Walther Funk

Walther Funk

Infobox Officeholder
name = Walther Funk

imagesize =

caption =
order = Reich Minister of Economics
term_start = January 1938
term_end = April 1945
president = Adolf Hitler
chancellor = Adolf Hitler
predecessor = Hermann Göring
successor = ("Third Reich collapce)"
order2 = President of the Reichsbank
term_start2 = 1939
term_end2 = 1945
president2 = Adolf Hitler
chancellor2 = Adolf Hitler
predecessor2 = Hjalmar Schacht
successor2 = None
birth_date = August 18, 1890
birth_place = Danzkehmen, Kingdom of Prussia, then German Empire, now Russian Federation
death_date = May 31, 1960 (aged 69)
death_place = Düsseldorf, North Rhine-Westphalia, Federal Republic of Germany
constituency =
party = NSDAP
spouse = Luise Schmidt-Sieben
children =
profession = Journalist
education =
religion =

footnotes =

Walther Emanuel Funk (18 August 1890 - 31 May 1960) was a prominent Nazi official. He served as Minister for Economic Affairs in Nazi Germany from 1937 to 1945.

Early life

Funk was born into a merchant family in Danzkehmen, Kreis Stallupönen, East Prussia. He was the son of Wiesenbaumeister Walther Funk the elder and his wife Sophie (née Urbschat). He studied law, economics, and philosophy at the University of Berlin and the University of Leipzig. In World War I he joined the infantry but was discharged as unfit for service in 1916. In 1919 Funk married Luise Schmidt-Sieben. Following the war he worked as a journalist, and in 1922 he became the editor of the center-right financial newspaper the "Berliner Börsenzeitung".

Political life

Funk, was a nationalist and anti-Marxist, resigned from the newspaper in the summer of 1931 and joined the Nazi Party, becoming closer to Gregor Strasser who arranged his first meeting with Adolf Hitler. Partially due to his interest in economic policy, he was elected a "Reichstag" deputy in July 1932, and within the party, he was made chairman of the Committee on Economic Policy in December 1932; a post that he did not hold for long. After the Nazi Party came to power, he stepped down from his "Reichstag" position and was made Chief Press Officer of the Third Reich.

Third Reich career

*In March 1933, Funk was appointed as a State Secretary at the Ministry of Public Enlightenment and Propaganda.
*In 1938, he assumed the title of Chief Plenipotentiary for Economics ("Wirtschaftsbeauftragter").
*He also became Minister of Economics in February of that year, replacing Hjalmar Schacht who had been dropped in November 1937. Schacht had been dismissed in a power struggle with "Reichsmarchall" Hermann Göring, who was quick to tie the Ministry more closely to his Four Year Plan Office.
*In January 1939 Funk gained another credit to his name when he assumed the post of President of the "Reichsbank", again replacing Schacht.
*He was appointed to the Central Planning Board in September 1943.
*He was a wartime director of the Bank of International Settlements based in Switzerland.


Despite poor health Funk was tried with other at the Nuremberg Trials. Accused of conspiracy to commit crimes against peace; planning, initiating and waging wars of aggression; war-crimes and crimes against humanity, he argued that, despite his titles, he had very little power in the regime. Göring described Funk as "an insignificant subordinate," but documentary evidence and his wartime biography "Walther Funk, A Life for Economy" were used against him during the trial, leading to his conviction on counts 2, 3 and 4 of the indictment and his sentence of 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.

External links

* [http://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/jsource/Holocaust/Funk.html Funk war crimes dossier]
* [http://www.adolfhitler.ws/lib/nsdap/Funk.html Walther Funk biography]

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