Walter Funk 4

September 8, 1942: Churchill addresses the House:

... those who are guilty of the Nazi crimes will have to stand up before tribunals in every land where their atrocities have been committed in order that an indelible warning may be given to future ages and that successive generations of men may say, "So perish all who do the like again...

September 15, 1942: From a memorandum addressed to the Municipal Pawn Brokerage in Berlin:

We submit to you the following valuables with the request for the best possible utilization . . . . [247 platinum and silver rings, 154 gold watches, 207 earrings, 1,601 gold earrings, 13 brooches with stones, 324 silver wrist watches, 12 silver candle sticks, goblets, spoons, forks, and knives, diverse pieces of jewelry and watch casings, 187 pearls, four stones said to be diamonds] signed Deutsche Reichsbank, Hauptkasse.

From Funk's IMT testimony: I do not know who signed it. It says somebody from our cashier's office signed it. I do not know the signature. Yes, from the cashier's department. I do not know the signature. I know nothing at all about these events. They can only be explained in that things were apparently delivered to the Reichsbank which it was not supposed to keep. That is obvious.

September 19, 1942: From a memorandum concerning the conversion of notes, gold, silver, and jewelry in favor of the Reich Minister of Finance, and it also says that it is "a partial statement of valuables received by our precious metals department." An excerpt:

Before we remit the total proceeds, to date 1,184,345.59 Reichsmark to the Reichshauptkasse for the account of the Reich Minister of Finance, we beg to be informed under what reference number this amount and subsequent proceeds should be transferred.

It might further be of advantage to call the attention of the responsible office of the Reich Minister of Finance in good time to the amounts to be transferred from the Deutsche Reichsbank. [signed] Deutsche Reichsbank, Hauptkasse. [stamped] "Paid by check, Berlin, 27 October 1942, Hauptkasse."

From Funk's IMT testimony: For this document, that is, this note to the Reich Minister of Finance, I believe I am able to give an explanation, and that is on the basis of testimony given here by witnesses who came from concentration camps. The witness Ohlendorf, if I remember correctly, and another one, have testified that the valuables which had been taken from the inmates of concentration camps had to be turned over and were delivered to the Reich Minister of Finance. Now, I assume that the technical procedure was that these things were first brought to the Reichsbank by mistake.

The Reichsbank, however—and I keep repeating it—could do nothing with the pearls, jewelry, and similar items which are mentioned here, and therefore turned over these items to the Reich Minister of Finance or they were used for the account of the Reich Minister of Finance. That is apparent from this document. In other words, this merely is a statement of account sent by the Reichsbank for the Reich Minister of Finance. That is, I believe, the meaning of this document. That is what I heard here. These things were news to me. However, I did not know that the Reichsbank dealt with these matters in such detail. I personally had nothing to do with it at all. I did not know at all that any jewelry, watches, cigarette cases, and so forth were delivered to the Reichsbank; that is news to me . . . .

[I knew about] the gold, of course. I already said that. The gold about which Herr Puhl had reported to me, and I assumed that these were coins and other gold which had to be deposited at the Reichsbank anyway, and which the Reichsbank could utilize according to the legal regulations. Otherwise, I know nothing about it.

December 17, 1942: United Nations Statement:

... those responsible for these crimes shall not escape retribution ...

February 2, 1943: Paulus surrenders at Stalingrad. (Clark)

March 17, 1943: Sauckel to Rosenberg:

After a protracted illness, my deputy for labor allocation in the Occupied Eastern Territories, State Councilor Peuckert, is going there to regulate the allocation of labor both for Germany and the territories themselves. I ask you sincerely, dear Party Member Rosenberg, to assist him to your utmost on account of the pressing urgency of Peuckert's mission. I may thank you already at this moment for the good reception accorded to Peuckert up to this time. He himself has been charged by me to co-operate fully and unreservedly with all bureaus of the Eastern Territories. Especially the labor allocation for German agriculture and likewise the most urgent armament production programs ordered by the Führer, make the fastest importation of approximately 1 million men and women from the Eastern Territories within the next 4 months, a necessity.

Starting 15 March the daily shipment must reach 5,000 female or male workers, while from the beginning of April this number has to be stepped up to 10,000, if the most urgent programs and the spring tillage and other agricultural tasks are not to suffer to the detriment of the food and of the Armed Forces. I have provided for the allotment of the draft quotas for the individual territories, in agreement with your experts for labor supply, as follows: Daily quota starting 15 March 1943: From General Kommissariat, White Ruthenia—500 people: Economic Inspection, Center—500 people; Reichskommissariat, Ukraine—3,000 people; Economic Inspection, South—1,000 people; total—5,000 people. Starting 1 April 1943, the daily quota is to be doubled corresponding to the doubling of the entire quota. I hope to visit personally the Eastern Territories towards the end of the month, and ask you once more for your kind support.

From Funk's IMT testimony: I was called into the Central Planning Board in the fall of 1943, when I turned over all production matters to Speer and when, for the first time, on 22 November 1943 I attended a session of the Board. At that time I not only had no interest in having foreign workers brought to Germany but actually, from the economic aspect, I wanted to have the workers remain abroad, for the production of consumer goods had, to a large extent, been shifted from Germany to the occupied countries so that in other words this production, that is, French production or Belgian production, could work unhindered for the German populace; I did not want the workers taken away, and particularly I did not want them to be taken away by force, for in that way the entire order and the whole social life would be disturbed. Before that time, as Minister of Economics, I was naturally interested in seeing that the German economy had workers. However, these questions were not dealt with in the Ministry of Economics, but either in the Four-Year Plan, where a Plenipotentiary General for Labor had been active from the beginning . . . .

As far as the negotiations of the Central Planning Board were concerned, I was essentially interested only in the fact that in that meeting the necessary raw materials were allocated for the administration of consumer goods and the export trade. For that reason Ohlendorf and two other experts for the administration of consumer goods and the export trade were sent to the meeting. Ohlendorf was brought into my Ministry by State Secretary Hayler. Before that I had only known Ohlendorf vaguely from one or two meetings and I had had an extraordinarily favorable impression of him, for he had an extremely lucid mind and could always express his thoughts in a most impressive way. Before that time I didn't even know that Ohlendorf had another position in the Reich Security Main Office, for he was introduced to me as a manager of the Main Organization for German Trade. Hayler was the chief of this organization, of the Reichsgruppe Handel, and Ohlendorf was his manager and was introduced to me as such. Therefore I had no objections to Ohlendorf being brought into the ministry and taking over that field which corresponded to his private business activities up to now—the province of administration of consumer goods.

Then through Hayler he discovered that Ohlendorf was active also in the RSHA—or whatever the name is—as an office chief in the SD. However, I took no exception to this activity, for I was not fully acquainted with these assignments and in any case I was not convinced that anything was taking place which was unacceptable for the Ministry. Ohlendorf was active chiefly as manager of the Reichsgruppe Handel. As far as I know, he only had an auxiliary occupation in the RSHA, or however it was called. Naturally I was very much affected and painfully surprised when I heard here about assignments which Ohlendorf with his Einsatzstab had had in previous years in Russia. I had never heard one word about this activity of Ohlendorf. He himself never mentioned these things to me and until this time I did not know the type of assignments such Einsatzstabe had.

Ohlendorf never talked about his activity in the SD. Hayler, who knew him much better and more intimately than I did, is better qualified to give information. In any event I knew nothing of this activity of Ohlendorf, which after all he had carried on in years prior to this date, and I was very much affected to find that this man had done such things.

April 22, 1943: From notes on a conference held by the Reich Commissioner for the determination of prices in all the occupied territories:

The 5.5 million foreign workers are composed of: 1.5 million prisoners of war, 4 million civilian workers . . . .1,200,000 from the East, 1,000,000 from the former Polish territories. . . 200,000 citizens of the Protectorate. . . 65,000 Croatians, 50,000 remainder of Yugoslavia (Serbia) . . . .

Price equalization should be operated to the debit of the producer countries, that is, through the Central Clearing Office, which for the most part is to the advantage of the occupied countries . . . .

These price deliberations were of no importance for the occupied territories, since the main interest did not lie in the welfare of the population but in the utilization of all the economic forces of the country . . . .

Concerning the Occupied Eastern Territories, Ministerial Counselor Roemer has stated that prices there are far below German prices, and so far the Reich has already reaped large import profits . . . . .

The prices in the Occupied Eastern Territories are kept at the lowest possible level. We have already realized import profits that are being used to cover Reich debts. Wages are generally only one-fifth of what they are in Germany.

From Funk's IMT testimony: I must again stress that during the war I was no longer Plenipotentiary for Economy. But may I state my position to this document? First, there is the figure of the number of the workers that were brought from the occupied territories and other foreign countries into Germany. I have emphasized, myself, and it has been confirmed by other statements, that I was basically against bringing in foreign manpower from occupied territories to such an extent as to impair the economic order in those territories. I am not even speaking about recruitment of forced labor. I also opposed that. When an expert whom I do not know says that the deliberations about price policy were of no importance for the occupied territories, because the main interest did not lie with the welfare of the population but in the exploitation of economic forces, I must contradict that point of view.

In any case, it is not my point of view. I do not know who the man was who said that, but it is a matter of course that a territory cannot produce well unless the economy is kept on a good footing and prices are fixed at a level which enables the people to exist and to maintain social order. So I have to oppose this point of view also. As far as the clearing debt is concerned, I explained yesterday in detail that the clearing system was in common usage for Germany, and that I have always recognized and confirmed that these clearing debts were genuine debts which, after the war, had to be repaid in the currency in which they were incurred, based on the purchasing power at that time. I do not see any spoliation here.

Moreover, I must again stress the fact that I was not competent for the economy in the occupied territories, that I had no power to give a directive there and that I participated only insofar as I detailed officials to individual offices, just as all other departments did, and that, of course, there was co-operation between these offices and the department at home. But I cannot assume responsibility for the economy in the occupied territories. The Reich Marshal definitely admitted that as far as economic questions are concerned, it was his responsibility.

June 27, 1943: Sauckel to Hitler:

My Führer: Herewith I beg to report my return from my official trip to France. Inasmuch as the free labor reserves in the territories occupied by the German Armed Forces have been, numerically, absorbed to saturation point, I am now carefully examining the possibilities of mobilizing additional labor reserves in the Reich and the occupied territories to work on German war production. In my reports of 20 April I was allowed to point out that intensive and careful utilization must be made of European labor forces in territories submitted to direct German influence. It was the purpose of my recent stay in Paris to investigate the possibilities still existing in France for the recruitment of labor by extensive conferences and my own personal inspection. On the basis of a carefully established balance sheet I have come to the following decision:

1. Assuming that war economy measures are carried out in France which would at least prove partially effective or approximately approach, in efficacy, the measures carried out in Germany, a further million workers, both men and women, could be assigned to the French war and armament industries up to December 1943 for work on German orders and assignments. In this case additional German orders might be placed in France.

2. In consideration of these measures and given a careful study of the subject together with the co-operation of our German armament services and the German labor recruiting offices, it should be possible to transfer a further 500,000 workers, both men and women, from France to the Reich between now and the end of the year. The prerequisites for the realization of this program, drafted by me are as follows:

1. Closest collaboration between all German offices especially in dealing with the French services.

2. A constant check on French economy by joint commissions, as already agreed upon by the Reich Minister of Armaments and War Production Party Member Speer, and myself.

3. Constant, skillful, and successful propaganda against the cliques of De Gaulle and Giraud.

4. The guarantee of adequate food supplies to the French population working for Germany.

5. An emphatic insistence on this urgency before the French Government, in particular before Marshal Petain, who still represents the main obstacle to the further recruiting of French women for compulsory labor.

6. A pronounced increase in the program which I have already introduced in France, for retraining workers to trades essential to war production . . . . I therefore beg you, my Führer to approve my suggestion of making available I million French men and women for German war production in France proper in the second half of 1943 and, in addition, of transferring 500,000 French men and women to the Reich before the end of the current year. Yours faithfully and obediently, Fritz Sauckel.

July 25, 1943: Mussolini is overthrown and arrested by Italian authorities. Pietro Badoglio becomes head of the government. (Brown)

September 3, 1943: The Allied invasion of Italy begins.

September 8, 1943: Italy surrenders to the Allies.

October 13, 1943: Pietro Badoglio declares that the Kingdom of Italy is now at war with its former ally, Nazi Germany. Note: Italy has the distinction of being the only nation that ended neither World War on the same side on which it had begun the war.

Late October 1943 Moscow Declaration:

... Let those who have hitherto not imbrued their hands with innocent blood beware lest they join the ranks of the guilty, for most assuredly the three Allied powers will pursue them to the uttermost ends of the earth and will deliver them to their accusors in order that justice may be done. The above declaration is without prejudice to the case of German criminals whose offenses have no particular geographical localization and who will be punished by joint decision of the government of the Allies ...

From the IMT testimony of Dr. Franz Blaha, former prisoner of Dachau: While I was there [at Dachau] many personalities came to our camp: Reichsführer Himmler came to Dachau several times and also was present at the experiments. I was present myself on these occasions. Other personalities also were there. I myself have seen three ministers of state, and from political prisoners who were Germans and therefore knew these people I heard that several other personages visited the camp. I also twice saw high-ranking Italian officers and once a Japanese officer. Besides Himmler there was Bormann; also Gauleiter Wagner; Gauleiter Giesler; State Ministers Frick, Rosenberg, Funk, Sauckel; also the General of Police Daluege; and others.

Generally the tour through the camp was so arranged that the visitors were first taken to the kitchen, then to the laundry, then to the hospital, that is, usually to the surgical station, then to the malaria station of Professor Schilling and the experimental station of Dr. Rascher. Then they proceeded to a few "blocks," particularly those of the German prisoners and sometimes they also visited the chapel, which, however, had been fitted up inside for German clergy only. Sometimes, too, various personalities were presented and introduced to the visitors. It was so arranged that always, first of all, a "green" professional criminal was selected and introduced as a murderer; then the Mayor of Vienna, Dr. Schmitz, was usually presented as the second one; then a high-ranking Czech officer; then a homosexual; a Gypsy; a Catholic bishop or other Polish priest of high rank; then a university professor, in this order, so that the visitors always found it entertaining.

From Funk's IMT testimony: I was neither at Dachau nor in any other concentration camp . . . . I do not remember any more where the conversation [with Himmler] was held. I saw Himmler very rarely, perhaps once or twice. I assume that it was on the occasion of a visit in the field quarters of Lammers, where Himmler's field quarters were also located. It must have been there. On that occasion we spoke very, very briefly about that. Possibly [it was] during the year 1943; it might have been 1944, I do not remember.

I attached no importance whatsoever to this matter. In the course of the conversation I put the question, "There is a gold deposit from you, from the SS, which we have at the Reichsbank. The members of the board of directors have asked me whether the Reichsbank can utilize that." And he said, "Yes." I did not say a word about jewelry or things of that kind or gold teeth or anything of that sort. The entire conversation referred only very briefly to this thing . . . .

Possibly it was Herr Puhl or maybe somebody else from the Reichsbank Directorate who made the arrangement with one of the gentlemen of the economic section in the SS. And I was only informed of it by Herr Puhl very briefly.

November 20, 1943: Dr. Franz Hayler becomes an official in the Reich Ministry of Economics.

From the IMT testimony of Dr. Franz Hayler: I was an independent business man and merchant and as such first became the head of the "Economic Group Retail Trade" within the organization of industrial economy. In this capacity I had very close contact with the Ministry of Economics. After Minister Funk had been appointed Minister for Economics I reported to him regarding the scope of my work, and on that occasion I made his acquaintance. When I was then put in charge of the "Reich Group Trade," the working relations between the organization directed by me and the Ministry, especially between the then State Secretary Landfried and the Minister himself, became very friendly.

After the separation of the ministries in the autumn of 1943, the main task of the Ministry of Economics was to provide for the German people, that is, the civilian population. As head of the trade organization I was the person responsible for the sale of merchandise, that is, for the procurement of supplies, and during a conference with Minister Funk regarding the co-operation between trade' and the Ministry, Herr Landfried, who was then State Secretary, made the suggestion that Minister Funk call me into his Ministry and make me his deputy. Herr Landfried believed that under the existing conditions he himself was not strong enough to carry out this difficult task since the Ministry had been deprived of its influence on production. Then, when Minister Funk told him in reply to his suggestion that he, Landiried, was the deputy of the Minister, Landiried replied that he could not continue to carry out these tasks and that he asked to be permitted to retire and proposed that I be his successor. About two or three weeks later I was put in charge of the affairs of the State Secretary . . . .

This conference took place in October 1943; my appointment came on 20 November 1943. I became an official with this position of State Secretary on 30 January 1944. I was [Funk's] deputy . . . .

Funk is above all very human, and always has been. Radicalism is quite foreign to his entire character and being. He is more of an artist, a man of very fine artistic feeling and scholarly ideas. I believe one can say that at no time was he a doctrinaire or dogmatic. On the contrary, he was conciliatory and anxious to settle disputes. For this reason, in Party circles in particular, he was considered too soft, too indulgent, in fact he was accused many times of being too weak. He tried to protect domestic economy from political encroachment and from unnecessary severity; and because of his respect and his regard for enterprising endeavor and out of his own responsibility to economy and to the people, he fought against unnecessary intervention in various enterprises even during the war. He protected industry against mergers end closures. This finally led to his being deprived of the responsibility for production in the decisive phase of the war.

I recall from the time of my collaboration with him, when I was still in charge of the trade organization, that Funk on various occasions interceded for men in the industrial world who were in political difficulties. I believe, however, that because of these individual cases, such as his intervention on behalf of Consul General Hollaender or of Herr Pietsch, and because of his attempts to promote peace, he at that time had to expect grave consequences; also because of his intervention in the case of Richard Strauss, as is surely known, and in similar cases. I do not think these individual cases are of such importance as perhaps the following: After the catastrophe of 9 November 1938 the process of Aryanization was to be intensified in the Ministry of Economics; and at that time a few political men were forced upon the Ministry, especially Herr Schmeer. I remember distinctly that at that time Landfried in particular, as well as Funk, slowed down considerably this radicalization of the Ministry; and Funk and the Ministry were blamed for doing so.

After 8 and 9 November I once had a conference regarding the events of that date with Himmler, in which I voiced my complaints. Himmler on that occasion finally reproached both Funk and myself by saying, among other things:

"Finally, you people on the economic side and connected with the economic management are also to blame that things have gone too far. People like Herr Schacht cannot be expected to do anything except go slow ail the time and oppose the will of the Party; but if you and Funk and all you people on the economic side had not slowed things down so much, these excesses would not have happened." I believe two facts must be stated first of all: First, the influence of the Ministry of Economy on the occupied territories was relatively limited. Secondly, during the year in which I was in the Ministry these questions were no longer particularly important.

Generally speaking, the position was as follows: Funk was constantly accused of thinking more of peace than of war. The opinions he proclaimed both in his speeches and in print referred to a European economic policy; and I assume that these talks and publications or articles are before the Court.

Funk looked at the occupied territories from exactly the same point of view. He raised repeated objections to the overexploitation of the occupied territories and expressed the view that war-time co-operation should form the basis of later co-operation in peace. His view was that confidence and willingness to co-operate should be fostered in the occupied territories during the war. He expressed the view that the black market cannot be combated by the black market and that, since we were responsible for the occupied territories, we must avoid anything likely to disturb the currency and economic system of these territories.

I think I remember that he also discussed the question with the Reich Marshal and defended his own point of view. He also repeatedly opposed unduly heavy occupation expenses, and always favored the reduction of our own expenditure, that is, of German expenditure in the occupied territories. In other words, he regarded the occupied territories in exactly the same way as other European countries; and this attitude is best illustrated by the speech he made in Vienna, I believe, in which he publicly acknowledged as genuine debts the clearing debts, the high totals of which were due mainly to differences in price, that is, inflationary tendencies, in the countries which delivered the goods.

There can be no question of Funk's co-operation in questions regarding the employment of foreign labor at this time, but only within the scope of his responsibility in the Central Planning Board. But it remains to be seen whether the Central Planning Board was at all responsible for the employment of workers or whether the Central Planning Board did nothing more than ascertain the manpower needs of the various production spheres. However, regardless of what the tasks of the Central Planning Board may have been, Funk's position in the Central Planning Board was the following:

Funk, as Minister of Economy, was responsible for the supplies for the civilian population and for export. In the period following the separation of the ministries, no additional foreign worker I believe was employed in the production of supplies for civilians or for export. On the contrary, Funk was constantly confronted with the fact that during that time German and foreign workers were continually being removed from the production of consumer goods and put into armament production. Consequently, I cannot imagine that an accusation of this sort can be made against Funk with reference to this period of time.

On this occasion I should like to emphasize another point which seems important to me. Provisioning the foreign workers was a very serious question. I believe that even Herr Sauckel will corroborate the fact that, when this question came up, Funk was at once ready--even though there--was already a great scarcity of provisions for the German people due to many air raids and destruction’s to release large quantities of supplies and put them at the disposal of the foreign workers. Particularly shoes and clothing; Funk was not the competent authority for food. I have specific knowledge of this. And as a result Funk had considerable difficulty; for the Gauleiter, in view of the great scarcity of goods, did their best to secure supplies for the inhabitants of their own Gau for whom they were responsible, and in so doing used every means which came to hand. Funk constantly had to oppose the arbitrary acts of the Gauleiter, who broke into the supply stores in their Gau and appropriated stocks intended for the general use. I know very well that Funk represented that viewpoint and it is in accordance with his general attitude, for the political disquiet and dissatisfaction which accompany the displacement of such large masses of human beings temporarily uprooted was in opposition to the policy of appeasement and reconstruction which was definitely Funk's goal.

February 1944: Funk visits Lammers complaining of the unsatisfactory position that he is occupying as Minister of Economics and Plenipotentiary for Economics.

From Hans Heinrich Lammers' IMT testimony: In 1943, but particularly afterwards in 1944. I know that he [Funk] was considerably worried about [wanting to resign his posts] and that he wanted very much to have an opportunity to take his worries to the Führer personally. If he did remain in office then it was only because he realized that during wartime he could not resign from his post; that would not be the right thing for a good German, to resign during wartime. But he had the most fervent wish to be able to report to the Führer about the economic situation and mainly about the particular impressions that the Gauleiter in the individual districts had. He had the most fervent wish, once for all, to report to the Führer and learn at least something about the war situation and talk about the question of ending the war. That was since the beginning of September. I made several attempts to submit the matter to the Führer; and I nearly succeeded later by camouflaging the real reason and pretending there was another important reason, some question of finance.

I submitted the matter to the Führer; but the Fuehrer sized up the situation, and, although Herr Funk had been waiting at my office for days for the report, he refused the request, probably because of Bormann's efforts towards this end. With the best intentions Funk did not succeed in seeing the Führer and I did not succeed in taking him to the Fuehrer.

February 20, 1944: The Allies begin a massive bombing campaign against Germany.

March 30, 1944: 781 British bombers attack Nuremberg.

June 6, 1944: D-Day.

From Funk's IMT testimony: I considered myself bound to remain in this position as long as I could, in order to serve and be of use to my people. It was precisely during the last few years of the war that my position was a very difficult one. The administration became greatly disorganized and I had to make exceptional efforts in order to procure supplies for the people, especially those who had been bombed out. I continually had to protect the supplies and supply depots from arbitrary seizures by the Gauleiter. In the case of one Gauleiter, I had to call the police. I did not follow the "scorched earth" policy, which the Fuehrer had decreed, so that even after occupation by the enemy powers the German people could use the supplies that were left.

I had had instructions from the Führer to issue a decree according to which the acceptance of allied invasion currency would be high treason and punishable by death I did not issue that decree. I made every effort to prevent State property and State money from being destroyed and wasted. I saved the gold deposits and foreign exchange deposits of the Reichsbank, which were in the greatest danger. Briefly, until the last minute I believed it was my duty and responsibility to carry on in office and to hold out until the very end. Especially when we Germans learned that, according to the Morgenthau Plan, the status of the German people was to be degraded into that of shepherds and goatherds; that the entire industry would be destroyed, which would have meant the extermination of 30 million Germans. And especially after Churchill had declared personally that the German people would suffer from hunger and that epidemics would break out, only one thing was possible for me and for every decent German, and that was to remain at his post and do everything within his power in order to prevent this chaos.

I had no talent for being a traitor or a conspirator, but I always loved my fatherland passionately and my people as well, and up to the end I tried to do everything possible to serve my country and my people and to be of use to them.

July 11, 1944: From notes of a conference in the Reich Chancellery at which Funk was present:

Reich Minister Dr. Lammers reported by way of introduction on the various proposals at hand by the Plenipotentiary for Labor Commitment that serve the purpose of bringing about the increase in labor commitment in Germany which is absolutely essential for winning the final victory. He limited the theme of the discussions by saying that actually all possibilities were to be examined by which the present deficit of foreign manpower could be covered, for example the question of the reestablishment of an acceptable price and wage scale between the Reich and the extra-German territories. But the primary consideration will have to remain the solution of the question whether and in what form greater compulsion will have to remain the solution of the question whether and in what form greater compulsion can be exerted to accept work in Germany. In this connection it must be examined how the executive forces, regarding the inadequacy of which the Plenipotentiary for Labor Commitment raises lively objection, can be strengthened, on the one hand through an influence on the foreign governments and on the other through building up the indigenous administration (Executive), whether by an increased use of the Wehrmacht, of the police, or of other German agencies. Reichsminister Dr. Lammers then gave the floor to the Plenipotentiary General for Labor Commitment, Gauleiter Sauckel.

Gauleiter Sauckel states that the present deficit in the matter of the half-year program of 2,025,000 foreign workers, to be fulfilled by 30 June of the current year, amounted to 500,000 workers. Of the total of 1,500,000 workers procured up to now, no less than 865,000 were Germans, of whom half were apprentices and women, both of which categories cannot be regarded as workers of full value. Of the 560,000 foreigners who were put to work, three-quarters came from the East alone. This result is a scandal in contrast to the German people who are incorporated in the labor process to the greatest extent, and it represents the complete bankruptcy of German authority in Italy and France, where hundreds of thousands of workers were still idling.

In executing the labor commitment we did not exert the necessary severity and in particular we were not able to achieve the necessary unity of the German authorities. It would not do for German authorities to interfere irresponsibly with the tasks of the GBA (Plenipotentiary for Labor Commitment). The latter must have much greater freedom of action, as was the case in 1942. With the present methods of recruitment for voluntary commitment we will not make any progress, for one thing because the volunteers still at hand exposed themselves to danger to life and limb from reprisals by their own fellow countrymen. If, on the other hand, they were forcibly obligated and decently treated in their work, they did completely satisfactory work. The treatment of the wage and price questions connected with the subject was desirable, but in the present situation no longer so important. If it were not dealt with now, then our labor commitment program would fail with the consequence that the fighting forces no longer would receive the arms that they need.

Staatssekretaer (State Secretary) von Steengracht, Foreign Office, stressed that the Reich Foreign Minister from the beginning had favored the same standpoint as the Plenipotentiary General for Labor Commitment. The Foreign Office could, however, do nothing besides urging the federal governments more or less intensively to fulfill the German demands, which had been done consistently up to the present. The executive is in the hands of other offices which therefore would now have to express themselves on the subject of the conference.

The Deputy of the Head of the OKW, General Warlimont, referred to a recently issued Führer order, according to which all German forces had to place themselves in the service of the work of acquiring manpower. Wherever the Wehrmacht was and was not employed exclusively in pressing military duties (as, for example, in the construction of the coastal defenses), it would be available, but it could not actually be assigned for the purposes of the GBA. General Warlimont made the following practical suggestions

a. The troops employed in fighting partisans are to take over in addition the task of acquiring manpower in the partisan areas. Everyone, who cannot fully prove the purpose of his stay in these areas, is to be seized forcibly.

b. When large cities, due to the difficulty of providing food, are wholly or partly evacuated the population suitable for labor commitment is to be put to work with the assistance of the Wehrmacht.

c. The seizing of labor recruits among the refugees from the areas near the front should be handled especially intensively with the assistance of the Wehrmacht.

Gauleiter Sauckel accepted these suggestions with thanks and expressed the expectation that certain successes could therewith already be achieved.

On behalf of the military commander of Belgium and Northern France. The Chief of the Military Administration, Reeder, put up for discussion the possibility of expansion of the Feldgendarmerie, at the time comprising only 70 men, and of the civilian searching service [Fahndungsdienst] consisting of Flemings and Walloons (1,100 people). If the Feldgendarmerie were strengthened to 200 men, appreciable searching results could be accomplished. At the inquiry of Reichsminister Dr. Lammers, General Warlimont agreed for the OKW to this strengthening of the searching service.

On further inquiry by the Reich minister Dr. Lammers, whether with the withdrawal of the troops the population suitable for recruiting could not be taken along, Colonel Saas (Plenipotentiary General for Italy) stated that Field Marshal General Kesselring had already decreed, that the population in a depth of 30 kilometers behind the front area was to be "captured." This measure could however, not be extended to areas situated farther behind the lines as thereby the sharpest shocks would occur in the whole structure of these areas, especially in regard to the industry not fully employed in production.

Gauleiter Sauckel was of the opinion that widest circles of the Wehrmacht saw in the labor recruiting program something disreputable. It had actually occurred that German soldiers had endeavored to protect the population from being taken by the German labor service. Therefore an instruction of the fighting forces on the extraordinary importance of labor recruiting seemed necessary. In opposition to the much too mild German method, it was part of the Bolshevist conception of war when occupying territories, immediately to have the fighting troops commit the whole population to labor.

The question of administration (Executive) thus was not one of mass recruiting, but of being consistent. One must finally proceed to establish examples, then the passive resistance would quickly change into active cooperation. One ought also not to shrink back from proceeding with drastic means against the administrative heads [Behordenleiter] themselves who sabotage the labor commitment. Not the, small refractory offenders should be punished, but the responsible administrative heads. In addition to these compulsory measures, other means too must be applied. Thus thought should be taken for the removal of a great part of the remaining exceptional Italian harvest in order to improve thereby the rations of the Germans and foreign workers. A special problem was presented by the entirely insufficient alimentation of the Italian military internees who were almost starving. The Führer should be asked to have the statute for these military internees gradually altered. No inconsiderable working energies would be released thereby.

Reichsleiter Dr. Ley underscored these statements and suggested the establishment of a searching office made up of all German forces in the extra-German territories, that would carry out the ruthless enrolling in large areas.

Against these proposals, doubts were expressed:

Reichsminister Funk anticipates from ruthless raids considerable disturbances of the production in the extra-German territories. The same opinion is held by the Chief of the Military Administration, of Italy, Staatssekretaer Dr. Landfried, who considers the German forces comprises in the executive body as too small and fears that the Italian population will escape the seizure in great numbers and will flee into uncontrollable regions.

Reichsminister Speer stated that he had an interest both in spurring on an increased labor recruiting for the Reich and also in the maintaining of the production in the extra-German territories. Up to the present 25 to 30 percent of the German war production had been furnished by the occupied Western territories and Italy, by Italy alone 12.5 percent.

The Führer recently decided that this production must be maintained as long as possible, in spite of the difficulties already existing, especially in the field of transportation. The executive is well in a position, in the opinion of Reich Minister Speer, to seize sufficient foreign workers with its present strength, as a relatively small number of executive men are sufficient for this purpose. All that is needed are stricter orders, but no violent measures nor large-scale raids may be carried out. One should, rather, proceed with clean methods step by step.

From Funk's IMT testimony: The achievements of the occupied territories for the joint carrying on of the war were without doubt of great significance. I have always regarded the occupied territories synchronized with the total German economy as one great productive organism for carrying on the war, which would lead to a new order in Europe. Usually the same basic economic principles applied in the occupied countries as in Germany. In 1944 I had statistics compiled to show just how much the occupied countries had produced for the war effort in the 3 years of 1941, 1942, and 1943, and we reached the figure of 90,000 million Reichsmark. That is certainly an extraordinarily high figure, but one must not forget that the currencies of the various countries were converted into Reichsmark. That is, the reduced purchasing power of the various currencies is not expressed in these figures In truth, therefore, the production is lower than these Reichsmark figures might show.

At the same time Germany utilized at least two-thirds of her entire production, that is, about 260,000 million marks worth, for the European war effort, in other words, almost three times as much as the occupied countries. Almost up to the time of the invasion I succeeded, in the case of France, in regulating the financial and monetary system and thus also the economic and social order to such an extent that, at the end of the German occupation, French finances were actually much healthier than German finances, and if it had not been for the circumstances resulting from the elementary impact of the war, France would have been able to construct a healthy monetary system on this basis.

My statistics are confirmed to a certain degree by a document which was submitted here. This is Exhibit RF-22 (Document Number F-515), and deals with the French deliveries to Germany. It is an official report to the French Government about forced labor in France. In this report there are tables on Pages 38, 39, and 40 showing the amount of French deliveries to Germany in proportion to the entire French production. These figures show that out of the entire French production with which we are dealing, in these three years an average of 30 to 35 percent was sent to Germany for the joint war effort. In some fields, and especially those which are necessary for the provisioning of the French population, such as textiles, pharmaceutical supplies, gas, electricity, and so forth, these figures are considerably lower and in some cases amount to only 5 or 6 percent. But as an economist I admit without hesitation that if these matters are not regarded from the point of view of the joint carrying on of the war and the joint economic relationship, a deduction of 35 percent means a lot and must naturally have serious repercussions for the entire economy.

I have no specific figures at hand for the Russian territories. The Ministry of Economics itself was entirely excluded from the war economy of these territories; we merely attempted to allow certain firms or companies to operate in these territories as private enterprises there, that is to say, they were to buy and sell at their own risk. I did not participate otherwise in the management of these regions outside of the fact that I was chairman of the supervisory board of the Continental Oil Company, which operated in these regions in conformity with the provisions of the Four Year Plan and the orders of the Wehrmacht. But I personally, as chairman of the supervisory board, had only to manage the financial affairs of this company.

From Funk's pre-trial interrogation:

Q. When did you lose jurisdiction over coal?

A. It was the middle of 1943.

Q. That was at the time when you became a member of the Central Planning Board, was it not?

A. That was the compensation which I was given for taking away from me the production questions.

Q. But up to the end of 1943, when you say you were in charge of consumer industries, you were in charge of coal as well?

A. Yes, until 1943 the coal came under the Minister of Economics.

Q. So that requirements for coal miners, for example, were part of your responsibility?

A. No, I had nothing to do with miners; that was the concern of the Ministry of Work.

Q. Didn't you have to ask for enough miners to keep up the coal production?

A. Well, of course, if the mines were short of workers or had difficulty with the miners they could come to the Minister of Economy and tell him that they were in difficulty and the Minister of Economy then consulted with the Four Year Plan which is turn would settle the matter with the Minister of Labor.

Q. But you had the responsibility then to insure through the Four Year Plan and Ministry of Labor a steady flow of laborers to work the coal mines that were under your jurisdiction?

A. It wasn't my responsibility, but I had to intervene when the coal industry came to me and complained about the shortage of workers. In that connection I would have to take action.

Q. And what kind of workers did you get for this? Were they all German workers or foreign workers or were some prisoners of war or what?

A. What sort of workers eventually arrived in the mines was no concern of mine. That was decided by the Ministry of Labor and later on by Sauckel, and later on Speer claimed additional authority, but I was in no way connected.

Q. When did you first find out that foreign workers were being brought to Germany to work in the coal mines?

A. That is another very difficult question. I assume that when workers became available in Russia some of them were transferred to the German coal industry.

Q. I want to ask you: when did you first find out that the involuntary--that is, that foreign workers who came against their will were first brought to Germany to work in the coal mines?

A. I can't say that at all, because I have never concerned myself with that question.

Q. When did you first find out that foreign workers were being brought to Germany against their will in any industry?

A. I don't know at all that foreign workers were brought to Germany against their will. That wasn't a task for the Minister of Economy.

Q. I didn't ask you whether it was a task for the Minister of Economy; I asked you when you first knew about it. Do you want the record to stand as it is, that you were probably the only man in Germany that didn't know that workers were brought to Germany against their will?

A. That could have only been after Sauckel was nominated. It was his task. Before that I never heard that workers in large numbers were forcibly transferred to Germany.

Q. Were you ever present in any meeting where the task of Sauckel was defined?

A. No, not which were concerned with the nomination of Sauckel.

Q. I don't mean the nomination of Sauckel; I mean the discussions concerning Sauckel's functions and what the general program was going to be about labor.

A. I believe that the first time that I was present at such discussion was when Speer was already in office.

Q. What discussion are you referring to now?

A. Such as referred to the transfer of foreign workers on a large scale to Germany by Sauckel.

Q. You mean against their will?

A. Well that I don't know. Sauckel never said during such conferences that they were brought in against their will.

Q. But you know? I just want to ask you. This is the first question: we will come to something important later. Certainly you knew that such a large number of people—millions—couldn't be brought to Germany voluntarily?

A. Certainly. Well yes, but you are referring to the statement by Sauckel that they were transferred against their will. That they did not come voluntarily was something, certainly, one would have to assume.

Q. When you were asking for labor on behalf of the coal industry for the Four Year Plan form the Minister of Labor, you knew that among those who would be recruited for those mines would be many who were foreign workers brought involuntarily to Germany?

A. That's right; yes. But there is something else I must say n the connection, that is, that such questions on behalf of the coal mines were made directly by Pleiger to Sauckel and had nothing to do with the Minister of Economy.

Q. But you said a little while ago, did you not—I listened to you very carefully, and it is perfectly clear that you said—that first you had jurisdiction over the mines until late in 1943; second, that the coal mine owners came to you for a labor supply which you in turn would have to request from the Four Year Plan and the Ministry of Labor; is that correct?

A. Yes, until Sauckel arrived and until Pleiger became the chief of coal questions. After that it was done by Pleiger independently.

Q. Leave out the coal situation for the moment. You also required workers for the consumer industries which were under your jurisdiction; did you not?

A. The consumer goods industries were restricted more and more every year. In fact, it has to concede workers to more important industries.

Q. As a matter of fact, you were using German workers for security reasons in war production industries and therefore required a substitution of foreign workers n the consumer industries?

A. Yes; but certainly no foreign workers on a large scale were used in the consumer goods industry at the beginning.

Q. But later? What happened later? Didn't you finally use foreign workers in the consumer industry?

A. Yes, but the consumer goods industry was deprived of every worker they could spare. They were deprived of more workers than any other industry. I fought continually against having to lose these workers from the consumer goods industry.

Q. Wait a minute. When you went on to this Central Planning Board in the Fall of 1943 did you receive copies if the minutes after that?

A. Yes.

Q. As a matter of fact, you were present at many of the meetings, were you not?

A. I only joined the meeting of the Central Planning Board when I required something for my own small sector, that is to say, something to do with sport and consumer goods industries, for example, iron, and I had to fight on each occasion to get just a few thousand tons for my consumer goods industry.

Q. Yes, but during these meetings you attended you heard, did you not, discussions concerning foreign labor?

A. Oh, yes I did.

Q. And you knew from those meeting that the policy was to bring in more and more foreign workers to the Reich against their will?

A. Yes, certainly.

Q. And you never objected to that, I take it?

A. No. Why should I have objected? It was somebody else's task to bring those foreign workers in.

Q. Did you believe it was legal to take people against their will from their home and bring them to Germany?

A. Well, many things happen in wartime which aren't strictly legal. I have never racked my brains about hat. But there is another thing, and that is, that I tried my best to prevent the importation of too many workers from France, for instance, to see their industry at home kept going.

Q. Yes, but what about workers from the East, from the Ukraine, for example; you were interested in getting them into Germany to work, were you not?

A. I personally, no.

Q. But you were in agreement with the general policy?

A. Well that foreign workers should be brought into Germany from foreign countries, that I considered perfectly proper so that war production could continue and increase. But it was never aware that this was illegal.

July 14, 1944: Churchill to Foreign Secretary Eden:

... This requires careful handling. It is quite possible that rich Jews will pay large sums of money to escape being murdered by the Huns. It is tiresome that this money should get into the hands of ELAS (Greek Communist partisans), but why on Earth we should go and argue with the United States about it I cannot conceive. We should take a great responsibility if we prevented the escape of Jews, even if they should be rich Jews. I know it is the modern view that all rich people should be put to death wherever found, but it is a pity that we should take up that attitude at the present time. After all, they have no doubt paid for their liberation so high that in the future they will only be poor Jews, and therefore have the ordinary rights of human beings...

July 20, 1944: Hitler survives a deadly assassination attempt (bomb explosion) during a war conference.

August 1, 1944: The Warsaw Uprising begins, as the Jewish partisans capture a major German arsenal, the main post office and power station, Praga railway station, and the tallest building in Warsaw: the Prudential building.

December 16, 1944 Beleidigender Ardennes: Hitler's big gamble in the West, the so-called Battle of the Bulge, gets underway in Belgium and Luxembourg.

January 25, 1945 Beleidigender Ardennes: Hitler's big gamble, the Battle of the Bulge, collapses. The last of the German reserves are now gone.

March 19, 1945 Nero Decree:

Führer Order: Measures for destruction’s in Reich Territory: The struggle of our nation for existence also forces the utilization of all means to weaken the fighting power of our enemy and to prevent further advances. Advantage must be taken of all opportunities to inflict the most enduring damage to the striking power of the enemy directly or indirectly. It is a mistake to believe in the possibility of work resumption for our own purposes of undestroyed or only temporarily paralyzed traffic, communications, industrial, and supply installations after the recapture of lost territories. On his retreat the enemy will leave behind only scorched earth and refrain from any consideration for the population. I therefore command:

1. All military traffic, communications, industrial and supply installation as well as objects on Reich territory, which the enemy might immediately or later utilize for the continuation of his fight, are to be destroyed.

2. The military commands are responsible for the execution of this destruction of all military objects including traffic and communications installations. The Gauleiter’s and Commissioners for Reich Defense are responsible for the destruction of the industrial and supply installations as well as of other valuable objects; the Gauleiter and Commissioners for Reich Defense are to be given necessary assistance by the troops in carrying out this task.

3. This command is to be transmitted as promptly as possible to all troop commanders; orders to the contrary are null and void. Adolf Hitler.

From the IMT testimony of Dr. Franz Hayler: Two facts can be established in regard to this point, which should be of interest to the Tribunal. I have rarely seen Funk as depressed as at that time, after he had received information about the so-called "scorched earth decree." I believe he was the first minister to issue at that time two very clear decrees, one from the Ministry of Economics, in which he gave definite instructions that wherever German people were an administration of economy in some sort of form must remain; where it is necessary that people be provided for, the State must continue to provide for these people.

The second decree was issued at the same time by the President of the Reichsbank, in which he decreed that the money market had to be cared for by the remaining offices of the Reichsbank in the same way that economy was to be cared for.

Regarding your question itself, I recall very distinctly that the Fuehrer himself, it was said, had demanded of the Ministry of Economics the issuing of a legal regulation according to which the acceptance of occupation money was forbidden to every German on pain of death. Herr Funk opposed this demand very energetically, I believe with the help of Herr Lammers. He himself telephoned headquarters repeatedly and finally succeeded in having the Fuehrer's directive withdrawn.

April 12, 1945: President Roosevelt dies; Truman becomes President. The Allies liberate Buchenwald and Belsen concentration camps.

April 30, 1945: An announcement on the German wireless: It has been reported from the Führer's headquarters that our Führer Adolf Hitler has died this afternoon...

May 2, 1945: Executive Order of US President Truman:

... Associate Justice Robert H. Jackson is hereby designated to act as the Representative of the United States and as its Chief of Counsel in preparing and prosecuting charges of atrocities and war crimes against such of the leaders of the European Axis powers and their principal agents and accessories as the United States may agree with any of the United Nations to bring to trial before an international tribunal ...

May 7-8, 1945 VE Day: The Allies formally accept the unconditional surrender of Nazi Germany.

Mid-1945: Funk is captured in Berlin.
[Next: Part Five, Click Here.]
[Part Five, 6/7/1945-5/31/1960.] [Part Four, 9/8/1942-5/1945.] [Part Three, 8/27/1939-8/20/1942.] [Part Two, 3/12/1938-8/25/1939.] [Part One, 8/18/1890-2/1938.] Twitter: @3rdReichStudies E-MAIL

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