18 Dec. 45

were members of the Party: Göring, Frick, and Hitler. I have already shown that as new ministries were added prominent Nazis were placed at their head. On 30 January 1937 Hitler executed acceptance into the Party of those Cabinet members who were not already members of the Nazi Party. This action is reported in the Völkischer Beobachter, South German edition, 1 February 1937; it is Document Number 2964-PS, Exhibit USA-401, and I quote from Paragraphs 3 and 4 of the English translation:
"In view of the anticipated re-opening of the rolls for Party membership, the Führer as the first step in this regard, personally carried out the enlistment into the Party of the members of the Cabinet who so far had not belonged to it; and he handed them simultaneously the Gold Party Badge, the supreme badge of honor of the Party. In addition, the Führer awarded the Gold Party Badge to Colonel General Baron von Fritsch; Generaladmiral, Dr. Raeder; the Prussian Minister of Finance, Professor Popitz; and the Secretary of State and Chief of the Presidential Chancellery, Dr. Meissner. The Führer also honored with the Gold Party Badge the Party members State Secretary Dr. Lammers, State Secretary Funk, State Secretary Körner and State Secretary General of the Air Force Milch. "
It was possible to refuse the Party membership thus conferred. Only one man did this, however, Von Eltz-Rübenach, who was the Minister of Posts and Minister of Transport at the time. I have here an original letter, dated 30 January 1937, from Von Eltz-Rübenach to Hitler, and it is in his own personal handwriting. I offer it in evidence as Document 1534-PS, Exhibit USA-402; and I quote the entire document:
"Berlin (W8), 30 January 1937, Wilhelm Street, 79

"My Führer:

"I thank you for the confidence you have placed in me during the 4 years of your leadership and for the honor you do me in offering to admit me into the Party.

"My conscience forbids me, however, to accept this offer. I believe in the principles of positive Christianity and must remain faithful to my God and to myself. Party membership, however, would mean that I should have to countenance, without protest, the increasing violent attacks by Party officers on the Christian confessions and on those who wish to remain faithful to their religious convictions.

"This decision has been infinitely difficult for me, for never in my life have I performed my duty with greater joy and satisfaction than under your wise state leadership.

"I ask to be permitted to resign.