The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

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Q. You are talking here largely about conditions in Germany,
which did not come under your jurisdiction. What did you do
regarding Koch? Is the memorandum of 16 March, 1943, which
has already been mentioned here, a reply to these
complaints? In that memorandum you write Koch that he must
use only legal means and that he must bring the guilty to
justice. Was that a reaction to these reports?

A. Yes, it was a reaction because by December, 1942, there
had been quite a number of complaints already.

Q. And what did Koch reply?

A. Koch replied to me that he, for his part, also wanted and
would employ legal means, but in the document read today in
his report dated March, 1943, he complained several times
that I did not always believe these assurances, but that in
every case the Ministry for Eastern Affairs not only
intervened, but even demanded of him a report on the
carrying out of these instructions.

Q. Thus he denied considerable abuses?

A. Yes, he denied considerable abuses. He referred in the
document to one particularly serious case, namely, that
individual houses had been burned down in Volhynia because
those who had been called upon to work had resisted the
recruiting by means of force, and he said that he had no
other course to take. He added that this case in particular
had caused new complaints on the part of the Eastern

Q. Was he entitled to such measures, in your opinion?

A. Reich Commissioner Koch had jurisdiction over the
execution of all

                                                   [Page 41]

orders coming from the highest authoritative departments in
the Reich. He was responsible for the execution of all
measures and responsible for their execution in the
framework of the instructions. He had now, I believe, often
overstepped the framework of these instructions and acted on
his own initiative in taking, as he thought, exclusively war
economic measures. Sometimes I heard of these measures, and
often I did not, as appears from the document.

THE PRESIDENT: The question you were asked was whether in
your opinion he was entitled to burn houses because people
refused to work, and you have given a long answer which
seems to me to be no answer to the question.

A. (Continued) In my opinion he did not have the right to
burn down houses, and therefore I intervened, and he tried
to justify himself.


Q. In order to carry out the labour recruiting, there were
to be recruiting measures, which, it is true, had to be
carried out with a certain amount of administrative
coercion. How far was the coercion permissible? Is there
legal and illegal coercion, and how do you judge the
measures that were carried out in practice?

A. I myself insisted up until 1943 on a voluntary
recruitment. But in the face of the urgent demands from the
Fuehrer I could not maintain this stand any longer and I
agreed therefore - in order to have a legal form at least -
that certain age groups should be called up. From these age
groups all those were to be eliminated who were essential in
the occupied Eastern Territories, and were working. But the
others were to be brought from all parts with the help of
their own administrations in the regional commissariat, that
is, the little burgomasters in the occupied Eastern
Territories, and there is no doubt, of course, in this
connection that, so as to give force to these demands, the
police stood at the disposal of the administration in the
execution of this programme.

Q. If there were abuses, could Koch stop them; did you have
no influence in the matter?

A. It was the duty of the Reich Commissioner to whom the
regional government of the Ukraine was subordinated to
investigate and to take action, in accordance with the
instructions which he had received from me.

Q. But why did you go to Sauckel as well? Was it Sauckel s
duty also to stop this?

A. Sauckel, as the deputy of the Commissioner for the Four-
Year Plan, had the right to give instructions to me, as
Minister for Eastern Affairs, and over and above that, he
had the right to by-pass me and give instructions to the
Reich Commissioners, a right which he used a few times in
that he gave lectures in the general districts of the
Ukraine and of the Eastern Territories.

Q. Was Sauckel responsible for the conditions in the

A. Sauckel was not responsible for the execution of these
demands, but, of course, on the basis of the authority given
him by the Fuehrer he made the demands so harsh and exact
that the responsible regional governments of the
Commissioner-General felt themselves bound to back the
recruiting of labour with executive power, as appears for
example from the report, Document 265-PS, from the
Commissioner-General in Zhitomir, and, I think also, can be
seen from the report, I can't give the exact number, from
the district commissioner in Kaunas.

Q. Did Sauckel have an organisation of his own?

A. Yes, he had a staff, but I cannot make a statement on the
size of it. He took care only that the civil administration
had labour divisions attached to it, and his demands as far
as civil administration in the East was concerned were
handed over to the administrative offices for action. As far
as I know, he did not have a large organisation.

Q. Before Sauckel came into your ministry was there not
already a depart-

                                                   [Page 42]

ment of "Labour," which had its corresponding subordinate
departments which were labour offices?

A. I cannot give you a precise answer to that. At any rate,
I think a department "Labour and Social Policy" was set up
almost at the beginning of the Ministry, but I am not able
to tell you the exact date at the moment. Perhaps Dr. Beil's
statement will contain some details.

Q. Thus, you are not informed regarding the organisation of
this seizure of workers?

A. No, I am informed as far as I have just told you, only I
can not give you exact information about the date of the
foundation of this main department, "Labour and Social
Policy," in the Ministry for Eastern Affairs.

Q. Did labour offices for the occupied Eastern Territories
exist which had their head in your ministry?

A. Yes, so far as the main department "Labour and Social
Policy" co-operated with the civil administration; that is,
both Reich Commissioners had continuous contact and had
correspondence with the appropriate department - namely the
Labour Office attached to the Reich Commissioner. A
correspondence on a lower level, with the general districts,
was naturally not carried on, but there was continuous
consultation with the appropriate department attached to the
Reich Commissioner.

Q. In your letter you speak of "Sauckel offices." What
offices do you mean by this?

A. Well, I mean, first of all, his immediate deputy
Peuckert, who later, in order to guarantee co-operation with
the least possible friction, formally took over the
direction of this department. He was only very rarely at the
Ministry for Eastern Affairs since he was officially working
especially for Sauckel; and apart from that, Sauckel had a
few other gentlemen with whom my main department negotiated
continuously regarding the reduction of the quotas ...

THE PRESIDENT: Surely, the witness Sauckel will give all
this information. What is the good of wasting our time
putting it to Rosenberg.

DR. SERVATIUS: It is important in order to ascertain
responsibility. Later I cannot call on Rosenberg as a
witness again; a number of questions will arise, to which I

THE PRESIDENT: I understand that, of course, but these are
all details of Sauckel's administration which Sauckel must
know himself.

DR. SERVATIUS: Yes, but I will have no opportunity later on
to question the witness Rosenberg regarding the consequences
of the organisations, namely, who was responsible, who had
the right to supervise, who had the duty to intervene. Why
were letters addressed to individuals? Did he have to react
to them? One cannot understand that, if one does not ask the
witness ... if he is not first asked about it. I would
suggest that the witness Rosenberg should be called again in
connection with Sauckel's case, after Sauckel has spoken;
that would save time.

THE PRESIDENT: There is no issue with the prosecution about
it. If there is no issue with the prosecution, then
Sauckel's evidence about it will be quite sufficient.

DR. SFRVATIUS: Mr. President, the witness Rosenberg, in his
letter - in a letter addressed to Sauckel - mentioned the
fact that his offices were using those methods which had
been objected to, Since, in my opinion, such offices did not
exist, and thus Rosenberg was addressing the wrong person, I
must establish what offices there really were. It is a
complaint about conditions that were distasteful to
Rosenberg and he addressed himself to Sauckel instead of

THE PRESIDENT: Ask him some direct question, will you?


Q. What did Sauckel do upon receiving the letter you
addressed to him?

                                                   [Page 43]

A. I didn't receive a letter in reply to it, but I heard
that Sauckel at a meeting of his labour offices in Weimar
went into these complaints in detail and that he tried to do
his best to remove the grounds for these complaints.

Q. Did not that meeting take place a fortnight later, that
is, on 6 January, 1943, and were you not present also?

A. Possibly. I spoke at a meeting in Weimar once; whether or
not it was this one, I am not able to say.

Q. Did you hear Sauckel's speech at this meeting?

A. No, I have no recollection of it.

Q. Did you get the speech in writing later?

A. I cannot remember that either.

DR. SERVATIUS: Later on I want to submit the speech as a
document in connection with Sauckel's case. I have a number
of further questions.

Q. Did other departments, too, in the occupied territory,
concern themselves with the seizure of labourers?

A. Yes. I received indeed some reports that also the so-
called Todt Organisation engaged workers for the carrying
out of their technical tasks, and I think also the railway
administration and other offices in the East were making
efforts to get new workers for themselves.

Q. Is it not correct that the armed forces were demanding
workers, that workers were demanded for road construction,
were needed by the domestic industry, and that there was a
general effort to keep manpower at home and not let it go to

A. That is correct, and it is understandable in itself that
the armed forces, the Todt Organisation and other offices
wanted to keep at home as many labourers as possible for the
growing amount of work there, and they probably did not like
to give any of their workers up either. That is

Q. Sauckel repeatedly pointed out that workers must be
produced under all circumstances and that all obstacles to
their production must be removed. Did that refer to the
resistance of the local offices which did not want to give
up these workers?

A. It certainly referred to this and in a conference which I
had with Sauckel in 1943, and which is also in evidence as a
document here, but which was not submitted today, reference
was made to it. Sauckel stated that by order of the Fuehrer
he would have to raise a large number of new workers in the
East and that in this connection, he was thinking
particularly of the armed forces who had been, as he
expressed it, hoarding workers who could have been actively
employed in Germany.

Q. Did Sauckel have anything to do with the seizure of
workers, which took place in connection with the Germanising
of the East?

A. I cannot quite understand this question. What do you mean
in this case by "Germanising"?

Q. The S.S. undertook the re-settlement in the East. In
connection with this was manpower transferred? Was this
manpower allotted to Sauckel upon his request?

A. First of all I do not know exactly what re-settlement you
are talking about.

Q. A report has been presented to me which concerns the Jews
who were sent into Polish territory. I assume that they
reached your territory, too. Do you not know about that?

A. Based on my own knowledge, I can only say that this
concentration of the Jewish population from Eastern Germany
in certain cities and camps in the East was carried out
under the jurisdiction of the Chief of the German Police,
who also had this assignment for the occupied Eastern
Territories. In connection with the re-settlement in camps
and with the concentrations in certain

                                                   [Page 44]

quarters of the city, there probably also developed a
shortage of labour. I merely do not know what that has to do
with Germanisation.

DR. SERVATIUS: I have no further questions.

THE PRESIDENT: Before we adjourn, I should like to know what
the position is about the defendant Frank's documents. Does
anybody know anything about that?

MR. DODD: Mr. President, I wish to say that in so far as we
are concerned, we have been in consultation with Dr. Seidl
for the defendant Frank as well as the representatives of
the Soviet prosecuting staff. We are prepared to be heard at
any time that the Tribunal would care to hear us on the

THE PRESIDENT: Yes. Then, Dr. Thoma, how many more witnesses
have you got and how long do you think you will be in the
defendant Rosenberg's case?

DR. THOMA: I have only one witness, your Honours, the
witness Riecke. I believe that, as far as I am concerned, he
can be examined in one hour at the most; I do not think it
will take as long as that. After that, it depends on the

THE PRESIDENT: Very well. Yes, then you may finish the
defendant Rosenberg's case tomorrow.

DR. THOMA: It depends upon the cross-examination.

THE PRESIDENT: Yes, of course. Then, Dr. Seidl, will you be
able to go on at once in Frank's case? Supposing we finish
Rosenberg tomorrow - tomorrow is Wednesday, is it not? Will
you be able to go on on Thursday morning in Frank's case?

DR. SEIDL: Mr. President, I can start with Frank's case as
soon as Rosenberg's case is finished. As far as the
documents are concerned, there was difficulty regarding only
one document and I have forgone the presentation of this one

But apart from that, these documents are only those which
have in a large degree already been presented by the other

THE PRESIDENT: If there is only one document in question, we
can hear you upon it now. As I understand you, you have only
one document about which there is any difference of opinion.

DR. SEIDL: That has been settled already; because I have
given up presentation of this document.

THE PRESIDENT: Very well. There is no further difference of

DR. SEIDL: There is no further difference of opinion.

THE PRESIDENT: Well, then, you are perfectly ready to go on?


THE PRESIDENT: Have the documents been translated yet?

DR. SEIDL: As far as I know, they have already all been

THE PRESIDENT: Very well, thank you.

(The Tribunal adjourned until 17 April, 1946, at 10.00 hours.)

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