The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

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   Nazi Conspiracy and Aggression, Volume One, Chapter Ten

                                                  [Page 921]

Sauckel bears special responsibility for the Nazi slave
labor program and the manner in which it was executed.
Sauckel was appointed as Plenipotentiary General for
Manpower because he was an old and trusted Nazi. He has
certified, on 17 November 1945, that he held the following

     "1. Member of Nationalsozialistischen Deutschen
     Arbeiterpartei (1925-1945). (Member of National
     Socialist German Workers Party. Member No. 1395.)
     2. Member of Reichstag (Mitglied des Reichstags) (1933-
     3. Gauleiter of Thuringia (1927-1945).
     4. Member of Thuringian legislature (Landtag) (1927-
     5. Minister of Interior and head of Thuringian State
     Ministry (May 1933).
     6. Reichsstatthater for Thuringia ( 1933-1945).
     7. SA Obergruppenfuehrer (November 1937-1945).
     8. SS Obergruppenfuehrer (January 1942-1945).
     9. Administrator Berlin-Suhler Waffen & Fahrzeugwerke
     10. Head of Gustloff-Werke Nationalsozialistische
     Industrie-Stiftung (1936). Honorary Head of Foundation.
                                                  [Page 922]
     11. General Plenipotentiary for Labor Allocation
     (Generalbevollmaechtigter fuer den Arbeitseinsatz) (21
     March 1942-1945)." (2974-PS)

Sauckel's official responsibilities are borne out by other
evidence. His appointment as Plenipotentiary-General for
Manpower was effected by a decree of 21 March 1942 signed by
Hitler, Lammers, and Keitel. By that decree (1666-PS)
Sauckel was given authority as well as responsibility
subordinate only to that of Hitler and Goering for all
matters relating to recruitment, allocation, and handling of
foreign and domestic manpower. Goering, to whom Sauckel was
directly responsible, abolished the recruitment and
allocation agencies for the Four Year Plan, delegated their
powers to Sauckel and placed his far-reaching authority, as
deputy for the Four Year Plan, at Sauckel's disposal. This
was the result of Goering's decree dated 27 March 1942 (1666-
PS) and providing as follows:

     "In pursuance of the Fuehrer's Decree of 21 March 1942
     (RGB1 I, 179), I decree as follows:
     "1. My manpower sections (Geschaeftsgruppen
     Arbeitseinsatz) are hereby abolished (circular letter
     of 22 October 1936/St M. Dev. 265). Their duties
     (recruitment and allocation of manpower, regulations
     for labor conditions (Arbeitsbedingungen) ) are taken
     over by the Plenipotentiary General for Arbeitseinsatz,
     who is directly under me.
     "2. The Plenipotentiary General for Arbeitseinsatz will
     be responsible for regulating the conditions of labor
     (wage policy) employed in the Reich Territory, having
     regard to the requirements of Arbeitseinsatz.
     "3. The Plenipotentiary General for Arbeitseinsatz is
     part of the Four Year Plan. In cases where new
     legislation is required, or existing laws required to
     be modified, he will submit appropriate proposals to
     "4. The Plenipotentiary General for Arbeitseinsatz will
     have at his disposal for the performance of his task
     the right delegated to me by the Fuehrer for issuing
     instructions to the higher Reich authorities, their
     branches and the Party offices, and their associated
     organisms and also the Reich Protector, the General-
     Governor, the Commander-in-Chief, and heads of the
     civil administrations. In the case of ordinances and
     instructions of fundamental importance a report is to
     be submitted to me in advance." (1666-PS)

By a Hitler decree of 30 September 1942 Sauckel was given

                                                  [Page 923]
extraordinary powers over the civil and military authorities
of the territories occupied by Germany. The decree (1903-PS)
provided as follows:

     "I herewith authorize the Deputy General for the
     Arbeitseinsatz, Reich-governor and district leader
     (Gauleiter) Fritz Sauckel to take all necessary
     measures for the enforcement of my decree referring to
     a Deputy General for the Arbeitseinsatz of 21 March
     1942 (Reichsgesetzblatt, I, page 179) according to his
     own judgment in the Greater German Reich, in the
     Protectorate, and in the Government General (General
     government) as well as in the occupied territories,
     measures which will safeguard under all circumstances
     the regulated deployment of labor (Geordneter
     Arbeitseinsatz) for the German war-economy. For this
     purpose he may appoint commissioners (Beauftragte) to
     the bureaux of the military and civilian
     administration. These are subordinated directly to
     Deputy General for the Arbeitseinsatz. In order to
     carry out their tasks, they are entitled to issue
     directives to the competent military and civilian
     authorities in charge of the Arbeitseinsatz and of wage-
     "More detailed directives will be issued by the Deputy
     General for the Arbeitseinsatz.
     "Fuehrer-Headquarters, 30 September 1942.
                                              "The Fuehrer "
                          (signed) Adolph Hitler." (1903-PS)
Within a month after his appointment, Sauckel sent Rosenberg
his "Labor Mobilization Program", which might more
appropriately be termed Sauckel's "Charter of Enslavement."
This program envisaged the forcible recruitment and the
maximum exploitation of the entire labor resources of the
conquered areas and of prisoners of war in the interests of
the Nazi war machine, at the lowest conceivable degree of
expenditure to the German State. Sauckel explained his plans
in these terms:

     "It must be emphasized, however, that an additional
     tremendous number of foreign labor has to be found for
     the Reich. The greatest pool for that purpose are the
     occupied territories of the East. Consequently, it is
     an immediate necessity to use the human reserves of the
     Conquered Soviet Territory to the fullest extent.
     Should we not succeed in obtaining the necessary amount
     of labor on a voluntary basis, we must immediately
     institute conscription or forced labor. "Apart from the
     prisoners of war still in the occupied territories, we
     must, therefore, requisition skilled or unskilled
                                                  [Page 924]
     male and female labor from the Soviet territory from
     the age of 15 up for the labor mobilization ***."
     "The complete employment of all prisoners of war as
     well as the use of a gigantic number of new foreign
     civilian workers, men and women, has become an
     undisputable necessity for the solution of the
     mobilization of labor program in this war." (016-PS)

Sauckel proceeded to implement this "Charter of Enslavement"
with certain basic directives. In Regulation No. 4, which he
issued on 7 May 1942, Sauckel provided that if voluntary
recruitment of foreign workers was unsuccessful, compulsory
service should be instituted. This regulation provides:

     "The recruitment of foreign labor will be done on the
     fundamental basis of volunteering. Where, however, in
     the occupied territories the appeal for volunteers does
     not suffice, obligatory service and drafting must,
     under all circumstances, be resorted to. This is an
     indisputable requirement of our labor situation." (3044-

Sauckel provided also for the allocation of foreign labor in
the order of its importance to the Nazi war machine.
Sauckel's regulation No. 10 of 22 August 1942 had these

     "*** 3. The resources of manpower that are available in
     the occupied territories are to be employed primarily
     to satisfy the requirements of importance for the war,
     in Germany itself. In allocating the said labor
     resources in-the Occupied Territories, the following
     order of priority will be observed:
     "(a) Labor required for the troops, the occupation
     authorities, and the civil authorities;
     "(b) Labor required for the German armaments
     "(c) Labor required for food and agriculture;
     "(d) Labor required for industrial work other than
     armaments, which is in the interest of Germany;
     "(e) Labor required for industrial work in the
     interests of the population of the territory in
     question." (3044-A-PS)

Sauckel and agencies subordinate to him exercised exclusive
authority over the recruitment of workers from every area in
Europe occupied by, controlled by, or friendly to the German
nation. Sauckel affirmed this authority in the following

     "The recruitment of foreign labor in the areas occupied
     by Germany, in allied, friendly or neutral states will
     be carried
                                                  [Page 925]
     out exclusively by my commissioners, or by the
     competent German military or civil agencies for the
     tasks of labor mobilization."
     "For the carrying out of recruitment in allied,
     friendly or neutral foreign countries, my commissioners
     are solely responsible." (3044-PS)

Sauckel participated in the formulation of overall labor
requirements for Germany and assigned quotas to be filled by
and with the assistance of the individuals and agencies
mentioned above, with knowledge that force and brutality
were the only means whereby his demands could be met. Thus,
the Lammer's report states (1292-PS):

     "1. A conference took place with the Fuehrer today
     which was attended by:
     "The Plenipotentiary for the Employment of Labor
     Gauleiter Sauckel,
     "The Secretary for Armament and War Production, Speer,
     "The Chief of the Supreme Command of the Army, General
     Field Marshal Keitel, General Field Marshal Milch,
     "The Acting Reich Minister for Food and Agriculture
     State Secretary Backe,
     "The Minister of the Interior, Reichsfuehrer SS
     Himmler, and myself.

(The Minister for Foreign Affairs and the Minister of
National Economy had repeatedly asked to be permitted to
participate prior to the Conference, but the Fuehrer did not
wish their attendance.)

     "The Fuehrer declared in his introductory remarks:
          'I want a clear picture:

          (1) How many workers are required for the
          maintenance of German War Economy?
          (a) For the maintenance of present output?
          (b) To increase its output?
          (2) How many workers can be obtained from Occupied
          Countries, or how many can still be gained in the
          Reich by suitable means (increased output)? For
          one thing, it is this matter of making up for
          losses by death, infirmity, the constant
          fluctuation of workers, and so forth, and further
          it is a matter of procuring additional workers.'
     "The Plenipotentiary for the Employment of Labor,
     Sauckel, declared that, in order to maintain the
     present pool of work-
                                                  [Page 926]
     ers, he would have to add at least 2 1/2 but probably 3
     million new workers in 1944. Otherwise production would
     fall off. Reichsminister Speer declared that he needs
     an additional 1.3 million laborers. However, this would
     depend on whether it will be possible to increase
     production of iron ore. Should this not be possible, he
     would need no additional workers. Procurement of
     additional workers from Occupied Territory would,
     however, be subject to the condition that these workers
     will not be withdrawn from armament and auxiliary
     industries already working there. For this would mean a
     decrease of production of these industries which he
     could not tolerate. Those, for instance, who are
     already working in France in industries mentioned
     above, must be protected against being sent to work in
     Germany by the Plenipotentiary for the Employment of
     Labor. The Fuehrer agreed with the opinions of
     Reichsminister Speer and emphasized that the measures
     taken by the Plenipotentiary for the Employment of
     Labor should order no circumstances which would lead to
     the withdrawal of workers from armament and auxiliary
     industries working in occupied territories, because
     such a shift of workers would only cause disturbance of
     production in occupied countries.

     "The Fuehrer further called attention to the fact that
     at least 250,000 laborers will be required for
     preparations against air attacks in the field of
     civilian air raid protection. For Vienna alone, 2,000-
     2,500 are required immediately. The Plenipotentiary for
     the Employment of Labor must add at least 4 million
     workers to the manpower pool, considering that he
     requires 2 1/2 million workers for maintenance of the
     present level, that Reich Minister Speer needs 1.3
     million additional workers, and that the above-
     mentioned preparations for security measures against
     air attacks call for 0.25 million laborers."
     "The Reichsfuehrer SS explained that the enforcement
     agents put at his disposal are extremely few, but that
     he would try helping the Sauckel project to succeed by
     increasing them and working them harder. The
     Reichsfuehrer SS made immediately available 2,000 to
     2,500 men from concentration camps for air raid
     preparations in Vienna."
     "Results of the Conference:
     "(1) The Plenipotentiary for Employment of Labor shall
                                                  [Page 927]
     procure at least 4 million new workers from occupied
     territories." (1292-PS)

Moreover, Sauckel, in requesting the assistance of the Army
for the recruitment of 1,00,000 men and women from the
occupied Eastern territories, informed Keitel that prompt
action was required; and that, as in all other occupied
countries, pressure had to be used if other measures were
not successful (3012-PS). Finally, Sauckel was informed by
Rosenberg that the enslavement of foreign labor was achieved
by force and brutality (018-PS). Notwithstanding his
knowledge of conditions, Sauckel continued to request
greater supplies of manpower from the areas in which the
most ruthless methods had been applied. Indeed, when German
Field Commanders on the Eastern Front attempted to resist
Sauckel's demands, because forced recruitment was swelling
the ranks of the partisans and making the army's task more
difficult, Sauckel sent a telegram to Hitler, dated 10 March
1943, in which he implored him to intervene:

     "Therefore, my Fuehrer, I ask you to abolish all orders
     which oppose the obligation of foreign workers for
     labor ***."
     "If the obligation for labor and the forced recruiting
     of workers in the East is not possible any more, then
     the German war industry and agriculture cannot fulfill
     their tasks to the full extent." (407-II-PS)

In addition-to being responsible for the recruitment of
foreign civilian labor by force, Sauckel was responsible for
the conditions under which foreign workers were deported to
Germany and for the treatment to which they were subjected
within Germany. The conditions under which Sauckel's slaves
were transported to Germany, were known to Sauckel (2241-
PS). Moreover, he accepted responsibility for these
conditions. Regulation Number 4 of 7 May 1942, issued by
Sauckel as Plenipotentiary General for the Mobilization of
Labor, deals with recruitment, care, lodging, feeding, and
treatment of foreign workers of both sexes (3044-PS). By
this decree, Sauckel expressly directed that the assembly
and operation of rail transports and the supplying of food
therefor was the responsibility of his agents until the
transports arrived in Germany. By the same regulation,
Sauckel directed that within Germany the care of foreign
industrial workers was to be carried out by the German Labor
Front and that care of foreign agricultural workers was to
be carried out by the Reich Food Administration. By the
terms of the regulation, Sauckel reserved for himself
ultimate responsibility for all aspects of care, treat-

                                                  [Page 928]
ment, lodging, and feeding of foreign workers while in
transit to and within Germany. The regulation reads (3044-

     "The care of foreign labor will be carried out.

     "a. up to the Reichs border
          "by my commissioners or -- in the occupied areas
          by the competent military or civil labor
          mobilization agencies. Care of the labor will be
          carried out in cooperation with the respective
          competent foreign organization.
     "b. Within the area of the Reich
          "1. By the German Labor Front in the cases of
          nonagricultural workers.
          "2. By the Reich Food administration in the case
          of agricultural workers.
          "The German Labor Front and the German Food
          Administration are bound by my directives in the
          carrying out of their tasks of caring for-the
     "The agencies of the labor mobilization administration
     are to give far-reaching support to the German Labor
     Front and the German Food Administration in the
     fulfillment of their assigned tasks.
     "My competence for the execution of the care of foreign
     labor is not prejudiced by the assignment of these
     tasks to the German Labor Front and the Reichs Food
     "b. Composition and operation of the transports.
     "The composition and operations of the transports up to
     the place of work is the task of my representatives, in
     the occupied territories of the labor mobilization
     agencies of the military and civil administration. In
     the countries in which foreign representatives are to
     direct the transports up to the frontier, the German
     recruiting agency must take part in the supervision and
     care of the transports."
     "c. Supply for the Transports.
     "The food supply for the industrial workers in transit
     within the Reich, is the duty of the (DAF) German
     workers front, office for labor mobilization.
     For the rest, my offices effect the supply for the
     transport." (3044-PS)

Sauckel, in an agreement with Ley, the head of the German
Labor Front (DAF) dated 2 June 1943, again emphasized his
ultimate responsibility by creating a central inspectorate
charged with examining the working and living conditions of

                                                  [Page 929]
workers, and reporting thereon to Sauckel's agency (1913-
PS). The agreement reads in part as follows:

     "*** 2. The Reichsleiter of the German Labor Front,
     Reichsorganisationleiter Dr. Ley, in collaboration with
     the Plenipotentiary General for the Arbeitseinsatz,
     Gauleiter Sauckel, will establish a 'central
     inspection' for the continuous supervision of all
     measures concerning the care of the foreign workers
     mentioned under 1. This will have the designation:
      'Central inspection for care of foreign workers.'
     "The central inspection for the care of foreign workers
     exercises its functions upon directives and in the name
     of the Plenipotentiary General for the Arbeitseinsatz
     and of the Reichsleiter of the German Labor Front. In
     order to avoid all duplication of work, it will be its
     sole responsibility, to scrutinize all measures taken
     for the care of foreign workers employed in the
     factories and camps, also to remove immediately all
     defects discovered -- as far as possible -- on the spot
     and to issue the necessary instructions for this.
     "The authority of the Plenipotentiary General for the
     Arbeitseinsatz to empower the members of his staff and
     the presidents of the state employment offices to get
     direct information on the conditions regarding-the
     employment of foreigners in the factories and camps,
     will remain untouched.
     "3. The central inspection for the care of foreign
     workers will be continuously in touch with the main
     office VI of the Plenipotentiary General for the
     Arbeitseinsatz. It will instruct the office on the
     general observations made and will make suggestions for
     changes, if that should become necessary.
     "4. The offices of the administration of the
     Arbeitseinsatz will be constantly informed by the
     'central inspection for the care of foreign workers' of
     its observations, in particular immediately in each
     case in which action of State organizations seems to be
     necessary." (1913-PS)
Sauckel was also responsible for compelling citizens of the
occupied countries against their will to manufacture
implements of war for use in operations against their own
country and its allies These functions were included in the
terms of Sauckel's appointment. (1666-PS)

In a series of reports to Hitler, Sauckel described how
successful he had been in carrying out his program. One such

                                                  [Page 930]
dated 14 April 1943, states that in a single year Sauckel
had incorporated 1,622,829 prisoners of war into the German

     "My Fuehrer,
     "1. After having been active as Plenipotentiary for
     Arbeitseinsatz for one year I have the honor to report
     to you that 3,638,056 new foreign workers have been
     added to the German war economy between April 1st. of
     the last year and March 31st of this year."
     "Besides the foreign civilian workers another 1,622,829
     prisoners of war are employed in the German economy."

A subsequent report dated 3 June 1943, states that 846,511
additional foreign laborers and prisoners of war were
incorporated into the German war industry:

     "My Fuehrer:
     "1. I beg to be permitted to report to you on the
     situation of the Arbeitseinsatz for the first five
     months of 1943. For the first time the following number
     of new foreign laborers and prisoners of war were
     employed in the German war industry: *** Total:
     846,511". (407-IX-PS)

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