26th July 1942, after dinner
Do’s and Don’ts for Civil Servants—The temptations to corruption—A few swindlers.
The Fuehrer asked Bormann whether the necessary steps had been taken to make it illegal for any member of the Reichstag to sit on the Board of Directors of any private concern. Bormann replied that the matter had been deferred until the end of the war and suggested that Lammers should be asked to give a detailed explanation in his next report. The Fuehrer was horrified at this reply, and said:
No servant of the State must be a shareholder. No Gauleiter, no Member of the Reichstag and, in general, no Party leader must be a member of any board of directors, regardless of whether the appointment is honorary or paid; for even if the individual were actuated solely by the interests of the State, and even if he possessed the integrity of Cato himself, the public would lose faith in him.
No Member of the Reichstag, no civil servant and no Party leader must be in any way connected with business of this nature. Big business is as hot on the trail of such connections as the Devil after the soul of a Jew.
Even the most capable businessman is sometimes caught by the swindler. I am thinking of Roselius, who extracted the caffein from coffee and sold it at a high price as a medicine, and then sold his processed coffee at a price above that of normal coffee. Well, even this astute Roselius was caught by a crook who claimed to be able to transform dirty water into pure water. Shortly after I came into power, Roselius forced my hand and I consented to receive this eminent person. I only had to hear this great “inventor” speak for a moment, to discover that he was a complete crook.
Then the Minister for Church Affairs, or course, had to fall into the hands of another soi-disant inventor, who claimed to be able to extract petrol from coal by means of a process with water! Even Keppler allowed himself to be led by the nose for nearly a year by the same sharper, who really did produce petrol for his dupes’ inspection—but it was petrol procured from other sources! When things at last got too hot for this particular swindler, he tried to get a safe-conduct out of the country. But Himmler, who originally had believed in him, gave him instead a carte d’entrée for one of the concentration camps, where he was able to continue his experiments in peace!
“If such swindles are possible here in this country,” said Bormann, “what must it be like in a place like the United States!” The Fuehrer continued:
Germany’s strength lies in the fact that the men of the Party, the State and the armed forces take no part in business; and those of them who still have any connection with business must now make their final decision: either they must abandon all such connections, or they must resign from their official positions.
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