The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

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Q. "Answer: In 1941 or 1942 Speer instituted his
representatives for manpower."

I would merely ask you what you understand by that phrase.
What did you mean when you said that "in 1941 or 1942 Speer
instituted his representatives for manpower"?

A. I have to say, in this connection, that I never again saw
the minutes after I had been interrogated. I cannot confirm
this phrase about 1941-42 and I cannot imagine that I
expressed myself in that way during the interrogation.

Q. The Tribunal will judge your answer. Is it correct that
besides your representatives with the civil and military
commanders, you installed administrative offices for
manpower in the occupied territories?

A. That is not correct. They were already there.

Q. You confirm there that besides the delegates who
represented you, there were recruiting agencies for manpower
in the occupied territories?

                                                  [Page 141]

A. Yes. In the occupied territories, with all regional
authorities, either civilian or military, there were
departments dealing with manpower which were a part of the
administrative set-up, and they were subordinate to the
administration authorities.

Q. Can you give an indication of the size of the personnel
of those various services in the occupied areas?

A. Do you mean the total number? I cannot tell you from
memory the separate figures for the personnel of these
administrative offices. I never have known these figures

Q. Do you remember the conference which took place with you
as chairman on 15th and 16th July, 1944, at Wartburg,
between the Heads of the Regional Labour Offices and the
general delegates from the European occupied territories? On
13th July, 1944, in the afternoon, State Counsellor Borger
gave an account of the personnel employed.

M. HERZOG: It is French Document 810, which I put in under
the number of 1507.


Q. I will read on page 20. "Counsellor of State Borger. -
Outside the frontiers of the Reich there are 4,000 people
engaged in the administration of manpower/eastern area,
1,300; France, 1,016; Belgium and Northern France, 429;
Netherlands, 194." Do you confirm this statement of
Counsellor of State Borger?

A. Yes, in general it may be true.

Q. Apart from your representatives, apart from those
services that we were talking about, did you not create, in
France, commissions composed of specialists who were
entrusted with organising the employment of manpower on the
German pattern? ... Would you please answer?

A. I did not quite understand the question. Please repeat

Q. I shall repeat it. Apart from your representatives, apart
from the services that we have been talking about, did you
not create, in France particularly, commissions composed of
specialists who were entrusted with organising the
recruiting and the employment of manpower on the German

A. I told my defence counsel yesterday that I worked in
collaboration with French units for recruiting manpower.

Q. That is not what I mean. I am talking about commissions
composed of specialists. Do you not remember that, in order
to ensure the recruiting of manpower in France, you thought
of the system of attaching two French departements to a
German Gau?

A. I recall now what you mean. This was the system of
adoption arranged in agreement with the French Government,
according to which a German Gau adopted a French
departement. The main object was to inform the workers who
were to come to Germany about conditions in Germany and to
have mutual talks with the economic offices of the French
departments about statistics.

M. HERZOG: I hand to the Tribunal Document 1293-PS, which
becomes French Exhibit RF 1508.


Q. It is a letter bearing your signature, dated Berlin, 14th
August, 1943, of which I shall read extracts.

M. HERZOG: The Tribunal will find it in the Document Book
which I handed to them at the beginning of this session.


Q. I shall first read the last paragraph on page 1.

THE PRESIDENT: I am afraid I have not got it - 1293?

                                                  [Page 142]

M. HERZOG: Mr. President, the documents which figure in my
Document Book were handed to the Tribunal this morning -
unless I am making a mistake, for which I apologise in
advance - in the order in which I intend to use them.

THE PRESIDENT: I have one. 1292, is that right?

M. HERZOG: I have attached a slip only to those documents
which I think I shall use several times so that the Tribunal
could find them more easily. May I now begin to read?

THE PRESIDENT: I am sorry but the documents had not been
handed up to me, that is all. None of them had been handed


Q. I am reading at the bottom of Page 1:

  "The solving of these two great manpower problems demands
  the immediate setting up of a stronger and better German
  organization of manpower in France, possessing the
  necessary powers and means. This will be done by a system
  of adoption by German provinces. France has got about 80
  departements. Greater Germany is divided into 42
  political Gaue and for the procurement of manpower it is
  divided into 42 labour office districts. Each German
  district will take over and adopt say two French
  departements. Each German district will furnish for these
  departements a commission of specialists, made up of the
  ablest and most reliable experts. These commissions will
  organize the employment of manpower in these adopted
  departements according to the German pattern."

I continue reading at the bottom of Page 2 of the French
text. That is Page 3 of the German translation:

  "There is no doubt that this projected system of adoption
  by German Gaue for the employment of French manpower in
  Germany, and especially the necessary transformation in
  the interest of Germany of French civilian workers into
  workers for the German armament industries in France,
  will bring enormous advantages."

I am passing to the bottom of Page 3 of the French text. I
am reading No. d2:

  "The Central German Labour Office in Paris, that is, the
  representative of the Plenipotentiary and his office."

You told me a short while ago that the German offices for
the recruitment of Labour in the occupied territories were
not under you as Plenipotentiary for Labour but depended on
the local authorities. How do you explain this phrase?

A. It can be explained very simply. These men in the labour
department were subordinate to the military
Commanders-in-Chief. They were sent from Germany and they
were taken from the Labour Offices and put into the

You say "the Central German Labour Office in Paris," that is
the representative of the Plenipotentiary and his Offices.
The Central German Labour Office in Paris was therefore your

A. The Central German Labour Office in Paris was a part of
the civilian administration of the military
Commander-in-Chief of France. This is not expressed in this
sentence, for I took it for granted that the Gauleiter knew
this; and the position as I explained it is entirely

Q. I shall continue reading:

  "The Central German Labour Office in Paris" - that is,
  the representative of the Plenipotentiary and his office
  - "will therefore have in the whole of France a reliable
  apparatus which will make it a great deal easier for him
  to solve the problems in France, in spite of any
  potential or even real passive resistance on the part of
  French bureaucracy at all levels."

I omit two lines.

                                                  [Page 143]

  "I have therefore charged the presidents or the leading
  commissars of the newly formed Gau Labour Offices to set
  up a corresponding organization in the departements which
  they have adopted, and I request you, as my
  Plenipotentiary for the Employment of Labour, in
  agreement with Reichsleiter Bormann, to promote and give
  your fullest support to the new task allotted to your Gau
  Labour Office. The president or the leading commissar of
  your Gau Labour Office will keep you informed of all
  details concerning the carrying out of these measures."

Are not these measures an attempt to subordinate French
territory to German territory as far as the organization of
labour is concerned?

A. Yes. But I should like to ask you and the High Tribunal
to be permitted to submit the following in explanation. On
the first Page, paragraph 1 - I quote from the third line -
it says, " .with the full consent of the Fuehrer I have been
charged to take far-reaching and urgent measures in France
when negotiating with the head of the French Government and
the competent" - now comes the important part - "German
administrative offices," that is, the military Commander-
in-Chief with whom these Labour Authorities and this
delegate were incorporated and to whom they were

And on Page 4, I should like to read, "The special purpose
of this adoption system should not be unfriendliness" - I am
reading from Page 4 in the German text, under the letter "A'
- "prejudice, suspicion, lack of care, failure to redress
and take care of complaints" - that is, complaints by the
workers - "which are prejudicial to the employment of
manpower in Germany, all of these things can be practically
eliminated by the relations between the Gau and the adopted

Now I am reading under Point B:

  "Every French worker in such departement knows exactly
  where and under what conditions he will have to work in
  Germany. German propaganda and notices will tell him
  about the locality in which he will have to work, and
  about all matters which are of interest to him."

And that was the purpose of that arrangement. It was
something favourable, something I wanted to do for the
French workers, while looking after German interests.

Q. Please answer me "yes" or "no." Was this arrangement an
attempt to bring about a joint administration between the
French departements and the German Gaue as far as the
employment of labour was concerned? Answer me "yes" or "no."

A. No. I should like to give an explanation here. The
purpose of this scheme was to clear up unsolved problems
between the French Government, between the French
departements between French industrialists and factories on
the one hand, and the administrative offices in Germany
where the French workers were to be put to work. That was
the real purpose - to settle complaints and clear away

THE PRESIDENT: We will adjourn now.

(A recess was taken.)


Q. Defendant, is it true that your co-defendant Goering
placed under your control all the organizations of the
Central Office of the Four-Year Plan which were concerned
with the recruiting of labour?

A. The various organizations of the Four-Year Plan which had
to do with manpower were dissolved. Departments five and six
of the Ministry of Labour continued to deal exclusively with
these matters.

Q. Is it true that the powers of the Minister of Labour
concerning the employment of labour were transferred to you,
and that as a result of this transfer, you had powers to
issue regulations and to legislate?

                                                  [Page 144]

A. Only in so far as the work of Departments three and five
was connected with my own task. Otherwise the functions of
the Ministry of Labour remained independent, under the Reich
Minister for Labour.

Q. But within this department you exerted the powers of the
Reich Minister of Labour, before your appointment; that is
to say, as Plenipotentiary for Labour?

A. Within my department, as Plenipotentiary for the
Employment of Labour. But I must emphasize that these
departments were not under me; they were merely at my
disposal. Great importance was attached to this difference
at the time. The departments continued to work independently
within the whole framework of the Ministry of Labour.

Q. But as a result of this situation, you exerted
administrative autonomy in matters concerning labour?

A. Not an autonomy; it was done by vote. I could not issue
decrees, but could only give instructions; in every case I
had to get the agreement of the administrative authorities
and Reich Ministries, and, of course, the Fuehrer's

Q. Did you not have carte blanche from the Fuehrer for the
recruiting and the utilization of labour?

A. Not for the recruiting and exploitation, but for the
steering and directing. If I may express it in this way, it
was never the case of the workers' agent - that is, of
course, what organization of labour really means - employing
these workers himself. The firms employed the workers, not
the agent.

Q. For the recruiting of labour you had carte blanche from
the Fuehrer. Is that not true?

A. Not absolutely and only after there had been a vote and
after the agreement of the regional authorities concerned
had been obtained, especially in foreign countries. I never
recruited workers in France without the express agreement of
the French Government and their collaborators. The French
administrative apparatus came into this.

Q. Defendant Sauckel, you have on several occasions
mentioned the agreements and arrangements made in France
with those whom you yourself call, "the leaders of
collaboration." You know better than any other that these
leaders of collaboration, imposed upon France by the enemy,
bound only themselves, and that their acts were never
ratified by the French people as a whole. Besides, these
leaders of collaboration, whose testimony cannot be suspect
to you, have themselves revealed that pressure was exerted
upon them, and we will discuss that now. Is it true that on
16th of April, 1942, that is to say, less than a month after
your appointment, you stated in a letter to the defendant
Rosenberg which sets out your programme, and which was
presented to you yesterday - you included the recruiting of
foreign workers in your programme for the utilization of

[NB. The word " utilization " used in the ad verbatim French
was wrongly interpreted into German as "Ausbeutung," meaning

A. I resent the expression "exploitation." By strictest
orders from the Fuehrer, it is true, recruitment of foreign
workers had to be included in my programme.

Q. Is it true that you included the recruiting of foreign
workers in your programme of 16th April, 1942? You admitted
this yesterday, and I ask you to confirm it.

A. Yes, it is true. I only emphasize that I did it on the
strictest orders from the Fuehrer.

Q. Is it true that this programme of 16th April, 1942, that
is to say, three weeks after your appointment, already
contained the principle of forced recruiting?

A. It was done by special order of the Fuehrer, in case
voluntary recruitment proved to be inadequate. I said that
yesterday to my counsel.

Q. Do you remember the decree that you issued on 29th
August, 1942 - this decree dealt first and foremost with the
employment of labour in occupied

                                                  [Page 145]

territories; Decree No. 10  of 22nd August of the General
Plenipotentiary for the Employment of Labour. It was handed
to the Tribunal as Exhibit RF 17. Do you remember it?

A. I do remember Decree No. 10.

Q. Was this decree applicable to the occupied territories
which were under German administration?

A. As far as I can remember - I have not the exact wording
and the separate paragraphs before me - it dealt with the
regulation of working conditions applied by German firms.
The purpose was to prevent a muddle.

Q. Is it true that you went on a mission to Paris in August,

A. That is possible but I, of course, cannot remember the
individual dates.

Q. Is it true that you went on a mission to Paris in
January, 1943?

A. That is also possible, even probable.

Q. Is it true that you went on a mission to Paris in
January, 1944?

A. Also probable, yes, but I do not know the individual

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