The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

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Q. Then we have here Document L-61, which has been
submitted. That is Exhibit USA-177, in the English Document
Book, "Slave Labour," Document No. 6. This document is in
the first list of documents which was made available to the
defence, and it was listed as an original letter of Sauckel
which admitted the deportation of Jews.

Will you please read this letter to yourself and state your
position as to how far you had anything to do with the
deportation of Jews?

I shall briefly state what the contents are. It says there
in that letter of 26th November, 1942:

  "By agreement with the Chief of the Security Police and
  the SD, Jews who are still in employment are from now on
  also to be evacuated from the territory of the Reich and
  are to be replaced by Poles who are being deported by the
  Government General."

                                                  [Page 119]

This letter ends, by saying

  "I transmit the foregoing copy for your information. In
  so far as this affects the removal of Jews employed in
  your area, I request that you take the necessary measures
  in agreement with the competent offices of the Chief of
  the Security Police and the SD."

Then it says, "Signed, Fritz Sauckel."

Will you state your position with respect to that letter,

A. May I say with respect to this document that it was shown
to me already in the preliminary interrogations. I only had
it for a short time then and when it was presented to me
again in the course of the proceedings, I found that it was
not an original document which I had signed. My name is
typewritten at the bottom.

Secondly, it appears very peculiar to me that this letter,
which I am supposed to have signed, was not dated by my
office. My office, as can be seen from numerous documents,
was in Berlin, in the Mohrenstrasse. This letter was dated
from Saarlandstrasse.

As far as the contents are concerned, I have to state that
at no time did I have a personal arrangement or agreement
with the SD and Security Police in the sense of that letter.
I could not have had any knowledge of that at that time, and
I cannot remember it now, either. The only thing in that
letter which is correct is that I was obliged to replace the
loss of manpower in German industry - whether Jews, soldiers
or others - within two weeks. It is possible that this
letter came from the Saarlandstrasse, from a subordinate
office. I cannot say anything else about it.

Q. How is it, then, that the last phrase "Signed, Fritz
Sauckel" is on the letter?

A. I cannot understand that. If it were an authentic copy,
it would have had to be signed.

THE PRESIDENT (interposing): Have you the original?

DR. SERVATIUS: No, I have not the original. It has been
submitted by the prosecution and therefore is in the files
of the Tribunal as an exhibit.

THE WITNESS: The appendix deals with matters which also
occurred before my time of office; that is, before I came
into office these happenings had practically all taken


Q. Did you have any knowledge as to what would happen to the

A. Do you mean ...?

Q. (interposing). The final solution?

A. No, I had no knowledge of that. It would have made my
task much easier and I would have had much less difficulty
if all these people, as far as they were capable of working,
had been brought into the manpower mobilization plan in a
more reasonable manner. I knew absolutely nothing about this
"final solution," and it was entirely contrary to my

Q. Concerning the question of wages, now, who was
responsible for the regulation of wages?

A. I was responsible for the regulation of wages during my
term of office.

Q. What kind of wages were paid? Leave out the Eastern
people for the moment.

A. In principle, all foreign workers were paid the wages
which had been agreed upon by contract with the liaison
offices and the governments, and which were in accordance
with the wage scales recognized as legal in the different
regions in Germany.

Q. What about the so-called Eastern workers?

                                                  [Page 120]

A. As far as the Eastern workers are concerned, when I took
office I found that under the existing arrangement their
wages were heavily taxed in favour of the Reich. This was in
accordance with a decree of the Ministerial Council for
National Defence.

Q. Were you satisfied with that, or did you take steps to
improve conditions?

A. It can be seen from the document - that is to say, from
the decrees which I issued during my term of office - that
this arrangement, which I considered intolerable, was
improved step by step, to the extent that I was able to
overcome the opposition, so that in 1944 the Eastern worker
stood on the same level as the German worker.

The first improvement was made already in June 1942 when
wages were doubled, the second in 1943, and the last in
March 7944, by Decree II.

DR. SERVATIUS: I refer here to the following documents which
I shall not read: Document S-50, Sauckel 50, in Book 2, Page
134; Document S-77, in Book 2, Page 137.

THE PRESIDENT: Is it Page 17?

DR. SERVATIUS: S-17, Book 2, Page 737.


DR. SERVATIUS: A further Document is S-52, Book 2, Page 143;
a further Document, S-58, Book 2, Page 156; and finally,
Document S-58 A, Book 2, Page 167. I submit the original in
a collection, "Regulations Governing Employment of the
Eastern Workers."

THE PRESIDENT: Dr. Servatius, I understood the defendant to
say just now that that Document L-61 was drawn up before he
took charge of the labour commitment.

DR. SERVATIUS: It refers to things which existed before his
term of office and were almost completed at the time when
that letter was drafted - that is, that state of things
already existed.

THE PRESIDENT: There is nothing in the document to show
that, is there?

DR. SERVATIUS: It can be seen from the date.

THE PRESIDENT: The date is 26th November, 1942.

DR. SERVATIUS: The appendix refers to a decree of 27th
March, 1942. The second appendix, if we go back farther, is
an appendix of 21st January, 1942, and both of them deal
with that question. What we have quoted here was only the
last letter, the final letter.

THE PRESIDENT: I see. We have not the full document before
us then.

DR. SERVATIUS: I will submit it.


Q. Regarding the wages of the Eastern workers, did the
Eastern workers receive any remuneration besides these

A. The Eastern workers, as a result of my efforts, received
remuneration in the form of premiums for good work,
Christmas bonuses, in the same way as the German workers,
and moreover there was an agreement with the Eastern
Ministry according to which the families of Eastern workers
were to receive the amount of 730 roubles per month upon

DR. SERVATIUS: I refer here to several documents, that is,
Document 22 in the English Book Volume I, Page 59, and then
a decree, Document 54, concerning premiums, which is in
Volume 2, Page 757; then to Document 57 concerning Christmas
bonuses, Volume 2, Page 755.


Q. What remained for the Eastern workers in cash wages?

                                                  [Page 121]

A. When I started in office, that is, before the regulations
introduced by me, the Eastern worker, after his expenses for
food and lodging had been deducted, had about four marks
sixty pfennigs per week left over, if one takes as an all-
round example the rate of sixty pfennigs an hour for an
average worker in German industry.

The same worker's balance, or "Freibetrag," as it was
called, was increased in June 1942, after I had an
opportunity of looking into these things, by about a hundred
per cent, that is to marks 9.10

May I state that it would have been quite impossible for a
German worker at the same wage level, if one considers his
taxes and social dues, his expenses for rent, heating, and
food, to have had more left over for saving. That was the
line of argument used by the Ministerial Council for Reich
Defence for the payment of this labour. I did not will it
so. However, as early as March or April 1943, the wage of
the Russian worker, again due to my intervention, was
increased to about twelve marks, and in the spring of 1944
it was increased to about eighteen marks.

THE PRESIDENT: I do not think we need to have all this in
detail. There is no particular charge against the defendant
that he did not pay any of the workers, is there? I mean, he
says he paid them and we do not want the details of the
number of marks.

DR. SERVATIUS: Mr. President, the accusation of slave labour
has been made, and this as a rule is unpaid labour. The
French Report RF 22 has figured a loss of seventy-seven
billions which is supposed to have been suffered by France
by the use of her workers. It is interesting to hear at
least . .

THE PRESIDENT: You do not want exact details of it, do you?


Q. What have you to say about the facilities for
transferring these wages?

A. I first had to create the facilities for transferring
wages, because the only real attraction for a foreign worker
to work in Germany was that he could support his family at
home by sending part of his earnings to his native country.
That was done on the basis of agreements reached with the
President of the German Reichsbank. He himself has testified
to that.

DR. SERVATIUS: Concerning the question of wages, I refer to
Document 021-PS, which has been submitted as F-44. It is not
in either of the Document Books. It is dated 2nd April,
1943. It shows how rates of pay were calculated and deals
with the improvement of the wages of Eastern workers. I do
not want to quote it in detail, but a study will reveal that
serious attempts were made here to bring about an
improvement and a compensation.


Q. What was the duration of labour contracts?

A. The duration of labour contracts depended on agreements
which had been concluded with the governments in question.
For the western and southern countries the contract was for
six months, nine months or one year. As for the Eastern
countries and the Soviet workers, when I came to office, the
existing regulations provided for an indefinite period. As I
considered a definite period to be necessary in spite of the
greater distances, here, too, I finally succeeded in
obtaining a time limit of two years.

Q. Was it intended to continue to use this manpower after
the war and were these foreign workers to remain in Germany?
I ask that question because the French Prosecution quoted
the following passage from the book Europe Works in Germany,
RF 5, Page 23:

"After the victory a large percentage of foreign workers
will remain in our Gaue in order to be trained for
construction work, and to continue and complete the projects
interrupted by the war."

                                                  [Page 122]

From that, it was concluded that forced labour was to
continue even after the war.

A. That was partly or entirely the opinion of the author of
that article, but I believe that it was also mentioned that
the workers would return home and there use, for the benefit
of their own homeland, the knowledge and skill which they
had gained on new work in Germany. I had absolutely no
intention of keeping foreign workers in Germany after the
war and in any case I could not have done so. On the
contrary I even ordered that a card index of foreign
workers, that is, a central register, should be carefully
kept, on the basis of which, in case of a favourable
conclusion of the war, it would be possible for me
conscientiously to return these workers to their native
countries and to keep a record of it.

Q. If I understood you correctly, it was not a question of
forcibly retaining the workers, but of keeping them here by

A: Yes, it was reported to me that a large number of foreign
workers wanted to stay in Germany of their own accord. That
is an hypothesis.

Q. What about the forced labour? What was the duration of
the contracts?

A. There was no difference made in pay or length of contract
between the voluntary workers and the compulsory workers or
what we called in the language of the decree
"Dienstverpflichtungen." This held true for all countries.
If a Frenchman doing compulsory labour had a contract for
six or nine months, he had the same right as the voluntary
worker to return after nine months. It was possible to
extend the period.

Q. In which cases was the contract extended?

A. The contract was extended when the worker wanted of his
own free will to continue his services or when there was an
emergency or shortage of manpower in the particular factory
which justified an extension. Then that had to be arranged
with the liaison officers.

Q. Besides civilian workers there were prisoners of war also
used in Germany? What did you have to do with that use of

A. The employment of prisoners of war was quite complicated,
because it had to take place in agreement with the General
in charge of Prisoner-of-War Affairs. The so-called
technique of conversion ("Umsetzung") caused me
difficulties. Allow me to explain this: There existed the
Geneva Convention and the Hague Treaty, according to which
prisoners of war could not be used in armament or ammunition
industries. When, however, we used the words "Prisoners of
war are being engaged in the armament industry," then that
meant that certain numbers of German women or workers were
transferred to industries in which the Geneva Convention
prohibited the use of prisoners of war, and that prisoners
of war were used in their place. That was done in agreement
with the offices of the General in charge of Prisoner-of-War

Q. And who saw to it that the Geneva Convention was kept?

A. The General in charge of Prisoner-of-War Affairs, we
ourselves, or the Administration for the Employment of
Labour, adhered to the rules of the Geneva Convention and
several times compiled a register of the types of labour for
which prisoners of war could be used. Also during my time in
1943 and 1944, a special edition of this register was
published, and it can be found in the so-called Blue Book.

Q. Have you known about cases where prisoners-of-war were
used contrary to the Geneva Convention?

A. Certain agreements were made with the French Government,
as far as volunteers were concerned, and this applied to a
certain extent to Eastern workers.

Q. Who was responsible for the lodging and feeding and care
of prisoners of war?

A. The offices of the General in charge of Prisoner-of-War
Affairs were solely responsible.

Q. Is it known to you that millions of prisoners of war had
perished at the time you assumed office?

                                                  [Page 123]

A. It became known to me before I assumed office that a
great number of prisoners of war perished in the so-called
battles of encirclement ("Kesselschlachten") in the East.
These battles lasted a long time, and owing to our enormous
transport difficulties we could not move the prisoners and
they were left on the battlefield in a state of exhaustion.
That is all I know about that.

Q. At the beginning of your activities you had to do with
prisoners of war, did you not? What did you find out at that
time, or what did you do?

A. I found out that some of the Russian prisoners of war
were terribly undernourished.

Q. What did you do?

A. Together with the General in charge of Prisoner-of-War
Affairs, I saw to it that all these prisoners of war - as
far as I know and remember, there were about 70,000 in the
Reich at that time - were billeted with German farmers, in
order to build up their strength - we called it
"aufpappeln." The farmers were obliged to feed these
prisoners of war for at least three months, without putting
them to work. As compensation, the peasants received the
assurance that these prisoners of war would stay with them
and work for them until the end of the war.

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