5. DESTRUCTION OF THE FREE TRADE UNIONS AND ACQUISITION OF CONTROL OVER THE PRODUCTIVE LABOR CAPACITY

A. They destroyed the independent organization of German labor.

(1) Before the Nazis took control, organized labor held a well established and influential position in Germany. Most of the trade unions of Germany were joined together in two large congresses or federations, the Free Trade Unions (Freie Gewerkschaften) and Christian Trade Unions (Christlichen Gewerkschaften). Unions outside these two large groupings contained only 15 per cent of the total union membership. The Free Trade Unions were a congress of two federations of affiliated unions: (1) the General German Trade Union Federation (Allgemeinen Deutschen Gewerkschaftsbund, or the "ADGB") with 28 affiliated unions of industrial workers; (2) the General Independent Employees Federation (Allgemeinen Freien Angestelltenbund, or the "AFA") with 13 affiliated unions of white collar workers. (392-PS)

The membership of the Free Trade Unions, the affiliated organizations of the Christian Trade Unions, and all other unions at the end of 1931 (the last year for which the official government yearbook gives statistics) was as follows (2411-PS):

Union Group Number of members Percentage of total

Free Trade Unions.......4,569,876 65.9

Christian Trade Unions.......1,283,272 18.5

Others Unions.......1,081,371 15.6

Total.......6,934,519 100.0

Under the Weimar Constitution, workers were "called upon to take part on equal terms" with employers in regulating conditions of employment. "It was provided that organizations on both sides and agreements between them shall be recognized." Factory Representative Councils (otherwise known as Workmens or Factory Works Councils) had the right, in conjunction with employers' representatives, to take an official part in the initiation and administration of social and economic legislation. (2050-PS)

(2) The Nazi conspirators conceived that the free trade unions were incompatible with their objectives.

Hitler stated in Mein Kampf:

"It (the trade union) created the economic weapon which the international world Jew uses for the ruination of the economic basis of free, independent states, for the annihilation of their national industry and of their national commerce, and thereby for the enslavement of free people in the service of the above-the-state-standing, world finance Jewry (ueberstaatlichen Weltfinanz-Judentums)." (404-PS)

In announcing to Germany the seizure of the Free Trade Unions, Dr. Robert Ley, speaking as chairman of the Nazi Committee for the Protection of German Labor, stated:

"You may say, what else do you want, you have the absolute power, but we do not have the whole people, we do not have you workers 100 percent, and it is you whom we want; we will not let you be until you stand with us in complete, genuine acknowledgement." (614-PS; see also 2224-PS and 2283-PS.)

(3) Soon after coming to power the Nazi conspirators took drastic action to convert the Factory Representative Councils into Nazi controlled organizations. The Nazi conspirators eliminated the independence of the Factory Representative Councils by giving the Governors of the Laender authority to cancel the membership of labor representatives in the councils; by abrogating the right of the councils to oppose the dismissal of a worker when he was "suspected of an unfriendly attitude toward the state" (1770-PS); and finally by limiting membership in all Factory Representative Councils to Nazis (2336-PS). (After 7 April 1933, the Governors of the Laender were appointed by the Reich President "upon the proposal of the Reich Chancellor," Hitler, 2005-PS).

(4) Soon after coming to power the Nazi conspirators proceeded to destroy the independent unions. In mid-April 1933, Hitler directed Dr. Robert Ley, then staff director of the PO (Political Organization) of the NSDAP, to take over the trade unions. (2283-PS)

Ley issued an NSDAP circular directive on 21 April 1933 detailing a "coordination action" (Gleichschaltunsaktion) to be taken on 2 May 1933 against the General German Trade Union Federation (ADGB) and the General Independent Employees Federation (AFA), the so-called "Free Trade Unions" (392-PS). This directive created a special "Action Committee" to direct the entire action and declared that the supporters of the action were to be drawn from the National Socialist Factory Cells Organization or NSBO (Nationalsozialistische Betriebszellen-Organisation), the NSDAP political leaders (Politische Leiter) in the factories; it named NSDAP commissars for the administration of the larger ADGB unions to be seized in the action; it made the Gau leaders (Gauleiter) of the NSDAP responsible for the disciplined execution of the action in their respective areas and authorized them to nominate additional commissars to administer the unions subjected to the action. The directive ordered that SA and SS were to be used in occupying union offices and the Bank of Workers, Employees and Officials, Inc., and for taking into protective custody the higher union leaders.

The order of seizure was carried out as planned and ordered. On 2 May the official NSDAP press service reported that the NSBO had "eliminated the old leadership" of Free Trade Unions and taken over their leadership. (2224-PS)

On 3 May 1933 the NSDAP press service announced that the Central League of Christian Trade Unions (Gesamtverband der Christlichen Gewerkschaften) and several smaller unions "have unconditionally subordinated themselves to the leadership of Adolf Hitler" (2225-PS). The next day the NSDAP press stated that the German Nationalist Clerks League (DHV) had also "recognized the leadership of the NSDAP in German trade union affairs * * * after a detailed conversation" between Dr. Ley and the leader of the DHV (2226-PS). In late June 1933, as a final measure against the Christian Trade Unions, Ley directed that all their offices were to be occupied by National Socialists. (392-PS)

The duress practiced by the Nazi conspirators in their assumption of absolute control over the unions is shown by a proclamation of Muchow, leader of the organizatonal office of the German Labor Front, in late June 1933. By this Party proclamation, all associations of workers not yet "concentrated" in the German Labor Front had to report within eight days. Thereafter they were to be notified of the branch of the German Labor Front which "they will have to join". (2228-PS)

(5) The Nazi Conspirators eliminated the right of collective bargaining generally. During the same months in which the unions were abolished, a decree eliminated collective bargaining on conditions of employment and substituted regulation by "trustees of labor" (Treuhaender der Arbeit) appointed by Hitler. (405-PS)

(6) The Nazi conspirators confiscated all union funds and property. The NSDAP circular ordering the seizure of the Free Trade Unions on 2 May 1933 directed that the SA and SS were to be used to occupy the branches and paying offices of the Bank for Workers, Employees and Officials and appointed a Nazi commissar, Mueller, for the bank's subsequent direction. The stock of this bank was held entirely by the General German Trade Union Association and its affiliated member unions. The NSDAP circular also directed that all union funds were to be blocked until re-opened under the authority and control of NSDAP-appointed commissars (392-PS; 2895-PS). The Fuehrer's basic order on the German Labor Front of the NSDAP in October 1934 declared that all the property of the trade unions and their dependent organizations constituted (bildet) property of the German Labor Front (2271-PS). Referring to the Seizure of the property of the unions in a speech at the 1937 Party Congress, Ley mockingly declared that he would have to be convicted if the former trade union leaders were ever to demand the return of their property. (1678-PS)

(7) The Nazi conspirators persecuted union leaders. The NSDAP order on the seizure of the "Free Trade Unions" directed that the chairmen of the unions were to be taken into "protective custody". Lesser leaders could be arrested with the permission of the appropriate Gau leader of the NSDAP (392-PS). In late June 1933 the German Labor Front published a "List of Outlaws" who were to be denied employment in the factories. The List named union leaders who had been active in combatting National Socialism and who allegedly continued to carry on their resistance secretly. (2336-PS)

The Nazi conspirators subjected union leaders to maltreatment ranging from assaults to murder. Among the offenses committed against union leaders are the following: assault and battery; degrading work and work beyond their physical capacity; incarceration in concentration camps; solitary confinement; denial of adequate food; surveillance; arrest and maltreatment of members of their families; murder. (2330-PS; 2331-PS; 2335-PS; 2334-PS; 2928-PS; 2277-PS; 2332-PS; and 2333-PS)

B. The Nazi conspirators introduced the Leadership Principle into industrial relations. In January 1934, a decree introduced the Leadership Principle (Fuehrerprinzip) into industrial relations, the entrepreneur becoming the leader and the workers becoming his followers. (1861-PS)

C. The Nazi conspirators supplanted independent unions by an affiliated Party organization, the German Labor Front (DAF).

(1) They created the German Labor Front. On the day the Nazis seized the Free Trade Unions, 2 May 1933, they publicly announced that a "united front of German workers" with Hitler as honorary patron would be formed at a Workers' Congress on 10 May 1933. (2224-PS)

Ley was appointed "leader of the German Labor Front" (Deutsche Arbeitsfront, or "DAF") on 10 May 1933 (1940-PS). The German Labor Front succeeded to the confiscated property of the suppressed trade union. It was an affiliated organization of the NSDAP, subject to the Leadership Principle; Ley was concurrently Reich Organization Leader (Reichsorganisationsleiter) and leader of the German Labor Front (1814-PS). The National Socialist Factory Cells Organization or NSBO contained the political leaders (Politische Leiter) of the NSDAP in the German Labor Front and those political leaders were given first preference in the filling of jobs in the DAF (2271-PS). The German Labor Front became the largest of the Party's organizations. At the outbreak of the war it had 23 million individual members and about 10 million corporative members who were members of organizations affiliated with it. (2275-PS)

(2) They utilized the German Labor Front as an instrument to impose their ideology on the masses, to frustrate potential resistance, and to insure effective control of the productive labor capacity of Germany. The DAF was charged with the ideological orientation of the broad masses of Germans working in the factories. its leaders were charged with weeding out potential opponents to National Socialism from the ranks of the DAF and from employment in industry. In its surveillance functions, the German Labor Front relied on Gestapo reports and on its own intelligence service (2336-PS). The German Labor Front took over the leadership of the German Cooperatives with the view to their subsequent liquidation (2270-PS). The Nazi conspirators established Factory Troops (Werkscharen) within the Strength Through Joy branch of the German Labor Front as an "ideological shock squad (Weltanschaulicher Stosstrupp) within the factory" (1817-PS). These shock squads were formed only of voluntary members ready "to fight" for Nazi conceptions. Among their objects were the speeding up of labor effort and the forging of a "single-willed community" (1818-PS). The SA was charged with the promotion and building up of Factory Troops by all means. When a factory worker joined the Factory Troops, he automatically became an SA candidate. Factory Troops were given a special uniform and their physical training took place within SA cadre units. (2230-PS)

During the war, the German Labor Front was made responsible for the care of foreign labor employed within the Reich (1913-PS). Barely two years after the suppression of the independent unions and the creation of the German Labor Front, the Nazi conspirators decreed compulsory labor service (Reichsarbeitsdienst) under which young men and women between 18 and 25 years of age were conscripted for labor service under the administration of the Reich Minister of Interior, Frick. (1389-PS)

After war had been declared, the Nazi conspirators openly admitted the objectives of the Nazis' control over labor. A publication of the Scientific Institute of the German Labor Front declared that it had been difficult to make the German people understand continuous renunciations in social conditions because all the nation's strength had been channeled into armaments (Wehrhaftigkeit) for "the anticipated clash with an envious surrounding world" (2276-PS). Addressing workers five days after the launching of war on Poland, Ley admitted that the Nazis had mobilized all the resources and energies of Germany for seven years "so as to be equipped for the supreme effort of battle" and that the First World War had not been lost because of cowardice of German soldiers, "but because dissension and discord tore the people asunder" (1939-PS). Ley's confidence in the Nazis' effective control over the productive labor capacity of Germany in peace or war was declared as early as 1936 to the Nurnberg Party Congress:

"The idea of the Factory Troops is making good progress in the plants, and I am able to report to you, my Fuehrer, that security and peace in the factories has been guaranteed, not only in normal times, but also in times of the most serious crisis. disturbances such as the munitions strikes of the traitors Ebert and confederates, are out of the question. National Socialism has conquered the factories. Factory Troops are the National Socialist shock troops within the factory, and their motto is: THE FUEHRER IS ALWAYS RIGHT." (2283-PS)

LEGAL REFERENCES AND LIST OF DOCUMENTS RELATING TO DESTRUCTION OF THE FREE TRADE UNIONS AND ACQUISITION OF CONTROL OVER THE PRODUCTIVE LABOR CAPACITY

Document Description Vol. Page

Charter of the International Military Tribunal, Article 6, especially 6 (a).....I 5

International Military Tribunal, indictment Number 1, Section IV (D) 3 (c) (1).....I 19

Note: A single asterisk (*) before a document indicates that the document was received in evidence at the Nurnberg trial. A double asterisk (**) before a document number indicates that the document was referred to during the trial but was not formally received in evidence, for the reason given in parentheses following the description of the document. The USA series number, given in parentheses following the description of the document, is the official exhibit number assigned by the court.

*392-PS Official NSDAP circular entitled "The Social Life of New Germany with Special Consideration of the German Labor Front", by Prof. Willy Mueller (Berlin, 1938). (USA 326).....III 380

*404-PS Excerpts from Hitler, Mein Kampf, pp. 456, 475. (USA 256)....III 385

405-PS Law Concerning Trustees of Labor, 19 May 1933. 1933 Reichsgesetzblatt, Part I, p. 285.....III 387

614-PS Proclamation of the Action Committee for the Protection of German Labor, 2 May 1933. Documents of German Politics, Vol. I, p. 151-3.....III 447

1389-PS Law creating Reich Labor Service, 26 June 1935. 1935 Reichsgesetzblatt, Part I, p. 769.....III 963

*1678-PS Speech of Dr. Robert Ley. Documents of German Politics, Vol. V, pp. 373, 376. (USA 365)....IV 190

1770-PS Law concerning factory representative councils and economic organizations, 4 April 1933. 1933 Reichsgesetzblatt, Part I, p. 161....IV 343

*1814-PS The Organization of the NSDAP and its affiliated associations, from Organization book of the NSDAP, editions of 1936, 1938, 1940 and 1943, pp. 86-88. (USA 328)....IV 411

1817-PS Bureau for factory troops, from Organization Book of the NSDAP, 1936 EDITION, P. 211....211 457

1818-PS Bureau for Factory troops and training, from Organization Book of the NSDAP, 1940 edition, pp. 195-196b....IV 457

1861-PS Law on the regulation of National labor, 20 January 1934. 1934 Reichsgesetzblatt, Part I, p. 45....IV 497

*1913-PS Agreement between Plenipotentiary General for Arbeitseinsatz and German Labor Front concerning care of non-German workers. 1943 Reichsgesetzblatt, Part I, p. 588. (USA 227)....IV 547

1939-PS Speech by Ley published in Forge of the Sword, with an introduction by Marshal Goering, pp. 14-17.....IV 581

1940-PS Fuehrer edict appointing Ley leader of German Labor Front. Voelkischer Beobachter, Munich (Southern German) edition. p. 1....IV 584

1947-PS Letter from von Fritsch, 11 December 1938, concerning need of Germany to be victorious over working class, Catholic Church and Jews.....IV 585

2005-PS Second law integrating the "Laender" with the Reich, 7 April 1933. 1933 Reichsgesetzblatt, Part I, p. 173....IV 641

2050-PS The Constitution of the German Reich, 11 August 1919. 1919 Reichsgesetzblatt, Part I, p. 1383...IV 662

*2224-PS The End of the Marxist Class Struggle, published in National Socialist Party Press Agency, 2 May 1933, pp. 1-2. (USA 364)....IV 864

2225-PS The Front of German Workers has been Erected, published in National Socialist Party Press Agency, 3 May 1933, p. 1....IV 868

2226-PS The Labor Front Stands, published in National Socialist Party Press Agency, 4 May 1933, p. 2....IV 869

2228-PS Order issued by German Labor Front, published in National Socialist Party Press Agency, 26 June 1933, p. 5....IV 869

2230-PS Agreement between Ley and lutze, chief of staff of SA, published in Organization Book of NSDAP, 1938, pp. 484-485b, 486c...IV 871

2270-PS Coordination of Cooperatives, published in National Socialist Party Press Agency release of 16 May 1933.....IV 938

2271-PS The National Socialist Factory Cells Organization, published in Organization Book of NSDAP, PP. 185-187....IV 940

2275-PS The German Labor Front, published in Nature-Aim-Means. Footnote on p. 11....IV 949

2276-PS The German Labor Front, published in Nature-Aim-Means. p. 55....IV 950

*2277-PS Affidavit, 17 October 1945, of Gustav Schiefer, Chairman of General German Trade Union Association, Local Committee, Munich, in 1933. (USA 748)....IV 951

*2283-PS The Fifth Day of the Party Congress, from Voelkischer Beobachter, Munich (Southern German) Edition, Issue 258, 14 September 1936. (USA 337)....IV 971

*2330-PS Order of Protective Custody, Police Directorate of Nurnberg-Fuerth of Josef Simon, Chairman of German Shoemaker's Union, 29 August 1935. (USA 237)...IV 1038

*2331-PS Declaration required of union leader Josef Simon upon his release from Protective Custody by Bavarian Political Police, 20 December 1935. (USA 743)....IV 1039

2332-PS Death certificate, Flossenburg Concentration Camp, concerning union leader Staimer and official letter to his wife, 22 December 1941....IV 1040

*2333-PS Death certificate, Flossenburg Concentration Camp, concerning union leader Herrmann, and official letter to his wife, 29 December 1941. (USA 744)....IV 1040

*2334-PS Affidavits of Lorenz Hagen, Chairman of Local Committee, German Trade Unions, Nurnberg. (USA 238)....IV 1041

*2335-PS Affidavits of Josef Simon, Chairman of German Shoemakers' Union in 1933. (USA 749)....IV 1046

2336-PS Special Circular on Securing of association of German Labor Front against hidden Marxist sabotage, 27 June 1933....IV 1052

2411-PS Chart of unions of workers and employees, from Statistical yearbook for German Reich, 1932, p. 555...V 87

*2895-PS Joint affidavit of union leaders Simon, Hagen, and Lex, 13 November 1945. (USA 754)....V 563

*2928-PS Affidavit of Mathias Lex, deputy president of the German Shoemakers Union. (USA 239)....V 594

Statement XII Political Testament of Robert Ley, written in Nurnberg prison, October 1945.....VIII 742

Statement XIII Outline of Defense of Dr. Robert Ley, written in Nurnberg prison, 24 October 1945....VIII 749