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  Nazi Conspiracy and Aggression, Volume 2, Chapter 15

                    3. THE REICH CABINET

The Reich Cabinet, or Reichsregierung, unlike most of the
other Nazi organizations, was not especially created by the
Nazi Party to carry out or implement its purposes. The
Reichsregierung had, before the Nazis came to power, a place
in the constitutional and political history of the country.
As with other cabinets of duly constituted governments, the
executive power of the realm concentrated in that body. The
Nazi conspirators well realized this fact. Their aim for
totalitarian control over the State could not be secured,
they realized, except by acquiring, holding, and utilizing
the machinery of the State. And this they did.

                                                   [Page 92]
Under the Nazi regime the Reichsregierung gradually became a
primary agent of the Nazi Party, with functions and policies
formulated in accordance with the objectives and methods of
the Party itself. The Reichsregierung became -- at first
gradually and then with more rapidity -- polluted by the
infusion of the Nazi conspirators sixteen of whom are
accused in the Indictment. Its purpose came to be to clothe
every scheme and purpose of the Party, however vile, with
the semblance of legality.

A. Composition and Nature of the Reichsregierung.

The term Reichsregierung literally translated means "Reich
Government". Actually, it was commonly taken to refer to the
ordinary Reich Cabinet. In the Indictment the term
Reichsregierung is defined to include not only those persons
who were members of the ordinary Reich Cabinet, but also
persons who were members of the Council of Ministers for the
Defense of the Reich (Ministerrat fuer die
Reichsverteidigung) and the Secret Cabinet Council (Geheimer
Kabinettsrat). The most important body, however, was the
ordinary cabinet. Between it and the other two groups there
was in reality only an artificial distinction. There
existed, in fact, a unity of personnel, action, function,
and purpose that obliterated any academic separation. As
used in the Indictment, the term "ordinary cabinet" means
Reich Ministers, i.e., heads of departments of the central
government; Reich Ministers without portfolio; State
Ministers acting as Reich Ministers; and other officials
entitled to take part in Cabinet meetings. Altogether, 48
persons held positions in the ordinary cabinet. 17 of them
have been indicted as defendants. Of the remaining 31, eight
are believed to be dead.

(1) The Ordinary Cabinet. Into the ordinary cabinet were
placed the leading Nazi trusted henchmen. Then, when new
governmental agencies or bodies were created, either by
Hitler or by the Cabinet itself, the constituents of these
new bodies were taken from the rolls of the ordinary

When the first Hitler Cabinet was formed on 30 January 1933,
there were 10 ministries which could be classified as
departments of the central government. This fact appears
from the minutes of the first meeting of that cabinet, which
were found in the files of the Reich Chancellery and bear
the typed signature of one Weinstein, who is described in
the minutes as "Responsible for the Protocol -- Counsellor
in the Ministry" (351-PS). The ten ministers who attended
are set forth:

                                                   [Page 93]
"Reichs Minister of Foreign Affairs (von Neurath); Reichs
Minister of the Interior (Frick); Reichs Minister of
Finance; (Graf Schwerin von Krosigk); Reichs Minister of
Economy; Reichs Minister for Food and Agriculture (Dr.
Hugenberg); Reichs Minister of Labor (Seldte); Reichs
Minister of Justice no name given; the post was filled two
days later by Gurtner]; Reichs Defense Minister (von
Blomberg); the Reichs Postmaster General; and Reichs
Minister for Transportation (Freiherr von Eltz-Ruebanach)."

In addition, Goering attended as Reichs Minister (he held no
portfolio at that time) and Reichs Commissar for Aviation.
Dr. Perecke attended as Reich Commissar for Procurement of
Labor. Two state secretaries were present-Dr. Lammers of the
Reichs Chancellery and Dr. Meissner of the Reich's
Presidential Chancellery. In addition, Funk was present as
Reichs Press Chief, and von Papen was present as Deputy of
the Reichs Chancellor and Reichs Commissar for the State of

Not long afterwards new ministries or departments were
crested, into which leading Nazi figures were placed. On 13
March 1933, the Ministry of Popular Enlightenment and
Propaganda was created, and Paul Josef Goebbels was named as
Reich Minister of Popular Enlightenment and Propaganda (2029-
PS). On 5 May 1933 the Ministry of Air (2089-PS), on 1 May
1934 the Ministry of Education (2078-PS), and on 16 July
1935 the Ministry for Church Affairs (2090-PS) were created.
Goering was made Air Minister; Bernhard Rust, Gauleiter of
South Hanover, was named Education Minister; and Hans Kerrl
was named Minister for Church Affairs. Two Ministries were
added after the war started. On 17 March 1940 the Ministry
of Armaments and Munitions was established (2091-PS). Dr.
Fritz Todt, a high party official, was appointed to this
post. Speer succeeded him. The name of this department was
changed to "Armaments and War Production" in 1943 (2092-PS).
On 17 July 1941, when the seizure of Eastern territories was
in progress, the Ministry for the Occupied Eastern
Territories was created. There was no published decree for
this act. A file found in the Presidential chancellery
contains a typewritten copy of the decree of Hitler
establishing that post (1997-PS). The decree provides:

     "Decree of the Fuehrer concerning the administration of
     the newly occupied Eastern Territories dated 17 July

     "In order to maintain public order and public life in
     the newly-occupied Eastern territories I decree that:

     "As soon as the military operations in the newly-
     occupied territories are over, the administration of
     these territories
                                                   [Page 94]
     shall be transferred from the military establishments
     to the civil-administration establishments. I shall
     from time to time determine by special decree, the
     territories which according to this are to be
     transferred to the civil administration. and the time
     when this is to take place.
     "The Civil Administration in the newly occupied Eastern
     territories, where these territories are not included
     in the administration of the territories bordering on
     the Reich or the General government, is subject to the
     'Reich Minister for the Occupied Eastern
     "I appoint Reichsleiter Alfred Rosenberg as Reich
     Minister for the Occupied Eastern Territories. He will
     hold office in Berlin (1997-PS)

During the years 1933 to 1945, one ministry was dropped the
Ministry of Defense (later called War). This took place on 4
February 1938, when Hitler took over command of the whole
Armed Forces. At the same time he created the office of the
"Chief of the Supreme Command of the Armed Forces" or Chief
of the OKW. This was held by Keitel. The decree
accomplishing this change provides in part as follows:

     "He [the Chief of the supreme command of the armed
     forces] is equal in rank to a Reich Minister. At the
     same time, the supreme command takes the responsibility
     for the affairs of the Reichs Ministry of War, and by
     my order, the chief of the supreme command of the Armed
     Forces exercises the authority formerly belonging to
     the Reichs Minister." (1915-PS)

Another change in the composition of the cabinet during the
years in question should be noted. The post of vice-
chancellor was never refilled after the departure of von
Papen on 30 July 1934.

In addition to the heads of departments mentioned above, the
ordinary cabinet also contained Reich Ministers without
portfolio. Among these were Frank, Seyss-Inquart, Schacht
(after he left the Economics Ministry), and von Neurath
(after he was replaced as Ministry of the Interior). Other
positions also formed an integral part of the cabinet. Those
were the Deputy of the Fuehrer, Hess, and later his
successor, the Leader of the Party Chancellery, Bormann; the
Chief of Staff of the SA, Ernst Roehm, for the seven months
prior to his assassination; the Chief of the Reich
Chancellery, Lammers; and, as already mentioned, the Chief
of the OKW, Keitel. These men had either the title or rank
of Reich Minister.

                                                   [Page 95]
The Cabinet also contained other functionaries, such as
State Ministers acting as Reich Ministers. Only two persons
fell within this category -- the Chief of the Presidential
Chancellery, Otto Meissner, and the State Minister of the
Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia, Karl Hermann Frank. In
addition, as named in the Indictment, the ordinary cabinet
included "others entitled to take part in Cabinet meetings".
Many governmental agencies were created by the Nazis between
the years 1933 and 1945, but the peculiarity of these
creations was that in most instances the new officials were
given the right to participate in cabinet meetings. Among
those entitled to take part in Cabinet meetings were the
Commanders in Chief of the Army and the Navy; the Reich
Forest Master; the Inspector General for Water and Power;
the Inspector General of German Roads; the Reich Labor
Leader; the Reich Youth Leader; the Chief of the Foreign
Organization in the Foreign Office; the Reichsfuehrer SS and
Chief of the German Police in the Reich Ministry of the
Interior; the Prussian Finance Minister; and the Cabinet
Press Chief. These posts and officials comprising the
ordinary cabinet all appear on the chart entitled
"Organization of the Reich Government," and authenticated by
Frick (Chart Number 18). The persons who held these posts in
the ordinary cabinet varied between the years 1933 to 1945.
Their names are listed in the chart (Chart Number 18), which
discloses that 17 of these officials are defendants in these

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