Extract from the Minutes of the Conference of Ministers, Held at the Reich Chancellery, on February 8, 1933
The Reich Minister of Transport [Freiherr von Eltz-Rübenach] [ . . . ] proposed that 2.5 million reichsmarks be appropriated in the budget of the Ministry of Transport for 1933 as a first installment for the construction of a reservoir on the Malapane [River] near Turawa [in Upper Silesia].
The Reich Minister of Finance replied that it would be very difficult for the Reich Cabinet to decide at this time whether the approval of these funds would be justified from the point of view of the total budget.
[ . . . ]
The Reich Chancellor stated that in judging the request by the Minister of Transport, another decisive consideration had to be taken into account. Germany was now negotiating with foreign countries about her military equality of rights. The recognition of a theoretical equality of rights was sure to follow in the very near future. But Germany could not content herself with that. This theoretical recognition must be followed by practical equality of rights, i.e., by German rearmament. The world, especially France, was entirely prepared for German rearmament and regarded it as a matter of course. The next five years in Germany had to be devoted to rendering the German people capable of bearing arms once again [Wiederwehrhaftmachung]. Every publicly sponsored measure to create employment had to be considered from the point of view of whether it was necessary with respect to rendering the German people capable of bearing arms for military service. This had to be the dominant thought, always and everywhere.
The Reich Minister of Labor supported these statements of the Reich Chancellor, but said that besides the purely military tasks there was also other economically valuable work that ought not to be neglected.
The Reich Minister of Transport pointed out that the development of German waterways was also a military necessity. In case of an emergency, the entire German traffic system had to be in order, and this included the operation of the waterways.