The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

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                                                  [Page 885]
   Nazi Conspiracy and Aggression, Volume One, Chapter Ten

In order to meet these demands, the Nazi conspirators made
terror, violence, and arson the staple instruments of their
policy of enslavement. Twenty days after Sauckel's demands
of 5 October 1942, a high official in Rosenberg's Ministry
by the name of Braeutigam, in a Top Secret memorandum dated
25 October 1942 described measures taken to meet these

     "*** We now experienced the grotesque picture of having
     to recruit millions of laborers from the Occupied
     Eastern Territories, after prisoners of war have died
     of hunger like flies, in order to fill the gaps that
     have formed within Germany. Now the food question no
     longer existed. In the prevailing limitless abuse of
     the Slavic humanity 'recruiting' methods were used
     which probably have their origin in the blackest
     periods of the slave trade. A regular manhunt was
                                                  [Page 886]
     inaugurated. Without consideration of health or age the
     people were shipped to Germany where it turned out
     immediately that more than 100,000 had to be sent back
     because of serious illnesses and other incapabilities
     for work." (294-PS)

Rosenberg on 21 December 1942 wrote to Sauckel, the
instigator of these brutalities, as follows:

     "The reports I have received show, that the increase of
     the guerilla bands in the occupied Eastern Regions is
     largely due to the fact that the methods used for
     procuring laborers in these regions are felt to be
     forced measures of mass deportations, so that the
     endangered persons prefer to escape their fate by
     withdrawing into the woods or going to the guerilla
     bands." (018-PS)

An attachment to Rosenberg's letter, consisting of parts
excerpted from letters of residents of the Occupied Eastern
territories by Nazi censors, relates that:

     "At our place, new things have happened. People are
     being taken to Germany. On Dec. 5, some people from the
     Kowkuski district were scheduled to go, but they didn't
     want to and the village was set afire. They threatened
     to do the same thing in Borowytschi, as not all who
     were scheduled to depart wanted to go. Thereupon 3
     truck loads of Germans arrived and set fire to their
     houses. In Wrasnytschi 12 houses and in Borowytschi 3
     houses were burned.
     "On Oct. 1 a new conscription of labor forces took
     place. From what has happened, I will describe the most
     important to you. You can not imagine the bestiality.
     You probably remember what we were told about the
     Soviets during the rule of the Poles. At that time we
     did not believe it and now it seems just as incredible.
     The order came to supply 25 workers, but no one
     reported. All had fled. Then the German militia came
     and began to ignite the houses of those who had fled.
     The fire became very violent, since it had not rained
     for 2 months. In addition the grain stacks were in the
     farm yards. You can imagine what took place. The people
     who had hurried to the scene were forbidden to
     extinguish the flames, beaten and arrested, so that 7
     homesteads burned down. The policemen meanwhile ignited
     other houses. The people fell on their knees and kiss
     their hands, but the policemen beat them with rubber
     truncheons and threaten to burn down the whole village.
     I don't know how this would have ended if I Sapurkany
     had not intervened. He promised that there would be
     laborers by morning. During the fire the
                                                  [Page 887]
     militia went through the adjoining villages, seized the
     laborers and brought them under arrest. Wherever they
     did not find any laborers, they detained the parents,
     until the children appeared. That is how they raged
     throughout the night in Bielosirka. The workers which
     had not yet appeared till then, were to be shot. All
     schools were closed and the married teachers were sent
     to work here, while the unmarried ones go to work in
     Germany. They are now catching humans like the dog-
     catchers used to catch dogs. They are already hunting
     for one week and have not yet enough. The imprisoned
     workers are locked in at the schoolhouse. They cannot
     even go out to perform their natural functions, but
     have to do it like pigs in the same room. People from
     many villages went on a certain day to a pilgrimage to
     the monastery Potschaew. They were all arrested, locked
     in, and will be sent to work. Among them there are
     lame, blind and aged people". (018-PS)

Rosenberg, nevertheless, countenanced the use of force in
order to furnish slave labor to Germany and admitted his
responsibility for the "unusual and hard measures that were
employed. The transcript of an interrogation of Rosenberg
under oath on 6 October 1945, contains the following

     "*** Q. You recognized, did you not, that the quotas
     set by Sauckel could not be filled by voluntary labor,
     and you didn't disapprove of the impressment of forced
     labor; isn't that right ?
     "A. I regretted that the demands of Sauckel were so
     urgent that they could not be met by a continuation of
     voluntary recruitment and thus I submitted to the
     necessity of forced impressment."
     "Q. The letters that we have already seen between you
     and Sauckel, do not indicate, do they, any disagreement
     on your part with the principle of recruiting labor
     against their will; they indicate, as I remember, that
     you were opposed to the treatment that was later
     accorded these workers; that you did not oppose their
     initial impressment.
     "A. That is right. In those letters I mostly discussed
     the possibility of finding the least harsh methods of
     handling the matter; whereas, in no way, I placed
     myself in opposition to the orders that he was carrying
     out for the Fuehrer." (3719-PS)

Moreover, in a letter dated 21 December 1942 Rosenberg

                                                  [Page 888]
     " *** Even if I do not close my eyes to the necessity
     that the numbers demanded by the Reichs Minister for
     weapons and ammunition as well as by the agricultural
     economy justify unusual and hard measures, I have to
     ask, due to the responsibility for the occupied Eastern
     Territories which lies upon me, that in the
     accomplishment of the ordered tasks such measures be
     excluded, the toleration and prosecution of which will
     some day be held against me, and my collaborators."

Arson was used as a terror device in the Ukraine to enforce
conscription measures. One instance is reported in a
document from an official of the Rosenberg Ministry dated 29
June 1944, enclosing a copy-of a letter from Paul Raab, a
district commissioner in the territory of Wassilkow, to
Rosenberg. Raab's letter reads as follows:

     "According to a charge by the Supreme Command of the
     Armed Forces I burned down a few houses in the
     territory of Wassilkow/Ukr. belonging to insubordinate
     people ordered for work-duty
     (Arbeitsensatzpflichtigen). This accusation is true."
     "During the year 1942, the conscription of workers was
     accomplished by way of propaganda. Only very rarely was
     force necessary. Only in August 1942, measures had to
     be taken against 2 families in the villages Glewenka
     and Salisny-Chutter, each of which were to supply one
     person for labor. Both were requested in June for the
     first time, but didn't obey although requested
     repeatedly. They had to be brought up by force, but
     succeeded twice to escape from the collecting camp, or
     when being on transport. Before the second arrest, the
     fathers of both of the men were taken into custody, to
     be kept as hostages and to be released only when their
     sons would show up. When, after the second escape, re-
     arrest of both the fathers and boys was ordered, the
     police patrols ordered to do so, found the houses to be
     "That time I decided to take measures to show the
     increasingly rebellious Ukrainian youth that our orders
     have to be followed. I ordered the burning down of the
     houses of the fugitives."
     "After the initial successes, a passive resistance of
     the population started, which finally forced me to
     start again on
                                                  [Page 889]
     making arrests, confiscations, and transfers to labor
     camps. After a while a transport of people, obliged to
     work, overran the police in the railroad station in
     Wassilkow and escaped. I saw again the necessity for
     strict measures. A few ring leaders, which of course
     escaped before they were found in Plissezkoje and in
     Mitnitza. After repeated attempts to get hold of them,
     their houses were burned down."
     "My actions against fugitive people obliged to work
     (Arbeitseinsatzpflichtige), were always reported to
     district commissioner Doehrer, in office in Wassilkow,
     and to the general commissioner (Generalkommissar) in
     Kiew. Both of them know the circumstances and agreed
     with my measures, because of their success." (254-PS)

The village of Biloserka in the Ukraine was also the victim
of arson as has already been related in the quotation from
the enclosure to Rosenberg's letter of 21 December 1942 to
Sauckel (018-PS). Additional proof of resort to arson in
this village is furnished by other correspondence
originating within the Rosenberg Ministry and dated 12
November 1943:

     "But even if Mueller had been present at the burning of
     houses in connection with the national conscription in
     Biloserka, this should by no means lead to the relief
     of Mueller from office. It is mentioned specifically in
     a directive of the Commissioner General in Lusk of 21
     September 1942, referring to the extreme urgency of the
     national conscription. 'Estates of those who refuse to
     work are to be burned, their relatives are to be
     arrested as hostages and to be brought to forced labor
     camps.' " (290-PS)

The SS was directed to participate in the abduction of slave
laborers, and in the case of raids on villages or burning of
villages, to turn the entire population over for slave labor
in Germany. A secret SS order dated 19 March 1943 (3012-PS)

     "The activity of the labor offices, resp. of recruiting
     commissions, is to be supported to the greatest extent
     possible. It will not be possible always to refrain
     from using force. During a conference with the Chief of
     the Labor Commitment Staffs, an agreement was reached
     stating that whatever prisoners can be released, they
     should be put at the disposal of the Commissioner of
     the Labor Office. When searching (Uberholung) villages,
     resp., when it has become necessary to burn down
     villages, the whole population will be put at the
     disposal of the Commissioner by force." (3012-PS)

From Shitomir, where Sauckel appealed for more workers for

                                                  [Page 890]
the Reich, the Commissioner General reported on the
brutality of the conspirators' program, which he described
as a program of coercion and slavery. This is revealed in a
secret report of a conference between the Commissioner
General of Shitomir and Rosenberg in Winniza on 17 June 1943
(265-PS). The report is dated 30 June 1943 and is signed by
Leyser. It reads as follows:

     "The symptoms created by the recruiting of workers are,
     no doubt, well known to the Reichs Minister through
     reports and his own observations. Therefore, I shall
     not report them. It is certain that a recruitment of
     labor, in this sense of the word, can hardly be spoken
     of. In most cases, it is nowadays a matter of actual
     conscription by force."
     "But as the Chief Plenipotentiary for the mobilization
     of labor explained to us the gravity of the situation,
     we had no other device. I consequently have authorized
     the commissioners of the areas to apply the severest
     measures in order to achieve the imposed quota. The
     deterioration of morale in conjunction with this does
     not necessitate any further proof. It is nevertheless
     essential to win the war on this front too. The problem
     of labor mobilization cannot be handled with gloves."

These recruitment measures enslaved so many citizens of
occupied countries that entire areas were depopulated. Thus,
a report from the Chief of Main Office III with the High
Command in Minsk, dated 28 June 1943, to Ministerialdirektor
Riecke, a top official in the Rosenberg Ministry states:

     "The recruitment of labor for the Reich, however
     necessary, had disastrous effects. The recruitment
     measures in the last months and weeks were absolute
     manhunts, which have an irreparable political and
     economic effect. From White Ruthenia, approx. 50,000
     people have been obtained for the Reich so far. Another
     130,000 are to be obtained. Considering the 2.4 million
     total population these figures are impossible. ***
     "Due to the sweeping drives (Grossaktionen) of the SS
     and police in November 1942, about 115,000 hectare
     farmland is not used, as the population is not there
     and the villages have been razed. ***" (3000-PS)
The conspirators' policy, of permanently weakening the enemy
through the enslavement of labor and breaking up of
families, was applied in the Occupied Eastern Territories
after Rosenberg's approval of a plan for the apprehension
and deportation of 40,000 to 50,000 youths of the ages from
10 to 14. The stated pur-

                                                  [Page 891]
pose of this plan, approved by Rosenberg, was to prevent a
reinforcement of the enemy's military strength and to reduce
the enemy's biological potentialities. (031-PS)

Further evidence of the Nazi conspirators' plan to weaken
their enemies in utter disregard of the rules of
International Law is contained in a secret order issued by a
rear-area Military Commandant to the District Commissar at
Kasatin on 25 December 1943. The order provided in part

     "1. The able-bodied male population between 15 and 65
     years of age and the cattle are to be shipped back from
     the district East of the line Belilowka-Berditschen-
     Shitomir (places excluded)." (1702-PS)

The program of enslavement and its accompanying measures of
brutality were not limited to Poland and the Eastern
Occupied Territories, but extended to Western Europe as
well. Frenchmen, Dutchmen, Belgians, and Italians all came
to know the Nazi slave-masters. In France these slave-
masters intensified their program in the early part of 1943
pursuant to instructions which Speer telephoned to Sauckel
from Hitler's headquarters at eight in the evening of 4
January 1943. These instructions are found in a note for the
files signed by Sauckel, dated 5 January 1943, which states:

     "1. On 4 January 1943 at 8 p.m. Minister Speer
     telephones from the Fuehrer's headquarters and
     communicates that on the basis of the Fuehrer's
     decision, it is no longer necessary to give special
     consideration to Frenchmen in the further recruiting of
     specialists and helpers in France. The recruiting can
     proceed with emphasis and sharpened measures." (556-13-

To overcome the resistance to his enslavement program,
Sauckel improvised new impressment measures which were
applied in both France and Italy by his own agents and which
he himself labelled as grotesque. At a meeting of the
Central Planning Board on 1 March 1944 Sauckel stated:

     "The most abominable point made by my adversaries is
     their claim that no executive had been provided within
     these areas in order to recruit in a sensible manner
     the Frenchmen, Belgians and Italians and to dispatch
     them to work. Thereupon I even proceeded to employ and
     train a whole batch of French male and female agents
     who for good pay just as was done in olden times for
     "shanghaiing" went hunting for men and made them drunk
     by using liquor as well as words, in order to dispatch
     them to Germany.

     "Moreover, I charged some able men with founding a
                                                  [Page 892]
     labor supply executive of our own, and this they did by
     training and arming with the help of the Higher SS and
     Police Fuehrer, a number of natives, but I still have
     to ask the Munitions Ministry for arms for the use of
     these men. For during the last year alone several
     dozens of very able labor executive officers have been
     shot dead. All these means I have to apply, grotesque
     as it sounds, to refute the allegation there was no
     executive to bring labor to Germany from these
     countries." (R-124)

As in France, the slave hunt in Holland was accompanied by
terror and abduction. The "Statement of the Netherlands
Government in view of the Prosecution and Punishment of the
German Major War Criminals", (1726-PS) contains the
following account of the deportation of Netherlands workmen
to Germany:

     "Many big and reasonably large business concerns,
     especially in the metal industry, were visited by
     German commissions who appointed workmen for
     deportation. This combing out of the concerns was
     called the "Sauckel-action", so named after its leader,
     who was charged with the appointment of foreign workmen
     in Germany.
     "The employers had to cancel the contracts with the
     appointed workmen temporarily, and the latter were
     forced to register at the labour offices, which then
     took care of the deportation under supervision of
     German 'Fachberater.'
     "Workmen who refused (relatively few) were prosecuted
     by the Sicherheitsdeinst (SD). If captured by this
     service, they were mostly lodged for some time in one
     of the infamous prisoners camps in the Netherlands and
     eventually put to work in Germany.
     "In this prosecution the Sicherheitsdienst was
     supported by the German Police Service, which was
     connected with the labour offices, and was composed of
     members of the N.S.B. and the like.
    "At the end of April 1942 the deportation of working
    labourers started on a grand scale. Consequently in the
    months of May and June the number of deportees amounted
    to not less than 22,000, resp. 24,000 of which many
    were metal workers.
    "After that the action slackened somewhat, but in
    October 1942 another top was reached (2,60). After the
    big concerns, the smaller ones had, in their turn, to
    give up their personnel.
    "This changed in November 1944. The Germans then
    started a ruthless campaign for man-power, passing by
    the labour
                                                  [Page 893]
    offices. Without warning, they lined off whole quarters
    of the towns, seized people in the streets or in the
    houses and deported them.
    "In Rotterdam and Schiedam where these raids (razzia's)
    took place on 10 and 11 November, the amount of people
    thus deported was estimated at 50,000 and 5,000
    respectively. "In other places where the raids were
    held later, the numbers were much lower, because one
    was forewarned by the events. The exact figures are not
    known as they have never been published by the
    "The people thus seized were put to work partly in the
    Netherlands, partly in Germany ***." (1726-PS)

A document found in the OKH files furnishes further evidence
-of the seizure of workers in Holland. This document
contains the partial text of a lecture delivered by a
Lieutenant Haupt of the German Wehrmacht concerning the
situation of the war economy in the Netherlands:

     "There had been some difficulties with the
     Arbeitseinsatz, i.e., during the man-catching action
     (Menchenfang Aktion) which became very noticeable
     because it was unorganized and unprepared. People were
     arrested in the streets and taken out of their homes.
     It has been impossible to carry out a unified release
     procedure in advance, because for security reasons, the
     time for the action had not been previously announced.
     Certificates of release, furthermore, were to some
     extent not recognized by the officials who carried out
     the action. Not only workers who had become available
     through the stoppage of industry but also those who
     were employed in our installations producing things for
     our immediate need. They were apprehended or did not
     dare to go into the streets. In any case it proved to
     be a great loss to us. ***" (3003-PS)

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