|Nazi Conspiracy and Aggression Volume 1|
|Prev||Chapter 10. CHAPTER X - THE SLAVE LABOR PROGRAM, THE ILLEGAL USE OF PRISONERS OF WAR, AND THE SPECIAL RESPONSIBILITY OF SAUCKEL AND SPEER THEREFOR||Next|
Sauckel bears special responsibility for the Nazi slave labor program and the manner in which it was executed. Sauckel was appointed as Plenipotentiary General for Manpower because he was an old and trusted Nazi. He has certified, on 17 November 1945, that he held the following positions:
"1. Member of Nationalsozialistischen Deutschen Arbeiterpartei (1925-1945). (Member of National Socialist German Workers Party. Member No. 1395.)
2. Member of Reichstag (Mitglied des Reichstags) (1933-1945).
3. Gauleiter of Thuringia (1927-1945).
4. Member of Thuringian legislature (Landtag) 1927-1933/34).
5. Minister of Interior and head of Thuringian State Ministry (May 1933).
6. Reichsstatthalter for Thuringia (1933-1945).
7. SA Obergruppenfuehrer (November 1937-1945).
8. SS Obergruppenfuehrer (January 1942-1945).
9. Administrator Berlin-Suhler Waffen & Fahrzeugwerke (1935).
10. Head of Gustloff-Werke Nationalsozialistrische Industrie-Stiftung (1936). Honorary Head of Foundation.
11. General Plenipotentiary for Labor Allocation (General-bevollmaechtigter fuer den Arbeitseinsatz) (21 March 1942-1945)." (2974-PS)
Sauckel's official responsibilites are borne out by other evidence. His appointment as Plenipotentiary-General for Manpower was effected by a decree of 21 March 1942 signed by Hitler, Lammers, and Keitel. By that decree (1666-PS) Sauckel was given authority as well as responsibility subordinate only to that of Hitler and Goering for all matters relating to recruitment, allocation, and handing of foreign and domestic manpower. Goering, to whom Sauckel was directly responsible, abolished the recruitment and allocation agencies for the Four Year Plan, delegated their powers to Sauckel and placed his far-reaching authority, as deputy for the Four Year Plan, at Sauckel's disposal. This was the result of Goering's decree dated 27 March 1942 (1666-PS) and providing as follows:
"In pursuance of the Fuehrer's Decree of 21 March 1942 (RGBl I, 179), I decree as follows:
"1. My manpower sections (Geschaeftsgruppen Arbeitseinsatz) are hereby abolished (circular letter of 22 Oct 1936/St M. Dev. 265). Their duties (recruitment and allocation of manpower, regulations for labor conditions (Arbeitsbedingungen)) are taken over by the Plenipotentiary General for Arbeitseinsatz, who is directly under me.
"2. The Plenipotentiary General for Arbeitseinsatz will be responsible for regulating the conditions of labor (wage policy) employed in the Reich Territory, having regard to the requirements of Arbeitseinsatz.
"3. The Plenipotentiary General for Arbeitseinsatz is part of the Four Year Plan. In cases where new legislation is required, or existing laws required to be modified, he will submit appropriate proposals to me.
"4. The Plenipotentiary General for Arbeitseinsatz will have at his disposal for the performance of his task the right delegated to me by the Fuehrer for issuing instructions to the higher Reich authorities, their branches and the Party offices, and their associated organisms and also the Reich Protector, the General-Governor, the Commander-in-Chief, and heads of the civil administrations. In the case of ordinances and instructions of fundamental importance a report is to be submitted to me in advance." (1666-PS)
By a Hitler decree of 30 September 1942 Sauckel was given extraordinary powers over the civil and military authorities of the territories occupied by Germany. The decree (1903-PS) provided as follows:
"I herewith authorize the Deputy General for the Arbeitseinsatz, Reich-governor and district leader (Gauleiter) Fritz Sauckel to take all necessary measures for the enforcement of my decree referring to a Deputy General for the Arbeitseinsatz of 21 March 1942 (Reichsgesetzblatt, I, page 179) according to his own judgment in the Greater German Reich, in the Protectorate, and in the Government General (General-government) as well as in the occupied territories, measures which will safeguard under all circumstances the regulated deployment of labor (Geordneter Arbeitseinsatz) for the German war-economy. For this purpose he many appoint commissioners (Beauftragte) to the bureaus of the military and civilian administration. These are subordinated directly to Deputy General for the Arbeitseinsatz. In order to carry out their tasks, they are entitled to issue directives to the competent military and civilian authorities in charge of the Arbeitseinsatz and of wage-policy.
"More detailed directives will be issued by the Deputy General for the Arbeitseinsatz.
"Fuehrer-Headquarters, 30 Sept. 1942.
"(singed) Adolph Hitler." (1903-PS)
Within a month after his appointment, Sauckel sent Rosenberg his "Labor Mobilization Program", which might more appropriately be termed Sauckel's "Charter of Enslavement." This program envisaged the forcible recruitment and the maximum exploitation of the entire labor resources of the conquered areas and of prisoners of war in the interests of the Nazi war machine, at the lowest conceivable degree of expenditure to the German State. Sauckel explained his plans in these terms:
"It must be emphasized, however, that an additional tremendous number of foreign labor has to be found for the Reich. The greatest pool for that purpose are the occupied territories of the East. Consequently, it is an immediate necessity to use the human reserves of the Conquered Soviet Territory to the fullest extent. Should we not succeed in obtaining the necessary amount of labor on a voluntary basis, we must immediately institute conscription or forced labor. "Apart from the prisoners of war still in the occupied territories, we must, therefore, requisition skilled or unskilled male and female labor from the Soviet territory from the age of 15 up for the labor mobilization * * *."
"The complete employment of all prisoners of war as well as the use of a gigantic number of new foreign civilian workers, men and women, has become an undisputable necessity for the solution of the mobilization of labor program in this war." (016-PS)
Sauckel proceeded to implement this "Charter of Enslavement" with certain basic directives. In Regulation No. 4, which he issued on 7 May 1942, Sauckel provided that if voluntary recruitment of foreign workers was unsuccessful, compulsory service should be instituted. This regulation provides:
"The recruitment of foreign labor will be done on the fundamental basis of volunteering. Where, however, in the occupied territories the appeal for volunteers does not suffice, obligatory service and drafting must, under all circumstances, be resorted to. This is an indisputable requirement of our labor situation." (3044-PS)
Sauckel provided also for the allocation of foreign labor in the order of its importance to the Nazi war machine. Sauckel's regulation No. 10 of 22 August 1942 had these aims:
"* * * 3. The resources of manpower that are available in the occupied territories are to be employed primarily to satisfy the requirements of importance for the war, in Germany itself. In allocating the said labor resources in the Occupied Territories, the following order of priority will be observed:
"(a) Labor required for the troops, the occupation authorities, and the civil authorities;
"(b) Labor required for the German armaments (Reestungen);
"(c) Labor required for food and agriculture;
"(d) Labor required for industrial work other than armaments, which is in the interest of Germany;
"(e) Labor required for industrial work in the interests of the population of the territory in question." (3044-A-PS)
Sauckel and agencies subordinate to him exercised exclusive authority over the recruitment of workers from every area in Europe occupied by, controlled by, or friendly to the German nation. Sauckel affirmed this authority in the following decree:
"The recruitment of foreign labor in the areas occupied by Germany, in allied, friendly or neutral states will be carried out exclusively by my commissioners, or by the competent German military or civil agencies for the tasks of labor mobilization."
"For the carrying out of recruitment in allied, friendly or neutral foreign countries, my commissioners are solely responsible." (3044-PS)
Sauckel participated in the formulation of overall labor requirements for Germany and assigned quotas to be filled by and with the assistance of the individuals and agencies mentioned above, with knowledge that force and brutality were the only means whereby his demands could be met. Thus, the Lammer's report states (1292-PS):
"1. A conference took place with the Fuehrer today which was attended by:
"The Plenipotentiary for the Employment of Labor Gauleiter Sauckel,
"The Secretary for Armament and War Production, Speer,
"The Chief of the Supreme Command of the Army, General Field Marshal Keitel, General Field Marshal Milch,
"The Acting Reich Minister for Food and Agriculture State Secretary Backe,
"The Minister of the Interior, Reichsfuehrer SS Himmler, and myself.
(The Minister for Foreign Affairs and the Minister of National Economy had repeatedly asked to be permitted to participate prior to the Conference, but the Fuehrer did not wish their attendance.)
"The Fuehrer declared in his introductory remarks:
'I want a clear picture:
(1) How many workers are required for the maintenance of German War Economy?
(a) For the maintenance of present output?
(b) To increase its output?
(2) How many workers can be obtained from Occupied Countries, or how many can still be gained in the Reich by suitable means (increased output)? For one thing, it is this matter of making up for losses by death, infirmity, the constant fluctuation of workers, and so forth, and further it is a matter of procuring additional workers.'
"The Plenipotentiary for the Employment of Labor, Sauckel, declared that, in order to maintain the present pool of workers, he would have to add at least 2½ but probably 3 million new workers in 1944. Otherwise production would fall off. Reichsminister Speer declared that he needs an additional 1.3 million laborers. However, this would depend on whether it will be possible to increase production of iron ore. Should this not be possible, he would need no additional workers. Procurement of additional workers from Occupied Territory would, however, be subject to the condition that these workers will not be withdrawn from armament and auxiliary industries already working there. For this would mean a decrease of production of these industries which he could not tolerate. Those, for instance, who are already working in France in industries mentioned above, must be protected against being sent to work in Germany by the Plenipotentiary for the Employment of Labor. The Fuehrer agreed with the opinions of Reichsminister Speer and emphasized that the measures taken by the Plenipotentiary for the Employment of Labor should order no circumstances which would lead to the withdrawal of workers from armament and auxiliary industries working in occupied territories, because such a shift of workers would only cause disturbance of production in occupied countries.
"The Fuehrer called attention to the fact that at least 250,000 laborers will be required for preparations against air attacks in the field of civilian air raid protection. For Vienna alone, 2,000-2,5000 are required immediately. The Plenipotentiary for the Employment of Labor must add at least 4 million workers to the manpower pool, considering that he requires 2½ million workers for maintenance of the present level, that Reich Minister Speer needs 1.3 million additional workers, and that the above-mentioned preparations for security measures against air attacks call for 0.25 million laborers."
"The Reichsfuehrer SS explained that the enforcement agents put at his disposal are extremely few, but that he would try helping the Sauckel project to succeed by increasing them and working them harder. The Reichsfuehrer SS made immediately available 2,000 to 2,500 men from concentration camps for air raid preparations in Vienna."
"Results of the Conference:
"(1) The Plenipotentiary for Employment of Labor shall procure at least 4 million new workers from occupied territories." (1292-PS)
Moreover, Sauckel, in requesting the assistance of the Army for the recruitment of 1,000,000 men had women from the occupied Eastern territories, informed Keitel that prompt action was required; and that, as in all other occupied countries, pressure had to be used if other measures were not successful (3012-PS). Finally, Sauckel was informed by Rosenberg that the enslavement of foreign labor was achieved by force and brutality (018-PS). Notwithstanding his knowledge of conditions, Sauckel continued to request greater supplies of manpower from the areas in which the most ruthless methods had been applied. Indeed, when German Field Commanders on the Eastern Front attempted to resist Sauckel's demands, because forced recruitment was swelling the ranks of the partisans and making the army's task more difficult, Sauckel sent a telegram to Hitler, dated 10 March 1943, in which he implored him to intervene:
"Therefore, my Fuehrer, I ask you to abolish all orders which oppose the obligation of foreign workers for labor * * *."
"If the obligation for labor and the forced recruiting of workers in the East is not possible any more, then the German war industry and agriculture cannot fulfill their tasks to the full extent." (407-II-PS)
In addition to being responsible for the recruitment of foreign civilian labor by force, Sauckel was responsible for the conditions under which foreign workers were deported to Germany and for the treatment to which they were subjected within Germany. The conditions under which Sauckel's slaves were transported to Germany, were known to Sauckel (2241-PS). Moreover, he accepted responsibility for these conditions. Regulation Number 4 of 7 May 1942, issued by Sauckel as Plenipotentiary General for the Mobilization of Labor, deals with recruitment, care, lodging, feeding, and treatment of foreign workers of both sexes (3044-PS). By this decree, Sauckel expressly directed that the assembly and operation of rail transports and the supplying of food therefore was the responsibility of his agents until the transports arrived in Germany. By the same regulation, Sauckel directed that within Germany the care of foreign industrial workers was to be carried out by the German Labor Front and that care of foreign agricultural workers was to be carried out by the Reich Food Administration. By the terms of the regulation, Sauckel reserved for himself ultimate responsibility for all aspects of care, treatment, lodging, and feeding of foreign workers while in transit to and within Germany. The regulation reads (3044-PS):
"The care of foreign labor will be carried out.
"a. up to the Reichs border
"by my commissioners or-in the occupied areas by the competent military or civil labor mobilization agencies. Care of the labor will be carried out in cooperation with the respective competent foreign organization.
"b. Within the area of the Reich
"1. By the German Labor Front in the cases of non-agricultural workers.
"2. By the Reich Food administration in the case of agricultural workers.
"The German Labor Front and the German Food Administration are bound by my directives in the carrying out of their tasks of caring for the workers.
"The agencies of the labor mobilization administration are to give far-reaching support to the German Labor Front and the German Food Administration in the Fulfillment of their assigned tasks.
"My competence for the execution of the care of foreign labor is not prejudiced by the assignment of these tasks to the German Labor Front and the Reichs Food Administration."
"b. Composition and operation of the transports.
"The composition and operations of the transports up to the place of work is the task of my representatives, in the occupied territories of the labor mobilization agencies of the military and civil administration. In the countries in which foreign representatives are to direct the transports up to the frontier, the German Recruiting agency must take part in the supervision and care of the transports."
"c. Supply for the Transports.
"The food supply for the industrial workers in transit within the Reich, is the duty of the (DAF) German workers, front, office for labor mobilization.
For the rest, my offices effect the supply for the transport." (3044-PS)
Sauckel, in an agreement with Ley, the head of the German Labor Front (DAF) dated 2 June 1943, again emphasized his ultimate responsibility by creating a central inspectorate charged with examining the working and living conditions of foreign workers, and report in thereon to Sauckel's agency (1913-PS). The agreement reads in part as follows:
"* * * 2. The Reichsleiter of the German Labor Front, Reichsorganisationleiter Dr. Ley, in collaboration with the Plenipotentiary General for the Arbeitseinsatz, Gauleiter Sauckel, will establish a 'central inspection' for the continuous supervision of all measures concerning the care of the foreign workers mentioned under 1. This will have the designation:
'Central inspection for care of foreign workers.'
"The central inspection for the care of foreign workers exercises its functions upon directives and in the name of the Plenipotentiary General for the Arbeitseinsatz and of the Reichsleiter of the German Labor Front. In order to avoid all duplication of work, it will be its sole responsibility, ot scrutinize all measures taken for the care of foreign workers employed in the factories and camps, also to remove immediately all defects discovered-as far as possible-on the spot and to issue the necessary instructions for this.
"The authority of the Plenipotentiary General for the Arbeitseinsatz to empower the members of his staff and the presidents of the state employment offices to get direct information on the conditions regarding the employment of foreigners in the factories and camps, will remain untouched.
"3. The central inspection for the care of foreign workers will be continuously in touch with the main office VI of the Plenipotentiary General for the Arbeitseinsatz. It will instruct the office on the general observations made and will make suggestions for changes, if that should become necessary.
"4. The offices of the administration of the Arbeitseinsatz will be constantly informed by the 'central inspection for the care of foreign workers' of its observations, in particular immediately in each case in which action of State organizations seems to be necessary." (1913-PS)
Sauckel was also responsible for compelling citizens of the occupied countries against their will to manufacture implements of war for use in operations against their own country and its allies. These functions were included in the terms of Sauckel's appointment. (1666-PS)
In a series of reports of Hitler, Sauckel described how successful he had been in carrying out his program. One such report, dated 14 April 1943, states that in a single year Sauckel had incorporated 1,622,829 prisoners of war into the German economy:
"1. After having been active as Plenipotentiary for Arbeitseinsatz for one year I have the honor to report to you that 3,638,056 new foreign workers have been added to the German war economy between April 1st. of the last year and March 31st of this year."
"Besides the foreign civilian workers another 1,662,829 prisoners of war are employed in the German economy." (407-V-PS).
A subsequent report dated 3 June 1943, states that 846,511 additional foreign laborers and prisoners of war were incorporated into the German war industry:
"1. I beg to be permitted to report to you on the situation of the Arbeitseinsatz for the first five months of 1943. For the first time the following number of new foreign laborers and prisoners of war were employed in the German war industry: * * * Total: 846,511". (407-IX-PS)