The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

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Last-Modified: 2000/03/27


DR. SERVATIUS (Counsel for the defendant Sauckel): Mr.
President, the examination of the witness by the Defence
Counsel for the defendant Rosenberg must limit itself to new
matters which have been brought up and are the subject of
argument. There was every opportunity, when his client was
in the witness stand, to clarify these questions. At the
time I wanted to clear up this question on my own
initiative, but I was informed that I ought to ask Sauckel.
He made a clear statement here and, in my opinion, there is
no cause once more to come back in this connection to
documents which belong to a previous period of the defence.
I object to such questioning.

THE PRESIDENT: Well, Dr. Thoma, I think you had better go on
and ask your next question. I have not got the document
before me yet that you are putting to the witness, or
referring to. What is your next question?


Q. Witness, did you not in your programme assume all
responsibility for labour mobilization?

A. I assumed responsibility, and I acknowledge it, within
the limits of my powers - I cannot do more than that - for
what I have ordered and for what I have caused to be done.
This collection of decrees, Dr. Thoma, has been submitted
and was presented to Herr Rosenberg -

THE PRESIDENT: Dr. Thoma, the defendant has been over all
this before. He has been through this before - about his

DR. THOMA: Mr. President, may I point out that regarding the
question of responsibility, there is a certain
paragraph-namely the decisive paragraph - which has not yet
been read. It is Document o16-PS, concerning the labour
mobilization programme, and it says on Page 21, figure 1 -

THE PRESIDENT: Just say what the document is again, will
you, Dr. Thoma?

DR. THOMA: 016-PS, Page 21 of the German document; it says:

  "All technical and administrative procedure of labour
  mobilization is subject exclusively to the jurisdiction
  and responsibility of the General Plenipotentiary for
  labour mobilization, the State labour offices and the
  labour offices - "

A. Inside Germany, Doctor. Outside Germany I was, of course,
subordinate to the competent chiefs of the areas in
question. That is quite obvious.

DR. THOMA: In reply to that answer I draw the attention of
the Tribunal to Page 15 of this labour programme. Figure 1,
which I have just read, comes under the paragraph,
"Prisoners of War and Foreign Workers".

  A. "To that extent that they were employed in Germany."


Q. May I point out that it states clearly under Figure 1:

  "All technical and administrative procedure of labour

A. And may I point out that it was not possible for me to
interfere with Reich Commissioner Koch's authority. He had
said expressly that he would not stand for that.

Q. Witness, the Trustee for the Four-Year Plan especially
provided you with conscription powers in dealings with all
authorities and, in my opinion, it is not

                                                  [Page 206]

right that you should now deny these methods of recruitment
and pass responsibility for them on to the Minister for
Eastern Affairs.

DR. THOMA: I have no further questions.

DR. SERVATIUS: Mr. President, the Defence Counsel for
defendant Rosenberg may engage in cross-examining, but it
does not appear to me to be the right moment for him to make
a speech of accusation against my client.

MR. DODD: Mr. President, I am well aware of the fact that
there have been two cross-examinations, and I have no desire
to go on with another one. However, we do have one document
that we think is of some importance and which was turned
over to General Alexandrov, but I think there must have been
some language difficulty. The translation of it was not
presented. I would like the permission of the Tribunal to
ask one or two questions of this defendant about it and to
present it. I think it is rather important that it be

THE PRESIDENT: Mr. Dodd, the Tribunal does not think that
this ought to create a precedent, but in view of your
statement that the document was supplied to General
Alexandrov and that, for some reason, he did not deal with
it, we will allow you to cross-examine upon it.

MR. DODD: Very well, sir.



Q.  Witness, do you remember an occasion in 1942, just after
your appointment, when you met some officials of the
Ministry of Labour and you discussed with them the programme
which you were about to institute and over which you were
about to take, or for which you were about to take
responsibility? Do you recall it?

A. I cannot, of course, remember details of that discussion.
Various points of the programme were discussed, and I might
say in connection with the comments made by defence counsel
for the defendant Rosenberg as well that what he has been
quoting is -

Q. Just a minute, just a minute, I simply asked you if you
remembered this meeting, and you said you did not, and now
there is the document.

A. Details of that conference I do not remember.

Q. And now take a look at the minutes of the meeting.

THE PRESIDENT: What is the document?

MR. DODD: This is EC-318.

THE PRESIDENT: What is the exhibit number? Has it been
offered or not?

MR. DODD: I am now offering it. I was waiting to get the
number from the Secretary.

I will have to get the number a little later, Mr. President.
I have not made preparations to submit this document, so I
did not get the number in advance.


Q. Now I want to call your attention particularly to a few
passages. You started out by telling the officials who were
gathered there that you wanted to co-operate closely with
them, and then, further on, you gave some idea of the number
of workers whom you intended to recruit. You said there was
an estimated requirement of one million, and you also made
perfectly clear that day that you were to get most of your
people, most of these workers from the East, and
particularly from Soviet Russia.

You told these officials that you had talked for several
hours with the Fuehrer and for eight hours with the
Reichsmarschall, and that you all agreed that the most
important problem was the exploitation of the manpower in
the East.

You further stated - do you see that there?

                                                  [Page 207]

A. Where does it say "exploitation"? I do not find that

Well, do you find where you say you had discussed your task
with the Fuehrer in a conversation that had lasted for
several hours? Do you find that?

A. I cannot find it.

Q. You have the German there before you, have you not?

A. Yes, but will you please be kind enough to tell me the

Q. In the middle of Page 2. Have you found it?

A. General, I want expressly to point out to you the
difference in German between the words "Ausnutzung" and
"Ausbeutung". "Ausbeutung" (exploitation) is a word which,
in the language of the workers, has a rather bad
connotation, but "Ausnutzung" (utilization) is quite an
ordinary concept; to utilize something means making it
useful. There is quite a difference in meaning in the German

Q. Well, we will stand by ours and you may stand by yours,
and the Tribunal will ascertain between the two of us who
has the correct translation.

In any event, whether you said "utilize" or "exploit", you
did say that the most important solution was either the
utilization or the exploitation.

A. But that is not the same thing, General. In German there
is an elementary difference in meaning. I must point out
that the word "exploitation" is a word which I did not use
and did not want to use.

THE PRESIDENT: Defendant, would you speak a little bit
lower. You quite drown the interpreter's voice.

THE WITNESS: I beg your pardon, my Lord.


Q. I am not concerned with whether or not you agree with the
word "exploit".

That is a very unimportant part of this document, as I think
you probably already recognize.

A. I beg to contradict you. That word is most important from
the human point of view.

Q. I do not care to have any argument with you at all. We -

THE PRESIDENT: Defendant, the Tribunal is perfectly well
able to understand the difference between the use of the
words, and you have given us the translation which you say
is right.


Q. Now, if you move down a little, do you recall having said
that one million Russians would have to be brought into
Germany as rapidly as possible, to become available even
prior to the offensive.

It is the next sentence or two there in your text. You will
not see it by looking at me. Read the next sentence.

A. Yes, I should like permission to read the next sentence:

  "The necessary condition for taking on the task would be
  the assurance that Russians would be given approximately
  the same ration allowance as was in force for the German
  civilian population".

Q. You have omitted the sentence that I want you to read. I
know that one is there, but I want you to read the one where
you say you would have to bring one million Russians into
the Reich as rapidly as possible, and that is the very next
or almost the next sentence after the one you have been
discussing, about the words "exploit" or "utilize".

A. "-  must be brought to the Reich as quickly as possible".

Q. That is all I want to know. Do you remember saying that?

A. Yes, I said that. I must say in connection with this that
this is a record which I have never seen before or checked.
Someone made it, but the record itself I was not familiar
with and it was never submitted to me.

Q. Well, I suppose it could be truthful even though you did
not make it.

                                                  [Page 208]

Let us move on here to the next to the last paragraph, and
you will find a sentence which says or suggests:

  "They" - referring to the Russians-"will have to be
  handled so roughly by the German administration in the
  East that they would prefer to go to Germany rather than
  stay in Russia".

Do you find that?

A. Will you tell me where that sentence is?

Well, it is right after the sentence where you talk about
your negotiations with Himmler. Maybe that will help you.

Do you find where you say you had negotiations with the
Reichsfuehrer SS? You succeeded in getting him to remove the
barbed wire. Surely you have read that.

Now you find the sentence, do you?

  "They would have to be handled so roughly by the German
  administration in the East that they would prefer to go
  to Germany rather than stay in Russia."

Do you remember saying that?

A. I cannot say that I used these specific words in speaking
to him, for, as I have already stated, it is a record of
statements in the nature of a proclamation which I myself
did not check, and I cannot establish how a third person has
written this down from memory. These are not shorthand
minutes; it is merely a record which is not signed by anyone
and in which -

Q. I do not think you need to give us any long dissertation
on the fact that it is somebody else's minutes. It is not
offered to you as being your own.

A. (Interposing.) Yes, but I have the right and the
obligation to say so.

Q. I wish you would wait a minute and let me put a question
to you once in a while. I have not suggested that these are
your minutes. I have merely put it to you for the purpose of
determining whether or not on seeing it you remember it. Do
you or do you not remember it?

A. I certainly do not remember that passage. I can merely,
read here something written by a third person, and I do not
know who it was. He may quite well have misunderstood me;
that is possible -

Q. Well, you also find you did have some conversations with
the Reichsfuehrer SS. Do you remember having said that in
the course of this conversation or speech or whatever it was
that you were making?

A. The Reichsfuehrer SS approached me on several occasions
and I had to get the Reichsfuehrer SS to remove the barbed
wire fences. I did that. From the very beginning of my term
of office I mitigated the severity of the instructions of
the Reichsfuehrer SS and that, of course, caused strong
arguments between us.

Q. Then that part of the minutes of this meeting is correct,
is it not? The reporter, or whoever it was that took this
down, correctly reported what you said about your
negotiations with the Reichsfuehrer SS, did he? You find no
fault with that?

A. What he wrote down in detail about what I am supposed to
have said I have not yet read.

Q. Now, listen. You read back and look at that paper at
which you have just been looking. You find fault with the
sentence that reports that you said they were to be handled
roughly in the East, but you do not find any fault with the
sentence before it which says you had the barbed wire taken
down, is that not so?

You seem to be complaining about the fact that this was
somebody else's report and not yours. Have you read it?

A. No.

Q. Well, it is the sentence just before the one we have just
been talking about.

Do you really mean you cannot find it? Do you want help?

A. Two pages appear in duplicate here.

                                                  [Page 209]

Q. All I have asked you, Witness, is whether or not the
sentence about your meeting with Himmler is a fairly
accurate report of what you said. Is it?

A. That I cannot tell you from memory. I very seldom spoke
to Himmler and then only cursorily. It may have been
negotiations carried out by my office on my order. That I
cannot tell you.

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