The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

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The fourth Sauckel action, therefore, was directed in such a
manner as to utilise all of France's manpower. The French
resistance and the development of the military operations
hindered the execution of the Sauckel plan. The defendant,
in the meantime, had contemplated such extraordinary
measures as would have to be taken on the day the Allied
Armies landed. I quote again Document 1289-PS, Exhibit RF
71, and I read on Page 3:

   "Measures concerning compulsory labour in the case of
   To some extent precautions have been taken to evacuate
   the population of those areas invaded and to protect
   valuable manpower from being seized by our enemies. In
   view of the actual situation of labour utilisation in
   Germany, it is necessary to induct efficient workers to
   the greatest extent
                                                  [Page 428]
   possible into efficacious employment within the Reich.
   Orders to this  effect on the part of the Wehrmacht are
   indispensable for carrying out these measures.
   The following text is proposed for an order by the
   Fuehrer... "

I shall not read the text of the order proposed by Sauckel.

The Allied victory, however, came so quickly that Sauckel
did not have the chance to realise fully his plan of mass
deportation. All the same, he started to carry it out, and
deportations of workers went on up to the day of liberation
of the territory. Several hundred thousand French workers
were finally stationed in Germany as a result of the various
Sauckel actions. Will the Tribunal, please, bear this in

The compulsory labour service was introduced in Norway in
the same manner as in France. The defendants imposed upon
the Norwegian authorities the publication of a law
instituting the compulsory registration of Norwegian
citizens, and ordering their enrolment by force. I quote in
this respect the preliminary report on the crimes of Germany
against Norway, a report prepared by the Norwegian
Government and submitted to the Tribunal as U.K. 79. I now
submit it as Exhibit RF 72, and I quote from the first page,
third paragraph:

   "The result of Sauckel's order in Norway was the
   promulgation of the Quisling law of 3rd February, 1943,
   concerning the compulsory registration of Norwegian men
   and women for the so-called national labour effort.
   Terboven and Quisling openly admitted that the law had
   been promulgated to enable the Norwegian people to
   utilise its manpower for the benefit of the German war
   In a speech of 2nd February Terboven incidentally
   declared that he himself and the German Reich supported
   this law with their authority, and he threatened to use
   force against any one attempting to oppose its

In Belgium and in the Netherlands the German authorities
used a direct procedure. The compulsory labour service was
organised by decrees of the occupying power.

In Belgium these were decrees of the Military Commander, and
in the Netherlands decrees of the Reich Commissar. I remind
the Tribunal of the fact that the authority of the Military
Commander in Belgium extended to the North of France.

A decree of 6th March, 1942, established the principle of
compulsory labour in Belgium. It was published in the
Belgian "Verordnungsblatt" of 1942, Page 845. I submit it to
the Tribunal as Exhibit RF 73, and I ask the Tribunal to
take judicial notice of it.

The decree of 6th March excluded the possibility of forced
deportation of workers to Germany. However, such deportation
was ordered by a decree of 6th October, 1942, which was
published in the Belgian "Verordnungsblatt" of 1942, Page
1060. I submitted it to the Tribunal as Exhibit RF 57 in the
course of my explanations.

The German activities in Belgium gave rise to interventions
and protests by leading Belgian personalities, among others
the King of Belgium and Cardinal van Roey.

The decrees instituting compulsory labour in Belgium and the
North of France bore the signature of General von
Falkenhausen, but the latter proclaimed his decree of 6th
October on the order of Sauckel. I refer once more to the
testimony of General von Falkenhausen, which I submitted to
the Tribunal yesterday as Exhibit RF 15. I ask your
permission to quote the following passages, first page,
fifth paragraph:

                                                  [Page 429]

   "Q. On 6th October, 1942, a decree was published which
   instituted compulsory labour in Belgium, and in the
   Departments of Northern France, for men between the ages
   of 18 and 50 years, and for single women between the
   ages of 21 and 25 years.
   A. I was Commander-in-Chief for Northern France and
   Q. Does the witness recall having promulgated this
   A. I do not remember exactly the text of this decree
   because it was issued following a long dispute with the
   labour deputy Sauckel.
   Q. Did you have any trouble with Sauckel?
   A. I was fundamentally opposed to the establishment of
   compulsory labour, and consented to promulgating the
   decree only after receiving orders.
   Q. Then this decree was not issued on the initiative of
   von Falkenhausen?
   A. On the contrary.
   Q. Who gave instruction in this matter?
   A. I suppose that at that time Sauckel was already
   responsible for manpower and that at that time he gave
   me all instructions on Hitler's orders."

I take up the quotation again on Page 3 of the French
translation, fourth paragraph:

   Q. Since you were opposed to the idea of compulsory
   labour, did you not protest when you received these
   instructions ?
   A. There were unending quarrels between Sauckel and
   myself. In the end this contributed greatly to my

The violence of the pressure exerted by the defendant
Sauckel in Belgium, in order to impose his plan of
recruitment by force, is also demonstrated by the document
which I have just submitted to the Tribunal as Exhibit RF
67. The Tribunal will remember that it is the report
addressed on the 13th August, 1943, by Sauckel to Hitler on
his return from France, Belgium and Holland.

Finally, I have to deal with the introduction of compulsory
labour in the Netherlands. I request the Tribunal to charge
the defendant Seyss-Inquart, as well as the defendant
Sauckel, with the institution of compulsory enrolment in the
occupied Dutch territories.

As a matter of fact, the deportation of the Dutch workers
was organised by decrees of the Reich Commissar. They
established all the more the responsibility of the
defendant, who, in his quality as Reich Commissar, derived
his powers directly from the Fuehrer.

The defendant Seyss-Inquart introduced the compulsory labour
service in the Netherlands by a decree of 28th February,
1941, published in the Dutch "Verordnungsblatt" of 1941, No.
42. I referred to this decree as Exhibit RF 58 in the course
of my explanation yesterday, and asked the Tribunal to take
judicial notice of it.

As in Belgium the compulsory labour service could originally
be enforced in the interior of the occupied countries only,
but, just as in Belgium, it was soon extended in order to
permit the deportation of workers to Germany. The extension
was made effective by a decree of Seyss-Inquart of 23rd
March, 1942, which appeared in No. 26 of the
"Verordnungsblatt." I submit it to the Tribunal as Exhibit
RF 74, and I ask the Tribunal to add it to the record.

The defendant Seyss-Inquart had thus paved the road on which
the defendant Sauckel was to be enabled to proceed to
action. Sauckel actually utilised all the human potential of
the Netherlands. New measures were soon necessary, measures
which Seyss-Inquart adopted.

A decree dated 6th May, 1943, "Verordnungsblatt," 1943, Page
173, ordered the mobilisation of all men from 18 to 35 years
of age. I submit this decree to the Tribunal as Exhibit RF

                                                  [Page 430]

Moreover since the 19th of February, 1943, Seyss-Inquart had
issued a decree which permitted his services to take all
measures in the utilisation of manpower which he considered
to be opportune.

This decree, which appeared in the "Verordnungsblatt" of
1943, has been submitted to the Tribunal as Exhibit RF 76.

The extent of deportation from Holland in 1943 is attested
to by a letter of 16th June, 1943, from Sauckel's
representative in the Netherlands. This letter, which bears
the French document number 664, is submitted to the Tribunal
as Exhibit RF 77. I quote:

   "In conformity with the census decree of 7th May, the
   1920 to 1924 classes have been registered on filing
   cards. Although this involved very much work it was
   nevertheless possible to send 22,986 workers to the
   Reich, and, in addition, the prisoners of war put at our
   disposal. During the month of June the deficiency of the
   month of May will be made up.
   These classes include, according to the Statistical
   Service of the Kingdom of Holland, 80,000 each. It is
   from these classes that transfers to the Reich have been
   made so far. 446,493 persons have been transferred to
   the Reich up to 1st June,
   1943, and a number of them have returned from there. The
   figures as per index are as follows:
   1921 class, 43,331; 1922 class, 45,354; 1923 class,
   47,593; 1924 class, 45,232.
   As up to 80 per cent. have been deferred, it is now
   imperative to begin transporting entire classes to the
   Reich. The Reich Commissar has given his agreement to
   this action. The other authorities involved, of Economy,
   Armament, Agriculture, and the Armed Forces, pressed by
   necessity, have given their approval."

At the end of the year 1944, the German authorities
increased their pressure on the Netherlands. During that
period tens of thousands of persons were arrested within two
days in Rotterdam. Systematic raids took place in all the
larger cities of Holland, sometimes improvised, sometimes
after the population had been publicly summoned to appear in
places named. I submit to the Tribunal various proclamations
of this kind. They form Document 1162-PS, and have already
been submitted to the Tribunal by Mr. Dodd. I shall not read
them again. I use them in support of my argument and submit
them as Exhibit RF 78.

These documents do not reveal isolated facts; they show a
systematic policy which the defendants were to pursue up to
5th May, 1945, when the capitulation of Germany brought
liberation to the Netherlands.

I still owe the Tribunal a supplementary explanation. The
defendants did not stop at introducing compulsory labour
service in the occupied territories. I declare that they
proceeded to criminal coercion in order to ensure that the
mobilisation of foreign workers was carried out. I am going
to prove this fact.

The measures taken by the National Socialist authorities to
guarantee the forced enlistment of foreign workers cannot be
dissociated from the procedures they applied to ensure the
so-called voluntary enlistment. The pressure was more
violent, but it sprang from the same spirit. The method was
to deceive, and, where this proved unsuccessful, to use
coercion. The defendants very soon realised that no kind of
propaganda would lend the cloak of justice to compulsory
labour in the eyes of its victims. If they had any doubts in
this respect, these would have been dissipated by the
reports of the occupation authorities. The latter were
unanimous in their reports of the political trouble provoked
by this compulsory enlistment and of the resistance
encountered by them. That is why the defendants once again
used force in their attempt to ensure that the civilian
mobilisation decreed by them was carried out.

First in line among the coercive measures to which the
Germans had recourse, I mention the withholding of the
ration cards of defaulters. The Tribunal

                                                  [Page 431]

knows from the circular letter of Dr. Manfeld, submitted as
Exhibit RF 26, that this measure had been proposed since
January, 1942, and will recall that by decree of the Fuehrer
of 8th September, 1942, which I submitted as Exhibit RF 55,
this measure was put into effect. This order provided that
food and clothing ration cards were not to be issued to
persons incapable of proving that they were working, nor to
those who refused to do compulsory work.

Hitler's order was put into effect in all occupied
territories. In France, circulars by the occupation
authorities prohibited the renewal of ration cards of those
French people who had eluded the census of 16th February,
1943. In Belgium, the forfeiture of ration certificates was
regulated by an order of the Military Commander. It is the
order of 5th March, 1943, published in the
"Verordnungsblatt" for Belgium, which I submit to the
Tribunal as Exhibit RF 79.

General von Falkenhausen, the signatory of this order,
admitted its grave significance during the interrogation,
which I have submitted to the Tribunal as Exhibit RF 15, and
to which I refer again. General von Falkenhausen declared
that the defendant Sauckel was the originator of this order,
and that he had refused to grant an amnesty proposed by the
General. I quote, Page 4 of the French translation, fifth

   "Q. Does the witness remember an order of 5th March,
   1943, by which those refusing to enter the compulsory
   labour service had their ration cards withdrawn?
   A. I do not remember. At the time when the order was
   issued for men from 18 to 50 years old, the implementing
   orders were not given by myself but by my offices, and I
   am not conversant with the details of the application of
   reprisals. I was not the executive head of the
   administration. I was above it.
   Q. But at that time you were informed of the means of
   pressure and manner of treatment which the authorities
   thought fit to employ?
   A. I do not wish to deny my responsibility for
   everything for, after all, I was aware of many things. I
   remember in particular the order regarding ration cards,
   because on various occasions I proposed that an amnesty
   be declared for persons who were obliged to live
   illegally, and who did not have a ration card.
   Q. To whom was this proposal made?
   A. To Sauckel, with the consent of President Revert.
   Q. What was the attitude taken by Sauckel at that time?
   A. He refused to grant such an amnesty."

In Holland likewise the renewal of ration certificates which
did not bear the stamp of the labour office was prohibited.

The defendants, however, used a method of coercion which was
even more criminal than the forfeiture of ration cards. I
refer to the persecution directed against the families of
those who refused to do compulsory labour. I call this
method criminal, because it is based on the concept of
family responsibility, which is contrary to the fundamental
principles of the penal law of civilised nations. It was,
nevertheless, sanctioned by several legislative texts issued
or imposed by the National Socialists.

In France, I quote the law of 11th June, 1943, which I
submit to the Tribunal as Exhibit RF 80, with the request
that it take judicial notice thereof.

In Belgium, I refer to the order of the Military Commander
of 30th April, 1943, and particularly to paragraphs 8 and 9.
I submit this order to the Tribunal as Exhibit RF 81, with
the request that it take judicial notice thereof.

Judicial action by the defendants was likewise directed
against the employers and against the officials of the
employment bureaux. In France, the action was initiated by
two laws of 1st February, 1944. I emphasise that these laws
were issued on the same day as the Compulsory Labour Law,
and I confirm

                                                  [Page 432]

that they were imposed at the same time. In support of my
statement, I submit the admission of the defendant Sauckel,
in his letter of 25th February, 1944, which I read a little
while ago to the Tribunal as Exhibit RF 70. I submit to the
Tribunal the laws of 1st February, 1944, as Exhibit RF 82,
with the request that it be added to the record.

There were still other measures of coercion. One of these,
for instance, was the closing of the faculties and schools
to defaulting students. It was decreed in Belgium on 28th
June, 1943; in France, on 15th July, 1943. In Holland the
students were victims of a systematic deportation from
February on. I quote in this connection a letter of 4th May,
1943, from the Higher Chief of the S.S. and Police. This is
Document 665, which I produce as Exhibit RF 83.

THE PRESIDENT: Perhaps this is a good time to break off.

(A recess was taken.)

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