The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

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Q. Yes, we can deal with that later.

A. Then I shall just confine myself to this question. Dodd
was entirely friendly to me, and I respected him deeply. I
saw a sign of his friendship in that, shortly before his
departure from Berlin in December of 1937, he visited me at
my home, and this incident is also dealt with in his diary,
and I would like to quote just one sentence:

  "I went to Dr. Schacht's house in Dahlem. I wished
  especially to see Schacht, whose life is said to be in

In other words, Mr. Dodd had heard of an imminent attack on
my life on the part of National Socialists, and considered
it important enough to be a reason for coming to my home
personally in order to warn me.

A second piece of evidence of his friendship towards me can
be seen from the final visit he paid me just a few days
before returning to America. At that time he again called on
me and told me urgently that I should go to America with
him, or as soon after him as possible, that I should change
my residence to America; and that I would find a pleasant
welcome there. I believe he would never have said that to me
had he not felt a certain degree of friendship for me.

Q. These are express services of friendship, and it can
hardly be assumed that the deceased ambassador would have
done you these good services if he had considered you a
warmonger and friend of the Nazis, and especially - and I
would like to say this to the High Tribunal - if one
remembers that Mr. Dodd was one of the few accredited
diplomats in Berlin who very obviously had no sympathy of
any sort for the regime in power, in fact he was wholly and
fully opposed to it.

I intentionally say "the few diplomats" and, Dr. Schacht, I
would like

                                                  [Page 388]
you to define your opinion on what I am saying. You will
remember that most of those diplomats, who politically and
socially kept at a distance from Hitler's regime, as the
fine ambassador from Holland, M. Limburg-Stirum, or the
ambassador from Finland, the true-hearted and great Social
Democrat, Rujleki, were recalled by their Governments. How
is it conceivable that an opponent of the Nazis like Dodd
would do such open services of friendship to someone whom he
considered a friend of the Nazis? Do you agree with my

A. Yes. I am entirely of the same opinion.

MR. JUSTICE JACKSON: I certainly object to going into this
kind of sermonising back and forth between the box and the
bar. It seems to me that the witness has been allowed to say
everything that Mr. Dodd has ever written and to put in his
mind what he thinks Dodd meant. He has allowed him to go to
great lengths characterising all American representatives,
but it seems to me that this is utterly off the track and
improper for this witness to give a characterisation of him
in, comparison with other ambassadors and other diplomatic

There is no request here for information about facts. I
reiterate, we are not accusing Dr. Schacht here because of
his opinions. We are accusing him because of very specific
acts which there seems great reluctance to get to and deal

THE PRESIDENT: I think you should go on, Dr. Dix, and pass
from this part of it, pass on from these documents.

DR. DIX: Perhaps I might mention very briefly that it is
entirely far from me or from Dr. Schacht to feel impelled to
express here our opinions on political or diplomatic
personalities, but, on the other hand, if the prosecution
produces affidavits or diaries of these diplomats and uses
these documents as pieces of evidence against the defendant
in this proceeding, the defendant -

THE PRESIDENT: The Tribunal thinks that if you would put
questions and put them shortly, it would be much better, and
we should get on much faster.

DR. DIX: Yes. In general I have put brief questions, your
Lordship. I only said this now, because I would like to
follow the procedure approved, I believe, by the High
Tribunal, of dealing with part of the documentary evidence
at this stage: and so I would like to bring up the
reliability of Dodd's diary. That is Exhibit 43 in my
document book; German text, Page 194; English text, Page
202. Here we are concerned with the correspondence between
the publisher of Dodd's diary and Sir Neville Henderson,
which deals with several misstatements in the diary. I will
dispense with the rather long letter by Sir Neville
Henderson - there are five folio pages - and will cite just
a few sentences. On Page 196 of the German text, Sir Neville
Henderson writes:-

  "Take, for instance, the first statement attributed to me
  about Neurath. It is entirely impossible, that I, in
  front of Hitler - "

and so on and so forth.

Then on the same page, in the middle of the page, next

  "And it is the same with the general discussion. It is
  quite inconceivable that I should have spoken, as there
  recorded, about Bismarck and the annexation of
  Czechoslovakia and other countries."

And on the same page, a little further down, next to the
last paragraph,
it says:-

  "Nor could I possibly have said that 'Germany must
  dominate the
  Danube-Balkan zone.'"

And on the next page, second paragraph:-

  "The remark attributed to me that England and Germany
  'must control the world' is pure balderdash and hardly
  fits in with the preceding sentence about the United

                                                  [Page 389]

Now, there are other similar passages on this and the
following page, but I do not believe it necessary for me to
quote them. I request the High Tribunal to take official
notice of this document in its entirety, and I would like to
submit it as such.


Q. Dr. Schacht, a little while ago you mentioned a warning
on the part of Ambassador Dodd with regard to a danger which
was threatening you. Was it an attack on your life?

A. At that time - and I only heard about this in January
after Mr. Dodd told me - I was informed that the S.S. was
planning an attack on my person. The intent was, as the
technical expression then had it, "to remove" me. Something
like that must have been in the air; otherwise, a foreign
ambassador and the circles close to me would not have known
about it.

Q. Just a little while ago you set forth how your policy
rejected the use of arms in bringing about equality of
German rights and means of livelihood. Did you try to do
anything in a practical way to further your policy of
peaceful agreement with foreign countries, for example, when
you were the president of the Bank?

A. My entire work as president of the Reichsbank was
primarily based on the principle of working with the banks
in foreign countries as harmoniously as possible, of
pursuing a policy of mutual assistance and support.

Secondly, I tried to enter into personal, friendly relations
with the directors of all these banks in the hope of meeting
understanding for German problems, and thus of contributing
to a solution, by way of co-operation and mutual agreement,
of these difficult problems which had arisen in Central
Europe. The word "co-operation," "Zusammenarbeit," was the
Leitmotiv of our circle.

Q. To turn from the directors of the banks, what about your
foreign creditors?

A. As I already said a little while ago, from the start I
was in disfavour with all the money-makers, those people who
had profited from German loans in foreign countries, for I
was against Germany being involved in debts abroad, and I
took my stand very firmly on his point. Then later, after
the misfortune which I had always predicted actually did
come to pass, after the financial crash in the year 1931,
these self-same financiers accused me of being to blame for
the fact that the interest on their money was no longer
being transferred to them. Therefore, in those circles, I
did not gain any friends, but among serious bankers and
large banking institutions, which were interested in
constant and regulated business with Germany, I believe I
made no enemies, because all measures which I later had to
take in order to protect the German currency and to maintain
Germany's foreign trade, all these measures I always
discussed jointly with the representatives of foreign
creditors. Approximately every six months we met, and I
always gave them an itemised account of German conditions.
They were permitted to look into the books of the
Reichsbank. They could interrogate the officials of the
Reichsbank and get them to account, and they always said to
me that I told them everything in the most frank and open
manner. I may say that I worked in a fair and friendly way
also with these men.

Q. And how did your policy of peaceful agreement affect
foreign trade, export, credit, and so forth?

A. I believe that, after the happenings that have now taken
place, it is today even clearer than before that Germany
cannot and could not live without foreign trade, and that
the maintenance of export trade must be the basis for the
future existence of the German nation. Consequently, I did
everything in order to maintain German foreign trade. I can
quote a few specific examples in line with and alongside
general principles. I tried, for example, to do business

                                                  [Page 390]
with China in order that we might export to China. I was
ready to give China credit and did. I welcomed the fact that
the Soviet Union kept up an extensive flow of trade with us;
and I always advocated expanding and stabilising this
foreign trade in the case of Russia as well as China. About
the ability and readiness to pay, and the promptness of
payment of the opposite parties, I never had any doubts.

THE PRESIDENT: He is going into unnecessary detail in
support of the allegation that he tried to maintain export
trade. We don't surely need details.

DR. DIX: As far as the Soviet Union is concerned, this
exposition is of great significance and relevance. It shows
Schacht in opposition to the policy carried out by Hitler.
Hitler was hostile to the Soviet Union and this hostility is
counterbalanced by open friendliness on the part of the
Minister of Economics. If I want to prove that Schacht was a
pioneer of a policy of understanding with nations, even
those against which Hitler carried on, so to speak, a
peaceful battle, such as the war of propaganda against the
Soviet Union, then in my opinion, this point is very
important as showing Schacht's fundamental attitude. This is
of absolute relevance.

THE PRESIDENT: The defendant has made the allegation. It is
for the prosecution to dispute it in cross-examination and
if they do, then the details might become material in re-

DR. DIX: I believe the question has been answered and now I
shall turn to an entirely new phase of questioning. Since it
is typical of his desire for understanding and his direct
basic opposition to the policy of Hitler, I would like to
refer to my Exhibit 34, which is an affidavit of Schniewind,
the banker and Swedish Counsel-General at Munich. This is
Exhibit 34, Page 114, of the English translation and I would
like to quote a short paragraph on Page 112 of the German
text, which confirms Dr. Schacht's remarks. Schniewind, who
was a high official in the Ministry of Economics, says here:

   "My department dealt with the Reich guarantees for
   supplies to Russia and thus I was in position to know
   that Schacht considered Hitler wrong to fight Russia.
   Through much effort, he obtained Hitler's permission to
   send extensive supplies, especially machines to Russia.
   Frequently I gained the impression that Herr Schacht
   favoured sending these supplies because, while
   instrumental in giving employment, they did not benefit
   rearmament. Herr Schacht on several public occasions
   pointed out with satisfaction that trade shipments to
   Russia were proceeding promptly and smoothly."

There are just a few more minutes before the customary
recess, your Honour, and before we take our recess, I ask
that I be permitted to reply shortly to your Lordship's
remarks of a few minutes ago. The defendant must conduct
what is, to a certain degree, a very difficult defence. The
prosecution very simply argued:

   "You helped to finance rearmament and this rearmament in
   the final analysis ended in war, and not only a war but
   a war of aggression; therefore, you as a defendant are
   either a conspirator or an accomplice, and that is a war

As far as this argument is concerned, it must, in my
opinion, be open to the defendant, first of all - and we
shall deal with that later - to point out that rearmament as
such by no means constitutes a desire for aggressive war;
and secondly to show that his acts actually indicate the
exact opposite, namely, his desire for concord and peace;
and for these fundamental reasons, I do beg the Tribunal not
to cut me short in this evidence but rather to give me the
time to carry it through in detail. This explains my desire
to set forth Schacht's policy toward the Soviet Union, a
policy in which he was in direct opposition to Hitler, to
bring it forth in its entirety, and also my wish to show
that he worked for our agreement on all levels-with
directors of banks and creditors - that is he

                                                  [Page 391]
advocated a policy of give and take rather than one of
unilateral terrorising and strife.

Gentlemen of the Tribunal, it is chiefly on a psychological
plane on which I have to conduct the defence; that is a very
sensitive and delicate field and I again ask that my task
may not be made more difficult. Then, when the witnesses are
called, I, for my part, will most likely dispense with every
witness except one, and I beg that you show me some
consideration. Does your Lordship consider it time for a

THE PRESIDENT: Yes, certainly, Dr. Dix. I thought that the
Tribunal had shown you every consideration, and we will now
certainly have a recess.

(A recess was taken.)


Q. Dr. Schacht, what was your attitude toward the "Fuehrer
Principle"? Did you not realise the danger of giving a blank
cheque; the danger of losing your own responsibility? You
have heard that Sir David considers the "Fuehrer Principle,"
as such, criminal.

A. Whether the "Fuehrer Principle" is criminal or not -
opinions throughout history have been much divided. If we
look back through Roman history we see that, from time to
time, in dire periods of distress a leader was selected to
whom everyone else was subordinate. And if you read "Failure
of a Mission" by Henderson, there, too, you find sentences
in which he says:-

  "People in England sometimes forget and fail to realise
  that even dictators can be, up to a point, necessary for
  a period and even extremely beneficial for a nation."

Another passage from the same book says:-

  "Dictatorships arc not always evil."

In other words, it depends on just what is attributed to a
Fuehrer; how much confidence one has in a Fuehrer; and for
how long a time. Of course, it is a sheer impossibility that
someone assumes the leadership of a country without giving
the nation from time to time the opportunity of saying
whether it still wants to keep him as Fuehrer or not. The
election of Hitler as Fi1hrer was in itself no political
mistake; in my opinion one could have established quite a
number of limitations to his activities which would have
avoided the danger you have mentioned. I must say,
unfortunately, that no one did that, and that was the great
mistake. But perhaps one could have depended on the fact
that, from time to time, a referendum, a plebiscite, a new
expression of the will of the people could have taken place
by which the Fuehrer could have been controlled, because a
leader who is not controlled becomes a menace. I recognised
that danger very well; I was afraid of it; and I attempted
to meet it. May I say one more thing? Limitless Party
propaganda attempted to introduce, the idea of a Fuehrer as
a lasting principle into politics. That, of course, is
nonsense, absolute nonsense, and I took the opportunity - I
always did take the opportunity - of expressing my
dissenting opinions publicly whenever it was possible. I
took the opportunity in an address to the Academy of German
Law, of which not only Nazis but lawyers of all groups were
members, and in that speech I lectured about the "Fuehrer
Principle" in economy. And I expressed myself ironically and
satirically, as unfortunately is my wont, and said that it
was not necessary to have a leader in every stocking
factory, that in fact, this principle was not a principle at
all but a rule of exception which had to be handled very

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