Funk is indicted under all four
counts. Funk, who had previously been a financial journalist, joined
the Nazi Party in
1931, and shortly thereafter became one of Hitler's personal economic
advisers. On 30th January, 1933,
Funk was made Press Chief in the Reich Government, and on 11th March,
1933, became Under Secretary in the Ministry of Propaganda and shortly
thereafter a leading figure in the various Nazi organisations which
were used to control the press, films, music and publishing houses.
Funk took office as Minister of Economics and Plenipotentiary General
for War Economy in early 1938 and as President of the Reichsbank in January 1939.
He succeeded Schacht in all three of these positions. He was made a
member of the Ministerial Council for the Defence of the Reich on August,
1939, and a member of the Central Planning Board in September, 1943.
Crimes against Peace
Funk became active in the economic field after the
Nazi plans to wage aggressive war had been clearly defined. One of his
representatives attended a conference on 14th October, 1938, at which
Goering announced a gigantic increase in armaments and instructed the
Ministry of Economics to increase exports to obtain the necessary exchange.
On 28th January, 1939, one of Funk's subordinates sent a memorandum
to the OKW on the use of prisoners of war to make up labour deficiencies
which would arise in case of mobilisation. On 30th May, 1939, the Under
Secretary or the Ministry of Economics attending a meeting at which
detailed plans were made for the financing of the war.
On 25th August, 1939, Funk wrote a letter to Hitler expressing his gratitude that he had been able to participate in such
world shaking events; that his plans for the " financing of the
war," for the control of wage and price conditions and for the
strengthening of the Reichsbank had been completed; and that he had
inconspicuously transferred into gold all foreign exchange resources
available to Germany. On 14th October, 1939, after the war had begun,
Funk made a speech in which he stated that the economic and financial
departments of Germany working under the Four Year Plan had been engaged
in the secret economic preparation for war for over a year.
Funk participated in the economic planning which preceded
the attack on the U.S.S.R. His deputy held daily conferences with Rosenberg
on the economic problems which would arise in the occupation of Soviet
territory. Funk himself participated in planning for the printing of
rouble notes in Germany prior to the attack to serve as, occupation
currency in the U.S.S.R. After the attack he made a speech in which
he described plans he had made for the economic exploitation of the
" vast territories of the Soviet Union " which were to be
used as a source of raw material for Europe.
Funk was not one of the leading figures in organising
the Nazi plans for aggressive war. His activity in the economic sphere
was under the supervision of Goering as Plenipotentiary General of the Four Year Plan. He did, however, participate
in the economic preparation for certain of the aggressive wars, notably
those against Poland and the Soviet Union, but his guilt
can be adequately dealt with under Count Two of the Indictment.
War Crimes and Crimes against
In his capacity as Under Secretary in the Ministry
of Propaganda and Vicechairman of the Reichs Chamber of Culture, Funk
had participated in the early Nazi programme of economic discrimination
against the Jews. On 12th November, 1938, after the pogroms of November,
he attended a meeting held under the chairmanship of Goering to discuss
the solution of the Jewish problem and proposed a decree providing for
the banning of Jews from all business activities, which Goering issued
the same day under the authority of the Four Year Plan. Funk has testified
that he was shocked at the outbreaks of 10th November, but on 15th November,
he made a speech describing these outbreaks as a "violent explosion
of the disgust of the German people, because of a criminal Jewish attack
against the German people," and saying that the elimination of
the Jews from economic life followed logically their elimination from
In 1942 Funk entered into an agreement with Himmler under which the Reichsbank was to receive certain gold and jewels and
currency from the SS and
instructed his subordinates, who were to work out the details, not to
ask too many questions. As a result of this agreement the SS sent to
the Reichsbank the personal belongings taken from the victims who had
been exterminated in the concentration
camps. The Reichsbank kept the coins and bank notes and sent the
jewels, watches and personal belongings to Berlin Municipal Pawn Shops.
The gold from the eyeglasses, and gold teeth and fillings was stored
in the Reichsbank vaults. Funk has protested that he did not know that
the Reichsbank was receiving articles of this kind. The Tribunal is
of the opinion that Funk either knew what was being received or was
deliberately closing his eyes to what was being done.
As Minister of Economics and President of the Reichsbank,
Funk participated in the economic exploitation of occupied territories.
He was President of the Continental Oil Company which was charged with
the exploitation of the oil resources of occupied territories in the
East. He was responsible for the seizure of the gold reserves of the
Czechoslovakian National Bank and for the liquidation of the Yugoslavian
National Bank. On 6th June, 1942, Funk's deputy sent a letter to the
OKW requesting that funds from the French Occupation Cost Fund be made
available for black market purchases. Funk's knowledge of German occupation
policies is shown by his presence at the meeting of 8th August, 1942,
at which Goering addressed the various German occupation chiefs, told
them of the products required from their territories, and added, "
It makes no difference to me in this connection if you say that your
people will starve."
In the fall of 1943,
Funk was a member of the Central Planning Board which determined the
total number of labourers needed for German industry, and required Sauckel
to produce them, usually by deportation from occupied territories. Funk
did not appear to be particularly interested in this aspect of the forced
labour programme, and usually sent a deputy to attend the meetings,
often SS General Ohlendorf, the former Chief of the SD inside of Germany
and the former Commander of Einsatzgruppe
D. But Funk was aware that the board of which he was a member was
demanding the importation of slave labourers, and allocating them to
the various industries under its control.
As President of the Reichsbank, Funk was also indirectly
involved in the utilisation of concentration camp labour. Under his
direction the Reichsbank set up a revolving fund of 12,000,000 Reichsmarks
to the credit of the SS for the construction of factories to use concentration
In spite of the fact that he occupied important official
positions, Funk was never a dominant figure in the various programmes
in which he participated. This is a mitigating fact, of which the Tribunal
The Tribunal finds that Funk is not guilty on Count One but is guilty under
Counts Two, Three and Four.
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