The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

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Last-Modified: 2000/03/26

Q. Did you go to Belgium or to Holland in order to control
the implementation of the laws on forced labour?

                                                  [Page 154]

A. Not to control. I was in Belgium and Holland only for a
very short time. I had conferences there with the leading
men, and according to my recollection I visited labour
authorities in Antwerp and saw how they functioned.

Q. And in the course of these journeys you were preparing
detailed measures for the implementation of the labour
programme, is that not true?

A. I did not implement it during that journey; I talked
about it - but of course I gave some part of my time to

Q. I submit to you Document PS-556, Exhibit RF-67. It is a
letter which you wrote to the Fuehrer on 13th August, 1943.
In this you declare, Paragraph I of the letter:

  "My Fuehrer, I take the liberty of informing you of my
  return from France, Belgium and Holland, where I went on
  official business. In the course of difficult and long
  negotiations I imposed upon the occupied territories of
  the West for the five last months of the year 1943 the
  programme which is indicated below, and I also prepared
  detailed measures for its implementation in France with
  the military commander, the German Embassy, the French
  Government; in Belgium with the military commander, and
  in Holland with the officers of the Reichskommissariat."

Do you dispute, defendant, the fact that you went to Belgium
and Holland in order to prepare detailed measures?

A. I have never denied that. I would like to say that I do
not resent the expression, but only the way you presented it
just now. It says quite clearly that I discussed, not I

Q. One last question on this matter: What is your estimate
of the number of Dutch workers who were deported to Germany?

A. I cannot tell you exactly from memory how many Dutch
workers were employed on the basis of contracts with them
and on the basis of these laws. Maybe there were two to
three hundred thousand, maybe more. I cannot tell you
off-hand what these Dutch figures were.

Q. Thank you. Is it correct that the forced recruitment of
foreign workers was implemented with brutality?

A. Regarding the instructions which I published, that was
discussed adequately and clearly yesterday. My instructions
are available practically in their entirety, and as to
brutal or arbitrary -

THE PRESIDENT: Defendant, you were not asked about your
instructions, but you were asked whether brutality was
shown. If you know, you can answer.

A. I cannot know. From time to time I heard about
infringements and I stopped them at once. I protested
against them at once, if I heard of them.


Q. Did you have knowledge of protests concerning the manner
in which the recruiting of workers was implemented in the
occupied territories?

A. I received protests, and that was discussed yesterday
with my defence counsel.

Q. And when you received those protests, what did you do?

A. I had those cases investigated and left any further
measures to the authorities concerned. I did everything at
my end, and that is something that will be testified to
here, to prevent and stop such occurrences.

Q. Is it correct that you appealed for the help of the Armed
Forces to ensure the recruiting of foreign workers?

A. In those areas where the Armed Forces exercised
jurisdiction I passed on, through the Quartermaster, the
instructions I received from the Fuehrer to the

Q. Is it correct that you asked the military authorities to
put troops at the disposal of your offices and services?

                                                  [Page 155]

A. I have no recollection of these troops. There were the
labour detachments. It is true that in areas where there
were uprisings or partisan fighting, I asked that order be
restored in those areas, so that the administration which
had been disturbed or interrupted could once more work

Q. You therefore asked that troops should be put at your

A. Not at my disposal. It was not my task to bring order to
those areas. I stated that a prerequisite for the fulfilment
of my own tasks was that I could only carry them out if
pacification would once more allow proper administration -
it was not for recruiting purposes.

Q. Did you not ask that those troops should participate in
the tasks assigned to the services for the recruitment of
labour? I submit to you Document 815, which I put in as
Exhibit RF-1514. It is a letter of 18th April, 1944, from
General Fieldmarshal von Rundstedt and addressed to you. I
read the first paragraph of it:

  "The General Plenipotentiary for the Employment of
  Labour" - that is you, is it not - "has addressed ..."

A. That's me, but there was another department in France,
too -

   Q. (continuing) . . . " has addressed a request to
   approach the Commander-in-Chief of the West for
   intervention in order that in sectors where there are
   units belonging to the Commander-in-Chief of the West,
   the Commanders of these units should receive the order
   to facilitate the execution of the tasks assigned to the
   services for recruiting labour by putting troops at his

Do you still deny that you requested that troops should be
put at your disposal?

A. I personally did not ask for them. This appears to be the
administrative office West -

Q. Are you not the General Plenipotentiary for the
Employment of Labour?

A. Yes, but this order is not known to me personally.

Q. Do you know whether this request was seconded by the
defendant Speer?

A. I cannot tell you.

Q. I submit to you Document 824-PS -

THE PRESIDENT: Perhaps you had better leave that over until
after the adjournment.

(A recess was taken until 1400 hours.)

M. HERZOG: Mr. President, I believe that Mr. Dodd has a
statement to make to the Tribunal.

THE MARSHAL: May it please the Tribunal, the report is made
that the defendant Jodl is absent.

MR. DODD: Document 3057-PS, concerning which M. Herzog
questioned the defendant this morning, was in the Document
Book offered by the United States with reference to the
slave labour programme, but it was not offered in evidence
and I found the reference in Part 2, Page 3 59, of the
transcript for the 13th December, 1945, and the President of
the Tribunal particularly asked why we had not read Document
3057-PS and I answered, that we had intended to offer it but
that Counsel for Sauckel had told me that his client
maintained that he had been coerced into the making of the
statement, and for that reason we. preferred not to offer it
and were not offering it.

THE PRESIDENT: I want to announce that the Tribunal will
rise this afternoon at half-past four to sit in closed

THE WITNESS: May I be permitted to give my explanation to
that document?

                                                  [Page 156]


Q. What document are you speaking of?

A. I am referring to the letter of Field-Marshal von
Rundstedt. This document represents a letter which is
addressed to me -

THE PRESIDENT: I did not hear you ask any question. Did you
ask your question?

M. HERZOG: Yes, Mr. President. It is the document which I
presented before the recess and it shows that the official
in charge of the recruiting and employment of labour - that
means the defendant - asked that troops should be put at his

THE PRESIDENT: Do you mean 815 - yes, very well.

M. HERZOG: That is correct, Mr. President.


Q. I ask you whether you recognize that this document
establishes the fact that you requested troop commandos?

A. As far as this question is concerned, I cannot answer it
precisely for I personally did not receive this letter.
Instead it was sent to Paris to the office there. This
letter is not initialled by me. But in order to clarify my
position I should like to emphasize specifically that I did
not demand troops in order to recruit workers. I asked for
troops when in certain areas the administrative procedure
could not be carried through because of resistance
activities. In that connection there is an error in this
letter. But I did not receive this reply myself. It is
initialled by the office of the Military Governor in Paris.

Q. I submit Document 824, which I hand to the Tribunal as
Exhibit RF-1515. This Document 824 is a letter from the
Commander-in-Chief of the West, from his headquarters, dated
25th July, 1944. I quote:

  "One can conclude from all this that on the order of the
  Fuehrer and after the abrogation of all contrary
  dispositions, the desires of the General Plenipotentiary
  for the Employment of Labour ..."

This General Plenipotentiary for the Employment of Labour is
yourself, is that not true?

  " ... and of Reich Minister Speer must in principle be
  carried out. Following my teletyped communication, on the
  basis of the Conference of Ministers of the 11th of July
  in the Reich Chancellery concerning which the
  Commander-in-Chief in the West will be informed by the
  Military Commander the following directives are in force
  from now on:
  Without taking into account justified misgivings
  concerning security and order within the country, the
  recruiting will have to start everywhere where the
  possibilities referred to in my teletype present
  themselves. As an only exception the Fuehrer has decided
  that in the actual fighting zone no methods of coercion
  will be used against the population as long as they are
  helpful to the Wehrmacht. On the other hand, the
  recruiting of volunteers among refugees from the combat
  zones is to be handled energetically. Moreover, all means
  will be considered good in order to recruit as much
  labour as possible from elsewhere by the means at the
  disposal of the Wehrmacht."

Do you again deny that on your request, and on that of the
Reich Minister Speer, troop commandos carried out the
recruiting of labour?

A. I should like to state in this connection that I do not
dispute what has been described just now. At that time the
Commander-in-Chief was under the stress of the fighting and
the evacuation of the population. But I can testify that
after 25th July, 1944, these things did not apply as the
withdrawal of German troops was much too rapid, so that this
decree, which had been issued by the Fuehrer, was in no way
effective any longer.

                                                  [Page 157]

Q. Do you remember the conference, the Ministers' Conference
of 11th July, 1944, to which the document which I have just
read refers?

A. Yes, I recall it.

Q. Do you remember the persons who were present at this

A. Not all of them.

Q. I submit to you the minutes of this meeting. It is
Document 3819-PS, which has been handed to the Tribunal
under number -

THE PRESIDENT: The Tribunal would like you to read the last
passage in Document 824, that is not the last, but the last
on that page beginning with " Afin . . ." It is on Page 346
of the French translation.


  Q. " In order to make the measures undertaken as
  effective as possible, the Armed Forces, moreover, have
  to be informed of the necessity of the organizations for
  the recruiting of labour, to enable them to put down the
  many acts of underground and open resistance. The Field
  Commanders and military administration offices must give
  as much aid as possible to the delegates of the General
  Plenipotentiary far the Employment of Labour and refrain
  from encroaching on their activities which are in
  conformity with instructions. I therefore ask you to give
  instructions to this effect."

Do you still contest the fact that on your request the army
was not used for the recruitment of workers?

THE PRESIDENT: There is a passage on the next page, too, in
the supplementary note, Paragraph 1.


  Q. " Supplementary note for the Commander-in-Chief in the
  The Commander-in-Chief in the West reported to the Chief
  of the OKW on the 23rd of July as follows:
  (1) In spite of anxieties concerning internal security, I
  have authorized the application of the Laval-Sauckel
  agreement of 12th May, 1944.
  (2) I shall issue further instructions for the
  application of these measures in the combat zone in
  agreement with OKW-West Q. Administration 05201. Secret.
  8th July, 1944.
  The Commander-in-Chief West, signed von Kluge, General
  Further instructions follow. For the Commander-in-Chief
  The Chief of the General Staff." etc.

I come back to the conference of 11th July, 1944. I submit
to you No. 3819, submitted under Exhibit GB 306. The
Tribunal will find it under 3819 in the first part of my
Document Book. It represents the minutes of the Ministers'
Council which took place on 11th July, 1944, in Berlin, a
gathering of Ministers, Chiefs of the Party and

You will find on Page 6 of the French translation the list
of all the persons who were there. Do you remember who,
among the defendants, were amongst those present? Do you
recognize the signature of defendant Funk? That of defendant

A. I have not found it yet.

Q. Have you found them?

A. I have not found Speer's signature as yet.

Q. Was defendant Speer present at this conference?

A. I cannot tell you from memory. I cannot find his name.

Q. Were you yourself present at this conference?

A. Yes, I participated.

Q. Do you remember the proposals which, in the course of
this conference, General Warlimont made to you in the name
of the General Staff? Do you remember the reply that you
made to these proposals?

                                                  [Page 158]

A. I recall a conversation between General Warlimont and
myself on that occasion and I gave an answer, but I cannot
give you it verbatim without having some data at my

Q. Well, I am going to read you the text. It is on Page 10.

M. HERZOG: The Tribunal will find it at the bottom of the


  Q. "The representative of the Chief of the OKW, General
  Warlimont, referred to a recent order of the Fuehrer
  according to which all German forces would have to be
  used in the task of recruiting labour. Where the
  Wehrmacht can be used, whenever it is not engaged
  exclusively in military tasks (such as the construction
  of coastal fortifications) - but it cannot be diverted
  solely for the purposes of the General Plenipotentiary
  for the Employment of Labour (GBA) - General Warlimont
  made the following practical proposals: (a) Troops which
  are in action against partisans will also have to be
  utilised for the recruiting of labour in the zones held
  by partisan bands . . . ."

A. Would you please tell me where that is? I have not that
passage on this page. Will you please show me the page?

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