Cornell University Law Library

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 13.15 (German bankers)
Title [... the responsibility of former Reichsbank Directors...] ; This document is untitled.
Pages 5
Pages Supplemental None
Date Not dated
Language English
Author Dr. Wilhelm Vocke
Witness Not applicable
Other Names Hitler; Schacht; Dreyse; Chamberlain; Daladier
Other Dates 1935; 1936; 1937; 1938; 1939
Abstract This document is essentially an apologia for the German bankers who facilitated German rearmament. The author argues that a German banker who helped to finance Hitler's rearmament projects and also knew of the plans to wage aggressive war is guilty of a war crime. Vocke argues, however, that these plans were secret and, therefore, unknown except to the small circle of Nazis surrounding Hitler. Rearmament in itself did not, Vocke maintains, constitute a war crime; it was merely prudent in light of the fact that the other combatants of the First World War never disarmed (contrary to the terms of the Versailles Treaty), and hardly clandestine, given that some of the projects were financed with foreign capital and its finished products set on view before the world. This statement seems intended particularly to exonerate Schacht, who, Vocke points out, stated in December 1938 his refusal to grant further armaments credits and was consequently dismissed. This document is a typewritten original on brown, fragile paper.
Keywords Versailles Treaty; Rearmament; Munich conference; Reichsbank