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

Nineteenth Day: Thursday, 13th December, 1945
(Part 1 of 10)

[Page 346]

MR. DODD: May it please the Tribunal, at the close of yesterday's session, we were discussing and had just completed reading the excerpts from the interrogation of 6th October, 1945, wherein the defendant Alfred Rosenberg was questioned.

There have been introduced Documents 017-PS and 019-PS and I have read excerpts from them. The Tribunal will recall that they are letters written by the defendant Sauckel to the defendant Rosenberg, requesting the assistance of the defendant Rosenberg in the recruitment of additional foreign labourers. I refer to them in passing, by way of recapitulation, with respect to the defendant Sauckel's participation in this slave labour programme and also the assistance of the defendant Rosenberg. Also the defendant Sauckel received help from the defendant Seyss-Inquart, who was the Reichskommissar for the Occupied Netherlands.

I refer again to the transcript of the interrogation under oath of the defendant Sauckel, which was read from yesterday, and I now refer to another part of it. The transcript of this interrogation will be found at the back of the document book. It is the very last document and I wish to quote particularly from it.

"Q. For a moment, I want to turn our attention to Holland. It is my understanding that the quotas for the workers from Holland were agreed upon, and then the numbers given to the Reichskommissar Seyss-Inquart to fulfil, is that correct?

A. Yes, that is correct.

Q. After the quota was given to Seyss-Inquart, it was his mission to fulfil it - with the aid of your representatives; was it not?

A. Yes. This was the only possible thing for me to do and the same applied to other countries."

And the defendant Hans Frank, who was the Governor General of the Government General of Poland, participated in the filling of defendant Sauckel's quota requirements.

I refer again to the interrogation of the defendant Sauckel and to Page 1 of the excerpts from the transcript of this interrogation, as it appears in the document book:

"Q. Was the same procedure substantially followed of allocating quotas in the Government General of Poland?

A. Yes. I have to basically state again that the only possibility I had of carrying through these missions was to get in touch with the highest German military authorities in the respective country and to transfer to them the orders of the Fuehrer and ask them very urgently, as I have always done, to fulfil these orders.

[Page 347]

Q. Such discussions in Poland, of course, were with the Governor General Frank?

A. Yes. I spent a morning and afternoon in Cracow two or three times and I personally spoke to Governor General Frank. Naturally, there was also present Secretary Dr. Goebbels."

The S.S., as in most matters involving the use of force and brutality, also extended its assistance. We refer to Document 1292-PS, which is Exhibit USA 225. This Document, 1292-PS, is the report of the Reichschancellor Lammers of a conference with Hitler, which was attended by, among others, the defendant Sauckel, the defendant Speer, and Himmler, the Reichsfuehrer S.S. I turn to Page 2 of the document, beginning with the third line from the top of the page of the English text; and it is Page 4, Paragraph 2 of the German text. The quotation reads as follows:
"The Plenipotentiary for Employment and Labour, Sauckel, declares that he will attempt with fanatical determination to obtain these workers. Until now, he has always kept his promises as to the number of workers to be furnished. With the best of intentions, however, he is unable to make a definite promise for 1944. He will do everything in his power to furnish the requested manpower in 1944. Whether it will succeed depends primarily on what German enforcement agents will be made available. His project cannot be carried out with domestic enforcement agents."
There are additional quotations, as the Tribunal may observe, in this very part from which I have been reading, but I intend to refer to them again a little further on.

The defendant Sauckel participated in the formulation of the overall labour requirements for Germany, and passed out quotas to be filled by and with the assistance of the individuals and agencies referred to, in the certain knowledge that force and brutality were the only means whereby his demands could be met. Turning to Document 1292- PS again, and quoting from Page 1:-

"A conference took place with the Fuehrer today which was attended by: the Plenipotentiary for the Employment of Labour, 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 Minister of the Interior, Reichsfuehrer of the S.S. 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 for another it is a matter of procuring additional workers.

[Page 348]

The Plenipotentiary for the Employment of Labour, Sauckel, declared that, in order to maintain the present pool of workers, he would have to add at least 2.5 but probably 3 million new workers in 1944. Otherwise production would fall off. Reichsminister Speer declared that he needed an additional 1.3 million labourers. However, this would depend on whether it would 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 would 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 were 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 Labour. The Fuehrer agreed with the opinions of Reichsminister Speer and emphasised that the measures taken by the Plenipotentiary for the Employment of Labour should under no circumstances lead to the withdrawal of workers from armament and auxiliary industries working in occupied territories, because such a shift of workers would only cause disturbances of production in occupied countries.

The Fuehrer further called attention to the fact that at least 250,000 labourers would be required for preparations against air attacks in the field of civilian air raid protection. For Vienna alone 2,000- 2,500 were required immediately. The Plenipotentiary for the Employment of Labour must add at least 4 million workers to the manpower pool, considering that he required 21 million workers for maintenance of the present level, that Reich Minister Speer needed 1.3 million additional workers, and that the above-mentioned preparations for security measures against air attacks called for 0.25 million labourers."

Referring again to Page 2, the first full paragraph of the English text of this document, and Page 5, Paragraph 1 of the German text:
"The Reichsfuehrer S.S. explained that the enforcement agents put at his disposal were extremely few, but that he would try to help the Sauckel project to succeed by increasing them and working them harder. The Reichsfuehrer S.S. made immediately available 2,000 to 2,500 men from concentration camps for air raid preparations in Vienna."
Passing the next paragraph of this document and continuing with the paragraph entitled "Results of the Conference", and quoting it directly after the small figure II:
"The Plenipotentiary for Employment of Labour shall procure at least 4,000,000 new workers from occupied territories."
Moreover, as Document 3012-PS, which has already been offered as Exhibit USA 190, revealed, the defendant Sauckel in requesting the assistance of the Army for the recruitment of 1,000,000 men and women from the occupied Eastern territories informed the defendant 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. Again, as revealed by Document 018-PS, which has been offered and from which excerpts have been read, the defendant Sauckel was informed by the defendant Rosenberg, that the enslavement of foreign labour was achieved by force and brutality.

[Page 349]

Notwithstanding his knowledge of conditions, the defendant 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 or restrain the defendant 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, in which he implored him, Hitler, to intervene.

I make reference to Document 407-II-PS, which is Exhibit USA 226. This document is a telegram from the defendant Sauckel to Hitler, dated 10th March, 1943, It is a rather long message, but I wish to call particularly to the attention of the Tribunal the last paragraph on Page 1 of the English text. It is Page 2, Paragraph 5 of the German text. Quoting the last paragraph of the English text:-

"Therefore, my Fuehrer I ask you to abolish all orders which oppose the compulsion of foreign workers for labour, and to report to me kindly whether the concept of the mission presented here is still right."
Turning to Paragraph 5 on the first page of this English text, we find these words, quoting them directly:
"If the compulsion for labour and the forced recruiting of workers in the East is not possible any more, then the German war industries and agriculture cannot fulfil their tasks to the full extent."
The next paragraph:-
"I myself have the opinion that our Army leaders should not give credence under any circumstances to the atrocity and propaganda campaign of the partisans. The Generals themselves are greatly interested that the support for the troops is made possible in time. I should like to point out that hundreds of thousands of excellent workers going into the field as soldiers now cannot possibly be substituted by German women not used to work, even if they are trying to do their best. Therefore, I have to use the people of the Eastern territories."
THE PRESIDENT: I think you should read the next paragraph.


"I myself report to you that the workers belonging to all foreign nations are treated humanely and correctly and cleanly, are fed and housed well and are even clothed. On the basis of my own services with foreign nations I go as far as to state that never before in the world were foreign workers treated as correctly as is now happening, in the hardest of all wars, by the German people."
In addition to being responsible for the recruitment of foreign civilian labour by force defendant Sauckel was responsible for the conditions under which foreign workers were deported to Germany and for the treatment to which they were subjected within Germany.

We have already referred to the conditions under which these imported persons were transported to Germany and we have read from Document 2241-PS-3 to show that Sauckel knew of these conditions. Yesterday we referred at length to the brutal, degrading, and inhuman conditions under which these labourers worked and lived within Germany. We invite the attention again of the Tribunal to Document 3044-PS, already offered as Exhibit USA 206. It is Regulation No. 4 of 7th May, 1942, issued by Sauckel, as the Plenipotentiary General for the Mobilisation of Labour, concerning recruitment, care, lodging, feeding and treatment of foreign workers of both sexes. By this decree defendant Sauckel expressly directed

[Page 350]

that the assembly and operation of rail transports and the supplying of food therefor was the responsibility of his agents until the transports arrived in Germany. By the same regulation defendant Sauckel directed that within Germany the care of foreign industrial workers was to be carried out by the German Labour Front, and that the care of foreign agricultural workers was to be carried out by the Reich Food Administration. By the terms of the regulation, Sauckel reserved for himself ultimate responsibility for all aspects of care, treatment, lodging and feeding of foreign workers while in transit to and within Germany.

I refer particularly to the English text of this Document 3044-PS, Exhibit USA 206, and the part of it that I make reference to is at the bottom of Page 1 in the English text, and it appears at Page 518 of the volume in the German text. Quoting directly from the English text:-

"The care of foreign labour will be carried out.

(a) Up to the Reich border by my commissioners or-in the occupied areas-by competent military or civil labour mobilisation agencies. Care of the labour will be carried out in co- operation with the respective competent foreign organisation.

(b) Within the area of the Reich

(1) By the German Labour Front in the cases of non- agricultural workers.
(2) By the Reich Food Administration in the case of agricultural workers.
The German Labour Front and the German Food Administration are bound by my directives in the carrying out of their tasks of caring for the workers.

The agencies of the labour mobilisation administration are to give far-reaching support to the German Labour Front and the German Food Administration in the fulfilment of their assigned tasks.

My competence for the execution of the care for foreign labour is not prejudiced by the assignment of these tasks to the German Labour Front and the Reich Food Administration."

THE PRESIDENT: Mr. Dodd, do not you think that that is the sort of passage which might be summarised and not read, because all that it is really stating is that Sauckel, his department and commissioners were responsible, and that is what he is saying.

MR. DODD: Yes, indeed, your Honour, we spelled it out, thinking that perhaps under the rule of getting it into the record it must be read fully. I quite agree.

THE PRESIDENT: A summary will be quite sufficient, I think.

MR. DODD: In the same document, I should like to make reference to the data on Page 3, Paragraph 3 of the English text, which indicates, under the title of "Composition and Operation of the Transports", that this function is the obligation of the representatives of the defendant Sauckel; and in Paragraph "c", on Page 5 of the English text, under the title of "Supply for the Transport", after setting out some responsibility for the office of the German Workers Front, the defendant Sauckel states that for the rest his offices effect the supply for the transport.

[Page 351]

The defendant Sauckel had an agreement with the head of the German Labour Front, Dr. Robert Ley, and in this agreement, the defendant Sauckel emphasised his ultimate responsibility by creating a Central Inspectorate, charged with examining the working and living conditions of foreign workers. We refer to Document 1913-PS, Exhibit USA 227. This agreement between the defendant Sauckel and the then Chief of the German Labour Front is published in the 1943 edition of the Reichsarbeitsblatt, Part 1, at Page 588. It is a rather lengthy agreement, and I shall not read it all or any great part of it, except such part as will indicate the basic agreements between the defendant Sauckel and Ley, with respect to the foreign workers and their living conditions and working conditions.

On the first page of the English text:-

"The Reichsleiter of the German Labour Front, Dr. Ley, in collaboration with the Plenipotentiary General for the Arbeitseinsatz, Gauleiter Sauckel, will establish a 'Zentral Inspektion' for the continuous supervision of all measures concerning the care of the foreign workers mentioned under 1. This will have the designation:

'Central Inspection for Care of Foreign Workers.'"

Paragraph 4, marked with the Roman numeral IV, in the same text, states:-
"The offices of the administration of the Arbeitseinsatz will be constantly informed by the 'Central Inspection for the Care of Foreign Workers' of its observations, in particular, immediately in each case in which action of State organisations seems to be necessary."

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