The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)
Nuremberg, war crimes, crimes against humanity

The Trial of German Major War Criminals

Sitting at Nuremberg, Germany
December 3 to December 14, 1945

Eighteenth Day: Wednesday, 12th December, 1945
(Part 2 of 9)

[MR. DODD continuies]

[Page 303]

We say it is clear that the demands made by the defendant Sauckel resulted in the deportation of civilians from the occupied Eastern territories. The defendant Speer has recorded conferences with Hitler on 10th, 11th and 12th August, 1942, and this record is contained in Document R- 124, which is already in as Exhibit USA 179. I now wish to quote from Page 34, of that same document in Paragraph 1 of the English text. In the German text it appears at Page 23, Paragraph 2. Quoting directly:-
"Gauleiter Sauckel promises to make Russian labour available for the fulfilment of the iron and coal programme and reports that - if required - he can supply a further million Russian labourers for the German armament industry up to and including October, 1942. He has already supplied 1,000,000 for the industry and 700,000 for agriculture. In this connection the Fuehrer states that the problem of providing labour can be solved in all cases and to any extent; he authorises Gauleiter Sauckel to take all measures required. He would agree to any necessary compulsion in the East as well as in the West if this question could not be solved on a voluntary basis."
In order to meet these demands of 1,700,000, 100,000 here and there, the Nazi conspirators made terror, violence and arson, as we said yesterday,

[Page 304]

fundamental instruments of their labour enslavement policy. Twenty days after the defendant Sauckel's demands Of 5th October, 1942, a top official in the defendant Rosenberg's Ministry described the measures taken to meet these demands. I wish to refer now to Document 294-PS, which is Exhibit USA 185. This document is a top secret memorandum dated 25th October, 1942, signed by one Braeutigam. I wish to quote from Page 4 Of the English text starting with the last paragraph, as follows. In the German text it appears at Page 8, Paragraph 2. Quoting directly:-
"We now experienced the grotesque picture of having to recruit millions of labourers from the Occupied Eastern Territories, after prisoners of war have died of hunger like flies, in order to fill the gaps that have formed within Germany. Now the food question no longer existed, In the prevailing limitless abuse of the Slavic humanity, 'recruiting' methods were used which probably have their origin in the blackest periods of the slave trade. A regular man-hunt was inaugurated. Without consideration of health or age the people were shipped to Germany where it turned out immediately that more than 100,000 had to be sent back because of serious illnesses and other incapabilities for work."
The defendant Rosenberg wrote concerning these brutalities to the instigator of them, the defendant Sauckel, and we refer now to Document 018-PS, which is Exhibit USA 186.

THE PRESIDENT: Mr. Dodd, from where did that top secret document come?

MR. DODD: It came from the files of the defendant Rosenberg.

This Document, 018-PS, is a letter from the defendant Rosenberg to the defendant Sauckel, and it is dated the 21st December, 1942, with attachments. I wish to quote from Page 1 of the English text starting at the middle of the second paragraph which reads as follows:-

"The report I have received shows that the increase of the guerrilla bands in the occupied Eastern Regions is largely due to the fact that the methods used for procuring labourers in these regions are felt to be forced measures of mass deportations, so that the endangered persons prefer to escape their fate by withdrawing into the woods or going to the guerrilla bands."
Passing now to Page 4 of the same English text, there is an attachment to Rosenberg's letter consisting of parts excerpted from letters of residents of the occupied Eastern territories, excerpted by Nazi censors apparently. In the German text it appears at Page 6, Paragraphs 1 and 2. Starting the quotation:-
"At our place, new things have happened. People are being taken to Germany. On 5th December, some people from the Kowkuski district were scheduled to go, but they did not want to and the village was set afire. They threatened to do the same thing in Borowytschi, as not all who were scheduled to depart wanted to go. Thereupon three truck loads of Germans arrived and set fire to their houses. In Wrasnytschi, twelve houses and in Borowytschi, three houses were burned.

On 1st October a new conscription of labour forces took place. I will describe the most important events to you. You cannot imagine the bestiality. You probably remember what we were told about the Soviets during their rule of the Poles. We did not believe it then, and

[Page 305]

now it seems just as incredible. The order came to supply 25 workers, but no one reported. All had fled. Then the German militia came and began to ignite the houses of those who had fled. The fire became very violent, since it had not rained for two months. In addition the grain stacks were in the farm yards. You can imagine what took place. The people who had hurried to the scene were forbidden to extinguish the flames and were beaten and arrested, so that seven homesteads burned down. The policemen meanwhile ignited other houses. The people fell on their knees and kissed the policemen's hands, but they beat them with rubber truncheons and threatened to burn down the whole village. I do not know how this would have ended if Sapurkany had not intervened. He promised that there would be labourers by morning. During the fire the militia went through the adjoining villages, seized the labourers, and put them under arrest. Wherever they did not find any labourers, they detained the parents, until the children appeared. That is how they raged throughout the night in Bieloserka. The workers who had not yet appeared by then were to be shot. All schools were closed and the married teachers were sent to work here, while the unmarried ones go to work in Germany. They are now catching humans like the dog-catchers used to catch dogs. They have already been hunting for one week and have not yet got enough. The imprisoned workers are locked in the schoolhouse. They cannot even go to perform their natural functions, but have to do it like pigs in the same room. People from many villages went on a certain day to a pilgrimage to the Monastery Potschaew. They were all arrested, locked in, and will be sent to work. Among them there are lame, blind and aged people."
Despite the fact that the defendant Rosenberg wrote this letter with this attachment, we say he nevertheless countenanced the use of force in order to furnish slave labour to Germany and admitted his responsibility for the "unusual and hard measures" that were employed. I refer to excerpts from the transcript of an interrogation under oath of the defendant Rosenberg on 6th October, 1945, which is Exhibit USA 187, and I wish to quote from Page 1 of the English text starting with the ninth paragraph.

THE PRESIDENT: You have not given us the PS number.

MR. DODD: It has no PS number.

THE PRESIDENT: I beg your pardon. Has a copy of it been given to Rosenberg's counsel?

MR. DODD: Yes, it has been. It is at the end of the document book, if your Honour pleases, the document book the Tribunal has.


DR. ALFRED THOMA (Counsel for defendant Rosenberg): In the name of my client, I object to the reading of this document for the following reasons. My client has been asked in the preliminary hearings several times about these questions concerning employment of labour. He declared that the defendant Sauckel, by virtue of plenary authority received from the Fuehrer and by order of the Plenipotentiary for the Four Year Plan, had the right to give him orders and that he (the defendant Rosenberg), despite this, demanded a recruitment of labour on a voluntary basis; that this was carried through, and that Sauckel agreed, providing the quota and the time

[Page 306]

limit could be met. Rosenberg further stated that his Ministry demanded in joint meetings that the quota be reduced and had in part been granted such a reduction.

This document which is going to be presented does not say anything about all these statements. The document which is to be presented contains only fragments of this declaration.

In order to give the Court a complete picture and in order to give the defence the possibility of a complete survey, I ask the Court to request the prosecution to present the record of the entire declaration and then, before this document is presented officially, to discuss the translation with the defence in order to prevent misunderstandings.

THE PRESIDENT: I am not sure that I understand your objection. You say, as I understood it, that Sauckel had authority from Hitler; is that right?


THE PRESIDENT: And that Rosenberg was carrying out that authority.


THE PRESIDENT: But all that counsel for the prosecution is attempting to do at the moment is to put in evidence an interrogation of Rosenberg. With reference to that, you ask that he should put in the whole interrogation?


THE PRESIDENT: Well, we do not know yet whether he intends to put in the whole interrogation or a part of it.

DR. THOMA: I know only one thing. I have the document which the prosecution wishes to submit already in my hands, and I can see that it contains only fragments of the whole interrogation. What it particularly does not contain is the fact that Rosenberg always insisted that only voluntary recruitment be taken into consideration and that Rosenberg desired a reduction of the quotas, This is not contained in the document that is to be submitted.

THE PRESIDENT: If counsel for the prosecution reads a part of the interrogation, and you wish to refer to another part of the interrogation, in order that the part he has read should not be misleading, you will be at liberty to do so, when he has read his part of the interrogation; is that clear?

DR. THOMA: Yes. Then I will request the Tribunal to ask counsel for the prosecution if the document, which he intends to submit, contains the whole of Rosenberg's declaration.

THE PRESIDENT: Mr. Dodd, were you going to put in the whole of Rosenberg's interrogation?

MR. DODD: No, your Honour, I was not prepared to put in the whole of Rosenberg's interrogation, but only certain parts of it. These parts are available, and have been for some time, to counsel. The whole of the Rosenberg interrogation, in English, was given to Sauckel's counsel, however, and he has the entire text of it, the only available copy that we have.

THE PRESIDENT: Has counsel for Rosenberg not got the entire document?

MR. DODD: He has only the excerpt that we propose to read into the record here at this time.

DR. THOMA: May I please speak?

[Page 307]

THE PRESIDENT: Mr. Dodd, the Tribunal considers that if you propose to put in a part of the interrogation, the whole interrogation ought to be submitted to the defendant's counsel, that then you may read what part you like of the interrogation, and then defendant's counsel may refer to any other part of the interrogation directly, if it is necessary for the purpose of explaining the part which has been read by counsel for the prosecution. So before you use this interrogation, Rosenberg's counsel must have a copy of the whole interrogation.

MR. DODD: I might say, your Honour, that we turned over the whole interrogation to counsel for the defendant Sauckel, and we understood that he would make it available to all other defence counsel. Apparently, that did not happen.

DR. THOMA: Thank you, my Lord.

DR. SERVATIUS (Counsel for defendant Sauckel): Last night I received from the prosecution these documents in English. That, of course, is sufficient for me, but counsel for the other defendants are not all in a position to follow the English text, so that certain difficulties have arisen, and I must have sufficient time to interpret these matters for my colleagues. Or perhaps the prosecution could give us the German text - for the interrogation took place in German and was translated into English - so that the original German text should be on hand.

Those are the difficulties, and I would like to have the German translation as soon as possible.

MR. DODD: With reference to the so-called German text, the original is an English text. These interrogations were made through an interpreter and they were transcribed in English, so that the original text is an English text, and that is what was turned over to the attorney for the defendant Sauckel with the understanding that it would be made available to all other counsel.

THE PRESIDENT: But of course that does not quite meet their difficulties because they do not all of them speak English, or are not all able to read English, so I am afraid you must wait until Rosenberg's counsel has got a copy of the entire interrogation in his own language.

MR. DODD: Very well.

Passing on beyond the document which we have just referred to, and which we now withdraw in view of the ruling, but which we will offer at a later date after we have complied with the ruling of the Court, we have a letter dated 21st December, 1942, which is Document 018-PS, and which will be Exhibit USA 186 - which, by the way, is a letter from the defendant Rosenberg to the defendant Sauckel - and I wish to quote from Page 1, Paragraph 3 of the English text. In the German text it appears at Page 4, Paragraph 1. Quoting directly:-

"Even if I do not close my eyes to the necessity that the numbers demanded by the Reich Minister for Armament and Munitions, as well as by the agricultural economy, justify unusual and hard measures, I have to ask, due to the responsibility for the occupied Eastern territories which lies upon me, that in the accomplishment of the ordered tasks such measures be excluded, the toleration and prosecution of which will some day be held against me, and my collaborators."

[Page 308]

In the Ukraine area, arson was indeed used as a terror instrument to enforce these conscription measures, and we refer now to Document 254-PS, which is Exhibit USA 188. This document is from an official of the Rosenberg Ministry and was also found in the Rosenberg file. It is dated 29th June, 1943, and encloses a copy of a letter from one Paul Kaab, a district commissioner in the territory of Wassilkow, to the defendant Rosenberg. I wish to quote from Kaab's letter, Page 1, starting with Paragraph 1 of the English text which reads as follows:-
"According to a charge by the Supreme Command of the Armed Forces - "
THE PRESIDENT: Mr. Dodd, I thought you said the date of it was 29th June, 1943.

MR. DODD: Yes, I did, your Honour. That was the date on the document.

THE PRESIDENT: The mimeographed copy of the document I have appears to have as date of the original document the 29th June, 1945, and the date below is 7th June, 1944.

MR. DODD: We will get the original document.

I am sorry, your Honour. There are two errors here. The document is dated the 29th June, 1944.

THE PRESIDENT: I see. And the enclosure is 7th June, 1944?

MR. DODD: Yes.

"Answering to a charge by the Supreme Command of the Armed Forces that I burned down a few houses in the territory of Wassilkow, Ukraine, belonging to insubordinate people ordered for work-duty, this accusation is true."
Passing now to the third paragraph:-
"During the year of 1942, the conscription of workers was accomplished by way of propaganda. Only very rarely was force necessary. Only in August, 1942, did measures have to be taken against two families in the villages Glewenka and Salisny/Chutter, each of which were to supply one person for labour. Both were requested in June for the first time, but did not obey, although requested repeatedly. They had to be brought up by force, but succeeded twice in escaping from the collecting camp, or when on transport. Before the second arrest, the fathers of both of the men were taken into custody, to be kept as hostages and to be released only when their sons should show up. When, after the second escape, rearrest of both the fathers and boys was ordered, the police patrols ordered to do so, found the houses to be empty."
Passing to Paragraph 4, it is stated, and I quote directly:-
"That time I decided to take measures - "

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