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

The Trial of German Major War Criminals

Sitting at Nuremberg, Germany
14th February to 26th February, 1946

Sixty-Fifth Day: Friday, 22nd February, 1946
(Part 6 of 8)


[Page 231]

I think it will make it clearer if I read into the record certain parts of these minutes. I quote Page 6 of the Russian text of the document which corresponds to Pages 95 and 96 of the document book:
"Conference of 7 November, 1941, on the Utilisation of Russian Manpower. The Reichsmarschall gave the following directions on the utilisation of Russian manpower:

1. Russian labour has demonstrated its capacity for production in building up the gigantic industry of Russia. It must now be successfully utilised in the Reich. In the face of such an order of the Fuehrer, scruples are of secondary importance. The disadvantages that result from the employment of Russian labour must be reduced to the minimum, and this is primarily the concern of the intelligence agency (Abwehr) and the Security Police (Sicherheitspolizei).

2. Russians in the Operational Zone: The Russians are to be used primarily in the construction of roads and railroads, for clearing work, clearing out minefields, and in the construction of airfields. The German construction battalions are largely to be dissolved (for example in the air force). German skilled workmen belong in war industry. Digging and stone breaking is not their work. The Russian is there for that.

3. Russians in the territories of the Reich Commissars and of the Government General: Here the same principle applies as in the second paragraph. In addition, increased use in agriculture. Lack of machines must be made up by means of manpower which the Reich is to requisition in the agrarian

[Page 232]

sector of the Eastern territories. Further local manpower should be made available for the ruthless exploitation of the Russian coal deposits.

4. The Russians in the territory of the Reich including the Protectorate. The number to be employed is to be determined by the need. Need is to be decided from the standpoint that the foreign workers who eat much and produce little are to be deported from the Reich, and that in the future the German woman is not to be used as extensively in the field of labour as hitherto. Along with Russian prisoners of war, Russian civilian manpower is also to be utilised."

I shall now omit one page of this document and refer to Page 7. In the middle of the page there is section "B", entitled "Free Russian Workers".

My colleague, Colonel Pokrovsky, already mentioned the fact that the Hitlerites considered the civilian population in the category of prisoners of war. This gave them the opportunity to falsify for propaganda purposes the number of the captured Red Army soldiers in their reports on military operations, on the one hand, and to draw on them for manpower, on the other hand.

The section to which I have just referred begins as follows:-

"Employment and treatment is not actually to be other than that given to Russian prisoners of war."
It should here be noted that the minutes of the conference end with the following statement by Goering - you will find this excerpt on Page 98 of the document book:-
"Mobilisation of workers and the utilisation of prisoners of war are to be carried on in a unified manner, and they must be integrated in organisation."
Coming back to Page 7 of the same minutes we come across the following eloquent statement by Goering on the subject of labour conditions for Russian workers and particularly their wages. . . .

THE PRESIDENT: We will adjourn now.

(A recess was taken.)

THE PRESIDENT: General Zorya, can you tell the Tribunal whether you think you will be able to finish the presentation of your documents this afternoon?

GENERAL ZORYA: My intention is to finish my presentation to- day.

THE PRESIDENT: Thank you very much.

GENERAL ZORYA: I would like to read into the record statements by Goering which concern the conditions of work of the Russian workers, and particularly their wages, from the document I have just presented:

"In connection with the working conditions of the free Russians it is to be kept in mind that:

1. The worker may receive a little pocket money. . . .

3. Since his labour is available to the employer at slight expense, financial compensation from the employer is to be given special attention."

To clarify the above statement the defendant Goering makes the following further suggestion: I quote on Page 8 of the Russian text of the document, paragraph "c", sub-paragraph 6:
"Every financial measure in this sphere must proceed from the standpoint that current wage scales in the East- according to a specific Fuehrer decree - are a prerequisite for the balancing of war costs and the elimination of war debts by the Reich at the end of the war.

Infractions are subject to the severest penalties."

This is followed by two lines which are of interest, not only because they incriminate the defendant Goering for introducing the system of forced labour.

Having expressed himself so categorically against the "violation of the wage principle in the Eastern territories", Goering stated at the same conference as follows (Page 98 of the document book):

"The same applies in substance to every encouragement of 'social aspirations' in the Russian colonial territory."

[Page 233]

The covering letter appended to the minutes of the meeting contains comments which really do not add anything new to the facts already presented to the Tribunal. Therefore I shall not quote this letter.The next document which I consider necessary to submit to the Tribunal and which I beg you to accept in evidence as Exhibit USSR 379, contains a decree issued by the defendant Goering on 10 January, 1942. I will quote only the first eighteen lines of this decree, which are on Page 100 of the document book:
"In the coming months the employment of manpower will acquire still greater importance. On the one hand, the recruiting situation of the armed forces necessitates the release of all members of the younger age groups for its task. On the other hand, urgent armament production and other phases of the war economy, and also of agriculture, must be provided with the manpower sorely needed by them. For this, the utilisation of prisoners of war, especially from Soviet Russia, plays an important role.

The measures that will be necessary in this field in the future promise success only under unified leadership, and I shall use every means to attain this.

For that reason I have now granted my Manpower Commission - which had already been dealing with all the manpower questions of the Four Year Plan - the unlimited power to direct the entire manpower programme."

Later on, your Honours, the criminal activity of the fascist conspirators in organising and extending the system of forced labour acquired such magnitude that on 21 March, 1942, Hitler issued a decree creating a special department under the defendant Sauckel, who developed these activities on a large scale.

I shall not dwell any longer on these historical facts as they have already been covered by our American, English and French colleagues.

The vital bond between Nazism and the system of forced labour is especially apparent when we consider the part played in this field not only by the Nazi Government machine but by the Nazi Party itself.

I should like to submit to the Tribunal a few documents which illustrate this fact.

I present to the Tribunal as Exhibit USSR 365 a printed edition entitled "Report on the Four Year Plan by the General Plenipotentiary for the Utilisation of Manpower". This document is on Page 101 of the document book. The copy of the Report, which I present, contains the Order No. 1 and it is dated 1 May, 1942.

The first page of the report contains Hitler's decree of 21 March, 1942, appointing Sauckel to this post. On the second page there is an order of the defendant Goering, dated 27 March of the same year, explaining the duties of the General Plenipotentiary for the Utilisation of Manpower within the framework of the Four Year Plan organisational structure. And on the third page of this report there is a programme prepared by Sauckel for "Fuehrer's birthday" in 1942

Your Honours, the above-mentioned documents have already been submitted to the Tribunal by the American Prosecution. But I wish to draw your attention to Page 17 of the Russian translation of this document, which contains an order of the defendant Sauckel, dated 6 April, 1942, Order No. 1. This order is presented for the first time and is entitled "Concerning Appointment of Gauleiter as Plenipotentiaries for the Utilisation of Labour in the Gaue". This order begins as follows. I quote Page 118 of the Document Book:

"I hereby appoint the Gauleiter of the N.S.D.A.P. my plenipotentiaries for manpower in the Gaue administered by them.

A. Their tasks are:

(1) The achievement of smooth co-operation between all establishments set up by the State, the Party, the Wehrmacht and the economic authorities to deal with questions of manpower; and by means of this, the regulation

[Page 234]

of different interpretations and claims in such a way as to utilise manpower to the best possible effect."
I omit some points:
"(4) Investigation of the results obtained by utilising the labour of all foreign male and female workers. Special regulations will be issued with regard to these.

(5) Investigation of the feeding, housing and treatment, according to regulations, of all foreign workers and prisoners of war engaged in work."

In his programme for the utilisation of labour, presented - as I have already pointed out - for "Hitler's birthday " in 1942, the defendant Sauckel wrote, and this part of the programme was not read into the record by the American Prosecution, it is on Page 105 of the document book:
"IV. The General Plenipotentiary for Labour Utilisation will therefore, with a very small personal staff, make use exclusively of existing institutions set up by the Party, State and Industry, and the goodwill and co- operation of all will assure the quickest success for his measures.

V. The General Plenipotentiary for Utilisation of Labour has therefore, with consent of the Fuehrer and in agreement with the Reich Marshal of Greater Germany and the Director of the Party Chancellery, appointed all the Gauleiter of Greater Germany as his Plenipotentiaries in the Gaue of the National Socialist Labour Party (N.S.D.A.P.).

VI. The Plenipotentiaries for Utilisation of Labour will use the appropriate offices of the Party in their Gaue. The Chiefs of the highest appropriate State and economic offices in their Gaue will advise and instruct the Gauleiter in all important questions relative to Labour Utilisation.

Especially important for that purpose are the following:

The President of the State (Land) Labour Office;

The Trustee for Labour (Treuhander der Arbeit);

The State (Land) Peasant Leader;

The Gau Economic Counsel;

The Gau Superintendent of the German Labour Front;

The Gau Women's Leader;

The District Hitler Youth Leader;

The highest representative of the interior and general administration, especially of the Office for Agriculture, falls within his jurisdiction.

VII. The most elevated and most essential tasks of the Gauleiter of the N.S.D.A.P. in their function of plenipotentiaries in their Gaue is the establishment on a sound basis of the maximum co-operation between all official establishments dealing with questions of manpower in their Gaue."

In this document Sauckel addressed himself to the Gauleiter begging them repeatedly to give him all possible assistance. I would like to draw your Honours' attention to one of Sauckel's assertions as mentioned in this document. He mentions the decision of Hitler to send to the Reich "in order to help the German peasant women, four or five hundred thousand selected, healthy and strong girls from the Eastern territories", to relieve German women and girls of labour duty.

Apparently in order to explain the advantage of this measure, Sauckel wrote:

"Please believe me as an old and fanatical National Socialist and a Gauleiter, when I say that eventually no other decision in any case could be made."
The importance of the part played by the Nazi Party in the organisation of compulsory slave labour, and the extent of the thoroughness with which it went into the matter, is shown by the following document which I am submitting to the Tribunal in evidence as Exhibit USSR 383.

This document is a letter of the defendant Sauckel dated 8 September, 1942, and is entitled "Special Action of the General Plenipotentiary, for the Employment of Labour for the Purpose of procuring Female Labour from the East for Household Workers in Town and Country Households with Many Children".

[Page 235]

In the course of my presentation I shall have the opportunity to refer once more to this document. In the meantime I wish to draw your attention to the passage which has direct bearing on the role of the Nazi Party in introducing this measure. On Page 3 of the Russian text of the document which I hereby submit, there is a section entitled "Procedure for Selecting Eastern Female Household Workers".

THE PRESIDENT: Does it matter whether these women were brought into a house where they ought not to have been brought, and whether a particular German housewife was entitled to a woman worker or not? The whole point, it would seem, is whether they were deported - and forcibly deported.

GENERAL ZORYA: Mr. President, I had intended to summarise this part of my statement which you just mentioned. I am talking now about something else. I would like to show the part which the Nazi Party played in organising slave labour inside Germany, and in particular in the distribution of those Soviet women who were transported for this purpose to Germany. All this is contained in two short documents which I consider necessary to submit to the Tribunal. As for the rest, which concerns the regime which has already been described sufficiently by the American and British Prosecutions, I do not intend to dwell upon, and contemplated cutting down this part to the minimum.

I wish to dwell on this part of the document which says that applications for obtaining Eastern woman workers for household duties were to be examined by the Labour Department which would decide whether there is a real need for the worker and are then to be forwarded for final approval to the corresponding leader of N.S.D.A.P. (district leader).

"Should the district leader object to granting a woman worker to the household, the Labour Department declines to send an Eastern woman worker to the applicant and accordingly declines the permission for the employment of such. The refusal need not be motivated and the decision is final."
You may find this on Page 129 of the document book. It is followed by the application form. You will find this in the appendix to the Exhibit USSR 383. This application form contains a brief questionnaire about the family which would like to employ a domestic worker in their household. This application form also contains the reply form of the corresponding Nazi Party organisation, whether or not it recommends the use of an Eastern slave in this household.

I request the Tribunal to pay attention to the appendix to the Exhibit USSR 383 This appendix is entitled, "Memo for Housewives, Regarding Employment of Eastern Women Workers in Urban and Rural Households". This memo has already been mentioned by Mr. Dodd. I will not dwell upon it in detail, but will only draw the attention of the Tribunal to the sub- title which is on page 133.

I beg your Honours to pay attention to the sub-title of this slave-owner's memo which is on page 130.

The statement between brackets announces that this memo is published by the General Plenipotentiary for the Utilisation of Manpower, in agreement with the leader of the Party Chancellery and other corresponding authorities. It is difficult to state it more precisely. Millions of foreign slaves were languishing in Germany. Any German could become a slave-owner with the sanction and under the supervision of the Nazi Party. Apparently this also constituted one of the elements of the "New Order" in Europe.

I deem it indispensable to refer also to the order of the defendant Goering, dated 27 March, 1942- I do not submit this document, as it is already at the disposal of the Tribunal, having been presented by the American Prosecution.

"The General Plenipotentiary for Labour Utilisation, in order to carry out his tasks, herewith receives the power which the Fuehrer has given him to issue directives to the superior Reich courts and their subordinate officers, to Party authorities and to Party units and branch offices and branch organisations."

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