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Donovan Nuremberg Trials Collection

Nuremberg trial transcripts and documents from the Collection of General William J. Donovan

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Volume 007
Subdivision "Subdivision 13 / Preparation for Aggressive Warfare"
Part 1
Section 13.06 (Economic prelim, brief)
Title Preliminary Brief on 'The Economic Case' / Office of U.S. Chief of Counsel / APO 403 / U.S. Army / Documentation Division
Pages 45
Pages Supplemental With the following breakdown: Title (lp.), unnumber; text of brief proper (35pp.), 1-35; Appendix A (4pp.), 1-4; Appendix B (6pp.), 1-6.
Date 1945-09-17
Language English
Author Lt. 0. H. Korican
Witness Not applicable
Other Names Hitler; Schacht; Goering; Funk; Krupp; Count Schwerin-Krosigk; Thomas; Speer; Hess; Jodl
Other Dates 1 June 1933; 9 June 1933; 12 June 1933; 14 June 1933; 27 October 1933; 22 15 July 1933; 6 October 1933; 27 February 1934; March 1934; 29 March 1934; 3 July 1934; 4 September 1934; 4 December 1934; 4 February 1935; 1 July 1935; 4 September 1935; 18 October 1936; 29 October 1936; 7 November 1936; 9 November 1936; 26 November 1936; 1 December 1936; 15 June 1939; 1 September 1939; 6 August 1940; 17 August 1940; 29 August 1940; 8 August 1945; 11 August 1945; 13 September 1945
Abstract This document is a preliminary brief on the economic conspiracy to transform Germany's peacetime economy, which the Nazis inherited upon their accession to power in 1933, into a war economy that would be capable of sustaining the German Armed Forces in an aggressive war. The brief purses this argument by describing the structure and prevailing conditions "in the main sectors of war-economic importance" (p.32) in 1933, then citing the laws, decrees, regulations, and directives promulgated by the Nazi conspirators to take control of the German economy and direct it towards the purposes of rearmament and the waging of aggressive war. As a point of historical fact, the brief asserts that this effort attained its successful completion in 1939. The brief also alleges that a conspiracy existed "not later than August, 1940 ... to transform the whole of European economy into a tool subservient to the military and economic needs of Greater Germany and designed to be exploited solely for the benefit of Greater Germany" (p.6). This section of the brief is, however, relatively undeveloped in itself, relying instead on a docket of correspondence between Funk and Goering known as Work Sheet Reference No.23-B (see Appendix B, below). Two appendices follow. Appendix A, "Chronological Sequence of Economic Laws, Decrees, Etc." is, as its title suggests, a chronological list of 22 laws, decrees, directives, resolutions, speeches, etc., cited in the brief proper as evidence of the economic conspiracy. The list is annotated to the extent of naming those responsible for each item and of providing a phrase in explanation of its significance to the instant argument. Appendix B, "Work Sheet Reference No. 23B," is an "Economic Analysis and Condensation" of two letters: one of 6 August 1940 from Funk to Goering; and Goering's reply to Funk, dated 17 August 1940; and of a series of undated directives issued by Funk to his subordinates. Funk's letter is essentially a prospective statement regarding the establishment of German economic hegemony in Europe. It foresees German domination of the economies of subjugated nations and the restructuring of these economies to conform to the German model, with the eventual goal of integrating European national economies with the economy of Germany. The main objective, not surprisingly, is to exploit the productive capabilities of the European nations for the material enrichment of Germany. Goering's reply expresses general agreement with Funk's vision, adding mainly a desire to expand German economic dominance as quickly as possible - not just to gain the highest possible standard of living for the German people, but to provide the Nazi state with "the greatest war-economic potential" (p.3). To this end, Goering proposes that monetary and commodity exchange between Germany and the conquered nations, specifically Holland, Belgian, Denmark, and Norway, be facilitated. Section HI, Funk's directives, pertain mainly to monetary and commodity exchange; production, economic integration, and personnel and price policies are also addressed. This document is a typewritten copy on paper that is browning and brittle.
Keywords Economic conspiracy; War economy; Reichsbank; MEFO bills; "Devisen" law; Foreign trade; Foreign exchange; Foreign debts; "New Plan"; Skilled labor; Four-Year Plan; Reich Defense Act; Price and Wage stabilization; Synthetic raw materials; Naval blockade; German economic hegemony; Monetary exchange; Commodity exchange