The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

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Q. Forced labour, yes.

A. Yes.

Q. You did not know about it?

A. These people were prisoners of war, Italians, who were at
our disposal for work according to an agreement with the
Italian Government, which we had recognized. Mussolini had
expressly put these men at our disposal for this purpose.

Q. Excuse me for interrupting you, but let us not bother
with Mussolini here. I ask you whether you still stand by
the statement you made, earlier, as I recall it, that you
did not know of any forced labour brought in from the
occupied countries to Germany. Is that your statement, or
isn't it?

A. Insofar as they were free workers and free people, I
still maintain this. My point is that these were people who
had been placed at our disposal, and, as far as we are
concerned, at the time this was said, there was still an
Italian Government though this fact is forgotten today; but
at that time it still existed.

Q. I call your attention to Page 1827 of the minutes of this
meeting at which you were present, and where the discussion
you just admitted took place, and I call your attention to
the line opposite the name "Sauckel," from which it appears
that Sauckel then reported:

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

A. No, I cannot remember that at all.

Q. You have no recollection of that?

A. No, I have no recollection of that.

Q. Well, we will go on then to Conference No. 23 of the
Central Planning Board, held 3rd November, 1942. It is the
English translation, Page 27. The German text is on Page
1024, in which it appears that you were present at and
participated in the discussion, and I call your attention to
Page 1024, Line 10, to these entries of the stenographic

  "Speer: Well, under the pretext of industry we could
  deceive the French into believing that we would release
  all prisoners of war who are rollers and smelters if they
  give us their names.
  Roland: We have installed our own office in Paris. I see,
  you mean the French should give the names of the smelters
  who are prisoners of war in Germany?
  Milch: I would simply say, you get two men in exchange
  for one.
  Speer: The French firms know exactly which prisoner; of
  war are smelters. Unofficially, you should create the
  impression that they would be released. They give us the
  names and then we get them out. Have a try.
  Roland: That is an idea."

Now, your purpose was to get two men in place of one; is
that right?

A. Yes; that is to say, two people from another trade for
one of these particular skilled workers.

Q. That was your entire objective?

A. The entire purpose was to get these people and to give
them others in exchange.

Q. Now, let us take up Conference 53 of the Planning Board,
held 16th February, 1944; English translation, Page 26, and
the German from 1851 on.

                                                  [Page 293]

You will find yourself included among those who were
present, and it was at the Reich Air Ministry that it was
held. I first call your attention to the entry on Page 1863,
the words opposite "Milch":-

  "The armament industry employs foreign workers in large
  numbers; according to the latest figures, 40 per cent.
  The latest allocations from the Plenipotentiary General
  for Man-power are mostly foreigners and we had to give up
  many German workers in the combing-out drive. In
  particular the aircraft industry, which is a young
  industry, employs a great many young men who should be
  called up. This will, however, be very difficult, as
  those working for experimental stations cannot be
  touched. In mass production, the foreign workers
  preponderate and in some instances represent 95 per cent.
  and even more. Eighty-eight per cent. of the workers
  engaged on the production of our best new engine are
  Russian prisoners of war, and the 12 percent. are German
  men and women. On the Ju-52's, which are now regarded as
  transport planes only, and the monthly production of
  which is from fifty to sixty machines, only six to eight
  German workers are engaged; the rest are Ukrainian women
  who have lowered the record of production of skilled

Do you recall that?

A. Yes, I can remember that distinctly.

Q. And on Page 1873, you come forward with this suggestion:

  "Milch: The list of slackers should be handed to Himmler.
  He will make them work all right. This is of great
  general educational importance, and has also a deterrent
  effect on others who would also like to shirk."

A. Yes, this applies again to the slackers in agriculture,
as I mentioned this morning.

Q. Among foreign workers, was it not?

A. No, these were Englishmen, the slackers.

Q. Englishmen are foreigners in Germany, are they not? I do
not know what you mean, they were not foreigners. They were

A. Englishmen never worked for us. So they cannot have been

Q. What were they? You say they were all German.

A. What we understood as slackers were those people who were
compelled to work during the war and normally were not
regular workers, but were forcibly made to work during the

Q. We will get to that in a minute. First, I want to ask you
how Himmler was going to make them work. What did Himmler
do, what methods did Himmler use? Why were you making
proposals to Himmler in this matter?

A. Because Himmler at a meeting had stated that as regards
supplementary rations - the worker in Germany had She same
basic rations as the rest of the population - and, apart
from this, he received quite considerable additions which,
in the case of the heaviest workers, were several times the
normal basic rations. The general routine was that these
rations were issued by food officers irrespective of where
and how the individual was working. The suggestion was made
by Himmler that these additions should be made dependent
upon the output of the workers. This was possible in the
case of those workers who came from concentration camps,
etc., and were under Himmler. This procedure could not be
applied to free workers, hence the proposal to bring to
reason those who sabotaged work in their own country by
issuing additional rations as laid down for their type of
work only in proportion to their output.

Q. You know the difference between labour camps and
concentration camps, do you not?

A. Yes, of course.

Q. And these people who were doing work in these industries
were kept mainly in the work camps, were they not, in which
their rations were apportioned without Himmler's control?

                                                  [Page 294]

A. No, the German workers were not kept in labour camps but
they lived at home and, therefore, received their additional
rations from the local food offices. I want to stress again
that it was the German workers themselves who asked that
measures be taken, the factory foremen who were infuriated
to see that people who did not do anything, who let their
country down in times of stress, received more rations than
ordinary civilians.

Q. You still say that all you are talking about were German
and never foreign workers. Now, be clear about that?

A. By "slackers" I meant German workers; in my opinion, only
these were in question.

Q. I call your attention to Page 1913:-


This is your contribution at that point -

  "It is therefore quite impossible to utilize every
  foreigner to the full, unless we make them do piecework
  and are in a position to take measures against foreigners
  who are not doing their bit."

Do you find that entry?

A. Yes.

Q. And then you proceed to complain that:-

  "If a foreman lays his hands on a prisoner of war and
  boxes his ears, there is at once a terrible row; the man
  is put in prison. There are many officials in Germany who
  consider it their first duty to stand up for other men's
  human rights instead of looking after war production. I
  too am for human rights, but if a Frenchman says 'You
  fellows will be hanged and the works manager will be the
  first to have his head cut off,' and then if the boss
  says 'I'll give him one for that,' then he is in for it.
  Nobody sides with the manager, but only with the "poor
  devil" who said that to him."

Did you report that to the meeting?

A. That may well be the case.

Q. What did you suggest?

A. I can remember cases where foreign workers threatened and
even assaulted their German foreman and when he defended
himself, action was taken against him. I did not think it

Q. Now, you provided your own remedy, did you not? In the
next line you say:-

  "I told my engineers 'if you do not hit a man like this,
  then I shall punish you. The more you do in this respect,
  the more I shall think of you; I shall see to it that
  nothing happens to you.' This has not yet gone round. I
  cannot talk to every works manager individually. But I
  should like to see someone try to stop me, as I can deal
  with anyone who tries it."

Do you find that?

A. I cannot remember the exact words but I stick to the
point that it was an impossible situation for a prisoner or
foreign worker to be able to say to his German foreman "We
will cut your throat," and the foreman . . .

Q. Well, do you mean to say that if a prisoner of war
attempted or threatened to cut his employer's throat, that
German officers would stand up for him as against the
employer? You do not mean that, do you?

A. (No answer.)

Q. Well, we will go on:-

  "If the small works' manager - "

I am still quoting from you -

  "does that, he is put into a concentration camp . . ."

Do you find that?

A. Yes, I see it here.

Q. ". . . and runs the risk of having his prisoners of war
taken from him."

                                                  [Page 295]

Now, I am still quoting you and I want you to find the

  "In one case, two Russian officers took off with an
  aeroplane but crashed. I ordered that these two men be
  hanged at once. They were hanged or shot yesterday. I
  left that to the SS. I wanted them to be hanged in the
  factory for the others to see."

Do you find that?

A. I have found it, and I can only say I have never had
anybody hanged nor have I even given such an order, I could
not possibly have said such a thing. I had nothing to do
with this question. Neither do I know of any instance where
two Russian officers tried to escape by plane.

Q. Is there anything else you would like to say with
reference to that entry?

A. No, I have nothing to say. I do not know anything about
it and I also do not believe I ever said it.

MR. JUSTICE JACKSON: That is all that I have to ask at the
present time.


Q. Witness, I have some questions on behalf of the British
Delegation. My first point is this: You said on Friday that
beginning in 1935, an Air Force was built up in Germany for
defensive purposes. Do you remember that?

A. Yes, 1935.

Q. And do you say that it remained on a defensive basis up
to December 1939?

A. Yes.

Q. You do. I want you to listen to three pieces of evidence
- speeches made by your chief, the defendant Goering. I am
quoting from the shorthand notes of 8th January, in the
afternoon, at Page 67, Part 4. In May 1935, Goering said:-

  "I intend to create a Luftwaffe which, if the hour should
  strike, will burst upon the foe like an avenging host.
  The enemy must feel that he has lost even before he has
  started fighting."

Does that sound like a defensive air force?

A. No, that does not sound like it, but one has to
distinguish between words and deeds.

Q. I will come to the deeds in a moment.


THE' PRESIDENT: If there is any more of this laughter, the
court will have to be cleared.


Q. On the 8th of July, 1938, Goering, addressing a number of
German aircraft manufacturers, said:-
  "War with Czechoslovakia is imminent; the German Air
  Force is already superior to the English Air Force. If
  Germany wins the war, she will be the greatest power in
  the world, she will dominate the world markets, and
  Germany will be a rich nation. To attain this goal risks
  must be taken."

Does that sound like a defensive German Air Force? Does it?

A. No, that certainly does not sound like it. I should like
to be allowed to say something about that, when you have

Q. Please limit yourself, if you can, in the interest of
time, to answering my question, which is very short. Now may
I read you one further piece of evidence, the speech made by
Goering on 14th October, 1938, that is, less than a month
after the Munich Pact:-

  "Hitler has ordered me to organize a gigantic armament
  programme, which would make all previous achievements
  appear insignificant. I have been ordered to build as
  rapidly as possible an Air Force five times as large as
  the present one."

Does that sound like an air force for defensive purposes?

A. This Air Force would have taken many years to build.

                                                  [Page 296]

Q. I suggest to you that your evidence on that point was
grossly incorrect. I now want to come to my second point.
You were present at the conference of Chiefs of the Services
in the Chancellery on 23rd May, 1939?

A. What was the date please?

Q. I would like you to see the Document, which is 79-L. You
did see it on Friday, I think.

A. On 23rd May, was it not?

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