The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

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Q. Will you put the document aside now, please.

What authority did you have to carry out your task?

A. I had authority from the Four-Year Plan to issue
instructions. I had at my disposal - not under me, but at my
disposal - Sections 3 and 5 of the Reich Labour Ministry.

Q. What departments did they have?

A. The Departments for the "Employment of Labour" and for

Q. Could you issue directives and orders?

A. I could issue directives and orders of a departmental
nature to those offices.

Q. Could you carry on negotiations with foreign countries

A. I could carry on negotiations with foreign countries only
through the Foreign Office or, when I had received
permission, with the ambassadors or envoys in question.

Q. Could you give your orders independently or was agreement
necessary and consultation?

A. My field of work, as in every large branch of an
administration, made it absolutely necessary for me to
discuss the questions and have consultations about them with
neighbouring departments. I was obliged to do so according
to instructions.

Q. With whom did you have to consult, apart from the
Four-Year Plan under which you were placed?

A. I had first of all to consult the departments themselves
from which I received the orders, and in addition the Party
Chancellery, the office of Reich Minister Lammers - the
Reich Chancellery, the Reich Railways, the Reich Food
Ministry, the Reich Defence Ministry.

Q. Did things go smoothly, or were there difficulties?

A. There were always great difficulties.

Q. Did you have any dealings with Himmler?

A. I had dealings with Himmler only in so far as he gave
instructions. He was Reich Minister and was responsible for
security, as he said.

Q. Was not that a question which was very important for you
in regard to the treatment of workers?

A. In the first months or in the first weeks, I believe, of
my appointment I was called to see Heydrich. In a very
precise way, Heydrich told me that he considered my
programme, which had been approved by the Fuehrer,
fantastic, and that I must realise that I made his work very
difficult when I demanded that barbed wire and similar
fences should not and must not be put around the labour
camps, but that they should be taken down. He said then very
briefly that I must realize that if it was I who was
responsible for the Employment of Labour, it was he who was
responsible for Security. That is what he told me.

Q. Were you satisfied that these strict police measures did

                                                   [Page 88]

A. Through constant efforts I had these police measures
permanently removed as far as they concerned the workers who
were employed in Germany through my agency and my office.

Q. What did your authority to issue instructions consist of?
Could you issue orders or had you to negotiate, and how was
this carried out in practice?

A. The authority I had to issue instructions was doubtful
from the beginning because, owing to the necessities of war,
the lack of man-power, etc., I was forbidden to establish
any office of my own or any other new office or
organization. I could only pass on instructions after
negotiation with the supreme authorities of the Reich and
after detailed consultation. These instructions were, of
course, of a purely departmental nature. I could not
interfere in matters of administration.

Q. How was this right to issue instructions exercised with
regard to the high authorities in the occupied territories?

A. It was exactly the same, merely of a departmental nature.
In practice it was the passing on of the Fuehrer's orders
which were to be carried out through the individual
machinery of each separate administration.

Q. Could you give categoric instructions to military
authorities, to the Economic Inspectorate East, for example?

A. No, there was a strict order from the Fuehrer that in the
army and operational areas of the commanders-in-chief the
latter only were competent, and, when they had examined
military conditions and the situation, everything had to be
regulated according to the needs of these high military

Q. Did that apply to the military commander in France, or
could you act directly there?

A. In France I could, of course, proceed only in the same
way, by informing the Military Commander of the instructions
which I myself had received. He then prepared for
discussions with the German Embassy and the French
Government, so that with the Ambassador presiding, and the
Military Commander taking an authoritative part, the
discussion with the French Government took place.

Q. And what happened as far as the Ministry for the Occupied
Eastern territories was concerned?

A. In the case of that Ministry I had to transmit my orders
to the Reich Minister for the Occupied Eastern Territories
and had to consult with him. With Reich Minister Rosenberg
we always succeeded in arranging matters between ourselves
in a way that we considered right. But in the Ukraine,
particularly in the East, there was the Reich Commissioner
who was on very close terms himself with Headquarters, and,
as is generally known, he was very independent and acted
accordingly and claimed this independence.

Q. How did these authorities in the occupied territories
take your activities at first?

A. In the occupied territories there was naturally much
opposition at the start of my work because I brought new
orders and new requirements and it was not always easy to
reconcile conflicting interests.

Q. Was there any apprehension that you would intervene in
the administration of the territories?

A. I refrained entirely from any intervention from a
personal point of view, and I always emphasized that in
order to dispel any such apprehensions, as I myself was not
the administrator there; but there were many selfish
interests at work.

Q. We will discuss this on another occasion.

Now I should like to ask you: You had deputies for the
Arbeitseinsatz - when did you obtain them?

A. I was given these deputies for the occupied territories
through a personal decree of the Fuehrer on the 30th of
September 1942, as far as I remember.

Q. What was the reason?

A. The reason for appointing these deputies was to do away
more easily with the difficulties and the lack of direction
which prevailed to some extent in these areas.

                                                   [Page 89]

DR. SERVATIUS: I refer in this connection to Document 12,
"The Fuehrer's decree concerning the execution of the decree
of the General Plenipotentiary for the Employment of
Labour." No, it is Document 13. "Decree concerning the
appointment of deputies" - on page 13 of the English
Document Book, so also is Document 10 which has already been
submitted as Document 1903-PS, Exhibit USA 206.


Q. Did you not have two different kinds of deputies, I mean
were there already some deputies there previously?

A. There were previously deputies of the Reich Labour
Ministry who in allied or neutral countries were assigned to
the German Ambassador. They must be distinguished from those
deputies who were assigned to the chiefs of the German
military or civilian administration in the occupied

Q. What position did the deputies hold in the occupied

A. In the occupied territories the deputies had a dual
position. They were the leaders of the "labour" sections in
the local government there, -  a considerable difficulty for
me - and, at the same time they were my deputies who were
responsible for the uniform direction and execution of the
principles of the Arbeitseinsatz as laid down by me.

Q. Did you have your own organization with the deputy at the
head, or was that an organization of the district

A. I did not have any organization of my own. The district
governments were independent separate administrations with
an administrative chief as head to whom the various
departments were subordinated.

Q. How many such deputies were there in one district?

A. In the various "States" I had one deputy in each of the
highest offices.

Q. What was the task of the deputy?

A. The task of the deputy, as I have already said, was to
guarantee that German orders were carried out in a legal way
and, as member of the local administration, to regulate
labour questions which arose there.

Q. What tasks did they have as regards the interest of the
Reich and the distribution of labour for local employment
and in the Reich?

A. It was expressly pointed out that they were to produce
labour in reasonable proportions with consideration for
local conditions; they also had to see to it that my
principles were observed with respect to the treatment,
feeding and so forth, of workers from the occupied zones.
That is laid down in the form of a directive.

Q. Did you not have your own recruiting commissions?

A. There were no recruiting commissions in the sense in
which the expression is often used here and in our own
documents. It was a question of reinforcements of skilled
workers which were being demanded by the district government
in order to carry out the tasks in the countries affected.

Q. What instructions did these recruiting commissions have?

A. They received the instructions which are frequently and
clearly expressed in my orders, and which, as they have been
laid down, I need not mention.

Q. I refer hereto Document 15 which has already been
submitted as Document 3044-PS Exhibit USA 206 and also as
Exhibit USSR 384. That is the Order No. 4 of the 7th of May
1942, which settles in principle all the problems relating
to this question, and gives the necessary directives to the
deputies regarding recruitment.

Q. Were those directives, which you issued, always adhered

A. The directives I issued were not always adhered to as
strictly as I had demanded. I made every effort to carry
them out through constant orders, instructions and
punishments which, however, I could not impose.

Q. Were these orders meant seriously? The French prosecution
has submitted in a government report one of your speeches
which you made at that time in Posen.

                                                   [Page 90]

It was a speech of apology. I ask you whether these
principles were meant seriously or whether they were only
for the sake of appearances, for you yourself believed, as
the document stated, that they could not be carried out?

A. I can only emphasize that in my life I had worked so much
myself under such difficult conditions that these
instructions expressed my full conviction as to their
necessity. I ask you to hear witnesses as to what I thought
about it and what I did in order to have these instructions
carried out.

Q. Was there any noticeable opposition to your principles?

A. I have already said that to a certain extent my
principles were considered troublesome by some authorities
and injudicious as far as German security was concerned.

For reasons that have been mentioned, as I was attacked on
that account, in addition to a number of instructions to
German Gauleiter, I issued a manifesto to all the highest
German government offices which came into the question.

DR. SERVATIUS: May I remark that this is Document S-84, in
Document Book 3, page 215.

I submit the document once more in German because of the
form in which it is printed. It is in the form of an urgent
warning and was sent to all the authorities.

THE PRESIDENT: Is it Document No. 84?


Q. Witness, did you, in a meeting of the Central Planning
Board -

A. May I be allowed to say a word with regard to this

Q. Yes.

A. When I issued the manifesto, I was met with the
objection, mainly from Dr. Goebbels, that a manifesto should
really be issued only by the Fuehrer and not by a
subordinate authority such as myself. Then I saw that I
should have difficulties in getting the manifesto printed.
After I had had one hundred and fifty thousand copies
printed for all the German economic offices, for all the
works managers and all the other offices which were
interested, I had it printed again myself in this emphatic
form and personally sent it once more, with a covering
letter, to all those offices.

In this manifesto, in spite of the difficulties which I
encountered, I especially advocated that in the occupied
territories themselves the workers should be treated in
accordance with my principles and according to my directives
and orders.

I respectfully ask the Tribunal to be allowed to read a few
sentences from it:

  "I therefore order that for all the occupied territories,
  for the treatment, feeding, billeting and payment of
  foreign workers, appropriate regulations and directives
  be issued similar to those valid for foreigners in the
  Reich. They are to be adjusted to the respective local
  conditions and applied in accordance with their meaning.
  In a number of the Eastern territories native men and
  women civilian workers engaged in the German war
  industry, or working for the German Wehrmacht, are
  undernourished. In the urgent interests of the German war
  industry in this territory this condition should be
  remedied. It is checking production and is dangerous. An
  endeavour must therefore be made by all means available
  to provide additional food for these workers and their
  families. This additional food must be given only in
  accordance with the output of work. It is only through
  the good care and treatment of the whole of the available
  European labour on the one hand, and through its most
  rigid concentration," - here I mean organisational -
  "leadership and direction on the other hand, that the
  fluctuation of labour in the Reich and in the occupied
  territories can be limited to a minimum and a generally
  stable, lasting and reliable output be achieved."

                                                   [Page 91]

May I read one more sentence:

  "The foreign workers in the Reich and the population in
  the occupied territories who are being used for the
  German war effort must be given the feeling that it is to
  their own interests to work loyally for Germany and that
  therein alone will they see and actually find their one
  real guarantee of life."

May I read still one sentence in the next paragraph

  "They must be given absolute trust in the justness of the
  German authorities and of their German employers."

THE PRESIDENT: I think we had better not go further in this
document. Can you indicate to us at all how long you are
likely to be with this defendant?

DR. SERVATIUS: I shall probably need the whole day tomorrow.

THE PRESIDENT: Mr. Dodd, would it be convenient for you some
time to deal with the documents of the remaining defendants?

MR. DODD: Yes, Mr. President, any time that you might set

THE PRESIDENT: Well, you know how far the negotiations and
agreements with reference to documents have gone.

MR. DODD: I do with some, but not with all. I can ascertain
the facts tonight, or before the morning session, and advise
you at that time.

THE PRESIDENT: Yes, and you will let us know tomorrow what
time will be convenient?

MR. DODD: Yes, Sir.

THE PRESIDENT: The Tribunal will adjourn. (The Tribunal
adjourned until 29th May 1946, at 10.00 hours.)

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