The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

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Last-Modified: 1999/10/01

M. HERZOG: I have just reminded the Tribunal of the
legislative framework through which the activity of the
defendant Sauckel was exercised. This framework was
reinforced by the defendant's own decree. The first document
attests that Sauckel deliberately assumed the responsibility
of the general policy for the recruiting of foreign workers
- the decree of the 22nd August, 1942, which appeared in the
"Reichsgesetzblatt," 1942, Part I, Page 382. This decree
lays down the principle of forced recruiting, and makes the
necessary provisions for all the human potential of the
occupied territories to be put in the service of the German
war economy.

Sauckel forces the inhabitants of the conquered countries to
participate in the war of Germany against their Fatherland.
It is not only a violation of International Law, it is a
crime against the rights of nations. I submit the decree to
the Tribunal as Exhibit RF 17, and I shall read it:

   "Ordinance No. 10 of the General Plenipotentiary for the
   Employment of Labour regarding the Arbeitseinsatz in the
   occupied territories under date of 22nd August, 1942.
   In order to mobilise the labour of the occupied
   territories in the new organisation of the
   Arbeitseinsatz within the European framework, one must
   submit these forces to one central authority; it is
   necessary to assure a maximum return as well as a useful
   and rational distribution of this force, in order to
   satisfy the labour needs of the Reich and of the
   occupied territories. By virtue of the full powers which
   are conferred upon me, I order:
   (1) By virtue of the decree of the Fuehrer, under date
   of 21st March, 1942, relative to the General
   Plenipotentiary for the Employment of Labour and by
   virtue of the ordinance of the Trustee for the Four Year
   Plan, under date of 27th March, 1942, relative to the
   application of this decree, I likewise have powers to
   employ, when necessary, the labour of occupied
   territories, as well as to take all the measures
   necessary to increase its production. Those German
   offices which dealt with Arbeitseinsatz and for the
   policy of wages or my commissioners will, according to
   my directives, carry out this employment of labour and
   take all measures necessary to increase production.
   (2) This ordinance extends to all the territories
   occupied during the war by the Wehrmacht, if they are
   under a German administration.
   (3) The labour available in the occupied territories
   must be utilised in the first place to fulfil the
   primary war needs of Germany.
   This labour must be utilised in the occupied territories
   in the following order:
      (a) For the needs of the army, of the services of
      occupation and of the civilian services.
      (b) For the German armament needs.
      (c) For the food and agriculture.
      (d) For industrial needs other than those of
      armament, in which Germany is interested.
      (e) For industrial needs of the population of the
      territory in question."

A second document shows the willingness of the defendant
Sauckel to take the responsibility for the treatment of
foreign workers. It is an agreement concluded on 2nd June,
1943, with the Chief of the German Labour Front. I shall not
read this document to the Tribunal. The document has been

                                                  [Page 393]

discussed by Mr. Dodd. I recall that it was published in the
"Reichsarbeitsblatt" in 1943, Part 1, Page 588. I submit it
in support of my brief as Exhibit RF 18.

Designated by Hitler and by the defendants Keitel and
Goering, in order to pursue, under the control of the
latter, the policy of recruitment of compulsory labour, the
defendant Sauckel has consequently carried out his task in
virtue of the responsibilities which he had assumed. I
request that the Tribunal bear this in mind.

I request the Tribunal, likewise, to note that the policy of
recruitment of foreign workers involves the responsibility
of all German Ministers responsible for the economic and
social life of the Reich. An interministerial office, or at
any rate, an interadministrative office, the Central
Planning Board for the Four Year Plan, has proceeded to
formulate the programme for the recruitment of foreign

All departments interested in the labour problem were
represented at the meetings of the Central Office. General
Milch presided at the meetings, in the name of the defendant

The defendant Sauckel and the defendant Speer took part, in
person, and I shall submit to the Tribunal certain
statements made by them. The defendant Funk also took part;
he therefore knew of, and approved, the programme for the
deportation of workers. He even collaborated in its
formulation. As proof thereof I produce three documents
inculpating him.

The first is a letter of 9th February, 1944, in which Funk
is summoned to a meeting of the Central Planning Board. It
is Document 674, which I submit to the Tribunal as Exhibit
RF 19. I read:

   "Sir: In the name of the Central Planning Board, I
   invite you to a meeting concerning the question of the
   utilisation of labour. It will take place on Wednesday,
   the 16th February, 1944, at 10 o'clock, in a board-room
   of the Secretaries of State at the Air Ministry,
   Leipziger Strasse, in Berlin.
   In the Appendix I transmit to you some statistics on the
   subject of the development of the utilisation of labour.
   These statistics will serve as a basis for the
   discussion at the meeting."

Funk was unable personally to attend the meeting, but he
arranged to be represented by Undersecretary of State
Hayler. He received the minutes of the meeting and, on 7th
March, 1944, he wrote to General Milch, in order to excuse
his frequent absences from the meetings of the Board. I
submit this document to the Tribunal. It is Document 675,
which I submit as Exhibit RF 20. It is the report of the
fifty-third meeting of the Planning Board. The Tribunal will
note on Page 2 of the French translation that Minister Funk
received a report of this meeting. He is mentioned on the
second line of the distribution list: Reich Minister Speer
first and on the second line Reich Minister Funk.

I now produce as Exhibit RF 21 the letter in which Funk
excuses himself to Marshal Milch because of his inability to
be present at the meeting.

   "Very honoured and very dear Field Marshal:
   Unfortunately the meetings of the Central Planning Board
   have always been set for dates on which I am already
   engaged by other important meetings. So it is to my
   great regret that I shall be unable to be present on
   Saturday at the meeting of the Central Planning Board,
   inasmuch as I have to speak on that day in Vienna in the
   course of a great demonstration in honour of the
   Anniversary of the day of the Anschluss.
   Secretary Hayler will likewise be in Vienna on Friday
   and Saturday, where there will be an important South-
   European Conference, in which foreign delegates will
   participate and at which I must also speak.
   Under these conditions I beg you to allow Ministerial
   Director and
                                                  [Page 394]

   General of Police, Brigadefuehrer of S.S. Ohlendorf, who
   is the permanent deputy of State Secretary Hayler, to
   attend as my representative."

THE PRESIDENT: Does this document tell us anything more than
that the defendant Funk was unable to be present?

M. HERZOG: This document, Mr. President, was given to me by
my American colleagues, who asked me to use it in the case
on compulsory labour, because they have not had time to use
it in their charge against Funk. It is presented to the
Tribunal to prove that Funk was following the meetings of
the Central Planning Board and that he had permanent
representatives there to represent him on all occasions who,
by their report, kept him in touch with the work of the
Central Planning Board. That is why we present to the
Tribunal this document on defendant Funk.

I shall continue to quote:

   "Under these circumstances, I beg you to allow the Major-
   General of Police, Brigadefuehrer of the S.S.,
   Ohlendorf, who is the permanent deputy of State
   Secretary Hayler, to attend as my representative. Herr
   Ohlendorf will have Ministerial Director Koelsen as a
   consultant for questions of consumer goods, and
   Counsellor of State Janke for questions concerning
   foreign trade."

The policy of the Central Planning Board for the Four Year
Plan pursued by the defendant Sauckel is shown by the mass
deportation of workers. The principle of this deportation is
a criminal one, but the manner of its execution was even
more criminal. I shall give the proof of this to the
Tribunal by submitting, in succession, the methods of
compulsory recruitment, its results and the conditions of

I wish here to thank the members of the French delegation
and of the foreign delegations who have come to my aid in
the preparation of my work, in particular, my colleague M.
Pierre Portal, a Lyons barrister.

The brief which I have the honour of presenting to the
Tribunal will be limited to the account of the recruiting of
foreign labour in occupied territories of Western Europe,
since the deportation of workers coming from Eastern Europe
will be dealt with by my Soviet colleagues.

Throughout the occupation the local field commanders imposed
requisitions of labour on the populations of the occupied
territories. Fortification works considered necessary for
the furtherance of military operations, and guard duties for
the security of the occupation troops were carried out by
the inhabitants of the occupied areas. The labour
requisitions affected not only isolated individuals but
entire groups.

In France, for instance, they affected, in turn, groups of
Indo-Chinese workers, workers from North Africa, foreign
workers, and Chantiers de Jeunesse (Youth workyards). I
produce in evidence an extract from the report on forced
labour and the deportation of workers drawn up by the
Institute of Statistics of the French Government. This
report bears the number 515 and I submit this to the
Tribunal as Exhibit RF 22. This document, because of its
size, has been taken out of the document book. I quote first
of all Page 17 of the French text and 17, likewise, of the
German translation.

I read the second paragraph before the end -

THE PRESIDENT: Is this it? [indicating].

M. HEROG: No, it is the document in the blue cover, on Page

   "Paragraph 6: The Forced Labour Recruitment of
   Constituted Groups: Finally, a last procedure adopted by
   the Germans on a number of occasions during the whole
   course of the occupations for direct forced labour, as
   well as for indirect forced labour: the 'requisition' of
   constituted groups already trained and disciplined and
   consequently an excellent contribution.
   (a) Indo-Chinese Labour (M.O.I.): This formation of
   colonial workers had been intended from the beginning of
   the hostilities to satisfy the needs
                                                  [Page 395]
   of French industry in non-specialised labour. Under the
   control of officers and non-commissioned officers of the
   French Army, transformed into civilian functionaries
   after the month of July, 1940, Indo-Chinese labour was,
   from 1945 on, obliged to do part-time forced labour,
   directly as well as indirectly."

I leave out the table on Page 16 and I read:

   "(b) The North African work: Between 17th August and 6th
   November, 1942, the home country received two
   contingents of workers from North Africa; one was
   composed of 5,560 Algerians, the other of 1,825
   Moroccans. These workers were immediately obliged to do
   direct forced labour which brought the number of North
   African workers enrolled in the Todt organisation to
   (c) Foreign labour: The law of 11th July, 1938,
   concerning the organisation of the nation in time of war
   provided for the cases of foreigners living in France,
   and obliged them to render services; under-officers and
   non-commissioned officers transformed into civilian
   functionaries by the law of the 9th October, 1940, the
   foreign labour was progressively subjected by the
   Germans to direct forced labour."

I leave out the table and I read:

   "(d) Youth workyards (Chantiers de Jeunesse): On 29th
   January, 1943, the labour staff of the German Armistice
   Commission in Paris announced that the Commander-in-
   Chief 'West' was examining whether and in which way the
   formations of French workers might be called upon to
   perform tasks important for both countries. This
   resulted in partial recruiting and was followed by
   demands for young people from the workyards to supply
   direct labour."

Similar requisitions took place in all the other territories
of Western Europe. These requisitions were illegal: they
were carried out by virtue of Article 52 of the Appendix to
the Fourth Hague Convention. In reality they systematically
violated the letter and the spirit of this text of
International Law.

What does Article 52 of the Appendix to the Fourth Hague
Convention say? It is worded as follows:

   "Requisitions in kind and services shall not be demanded
   from municipalities or inhabitants except for the needs
   of the Army of Occupation. They shall be in proportion
   to the resources of the country and be of such a nature
   that the populations will not be obliged to take part in
   operations against their own country. These requisitions
   and services shall only be demanded on the authority of
   the commander of the locality occupied."

Thus the terms in which Article 52 authorises the
requisition of services by an Army of Occupation are
expressly formulated. These terms are four in number:

   1. The rendering of services can be demanded only for
   the needs of the Army of Occupation. All requisitions
   made for the general economic needs of the occupying
   power are thus forbidden.
   2. Services demanded by way of requisition must not
   entail an obligation to take part in military operations
   against the country of those rendering them. The
   rendering of any service exacted in the interests of the
   war economy of the occupying power, all guard duties or
   exercise of military control are forbidden.
   3. Services rendered in a given area must be in
   proportion to its economic resources, the development of
   which must not be hampered. It follows that any
   requisitioning of labour is contrary to International
   Law if it results in the impeding or prevention of the
   normal utilisation of the riches of the occupied
   4. Finally, labour requisitions must, under the
   provisions of the second paragraph of Article 52, be
   carried out in the area of the locality under the
                                                  [Page 396]

   administration of the occupation authority who has
   signed the requisition order. The transfer of
   conscripted workers from one part of the occupied area
   to another and, especially, their deportation to the
   country of the occupied power are prohibited.

Labour requisitions exacted by German civilian and military
authorities in the occupied areas did not conform to the
spirit of Article 52. They were carried out to satisfy
either the needs of German economy or even the needs of
military strategy of the enemy forces. They deliberately
refused to acknowledge the need of ensuring facilities for a
reasonable utilisation of local resources; they finally took
the form of migrations of workers. The case of those workers
who were conscripted from all countries of Western Europe,
and formed an integral part of the Todt organisation to help
in building the system of fortifications known under the
name of the "Atlantic Wall," may be taken as a typical

This violation of international agreements is a flagrant
one; it called forth repeated protests from General Doyen,
delegate of the French authorities with the German Armistice
Commission. I ask the Tribunal to accept as evidence the
letter of General Doyen, 25th May, 1941. This letter
constitutes Document 283, and it is placed before the
Tribunal as Exhibit RF 23. I read:

   "Wiesbaden, 25th May, 1941. From the General de Corps
   d'Armee Doyen, President of the French delegation at the
   German Armistice Commission to Monsieur le General der
   Artillerie Vogl, President of the German Armistice
   On several occasions, and notably in my letters No.
   14,263/A.E. and 14,887/A.E. of 26th February and 8th
   March, I respectfully protested to you against the use
   for which French labour has been employed within the
   framework of the Todt organisation in the execution of
   military work on the coast of Bretagne.
   I have to-day the duty of calling your attention to
   other cases in which the occupation authorities have had
   recourse to the recruiting of French civilians to carry
   out services of a strictly military character, cases
   which are even more serious than those which I have
   already called to your attention.
   If, indeed, in the case of the workers engaged by the
   Todt organisation, it could be argued that certain
   workers among them accepted voluntarily an employment
   for which they are being remunerated (although in
   practice most often they were not given the possibility
   of refusing this employment), this argument can by no
   means be invoked when the prefects themselves are
   obliged, at the expense of the departments and the
   communities, to set up guard services at important
   points, such as bridges, tunnels, works of art,
   telephone lines, munitions depots, and areas surrounding
   aviation fields.
   The accompanying note furnishes some examples of the
   guard services which have been imposed upon Frenchmen in
   this way, services which before this were assumed by the
   German Army and which normally fall to the latter, since
   it is a question of participating in watches or of safe-
   guarding the German Army against risks arising from the
   state of war existing between Germany and Great

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