The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

Nazi Conspiracy & Aggression
Volume I Chapter X
The Special Responsibility of Sauckel
(Part 2 of 3)

"*** 3. The resources of manpower that are available in the occupied territories are to be employed primarily to satisfy the requirements of importance for the war, in Germany itself. In allocating the said labor resources in-the Occupied Territories, the following order of priority will be observed:

"(a) Labor required for the troops, the occupation authorities, and the civil authorities;
"(b) Labor required for the German armaments (Ruestungen);
"(c) Labor required for food and agriculture;
"(d) Labor required for industrial work other than armaments, which is in the interest of Germany;
"(e) Labor required for industrial work in the interests of the population of the territory in question." (3044-A-PS)

Sauckel and agencies subordinate to him exercised exclusive authority over the recruitment of workers from every area in Europe occupied by, controlled by, or friendly to the German nation. Sauckel affirmed this authority in the following decree:

"The recruitment of foreign labor in the areas occupied by Germany, in allied, friendly or neutral states will be carried

[Page 925]

out exclusively by my commissioners, or by the competent German military or civil agencies for the tasks of labor mobilization."


"For the carrying out of recruitment in allied, friendly or neutral foreign countries, my commissioners are solely responsible." (3044-PS)

Sauckel participated in the formulation of overall labor requirements for Germany and assigned quotas to be filled by and with the assistance of the individuals and agencies mentioned above, with knowledge that force and brutality were the only means whereby his demands could be met. Thus, the Lammer's report states (1292-PS):

"1. A conference took place with the Fuehrer today which was attended by:

"The Plenipotentiary for the Employment of Labor Gauleiter Sauckel,

"The Secretary for Armament and War Production, Speer, "The Chief of the Supreme Command of the Army, General Field Marshal Keitel, General Field Marshal Milch,

"The Acting Reich Minister for Food and Agriculture State Secretary Backe,

"The Minister of the Interior, Reichsfuehrer SS Himmler, and myself.

(The Minister for Foreign Affairs and the Minister of National Economy had repeatedly asked to be permitted to participate prior to the Conference, but the Fuehrer did not wish their attendance.)

"The Fuehrer declared in his introductory remarks:

"I want a clear picture:

(1) How many workers are required for the maintenance of German War Economy?
(a) For the maintenance of present output?
(b) To increase its output?
(2) How many workers can be obtained from Occupied Countries, or how many can still be gained in the Reich by suitable means (increased output)? For one thing, it is this matter of making up for losses by death, infirmity, the constant fluctuation of workers, and so forth, and further it is a matter of procuring additional workers.'

"The Plenipotentiary for the Employment of Labor, Sauckel, declared that, in order to maintain the present pool of work-

[Page 926]

ers, he would have to add at least 2 1/2 but probably 3 million new workers in 1944. Otherwise production would fall off. Reichsminister Speer declared that he needs an additional 1.3 million laborers. However, this would depend on whether it will be possible to increase production of iron ore. Should this not be possible, he would need no additional workers. Procurement of additional workers from Occupied Territory would, however, be subject to the condition that these workers will not be withdrawn from armament and auxiliary industries already working there. For this would mean a decrease of production of these industries which he could not tolerate. Those, for instance, who are already working in France in industries mentioned above, must be protected against being sent to work in Germany by the Plenipotentiary for the Employment of Labor. The Fuehrer agreed with the opinions of Reichsminister Speer and emphasized that the measures taken by the Plenipotentiary for the Employment of Labor should order no circumstances which would lead to the withdrawal of workers from armament and auxiliary industries working in occupied territories, because such a shift of workers would only cause disturbance of production in occupied countries.

"The Fuehrer further called attention to the fact that at least 250,000 laborers will be required for preparations against air attacks in the field of civilian air raid protection. For Vienna alone, 2,000- 2,500 are required immediately. The Plenipotentiary for the Employment of Labor must add at least 4 million workers to the manpower pool, considering that he requires 2 1/2 million workers for maintenance of the present level, that Reich Minister Speer needs 1.3 million additional workers, and that the above- mentioned preparations for security measures against air attacks call for 0.25 million laborers."

"The Reichsfuehrer SS explained that the enforcement agents put at his disposal are extremely few, but that he would try helping the Sauckel project to succeed by increasing them and working them harder. The Reichsfuehrer SS made immediately available 2,000 to 2,500 men from concentration camps for air raid preparations in Vienna."


"Results of the Conference:

"(1) The Plenipotentiary for Employment of Labor shall

[Page 927]

procure at least 4 million new workers from occupied territories." (1292-PS)

Moreover, Sauckel, in requesting the assistance of the Army for the recruitment of 1,00,000 men and women from the occupied Eastern territories, informed Keitel that prompt action was required; and that, as in all other occupied countries, pressure had to be used if other measures were not successful (3012-PS). Finally, Sauckel was informed by Rosenberg that the enslavement of foreign labor was achieved by force and brutality (018-PS). Notwithstanding his knowledge of conditions, Sauckel continued to request greater supplies of manpower from the areas in which the most ruthless methods had been applied. Indeed, when German Field Commanders on the Eastern Front attempted to resist Sauckel's demands, because forced recruitment was swelling the ranks of the partisans and making the army's task more difficult, Sauckel sent a telegram to Hitler, dated 10 March 1943, in which he implored him to intervene:

"Therefore, my Fuehrer, I ask you to abolish all orders which oppose the obligation of foreign workers for labor ***."


"If the obligation for labor and the forced recruiting of workers in the East is not possible any more, then the German war industry and agriculture cannot fulfill their tasks to the full extent." (407-II-PS)

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