Archive/File: imt/nca/supp-b/nca-sb-02-pohl.01 Last-Modified: 1997/12/10 Nazi Conspiracy & Aggression, Supplement B XXII. Oswald Pohl* Diversion of Concentration Camp Labor to Armament Industries Excerpts from Testimony of Oswald Pohl, taken at Nurnberg, Germany, 3 June 1946, 1400-1700, by Col. John Amen, Lt. Col. Smith W. Brookhart, Jr., and Robert M.W. Kempner. Also present: Lt. Joachim von Zastrow and Bert Stein, Interpreters; Anne Daniels, Reporter. * Oswald Pohl held the following positions: Chief of Administration and Economic Main Office of SS; Ministerialdirektor of the Reich Ministry of the Interior; SS-Obergruppenfuehrer; General of Waffen-SS. Pohl managed to avoid capture until May 1946, when he was discovered working on a farm in the disguise of a farmhand. He was brought to Nurnberg and these interrogations ensued. Q. Now tell us when you took over the administration of the concentration camps and how that came about. A. At the occasion of a conversation which I had with Himmler in the summer of 1942 -- and I had conversations with him about every quarter of a year -- he said to me: "Pohl, I have talked to Speer. The war is reaching its climax; the demands of the armament industries are becoming larger and larger, and the securing of the necessary manpower is becoming more and more difficult. Therefore, we have to try to commit this manpower which is in the concentration camps into the armament industry to an increased extent, and I have the intention of transferring this task to you." [Page 1581] I asked him not to do that because, in the meantime, my little office -- which at first had been just a small office within the central office of the SS -- had, later on, become an independent office for budget and construction. Then, still later on, all the economic questions became mixed up in it, and then it became the WVHA. I told him, therefore, that in this main office I had so much to do already, because I also had under me the administration of the entire Waffen SS, and of the General SS. Those were about 50 large, independent enterprises. Also, I had to carry out many special tasks concerning Party and Reich matters. So the transfer to me of new and additional tasks seemed impossible to me. He told me, however, that the labor commitment of the inmates was so important, and he had no other expert that he could charge with that task, that therefore I would have to do it, in the interest of armaments. He said he would relieve me of all other matters connected with that because Gruppenfuehrer Gluecks was remaining there. Obergruppenfuehrer Eicke had been killed in action in the meantime, and Gluecks was head of this agency, as successor to Eicke. Q. How soon did you do anything about using the manpower which was needed by Speer in the armament industry? A. The procedure was discussed with Himmler, but it was done in this way. That was the reason for Himmler's intervention. There was really no method about the thing until that time. The small firms in the Reich that were in want of workers, no matter what branch of the industry they belonged to, addressed themselves to the Inspectorate of the Concentration Camps. Then Gluecks or his representatives allotted so many inmates to them. As a consequence, that meant a strong decentralization of manpower, which it was wished to prevent. From that time on, Gluecks had to visit me in Berlin once a week. He had to submit the requisitions from the firms to me, and then I decided whether a firm was to get laborers or not. If greater contingents were involved in heavy industry, that is, hundreds of them, the Armaments Ministry was consulted about it. That is, it went through the Armaments Ministry.
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