Erich Neumann was a Nazi politician. Neumann was born in Forst into a Protestant family. His father was a factory owner. After receiving his Abitur, Neumann studied law and economics at the universities of Freiburg, Leipzig and Halle. He served in World War I and reached the rank of First Lieutenant. In 1920, he served as governmental civil servant in the Prussian Ministry of the Interior, and thereafter in the Essen District Office. Neumann became Senior Executive Officer in the Prussian Ministry of Commerce in 1923. In 1927/28, he became District President in Freystadt, then served as Ministerial Junior Assistant Secretary again in the Prussian Ministry of Commerce. In September 1932, he was appointed Permanent Secretary in the Prussian Ministry of State, where he was in charge of administrative reforms. Neumann joined the Nazi Party in May 1933, four months after Adolf Hitler took power. He joined the SS in 1934, being commissioned as a Major. In 1936, he was appointed the director of the Foreign Currency department of the Office of the Plenipotentiary for the Four Year Plan. By 1938, Neumann was promoted to undersecretary and attended Hermann Göring's meeting about the "Aryanisation" of the German economy. He represented the Ministries of Economy, Labour, Finances, Food, Transport and Armaments and Ammunition at the 1942 Wannsee Conference. Neumann requested that Jewish workers in firms essential to the war effort not to be deported for the time being. Between August 1942 and May 1945, Neumann was the general manager of the German Potassium Syndicate.