The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

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Q. Did you have anything to do with the administration of
the camp later on?

A. I never had anything to do with the administration of the
camp. The Thuringian Government made an attempt at that time
to influence the planning of the building by saying that the
building police in Thuringia wished to give the orders for
the hygienic arrangements in the camp. Himmler rejected this
on the grounds of his position, saying that he had a
construction office of his own and the site now belonged to
the Reich.

Q. Did you visit the camp at any time?

                                                   [Page 79]

A. As far as I can remember, on one single occasion at the
end of 1937 or the beginning of 1938, I visited and
inspected the camp with an Italian commission.

Q. Did you find anything wrong there?

A. I did not find anything wrong. I inspected the
accommodation - I myself had been a prisoner for five years,
and so it interested me. I must admit that at that time
there was no cause for any complaint as such. The
accommodation had been divided into day and night rooms. The
beds were covered with blue and white sheets; the kitchens,
wash-rooms and latrines, were beyond reproach, so that the
Italian officer or officers who were inspecting the camp
with me said that in Italy they could not accommodate their
own soldiers any better.

Q. Later on, did you hear about the events in that camp
which have been alleged here?

A. I heard nothing about such events as have been alleged

Q. Did you have anything to do with the evacuation of the
camp at the end of the war, before the American Army

A. When the Mayor of Weimar informed me that they intended
to evacuate the camp at Buchenwald and to use the camp
guards to fight the American troops, I raised the strongest
objections. As I had no authority over the camp, and for
various reasons connected with my other office, I had had
considerable differences with Himmler and did not care to
speak to him, I telephoned the Fuehrer's quarters in Berlin
and said that in any case an evacuation or a march back of
prisoners into the territory east of the Saale was
impossible and madness, and could not be carried through
from the point of view of supplies. I demanded that the camp
should be handed over to the American troops in occupation
in an orderly manner. I received the answer that the Fuehrer
would give instructions to Himmler to comply with my
request. I briefly reported this to some of my colleagues
and the Mayor, and then I left Weimar.

Q. The witness Dr. Blaha has stated that you had also been
to the concentration camp at Dachau on the occasion of an

A. No, I did not go to the Dachau concentration camp and, as
far as I recollect, I did not take part in the visit of the
Gauleiter to Dachau in 1935 either. In no circumstances did
I take part in an inspection in Dachau such as Dr. Blaha has
described here; and consequently, above all, I did not
inspect workshops or anything of the sort.

Q. Did you not, as Gauleiter, receive official reports
regarding the events in the concentration camp, that is to
say orders which passed through the Gau administrative
offices both from and to the camp?

A. No. I neither received instructions for the Buchenwald
camp, nor reports. It was not only my personal opinion, but
it was the opinion of old experienced Gauleiter, that it was
the greatest misfortune, from the administrative point of
view, when Himmler, as early as 1934-1935, proceeded to
separate the executive from the general internal
administration. There were continual complaints from many
Gauleiter and German provincial administrations. They were
unsuccessful, however, because in the end Himmler
incorporated even the local fire brigades into the Reich
repair units of his police.

Q. Did you have any personal relations with the Police and
the SS at Weimar?

A. I had no personal relations with the SS and the Police at
all. I had official relations inasmuch as the industrial
police and the local police of small boroughs still remained
under the internal administration of the State of Thuringia.

Q. Did not the police have their headquarters near you at

A. No, it was the ridiculous part of the development at that
time, that, as I once explained to the Fuehrer, we had been
changed from a Party State, and a State made up of
provinces, into a departmental State. The Reich ministries
had greatly developed, their departments being cut off from
one another, and the individual district departments did not
co-operate with the various administrations. Until 1934
Thuringia had its own independent police administration in
its Ministry for Home Affairs. But from that time the
headquarters of the Higher SS and the

                                                   [Page 80]

Police Leaders were transferred to Cassel, so that Himmler,
in contrast to the rest of the State and Party
organizations, obtained new spheres for his police. He
demonstrated this in Central Germany where for example the
Higher SS and Police Leader for Weimar and the State of
Thuringia was stationed in Cassel, whereas for the Prussian
part of the Gau of Thuringia - that is to say the town of
Erfurt, which is 20 kilometres away from Weimar - the Higher
SS and Police Leader and the provincial administration had
their seat in Magdeburg. It is obvious that we, as Gau
authorities, did not in any way agree with such a
development and that there was great indignation amongst the
experienced administrators.

Q. The question is: Did you co-operate with these offices
and did you have friendly association with the officials in
the regime and therefore know what was going on in

A. On the contrary, it was a continual battle. Each separate
organization shut itself off from the others. At such a
period of world development this was most unfortunate. For
the people it was disadvantageous and it made things
impossible for any administration.

Q. Was there persecution of the Jews in your Gau?

A. No.

Q. What about the laws concerning the Jews and the execution
of those laws?

A. These Jewish laws were proclaimed in Nuremberg. There
were actually very few Jews in Thuringia.

Q. Were there no violations in connection with the
well-known events, following the murder of the envoy in
Paris, which have repeatedly become the subject of
discussion in this Trial?

A. I cannot recollect in detail the events in Thuringia. As
I told you, there were only a few Jews in Thuringia. The
Gauleiter were in Munich at the time, and had no influence
at all on that development, for it happened during the night
- when all the Gauleiter were in Munich.

Q. My question is this: What happened in your Gau of
Thuringia, and what instructions did you give as a result?

A. There may have been a few towns in Thuringia where a
window was smashed or something of that sort. I cannot tell
you in detail, I cannot even tell you where or whether there
were synagogues in Thuringia.

Q. Now one question regarding your financial position.

On the occasion of your 50th birthday the Fuehrer made you a
donation. How much was it?

A. On my 50th birthday in October 1945 I was surprised to
get a letter from the Fuehrer through one of his adjutants.
In that letter there was a cheque for 250,000 marks. I told
the adjutant that I could not possibly accept it - I was
very surprised. The Fuehrer's adjutant - it was little
Bormann, the old Bormann, not Reichsleiter Bormann - told me
that the Fuehrer knew quite well that I had neither money
nor any landed property and that this would be a security
for my children. He told me not to hurt the Fuehrer's
feelings. The adjutant left quickly and I sent for Demme who
was both a colleague and a friend of mine and the President
of the State Bank of Thuringia. He was unfortunately refused
as a witness as being unimportant -

THE PRESIDENT: I think it is enough if we know whether he
ultimately accepted it or not.


Q. Let us drop that question. What happened to the money?

A. Through the president of the State Bank in question the
money was placed into an account in the State Bank of

Q. What other income did you receive from your official

A. The only income I had from my official positions was the
salary of a Reich Regent.

Q. How much was that?

                                                   [Page 81]

A. I cannot tell you exactly what the salary of a Reich
Minister was. I never bothered about it. It was something
like thirty thousand marks.

Q. And what means have you today apart from the donation in
that bank account?

A. I have not saved any money and I never had any property.

DR. SERVATIUS: That, Mr. President, brings me to the end of
those general questions and I am now coming to the questions
relating to the employment of labour.

THE, PRESIDENT: We will adjourn.

(A recess was taken.)

DR. SERVATIUS: To aid the Tribunal I have prepared a chart
showing how the direction of labour was managed which should
help to explain how the individual authorities co-operated
and how the operation was put into motion.

I will concern myself mainly with the problem of supplying
the demand, that is with the question of how the labour was
obtained. I shall not concern myself much with the question
of the use made of the labour and the needs of industry.
That is more a matter for Speer's defence which does not
quite agree with my presentation of things. But those are
details which escaped me in error because I did not go into
such matters thoroughly when the chart was being prepared.
Fundamentally there are no differences.

If I may explain the chart briefly: At the top there is the
"Fuehrer" in red; under him is the "Four-Year Plan"; and
under that, as part of the Four-Year Plan there is the
office of Sauckel, who was General Plenipotentiary for the
Employment of Labour (Arbeitseinsatz) and came directly
under the Four-Year Plan. He received his instructions and
orders from the Fuehrer through the Four-Year Plan, or, as
was the Fuehrer's way, from him direct.

Sauckel's Headquarters were at the Reich Ministry of Labour.
It is the big space outlined in yellow to the left, below
Sauckel's office which is in brown. Sauckel only became
included in the Reich Labour Ministry by having a few
offices put at his disposal. The Reich Minister of Labour
and the whole of the Labour Ministry remained.

In the course of time Sauckel's position became somewhat
stronger, individual departments being necessarily
incorporated into his, over which, to a certain extent, he
obtained personal power, but the Reich Ministry of Labour
remained until the end.

I should now like to explain how the "Arbeitseinsatz" was
put into operation. Owing to operations in Russia and the
great losses in the winter, there arose a need for two
million soldiers. The Wehrmacht, marked in green at the top
next to "The Fuehrer," "OKW," demands soldiers from the
industries. It is marked here in the green spaces which run
downwards below the "OKW." The line goes left then downwards
to the Industries which are marked as having thirty million
workers. The Wehrmacht withdraws two million workers but can
only do so when new labour is available. It was at that
moment that Sauckel was put into office in order to obtain
this labour.

The number of men needed was determined by the higher
authorities through the so-called "Requirements Board"
marked at the top in yellow, which represented the highest
offices: the Armaments and Production Ministries, the
Ministry of Air, Agriculture, Shipping, Transport, and so
on. They reported their requests to the Fuehrer and he
decided what was needed.

Sauckel's task was carried out as follows: Let us go back to
the brown square.

On the strength of the right of the Four-Year Plan to issue
orders, he applied to the office indicated on the right
where the squares are outlined in blue. They are the highest
district offices in the occupied territories - the Reich
Ministry for the Eastern Territories - i.e., Rosenberg; then
come the military authorities, and as things were handled a
little differently in each country, here are the various
countries, Belgium, Northern France, Holland, etc. marked in
yellow. These

                                                   [Page 82]

agencies received the order to make labour available. Each
through its own machinery referred the order to the next
agency below and so on down to the very last, the local
labour offices, which are under the district authorities,
and here the workers were assigned to the factories. That is
the reserve of foreigners. Beside that there are two other
sources of labour available, the main reserve of German
workers, which is marked in blue to the left at the bottom,
and the reserve of prisoners of war.

Sauckel had to deal with all these three agencies. I will
now put relevant questions to the witness. This is only to
refresh our memories and to check the explanation.

I will submit other charts later. There is a list of the
witnesses drawn up according to their offices so that we
know where they belong; and later there will be another
chart showing the inspection and controls which were set up.

THE PRESIDENT: Dr. Servatius, you will no doubt be asking
the witness whether he is familiar with the chart and
whether it is correct.


Q. Witness, you have seen this chart. Is it correct? Do you
acknowledge it?

A. To the best of my memory and belief it is correct, and I
acknowledge it.

Q. On the 21st of March, 1942 you were made General
Plenipotentiary for the Employment of Labour. Why were you
chosen for this office?

A. The reason why I was chosen for this office was never
known to me and I do not know it now. Because of my
engineering studies and my occupation I took an interest in
questions concerning labour systems, but I do not know
whether that was the reason.

Q. Was your appointment not made at Speer's suggestion?

A. Reichsleiter Bormann disclosed that in the preamble to
his official decree. I do not know the actual circumstances.

DR. SERVATIUS: I beg to refer to Sauckel Document NO. 7. It
is in Document Book 1, page 5.

THE WITNESS: I should like to add that this appointment came
as a complete surprise to me, I did not apply for it in any
way. I never applied for any of my offices.

THE PRESIDENT: What number are you giving to this document?

DR. SERVATIUS: Document No. 7.

THE PRESIDENT: I mean the chart. What number are you giving
to the chart?

DR. SERVATIUS: Document 1.

THE PRESIDENT: Yes, I see, and Document No. 7, page 5.,

DR. SERVATIUS: Yes. This document is a preamble added by
Reichsleiter Bormann to the decree and which shows it was
Speer who suggested Sauckel for this position.


Q. Was it an entirely new office which you then entered?

A. No. The Arbeitseinsatz had been directed by the Four-Year
Plan before my appointment. A ministerial director, Dr.
Mansfeld, held the office then. I only learned here, during
these proceedings, that the office was already known before
my time as the office of the General Plenipotentiary.

Q. On taking up your office did you talk to Dr. Mansfeld,
your so-called predecessor?

A. I neither saw Dr. Mansfeld nor spoke to him, nor did I
take over any records from him.

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