The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

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Last-Modified: 1999/10/01

M. HERZOG: Mr. President, your Honours. At the suspension of
the session I was about to read to the Tribunal the letter
of 4th May, 1943, which gives evidence of the action taken
in Holland towards a systematic deportation of the students.
I quote Exhibit RF 83, Document 665 in the document book:

   "Subject: Action against Students.
   
   The action will start on Thursday morning. As it is now
   too late to have this published in the Press to-day, an
   announcement by the Higher Chief of the S.S. and Police
   will be made over the radio, beginning tomorrow at 7
   o'clock; it will be published to-morrow in the morning
   and the evening papers. Besides that, we will follow the
   directives given in yesterday's telegram."

Following is the text of the proclamation:

   "Ordinance on the Registration of Students."

I will omit the first paragraph and I quote:

   "I. All persons of the male sex who have attended a
   Dutch university or academy during the years 1942-43,
   and have not yet finished their studies according to the
   curriculum (referred to below as 'students'), are to
   report between 10.00 and 15.00 hours on 6th May, 1943,
   to the commander of the sector of the S.S. and the
   Security Police competent for their respective
   residence, for the purpose of their induction into the
   compulsory labour service."

I omit paragraphs 2 and 3 and quote:

   "4.(1) Persons violating this ordinance, or trying to
   circumvent it, particularly such persons who do not
   comply with their duty to register, or either
   intentionally or through negligence state any false
   data, will be punished by imprisonment and/or unlimited
   fines, unless other laws providing a more severe penalty
   are applicable.
   
   (4) Those exercising paternal authority or guardianship
   over the students are co-responsible for their reporting
   as prescribed. They are subjected to the same penalties
   as the offenders themselves.
   
   5. This ordinance becomes effective on promulgation.
   
   (Signed) The Higher Chief of the S.S. and Police with
   the Reich Commissar for the Occupied Dutch Territories."

Since no measures whatsoever succeeded in intimidating the
workers in the occupied territories, the defendants,
finally, resorted to their police forces to ensure the
arrest of those workers destined for deportation to Germany.

This intervention by the police had been demanded by the
defendant Sauckel. I submit two documents in evidence. The
first consists of the minutes of a conference which took
place on 4th January, 1944, at the Headquarters of the
Fuehrer. I have just submitted this document to the Tribunal
as Exhibit

                                                  [Page 433]

RF 68. I quote, French translation, Page 2, last paragraph;
German original, Page 4, in the middle of the page:

   "The Plenipotentiary General for Manpower Utilisation
   (G.B.A.) Sauckel, declared that he would try with
   fanatical determination to obtain this manpower. Up to
   now he had always kept his promises regarding the number
   of workers to be provided; with the best will in the
   world, however, he was not in a position to make a
   definite promise for 1944. He would do everything
   possible to provide the manpower required for 1944. The
   success would depend mainly on the number of German
   police put at his disposal. If he had to rely on the
   police of the countries concerned his project could not
   be carried out."

I refer now to the statements made by Sauckel at the
conference of the Central Office for the Four Year Plan on
1st March, 1944. It is Exhibit RF 30, to which I repeatedly
have called the attention of the Tribunal. The passage which
I am about to quote has not yet been referred to before the
Tribunal. Page 3 of the French Translation - German text,
Page 1775 ff. - 15th line from the bottom, Page 3 of the
French translation:

   "The term 'S-factory' (S-Betrieb) in France is actually
   nothing else but a protection against Sauckel's grasp.
   That is how the French look at it, and they certainly
   cannot be expected to think differently. They are
   Frenchmen, in the first place, who are faced with a
   German point of view and German actions different from
   theirs. It is not up to me to decide whether the
   protected factories (Schutzbetriebe) are useful and
   necessary. I have only described the situation from my
   point of view. Nevertheless, I still hope to succeed
   eventually by using my old organisation of agents on the
   one hand and, on the other hand, by those measures which
   I have fortunately been able to wrest from the French
   Government.
   
   In the course of negotiations, lasting five to six
   hours, I obtained from M. Laval the concession that the
   death sentence may be imposed on officials who sabotage
   the recruitment of labour and other measures. Believe
   me, it was very difficult. I had to fight hard to
   succeed, but I did succeed. I am requesting, especially
   of the Armed Forces that, in case the French Government
   does not really put its mind to it, most drastic action
   now be taken by the Germans in France. Please do not
   resent my following remark: Several times, when in the
   company of my assistants, I have faced situations in
   France which caused me to ask: 'Is there no respect in
   France for the German Lieutenant and his ten men? For
   months on end everything I said was paralysed by the
   reply: 'What do you want, Herr Gauleiter? Do you not
   know that we have no police forces at our disposal? We
   are powerless in France.' This was the reply given over
   and over again. How, in the face of these facts, am I to
   achieve labour recruitment in France? The German
   authorities must co-operate, and if the French, despite
   all their promises, do not remedy the situation, we
   Germans must make an example of one case, and on the
   provisions of this law, put some prefect or mayor
   against the wall if he does not co-operate, or else not
   a single Frenchman will go to Germany."

By such means, finally, the deportation of workers to
Germany was achieved by arresting them, and by the threat of
reprisals. It was a logical consequence of the National
Socialist system, that the policy of recruiting foreign
workers was accomplished by police terror.

I have told the Tribunal that the resistance offered by the
prisoners of war and by the workers of the occupied
territories, against the activities of the defendants, which
were in turn insidious or brutal, wrecked the plan for the
recruitment of foreign workers. The defendant Sauckel
encountered the greatest difficulty in carrying out the
programme which he had persuaded Hitler and the defendants
Goering, Speer and Funk to accept.

                                                  [Page 434]

From this it does not follow that Nazi Germany did not
succeed in carrying out mass deportations of foreign
workers. The number of native workers from the occupied
territories of Western Europe who were deported into Germany
was very high. More numerous still were those workers
compelled to work at home in factories and workyards under
the control of the occupation authorities.

I shall give the Tribunal statistical information which will
enable it to verify my statements. These statistics are
fragmentary. They are excerpts from reports compiled by the
Governments of the occupied countries after their
liberation, and from reports sent during the war by the
Arbeitseinsatz office to its superiors.

These statistics of Allied origin are incomplete. The
records on which they are based have been partially
destroyed. Further, the administration of the occupied
territories are in possession of second-hand information
only, whenever the requisition of workers was made directly
by the occupation authorities. As to the German statistics,
they are also incomplete, since the Allied authorities have
not yet discovered all the records of the enemy.

It is, however, possible to give to the Tribunal an exact
evaluation of the extent of the deportations effected by
Germany. This evaluation will furnish proof that the
violations of International Law committed by the defendants
did not remain in the tentative stage, characterised by a
beginning only, though reprehensible even as such. They
brought about such social disorder as, under penal law,
constitutes the perpetration of the crime.

I shall first submit to the Tribunal the statistics
furnished by the reports of the French Government. The
French Government's report has been published by the
Institute of Market Analysis. It contains numerous
statistical tables from which I quote the total figures. The
figures are as follows:

   738,000 workers were pressed into compulsory labour
   service in France.
   
   875,952 French workers were deported to German
   factories.
   
   987,687 prisoners of war were utilised for the Reich war
   economy.

Thus, a total of 2,601,639 workers of French citizenship
were pressed into work serving the war effort of National
Socialist Germany.

From the official report of the Belgian Government it
appears that 150,000 persons were pressed into compulsory
labour; and the report of the Dutch Government gives a
figure of 431,000 persons; but it should be noted that this
figure does not take into account the systematic raids
undertaken during November, 1944, nor the deportations
carried out in 1945.

I am submitting to the Tribunal exact figures which cover
all the stages of the policy of recruiting foreign labour.
These figures are taken from the reports of the defendant
Sauckel himself, or of various administrative offices
concerned with the deportation of labour. The extent of
labour utilised in the occupied territories is demonstrated
by the statistics concerning workers who were used in
constructing fortifications of the so-called Atlantic Wall,
as part of the Organisation Todt, which I recall was
directed by the defendant Speer after the death of its
founder. These statistics are to be found in a teletype
message sent to Hitler by the defendant Sauckel on 17th May,
1943. It is Document 556-PS-33, which I submit to the
Tribunal as Exhibit RF 84. I quote:

   "The Mandatory of the Four Year Plan - the
   Plenipotentiary General for Manpower Utilisation,
   Berlin, to the Fuehrer, Headquarters of the Fuehrer.
   
   My Fuehrer! I beg to submit to you the following figures
   on the manpower employed in the Todt Organisation:
   
   In addition to the manpower assigned to the entire
   German industry by the 'Manpower Utilisation' since I
   took office, fresh workers have also been constantly
   supplied to the Todt Organisation. The total figure of
   the workers employed by the Todt Organisation was as
   follows:

                                                  [Page 435]
                                                            
   End of March, 1942-270,969.
   End of March, 1943-696,003.
   
   It should be noted that the 'Manpower Utilisation' has,
   with great speed and energy, assigned workers preferably
   to the Todt Organisation in the West for the purpose of
   completing the work on the Atlantic Wall. This is all
   the more remarkable because (1) in France, Belgium and
   Holland... "

I omit a few lines and quote from Page 2:

   "Despite the difficulties involved, the manpower
   strength of the Todt Organisation in the West was
   increased from 66,701 workers at the end of March, 1942,
   to 248,200 workers at the end of March, 1943."

The number of foreign workers deported to Germany by 30th
September, 1941, is furnished by a report which was found in
the archives of the O.K.W. It is Document 1323-PS, which I
submit as Exhibit RF 85. According to this document,
1,226,686 workers were employed in Germany on the 30th
September,1941. Of that number, 483,842 came from the
occupied Western territories. I quote from the document the
number of labour deportees by country of origin. I shall
confine myself to the columns of interest to the Western
States, since the statistics of workers deported from the
East of Europe come within the province of my Soviet
colleague.

   "Denmark, 63,309.
   Holland, 134,093.
   Belgium, 212,903.
   France, 72,475.
   Italy, 238,557.

Finally, on 7th July, 1944, Sauckel, in one of his last
reports, informed the National Socialist Government of the
results of his campaign during the first half of 1944. I
quote the document, which bears the No. 208-PS, and which I
submit to the Tribunal as Exhibit RF 86. I read from the
second page -

   "C. The foreigners came from:
   France, except the North, 33,000.
   Belgium, including the North of France, 16,000.
   Netherlands, 15,000.
   Italy, 37,000."

This is the fresh manpower put at the disposal of German
industry during the period of 1st January to 30th June,1944.

I have furnished the proof I owed to the Tribunal. The
Tribunal will, moreover, remember Sauckel's admission at the
43rd conference of the Four Year Plan, which I have read to
you previously. Sauckel admitted that there were 5,000,000
foreign workers in Germany, of whom 200,000 were actually
volunteers.

The enormity of the crime exposed is established by the
circumstances of its perpetration, and by the multitude of
the victims affected. To prove the gravity of its effect, I
have but to recall the treatment to which foreign workers
were subjected in Germany.

German propaganda always claimed that foreign workers
deported to Germany were treated on an equal basis with
German workers; the same living conditions, the same labour
contracts and discipline. This contention, as such, is not
conclusive. My American colleagues have furnished proof of
the blows which the National Socialist conspirators have
dealt to the dignity and decency of the life of the German
worker. But the actual facts were different. Foreign workers
did not enjoy the treatment in Germany to which they were
entitled as human beings. I affirm this and I shall try to
prove it to the Tribunal.

But, before going into that, I wish to call its attention to
the significance of the next crime which I am denouncing. It
does not only make the crime of

                                                  [Page 436]

deportation complete, but provides its true meaning also. I
said that the policy of the defendants in the occupied
territories could be summed up as follows:

Utilisation of the productive forces and extermination of
the unproductive forces. This is the principle representing
one of the favourite concepts of National Socialism, on the
basis of which the treatment inflicted on foreign workers by
the defendants should be judged. The Germans have exploited
the human potential  of the occupied countries to the
extreme limit of the strength of the individuals concerned.
They showed some consideration for foreign workers only in
so far as they wished to increase their output. But as soon
as their capacity for work decreased, the foreign workers
shared the common lot of deportees.

I shall prove my argument by expounding to the Tribunal the
working and living conditions and rules of discipline which
were imposed on foreign workers deported to Germany.

I request the Tribunal to charge the defendant Sauckel with
the acts I am going to denounce. He was put in charge of the
working conditions for foreign workers, following an
agreement to which he readily consented. The text of this
agreement, made with Ley, the Chief of the German Labour
Front, on 2nd June, 1943, was published in the
"Reichsarbeitsblatt," 1943, Part 1, Page 588. I submitted
this to the Tribunal at the beginning of my presentation as
Exhibit RF 18.

This agreement shows that the treatment of foreign workers
was subject to control by the inspection department of the
"Manpower Utilisation" (Arbeitseinsatz). The defendant
Sauckel could, therefore, not ignore the mistreatment to
which foreign workers were subjected. If not prescribed, it
was tolerated by him.


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