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Shofar FTP Archive File: places/germany/nuremberg/tusa/west.002



Archive/File: holocaust/germany/nuremberg west.002
Last-Modified: 1994/12/04

   "The French also had a tale to tell of the horrors of forced labour
   which would only be surpassed in nastiness by that of the Russians.
   In occupied western Europe men and women were drafted into
   designated industires. Many of them were forced to work, contrary
   to all international regulations, on military projects - 248,000
   labourers were constructing the Atlantic Wall by March 1943. Worse
   than forced labour at home was deportation to work in Germany -
   1,293,000 people were taken from the West by April 1943. In
   Germany, they worked on average eleven hours a day (twelve hours in
   one Krupp factory); for this they received the same daily wage as
   German workers. They were heavily taxed, they were fined for minor
   breaches of discipline, they might be deprived of ration cards for
   up to four weeks as a punishment.

   The worst fate of all was deportation to concentration camps. Such
   was the scale, such was the official secrecy on the whereabouts of
   those seized that the prosecution could still provide no exact
   figures for those sent to the camps. It was guessed that 6,000
   Luxembourgers, 5,200 Danes, 5,400 Norwegians, 12,000 Dutch, 37,000
   Belgians had been sent. Of the 250,000 French deported, only 35,000
   returned home; sometimes up to 25 per cent would die in the brutal
   transports on the way. The French brought witnesses to testify to
   the conditions in those camps. Maurice Lampe described Allied
   airmen worked and beaten to death at Mauthausen; 400 other
   prisoners there had been killed because the camp was becoming
   overcrowded. The defendants could not bear to hear this evidence; 
   several of them removed their headphones.<36> Madame Vaillant
   Couturier gave details of her experiences at Auschwitz and
   Ravensbrueck. Her revolting story tumbled out so quickly that the
   interpreters could not keep up with her. Biddle could only note:
   'It is hard to give the impression of the long monotony of horror.'
   <37> Dr. Duport told of medical experiments at Buchenwald, so did
   Dr. Balachovsky. Hans Cappeler described the tortures by the
   Gestapo, how his legs had been inserted into screws, how the flesh
   had loosened from his bones. On and on went the stories. Listeners
   could hear no more. The trial is 'being surfeited by the most
   murderous and revolting record of all time,' said 'The Times.'"
   (Tusa, 193-4)

   <36> New York Herald Tribune, 25 January
   <37> Biddle in Notes on Evidence Vol. III

                          Work Cited

   Tusa, Ann & John.  The Nuremberg Trial.  Birmingham, Alabama: The
   Notable Trials Library, Division of Gryphon Editions, Inc., 1990



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