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, 11th December, 1945
(Part 6 of 9)

[Page 324]

THE PRESIDENT: Can you tell us who the Polish Central Committee were; or, I mean, how they were founded?

MR. DODD: Well, so far as we are aware, it was a committee apparently set up by the Nazi State when it occupied Poland, to work in some sort of co-operation with it during the days of the occupation. We do not know the names of the members, and we have not any more specific information.

THE PRESIDENT : Is it a captured document?

MR. DODD : It is a captured document, yes, sir. All of the documents that I am presenting in connection with this case are, excepting the Netherlands Government's report and one or two other official reports, the Dois affidavit and such other matters. That particular document, it has just been called to my attention, was captured by the United States Third Army.

Particularly harsh and brutal treatment was reserved for workers imported from the conquered Eastern territories. As we have illustrated, they did indeed

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live in bondage, and they were subjected to almost every form of degradation, quartered in stables with animals, denied the right of free worship, and the ordinary pleasures of human society.

Illustrative of this treatment is Document EC-68, Exhibit USA 205. This Document, EC-68, bears the title "Directives on the Treatment of Foreign Farmworkers of Polish Nationality", issued by the Minister for Finance and Economy of Baden, Germany, on 6th March, 1941. We do not know his name, nor have we been able to ascertain it.

Quoting from the English text of this document from the beginning:-

"The agencies of the Reich Food Administration, State Peasant Association of Baden, have received the result of the negotiations with the Higher S.S. and Police Officers in Stuttgart on 14th February, 1941, with great satisfaction. Appropriate memoranda have already been turned over to the District Peasants Associations. Below, I promulgate the individual regulations, as they have been laid down during the conference, and how they are now to be applied accordingly:

1. Fundamentally, farmworkers of Polish nationality no longer have the right to complain, and thus no complaints may be accepted any more by any official agency.

2. The farmworkers of Polish nationality may not leave the localities in which they are employed, and have a curfew from 1st October to 31st March from 2000 hours to 0600 hours, and from 1st April to 30th September from 2100 hours to 0500 hours.

3. The use of bicycles is strictly prohibited. Exceptions are possible for riding to the place of work in the field if a relative of the employer or the employer himself is present.

4. The visit to churches, regardless of faith, is strictly prohibited, even when there is no service in progress. Individual spiritual care by clergymen outside of the church is permitted.

5. Visits to theatres, motion pictures, or other cultural entertainment are strictly prohibited for farmworkers of Polish nationality.

6. The visit to restaurants is strictly prohibited to farmworkers of Polish nationality, except for one restaurant in the village, which will be selected by the Rural Councillor's office (Landratsamt), and then only one day per week. The day to visit the restaurant will also be determined by the Landratsamt. This regulation does not change the curfew regulation mentioned above under No. 2.

7. Sexual intercourse with women and girls is strictly prohibited, and wherever it is established, it must be reported.

8. Gatherings of farmworkers of Polish nationality after work is prohibited, whether it is on other farms, in the stables, or in the living quarters of the Poles.

9. The use of railroads, buses or other public conveyances by farmworkers of Polish nationality is prohibited.

10. Permits to leave the village may only be granted in very exceptional cases, by the local police authority (Mayor's office). However, in no case may it be granted if the applicant wants to visit a public agency on his own, whether it is a labour office or the District Peasants Association or whether he wants to change his place of employment.

[Page 326]

11. Arbitrary change of employment is strictly prohibited. The farmworkers of Polish nationality have to work daily so long as the interests of the enterprise demand it, and as it is demanded by the employer. There are no time limits to the working time.

12. Every employer has the right to give corporal punishment to farmworkers of Polish nationality, if instructions and good words fail: The employer may not be held accountable in any such case by an official agency.

13. Farmworkers of Polish nationality should, if possible, be removed from the community of the home, and they can be quartered in stables, etc. No remorse whatever should restrict such action.

14. Report to the authorities is compulsory in all cases, when crimes have been committed by farmworkers of Polish nationality, such as sabotage of the enterprise or slowing down work, for instance, unwillingness to work, or impertinent behaviour; it is compulsory even in minor cases. An employer who loses his Pole through the latter having to serve a long prison sentence because of such a compulsory report, will receive another Pole from the competent labour office on preferential request.

15. In all other cases, only the State Police are still competent.

For the employer himself, severe punishment is contemplated if it is established that the necessary distance from farmworkers of Polish nationality has not been kept. The same applies to women and girls. Extra rations are strictly prohibited. Non-compliance with the Reich tariffs for farmworkers of Polish nationality will be punished by the competent labour office by the removal of the workers."

The women of the conquered territories were led away against their will to serve as domestics, and the defendant Sauckel described this programme in his own words, which appear in Document 016-PS, already offered in evidence as Exhibit USA 168, and particularly Page 7, fourth paragraph of the English text; in the German text it appears on Page 10, Paragraph 1, and I quote directly:-
"In order to relieve considerably the German housewife, especially the mother with many children, and the extremely busy farmwoman, and in order to avoid any further danger to their health, the Fuehrer also charges me with the procurement of 400,000-500,000 selected, healthy and strong girls from the territories of the East, for Germany."
Once captured, once forced to become labourers in Germany, or workers in Germany, these Eastern women, by order of the slavemaster, defendant Sauckel, were bound to the household to which they were assigned, permitted at the most three hours of freedom a week, and denied the right to return to their homes. I now refer to Document 3044 (b)-PS. That is Exhibit USA 2o6. The document is a decree issued by the defendant Sauckel containing instructions for housewives concerning Eastern household workers, and I ask that the Court take judicial notice of the original decree which appears on Pages 592 and 593 of the second volume of a publication of the Zentralverlag of the N.S.D.A.P., entitled "Verfuegungen, Anordnungen und Bekanntgaben", and I quote from the first paragraph of the English translation of a portion of the decree as follows:

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"There is no claim for free time. Female domestic workers from the East may, on principle, leave the household only to take care of domestic tasks.

As a reward for good work, however, they may be given the opportunity to stay outside the home without work for three hours once a week. This leave must end with the onset of darkness, at the latest at 2000 hours.

It is prohibited to enter restaurants, movies, or other theatres, and similar establishments provided for German, or foreign workers. Attending church is also prohibited. Special events may be arranged for Eastern domestics in urban homes by the German Workers' Front, for Eastern domestics in rural homes by the Reich Food Administration with the German Women's League. Outside the home, the Eastern domestic must always carry her work card as a personal pass. Vacations, return to homes, are not granted as yet. The recruiting of Eastern domestics is for an indefinite period."

Always over these enslaved workers was the shadow of the Gestapo, and the torture of the concentration camps. Like other major programmes of the Nazi conspirators, the black- shirted guards of the S.S., and Himmler's methods of dealing with people were the instruments employed for enforcement.

On the subject of the slave labourers, a secret order dated 2oth February,1942, issued by Reichsfuehrer S.S. Himmler to S.D. and Security Police Officers concerning Eastern workers, spells out the violence which was applied against them. I offer this order in evidence. It is our Document 3040-PS, which is Exhibit USA 207, and I ask this Court to take judicial notice of the original order, which is published in the "Allgemeine Erlassammlung," Part II, Section 2-A, III, small letter "f", Pages 15 to 24. I wish to quote from Page 3 of the English text starting with Paragraph III, in the German text it appears in Section 2-A, III, "f", at Page 19 of the publication as follows:-

"III. Combating violations against discipline. - (1) According to the equal status of labourers from the original Soviet Russian territory with prisoners of war, a strict discipline must be exercised in the quarters and at the working place. Violations against discipline, including work refusal and loafing at work, will be fought exclusively by the Secret State Police. The smaller cases will be settled by the leader of the guard according to instruction of the State Police administration offices, with measures as provided for in the enclosure. To break acute resistance, the guards shall be permitted to use also physical compulsion against the labourers. But this may be done only for a cogent cause. The manpower should always be informed about the fact that they will be treated decently when conducting themselves with discipline and accomplishing good work. In severe cases, that is in such cases where the measures at the disposal of the leader of the guard do not suffice, the State police office has to act with its means. Accordingly, they will be treated, as a rule, only with strict measures, that is, with transfer to a concentration camp, or with special treatment. The transfer to a concentration camp is to be done in the usual manner. In especially severe cases special treatment is to be requested at the Reich Security Main Office, stating personal data, and the exact facts.

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Special treatment is hanging. It should not take place in the immediate vicinity of the camp. A certain number of labourers from the original Soviet Russian territory should attend the special treatment; they are then warned of the circumstances which lead to this treatment. Should special treatment be required within the camp for exceptional reasons of camp discipline, this is also to be requested."
And I turn now to Page 4 of the original text, Paragraph VI; in the German text it appears at Section 2-A, VI, "f", on Page 20.
"VI. Sexual intercourse. - Sexual intercourse is forbidden to labourers of the original Soviet Russian territory. By means of their closely confined quarters they have no opportunity for it. For every case of sexual intercourse with men or women of the German race, special treatment is to be requested for male labour from the original Soviet Russian territory, and, for female labour, transfer to a concentration camp."
And finally from Page 5 of the same document, Paragraph VIII, and in the German text it appears at Section 2-A, VIII, "f", at Page 21:-
"VIII. Search. - Fugitive workers from the original Soviet Russian territory are to be announced primarily in the German search book. Furthermore, search measures are to be decreed locally. When caught the fugitive must receive special treatment."
We have said to this Tribunal more than once that the primary purpose of the entire slave labour programme was, of course, to compel the people of the occupied country to work for German war economy. The decree by which defendant Sauckel was appointed Plenipotentiary General for manpower reveals that the purpose of the appointment was to facilitate acquisition of the manpower required for German war industries, and in particular the armaments industry, by centralising under Sauckel responsibility for the recruitment and allocation of foreign labour and prisoners of war in these industries. I refer to the document bearing our Number 1666-PS, Exhibit USA 208. This document is a decree signed by Hitler, Lammers, and the defendant Keitel, and it is dated 21st March, 1942, appointing the defendant Sauckel the Plenipotentiary General for the utilisation of labour. I ask that the Court take judicial notice of the original decree, which is published at Page 179, Part I, of the 194z Reichsgesetzblatt; referring to the English text starting at Paragraph 1, as follows, and quoting directly:-
"In order to secure the manpower requisite for war industries as a whole, and particularly for armaments, it is necessary that the utilisation of all available manpower, including that of workers recruited abroad, and of prisoners of war, should be subject to a uniform control, directed in a manner appropriate to the requirements of war industry, and further that all still incompletely utilised manpower in the Greater German Reich, including the Protectorate, and in the Government General, and in the occupied territories should be mobilised. Reichsstatthalter and Gauleiter Fritz Sauckel will carry out this task within the framework of the Four Year Plan, as Plenipotentiary General, for the utilisation of labour. In that capacity he will be directly responsible to the Commissioner for the Four Year Plan. Section III (Wages) and Section V (Utilisation of Labour) of the Reich Labour Ministry, together with their subordinate authorities, will be placed at the disposal of the Plenipotentiary General for the accomplishment of his task."

[Page 329]

Sauckel's success can be measured from a letter which he himself wrote to Hitler on 15th April, 1943, and which contained his report on the one year of his activities. We refer to the Document 407-PS, VI, which will be Exhibit USA 209. I wish to quote from Paragraphs 6 and 9 on Page 1 of the English text; in the German text it appears at Page 2, Paragraphs 1 and 2:-
"After one year's activity as Plenipotentiary for the Direction of Labour, I can report that 3,638,056 new foreign workers were given to the German war economy from 1st April of last year to 31st March of this year. The 3,638,056 are distributed amongst the following branches of the German war economy. Armament- 1,568,801."
Still further evidence of this steady use of this enslaved foreign labour is found again in a report of the Central Planning Board, to which we have referred so many times this morning and yesterday. Another meeting of this Central Planning Board was held on 16th February, 1944, and I refer to our Document R-124, which contains the minutes of this meeting of the Central Planning Board, and which has been already offered in evidence as Exhibit USA 179, and I want to refer particularly to Page 26, Paragraph 1 of the English text of Document R-124. It is at Page 16, in Paragraph 2, of the German text:-
"The armament industry employs foreign workmen to a large extent; according to the latest figures-40 per cent."
Moreover, our Document 2520-PS, which is in evidence as Exhibit USA 197, records that, according to Speer Ministry tabulations, as Of 31st December, 1944, approximately two million civilian foreign workers were employed directly in the manufacture of armaments and munitions (end products or components). That the bulk of these workers had been forced to come to Germany against their will is made clear by Sauckel's statement which I previously quoted from Paragraph 3 of Page 11 of Document R-124. We quoted it this morning, the statement being that of five million foreign workers only two hundred thousand or less came voluntarily.

The defendants Sauckel, Speer and Keitel succeeded in the enforcement of foreign labour to construct military fortifications. Thus, citizens of France, Holland and Belgium were compelled against their will to engage in the construction of the "Atlantic Wall", and we refer to our Document 556-PS-2, which is Exhibit USA 194. This is a Hitler order dated 8th September, 1942, and it is initialled by the defendant Keitel.

Quoting the order directly:-

"The extensive coastal fortifications which I have ordered to be erected in the area of Army Group West make it necessary that in the occupied territory all available workers should be committed and should give the fullest extent of their productive capacities. The previous allotment of domestic workers is insufficient. In order to increase it I order the introduction of compulsory labour and the prohibition of changing the place of employment without permission of the authorities in the occupied territories. Furthermore, the distribution of food and clothing ration cards to those subject to labour draft should in the future depend on the possession of a certificate of employment. Refusal to accept an assigned job, as well as abandoning the place of work without the consent of the authorities in charge, will result in the withdrawal of the food and clothing ration cards. The G.B.A. (Deputy General for Arbeitseinsatz) in agreement with the military commander, as well as the Reich Commissar, will issue the corresponding decrees for execution."

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