The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

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I now go to Page 2:

   "26th of February, 1942. Secret note on the organisation
   of the recruitment in France of workers for German
   industry. Excellent source:
   1.Organisation of the recruitment of workers in France.
   One of the main organisations for the recruitment of
   workers in France for Germany was the Mechanical Society
   of the Seine, whose seat is in Puteaux, Seine, at 8 Quai
   Nationale, which was also known as A.M.S.
   This society was to function under the secret control of
   the Kommandantur, and of three engineers; one would have
   the capacity of chief engineer and the other two would
   be M. Meyer and M. Schronner. In addition to the work
   which it was to carry out, this society is particularly
   entrusted with the re-education of workers recruited in
   France and sent to Germany at the request of German
   industrial houses on premium payments. The A.M.S.
   society is assisted in these operations in the occupied
   zone by three centres of recruiting which function in
   Paris and are: the centre of Porte De Vincennes, the
   centre of Courbevoie, 200 Boulevard St. Denis and the
   centre of Avenue des Tourelles. These centres are also
   charged to co-operate with the operations of recruitment
   in the non-occupied zone. For this zone, the two
   principal centres are in Marseilles and Toulouse. A
   third centre will be at Tarbes.
   (a) The centre at Marseilles is entrusted with the
   recruitment in the Mediterranean zone, under the
   direction of M. Meyer, who is mentioned above. The
   address of this engineer is not known, but one can get
   information about him in No. 24 Avenue Kleber, Paris, at
   the Militarbefehlshaber's.
   At Marseilles the A.M.S. office is situated at 85 Rue de
   Silvabelle. In his task M. Meyer is assisted by M.
   Ringo, residing in Madrague-Ville, 5 bis Boulevard
   Bernabo, near the slaughter house."

                                                  [Page 402]

I here end my quotation. I submit to the Tribunal the
correspondence exchanged between the months of December,
1941, and January, 1942, between the Prefect of the Alpes
Maritimes and the authorities of the Vichy Government. This
is Document 528,, which I file with the Tribunal as Exhibit
RF 29. This correspondence emphasises the activity of the
German agents in the clandestine recruiting, and
particularly of M. Meyer, to whom the report of Commander
Fontaine, which I just read, applies. I quote first the
letter of the 10th December, 1941, in which the Prefect of
the Alpes Maritimes confirmed the report which he had
previously made on this question. It is the letter which is
on the 5th page of the French text and the 7th page of the
German text:

   "Nice, 10th December, 1941: The State Counsellor,
   Prefect of the Alpes Maritimes, to his Honour, the State
   Secretary of the Interior, General Secretariat of the
   Police Directorate for Home and Foreign Police. Object:
   The activity of foreign agents, attending to the
   enticing away of specialised workers.
   Reference: Your telegrams 12,402, and 12,426, of 28th
   November, 1941. My reports 955 and 986 of 24th November,
   1941, and the 6th December, 1941. In my reports referred
   to I pointed out to you the activity of recruiting
   agents, who sought to have specialised workers
   discharged for the benefit of Germany.
   I have the honour of giving you, below, some additional
   information gathered on this subject.
   The German engineer Meyer and the French subject, M.
   Bentz, stopped on the 1st December, 1941, at the Hotel
   Splendid in Nice, coming from Marseilles."

Now, I go to the third paragraph before the end:
   "I permit myself to draw your attention particularly to
   the fact that in Paris they hired workers to be sent to

Here I end the quotation.

These documents attest to the activity which the clandestine
recruiting offices developed. I am not satisfied merely to
point out their existence. I wish to show that these offices
functioned under the initiative of the official
administration and of the German Office for Labour.

The proof is furnished by a statement which the defendant
Sauckel made on the first of March 1944, during the 54th
conference of the central office for the Four Year Plan. The
stenographic transcript of these conferences has been found.
It forms Document R-124, to which my American colleagues
have already referred. I submit it again to the Tribunal as
Exhibit RF 30, and I shall read from an extract of the
transcript of the session of the 1st March, 1944. This is
Exhibit RF 30, in the French text, Page 2, second paragraph;
in the German text, Pages 1770 and 1771. I quote the page
numbers which are at the bottom and on the right of the
German original. I read:

"The most abominable thing done by my adversaries" - this is
a declaration of the defendant Sauckel - "is that they
pretend that no executive measure has been foreseen in these
sectors to recruit in a rational manner the French, the
Belgians, and the Italians, and to send them to work. I
therefore had begun to employ and train a whole group of
French male and female agents who, for adequate
remuneration, just as it was done in older times in
Shanghai, would hunt for men, using liquor and

THE PRESIDENT: I am told that this has been read before by
the Prosecutor of the United States.

M. HERZOG: I will not insist on it, Mr. President. I go on:

The propaganda of the official offices and that of the
clandestine recruiting offices proved to be inefficacious.
The National Socialist authorities then had to resort to
methods of economic pressure. They tried to give to the

                                                  [Page 403]

who were to go to Germany, the hope of material advantages.
I cite in this respect an ordinance of the General Military
Commandant in Belgium and in the North of France, which I
submit to the Tribunal. It is an ordinance of 20th July,
1942, which appeared in the "Verordnungsblatt" of Belgium.
It exempts from tax Belgian workers who work in German
factories. I submit it to the Tribunal as Exhibit RF 31.

On the other hand, the occupation authorities sought to
lower the living standard of workers who remained in the
occupied territories. I said that they had made poverty a
factor in their recruiting policy. I am going to prove it by
showing how they went about creating artificial unemployment
in the occupation zones and deteriorating the material
situation of the unemployed.

I wish to recall that the German authorities also practised
a policy of  freezing salaries. This measure aided the
recruiting campaign for labour to go to Germany and had also
an economic bearing, and I would like to refer the Tribunal
to the explanations which will be given it on this point by
M. Gerthoffer.

Unemployment was produced by two complementary measures:

The first was the regulation of the legal length of work;

The second was the concentration and, if need be, the
closing of industrial enterprises.

From 1940 the local Feldkommandanten concerned themselves
with increasing the duration of work in their administrative
zones. In France, initiative taken by the local authorities
brought about reactions. The problem became general and was
solved on a national plane. Long negotiations were imposed
on the representatives of the pseudo-Government of Vichy.

Finally an ordinance of 22nd April, 1942, from the military
command in France, reserved for the occupation authorities
the right of fixing the duration of work in industrial
enterprises. This ordinance appeared in their
Verordnungsblatt for France, 1942. I submit it to the
Tribunal as Exhibit RF 32 and I quote the first paragraph.
First part:

"For establishments and enterprises of all kinds, a minimum
of working hours may be imposed. This minimum of the length
of work will be decreed for a whole economic region, or for
certain economic fields, or for individual enterprises."

In Belgium the length of work was fixed by an ordinance, by
a directive, on the 6th October, 1942, which appeared in the
"Verordnungsblatt" of Belgium. I submit this ordinance to
the Tribunal as Exhibit RF 33. The regulation of the
duration of work had not released a sufficient number of
workers for the German factories; that is why the National
Socialist authorities used a second method: under the
pretext of rationalising production, they brought about a
concentration of industrial and commercial enterprises,
certain of which were closed at their instigation.

I cite in this relation the provisions which were taken or
imposed by the Germans in France, in Belgium and in Holland.
In France I would like to refer to two texts:

The first is the law of the Vichy Government of 17th
December, 1941, which I submit to the Tribunal as Exhibit RF

The second text to which I wish to draw the attention of the
Tribunal is the ordinance of 25th February, 1942, issued by
the Military Commandant in France. This ordinance appeared
in the "Verordnungsblatt des Militarbefehlshabers" in
France. I shall read from it to the Tribunal, because this
ordinance seems particularly important, as the principle of
compulsorily closing certain French enterprises is
established by a legislative text of the occupying power. I
shall read the first and second paragraphs. The first

                                                  [Page 404]

   "If the economic situation, notably the use of raw
   materials and secondary materials requires it,
   establishments and economic enterprises may be partly or
   completely closed."

Second paragraph:

   "The closing of these enterprises will be pronounced by
   the Feldkommandantur by means of a written notification
   addressed to the establishment or to the industrial

THE PRESIDENT: That was Exhibit RF 35, was it not?

M. HERZOG: Yes, Mr. President.

In Belgium I refer to the ordinance of the Military
Commandant, 30th March and 3rd October, 1942, which appeared
in the "Verordnungsblatt" in Belgium. I submit to the
Tribunal the ordinance of 30th March as Exhibit RF 36.

In Holland the regulating provisions of the occupying
authorities were more stringent than elsewhere. I present an
ordinance of the Reich Commissar for the territories of
occupied Holland, 15th March, 1943.submit it to the Tribunal
as Exhibit RF 37.

This ordinance presents a double interest: First it offers
precise information which emphasises the method with which
the German services executed their recruiting plan. It
constitutes, on the other hand, the first document which I
shall submit to the Tribunal, accusing the defendant Seyss-
Inquart. The policy of Sauckel was carried out in Holland
with the collaboration of Reich Commissar Seyss-Inquart. The
ordinances regarding compulsory labour in Holland were all
issued at the responsibility of Seyss-Inquart, whether they
bear, directly or not, his signature. I ask the Tribunal to
note this.

The increase of the legal length of work and the closing of
industrial enterprises deprived thousands of workers of
their jobs. The defendants did not hesitate to use material
constraint to incite the unemployed to work on behalf of
Germany. They threatened the unemployed that they would do
away with their unemployment compensation. This threat was
made on several occasions by the local Feldkommandants in
Occupied France. I find proof in the protest made 8th March,
1941, by General Doyen, representing the French authorities
with the German armistice commission. The document is 282,
which I submit to the Tribunal as Exhibit RF 38.

I read the first page, third paragraph of the letter:

   "Moreover, the occupation authorities foresee that the
   workers who refuse the work offered them will see their
   right to unemployment compensation denied, and may be
   prosecuted by the war tribunal for sabotage of Franco-
   German collaboration."

Far from disavowing the initiative of their local
authorities, the central office for labour gave them
instructions to continue this policy. The proof is furnished
by the directive of Dr. Mansfeld, dated 29th January, 1942,
which I have just submitted to the Tribunal as Exhibit RF
26, in which instructions were given that the
discontinuation of unemployment compensation should be
utilised as a means of pressure against workers in foreign
countries. The directive of Dr. Mansfeld shows that the
blackmail by the National Socialist leaders was exercised
not only over the control of unemployment compensation, but
also in the issuing of ration cards.

Moreover, the defendants tried to force the inhabitants of
the occupied territories to leave for Germany by increasing
their difficulties in finding food. The proof of this desire
is given in the transcript of the session of 1st March,
1944, of the Conference of the Four Year Plan. This document
I referred to a short time ago as Exhibit RF 30. This is a
passage which has not yet been read, which the Tribunal will
please permit me to read. It is on Page 5 of the French


                                                  [Page 405]

M. HERZOG: Yes, Pages 1814, 1815 and 1816 of the German
text. The page numbers are at the bottom and on the right. I
read on top of Page 5 of the French text. It should be
Milch. It is General Milch.

   "Milch: 'Would not the following method be better? The
   German administration should concern itself with the
   feeding of Italians and say to them: " No one shall
   receive food unless he works in a protected factory or
   leaves for Germany."'
   Sauckel: 'It is true that the French workman in France
   is better fed than the German workman. The Italian
   workman, even if he does not work at all, is better fed
   in the part of Italy which we occupy than if he worked
   in Germany.'"

I end the quotation here.

I have shown the Tribunal that these measures were measures
of an economic order - economic-social - which the National
Socialist authorities took, to force workers in the occupied
territory to accept labour contracts offered by the German

This indirect duress was strengthened by direct pressure
which was simultaneously put on the local governments and
the employers and on the workers themselves.

The National Socialist leaders knew that their recruiting
policy could be facilitated by the local authorities. That
is why they tried to make the pseudo-governments of the
occupied territories guarantee or endorse the fiction of
voluntary enrolments. I submit to the Tribunal an example of
the pressure which the German Services placed on the Vichy
Government for that purpose. They first arranged that the
State Secretariat of Labour should issue a directive to all
Prefects. It is the directive of 29th March, 1941. The
German authorities were not satisfied with this directive;
they were conscious of the illegality of their recruiting
methods and they wished to justify them by an agreement with
the de facto government of France. They required that this
agreement be made known by public statement. The
negotiations were carried out for this purpose in 1941 and
1942. The violence of the German pressure is substantiated
by the letters concerning it addressed by Dr. Michel of the
Administrative Staff to the General Delegate for Franco-
German Economic Relations.

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