The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)
Nuremberg, war crimes, crimes against humanity

The Trial of German Major War Criminals

Sitting at Nuremberg, Germany
4th April to 15th April, 1946

One Hundred and Second Day: Monday, 8th April, 1946
(Part 10 of 11)

[DR. PANNENBECKER continues his direct examination of Hans Heinrich Lammers]

[Page 129]

Q. You know, of course, that later on, through a decree, Himmler was appointed Reichsfuehrer S.S. and Chief of the German Police in the Ministry of the Interior, do you not? Do you know who created that designation, "Reichsfuehrer S.S." and so forth?

[Page 130]

A. Yes, I had something to do with it at the time. The proposal of such a title originated apparently with Himmler. I objected to this title from the very beginning for two reasons. Two entirely different matters were being lumped together: the Reichsfuehrer S.S. (which is a Party rank) and the Police (which is a State concern). On the one side was the Reichsfuehrer S.S. who had the rank of Reichsleiter in the Party, which is equivalent to that of a Reich Minister; on the other side the Chief of Police, who had the position of a State Secretary in the Ministry of the Interior and who is subordinate to the Minister of the Interior. But Himmler insisted on this designation, and the Fuehrer considered that he was right. My objections to this designation were proved correct by following events, for the Minister of the Interior's right to issue instructions to the Police now became extremely problematic, since Reichsfuehrer Himmler, as far as the police officers were concerned, was at the same time the S.S. Fuehrer and could give them orders in his capacity as Reichsfuehrer S.S., and the Ministry of the Interior could not interfere. It was also a practice of his that he usually made the other police officials S.S. leaders. One therefore could never know exactly in what capacity the person concerned was acting, whether he was acting as member of the S.S., or as a policeman. And the question of authority in the Ministry of Interior afterwards became almost devoid of meaning because Himmler dropped the last words of the designation "Chief of the German Police in the Reich Ministry of the Interior" and completely separated himself from the Ministry of the Interior as far as having an office in the building and the mode of procedure were concerned, and no longer felt himself in a subordinate position. When Minister Frick lodged a complaint about this with me, which I was supposed to take to the Fuehrer, the Fuehrer told me: "Tell Herr Frick that he should not restrict Himmler as Chief of the German Police too much; with him the police are in good hands. He should allow him as much free rein as possible!" Thus for all practical purposes, though not by a special decree, the Minister of the Interior's authority to give orders was very sharply limited, if not even suspended.

Q. You have just said that Himmler, on his own, arbitrarily exercised jurisdiction over police organisations without bothering about what Frick wanted. But then there was still another channel for commands issued to the police - orders given by Hitler himself, Did he give them to Frick as the competent minister or did he give them to Himmler?

A. Normally the Fuehrer gave these instructions to Himmler. If he gave instructions to me which concerned the police matters, then I generally passed them on through the Minister of the Interior, or at least I informed him about them.

Q. Do you know anything about whether concentration camps were included in the budget of the Reich or whether they were in the budget of the S.S.?

A. As far as I know - but I can't say this for certain - the money for concentration camps did not appear in the budget of the Reich. It was rather this way: the Reich Minister of Finance paid a yearly lump sum to the Party through the Reich Treasurer, who had to distribute it to the various Party organisations. The Reichsfuehrer S.S. received a lump sum from the S.S. with which he probably financed this matter. I also can't recollect that I ever saw any part of the Reich Budget in which the concentration camps were mentioned.

Q. Do you know anything about the fact that Himmler opposed the Minister of the Interior's right to interfere in this field, giving as his reason the fact that money for concentration camps had been provided?

A. No, I don't know anything about that.

Q. I now have some questions referring to another field. Do you know anything about Hitler's efforts to kill painlessly persons incurably insane?

A. Yes, this idea occurred to Hitler in the autumn of 1939 for the first time. On that occasion the State Secretary in the Ministry of the Interior, Dr. Conti, received the order to investigate this question. He was told to discuss the legal

[Page 131]

angle of the matter with me. I spoke against the execution of any such programme. But since the Fuehrer insisted on it I suggested that this matter should be given all legal guarantees and be ruled upon by a law, I also had an appropriate draft for a law worked out; thereupon State Secretary Conti was relieved of this task, and in 1940 it was given over to Reichsleiter Buehler. Reichsleiter Buehler reported to the Fuehrer, but I wasn't present. Then he came to see me. I showed him my draft of the law and stated the objections I had to the matter and he left again. Then I presented the drafted law to the Fuehrer; he did not approve of it, but he did not reject it altogether. Later, however, ignoring me, he gave Reichsleiter Buehler and the medical attendant, Professor Dr. Brandt, then working with him, plenary authority to kill incurably insane people. I had nothing to do with the drafting of this plenary power. As far as I was concerned, the matter was settled, as the Fuehrer didn't want me and had given the work to others to do.

Q. You have just said that the Fuehrer gave the task to State Secretary Dr. Conti in the Ministry of the Interior. Did that order from Hitler pass to Conti through Frick?

A. I don't know. State Secretary Conti was called by telephone by the adjutant's office or by Reichsleiter Bormann; and whether that went through Frick or not, I don't know.

Q. Do you know anything at all about whether Frick himself participated in these measures in some form or other?

A. No, nothing about that is known to me.

Q. Then I have a last group of questions, referring to the Protectorate in Bohemia and Moravia. When in August, 1943, Frick was appointed Protector for Bohemia and Moravia, did the formal authority of the Reich Protector remain the same as before?

A. No. These powers were deliberately altered and in such a way that the Protector from then on was to become more or less a figurehead. The political direction of the Protectorate was to be transferred to State Minister Frank. The Reich Protector was merely the German representative in the Protectorate with very little actual powers. He was to co-operate in forming the government in the Protectorate. Furthermore he had the limited, rather small right of nominating civil servants, which in the main applied to the medium and lower grade civil servants, and then he had the right of granting pardons, and in general the State Minister for Bohemia and Moravia, Frank, was obliged to keep the Protector informed. In the main these were the rights of the Protector. Apart from that it was Hitler's wish that the Protector should not spend too much time in the Protectorate. In fact I have had to pass this information on to him several times.

Q. You said that the Protector of Bohemia and Moravia during Frick's time was the head of the German administration. Was State Minister Frank under Frick?

A. Yes, he was subordinate, but the relation was rather that of the head of the State to the head of the Government; State Minister Frank had political control.

Q. But isn't it right to say that Minister Frank was directly subordinate to the Fuehrer?

A. I don't believe that was the situation. I don't remember the decree. He was not directly under him ... I can't say that for certain now. At any rate the Fuehrer received only Frank, and not the Reich Protector, for political discussions.

Q. I have not the decree with me. I shall have to clear that up later.

Do you know anything about the fact that Frick expressly demanded this division of authority and that, to start with, he had refused to accept the position of Protector in Bohemia and Moravia; and that this division of authority did not take place until he said that he could not assume outer responsibility for something which wasn't his inner responsibility?

A. I have already mentioned the fact that Minister Frick refused to accept this position, and when this decree appeared, in which the rights of the Protector

[Page 132]

were laid down - a decree which wasn't published - Dr. Frick quite rightly had misgivings, thinking, "As far as the outside world is concerned, I shall have responsibilities which don't exist at all." So we published a notice in the Press. In that it stated that the new Reich Protector would have only such and such rights, as I previously listed here, such as the nomination of civil servants, the right to pardon and the right to co-operate in the forming of a government in the Protectorate. Thus it was stated to the outside world that Frick no longer had the full responsibility which former Reich Protectors, perhaps, had had.

Q. Did you know anything about the fact that the reason for this division of responsibility in the Protectorate was that Hitler didn't think that Frick would be hard enough to handle matters there?

A. That was obviously the reason, yes.

DR. PANNENBECKER: In that case I have no further questions.

BY DR. SAUTER (counsel for the defendant Funk):

Q. As a supplement to the statements already made by the witness, I have still a few questions. Dr. Lammers, the defendant Funk, beginning with the year 1933, was the Press Chief of the Reich Government. That is known to you?

A. Yes.

Q. You yourself were at that time already in your office, weren't you?

A. Yes.

Q. Did the defendant Funk in this capacity as Press Chief of the Reich Government exercise any influence on decisions made by the Cabinet or on the contents of, bills before the Cabinet?

A. That question must be answered in the negative. At most he may have had an influence from the journalistic point of view, i.e. for an attractive title for a law or some sort of popular wording, or something like that. But he did not vote on the contents of the laws. In his position as Press Chief, he was first ministerial director and then State Secretary; he had nothing to say about the contents.

Q. Why then was he as Press Chief of the Reich Government ever invited to attend the meetings of the Cabinet at that time?

A. Well, because of the reporting to the Press afterwards.

Q. That is to say, only to inform the Press of the discussions and decisions of the Reich Cabinet - and he had no influence on decisions or even as to the Bills themselves?

A. Yes, that's right.

Q. But without having any influence on decisions or the authority to propose laws?

A. Yes, that's right.

Q. In this capacity as Press Chief of the Government, the defendant Funk had, as you know, to give reports regularly on Press matters to the then Reich Chancellor, Hitler. Do you know when these regular reports made by the Press Chief of the Government to Hitler ceased?

A. At the latest they ceased one year later. These were joint conferences. Funk and I, at the beginning, had as many as three to four meetings a week with the Fuehrer, and this lasted through the summer of 1933. During the winter the meetings became fewer, then became more frequent again, and ceased altogether in 1934, after Hindenburg's death.

Q. Who made these Press reports to Hitler after that?

A. The Press Chief, Dr. Dietrich.

Q. Excluding Dr. Funk?

A. Yes.

Q. Dr. Lammers, the defendant Funk later on became President of the Reichsbank. Do you know anything about who had to decide about credits given or to be given to the Reich by the Reichsbank?

A. That decision was the Fuehrer's. The way it happened in practice was

[Page 133]

that the Minister of Finance submitted the application for a credit. That was done in duplicate. One letter with the appropriate order was directed to the Reich Minister of Finance, and the second letter with such an order was addressed to the President of the Reichsbank.

Q. Dr. Lammers, these technical details don't really interest us. We are only interested in this: Did Dr. Funk, as President of the Reichsbank, have any influence on the question of whether and to what extent the German Reich could claim credit from the Reichsbank? Only that interests us.

A. I can answer that only by citing technical details. All I received were those two documents from the Finance Minister. It was entirely a matter of having them signed; they were signed in one second by the Fuehrer and then they were sent back. I never had an order to negotiate with Herr Funk or with Herr Schacht or with the Minister of Finance. It was entirely a matter of having them signed, nothing else.

Q. So that according to your knowledge these instructions came from Hitler and not the Reichsbank President?

A. The instructions were signed by the Fuehrer.

Q. Dr. Lammers, you have already mentioned once the so- called "Committee of Three" or "Three-Man Board" which was formed in the later years. Regarding this "Three-Man Board" the prosecution maintains that Funk was also a member of this committee, and that this committee represented, so to speak, the highest court as far as the legislation of the Reich Government during the war was concerned.

A. One can't say that at all. I stated already that these three men, each acting independently, had the right to issue decrees with the consent of the two others, and that there were very few and quite insignificant decrees.

Q. You mean decrees of little importance - decrees for his department?

A. Yes.

Q. Furthermore, Dr. Lammers, the defendant Goering stated during his examination that the powers which Dr. Funk had as Plenipotentiary for Economy, I think in 1938, were transferred for the most part to the Trustee for the Four- Year Plan; that consequently Dr. Funk's powers, generally speaking, existed only on paper. I should be very interested in knowing whether these powers of the Plenipotentiary for Economy were transferred to the Trustee for the Four-Year Plan, in other words, Goering, formally, as well as in fact.

A. That was based on an order of the Fuehrer, a special order issued by the Fuehrer.

Q. When was that, approximately?

A. The Four-Year Plan was created in 1936, and it was extended in 1940 for another four years. The special powers which Funk later surrendered to the Four-Year Plan were based on an agreement between Reich Marshal Goering and Minister Funk, an arrangement which, as far as I know, had the Fuehrer's approval.

Q. Dr. Lammers, you have already told the Tribunal that since 1938, I think, no more meetings of the Cabinet took place and that, in the end, Hitler even prohibited informal discussions among ministers. Can you tell us anything as to whether and, if so, how often, the defendant Dr. Funk had an opportunity - during the seven years he was minister - to talk to Hitler, to report to him, and so forth?

A. Well, during the first years, as I have said, as Press Chief, he reported frequently.

Q. And later as Minister of Economy?

A. Later, as Minister of Economy, he very rarely came to the Fuehrer. At many conferences he wasn't even consulted, even conferences at which he ought to have been consulted. Quite often he complained to me about that. I tried in every way to do my best to include him in such conferences, but I didn't always succeed.

Q. Dr. Lammers, I have noticed that minutes have been read aloud in which it is clearly said, and I think by you, that the defendant Funk as Minister for

[Page 134]

Economy had asked you that he be permitted to participate in this or that important conference, and that you had expressly stated in that record that the Fuehrer had refused that, or that the Fuehrer had prohibited it. May I show you an example? I remember a meeting of 4th January, 1944 - Document 1292-PS - concerning questions of labour employment. In those minutes it says - once more said by you - that Funk's request to be able to participate had been refused. Can you remember such cases and can you give us the reasons?

A. Yes, I can remember such cases, but I don't know whether they were mentioned in the minutes. Probably I informed Herr Funk that I had made the greatest effort to have him included in these conferences; the Fuehrer, however, had refused.

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