The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

Nazi Conspiracy & Aggression
Individual Responsibility Of Defendants
Herman Wilhelm Goering
Part 7 of 11)


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On 29 January 1942 the Division for the Employment of labor in the Four-Year Plan Office issued a circular, signed by Dr. Mansfeld, the General Delegate for Labor Employment in the Four-Year Plan Office, and addressed to various civilian and military authorities in the occupied territories, explaining the various means to be used to force workers to go to Germany. The circular provides in part:

"Subject: Increased mobilization of man-power for the Ger-

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man Reich from the occupied territories and preparations for mobilization by

"On the one hand, the labor shortage which was rendered more acute by the draft for the Wehrmacht, and on the other hand, the increased scope of the armament problem in the German Reich, render it necessary that manpower for service in the Reich be recruited from the occupied territories to a much greater extent than heretofore, in order to relieve the shortage of labor. Therefore, any and all methods must be adopted which make possible the transportation, without exception and delay, for employment in the German Reich, of manpower in the occupied territories which is unemployed or which can be released for use in Germany after most careful screening.

"This mobilization shall first of all, as heretofore, be carried out on a voluntary basis. For this reason, the recruiting effort for employment in the German Reich must be strengthened considerably. But if satisfactory results are to be obtained, the German authorities, who are functioning in the occupied territories, must be able to exert any pressure necessary to support the voluntary recruiting of labor for employment in Germany. Accordingly, to the extent that may be necessary, the regulations in force in the occupied territories in regard to shift in employment and withdrawal of support upon refusal to work, must be tightened. Supplementary regulations concerning shift in employment must above all insure that older personnel who are freed must be exchanged for younger personnel to make up for it, so that the latter may be made available for the Reich. A far-reaching decrease in the amount of relief granted by Public Welfare must also be effected in order to induce laborers to accept employment in the Reich. Unemployment relief must be set so low that the amount in comparison with the average wages in the Reich and the possibilities there for sending remittances home may serve as an inducement to accept employment in the Reich. When refusal to accept work in the Reich is not justified, the compensation must be reduced to an amount barely enough for subsistence, or even be cancelled. In this connection, partial withdrawal of ration cards and assignment to particularly heavy obligatory labor may be considered.

"However, all misgivings must give way before the necessity of supplying the deficit in manpower caused by excessive draft calls into the Armed Forces, in order to avoid detri-

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ment to the armament industry. For this purpose the forcible mobilization of workers from the occupied territories cannot be disregarded, in case the voluntary recruiting is unsuccessful. The mere possibility of mobilization by force will, in many cases, make recruiting easier.

"Therefore, I ask you immediately to take any measures in your district which will promote the employment of workers in the German Reich on a voluntary basis. I herewith request you to prepare for publication regulations applying to forced mobilization of laborers from your territory for Germany, so that they may be decreed at once, in case recruiting on a voluntary basis will not have the desired result, that is relief of the manpower shortage in the Reich. I request you to inform me of the measures taken by you." (1183-PS)

On 21 March 1942, Hitler promulgated a decree appointing Sauckel Plenipotentiary General for Man Power. This decree provided in part:

"In order to secure the manpower requisite for the war industries as a whole, and particularly for armaments, it is necessary that the utilization of all available manpower, including that of workers recruited [erwerben] abroad and of prisoners of war should be subject to a uniform control, directed in a manner appropriate to the requirements of war industry, and further that all still incompletely utilized manpower in the Greater German Reich, including the Protectorate, and in he General Government and in the occupied territories should be mobilized.

"Reichsstatthalter and Gauleiter Fritz Sauckel will carry out this task within the framework of the Four- Year Plan, as plenipotentiary general, for the employment of manpower. In that capacity he will be directly responsible to the Commissioner for the Four- Year Plan."

On 27 March 1942, Goering, as Plenipotentiary for the Four Year Plan, issued a decree in pursuance of the Fuehrer's decree of 21 March 1942. This decree provided:

"In pursuance of the Fuehrer's Decree of 21 March 1942 (RGBl I, 179), I decree as follows:

"1. My manpower sections (Geschaeftsgruppen Arbeitseinsatz) are hereby abolished (circular letter of 22 October 1936/ St M. Dev. 265). Their duties (recruitment and allocation of manpower, regulations for labor conditions (Arbeitsbedingungen) ) are taken over by the Plenipotentiary General for Arbeitseinsatz, who is directly under me.

"2. The Plenipotentiary General for Arbeitseinsatz will be

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responsible for regulating the conditions of labor (wage policy) employed in the Reich Territory, having regard to the requirements of

"3. The Plenipotentiary General for Arbeitseinsatz is part of the Four-Year Plan. In cases where new legislation is required, or existing laws required to be modified, he will submit appropriate proposals to me.

"4. The Plenipotentiary General for Arbeitseinsatz will have at his disposal for the performance of his task the right delegated to me by the Fuehrer for issuing instructions to the higher Reich authorities, their branches and the Party offices, and their associated organisms and also the Reich Protector, the General Governor, the Commander-in-Chief, and heads of the civil administrations. In the case of ordinances and instructions of fundamental importance a report is to be submitted to me in advance." (1666-PS)

Since Sauckel was an authority of the Four-Year Plan, it is clear that Goering remains responsible for the war crimes committed by Sauckel as Plenipotentiary-General for Manpower. (See Chapter X on The Slave Labor Program.)

(2) Employment of Prisoners of War in War Industry. The Nazi conspirators ordered prisoners of war to work under dangerous conditions, and in the manufacturing and transportation of arms or munitions, in violation of the Laws of War and of Articles 31 and 32 of the Geneva Convention of 27 July 1929 on Prisoners of War. (See Chapter X on The Illegal Use of Prisoners of War.)

Goering had a part in these crimes. At a conference on 7 November 1941, the subject of which was the employment of Russians, including Russian prisoners of war, it appears from a memorandum signed by Koerner, State Secretary to the defendant Goering as Plenipotentiary for the Four-Year Plan, that Goering gave the following directives for use of Russians as laborers:

"I. The stronger labor reserves in the zone of the interior are also decisive for the war.

"The Russian workers have proved their productive capacity during the development of the huge Russian industry. Therefore it must be made available to the Reich from now on. Objections against this order of the Fuehrer are of the secondary nature. The disadvantages which can be created by the Arbeitseinsatz have to be reduced to a minimum: the task especially of counter- intelligence and security police.

"II. The Russian in the zone of operations.

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"He is to be employed particularly in building roads and railroads, in clearing work, clearing of mines and in building airports. The German construction battalions have to be dissolved to a great extent (Example: Air Forces!); the German skilled workers belong to the war industry; it is not their task to shovel and to break stones, the Russian is there for that."

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