The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

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Last-Modified: 1999/12/13

Q. Please read your original.

A. It says here, "to get from and obtain." Between "to get
from and obtain" and "to squeeze out" there is a vast
difference in German.

Q. To "get from" and to "squeeze out" is about the same
thing. And what about the phrase, "I will set up agencies,
which will squeeze it out of you"? What have you got?

A. "Get from," not "squeeze out of."

Q. "Get from"? Did you have any cause not to trust the
Reichskommissars? You refer to them as "special agencies."

A. Not only were the Reichskommissars of the Eastern
Territories present, but also the Kommissars of all
territories. It was a question of the contribution in
foodstuffs which the separate countries had to make, to
enable us to deal with the whole food question in all those
areas in Europe occupied by us. Before the conference I had
been told that it was to be expected, as is always the case
in such a situation, that everyone would hold back and get
the other fellow to deliver first. In other words, I did not
want these fellows to do me down. I knew they would offer me
only half and I demanded 100 per cent. We could then meet
somewhere half-way.

Q. I ask you; these demands which you made to those present
at the conference, did they not mean a ruthless plundering
of the occupied territories?

                                                  [Page 324]

A. No, the main question at this conference was "more

Q. But I am talking about plunder. Plunder can mean
plundering of food from the occupied territories?

A. I have just said I was responsible for the feeding of
practically the whole territory. Some of it was territory
which provided food supplies, and some had a surplus, and it
had to be equalised.

At this meeting the contribution to be made by each
Reichskommissar was for the most part fixed at 90 per cent.,
and I in no way deny that in making my demands at the
meeting I was worked up and used strong words. Later on the
exact figures for the deliveries were laid down and this was
the net result of the meeting.

Q. I want to draw your attention to Page 118. Here it states
as follows, I quote your words, Page 118 please; have you
found the place?

A. Yes.

Q. "It seemed to me to be a relatively simple matter in
former days. It used to be called plundering. It was up to
the party in question to carry off what had been conquered.
But to-day things have become more genteel. In spite of
that, I intend to plunder and to do it thoroughly."

A. Yes, I have found it and that was exactly what I said at
that conference. I repeat once more that ...

Q. I just wanted to ascertain that you really said that.

A. I did say that, and now I should like to give you the
reason. In making that statement I meant that in former
times war fed on war. To-day you call it something
different, but in practice it remains the same.

Q. All right. I draw your attention to Page 119. There,
addressing those present at the meeting, you state:

  "Whenever you come across anything that may be needed by
  the German people, you must be after it like a
  bloodhound. It must be taken out of store and brought to
  Germany." Have you found that place?

A. Yes, I have found it.

Q. Did you say that?

A. I certainly assume that I did say it, yes.

Q. You did say that. This sentence is naturally a logical
conclusion of your intention to plunder.

A. No, it is not. Just after that I said that I had issued a
decree authorising the soldiers to buy up what they wanted,
as much as they wanted, and as much as they could carry.
Just buy up everything.

Q. You mention soldiers. I wanted to remind you of this too,
and as you have quoted it I will refer to that sentence
again. You said, "Soldiers may purchase as much as they
want, what they want, and what they can carry away."

A. As much as they can carry away, yes, and that was
necessary because the Customs authorities had issued a
restrictive order, whereby a soldier could only take a small
parcel. It seemed wrong to me that a soldier who had fought
should not have at least some benefit from victory.

Q. So that you do not deny that the extract which has just
been read is what you really said in your speech of 6th
August, 1942.

A. I do not deny that at all.

Q. Very well. Let us go to the next question. Do you admit
that as the trustee of the Four-Year Plan you directed the
deportation to forced labour of millions of citizens from
the occupied territories, and that the defendant Sauckel was
your immediate subordinate in this activity? Do you admit

A. On paper he was my subordinate, but he was actually
directly subordinate to the Fuehrer, and I have already
emphasised that in so far as I was informed I will take my
part of the responsibility; and of course I knew about these

                                                  [Page 325]

Q. I want to draw your attention to your other remarks at
the same conference. You will find that on Pages 141 and

A. That has already been read to the Tribunal.

Q. I would like to ask you now if you found the place?

A. I have found it.

Q. You have found it. You said at this conference:

  "I do not want to praise Gauleiter Sauckel, he does not
  need it. But what he has accomplished, in such a short
  time and with such speed, for the recruitment of manpower
  from all over Europe and setting them to work in our
  industries is a unique achievement."

Further, on Page 142, you say - you were speaking of Koch:

  "Your miserable 500,000 people! How many has he brought
  in? Nearly 2,000,000. Where did he get the others?"

A. Yes, it does not read quite like that here.

Q. It was not explicit. Make it more precise.

A. Koch is trying to assert that he alone supplied all these
people for Sauckel. Whereupon, I replied that for the whole
Sauckel Programme 2,000,000 workers had been supplied and
that he, Koch, could only lay claim to have supplied
500,000, at most. In other words, Koch was claiming that he
himself had supplied the total number.

Q. Did you think that 500,000 was a small number?

A. No, that is not the point. I have just explained. Of
these 2,000,000 which represent the total supplied by
Sauckel in the past, 500,000 came from the whole of the
Ukraine, so that Koch did not produce the whole number as he
was trying to assert. That is the meaning of this quotation.

Q. But you do not deny the underlying meaning that you were
speaking here of millions of people who were carried off
forcibly to Germany for slave labour.

A. I do not deny that I was speaking of 2,000,000 workers
who had been called up, but whether they were all brought to
Germany I cannot say at the moment. At any rate, they were
used for the German economy.

Q. You do not deny that this was forced labour, slavery?

A. Slavery, that I deny. Forced labour did of course partly
come into it, and the reason for that I have already stated.

Q. But they were forcibly taken out of their countries and
sent to Germany?

A. To a certain extent deported forcibly, and I have already
explained why.

Q. You heard, defendant Goering, that a series of German
documents have been read which make it clear that these
people from the occupied territories were sent forcibly to
Germany; that the were rounded up, taken in the street,
loaded into trains and sent to Germany under military guard?
If they refused to go to Germany, or tried to evade
mobilisation, the peaceful inhabitants were shot and
submitted to torture. You have heard of these documents
which describe these methods?

A. Yes, but may I ask you to look at those documents again.
These show that recruitment was not ordered but that
registration even for forced labour was regulated by decrees
and other orders. If I had been given an absolute guarantee,
particularly in the East, that all these people would be
peaceful and peace-loving people, that they would never take
part in Partisan activities or carry out sabotage, then I
probably would have put a larger number to work on the spot.
But for security reasons, both in the East and in the West -
particularly in the West-where young age groups were
reaching the age of military service - we were compelled to
draft these men into labour and bring them to Germany.

Q. They were taken to Germany only in the interest of
security and safety?

A. There were two reason. I have already explained them in
detail. Firstly, for security reasons. Secondly, because it
was necessary to find labour.

                                                  [Page 326]

Q. And for that reason - let us take the second, the
necessity of finding labour - people were forcibly taken
from their country and sent to slavery in Germany. Is that

A. Not to slavery; they were sent to Germany to work, but I
must repeat that not all of those who were taken away from
the East were brought in to work. For instance, in the case
of Poland, already 1,680,000 Poles and Ukrainians had been
taken by the Soviet Union from the territory which the
Russians had occupied at that time and afterwards
transported to the East - the Far East.

Q. I do not think you should touch on the question of the
Soviet territories. Just answer the question which I am
asking you, which concerns the deportation to Germany of the
peaceful population from the occupied territories. I am
asking you once more: Of the 5,000,000 persons who were sent
to Germany, approximately 200,000 were volunteers, while the
rest were taken to Germany forcibly. Is that not so?

A. First of all, I must correct that. I did not say that to
Sir David at all. He mentioned the figure 5,000,000, of
which he said not more than 200,000 were volunteers. He
questioned me on the strength of the minutes of the Central
Planning Board and the alleged statement of Sauckel. I did
not agree and answered that the figure of volunteers was
much higher and that there must be a mistake in the figures.

Q. All right. You affirm that the number of volunteers was
considerably larger, but you do not deny the fact that
millions were sent to Germany against their will. You do not
deny that.

A. Without wanting to tie myself down to a figure, the fact
that workers were forcibly put to work is something I have
never denied, and I answered accordingly.

Q. Let us go to another question: Tell me what procedure
there was for sending on the directives of the O.K.W. to
various other Government agencies and organs.

A. I did not understand the meaning of that question as it
came through in translation.

Q. I would like you to describe the procedure which existed
for sending the directives of the O.K.W. to the various
units of the Air Force and other units. How were they

A. Now I understand the question correctly. The procedure
was as follows: If an order came from the O.K.W., addressed
to the Air Force, then it went through the following
channels: If it was an order from the Fuehrer, then the
order had to be sent directly to me, the Supreme Commander.
If it arose out of an order, in other words, was not signed
by the Fuehrer, and began with the words, "By order of the
Fuehrer," or "On instructions of the Fuehrer," followed by
the directives, then such an order, according to its
purport, would go to the Chief of the General Staff of my
Air Force, who again, in so far as it was important, would
report it to me verbally. If it dealt with current and
departmental matters the order would go directly to the
lower Service departments concerned without going through
the High Command. Otherwise, it would have been impossible
to work, owing to the very large number of such orders.

Q. In connection with this I would like to ask the
following: In 1941 the O.K.W. drew up a series of
instructions and orders with regard to the conduct of the
troops in the East and the treatment by them of the Soviet
population. It dealt specifically with military jurisdiction
in the Barbarossa region - Document 150-C - which has
already been submitted to the Tribunal. According to these
instructions, the German officers had the right to shoot any
person suspected of a hostile attitude to the Germans,
without bringing that person to court. This directive also
stated that the German soldiers could not be punished for
crimes which they committed against the local population.
Directives of this nature must have been submitted to you.

                                                  [Page 327]

A. I would have to see that from the distribution chart. May
I see the document please?

Q. You would like to see the exhibit?

A. I want to see whether that document came straight to me
or first of all to my departments.

Q. Please look at the date, 13th May, 1941.

A. Actually it did not come straight to me. It says on the
distribution chart, "OB.D.L. Air Force Operations Staff,
General Quartermaster." In fact, so far as my troops were
concerned, I issued very severe disciplinary orders, and
that was the reason why I have asked for the Supreme Judge
of the Air Force to be called as a witness, and have now
sent him an interrogatory, which deals with these very

Q. You do know about this order, however?

A. I have seen it here, and consequently asked for the
witnesses, since this order did not go directly to the
Supreme Commander, but to the department which I have just
mentioned. Nevertheless, if this department acted on this
order, then I do, of course, formally share the
responsibility. But we are here concerned with an order from
the Fuehrer and Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces, which
could not be questioned by the troops.

Q. But you do agree that you, in your position, would have
to know about this document.

A. No; if so, it would have come directly to me, to the
Commander-in-Chief, and not be sent to the Air Force
Operations Staff and General Quartermaster Department. It
then depended on whether this department considered the
importance of the document to be such as to require my
personal orders and directives. But this was not the case
here, since the document did not affect us as much as it did
the Army.

Q. But the document was sent to your department and
circulated there.

A. I have just said it was sent to two offices.

Q. But this document should have been reported to you.

A. No, it did not have to be reported to me. I explained a
little earlier that if every order and every instruction
which came through in the shape of an order but did not
require my intervention, had had to be reported to me, then
I should have been drowned in a sea of paper; and that is
the reason why only the most important matters were brought
to me and reported to me.

I cannot swear upon my oath that this document was not
reported to me verbally. It is possible, and I formally take
responsibility also for my departments.

Q. I would like you to be more precise about it. You say
that the most important things, or the important things,
were usually reported to you; correct?

A. That is correct.

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