The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

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                                                  [Page 229]

                  SATURDAY, 1st JUNE, 1946

DR. KUBUSCHOK (Counsel for defendant von Papen): May I ask
permission for the defendant von Papen to be absent on
Monday and Tuesday to prepare his case.

He will be represented by my colleague, Dr. Nelte.

MAX TIMM (Resumed)



Q. Witness, yesterday we were speaking, at the end, of the
staff conferences. I should like to leave this question now,
but we will come back to it later when we talk about
controls. First, I should like you to explain the
relationship of Sauckel's agency to the higher agencies.
Whom did Sauckel come under?

A. The General Plenipotentiary for the Employment of Labour
was under the Trustee for the Four-Year Plan.

Q. And what did he have to do with Hitler?

A. He kept in the closest contact with Hitler and as far as
possible he presented his plans to Hitler at personal

Q. Was there a constant connection with the Four-Year Plan
through a liaison man or how was that done?

A. There were various ways of keeping the contact active.
There were liaison men on both sides. The General
Plenipotentiary sent men from his more restricted staff to
report to the office for the Four-Year Plan to obtain there
beforehand a vote on his plans, and on the other hand, as
far as I can recall, there were almost constantly delegates
from the office of the Four-Year Plan who took part in the
staff conferences.

In addition, the General Plenipotentiary more frequently had
personal talks with the Trustee for the Four-Year Plan.

Q., How was the co-operation with the other ministries
conducted? With Goebbels, to begin with?

A. The General Plenipotentiary felt in principle that it was
important to keep as close a contact as possible with the
other departments and to have his plans and intentions
approved beforehand. Co-operation with the Ministry of
Propaganda was no longer good, especially at the time when
the Minister, Dr. Goebbels, was commissioner for the total
war effort.

Q. After the proclamation of total war, was Sauckel
subordinate to Goebbels?

A. The relationship was never quite clear. In my opinion it
had to be looked at this way: The commissioner for the total
war effort received comprehensive powers for all tasks, and
was therefore, in fact, superior to the G.B.A. (General
Plenipotentiary for the Employment of Labour).

THE PRESIDENT: Dr. Servatius, what was the date of the
proclamation of total war?

                                                  [Page 230]


Q. Does the witness know when total war was declared?

A. I do not remember the date.

Q. It was after the fall of Stalingrad. I cannot give you
the exact date.

THE PRESIDENT: Go on, please.

Q. As to relations with Himmler, what co-operation was there
with him?

A. I know nothing of any close personal relations between
the G.B.A. and Himmler. In Sauckel's labour staff there was
a liaison man from the Reichsfuehrer SS, who was used
especially for any general police questions that might arise
in the programme for the employment of labour.

Q. What kinds of questions were there?

A. Various kinds of questions, especially the question of
badges in connection with the occupations for foreigners.

Q. And probably also questions concerning barbed wire?

A. Yes. Barbed wire questions; all those questions which
arose in the police spheres.

Q. Problems of labour training camps?

A. Since I was not an expert on those questions, I cannot
remember very well, and I do not know whether there were any
detailed conferences about them.

Q. Now, I should like to take up the relations with the
offices in the Occupied Territories.

With whom were negotiations carried on; to whom did one
apply when making demands in the Occupied Territories?

A. One had to apply to the district governments at the time
whether they were military commanders, Reich commissioners
or something similar.

Q. What kind of position did Sauckel's deputies have?

A. The deputies were organized to exert a direct and
vigorous influence on the execution of Sauckel's plans,
instructions and orders.

This goal, however, was not reached as they were not able to
succeed. I recall that the General Plenipotentiary,
therefore, intended to ask Hitler for a more comprehensive
order and more comprehensive powers.

I seem to recall that the General Plenipotentiary once
announced that he had learned from Hitler himself, or from
his entourage, that Hitler was not inclined to extend these
powers as he could not release the local governments,
especially the military commanders, from their comprehensive
responsibility and powers, so that the General
Plenipotentiary had only one recourse, that of putting
forward his wishes through the direct channel of

Q. Why were the deputies not able to accomplish their ends?

A. The deputies could only try to consult with the existing
local governments, but the opposition was so strong that
they could not assert themselves.

Q. Did these deputies not have another position at the same

A. Since they could not achieve an independent position, the
deputies were generally incorporated into the existing local
administration by way of negotiations. With few exceptions,
they were entrusted with the direction of the labour
section, or were incorporated into the section for economy
and labour.

In general, they were placed with military commanders as
administrative officials, and this was the position which
they held ostensibly.

Q. So it was a combination of two or more positions vested
in one person?

A. It was, to a certain extent, a combination of different
positions in one person in which without doubt the most
important was the position of section chief in the existing
local government.

Q. With whom did this arrangement of a dual position
originate. Was it Sauckel who insisted on it or the supreme
authorities who were responsible locally?

A. As far as I know, it resulted from talks with the local
governments on the question of the position of the deputies.
The local governments did not in any case

                                                  [Page 231]

want any men in their districts who were independent of
their administration and had special powers.

Q. Then this took away the driving force from the deputies?

A. Their driving force as originally planned was no doubt
taken away.

Q. How did Sauckel exercise his authority to issue

A. The authority to issue instructions to the offices abroad
was, in general, exercised by means of directives and
decrees through normal administrative channels, via the
central offices.

Q. Could he issue instructions to cover everything that
happened, or were there other offices whose business was to
obtain labour?

A. At that time, unfortunately, the situation was such that
even after the appointment of the General Plenipotentiary
for the Employment of Labour, outside agencies repeatedly
interfered in labour matters or carried on recruiting too -
that is, agencies which neither had the power nor were
authorized to do so.

THE PRESIDENT: What time is he talking about; he says "at
that time"?

DR. SERVATIUS: I did not quite understand.

THE PRESIDENT: I say at what time. He said "at that time".
At what time? What time is he speaking about?


Q. What time are you speaking about?

A. It was at that time when the General Plenipotentiary for
the Employment of Labour had been appointed.

Q. When was he appointed?

A. He was appointed in March, 1942.

Q. In what way did the recruiting take place? Was it
voluntary? Can you distinguish the types?

A. In principle, recruiting was carried out on a voluntary
basis because from the technical point of view - that is,
from the point of view of the utilization of the labour
recruited - only voluntary recruiting could lead to success.
That is to say, only voluntary recruiting could produce
people who were happy and willing to work and who would give
necessary output.

Q. Was that the point of view which Sauckel emphasized?

A. During the whole time that I worked with Sauckel in the
Labour Ministry I never heard of any events which indicated
any other point of view. He repeatedly emphasized that the
basis of recruiting would have to be voluntary.

Q. Yes. He issued many directives and made many speeches
within the inner circle -

THE PRESIDENT: Dr. Servatius, and witness, will you try and
pause between the sentences and between the questions and
the answers. The witness's sentences seem to me to be
running on, whereas if he would pause it would give the
interpreter some chance?



Q. Sauckel issued a number of directives and made speeches
to that effect. Did he not give you more precise and
stricter instructions?

A. The instructions which we received always agreed in
principle with the instructions which he issued to larger

Q. What was the result of voluntary recruiting? Workers came
solely on the basis of that recruiting, that is, on the
basis of the conditions as described to them?

A. Yes.

Q. About how many were there?

A. Of course, it is not possible for me to give exact
figures. When I think about it, I believe I can say that
about two to three million workers could be called voluntary

                                                  [Page 232]

Q. Other workers came on the basis of the Labour
Conscription Law which
was introduced in those countries.

A. Yes.

Q. How high do you estimate the number of those people to

A. I can hardly give an estimate. Since about two to three
million were volunteers, the rest must reach this figure

Q. People were deported too. Are you sure you know what
"deportation" means?

A. If I may ask, does that mean the people who were
transported for military or other reasons? I am not quite
clear as to what you mean by that.

Q. You do not know what deportations are?

A. You mean forcible deportations, do you not? I cannot
remember anything about such measures in connection with the
activities of the General Plenipotentiary for the Employment
of Labour.

Q. In connection with the obtaining, recruiting, and
conscription of labour, there are a number of serious
charges concerning abuses which occurred. To what extent did
you learn of them?

A. I understand your question to mean abuses in the
recruiting itself?

Q. Yes.

A. I have no practical knowledge of the recruiting itself.
So far as I had a general view of the situation, serious
abuses such as you mention in your question were not
reported to the GBA. Yesterday, in an answer, I pointed out
that I knew of the case of the surrounded cinema, and that I
could recall no events surpassing that case in gravity.

Q. Now I come to conditions in Germany. Have you heard
anything about conditions of the worst kind there? You
probably read the papers and know what these charges mean.
Since you were one of the people most closely involved
there, what did you learn?

A. Complaints about the treatment of foreigners came through
various channels, to the GBA too. They referred in general
to questions of clothing and food and that of barbed wire,
which came up repeatedly, and the question of badges and the
identification of foreign workers.

Q. Witness, the prosecution is speaking here of Crimes
against Humanity.

A. Yes.

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