Archive/File: imt/nca/supp-b/nca-sb-02-pohl.07 Last-Modified: 1997/12/10 Nazi Conspiracy & Aggression, Supplement B Execution of Concentration Camp Inmates Needed for Labor Excerpts from Testimony of Oswald Pohl, taken at Nurnberg, Germany, 4 June 1946, 1400-1630, by Dr. Robert Kempner, and Lt. Col. Smith W. Brookhart, Jr., IGD. Also present: Bert Stein, Interpreter; Piilani A. Ahuna, Court Reporter. [Page 1590] Q. Hoess had told us that you reprimanded him repeatedly because not enough workers were being salvaged out of the shipments to Auschwitz. At the same time, Mueller or someone in the RSHA was ordering more executions. A. Yes, that's quite possible. It is quite possible that I told Hoess and Gluecks that I have these requests for laborers and I had to have more inmates. Q. Whom, in the RSHA, did you take it up with? You knew they were causing the executions. A. I have really not negotiated with the RSHA. Gluecks did that. I have never been there. Q. You and Gluecks conferred about it. A. Yes, I have spoken to Gluecks about the fact that I must have more inmates for work. If my request would have been fulfilled, not so many would have been executed. Of course I was interested in getting as much manpower as possible. Q. It wasn't because you were interested in saving anybody's [Page 1591] life, but only because you wanted more labor, wasn't it? A. Yes, at first I only thought of getting more labor. I knew that I had to have more inmates. Use of Concentration Camp Labor in I.G. Farben Plants Q. I would like to take up the case of labor in the I.G. Farben industries. A. You mean the concentration camp inmates? Q. Yes. When did you first have anything to do with inmates who worked for I.G. Farben? A. I really cannot tell you that. Once per week Gluecks came to me, usually in Berlin, or when I was out in the plants I went to his office; then he told me that such and such requests are here and we discussed them. The requests that had been granted were then dealt with by Gluecks. He gave instructions to the camp commanders which had to furnish the inmates. The camp commanders which had to furnish the inmates. The camp commanders were permitted to furnish these inmates only if the armament industries had available lodgings, food supplies, and medical care for them. Q. Let me refresh you a little on these specified remarks. Commandant of Auschwitz, Hoess, attended at least one conference which dealt with labor for I.G. Farben, and present at this conference were Pohl, yourself, Frank of your office, Gluecks, and Hoess. A. When Hoess was in Berlin later on -- he was a deputy of Gluecks -- he was present also, of course. I have always seen him there. Q. And you had already ordered that a preference be given to I.G. Farben industries over all other plants of the armament industry in furnishing concentration camp labor; this was on the order of Himmler. A. No, for the time being I do not remember. Perhaps if you will tell me where these inmates were to be employed. Do you mean the large Buna Werke near Auschwitz? Q. Yes, tell me about that. A. The large Buna Werke in Auschwitz -- Himmler was present there himself. It was a giant plant with 40,000 foreign workers and inmates employed there. That is true. Himmler had repeatedly inquired about it, and asked me how things were there, and said that we were to see to it that enough inmates were furnished so that the job got finished. Previously, I had thought of I.G. Farben as a whole, but now I remember this particular plant in Auschwitz. [Page 1592] Q. But what I have stated is correct, they did have a preference? A. No, only this one plant was involved. Q. And how many inmates did you furnish these Buna Werke? A. I cannot say. I cannot give an exact figure of how many were employed there, there were thousands of them, but how many exactly I don't know. I have told you already that I have seen this construction site repeatedly. The engineers told me that there were at least 30,000 to 40,000 people employed there but how many of this total included inmates I don't know. Q. If Hoess says that as many as 20,000 were furnished, what would you say? A. That is quite possible. I told you there were about 40,000 altogether. Q. When I.G. Farben sent a commission of its representatives to visit Auschwitz, did they first come to you? A. No. Hoess knew the managers too. I believe they were in frequent contact. I have visited that construction site twice. But these were all the I.G. Farben officials I knew. They were all there when I visited the site, and I believe they were all from I.G. Farben. Q. And what is your best estimate as to the number of inmates furnished I.G. Farben as laborers from these camps? A. that is very hard for me to say. I have to remember the 11 main concentration camps which were later on -- every one of these camps had approximately 50 to 80 labor camps, outside labor camps. That means that there were 800 outside labor camps, and how many I.G. Farben had I just don't know. Q. Approaching it from another angle, what instructions or requests did you get from Speer's office in this connection? A. You mean concerning this construction site? Q. Yes, and about the priority that was to be given I.G. Farben. A. Nothing from Speer personally or his office, but I do remember those from Himmler. I can say with certainty that I did not receive any instructions from Speer, just as certain as I can say that I did get instructions from Himmler. Q. What was Speer's attitude in regard to the armament industries running in high gear and I noticed Speer mostly in the year of 1944. His work was more noticeable in 1944. At that time, the transfer of armament industries underground was [page 1593] organized in a big way, and at that time Obergruppenfuehrer Kammler received a giant order from Speer. 15 large construction sites were involved to get industries underground. That was negotiated between Kammler and Speer. Just because of that, I remember Speer and his office, otherwise I did not have much to do with him. Q. Of the inmates who were employed in the armament industries, for instance the assignment for I.G. Farben, who received the benefit of such labor? Were the inmates paid wages, was the SS paid anything, or who benefited? A. These plants had to take upon themselves the obligation to feed, lodge, and give them medical care. Then the plants had to give the inmates the additional food ration for heavy workers, and also they had to give them premiums for doing good work -- no money but the most industrious one got chits which could be used for purchases in the canteen. Then they got special food at times, such as potato salad. The plants had to pay their wages, which were equivalent to the wages of a normal worker, to the Reich. Q. To the Reich Treasury of the SS? A. To the Reich Treasury, not to the SS. Q. What was the channel for these payments? A. The payments were made in this manner. The armament plants paid the money. I have only seen the statistics which Maurer kept in the Amtsgruppe D. The monthly amounts were listed, and the plants paid the amounts to the AMT IV, of which Gluecks was the administrative agency. From there they were paid to the Reich Treasury. The last statistics which I saw were kept for one budget year, and they began on 1 April 1944 until February 1945. The statistics showed the amount of 120,000,000 RM.
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