The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

Nazi Conspiracy & Aggression
Volume I Chapter X
The Execution Of The Slave Labor Program
(Part 2 of 2)


B. The Occupied Eastern Territories.

Deportation and enslavement of civilians reached unprecedented levels in the Occupied Eastern Territories as a direct result of labor demands made by Sauckel on Rosenberg, Reichsminister for the Occupied Eastern Territories, on Rosenberg's subordinates, and on the Armed Forces: On 5 October 1942, for example, Sauckel wrote to Rosenberg stating that 2,000,000 more foreign laborers were required, and that the majority of these would have to be drafted from the recently occupied Eastern Territories and especially from the Ukraine. The letter, (017-PS) reads as follows:

"The Fuehrer has worked out new and most urgent plans for the armament which require the quick mobilization of two more million foreign labor forces.- The Fuehrer therefore has granted me, for the execution of my decree of 21 March 1942, new powers for my new duties, and has especially authorized me to take whatever measures I think are necessary in the Reich, the Protectorate, the General-Gouvernement, as well as in the occupied territories, in order to assure at all costs an orderly mobilization of labor for the German armament industry. The additional required labor forces will have to be drafted for the majority from the recently occupied Eastern Territories, especially from the Reichskommissariat Ukraine. Therefore, the Reichskommissariat Ukraine must furnish

"225,000 labor forces by 31 December 1942 and 225,000 more by 1 May 1943.

"I ask you to inform Reichskommissar Gauleiter party fellow member Koch about the new situation and requirements and especially to see to it that he will support personally in any possible way the execution of this new requirement.

"I have the intention to visit Party member Koch shortly and I would be grateful to you if you could inform me as to where and when I could meet him for a personal discussion. "Right now though, I ask that the procurement be taken

[Page 883]

up at once with every possible pressure and the commitment of all powers especially also of the experts of the labor offices. All the directives which had limited temporarily the procurement of Eastern laborers are annulled. The Reichs procurement for the next months must be given priority over all other measures.

"I do not ignore the difficulties which exist for the execution of this new requirement, but I am convinced that with the ruthless commitment of all resources, and with the full co-operation of all those interested, the execution of the new demands can be accomplished for the fixed date. I have already communicated the new demands to the Reichskommissar Ukraine via mail. In reference to our long distance phone call of to-day I will send you the text of the Fuehrer's decree at the beginning of next week." (017-PS)

Again on 17 March 1943 Sauckel wrote Rosenberg, demanding the importation of another 1,000,000 men and women from the Eastern territories within the following four months (019- PS). Sauckel said:

"After a protracted illness my Deputy for Labor Supply in the occupied Eastern Territories, State Councillor Peukert, is going there to regulate the labor supply both for Germany and the territories themselves.

"I ask you sincerely, dear party member Rosenberg, to assist him to your utmost on account of the pressing urgency of Peukert's mission. Already now I may thank you for the hitherto good reception accorded to Peukert. He himself has been charged by me with the absolute and completely unreserved cooperation with all bureaus of the Eastern Territories.

"Especially the labor supply for the German agriculture, and likewise for the most urgent armament production programs ordered by the Fuehrer make the fastest importation of approximately 1 million women and men from the Eastern Territories within the next four months a must. Starting 15 March the daily shipment must have reached 5,000 female and male workers respectively, while beginning of April this number has to be stepped up to 10,000. This is a requisite of the most urgent programs, and the spring tillage, and other agricultural tasks are not to suffer for the detriment of the nutrition and of the armed forces.

"I have foreseen the allotment of the draft quotas for the individual territories in agreement with your experts for the labor supply as follows:--

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"Daily quota starting 15 March 1943: People "From General Commissariat White Ruthenia 500 "Economic Inspection Center 500 "Reichs Commissariat Ukraine 3,000 "Economic Inspection South 1,000 -------- Total 5,000

"Starting 1 April 1943 the daily quota is to be doubled corresponding to the doubling of the entire quota.

"I hope to visit personally the Eastern Territories towards the end of the month, and ask you once more for your kind support." (019-PS)

Sauckel travelled to Kauen in Lithuania to press his demands. A synopsis of a report of the City Commissioner of Kauen and minutes of a meeting in which Sauckel participated, reveal that:

"In a lecture which the Plenipotentiary for the Arbeitensatz, Gauleiter Sauckel made on 18 July 1943 in Kauen and in an official conference following it, between Gauleiter Sauckel and the General Commissar, the pool of labor in the Reich was again brought up urgently: Gauleiter Sauckel again demanded that Lithuanian labor be furnished in greater volume for the purposes of the Reich." (204-PS)

Sauckel also visited Riga, Latvia, to assert his demands. The purpose of this visit is described in a letter from the Reich Commissar for the Ostland to the Commissioner General in Riga, dated 3 May 1943. The letter states, in part:

"In reference to the basic statements of the Plenipotentiary General for manpower, Gauleiter Sauckel on the occasion of his visit to Riga on 22 April 1943, and in view of the critical situation and in disregard of all contrary considerations, it was decided that a total of 183,000 workers have to be supplied from the Ostland for the Reich territory. This task must absolutely be accomplished within the next four months and at the latest must be completed by the end of August." (2280-PS)

Sauckel asked the German Army for assistance in the recruitment and deportation of civilian labor from the Eastern Territories. A secret organization order of the Army Group South, dated 17 August 1943, is to the following effect:

"The Plenipotentiary General for Labor Employment ordered the recruitment and employment of all born during two years for the whole, newly occupied Eastern territory in Decree Az. VI A 5780.28 (Inclosure 1), copy of which is

[Page 885]

inclosed. The Reich Minister for Armament and Munition approved this order.

"According to this order by the Plenipotentiary General for Labor Employment (BGA) you have to recruit and to transport to the Reich immediately all labor forces in your territory born during 1926 and 1927. The decree relative labor duty and labor employment in the theater of operations of the newly occupied Eastern territory of the 6 February 1943 and the executive orders therefore are the authority for the execution of this measure. Enlistment must be completed by 30 September 1943 at the latest." (3010-PS)

Clearly, the demands made by Sauckel did result in the deportation of civilians from the occupied Eastern territories. Speer has stated in a record of conferences with Hitler on 8/10/1942, 11 August 1942, and 12 August 1942 that:

"Gauleiter Sauckel promises to make Russian labor available for the fulfillment of the iron and coal program and reports that -- if required -- he can supply a further million Russian laborers for the German armament industry up to and including October 1942. So far, he has already supplied 1 million-for industry and 700,000 for agriculture. In this connection the Fuehrer states that the problem of providing labor can be solved in all cases and to any extent; he authorizes Gauleiter Sauckel to take all measures required.

"He would agree to any necessary compulsion (zwangsmassnahmen) in the East as well as in the West if this question could not be solved on a voluntary basis." (R-124)


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