The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

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DR. SERVATIUS: With the permission of the Tribunal, I will call the last
witness, Hupfauer. He is for the technical offices, especially the
German Labour Front.

(The witness Hupfauer steps into the box.)

THE PRESIDENT: Will you state your full name, please?

WITNESS: Dr. Theo Hupfauer.

THE PRESIDENT: Will you repeat this oath after me:

I swear by God, the Almighty and Omniscient, that I will tell the pure
truth and will withhold and add nothing.

(The witness repeated the oath.)

THE PRESIDENT: You may sit down.

                     DIRECT EXAMINATION
              of the witness Dr. Theo Hupfauer
BY DR. SERVATIUS (for the Corps of the Political Leaders)

Q. Witness, when were you born.

A. On 17th July, 1906.

Q. You were, for eight years, from 1936 to 1944, a political leader in
the supreme office of the DAF, the German Labour Front, in the Central
Bureau with Dr. Ley, and after that, up to 1945 you were the liaison
official between the Armament Ministry of Minister Speer and the German
Labour Front, is that correct?

                                                              [Page 133]

A. I was-

Q. Witness, you must wait for the answer until the interpreter has
translated the question.

A. Up to 1914 [sic] I wasoffice Chief (Amtsleiter) in the central office
of the German Labour Front.

Q. And as such a political leader?

A. As such a political leader. After my appointment I was from 1942
liaison official of the German Labour Front to the Armament Ministry and
from the endof 1944 I was Chief of the Central Bureau in the Armament

Q. Was the German Labour Front an organization affiliated to the Party,
wifist the political direction originated from the Party itself?

A. The German Labour Front was an organization with organizational,,
financial and personnel independence. It was affiliated to the Party.
The tasks of the political direction were, however, matters for the
Party itself.

Q. Did the leaders of the DAF, who were political leaders, have
political tasks and were they political leaders for that reason?

A. The leaders of the DAF had purely social-political tasks. These
leaders of the DAF were political leaders who were appointed as such.

Q. The German Labour Front was represented in the Gau, Kreis, and local
districts by so-called Obmaenner. Were these Obmaenner political leaders
with the Party staffs?

A. These Obmaenner were political leaders only in so far as they were
appointed as such.

Q. Were there, in the German Labour Front, political leaders who were
not active in the Party staff?

A. In the Party staff only the local Obmaenner were active. All other
functionaries of the DAF who were political leaders had no office in the

Q. Was the number of these who had no office very great, but were
nevertheless political leaders in the DAF?

A. The majority of the functionaries who were political leaders held no
office in the Party.

Q. Can you estimate approximately how many people there were?

A. I cannot give a figure nor can I give a percentage, but in the
offices of which I was in charge it was by far the majority.

Q. What was the occupation and duty of these political leaders who were
not on the staff?

A. The political leaders who were not on the Party staff had the same
duties as those who were on the Party staff, consequently
social-political and technical tasks.

Q. All persons holding office in the DAF, the functionaries, were called
Amtswalter, is that correct?

A. Yes.

Q. Were all these Amtswalter appointed at the same time as political

A. No, only part of the Amtswalter were appointed. For example, it could
happen and it did happen that if there were two functionaries who
directed equally important offices, one was a political leader and the
other was not. It also happened that the superior did not have the rank
of political leader, but his colleague, his subordinate, was a political

Q. What was the purpose of appointing political leaders. Did such
officials receive special political tasks and special rights?

A. Special tasks and special rights were not connected with the
appointment as political leader.

Q. What was then the sense of appointing them as such?

A. That was essentially for representational purposes and, in effect, it
was connected with the authority-of the Party abroad, the economy and
the State, but was not conne&ed with the office, as such.

                                                              [Page 134]

Q. What were the duties of the political leaders as Obmaenner in the
Party staffs?

A. The Obmaenner who were political leaders in the Party staff had to
advise the Hoheitstraeger, with regard to their own specialized branch.

Q. What was the numerical relationship of the political leaders of the
DAF to the total number of all political leaders. Did they constitute a
considerable part?

A. The DAF was a membership organization consisting of about 20,000,000
persons. The organization therefore extended to the local districts and
to the factories. Thus it had a large number of functionaries, and
therefore a large number of these functionaries were political leaders.
This explains the fact that the majority of all the political leaders
most certainly belonged to the DAF.

Q. The DAF was a so-called affiliated formation. Are you in a position
to testify on the position of the political leaders in any other
professional or technical organizations?

A. As an Amtsleiter of the DAF, I was, of course, in contact with the
functionaries of other organizations. I can, therefore, give information
on these organizations not in detail but in principle.

Q. Was the position of the political leaders in these professional and
technical organizations and in the social organizations regulated in the
same way as in the DAF?

A. It was essentially organized in the same way; that is, the local
leaders of these formations were also bound up in the Party. They had no
duties of political leadership, but as leaders of organizations they had
to look after the interests of their members.

Q. Within this specialized formation, were there also political leaders
who were not active in the Party agencies, for example, in the NSV?

A. There also were political leaders who were not on the Party staff.

Q. Can you give us the most important of these specialized formations,
professional organizations, and the corresponding offices in the Gau,
Kreis and Ortsgruppenleitung?

A. I can recall the following formations and their corresponding
offices: The NSV was the office for People's Welfare; the Teachers'
League was the office for education; the Civil Servants' League was the
office for civil service problems; the German Technicians' League was
the office for technology; the Lawyers' League was the legal office.

Q. Are these offices which you havp added in each case established in
the Party offices in the Party Staff?

A. These offices are established in the Party Staff and were generally
directed by the local leader of the organization of the affiliated

Q. What were the tasks of these political leaders?

A. The tasks of these political leaders were also specialized tasks and
not political leadership tasks. It was their duty to look after the
interests of their members.

Q. What was the numerical relationship of these political leaders of the
specialized groups, those who sat on the Party Staff as heads of these
offices, including those who were in the associations? Was that also a
great number?

A. The number depended mainly on the size of the organization.

Q. What was probably the largest of those mentioned?

A. Of the organizations which I mentioned, apart from the DAF the NSY
was the largest.

Q. Did the German Labour Front destroy the trade unions in 1933?

A. The German Labour Front did not really exist On 2nd May, 1933. There
were functionaries of the National Socialist Factory Groups
(Betriebszellen), called NSBO, which did not destroy the unions at that
time but took over the leadership of the unions and continued their

                                                              [Page 135]

Q. What was the purpose of this measure, was it possibly to break the
resistance of the workers against the Party and thus to remove the
internal opposition against the policy of a war of aggression?

.A. In May, 1933, the first visible effects for the German worker were
already felt by the elimination of unemployed millions. The situation
was that the German workers were again sure of getting work and bread.
Therefore, there can be no question of any resistance of these workers
against the Party. The foundation of the DAF served the following
purposes: In the first place, in order to carry out economic
reconstruction without interference, and to regulate the labour market,
it was necessary to avoid any trouble through labour struggles which
might interfere with social economy, such as strikes and lockouts. It
was, therefore, necessary to find an equitable balance between the
interests of employees and employers. This was best done in a joint
organization of employers and employees.

Q. Then the employers' organizations were also dissolved at that time?

A. The employers' organizations were also dissolved, with the view of
creating a joint organization which would eliminate class struggle,
thereby securing the essential prerequisites for the establishment of a
really socialistic order.

Q. Were not the unions taken over by force with the help of the SA, SS
and police, and were not the union leaders arrested?

A. On 2nd May, the trade union houses were in reality occupied by the
police, or through measures by the auxiliary police in which SA and SS
men and Stahlhelm men participated. For a short time, too, the union
leaders were arrested. This measure served the purpose, at this moment,
of preventing misuse of the available union funds so that the work in
these organizations could be carried on.

Q. Did the National Socialist Factory organization (NSBO) then claim for
itself the funds which had been taken over, and what did it do with

A. These union funds were not claimed for the use of the NSBO as this
organization financed itself from the dues of its members. The funds of
the unions were used in order to carry on the social work, and
furthermore they were used to guarantee the long-standing legal claims
of the union members; that is to continue paying invalids, sick, death
benefits, and so forth to these union members.

Q. Did the unions have large funds available at that time?

A. 1933 was the end of the economic crisis which began in 1930. This
economic crisis, of course, also had a detrimental effect on the unions.
It is certain that, owing to millions becoming unemployed, the union
membership was constantly decreasing and old members of these unions
were becoming unernpIoyed in greater numbers so that a great Percentage
of them could no longer pay their dues; also, a still greater percentage
of them had to draw upon the union funds, thus depleting these funds.

Q. Did not Dr. Ley himself admit that he used the union funds illegally,
and had the Fuehrer not given legal sanction to the confiscation of the
funds would not he have stood in danger of being imprisoned?

A. If I recall correctly, Dr. Ley made this statement at a Party rally
here in Nuremberg, in a report on the achievement of the German Labour
Front. He wanted thereby to emphasize that he was interested in having
this confiscation of the funds sanctioned legally, a confiscation which
had been carried out through political action. In the same speech he
speaks of the recorded achievements of the German Labour Front and
points out that these funds were used in the interest of the German

Q. Was not the purpose of the creation of the German Labour Front that
of securing an instrument to fight against the will to peace of the

A. The German Labour Front---

                                                              [Page 136]

THE PRESIDENT Is not this all contained in the summary?

DR. SERVATIUS: I did not see this summary; I do not know it.

THE PRESIDENT Well, it extends over six or seven pages.

DR. SERVATIUS: I did not see it.

THE PRESIDENT: No, but at any rate, is it not all gone into in the
evidence the witness gave before the Commission?

DR. SERVATIUS: It is unavoidable that certain things have to be brought
up here once more. I have endeavoured to summarize them, to give an
overall picture. I have finished the problem of the unions and I come to
the subject of the care for foreign workers.


Q. Witness, did not the workers suffer disadvantages through the DAF did
they not protest against the change?

A. In answer to one of the previous questions I explained that the
German Labour Front worked in the interest of its members and of German
workers as a whole.

Q. That will suffice. Did the DAF receive instructions for the
preparation of a war of aggression?

THE WITNESS: I did not hear the question.

Q. Do you know of any instructions to the DAF which refer to a war of

A. I do not know of any written or oral announcement which brought the
war of aggression to the notice of the DAF in any respect.

Q. Was the German Labour Front entrusted with care of foreign workers
during the war?

A. The German Labour Front, as far as I can recall, voluntarily took
over the care of foreign workers as early as 1939.

Q. Witness, we are interested here in the question of those foreign
workers who came to Germany during the war and particularly those who
came compulsorily.

A. The German Labour Front took over the care of all foreign workers
during the war.

Q. What did the task of the DAF consist of?

A. The task of the DAF consisted in the first place in supporting the
factory managers who, according to the law, were responsible for the
welfare of their workers. Furthermore, through its own special measures,
it endeavoured to lighten the factory manager's task.

Q, Did the Labour Front fulfil this duty?

A. The conditions were particularly difficult during the war, especially
in those districts which were the targets of enemy bombers. I may,
however, state that the German Labour Front did everything humanly
possible to care for these workers.

Q. During the severe air raids on the Ruhr in 1943 and 1944, you were
sent there by the Labour Front, especially in order to carry out the
difficult task of taking care of the workers; is that correct?

A. About July, 1943, I received an order to go myself to the Ruhr in
order to see that industrial production was maintained in spite of the
air raids, and with this object to support the competent local

Q. Do you know about the conditions at Krupp's firm in Essen at this

A. I do not know details of factory conditions at Krupp's but I can give
information about essential matters, since I myself visited the Krupp
concern two or three times during this period, not over the whole of it
but over a part.

                                                              [Page 137]

Q. What was undertaken there on the whole in the field of social

A. Essentially, there were two things that had to be taken care of,
i.e., food for the workers and the provision of lodgings. Since Krupp's,
as well as the city of Essen, were repeatedly and everlastingly attacked
by bombers, this concern was working under extraordinarily difficult
conditions and it was often necessary for outside institutions to
assist, that is, through the DAF, the Regional Economic (flice and
similar institutions.

Q. A report of Dr. Jaeger's was shown you in the Commission, Document
D-288. It mentions abuses in connection with the treatment of workers.
Does this report correspond to the facts as you found them?

A. Personally, of course, I cannot verify to what extent this report of
Dr. Jaeger's corresponds to the facts. On the basis of my own
experience, however, I am under the impression that in some respects,
matters were described in a somewhat exaggerated form by Dr. Jaeger,
certainly with the good intention of influencing the administration
offices which were to help him. I recall that Dr. Jaeger once said that
the foreign workers only received a thousand calories. I would like to
say in this connection that in Germany, even during the war, there was
never a ration of only a thousand calories a day, even for normal

Q. Can the conditions, described by Dr. Jaeger about a few camps, be
applied to all the camps of the Krupp firm?

A. Dr. Jaeger, as far as I recall, describes the conditions in two camps
and only describes individual incidents there. Conditions were difficult
at Krupp's. In spite of that, these circumstances cannot be applied to
all camps. If Dr. Jaeger points out that for weeks rain poured into one
particular hut, then I can only say that in the city of Essen rain
poured for weeks into thousands of houses, and the people who had any
shelter at all were happy there, even if the rain did bother them a

Q. In the Commission, other documents referring to the treatment of the
workers at Krupp's were shown to you. Do these give an approximate
picture of conditions throughout the Reich?

A. The following may be said about that: In the Reich we had tens of
thousands of medium-sized and large concerns, and one cannot under any
circumstances, with regard to the treatment of foreign workers in
Germany just generalize the conditions found at Essen and consider them
as normal.

Q. Were security measures taken so that no unsuitable elements from the
DAF would be entrusted with this welfare work?

A. The German Labour Front (DAF), on the Reich, Gau and Kreis level, had
an office which was theoffice for Labour Commitment which dealt
exclusively with these problems of foreigners. All orders issued by this
office to the administration offices and to the firms, constantly
reiterate in some form or another the necessity of correct and just
treatment of the foreign workers for reasons of humanity as well as for
reasons of production. To prevent men who had in any way misused their
powers from coming again into contact with the foreign workers, this
office for Labour Commitment issued to the Kreise and Gaue a so-called
cautionary card index of camp-leaders. This list contained the names of
all men who had misused their powers, listing the punishment they had
received for doing so, and it was stressed that they were no longer to
be used as camp-leaders. Orders were even issued enjoining correct
treatment, such as for instance, the prohibition of corporal punishment.

Q. Does this not show that such orders were necessary so as not to
generalize such abuses?

A. In every organization there are anti-social elements and I do not
deny that a functionary of the German Labour Front also sometimes
misused his powers. This fact was the reason for such an order. On the
other hand, this order is to be considered as a collection of all the
many decrees which had been issued up

                                                              [Page 138]

to that time. One can also say the following about it: In every
civilized State there are laws prohibiting murder, robbery and so forth,
with threats of punishment.

THE PRESIDENT: Is it necessary to go into all these details?

DR. SERVATIUS: Mr. President, it is only because the witness was
repeatedly asked this question by the Commission that I also wanted to
present it to the Tribunal. I do not see what great interest the
prosecution has in this question but it was repeated many times. I shall
now proceed with the next question.


Q. What measures were taken to safeguard the supervision and execution
of the orders concerning social welfare?

A. Besides theoffice for Labour Commitment I already mentioned, which
was in itself competent, Dr. Ley set up a so-called camp inspectorate
within the Labour Front, which was under the direction of a DAF
functionary outside the jurisdiction of the Labour Commitment office,
his task was to inspect the camps for foreigners and on his part to see
that the regulations were taken care of, should there be disorder
anywhere. This arrangement also served the tactical purpose of
preventing other organizations outside the DAF from meddling in this

Q. Were you yourself able to observe anything about the inhuman
treatment of the workers, or was there any reported to you? You
travelled extensively through the different works. What was your general

A. These things were not reported to me direct since I was not the
competent official chief for these matters. However, as deputy for the
production output of German factories I have been in hundreds of
factories and camps, and I must say that.apart from individual cases
things were in order there.

DR. SERVATIUS: Mr. President, I have no more questions to put to this
witness and I have examined all my witnesses.

THE PRESIDENT: The Tribunal will adjourn.

(A recess was taken.)

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