The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

Shofar FTP Archive File: imt/tgmwc/tgmwc-15/tgmwc-15-141.05

Archive/File: imt/tgmwc/tgmwc-15/tgmwc-15-141.05
Last-Modified: 2000/03/25

DR. SERVATIUS: The French Delegation submitted Document
RF-5. It is a recruiting brochure Europe works in Germany. I
had also submitted this, and the Tribunal took judicial
notice of it. I should like to submit it again and refer to
three pictures contained therein. The essential thing about
these pictures is that some of the workers coming from the
East arrived barefoot, and later we see pictures where these
workers are seen well dressed ire Germany, and it is evident

                                                  [Page 110]

that the situation as regards clothing of these workers had
made considerable progress in Germany.

THE PRESIDENT: Is this Sauckel 5?

DR. SERVATIUS: No, it is a document of the French
Delegation, RF No. 5.


What was the situation with regard to working hours, who
regulated the working hours?

A. The working hours were regulated on the basis of the
decrees by the Fuehrer, the Council of Ministers, and later
on by Reich Minister Dr. Goebbels. The carrying out of these
decrees was my task.

Q. What was the average working time?

A. During the war one can hardly talk of an average working
time in Germany. There was the legal working time of eight
hours. For anything beyond eight hours overtime had to be

In the year 1943 the average working time per week was at
first set at fifty-four hours; later, as far as it was
necessary, at ten hours (per day). When Reich Minister Dr.
Goebbels became Reich Plenipotentiary for the total war
effort he demanded and proclaimed, against my objections and
against the objection of other offices, but on the basis of
the authority which he had, a ten-hour work day for all
offices and industries. However, this could not be carried
through at all, for in many industries and offices work had
to be regulated according to the difficulties which were
already then appearing, difficulties of raw materials, power
supply, the amount of orders coming in, etc. But in
exceptional cases - which were not infrequent - where
production demanded it, eleven and twelve hours of work were
put in. German workers, as well, worked longer hours. Of
course all workers were compensated accordingly.

Q. In the French Document RF-22, on Page 101 of the German
text, the following is set down:

  "From the interrogations by the agencies of the
  'Ministere des Prisonniers' of deported workers who had
  returned home, it can be seen that the average time of
  work per week was at least seventy-two hours."

Then the source of this information is mentioned, but that
does not interest us here.

  "Sixty-four-hour weeks were not infrequent. Cases of
  hundred-hour weeks with thirty to thirty-eight
  consecutive hours were mentioned."

What can you tell us about this? Did such cases come to your

A. I cannot comment on these reports because I do not know
whether they concern people who were being used in
concentration camps or those who were used as civilian
workers in the other sector for which I was responsible. It
is correct that in very exceptional cases there were periods
in which long hours of work were put in. That was determined
by the industry and applied also to the German workers. But
in such cases appropriate rest periods had to be
interspersed. These long hours were worked only for the
completion of important contracts. Where these people
actually worked, I cannot determine from the interrogation,
and therefore I cannot give you a precise answer.

Q. What were the provisions for free time?

A. Free time was at the disposal of the workers.

Q. Who was responsible for regulating free time?

A. Regulation of free time was the responsibility of the
DAF, as far as the arrangements of details for the free time
were concerned.

O. What was the situation regarding the employment of
children and young people?

A. Under the German Reich Law, children under twelve years
of age were not permitted to work. Children under fourteen
were only permitted to work a few hours in agriculture.

                                                  [Page 111]

Q. Did you issue decrees about working hours for children?

A. I issued decrees, that is, I confirmed the laws which
were already in existence in so far as they applied to this

Q. Now I shall hand you Document 345-PS, which is a letter
written by Reich Minister Rosenberg, addressed to Dr.
Lammers, dated 20th July, 1944.

THE PRESIDENT: Has this been put in before? Has this been
offered in evidence before?

DR. SERVATIUS: This document was submitted in
cross-examination. I myself have just received it.


Q. It deals with the recruitment of young people in the age
group fifteen to twenty, for employment in the Reich during
the war. Then the document refers to the transfer of young
people in the age group ten to fourteen into the Reich, or
the "Hay Action." And it goes on to say:

   "The objective of this action is the further care of
   young people through the efforts of the Reich Youth
   Leadership, and the training of apprentices for the
   German economy in a manner similar to that in which the
   well-known White Ruthenia Youth Service has already
   successfully operated in co-operation with the GBA,"
   which means you. (GBA-Plenipotentiary General for

Please comment on whether you initiated the use of these
young people.

A. No, I had nothing whatever to do with this action, and in
the index of addresses my name is not mentioned. I do not
know of this matter.

Q. So you did not violate your own rules by issuing special

A. No. This was an incident with which I did not concern

Q. Then I should like to submit another letter to you, which
was also submitted by the prosecution in connection with the
Schirach case. It is Document 1137-PS, a letter dated 19th
October, 1944.

On Page 3 of this document, the following is set down:

  "In addition to these, other (labour) forces were
  supplied to the German armament industry already earlier,
  namely, first of all 3,500 boys and 500 girls to the
  Junkers works; secondly, 2,000 boys and 700 girls to the
  OT .... The agencies headed by the Hitler Youth have
  procured from the occupied Eastern territories for the
  armament industry" - I leave out what does not interest
  us - "5,500 boys and 1,200 girls."

Did you authorize the use of this labour, or did this matter
pass through your hands?

A. No.

Q. How were these people brought into the armament industry?

A. Well, I personally am- unable to explain that in detail.
Apparently this took place on the basis of an agreement
between agencies of the Eastern Ministry or those of
Hauptbannfuehrer Nickel. However, only during the
proceedings here did I hear that the young people involved
were of an age at which work is prohibited for them. I
understood that it was more in the nature of pre-employment
care. But. ...

Q. That is known.

A. ... it did not go through me or through my office.

Q. What about the use of foreign women?

A. Women from foreign countries were used in exactly the
same way as German women. No other conditions.

Q. Document 025-PS has been submitted here. This is Exhibit
USA 698, which was also submitted only now, and is not
contained in the books. This is the record of a conference
which took place in your office and in which you spoke at
length on the use of female labour. In the third paragraph
it says:

                                                  [Page 112]

  "To this end the Fuehrer has ordered the use of 400,000
  to 500,000 Eastern female workers from the Ukraine,
  between the ages of fifteen to thirty-five, for domestic
  purposes, and the GBA" - that is you - "has been charged
  with the carrying through of this action which is to be
  concluded in approximately three months."

It goes on:

  "It is in accord with the specific wish of the Fuehrer
  that as many girls as possible shall be Germanised if
  they prove satisfactory."

Will you please comment on this?

A. Yes; this is a decree of the Fuehrer to bring four
hundred to five hundred thousand female workers into the
Reich from the Eastern region for German  households, but
especially in order to lighten the work of the German
farmers' wives. I should like to mention, in connection with
this record, that I did not compile it, and that my office
did not compile it either. Most likely these minutes were
written down on the basis of notes which somebody had taken.
With reference to these proposed four hundred to five
hundred thousand domestic servants, it must be said that
they were only to be brought or only permitted to be brought
into the Reich on a voluntary basis. Actually only perhaps
thirteen to fifteen thousand - I believe - came into the
Reich. The concept "to Germanise" as used here, also refers
only to their free will or wish to remain in Germany.

What was the medical attention which the foreign workers
received? Various things were mentioned here, for instance,
that "if the worker can no longer work, he is no longer a
concern of ours," that is supposed to have been your
principle. Then it goes on: "Work, food and pay must be
brought into relationship with each other. If the worker can
no longer work, he is just a dead weight."

What can you say in regard to these accusations?

A. Would you show me where I said that, I am not familiar
with it.

Q. This is in the transcript of a court session; I have the
page here, in the German transcript 2789. It says there:

  "If the worker can no longer work, he is no longer a
  concern of ours."

Did you advocate this principle?

A. On the contrary; there exist hundreds of precise decrees
and orders which I issued. They were published in the Reich
Law Gazette, in special issues sent to the factories and the
employment agencies, and in special collections, in which it
is set down clearly that the foreign workers, who were
brought into the Reich through the labour mobilization
programme, had to be treated in accordance with German laws,
regulations and directives, as far as medical treatment and
care, including insurance, are concerned. There were also

THE PRESIDENT: Dr. Servatius, were you putting to the
defendant a document where it was alleged he had said that
after they were unfit to work, that it is no more his
concern? Was it the document you were putting to him?

DR. SERVATIUS: This document was submitted to him with
regard to the female workers of whom he is alleged to have
said that they were to be Germanised. I am no longer dealing
with that document but have turned to the question of
medical care.

THE PRESIDENT: You mean that was in Document 025-PS, Exhibit
USA 698?

DR. SERVATIUS: This Document 025 refers only to female
workers. This question has already been dealt with. I have
turned to the question of medical care in general and am no
longer dealing with the question of female workers.


Did you receive reports about catastrophic conditions
regarding the state of health and the medical care of
foreign workers?

A. No. Not only German physicians were employed as official
physicians in the industries and camps to deal with the
hygiene and health of the workers,

                                                  [Page 113]

but also numerous physicians and medical assistants from the
home countries of the foreign workers were assigned to these

Q. How did you check on the execution of your decrees and
what other controlling agencies existed?

A. There were the following controlling agencies: first of
all ....

DR. SERVATIUS: Just a moment. I should like to refer to
Document No. 2. In it I have made a survey of the control
and inspection agencies concerned with supervision. I shall
explain this diagram briefly: In the centre, there is the
Reich Labour Ministry under Seldte; underneath, the
supervision agencies in peace time, the trade supervision
agencies including the policing office for trade and
construction (Gewerbe-und Baupolizei). That was the only
agency which had police powers, that is, it was in a
position to act against the resistance of those recruited
for work. Besides this several other agencies were created
to handle the difficult problem of welfare. There is, first
of all, if you look at the right-hand side, the German
Labour Front, an agency encompassing the interests of the
employers, the industry, and the workers, and in some
respect it took the place occupied in the past by the trade
unions. From there the care was turned over to the i
ndustries. A special inspection agency was created, the
Reich Inspection Office of the German Labour Front, with an
agency for the foreign workers which had its own liaison men
in the plants to accept complaints. In the enterprises
themselves, certain foreign workers, too, were able to
report on conditions there.

Then, turning further to the right, is the Reich Food
Ministry, which also through the State food offices - had
direct insight into questions pertaining to food and care.
The reports which went to the Reich Foreign Minister through
diplomatic channels were eventually also passed on to
Sauckel as we shall see later. Then there is a special
agency for Eastern workers under the Rosenberg Ministry,
that is the central agency for the peoples of the East, and
this last letter which we have here apparently came from one
of the gentlemen in this agency. This central agency for the
peoples of the East in turn also had its agents in the
industries and they made reports directly. All these reports
were turned over to Sauckel.

Now, I turn to the left part of the diagram. Sauckel himself
instituted for inspectional purposes a personal staff which
was sent around to visit enterprises. We heard from several
witnesses that these inspectors appeared and saw to it that
everything was in order. Then he established a special
office, the "Reich Inspectorate." Complaints which came from
the German Labour Front and other
sources were sent to this inspectorate. When Sauckel, as he
says, immediately passed on these complaints, they were sent
first to the Reich Inspectorate which in turn advised the
necessary offices and ultimately made use of the compulsory
measures of the Reich Labour Ministry. Then also the
Gauleiter were given the task of supervision and the
witnesses who have appeared here, witnesses who, were
Gauleiter in their time, have confirmed that they exercised
control as plenipotentiaries for the Labour Mobilization
programme. Further to the left is shown the Reich Ministry
for Enlightenment and Propaganda which had taken over a
supervisory function in the direction of the camps and the
workers. Then, finally on the far left, comes the Wehrmacht
which had its own supervisory machinery through its
inspectors who independently took care of prisoners of war
and who saw to it that the Geneva and other Conventions were
adhered to. The reports of all these agencies were sent to
Sauckel, and he testified here that catastrophic conditions
were not reported to him, that he could only make his
influence felt through directives and that he gave his

THE PRESIDENT: Dr. Servatius, will you ask the defendant
whether that was. a correct statement on the meaning of the


Q. Witness, this explanation which I have given, and this
diagram which you have seen; are they correct?

                                                  [Page 114]

A. Yes.

Q. They are correct.

A. Yes.

Q. Would you comment now on the activity of the Gauleiter as
plenipotentiaries? How did you supervise the Gauleiter?

A. I could not supervise the Gauleiter themselves, as I had
no disciplinary or official control over them. But I had the
Gaue visited by members of my staff at intervals of about
three months; on the occasion of these visits the complaints
of the Gauleiter were heard and then factories and camps
were inspected jointly and checked to see how far my
directives were or were not carried out. I should like to
remark that these inspectors naturally had nothing to do
with control of concentration camps and the work in the
concentration camps, that was a different field which was
under the control of Obergruppenfuehrer Pohl and in which I
had no authority and no insight.

THE PRESIDENT: We will adjourn now.

(A recess was taken until 1400 hours.)

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.