- Nazi Conspiracy and Aggression
- Vol. VI
Copy of document 3544-PS
Testimony of Walter Funk, taken at Nurnberg,
22 October 1945, 1430-1645, Lt. Col. Murray Gur-
fein, IGD, OUSCC. Also present: Capt. H. W.
Interpreter and John Wm. Gunsser, Court Reporter.
COL. GURFEIN TO THE WITNESS:
Q. Remember we talked yesterday about the period just
before the outbreak of the war with Poland, that is, the
several months preceding?
Q. And I called your attention to the fact that you had
some discussion with Goering in that period, do you
Q. Now, you said that you were going to think it over, and
I want to ask you this afternoon what you thought about
A. Yes. I remember two things which are very important.
First, that I wasn’t in Berlin at all during July. In July
I was undergoing treatment because of my diabetes in
Kissingen. And as far as I remember I came back from there
at the beginning of August, so that all these discussions
could only have taken place
as late as August. Further, I remember the
following: some time about the middle of August I
lunched with the Fuehrer, together with al lot of
other people. During the lunch, the tension with
Poland was discussed. After the lunch the Fuehrer
told me that he had put proposals to Poland
regarding Danzig and the Corridor, and that he was
under the impression that the Poles would accept
these proposals. But that it was also possible
that the Poles, under the protection of the
British guarantee, would become more hostile
And during that discussion I briefly explained to
the Fuehrer that in the event of such a war it
would be important that prices and wages and
finances were controlled in such a manner that the
banks of issue would exert their influence by
means of war taxes and that it now became clear to
me what the passage in this letter refers to,
namely, that I had already talked with the Fuehrer
about that matter. And that must have been before
my birthday, that is to say the 15th or 16th of
August, since he did not set forth congratulations
to my birthday in that letter. My birthday is on
the 18th of August. Therefore I can imagine that
I may have told the Fuehrer-although I cannot
remember exactly that I proposed t talk to Goering
about these matters, since he was responsible in
Since furthermore Goering informed me or had me
informed that he discussed these matters with the
Fuehrer, probably via Neumann, and that the
Fuehrer was in agreement with my plans. It is
probable, therefore, that the Fuehrer has
discussed, probably in the presence of Neumann,
these civil economic questions and particularly
the points referring to prices, wages, ect. And
furthermore, Goering would have reported to the
Fuehrer on the subject and would have had me
informed probably through Neumann that I should
occupy myself with these questions. Any
nomination for the plenipotentiary of economy did
not take place before the 28th of August,
something which I gathered from the indictment.
Subsequently it is probable, and I seem to
remember that I have had conversations with
Goering on the subjects, and I remember one
conversation during which Neumann, was also
present. And on that occasion Goering gave me the
task to negotiate with my ministerial colleagues
in accordance with my own proposals.
Q. So that just to clarify it, when you say Hitler, as you
say, in the middle of August, Hitler told you if he could
not succeed by negotiation with the Poles in effect that he
would have to attack them; is that correct?
A. I wouldn’t put it precisely like that, but in any case
he must have expected the possibility of a war.
Q. And that is what he told you in effect, that you were
to take part in the preparation of this war?
A. No, but that the proposals that I had mentioned to him
referring to prices, wages, ect., should be discussed
between Goering and myself.
Q. But when the Fuehrer told you that war was likely to
come you volunteered the suggestion that you ought to get up
a plan for the control off wages and prices; is that that
A. That is correct, yes, and that is the explanation for
the wording of the letter referring to my proposals. That
refers to the conversation with the Fuehrer. That has now
come back to me. That was about the middle of August, which
was the last time I saw him before the actual outbreak of
Q. So that you were a man who always felt that you could
not successfully prosecute a war without internal control of
the economy by way of price and wage regulations?
A. Yes, certainly. If a war was to break out, price and
wage control were necessary, and these things would have to
be fixed to prevent the Reichsbank form having to meet
considerable expenditure right away. These war measures had
been prepared by the Minister of Finance separately from me
already. He was proposing a simply colossal taxation for
that event, which appeared quite unnecessary to me, and I
said if he introduced it everybody would go bankrupt.
Q. How long before that were these tax plans made before
the contingencies of war?
A. That was all around about the same time.
Q. And that was part of the program that you were
coordinating for Hitler?
A. Yes, that was part of it; that was included in the
points. And subsequently from that the Minister of Finance
had mad similar preparation, which in my opinion went much
Q. So that in effect you were urging upon the Fuehrer a
total preparation for war, and you were in effect preparing
for the war itself, within your own sphere?
A. Well, I don’t know about total war; we are only
concerned here with the war against Poland.
Q. You don’t understand me. When I say total war I mean
the total regimentation of the economy for war.
A. Yes; and the fact that I was against such far-reaching
measure as proposed by the Minister of Finance can be
explained from my conviction that I did not think that there
be a war, but that I was thinking simply of a war
against Poland, because if one was of the opinion
that a world war was about tot break out the
preparation would have been quite different.
Q. Yes, but that means that you thought that you could
have a war against Poland without the other powers
interfering; is that right?
A. Yes, certainly. And that was my personal conviction
and everyone else’s that England would not start a war for
the sake of Danzig.
Q. And also you did not consider it to be excluded that
the Poles would resist any diplomatic attempt to get Danzig,
and that it might be necessary to attack them?
A. Yes, but the Fuehrer said during that lunch that he
thought that the Poles would accept those proposals
regarding Danzig, which in fact were eventually made to the
Q. Yes, but also said that I the event he could not
succeed diplomatically he would have to go into a war?
A. Well, he himself didn’t say that, but it was my own
personal opinion that in the event of failure of political
efforts of war against Poland being inevitable; he himself
never said that.
Q. Why did you think that?
A. Because the situation in Poland deteriorated from day
to day, which was later on confirmed by people coming back
from Poland. I myself had relations there, and the conduct
of the Poles was unforgivable.
Q. So that you felt you would have to, if they did not
agree peaceable, to force them by arms to get rid of this
A. Yes, because the Poles carried things so far that we in
Germany no longer had any other possible way. And after
all, Germany at that time was already a very powerful
country. You can’t take just everything from the Poles.
Q. You mean you could not take insult from the Poles?
A. After all, Germany could only condone this sort of
thing up to a point, and there were incidents at the
frontier when Germans were massacred; they had their noses
and ears cut off.
Q. You knew at that time that German propaganda said for a
long time that it had been going on all summer?
A. Yes, but it was far later on confirmed by Germans, in
fact by my own relatives who were living in Conetz in
Poland, just how the Poles treated the Germans there and
what dreadful things they committed against them.
Q. So you agree with Hitler that the only think to do was
liquidate the Polish problem, and if it could not be done by
diplomacy it should be done by force of arms; is that right?
A. Yes, but I didn’t actually make the statement on the
subject because I didn’t have the authority to discuss that
sort of thing with the Fuehrer. But it was my own
conviction that that was the action which events would have
Q. But the effect of the conversation that you yourself
related with the Fuehrer, as you say, in the middle of
August 1939 was to cause you immediately to tell the Fuehrer
what economic preparations should be made for war?
A. Yes, because that was my duty. If war was about to
break out then one had to make the necessary preparations.
Q. Yes, but you wouldn’t have been afraid to tell the
Fuehrer any such thing if the Fuehrer told you that he was
going to get a peaceful settlement? How could you suddenly
tell him you were going to prepare for war?
A. No, because one also had to tell him that certain
preparations had to be made in the event of a war.
Q. But you just told us you couldn’t speak about such
matters with the Fuehrer.
A. No, but one had to tell the Fuehrer that in the event
of an outbreak of war that these, that, and those measures
had to be taken for such an emergency.
Q. but that means you felt that you were the one that
decided that war was likely to come, and that Hitler gave
you no such intimation. How could that be?
A. Well, no, I personally, and everybody else I knew, was
convinced that the solution to the problem could be found in
the diplomatic field, but if this should fail it was our
duty and my personal duty to see to this, that should war
break out that necessary economic preparations were made.
Q. But it wasn’t for you to suggest to the Fuehrer, was
A. Well, no. If one discusses that sort of think with the
Fuehrer, and he suggests that the diplomatic effort would
succeed whilst on the other hand the possibility of a
conflagration cannot altogether be excluded, then it was the
duty of the Minister of Economy to put before the Fuehrer
such economic measures as I considered necessary.
Q. Only because you thought that war was imminent?
A. Not because I thought so, but because I visualized that
Q. And the possibility, as you said, was because the
British might intervene?
A. No; because the Poles, under protection of British
guarantee, refused to be reasonable and forced us into war.
Q. Now, in connection with the events I asked you about in
1941, put your mind back on that for a moment, will you. Do
you remember you said that you knew about the likelihood of
an attack upon Russia in June or July of 1941?
A. Well, the fact that there was a threat of war against
Russia was known to me in May and June 1941?
Q. I want to ask you whether you didn’t know it as early
as the 20th of April 1941, when there was a decree by the
Fuehrer appointing Rosenberg to take charge of eastern
A. Well, that I don’t know. I don’t know whether I have
seen that decree.
Q. Don’t you remember appointing Schlotterer to be your
A. Yes, but I don’t remember whether that was on that
Q. Don’t you remember that it was several months before
the attack on Russia?
A. That I don’t know. I can’t remember exactly when I
detached Schlotterer for duty with Rosenberg, but it must
have been after the nomination of Rosenberg. It also
tallies with the date of my conversation with Hess towards
the end of April. It was during the last days of April in
Munich. It was then that Hess asked me whether I was aware
of the fact that a war with Russia was threatening.
Q. What did you say?
A. I said, yes, that sort of thing is being talked about,
naturally. And then Hess asked me, as I have told you
before, how things stood regarding the Russian deliveries,
and whether the loss of such deliveries would not be
Q. I want to refresh your recollection. You make it very
difficult sometimes. The Fuehrer issued an order on the
20th of April 1941 appointing Rosenberg as a deputy for a
centralized treatment of problems concerning the eastern
A. I don’t know whether I saw that. Well, I don’t know.
I can’t say that. You would have to ascertain whether this
decree was passed on the department. That wasn’t so easy in
Q. Isn’t it a fact that this decree of the 20th of April
1941 by the Fuehrer was a very secret decree which was
shown only to Goering, Funk and Keitel?
A. I don’t know that. If you say so it must be correct.
But I don’t remember it; I don’t know.
Q. Look, you keep saying that you knew nothing about high
policy and that you were only a small man in effect.
A. Yes, I was.
Q. Now here we have a decree which is the first step
towards the preparation of the war against Russia, and the
only people in the Reich who were permitted to see it were
Hitler, Lammers, that is the State Secretary, Keitel, Chief
of the OKW, Goering, the delegate for the Four Year Plan,
A. In that case it must have been that this decree was
only sent to the ministers who were members of the Defense
Council of the Reich, and I was one of them, and that is
Q. But regardless of that, I want to ask you now whether
you don’t remember seeing the decree as early as two months
before the attack on Russia?
A. Well, yes, if it has been ascertained that it has been
sent to me I must have seen it, but I cannot now remember
that. It is possible, but I cannot deny it; it is so long
Q. In any event, based on this decree or based on this
conference with Hess, and the other knowledge you had before
that conversation, it is clear that in April 1941, you knew
that a war with Russia was in contemplation?
A. That a conflict with Russia was threatening.
Q. And you knew that you had to mobilize your resources
for an attack on Russia within a reasonable period of time?
A. Well, I didn’t have any mobilizing to do in that
connection. All I had to do was to place at Rosenberg's
disposal Schlotterer and various other people when his
ministry opened. I wouldn’t introduce any measures in
economy in this particular case. All this could concern was
the strengthening of armament, which was not under my
jurisdiction; but it was Goering’s and the OKW’s concern.
Q. But it also had to do with the exploitation of the
eastern territory after it was occupied?
A. Yes, but that was a task for the Four Year Plan.
Q. In which you appointed Schlotterer to cooperate with
A. Yes. I delegated him to Rosenberg, and Rosenberg, as
far as these parts were concerned, was also subordinate to
the Four Year Plan; because the only department which could
give orders in that connection on economic subjects was the
Four Year Plan.
Q. But Schlotterer was put in there to be an economic
adviser to the whole problem of the taking of properties out
of the eastern countries, was he not?
A. Yes, but only so far as the east. And as far as
Rosenberg was concerned, I tried to avoid that Rosenberg
should open a new organization, which is what he was
proposing to do.
Q. Why were you against that?
A. Because this would have created another ministerial
competitor on economic questions. We had enough
competitors. We had the Four Year Plan, and this would have
introduced another one.
Q. So that you didn’t want to give up the jurisdiction
over economic matters in the eastern territories to
Rosenberg; is that it?
A. Well, jurisdiction isn’t right. I wanted to avoid yet
a new organization, and the handling of the matter was
Rosenberg’s concern. Therefore I detached Schlotterer and
various other people to Rosenberg’s office, and they did of
course retain their connections with my office.
Q. What kind of connections did they continue to have with
A. They concerned mainly the collecting of consumer goods,
because the raw material questions and some such business
was handled by the Four Year Plan, in particular Pleiger.
It was together with Rosenberg that we created those firms
in the east, that is to say, we took firms in the Reich who
has to carry out business in the occupied eastern
territories. They had to buy out of their won funds. But
nothing much materialized because the Army had already
collected a very considerable amount of things. And as far
as the important materials were concerned, such as coal,
oil, ect., that was already being handled by the Four Year
Plan and taken out. And the only subject on which I
cooperated with Rosenberg, as far as the eastern territories
were concerned, was that of these firms. But matters of an
important nature, such as the collection of factories,
smelting works, electric works, ect., that was dealt with
outside the Ministry of Economics and I believe also outside
of Rosenberg’s organization.
Q. But there is evidence, Funk that every firm that got
anything in the east had to go to you and Goering and get
the agreement of both of you before they could do anything.
Q. Now, in connection with consumer goods that you
controlled, were coal mines included in that?
A. No. Raw materials from occupied territories came under
the Four Year Plan.
Q. I am not talking about the occupied territory; I am
talking about in general.
A. Oh, I see. In 1941, coal mines in Germany still came
under the Ministry of Economics.
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
A. Yes, until 1943 the coal came under the Minister of
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
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
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
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 t 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
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, on 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
A. Yes, until Sauckel arrived and until Pleiger became the
chief of coal questions. After that it was done by Pleiger
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
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
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
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?
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
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
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
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.
Q. Do you remember that in France there were collected
properties held by enemy property custodians?
A. That a custodian for enemy property existed, that is
something I know, but I never concerned myself with the
Q. Do you remember hat there was a decision made in 1943
to utilize the funds in French banks by taking the deposits
and putting them into the Aero Bank?
A. Yes. Lange made a report on that to me. The vice-
president of the Reichsbank, Lange, made a long report to me
in which he explained to me that funds which were held under
the jurisdiction of the custodian for enemy property were to
be transferred to the Aero Bank so as to create liquid funds
for war production.
Q. That is to say, these deposits stood in French francs,
and the deposits were transferred to the Aero Bank, putting
at the disposal of the German armament people French francs;
is that right?
A. No, that is not how I understood it to be. The way I
understood it was that these liquid funds which were under
the supervision of the custodian for enemy property were to
be loosened so that they would be at the disposal of the
entire French economic system. In fact, Lange, who was
working in France-I myself never went to France, in fact I
have never been to any occupied territory-reported to me
that the French were extremely please with this suggestion.
Q. Don’t you remember that the purpose was to obtain
French francs which would be used to finance the armament
industry in France?
A. That has never been reported to me in that way.
Q. Well, we have a letter from the military administration
in France protesting against this transaction; and the
Ministry of Economics that you were in favor of it.
A. Well, I didn’t write that letter. The way it was
described to me was that this concerned a transaction in the
money market such as did not exist in France, and that the
French were extremely pleased to see that such a transaction
was being carried out, and nobody mentioned the armament
industry in that connection, and protest was not mentioned
Q. You were buying a lot of goods in France at that time,
were you not?
A. We? Who?
A. As far as I was concerned I was only interested in
Q. But you were also interested in money and exchange,
because you were the president of the Reichsbank?
A. But that was done on the spot, and in conjunction with
the Bank of France they had an official there whose name was
Q. But you also had something to do with the
Reichsverechnungskassen as well?
A. Yes, but I don’t know how they came into that
transaction. That I didn’t know.
Q. But the fact is that you were in general charge of the
following: the Reichsbank, the Reichskreditkassen, and the
A. Well, I wasn’t chief of the Reichskreditkassen, but it
is part of the money system.
Q. Well, the whole clearing arrangement, for example, was
under your general policy supervision; was it not?
A. Yes, but I have never concerned myself with these
matters in detail.
Q. But now, basically, you were in charge, were you not,
of the whole execution from a policy point of view of the
Q. And such you had a general policy control over the
Reichsverechnungskassen, which were the banks for the
A. Together with the Minister of Finance.
Q. So that the question of how much should be exported and
how much should be imported was partly within your
A. Yes, with reference to Verrechnungskassen. The
jurisdiction of money matters was with the Minister of
Finance and not me.
Q. But with respect to the amounts of the clearings you
had something to do with that; did you not?
A. Yes, all this belongs into the problems of foreign
trade, which now is handled by me alone, but was centralized
and part of the foreign Office. All departments which were
interested in foreign trade were represented in the HPA,
which is the trade political board. The chairmanship was
held by the Foreign Office, and to his department the
Armament Minister and the Minister of Food reported their
claims; and the Minister of Finance was concerned with the
execution of the program while the Minister of Economy and
the Reichsbank were concerned with the technical execution
of those matters.
Q. So that the question of how much Germany was indebted
or should be indebted to these countries was a problem that
came within your jurisdiction?
A. Not only my responsibility, but all those people
concerned, including mine; but particularly the Minister of
Q. But in any event, during these years of the war the
amount of debts owed by Germany to these occupied and
satellite countries increased greatly; did it not?
A. Yes, the responsible person for this debt of the Reich
was in the first place the Minister of Finance.
Q. Did you intend to pay back any of these credits after
the war if Germany won?
A. Yes, certainly. I have always emphasized that. I have
always stated that publicly.
Q. Don’t you remember a meeting in 1944 in which you
stated that it was unnecessary to consider that these debts
would have to be repaid in the even of a German victory?
A. I don’t know what that conference was, but it was my
point of view that these clearing debts were genuine debts,
and that Germany in the event of a victory would certainly
be in a position to repay these debts by supplying goods.
But that whenever foreign countries were concerned-and this
is probably what you are talking about now-the question of
reparations should have to be taken into consideration in
this connection. But it was my idea that this whole problem
of clearing debts would have to be included in the large
construction program in Europe.
Q. Didn’t you tell Hitler in 1944 that there was no
intention to pay back these debts in the event that Germany
won the war?
A. No. How can Hettlager say things like that. Well, if
for instance, these countries were to make reparations they
could have been used to cancel these clearing debts.
Q. That means that you had a clear idea that if Germany
won the war you were going to impose reparations on the
A. Yes; that they would have to pay some compensation.
Q. Do you remember how much you figured out these
countries should pay in the event of a German victory?
A. I have never imagined any figures; that is quite
Q. Well, don’t you remember, for example, that you put
forward that England should pay a billion in gold?
A. No, I don’t know about that.
Q. Well now, don’t you remember having a meeting on the
22nd of July 1940 at which time you made that suggestion?
A. Well, I may have said something like that jokingly, but
no reasonable person could imagine that I could have said a
thing like that as early as 1940 and be serious about it.
Q. As a matter of fact, you stated what you were going to
do with this billion in gold, did you not?
A. Well, I don’t know about that.
Q. Well, as a matter of fact you said that you would use
it as a manipulation fund for the first imports, and that
you would be able to discontinue rationing?
A. Whoever said that must have had a vivid imagination. I
can’t remember this. It is quite unthinkable that one would
think anything like that as early as 1940.
Q. Don’t forget that this was after the victory over
A. Yes, but this is certainly wrongly represented.
Q. Let me see. Weren’t you told by Goering on the 22nd of
June 1940 that you should do research on the problem of
including into the greater German economy all annexed and
A. Yes, that is quite right.
Q. And immediately after that-
A. Yes, Goering gave me a task in that connection.
Q. Let me refresh your recollection further then. A month
after this commission, you received from Goering, didn’t you
call a meeting of the ministers to discuss these questions?
A. Yes, that is possible. That I imagine.
Q. Do you remember Ley, Darre and Gross?
A. I don’t know about Ley.
Q. And Wagner, Popitz and Lammers?
Q. You do remember the meeting, don’t you?
Q. And in that meeting, I ask you, didn’t you make the
statement that you mentioned before, that in the event of a
German victory, a billion dollars in gold was to be paid to
Germany by England?
A. Well, now, I don’t recollect that at all. I can’t
remember what I said.
Q. Do you deny that you said it?
A. No, but I can’t confirm it either.
Q. But if the minutes show it you are ready to accept that
A. Yes, certainly, if the minutes say so.
Q. Let me ask you further. Didn’t you also say this, that
the solution of the foreign indebtedness question is
necessary to regain freedom of currency?
A. Yes, that is quite probable, and it would be right too.
Q. And didn’t you also say that upon termination of the
war there will not be any indebtedness to England, France,
Holland or Switzerland?
A. That I don’t know any more.
Q. Yes, but that is what I asked you before Funk.
A. Well, that I do not know any longer. I do not remember
Q. These are not details. I asked you before whether in
connection with the clearing of debts you had not made the
suggestion that it would be unnecessary to pay them in the
event of a German victory?
A. What I did say was that after a German victory, after
the war, Germany would produce so many goods that they could
be used to pay off these debts. After all, we couldn’t ask
Switzerland for reparations.
Q. That is exactly the point; you included Switzerland.
A. In that case this is being wrongly represented. That
would mean that I was crazy. That is quite out of the
question, and in that case I deny this because it is wrongly
Q. Let me ask you something else: do you remember the
gold that the SS was collecting from the concentration
A. I have never concerned myself with that gold.
Q. Do you remember receiving gold into the Reichsbank form
A. Vice-President Puhl once reported to me that an account
for the SS did exist in the Reichsbank, but I never assumed
that the Reichsbank could make use of this deposit since it
was an account established for the SS.
Q. Well, you know, Funk, that as a matter of fact, the
Reichsbank sold that gold and converted it into money for
A. I do not know that.
Q. You know that at the beginning of the whole transaction
you had a conversation with Himmler about it?
A. About these questions? No, I never discussed them with
Q. The testimony is clear that you came back and reported
to the Reichsbank directors of a conference that you had
with Himmler before the gold was received.
A. That is a point which I would certainly remember if I
had talked to Himmler about this sort of thing, and I have
never talked to him about it.
Q. As a matter of fact, you came to people in the
Reichsbank, Funk — see if you can remember this now — you came
to people in the Reichsbank and you told them that you had a
conversation with Himmler in which he told you that there
was certain gold of the SS that they wanted to put into the
Reichsbank, and you instructed that that SS gold be
A. No, that is not right. That is a wrong statement. I
must deny that. I have no recollection of ever having
discussed this matter with Himmler.
Q. With whom in the SS did you discuss it?
A. I have not discussed any such matter with anybody in
the SS. Puhl merely made a report to me that such an
account for the SS existed.
Q. What was the reason for such a report? What was
strange about this account?
A. Puhl made that report to me together with other current
reports, and I now remember exactly what he said. He said,
we have also got a deposit from the SS, but I don’t know
what is in it.
It never occurred to me, however, that any such
deposit could possibly be used by the
Q. But how many deposits do you have in the Reichsbank?
You must have had thousands.
A. Yes, certainly, but such deposits as this there was
only one like that.
Q. Like what?
A. Well, a deposit which contained gold and foreign
currency, although I don’t know what was in them, really.
The same questions arose, for instance, when the problem
arose where we have to take in gold from Holland. Once more
my attitude was that this would have to be made a deposit
which was no tot get mixed up with the current accounts of
the Reichsbank. And Puhl and Wilhelm will be able to
Q. Yes, but the fact is this, that you knew there was gold
in those accounts, didn’t you-the SS accounts?
A. Yes, that was reported to my by Puhl.
Q. Puhl also told you, didn’t he, that that gold consisted
of gold teeth and other kinds of gold articles,--gold
watches and all the gold that was taken from the people in
A. I don’t recollect that Puhl told me anything like that.
Puhl even told me, if I remember rightly, I don’t want to
know what is in that deposit.
Q. And were you in agreement that you didn’t want to know
what was in that?
A. We didn’t generally look into the deposits, and that
was a deposit of the SS. And that these things came form
concentration camps Puhl certainly did not tell me.
Q. Why didn’t you want to look into it?
A. I have never concerned myself with these matters in
Q. What did you understand from Puhl when he said he
didn’t want to know what was in there?
A. Well, probably that he was of the opinion that as this
came from the SS this was a matter we had better not concern
ourselves with, and it remained in the possession of the SS
and was not transferred to the Reichsbank; it was a deposit;
it did not become the property of the Reichsbank.
Q. But Puhl came to you and asked your permission to
retain this deposit; is that right?
A. No. He only told me that the SS was opening such a
deposit in the Reichsbank. The question of retaining it or
not retaining it never cropped up; he simply reported to me
together with other current affairs that a deposit was being
opened by the SS.
Q. But you knew that the account did not stand in the name
of the SS, didn’t you?
A. No; to the contrary, I understood that was in the name
of the SS.
Q. You knew it was in the name of a person and not n the
name of the SS?
A. No, I did not know that.
Q. That is what he was telling you, Puhl, didn’t he?
A. No, he did not mention the name to me; all he told me
was, this is a deposit from the SS.
Q. Why wouldn’t it interest you?
A. Well, because it is not a common occurrence that a
political organization opened a deposit in the Reichsbank,
and Puhl must have considered that this was something he
ought to inform me about.
Q. Returning for a moment to this question of the fine
against the Jews that we discussed in 1938, Funk, you were a
party to all the laws that were put into effect in November
o 1938 after the Cristar Week?
A. I was only participating so far as the legal rulings of
the Jewish property was concerned. So far as the fine was
concerned I had not participated in that. This was a matter
for the minister of finance.
Q. All the decrees excluding the Jews from industry were
yours, were they not?
A. Yes. We had to do this because otherwise Jewish
property would have been free for everybody to loot, and we
had to do something to protect it. And it was my proposal
that the property which they had to give over to other
people would receive an interest from the recipient. And
their retaining their shareholdings, their retention of
their shareholdings, was refused by Goering during a
meeting, and so far as the interests on their property was
concerned that was later refused by the minister of finance.
I must explain something to you in this connection. So far
as my participation in this Jewish affair is concerned, that
was my responsibility and I have regretted it later on that
I ever did participate. The Party had always brought
pressure to bear on me previously to make me agree to the
confiscation of Jewish property, and I had refused
repeatedly. But later on, when the anti-Jewish measures and
the force used against the Jews came into force, something
legal had to be done to prevent the looting and confiscation
of all Jewish property.
Q. You know that the looting and all that was done at the
instigation of the Party, don’t you?
(Here witness weeps)
A. Yes, most certainly. That is when I should have left
in 1938. Of that I am guilty. I am guilty. I admit that I
am a guilty party here.
Q. Well, now, just to make the record clear, this law
which prohibited Jews from operation retail stores and
wholesale establishments and other things was a law that
you drafted yourself, was it not?
A. Yes, because we had to make such legislation simply
because if we hadn’t done it the Jews would have been
subjected to uncontrolled looting as had already been done.
All that was a point as the result of which I should have
Q. As a matter of fact, you predicted as the result of
these decrees and other things that the Reich would become
the possessor of a half billion shares of capital stock?
A. Yes, that was my estimation of the Jewish property.
But to start with-and this must be in the document-I
at the beginning of this affair that the shares
should not be taken away from them.
Q. Tell me, Funk, these measures against the Jews, weren’t
they taken at the time in 1938 partly as a preparation for
the war, because you didn’t want any important parts of the
German industry to be under the control of Jews when the war
A. I had never thought at that time that a war could
happen. After all, that was in 1938.
Q. In any event, with respect to the fine of a billion
marks, you were present at the meeting where that was
discussed, weren’t you?
A. Yes. It came from Goering or the minister of finance,
and the minister of finance carried it out.
Q. Well, now, just to come back to something that I was
asking you about before, when you put Schlotterer into
Rosenberg’s ministry, how often did you see him after that?
A. Very rarely.
Q. But he was to report to you generally as your deputy,
A. But that was generally done by my state secretary,
Landfriede. I personally received Schlotterer very rarely
to make reports.
Q. In connection with the fixing of the occupation costs,
you were concerned, were you not, as the president of the
A. Yes. They were fixed by the minister of finance and
the OKW. And this is another point: I have always
advocated a reasonable figure for these occupation costs so
as to prevent the overdrawing of the French, overburdening
of the French currency. And these monies were used to buy
Q. What do you mean by that, Funk that the occupation
monies were used? Levies were used to purchase goods in
France; is that what you mean?
A. Yes, certainly. The army must have used it for that
purpose. Where would they have gotten the money otherwise?
How was it possible otherwise that the army formations and
Luftwaffe could make these purchases whilst I was fighting a
continuous fight against the arrangements?
Q. As a matter of fact, the plan was to buy goods on the
black market in France, wasn’t it?
A. Yes, and where would they have had the money form
otherwise? It must have come form the occupation costs in
Q. That means then, that if they had no other money
available, when they needed goods to bring into Germany they
would have to use occupation money for the purchases?
A. Well, it wasn’t as clear as that, but the separate army
formations must have been in the position of financial means
not controlled by us which they must have used for these
purposes. My state secretary, Hiller, Puhl, and Landfriede,
if you are interrogate them, will back me up and confirm
that I have always fought against exploitation and against
the fact that these means would be used to buy out these
Q. Do you consider these men to be truthful men, Hiller,
Puhl, and Landfriede?
A. Yes, I would. They will confirm that, and I sent
dozens of letters on that subject to Goering, the Minister
of Finance, Lammers, Bormann, and all these people, asking
them not to break the financial system in these countries.
Q. Yes, but you know that purchases were being made
through these various corporations, including the Roges
Corporation, with monies obtained from occupation levies?
A. Yes, but Roges was a controlled affair. That I believe
was controlled, and these were regular business matters.
Q. But where did Roges get the money to make his
A. They must have received these monies from the ministry
of economy. That was a matter which was controlled. These
monies must have been allotted to them for the purpose of
making regular purchases.
Q. But I want to ask you, wasn’t part of the money that
they used monies which were obtained from occupation levies
against the French?
A. So far as these normal purchases were concerned,
certainly not; they were done via clearing. These were
controlled purchases controlled by the Ministry of Economy.
Q. Well, the amount of the clearing purchases though was
dictated by the Reich, were they not?
A. You can’t say dictated; you can say granted.
Q. But the point is that the German Reich owed three
accounts already, and weren’t you in effect making these
people give further credit to Germany?
A. Yes, but these purchases were part of normal business
and something was supplied in exchange.
Q. But that is silly, because the net balance was always
in favor of Germany?
A. Yes always passive. But what I want to say is that any
part of the occupation costs which were expended were used
for the army formations and used by the buyers and crooks
ect. We were always wondering where the financial means for
these giant purchases were coming from.
Q. Well, did you ask anybody about them?
A. We always tried to find out where they came from, but
in vain. We didn’t know who was using them.. It must have
been the Minister of Finance.
Q. We will come back to this some other time, Funk. I
want to ask you one thing. Do you remember that in your
discussion in the spring of 1941 with respect to the war
against Russia that there was a date fixed of the 15th of
May as the date on which all preparations had been
finished-as early as the time you were discussing it in
A. No, I have never seen such an order from Hitler.
Q. You still say that the first time you heard about the
proposed war with the Russians was in April 1941?
A. Yes, approximately April 1941.
/s/ W. Frack
/s/ John Wm. Gunsser