The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

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Last-Modified: 1999/09/16

A document found in the O.K.H. files furnishes evidence of
the seizure of workers in Holland and I refer to Document
3003-PS, which is Exhibit USA 196. This document is a
partial translation of the text of a lecture delivered by
one Lieutenant Haupt, of the German Wehrmacht, concerning
the situation of the war economy in the Netherlands. I wish
to quote from Page 1 of the English text, starting with the
fourth line of Paragraph 1, quoting that directly, which
reads as follows:-

   "There had been some difficulties with the
   Arbeitseinsatz, that is, during the man-catching action,
   which became very noticeable because
   
                                                  [Page 314]
   
   it was unorganised and unprepared. People were arrested
   in the streets and taken out of their homes. It had been
   impossible to carry out a unified release procedure in
   advance, because for security reasons, the time for the
   action had not been previously announced. Certificates
   of release, furthermore, were to some extent not
   recognised by the officials who carried out the action.
   Not only workers who had become available through the
   stoppage of industry but also those who were employed in
   our installations producing things for our immediate
   need, were apprehended or did not dare to go into the
   streets. In any case it proved to be a great loss to us
   .."

I might say to the Tribunal, that the hordes of people
displaced in Germany today indicate, to a very considerable
extent, the length to which the conspirators' labour
programme proceeded. The best available Allied and German
data reveal that by January, 1945, approximately 4,795,000
foreign civilian workers had been put to work for the German
war effort in the Old Reich, and among them were forced
labourers of more than 14 different nationalities. I now
refer to Document 2520-PS, Exhibit USA 197, which is an
affidavit executed by Edward L. Duess, an economic analyst.

At the top of the first page there are tables setting forth
the nationality and then the numbers of the various nations,
and other groupings of prisoners of war and politicals, so-
called. The workers alone total, according to Mr. Duess, who
is an expert in this field, the 4,795,000 figure to which I
have just referred. In the second paragraph of this
statement of Duess, I should like to read for the record and
quote directly:-

   "I, Edward, L. Duess, for three years employed by the
   Foreign Economic Administration, Washington, as an
   economic analyst in London, Paris and Germany,
   specialising in labour and population problems of
   Germany during the war, do hereby certify that the
   figures of foreign labour employed in the Old Reich have
   been compiled on the basis of the best available
   material from German and Allied sources. The
   accompanying table represents a combination of German
   official estimates of foreigners working in Germany in
   January, 1945, and of American, British and French
   figures of the number of foreigners, actually discovered
   in the Old Reich since 10th May, 1945."

Only a very small proportion of these imported labourers
came to Germany on a voluntary basis. At the 1st March,
1944, meeting of this same Central Planning Board, to which
we have made reference before, the defendant Sauckel made
clear himself the vast scale on which free men had been
forced into this labour slavery. He made the statement, and
I quote from Document R-124, which is in evidence as Exhibit
USA 179, and from which I have quoted earlier this morning.
I wish to refer to Page 11 of that document, the middle
paragraph, Paragraph 3. In the German text it appears at
Page 4, Paragraph 2 (the defendant Sauckel speaking), and I
quote directly from that document:-

   "Out of five million foreign workers who arrived in
   Germany, not even two hundred
   thousand came voluntarily."

The Nazi conspirators were not satisfied just to tear five
million odd persons from their children, from their homes,
from their native lands, but in addition, these defendants,
who sit today in this Court room, insisted that this vast
number of wretched human beings, who were in the so-called
Old Reich as forced labourers, must be starved, given less
than sufficient to eat, often

                                                  [Page 315]


beaten and mistreated, and permitted to die wholesale for
want of food, for want of even the fundamental requirements
of decent clothing, for the want of adequate shelter or
indeed sometimes just because they produced too little.

Now, these conditions of deportation are vividly described
in Document 054-PS, which is a report made to the defendant
Rosenberg, concerning the treatment of Ukrainian labour. I
wish to refer to Document 054-PS, which is Exhibit USA 198.
Before quoting from it directly, according to this report
the plight of these hapless victims was aggravated because
many were dragged off without opportunity to collect their
possessions. Indeed, men and women were snatched from bed
and lodged in cellars, pending deportation. Some arrived in
night clothing. Brutal guards beat them. They were locked in
railroad cars for long periods without any toilet facilities
at all, without food, without water, without heat. The women
were subjected to physical and moral indignities and
indecencies during medical examinations.

I refer now specifically to this Document 054-PS, which
consists of a covering letter to the defendant Rosenberg,
first of all, and is signed by one Theurer - a Lieutenant in
the Wehrmacht-to which is attached a copy of a report by the
Commandant of the Collecting Centre for Ukrainian
Specialists at Charkow, and it also consists of a letter
written by one of the specialists, in the Rosenberg office -
no, by one of the workers, not in the Rosenberg office, but
one of the specialists they were recruiting, by the name of
Grigori. I wish to quote from the report at Page 2, starting
at Paragraph 4 of the English text, and in the German text
it appears at Page 3, Paragraph 4. Quoting directly from
that page of the English text:-

   "The starosts, that is the village elders, are
   frequently corruptible, they continue to have the
   skilled workers, whom they drafted, dragged from their
   beds at night to be locked up in cellars until they are
   shipped. Since the male and female workers often are not
   given any time to pick up their luggage, and so forth,
   many arrive at the Collecting Centre for Skilled Workers
   with entirely insufficient equipment (without shoes,
   only two dresses, no eating and drinking utensils, no
   blankets, etc.). In particularly extreme cases, new
   arrivals therefore have to be sent back again
   immediately to get the things most necessary for them.
   If people do not come along at once, threatening and
   beating of skilled workers by the above-mentioned
   militia is a daily occurrence and is reported from most
   of the communities. In some cases women were beaten
   until they could no longer march. One bad case in
   particular was reported by me to the commander of the
   civil police here (Colonel Samek) for severe punishment
   (place Sozokinkow, district Dergatschni). The
   encroachments of the starosts; and the militia are of a
   particularly grave nature because they usually justify
   themselves by claiming that all this is done in the name
   of the German Armed Forces. In reality, the latter have
   conducted themselves throughout in a highly
   understanding manner toward the skilled workers and the
   Ukrainian population. The same, however, cannot be said
   of some of the administrative agencies. To illustrate
   this, be it mentioned that a woman once arrived dressed
   in little more than a shirt."

Passing now to Page 4 of this same document, starting with
the tenth line of the third paragraph and in the German text
it appears at Page 5, Paragraph 2. Quoting directly again:-

                                                  [Page 316]


   "On the basis of reported incidents, attention must be
   called to the fact that it is irresponsible to keep
   workers locked in the cars for many hours so that they
   cannot even take care of the calls of nature. It is
   evident that the people of a transport must be given an
   opportunity from time to time, to get drinking water, to
   wash, and to relieve themselves. Cars have been shown in
   which people had made holes so that they could take care
   of the calls of nature. Persons should, if possible,
   relieve themselves well before reaching the larger
   stations."

Turning to Page 5 of the same document, Paragraph 12, in the
German text it appears at Page 6, Paragraph 1:-

   "The following abuses were reported from the delousing
   stations: In the women's and girls' shower rooms,
   services were partly performed by men, or men would join
   in or even help with the soaping and, on the other hand,
   there were female personnel in the men's shower rooms;
   men also for some time were taking photographs in the
   women's shower rooms. Since mainly Ukrainian peasants
   were transported in the last months, as far as the
   female portion of these are concerned, they were mostly
   of a high moral standard and used to strict decency, and
   they must have considered such a treatment as a national
   degradation. The above-mentioned abuses have been,
   according to our knowledge, settled by the intervention
   of the transport commanders. The reports of the
   photographing were made from Halle; the reports about
   the other incidents were made from Kiewerce. Such
   incidents, in complete disregard of honour and respect
   of the Greater German Reich, may still occur again here
   or there."

Sick and infirm people of the occupied countries were taken
indiscriminately with the rest. Those who managed to survive
the trip into Germany, but who arrived too sick to work,
were returned like cattle together with those who fell ill
at work, because they were of no further use to the Germans.
The return trip took place under the same terrible
conditions as the initial journey, and without any kind of
medical supervision. Death came to many and their corpses
were unceremoniously dumped out of the cars, with no
provision for burial.

I quote from Page 3, Paragraph 3 of Document 054-PS. In the
German text it appears at Page 2, Paragraph 3. Quoting
directly:-

   "Very depressing for the morale of the skilled workers
   and the population is the effect of those persons
   shipped back from Germany for having become disabled or
   not having been fit for labour commitment from the very
   beginning. Several times already transports of skilled
   workers on their way to Germany have crossed returning
   transports of such disabled persons, and have stood on
   the tracks alongside of each other for a long time.
   These returning transports are insufficiently cared for.
   Sick, injured or weak people, mostly 56 to 60 in a car,
   are usually escorted by only three to four men. There is
   neither sufficient care nor enough food. Those returning
   frequently made unfavourable - but surely exaggerated -
   statements about their treatment in Germany and on the
   way. As a result of all this and of what the people
   could see with their own eyes, a psychosis of fear was
   evoked among the specialist workers, that is, about the
   whole transport to Germany. Several transport leaders of
   the 62nd and 63rd in particular reported thereto in
   detail. In one case the leader of the transport of
   skilled workers
   
                                                  [Page 317]
   
   observed with his own eyes how a person who died of
   hunger was unloaded from a returning transport on the
   side track. (First Lt. Hofman of the 63rd Transport
   Station, Darniza.) Another time it was reported that
   three dead had to be deposited by the side of the tracks
   on the way and had to be left behind unburied by the
   escort. It is also regrettable that these disabled
   persons arrive here without any identification.
   According to the reports of the transport commanders,
   one gets the impression that these persons unable to
   work, are assembled, penned into the wagons and sent
   off, provided with only a few male escorts, and without
   special care for food and medical or other attendance.
   The Labour Office at the place of arrival as well as the
   transport commanders confirm this impression."

Incredible as it may seem, mothers in the throes of
childbirth shared cars with those infected with tuberculosis
or venereal diseases. Babies, when born, were hurled out of
these car windows and dying persons lay on the bare floors
of freight cars without even the small comfort of straw.

I refer to Document 984-PS, which is Exhibit USA 199. This
document is an inter-departmental report, prepared by Dr.
Gutkelch, in the defendant Rosenberg's Ministry and it is
dated 30th September, 1942. I wish to quote from Page 10 of
the English text, starting with the fourth line from the top
of the page. In the German text it appears at Page 22,
Paragraph 1. Quoting directly from that paragraph:-

   "How necessary this interference was is shown by the
   fact that this train with returning labourers had
   stopped at the same place where a train with newly
   recruited Eastern labourers had stopped. Because of the
   corpses in the trainload of returning labourers, a
   catastrophe might have been precipitated had it not been
   for the mediation of Mrs. Miller. In this train women
   gave birth to babies who were thrown out of the windows
   during the journey, people having tuberculosis and
   venereal diseases rode in the same car, dying people lay
   in freight cars without straw, and one of the dead was
   thrown on the railway embankment. The same must have
   occurred in other returning transports."

Some aspects of the Nazi transport were described by the
defendant Sauckel himself in a decree which he issued on
20th July, 1942; and I  refer specifically to Document 2241-
PS 3, which is Exhibit USA 200. I ask that the Tribunal take
judicial notice of the original decree, which is published
in Section B 1 a, at Page 48 e, of a book entitled Die
Beschaeftigung von Auslaendischen Arbeitskraeften in
Deutschland. I quote from Page 1, Paragraph 2, of the
English text, and I am quoting directly:-

"According to reports of transportation commanders
(Transportleiter) presented to me, the special trains
provided for this purpose have frequently been in a really
deficient condition. Numerous window panes have been missing
in the coaches. Old French coaches without lavatories have
been partly employed so that the workers had to fit up an
emptied compartment as a lavatory. In other cases, the
coaches were not heated in winter so that the lavatories
quickly became unusable because the water system was frozen
and the flushing apparatus was therefore without water."

The Tribunal will unquestionably have noticed, or observed,
that a number of the documents which we have referred to -
and which we have offered - consist of complaints by
functionaries of the defendant Rosenberg's Ministry,

                                                  [Page 318]

or by others, concerning the conditions under which foreign
workers were recruited and lived. I think it is appropriate
to say that these documents have been presented by the
prosecution really for two purposes, or for a dual purpose,
to establish, first, the facts recited therein, of course,
but also to show that these conspirators had knowledge of
these conditions, and that notwithstanding their knowledge
of these conditions, these conspirators continued to
countenance and assist in this enslavement programme of a
vast number of citizens of occupied countries.

Once within Germany, slave labourers were subjected to
almost unbelievable brutality and degradation by their
captors; and the character of this treatment was in part
made plain by the conspirators' own statements, as in
Document 016-PS, which is in evidence as Exhibit USA 168,
and I refer to Page 12, Paragraph 2 of the English text; in
the German text it appears at Page 17, Paragraph 4. Quoting
directly:-

   "All the men must be fed, sheltered, and treated in such
   a way as to exploit them to the highest possible extent
   at the lowest conceivable degree of expenditure."

Force and brutality as instruments of production found a
ready adherent in the defendant Speer who, in the presence
of the defendant Sauckel, said at a meeting of the Central
Planning Board - and I refer to Document R-124, which is
already in evidence and which has been referred to
previously. It is Exhibit USA 179. I refer particularly to
Page 42 of that Document R-124, and Paragraph 2 of that Page
42. The defendant Speer, speaking at that meeting, stated:-

   "We must also discuss the slackers. Ley has ascertained
   that the sick-list decreased to one-fourth or one-fifth
   in factories where there are doctors on the staff to
   examine the sick men. There is nothing to be said
   against S.S. and police taking drastic steps and putting
   those known as slackers into concentration camps. There
   is no alternative. Let it happen several times and the
   news will soon go around."

At a later meeting of the Central Planning Board, Field
Marshal Milch agreed that so far as workers were concerned-
and again I refer to Document R-124, and to Page 26,
Paragraph 2 in the English text; and in the German text at
Page 17, Paragraph 1. Field Marshal Milch, speaking at a
meeting of the Central Planning Board when the defendant
Speer was present, stated - and I am quoting directly:-

   "The list of the shirkers should be entrusted to
   Himmler's trustworthy hands."

THE PRESIDENT: Page 17?

MR. DODD: No, your Honour; Page 26, Paragraph 2. The Page 17
was of the German text; in the English text it is at Page
26.

THE PRESIDENT: Thank you.

MR. DODD: Milch made particular reference to foreign workers
- again in this Document R-124, at Page 26, Paragraph 3; in
the German text it appears at Page 18, Paragraph 3 - when he
said, and I am quoting him directly:-

   "It is therefore not possible to exploit fully all the
   foreigners unless we put them on piece-work rates, or
   are authorised to take measures against those who are
   not doing their utmost."

                                                  [Page 319]
The policy as actually executed was even more fearful than
the policy as expressed by the conspirators. Indeed, these
impressed workers were under-fed and overworked, and they
were forced to live in grossly overcrowded camps where they
were held as virtual prisoners, and were otherwise denied
adequate shelter, adequate clothing, adequate medical care
and treatment. As a consequence, they suffered from many
diseases and ailments. They were generally forced to work
long hours, up to and beyond the point of exhaustion. They
were beaten and subjected to all manner of inhuman
indignities.

An example of this mistreatment is found in the conditions
which prevailed in the Krupp factories. Foreign labourers at
the Krupp works were given insufficient food to enable them
to perform the work required of them.


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