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 9 of 9)

[MR. DODD continuies]

[Page 340]

In Document 1666-PS, a second 1666-PS, but of another date, the 27th March, 1942, I ask the Tribunal to take judicial notice of this original decree which is published in the 1942 Reichsgesetzblatt, Part 1, at Page 180:-
"In pursuance of the Fuehrer's Decree of 21st March, 1942, I decree as follows:-
1. My manpower sections are hereby abolished (circular letter of 22nd October, 1936). Their duties (recruitment and allocation of manpower, regulations for labour conditions) 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 labour (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.

[Page 341]

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 Governor General, 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."
Document 1903-PS is a Hitler Decree of 30th September, 1942, giving the defendant Sauckel extraordinary powers over the civil and military authority of the territories occupied by Germany. We ask that judicial notice be taken by this Tribunal of the original decree, which is published in Volume II, Page 510, of the "Verfuegungen/Anordnungen/Bekanntgaben", published by the Party Chancellery. This decree states as follows :-
"I herewith authorise 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 21st March, 1942 (Reichsgesetzblatt I, Page 179) according to his own judgement in the Greater German Reich, in the Protectorate, and in the Government General as well as in the occupied territories, measures which will safeguard under all circumstances the regulated deployment of labour for the German war economy. For this purpose he may appoint commissioners to the bureaux 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, 30th September, 1942. The Fuehrer, signed Adolf Hitler."

Within one month after his appointment, the defendant Sauckel sent defendant Rosenberg his "Labour Mobilisation Programme". This programme - Document 016-PS, already in evidence as Exhibit USA 168 - envisaged a recruitment by force, and the maximum exploitation of the entire labour 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.

The defendant Sauckel states - and I refer now to the bottom of Page 6 of the English text of that document. It is Page 9, Paragraph 2, of the German text, and I quote as follows:-

"It must be emphasised, however, that an additional tremendous number of foreign labourers has to be found for the Reich. The greatest pools 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 labour on a voluntary basis, we must immediately institute conscription of forced labour.

[Page 342]

Apart from the prisoners of war still in the occupied territories, we must, therefore, requisition skilled or unskilled male and female labour from the Soviet territory, from the age of 15 up, for the labour mobilisation."
Passing to Page 11 of the English text, first paragraph, and Page 17, Paragraph 4 of the German text, I quote directly; as follows:
"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 indisputable necessity for the solution of the mobilisation of labour programme in this war."
The defendant Sauckel proceeded to implement this plan, which he submitted with certain basic directives. He provided that if voluntary recruitment of foreign workers was unsuccessful, compulsory service should be instituted.

Document 3044-PS is the defendant Sauckel's Regulation No. 4, dated 7th May, 1942. We ask that the Tribunal take judicial notice of the original regulation published in Volume II, Pages 516 to 527 of the "Verfuegungen/Anordnungen/Bekanntgaben", to which I have previously referred. Reading from Page 1, Paragraph 3, of the English text:-

"The recruitment of foreign labour will be carried out 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 labour situation."
Sauckel provided also for the allocation of foreign labour in the order of its importance to the Nazi war machine. We refer to Document 3044-(A)-PS, which is the defendant Sauckel's Regulation No. 10, and ask that the Court take judicial notice of the original regulation, published in Volume II, "Verfuegungen/Anordnungen/Bekanntgaben", at Pages 531 to 533 - Paragraph 3 of this regulation I quote as follows:
"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 labour resources in the Occupied territories, the following order of priority will be observed:
(a) Labour required for the troops, the occupation authorities, and the civil authorities.

(b) Labour required for German armaments.

(c) Labour required for food and agriculture.

(d) Labour required for industrial work other than armaments.

(e) Labour required for industrial work in the interests of the population of the territory in question."

The defendant 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. He affirmed - the defendant Sauckel himself did - this authority in a decree, Document 3044-PS, already in evidence as Exhibit USA 206. I refer to Paragraph 5 on Page 1 of the English text of that document, and I am quoting it directly:-

[Page 343]

"The recruitment of foreign labour 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 labour mobilisation."
THE PRESIDENT: Have not you read that already?

MR. DODD: No, I have not, if your Honour pleases. We have referred to that decree before, but we have not referred to this portion of it.

I am passing to Paragraph 2, 1-a on Page 2, and quoting, again, directly:-

"For the carrying out of recruitment in allied, friendly, or neutral foreign countries, my Commissioners are solely responsible."
In addition, the following defendant, who was informed by Sauckel of the quotas of foreign labourers which he required, collaborated with Sauckel and his agents in filling these quotas:-

The defendant Keitel, Chief of the O.K.W.-which was the Supreme Command.

We refer to Document 3012-PS-I, which is Exhibit USA 190. This document is the record of a telephone conversation of the Chief of the Economic Staff East of the German Army, and it is dated 11th March, 1943. I wish to quote from the first two paragraphs of the document as follows:-

"The Plenipotentiary for the Arbeitseinsatz, Gauleiter Sauckel, points out to me, in an urgent teletype, that the Arbeitseinsatz in German agriculture, as well as all the most urgent armament programmes, ordered by the Fuehrer, make the most rapid procurement of approximately 1,000,000 women and men from the newly occupied territories an imperative necessity. For this purpose, Gauleiter Sauckel demands the daily shipment Of 5,000 workers beginning on 15th March; 10,000 workers, male and female, beginning 1st April, from the newly occupied territories."
I am passing down to the next paragraph:-
"In consideration of the extraordinary losses of workers, which occurred in German war industry because of the developments of the past months, it is now necessary that the recruiting of workers be taken up again everywhere with all emphasis. The tendency momentarily noticeable in that territory, to limit and/or entirely stop the Reich recruiting programme, is absolutely intolerable in view of this state of affairs. Gauleiter Sauckel, who is informed about these events, has, because of this, turned immediately to General Field Marshal Keitel on 10th March, 1943, in a teletype, and has emphasised on this occasion, that, as in all other occupied territories, where all other methods fail, a certain pressure must be used by order of the Fuehrer."
At this point we were prepared to offer a transcript of an interrogation under oath of the defendant Sauckel. The English only, of the transcript of the interrogation has been seen by the counsel for the defendant Sauckel. He has had it, however, for some time, and the excerpts on which we intended to rely were furnished to him as well in German.

If I understood the ruling of the Tribunal correctly, it would be necessary for us to have furnished the entire record in German.

THE PRESIDENT: I think you might use this interrogation, as the excerpts have been submitted in German.

[Page 344]

MR. DODD: Yes, they have, your Honour, and the entire English text as well.


MR. DODD: I refer to a transcript of an interrogation, under oath of the defendant Sauckel, held on the morning Of 5th October, 1945, Exhibit USA 224. That is the very last document in the document book. I wish to quote from the bottom of Page 1 of the English text, and Page 1, Paragraph 11 of the German text, as follows:-

Q. Was it necessary, in order to accomplish the completion of the quotas given, to have liaison with O.K.W.

A. I remember that the Fuehrer had given directives to Marshal Keitel, telling him that my task was a very important one, and I, too, have often conferred with Keitel after such discussions with the Fuehrer, when I asked him for his support.

Q. It was his task to supervise the proper performance of the military commanders in the occupied countries in carrying out their missions, was it not ?

A. Yes, the Fuehrer had told me that he would inform the Chief of the O.K.W., and the Chief of the Reich Chancellery, as to these missions. The same applies to the Foreign Minister."

We are also prepared to offer the transcript of an interrogation of the defendant Alfred Rosenberg. There is this distinction in so far as this record is concerned. While we have supplied the counsel with the German translation of those parts of it which we propose to use, we have not had an opportunity to supply the whole text to counsel. However, they have been supplied with the German of the parts which we propose to use and to offer to this Tribunal.

THE PRESIDENT: Well, you are prepared to do it hereafter, I suppose ?

MR. DODD: Yes, we will, your Honour, as soon as we can get these papers down to their Information Centre.


MR. DODD: The next document is rather lengthy, and I wonder what the Tribunal's pleasure is. Do I understand that I may proceed with the interrogation ?


MR. DODD: I wish to refer to the defendant Alfred Rosenberg, the Reich Minister for Eastern Occupied Territories, as one who also collaborated with the defendant Sauckel, and specifically, to refer to a transcript of an interrogation under oath of the defendant Rosenberg, on the afternoon of 6th October, 1945, Exhibit USA 187. That record may be found about the third from the last of the interrogation records in the document book, and I wish to read from Page 1 of the transcript:-

Q. Is not it a fact that Sauckel would allocate to the various areas under your jurisdiction the number of persons to be obtained for labour purposes?

A. Yes.

Q. And that, thereafter, your agents would obtain that labour in order to meet the quota which had been given; is that right?

A. Sauckel, normally, had very far-reaching desires, which one could not fulfil unless one looked very closely into the matter.

[Page 345]

Q. Never mind about Sauckel's desires being far-reaching or not being far-reaching. That has nothing to do with it. You were given quotas for the areas over which you had jurisdiction, and it was up to you to meet that quota?

A. Yes; it was the responsibility of the administrative officials to receive this quota and to distribute the allotments over the districts in such a way, according to number and according to the age groups, that they would be most reasonably met.

Q. These administrative officials were part of your organisation, is not that right?

A. They were functionaries or officials of the Reichskommissar for the Ukraine, but, as such, they were placed in their office by the Ministry for the Eastern Occupied Territories.

Q. You recognised, did you not, that the quotas set by Sauckel could not be filled by voluntary labour, and you did not disapprove of the impressment of forced labour; is not that right?

A. I regretted that the demands of Sauckel were so urgent that they could not be met by a continuation of voluntary recruitments, and thus I submitted to the necessity of forced impressment."

Then, passing a little further down on that page:-
"Q. The letters that we have already seen between you and Sauckel do not indicate, do they, any disagreements on your part with the principle of recruiting labour against their will? They indicate, as I remember, that you were opposed to the treatment that was later accorded these workers, but that you did not oppose their initial impressment."
THE PRESIDENT: Mr. Dodd, I think you ought to read the next two answers, in fairness to the defendant Rosenberg, after the one where he said he submitted to the necessity of forced impressment.

MR. DODD: Very well, I will read those, your Honour.

THE PRESIDENT: Did you ever argue with Sauckel.

MR. DODD: Yes.

"Q. Did you ever argue with Sauckel that perhaps in view of the fact that quotas could not be met by voluntary labour, the labour recruiting programme be abandoned, except for such recruits as could be voluntarily enrolled?

A. I could not do that because the numbers or allotments that Sauckel had received from the Fuehrer to meet were absolutely binding for him, and I could not do anything about that."

And then, referring again to the question which I had just read, the answer is as follows:-
"That is right. In those matters I mostly discussed the possibility of finding the least harsh methods of handling the matter, though in no way placing myself in opposition to the orders that he was carrying out for the Fuehrer."
THE PRESIDENT: I think the Tribunal might adjourn now.

MR. DODD: Very well, your Honour.

(The Tribunal adjourned until 13th December, 1945, at 1000 hours.)

[ Previous | Index | Next ]

Home ·  Site Map ·  What's New? ·  Search Nizkor

© The Nizkor Project, 1991-2012

This site is intended for educational purposes to teach about the Holocaust and to combat hatred. Any statements or excerpts found on this site are for educational purposes only.

As part of these educational purposes, Nizkor may include on this website materials, such as excerpts from the writings of racists and antisemites. Far from approving these writings, Nizkor condemns them and provides them so that its readers can learn the nature and extent of hate and antisemitic discourse. Nizkor urges the readers of these pages to condemn racist and hate speech in all of its forms and manifestations.