The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

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Q. I was going to ask you about the arrival of workers in
Germany. What happened when a transport arrived in Germany?

A. Upon their arrival in Germany the people of the transport
had not only to be properly received but also to be
medically examined again and checked at a transit camp. One
examination had to be made at the time and place of
recruitment, and another examination took place at another
point before the frontier.

Thus, from the time of recruitment until the time of
placement three medical examinations and checks had
according to my directives to be made.

Q. What were the transit camps?

A. These transit camps were camps in which the various
transports of people were merged at the boundary and where
they were examined and registered in the proper manner.

Q. I submit Document UK-39 to you. I have not the exhibit

THE PRESIDENT: It is a British exhibit?

DR. SERVATIUS: I could not establish whether it already has
an exhibit number, I shall have to check on that. At any
rate, it was given to me.

THE PRESIDENT: You gave the Number UK-39?


THE PRESIDENT: It must be a British exhibit number, must it

SIR DAVID MAXWELL FYFE: The series is not a British exhibit;
our exhibits are "GB." It is an earlier series of documents
that we have prepared. But we will try to find out.

BY DR. SERVATIUS: If you will look at this document, it is a
letter of the Reich Security Main Office dated 18th January,
1943 concerning "Concentration Camp Herzogenbosch."

Then it says: "This camp will be equipped as a transit and
reception camp."

Was that a place to which your workers were sent?

A. The manpower mobilization had nothing at all to do with
these camps and concentration camps. This was not a transit
camp for workers but was obviously

                                                  [Page 106]

a transit camp of a concentration camp. These were not at
all known to me, I never had to and never did concern myself
with such transports and transit camps; and I would not have
done it.

Q. A report of the French Government was submitted here, it
is UK-78 and French Document No. FR-274. The heading is
"Third Study," it is a very comprehensive report, I shall
quote from my notes. The report contains the following,

  "Immediately upon their arrival the workers were taken to
  these real slave markets which were called sorting
  houses. The living conditions there were miserable."

Is that one of your transit camps which is so described?

A. That is absolutely impossible; such a camp never existed.

Q. How was the distribution of the workers carried out in
practice? I refer once more to the Molotov report, Exhibit
USSR-51. The Soviet Delegation says here that this document
was submitted under that exhibit number. The report says
that the workers were taken to the slave market and were
sold for ten to fifteen marks. What do you have to say to

A. I believe every German employer who received these
workers, either in agriculture or in war industry, is a
witness to the fact that a procedure of this sort never took
place in any form, that it was quite inconceivable to
institute such slave markets through the authority of the
Reich Ministry of Labour, but that these workers who passed
through a National Socialist office of the Labour
Mobilization programme received exactly the same contracts
and conditions as the German workers themselves, with
various changes, but in no case were they put to work like
slaves without rights or pay, without contract, without
sickness insurance, or without accident insurance. That may
be seen from the numerous directives and decrees which were
issued for every nation involved by the Reich Labour
Ministry and by me.

Q. What were the general living conditions of foreign
workers in Germany?

A. The general living conditions of foreign workers in
Germany, as far as they were recruited through the Office of
Labour Mobilization, were exactly the same as those of
German workers who were in camps. Living conditions were
dependent on the circumstances of war and, in contrast with
peacetime, were subject to the same limitations as applied
to the German population. The adjutant of Herr von Schirach,
a man unknown to me, who appeared here as a witness
yesterday, described conditions in Vienna and these
conditions existed in other German cities too.

Q. What were the security measures in these camps?

A. In the camps themselves?

Q. Well, I mean generally.

A. The security measures were the responsibility of the
police, not mine, .because the camps were subordinate to the
various industries and the German Labour Front (DAF).

Q. Now, I submit Document EC-68. It contains directives
which were issued by the Farm Association of the Land Baden
regarding the treatment of Poles in Germany. This is Exhibit
USA-205, to be found in the book "Slave Labour," Document
No. 4. I shall now read the beginning of this document,
which, of course, you have seen already; it says there:

  "The offices of the Reich Food Administration
  (Reichsnaehrstand) Farm Association of the Land Baden,
  have received with great satisfaction the result of the
  negotiations with the Higher SS and Police Leader in
  Stuttgart on 14th February, 1941. Appropriate memoranda
  have already been turned over to the District Farm
  Associations. Below I promulgate the individual
  regulations, as they were laid down during the conference
  and are now to be applied
  1. Fundamentally, farm workers of Polish nationality no
  longer have the right to complain and thus no complaints
  may be accepted by any official agency.
                                                  [Page 107]
  2. Farm workers of Polish nationality may no longer leave
  the localities in which they are employed."

Now, I shall omit some points, and just confine myself to
the vital parts. I turn to Point 5:

  "Visits to theatres, cinemas or other cultural
  entertainment are strictly prohibited for farm workers of
  Polish nationality."

Other regulations follow, prohibiting use of the railway,
and under No. 12 there is a vital provision:

  "Every employer of Polish farm workers has the right of
  administering chastisement."

Please comment on this document and tell us to what extent
you approve of it.

A. First of all, I should like to point out that this
document is dated 6th March, 1941, that is, more than a year
before I assumed office. Such a nonsensical and impossible
decree never came to my attention during my term of office.
But since I am now being confronted with the document and am
seeing it, I should like to refer to my own decrees which I
issued entirely independently of the past, and whereby such
decrees were automatically revoked. In order to prevent such
nonsensical decrees, issued by some agency in the Reich from
being effective, I had my decrees collected and published in
a manual in which it says .... Because of the time factor
and because of my respect for the Tribunal, I cannot ask
that the Tribunal look at all of them, but they are in
direct contradiction to such views; and I would like to ask
that I be permitted to quote just one sentence from the
manifesto already referred to which is directed against such
nonsense and against the misuse of manpower, and which
refers particularly to my directives for fair treatment; it
reads as follows:

  " ... these orders and directives as well as their
  supplements are to be brought very emphatically to the
  attention of the employers and directors of camps for
  foreign nationals as well as their personnel at least
  four times a year by the State labour offices. Actual
  adherence to them is to be constantly supervised."

Does the manifesto end with that?

That is a paragraph from the manifesto which refers
specifically to my orders prescribing just and humane
treatment, sufficient food and free time, and so forth.

Q. You issued a great number of directives. Did you observe
any resistance toward your basic rulings, and if so, what
did you do?

A. Of course, as soon as I noticed resistance, I drew
attention and stressed my decrees, because they had been
approved by the Fuehrer upon my recommendations for my field
of activity.

Q. As far as care and welfare were concerned, did the DAF
(German Labour Front) play a special role? And what was the
task of the DAF?

A. The task of the DAF was to care for German workers and
look after their interests. In this capacity, it had to
concern itself, as a matter of course, with the welfare of
foreign workers. That was its ordinary task, and at the same
time it had a corrective influence upon the National Labour
Administration, an influence similar to that exerted by the
trade unions upon State Control, as far as there is one, in
other countries.

Q. What tasks did the employers (Betriebsfuehrer) have?

A. The employers had the task of regulating the total
production of their enterprises and, of course, they were
fully responsible for their workers and the foreign workers
who had been assigned to them.

Q. Were they primarily responsible or was the German Labour
Front responsible?

A. The employers were primarily responsible, according to
the law regulating German labour.

Q. Now, the workers were mostly housed in camps. Who
supervised and controlled the arrangements of these camps?

A. The arrangements of these camps were supervised by the
Deutsche Gewer-

                                                  [Page 108]

beaufsicht (German Trade Supervision Office) which vas under
the German Labour Ministry. The Trade Supervision Office had
the authority and power to force employers who failed to
comply with the orders of the Reich Minister of Labour to
adhere to them.

Q. Did you yourself issue any orders or decrees concerning
the camps?

A. I personally issued orders pertaining to the camps, but
they could only be put into effect and supervised by the
German Labour Minister.

Q. So much about the arrangements of the camps. Now, what
were the living conditions within the camps? Who was
responsible for them?

A. In the camps themselves the camp commandants were
responsible. The camp commandant was appointed by agreement
between the DAF and the employer, and to my knowledge - this
was not within the range of my duties - his appointment had
to be confirmed and accepted by the security agency.

Q. You are speaking of the security agency. To what extent
was the police active in the surveillance of these camps,
the maintenance of discipline and such matters?

A. Surveillance of the camp and maintenance of discipline
was the task of the camp commandant, and had nothing to do
with the police. The police had, as I believe is true in
every country, surveillance and control rights as regards
espionage and the secrecy of the plant, etc. Beyond that,
the police had nothing to do with the camp.

Q. Were these camps shut off from the outside world? What
was the situation in that respect when you assumed office?

A. When I assumed office, the camps, particularly of the
Eastern workers, were very much shut off from the world, and
fenced in with barbed wire. To me, this was incompatible
with the principle of employing productive and willing
workers and, with all the personal energy I could muster, I
succeeded in having the fences and barbed wire removed and I
also reduced the limitations on free time of Eastern workers
outside the camp, so that the picture which was presented
here yesterday could eventually be realised. Anything else
would have been incompatible, technically speaking, with the
workers' willingness to work which I wanted.

Q. Now the food problem, what was the food of these foreign

A. The feeding of the foreign workers corresponded to the
system that applied to the feeding of the German people, and
accordingly additional rations were allotted to people doing
heavy, heaviest, or over-time work.

Q. Did this situation exist when you assumed office?

A. When I assumed office and received the order from the
Fuehrer that, in addition to the foreign workers who were
already in the Reich, I was to bring in further quotas into
the Reich, the first step which I took was to visit the
Reich Food Minister, for to me it was obvious that bringing
in foreign workers was in the first place a feeding problem;
poorly fed workers, even if they want to, cannot turn out
satisfactory work. I had many detailed conversations with
him and by referring to the Reich Marshal and the Fuehrer I
succeeded in securing a proper diet for the workers and a
law fixing food quotas. It was not easy to do this, because
the food situation even for Germans was always strained, but
without these measures it would not have been possible for
me also from a personal point of view to carry through my

Q. Details of the food situation were mentioned here which
would justify the assumption that extremely bad conditions
existed. Was nothing of this sort brought to your attention?
Or did you not yourself hear anything?

A. As far as bad feeding conditions in the cork camps of
civilian labourers             are concerned, I never had
any very unfavourable reports. I, personally, made repeated
efforts to have this matter in particular constantly
controlled. The employers themselves took the problem of
food very seriously.

Q. Did you not, in a decree and letter to the Gau labour
offices and the Gauleiter, deal with the subject of good
treatment of foreigners, and did you not on that occasion
criticise existing conditions?

                                                  [Page 109]

A. Immediately after I assumed office, when the Gauleiter
were appointed Plenipotentiary for Labour in their Gaue, I
called their attention to the food question and ordered them
to give their attention to the problem of food and shelter.
I had word from two Gaue that my directives were not being
taken seriously enough. In one case I immediately travelled
to Essen personally and remedied the situation there - it
concerned the barbed wire - and in the other case in eastern
Bavaria I also intervened personally.

Besides that I used these two incidents to write to the
Gauleiter and to the governments of the German States and
again stress the importance of adhering to these decrees.

DR. SERVATIUS: I am referring to Document I9, in the English
Book I, Page 54, Document Sauckel 19.


DR. SERVATIUS: This is Document No. 19, in the first
Document Book, Page 54. Only a portion of this is
reproduced. In a circular to all the Gau Labour offices and
Gauleiter, it says the following:

  "If in a Gau district the statement 'if any one in the
  Gau has to freeze this winter, the first ones to freeze
  should he the Russians' (that is, the Russian civilian
  labourers employed for work in the Gau), if a statement
  of the sort can still be made, as it was made recently,
  such an utterance shows plainly that in that region of
  the Gau the contact between the administrative office: of
  labour mobilization and the competent political offices
  is as yet not close enough; for it is one of the most
  important tasks in the mobilization of labour and in the
  collaboration between you and the Gauleiter as my
  deputies for the mobilization of labour, to see to it
  that the foreign labour recruited for work in the German
  armament industry and food economy be looked after in
  such manner as to enable it to give the maximum in
  efficiency. It would therefore be entirely wrong to think
  of protection against want only for German fellow
  countrymen, and to be unhesitatingly satisfied with
  inadequate provisions for labourers of foreign origin. On
  the contrary, it is imperative to be constantly aware of
  the fact that in order to bring about victory, a maximum
  of efficiency must be demanded not only of the German
  fellow countrymen but also of the foreign workers, and
  that it would be absurd to bring foreign workers into the
  country at considerable expense, set them to work for the
  German economy, and then to fail in their proper care,
  with a resultant decline or even ruin of their

In conclusion there follows a reminder to comply with the
decrees of Sauckel.


Q. What was the situation with regard to the clothing of
foreign workers?

A. The clothing of foreign workers from the Western regions
gave us relatively little trouble, for these workers were
well supplied with clothing, and were also compensated for
their clothing. But the clothing of the Eastern workers was
a problem. On behalf of the Eastern workers I applied to the
Reich Minister of Economy for a quota of clothing, and
provided one and a half million workers with all necessary
under and outer clothing. 10,000 workers were required to
supply this quota of clothing, as well as 30,000 tons of raw
materials. Thus, all possible concern was given to the
question of clothing, and this clothing was actually issued.

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