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

The Trial of German Major War Criminals

Sitting at Nuremberg, Germany
27th May to 6th June, 1946

One Hundred and Forty-Fourth Day: Saturday, 1st June, 1946
(Part 7 of 7)

[DR. SERVATIUS continues his examination of Walter Stothfang]

[Page 250]

Q. I will give you an example: complaints about labour conditions.

A. In that case, one had to go first to the local labour office which was competent in order to have detailed inquiries made into the case, and to see about the general conditions, or the actual conditions.

[Page 251]

Q. And if it was a matter of housing and nutrition, to whom did one go?

A. First to the offices of the German Labour Front, which, by a decree of the General Plenipotentiary for the Employment of Labour - I believe it was Decree No. 4 - was given the general task of looking after the foreign workers.

Q. And did the Labour Front report to you further?

A. Within the scope of their capacity they tried to put matters right.

Q. Then the Labour Front itself, in fact, was the highest authority for questions of complaints about the welfare of workers?

A. If you put it like that, yes.

Q. Who supervised the treatment of prisoners of war? Did the complaints come to Sauckel?

A. No.

Q. Who had charge of that?

A. The High Command of the Armed Forces.

Q. The Reich Central Inspection was also a control office. What did Sauckel have to do with the Reich Central Inspection?

A. That must be an incorrect expression. I do not know what you mean by the Reich Central Inspection.

Q. I mean the inspectorate, the office of industrial inspection, the Reich Central Industrial Inspection.

A. In Germany the offices for industrial inspection were competent on principle for the protection of workers in factories. As far as the protection of workmen in factories was concerned, they had to see that the decrees which had been issued and were in force, were carried out and obeyed. Therefore, in case of complaints, they were competent in that field.

Q. Was Sauckel accused by other offices of looking after the workmen too well? And was there not, in some cases, even envy of the situation of certain foreign workers?

A. Yes. Such accusations came from three places. First, from the two offices that I have mentioned before, which offered general objections and resistance to the exaggerated demands of the General Plenipotentiary for the Employment of Labour. Then Bormann's office and Himmler's objected too. It went so far that the General Plenipotentiary for the Employment of Labour was even suspected of being pro-Bolshevik.

DR. SERVATIUS: Then I have no further questions to put to the witness.

THE PRESIDENT: Do any other defence counsel wish to ask any questions?

(No response.)

THE PRESIDENT: Does the prosecution wish to?

(No response.)

THE PRESIDENT: The witness can retire.

DR. SERVATIUS: Mr. President, I do not know whether the witness Jager has arrived yet.

THE PRESIDENT: I am told not.

DR. SERVATIUS: I assume that he will be here by Monday, and I would suggest that I be permitted to submit some documents now, or maybe an interrogation of the witness Gotz which is in the Document Book. Perhaps I may refer to several passages. It is a very long affidavit, and it throws some light on the matter in this connection. It will make it more easy to understand.

THE PRESIDENT: You probably have some remarks to make about your documents, have you not, which will take you until one o'clock?


Mr. President, the document books contain primarily the decrees which Sauckel issued, and they cover what has been said here by the witnesses and by

[Page 252]

the defendant himself as a witness. As far as possible, the book is divided up into sections dealing with various subjects, but since the decrees which were issued frequently applied to several subjects at the same time, the separate divisions overlap in this book.

I refer principally to Volume I, to all the decrees included there, which I do not want to read individually. I should only like to emphasize the decrees about police matters. That is Document 6, which is on Page 16, Document 10, on Page 22, and Document 14, on Page 25. These documents -

THE PRESIDENT: You understand that you must offer in evidence each document or number of documents that you want to put in evidence? It is not sufficient to put it in your document book. So please state the document which you wish to put in evidence.

DR. SERVATIUS: These documents are included in a collection of laws which has already been submitted.

THE PRESIDENT: The whole thing you mean? The whole thing has been submitted?

DR. SERVATIUS: It has as far as I know. That is Document 3044-PS, "Enactments and Decrees".

THE PRESIDENT: Well, probably only a small part of 3044-PS has been read and, therefore, unless it is translated into the four languages, it does not form part of the record. Dr. Servatius, if you will go into the matter and offer what you want to offer in evidence on Monday morning, that will be quite satisfactory.

DR. SERVATIUS: Very well. But I may refer to them now and then I will submit the documents on Monday?


DR. SERVATIUS: These three decrees and enactments of the Reichsfuehrer SS I have submitted in order to show how there were efforts made at improvement in this difficult field. Decree No. 6 was issued shortly before Sauckel came into office and one has to consider that in order to show that it was a fait accompli.

The next decree, Document No. 10, already shows an improvement. It deals with the barbed wire and the. workers' time off, and this becomes even more elastic in the next document. Document No. 15, that is, Decree No. 4, which has already been submitted, is probably the first and most important decree, which describes the fundamental authority and directives, as well as the recruiting methods, transportation and treatment in Germany.

Decree No. 16 deals with the employment of Eastern workers and gives the first and basic regulations, because until then a definite legal regulation which was uniform did not exist.

Then I come to Document No. 19, which is on Page 54 in the English text. This is a decree and a letter from Sauckel to the Gau Labour Offices and the Gauleiter of 14th October, 1942, concerning the good treatment of foreign workers. This letter is an intervention on the part of Sauckel to remove poor conditions and to correct certain misconceptions of which he had been informed. I quote here in the German text on Page 19 the following -

THE PRESIDENT: Well, that document has been quoted already I think, has it not?

DR. SERVATIUS: A part of the document has already been mentioned.

THE PRESIDENT: Which part has not been quoted?

DR. SERVATIUS: It is Page 59 in my book; in the English text, Page 54.

THE PRESIDENT: Page 54 is only the heading.

[Page 253]

DR. SERVATIUS: Heading: "Decree and letter of Sauckel dated 14th October, 1942," and on the next page the text begins. The first page contains only the title of the decree.

THE PRESIDENT: But Page 55 in the English text, the beginning of the document, has already been read.

DR. SERVATIUS: The beginning has already been read.

THE PRESIDENT: Then what did you want to read?

DR. SERVATIUS: I should like to read the whole thing in order to show how far Sauckel -

THE PRESIDENT: Well, you see, beginning with the words "If in a Gau district the statement was recently still made", that has been read already, down to the bottom of that paragraph.

DR. SERVATIUS: I have here only a short note. If it has already been read, then I do not have to read it again. I will dispense with the reading.

Document No. 20 on Page 56 in the English Document Book deals with compulsory labour service for foreign female domestic helpers and shows the regulations in force at that time -

THE PRESIDENT: Which document?

DR. SERVATIUS: Document No. 20.


DR. SERVATIUS: - whereby it is pointed out particularly that a forced transfer of foreign women for domestic help would not be carried out; and the statement made by Sauckel emphasises that only voluntary workers should be taken for domestic employment.

Decree No. 21 introduces the Labour Book. That is in the English text on Page 57. The purpose of the Labour Book was, as Sauckel has stated here, to facilitate a regulation of manpower so that one had a survey of it and did not lose control, supervision and above all, in connection with this, there was to be an allocation of land to the Eastern workers as the defendant Sauckel has explained; a central file was to be established and with the help of this, the regular transportation of the workers back home again was to be arranged at a later date. That was the work of the Labour Book.

Then we come to Document No. 22 of 23rd July, 1943, which deals with the limitation of the length of employment of Eastern workers. It is said in this connection that the duration of employment should be for two years, with certain modifications to the effect that there should be facilities for leave, and premiums should be given for the work done. There was to be leave in Germany and under certain conditions, a home leave. For vacations in Germany, as can be seen here, special leave camps were set up for Eastern workers. The reason was that, on account of transport conditions and other circumstances, these workers could not go home, especially if they came from territories which, in the meantime, were no longer occupied by Germans.

Then there follows Decree No. 13. That is document No. 23, Page 62 in the English Document Book. This decree deals with the safeguarding of order in industrial plants. It is the decree on the basis of which measures could be taken for the maintenance of discipline. I have submitted it in order to show that it was valid both for German and for foreign workers, and is not a decree which discriminates against Eastern workers.

Now I will refer to Document No. 26. That is Page 66 in the English Document Book. This is a decree of 25th July, 1944, according to which the position of domestic workers from the East should, on principle, be put on the same footing

[Page 254]

as that of the German domestic helpers. Working hours are regulated and also time off. It reads:
"Every week the female worker from the East is to have a certain amount of free time."
The question of vacations is regulated in paragraph 7, to the effect that they will be granted a leave after twelve months' work in the territories of the Reich.

THE PRESIDENT: Are those figures right in Document 26, Page 67, in the English Document Book? Working hours to fall between 6.00 o'clock in the morning and 9.00 o'clock at night?

DR. SERVATIUS: It says there: "The regular working hours, including rest periods and preparation for work, are to fall between 0600 and 2100 hours, unless special conditions call for other arrangements." That does not mean that the work is to be done from 6.00 o'clock in the morning until 9.00 o'clock at night. It means that between these two time limits these people have to work. They cannot work before 6.00 in the morning. "This girl cannot work after 9.00 at night. It cannot - "

THE PRESIDENT: I am only asking if the figures are correct?

DR. SERVATIUS: The figures are correct.

Document 27 deals with the position of foreign workers in industrial plants. It is a decree of the German Labour Front and there are one or two basic statements made in it. Here for example:

"The pleasure they take in their work and the willingness of German workers must in no circumstances be impaired by a material improvement in the position of foreign workers. As regards the treatment of foreign workers, it must be taken into consideration that they came to Germany voluntarily, and are giving us their services for the carrying out of tasks of military importance. In order to maintain this pleasure in their work, a primary condition is respect of their contract conditions, an absolutely fair treatment and comprehensive care and attention."
Document 28 is the agreement between Ley and Sauckel about the arrangement of supervision in the Central Inspection. It has already been submitted by the prosecution.

Document 30 deals with the tasks in detail, and states:

"In the fields of the employment of labour and the Reich Trustee offices and administration, the Central Reich Inspection has the following tasks:

The supervision of the execution of my regulations and decrees. On the basis of the practical knowledge gained, the Central Reich Inspection is to make suggestions, propose improvements and foster mutual exchange of experiences."

The last document in this book deals with the establishment of French offices. It is in the English Document Book on Page 79, and is entitled "French Agencies for the Care of the French Workers Employed in the Reich."

I believe I have already read the document here. With that, I have finished Document Book One.

THE PRESIDENT: Very well, we will adjourn.

(The Tribunal adjourned until 3rd June, 1946, at 1000 hours.)

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