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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 2
Section 13.14 (Crowley statement)
Title Germany's Economic Base for Aggression / Statement Submitted by Leo T. Crowley / Foreign Economic Administrator / before the Sub-Committee on / War Mobilization of the / Senate Military Affairs Committee
Pages 99
Pages Supplemental With the following breakdown: Title (lp.), unnumbered; Table of Contents (lp.), unnumbered; "Oral Statement" (3pp.), 1-3; "Summary of Written Statement" (10pp.), 1-10; "Written Statement" (50pp.), including Introduction (lp.), unnumbered, and text of statement proper (49pp.), 1-49; "Exhibit 8 / Technical Industrial Disarmament Studies" (29pp.), including 3 unnumbered preliminary pages [background; Table of Contents; Cooperating Agencies], and texts of the studies (26pp.), 1-26; Exhibit 8 Supplement (4pp.), 1-4; Errata Statement (lp.), unnumbered.
Date 1945-06-26
Language English
Author Leo T. Crowley
Witness Leo T. Crowley
Other Names Henry H. Fowler; President Roosevelt; Prime Minister Churchill; Marshall Stalin; British Brigadier General John H. Morgan; Hitler. Note: Too many names appear in Exhibit 8 and Supplement to Exhibit 8 for the purposes of a useful list; in effect, each of these documents is itself a list.
Other Dates 1914; 1918; 1919; 1926 1933; 1920's; 1930's; 28 September 1944; 29 September 1944
Abstract This section 13.14 comprises a series of documents that address the issue of Germany's economic and industrial disarmament, which the author conceives as the only means of preventing a third World War instigated by German aggression. In his "Oral Statement," Crowley emphasizes that the Allies bear the responsibility of restricting Germany's economic and industrial capabilities to this end. The undertaking is by its nature a long-term project as well as an irreducible necessity, given that the "Germans are capable and industrious people... fired by their desire for revenge ..." (p.2), and eminently qualified to "rebuild an industrial war machine and reorganize it for war purposes in a few short years, regardless of the damage wrought by bombing and regardless of the deprivation of existing facilities through removals or destruction" (p.2). Indeed, Crowley asserts that Germany retains an "economic base for aggression" even in the aftermath of its ruinous defeat (p.3). Its title adequately characterizes "Summary of Written Statement"; Crowley therein provides an overview of the ensuing text. Perhaps most notable in the present document is the author's assessment of Germany's surviving economic base and its production capacities during the war. In contrast to the testimony of certain German generals, most notably General Georg R. Thomas, Crowley sees Germany as having been well provisioned to wage aggressive war and as having prepared for that eventuality during the years prior to the Nazi seizure of power. At the time the statement was made, Germany's economic base remained largely intact despite severe bomb damage and the general destruction of its infrastructure. Combined with Germany's considerable foreign holdings in industrial properties, long-term investments, and material stockpiles, these attributes characterize a nation that is far from destitute, notwithstanding its temporary disarray. These arguments, it must be said, serve Crowley's purpose, for they constitute a prima facie case for the detailed studies and program development he identifies as the mandated task of the FEA. It is clear, however, that Crowley understands the FEA's role to be investigative and advisory; the written reports of German economy and industry "will be advisory only to FEA and the other agencies concerned, and not have the force and effect of adopted government policy" (p.9). In his "Written Statement," Crowley develops the four major points related to the project of Germany's economic and industrial disarmament, as follows: "1. An appraisal of the extent of Germany's present economic capacity to wage war (See Chapter 1); 2. A review of the inadequacy of the disarmament provisions in the last treaty of peace [Versailles] (See Chapter 2); 3. An historical analysis of Germany's rearmament for World War II on the economic base left to her by the victorious Allies (See Chapter 3); 4. Some observations on the task of developing a program for the economic and industrial disarmament of Germany (See Chapter 4)" (from the Introduction). Accordingly, Chapter 1 presents a detailed survey that appraises Germany's economic and industrial potential for rearmament in light of the destruction wrought by Allied bombing. Crowley finds that, in the words of Tennyson, "though much is taken, much abides": Without a program designed to prevent the rebuilding of plants and the resumed production of war materials, "Germany could be far better prepared for war within five years than she was in 1939" (p.l). To support this claim, Crowley cites specific examples of German industrial capacity, "geared for total war" (p.2), that remain intact or were only slightly damaged in the recently concluded hostilities, as well as taking into account factors like Germany's ability to create new weapons, its "vast pool of skilled workman and highly-trained scientists" (p.6), foreign assets, and integrated and controlled domestic economy. Crowley seems especially concerned, both here and in Chapter 4, about foreign assets, which he envisions as a ready and easy means for Germany to evade any domestic economic restrictions the Allied Powers might chose to institute. In Chapter 2, Crowley rehearses the provisions of the Versailles Treaty, which he judges a half-measure in terms of curtailing Germany's ability to wage aggressive war, and contrasts the military predicament that obtained at the time of the 1918 Armistice with the present situation of unconditional surrender. Treating Germany as a defeated nation and not being overly concerned with respecting its sovereignty, the Allied Powers are, Crowley argues, beginning the process of Germany's economic and industrial disarmament with assumptions that are more likely to achieve the desired and necessary results. Chapter 3 recounts Germany's methods of economic and industrial rearmament during the years between the wars. Crowley develops his scenario in some detail, and describes the process as it occurred along multiple lines (both within Germany itself and in neutral states to which the General Staff had removed crucial industries), to argue that Germany's rearmament was a premeditated, coordinated plan, initiated by the German General Staff even before the 1918 Armistice and facilitated by German financiers and industrialists thereafter. Crowley plainly states that these two groups, the business leaders and the General Staff, were full partners of the Nazis after the latter seized power in 1933. The "Written Statement" concludes, in Chapter 4, by articulating an approach to the forthcoming process of German economic and industrial disarmament. Crowley states that the FEA is an advisory agency whose primary job is to study the prevailing conditions in key German industries. On the basis of such studies, the FEA and its cooperating agencies within the Federal government will produce written reports that will advise and inform policy-makers and recommend appropriate measures to prevent German industries from being turned again to the purposes of aggressive war. The adoption of specific policies, as well as the definition and enforcement of their terms, lie beyond the powers of the FEA. As a result, the statement stops short of constructing programs or directing tangible actions. It does, however, provide a general account of the inter-agency cooperation the FEA is using to generate the aforementioned reports. It articulates the specific assumptions that should guide the process overall, and reiterates the categorical urgency of attaining its goals. Although the "Written Statement" cites a series of exhibits, only Exhibit 8 is attached. Exhibit 8 is a catalogue of the Technical Industrial Disarmament Studies (which were in the process of being prepared at the time of Crowley's statement) and the persons and agencies responsible for producing them. The Supplement to Exhibit 8 is an annotated list of the persons involved and is notable for providing each person's main affiliation outside the federal government. The Errata Statement is self-explanatory; it reflects errors of spelling and syntax in the "Summary of Written Statement" and the "Written Statement," not substantive omissions or inaccuracies. All of the documents contained in this section are typewritten copies made on generally stable paper. The quality of the print is generally adequate, although some pages are only marginally legible. Many pages of the "Written Statement" have the inconvenient and unfortunate (in terms of durability) attribute of a one- or one-and-a-half inch fold at the bottom of the page; the paper being too long to fit within the dimensions of the document book, and the text being typed in most cases nearly to the bottom edge of many sheets, the pages have been folded up so that the book might be shelved without damaging them. The expedient has achieved that purpose, but it is only a matter of time, and of repeated perusals by students and scholars, until the folds become tears.
Keywords For "Oral Statement": Foreign Economic Administration (FEA), Enemy Branch; German economic and industrial disarmament; World War II. For "Summary of Written Statement": Economic base for aggression; Versailles Treaty; German disarmament after WWI; German rearmament for WWII; German General Staff; German industrialists; FEA; Enemy Branch. For "Written Statement": Dyes and Chemicals; Iron and Steel; Nitrogen; Coal Tar; Synthetic Textile Fibres; Rubber; Petroleum Products; Aluminum; Coal; Machine Tools; New Weapons; German economic assets outside Germany; Provisions of Versailles Treaty; German violations and evasions; German General Staff; War economics; Industrial reorganization; Managed inflation; Foreign loans; Dawes Plan; Cartel arrangements; Foreign trade; Raw materials; Bilateral agreements; German industrialists; German economic and industrial disarmament; FEA Enemy Branch