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 11 of 11)

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

[Page 134]

Q. The reason?

A. Frequently the Fuehrer made objections, giving various reasons in the case of Funk. He was sceptical about him and didn't want him there.

Q. Witness, in April, 1941, you are supposed to have informed defendant Funk that Rosenberg had received an order from Hitler for a unified treatment of the problems in the Eastern Territories. Besides giving that message to Funk you are supposed to have passed it on to Goering and Keitel. From that fact the conclusion has been drawn by the prosecution that Funk was one of the influential persons concerned with the preparation for aggressive war against Russia.

Can you tell us whether and, if so, why, you also passed that message on to the defendant Funk at that time?

A. Either the Fuehrer told me to - which I don't think was the case - or I believed that from the economic point of view Funk would be interested in that information. I passed it on to him as a special personal gesture. I don't remember any particular reason now; I certainly must have passed the same message on to the others, but not in writing; the others probably received it orally.

There was no question at all of an aggressive war when Rosenberg was given that task by Hitler. He was supposed to be merely a sort of political commissioner for the Eastern Territories. He was to study the conditions of the peoples there.

Q. Dr. Lammers, approximately at the same time - that is to say, the spring of 1941, and shortly before the beginning of the Russian campaign - you are supposed to have had some further discussions with the defendant Funk on the subject of what turn the foreign political situation in respect to Russia might possibly take in the near future. On that occasion you are supposed to have told defendant Funk something regarding the reasons why Hitler believed in the possibility of a war against Russia. What did you tell defendant Funk at that time regarding these preparations for the war at one time or another?

A. It must have been what I knew myself at the time, namely information, which the Fuehrer had given me, that troop concentrations in Russia had been observed, which allowed the conclusion to be drawn that an armed conflict with Russia might occur. These were the words the Fuehrer used. He believed that things would come to a head with Russia and therefore wished that one man - and that was Rosenberg - should concern himself with Eastern questions, since the possibility of an armed conflict with Russia did exist. That is probably what I told Funk. I can't imagine what else I could have told him.

Q. At that time, Dr. Lammers, you are supposed to have mentioned not only troop concentrations on the Russian side along the eastern frontier of Germany, but also the Russian march into Bessarabia.

A. Yes, it is possible that that was the case. The south- east frontier, at any rate. And perhaps I mentioned that the discussions which had taken place with Russia, with Molotov, were unsatisfactory.

Q. In that connection - since you now refer to the discussion with Molotov - you are supposed to have told defendant Funk in particular that Russia was making considerable claims on the Balkans and in respect to the Baltic Sea, and that because

[Page 135]

of these claims Hitler was reckoning with the possibility of war. Could that be correct?

A. It is possible that we talked about it, but I can't remember for certain.

Q. And you know, Dr. Lammers, that in this connection an Organisation was established under the heading "Central Planning"? Do you know that?

A. Yes.

Q. Defendant Funk was made a member of the "Central Planning," and I think that was at the end of 1943. Is it correct that Funk, when he joined the "Central Planning," was no longer at all interested in the use of labourers for German production? Why was that?

A. I believe that Funk's only interest in the "Central Planning" was in order to receive raw materials for civilian production.

Q. For civilian production at home?

A. Yes, at home. That was his interest in the "Central Planning," since he was responsible only for the distribution of these economic goods, and civilian production had been transferred to Minister Speer.

Q. When?

A. I think that was at the very moment when the Ministry for Armament and Munitions was converted into a Ministry for Armaments and War Production. I think that was in 1942. Thus Funk was, of course, very interested in raw materials, but the employment of labour, in my opinion, interested him very little, since he didn't have enough raw material to allow civilian production to go on.

Q. And then, Dr. Lammers, I have one last question: Can you remember that defendant Funk in the year 1944 - it is supposed to have been in February and also a few times during subsequent months - visited you and told you of his trouble because of the unsatisfactory position which he was occupying as Minister of Economy and Plenipotentiary for Economy, and that on this occasion he talked to you about the question of whether his conscience would allow him to retain his position as President of the Reichsbank and Reich Minister of Economy; why he did so and why he didn't place this office at the disposal of somebody else? Perhaps you can say something about this.

A. I have frequently discussed these questions with Funk.

Q. When?

A. In 1943, but particularly afterwards in 1944. I know that he was considerably worried about this and that he wanted very much to have an opportunity to take his worries personally to the Fuehrer. If he did remain in office then it was only because he told himself that during war time he couldn't resign from his post - that wouldn't be the right thing for a good German to do, to resign during war time. But he had the most fervent wish to be able to report to the Fuehrer about the economic situation, and mainly about the particular impressions gained by the Gauleiter in the individual districts. He had the most fervent wish once for all to report to the Fuehrer and learn at least something about the war situation, and talk about the question of ending the war. That was since the beginning of 1944. I made several attempts to submit the matter to the Fuehrer, and I nearly succeeded later by camouflaging the real reason and pretending there was another important reason - some questions of finance.

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

DR. SAUTER: Mr. President, I have no further question.

DR. DIX (counsel for Schacht): Mr. President, if you wish to close the session at five, I must say that I shall have not finished by five, and I am reluctant to break off my examination. I leave it to the Tribunal whether we should extend the session or whether we should break off now.

[Page 136]

THE PRESIDENT: I think you had better go on, Dr. Dix; we have nearly ten minutes.


Q. Witness, other witnesses and also you - you on the strength of vast experience and your position as chief of the Reich Chancellery from the seizure of power until the collapse - have stated that applications for resignation were prohibited by Hitler. I, therefore, don't want to put any more questions on that subject; I merely want to discuss the attempts to resign which Schacht actually made. I ask you first of all to answer the general questions with "yes" or "no."

Did Schacht send in applications for resignation or not?

A. Yes.

Q. I should now like to discuss with you the individual applications for resignation. I can't expect you, without any help, to recall individual occasions. I permit myself therefore to help your memory along a little in connection with the first question.

Please recall March, 1937, when Schacht stopped Reichsbank credits, that is, gave notice with reference to them and you visited him in connection with this. Was that the first resignation attempt?

A. I remember that very exactly, since Herr Schacht's application for resignation was very unpleasant for Hitler, and he gave me the task of straightening the matter out with Schacht. Thus I made several personal visits to Schacht, but he refused to withdraw his application for resignation, and he gave as his reason the fact that he couldn't approve any longer the Fuehrer's credit policy and that he was afraid of inflation and would have to protect the German nation from that. As for the trade law, he had to ...

THE PRESIDENT: Dr. Dix, is it necessary to go into details? We gather that there were several offers to resign. Is it necessary to go into the details of each one?


Q. In that case we leave it. It is enough for me, Dr. Lammers, if you confirm that in March, 1937, Schacht made his first application for resignation.

A. And then there was a compromise, Schacht agreeing to remain in office one more year, although the law called for a term of four years.

Q. Please, try and remember what happened further in August, 1937. Goering had issued a decree concerning mines. It was Schacht's view that this was an unpermissible interference with matters under his jurisdiction. Did a second application for resignation follow?

A. Yes.

Q. And didn't Schacht write a letter on that occasion addressed to Goering, the 5th August, a copy of which he sent to Hitler? Can you remember that?

A. Yes. It was because of that letter that Hitler dismissed Schacht afterwards.

Q. Now we come to the war. Did Schacht also repeat his applications for resignation during the war? Please recall the summer of 1941 and a memorandum which Schacht sent to Hitler regarding the necessity of a speedy conclusion of peace?

A. The first application for resignation was handed in because it had been prohibited to listen to foreign broadcasting stations. Schacht was thereby forbidden to listen to many foreign stations and he complained about it and handed in an application for resignation, whether in writing or verbally, I don't know. The request was refused, and later he submitted a memorandum in which he discussed the end of the war and the political and economic situation. I had to tell Schacht in answer to this memorandum that the Fuehrer had read it and had nothing to say in reply. Thereupon, in 1942, Schacht again asked me to ask the Fuehrer if he was disposed to receive another memorandum. At this the Fuehrer gave me the order to write to Schacht and tell him to refrain from submitting any further memoranda.

DR. DIX: I could, Mr. President, recall the important points of this memorandum of the summer of 1941 for the witness. If the Tribunal is familiar with the details

[Page 137]

of this memorandum, which we haven't got and which we could ascertain only on the basis of the witness's memory by asking him questions, then I should like to present to him the exact contents of this memorandum. If on the other hand the Tribunal is of the opinion ...

THE PRESIDENT: Have you got the memorandum?

DR. DIX: No, we have not got the memorandum ... only in memory - that is to say, Schacht remembers it.

THE PRESIDENT: If the memorandum is lost and you can prove the loss you can put the contents of it to the witness. If the contents are not relevant, it is no good even for the witness. Are the contents of the document relevant?

DR. DIX: These points which I want to submit I do consider relevant. It is not very long either, it is not long.

THE PRESIDENT: So far as the question of proof is concerned the rule is, I think, if the document has been lost, you can prove the contents of it and you can put it to the witness. Yes, you can put the main points to him, Dr. Dix.

DR. DIX: The question which you put to me involves considerable responsibility. At the moment I can merely assure you that I am convinced that the memorandum has been lost; but whether I can prove it, the negative fact is that it is lost, that is something I cannot say at the moment. I am convinced it is lost.

THE PRESIDENT: Herr Schacht presumably is going to say it was lost. You, of course, cannot prove it yourself but I mean you can prove it by Schacht.

DR. DIX: Yes, Schacht will confirm it when he becomes a witness on the stand.


Q. This was in September, 1941, that is to say, after the great successes in Russia by the German Army. Then Schacht wrote, in this memorandum to Hitler, that Hitler had now reached the peak of his success and that this was the most favourable moment for him to aim at peace. In the case of any further duration of the war ...

MR. DODD: I suggest, would it not be more proper for counsel to ask this witness first of all whether or not he recalls the contents of the memorandum before reading what purports to be the contents.

THE PRESIDENT: I think he should, yes.

DR. DIX: I did not remind him of the contents; I just wanted to recall to him the individual points. Dr. Lammers has already said that ...

THE PRESIDENT: I think you had better put it to him sentence by sentence and not all at once.

DR. DIX: But I am not proposing to read it, your Honours, I am merely trying to repeat the contents as Schacht remembers them. I cannot read it, of course, since I do not know it.

THE PRESIDENT: Would you ask the witness if he remembers what the contents were, not putting it in a leading form?

DR. DIX: Yes, I shall, certainly ask him. But I think he has already answered that he no longer remembers all the details; therefore I wanted to aid his memory by recalling the main points.

THE PRESIDENT: Ask him what he does remember of it.


Q. Well then, Dr. Lammers, without my presenting the main points to you, what do you remember?

A. I think that in this memorandum Schacht set forth the economic capacities of Germany and of foreign countries, that he pointed out that this period in 1941 - I believe it was in the autumn - was the most favourable moment for peace negotiations, for bringing the war to an end. He also explained the world situation, but I cannot remember how. He sketched the political situation in other countries. He talked about America, Italy, Japan and he compared the factors. After the Fuehrer had looked at the memorandum he put it aside and he said: "I have already disapproved of that, I do not want that."

[Page 138]

Further details I do not know.

Q. When you mention other powers, do you remember that he stated that Italy's withdrawal was merely a question of time, since the opposition group around the king would not rest until Mussolini was brought down?

A. Yes, it is possible that it did say that, but I cannot remember definitely.

THE PRESIDENT: One moment. The Tribunal will adjourn now.

(The Tribunal adjourned until 9th April, 1946, at 10.00 hours.)

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