From The Devil's Disciples by Anthony Read: Further blows to Göring's authority: His control of manpower resources was given to Fritz Sauckel, a short, stolid man with a bald head and a minimal toothbrush mustache, who had been Gauleiter of Thüringia since 1926. Speer had wanted Karl Hanke, the man who had given him his first architectural commission for the party in Berlin and who was now Gauleiter of Lower Silesia, to get the job, but this had been blocked by Bormann. Showing his muscle as party boss, he said Hanke had not been a Gauleiter long enough. Hanke's old love affair with Magda Goebbels may have counted against him, but the real reason for his rejection was undoubtedly that he was Speer's friend, and his loyalty would have been to him rather than to Bormann and the party organization.
To make doubly sure that Sauckel would not be in Speer's pocket, Bormann persuaded Hitler to make the new commissioner responsible for finding and deploying labor—chiefly from the Ukraine and the Eastern territories—not simply for armaments production but for the whole of German industry. For the sake of appearances and Göring's battered pride, Sauckel was given the title General Plenipotentiary for the Mobilization of Labor within the Four Year Plan, but he was no more answerable to Göring than was Speer: he was directly and only responsible to Hitler, through Bormann. Accepting the situation, Göring wound up his own labor deployment section, for once voluntarily shedding part of his power—though his decision may have been prompted by foreseeing nothing but trouble ahead. Speer had hardly been confirmed in his new post (Armaments Minister) before Keital demanded the immediate release for front-line duties of a quarter of a million army troops who had been made available for munitions production. 'That was the beginning of the struggle for manpower, a struggle that was never to end,' Keitel recalled.
From Sauckel’s IMT Testimony: I drew up two programs. At first, when I took up my office, I drew up one program which included a levee en masse, so to speak, of German women and young people, and, another, as I already said, for the proper utilization of labor from the economic and technical point of view. The program was rejected by the Führer when submitted it to him and, as was my duty, to the Reich economic authorities and ministries which were interested in the employment of labor. The Führer sent for me and in a lengthy statement explained the position of the German war production and also the economic situation. He said that he had nothing against my program as such if he had the time; but that in view of the situation, he could not wait for such German women to become trained and experienced. At that time 10 million German women were already employed who had never done industrial or mechanical work. Further, he said that the results of such a rationalization of working methods as I had suggested, something like a mixture of Ford and Taylor methods. In answer to my proposal the Führer said that he could not wait for a rationalization of the working methods on the lines of the Taylor and Ford systems.
May I explain the motives which prompted the Führer's decision. He described the situation at that time, at the end of the winter of 1941 42. Many hundreds of German locomotives, almost all the mechanized armed units, tanks, planes, and mechanical weapons had become useless as a result of the catastrophe of that abnormally hard winter. Hundreds of thousands of German soldiers had suffered terribly from the cold; many divisions had lost their arms and supplies. The Führer explained to me that if the race with the enemy for new arms, new munitions, and new dispositions of forces was not won now, the Soviets would be as far as the Channel by the next winter. Appealing to my sense of duty and asking me to put into it all I could, he gave me the task of obtaining new foreign labor for employment in the German war economy.
The Führer spoke to me in such detail about this question [of international law] and he explained the necessity so much as a matter of course that, after he had withdrawn a suggestion which he had made himself, there could be no misgivings on my part that the employment of foreign workers was against international law.
None of the higher authorities, either military or civilian, expressed any misgivings. Perhaps I may add some things which the Fuehrer mentioned as binding upon me. On the whole, the Führer always treated me very kindly. On this question, he became very severe and categorical and said that in the West he had left half the French Army free and at home, and he had released the greater part of the Belgian Army and the whole of the Dutch Army from captivity. He told me that under certain circumstances he would have to recall these prisoners of war for military reasons, but that in the interests of the whole of Europe and the Occident, so he expressed himself, only a united Europe, where labor was properly allocated, could hold out in the fight against Bolshevism. During the first World War I myself was taken prisoner as a sailor. I knew what was required and what was laid down with regard to the treatment and protection of prisoners of war and prisoners generally.
From Göring's IMT testimony: A certain co-operation with regard to the employment program must have existed between the offices of Rosenberg and [Fritz] Sauckel, but certainly not in the sense that Rosenberg could have prohibited the recruiting of eastern workers in contradiction to the Führer's order . . . .
I was present once when Rosenberg spoke about the varying treatment of the Occupied Eastern Territories, of the peoples living there, and their cultural care. As far as I can recall—or better said—I especially recall that the conversation dealt with the establishment or the continuation of a university in Kiev. The Führer agreed with him in his presence, I believe, but when he had gone, the Führer said to me: "That man, too, has his particular worries. We have more important things to take care of now than universities in Kiev."
From Rosenberg's IMT testimony: The Plenipotentiary General for Allocation of Labor had the right to give instructions to all top authorities in the Reich, and that included the Reich Minister for the Occupied Eastern Territories. The Plenipotentiary General for Allocation of Labor had been given very definite quotas by the Führer, and when these quotas appeared too large to me—and that was always the case—I would call together the Plenipotentiary General and his representatives and the representatives of the Ministry for the Occupied Eastern Territories for a conference so as to reduce the figures to a somehow bearable size; and the reduction of these quotas did, in fact, often result from such conferences, even though they still remained very high. Officially, however, I could do no more than make such representations . . . .
Yes, the law of 21 March is concerned therewith with workers from the occupied countries who were to be taken to Germany. In Germany there was also a compulsory labor law. It is correct that Gauleiter Sauckel had been given the authority to pass orders to me and to all the supreme Reich authorities. It was my duty to make known and carry through these orders in the Occupied Eastern Territories according to my powers, my judgment, and my instructions.
From Albert Speer: His Battle with Truth, by Gitta Sereny: Late that Spring of 1942 Speer realized that dealing effectively with the Gauleiter was beyond him, and that if he wanted their help in the procurement and distribution of labor, he needed one of them on his staff to help him. He suggested to Hitler that his old mentor Karl Hanke, now Gauleiter of Lower Silesia, be appointed to that role. But here again Speer failed: Hitler said that Hanke had not been Gauleiter long enough to wield sufficient influence. He had discussed it with Bormann and he was going to appoint Fritz Sauckel as Commissioner General for the Allotment of Labor—he was the right man for the job.
"Do whatever you can for the Minister for Armaments," he adjured Sauckel two days later when, in Speer's presence, he handed the document of nomination to his "Old Comrade." There were 250 million people now available to the German labor market in the countries occupied by the Reich, he said; Sauckel should have no problem.
Even so, Speer, well aware of Ernest Bevin's radical war-labor program in Britain, under which not only all men but also millions of women not on active service were mobilized for production and moved about wherever they were needed, tried to impress Sauckel with the need to recruit labor from the huge available ranks of German women. Sauckel and Göring, on whom he called for support, flatly refused. Sauckel, with Göring nodding enthusiastic assent, recited the Gauleiter credo—factory work could be morally harmful to German womanhood, possibly even putting at risk their ability to bear children. (Speer, describing this period in Spandau, added a bracketed comment to Wolters, "When German women read this, they will praise Göring and Sauckel and be furious with me.")
After getting Hitler's agreement, Sauckel informed his fellow Gauleiter of this fundamental decision: "In order to provide the German housewife, above all mothers of many children, with tangible relief from her burdens, the Führer has commissioned me to bring into the Reich from the Eastern territories some 400,000-500,000 carefully selected, healthy and strong girls."
(By 1943, Speer writes in his Notes to Inside the Third Reich, Britain had reduced the number of female domestic servants by two-thirds, from 1,200,000 in June 1939 to 400,000. Over the same period in Germany, it was brought down by a mere 140,000, from 1,582,000 to 1,442,000.)
From Sauckel’s IMT Testimony: I should like to add that this authority was limited to my own special sphere, and I take the liberty of reading the following sentence: "Orders and directives of fundamental importance are to be submitted to me in advance." Also I might point out that a restriction was imposed on my deputies later in the autumn. There is a witness who can make a statement to that effect. I want to point out most emphatically that I could not possibly have been aware that entire populations had been carried off by means of lawful recruitment and service engagements based on legal decrees. I deny this. I had nothing to do with measures concerning prisoners, et cetera.
I was directly subordinate to the Reich Marshal of the Greater German Reich in the question of the introduction of foreign manpower.
From Max Timm’s IMT Testimony: The Plenipotentiary General for the Allocation of Labor was under the Delegate for the Four Year Plan. The Plenipotentiary General kept in the closest touch with Hitler, and as far as possible he presented his plans to Hitler at personal discussions. There were various ways of keeping the contact [with the Four Year Plan] active. There were liaison men on both sides. The Plenipotentiary General sent men from his select staff to the office of the Four Year Plan for a preliminary co-ordination of his plans, and on the other hand, as far as I can recall, there were almost constantly delegates from the office of the Four Year Plan who took part in the staff conferences. In addition, the Plenipotentiary General frequently had personal talks with the Delegate for the Four Year Plan.March 31, 1942: From a letter from Sauckel to the Reich commissioners (USSR-137):
From Sauckel’s IMT Testimony: That is my directive and I issued it. By the severest use of compulsory labor I meant no wicked or criminal measures, but rather, if it was necessary that it should be used, it was with reference to the number, the number to be made up.April 6, 1942: From an order by Sauckel: Order Number 1 Concerning Appointment of Gauleiter as Commissioners for the Allocation of Labor in the Gau.
From Schirach's IMT testimony: In the way of documentary material that decree contains no more than that the Gauleiter could make suggestions and submit requests to the competent of flees for the allocation of labor. But they were held responsible—I do not know whether by this decree or another one—for the supervision of the feeding and quartering, et cetera, of foreign workers. This feeding and quartering, et cetera, of foreign workers was—in my Gau and I believe also in all other Gau of the Reich--mainly in the hands of the German Labor Front. The Gauobmann of the German Labor Front in Vienna reported to me very frequently about the conditions among German workers and foreign workers in the Gaul He often accompanied me on inspection tours of industries; and from my own observations I can describe my impressions here of the life of foreign workers in Vienna as far as I could watch it.
I well remember, for instance, my visit to a large soap factory where I saw barracks in which Russian and French women were living. They had better quarters there than many Viennese families which lived six or eight people in lithe usual one-room apartments with kitchen. I remember another inspection where I saw a billet of Russian workers. It was clean and neat, and among the Russian women who were there I noticed that they were gay, well nourished, and apparently satisfied. I know about the treatment of Russian domestic workers from the circle of my acquaintances and from the acquaintances of many assistants; and here, also, I have heard, and in part observed myself, that they were extremely well treated.
Let me say something in general about Vienna as a place for foreign workers. For centuries foreign workers have worked in Vienna. To bring foreign workers from the southeast to Vienna is no problem at all. One likes to go to Vienna, just as one likes to go to Paris. I have seen very many Frenchmen and French women working in Vienna, and at times I spoke with them. I also talked to French foremen in the factories. They lived as tenants somewhere in the city, just like any other private person. One saw them in the Prater. They spent their free time just as our own native workers did.
During the time I was in Vienna, I built more factory kitchens than there are in any other Gau in Germany. The foreign workers frequented these kitchens just as much as the native workers. About treatment at the hands of the population, I can only say that the population of a city that has been accustomed for centuries to work together with foreign elements, will spontaneously treat any worker well who comes from the outside. Really bad conditions were never reported to me. From time to time it was reported that something was not going well here or there. It was the duty of the Gauobmann of the Labor Front to report that to me. Then I immediately issued a directive from my desk by telephone to the regional food office or the quota office for the supply of material, for kitchens or heating installations, or whatever it vitas. At any rate, I tried within 24 or 48 hours to take care of all complaints that came to me.
While we are on the subject I would like to give my impression of the use of manpower in general. I am not responsible for the importation of labor. I can only say that what I saw in the way of directives and orders from the Plenipotentiary General, namely the Codefendant Sauckel, always followed the line of humane, decent, just, and clean treatment of the workers who were entrusted to us. Sauckel literally flooded his offices with such directives. I considered it my duty to state that in my testimony . . . .
A large portion [of the foreign workers] was employed in agriculture, some in the supply industry. Whether there were some directly in the armament industry I could not say. The armament industry was not accessible to me in all its ramifications, even in my functions as Gauleiter, because there were war production processes which were kept secret even from the Reichsstatthalter.
From Rosenberg's IMT testimony: These allegations [regarding unbearable conditions in connection with the recruiting of workers in the Occupied Eastern Territories], which were received by the Ministry for the Occupied Eastern Territories, have been constantly checked by Main Department of Labor and Social Policy during all these years and I asked the Tribunal to hear as a witness here the official who always had charge of this question, Dr. Beil. This request has been granted by the Tribunal, but I now hear that Dr. Beil is ill and that he can give a report of his experiences only by a written statement.
From my knowledge I can say the following: These matters were reported to me frequently by Dr. Beil and the so-called Central Department for People of Eastern Nationalities. In a letter which has already been mentioned I transmitted them to Sauckel.
Then they were always sent to the Reich Commissioner for the Ukraine or some other administrative officials for investigation and comments. A part of these proved to be correct, a part proved to be untrue and exaggerated; and as far as I know, the Plenipotentiary General for Allocation of Labor, Sauckel, even made the complaints received from me an occasion for his own intervention, as did the German Labor Front, which was responsible for the welfare of all foreign workers in Germany. There was constant negotiation with the head of this Labor Front, and the Ministry for Occupied Eastern Territories made requests here continuously, until eventually, at the end of 1944, Dr. Ley, as the chief of this welfare department, thought that he could inform me that now after considerable difficulties, really lasting and good conditions had been achieved. I replied to him even then that I could express my pleasure about it, but that I still received reports that here and there things were going wrong. In practice the members of my ministry, together with inspectors of the German Labor Front, went to inspect a number of labor camps in order to investigate the complaints and then have them adjusted by the Labor Front.
From Sauckel’s IMT Testimony: There was a controversy when I took up my office. There were about two million foreign workers in Germany from neutral and allied states and occupied territories of the East and the West. They had been brought to the Reich without order or system. Many industrial concerns avoided contacting the labor authorities or found them troublesome and bureaucratic. The conflict of interests, as I said before, was very great. The Police point of view was most predominating, I think. Propaganda was adapted to the war in the East. I may point out now—you interrupted me before when I was speaking of the order given me by the Fuehrer—that I expressly asked the Führer not to let workers working in Germany be treated as enemies any longer, and I tried to influence propaganda to that effect.
I finally received approval from the Führer for my second program. That program has been submitted here as a document (016-PS, USA-168, above):. I must and will bear responsibility for that program.
I should like to say that I drew up and worked out this program independently in 1942 after I had been given that difficult task by the Fuehrer. It was absolutely clear to me what the conditions would have to be if foreign workers were to be employed in Germany at all. I wrote those sentences at that time and the program went to all the German authorities which had to deal with the matter. I quote:
"All these people must be fed, housed, and treated in such a way that with the least possible effort"—here I refer to economics as conceived by Taylor and Ford, whom I have studied closely—"the greatest possible results will be achieved. It has always been a matter of course for us Germans to treat a conquered enemy correctly and humanely, even if he were our most cruel and irreconcilable foe, and to abstain from all cruelty and petty chicanery when expecting useful service from him."
From a pre-trial interrogation of Rosenberg:
Q: Isn't it a fact that Sauckel would allocate to the various areas under your jurisdiction the number of persons to be obtained for labor purposes?
Q: And that thereafter your agents would obtain that labor in order to meet the quota which had been given. Is that right?
A: Sauckel, normally, had very far-reaching desires, which one could not fulfill unless one looked very closely into the matter.
Q: Never mind about Sauckel's desires being far-reaching or not being far-reaching. That has nothing to do with it. You were given quotas for the areas over which you had jurisdiction, and it was up to you to meet that quota?
A: Yes. It was the responsibility of the administrative officials to receive this quota and to distribute the allotments over the districts in such a way, according to number and according to the age groups, that they would be most reasonably met.
Q: These administrative officials were part of your organization, isn't that right?
A: They were functionaries or officials of the Reich Commissioner for the Ukraine; but, as such, they were placed in their office by the Ministry for the Eastern Occupied Territories.
Q: You recognized, did you not, that the quotas set by Sauckel could not be filled by voluntary labor; and you did not disapprove of the impressment of forced labor. Isn't that right?
A: if regretted that the demands of Sauckel were so urgent that they could not be met by a continuation of voluntary recruitments, 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 workers against their will? They indicate, as I remember, that you were opposed to the treatment that was later accorded these workers, but you did not oppose their initial impressment...
Did you ever argue with Sauckel that perhaps in view of the fact that the quotas could not be met by voluntary labor, the labor recruiting program be abandoned, except for what recruits could be voluntarily enrolled?
A: I could not do that because the numbers or allotments that Sauckel had received from the Three to meet were absolutely binding for him, and I couldn't do anything about that ... In those matters I mostly discussed the possibility of finding the least harsh methods of handling the matter, whereas in no way did I place myself in opposition to the orders that he was carrying out for the Führer.
From Inside The Third Reich, by Albert Speer: It seemed far more practicable to all concerned to employ German women rather than assorted foreign labor. Businessmen came to me with statistics showing that the employment of German women during the First World War had been significantly higher than it was now. They showed me photographs of workers streaming out of the same ammunition factory at closing time in 1918 and 1942; in the earlier war they had been predominantly women; now they were almost entirely men. They also had pictures from American and British magazines which indicated to what extent women were pitching in on the industrial front in those countries.
At the beginning of April 1942 I went to Sauckel with the proposition that we recruit our labor from the ranks of German women. He replied brusquely that the question of where to obtain which workers and how to distribute them was his business. Moreover, he said, as a Gauleiter he was Hitler's subordinate and responsible to the Fuehrer alone. But before the discussion was over, he offered to put the question to Göring, who as Commissioner of the Four-Year Plan should have the final say. Our conference with Goering took place in Karinhall.
Göring showed plainly that he was flattered at being consulted. He behaved with excessive amiability toward Sauckel and was markedly cooler toward me. I was scarcely allowed to advance my arguments; Sauckel and Göring continually interrupted me. Sauckel laid great weight on the danger that factory work might inflict moral harm upon German womanhood; not only might their "psychic and emotional life" be affected but also their ability to bear. Göring totally concurred. But to be absolutely sure, Sauckel went to Hitler immediately after the conference and had him confirm the decision.
All my good arguments were thereby blown to the winds. Sauckel informed his fellow Gauleiters of his victory in a proclamation in which, among other things, he stated: "In order to provide the German housewife, above all mothers of many children . . . with tangible relief from her burdens, the Führer has commissioned me to bring into the Reich from the eastern territories some four to five hundred thousand select, healthy, and strong girls." Whereas by 1943 England had reduced the number of maidservants by two-thirds, nothing of the sort took place in Germany until the end of the war.
Some 1.4 million women continued to be employed as household help. In addition, half a million Ukrainian girls helped solve the servant problem for party functionaries—a fact that soon caused a good deal of talk among the people.
From Hans Heinrich Lammers' IMT testimony: I believe that Funk's only interest in the Central Planning [Board] was to receive raw materials for civilian production. That was his interest in the Central Planning, since he was responsible only for the distribution of these economic goods, and civilian production had been transferred to Minister Speer. Thus Funk was, of course, very interested in raw materials; but the employment of labor, in my opinion, interested him very little, since he did not have enough raw material at all to allow civilian production to go on.
From Funk's IMT testimony: The meeting which you mention is concerned with the deployment of labor. I myself had no direct connection with that, and the Foreign Minister probably did not have any marked interest in it either. So I assume that for these reasons the Führer did not need me, for as I said yesterday his directives for the conduct of economy were given, up to the year 1942, to the Reich Marshal as the man responsible for that field, and after 1942 the directives were given to Speer, because from that date on armaments dominated the entire economic life, and all economic decisions, by express order of the Fuehrer, had to give way to armament needs. I should like to state my position on various matters, but the details of these problems can naturally be better explained by the state secretaries than by myself.
Concerning the directives to occupied territories, the Reich Marshal, as well as Reich Minister Lammers, has stated here that I, as Reich Minister for Economics, had no authority to issue instructions. The Reich Marshal, during his testimony here, stated, and I marked it down, "For the directives and the economic policies carried out by the Minister of Economics and Reichsbank President Funk, the responsibility is fully and exclusively mine."
And concerning the occupied territories, he also said that if I had issued special instructions in the course of official business between the ministry and the administrative offices in the occupied territories, then they derived from the general directives of the Reich Marshal and, as he said, were always based on his personal responsibility.
The position was that directives to the occupied territories in the economic field could only be given by the Delegate for the Four-Year Plan. The carrying out of economic policy was the task of the military commanders or the Reich commissioners who were directly subordinate to the Führer. The military commanders, as well as the Reich commissioners, had under them officials from the various departments; among them, of course, also officials from the Ministry of Economics and the Reichsbank; and even private enterprise was represented. There was, of course, close cooperation between the offices of the military plenipotentiaries, the Reich commissioners, and the representatives of the various home departments, with the exception of occupied territories in Russia where the Reich commissioners were subordinate to a special minister, that is, the Reich Minister for the Occupied Eastern Territories'. This was an exception, but if we as a ministry wanted to have anything done by the military commanders or the Reich commissioners, we had to make a request or procure an order from the Delegate for the Four-Year Plan.
The same applies to the heads of the civil administration in Alsace-Lorraine and in other territories where a civil administration had been set up. Here also, the numerous departments of the Ministry of Economics and the Reichsbank had no direct authority to issue directives.
However, I emphasize again that of course close official contact existed between the directing authorities in the occupied territories and the respective departments in Germany.
I myself—and witnesses will confirm this in questionnaires still outstanding, or in person—made the greatest efforts to protect the occupied territories from exploitation. I fought a virtually desperate struggle throughout the years for the maintenance of a stable currency in these territories, because again and again it was suggested to me that I should reduce the exchange rate in the occupied territories so that Germany could buy more easily and more cheaply in these countries; I did everything that could be thought of to maintain economic order in these territories. In one case, in Denmark, I even succeeded, in the face of opposition from all other departments, in raising the value of the Danish krone, because the Danish National Bank and the Danish Government requested it for justifiable reasons.
I opposed the increase of occupation costs in France in 1942 as well as in 1944. The memorandum of the Reichsbank which I authorized was quoted here by the American Chief Prosecutor.
The occupation costs were determined not by the Minister of Economics and the President of the Reichsbank but by the Minister of Finance and the Quartermaster General—in other words, by the highest Wehrmacht commands—and in the case of France, Denmark, and other countries, also by the Minister for Foreign Affairs.
Therefore, I did whatever I could possibly do—whatever was within my power—to keep the economy of the occupied territories in good order. I was successful finally in persuading the Reich Marshal to issue a decree which prohibited all German personnel from buying on the black market; but that happened only after many abuses in this respect had already occurred.
I want to emphasize also that I considered it necessary for the maintenance of order in the occupied territories that social life there should not be disturbed, and that, therefore, as a matter of principle I was always against the forced or excessive deportation of foreign workers from the occupied territories to Germany.
I also expressed this in a conference with Lammers, which has been mentioned here. My state secretaries can confirm that. On the other hand it was naturally clear to me that Sauckel was in a very difficult, indeed desperate, situation. Again and again manpower for German economy was demanded of him. But, particularly after I had turned-over the entire civil production to Speer and engaged in central planning, it was not only not to my advantage, from the point of view of my work, that manpower was brought to Germany from abroad, but it was indeed in my interest that the workers should remain in the occupied territories since the production of consumer goods had been transferred to a large degree to these territories; for as minister responsible for providing consumer goods to the population I had a great interest in seeing that orderly work should be done in the occupied territories and that no economic or social disturbances should occur.
I believe, however, that it will be more to the purpose if my two state secretaries and the Vice President of the Reichsbank, the acting Director of the Reichsbank, Puhl, make detailed statements on these problems, because they were more closely connected than I with carrying matters into practice.
If the accusation is made against me that with the aid of the clearing arrangements we spoiled occupied territories and foreign countries, I can only say that the clearing arrangement was not originally introduced by us in our dealings with the occupied territories or during the war, but that it was the normal method of trade between Germany and her business partners. It was a system that had been forced upon us—and that has been pointed out by Schacht—when other nations resorted to using the proceeds of German exports for the payment and amortization of German debts.
At all times, however, I have emphasized that the clearing debts' were real debts for merchandise, and that is important. I have said again and again that this clearing debt was a genuine debt of the Reich and would be repaid at the rate, the purchase value which was in force at the time when we entered into these obligations. I especially stated that, in detail and as clearly as possible, in my last speeches in Vienna in March 1944, and in Koenigsberg in July 1944.
Beyond that, in July, I made the suggestion that after the war the clearing debt should be transformed into a European loan, so that it should not remain on the narrow plain of a bilateral exchange of goods but be effectively commercialized; from this can be seen distinctly that I always considered that clearing debt a genuine debt, so that the nations—the occupied territories who had such claims on Germany could and would be satisfied with the war—and, as I constantly emphasize, at the same rates that existed at the time when the debt was incurred. If, however, the countries would have had to pay reparations on the basis of peace treaties, then these reparations of course, quite reasonably, could only have been paid in goods; and then, equally reasonably, it would have been possible to create a balance between German debts and German claims.
But I never left any doubt about the fact that the clearing debt was to be considered a true debt. Therefore, I have to reject the accusation that with the aid of the clearing system we exploited the occupied territories. And I have to reject even more strongly the accusation that I share responsibility for the burden of unbearable expenses, particularly occupation costs and other outlays of money, which were imposed on the occupied territories. It can be proved that I always objected to excessive financial burdening of the occupied territories. The witnesses will later testify and confirm this.
From Rosenberg's IMT testimony: I myself insisted up until 1943 on a voluntary recruitment. But in the face of the urgent demands from the Führer I could not maintain this stand any longer and I agreed therefore—in order to have a legal form at least—that certain age groups should be called up. From these age groups all those working who were needed in the Occupied Eastern Territories were to be excluded. But the others were to be brought from all sides with the help of their own administrations in the regional commissariat, that is, the little burgomasters in the Occupied Eastern Territories, and there is no doubt, of course, that to give force to these demands the police stood at the disposal of the administration in the execution of this program.
It was the duty of the Reich commissioner to whom the regional government of the Ukraine was subordinated [Koch] to investigate and to take action, in accordance with the instructions which he had received from me. Sauckel, as the deputy of the Delegate for the Four-Year Plan, had the right to give instructions to me, as Minister for the Occupied Eastern Territories, and over and above that, he had the right to bypass me and give instructions to the Reich commissioners, a right which he used a few times in giving lectures in the general districts of the Ukraine and of the Eastern territories. Sauckel was not responsible for the execution of these demands, but of course on the basis of the authority given him by the Führer he made the demands so harsh and exact that the responsible regional governments of the commissioner general felt themselves bound by conviction and appearance to back up the recruiting of labor by force . . . .
[Sauckel] had a staff, but I cannot make a statement on the size of it. He took care only that the civil administration had labor offices attached to it, and his requirements as to the civil administration in the East for the direction of these labor offices were forwarded to the administrative offices. To my knowledge he did not have a large organization.
From Sauckel’s IMT Testimony: The Minister for the Occupied Eastern Territories, in carrying out the Allocation of Labor, had to pass on my wishes and demands to the offices under him in that Ministry insofar as they related to my tasks. I cannot, of course, comment on the other departments in the Ministry for the Occupied Eastern Territories, which I do not know. It was one of Rosenberg's tasks to give orders to Reich Commissioner Koch, who was under him, in every field of administration there.
Rosenberg did and should—as we had expressly agreed—give instructions to Koch to put a stop to any wild and objectionable methods which were contrary to my instructions; and that Rosenberg did, as far as I know. Rosenberg never said that [he would no longer permit my recruiting units to bring away Eastern Workers] to me, rather he denied it; for these commissions, while they were in the Ukraine, were subordinate to and part of the labor allocation department of Reich Commissioner Koch. Koch was the supervising authority and the administrative authority for such matters. Those are the undeniable facts.I assumed responsibility, and I acknowledge it, for what came within the limits of my power—I cannot do more than that—and for what I ordered and for what I caused to be done. Outside Germany I was, of course, subject to the competent chiefs of the areas in question. That is quite obvious. It was not possible for me to interfere with Reich Commissioner Koch's authority. He had said expressly that he would not permit that.
From Sauckel’s IMT Testimony: I had authority from the Four Year Plan to issue instructions. I had at my disposal—not under me, but at my disposal—Sections 3 and 5 of the Reich Labor Ministry: The departments, "Employment of Labor" and "Wages." could issue directives and orders of a departmental nature to those offices. I could carry on negotiations with foreign countries only through the Foreign Office or, when I had received permission, with the ambassadors or ministers in question. My field of work, as in every large branch of an administration, made it absolutely necessary for me to discuss the questions and have consultations about them with neighboring departments. I was obliged to do so according to instructions. I had first of all to consult the departments themselves from which I received the orders, and in addition the Party Chancellery, the office of Reich Minister Lammers-the Reich Chancellery, the Reich Railways, the Reich Food Ministry, the Reich Defense Ministry. There were always great difficulties.
I had dealings with Himmler only insofar as he gave instructions. He was Reich Minister and was responsible for security, as he said. During the first months or in the first weeks, I believe, of my appointment I was called to see Heydrich. In a very precise way, Heydrich told me that he considered my program fantastic, such as it had been approved by the Führer, and that I must realize that I was making his work very difficult in demanding that barbed wire and similar fences should not and must not be put around the labor camps, but rather taken down. He then said curtly that I must realize that if it was I who was responsible for the allocation of labor, it was he who was responsible for security. That is what he told me. Through constant efforts I had these police measures gradually reduced as far as they concerned the workers who were employed in Germany through my agency and my office.
The authority I had to issue instructions was doubtful from the beginning because, owing to the necessities of war, the lack of manpower, and so on, I was forbidden to establish any office of my own or any other new office or organization. I could only pass on instructions after negotiation with the supreme authorities of the Reich and after detailed consultation. These instructions were, of course, of a purely departmental nature. I could not interfere in matters of administration. In practice it was the passing on of the Führer's orders which were to be carried out there through the individual machinery of each separate administration. There was a strict order from the Führer that in the Army areas, the operational areas of the Commanders-in-Chief, the latter only were competent, and when they had examined military conditions and the situation, everything had to be regulated according to the needs of these high military commands.
In France I could, of course, proceed only in the same way, by informing the military commander of the instructions which I myself had received. He then prepared for discussions with the German Embassy and the French Government, so that with the Ambassador presiding, and the military commander taking an authoritative part, the discussion with the French Government took place. In the case of the Occupied Eastern Territories Ministry I had to transmit my orders to the Reich Minister for the Occupied Eastern Territories and had to consult with him. With Reich Minister Rosenberg we always succeeded in arranging matters between ourselves in a way that we considered right. But in the Ukraine there was the Reich Commissioner who was on very intimate terms himself with headquarters, and, as is generally known, he was very independent and acted accordingly by asserting this independence. ...
I could not supervise the Gauleiter themselves, as I had no disciplinary or official control over them. But I had the Gau visited by members of my staff at intervals of about 3 months. On the occasion of these visits the complaints of the Gauleiter were heard and then factories and camps were inspected jointly and a check was made to see how far my directives were, or were not, carried out. I should like to remark that these inspectors naturally were not allowed any control in concentration camps and the work in the concentration camps; that was a different field which was under the control of Obergruppenführer Pohl and in which I had no authority and no insight.
From the IMT Testimony of Walter Stothfang: I do not know many details about the office of Scapini. I know of its existence, but to the best of my knowledge Scapini's office was chiefly occupied with the welfare of French prisoners of war rather than with the welfare of French civilian workers, because for the latter a special office existed under M. Bruneton. But generally the foreign workers were represented by the German Labor Front. So-called Reich liaison of flees were set up everywhere, from the central office via the Au to the small districts, and each employed several people who visited the camps, listened to complaints and negotiated with the of flees of the German Labor Front, or with other offices of the labor administration—they were foreign employees from countries abroad, in fact from almost every country.
From Sauckel’s IMT Testimony: After I took office, men were appointed to act as liaison agents with the foreign workers. These men, in agreement with the German Labor Front, had the right to visit camps, talk to the workers themselves, and hear their complaints. A special agreement had been reached with the French Government in collaboration with the Reich Foreign Minister. That office actually worked with both the DAF and with me. The representative of that office took part in the negotiations in France with the French Government. The office changed later to the extent that the care of the civilian workers was taken over by M. Brunedon in the place of M. Scapini who looked after prisoners of war only. It was only a change of personnel. I frequently talked with these gentlemen and acted according to their wishes. ....
The Central Inspection Department for the peoples of the Eastern Territories was an office under the Reich Commissioner for the Eastern Territories. It worked in the same way as the French office, except that it was a German organization and Germans were in charge. It had the confidence of the Eastern Workers who worked with us as allies.
As far as French workers were concerned, I was instrumental in seeing that they were employed only by agreement with the French Government. These agreements were concluded under the sponsorship of the German Ambassador in Paris. The quotas were negotiated in accordance with instructions given me by the Fuehrer and by the Reich Marshal. The first quota was 250,000 French laborers and 150,000 skilled workers. As a compensation for the use of these voluntary workers—and I emphasize voluntary—50,000 French prisoners of war who were farmers were to be, and actually were, returned to the French Government in order to improve the cultivation of French farm land. That was the first agreement.
The Releve was an agreement between the French Government and my office according to which for every three French workers who came to Germany one French prisoner of war was released and sent home by the Führer. This agreement was concluded on the basis of a discussion between the French Premier and myself. I was much in favor of this agreement, because I myself spent 5 years behind barbed wire during the first World War. ...
It was carried out on the basis of 250,000 workers who were to go to Germany. As far as I know, French soldiers who were prisoners of war were sent back. The sending back and the selection of the soldiers was not my task but that of the general in charge of the Prisoners of War Organization. I consider it possible that sick soldiers were also sent back to their homes in this way if they wished it. But certainly it was not the intention to send back only sick or older soldiers, but soldiers in general. That was the basis of the agreement. The improved status was a third agreement which included the provision that French prisoners of war in Germany were given the same contracts and the same status as all other French civilian workers.
They did not disapprove of it but welcomed it, according to the attitude of the individual soldier. A large number rejected it; others accepted it gladly, for by this measure the workers received high wages and all the liberties that were accorded outside the barbed wire, and the like. I myself saw how an entire camp accepted this new status. They had been told that the gates and barbed wire would be done away with, the prisoner regulations discontinued, and the surveillance abolished.
From Sauckel’s IMT Testimony: The directives I issued were not always adhered to as strictly as I had demanded. I made every effort to impose them through constant orders, instructions, and punishment which, however, I myself could not inflict. I can only emphasize that in my life I had worked so much myself under such difficult conditions that these instructions expressed my full conviction as to their necessity. I ask to have witnesses heard as to what I thought about it and what I did in order to have these instructions carried out. I have already said that to a certain extent my principles were considered troublesome by some authorities and injudicious as far as German security was concerned. When I was attacked on that account, I took occasion, in addition to a number of instructions to the German Gauleiter, to issue a manifesto to all the highest German government offices concerned. ...
May I be allowed to say a word with regard to l this manifesto? When I issued the manifesto, I was met with the objection, mainly from Dr. Goebbels, that a manifesto should really be issued only by the Führer and not by a subordinate authority such as myself. Then I found that I was having difficulties in getting the manifesto printed. After I had had 150,000 copies printed for all the German economic offices, for all the works managers and all the other offices which were interested, I had it printed again myself in this emphatic form and personally sent it once more, with a covering letter, to all those offices. In this manifesto, in spite of the difficulties which I encountered, I especially advocated that in the occupied territories themselves the workers should be treated in accordance with my principles and according to my directives and orders. I respectfully ask the Court to be allowed to read a few sentences from it:
"I therefore order that for all the occupied territories, for the treatment, feeding, billeting, and payment of foreign workers, appropriate regulations and directives be issued similar to those valid for foreigners in the Reich. They are to be adjusted to the respective local conditions and applied in accordance with prevailing conditions.
"In a number of the Eastern Territories indigenous male and female civilian labor working for the German war industry or the German Wehrmacht is undernourished. In the urgent interests of the German war industry in this territory this condition should be remedied. It is checking production and is dangerous. And endeavor must therefore be made by all means available to provide additional food for these workers and their families. This additional food must be given only in accordance with the output of work.
"It is only through the good care and treatment of the whole of the available European labor on the one hand, and through its most rigid concentration"—here I mean organizational—"leadership and direction on the other hand, that the fluctuation of labor in the Reich and in the occupied territories can be limited to a minimum, and a generally stable, lasting and reliable output be achieved." May I read one more sentence: "The foreign workers in the Reich and the population in the occupied territories who are being employed for the German war effort must be given the feeling that it is to their own interests to work loyally for Germany and that therein alone will they see and actually find their one real guarantee of life."
May I read still one sentence in the next paragraph:
"They must be given absolute trust in the justness of the German authorities and of their German employers." ....
In the course of the war our opponents also carried out very considerable and widespread countermeasures. The need for manpower in Germany, on the other hand, had become tremendous. During that period a request was also put to me by French, Belgian, and Dutch circles to bring about a better balance in the economy of these territories and even to introduce what we called a labor draft law, so that the pressure of enemy propaganda would be reduced and the Dutch, Belgians, and French themselves could say that they were not going to Germany voluntarily but that they had to go because of a compulsory labor service and because of laws.
Of course I came to feel that [the proximity of the front made people no longer want to come voluntarily]; and it is understandable that the chances of victory and defeat caused great agitation among the workers; and the way things looked at the front certainly played an important part. ....
It can be seen from the documents—that is to say, from the decrees which I issued during my term of office—that these regulations, which I considered intolerable, were improved step by step, as far as I was able to overcome opposition, until in 1944 the Eastern Worker stood on the same level as the German worker. The first improvement was made in June 1942 when wages were doubled, the second in 1943, and the last in March 1944, by Decree 11. The Eastern Workers, as a result of my efforts, received remuneration in the form of premiums for good work, and Christmas bonuses, in the same way as the German workers; and in addition there was an agreement with the Eastern Ministry according to which the families of Eastern Workers were to receive the amount of 130 rubles per month upon request.
When I started in office—that is before the regulations introduced by me—the Eastern Worker, after his expenses for food and lodging had been deducted, had about 4 marks 60 pfennigs per week left over, if one takes as an average example the rate of 60 pfennigs an hour for an average worker in German industry. The same worker's net pay, or "Freibetrag" as it was called, was increased in June 1942, after I had had an opportunity of looking into these things, by about 100 percent to 9.10 marks.
May I state that it would have been quite impossible for a German worker at the same wage level to have had more left over for saving when one considers his taxes and social contributions, his expenses for rent, heating, and food. That was the principle laid down for me by the Ministerial Council for Reich Defense for the payment of this labor. It was not my wish. However, as early as March or April 1943 the wage of the Russian worker, again due to my intervention, was increased to about 12 marks, and in the spring of 1944 it was increased to about 18 marks.
The duration of labor contracts depended on agreements which had been concluded with the governments in question. For the western and southern countries the contract was for 6 months, 9 months, or 1 year. As for the eastern countries and the Soviet workers, when I came to office, the existing regulations provided for an indefinite period. As I considered a definite period to be necessary in spite of the greater distances, here too I finally succeeded in obtaining a time limit of 2 years.
From Speer's IMT testimony: The decrees issued by Sauckel were unobjectionable, but the works managers did not always find it possible to carry through the decrees for reasons which were outside their power. The bombing attacks brought about difficulties, disorganized transportation, or destroyed living quarters. It is not possible to make the managers responsible for the observance of these decrees under circumstances which often took on catastrophic proportions after the summer of 1944. These were times of crises and it was a matter for the Reich authorities to determine just how far it was possible to carry through these decrees and it is not right to push this responsibility on the little works manager. Within the framework of the above-mentioned responsibility which industry enjoyed, the armament factory managers had received a semiofficial function from me. This, of course, applied only to technical tasks. There were some industries which concerned themselves with secret matters; but in such cases the works trustee of the Labor Front was represented, and he could report to the Gauleiter on conditions in the factory through the Gauobmann (chief of the Labor Front in a Gau).July 14, 1942: From a decree—on the basis of Sauckel's Order Number 9—for the inspection of housing, food, heating, and upkeep of the camps by workmen employed at the camps (Sauckel-40):
From Sauckel’s IMT Testimony: I had no collaborators in the employment of prisoners of war, for I did not employ prisoners of war. As the authorized mediating agency I had to have the administrative measures carried out through the labor offices, or the Gau labor offices, which served as intermediaries between the factories and the Stalags or the generals in charge of prisoner-of-war affairs, who in their turn supplied prisoners of war for the industries. They were either the generals in charge of prisoner-of-war establishments in the military administrative districts, or the organizations of the industries, or the factories themselves. These worked through the respective ministries, such as the Reich Ministry of Food and Agriculture, in which case the majority of the prisoners were billeted with farmers for work on the land or in war industries. I had to include the labor offices and the Gau labor offices to the extent that they had undertaken to act officially as intermediaries, but only if they did not act directly between the factories and the Stalags.
Labor procurement, the whole world over, whether operated by the state or by private individuals, is not an organization or institution which exploits workers, but rather which procures workers. I must establish this fundamental error. It was my duty to provide the necessary connection, so that prisoners of war in Stalags in the occupied territories-let us say in the Government General-could be registered by local generals in charge of prisoner-of-war establishments, for work contemplated in Germany in certain agricultural or other sectors, and then allotted accordingly. Employment of labor in factories was not under my supervision and had nothing to do with me. To act as agent is quite a different thing from utilization; concerning this, other gentlemen would have to comment. I can only speak as far as agency is concerned. In Germany this was managed by the State. In other countries it is managed privately. That is the difference, but I have never exploited anybody. As Plenipotentiary General for the Allocation of Labor I did not employ a single worker. It was known to me that Soviet prisoners of war were being employed in the German war industry for this industry was vast and widespread, and covered the most varied branches.
From Sauckel’s IMT Testimony: It is possible that the Reich Marshal said that. I cannot remember the details of a meeting that took place so long ago. What is correct is that I, as a human being and as a member of my nation, was obliged to do my duty. My documents prove that I tried to do my duty decently and humanely. I did my utmost to do that.
The feeding of the foreign workers came under the system that was applied to the feeding of the German people, and accordingly additional rations were allotted to people doing heavy, very heavy, or overtime work. When I assumed office and received the order from the Führer that in addition to the foreign workers who were already in the Reich I was to bring further quotas into the Reich, the first step I took was to visit the Reich Minister for Food, for it was obvious to me that bringing in foreign workers was in the first place a question of feeding; poorly fed workers, even if they want to, cannot turn out satisfactory work. I had many detailed conversations with him; and by referring to the Führer and the Reich Marshal, I succeeded in obtaining suitable food for the workers, and food quotas were legally fixed. It was not easy to do this because the food situation, even for Germans, was always strained; but without these measures it would not have been possible for me, also from a personal point of view, to carry through my task.
As far as bad feeding conditions in the work camps of civilian laborers is concerned I never had any very unfavorable reports. I personally made repeated efforts to have this matter in particular constantly looked into. The works managers themselves took the problem of food very seriously.
From Sauckel’s IMT Testimony: I cannot possibly confirm an entry which I have never seen before, and details of which I cannot possibly recollect. I therefore cannot say that all of it is correct. Those were future possibilities visualized by Herr Frank. I can, however, on the strength of the documents before me, say that the employment of Polish civilian workers... I cannot possibly remember this communication which took place in 1942. Conditions at that time were so utterly different. I cannot, from my own knowledge, tell you whether the Governor General solved this problem by the employment of police forces or not. Please ask him himself.August 20, 1942: From a Hitler speech:
From Sauckel’s IMT Testimony: The Reich Government in some of the territories introduced laws which corresponded to the laws that were valid for the German people themselves. Those laws could not be issued by me, but they were issued by the chiefs of the regional administrations or the government of the country concerned on the order of the German Government.
In France these laws were issued by the Laval Government, in agreement with Marshal Petain; in Belgium, in agreement with the Belgian general secretaries or general directors still in office or with the ministries. The order to introduce German labor laws in the occupied territories was given by the Fuehrer. They were proclaimed and introduced by the chiefs who had been appointed by the Führer for these territories, for I myself was not in a position to issue any directives, laws, or regulations there. The laws were published in the official publications and legal gazettes, as well as being made known through the press and by posters in those territories.
They [the people brought to Germany] were summoned to the local labor office, which was mostly administered by local authorities. Cases had to be examined individually, according to my directives, which have been submitted here as documents. Cases of hardship to the family, or other such cases, were given special consideration. Then, in the normal manner—as was done in Germany also—the individual workers or conscripted persons were brought to Germany. I observed this procedure personally in a number of cities in Russia, France, and Belgium; and I made sure that it was carried out in accordance with orders.
At first, such compulsory measures were taken as are justified and necessary in every normal civil administration. Then [if they were not sufficient] proceedings were proposed. According to my conviction, they were legal measures.
I consider that every administrative measure taken on the basis of laws or duties imposed by the state, on one's own nation, or in any other way, constitutes some form of stress, duty, pressure. I rejected every kind of collective pressure. The refusal to employ collective pressure is also evident from decrees issued by other German offices in the Reich. In the East, of course, administrative procedure was rendered difficult on account of the great distances. In the lower grades, as far as I know, native mayors were in office in every case. It is possible that a mayor was requested to select a number of workers from his village or town for work in Germany. Measures of that kind [punishing an entire village, for instance] I rejected entirely in my field of activity, because I could not and would not bring to the German economy workers who had been taken to Germany in such a manner that they would hate their life and their work in Germany from the very outset.
From Max Timm’s IMT Testimony: I was present at negotiations with Laval, who was Premier at that time. One can certainly say that the negotiations were carried on in a very friendly manner. Individual complaints were made. I remember that the complaints were especially about the question of the transfer of wages. I do not remember any complaints of that sort [treatment, the methods of recruitment, coercive measures]. I should certainly remember them if there had been any.
I recall from the talks with Laval, that Laval repeatedly expressed his gratitude to Sauckel for having put into effect measures and means for facilitating matters which he had suggested. Laval attached special importance-to use his own expression-to putting the climate and the atmosphere in order, and to having talks with Hitler himself as soon as possible; and he asked Sauckel to pave the way for him. As far as I know, Sauckel did actually arrange for talks of this kind and Laval thanked him for doing so.
From Sauckel’s IMT Testimony: Yes, this concerns a decree of the Führer to bring 400,000 to 500,000 female Eastern Workers into the Reich for German households, but especially in order to lighten the work of the German farmers' wives. I should like to mention, in connection with this document, that I did not compile it and that my office did not compile it either. Most likely these minutes were written on the basis of notes which somebody had taken. With reference to these proposed 400,000 to 500,000 domestic servants, it must be said that they were to be brought into the Reich only on a voluntary basis. Actually some 13,000 to 15,000 only, I believe, came into the Reich. The idea of "Germanization" as used here, also refers only to their free will or wish to remain in Germany.
There exist hundreds of precise decrees and orders which I issued. They were published in the Reithsgesetzblatt, in special issues sent to the factories and to the labor exchanges and in special collections, in which it is set down most clearly that the foreign workers who were brought into the Reich through the Allocation of Labor had to be treated in accordance with German laws, regulations, and directives as far as medical treatment and care, including insurance, were concerned.
[Explaining "In principle the guiding rule of utmost output must apply equally to feeding?"] There was a standard ration in the Reich which was increased by additional rations based on output or performance. I fought for the principle that these additional rations, which the workers from the West were already largely receiving, should be granted to the workers from the East as well; and that where western workers that is, Dutch and Belgian workers-did not keep up their output in the same way as the Eastern Workers, these additional rations should be cut down accordingly, but not the standard ration which applied to the German people as well. should like to explain the system again. In Germany each worker received his ration as fixed by the Reich Minister for Food. In addition to that there were special increases as a reward for increased output. At the beginning these additional rations were not granted to Russian workers, and it is these additional rations we are dealing with here; not with starving people, or cutting down their standard food ration additional rations for increased output.
From Sauckel’s IMT Testimony: I persistently tried to avoid the identification markings altogether. But the Reichsführer SS categorically demanded—to the best of my knowledge there is a letter from him to that effect—that these foreign workers who, at my request, were free to move about Germany, should bear a distinguishing mark when they went out of their camps. It was no insult. I should like to emphasize expressly that I did not look on this as an insult. I can no longer remember today whether I spoke directly to Göring or not. I can only declare that I made repeated efforts to stop the practice, and that in the spring of 1944, in March I believe, my efforts were actually crowned with success and the small badge "Ost" was changed to a national badge on the sleeve, as had been suggested by liaison officers for the various peoples in the East.
This directive was not composed by me alone. Quite a large number of paragraphs were introduced at that time by the Reichsführer SS. Already as far back as the spring of 1943 I succeeded in having these paragraphs altered and the indefinite time of employment for the Eastern Workers was limited to 2 years. Furthermore, in a document which I believe my defense counsel will also submit to the Tribunal, it is proved that the removal of the restrictions applied to the Eastern Workers was the result of my endeavors. I tried to remove these restrictions in the very beginning, as I correctly stated in my first answer, so that the Eastern Workers stood on equal footing to other foreign workers and to the German workers.
That was my aim and my conception of my duty as I performed it. I was particularly glad to do this for the Eastern Workers as they were the best workers we had in Germany.
From Sauckel’s IMT Testimony: With regard to the employment of workers from the East I was told that Russia had not joined the Geneva Convention, and so Germany for her part was not bound by it. And I was further told that in the Baltic countries and in other regions, Soviet Russia had also claimed workers or people, and that in addition about 3 million Chinese were working in Soviet Russia. As regards Poland I had been told, just as in the case of other countries, that it was a case of total capitulation; and that on the grounds of this capitulation Germany was justified in introducing German regulations. On account of the necessities which I have mentioned, I considered the employment of foreign workers justifiable according to the principles which I enforced and advocated and to which I also adhered in my field of work. I was, after all, a German and I could feel only as a German.
I knew from my own life even if one goes to foreign countries voluntarily, a separation is very sad and heartbreaking and it is very hard for members of a family to be separated from each other. But I also thought of the German families, of the German soldiers, and of the hundreds of thousands of German workers who also had to go away from home.
It had become known to me before I assumed office that a great number of prisoners of war perished in the so-called battles of encirclement in the East. These battles lasted a long time, and owing to our enormous transport difficulties we could not move the prisoners, and they were left on the battlefield in a state of utmost exhaustion. That is all I know about that. I found out that some of the Russian prisoners of war were terribly undernourished.
Together with the general in charge of the Prisoners of War Organization I arranged for all these prisoners of war—as far as I know and remember there were about 70,000 in the Reich at that time—to be billeted with German farmers, in order to build up their strength. The farmers were obliged to feed these prisoners of war for at least 3 months, without putting them to work. As compensation the farmers were given the assurance that these prisoners of war would stay with them and work for them until the end of the war. ...
He [Bormann] placed the Gauleiter at my disposal. The instructions which I issued to the Gauleiter and the letters which I addressed to them—three of which are available here, and there never were many more of them—were to the effect that I was entitled to call on the Party for assistance in insuring the welfare, feeding, and clothing of the workers, and to see that they received everything that was humanly necessary and all we could possibly supply in view of existing wartime conditions. That was the role played by the Party, to the extent that it was asked to do so for me. Thus it was a form of control for the benefit of the foreign and German workers employed in Germany. Otherwise the Party had nothing to do with it. Incidentally, I did not much like interference on the part of outside offices. I could not appoint my plenipotentiaries myself.
From Max Timm’s IMT Testimony: I know only that we received certain statements from the Reichsführer SS that people were being taken out of industry, and owing to the objections of the Plenipotentiary General, who had to supply the replacements-I remember that this measure was partly withdrawn. I know from statements in reports that Jews were to be withdrawn from industry.
From the IMT Testimony of Walter Stothfang: The general treatment of foreign workers- particularly of those coming from the East-as far as it was determined by the Reichsführer SS or the principles laid down by the Reichsführer SS, was contrary to the ideas of the Plenipotentiary General for the Allocation of Labor. The Reichsführer SS was not inclined to meet the far-reaching, definite demands of the Plenipotentiary General for the Allocation of Labor. The same thing happened, in other directions, in the case of the head of the Party Chancellery. For example, where social insurance was concerned. In this case the Party Chancellery was of the opinion that equality with German workers was not justified on either practical or political grounds; nor was as high a rate of pay. He tried, again and again, to regulate all these matters according to his principles. In some things he was definitely unsuccessful, and in others he was successful only after great efforts. I would remind you of the equal status given to the Eastern Workers which was actually only put into effect in March 1945 through a decree.September 20-22, 1942: From Speer’s minutes of a conference with Hitler (11-124, USA-179):
From Sauckel’s IMT Testimony: [The idea that the work could have been carried out in the occupied territories themselves], at first sight, [is] an attractive suggestion. If it had been possible, I would willingly have carried out the suggestion which was made by Funk and other authorities, and later even by Speer. It would have made my life and work much simpler. On the other hand, there were large departments in this system which had to provide for and maintain the different branches of German economy and supply them with orders. As the Plenipotentiary General for the Allocation of Labor I could not have German fields, German farming, German mass production with the most modern machinery transferred to foreign territories—I had no authority for that—and those offices insisted that I should find replacements for the agricultural and industrial workers and the artisans whose places had become vacant in German agriculture or industry because the men had been called to the colors. When the Fuehrer described the situation so drastically, and ordered me to bring foreign workers to Germany, I clearly recognized the difficulties of the task and I asked him to agree to the only way by which I considered it possible to do this, for I had been a worker too.
From a pre-trial interrogation of Speer:
Q: Let me understand; when you wanted labor from prisoners of war did you requisition prisoners of war separately, or did you ask for a total number of workers?
A: Only Schmelter can answer that directly. As far as the commitment of prisoners of war for labor goes, it was effected through employment officers of the Stalags. I tried several times to increase the total number of prisoners of war that were occupied in production, at the expense of the other demands.
Q: Will you explain that a little more?
A: In the last phase of production, that is, in the year 1944 when everything collapsed, I had 40 percent of all prisoners of war employed in production. I wanted to have this percentage increased.
Q: And when you say 'employed in production', you mean in these subsidiary industries that you have discussed and also in the production of weapons and munitions, is that right?
A: Yes. That was the total extent of my task...
Q: But is it clear to you , Mr. Speer, that in 1942 when the decisions were being made concerning the use of forced foreign labor, that you participated in the discussions yourself?
Q: So that I take it that the execution of the program of bringing foreign workers into Germany by compulsion under Sauckel was based on earlier decisions that had been made with your agreement?
A: Yes, but I must point out that only a very small part of the manpower that Sauckel brought into Germany was made available to me; a far larger part of it was allocated to other departments that demanded them...
Q: When did you first find out then that some of the manpower from the Ukraine was not coming voluntarily?
A: It is rather difficult to answer this here, that is, to name a certain date to you. However, it is certain that I knew that at some particular point of time the manpower from the Ukraine did not come voluntarily.
Q: And does that apply also to the manpower from other occupied countries; that is, did there come a time when you knew that they were not coming voluntarily?
Q: When, in general, would you say that time was without placing a particular month of the year?
A: As far as the Ukraine situation ages. I believe that they did not come voluntarily any more after a few months, because immense mistakes were made in their treatment by us. I should say offhand that this was either in July or August, or September of 1942...
Q: But many workers actually did come from the West to Germany, did they not?
Q: That means then, that the great majority of the workers that came from the western countries—the western occupied countries—came against their will to Germany?
From Sauckel’s IMT Testimony: In the occupied territories there was naturally much opposition at the start of my work, because I brought new orders and new requirements and it was not always easy to reconcile conflicting interests. From my own conviction I refrained entirely from any such intervention and I always emphasized that in order to dispel any such apprehensions, since I myself was not the administrator there; but there were many selfish interests at work. I was given deputies for the occupied territories through a personal decree of the Führer on 30 September 1942, as far as I remember. The reason for appointing these deputies was to do away more easily with the difficulties and the lack of direction which prevailed to some extent in these areas.
There were previously deputies of the Reich Labor Ministry who in allied or neutral countries were assigned to the German diplomatic missions. They must be distinguished from those deputies who were assigned to the chiefs of the German military or civilian administration in the occupied territories. In the occupied territories the deputies had a dual position. They were the leaders of the labor sections in the local government there-a considerable burden for me-and at the same time my deputies who were responsible for the uniform direction and execution of the principles of the allocation of labor as laid down by me. I did not have any organization of my own. The local governments were independent separate administrations with an administrative chief as head to whom the various departments were subordinated. In the various countries I had one deputy in each of the highest offices.
The task of the deputy, as I have already said, was to guarantee that German orders were carried out in a legal way and, as member of the local administration, to regulate labor questions which arose there. It was expressly pointed out that they were to produce labor in reasonable proportions with consideration for local conditions; they also had to see to it that my principles were observed with respect to the treatment, feeding, and so forth of workers from the occupied zones. That is laid down in the form of a directive. There were no recruiting commissions in the sense in which the expression is often used here and in our own documents. It was a question of reinforcements of experts which were requested by the local government, in order to carry out the tasks in the countries concerned. They received the instructions which are frequently and clearly expressed in my orders and which, as they have been laid down, I need not mention.
From Max Timm’s IMT Testimony: The deputies were organized and intended to be men who were to exert a direct and vigorous influence on the execution of Sauckel's plans, instructions and orders. This goal, however, was not reached as they were not able to succeed. I remember that the Plenipotentiary General therefore intended to ask Hitler for more comprehensive instructions and more comprehensive powers. I seem to recall that the Plenipotentiary General once announced that he had learned from Hitler himself, or from his entourage, that Hitler was not inclined to extend these powers as he could not release the local governments, especially the military commanders, from their comprehensive responsibility and powers; so the Plenipotentiary General had only one recourse, that of putting forward his wishes through the channel of direct negotiations.
The deputies could only try to consult with the existing regional governments, but the opposition was so strong that they could not carry any weight. As they could not attain an independent position, the deputies were generally incorporated into the existing local administration by way of negotiations. With few exceptions they were entrusted with the management of the labor section, or were incorporated into the section for economy and labor. Generally they were placed within the staffs of the military commanders as administrative officials and that was the position which they held ostensibly. It was, to a certain extent, a combination of different positions held by one person, of which, without doubt, the most important was the position of section chief in the existing regional government.
From Sauckel’s IMT Testimony: In France, on questions of the Arbeitseinsatz, Manly (Note: Manly was, presumably, an official in Sauckel’s ministry; I can find no information on him. -W) negotiated with the French Government through the military commander and under the presidency of the German Ambassador in Paris. I was convinced that as far as the employment of labor in France was concerned, agreements should be made with a proper French Government. I negotiated in a similar manner with the General Secretary in Belgium.October 5, 1942: Letter from Fritz Sauckel to Rosenberg (017-PS, USA-180):
From a November 27, 1945 interrogatory of General von Falkenhausen (RF-15):
Question: On 6 October 1942 there appeared an order which instituted compulsory labor service in Belgium and in the departments of Northern France. ....
Answer: I was Commander for Northern France and Belgium.
Question: Does the witness remember having promulgated this order?
Answer: I do not remember exactly the text of this order, because it was drawn up after a long struggle with Sauckel, the Plenipotentiary General for the Allocation of Labor.
Question: Did you have any difficulties with Sauckel?
Answer: I was fundamentally opposed to the institution of compulsory labor service, and it was only after having received orders that I consented to promulgate the decree.
From Sauckel’s IMT Testimony: We called it "compulsory labor service" in German law. He did not sign it under pressure from me, because I talked to him about it and there was not any argument. This was done at the request of the Reich Government and the Führer. I deny the version as it is put before me now, emphatically. I say with full consciousness that to the best of my recollection this version is not completely correct. Laws regarding labor in occupied territories were not made on my order but on the order of the Führer, and I did not have any argument about it with General von Falkenhausen. We discussed it in a very friendly way, and he introduced the law. I do not remember having had any difficulties in this connection. And in another paragraph he states here that at that time he gave all his instructions on Hitler's orders. I myself had neither arguments nor difficulties with him.
From Max Timm’s IMT Testimony: The conferences with General Falkenhausen at which I was present were generally comparatively short. I had the feeling that the two gentlemen did not care for each other.
From Hubert Hildebrandt’s IMT Testimony: Of course, the military commander, as was the case with the civil administration in Holland, was more interested in receiving orders to be filled than in sending manpower to Germany, and that led to conflict. The authorities, however, had to be convinced in each instance that manpower must be sent to Germany-for agricultural work, for example, which could not be done in Holland, and also for a number of branches of the German armaments industry. The conditions were the same as in France, only that the deputies of the Plenipotentiary General were, from the very beginning, incorporated into the military administration. There were isolated cases of irregularities. For instance, I was informed one-day that reprisals were to be taken against relatives of members of age groups who had not appeared when they were called up. We stopped that immediately by discussing the matter with the representatives of the military commander. He also told him what he wanted. Von Falkenhausen was, of course, also interested in the first place in having orders for the German armaments industry carried out in Belgium; but it was also agreed that manpower should be sent to Germany. He certainly made frequent efforts to protect students, school children, and members of younger age groups.
It [the interrogatory of General von Falkenhausen] is not quite correct in several points. In Belgium there was not just one labor office, but a number of labor offices which dealt with the recruiting of volunteers, and also a number of recruiting of flees which worked with them. But from the very beginning these labor organizations worked under the supervision of the Feldkommandanturen in Belgium. These Feldkommandanturen were offices of the military commander. There was no question of the Plenipotentiary General taking over the work. Before he appointed his deputies he could only send his requests directly to the military administration, to General Von Falkenhausen, but not directly to a labor office.
From Sauckel’s IMT Testimony: The Arbeitseinsatz has nothing to do with exploitation. It is an economic process for supplying labor. At all times a regime of no matter what nature, can only be successful in the production of goods if it uses labor economically—not too much and not too little. That alone I consider economically justifiable. I can say most definitely that biological destruction was never mentioned to me. I was only too happy when I had workers. I suspected that the war would last longer than was expected, and the demands upon my office were so urgent and so great that I was glad for people to be alive, not for them to be destroyed. ...
For transportation the German Reichsbahn and the authorities designated in my Directive Number Regional offices and regional labor departments-were responsible.' Immediately on assuming my office I had a detailed discussion with Dr. Dorpmuller, Reich Minister of Transport; his state secretary, Dr. Ganzenmuller; and before him Dr. Kleinmuller; and it was agreed that the transportation of workers to Germany should be carried out in an unobjectionable manner; that the transport trains should be supplied with food for the duration of the journey; that, if Russians were included in these transports, the cars should under no circumstances be overcrowded; and that, if at all possible, passenger coaches should be used for these transports. We agreed on this, though the Reich Minister of Transport said that he could not be expected to provide the people with better transport than the German soldiers had; still, he could at least guarantee that the cars would not be overcrowded. Such incidents were not reported to me in my official position, and they could not possibly have referred to worker transports of my office.As far as I could determine from the proceedings here, they must have been transports of inmates of concentration camps who were being evacuated. I do not know for certain; but I cannot explain it otherwise because I would not tolerate such conditions under any circumstances, nor did I hear about them. Such things were of no advantage to us.
Concerning this report (054-PS, above), may I say the following: These terrible conditions had to be investigated at once by the local authorities concerned. A report on the result of the investigation did not reach me. This report here was also not made to me. I may point out that the transportation to Germany of sick people unfit for work was strictly prohibited by me, because that would have been a crime and an impossibility from the economic point of view. I could not possibly say who sent these trains back. It was also not established what kind of transports they really were. The report describes conditions which already existed before I came into office. I, personally-and I should like to emphasize this particularly—issued a decree according to which sick people or pregnant women—I personally issued orders that, if a return transport of sick people were necessary, the German Red Cross were to furnish personnel to accompany these people ad the way back to their native place. These orders can be found among the codes. Such terrible cases of negligence and crime are, therefore, in contradiction to the clear regulations issued by the German labor authorities.
In my own Gau it was not Bad Frankenthal but Bad Frankenhausen, Kyffhauser, which I made available for sick Soviet workers. In addition, I had a large school set aside in Edendorf near Weimar with 100 beds for typhus patients and Russian prisoners of war. So, on my own initiative, I myself did everything possible to help in dealing with cases of sickness and similar matters. It was also prohibited to return people while they were in a sick condition.
I should like to call your attention to the following sentence of the reporter -this is a report within a military authority: "These extreme incidents which took place in transports in the first few months did not, to our knowledge, repeat themselves in the summer." In the first months of the year 1942 I was not even in office, and my program did not commence until May. In the summer of that year, as it is correctly stated here, an end was put to this state of affairs.
Furthermore, I should like to call attention in the same document, 054-PS, I believe on Page 10, to a copy of a letter of complaint which says, `'As I informed you in my letter of 20 April 1942..." It is evident, therefore, that this letter deals with complaints about conditions which must have been disclosed before I assumed office.
Upon their arrival in Germany the people of the transport had not only to be properly received but they also had to be medically examined again and checked at a transit camp. One examination had to be made at the time and place of recruitment, and another took place at a fixed point before the border. Thus, from the time of recruitment until being put to work three medical examinations and checks had to be made, according to my directives. ....
In my testimony I quoted the passage in which the author of the letter [Rosenberg] said that this was the case during the first few months only, for I immediately had the camps inspected and improved. I even went so far as to get the Reich Labor Minister to issue new camp regulations, all as a result of this complaint.
Rosenberg, as well as I myself, advocated the abolition of the Eastern Worker's badge. There is a letter from the Reichsführer SS refusing this; but I know for certain that at the end of 1943 or the beginning of 1944 we succeeded in abolishing this Eastern Worker's badge, and it was replaced by a national emblem as worn by the other foreigners. This Eastern Worker's badge was to be abolished for various reasons, but above all to eliminate the demoralizing effect produced on the Eastern Workers by the wearing of a discriminating badge. The Eastern Worker's emblem or badge consisted of a blue-bordered square, which bore a blue inscription "Ost." The Reichsführer SS first ordered it to be worn on the right side of the breast; later, on the sleeve. Still later I was instrumental in getting this changed to a national emblem-blue, I think, or something similar-like the Russian colors, as the people themselves wished.
From Sauckel’s IMT Testimony: The accommodations in these camps were under the final supervision of the German trade inspection office, which was under the Reich Ministry of Labor. The trade inspection office had the authority and power to enforce observance from employers who failed to comply with the orders of the Reich Minister of Labor. I personally issued orders concerning the camps, but they could be put into effect and supervised only by the Reich Minister of Labor. In the camps themselves the camp leaders were responsible. The camp leader was appointed by agreement between the DAN and the works manager, and to my knowledge—this was not within the range of my duties—his appointment had to be confirmed and accepted by the security authorities.
Surveillance of the camp and maintenance of discipline was the task of the camp leader, and had nothing to do with the Police. The Police had, as I believe is the case in every country, surveillance and control rights as regards espionage and the secrecy of the plant, et cetera. Beyond that, the Police had nothing to do with the camp. When I assumed office, the camps, particularly of the Eastern Workers, were very much shut off from the world and were fenced in with barbed wire. To me this was incompatible with the principle of employing productive and willing workers; and with all the personal energy I could muster, I succeeded in having the fences and barbed wire removed; and I also reduced the limits of the curfew regulations for Eastern Workers, so that the picture which was presented here yesterday could eventually be realized. Anything else would have been incompatible, technically speaking, with the workers' willingness to work, which I wanted.
From Sauckel’s IMT Testimony: I cannot say and do not know when Rosenberg made this speech. I myself did not hear it or receive a copy of it. I can, however, definitely state that as soon as I came into office I made most extensive arrangements, so that the conditions which Rosenberg discusses here—and which can have nothing to do with my term of office—might be avoided under all circumstances. It was for that purpose that I issued those most comprehensive orders. To prevent such conditions I planned hundreds of valid and binding instructions of a legal nature, affecting every nationality working in Germany, which would make such conditions impossible. That is what I have to say to that. It cannot refer to conditions during my term of office.November 26, 1942: From a letter signed by Sauckel to the presidents of the land labor offices (L-61, USA-177):
From Sauckel’s IMT Testimony: May I say with respect to this document that it was shown to me already in the preliminary interrogations. I had it only for a short time then, and when it was presented to me again in the course of the proceedings I found that it was not an original document which I had signed. My name is typewritten at the bottom.
Secondly, it appears very peculiar to me that this letter, which I am supposed to have signed, was not dated by my office. My office, as can be seen from numerous documents, was in Berlin, in Mohrenstrasse. This letter was dated by the Saarlandstrasse office.
As far as the contents are concerned, I have to state that I at no time had a personal arrangement or agreement with the SD and Security Police in the sense of that letter; neither had I any knowledge of that letter, and I cannot remember it now either. The only thing in that letter which is correct is that I was obliged to replace the loss of manpower in German industry-whether Jews, soldiers, or others-within 2 weeks. It is possible that this letter came from the Saarlandstrasse office, from a subordinate office. I cannot say anything else about it.
From Max Timm’s IMT Testimony: As Sauckel continued to exercise his functions as Gauleiter in Weimar, it sometimes happened that things did not reach him. The sections in Saarlandstrasse submitted their drafts to the personal adviser in Thuringia House, and it is quite possible—as I know from my own knowledge of conditions—that the contents of the drafts were transmitted by telephone, and that the personal advisers were authorized to sign the name of the Plenipotentiary General.
I cannot understand that ("Signed, Fritz Sauckel" is on the letter). If it were an authentic copy, it would have had to be signed.
From Sauckel’s IMT Testimony: I cannot confirm the figures without records. Again, I assume that French and other prisoners of war were once more included. The number of foreign workers brought to Germany during the year of 1943 may have amounted to 1 1/2 or 2 million. Various programs had been made in that connection which were being continually changed. I cannot be more exact.December 9, 1942: A report by an SS-Obersturmbannführer in Przemsyl reports that, of a trainload of 319 Ukrainian forced laborers that had arrived from Kiev, not one was fit to work. (Burleigh, p. 554)
From Jodl's IMT testimony: I cannot say [how many of these 220,000 were volunteers]; I only quoted from a report that was appended to the situation report from France. That a large-scale exchange between prisoners of war and workers had been in progress, has already been stated in detail by Sauckel.December 14, 1942: From a statement by Frank made to the political leaders of the NSDAP at Krakow:
From Hans Frank’s IMT Testimony: First, I would like to emphasize that the Government General had to start with a balance sheet which revealed a frightful economic situation. The country had approximately twelve million inhabitants. The area of the Government General was the least fertile part of the former Poland. Moreover, the boundary between the Soviet Union, as well as the boundary between the German Reich, had been drawn in such a way that the most essential elements, indispensable for economy, were left outside. The frontiers between the Soviet Union and the German Reich were immediately closed; and so, right from the start, we had to make something out of nothing.
Galicia, the most important area in the Republic of Poland from the viewpoint of food supplies, was given to the Soviet Union. The province of Posen belonged to the German Reich. The coal and industrial areas of Upper Silesia were within the German Reich. The frontier with Germany was drawn in such a way that the iron works in Czestochowa remained with the Government General, whereas the iron-ore basins which were 10 kilometers from Czestochowa were incorporated into the German Reich.
The town of Lodz, the textile center of Poland, came within the German Reich. The city of Warsaw with a population of several millions became a frontier town because the German border came as close as 15 kilometers to Warsaw, and the result was that the entire agricultural hinterland was no longer at the disposal of that city. A great many facts could be mentioned, but that would probably take us too far. The first thing we had to do was to set things going again somehow. During the first weeks the population of Warsaw could only be fed with the aid of German equipment for mass feeding. The German Reich at that time sent 600,000 tons of grain, as a loan of course, and that created a heavy debt for me.
I started the financial economy with 20 million zlotys which had been advanced to me by the Reich. We started zenith a completely impoverished economy due to the devastation caused by the war, and by the first of January 1944 the savings bank accounts of the native population had reached the amount of 11,500 million zlotys, and we had succeeded by then in improving the feeding of the population to a certain extent. Furthermore, at that time the factories and industrial centers had been reconstructed, to which reconstruction the Reich authorities had made outstanding contributions; Reich Marshal Goering and Minister Speer especially deserve great credit for the help given in reviving the industry of the country. More than two million fully paid workers were employed; the harvest had increased to 1.6 million tons in a year; the yearly budget had increased from 20 million zlotys in the year 1939 to 1,700 million zlotys. All this is only a sketch which I submit here to describe the general development.
From Sauckel’s IMT Testimony: I have just learned of that letter for the first time. I did not know of it before, and I can only emphasize that these transports and this procedure had nothing to do with my work, and that I had nothing to do with them at any time.December 17, 1942: United Nations Statement: "...those responsible for these crimes shall not escape retribution..."
From Sauckel’s IMT Testimony: With reference to the question of these deportations, I can only say that I did not have the least thing to do with them. I never agreed-I never could have agreed, in view of my own outlook, my development, and my life-I could not have agreed to the use of prisoners or convicts for work in that manner. That was absolutely foreign to my nature. I also have the firm conviction that, on account of my forcible statements and measures, I was intentionally kept uninformed about the whole matter, because it was quite contrary to my own views on work and on workers. I said very often—and it can be seen in documents here—that I wanted to win the co-operation of the foreign workers for Germany and for the German way of life, and I did not want to alienate them.
My directives and instructions can be clearly seen in numerous documents. I could issue only these because I had no executive power and no machinery of my own. All these directives, from the very beginning, prescribe legally correct and just treatment. It is true, however, that I used the words "under all circumstances" when communicating with German offices—the Fuehrer himself had impressed these words on me—and I used the word "ruthlessly," not with respect to the treatment of workers but with respect to the many arguments, disputes, arbitrary acts, and individual desires which the German offices, with which I had to contend fiercely, had among themselves and against me. For the most part they did not understand the importance of the allocation of labor as an economic measure in time of war. The military authorities, the army commanders, very often told me, for instance, that it was nonsense to bring these people to Germany. There was the Vlassov Army under the Russian general of that name, and the military authorities wanted these Russian workers to join the Vlassov Army. I opposed that. I did not consider it right, nor did I consider it sufficiently reliable. These were the things against which I had to proceed ruthlessly in my dealings with the German administration in those territories.
There were other circumstances which, however, were not connected directly but indirectly with the allocation of labor, and they often took me by surprise; for example, the evacuation of military zones, which frequently had to be carried through at a moment's notice or after only a very short time of preparation. And when such an evacuation had been carried out it was the task of the local labor offices to put the evacuated population to work in areas in the rear or to bring to Germany such workers as could be used there.
This sort of labor allocation entailed, of course, considerable difficulties for me. There were families and children among the evacuated people; and they, naturally, had also to be provided with shelter. It was often the very natural wish of the Russian fathers and mothers to take their children with them. That happened, not because I wanted it, but because it was unavoidable.
To a large extent those people were used by the local authorities in those territories and put into agriculture, industry, railroads, bridge building, and so on. I never had anything to do with resettlement. By a decree of the Führer that task was expressly delegated to the Reichsführer SS.
I heard that expression "extermination by labor" for the first time here in the courtroom. Such a concept was of necessity absolutely contrary to the interests which I stood for in my position. I had nothing to do with the employment of concentration camp inmates, and I also told my colleagues that we would have nothing to do with the employment of that kind of labor. I had nothing to do with punitive measures of any kind. I cannot tell you [who put the concentration camp inmates to work in the armament industries] from personal knowledge because I had nothing to do with it, and I never participated in discussions dealing with this subject.
From Sauckel’s IMT Testimony: I had about four conversations with Rosenberg, at his request; and he told me about the bad conditions. There was no doubt on my part that such conditions were to be utterly condemned. The Reichskommissariat Ukraine was mainly involved. There were considerable differences between the Reich Minister for the Occupied Eastern Territories, Rosenberg, and Reich Commissioner Koch. Koch was not subordinate to me either directly or indirectly. I could not give him any instructions in such matters. I let him know from the outset that I could not possibly agree with such methods as I had heard about, to some extent through Rosenberg, although I could not prove them. Koch was of the opinion—and he explained that in his letters to Rosenberg—that in his territory he was the sole authority. He also pointed that out to me.
I also spoke to Herr Rosenberg about [the idea that cause for these conditions was that my demands were too high]. I personally was of the opinion that, if the demands could be divided up and orderly recruitment and conscription could take place, it was quite possible to fill the quotas. After all, I had orders and instructions from the Führer and the Central Planning Board.
The methods that should be used were not only frequently discussed between us, but I published them in many very clear directives. I even went so far as to issue and distribute my manifesto over the head of this higher authority to the subordinate offices so that they could be guided by it. I have to point out emphatically, however, that these were incidents which occurred for the most part before my directives came into effect and before my appointment.
After receiving Rosenberg's letter I had a discussion with him immediately. As it was shortly before Christmas, 21 December 1942, I called by telegram an official meeting at Weimar for 6 January (1943, see below), to which representatives of the respective offices in the East were invited. I also invited Reich Minister Rosenberg to that meeting. And at that conference these officials were again told clearly and unmistakably that it was their duty to use correct and legal methods.
Apart from the information from Rosenberg and his letters of that time, I did not receive any other direct complaints. But I had issued emphatic orders that any complaints received by my of flee were to be forwarded immediately to the competent Reich authorities for investigation, punishment, and the remedying of the grievances. I should like to state this: My office received a great many complaints which concerned me; but they were complaints about insufficient numbers of workers provided by me. It was my duty to correct this. For the correction of inadequacies in administration, for eliminating unjust measures in various fields or various agencies, I could not be competent, as the Reich authorities themselves were competent in that respect. That I was interested from a humane and personal point of view can be seen from the fact that I was concerned about these things, although they did not come within my office.
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