Walther Funk

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But ignorance of the law is no excuse. A person is guilty even if he breaks the law unknowingly.

Walther Emanuel Funk (August 18, 1890May 31, 1960) was a prominent Nazi official. He served as Minister for Economic Affairs in Nazi Germany from 1937 to 1945. Accused of conspiracy to commit crimes against peace; planning, initiating and waging wars of aggression; war-crimes and crimes against humanity, he was sentences to life imprisonment. Funk was held at Spandau Prison along with other senior Nazis. Released in 1957 due to ill health, he died three years later.

Sourced[edit]

  • At that time I believed in the Führer principle because to me it meant that the best one should be the leader. If the leader is good and responsible, then the government is good.
    • To Leon Goldensohn, March 31, 1946, from "The Nuremberg Interviews" by Leon Goldensohn, Robert Gellately - History - 2004
  • Ach! I know. If I were to play the Pathetique or the Moonlight Sonata for the high judges, they would let me off. But my defense unfortunately will not be musical.
    • To Leon Goldensohn, March 31, 1946, from "The Nuremberg Interviews" by Leon Goldensohn, Robert Gellately - History - 2004 - Page 82
  • But ignorance of the law is no excuse. A person is guilty even if he breaks the law unknowingly. I shall be perhaps the first of the defendants to get up on that stand and admit that I am at least partly guilty.
    • To Leon Goldensohn, March 31, 1946 from "The Nuremberg Interviews" by Leon Goldensohn, Robert Gellately - History - 2004
I can spot a musical type. I can tell by looking at a woman whether she is a contralto or a soprano.
  • I can spot a musical type. I can tell by looking at a woman whether she is a contralto or a soprano.
    • To Leon Goldensohn, April 7, 1946, from "The Nuremberg Interviews" by Leon Goldensohn, Robert Gellately - History - 2004 - Page 83
  • I do feel ashamed of having participated to the slightest even as a tool in those dark days. But I was obliged to serve the state to which I had taken an oath. It was a tragic fate.
    • To Leon Goldensohn, April 14, 1946, from "The Nuremberg Interviews" by Leon Goldensohn, Robert Gellately - History - 2004
  • I am guilty of one thing - that I should have cleared out and not had anything to do with these criminals in the first place. Later it was too late. I was in up to my neck. But as for the atrocities, I had not a thing to do with them, did not know about them. And as for conspiring against peace, that is false, too. And that is my plain line of defense.
    • To Leon Goldensohn, April 14, 1946, from "The Nuremberg Interviews" by Leon Goldensohn, Robert Gellately - History - 2004
  • Those Russians. They did worse things when they entered Pomerania than we ever did in Russia.
    • To Leon Goldensohn, May 11, 1946, from "The Nuremberg Interviews" by Leon Goldensohn, Robert Gellately - History - 2004
  • If you follow a certain road for some time, it takes an enormous willpower to leave, although you might recognize that the road was not good. But in my case I believed and was convinced that I was serving and helping the people until the last. However, it is a terrible fate that has befallen me. If I had remained with my writing and my music I would be working now and not a criminal in the Nuremburg prison.
    • To Leon Goldensohn, May 12, 1946, from "The Nuremberg Interviews" by Leon Goldensohn, Robert Gellately - History - 2004
  • In world history we have other examples of frightful destruction. There was Alexander the Great and all of the destruction he caused. Napoleon, too, would have destroyed all of Europe. But unfortunately, the Nazi government, the government of which I unfortunately partook, had no Talleyrand, but we had a Ribbentrop. Through Talleyrand's policy France was saved from a catastrophe that Ribbentrop would have brought about.
    • To Leon Goldensohn, May 12, 1946, from "The Nuremberg Interviews" by Leon Goldensohn, Robert Gellately - History - 2004

About Funk[edit]

As Minister of Economics, Funk accelerated the pace of rearmament and as Reichsbank president banked for the SS the gold teeth fillings of concentration camp victims, probably the most ghoulish collateral in banking history.
  • Funk succeeded me and he could not act individually as I could and did. The Reichsbank could give or deny credit under the rules at its own discretion while I was president of it. The very day I left the Reichsbank, Hitler issued a law which obliged the Reichsbank to give any credit he would ask for. It was under that law that Funk took office. Perhaps in that sense Funk was not responsible, but in another sense, of course, he was responsible because he was a willing tool. If he went so far as to take the post, he was willing to obey.
  • A Reichsbank president who was totally ignorant of what went in and out of the vaults of his bank.
    • Robert H. Jackson
  • As Minister of Economics, Funk accelerated the pace of rearmament and as Reichsbank president banked for the SS the gold teeth fillings of concentration camp victims, probably the most ghoulish collateral in banking history.
    • Robert H. Jackson

External links[edit]

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