Nazi Conspiracy & Aggression Volume I Chapter X Violent Methods of Deportation for Slave Labor

The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

Last-Modified: 1996/06/11
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Nazi Conspiracy and Aggression, Volume One, Chapter Ten


In order to meet these demands, the Nazi conspirators made
terror, violence, and arson the staple instruments of their
policy of enslavement. Twenty days after Sauckel’s demands
of 5 October 1942, a high official in Rosenberg’s Ministry
by the name of Braeutigam, in a Top Secret memorandum dated
25 October 1942 described measures taken to meet these

“*** We now experienced the grotesque picture of having
to recruit millions of laborers 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 manhunt was

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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.” (294-PS)

Rosenberg on 21 December 1942 wrote to Sauckel, the
instigator of these brutalities, as follows:

“The reports I have received show, that the increase of
the guerilla bands in the occupied Eastern Regions is
largely due to the fact that the methods used for
procuring laborers 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 guerilla
bands.” (018-PS)

An attachment to Rosenberg’s letter, consisting of parts
excerpted from letters of residents of the Occupied Eastern
territories by Nazi censors, relates that:

“At our place, new things have happened. People are
being taken to Germany. On Dec. 5, some people from the
Kowkuski district were scheduled to go, but they didn’t
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 3
truck loads of Germans arrived and set fire to their
houses. In Wrasnytschi 12 houses and in Borowytschi 3
houses were burned.

“On Oct. 1 a new conscription of labor forces took
place. From what has happened, I will describe the most
important to you. You can not imagine the bestiality.
You probably remember what we were told about the
Soviets during the rule of the Poles. At that time we
did not believe it and 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 2 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, beaten and arrested, so that 7
homesteads burned down. The policemen meanwhile ignited
other houses. The people fell on their knees and kiss
their hands, but the policemen beat them with rubber
truncheons and threaten to burn down the whole village.
I don’t know how this would have ended if I Sapurkany
had not intervened. He promised that there would be
laborers by morning. During the fire the

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militia went through the adjoining villages, seized the
laborers and brought them under arrest. Wherever they
did not find any laborers, they detained the parents,
until the children appeared. That is how they raged
throughout the night in Bielosirka. The workers which
had not yet appeared till 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 are already hunting
for one week and have not yet enough. The imprisoned
workers are locked in at the schoolhouse. They cannot
even go out 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”. (018-PS)

Rosenberg, nevertheless, countenanced the use of force in
order to furnish slave labor to Germany and admitted his
responsibility for the “unusual and hard measures that were
employed. The transcript of an interrogation of Rosenberg
under oath on 6 October 1945, contains the following

“*** Q. You recognized, did you not, that the quotas
set by Sauckel could not be filled by voluntary labor,
and you didn’t disapprove of the impressment of forced
labor; isn’t that right ?

“A. I regretted that the demands of Sauckel were so
urgent that they could not be met by a continuation of
voluntary recruitment and thus I submitted to the
necessity of forced impressment.”


“Q. The letters that we have already seen between you
and Sauckel, do not indicate, do they, any disagreement
on your part with the principle of recruiting labor
against their will; they indicate, as I remember, that
you were opposed to the treatment that was later
accorded these workers; that you did not oppose their
initial impressment.
“A. That is right. In those letters I mostly discussed
the possibility of finding the least harsh methods of
handling the matter; whereas, in no way, I placed
myself in opposition to the orders that he was carrying
out for the Fuehrer.” (3719-PS)

Moreover, in a letter dated 21 December 1942 Rosenberg

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” *** Even if I do not close my eyes to the necessity
that the numbers demanded by the Reichs Minister for
weapons and ammunition 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.”

Arson was used as a terror device in the Ukraine to enforce
conscription measures. One instance is reported in a
document from an official of the Rosenberg Ministry dated 29
June 1944, enclosing a copy-of a letter from Paul Raab, a
district commissioner in the territory of Wassilkow, to
Rosenberg. Raab’s letter reads as follows:

“According to a charge by the Supreme Command of the
Armed Forces I burned down a few houses in the
territory of Wassilkow/Ukr. belonging to insubordinate
people ordered for work-duty
(Arbeitsensatzpflichtigen). This accusation is true.”
“During the year 1942, the conscription of workers was
accomplished by way of propaganda. Only very rarely was
force necessary. Only in August 1942, measures had to
be taken against 2 families in the villages Glewenka
and Salisny-Chutter, each of which were to supply one
person for labor. Both were requested in June for the
first time, but didn’t obey although requested
repeatedly. They had to be brought up by force, but
succeeded twice to escape from the collecting camp, or
when being 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 would show up. When, after the second escape, re-
arrest of both the fathers and boys was ordered, the
police patrols ordered to do so, found the houses to be
“That time I decided to take measures to show the
increasingly rebellious Ukrainian youth that our orders
have to be followed. I ordered the burning down of the
houses of the fugitives.”
“After the initial successes, a passive resistance of
the population started, which finally forced me to
start again on

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making arrests, confiscations, and transfers to labor
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, which of course
escaped before they were found in Plissezkoje and in
Mitnitza. After repeated attempts to get hold of them,
their houses were burned down.”
“My actions against fugitive people obliged to work
(Arbeitseinsatzpflichtige), were always reported to
district commissioner Doehrer, in office in Wassilkow,
and to the general commissioner (Generalkommissar) in
Kiew. Both of them know the circumstances and agreed
with my measures, because of their success.” (254-PS)

The village of Biloserka in the Ukraine was also the victim
of arson as has already been related in the quotation from
the enclosure to Rosenberg’s letter of 21 December 1942 to
Sauckel (018-PS). Additional proof of resort to arson in
this village is furnished by other correspondence
originating within the Rosenberg Ministry and dated 12
November 1943:

“But even if Mueller had been present at the burning of
houses in connection with the national conscription in
Biloserka, this should by no means lead to the relief
of Mueller from office. It is mentioned specifically in
a directive of the Commissioner General in Lusk of 21
September 1942, referring to the extreme urgency of the
national conscription. ‘Estates of those who refuse to
work are to be burned, their relatives are to be
arrested as hostages and to be brought to forced labor
camps.’ ” (290-PS)

The SS was directed to participate in the abduction of slave
laborers, and in the case of raids on villages or burning of
villages, to turn the entire population over for slave labor
in Germany. A secret SS order dated 19 March 1943 (3012-PS)

“The activity of the labor offices, resp. 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 Labor Commitment Staffs, an agreement was reached
stating that whatever prisoners can be released, they
should be put at the disposal of the Commissioner of
the Labor Office. When searching (Uberholung) villages,
resp., when it has become necessary to burn down
villages, the whole population will be put at the
disposal of the Commissioner by force.” (3012-PS)

From Shitomir, where Sauckel appealed for more workers for

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the Reich, the Commissioner General reported on the
brutality of the conspirators’ program, which he described
as a program of coercion and slavery. This is revealed in a
secret report of a conference between the Commissioner
General of Shitomir and Rosenberg in Winniza on 17 June 1943
(265-PS). The report is dated 30 June 1943 and is signed by
Leyser. It reads as follows:

“The symptoms created by the recruiting of workers are,
no doubt, well known to the Reichs Minister through
reports and his own observations. Therefore, I shall
not report them. It is certain that a recruitment of
labor, in this sense of the word, can hardly be spoken
of. In most cases, it is nowadays a matter of actual
conscription by force.”
“But as the Chief Plenipotentiary for the mobilization
of labor explained to us the gravity of the situation,
we had no other device. I consequently have authorized
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 necessitate any further proof. It is nevertheless
essential to win the war on this front too. The problem
of labor mobilization cannot be handled with gloves.”

These recruitment measures enslaved so many citizens of
occupied countries that entire areas were depopulated. Thus,
a report from the Chief of Main Office III with the High
Command in Minsk, dated 28 June 1943, to Ministerialdirektor
Riecke, a top official in the Rosenberg Ministry states:

“The recruitment of labor for the Reich, however
necessary, had disastrous effects. The recruitment
measures in the last months and weeks were absolute
manhunts, which have an irreparable political and
economic effect. From White Ruthenia, approx. 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 (Grossaktionen) of the SS
and police in November 1942, about 115,000 hectare
farmland is not used, as the population is not there
and the villages have been razed. ***” (3000-PS)

The conspirators’ policy, of permanently weakening the enemy
through the enslavement of labor and breaking up of
families, was applied in the Occupied Eastern Territories
after Rosenberg’s approval of a plan for the apprehension
and deportation of 40,000 to 50,000 youths of the ages from
10 to 14. The stated pur-

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pose of this plan, approved by Rosenberg, was to prevent a
reinforcement of the enemy’s military strength and to reduce
the enemy’s biological potentialities. (031-PS)

Further evidence of the Nazi conspirators’ plan to weaken
their enemies in utter disregard of the rules of
International Law is contained in a secret order issued by a
rear-area Military Commandant to the District Commissar at
Kasatin on 25 December 1943. The order provided in part

“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-
Shitomir (places excluded).” (1702-PS)

The program of enslavement and its accompanying measures of
brutality were not limited to Poland and the Eastern
Occupied Territories, but extended to Western Europe as
well. Frenchmen, Dutchmen, Belgians, and Italians all came
to know the Nazi slave-masters. In France these slave-
masters intensified their program in the early part of 1943
pursuant to instructions which Speer telephoned to Sauckel
from Hitler’s headquarters at eight in the evening of 4
January 1943. These instructions are found in a note for the
files signed by Sauckel, dated 5 January 1943, which states:

“1. On 4 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.” (556-13-

To overcome the resistance to his enslavement program,
Sauckel improvised new impressment measures which were
applied in both France and Italy by his own agents and which
he himself labelled as grotesque. At a meeting of the
Central Planning Board on 1 March 1944 Sauckel stated:

“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
“shanghaiing” 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

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labor supply executive of our own, and this they did by
training and arming with the help of the Higher SS 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 labor 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 labor to Germany from these
countries.” (R-124)

As in France, the slave hunt in Holland was accompanied by
terror and abduction. The “Statement of the Netherlands
Government in view of the Prosecution and Punishment of the
German Major War Criminals”, (1726-PS) contains the
following account of the deportation of Netherlands workmen
to Germany:

“Many big and 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 contracts 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 Sicherheitsdeinst (SD). 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 was
supported by the German Police Service, which was
connected with the labour offices, and was composed of
members of the N.S.B. 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, resp. 24,000 of which many
were metal workers.

“After that the action slackened somewhat, but in
October 1942 another top was reached (2,60). 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 man-power, passing by
the labour

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offices. Without warning, they lined off whole quarters
of the towns, seized people in the streets or in the
houses and deported them.

“In Rotterdam and Schiedam where these raids (razzia’s)
took place on 10 and 11 November, the amount 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 the events. The exact figures are not
known as they have never been published by the

“The people thus seized were put to work partly in the
Netherlands, partly in Germany ***.” (1726-PS)

A document found in the OKH files furnishes further evidence
-of the seizure of workers in Holland. This document
contains the partial text of a lecture delivered by a
Lieutenant Haupt of the German Wehrmacht concerning the
situation of the war economy in the Netherlands:

“There had been some difficulties with the
Arbeitseinsatz, i.e., during the man-catching action
(Menchenfang Aktion) which became very noticeable
because it was unorganized and unprepared. People were
arrested in the streets and taken out of their homes.
It has been impossible to carry out a unified release
procedure in advance, because for security reasons, the
time for the action had not been previously announced.
Certificates of release, furthermore, were to some
extent not recognized by the officials who carried out
the action. Not only workers who had become available
through the stoppage of industry but also those who
were employed in our installations producing things for
our immediate need. They were apprehended or did not
dare to go into the streets. In any case it proved to
be a great loss to us. ***” (3003-PS)