The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

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Last-Modified: 2000/03/27


Q. I will question you about that a little later, when the
question arises concerning the employment of prisoners of
war in the German industries.

Please tell me now, what was the attitude of the defendant
Kaltenbrunner regarding these measures?

A. In this connection I met the defendant Kaltenbrunner on
one single occasion during a conference - the date of which
I cannot at present remember - at the Reich Chancellery,
with Minister Lammers. I believe it was in I944. Apart from
that, I had no interview of any kind with Kaltenbrunner, nor
did I reach any agreements with him on questions of the
employment of labour.

Q. Yet the defendant Kaltenbrunner placed police forces at
your disposal for carrying out the recruitment of manpower,
did he not?

A. I have repeatedly emphasized the fact that the
recruitment of workers was no concern of the police. And I
must ask my Defence Counsel to submit the relevant
regulations, of which there are numerous specimens
available. They prove quite clearly and unequivocally and
irrefutably the division of tasks between the police and my

Q. Did the police participate in the execution of these
measures or did it not? I am not reproaching you now.

A. In my opinion the police only participated in cases where
the execution of administrative duties was rendered
impossible in partisan areas. In White Ruthenia alone 1,500
native mayors were murdered by the partisans. This is
obvious from the document.

Q. But was recruitment, even in normal circumstances, not
carried out by police methods? Did you know nothing at all
about that?

A. I shall tell you exactly what I know about it. There
were, in the occupied European territories, about 1,500
districts (Kreise) - by district I mean the areas of the
districts (Rayons) or departments, the military
administrative headquarters - in other words, what we, in
the German administration, would term as having the area of
a district (Kreise); and these 1,500 districts contained
1,500 administrative centres staffed partly by native and
partly by German personnel. In addition to this personnel,
in the territories of the Soviet Union alone, 1,000 Russian
workers, previously employed in Germany, were acting as
recruiting officers. Now if each one of these administrative
centres, which would correspond

                                                  [Page 185]

to a German "Landkreis" and had a population of 40,000 to
70,000 inhabitants, properly selected, examined and screened
five persons daily, that is already 2,000,000 people a year:
a perfectly clear method of administration, such as I
ordered, organized and carried out to the best of my
administrative possibilities.

Q. You are giving needlessly detailed explanations in reply
to these questions, and under such conditions the
interrogation is being greatly prolonged. I consider it
necessary that you answer briefly. You are perfectly able to
do this, for I am putting the questions to you clearly.

A. I am trying to answer as briefly as possible. I regret
that a specialized field is always difficult to understand
and calls for explanations; I found it very difficult

Q. Please answer. What part did the defendant Kaltenbrunner
play in the execution of measures bearing on the
mobilization of manpower? Did he participate in this or did
he not?

A. I have already given you that answer.

Q. I did not understand you. Did he participate or did he

THE PRESIDENT: I beg your pardon. He said that he only met
Kaltenbrunner on one occasion and that the task of the
recruitment of labour was not one for the police. That is
what he said.

GENERAL ALEXANDROV: It is not necessary to multiply the
number of meetings in order that Kaltenbrunner should
participate in the execution of these measures. He did not
have to meet defendant Sauckel at regular intervals.

THE PRESIDENT: General Alexandrov, I do not want you to
argue with me. I have told you what his answer was. It
seemed to be an answer to your question.

GENERAL ALEXANDROV: I am not arguing. I am merely explaining
the reason for this question.


Q. As far as the participation of defendant Rosenberg is
concerned, I shall not ask you any questions, since
defendant Rosenberg gave sufficiently clear answers when
questioned by my American colleague, Mr. Dodd. Now tell me,
what part did defendant Frick play in the execution of these

A. Defendant Frick, as Reich Minister of the Interior - I do
not know how long he remained in office - scarcely
participated at all. As far as I can remember, I had only
the most necessary contacts with his Reich Ministry for the
discussion of laws to be promulgated within Germany for the
German workers, and of the validity of these laws. Apart
from that, he had no further part in this task, since his
task was quite a different one.

Q. We are discussing the question of foreign manpower. It
was not merely by accident that you mentioned, in a letter
to Lammers written after a meeting at Hitler's headquarters
on 4th January, 1944, that the Ministry of the Interior was
among the government offices detailed to operate with you.
That is why I ask you, what part did defendant Frick play in
the execution of these measures? You yourself asked for the
co-operation of the Ministry of the Interior. Then how was
this co-operation to be expressed?

A. To my very great regret, Reich Minister Frick was, at
that time, no longer Minister of the Interior, but Himmler -
if I remember correctly.

Q. What co-operation did you expect from the Ministry of the

A. It is, I believe, natural that in every form of
government the internal and the general administration be
kept informed of events occurring in so important a sphere
as the employment of human beings, which, to be sure, calls
for many ordinances. They must not only be informed - they
must participate as well. I could not possibly issue legal
decrees - nor had I authority to do so - I had to submit
them to the Ministerial Council for the Defence of the
Reich. I could only issue technical directions, and that is
quite a different thing altogether.

                                                  [Page 186]

Q. Were defendant Funk, as economic minister, and defendant
Speer, as armament minister, the principal intermediaries
between yourself and the industrialists as suppliers of
manpower? Is that correct?

A. The end of your sentence contains a seriously erroneous
conclusion. I was - They were not middlemen between myself
and the industries, but the industries were responsible to
the Armament Ministry, that is, the - Of course, there were
personal instructions issued about this in the course of the
year. I did not negotiate with the industries. They asked me
for workers and they got them, the same as the agricultural

Q. Please tell me, what part did defendants Funk and Speer
play in the execution of these measures? I do not want any
long drawn out explanations. Answer me briefly.

A. Those two ministers were heads of the very varied
business enterprises
inside the German economy, which fell within the
jurisdiction of their ministries. They received their
workers and that was the end of my task.

Q. Did the defendants Frank, Seyss-Inquart and Neurath
participate in the execution of these measures for the
mobilization of manpower in such territories as were under
their jurisdiction? I mean the territories of Poland,
Bohemia and Moravia, and Holland; is that correct?

A. These gentlemen, within the framework of their duties
inside their own territories, supported me by the
promulgation of decrees and laws, and they themselves
attached great importance to the proper and humane drafting
of these laws and decrees.

Q. What was the part played by defendant Fritzsche?

A. That I cannot tell you. I only met Dr. Fritzsche in
Germany on one occasion - and that a very brief one - in, I
believe 1945, the beginning of 1945. I never spoke to him at
all about my work nor do I know whether he, in turn, had
anything to do with it. I can only state that I repeatedly
demanded and begged in the Reich Ministry for Propaganda
that my instructions and directives - as contained in the
document books submitted by my defence counsel - be widely
circulated, particularly to the industries and other circles
which received these workers.

Q. But one defendant is left - Bormann - and he is missing.
What part did he play? He placed at your disposal the entire
Party machinery of the NSDAP, did he not?

A. No, he did not. He placed the Gauleiters at my disposal;
the instructions which I issued to the Gauleiters and the
letters which I addressed to them - three of which are
available here, and there never were many more of them -
were to the effect that I was entitled to call on the Party
for assistance in ensuring
the welfare, feeding and clothing of the workers and in
seeing that they received everything that was humanly
necessary and all we could possibly supply in view of
existing wartime conditions. That was the role played by the
Party, in so far as it was asked to do so for me, and form a
control for the benefit of the foreign and German workers
employed in Germany. Otherwise the Party had nothing to do
with it. Incidentally, I did not care overmuch for
interference on the part of outside offices.

Q. That is incorrect. I would remind you of your programme
for the utilization of manpower, which was issued in 1942.
This is Exhibit USSR 365, which states that the Gauleiters
are appointed as your plenipotentiaries where the question
of manpower is concerned and that they will utilize this

A. May I see this document?

Q. You will be shown the document in one moment. I do not
quote this sub-paragraph, I merely mention the contents, the
gist of the sub-paragraph, where it states that the
Gauleiters will use the Party organizations in the districts
subordinate to them. I therefore assume that the Party
machinery, as a whole, participated in the execution of
these measures.

A. It does not say so at all.

                                                  [Page 187]

Q. Have you found it: "The plenipotentiaries make use of its
- "?

A. Yes, and I only did this for the purpose I have
described. Will you be good enough to read on?

Q. Read it yourself.

A. Thank you so much.

  "The leaders of the highest Departments of the State and
  of Economy which are competent in their respective Gaue
  shall advise and instruct the Gauleiters on all important
  questions dealing with the employment of labour."

That means within the scope of their spheres of duty; and
then these are specified: "The President of the Provincial
Labour Department (Landesarbeitsamt)" - that is not a Party
but a Government Department - "the Trustee for Labour
(Treuhander der Arbeit)" is not a Party but a Government
Department; "the Provincial Peasant Leader
(Landesbauernfuehrer)" is not a Party but a Government
Department. As for the "Gau Economic Adviser
(Gauwirtschaftberater)" - now, that is a Party Department -

THE PRESIDENT: Please observe the light, to be sure the
interpreters are getting it.

THE WITNESS: I apologise, your Lordship.

 - "the Gau Leader (Gauobmann)" of the DAF is a department
of the Labour Front, the Regional Leaders of the Nazi
Women's League (Gaufraunschaftsleitung)" -

Q. Everything is perfectly clear, you do not have to
enumerate. I should like to draw your attention to
sub-paragraph 6. It clearly states that the Gauleiters,
functioning as plenipotentiaries for the utilization of
manpower, will, in their own districts, make use of the
Party organizations subordinate to them. Is it written

A. Yes.

Q. It next enumerates the methods by which this task was
executed, also through what institutions and what
authorities. I conclude, from this subparagraph which states
that they will utilize the Party institutions under their
control, that the entire organization of the NSDAP
participated in the execution of these measures, and I wish
you to answer "yes" or "no".

A. No.

Q. There is no more to say.

A. No. May I supplement this reply of "no". You, in your
first reply, told me that my description was not quite
correct. My description is absolutely correct, that the
Party was employed to deal with the welfare of German and
foreign workers and to see to it that they were properly
cared for and supplied. And the Party organizations
mentioned here were only entrusted with this kind of task,
and could have had no other; and I, a former workman myself,
was eager that these workers, both German and foreign,
should be cared for as far as wartime conditions allowed.
Hence this employment of the Party organizations and no
others. Therefore, my reply was absolutely correct.

Q. Did the District Leaders of the Hitler Youth also
participate in the execution of these measures?

A. The District Leaders of the HJ participated in order to
protect and care for the young people in accordance with the
demand of Reich Leader Schirach and, later, of Reich Youth
Leader Axmann. Protection had to be provided for the young
people against any danger. The Hitler Youth did this,
including young people employed from foreign countries. I
must expressly emphasize this.

Q. Did you, personally, approve of the policy of the
Hitlerite Government with regard to the deportation into
slavery of the population from the Occupied Territories, in
order to ensure the waging of a war of aggression? Did you
approve of that policy?

A. I am forced to consider your question in the light of an

                                                  [Page 188]

I personally have said over and over again that I had
nothing to do with either foreign or domestic policies, nor
was I a soldier, I meant to say. I was given a task and I
received orders. As a German, I tried to carry out that task
correctly for the sake of my people and its government and
to carry it out to the best of my ability, since it was made
perfectly clear to me that the fate of my people depended on
the accomplishment of this task. I worked with this in mind,
and I admit that I did my utmost to accomplish that task in
the manner which I have here emphasized. I conceived this to
be my duty and must acknowledge this fact here.

Q. In order to define your personal attitude to these
crimes, I would like to remind you of a few of your own
statements. These are taken from Exhibit USSR 365. This
document is a programme for the utilization of labour in
1942, Page 9. You will now be shown the passage which I am
about to quote: "I beg you to believe me, as an old and
fanatical National Socialist Gauleiter - " Is it written

A. That is written there.

Q. Now we will go on to Document 566-PS. It is your telegram
to Hitler dated 20th April, 1943, which you sent during your
flight to Riga. This telegram will now be handed to you and
you will be shown the excerpt which I am about to read.

"I shall apply my entire strength with fanatical will-power
to accomplish my task and to justify your confidence." Is
that correct?

A. It is correct. I saw in Hitler whom, at that time, I
worshipped, a man who was the leader of the German people,
who had been chosen by the German people, and I - as a
German and a member of a German Government Department -
considered it my duty to justify the confidence shown me by
the Head of the State, by my work in my own sphere. I should
like to state, further to this telegram...

Q. No explanations are needed about this telegram. I am not
interested in your attitude towards Hitler. I am only
interested in your personal attitude to those measures for
the recruitment and utilization of labour which were carried
out by you. It is essential to keep all questions within
these limits. Now follows Document 1292-PS. This is a record
of the meeting at Hitler's headquarters on the 4th January,
1944 -

A. I request the permission of the Tribunal to add a few
words to your last statement. I was unable to see anything
criminal in Hitler at that time and I never felt he was one,
but I did feel obliged to do my duty and nothing else. I
never supported crime, both as a human being and as a result
of my whole life's training.

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