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Walter Funk

Walter Emanuel Funk (August 18, 1890 - May 31, 1960) was a prominent Nazi official.

He was born into a merchant family in Königsberg, East Prussia. He studied at university in Berlin, covering a number of subjects. In WW I he joined the infantry but was invalided out in 1916. Post-war he worked as a journalist and in 1922 he became the editor of the centre-right financial newspaper the Berliner Börsenzeitung.

In 1931 he resigned from the newspaper and joined the NSDAP and became close to Gregor Strasser[?], who arranged his first meeting with Hitler. Funk was interested in economic policy. He was elected a Reichstag deputy in July 1932 and for 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 job and was initially chief press officer of the Reich government.

From March 1933 he was a State Secretary at the Ministry of Propaganda. In February 1938 he became Minister of Economics, replacing Hjalmar Schacht[?] who had been dropped in November 1937, and also assumed the title of Chief Plenipotentiary for Economics (Wirtschaftsbeauftragter). Schacht had been dismissed in a power struggle with Hermann Göring, and the Reich Marshal was quick to tie the Ministry more closely to his Four Year Plan Office. In January 1939 Funk also assumed the post of President of the Reichsbank[?], again replacing Schacht. He was appointed to the Central Planning Board in September 1943.

Despite poor health he was tried with other Nazi leaders at Nuremberg. 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 that he had very little power in the regime, documentary evidence and his wartime biography Walter Funk, A Life for Economy were used against him. He was found guilty of all counts except the first and sentenced to life imprisonment.

He was held at Spandau Prison along with other senior Nazis. Released in 1957, due to ill health he died three years later.

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