The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

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Mr. President, your Honours, I should like now to summarise
the activity of the defendant Speer, for as regards France
and the Western countries the defendant Speer incurs
responsibilities of the same nature as those of the
defendant Sauckel. Like the defendant of whom I have just
spoken, he permitted violations of the laws of war,
violations of the laws of humanity, in working towards
drafting and carrying out of a vast programme of deportation
and enslavement of the occupied countries.

Speer, Mr. President, first took part in working out the
programme of forced labor and collaborated in its adoption.
In the course of his interrogation and, he stated under
oath: First, that he took part in the discussion at which
the decision to use forced labor was made. Second, that he
collaborated in the execution of this plan. Third, that the
basis of this programme was the removal to Germany by force
of foreign workers on the authority of Sauckel,
Plenipotentiary for Allocation of Labor under the Four Year

The Tribunal will kindly refer to Exhibit USA 220, submitted
by the United States delegation on 12th December, 1945,
which I quote as Exhibit RF 1411 of our documentation.

As regards France in particular, Hitler and the defendant
Speer held a conference on 4th January, 1943, in the course
of which it was decided that more severe measures should be
taken to expedite the recruiting of French civilian workers
without discrimination between skilled and unskilled
workers. This is made clear by a note to which I would ask
the Tribunal to refer. That is a note signed by Fritz
Sauckel himself. It has already been presented by the
American prosecution as Document 556-PS, and I submit it as
Exhibit RF 1412.

The defendant Speer knew that the levies for forced labor in
the occupied territories were obtained by violence and
terror. He approved the continuation of these methods from
September, 1942, onward. He knew, for instance, that

                                                  [Page 126]

workers were deported by force from the Ukraine to work in
the Reich. He knew, likewise, that the great majority of
workers in the occupied regions of the West were sent to
Germany against their will. He even declared before the
American magistrate who was questioning him that he
considered these methods regular and legal.

The defendant Speer, knowing that the foreign workers were
recruited and deported for forced labor in Germany, made
specific demands for foreign workers and provided for their
employment in the various branches of activity placed under
his direction.

The preceding paragraphs summarise all the declarations made
by the defendant in the course of the interrogation already
mentioned and to which I have just referred.

I beg to remind you that Speer, in addition, was a member of
the Central Planning Board. On account of this, and in
common with Field Marshal Milch, only Hitler and Goering
were superior to him as far as demands for labor were
concerned. He likewise took part, in this capacity, in
discussions which took place with Hitler to settle the
numbers of foreign workers required. He knew that most of
these were obtained by means of deportation, through
coercion and enslavement of the occupied countries. Proof of
this is furnished by various passages of the minutes of the
Central Planning Board and from Speer's conferences with

I refer to Documents 124R and 125R which have been submitted
as Exhibit USA 179 on 12th December, 1945 (Exhibit RF 1414).

Speer did not hesitate to resort to methods of terrorism and
brutality as a means of achieving a peak output from this
forced labour. He found justification for the action of the
S.S. and of the police and for the use of concentration
camps to subdue recalcitrants.

I beg to recall to the Tribunal Document 124R, relating to
the minutes of the 21st meeting of the  Central Planning
Board, 30th October, 1942, Page 1059, already quoted. This
is the document quoted previously, Exhibit USA 179, on 12th
December, 1945.

The defendant Speer likewise bears responsibility for the
use of prisoners of war in military operations directed
against their countries, for in his capacity as chief of the
Todt Organisation, he forced citizens of the Allied nations
to work for this organisation, particularly, in the building
of fortifications and, among other things, the famous West
Wall. He likewise forced Frenchmen, Belgians, Luxembourgers,
Dutchmen, Norwegians, and Danes to manufacture arms to be
utilized against the allies of the countries to which they
themselves belonged.

Finally -- and this is a very important point regarding the
responsibility of the defendant Speer -- he participated
directly in the use of prisoners from the concentration
camps. He proposed the use of prisoners from the
concentration camps in the armament factories. Now, in view
of the wretched physical condition of the prisoners, no
profit, but only the extermination of the prisoners could be
expected from this measure. The use of prisoners from
concentration camps in the factories had the effect of
increasing the demand for this type of labor; and this
demand was satisfied in part, at least, by sending to the
concentration camps persons who, in ordinary times, would
never have been sent there.

Speer went so far as to establish, near the factories,
concentration camps which served solely to provide labor.

He knew the Mauthausen Camp. The Spanish witness, Boix, whom
the Tribunal heard a few days ago, attested under oath that
he had with his own eyes seen the defendant Speer visit the
camp at Mauthausen and congratulate the leaders of this
camp. Boix even declared that he had worked on the
preparation of photographs of this scene. Consequently this
visit to the camp

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cannot be questioned. Speer, therefore, saw for himself the
barbarous conditions in which the prisoners lived.
Nevertheless, he persisted in utilising labor from the Camp
of Mauthausen in the factories under his authority.

I have concluded the case against Speer. I am at the
disposal of the Tribunal to continue.

THE PRESIDENT: We will adjourn now for 10 minutes.

                    (A recess was taken.)

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