« ПредыдущаяПродолжить »
purpose of which was not given. I do not remember the
*.” (EC-439) In a speech delivered to the industrialists in Berlin on 20 February 1933, Hitler stated:
"Private enterprise cannot be maintained in the age of democracy; it is conceivable only if the people have a sound idea of authority and personality.
even while in the hospital that one had to search for new
If one rejects pacifism, one must put a new
We must not forget that all the benefits of culture must be introduced more or less with an iron fist, just as once upon a time the farmers were forced to plant potatoes.
"With the very same courage with which we go to work to
We must first gain complete power if we want to
Now we stand before the last election. Regardless
internal strength through internal peace.” (D-203)
"That the sacrifice asked for surely would be much easier
ably even for the next hundred years.” (D-203)
In April 1933, after Hitler had entrenched himself in power, Gustav Krupp, as Chairman of the Reich Association of German Industry, which was the largest association of German industrialists, submitted to Hitler the plan of that association for the reorganization of German industry. In connection therewith Krupp undertook to bring the association into line with the aims of the conspirators, and to make it an effective instrument
for the execution of their policies. In a letter of transmittal (D-157), Krupp stated that the plan of reorganization which he submitted on behalf of the association of industrialists, was characterized by the desire to coordinate economic measures and political necessity, adopting the Fuehrer conception of the new German state. In the plan of reorganization itself, Krupp stated :
“The turn of political events is in line with the wishes which
Reich Government." (D-157)
Under the decree introducing the leadership principle into industry, each group of industry was required to have a leader who was to serve without compensation. The leaders were to be appointed and could be removed at the discretion of the Minister of Economics. The charter of each group was to be created by the leader, who was obligated to lead his group in accordance with the principles of the National Socialist State (Reichsgesetzblatt, 1934, Part I, 1194, Sec. 11, 12, 16). The introduction of the leadership principle into the organizations of business centralized authority and guaranteed the efficient execution of orders, which the government issued to business, in the effort to promote a war economy.
The overwhelming support given by the German industrialists to the Nazi war program is described in a speech prepared by Gustav Krupp in January 1944, for delivery at the University of Berlin:
“War material is life-saving for one's own people, and whoever works and performs in those spheres can be proud of it. Here, enterprise as a whole, finds its highest justification of existence. This justification, I may inject this here, crystallized especially during the time of interregnum between 1919 and 1933, when Germany was lying down disarmed.
"It is the one great merit of the entire German war economy that it did not remain idle during those bad years, even though its activity could not be brought to light for obvious reasons. Through years of secret work, scientific and basic groundwork was laid in order to be ready again to work
for the German armed forces at the appointed hour without loss of time or experience.
"Only through the secret activity of German enterprise, together with the experience gained meanwhile through production of peacetime goods, was it possible, after 1933, to fall into step with the new tasks arrived at, restoring Germany's military power. Only through all that could the entirely new and various problems, brought up by the Fuehrer's Four-Year Plan for German enterprise, be mastered. It was necessary to supply the new raw materials, to explore and experiment, to invest capital in order to make German economy independent and strong-in short, to make it warworthy.
"I think I may state here that the German enterprises followed the new ways enthusiastically, that they made the great intentions of the Fuehrer their own by fair competition and conscious gratitude, and became his faithful followers. How else could the tasks between 1933 and 1939, and especially those after 1939, have been overcome?” (D317)
3. THE USE OF ECONOMIC MEASURES TO FACILITATE
It must be emphasized that the secret rearmament program was launched immediately upon the seizure of power by the Nazi conspirators. On 4 April 1933 the Reich Cabinet passed a resolution establishing a Reich Defense Council. The function of this council was secretly to mobilize for war. At the second meeting of the working committee of the Councillors for Reich Defense, the predecessor of the Reich Defense Council, which was held on 22 May 1933, the chairman was Keitel. Keitel stated that the Reich Defense Council would immediately undertake to prepare for war emergency. He stressed the urgency of the task of organizing a war economy, and announced that the council stood ready to brush aside all obstacles. Fully aware of the fact that their action was in flagrant violation of the Treaty of Versailles, Keitel emphasized the extreme importance of absolute secrecy:
"No document ought to be lost, since otherwise it may fall into the hands of the enemies' intelligence service. Orally transmitted, matters are not provable; they can be denied by us in Geneva." (EC-177)
The singleness of purpose with which the Nazi conspirațors geared the German economy to the forging of a war machine is further shown by the secret minutes of the second meeting of the working committee of the Reich Defense Council, held on 7 February 1934. At this meeting at which Capt. Schmundt, Col. Guerian, Maj. Gen. von Reichenau, Maj. Warlimont, and Jodl—then a Lt. Col.—were present, Lieutenant-General Beck pointed out that:
"The actual state of preparation is the purpose of this ses
sion.” (EC-404) Detailed measures of financing a future war were discussed and it was pointed out that the financial aspects of the war economy would be regulated by the Reich Finance Ministry and the Reichsbank, which was headed by Schacht. (EC-404)
Under his secret appointment as Plenipotentiary-General of the War Economy, Schacht had the express function of placing all economic forces of the nation in the services of the Nazi war machine. The secret defense law of 21 May 1935 in effect gave Schacht charge of the entire war economy. In case of war he was to be virtual economic dictator of Germany. His task was to place all economic forces into service for the conduct of war and to secure economically the life of the German people. The Ministers of Economics, Food, Agriculture, Labor, and Forestry, as well as all Reich agencies directly under the Fuehrer, were subordinated to him. He was to be responsible for the financing as well as for the conduct of the war; and he was further authorized to issue ordinances within his sphere of responsibility, even if these deviated from existing laws. (2261-PS)
The rearmament of Germany proceeded at a rapid pace. By summer of 1935 the Nazi conspirators were emboldened to make plans for the reoccupation of the Rhineland, and at the tenth meeting of the working committee of the council the question of measures to be taken in connection with the proposed reoccupation of the Rhineland was discussed.
At that meeting, on 26 June 1935, it was said that the Rhineland required special treatment because of the assurances given by Hitler to the French that no military action was being undertaken in the demilitarized zone. Among the matters requiring special treatment was the preparation of economic mobilization, a task specifically entrusted to Schacht as secret Plenipotentiary for the War Economy. In this connection it was stated :
Since political entanglements abroad must be avoided at present under all circumstances, only these pre