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Planning, Preparing, Initiation, and Waging of Wars of Aggression and Invasion of Other Countries

C. Four Year Plan and Economic Mobilization of Germany for War.

The first measures taken by Goering in May 1936, after he had been appointed coordinator for raw materials and foreign exchange by Hitler, were clearly aimed to assure the raw material requirements of the Wehrmacht, and decisive for all discussions was the so-called Case A (A-Fall), that is the case of war. This is shown by the meeting of the Experts Committee on Raw Materials Questions on 26 May 1936 in which the defendant Schmitz participated together with the key men of German preparation for war, Goering, Keitel, Koerner, Keppler, etc. (Exh. 400, NI-5380, BK. 19, p. 1). The defendant Krauch, who had already submitted to the Reich Air Ministry, which was hoaded by Goering, a four year plan as early as September 1933, was put at Goering’s disposal by the then chairman of Farben’s Vorstand, Dr. Bosch. (Exh. 402, NI-10386, BK. 19, p.73; Exh. 138, NI-4718, BK. 6, p. 16; Exh. 437, NI-6768, BK. 20, p. 63). The defendant Krauch was given the key position in Goering’s new staff for raw materials and foreign exchange, the department Research and Development. (Exh. 426, NI-4703, BK. 20, p. 20). Shortly after the defendant Krauch had assumed his functions in Goering’s staff, he called for a report from Farben on its contracts with the Reich, including Farben’s Leuna contract during World War I. (Exh. 679, NI-7833, BK. 32, p. 1). The defendant Krauch took with him the two most important men of Farben’s Vermittlungsstelle W, namely, Dr. Ritter and Dr. Eckell. (Exh. 407, NI-5911, BK. 19, p. 87).

In July 1936, two months after Krauch had taken a key position in the government, Hitler in a memorandum to Goering outlined the basis of the Four Year Plan which was to prepare Germany for war. This memorandum stated in part (Exh. 411, NI-4955, Book 19, p. 93):

“It is not the aim of this memorandum to prophesy the moment at which the untenable situation in Europe will reach the stage of open war. The extant and the pace of the military exploitation our strength cannot be too much or too rapid.

If we do not succeed in developing the German army within the shortest period to be the first army in the world with respect to training, setting up of units, equipment and above all also in its spiritual education, Germany will be lost.

The definitive solution (of Germany’s economic situation) lies in an extension of our living space, i.e. an extension of the raw materials and food basis of our nation. It is the task of the political leadership to solve this question at some future time.

Much more important, however, is to prepare for the war during the peace.

It is not enough to establish from time to time the raw material or foreign currency balance, or to speak of a preparation for war economy during peace time, but it is necessary to provide all those needs for peace time food supply and above all for warfare.

The German motor fuel production must now be developed with the utmost speed and brought to the definitive completion within 18 months. This task must be handled and executed with the same determination as the waging of war.

The mass production of synthetic rubber must be also organized and secured with the same rapidity. The affirmation that the procedure might not be quite determined and similar excuses must not be heard from now on. The question under discussion is not whether we will wait any longer otherwise the time will be lost and the hour of danger will take all of us unawares.

I herewith set the following task:

  1. The German army must be ready for combat within four years.
  2. The German economy must be mobilized for war within four years.”

Four days before the formal announcement of the Four Year Plan by Hitler, Goering stated in the meeting of the Cabinet on 4 September 1936, with Blomberg, Koerner, Keppler and others present:

“If war should break out tomorrow we would be forced to take measures from which we might possibly shy away at the present moment. They are therefore to be taken. ****All measures have to be taken just as if we were actually in the stage of imminent danger of war.” (Exh. 412, EC-416, BK 19, p. 114).

On 17 December 1936, Goering made a speech before the most important German industrialists at which the defendants Krauch and Schnitzler and the deceased Dr. Bosch were present. He outlined the purpose of the Four Year Plan (note the similarity to Hitler’s memorandum), and stated:

“Our whole nation is at stake; we live in a time when the final battle is in sight; we already are on the threshold of mobilization and we are already at war. All that is lacking is actual shooting.” (Exh. 421, NI_051, BK 20, p 9).

Hitler also spoke. The defendant Schnitzler gave a “highly confidential report” to the enlarged Farben Committee on Goering’s and Hitler’s speech of 17 December 1936. (Exh. 422, NI-5955, BK. 20, p 14; Exh. 423, NI-4192, BK. 20, p 15).

Schacht, who had been very active in the early rearmament phase between 1933 and 1935, lost his influence in fighting actively against excessive armament policy which resulted from the Four Year Plan (Official text of the Trial of the Major War Criminals before the IMT Vol. I, pp. 307-308).

The attitude of Schacht, who was an ardent supporter of Hitler between 1933 and 1935, shows that men of financial and economic experience saw clearly the dangers involved in the Four Year Plan and the excessive “proposed expansion of production facilities, particularly for synthetics”. Another group of important early supporters of Hitler’s regime, namely Thyssen and other steel industrialists, refused to cooperate in the expansion of production facilities for the Four Year Plan, on the basis that it was uneconomical. (Exh. 682, NI-9856, BK 32, p 45).

Early in June 1938, Krauch went to Koerner and Goering and pointed out that the planning of his superior, Colonel Loeb, was based on wrong figures and that it was dangerous to plan for a war on the basis of such figures. (Exh. 437, NI-6768, BK 20. p 63; Exh. 402, NI-10386, BK 19. p 73)*. Goering then asked Krauch to suggest what powers would be necessary for him in order to take over the chemical sector as Plenipotentiary General (Exh. 301, supra).

* In one of his pre-trial interrogations, (Exh. 437, supra), Krauch said that he told Koerner among other things the following:

“I know that these figures are wrong. I was talking a week before with Major Loeb about these figures and I told that there is great danger in giving at this time wrong figures to the Government. It may be possible if one deciding man knows about those wrong figures and he is thinking about war, he would decide against it. If he knows we are not independent in the war he would decide against war. There is a great danger in the wrong figures question. The Koerner told this to Goering.”

Thereupon Krauch requested the defendant Ambros for his: recommendations for the execution of a new program for the production of chemical warfare agents and explosives in Germany. The defendant Ambros recommended that “one fully responsible competent office for matters related to the new projects of the army” should be created; and suggested special powers

for this new agency. Ambros stressed that the “rearmament in the field of chemical warfare agents is inadequate and has to all intents and purposes remained on the 1918 level. Only during the last few months have attempts been made to apply technical devices to the old chemical warfare agents and under the driving force of industry, especially of I.G., to develop new types.” (Exh. 438, NI-5687, BK 20, p 82).

On 30 June 1938, the defendant Krauch submitted to Goering a “new accelerated plan for explosives, gun powder, intermediates and chemical warfare agents,” incorporating substantially the recommendations of Ambros. (Exh. 439, NI-8839, BK 20, p86).

On 12 July 1938, the defendant Krauch drew up the “military economic new production plan”, also called the Karinhall or Krauch Plan, which in addition to gunpowder, explosives, chemical warfare agents and intermediates, included mineral oil, rubber (Buna) and light metals. The amounts to be produced even for mineral oil, rubber and light metals were determined by the “mobilization target”. With regard to oil it was stated: “The products produced ……. beyond the normal requirements are to be stored for the mobilization requirements.” With regard to gunpowder, explosives and chemical warfare agents: “The new plan of 30 June 1938 provides the utmost acceleration of all building projects of these sectors.” (Exh. 442, NI-8800, BK 20, p113.)*

* For comment by the military the Karinhall Plan, see Exh. 443, PS-2353, BK 20, p 117.

Krauch’s Karinhall Plan persuaded Goering of the necessity for the appointment of a Plenipotentiary General for mineral oils, gunpowder and explosives. (Exh. 445, PS-1436, BK 21, p 3). The military considered this field of activity so important that Field Marshal Keitel, Chief of the OXW, suggested that General Becker, the Chief of Army Ordnance, be appointed to this position (Exh. 447, EC-279, BK 21, p 10). After a series of conferences between Goering’s office and the military, a new so-called “Rush Plan” for the production of gunpowder, explosives and chemical warfare agents including intermediates was drawn up by Krauch on August 13, 1938. This plan was agreed upon by the High Command of Army Ordnance

(General Becker) and the Office of Military Economy (General Thomas) as a result of which the military agreed to the appointment of Krauch as Plenipotentiary General. (Exh. 452, NI-8791, BK 21, p 34; Exh. 449, NI-8797, BK 21, p 19)

On 22 August 1938 Krauch was appointed Plenipotentiary General of the Four Year Plan for special tasks of chemical production, and the “Rush Plan” was “entirely entrusted to Dr. Krauch” (Exh. 453, NI-8917, BK 21, p 41; Exh. 463, NI-820, BK 21, p 172).

From the time that Krauch took a key position in the government in June, 1936, Farben played a leading role in all of the activities with which Krauch was concentrated with which Krauch was concerned. Ambros, Buergin, Gaweski, Schneider, Wurster, Buetefisch, and other Vorstand members were his official advisors. (See Exh. 512, NI-6713, BK 25, p. 7; see also Exhibits in Book 11). Farben and its subsidiaries gave their full support to the Four Year Plan Projects. (Exh. 682, NI-9656, BK 32, p 45; Exh. 700, NI-9945, BK 37, pl).

Farben became the main-stay of the industrial program for the Four Year Plan. During the time from October 1936 to May 1937, 66.5% of all amounts to be spent under the Four Year Plan for the entire German industry were to be used on Farben projects and in the overall planning of the Four Year Plan in the chemical field (exclusive of mineral oil) 85.7% were to be invested in Farben projects. (Exh. 429, NI-10036, BK 20, p 21; Exh. 428, NI-10035, BK 20, p 25). Farben’s investments show considerable increase after the announcement of the Four Year Plan. They rose from 42.7 million RM to 96.3 million RM between 1936 and 1937 for Farben and its 100% subsidiaries and from 10.8 to 35.7 million RM for its other most important subsidiaries. (Exh. 684, NI-10001, BK 32, p 47; Exh. 685, NI-10013, BK 32, p 48). Immediately after the defendant Krauch was given his new responsibility over the “now military economic production plan”, Farben was told to take immediate measures to step up production of chemical warfare agents and diglycol. (Exh. 444, NI-7424, BK 21, p 1). All of the measures taken by Krauch in connection with the Rush Plan were completed by Farben and its subsidiaries, the DAG, Wasag, and Deutsche Sprengchemie. (Exh. 452, NI-8791, BK 21, p. 34).

On 14 October 1938, after the consummation of the first aggression against Czechoslovakia, Goering addressed his collaborators in a meeting in the Reich Air Ministry at which Krauch was present, on the future aims of the Reich Air Ministry at which Krauch was present, on the future aims of the Third Reich. General Thomas’ report on this conference states: (Exh. 401, PS-1301, BK. 18, p. 30)

“General Field Marshal Goering opened the session by declaring that he intended to give directives about the work for the next months. Everybody knows from the press what the world situation looks like and therefore the Fuehrer has issued an order to him to carry out a gigantic program compared to which previous achievements are insignificant. There are difficulties in the way which he will overcome with utmost energy and ruthlessness.

“He received the order from the Fuehrer to increase the armament to an abnormal extent, the air force having first priority. Within the shortest time the air force is to be increased five fold, also the navy should got armed more rapidly and the army should procure larger amounts of offensive weapons at a faster rate, particularly heavy artillery pieces and heavy tanks. Along with this manufactured armaments must go: especially fuel, rubber, powder and explosives are moved into the foreground. It should be coupled with the accelerated construction of highways, canals, and particularly of the railroads.

“The Sudetenland has to be exploited with all the means. General Field Marshal Goering counts upon willing collaboration by the Slovaks. Czechs and Slovaks would form German dominions. They have to be exploited to the utmost. The Oder Danube Canal has to be speeded up. Search for oil and ore have to be conducted in Slovakia, notably by State Secretary Keppler.”

The defendant Krauch who had been informed by Goering on the basic policy of the Third Reich, recognized the true manner of Hitler’s second aggression against Czechoslovakia, the occupation of Prague on 15 March 1939. In his work report to the General Council of the Four Year Plan of 28 April 1939, the defendant Krauch shows in his conclusion that he had grasped the real significance of Hitler’s and Goering’s foreign policy. He stated in this report:

“When on 30 June 1939 the objectives of the increased production in the spheres of work discussed here were given by the Field Marshal, it seemed as if the political leadership could determine independently the timing and extent of the political revolution in Europe and could avoid a rupture with a group of powers under the leadership of Great Britain. Sinco March of this year there is no longer any doubt that this hypothesis does not exist anymore. It is essential for Germany to strengthen its own war potential as well as that of its allies to such an extent that the coalition is equal to the efforts of practically the rest of the world. This can be achieved only by new, strong and combined efforts by all of the allies and by expanding and improving the greater economic domain corresponding to the improved raw material basis of the coalition, peaceably at first, to the Balkans and Spain.

If action does not follow upon these thoughts with the greatest possible speed, all sacrifices of blood in the next war will not spare us the bitter end which already once before we have brought upon ourselves owing to lack of foresight and fixed purposes.” (Exh. 455, EC-282, BK. 21, p. 56). (Underscoring in original)

Shortly before the outbreak of the war at the end of August 1939, the defendant Krauch submitted an implementation survey for the case of war in the fields of mineral oil, buna, chemistry, light metals and also of the Rush Plan (powder, explosives and chemical warfare agents). (Exh. 459, NI-8796, BK. 21, p. 132).

With the start of the war the defendant Krauch together with General Thomas, the Head of the Wi Ru Amt, and General Becker, the Head of the Army Ordnance Office, proposed a plan for the increase of production for the “Krauch Plan”, a draft of which was sent to Hitler (Exh. 460, PS-1457, BK. 21, p. 138; Exh. 461, NI-7570, BK. 21, p. 158). Krauch participated in practically all of the meetings of the General Council of the Four Year Plan which board took over the Supreme Command in question of military economy when the Office of the GBW (Plenipotentiary General for Economy) was dissolved in December 1939. (Exh. 466, NI-7474, BK. 21, p. 182; Exh. 403, NI-9767, BK. 19, p. 76). When Goering no longer exercised his function as Head of the Four Year Plan and when the Central Planning Board became the supreme authority of the German war effort, Krauch also participated in the meetings of the Central Planning Board (Exh. 481, NI-2972, BK. 22, p. 47). Krauch, maintained his position as a key figure during the war. (Exh. 482, NI-5821, BK 22, p. 50)

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