The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

Nazi Conspiracy & Aggression
Individual Responsibility Of Defendants

Gustav Krupp Von Bohlen Und Halbach

(Part 14 of 15)

[Page 802]

(8) Concentration camp laborers, who were brought to the Krupp works at the request of Krupp officials, were subjected to persecution, degradation, despoilment, and torture in a manner similar to that of prisoners of war and slave laborers.

(a) Mr. Ihn, a director of the Krupp firm, has stated in a signed but unsworn statement, that the Krupp firm first asked for concentration camp labor on 22 September 1942, and that the first group of them arrived "in the summer or autumn of 1944" (D-274).

(b) The fact that concentration camp labor was requested by the Krupp works; that such persons were to be confined behind barbed wire enclosures; and that they were to be closely guarded by SS personnel is further shown in a memorandum entitled "Visit of the Director of Distribution of Workers of the Weimar-Buchenwald Concentration Camp; SS Hauptsturmfuehrer Schwarz on 26-74", written by Trockel, a Krupp official. In the course of this memorandum, Trockel stated:

"Herr Schwarz came on behalf of his Commandant SS Standartenfuehrer Pister to talk over with us, the question of employment of Kl detainees. He pointed out that the employment of men could not be reckoned with for a considerable period. Our last request was for 700 women."

"As not less than 500 women would be assigned, we agreed that the figure should remain at 500 women. in order that the assignment should not be endangered. ***"


"*** The main things are the erection of a barbed

[Page 803]

wire fence in front of the hall which allows a small exit and the erection of a small barracks for the Commander of the guard and his duty office and for the German female guard personnel. ***"

"The SS are providing a guard consisting of guard commander and 10 men. For 520 women we have to name approx. 45 German women who will be sworn in to the SS, given 3 weeks training in the women's camp at Ravensbruck and then given full official supervision duties by the SS. ***" (D-238)

(c) Dr. Jaeger, senior camp doctor in the Krupp camps, has described conditions at the camp which the Krupp works maintained for concentration camp labor as follows:

"Camp Humboldstrasse had been inhabitated by Italian prisoners of war. After it had been destroyed by an air raid, the Italians were removed and 600 Jewish females from Buchenwald Concentration Camp were brought in to work at the Krupp factories. Upon my first visit at Camp Humboldstrasse, I found these females suffering from open festering wounds and other diseases.

"I was the first doctor they had seen for at least a fortnight. There was no doctor in attendance at the camp. There were no medical supplies in the camp. They had no shoes and went about in their bare feet. The sole clothing of each consisted of a sack with holes for their arms and head. Their hair was shorn. The camp was surrounded by barbed wire and closely guarded by SS guards.

"The amount of food in the camp was extremely meagre and of very poor quality. The houses in which they lived consisted of the ruins of former barracks and they afforded no shelter against rain and other weather conditions. I reported to my superiors that the guards lived and slept outside their barracks as one could not enter them without being attacked by 10, 20 and up to 30 fleas. One camp doctor employed by me refused to enter the camp again after he had been bitten very badly. I visited this camp with a Mr. Grono on two occasions and both times we left the camp badly bitten. We had great difficulty in getting rid of the fleas and insects which had attacked us. As a result of this attack by insects of this camp, I got large boils on my arms and the rest of my body. I asked my superiors at the Krupp works

[Page 804]

to undertake the necessary steps to delouse the camp so as to put an end to this unbearable, vermin-infested condition. Despite this report, I did not find any improvement in sanitary conditions at the camp on my second visit a fortnight later." (D-288)

(d) The conditions under which the concentration camp workers existed at the Krupp camps and factories and the indignities and barbarities to which they were subjected are vividly described in affidavits by such workers (D-256; D- 277; D-272). In general, the affidavits disclose that these concentration camp laborers slept on bare floors of damp, windowless and lightless cellars; that they had no water for drinking or cleansing purposes; that they were compelled to do work far beyond their strength; that they were mercilessly beaten; that they were given one wretched meal a day, consisting of a dirty watery soup with a thin slice of black bread; and that many of them died from starvation, tuberculosis and overexertion. A chart entitled "Fried. Krupp Berthawerk, Markstaedt Breslau, Number of Occupied Foreigners, Prisoners of War and Concentration Camp Inmates" shows the use of concentration camp labor at that factory, as well as at the above-mentioned Krupp company in Essen (D- 298).

(9) Charts prepared by Krupp officials show that in September 1943, the Krupp concerns employed 39,245 foreign workers and 11,224 prisoners of war, and that the number mounted steadily until September 1944, when 54,990 foreign workers and 18,902 prisoners of war were used (Chart entitled "Foreigners and Prisoners of War of the Krupp Concern"; chart entitled "Cast Steel Works, Number of Prisoners of War and Foreigners", not here reproduced.) The majority of the foreign laborers consisted of Russians, French, Poles, and Dutch.

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