The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

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The Fuehrer's Deputy, the Chief of the Reich Chancellery Dr.
Lammers, Ministerprasident General Field-Marshal Goering's
staff, Secretary of State Korner, Secretary of State
Neumann, Councillor Bergbohm, and several others.

General Plenipotentiary for Reich Administration:
Reichsminister Frick, Reichsfuehrer-SS Himmler, Uniformed
Police Daluege; General Plenipotentiary for the Economy:
Reichsminister Funk; the Reichsminister of Finance, Krosigk;
Minister of Transport; General Inspector of German Roads,
Dr. Todt; Supreme Command of the Armed Forces; Generaloberst
Keitel, Warlimont; and Generalmajor Thomas.

Representing Supreme Command of the Army, General of
Artillery Halder; Supreme Command of the Navy, Grossadmiral
Raeder; Reich Minister for Airforce; Milch and Bodenshatz,
both of whom were witnesses here.

The minutes of the meeting:

  "Ministerprasident General Field-Marshal Goering,
  emphasized, in a preamble, that, according to the
  Fuehrer's wishes, the Reich Defence Council was the
  determining body in the Reich for all questions of
  preparation for war. It is to discuss only the most
  important questions of Reich Defence. They will be worked
  out by the Reich Defence Committee.

                                                   [Page 68]

  Meetings of the Reich Defence Council are to be convened
  only for these decisions which are unavoidable. It is
  urged that the Departmental Chiefs themselves be present.
  I. The President announced the following directives to
  govern the distribution and employment of the population
  in war time.
  The total strength of the armed forces is determined by
  the Fuehrer. It includes only half the number of those
  fit and liable for military service. Nevertheless, their
  disposition will involve difficulties for economy, the
  administration and the whole of the civil sphere.
  When a schedule of manpower is made out, the basis on
  which the question is to be judged is how the remaining
  number, after those required for the armed forces have
  been withdrawn, can be most suitably employed.
  Of equal importance to the requirements of the armed
  forces are those of the armament industry. It, above all,
  must be organized in peace time, materially and as
  regards personnel, in such a way that its production does
  not decrease but increases immediately with the outbreak
  of war.
  The direction of labour to the vital war armament
  industry and to other civilian requirements is the main
  task of the General Plenipotentiary for Economy.
  War armament covers not only the works producing war
  materials, but also those producing synthetic rubber
  (Buna), armament production tools, hydrogenating works,
  coal mining, etc.
  As a rule, no essential and irreplaceable workers may be
  taken away from vitally essential factories, on whose
  production depends the course of the war, unless they can
  be replaced.
  Coal mining is the most urgent work: Every worker who is
  essential to coal mining is 'indispensable'.
  Note: Coal mining has even now become the key point of
  the whole armament industry, of communications and of
  export. If the necessary labour is not made available for
  it now, the most important part of the export trade, the
  export of coal, will cease. The purchase of coal in
  Poland will stop. The correct distribution of labour is
  determinative. In order to be able to man these key
  points with the right people, severe demands will shortly
  be submitted to the Fuehrer which, even in the current
  mobilization year, will under certain circumstances lead
  to an exceptional direction of the war, namely to the
  immobilisation of lorries and to the closing down of
  unessential factories owing to lack of coal.
  In addition, there is the supplying of Italy and other
  countries such as Scandinavia with coal (to maintain the
  German supplies of iron)."

I shall omit certain parts of the document which do not seem
particularly important to our argument and pass to Item 2,
Page 9 of the English translation:

  "A second category of workers liable for military service
  will be called up during the war after their replacements
  have been trained. A decisive role is played by the
  extensive preliminary training and retraining of workers.
  Preparations must be made for replacing the mass of other
  workers liable for military service, even by drawing on
  an increased number of women. There are also disabled
  Compulsory work for women in war time is of decisive
  importance. It is important to proceed to a great extent
  with the training of women in war-essential work, as
  replacements and to augment the number of male workers.
  In order to avoid confusion when mobilization takes
  place, persons working in war-essential branches, that is
  administration, communications, police, food, will not at
  first be removed. It is essential to establish the
  degrees of urgency and the standard of value.

                                                   [Page 69]

  In the interests of the auxiliary civilian service,
  provided by every European nation to gain and maintain
  the lead in the decisive initial weeks of a war, efforts
  must be made to ensure by a trustworthy organization that
  every German in war time not only possesses his
  mobilization orders but has also been thoroughly prepared
  for his war-time activity. The workshops must be adapted
  to receive the replacements and additional workers."

I shall pass to the bottom of Page 10, Item 6:

  "The General Plenipotentiary for Economy is given the
  task of settling what work is to be given to prisoners of
  war, to those in prison, concentration camps and
  According to a statement by the Reichsfuehrer SS, greater
  use will be made of the concentration camps in war time.
  The 20,000 inmates will be employed mainly in workshops
  inside the concentration camps.
  Secretary of State Reich Minister of Labour Dr. Syrup
  made a report on the employment of labour in the event of
  mobilization and the schedule of manpower for the war."

This seems a little detailed, but it is, I think, very
important, showing the totality of the mobilization planned
months before the war started, and indicating, as we shall
argue, preparations for a war more extensive than a conflict
with Poland.

  "The figures for the schedule of manpower drawn up
  experimentally could only be of a preparatory character
  and merely give certain guiding principles. The basis of
  a population of 79 million was taken. Of these, 56.5
  million are between the ages of 14 and 65. It is also
  possible to draw upon men over the age of 65 and upon
  minors of between 13 and 14. Defectives and the infirm
  must be deducted from the 56.5 million. Most prisoners
  are already employed in industry. The greatest deduction
  is that of 11 million mothers with children under 14.
  After these deductions have been made, there remains an
  employable population of 43.5 million: 26 1/2 million men
  - after deducting 7 million members of the armed forces,
  19 1/2 million. 17.3 million women - after deducting
  250,000 nurses, 17.1 for the whole of Germany's economic
  and civil life. The President does not consider women
  over the age of 60 as employable.
  The number of workers engaged in industry (two-thirds of
  those gainfully employed) distributed over 20 large
  branches of industry amounts roughly to the following: 24
  million men (excluding 2 million servicemen), 14 million
  No information was then available regarding the number
  which the armed forces will take from the individual
  branches of industry. Therefore an estimate was made of
  the numbers remaining in the individual branches of
  industry after 5 million servicemen had been called up.
  The President's demand, that the exact number liable to
  be drawn upon be established, is being complied with.
  These inquiries are not secret apart from figures given
  and formations."

I shall miss the next paragraph, 10, as of no importance.

  "Apart from the 13 .8 million women at present employed a
  further 3 .5 million unemployed women, who are included
  on the card-index of the population, can be employed.
  12. Two million women would have to be re-directed: that
  is, a transfer can be made to agriculture and to the
  metal and chemical industry, from the textile, clothing
  and ceramic industries, from small trading, insurance and
  banking businesses and from the number of women in
  domestic service.
  13. The lack of workers in agriculture, from which about
  25 per cent of the physically fit male workers will be
  withdrawn, must be made up by women (2 in the place of 1
  man) and prisoners of war. No foreign workers can be
  counted on. The armed forces are requested to release to
  a great extent

                                                   [Page 70]

  works managers and specialist workers such as milkers,
  tractor drivers. 35 per cent are still liable for call-
  14. The President emphasized that factory managers,
  police and the armed forces must make preparations for
  the employment of prisoners of war.
  In the agricultural sphere, preparations must also be
  made to relieve individual employment through help from
  neighbouring farms, systematic use of all machines and
  making a store of spare parts available.
  15. The President announced that, in the war, hundreds of
  thousands of workers from non-war-economy concerns in the
  Protectorate are to be employed under supervision in
  Germany, particularly in agriculture, and housed together
  in hutments. General Field-Marshal Goering will obtain a
  decision from the Fuehrer on this matter."

I shall omit 16.

If I may say so as I offer this, the detail is significant
as showing the extent of preparation already accomplished at
the time, in June of 1939.

  "17. The result of the procedure of establishing
  indispensable and available workers is at present as
  follows: Of 1,172,000 applications for indispensability,
  727,000 have been approved and 233,000 rejected."

I shall pass to "c" near the bottom of the page:

  "The orders to supplementary personnel to report for duty
  are ready and tied up in bundles at the Labour Offices."

The meeting proceeds to consider production premiums in
connection with wages and I pass to 21, a detail which I
offer as indicating that a long war was ill anticipation.

  "When labour is being regrouped, it is important, arid
  with specialist workers essential, that the workers are
  retrained for their work in the new factory, in order to
  avoid setbacks in the initial months of the war. After a
  few months have passed, it must be possible to replace
  most of the specialist workers."

I pass to the point "V".

  "The General Plenipotentiary for Economy, Reich Minister
  of Economy Funk, stated his opinion of the consequences
  of the schedule of manpower, from the viewpoint of the
  carrying on of industry.
  a. In accordance with the verbal agreements made with the
  OKW, the regulations regarding indispensable personnel
  have been laid down, and the certificates of
  indispensability issued."

I shall pass to point No. 25 on Page 15:

  "In reply to the request by the speaker, that when
  withdrawing workers for the naval dockyards, more
  consideration should be shown for the important sections
  of industry, particularly export and newspaper concerns,
  the President pointed out the necessity of carrying out
  the naval building programmed as ordered by the Fuehrer
  in its entirety."

I pass to the large heading VI.

   "The General Plenipotentiary for Administration, Reich
   Minister of the Interior Dr. Frick, dealt with the
   saving of labour in the public administration.
   'The task is primarily a problem of organization. A scan
   be seen from the surveys showing how the authorities,
   economic and social services are organized, which were
   submitted to those attending the conference, there are
   approximately 50 different kinds of officials in the
   District Administration, each quite independent of the
   other - an impossible state of affairs. Formerly there
   were in the State two main divisions, the State Civil
   Service and the Wehrmacht. After the seizure of power,
   the Party and the permanent organizations were added to
   these, with all their machinery from top to bottom. In
   this way the number of public posts and officials was
   increased many times over. This makes public service
   more difficult.

                                                   [Page 71]

  Since the war, tasks have increased enormously.' (The
  context make it clear that that is the preceding war.)
  'The organising of total war naturally requires much more
  labour, even in the public administration, than in 1914.
  But it is an impossibility that this system should have
  increased its numbers twenty to forty-fold, in the lowest
  grade alone. For this reason, the Reich Ministry of the
  Interior is striving for co-ordination of

A small conference - small commission was created. I offer
point No. 29, in connection with Goering's testimony that
the Council ceased to function. "Instead of further
discussions before the whole assembly, the forming of a
small commission was recommended, which will make definite
proposals. Extensive preparatory work has been undertaken."
And a note by the committee that the committee had been

Point 30. "The President requested that the commission's
proposals be submitted. It was an important section for the
preparation for war."

I shall pass to the large sub-division "C" which relates to
increasing the efficiency of the communications service,
starting with the receipt of a report from the Army General

  "The result of the examination of the work necessary for
  strategic concentration a year and a half ago showed that
  the transport service could not meet all the demands made
  on it by the armed forces. The Minister of Transport
  agreed. The 1938 section of the Four-Year programme will
  presumably be completed in August, 1939.
  Shortly after this programme was drawn up, demands were
  made on the Wehrmacht, which completely changed the usual
  employment of the Wehrmacht at the beginning of a war.
  Troops had to be brought to the frontier, in the shortest
  possible time, in numbers which had until then been
  completely unforeseen. The Wehrmacht was able to fulfil
  these demands by means of organisational measures but
  transport could not.
  In the transportation sphere Germany is at the moment not
  ready for war."

I offer the detail which follows, in contradiction of the
statements repeatedly made by a number of witnesses that the
movements of the Wehrmacht in the Rhineland, the Anschluss
and all the rest of it, even occupation of Czechoslovakia,
were surprise movements.

  "In the case of the three operations in 1938-1939 there
  was no question of an actual strategic concentration. The
  troops were transported a long time beforehand near to
  the area of strategic concentration by means of
  camouflaged measures. This stop-gap is of no use whatever
  when the time limit cannot be laid down and known a long
  time beforehand, but an unexpected and almost immediate
  military decision is required instead. According to the
  present situation, transport is not in a position,
  despite all preparations, to bring up the troops."

"a" is unimportant for my purposes, "a" on Page 18.

"b" and "c" represent steps to be taken to meet the

On Page 19, I shall not bother to read the statements under
No. 38, showing the preparation of highways from east to
west and from north to south.

I read No. 39, if I may: "The President remarked that even
in peace time certain vital supply stores of industry and
the armed forces are to be transferred to the war industrial
centres to economise in transport later on."

I shall pass to point No. 41 on Page 20: "To sum up, the
President affirmed that all essential points had been
cleared up at this meeting."

The American branch of the prosecution has some additional
documents which Mr. Dodd will submit, if it is agreeable to
the Tribunal.

THE PRESIDENT: We well adjourn now.

(A recess was taken.)

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