The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

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Q. On 31st March, 1942, you addressed a letter to the Reich
Commissars. This letter will be presented to you in a few
minutes. It is Exhibit USSR 137. Here you wrote as follows:

  "I request that the recruitment for which you, together
  with the Commissars, are responsible to me, be speeded up
  on your part by adequate measures, and, if necessary, by
  resorting to the severest use of compulsory labour, in
  order to treble recruitment figures in the shortest
  possible time."

Did you issue this directive?

A. That is my directive and I issued it. By the severest use
of compulsory labour I meant no wicked or criminal measures,
but rather, a speeding up with reference to the figure to be

Q. I shall now quote a few excerpts from the documents of
other people. I shall begin by reading an excerpt from the
transcript of a speech by defendant Rosenberg - Exhibit USSR
70 - which was delivered at the conference of the German
Labour Front in November 1942. I shall quote a brief excerpt
from this speech:

  "Millions of Russians trembling with fright react in the
  same way - "

A. (Interposing.) I have not found it.

Q. You will be helped in one moment.

THE PRESIDENT: Perhaps we had better adjourn now.

(A recess was taken until 1400 hours.)

DR. NELTE (Counsel for the defendant Keitel): I should like
to draw the Tribunal's attention to the following fact:
General Alexandrov this morning referred to Document PS-744.
First of all, a document was given me which was described as
a German translation. That translation contains things which
are obviously impossible.

THE PRESIDENT: Dr. Nelte, you said 744?

DR. NELTE: PS-744.

THE PRESIDENT: I have not got any note that he referred to
that document. I do not know whether he - Did you refer to
PS-744 this morning, General Alexandrov?

GENERAL ALEXANDROV: I referred this morning to the document
in question. It was a directive of the defendant Keitel,
dated 8th July, 1943, referring to the employment of
prisoners of war in the mining industry.

DR. NELTE: Then the Russian prosecution presented me with
the original, that is, the photostat copy of a letter dated
8th July, 1943, signed by Keitel. I now have two German
versions before me; not only do they differ greatly as far
as the contents are concerned, but also the translation
contains something additional which is not contained in the
original: to the heading of the letter, "Chief of the High
Command of the Armed Forces", is added, "Army General

I do not want to waste your time by reading the other
incorrect translations, but I must assume that you have
before you the texts in the foreign languages which, as I
see from the translation back into German, are incorrect.
Since this document, the original, is the evidence and is
not being objected to, I should like to ask you to order
that the translations in the foreign languages which you
have before you be checked in order to find out in how far
they differ from the original document.

THE PRESIDENT: Had the document been put in evidence before?
Had it been offered in evidence? Was it an exhibit?


THE PRESIDENT: Well, that does not mean that it has been put
in evidence. That only means that it is identified in that
way. Had it been offered in evidence before?

GENERAL ALEXANDROV: I do not know the Exhibit number of this
document, but according to the date at my disposal I am able
to state that it was submitted

                                                  [Page 202]

in evidence to the Tribunal. In the German copy, presented
in the German language, it is written that the German
translation was made on 26th November, 1945, by Second
Lieutenant of the U.S.A. Infantry, Fred Niebergall. Inasmuch
as Dr. Nelte discovers certain inaccuracies in the
translation, I consider that the Translating Division be
asked to check these divergencies.

DR. NELTE: I am convinced, Mr. President -

THE PRESIDENT: I think that is the best thing to do, to have
it checked by the Translating Division. We will order that
that shall be done at once.




Q. The transcript of defendant Rosenberg's statement will be
handed over to you immediately. I shall limit myself to a
very short excerpt from this transcript. Please read after

"They believe in part that the road to Germany is somewhat
similar to the road to Siberia."

And further:-

  "I know that if one and a half million people are brought
  here, they cannot be given the best accommodation. The
  fact that thousands of people are badly housed or badly
  treated is self-evident. It is not worth while worrying
  about that. However, this is a very serious question. I
  believe that Gauleiter Sauckel has already discussed it
  or will do so. These people from the East are being
  brought to Germany in order to work and to achieve as
  high a production capacity as possible. This is a very
  serious matter. In order to get this production capacity
  it is not right to bring them in a frozen condition and
  then let them stand during the journey for hours. One
  must rather so treat them so that their strength will be

Does defendant Rosenberg correctly describe the conditions
in which the workers you brought from the Occupied
Territories found themselves or do you consider that
defendant Rosenberg has not described them correctly?

A. I cannot say or guess when Rosenberg made this speech. I
myself did not hear it or receive a copy of it, but I can
definitely state that as soon as I came into office, I made
far-reaching arrangements so that the conditions which
Rosenberg discusses here - and which have nothing to do with
my term of office - might be avoided under all
circumstances, for it was for this purpose that I issued
those far-reaching orders of mine. To prevent such
conditions I drafted hundreds of valid and binding
instructions of a legal nature which should affect every
nationality working in Germany and which should make such
conditions impossible down to the last detail. That is what
I have to say to that. It cannot refer to conditions during
my term of office.

GENERAL ALEXANDROV: Mr. President, I shall limit myself to
this one single excerpt from the statement of the defendant
Rosenberg and I shall not avail myself of the numerous
documents already presented to the Tribunal, documents which
show, beyond all doubt, the criminal methods applied - with
the full cognizance of the defendant Sauckel - for the
mobilization of manpower in the Occupied Territories and for
the exploitation of the workers as slaves in Germany.

I shall only submit to the Tribunal one single new document,
listed as Exhibit USSR 458. This document is a worker's
identity card, issued by the German authorities in Breslau
to a Polish citizen, Maria Adler. This card is characterised
by the fact that it is stamped on the reverse side with the
image of a pig. Maria Adler has stated, on oath, that such
workers' identity cards were issued to all foreign workers,
in 1944, by the German authorities in Breslau. Together with

                                                  [Page 203]

this original document I am submitting a certificate of the
Polish State Commission, which quotes the testimony of the
witness, Maria Adler.


Q. Defendant Sauckel, have you looked at that worker's
identity card? Have you found the image of a pig on that

A. Yes.

Q. Did you know of the existence of such workers' cards,
stamped with the image of a pig, as a degradation of all
human dignity?

A. I did not have such a card and I do not have knowledge of
it. I cannot quite make out this image, what it is meant to
be. I have nothing at all to do with this. I am not familiar
with such an identification mark on a card and do not know
what I should say about it. I do not know if it was possible
for a labour administration to use such identification marks
or not. I should like permission to see the original.

Q. Did you know of the existence of such cards and of their

A. No, I had no idea of the existence of such cards with
such images. I had no interest in and no reason at all for
offending those people who worked in Germany. I had no idea
of that and I do not know what this was meant to be.

Q. I shall now quote a brief excerpt from Document 179. This
is a transcript of the minutes of a conference held at
Reichsmarschall Goering's headquarters on 6th August, 1942.
I shall quote that part of the statement in which the
defendant Goering expresses his appreciation of your

  "To that I must say that I do not wish to laud Gauleiter
  Sauckel; he does not need it. But what he has done in
  this brief time in order to collect workers from all over
  Europe and to bring them to our factories with such
  rapidity is a unique feat, I must say to all: if
  everybody in his own area would apply a tenth of the
  energy which Gauleiter Sauckel has applied, then indeed,
  the tasks which have been assigned to you would easily be
  fulfilled. That is my inner conviction and not mere

Did you hear such an appreciation of your activities from
the lips of Reichsmarschall Goering?

A. It is possible that the Reichsmarschall said that. I
cannot remember the details of a meeting that took place so
long ago. What is correct is that I, as a human being and as
a member of my nation, was obliged to do my duty. My
documents prove that I tried to do my duty decently and
humanely. I did my utmost to do that.

GENERAL ALEXANDROV: I now submit to the Tribunal a document
listed as Exhibit USSR 462. It is an article by Dr.
Friedrich Giegler, published in the Reichsarbeitsblatt of
1944-45. This is an official publication of the Reich Labour
Ministry and of the General Plenipotentiary for Manpower.
The article is entitled, "Fritz Sauckel, on his 50th

I do not intend to quote this article as it is written
entirely in praise of Sauckel's activities and there is no
reason to dwell on it. I only wish to ask you, defendant
Sauckel, are you acquainted with this article?

A. I do not know this article. I cannot say what is in it. I
was not always able to read through the Reich Labour Gazette
- it was not published by me; it is an old publication of
the Labour Ministry which contains all the decrees published
by that Ministry and also my decrees The decrees in the
Reich Labour Gazette all testify to my concern for foreign
and for German workers.

Q. Then you will have to acquaint yourself very rapidly with
the contents of this article. It will be handed to you

THE PRESIDENT: What document is this he is reading?

GENERAL ALEXANDROV: It is an article in the
Reichsarbeitsblatt, entitled "Fritz Sauckel, on his 50th
Birthday". We are submitting this document for the first
time as Exhibit USSR 462.

                                                  [Page 204]


Q. Are you now conversant with it? Tell us, does this
article correctly characterise your political and
governmental activity?

A. The author of this article is not an expert. I cannot
make any further Comments on the contents of a birthday
article. It contains a very cursory description of my career
and my sphere of work.

Q. And now, one last question. In your speech at the first
meeting of the Staffs for the Utilization of Manpower, held
in Weimar, in January 1943, you stated - and I quote from
the third Document Book of your Defence Counsel, Document
No. 82. I read:

  "Now, where the foundations of our work are concerned..."
  (I omit point 1 and pass directly to point 2.) "We are
  faithful to the Fuehrer and to our people. This loyalty
  justifies our application of the harshest measures."

A. I did not hear you.

Q. I repeat:

  "Now, where the foundations of our work are concerned..."
  (I omit point 1 and pass directly to point 2.) "We are
  faithful to our Fuehrer and to our people. This loyalty
  justifies our application of the harshest measures."

And at the end, "In this respect I will assume
ever-increasing responsibility."

Tell us now, are you assuming responsibility for the
enforced mass deportation into slavery of the population of
the Occupied Territories, for the suffering and misery of
the millions you drove into slavery, for the grim period of
slave-holding which you revived in the twentieth century?

A. I am most grateful to you that you quoted this document
at this very moment. I should be grateful to you if you
would show me this document so that I can give the correct
representations of my views as contained in it.

Q. If necessary, your Defence Counsel will acquaint you with
this document.

Mr. President, I have finished my cross-examination.

THE PRESIDENT: Dr. Thoma, do you want to examine?

BY DR. THOMA (Counsel for defendant Rosenberg):

Q. Witness, what was Rosenberg's role as Minister for
Eastern Affairs in carrying out the labour mobilization

A. It was up to the Minister for Eastern Affairs, in
carrying out the labour mobilization programme, to pass on
my wishes and demands to the offices under him in the
Ministry for Eastern Affairs, in so far as they related to
my tasks. I cannot, of course, comment on the other
departments in the Ministry for Eastern Affairs, which I do
not know.

Q. Did not Rosenberg tell you repeatedly that he would give
Reich Commissioner Koch directions to make use of his

A. That is correct. It was one of Rosenberg's tasks to give
orders to Reich Commissioner Koch, who was under him in
every field of the administration there.

Q. So that the way you understood it was that he was to give
him instructions. In what way?

A. Rosenberg did and should - as we had expressly agreed -
give instructions to Koch to put a stop to any wild and
impermissible methods which were contrary to my
instructions; and that Rosenberg did, as far as I know.

Q. Rosenberg, by referring to the authority of the Reich
Commissioner, wanted to say that your recruiting methods
were to be prohibited, and that it was no longer to be
permitted that your mobilization groups take away Eastern

A. That Rosenberg never said to me; rather he denied it, for
these commissions, for the time of their duration in the
Ukraine, were under and a part of the labour mobilization
department of Reich Commissioner Koch. Koch was

                                                  [Page 205]

the supervising authority and the administrative authority
for such matters. Those are the undeniable facts.

DR. THOMA: May I point out to this High Tribunal that a
document, Rosenberg 10, shows that Sauckel did not
understand this statement of Rosenberg's.

THE PRESIDENT: Did you refer to some document there, Dr.

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