The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

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Last-Modified: 1999/10/01

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M. EDGAR FAURE: Mr. President, your Honours. At yesterday's
session I explained to the Tribunal the principles of the
provisions made by the Germans to ensure the seizure of raw
materials and the control of finance in the occupied

These provisions will be demonstrated by numerous documents,
which will be presented to the Tribunal in the course of the
presentation of the case on economic spoliation and forced
labour. I shall not quote these documents at this moment
since, as I pointed out yesterday, the purpose of my
introduction is limited to the initial concepts of the
Germans in these matters. I shall only cite one document
which reveals the true intentions of the Germans in the very
first period. This document bears our No. 3-bis, and I offer
it in evidence to the Tribunal.

It particularly relates to Norway. It consists of a
photostatic copy, certified and authenticated, of a minute
of a conference held in Oslo, 21st November, 1940.

THE PRESIDENT: Where shall we find it?

M. FAURE: I have just filed this document with the Tribunal,
and in the book which has just been given to you you will
find the text of the extract which I am about to quote in

   "Oslo, 21st November, 1940."

THE PRESIDENT: Are the documents in our books marked in any

M. FAURE: As there are only five documents in this book, we
have not numbered them. This is the fourth document in the

THE PRESIDENT: Is it headed "Conference under the presidency
of the Reich Commissar"?

M. FAURE:  Yes, that is the one.

THE PRESIDENT: Dated at Oslo the something of November,

M. FAURE: That is the one, yes, Sir.

THE PRESIDENT: One moment. When you file a document as an
exhibit, it will be given a number, will it not?

M. FAURE:  Yes.

THE PRESIDENT: What will be the number of this one?

M. FAURE: No. RF-3-bis.

THE PRESIDENT: Yes. What is the date? The date on mine is

M. FAURE: 21st November, 1940.


M. FAURE: This document is the minute of a meeting held in
Oslo under the presidency of the Reich Commissar. I would
point out to the Tribunal that we file this document as
particularly significant, because Norway is a country which
was occupied at a very early date by the Germans. The date
of 21st November, 1940, which you see, refers to the very
earliest period of the German occupation, and moreover, in
the text of the conference, there is an allusion to the
situation of the seven months preceding.

                                                  [Page 384]

You will find there exactly the psychology of the occupation
as it existed in the period of April, 1940, to November,
1940, that is to say, at the same time as or even before the
time when the Germans, while invading the other countries,
made reassuring proclamations which I read to the Tribunal

There were 40 personages present at the conference, among
whom was the State Secretary, Dr. Landried, representing the
Ministry of Reich Economy. The Reich Commissar expresses
himself as follows:

   "To-day's conference is the continuation of a conference
   which was held in Berlin. On this occasion I should
   like, first of all, to stress and state definitely that
   the collaboration between the Wehrmacht and the Reich
   Commissar is exemplary. I must protest against the
   notion that the Wehrmacht carried out its financial task
   in a confused and irresponsible manner. We must also
   take into account the particular circumstances which
   were present in Norway and which are still partially
   present. Certain tasks were fixed by the Fuehrer which
   were to be carried out within a given time.
   At the time of the Berlin conference, the following
   points were fixed, which we can take as a guide for the
   conference of to-day. There is no doubt that the country
   of Norway has been utilised for the execution of the
   tasks of the Wehrmacht during the last seven months to
   such an extent that a further draining of the country
   without some compensation is no longer possible, if we
   wish to accomplish the future tasks of the Wehrmacht.
   I considered from the beginning that my obvious duty as
   Reich Commissar lay, first of all, in mobilising all the
   economic and material forces of the country to serve the
   cause of the Wehrmacht and not relying on the resources
   of the Reich, as long as I am in a position to organise
   the same resources in the country."

I will stop quoting the words of the Reich Commissar at this
point, and I shall now cite the terms of the reply of Dr.
Landfried, which you will find a little lower down in the

   "I am very grateful to be able to state that we have
   succeeded here in Norway in mobilising the economic
   forces of this country for German needs, and to an
   extent which it was not possible to attain in all the
   other occupied countries. I give you my cordial thanks
   in the name of the Minister of Economy. You have
   succeeded in getting the Norwegians to make the utmost

I think the Tribunal will have observed the series of
expressions which are used in this document and which are
quite characteristic. The Reich Commissar says, "From the
very beginning, my duty is to mobilise all the economic and
material forces of the country for the cause of the
Wehrmacht," and Dr. Landfried says, "We succeeded in
mobilising the economic forces to an extent which Was not
possible to attain in all the other occupied territories."

Thus, we see that Dr. Landfried does not say that the
Germans had, in Norway, a particular concept of occupation
and that in the other countries they used a different
procedure. He says that it was not possible to do as well in
the other countries. The only limitation he recognises is a
limit of fact and opportunity, which will soon be overcome,
but in no wise any limitation of law. The idea of a legal
limitation never enters his mind, any more than it enters
the mind of any of the 40 personages present.

There is no question here of an opinion or initiative of a
regional administrative authority, but rather of the
official doctrine of the Reich Cabinet and the High Command,
since 40 high officials were present at this conference, and
especially the representative of the Minister for Economy.

I should like to stress, at this point, that this German
doctrine and these German methods for the mobilisation of
the resources of the occupied countries necessarily extend
to the labour of the inhabitants.

                                                  [Page 385]

1 said yesterday that the Germans ensured for themselves,
from the very beginning, the two keys of production. By that
very fact they had within their power the capital, which was
labour. It depended on their decision whether labour worked
or should not work, whether there should or should not be
unemployment. This explains why, in a general way, the
Germans took brutal measures, such as displacement and the
mobilisation of workers, only after a certain time.

In the first period, that is to say as long as there existed
in the occupied countries stocks and raw materials, it was
more in the interests of the Germans to utilise labour
locally, at least to a large extent. This labour permitted
them to produce for their benefit, with the wealth of these
countries, finished products which they seized. Thus,
besides the ethical advantage of safeguarding appearances,
they avoided the initial transportation of raw materials.
The considerations or difficulties of transportation were
always very important in the German war economy.

But when after a time - which was more or less long - the
occupied countries were impoverished in their raw materials
and truly ruined, at that moment the Germans no longer had
any interest in permitting labour to work there. They would
have had to furnish the raw materials themselves, and
consequently that would have involved double transportation,
that of raw material in one direction and that of the
finished products in the other direction. At that moment it
became more advantageous for them to export workmen. This
consideration coincided, moreover, with the needs resulting
from the economic situation of Germany at that time and with
political considerations.

On the question of employment of labour, I shall read to the
Tribunal a few sentences of a document which I offer as
Exhibit RF-4. It is the same document from which I have just
read and in the same document book. The note which you will
find in the document book contains the sentence which
concerns articles which appeared in the newspaper "Pariser
Zeitung" on 17th July, 1942. I offer at the same time to the
Tribunal a photostatic copy, which has been authenticated,
of the page of the newspaper, from the collection in the
Bibliotheque Nationale. This article is signed by Dr.
Michel, who was the Chief of the Economic Administration in
France. Its title is "Two Years of Directed Economy in
France." It concerns an article written for the purpose of
German propaganda since it appeared in a German newspaper
which was published in Paris with one page in French.
Naturally I wish to point out to the Tribunal that we shall
in no way accept all the ideas which are presented in this
article, but we should like to stress several sentences of
Dr. Michel's as revealing the same sort of procedure about
which I spoke a short time ago, which consisted of utilising
labour first on the spot, as long as there was raw material,
and then deporting this labour to Germany.

THE PRESIDENT: Have you given the exhibit a number?

M. FAURE: No. 4. I quote:

   "The third phase is characterised by the transfer of
   orders from the Reich to France, in order to utilise the
   productive forces of French industry."

THE PRESIDENT: You were reading from "Afin D'utiliser,"
weren't you?

M. FAURE: Yes,  "Afin D'utiliser."

THE PRESIDENT: Very well; I understand. You read another
sentence, other than that which is set out in this book.

M. FAURE: Yes, it is a mistake in my brief. The first phrase
is of no importance. I begin at:

   "In order to utilise the productive forces of French
   industry, the Reich began by transferring to France its
   orders for industrial articles which were of use to the
   war effort. One figure alone is adequate to show the
   success of the transfer of German orders: The value of
   the transactions made till
                                                  [Page 386]
   to-day are expressed by a figure exceeding hundreds of
   billions of francs. A new blood circulates, flows in the
   veins of French economy, which works to the very limit
   of its capacities."

Some sentences which were in the original were omitted here,
as they are not of interest, and I would like to read the
following one:

   "When the stocks of raw materials tended to diminish as
   the war was prolonged, they began to hire available
   French labour."

Dr. Michel uses here very elegant formulas which cover the
real intent, that is to say, the start of the transfer of
women at the very moment when raw material, which the
Germans had appropriated from the beginning of occupation,
had begun to be exhausted.

The conclusion which I would now like to give to my
presentation is the following: that the Germans have always
considered labour, human labour, as a tool in their service.
This consideration existed even before the official
imposition of forced, or compulsory, labour, of which we
will speak to you presently.

For Germans, the work of others has always been compulsory
and for their profit; on the other hand, I should like to
mention now that it was their intention that it should
continue to be so even after the end of the war.

This is the last point that I would like to emphasise, but
it shows the amplitude and the seriousness of the German
conception and of the German projects. I shall quote in
relation to this a document, which will be Exhibit RF-5 in
our document book. Here is the document, which I file with
the Tribunal, a work edited in French in Berlin in 1943, by
Doctor Friedrich Didie, entitled " Workers for Europe." It
is edited by the Central Publishing House of the National
Socialist Party. It begins with a preface by the defendant
Sauckel, and is stamped with his signature.

I shall cite to the Tribunal a paragraph from this work,
which is the last page of my brief. This is Exhibit RF-5,
and this paragraph is found on Page 23, I quote:

   "A great percentage of foreign workers will remain on
   our territory, even after victory and after being
   readapted to construction work, will complete what the
   War had prevented them from finishing, and carry out
   those projects which up to now had been no more than

Thus, in a propaganda work, written consequently with great
prudence and with intention to mislead, we find nevertheless
this main admission by the Germans that they intended to
keep, even after the war, the workmen of other countries, in
order to ensure the greatness of Germany, without any
limitation in time or objective. This, therefore, amounts to
a policy of perpetual exploitation.

If it please the Tribunal, my introduction having come to an
end, M. Herzog will present the brief relating to forced

M. HERZOG: Mr. President and your Honours.

The National Socialist doctrine, by the high place which it
gives to the idea of the State, by the contempt in which it
holds individuals and personal rights, contains a conception
of work which agrees with the principles of its general

Work is not, in this philosophy, one of the forms of the
manifestation of individual personalities, it is a duty
imposed by the community on its members.

"The relationship of labour, according to National Socialist
ideas," a German writer has said, "is not merely a judicial
relationship between the worker and his employer; it is a
living phenomenon in which the worker becomes a cog in the
National Socialist machine for collective production." The
conception of compulsory labour is thus, for National
Socialism, necessarily complementary to the conception of
work itself.

Compulsory Labour Service was first of all imposed on the
German people. German Labour Service was instituted by a law
of 26th June, 1935, which

                                                  [Page 387]

bears Hitler's signature and that of the defendant Frick,
Minister of the Interior. This law was published in the
"Reichsgesetzblatt," Part I, Page 769. I submit it to the
Tribunal as Document RF-6.

From 1939 the mobilisation of workers was added to the
compulsory labour service. Decrees were promulgated to that
effect by the defendant Goering in his capacity as
Plenipotentiary for the Four Year Plan. I do not stress this
point; it arises from the conspiracy entered into by the
accused to commit their Crime against Peace, and of which my
American colleagues have already informed the Tribunal. I
merely point out that the mobilisation of workers was
applicable to foreigners resident in German territory,
because I find in this fact the proof that the principle of
compulsory recruitment of foreign workers existed prior to
the war. Far from being the spontaneous result of the needs
of German war industry, the compulsory recruitment of
foreign workers is the putting into practice of a concerted
policy. I lay before the Tribunal a document which proves
this. It is Document 382 of the French classification, which
I offer as Exhibit RF 7. This is a memorandum of the High
Command of the German Armies of 1st October, 1938; the
memorandum, drawn up in anticipation of the invasion of
Czechoslovakia, contains a classification of possible
violations of International Law; the explanation which the
High Command of the Armed Forces thinks it possible to give
appears in connection with each violation. The document
appears in the form of a list in four columns; in the first
is a statement of the violations of International Law; the
second gives a concrete example; the third contains the
points of view of International Law on the one hand and, on
the other hand, the conclusions which can be drawn from
them; the fourth column is reserved for the explanation of
the Propaganda Ministry.

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