The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

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Q. What offices were established for administration in the
occupied Eastern Territories?

A. In addition to the Foreign Ministry there existed a
number of special offices: a special Goering office for
agriculture, Himmler office for police, and Sauckel office
for the recruitment of manpower.

0. Whom was agriculture under?

A. Agriculture, and also the entire economy, was under
Goering. He gave his instructions directly, or through State
Secretaries Koerner and Backe.

Q. Were the figures for delivery, the quota in agriculture,
higher than those imposed under the Soviet administration?

A. The figures imposed for delivery were adjusted to the
former Russian figures. During the first year the actual
quantities delivered were lower than during the Russian era.
In the next year, as far as crops were concerned, they were
lower; as far as livestock was concerned, higher.

Q. Were the actual deliveries according to Goering's

A. No, Goering had expected considerably higher figures.

Q. Did Germany ship agricultural machinery, scythes and so
on, into the Eastern Territories, and in what quantities?

A. A large-scale agricultural programme, under the name of
Eastern Acreage Programme (Ost-Acker-Programm) was
established in Germany, whereby large amounts of
agricultural machinery and equipment for war needs were
shipped into the occupied Russian Territories.

The reason for that was the removal and large-scale
destruction of agricultural machinery and equipment by the
Russians during their retreat.

Q. On 5 February, 1942, an agricultural decree was issued.
What were the reasons for that?

A. The main purpose of that agricultural decree was to get
the population to co-operate voluntarily. First it was
intended to maintain the collective economy. That proved to
be impossible because, as has been mentioned, part of the
heavy machinery, such as tractors, was no longer available.
On the other hand, it was not possible to resort to
individual farming as some of the population wished, because
smaller machinery was also lacking. Therefore a compromise
solution was reached by so-called agricultural co-
operatives, whereby the Russian peasants got a share of the
land to work but a part of the labour was still carried on

Q. What was the result?

A. The result of the agricultural decree was generally
favourable. The extent and quantity of the planting
increased. A particularly good example of the consequences
was the conditions in the so-called Kharkov Basin, where, in
the spring of 1942, the farms which had been changed into
agricultural co-operatives had already achieved more than 70
per cent. of the spring planting, whereas the unconverted
collective farms only achieved about 30 per cent.

Q. On 3 June, 1943, the so-called private property
declaration was issued. What was the basis for that?

A. The basic purpose of the private property declaration was
to turn over to the Russian peasants as personal property
the shares of land which were assigned to them by the
agricultural decree.

                                                   [Page 88]

Q. How was the vegetable supply of large cities handled, for
example, in the Ukraine?

A. Around the large cities considerable areas of allotments
were turned over to the working population.

Q. Now some questions about Latvia.

Did the German Administration in Latvia confiscate the land
of the Latvian peasants?

A. No, on the contrary. The nationalisation measures taken
by the Russians during their occupation were abrogated. The
land which had been separated from farms for purposes of
settlement was returned to the peasants. To say it in one
sentence, the conditions existing before the Russian
occupation were re-established.

COLONEL POKROVSKY: I beg to be excused, but I cannot
understand, with the best of wishes, what all these
questions, even in the remotest way, have to do with the
affair of the defendant Rosenberg. It seems to me that
further questions of the defence counsel, if they are along
these same lines, should not be allowed.

THE PRESIDENT: Dr. Thoma, you ought to show that what the
witness is testifying about is connected in some way with
the defendant Rosenberg.

DR. THOMA: With this question I want first to refute the
Soviet assertion that after the occupation the Barons had
their land returned to them. I refer to the Soviet
Prosecution's document, Exhibit USSR-3951, which I submitted
to the Tribunal yesterday. Secondly, I want to prove with it
that that area was administered in an orderly way and in
such a manner that the population co-operated voluntarily.
Thirdly, I want to prove that, because the agricultural work
was well organised, during the entire German occupation not
one Ukrainian nor one citizen of the Soviet Union starved.

But I can only demonstrate this by the statements of an
expert. I believe that I have only a few more questions, and
then I shall have finished with this subject of evidence.

THE PRESIDENT: Go on, Dr. Thoma.


Q. Did the German Administration in Latvia confiscate the
land of the Latvian peasants?

A. I have answered that question already. On the contrary,
socialisation was revoked and the land separated for
settlement was returned to the Latvian peasants. In one
word, conditions were restored as had existed before the
Russian occupation.

Q. Were former large German estates restored?

A. No. On the contrary, Latvian peasants' property - which,
after 1919 was created at the expense of large German
estates - was left in their hands. It remained their

Q. What were the ideas behind the so-called return to
private ownership?

A. It was intended to give the Latvian peasants the feeling
of security derived from working their own property.

Q. Did this law also apply to Esthonia and Lithuania?

A. The law applied in a similar manner also to Esthonia and

Q. Do you know about a statement of Darre's to the effect
that the local freeholding farmers should be separated from
the land they owned, and proletarianised?

                                                   [Page 89]

A. I do not remember any such statement.

Q. Do you know about the Society for the Administration of
the Eastern Territory (Gesellschaft fuer die Bewirtschaftung
des Ostlandes)?

A. There were two societies by that name. I assume that the
one you are referring to was the one founded in order to
take care of the State-owned property and the plants which
were erected during the occupation in the East Baltic
provinces, and which still remained State property after the
return to private ownership. In the old Russian Territories
of the so-called Reich Commissariat the M.T.S. organisation
also took care of these areas.

Q. What was the attitude of Rosenberg toward the various
measures, such as labour recruitment, delivery of
foodstuffs, etc.?

A. Rosenberg could not do anything against the orders of the
Fuehrer. Yet he always advocated that these measures be
carried out without force against the population, and that
they be co-ordinated with each other.

Q. Who took care of the Eastern workers in the Reich?

A. To my knowledge the labour administration, through its
labour offices.

Q. How were the Eastern workers quartered in the Reich? Do
you know anything about it?

A. The provisioning and quartering of the Eastern workers in
the Reich were satisfactory as a whole. I received reports
directly by way of the Reich nutritional offices.

Q. Can you tell us something about Rosenberg's general
attitude toward the Eastern people?

A. As I have said before, Rosenberg personally wanted to get
the Eastern people to co-operate. This was true especially
in the matter of cultivating and maintaining their cultural
life. For instance, Rosenberg, as far as I know, always
intervened for re-opening of the colleges and special

Q. Did Rosenberg have any restrictions in this sphere? Did
he have to oppose other points of view to reach his goal?

A. Strong forces were at work counteracting Rosenberg's
efforts, and especially at the Fuehrer's headquarters, where
there were Bormann and Himmler, whose opinions were strongly
supported by Reich Commissar Koch, who in turn was supported
by Bormann and Himmler in his opposition to Rosenberg. That
led to the fact that a large proportion of the measures
which Rosenberg had planned, especially in the Ukraine, were
sabotaged by Koch.

Q. Now one last question: Did you know about the
concentration camps and about the treatment of the inmates
in protective custody?

A. I, of course, knew of the existence of concentration
camps, but not their number and what happened in them.
During the years of 1933 and 1934 various representations
were made about individual cases of maltreatment. Later,
persons who visited concentration camps sent in definitely
positive reports. In the last days of April of last year,
near Berlin, I met inmates of concentration camps being
marched to the rear. Their condition was so terrible that I
immediately saw Himmler and asked him not to let these
people go on marching but to turn them over to the enemy.
The discussion of this took place in the presence of Field
Marshal Keitel. Himmler unfortunately gave only an evasive

Q. There is one more question that just came to my mind. In
addition to providing food for the armed forces, were
measures taken in the occupied Eastern Territories to get
foodstuffs for the German people?

A. About two thirds of the supplies of foodstuffs from the
Eastern Territories

                                                   [Page 90]

went directly to the armed forces. The remaining third was
shipped to Germany, and we always considered it as
compensatory for the feeding of the foreign workers, whose
number was mounting continuously.

DR. THOMA: I have no more questions.

THE PRESIDENT: Do any of the defendants' counsel wish to ask
any questions?

BY DR. SEIDL (Counsel for the defendant Frank):

Q. Witness, you were State Secretary in the Reich Ministry
for Food and Agriculture, is that correct?

A. Yes.

Q. Is it correct that the chief of the main department for
Food and Agriculture in the Government General was
frequently in Berlin in order to try to fix quotas there
which would be bearable to the population?

A. As far as I remember, he several times expressed that
opinion during the regular negotiations which took place
with the Government General.

Q. According to your own observations, what was the
nutritional situation of the population of the Government

A. According to my own observations and the reports which I
received, the rations' allowance was a good deal lower than
in the Reich, but could be considerably supplemented through
the black market and the open market.

Q. Is it correct that every effort was made by the
administration of the Government General to increase
agricultural production?

A. Strenuous efforts were made by the Government General to
promote agriculture, and one can safely say that the entire
remaining resources, in so far as they were not used for
armaments, were put to the service of supplying food.
Besides, fertiliser was shipped from the Reich, even if only
in limited quantities; also machinery and equipment, in
accordance with the programme for the Eastern Territory.

Q. What percentage of the entire German requirement of
foodstuffs did the occupied countries deliver?

A. According to the calculations which were made
independently of our ministry, the deliveries from occupied
territories in 1942 and 1943 amounted to about 15 per cent.
of the total food requirement of Germany; during the other
years around 10 per cent., usually less.

Q. Now one last question: The Soviet Prosecution has
submitted Exhibit USSR 170. It deals with a meeting of the
chiefs of the German offices in the occupied territories,
which took place on 6 August, 1942, under the chairmanship
of the Reich Marshal. I will have this document handed to
you, and I want you to tell me whether the description given
in that document characterises the relationship between
Germany and the occupied territories correctly. You were
present at that meeting yourself.

A. The document represents the minutes of the meeting in
which I took part. First I have to say that the document -
that is to say, the minutes - principally contains the
speech of the Reich Marshal, and does not actually deal with
the relations between Germany and the occupied territories
in the matter of nutrition. The demands which Goering made
at this meeting were so high that they could not even be
taken seriously. In the matter of nutrition it was clear to
us that we could not achieve anything by force in the long
run. The additional demands which Goering made at that
meeting were actually never fulfilled, I don't think that
Goering himself believed that these quotas could be
supplied. As far as I know, Goering's additional demands
were never submitted

                                                   [Page 91]
to France. Belgium, in spite of a prohibition, received
grain; and Czechoslovakia got fats in spite of another

On the day before that meeting, there had been a conference
of the Gauleiter, which, as far as I remember, was concerned
with the increasing air attacks in the West, and the
increasing difficulties, especially for the population,
resulting therefrom. The Western Gauleiter were of the
opinion that the food supply for Germany was becoming
insufficient in view of the increasing difficulties for the
population, but that, on the other hand, a large part of the
occupied territories was still enjoying a surplus. The Reich
Ministry for Food and the representatives of the occupied
territories themselves were in a certain sense accused of
not demanding and delivering enough from the occupied
territories. Goering followed up these demands and, due to
his disposition and his temperament, this led to the
exaggerations contained in the minutes and in this document.

DR. SEIDL: I have no more questions.

BY DR. SERVATIUS (Counsel for the defendant Sauckel):

Q. Witness, how were foreign workers fed in Germany?

A. All groups of foreign workers, with the exception of the
Eastern workers, received the same rations as the German

Q. And what about the Eastern workers?

A. The Eastern workers received in certain categories lower,
but in the case of bread and potatoes, higher rations.

Q. Was the food supply such that the state of health of the
workers was endangered?

A. That question cannot be answered in a clear cut fashion.
It must be considered in connection with the kind of work
that these people were doing. For normal work these rations
must have been entirely sufficient.

Q. Did Sauckel intervene especially for better nutrition of
these workers?

A. As far as I know, Sauckel appealed several times to my
Minister on behalf of a better supply of food, whereupon
Backe always answered with the counter-demand that no
additional workers should be brought to Germany. Backe
repeatedly suggested that the number of workers be limited
and that they be supplied with better food instead.

DR. SERVATIUS: I have no more questions.

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