The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

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Last-Modified: 2000/03/28

                                                  [Page 240]

Q. Thank you. I have one last question to ask you. In this
quotation you say, "The Fuehrer has approved." If the
Fuehrer approved something, it means that something was
suggested to him. Is that not a fact?

A. As far as I can remember, Gauleiter Sauckel always
reported the results of his talks in Paris to the Fuehrer.
It is possible that he reported to the Fuehrer on the
question of recruiting methods, which he had discussed with
Laval, and it was customary for him, as I have already said
in my testimony, always to make sure of the Fuehrer's
approval so that he did not work against the Fuehrer's

HERZOG: Thank you. I have no more questions.


BY DR. SERVATIUS (for the defendant Sauckel):

Q. Witness, the document which was last submitted to you,
L-6I, from
Saarland Strasse, is not here in the original, but it
contains the words: "Signed Sauckel." The defendant Sauckel
has informed me that it is possible he did not sign it
himself, but had only been informed in a general way that
there were letters about one thing and another - routine
office correspondence - and he gave authority for them to be
signed. Is that possible?

A. It was like this: the departments in Saarland Strasse -

THE PRESIDENT: Dr. Servatius, did Sauckel state that in
evidence, or are you telling us simply what he said to you?
Do you remember?

DR. SERVATIUS: I cannot say exactly whether he stated that

THE PRESIDENT: Go on then.


Q. Answer the question.

A. Yes, as Sauckel continued to exercise his functions as
Gauleiter in Weimar, it sometimes happened that things did
not reach him. The sections in Saarland Strasse submitted
their drafts to their personal representative in Thuringia
House, and I know from my own knowledge of conditions that
it is quite possible that the contents of the drafts were
transmitted by telephone and that the personal represen
tatives were authorized to sign the name of the General

Q. Was the mail so extensive that he did not have any exact
knowledge of individual letters?

A. That is hard for me to judge.

Q. That is enough. One more question - Fuehrer, Sauckel,
Speer. Is it true that the defendant Sauckel told you that
the Fuehrer had ordered him to fulfil all Speer's demands?

A. I do not know if such a direct statement was made.

Q. We have shown you the document in which Laval complains
about the conduct of the German agencies. Did this complaint
refer to Sauckel's activities, or was it not that he had
told Sauckel of these complaints and was thanking him
personally for his attitude?

A. I recall from the talks with Laval, that Laval repeatedly
expressed his gratitude to Sauckel for the fact that
measures, and means for facilitating matters suggested by
him, had been put into effect. Laval attached special
importance - to use his own expression - to clearing the
atmosphere and having talks with Hitler himself as soon as
possible; and he asked Sauckel to open the way for him. As
far as I know, Sauckel did actually arrange talks of this
kind and Laval thanked him for doing so.

DR. SERVATIUS: I have no more questions for this witness.


Q. The job of the GBA was to get workmen to replace the men
who had been taken into the army out of industry. That was
largely your work, wasn't it?

                                                  [Page 241]

A. The task of the GBA was much more comprehensive, since
previously all the tasks -

Q. Well, I understand, but that was part of your work, was
it not?

A. Yes.

Q. All right. Now, you were therefore told beforehand the
number of people that the army was taking out of industry,
were you not, so you could make up your estimates?

A. The numbers were adjusted in the Central Planning Board.
For that was the task of the Central Planning Board.

Q. Wait a minute. I do not care who examined the figures,
but your organization certainly had knowledge of the needs
of the army, of the number of people the army was taking out
of industry. You had to have that information, did you not?

A. The number of men to be drafted was reported to the
Central Planning Board.

Q. All right, reported to the Central Planning Board. Now,
then, they were taking people out of industry also who were
not needed for the army, were they not? I mean Jews. They
were taking Jewish people out of industry, were they not?
Sauckel said yesterday that Jewish people were being taken
out of industry. You admit that, do you not?

A. Yes. Jews were eliminated from industry.

Q. All right; and I suppose the Central Planning Board were
given the number of Jewish people that were taken out of
industry, were they not?

A. I do not know that. In the sessions at which I was
present -

Q. Do you not assume that that must have been the case if
they had to find the number of replacements. It must have
been so, must it not?

A. I cannot judge that because I only learned the total
number of men to be drafted, but independently of the Jewish
question. I will not venture an opinion, I do not know.

Q. Do you not know that Himmler and the SS told the Central
Planning Board the number of Jews that were being taken out
of industry for whom replacements were needed? You know that
as a fact, do you not?

A. No.

Q. You do not?

A. No. I know only that we received certain excerpts from
reports from the Reichsfuehrer SS that people were being
taken out of industry, and on the objection of the General
Plenipotentiary, who was to take care of replacements - I
remember that - this measure was cancelled in part.

Q. And you do know that one of the duties of the
Reichsfuehrer SS was to withdraw Jews from industry; you
know that.

A. I know from excerpts from reports that Jews were to be
withdrawn from industry.

THE TRIBUNAL (Mr. Biddle): That is all.

THE PRESIDENT: The witness may retire and the Tribunal will

(A recess was taken.)

HUBERT HILDEBRANDT, a witness, took the stand and testified
as follows:


Q. Will you state your full name.

A. Hubert Hildebrandt.

Q. Will you repeat this oath after me:

I swear by God, the Almighty and Omniscient, that I will
speak the pure truth and will withhold and add nothing.

(The witness repeated the oath.)

THE PRESIDENT: You may sit down.

                                                  [Page 242]



Q. Witness, you were working in the office of Sauckel, is
that correct?

A. Yes.

Q. You were subordinate to Timm. What was your special

A. In the Reich Ministry of Labour from 1930 I dealt with
questions concerning the employment of workers in the iron
and metal industry and the chemical and textile industries;
and after 1940 I also dealt with questions concerning
workers in the West.

Q. Regional questions of the West?

A. Yes, in France, Belgium, and Holland, part of those

Q. You must remember to pause before you answer. Did you
have any general information about what happened in
Sauckel's office?

A. No, I did not have any.

Q. But you participated in the staff conferences?

A. Yes, mostly I was present.

Q. And in that way you found out, to a certain extent, about
what happened in other offices?

A. Yes.

Q. I want to ask you especially about conditions in France.
What was the position of the General Plenipotentiary for the
Employment of Labour in France?

A. The General Plenipotentiary for the Employment of Labour
in France, just as in other occupied countries, had
appointed special agents who transmitted his wishes and
helped to carry out these wishes and his tasks. The
organization of the entire labour forces from the Occupied
Western Territories remained in the hands of the German
military or civil administrative offices there.

Q. So he did not have an organization of his own?

A. The first agent in France tried to establish an
organization of his own, but after. a short time, he met
with opposition from the German administrative offices, and
the offices which he had established in the meantime were
taken over by the military commander.

Q. What was the position of the military commander?

A. The military commander was, and remained responsible for
the entire labour assignment in his district, and also for
the labour forces sent from his district to Germany.

Q. What was the position of the German Embassy?

A. The German Embassy had the decisive say in all
negotiations which were to be carried out by the General
Plenipotentiary or his special agents with French Government

Q. What was the position of the French Government as regards
the Employment of Labour?

A. The French Government made agreements with the General
Plenipotentiary for the carrying out of his programmes and
ordered its own offices to carry out certain tasks,
especially when compulsory labour was introduced in France.
It published the necessary decrees and gave the necessary
directives to the subordinate offices.

Q. And who had the executive power to recruit labour? Was
that done by the French or the Germans?

A. One must distinguish between two periods. When it was
still a question of recruiting volunteers, until the autumn
of 1942 these volunteers could report to German offices as
well as to French offices, and also to recruiting offices
which had been established by German firms and partly by
branches of the German armed forces. After the introduction
of compulsory labour, the administrative executive for the
carrying out of the order rested only with the French

Q. And what happened when somebody did not report?

                                                  [Page 243]

A. Then they received a first summons to appear from the
French offices and then repeated summonses, and if these
proved to be unsuccessful, the French offices called the
French police into action.

Q. Were those who did not come brought before the courts?

A. I assume that that may have happened sometimes. I do not
know for certain.

Q. German or French courts?

A. French courts, according to French decree.

Q. What was your estimate of the number of voluntary workers
who came from France to Germany?

A. The number of voluntary workers from France, until the
middle of 1942 - but I can only give approximate figures
from memory -

Q. Please, just the approximate figure.

A. Something over 200,000. After the compulsory labour
decree had been introduced in the course of 1942, there were
still voluntary recruitments as well on a fairly large scale
at the same time. The number of volunteers was, at times,
considerably larger than the number of labour conscripts, so
that, all together, more than half of all the labour
recruited in France consisted of volunteers. It is
noticeable that women were only recruited if they
volunteered. There was no compulsory service for them.  With
regard to the service liabilities, moreover, it must be
pointed out that a large number of them were only formal. In
reality, these people had come voluntarily, but for economic
reasons or out of consideration for their relatives' and
friends in their home towns, they attached importance to
being conscripted. We had service liabilities which were
only put on an official basis afterwards. Such requests
reached the German labour officers, especially during the
last months before the end of the war; and the Foreign
Office requested the General Plenipotentiary to approve such
demands, which was then done.

Q. In your department, did you hear anything about
recruiting measures such as the surrounding of churches,
cinemas and similar places in France?

A. No, I do not know of any such recruiting measure. I only
know that in France as well as in Belgium, identity papers
were controlled amongst members of those age-groups which
had been called up to register.

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