The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)
Nuremberg, war crimes, crimes against humanity

The Trial of German Major War Criminals

Sitting at Nuremberg, Germany
December 3 to December 14, 1945

Eighteenth Day: Wednesday, 12th December, 1945
(Part 4 of 9)

[MR. DODD continuies]

[Page 313]

A document found in the O.K.H. files furnishes evidence of the seizure of workers in Holland and I refer to Document 3003-PS, which is Exhibit USA 196. This document is a partial translation of the text of a lecture delivered by one Lieutenant Haupt, of the German Wehrmacht, concerning the situation of the war economy in the Netherlands. I wish to quote from Page 1 of the English text, starting with the fourth line of Paragraph 1, quoting that directly, which reads as follows:-
"There had been some difficulties with the Arbeitseinsatz, that is, during the man-catching action, which became very noticeable because

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it was unorganised and unprepared. People were arrested in the streets and taken out of their homes. It had been impossible to carry out a unified release procedure in advance, because for security reasons, the time for the action had not been previously announced. Certificates of release, furthermore, were to some extent not recognised by the officials who carried out the action. Not only workers who had become available through the stoppage of industry but also those who were employed in our installations producing things for our immediate need, were apprehended or did not dare to go into the streets. In any case it proved to be a great loss to us ..."
I might say to the Tribunal, that the hordes of people displaced in Germany today indicate, to a very considerable extent, the length to which the conspirators' labour programme proceeded. The best available Allied and German data reveal that by January, 1945, approximately 4,795,000 foreign civilian workers had been put to work for the German war effort in the Old Reich, and among them were forced labourers of more than 14 different nationalities. I now refer to Document 2520-PS, Exhibit USA 197, which is an affidavit executed by Edward L. Duess, an economic analyst.

At the top of the first page there are tables setting forth the nationality and then the numbers of the various nations, and other groupings of prisoners of war and politicals, so- called. The workers alone total, according to Mr. Duess, who is an expert in this field, the 4,795,000 figure to which I have just referred. In the second paragraph of this statement of Duess, I should like to read for the record and quote directly:-

"I, Edward, L. Duess, for three years employed by the Foreign Economic Administration, Washington, as an economic analyst in London, Paris and Germany, specialising in labour and population problems of Germany during the war, do hereby certify that the figures of foreign labour employed in the Old Reich have been compiled on the basis of the best available material from German and Allied sources. The accompanying table represents a combination of German official estimates of foreigners working in Germany in January, 1945, and of American, British and French figures of the number of foreigners, actually discovered in the Old Reich since 10th May, 1945."
Only a very small proportion of these imported labourers came to Germany on a voluntary basis. At the 1st March, 1944, meeting of this same Central Planning Board, to which we have made reference before, the defendant Sauckel made clear himself the vast scale on which free men had been forced into this labour slavery. He made the statement, and I quote from Document R-124, which is in evidence as Exhibit USA 179, and from which I have quoted earlier this morning. I wish to refer to Page 11 of that document, the middle paragraph, Paragraph 3. In the German text it appears at Page 4, Paragraph 2 (the defendant Sauckel speaking), and I quote directly from that document:-
"Out of five million foreign workers who arrived in Germany, not even two hundred thousand came voluntarily."
The Nazi conspirators were not satisfied just to tear five million odd persons from their children, from their homes, from their native lands, but in addition, these defendants, who sit today in this Court room, insisted that this vast number of wretched human beings, who were in the so-called Old Reich as forced labourers, must be starved, given less than sufficient to eat, often

[Page 315]

beaten and mistreated, and permitted to die wholesale for want of food, for want of even the fundamental requirements of decent clothing, for the want of adequate shelter or indeed sometimes just because they produced too little.

Now, these conditions of deportation are vividly described in Document 054-PS, which is a report made to the defendant Rosenberg, concerning the treatment of Ukrainian labour. I wish to refer to Document 054-PS, which is Exhibit USA 198. Before quoting from it directly, according to this report the plight of these hapless victims was aggravated because many were dragged off without opportunity to collect their possessions. Indeed, men and women were snatched from bed and lodged in cellars, pending deportation. Some arrived in night clothing. Brutal guards beat them. They were locked in railroad cars for long periods without any toilet facilities at all, without food, without water, without heat. The women were subjected to physical and moral indignities and indecencies during medical examinations.

I refer now specifically to this Document 054-PS, which consists of a covering letter to the defendant Rosenberg, first of all, and is signed by one Theurer - a Lieutenant in the Wehrmacht-to which is attached a copy of a report by the Commandant of the Collecting Centre for Ukrainian Specialists at Charkow, and it also consists of a letter written by one of the specialists, in the Rosenberg office - no, by one of the workers, not in the Rosenberg office, but one of the specialists they were recruiting, by the name of Grigori. I wish to quote from the report at Page 2, starting at Paragraph 4 of the English text, and in the German text it appears at Page 3, Paragraph 4. Quoting directly from that page of the English text:-

"The starosts, that is the village elders, are frequently corruptible, they continue to have the skilled workers, whom they drafted, dragged from their beds at night to be locked up in cellars until they are shipped. Since the male and female workers often are not given any time to pick up their luggage, and so forth, many arrive at the Collecting Centre for Skilled Workers with entirely insufficient equipment (without shoes, only two dresses, no eating and drinking utensils, no blankets, etc.). In particularly extreme cases, new arrivals therefore have to be sent back again immediately to get the things most necessary for them. If people do not come along at once, threatening and beating of skilled workers by the above-mentioned militia is a daily occurrence and is reported from most of the communities. In some cases women were beaten until they could no longer march. One bad case in particular was reported by me to the commander of the civil police here (Colonel Samek) for severe punishment (place Sozokinkow, district Dergatschni). The encroachments of the starosts; and the militia are of a particularly grave nature because they usually justify themselves by claiming that all this is done in the name of the German Armed Forces. In reality, the latter have conducted themselves throughout in a highly understanding manner toward the skilled workers and the Ukrainian population. The same, however, cannot be said of some of the administrative agencies. To illustrate this, be it mentioned that a woman once arrived dressed in little more than a shirt."
Passing now to Page 4 of this same document, starting with the tenth line of the third paragraph and in the German text it appears at Page 5, Paragraph 2. Quoting directly again:-

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"On the basis of reported incidents, attention must be called to the fact that it is irresponsible to keep workers locked in the cars for many hours so that they cannot even take care of the calls of nature. It is evident that the people of a transport must be given an opportunity from time to time, to get drinking water, to wash, and to relieve themselves. Cars have been shown in which people had made holes so that they could take care of the calls of nature. Persons should, if possible, relieve themselves well before reaching the larger stations."
Turning to Page 5 of the same document, Paragraph 12, in the German text it appears at Page 6, Paragraph 1:-
"The following abuses were reported from the delousing stations: In the women's and girls' shower rooms, services were partly performed by men, or men would join in or even help with the soaping and, on the other hand, there were female personnel in the men's shower rooms; men also for some time were taking photographs in the women's shower rooms. Since mainly Ukrainian peasants were transported in the last months, as far as the female portion of these are concerned, they were mostly of a high moral standard and used to strict decency, and they must have considered such a treatment as a national degradation. The above-mentioned abuses have been, according to our knowledge, settled by the intervention of the transport commanders. The reports of the photographing were made from Halle; the reports about the other incidents were made from Kiewerce. Such incidents, in complete disregard of honour and respect of the Greater German Reich, may still occur again here or there."
Sick and infirm people of the occupied countries were taken indiscriminately with the rest. Those who managed to survive the trip into Germany, but who arrived too sick to work, were returned like cattle together with those who fell ill at work, because they were of no further use to the Germans. The return trip took place under the same terrible conditions as the initial journey, and without any kind of medical supervision. Death came to many and their corpses were unceremoniously dumped out of the cars, with no provision for burial.

I quote from Page 3, Paragraph 3 of Document 054-PS. In the German text it appears at Page 2, Paragraph 3. Quoting directly:-

"Very depressing for the morale of the skilled workers and the population is the effect of those persons shipped back from Germany for having become disabled or not having been fit for labour commitment from the very beginning. Several times already transports of skilled workers on their way to Germany have crossed returning transports of such disabled persons, and have stood on the tracks alongside of each other for a long time. These returning transports are insufficiently cared for. Sick, injured or weak people, mostly 56 to 60 in a car, are usually escorted by only three to four men. There is neither sufficient care nor enough food. Those returning frequently made unfavourable - but surely exaggerated - statements about their treatment in Germany and on the way. As a result of all this and of what the people could see with their own eyes, a psychosis of fear was evoked among the specialist workers, that is, about the whole transport to Germany. Several transport leaders of the 62nd and 63rd in particular reported thereto in detail. In one case the leader of the transport of skilled workers

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observed with his own eyes how a person who died of hunger was unloaded from a returning transport on the side track. (First Lt. Hofman of the 63rd Transport Station, Darniza.) Another time it was reported that three dead had to be deposited by the side of the tracks on the way and had to be left behind unburied by the escort. It is also regrettable that these disabled persons arrive here without any identification. According to the reports of the transport commanders, one gets the impression that these persons unable to work, are assembled, penned into the wagons and sent off, provided with only a few male escorts, and without special care for food and medical or other attendance. The Labour Office at the place of arrival as well as the transport commanders confirm this impression."
Incredible as it may seem, mothers in the throes of childbirth shared cars with those infected with tuberculosis or venereal diseases. Babies, when born, were hurled out of these car windows and dying persons lay on the bare floors of freight cars without even the small comfort of straw.

I refer to Document 984-PS, which is Exhibit USA 199. This document is an inter-departmental report, prepared by Dr. Gutkelch, in the defendant Rosenberg's Ministry and it is dated 30th September, 1942. I wish to quote from Page 10 of the English text, starting with the fourth line from the top of the page. In the German text it appears at Page 22, Paragraph 1. Quoting directly from that paragraph:-

"How necessary this interference was is shown by the fact that this train with returning labourers had stopped at the same place where a train with newly recruited Eastern labourers had stopped. Because of the corpses in the trainload of returning labourers, a catastrophe might have been precipitated had it not been for the mediation of Mrs. Miller. In this train women gave birth to babies who were thrown out of the windows during the journey, people having tuberculosis and venereal diseases rode in the same car, dying people lay in freight cars without straw, and one of the dead was thrown on the railway embankment. The same must have occurred in other returning transports."
Some aspects of the Nazi transport were described by the defendant Sauckel himself in a decree which he issued on 20th July, 1942; and I refer specifically to Document 2241- PS 3, which is Exhibit USA 200. I ask that the Tribunal take judicial notice of the original decree, which is published in Section B 1 a, at Page 48 e, of a book entitled Die Beschaeftigung von Auslaendischen Arbeitskraeften in Deutschland. I quote from Page 1, Paragraph 2, of the English text, and I am quoting directly:-
"According to reports of transportation commanders (Transportleiter) presented to me, the special trains provided for this purpose have frequently been in a really deficient condition. Numerous window panes have been missing in the coaches. Old French coaches without lavatories have been partly employed so that the workers had to fit up an emptied compartment as a lavatory. In other cases, the coaches were not heated in winter so that the lavatories quickly became unusable because the water system was frozen and the flushing apparatus was therefore without water."
The Tribunal will unquestionably have noticed, or observed, that a number of the documents which we have referred to - and which we have offered - consist of complaints by functionaries of the defendant Rosenberg's Ministry,

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or by others, concerning the conditions under which foreign workers were recruited and lived. I think it is appropriate to say that these documents have been presented by the prosecution really for two purposes, or for a dual purpose, to establish, first, the facts recited therein, of course, but also to show that these conspirators had knowledge of these conditions, and that notwithstanding their knowledge of these conditions, these conspirators continued to countenance and assist in this enslavement programme of a vast number of citizens of occupied countries.

Once within Germany, slave labourers were subjected to almost unbelievable brutality and degradation by their captors; and the character of this treatment was in part made plain by the conspirators' own statements, as in Document 016-PS, which is in evidence as Exhibit USA 168, and I refer to Page 12, Paragraph 2 of the English text; in the German text it appears at Page 17, Paragraph 4. Quoting directly:-

"All the men must be fed, sheltered, and treated in such a way as to exploit them to the highest possible extent at the lowest conceivable degree of expenditure."

Force and brutality as instruments of production found a ready adherent in the defendant Speer who, in the presence of the defendant Sauckel, said at a meeting of the Central Planning Board - and I refer to Document R-124, which is already in evidence and which has been referred to previously. It is Exhibit USA 179. I refer particularly to Page 42 of that Document R-124, and Paragraph 2 of that Page 42. The defendant Speer, speaking at that meeting, stated:-
"We must also discuss the slackers. Ley has ascertained that the sick-list decreased to one-fourth or one-fifth in factories where there are doctors on the staff to examine the sick men. There is nothing to be said against S.S. and police taking drastic steps and putting those known as slackers into concentration camps. There is no alternative. Let it happen several times and the news will soon go around."
At a later meeting of the Central Planning Board, Field Marshal Milch agreed that so far as workers were concerned- and again I refer to Document R-124, and to Page 26, Paragraph 2 in the English text; and in the German text at Page 17, Paragraph 1. Field Marshal Milch, speaking at a meeting of the Central Planning Board when the defendant Speer was present, stated - and I am quoting directly:-
"The list of the shirkers should be entrusted to Himmler's trustworthy hands."

MR. DODD: No, your Honour; Page 26, Paragraph 2. The Page 17 was of the German text; in the English text it is at Page 26.


MR. DODD: Milch made particular reference to foreign workers - again in this Document R-124, at Page 26, Paragraph 3; in the German text it appears at Page 18, Paragraph 3 - when he said, and I am quoting him directly:-

"It is therefore not possible to exploit fully all the foreigners unless we put them on piece-work rates, or are authorised to take measures against those who are not doing their utmost."

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The policy as actually executed was even more fearful than the policy as expressed by the conspirators. Indeed, these impressed workers were under-fed and overworked, and they were forced to live in grossly overcrowded camps where they were held as virtual prisoners, and were otherwise denied adequate shelter, adequate clothing, adequate medical care and treatment. As a consequence, they suffered from many diseases and ailments. They were generally forced to work long hours, up to and beyond the point of exhaustion. They were beaten and subjected to all manner of inhuman indignities.

An example of this mistreatment is found in the conditions which prevailed in the Krupp factories. Foreign labourers at the Krupp works were given insufficient food to enable them to perform the work required of them.

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