The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

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Last-Modified: 2000/03/25

Q. In this report did you especially notice the following
paragraph on the first page (a) "With few exceptions the
Ukrainians who are being employed in the Reich as individual
workers, for example in small trade enterprises, on farms - 

A. Will you please tell me where it says that?

Q. On Page 1, the last paragraph:

  "Judging from the discussions with the gentlemen and the
  reading of the reports it can be said in general ..."

A. Which documents? There are several documents.

Q. I mean 054, of course.

A. Which?

Q. It is the first, second, third - paragraph "d" - the
second paragraph.

A. Yes, I have found it.

Q. It says there that the Ukrainians who were being employed
as individual workers in the Reich were "very satisfied with
the conditions."

  "On the other hand the Ukrainians living in community
  camps complain a great deal ...."

Is that correct?

A. Yes. In my testimony I quoted the passage in which the
author of the letter said that this was the case during the
first few months only, for I immediately had the camps
inspected and improved. I even went so far as to get the
Reich Labour Minister to issue a new camp regulation, all as
a result of this complaint.

Q. Did you personally visit the Eastern Occupied Territories
on several occasions, and speak to the administrative
authorities there, for example in Riga, Kovno, Zhitomir?

A. Not only did I speak to the administrative authorities
there, but I compiled this manifesto in Russia and had it
published there, and everything that is contained in the
manifesto was communicated to these offices in the same way.

Q. Yes. But is it correct that you emphasized the special
urgency of the Fuehrer decree?

A. That was my duty; that was what I was there for.

Q. That is not right from the legal point of view, for your
actual authority came from Goering, as the Plenipotentiary
for the Four-Year Plan?

A. Yes, that is correct. This was the channel: Fuehrer,
Goering, Four-Year Plan, that was the order of procedure.

Q. Then, if you said it was the Fuehrer's order, you did so
to give a certain emphasis?

                                                  [Page 128]

A. No, that was not my intention. The Fuehrer charged me
with replacing the loss of German soldiers, Herr Doctor.
These were instructions which I received directly from the
Fuehrer or Goring on the basis of the demands of the
requirements boards.

Was a written order sent to you?

A. Yes, written orders were also sent.

Q. From Hitler personally?

A. Yes, from Hitler and from Goering from both of them.

Q. Do you recall that you made an agreement with Rosenberg
to the effect that Eastern workers in Germany, after their
return to their own country, were to receive land so that
they would not be at a disadvantage as compared with the
people who had remained?

A. Yes, that was agreed between Rosenberg and myself; that
is correct.

Q. Was this actually carried out?

A. Just how far this was carried out, I am unable to state.
That was a task for the Ministry of Eastern Occupied
Territories. I assume that it was carried out as far as

Q. Do you recall that Rosenberg constantly advocated doing
away with the so-called Eastern emblem?

A. Rosenberg as well as I myself advocated the abolition of
the Eastern emblem. There is a letter from the Reichsfuehrer
SS rejecting this, but, I know for certain that at the end
of 1943 or the beginning of 1944 we succeeded in abolishing
this Eastern emblem and it was replaced by a national
emblem, as worn by the other foreigners.

Q. Why was this Eastern emblem to be done away with?

A. This Eastern emblem was to be done away with for various
reasons, but above all, so that the Eastern workers would
not feel that they were being discriminated against by
having a special distinguishing mark.

Q. I have one last question: You said that you did not
recall having received any complaints, except for those that
you discussed with Rosenberg. Now, numerous complaints were
constantly being investigated by the Central Agency for
Eastern Peoples, together with the DAF (German Labour
Front). Did the DAF report to you on this?

A. The DAF reported that, in accordance with my directives,
it had put a stop to abuses and bad conditions wherever they
were found. That was its duty In order to remedy these
abuses, the DAF had to turn not to me, but to the industrial
supervision branch ("Abteilung Gewerbeaufsicht") of the
Reich Labour Ministry, whose task it was.

Q. Did you make sure whether this agency stopped these

A. I installed my own inspection agencies, as Dr. Servatius
mentioned. However, the industrial supervision branch was
the only authorized agency which had the legal authority to
use compulsory measures and it was supervised by the Reich
Labour Minister.

DR. THOMA: I have no further questions. Thank you.


Q. What is the emblem that you have been speaking about?

A. The Eastern emblem consisted of a blue-bordered square
which had a blue inscription "OST." The Reich Leader SS
first ordered it to be worn on the right side of the chest;
later on, on the sleeve, and still later, I was instrumental
in getting this changed to a national emblem - I believe
blue or something similar, like the Russian colours. The
people themselves wanted it.

DR. NELTE (on behalf of the defendant Keitel):


Q. Herr Sauckel, the defendant Keitel and the OKW are
accused by the prosecution of the "deportation of civilian
people for the purpose of manpower

                                                  [Page 129]

mobilization." You were also interrogated on this matter
before the start of this trial, as to whether the OKW and
Keitel, as Chief of the OKW, participated in the
procurement, recruitment and drafting of people in the
occupied territories.

A number of things which were not clear and which are
contained in the record have been cleared up by your
testimony, and in answering the last question of my
colleague, Dr. Thoma, you made it clear to us that the
organisational official channel is as follows: GBA (General
Plenipotentiary for the Employment of Labour), Four-Year
Plan, Goering and Fuehrer. Is that correct?

A. Generally speaking, yes.

Q. I am interested in determining whether, in this official
channel, the OKW was included, or the Fuehrer in another
function as Supreme Commander of the Wehrmacht.

A. I myself was not a soldier and I am not familiar with the
detailed organization of the OK W and of the OKH; it was
often difficult for a layman to make the distinction between
these things. It is true that the OKH was competent for the
recruitment of workers in occupied countries controlled by
army groups. Therefore, labour decrees in the occupied
countries, which were under the sovereignty of the Army, had
to be issued by laws or directives of the General Staff of
the Army.

Q. You probably mean General Quartermaster of the Army?

A. The General Quartermaster was, as far as I know, next to
the Commander-in-chief of the Army.

Q. And by this you mean to say that the OKW and the
defendant Keitel had no competence concerning the procuring,
recruitment and drafting of manpower in the occupied

A. He had no competence in this respect. I came into contact
with Fieldmarshal Keitel, because the Fuehrer repeatedly
charged me to ask Fieldmarshal Keitel to transmit his
instructions to the army groups by telephone or through

Q. And what about the question of the engagement of workers?
Did the OKW, and, specifically, the defendant Keitel as
Chief of the OKW, have any competence concerning the
employment of workers at home?

A. No. For the workers were used in those economic branches
for which they were needed and they had nothing at all to do
with the OKW.

DR. NELTE: Thank you very much.

THE PRESIDENT: Do any members of the prosecution wish to



Q. Defendant Sauckel, you joined the National Socialist
Party in 1925, did you not? Is not that correct?

A. I joined the National Socialist Party for the first time
as an ordinary member as early as 1923. When the Party was
reorganised in 1925, I again became a member.

Q. But you supported the policy of National Socialism since
1921, did you not?

A. From 1921 onwards, I supported a German policy. In 1921,
I did not yet belong to the Party. I knew about the Party
and I was in sympathy with its ideas; that is probably the
right way to put it.

Q. Did you not make speeches in favour of National Socialism
from that time on?

A. From about the middle of 1921 I made speeches in favour
of Germany, not expressly for the Party, but only in a very
small way, in small gatherings and in the way my conscience

Q. You have been Gauleiter, member of the Landrat, Minister
of the Interior, and Governor ("Reichsstatthalter") of
Thuringia; is it correct that in this capacity you brought
about the nazification of your Gau?

                                                  [Page 130]

A. I was Ministerprasident for Thuringia beginning with
August of 1932 and I was Minister of the Interior as well.

Q. I am asking you the question again: Is it correct that in
your capacity as Gauleiter and Governor of Thuringia, you
brought about the nazification of your Gau?

A. Nazification is a concept with which I was not familiar
nor do I consider it correct. I recruited for the National
Socialist Party and I supported it.

Q. You were ObergruppenFuehrer of the Organization of the
SS, were you not?

A. I do not quite understand - of the SS?

Q. You were Obergruppenfuehrer of the Organization of the

A. I have already stated in my preliminary interrogation
that I was an honorary Obergruppenfuehrer of the SS. I
myself never served in the SS nor did I exercise any
functions in the SS.

Q. When did you become Obergruppenfuehrer of the SS?

A. According to my recollection, I became an
Obergruppenfuehrer of the SS in 1934.

Q. And you were that until when?

A. Until the end.

Q. Among the documents which you have presented in your
Document Book, there is Sauckel Document 95; I read the
following passage on Page 252 of the French translation:

   "My dear fellow-countrymen, our magnificent SA and SS,
   persecuted and insulted during a whole decade as the
   scum of the German people, have carried through,
   supported, and sustained this revolution with an
   unshakeable discipline ...."

Is it correct -

THE PRESIDENT: What are you reading from?

M. HERZOG: From Document 95 of the defendant's Document

Sauckel Document 95, which was submitted yesterday by the
learned Counsel for the defence, Page 252 of the French
translation. It is in the third Document Book of the


Q. I put the question again and read:

  "My dear fellow-countrymen, our magnificent SA and SS,
  persecuted and insulted during a whole decade as the scum
  of the German people, have carried through, supported,
  and sustained this revolution with an unshakeable
  discipline ...."

Do you confirm this declaration?

A. Yes, but I request that I be shown the document in
cross-examination so that I can define my attitude in

Q. This document is taken from your own Document Book which
you yourself submitted.

A. Yes, I remember it well.

Q. Were the Nuremberg laws concerning Jews in accordance
with your convictions?

A. I had no influence upon law-making such as culminated in
the Nuremberg laws. My conviction is that any people and any
race has the right to exist and to demand respect and
protection through itself. What I demand and have demanded
for my own people is exactly the same.

Q. Did you see to it that the Nuremberg laws were strictly
applied in the Gau of Thuringia?

A. The Nuremberg laws could apply to Thuringia only in so
far as my authority to appoint or dismiss employees was
involved, and, of course, according

                                                  [Page 131]

to German law, it was my duty to carry out the law. The
carrying out of this law by me entailed neither ill-usage
nor any other inhuman treatment.

Q. Did you approve of Hitler's theory of "living space"?

A. The Fuehrer wrote about "living space" in his book. How
far I agreed or disagreed with him cannot, in my opinion, be
dealt with in this trial, for I had no influence on how the
Fuehrer himself interpreted the word "Lebensraum."

THE PRESIDENT: The Tribunal thinks that you must answer the
question, whether or not you approve of the doctrine of

THE WITNESS: Please pardon me, but I am not fully acquainted
with the statements made by the Fuehrer about the concept
"Lebensraum." I should like to emphasize that I never
thought of "Lebensraum" in connection with the carrying out
of wars or wars of aggression; neither did I promote the
idea; but the concept "Lebensraum" is possibly characterised
best by the fact that the population of Europe in the last
hundred years has increased threefold, from one hundred and
fifty million to four hundred and fifty million.


Q. Did you or did you not approve of the theory of
"Lebensraum"? Answer yes or no.

A. I did not agree with the theory of "Lebensraum" if it had
to do with wars of aggression.

Q. Did you approve of Hitler's theory of the "master race"?

A. I could prove abundantly that I personally always
rejected putting emphasis on the idea of a "master race" and
said so in my speeches. I am personally much more interested
in proficiency than in "master race" ideas.

Q. Then you did not think that the foreign policy of Germany
should have been conducted according to these two theories:
the theory of "Lebensraum" on the one hand, and the theory
of the "master race" on the other hand?

A. I have already stated to my Counsel that I did not
concern myself with foreign policy and was not informed
about it as I am not versed in foreign policy matters.

Q. On the contrary, did you not approve of all the measures
of foreign policy, and did you not participate in them?

THE PRESIDENT: Perhaps we had better break off now, and you
can repeat the question tomorrow.

(The Tribunal adjourned until 30th May, 1946, at 1000 hours.)

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