The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

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Last-Modified: 2000/03/27

THE PRESIDENT: What was your question, General, simply
whether this was a telegram sent to Hitler?

GENERAL ALEXANDROV: I asked about the telegram, from which I
have read one sentence into the record, in order to obtain
an affirmation from the defendant Sauckel that this telegram
had been sent. I was not interested in anything else.


Q. The next document is 1292-PS. Have you got this document?

A. No.

Q. You have already been shown the passage I am about to
read. Your statement reads as follows: "GBA Sauckel declared
that he would, with fanatical will, attempt to secure this

You were, at that time, speaking of the mobilization of four
million workers. It says further: "He would do everything in
his power to obtain the manpower desired for 1944".

Did you say that? Is the statement correctly rendered in the
minutes of the report?

                                                  [Page 189]

 A. I did say that, and I am asking to be allowed to acid
the following to my affirmative reply. I knew that the
German people, and they were my people - were in dire...
(Interruption by General Alexandrov.) May I add an
explanation to my clear reply, stating why I answered as I
did. I am entitled to it.

Q. You accompany every answer you give with lengthy
supplementary explanations. You are merely delaying the
interrogation. I am quite satisfied with your reply, what
you have told me is perfectly sufficient.

THE PRESIDENT: General, he has given a perfectly clear
answer that he did say it and I think he is entitled to give
some word of explanation. It is perfectly true that his
explanations are intolerably long, but he is entitled to
give some explanation.

GENERAL ALEXANDROV: Mr. President, if every answer is to be
accompanied by such extensive explanations -

THE PRESIDENT: General Alexandrov, I have said that he is
entitled to give some explanation. Now then: please make it

THE WITNESS: I knew that the German people were engaged in
their most bitter struggle. It was my duty to carry on with
my task with all my strength -that is what I understood by
"fanaticism". I further explained, in another sentence, that
I could not accomplish my task in that year. In so far as my
task was accomplished in 1944, it was carried out with
two-thirds German workers, not with a majority of
foreigners, but more than two-thirds were Germans, and I was
fanatically trying to put them to work, even to the last
German woman, to the extent that she was capable of working,
namely, in 1944, over two million.

Q. In April 1943, in order to accelerate the deportation of
manpower to Germany from the Occupied Territories, you
visited Rovno, Kiev, Dnepropetrovsk, Zaporozjie, Simferopol,
Minsk and Riga. In June you visited Prague, Kiev, Cracow,
Zaporozhjie and Melitopol. Is that correct?

A. That is true, and during those journeys I personally
satisfied myself that my departments were working properly.
That was the object of my journey.

Q. Thus you personally organized the deportation into
slavery of the peaceful population of the Occupied
Territories. Is that correct too?

A. I must protest against that statement most strongly.

Q. Then why did you go to all these towns and inhabited
places? Did you not do so in order to enforce the
deportation of the people in the Occupied Territories?

A. I visited these areas to satisfy myself personally as to
how my offices in these cities - I should not say "my", but
the Labour Offices in the local administrations - were
working, whether they were conscientiously carrying out
their obligations towards the workers, whether they were
attending to medical examinations, card indexing, etc.,
according to my instructions. That is why I went to those
towns. I negotiated with the chiefs on the matter of quotas,
that is quite true, since it was my task to recruit workers
and to screen the quotas, but during my visits to these
cities I inspected the offices personally to satisfy myself
that they were functioning properly.

Q. And also to insure the speedy deportation of manpower to
Germany? Is that correct?

A. To employ the best possible methods for the purpose in
mind. That is indisputably stated in my orders and the
manifesto which has been submitted to the Tribunal was
written on this very journey which you have just mentioned.

Q. You specially visited these cities in order to improve
recruitment methods? Have I understood you correctly?

A. I went to these places to satisfy myself if the methods
were correct or not and to discuss them with the
Departments. That is true, for I did not have to visit
Kharkov, Kiev or any other town to discuss my task in terms
of figures.

                                                  [Page 190]

I would only have had to talk to the Section Chief for
Eastern Affairs (Ost-Berichterstatter) and he was in Berlin,
or else with the Reich Commissioner, whom I could not
contact since he was in Rovno.

Q. In your statements to your Defence Counsel you declared
that no question of criminal or illegal methods of
recruitment had ever arisen. Then what was the reason for
such extensive trips to the Occupied Territories? Does it
mean that some indications had already reached you that
large-scale, illegal practices were taking place in the
process of labour recruitment? Was that the reason for your
journeys? You visited over ten cities.

A. May I inform you, General while we are on this subject,
that my Defence Counsel has already asked me that question,
that I have answered it with the one word, "yes", and that,
generally speaking, whenever complaints reached me I
discussed them with Rosenberg and that wherever a wrong
could be righted it was so righted. Please hear my Defence
Counsel and my witnesses in this connection -

Q. The witnesses will be called on the decision of the
Tribunal. I should now like to ascertain if you took those
trips in order to improve methods of recruitment. I have
come to the logical conclusion that in all these towns,
prior to your arrival, a certain lawlessness, certain
crimes, had prevailed during the recruiting of manpower. Is
that what we are speaking about? And will you give a direct
answer as to why you visited these places?

A. I have already answered that question in every respect.
However, I would add that I assume that you, General, have
yourself had sufficient administrative experience to realize
that in every department, in every country of the world, it
is also natural for administrative orders to be checked. It
is not at all necessary to know that mistakes are made in
human life, and in every human organization, in spite of
this, they are subject to control.

Q. If you deny that you went there in order to improve
conditions and to suppress the crimes perpetrated in the
course of labour recruitment, then you must have gone there
to accelerate the deportation of manpower into Germany. It
is one thing or the other. Choose for yourself.

A. No, I must emphatically deny that. I undertook these
journeys in order to satisfy myself within the scope of my
duties, as to how this task was being carried out, to stop
defects which were reported to me, as for instance, as I
once told my Defence Counsel during my interrogation, I had
also been asked to do by Field Marshal Kluge, but also to
inform myself carefully and give appropriate warnings and
instructions to the Departments. For this purpose the
manifesto produced during this journey is my best evidence.

THE PRESIDENT: General Alexandrov; can you tell the Tribunal
how much longer you will be?

GENERAL ALEXANDROV: I am afraid I cannot make an exact
statement, but I should imagine about two more hours.

THE PRESIDENT: You are not losing sight of the fact, are
you, that we have already had a thorough cross-examination
by the French Prosecutor?


THE PRESIDENT: The Tribunal hopes that you will try to make
your cross-examination as short as possible, and the
Tribunal will adjourn now.

(A recess was taken.)


Q. Defendant Sauckel, tell us what attitude you, as
Plenipotentiary General, adopted towards the employment of
Soviet prisoners of war in the German industries? And who
were your collaborators?

A. I must reply to your question by saying that I had no
collaborators in the employment of prisoners of war, since I
did not employ prisoners of war.

Q. And you never saw to their mobilization, you never
registered them?

                                                  [Page 191]

A. As the authorized, mediating agency I had to have the
administrative measures carried out through the Labour
Offices or the Gau labour offices, which served as
intermediaries between the plants and the camps, that is,
between the Generals in charge of the prisoner-of-war
establishments who, in their turn, supplied prisoners-of-war
for the plants.

O. And what were these establishments? What kind of
organizations were they?

A. These were either the commanders in charge of
prisoner-of-war establishments in the military districts
(Wehrkreisen) or the organization of the factories, or the
factories themselves which worked through either the Reich
Food ministry, in which the majority of the prisoners were
lodged with farmers for labour, or in the industrial war

Q. In other words, you had nothing to do with it? I would
remind you -

A. I had to include the Labour Offices and the Gau Labour
Offices in so far as they had undertaken to act officially
as intermediaries, but only so long as they did not act
directly between the factories and the camps.

Q. I shall now quote an excerpt from your report to Hitler
on 27th July, 1943. It is Document 1296-PS, 5. In this
report, Part 3, there is a particular section. It is
entitled -

A. Two or three, please?

Q. Three. It is entitled "Employment of Soviet Russian
Prisoners-of-War". You state there:

  "In addition to the employment of civilian manpower, I
  have increased the employment of Soviet prisoners-of-war,
  according to plan, with the assistance of the
  Prisoner-of-War Department of the OKW."

And further on:

  "I particularly stress the importance of an increased and
  expedited deportation of the maximum number of prisoners
  of war possible from the front to work within the Reich."

Is this correct?

A. That is correct and it conforms exactly to the story I
have told you.

Q. It does not altogether agree.

A. But it does.

Q. You mentioned that you did not have anything to do with
the employment of prisoners of war in the German industries
and now, in your report, you make perfectly different
statements. So I am asking you, in connection with what I
have read into the record: Did you plan in advance the
exploitation of Soviet prisoners of war as workers in the
industries? Was that so or was it not?

A. I must point out one fundamental error on your part.
Labour procurement, the whole world over, whether operated
by the State or private individuals, is not an organization
or institution which exploits workers, but rather which
procures workers. I must establish this fundamental error.
It was my duty to provide the necessary connection, so that
prisoners of war in camps in the Occupied Territories - let
us say in the Government General - could be registered by
commanders in charge of local prisoner-of-war
establishments, for work in certain sectors, and then
assigned accordingly. Employment for labour in the factories
was not under my supervision and had nothing to do with me.

Q. In other words - you participated in supplying Soviet
prisoners of war for utilization in German industry. Is that

A. That is not correct, according to my use of the German
language, as I understand you, but rather procurement
(Vermittlung) is something quite different from
exploitation, on this, other gentlemen would have to
comment. I can only speak about the procurement. In Germany
this was State-operated. In other countries it is managed
privately. That is the difference, but I have never
exploited anybody. As Plenipotentiary General for Employment
of Labour (GBA) I did not employ a single worker.

                                                  [Page 192]

Q.. Did you know that the Soviet prisoners of war were being
employed in the armament industries in Germany?

A. It was known to me that Soviet prisoners of war were
being employed in the German war industry, for this industry
is vast and far-reaching and embraces the most widely
diverse activities.

Q. Were you acquainted, in particular, with the directive of
defendant Keitel regarding the employment of Soviet
prisoners of war in the mining industry? This directive is
dated 8th January, 1943. Do you know anything at all about
this directive?

A. I cannot recollect it in detail. I have not got it. Will
you be good enough to put it before me?

(The witness is handed the document.)

Q. Have you read it?

A. I have read it.

Q. It clearly mentions the employment of Soviet prisoners of
war in the mining industry for military purposes and in
military interests. Is that correct?

A. It refers to the employment of prisoners of war in the
mining industry in Germany.

Q. For what purpose? It is clearly stated in this document.

A. For employment in the mining industry.

Q. But for what purpose? What purpose was it to serve? It is
clearly stated here.

A. For work, I presume.

Q. In the interest of the war?

A. Well, as a matter of fact, the German mining industry did
not only work in the interest of the war: Germany also
supplied quite a lot of coal to neutral countries. It varied
according to circumstances.

Q. Follow this document, read after me:

  "For the execution of the expanded iron and steel
  programme the Fuehrer, on 7th July, ordered the absolute

A. I have not been given the part you are reading.

  Q. "For the execution of the expanded iron and steel
  programme, the Fuehrer, on 7th July, ordered the complete
  guarantee of the coal and means of production needed for
  this purpose. For this purpose he has also ordered that
  the necessary manpower be replaced by prisoners of war".

Q. Now, have you found the place?

A. Yes, indeed. I have read it.

Q. Thus the Soviet prisoners of war were to be employed in
the mining industry in the interest and for the conduct of
the war. Is that right? The fact is definitely established
by this document.

A. Yes, it says so - I might point out that this document is
not addressed to me.

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