Confessions of "The Old Wizard"': Autobiography

By Hjalmar Horace Greeley Schacht; Diana Pyke | Go to book overview

LIII
CONCENTRATION CAMPS

THE PROCESSION of cars took me to Ravensbrück Concentration Camp in Mecklenburg. When I was conducted to my cell the guards, by way of a joke, mentioned that this was the same cell that my son-in- law had occupied before he had to undergo a sentence of two years' imprisonment.

From the moment I set foot in the cell at Ravensbrück until my final release on September 2, 1948 -- more than four years -- I had changed my prison no fewer than thirty-two times.

I spent over two years in solitary confinement. The cells were very much alike, measuring sometimes twelve square yards, sometimes less or rather more. Sometimes the W.C. was in the cell, sometimes not. If not you had to summon the guard to accompany you on every occasion. Sometimes the cells contained washing facilities, sometimes not. If not you had to wash under supervision. Treatment by the guards was sometimes decent, sometimes brutal, according to the character of the individual. Very scant provision was made for intellectual reading.

During this captivity of more than four years' duration I had for the most part to evolve my occupations out of my own head. The food was always sufficient but differed greatly in quality and was very often wretchedly poor. This was especially so in Ravensbrück where I frequently had nothing but cabbage soup or something similar for three days on end. On the whole, however, the treatment at Ravensbrück was not too bad at first. My chief warder could sometimes be persuaded to perform small favors in return for an occasional cigar from my scanty store.

So long as I remained in solitary confinement the separation from the other prisoners or camp inmates was strictly enforced. Only occasionally did I manage to get a glimpse of another cell, either in passing or through the shutter in the door which was opened when food was handed in. The building in which we were housed was only

-382-

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Confessions of "The Old Wizard"': Autobiography
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Introduction vii
  • Contents xv
  • Illustrations xix
  • I - The Schacht and the Eggers Families 1
  • II - Three Towns Beginning with "H" 14
  • III - Three Emperors in One Year 26
  • IV - Cholera in Hamburg 38
  • V - A Meeting with Bismarck 47
  • VI - At the University 52
  • VII - An Unpaid Assistant on the Kleines Journal 60
  • VIII - Paris at the Turn of the Century 66
  • IX - Doctor of Philosophy 72
  • X - Commercial Treaties 80
  • XI - I Meet Some of the Big Bankers 87
  • XII - The Dresdner Bank 92
  • XIII- The Near East 101
  • XIV - My Family 107
  • XV - Germany's Turning Point 112
  • XVI - The First World War 119
  • XVII - Appointment as Director of the Bank 128
  • XVIII - The Founding of a Party 136
  • XIX - Member of the Workers' And Soldiers' Council 143
  • XX - Inflation 151
  • XXI- With the Danat Bank 156
  • XXII - The Secret of the Stabilized Mark 162
  • XXIII - President of the Reichsbank 173
  • XXIV - The Bank of England 179
  • XXV - The Center of Separatism 186
  • XXVI - Monsieur Poincaré 192
  • XXVII - A Painful Recovery 198
  • XXVIII - The Reichsbank from the Inside 206
  • XXIX - Some Economic Aftereffects 211
  • XXX - Clouds on the Horizon 217
  • XXXI - I Sign the Young Plan 224
  • XXXII - A Far-Reaching Idea 230
  • XXXIII - I Resign from the Reichsbank 237
  • XXXIV - On My Own 244
  • XXXV - The End of Reparations 250
  • XXXVI - Meeting with Hitler 256
  • XXXVII - The Bank Crisis 262
  • XXXVIII - The Harzburg Front 268
  • XXXIX - President of the Reichsbank Again 275
  • XL - A Visit to Roosevelt 281
  • XLI - Conversion Fund and "Mefo" Bills 287
  • XLII - A Stronghold of Justice 294
  • XLIII - The New Plan 301
  • XLIV - Mainly About Pictures 308
  • XLV - At Odds with the Party 313
  • XLVI - The Königsberg Speech 318
  • XLVII - The Jewish Question and The Church Question 322
  • XLVIII - Rearmament 330
  • XLIX - Hermann Goering 335
  • L - Foreign Policy 346
  • LI - I Break with Hitler 353
  • LII - From an Attempted Coup D'Etat To an Attempted Assassination 361
  • LIII - Concentration Camps 382
  • LIV - In American Hands 397
  • LV - Nuremberg Prison 402
  • LVI - The Prisoners 405
  • LVII - The Nuremberg Tribunal -- I 411
  • LVIII - The Nuremberg Tribunal -- II 425
  • LIX - The Denazification Tribunals 442
  • LX - Free Once More 449
  • LXI - Off to the Far East 453
  • LXII - Under the Garuda 459
  • LXIII - Finale 468
  • Index 473
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