The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

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   Nazi Conspiracy and Aggression, Volume One, Chapter Ten

                                                  [Page 878]

The purposes of the slave labor program, namely, the
strengthening of 'the Nazi war machine and the destruction
or weakening of peoples deemed inferior, were achieved by
the impressment and deportation of millions of persons into
Germany for forced labor, by the separation of husbands from
their wives and children from their parents, and by the
imposition of conditions so inhuman that countless numbers

A. Poland

Poland was the first victim. Frank, as Governor of the
Government-General of Poland, announced that under his
program 1,000,000 workers were to be sent to Germany, and
recommended that police surround Polish villages and seize
the inhabitants for deportation. These intentions appear in
the following letter from Frank to Goering, dated 25 January
1940 (1375-PS):

     "1. In view of the present requirements of the Reich
     for the defense industry, it is at present
     fundamentally impossible to carry on a long term
     economic policy in the General-Gouvernement. Rather, it
     is necessary so to steer the economy of the General
     Gouvernement that it will, in the shortest possible
     time, accomplish results representing the maximum that
     can be gotten out of the economic strength of the
     General-Gouvernement for the immediate strengthening of
     our capacity for defense.
     "2. In particular the following performances are
     expected of the total economy of the General-
     Gouvernement ***"
     "(g) Supply and transportation of at least 1 million
     male and female agricultural and industrial workers to
     the Reich -- among them at least 7,500,000 [sic]
     agricultural workers of which at least 50% must be
     women -- in order to guarantee agricultural production
     in the Reich and as a replacement for industrial
     workers lacking in the Reich." (1375-PS)

The methods by which these workers were to be supplied were
outlined by Frank in his diary entry for Friday, 10 May 1940

     "*** Then the Governor General deals with the problem
     of the Compulsory Labor Service of the Poles. Upon the
     demands from the Reich it has now been decreed that
     compulsion may be exercised in view of the fact that
     sufficient manpower was not voluntarily available for
     service inside the German Reich. This compulsion means
     the possibility of ar-
                                                  [Page 879]
     rest of male and female Poles. Because of these
     measures a certain disquietude had developed which,
     according to individual reports, was spreading very
     much, and which might produce difficulties everywhere.
     General Fieldmarshal Goering some time ago pointed out
     in his long speech the necessity to deport into the
     Reich a million workers. The supply so far was 160,000.
     However, great difficulties had to be overcome.
     Therefore it would be advisable to consult the district
     and town chiefs in the execution of the compulsion, so
     that one could be sure from the start that this action
     would be reasonably successful. The arrest of young
     Poles when leaving church service or the cinema would
     bring about an increasing nervousness of the Poles.
     Generally speaking, he had no objections at all if the
     rubbish, capable of work yet often loitering about,
     would be snatched from the streets. The best method for
     this, however, would be the organization of a raid, and
     it would be absolutely justifiable to stop a Pole in
     the street and to question him what he was doing, where
     he was working etc." (2233-A-PS)

Another entry in the diary of Frank, for 16 March 1940,
contains the following discourse on methods:

     "*** The Governor General remarks that he had long
     negotiations in Berlin with representatives of the
     Reich Ministry for Finance and the Reich Ministry for
     Food. One has made the urgent demand there that Polish
     farm workers should be sent to the Reich in greater
     numbers. He has made the statement in Berlin that he,
     if it is demanded from him, can naturally exercise
     force in such a manner that he has the police surround
     a village and get the men and women, in question, out
     by force, and then send them to Germany. But one can
     also work differently, besides these police measures,
     by retaining the unemployment compensation of those
     workers in question." (2233-B-PS)

The instruments of force and terror used to carry out this
program reached into many phases of Polish life. German
labor authorities raided churches and theatres, seized those
present, and shipped them to Germany. These facts appear in
a memorandum to Himmler dated 17 April 1943, written by Dr.
Lammers, chief of the Reichs Chancellery, with regard to the
situation in the Government General of Poland:

     "*** As things were, the utilization of manpower had to
     be enforced by means of more or less forceful methods,
     such as the instances when certain groups appointed by
     the Labor Offices, caught Church and Movie-goers here
     and there
                                                  [Page 880]
     and transported them into the Reich. That such methods
     not only undermine the people's willingness to work and
     the people's confidence to such a degree that it cannot
     be checked even with terror, is just as clear as the
     consequences brought about by a strengthening of the
     political resistance movement". (2220-PS)

Polish farm land was confiscated with the aid of the SS,
distributed to German inhabitants, or held in trust for the
German community. The farm owners were thereupon employed as
laborers or transported to Germany against their will. A
report of the SS entitled "Achievement of Confiscations of
Polish Agricultural Enterprises with the Purpose to Transfer
the Poles to the old Reich and to Employ Them as
Agricultural Workers," contains these disclosures:

     "*** It is possible without difficulty to accomplish
     the confiscation of small agricultural enterprises in
     the villages in which larger agricultural enterprises
     have been already confiscated and are under the
     management of the East German Corporation for
     agricultural development. ** The former owners of
     Polish farms, together with their families will be
     transferred to the old Reich by the employment agencies
     for employment as farm worker. In this way many
     hundreds of Polish agricultural workers can be placed
     at the disposal of agriculture in the old Reich in the
     shortest and simplest manner. This way the most
     pressing shortage is removed that is now in a very
     disagreeable manner felt especially in the root-crop
     districts." (1352-PS)

Pursuant to the directions of Sauckel, his agents and the SS
deported Polish men to Germany without their families,
thereby accomplishing the basic purposes of the program:
supplying labor for the German war effort and weakening the
reproductive potential of the Polish people. Thus, in a
letter from Sauckel to the Presidents of the "Landes"
Employment Offices, dated 26 November 1942, it is stated

     "In agreement with the Chief of the Security Police and
     the SD, Jews who are still in employment are, from now
     on, to be evacuated from the territory of the Reich and
     are to be replaced by Poles, who are being deported
     from the General-Gouvernement."
     "The Poles who are to be evacuated as a result of this
     measure will be put into concentration camps and put to
     work where they are criminal or asocial elements. The
                                                  [Page 881]
     Poles where they are suitable for labor, will be
     transported without family into the Reich, particularly
     to Berlin; there they will be put at the disposal of
     the labor allocation offices to work in armament
     factories instead of the Jews who are to be replaced."

The Nazi campaign of force, terror, and abduction was
described in a letter to Frank written by the Chairman of
the Ukrainian Main Committee, at Cracow, in February 1943.
The letter states:

     "The general nervousness is still more enhanced by the
     wrong methods of finding labor which have been used
     more and more frequently in recent months.
     "The wild and ruthless man-hunt as exercised everywhere
     in towns and country, in streets, squares, stations,
     even in churches, at night in houses, has badly shaken
     the feeling of security of the inhabitants. Everybody
     is exposed to the danger, to be seized anywhere and at
     any time by members of the police, suddenly and
     unexpectedly and to be brought into an assembly camp.
     None of his relatives knows what has happened to him,
     only months later one or the other gives news of his
     fate by a postcard." (1526-PS)

And in enclosure 5 of the letter it is related that:

     "In November of last year an inspection of all males of
     the age groups 1910 to 1920 was ordered in the area of
     Zaleschozyki (district of Czortkow). After the men had
     appeared for inspection, all those who were chosen were
     arrested at once, loaded into trains and sent to the
     Reich. Such recruiting of laborers for the Reich also
     took place in other areas of this district. Following
     some interventions the action was then stopped". (1526-

The resistance of the Polish people to this Nazi enslavement
program and the necessity for increased force were described
by Sauckel's deputy Timm at a meeting of the Central
Planning Board, Hitler's war-time planning agency, which was
composed of Speer, Field Marshal Milch, and State Secretary
Koerner. The Central Planning Board was the highest level
economic planning agency, and exercised production controls
by allocating raw materials and labor to industrial users.
Timm's statement, which was made at the 36th conference of
the Board, is as follows:

     "*** Especially in Poland the situation at the moment
     is extraordinarily serious. It is well known that
     vehement battle occurred just because of these actions.
     The resistance against the administration established
     by us, is very strong. Quite a number of our men have
     been exposed to increased
                                                  [Page 882]
     dangers, and it was just in the last two or three weeks
     that some of them were shot dead, e.g. the Head of the
     Labor Office of Warsaw who was shot in his office, and
     yesterday another man again. This is how matters stand
     presently, and the recruiting itself even-if done with
     the best will remains extremely difficult unless police
     reinforcements are at hand." (R-124)

B. The Occupied Eastern Territories.

Deportation and enslavement of civilians reached
unprecedented levels in the Occupied Eastern Territories as
a direct result of labor demands made by Sauckel on
Rosenberg, Reichsminister for the Occupied Eastern
Territories, on Rosenberg's subordinates, and on the Armed
Forces: On 5 October 1942, for example, Sauckel wrote to
Rosenberg stating that 2,000,000 more foreign laborers were
required, and that the majority of these would have to be
drafted from the recently occupied Eastern Territories and
especially from the Ukraine. The letter, (017-PS) reads as

     "The Fuehrer has worked out new and most urgent plans
     for the armament which require the quick mobilization
     of two more million foreign labor forces.- The Fuehrer
     therefore has granted me, for the execution of my
     decree of 21 March 1942, new powers for my new duties,
     and has especially authorized me to take whatever
     measures I think are necessary in the Reich, the
     Protectorate, the General-Gouvernement, as well as in
     the occupied territories, in order to assure at all
     costs an orderly mobilization of labor for the German
     armament industry. The additional required labor forces
     will have to be drafted for the majority from the
     recently occupied Eastern Territories, especially from
     the Reichskommissariat Ukraine. Therefore, the
     Reichskommissariat Ukraine must furnish
     "225,000 labor forces by 31 December 1942 and 225,000
     more by 1 May 1943.
     "I ask you to inform Reichskommissar Gauleiter party
     fellow member Koch about the new situation and
     requirements and especially to see to it that he will
     support personally in any possible way the execution of
     this new requirement.
     "I have the intention to visit Party member Koch
     shortly and I would be grateful to you if you could
     inform me as to where and when I could meet him for a
     personal discussion. "Right now though, I ask that the
     procurement be taken
                                                  [Page 883]
     up at once with every possible pressure and the
     commitment of all powers especially also of the experts
     of the labor offices. All the directives which had
     limited temporarily the procurement of Eastern laborers
     are annulled. The Reichs procurement for the next
     months must be given priority over all other measures.
     "I do not ignore the difficulties which exist for the
     execution of this new requirement, but I am convinced
     that with the ruthless commitment of all resources, and
     with the full co-operation of all those interested, the
     execution of the new demands can be accomplished for
     the fixed date. I have already communicated the new
     demands to the Reichskommissar Ukraine via mail. In
     reference to our long distance phone call of to-day I
     will send you the text of the Fuehrer's decree at the
     beginning of next week." (017-PS)

Again on 17 March 1943 Sauckel wrote Rosenberg, demanding
the importation of another 1,000,000 men and women from the
Eastern territories within the following four months (019-
PS). Sauckel said:

     "After a protracted illness my Deputy for Labor Supply
     in the occupied Eastern Territories, State Councillor
     Peukert, is going there to regulate the labor supply
     both for Germany and the territories themselves.
     "I ask you sincerely, dear party member Rosenberg, to
     assist him to your utmost on account of the pressing
     urgency of Peukert's mission. Already now I may thank
     you for the hitherto good reception accorded to
     Peukert. He himself has been charged by me with the
     absolute and completely unreserved cooperation with all
     bureaus of the Eastern Territories.
     "Especially the labor supply for the German
     agriculture, and likewise for the most urgent armament
     production programs ordered by the Fuehrer make the
     fastest importation of approximately 1 million women
     and men from the Eastern Territories within the next
     four months a must. Starting 15 March the daily
     shipment must have reached 5,000 female and male
     workers respectively, while beginning of April this
     number has to be stepped up to 10,000. This is a
     requisite of the most urgent programs, and the spring
     tillage, and other agricultural tasks are not to suffer
     for the detriment of the nutrition and of the armed
     "I have foreseen the allotment of the draft quotas for
     the individual territories in agreement with your
     experts for the labor supply as follows:--
                                                  [Page 884]
     "Daily quota starting 15 March 1943:

          "From General Commissariat White Ruthenia      500
          "Economic Inspection Center                    500
          "Reichs Commissariat Ukraine                 3,000
          "Economic Inspection South                   1,000
          Total                                        5,000
     "Starting 1 April 1943 the daily quota is to be doubled
     corresponding to the doubling of the entire quota.
     "I hope to visit personally the Eastern Territories
     towards the end of the month, and ask you once more for
     your kind support." (019-PS)
Sauckel travelled to Kauen in Lithuania to press his
demands. A synopsis of a report of the City Commissioner of
Kauen and minutes of a meeting in which Sauckel
participated, reveal that:
     "In a lecture which the Plenipotentiary for the
     Arbeitensatz, Gauleiter Sauckel made on 18 July 1943 in
     Kauen and in an official conference following it,
     between Gauleiter Sauckel and the General Commissar,
     the pool of labor in the Reich was again brought up
     urgently: Gauleiter Sauckel again demanded that
     Lithuanian labor be furnished in greater volume for the
     purposes of the Reich." (204-PS)

Sauckel also visited Riga, Latvia, to assert his demands.
The purpose of this visit is described in a letter from the
Reich Commissar for the Ostland to the Commissioner General
in Riga, dated 3 May 1943. The letter states, in part:
     "In reference to the basic statements of the
     Plenipotentiary General for manpower, Gauleiter Sauckel
     on the occasion of his visit to Riga on 22 April 1943,
     and in view of the critical situation and in disregard
     of all contrary considerations, it was decided that a
     total of 183,000 workers have to be supplied from the
     Ostland for the Reich territory. This task must
     absolutely be accomplished within the next four months
     and at the latest must be completed by the end of
     August." (2280-PS)

Sauckel asked the German Army for assistance in the
recruitment and deportation of civilian labor from the
Eastern Territories. A secret organization order of the Army
Group South, dated 17 August 1943, is to the following

     "The Plenipotentiary General for Labor Employment
     ordered the recruitment and employment of all born
     during two years for the whole, newly occupied Eastern
     territory in Decree Az. VI A 5780.28 (Inclosure 1),
     copy of which is
                                                  [Page 885]
     inclosed. The Reich Minister for Armament and Munition
     approved this order.

     "According to this order by the Plenipotentiary General
     for Labor Employment (BGA) you have to recruit and to
     transport to the Reich immediately all labor forces in
     your territory born during 1926 and 1927. The decree
     relative labor duty and labor employment in the theater
     of operations of the newly occupied Eastern territory
     of the 6 February 1943 and the executive orders
     therefore are the authority for the execution of this
     measure. Enlistment must be completed by 30 September
     1943 at the latest." (3010-PS)

Clearly, the demands made by Sauckel did result in the
deportation of civilians from the occupied Eastern
territories. Speer has stated in a record of conferences
with Hitler on 8/10/1942, 11 August 1942, and 12 August 1942

     "Gauleiter Sauckel promises to make Russian labor
     available for the fulfillment of the iron and coal
     program and reports that -- if required -- he can
     supply a further million Russian laborers for the
     German armament industry up to and including October
     1942. So far, he has already supplied 1 million-for
     industry and 700,000 for agriculture. In this
     connection the Fuehrer states that the problem of
     providing labor can be solved in all cases and to any
     extent; he authorizes Gauleiter Sauckel to take all
     measures required.
     "He would agree to any necessary compulsion
     (zwangsmassnahmen) in the East as well as in the West
     if this question could not be solved on a voluntary
     basis." (R-124)

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