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Partial translation of document 3505-PS
WALTER FUNK: A LIFE FOR THE ECONOMY [By Dr. P. Oestreich, Central Publishing House of the NSDAP, Franz Eher, succ. Munich 1941. [Pages 77-78] The either or that has arisen out of these articles was no longer binding for Funk for quite some time. It was a concession to the tradition of the Boersen Zeitung to keep itself above the parties that advocated the national idea in one form or another. It was the last concession he made in his association with the Boersen Zeitung. On 31 December 1930 he resigned and became a member of the party of Adolf Hitler. [Page 80] The Fuehrer had made up his mind already. Immediately after Funk’s connection with the Boersen Zeitung on 31 December 1930 was severed, he appointed him a member of the Reich leadership of the party and chose him as his personal economic adviser. This was proof of his greatest confidence. [Page 81] It was for Funk not only a very honorable but also a very important duty to be advisor and special official to the Fuehrer and he served enthusiastically with all his power and knowledge. In 1931 he became a member of the Reichstag. The document of his activity at the time is: “Economic construction program of the NSDAP” which was formulated by him in the second half of the year 1932. It received the approval of Adolf Hitler and was declared binding for all Gau-leaders, speakers on the subject and Gau-advisers on the subject and others of the party. [Page 82] Funk at the time gave the party speakers the following fundamental sentences on their way. We have sufficient national capital in Germany. We can furthermore by working produce new capital. Therefore our people can live and develop. We can and must forego international capital and we have furthermore the duty to liberate the German economy from the bonds of international capital. The German agriculture and the whole German economy can only be developed through the National State. Only a Government which has the full confidence of the people can force through the necessary reconstruction of the German economy and can with ruthless consequence promote the national and socialistic principles which only the National Socialist movement of Adolf Hitler is calling its own. [Page 83] No less important than Funk’s accomplishments in the programmatic field in the years 1931 and 1932, was his activity at that time as the Fuehrer’s liaison man to the leading men of the German economy in industry, trade, commerce and finance. On the basis of his past work his personal relations to the German economic leaders were broad and extensive. He was now able to enlist them in the service of Adolf Hitler, and not only to answer their questions authoritatively, but to convince them and win their backing for the Party. At that time, that was terribly important work. Every success achieved meant a moral, political, and economic strengthening of the fighting force of the Party and contributed toward destroying the prejudice that National Socialism is merely a party of class hatred and class struggle. The public sees or knows very little or nothing about such activities. But the Fuehrer has made it quite evident that he was well satisfied with Walter Funk in these two years of the decisive battle before the ascendancy to power. In the most convincing form probably at the moment of victory. When he received on the historic 30th January 1933 in the evening the jubilant demonstration of the masses, standing at the window of the shortly before occupied Reich Chancellery he had in the brightly lighted windows beside him his most loyal disciples and one of them was Walter Funk who had greeted the Fuehrer together with the then Secretary of the Reich Chancellery later the Reich Minister Dr. Lammers, at the entrance to the Reich Chancellery after the historic journey from the Kaiserhof to the Reich Chancellery in the afternoon of 30th January 1933. In the late afternoon the first Cabinet Meeting took place under the Presidency of the Reich Chancellor Adolf Hitler at which Funk already participated as Press Chief of the Reich Government. Since then there has not been any meeting of the Cabinet at which Walter Funk did not participate first as Press Chief and Secretary of State, later as Reich Minister. [Pages 90-91] The fact that Funk was appointed by the Fuehrer Press Chief of the Reich Government was not only in consideration that he was an experienced and shrewd journalist who knew the press and newspaper business extremely well. It is certain that the decision of the Fuehrer was influenced also by the consideration that he saw Funk as the man suited for the daily report to Reich President von Hindenburg. In fact, Funk has discharged this duty, especially in the first months of Adolf Hitler’s government, very successfully and with merit. The veteran General Field Marshall had confidence in his East Prussian countryman from the beginning. [Page 91] Many times the Fuehrer entrusted Funk with a special task at the Reich President. [Page 92] On 13 March 1933 the press department of the Reich Government with a small personnel of approximately 30 persons was incorporated into the Reich Ministry for Public Enlightenment and Propaganda, of which the propaganda leader of the party, Dr. Joseph Goebbels became Minister. Funk became his Under-Secretary. On this date there commenced a new and important part in the life of Walter Funk. His sphere of duties was multiplied even if the current importance of the position of Press Chief of the Reich Government may naturally diminish considerably behind the position of the new Minister for the press. [Page 93] For almost five years Walter Funk has been the Under- Secretary of this Ministry and naturally has decisively influenced its organization and work. In this task his singleness of purpose and his quiet considered judgment which were already proven when he built up the commerce section of the Berlin Boersen Zeitung was very useful to him. He knows how to organize without getting nervous and without making anybody nervous. But he had to accomplish besides quite a number of special duties which many times had a very strong economic colouring. In this way he became Vice President of the Reich Chamber for Culture, first member of the Senate for Culture, Chairman of the Board of the Reich Broadcasting Company, the Publicity Council of the German economy, the Film Bank, the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra and many other political, economic and social institutes. These were not only positions of honor but many times difficult and patient reconstruction work had to be done. [Page 94] a. Besides Funk had as a special duty from his Ministry received the task to take care of the cultural life. In this position he organized quietly a tremendous concern which represented an investment of many hundreds of millions. In close co-operation with the Reich Leader of the press, Max Amann, the economic fundamentals of the German press were reconstructed according to the political necessities. The same took place in the film industry and in other cultural fields. The very harmonious co-operation between the Minister Dr. Goebbels and his Under-Secretary which lasted almost five years, became visible before all the world in the success of the Ministry of which the influence and sphere of work grew from year to year. [Page 106] The change from the peace economy to war economy which Funk had to accomplish in his capacity as Plenipotentiary for the Economy took place almost without a hitch. The methods of directing the economy which have proven so successful already during the last years of peace now proved themselves also in the war economy. [Page 106] The third task which was put up to the Reichsbank President Funk was accomplished through the new law concerning the Reichsbank of 15 June 1939. [Page 110] Adolf Hitler has done away with this Dawes Constitution by degrees the same as with many other shameful regulations of the enemies. He made the final decision when he gave the order to Reichsbank President Funk to organize the Reichsbank in accordance with the National Socialist principles. He should continue the process that was commenced already by a law in 1937 of changing the status of the Reichsbank under the Dawes Plan as an institution which was partly excluded from the sovereignty of the German Reich to an institution which was completely and unconditionally under the sovereignty of the German Reich. The draft which Funk transmitted to the Fuehrer was made a law by him on 15 June 1939. [Page 111] As one can see the new Reichsbank law has fully reconstituted the German sovereignty over the Reichsbank. But it has done another very important thing. It has done away with gold and gilt edged foreign exchange in its governing position concerning the question of covering the currency circulation. Gold must not be any more the decisive part of the cover which automatically governs the amount of the lawful circulation of notes but it can be used by the bank as a means to cover and there should be kept a certain amount for the regulation of the currency exchange with foreign countries and for the consolidation of the currency. Gold, therefore, is according to the new German Reichsbank law formally what it already was for a long time in fact, that is, the international means of clearing. For the internal use of the countries over the whole world it is hardly employed to any worth while extent. Paper money has taken its place but in Germany the State determines the value of the money and not international powers.