Plan”, was incorporated into the Reich Ministry

of Economics. Similarly, the Reich Office for Soil Research and the Office of the Reich Commissar for the exploitation of Scrap Materials were made subject to that Ministry. Thus, it is clear that the reorganization decree concentrated significant responsibilities in the hands of Funk and thereby made him one of the chief agents of economic mobilization during a decisive period.

Subsequently, Funk was, by a secret law, expressly charged with the task of mobilizing the German economy for war. On 4 September 1938, while the conspirators were engaged in intensive planning for aggression against Czechoslovakia, Hitler signed a revision of the so-called Reich Defense Law (2194-PS). This law conferred upon Funk substantially the same authority which had been vested in Schacht by the Reich Defense Law of 21 May 1935 (2261-PS). The law of 4 September 1938 provided in part:

“It is the task of the GBW (Chief Plenipotentiary for Eco-
nomics] to put all economic forces into the service of the
Reich defense, and to safeguard economically the life of the
German nation. To him are subordinate: the Reich Minister
of Economics, the Reich Minister of Nutrition and Agricul-
ture, the Reich Minister of Work, the Reich Chief of For-
estry, the Reich Commissar for Price Control. He is further-
more responsible for directing the financing of the Reich
defense within the realm of the Reich Finance Ministry and
the Reich Bank.
"The GBW must carry out the demands of the OKW which
are of considerable importance for the armed forces; and he
must insure the economic conditions for the production of
the armament industry directed immediately by the OKW ac-
cording to its demands. If the demands of the armed forces
cannot be brought into accord with the affairs of economy,
then the Fuehrer and Reich Chancellor decides.
"The GBW has the right within his sphere to issue laws with
the consent of the OKW and GBV which differ from the

existing laws." (2194-PS). The law of 4 September 1938, which at the specific direction of Hitler was not made public, was signed by Hitler and by Funk, among others, as "Chief Plenipotentiary for Economics" (2194


Funk, in a speech which he delivered on 14 October 1939, explained how he, as Chief Plenipotentiary for Economics, had, for a year and a half prior to the launching of the aggression against Poland, advanced Germany's economic preparation for

He stated :


"Although all the economic and financial departments were harnessed in the tasks and work of the Four Year Plan under the leadership of Generalfeldmarschall Goering, the war economic preparation of Germany has also been advanced in secret in another sector for well over a year, namely, by means of the formation of a national guiding apparatus for the special war economic tasks, which had to be mastered at that moment, when the condition of war became a fact. For this work as well all economic departments were combined into one administrative authority, namely under the General Plenipotentiary for Economy, to which position the Fuehrer appointed me one and a half

years ago.” (3324-PS) In his dual capacity of Chief Plenipotentiary for Economics and Minister of Economics, Funk naturally was advised of the requirements which the conspirators' program of aggression imposed on the economy. Thus, during a conference in the Reich Aviation Ministry on 14 October 1938 under the chairmanship of Goering, Goering referred to Hitler's orders for an abnormal increase of armament, particularly weapons for attack, and directed the Ministry of Economics to submit suggestions on how to finance this rearmament by increasing exports. The report of Goering's remarks states in part:

"General Field Marshal Goering opened the session by de-
claring that he intended to give directives about the work
for the next months. Everybody knows from the press what
the world situation looks like and therefore the Fuehrer has
issued an order to him to carry out a gigantic program com-
pared to which previous achievements are insignificant.
There are difficulties in the way which he will overcome with
utmost energy and ruthlessness.
“The amount of foreign exchange has completely dwindled
on account of the preparation for the Czech Enterprise and
this makes it necessary that it should be strongly increased
immediately. Furthermore, the foreign credits have been
greatly overdrawn and thus the strongest export activity-
stronger than up to now-is in the foreground. For the
next weeks an increased export was first priority in order
to improve the foreign exchange situation. The Reich Min-
istry for Economy should make a plan about raising the
export activity by pushing aside the current difficulties
which prevent export.
“These gains made through the export are to be used for

increased armament. The armament should not be curtailed by the export activity. He received the order from the Fuehrer to increase the armament to an abnormal extent, the air force having first priority. Within the shortest time the air force is to be increased five fold, also the navy should get armed more rapidly and the army should procure large amounts of offensive weapons at a faster rate, particularly heavy artillery pieces and heavy tanks. Along with this manufactured armaments must go; especially fuel, powder and explosives are moved into the foreground. It should be coupled with the accelerated construction of high

ways, canals, and particularly of the railroads.” (1301-PS). Goering's words were the words of one already at war. And the emphasis on quintupling the Air Force and accelerating weapon manufacture for attack, were the words of a man waging aggressive war.

Funk actively participated in the planning of wartime financial measures (1301-PS). This was natural since Funk, after 1938, occupied three positions crucial to finance: Minister of Economics, President of the Reichsbank (to which he was appointed in January 1939), and Chief Plenipotentiary for Economics. Funk's role in war financing is illustrated by a letter, dated 1 June 1939, from the Chief Plenipotentiary for Economics (Funk), signed on his behalf by Dr. Posse (3562-PS). This letter found in the captured files of the Reich Ministry of Economics, transmitted the minutes of a meeting concerning the financing of the war. This meeting had been held under the chairmanship of Dr. Landfried, Funk's Undersecretary in the Reich Ministry of Economics. The document bears a marginal note in the bottom left hand corner, dated 5 June, stating that the document was “to be shown to the Minister” [i.e., Funk]. Only eight copies were made of the Minutes, which were marked "Top Secret". Four of these copies were sent to officials directly subordinate to Funk (two in the Reich Ministry of Economics, one in the Reichsbank, and one in the Office of the Chief Plenipotentiary for Economics). During the course of the meeting, which was attended by twelve officials, five of whom were directly responsible to Funk in his various capacities, the conferees discussed a memorandum regarding war finance which had been prepared by the Chief Plenipotentiary for Economics on May 9, 1939. The minutes of this meeting state:

* Then a report was made of the contents of the 'Notes on the Question of Internal Financing of War', of 9 May of this year (appendix to GBW 8/2179/39 Top

[ocr errors]

Secret), in which the figures given to me by the Reichs
Minister of Finance are also discussed. It was pointed out
that the General Plenipotentiary for the Economy is pri-
marily interested to introduce into the legislation for war
finance, the idea of financing war expenditures by anticipat-
ing future revenues, to be expected after the war.
“Undersecretary Newman, first, submitted for discussion the
question whether the production would be able to meet to
the assumed extent, the demands of the Army, especially
if the demands of the Army, as stated in the above report,
would increase to approximately 14 billions in the first three
months of war. He stated that, if the production potential
of the present Reich territory is taken as a basis, he doubts

the possibility of such a production increase." (3562-PS). During the course of the meeting one of the representatives of the High Command stated:

“The demands of the Army would probably be higher in the first three months of war than during the further course of

the war." (3562-PS). In the files of the Reich Ministry of Economics there was also found, attached to the above letter and minutes, a Top Secret memorandum entitled “Notes Concerning Financing of War.” That memorandum reveals the plans to use the resources of countries to be occupied in the interest of the Nazi war machine. It states:

First, as concerns the scope of the total production, it is clear that the economic power of the Protectorate and of other territories, possibly to be acquired, must of course be completely exhausted for the purposes of the conduct of the war. It is, however, just as clear that these territories cannot obtain any compensation from the economy of Greater Germany for the products which they will have to give us during the war, because their power must be used fully for the war and for supplying the civilian home popu

lation." (3562-PS). It is plain that Funk exercised comprehensive authority over large areas of the German economy whose proper organization and direction were critical to effective war preparation. The once powerful German military machine, which rested on the foundation of thorough economic preparation, reflected the contribution which Funk had made to Nazi aggression.

Immediately before this machine was directed against Poland, the final preparatory steps were taken, and the previous appoint

[ocr errors]
« ПредыдущаяПродолжить »