The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

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Last-Modified: 1999/09/16

Now, this agreement further provided in Paragraph 12 on Page
2 of the English text, and Page 3, Paragraph 14 of the
German text, as follows:-

   "14. It is agreed that, in consideration of the intended
   aims of the Government for the clearing up of the
   Eastern problems, in future Jews, Poles, Gypsies,
   Russians and Ukrainians are no longer to be tried by the
   ordinary courts, so far as punishable offences are
   concerned, but are to be dealt with by the Reichsfuehrer
   S.S. This does not apply to civil lawsuits, nor to Poles
   whose names are announced or entered in the German
   Racial Lists."

Now, in September, 1942, the defendant Speer made
arrangements to bring this new source of labour within his
jurisdiction. Speer convinced Hitler that significant
production could be obtained only if the concentration camp
prisoners were employed in factories under the technical
control of the Speer Ministry instead of the control in the
camps. In fact, without defendant Speer's co-operation, we
say it would have been most difficult to utilise the
prisoners on any large scale for war production, since he
would not allocate to Himmler the machine tools and other
necessary equipment. Accordingly, it was agreed that the
prisoners were to be exploited in factories under the
defendant Speer's control. To compensate Himmler for
surrendering this jurisdiction to Speer, the defendant Speer
proposed, and Hitler agreed, that Himmler would receive a
share of the armaments' output, fixed in relation to the man
hours contributed by his prisoners. In the minutes of the
defendant Speer's conference with Hitler on 20th, 21st, and
the 22nd September, 1942, Document R-124, which is Exhibit
USA 179, I wish to refer particularly to Page 34 of the
English text. These are the defendant Speer's minutes on
this conference. I am quoting from Page 34, Paragraph 36,
beginning at the middle of the page, and it is at the top of
Page 26 in the German text:-

   "I pointed out to the Fuehrer that, apart from an
   insignificant amount of work, no possibility exists of
   organising armament production in the concentration
   camps, because: (1) the machine tools required are
   missing; (2) there are no suitable premises. Both these
   assets would be available in the armament industry, if
   use could be made of them by a second shift.
   
   The Fuehrer agrees to my proposal that the numerous
   factories set up outside towns for A.R.P. reasons should
   release their workers for supplementing the second shift
   in town factories, and should in return be supplied with
   labour from the concentration camps - also two shifts.
   
   I pointed out to the Fuehrer the difficulties which I
   expected to encounter if Reichsfuehrer S.S. Himmler
   should be able, as he requests, to
   
                                                  [Page 336]
   
   exercise authoritative influence over these factories.
   The Fuehrer, too, does not consider such an influence
   necessary.
   
   The Fuehrer, however, agrees that Reichsfuehrer S.S.
   Himmler should draw advantages from making his prisoners
   available; he should get equipment for his division.
   
   I suggest giving him a share in kind (war equipment) in
   ratio to the working hours done by his prisoners. A 3 to
   5 per cent. share is suggested, the equipment also being
   calculated according to working hours. The Fuehrer would
   agree to such a solution.
   
   The Fuehrer is prepared to order the additional delivery
   of this equipment and weapons to the S. S., according to
   a list submitted to him."

After a demand for concentration camp labour had been
created, and after a mechanism had been set up by the
defendant Speer for exploiting this labour in armament
factories, measures were evolved for increasing the supply
of victims for extermination through work. A steady flow was
assured by an agreement between Himmler and the Minister of
Justice mentioned above, which was implemented by such
programmes as the following, and I refer to Document L-61,
Exhibit USA 177, and I wish to quote from Paragraph 3. That
document, the Tribunal will recall, is the defendant
Sauckel's letter dated 26th November, 1942, to the
Presidents of the Landes Employment
Offices, and I wish to quote from Paragraph 3 of that
letter.

   "The Poles who are to be evacuated as a result of this
   measure will be put into concentration camps and put to
   work whether they are criminal or asocial elements."

General measures were supplemented by special drives for
persons who would not otherwise have been sent to
concentration camps.
THE PRESIDENT: Did you not read that this morning?

MR. DODD: Yes, I did, your Honour. I was reading it again
with particular reference to this feature of the proof.

For example, for "reasons of war necessity" Himmler ordered
that at least 35,000 prisoners qualified for work should be
transferred to concentration camps. I now offer in evidence
Document 1063-PS D, which is Exhibit USA 219. This document
is a Himmler order dated the 17th December, 1942. The order
provides, and I quote in part, beginning with the first
paragraph of that document:-

   "For reasons of war necessity not to be discussed
   further here, the Reichsfuehrer S.S. and Chief of the
   German Police on 14th December, 1942, has ordered that
   until the end of January, 1943, at least 35,000
   prisoners qualified for work, are to be sent to the
   concentration camps. In order to reach this number, the
   following measures are required:
   
   (1) Up to this date (so far until 1st February, 1943)
   all Eastern workers or such foreign workers who have
   been fugitives, or who have broken contracts, and who do
   not belong to allied, friendly or neutral States are to
   be brought by the quickest means to the nearest
   concentration camps.
   
   (2) The commanders and the commandants of the Security
   Police and the Security Service, and the chiefs of the
   State Police Headquarters will check immediately on the
   basis of a close and strict ruling:
      (a) the prisons,
      (b) the labour reformatory camps.
      
                                                  [Page 337]

   All prisoners qualified for work, if it is essentially
   and humanly possible, will be committed at once to the
   nearest concentration camp, according to the following
   instructions, for instance if penal procedures were to
   be established in the near future. Only such prisoners
   who in the interest of investigation procedures are to
   remain absolutely in solitary confinement can be left
   there.
   
   Every single labourer counts!"

Measures were also adopted to ensure that this extermination
through work was practised with maximum efficiency.
Subsidiary concentration camps were established near
important war plants. The defendant Speer has admitted that
he personally toured Upper Austria and selected sites for
concentration camps near various munitions factories in the
area. I am about to refer to the transcript of an
interrogation under oath of the defendant Albert Speer.

THE PRESIDENT: Mr. Dodd, do you understand the last document
you read, 1063-PS to refer to prisoners of war or prisoners
in ordinary prisons or what?

MR. DODD: We understood it to refer to prisoners in ordinary
prisons. In view of the Tribunal's ruling this morning, I
think I should state that, with respect to this
interrogation of defendant Speer, we had provided the
defendants' counsel with the entire text in German. It
happens to be a brief interrogation, and so we were able to
complete that translation, and it has been placed in their
Information Centre.

DR. FLAECHSNER (Counsel for defendant Speer): In reference
to the transcript of the interrogation the reading of which
the prosecutor has just announced, I should like to say the
following:-

" It is true that we have received the German transcript of
the English protocol, if one may call it a protocol. A
comparison of the English text with the German transcript
shows that there are, both in the English text and in the
German transcript, mistakes which change the meaning and
which I believe are to be attributed to misunderstandings on
the part of the certifying interpreter. I believe,
therefore, that the so-called protocol, as well as the
English text, does not actually give the contents of what
defendant Speer tried to express during the interrogation.
It would, therefore, not further the establishment of the
truth should this protocol ever be used."

THE PRESIDENT: Mr. Dodd, when was the German translation
given to counsel for the defendant?

MR. DODD: About four days ago, your Honour.

THE PRESIDENT: Mr. Dodd, is there any certification by the
interrogator as to the English translation?

MR. DODD: There is, your Honour. There is a certification at
the end of the interrogation by the interrogator and by the
interpreter, and by the reporter as well. There are three
certifications.

THE PRESIDENT : I think the best course will be in these
circumstances to receive the interrogation now. You will
have an opportunity, by calling the defendant, to show in
what way he alleges, or you allege, that the interrogation
is inaccurately translated.

DR. FLAECHSNER: Thank you, sir.


                                                  [Page 338]
MR. DODD: May I respectfully refer your Honour to the last
document in the document book, four pages from the end?

THE PRESIDENT: Which page do you refer to?

MR. DODD: I refer to the page bearing the number 16 of the
English text of the transcript of the interrogation and Page
21 of the German text. The answer quoted is:-

   "The fact that we were anxious to use workers from
   concentration camps in factories and to establish small
   concentration camps near factories in order to use the
   manpower that was then available there was a general
   one, but it did not come up only in connection with this
   trip." - Exhibit USA 270, i.e. Speer's trip to Austria.

THE PRESIDENT: I think I ought to say to defendant's counsel
that if he had waited until he heard that piece of evidence
read, he would have seen that it was quite unnecessary to
make any objection.

MR. DODD: Defendant Goering endorsed this use of
concentration camp labour and asked for more. We refer to
our Document 1584-PS, Part I, which is Exhibit USA 221. This
document is a teletype message from Goering to Himmler dated
14th February, 1944. I quote from the document beginning
with the second sentence:-

   "At the same time I ask you to put at my disposal as
   great a number of concentration-camp-(K.Z.) convicts as
   possible for air armament, as this kind of manpower
   proved to be very useful according to previous
   experience. The situation of the air war makes
   subterranean transfer of industry necessary. For work of
   this kind concentration-camp-(K.Z.) convicts can be
   especially well concentrated at work and in the camp."

Defendant Speer subsequently assumed responsibility for this
programme and Hitler promised Speer that if the necessary
labour for the programme could not be obtained, 100,000
Hungarian Jews would be brought in by the S.S.

Speer recorded his conferences with Hitler on 6th April and
7th April, 1944, in Document R-124, which is Exhibit USA
179, already in evidence. I quote from Page 36 of the
English text, Page 29 of the German text as follows:-

   "Suggested to the Fuehrer that, due to lack of builders
   and equipment, the second big building project should
   not be set up in German territory, but in close vicinity
   to the border on suitable soil (preferably on gravel
   base and with transport facilities) on French, Belgian
   or Dutch territory. The Fuehrer agrees to this
   suggestion if the works could be set up behind a
   fortified zone. For the suggestion of setting up works
   in French territory speaks mainly the fact that it would
   be much easier to procure the necessary workers.
   Nevertheless, the Fuehrer asks that an attempt be made
   to set up the second works in a safer area, namely, in
   the Protectorate. If it should prove impossible there,
   too, to get hold of the necessary workers, the Fuehrer
   himself will contact the Reichsfuehrer S.S. and will
   give an order that the required 100,000 men are to be
   made available by bringing in Jews from Hungary.
   Stressing the fact that the building organisation was a
   failure, the Fuehrer demands that these works must be
   built by the O.T. exclusively and that the workers
   should be made available by the Reichsfuehrer S.S. He
   wants to hold a meeting shortly in order to discuss
   details with all the men concerned."

                                                  [Page 339]

The unspeakably brutal, inhuman, and degrading treatment
inflicted on Allied nationals and other victims of
concentration camps while they were indeed being literally
worked to death is described in Document L-159, which is not
in the document book. It is an official report prepared by a
U.S. Congressional Committee, U.S. Senate Document 47. This
Congressional Committee had inspected the liberated camps at
the request of General Eisenhower. It will be Exhibit USA
222. 1 would like to quote from the document briefly, first.
from Page 14, the last paragraph, and from the first two
paragraphs of the English text.

   "The treatment accorded to these prisoners in the
   concentration camps was generally as follows: They were
   herded together in some wooden barracks not large enough
   for one-tenth of their number. They were forced to sleep
   on wooden frames covered with wooden boards in tiers of
   two, three and even four, sometimes with no covering,
   sometimes with a bundle of dirty rags serving both as
   pallet and coverlet.
   
   Their food consisted generally of about one-half of a
   pound of black bread per day and a bowl of watery soup
   at noon and night, and not always that. Owing to the
   great numbers crowded into a small space and to the lack
   of adequate sustenance, lice and vermin multiplied,
   disease became rampant, and those who did not soon die
   of disease or torture began the long, slow process of
   starvation. Notwithstanding the deliberate starvation
   programme inflicted upon these prisoners by lack of
   adequate food, we found no evidence that the people of
   Germany, as a whole, were suffering from any lack of
   sufficient food or clothing. The contrast was so
   striking that the only conclusion which we could reach
   was that the starvation of the inmates of these camps
   was deliberate.
   
   Upon entrance into these camps, newcomers were forced to
   work either at an adjoining war factory or were placed
   'in commando' on various jobs in the vicinity, being
   returned each night to their stall in the barracks.
   Generally a German criminal was placed in charge of each
   'block' or shed in which the prisoners slept.
   Periodically he would choose the one prisoner of his
   block who seemed the most alert or intelligent or showed
   most leadership qualities. These would report to the
   guards' room and would never be heard of again. The
   generally accepted belief of the prisoners was that
   these were shot or gassed or hanged and then cremated. A
   refusal to work or an infraction of the rules usually
   meant flogging and other types of torture, such as
   having the fingernails pulled out, and in each case
   usually ended in death after extensive suffering. The
   policies described constituted a calculated programme of
   planned torture and extermination on the part of those
   who were in control of the German Government .."

I quote next from Page 11 of the English text beginning with
the second sentence of Paragraph 2, a description of Camp
Dora at Nordhausen; Page 12, Paragraph 1 of the German text,
quoting as follows:-

   "On the whole, we found this camp to have been operated
   and administered much in the same manner as Buchenwald
   had been operated and managed. When the efficiency of
   the workers decreased as a result of the conditions
   under which they were required to live, their rations
   were decreased as punishment. This brought about a
   vicious circle in which the weak became weaker and were
   ultimately exterminated."

                                                  [Page 340]

Such was the cycle of work, torture, starvation and death
for concentration camp labour - labour which the defendant
Goering, while requesting that more of it be placed at his
disposal, said had proved very useful; labour which the
defendant Speer was "anxious" to use in the factories under
his control.

The policy underlying this programme, the manner in which it
was executed, and the responsibility of the conspirators in
connection with it has been dwelt upon at length. Therefore,
we should like, at this point, to discuss the special
responsibility of the defendant Sauckel.

The defendant Sauckel's appointment as Plenipotentiary
General for Manpower is explained probably first of all by
his having been an old and trusted Nazi. He certified in
Document 2974-PS, dated 17th November, 1945, which is
already in evidence before this Tribunal as Exhibit USA 15,
that he held the following positions:

Starting with his membership in the N.S.D.A.P., he was
thereafter a member of the Reichstag; he was Gauleiter of
Thuringia; he was a member of the Thuringian Legislature; he
was Minister of Interior and head of the Thuringian State
Ministry; he was Reichsstatthalter for Thuringia; he was an
S.A. Obergruppenfuehrer, S. S. Obergruppenfuehrer; he was
Administrator for the Berlin-Suhler Waffen and Fahrzeugwerke
in 1935. He was head of the Gustloff Werke
Nationalsozialistische Industrie-Stiftung, 1936, and the
Honorary Head of the Foundation. And from 21st March, 1942,
until 1945, he was the General Plenipotentiary for Labour
Allocation.

Sauckel's official responsibilities are borne out by
evidence. His appointment as Plenipotentiary General for
Manpower was effected by a decree of 21st March, 1942, which
we have read and which was signed by Hitler, Lammers, and
the defendant Keitel. By that decree Sauckel was given
authority as well as responsibility subordinate only to that
of Hitler, and Goering, who was the head of the Four Year
Plan, subordinate only to those two for all matters relating
to recruitment, allocation, and handling of foreign and
domestic manpower.

The defendant Goring, to whom Sauckel was directly
responsible, abolished the recruitment and allocation
agencies of his Four Year Plan and delegated their powers to
the defendant Sauckel, and placed his far-reaching authority
as deputy for the Four Year Plan at Sauckel's disposal.


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