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 3 of 9)

THE PRESIDENT: Should not you read on at the top of that Page 2? You had read, had not you, "I ordered the burning down of the houses of the fugitives"?

MR. DODD: Yes, I have.

THE PRESIDENT: I thought you ought to go on after that "The result was ..." Do you see?

MR. DODD: "The result was that in the future the people obeyed willingly."

[Page 309]

THE PRESIDENT: Wait a minute. My colleague doubts whether you have read the passage at the bottom of Page 1. I thought you had read it, beginning, "That time I decided to take measures - "

MR. DODD: No, I was just beginning to read it.

THE PRESIDENT: I beg your pardon.

MR. DODD : That is the fourth paragraph:

"That time I decided to take measures to show the increasingly rebellious Ukrainian youth that our orders had to be followed. I ordered the burning down of the houses of the fugitives."
Would your Honour like to have the rest of that paragraph?

THE PRESIDENT: I think you should read the next few lines.


"The result was that in the future people willingly obeyed orders concerning labour obligations. However, the measure of burning houses has not become known for the first time by my actions, but was suggested in a secret letter from the commissioner for the commitment of labour as a forced measure in case other measures should fail. This harsh punishment was accepted by the population with satisfaction."
THE TRIBUNAL (Mr. Biddle): The Commissioner for Labour, Mr. Dodd - you just said, "an order from the Commissioner of Labour." Who was that?

MR. DODD: Well, we have discussed this matter previous to our appearance here today. The document does not identify him by name. We are not sure. The defendant Sauckel was called Plenipotentiary General for Labour, and we think we cannot go much further, and must say we do not know. It just does not appear.

THE TRIBUNAL (Mr. Biddle): Thank you.

MR. DODD: Reading that last sentence,

"This harsh punishment was accepted by the population with satisfaction previous to the measures, because both families ridiculed all the other duty-anxious families which sent their children partly voluntarily to the labour commitment."
Turning to Paragraph 2 on Page 2, beginning about two-thirds of the way through the paragraph, I wish to read as follows. In the German text it appears at Page 3, Paragraph 1:-
"After the initial successes, a passive resistance of the population started, which finally forced me to start again making arrests, confiscations, and transfers to labour camps. After a while a transport of people, obliged to work, overran the police in the railroad station in Wassilkow and escaped. I saw again the necessity for strict measures.

A few ring-leaders of course escaped before they were found in Plisseskoje and in Mitmitza. After repeated attempts to get hold of them, their houses were burned down."

Finally, I wish to pass to the last paragraph on Page 3 of that same document. In the German text it appears at Page 5, Paragraph 7. Quoting from that last paragraph on the third page:-
"My actions against fugitive people obliged to work were always reported to District Commissioner Dohrer, in office in Wassilkow; and to the general-commissioner (Generalkommissar) in Kiev. Both of them knew the circumstances and agreed with my measures because of their success."

[Page 310]

That is the end of that part of the quotation.

That Generalkommissar in Kiev, as we indicated yesterday and again this morning, was the man Koch, concerning whom we quoted his statement about the master race.

Another document confirms the arson as an instrument of enforcing this labour programme in the village of Bieloserka in the Ukraine in cases of resistance to forced labour recruitment. Atrocities committed in this village are related in Document 118-PS, which is already in evidence as Exhibit USA 186. But in addition there is Document 290-PS which is Exhibit USA 189. This document consists of correspondence originating within the Rosenberg Ministry, which was, of course, the office headquarters of the defendant Rosenberg, and it is dated 12th November, 1943. I wish to quote from Page 1 of the English text, starting with the last line, as follows:-

"But even if Muller had been present at the burning of houses in connection with the national conscription in Bieloserka, this should by no means lead to his relief from office. It is mentioned specifically in a directive of the Commissioner General in Luck of 21st September, 1942, referring to the extreme urgency of the national conscription.

Estates of those who refuse to work are to be burned, and their relatives are to be arrested as hostages and to be brought to forced labour camps."

The S.S. troops were directed to participate in the abduction of these forced labourers and also in the raids on villages, burning of villages, and were directed to turn the entire population over for slave labour in Germany.

We refer to Document 3012-PS, which is Exhibit USA 19o. This document is a secret S.S. order and it is dated the 19th March, 1943. I wish to quote from Page 3 of the English text starting with the third paragraph. In the German text it appears at Page 2, Paragraph 3. It says and I quote it:-

"The activity of the labour offices, that is, of recruiting commissions, is to be supported to the greatest extent possible. It will not be possible always to refrain from using force. During a conference with the Chief of the Labour Commitment Staffs, an agreement was reached stating that whatever prisoners can be released, should be put at the disposal of the Commissioner of the Labour Office. When searching villages, when it has become necessary to burn down these villages, the whole population will be put at the disposal of the Commissioner by force."
THE PRESIDENT: Should not you read No. 4 which follows it?

MR. DODD: No. 4 says:

"As a rule, no more children will be shot."
I might say to your Honour that parts of these documents are going to be relied on for other purposes later and it sometimes may appear to the Tribunal that we are overlooking some of these excerpts, but nevertheless I am grateful to have them called to our attention because they are most pertinent to these allegations as well.

From the community of Zhitomir, where the defendant Sauckel appealed for more workers for the Reich, the Commissioner General reported on the brutality of the conspirators' programme, which he described as a programme of coercion and slavery. And I now refer to Document 266-PS, which is Exhibit USA 191. This document is a secret report of a conference between the Commissioner General of Zhitomir and the defendant Rosenberg in the community of Winniza on 17th June, 1943. The report itself is dated 30th

[Page 311]

June, 1943, and is signed by Leyser. I wish to quote from Page 1 of the English text, beginning with the last paragraph, and in the German text it appears at Page 2, Paragraph 3. Quoting it directly:-
"The symptoms created by the recruiting of workers are, no doubt, well known to the Reich Minister through reports and his own observations. Therefore I shall not report them. It is certain that a recruitment of labour, in this sense of the word, can hardly be spoken of. In most cases it is nowadays a matter of actual conscription by force."
Passing now to Page 2 of that same document, and to Paragraph 1, Line 11 in the German text it appears at Page 3, Paragraph 2 - it says, and I quote it directly:-
"But as the Chief Plenipotentiary for the mobilisation of labour explained to us the gravity of the situation we had no other device. I consequently have authorised the commissioners of the areas to apply the severest measures in order to achieve the imposed quota. The deterioration of morale, in conjunction with this, does not need any further proof. It is nevertheless essential to win the war on this front too. The problem of labour mobilisation cannot be handled with gloves."
The recruitment measures which we have been discussing enslaved so many citizens of occupied countries that whole areas were depopulated.

I now wish to refer to our Document 3000-PS, which is Exhibit USA 192. This document is a partial translation of a report from the Chief of Main Office III with the High Command in Minsk, and it is dated 28th June, 1943. It was sent to Ministerialdirektor Riecke, who was a top official in the Rosenberg Ministry. I wish to read from Page 1 of the English text, starting with the second paragraph, as follows:-

"The recruitment of labour for the Reich, however necessary, had disastrous effects. The recruitment measures in the last months and weeks were absolute man- hunts, which have an irreparable political and economic effect. From White Ruthenia approximately 50,000 people have been obtained for the Reich so far. Another 130,000 are to be obtained. Considering the 2.4 million total population, these figures are impossible.

Due to the sweeping drives of the S.S. and police in November, 1942, about 115,000 hectares of farmland is not used, as the population is not there and the villages have been razed."

We have already referred to the conspirators' objective of permanently weakening the enemy through the enslavement of labour and the breaking up of families, and we invite the Tribunal's attention to Document 031-PS, which is in evidence as Exhibit USA 171, for we desire to emphasise that the policy was applied in the Eastern Occupied Territories, with the defendant Rosenberg's approval, of a plan for the apprehension and deportation of 40,000 to 50,000 youths of the ages of 10 to 14. Now, the stated purpose of this plan was to prevent a reinforcement of the enemy's military strength and to reduce the enemy's biological potentialities. We have already quoted from Page 3 of the English text of that document to establish that the defendant Rosenberg approved that plan, the so-called high action plan. We referred to it yesterday afternoon.

Further evidence of the conspirators' plan to weaken their enemies, in utter disregard of the rules of International Law, is contained in Document 1702-PS, which is Exhibit USA 193. This document is a secret order,

[Page 312]

issued by a Rear Area Military Commandant to the District Commissar at Kasatin, dated 25th December, 1943. I quote from Page 3 of the English text at Paragraph 1. In the German text it appears at Page 12, Paragraph 1.
"1. The able-bodied male population between 15 and 65 years of age and the cattle are to be shipped back from the district East of the line Belilowka-Berditschen- Zhitomir."
This programme, which we have been describing, and the brutal measures that it employed, were not limited to Poland and the Occupied Eastern Territories but covered and cursed Western Europe as well. Frenchmen, Dutchmen, Belgians, Italians, all came to know the yoke of slavery and the brutality of their slave-masters.

In France these slave-masters intensified their programme in the early part of 1943, pursuant to instructions which the defendant Speer telephoned to the defendant Sauckel at 8 o'clock in the evening on the 4th January, 1943, from Hitler's headquarters. I now refer to Document 556-PS 13, which is Exhibit USA 194. This document, incidentally, is a note from his own files, signed by the defendant Sauckel, dated 5th January, 1943. I wish to quote from Page 1 of the English text, Paragraph 1 as follows:-

"1. On 4th January, 1943, at 8 p.m. Minister Speer telephones from the Fuehrer's headquarters and communicates that on the basis of the Fuehrer's decision, it is no longer necessary to give special consideration to Frenchmen in the further recruiting of specialists and helpers in France. The recruiting can proceed with emphasis and sharpened measures."
To overcome resistance to his slave labour programme, the defendant Sauckel improvised new impressment measures which were applied to both France and Italy by his own agents and which he himself labelled as grotesque. I now refer to Document R-124, which is Exhibit USA 179, and particularly Page 2 and Paragraph 2 of the English text; in the German text it appears at Page 2, Paragraph 1. Quoting directly from that page and that paragraph a statement made by Sauckel on 1st March, 1944, at a meeting of the Central Planning Board:-
"The most abominable point made by my adversaries is their claim that no executive had been provided within these areas in order to recruit in a sensible manner the Frenchmen, Belgians, and Italians and to dispatch them to work. Thereupon, I even proceeded to employ and train a whole batch of French male and female agents who for good pay, just as was done in olden times for "shanghai- ing", went hunting for men and made them drunk by using liquor as well as words, in order to dispatch them to Germany.

Moreover, I charged some able men with founding a special labour supply executive of our own, and this they did by training, and arming, with the help of the higher S.S. and Police Fuehrer a number of natives, but I still have to ask the Munitions Ministry for arms for the use of these men, for during the last year alone several dozens of very able labour executive officers have been shot dead. All these means I have to apply, grotesque as it sounds, to refute the allegation there was no executive to bring labour to Germany from these countries."

This same slave labour hunt proceeded in Holland as it did in France, with terror and abduction. I now refer to Document 1726-PS, which is Exhibit USA 195. This document is entitled "Statement of the Netherlands

[Page 313]

Government in view of the Prosecution and Punishment of the German Major War Criminals." I wish to quote from enclosure "h", entitled "Central Bureau for Statistics - The Deportation of Netherlands Workmen to Germany." It is Page 1 of the English text, starting with the first paragraph, and in the German text it appears at Page 1, also Paragraph 1. Quoting directly, it reads as follows:-
"Many large or reasonably large business concerns, especially in the metal industry, were visited by German commissions who appointed workmen for deportation. This combing out of the concerns was called the "Sauckel- action", so named after its leader, who was charged with the appointment of foreign workmen in Germany.

The employers had to cancel the contract with the appointed workmen temporarily, and the latter were forced to register at the labour offices, which then took care of the deportation under supervision of German "Fachberater'.

Workmen who refused - relatively few - were prosecuted by the 'Sicherheitsdienst' (S.D.). If captured by this service, they were mostly lodged for some time in one of the infamous prisoners' camps in the Netherlands and eventually put to work in Germany.

In this prosecution the Sicherheitsdienst (S.D.) was supported by the German Police Service, which was connected with the labour offices, and was composed of members of the N.S.D.A.P. and the like.

At the end of April, 1942, the deportation of working labourers started on a grand scale. Consequently, in the months of May and June, the number of deportees amounted to not less than 22,000 and 24,000 respectively of which number many were metal workers.

After that the action slackened somewhat, but in October, 1942, another top figure was reached (26,000). After the big concerns, the smaller ones had, in their turn, to give up their personnel.

This changed in November, 1944. The Germans then started a ruthless campaign for manpower, by-passing the labour offices. Without warning, they lined off whole quarters of the towns, seized people in the streets or in the houses and deported them.

Rotterdam and Schiedam, where these raids took place on 10th and 11th November, the number of people thus deported was estimated at 50,000 and 5,000 respectively.

In other places where the raids were held later, the numbers were much lower, because one was forewarned by what had happened. The exact figures are not known, as they have never been published by the occupants.

The people thus seized were put to work partly in the Netherlands, partly in Germany ..."

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