The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

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   Nazi Conspiracy and Aggression, Volume Two, Chapter XIV

                                                  [Page 793]

(1) The prisoners of war and foreign laborers at the Krupp
works were undernourished and forced to work on a virtual
starvation diet.

(a) In a memorandum upon Krupp stationery to Mr. Hupe,
Director of the Krupp locomotive factory in Essen, dated 14
March 1942 and entitled "Employment of Russians", it was

     "During the last few days we have established that the
     food for the Russians employed here is so miserable,
     that the people are getting weaker from day to day.
     "Investigations showed that single Russians are not
                                                  [Page 794]
     to place a piece of metal for turning into position for
     instance, because of lack of physical strength. The
     same conditions exist at all places of work where
     Russians are employed." (D-316)

(b) In a memorandum dated 18 March 1942, the following was
reported from the Krupp armoured car repair shop:

     "I got the food this evening after Mr. Balz telephoned,
     but I had quite a struggle with the people responsible
     in the camp before I got anything at all. They always
     told me that the people had already received the day's
     rations and there wasn't any more. What the gentlemen
     understand under a day's ration is a complete puzzle to
     me. The food as a whole was a puzzle too, because they
     ladled me out the thinnest of any already watery soup.
     It was literally water with a handful of turnips and it
     looked as if it were washing up
     "Please tell Mr. Balz again definitely so that the
     matter is finally cleared up, that it cannot continue
     having people perish here at work." (D-310)
(c) In a memorandum dated 20 March 1942 to Mr. Ihn, one of
the Krupp Directors, Dinkelacker, a Krupp official, wrote:

                                                  [Page 795]
     "The Deputy Works Manager Mr. Mustin, who also employs
     a number of such Russian workers and who is quite
     satisfied with their performance, went to the camp in
     Kramerplatz on my inducement and had a talk with Mr.
     Welberg, the Camp Commandant. Mr. Hassel from the Works
     Police who was present at the time, butted in and
     declared that one should not believe what the people
     said. Also that one was dealing with Bolsheviks and
     they ought to have beatings substituted for food." (D-

(d) In a memorandum dated 26 March 1942, to Mr. Hupe
concerning the use of Russian prisoners of war and civilian
workers, it was reported:

     "The reason why the Russians are not capable of
     production is, in my opinion, that the food which they
     are given will never give them the strength for working
     which you hope for. The food one day, for instance,
     consisted of a watery soup with cabbage leaves and a
     few pieces of turnip. The punctual appearance of the
     food leaves a good deal to be desired too." (D-297)

(e) In a memorandum dated 8 December 1942, Haller, a Krupp
official, wrote:

                                                  [Page 795]
     "The complaints from our foreign workers about
     insufficient food have increased lately. ***"
     "We experienced a very forcible confirmation of these
     complaints the other day when we drew the food for the
     Eastern workers from the kitchen in Kramerplatz. On 5
     December 1942 the midday meal contained unpeeled, whole
     potatoes which were not even properly cooked; on 7
     December 1942, there was soup on which cabbage leaves
     floated, the sight of which made me feel sick." (D-366)

(f) Dr. Jaeger, senior camp doctor in the Krupps' workers'
camps, has stated under oath that not only did the plan for
food distribution to foreign workers call for a very small
quantity of meat every week, but also that they received
only contaminated meats rejected by the health authorities,
such as horse or tuberculin infested meat (D-288).

(2) The prisoners of war and foreign workers at the Krupp
factories were forced to live in grossly overcrowded hutted
camps and otherwise were denied adequate shelter.

(a) In a sworn statement, Dr. Jaeger, senior camp doctor of
the Krupp workers' camps, has stated with respect to the
Krupp camps at which the eastern workers and Poles were

     "Conditions in all these camps were extremely bad. The
     camps were greatly overcrowded. In some camps there
     were over twice as many people in a barrack as health
     conditions permitted-''
     "Sanitary conditions were exceedingly bad. At
     Kramerplatz, where approximately 1,200 eastern workers
     were crowded into the rooms of an old school, the
     sanitary conditions were atrocious in the extreme. Only
     10 children's toilets were available for the 1,200
     inhabitants. At Dechenschule, 15 children's toilets
     were available for the 400-500 eastern workers.
     Excretion contaminated the entire floors of these
     lavatories. There were also very few facilities for

(b) Statistics upon the Krupp camps compiled by Krupp
officials in 1942 for the Essen health authorities show that
in the Krupp Seumannstrasse camp 1784 beds were compressed
into a ! surface area of 7844 square meters; in the Krupp
Bottropertrasse camp 874 beds were crowded into a surface
area of 3585 square meters; and that in other Krupp camps
the congestion was even greater (D-143).

                                                  [Page 796]

(c) In a memorandum dated 12 June 1944, Dr. Stinnesbeck, a
doctor retained by the Krupp works, reported, with respect
to the Krupp prisoner of war camp at Noggerathstrasse that:

     "315 prisoners are still accommodated in the camp. 170
     of these are no longer in barracks but in the tunnel in
     Grunerstrasse under the Essen-Mulheim railway line.
     This tunnel is damp and is not suitable for continued
     accommodation of human beings. The rest of the
     prisoners are accommodated in 10 different factories in
     Krupps works." (D-335)

(d) In a special medical report marked "strictly
confidential", dated 2 September 1944, concerning the same
prisoner of war camp, Dr. Jaeger

"The P. O. W. camp in the Noggerathstrasse is in a frightful
condition. The people live in ash bins, dog kennels, old
baking ovens and in self-made huts." (D-339).

(3) The prisoners of war and foreign workers at the Krupp
factories were denied adequate clothing.

(a) Dr. Jaeger, senior camp doctor in Krupps' workers'
camps, has stated under oath:

     "The clothing of the eastern workers was likewise
     completely inadequate. They worked and slept in the
     same clothing in which they had arrived from the east.
     Virtually all of them had no overcoats and were
     compelled, therefore, to use their blankets as coats in
     cold and rainy weather. In view of the shortage of
     shoes, many workers were forced to go to work in their
     bare feet, even in the winter. Wooden shoes were given
     to some of the workers, but their quality was such as
     to give the workers sore feet. Many workers preferred
     to go to work in their bare feet rather than endure the
     suffering caused by the wooden shoes. Apart from the
     wooden shoes, no clothing of any kind was issued to the
     workers until the latter part of 1943, when a single
     blue work suit was issued to some of them. To my
     knowledge, this represented the sole issue of clothing
     to the workers from the time of their arrival until the
     American forces entered Essen." (D-288)

(b) In a memorandum to Mr. Ihn, a Krupp director, dated 20
October 1942, Dr. Wiehle, head of the Krupp hospital in
Essen, wrote:

     "It has already been pointed out several times at
     conferences that the clothing for Eastern workers, men
     and women, is not sufficient. With regard to the cold
     weather, the camp
                                                  [Page 797]
     physician today called our attention to the fact that
     the number of colds is going up because of the question
     of insufficient clothing.
     "Many of the men and women still have to go barefooted.
     They have no underwear and it often happens that people
     who wear foot bandages because of injuries walk
     barefooted on these bandages." (D-271; see also D-355,

(4) Prisoners of war and foreign laborers at the Krupp works
were denied adequate medical care and treatment, and as a
consequence, suffered severely from a multitude of diseases
and ailments.

(a) In the above mentioned affidavit, Dr. Jaeger has stated:

     "The percentage of eastern workers who were ill was
     twice as great as among the Germans. Tuberculosis was
     particularly widespread among the eastern workers. The
     T.B. rate among them was 4 times the normal rate (2%
     eastern workers, Germans .5%). At Dechenschule
     approximately 2 l/2% of the workers suffered from open
     T.B. These were all active T.B. cases. The Tartars and
     Kirghiz suffered most; as soon as they were overcome by
     this disease they collapsed like flies. The cause was
     bad housing, the poor quality and insufficient quantity
     of food, overwork, and insufficient rest.
     "These workers were likewise afflicted with spotted
     fever. Lice, the carrier of this disease, together with
     countless fleas, bugs and other vermin, tortured the
     inhabitants of these camps. As a result of the filthy
     conditions of the camps nearly all eastern workers were
     afflicted with skin disease. The shortage of food also
     caused many cases of Hunger-Odem, Nephritis and
     "It was the general rule that workers were compelled to
     go to work unless a camp doctor had prescribed that
     they were unfit for work. At Seumannstrasse,
     Grieperstrasse, Germaniastrasse, Kapitan-Lehmanstrasse,
     and Dechenschule, there was no daily sick call. At
     these camps, the doctors did not appear for two or
     three days. As a consequence, workers were forced to go
     to work despite illnesses."
     "At the end of 1943, or the beginning of 1944,I am not
     completely sure of the exact date -- I obtained
     permission for the first time to visit the prisoner of
     war camps. My inspection revealed that conditions at
     these camps were even
                                                  [Page 798]
     worse than those I had found at the camps of the
     eastern workers in 1942. Medical supplies at such camps
     were virtually non-existent. In an effort to cure this
     intolerable situation, I contacted the Wehrmacht
     authorities whose duty it was to provide medical care
     for the prisoners of war. My persistent efforts came to
     nothing. After visiting and pressing them over a period
     of two weeks, I was given a total of 100 aspirin
     tablets for over 3,000 prisoners of war." (D-288)

(b) In a memorandum dated 7 May 1943, prepared at the Krupp
hospital, entitled "Deaths of Eastern Workers," report was
made of the death of 54 "eastern workers." Of this number,
38 died of tuberculosis, 2 of undernourishment, and 2 of
intestinal disease. (D-283)

(c) In his "strictly confidential" report concerning the
prisoner of war camp at Noggerathstrasse, Dr. Jaeger

     "The food is barely sufficient. Krupp is responsible
     for housing and feeding. The supply of medicine and
     bandages is so extremely bad that proper medical
     treatment was not possible in many cases. This fact is
     detrimental to the P. W. camp. It is astonishing that
     the number of sick is not higher than it is and it
     moves between 9 and 10 percent." (D-339; also D-313).

(d) In a special medical report dated 28 July 1944, Dr.
Jaeger wrote:

     "The sick barrack in Camp Rabenhorst is in such bad
     condition, one cannot speak of a sick barrack anymore.
     The rain leaks through in every corner. The housing of
     the ill is therefore impossible. The necessary labour
     for production is in danger because those persons who
     are ill cannot recover. ***" (D-338).

(5) Russian juveniles were compelled to work at the Krupp
factories, and prisoners of war and foreign workers were
generally forced to work long hours, to and beyond the point
of exhaustion.

(a) In a memorandum marked "secret", dated 14 August 1942,
Reiff, a Krupp official, wrote:

     "*** I am under the impression that the better Russian
     workers are first of all chosen for the works in
     Central and Eastern Germany. We really get the bad
     remainders only. Just now 600 Russians, consisting of
     450 women and 150 juveniles, 14 years of age, arrived."
     (D-348; similar proof is contained in D-281).

                                                  [Page 799]
(b) In a memorandum from the Chief of the Krupp Camp
Catering Department, it is stated:

*** It is to be considered that foreigners must work 12
hours on principle out of which, 1 hour counts as a break
and consequently will not be paid." (D-233; for evidence
concerning complete exhaustion of foreign workers and
prisoners of war, see D-313).

(6) The prisoners of war and foreign laborers used at the
Krupp works were beaten, tortured, and subjected to inhuman

(a) In a sworn statement, Heinrich Buschhauer has stated:

     "*** I admit that I hit Russians. The Russians were
     very willing and attentive. The clothing of the
     Russians was very bad and torn. Their feet were wrapped
     in rags. The appearance of the people was bad, they
     were thin and pale. Their cheeks had fallen in
     completely. In spite of this, I was forced to ill-treat
     the people on the orders of works manager Theile. I
     have boxed the people's ears and beaten them with a 3/4
     rubber tube and a wooden stick. *** The more energetic
     I went against these people, the more the Works Manager
     liked it. I *** had to drive and beat the Russians in
     order to get increased production from them. At times,
     I had up to two thousand foreigners under me. The
     Russians could not possibly work more than they did,
     because the food was too bad and too little. The Works
     management, however, wanted to get still higher
     performance from them. It often happened that the
     Russians, so utterly weakened, collapsed. ***"
     "The conditions which I have described above continued
     the whole of the years I was in the boiler making
     department. On 20 February 1943, I was transferred from
     the boiler making shop to Nidia." (D-105).

(b) Walter Thoene, a Krupp employee, likewise admitted in a
sworn statement that he constantly beat foreign workers. He

     "I admit that I punched and beat Hungarian Jewesses who
     I had to supervise in No. 3 Steel Moulding Shop. I did
     not do this of my own free will but was ordered to do
     so by my works manager Reif, who was a Party Member
     like I was. Almost every day this unscrupulous man held
     me to it in no mistakable manner to driving on these
     Jewesses and getting
                                                  [Page 800]
     better performances from them. He also always
     emphasized that I should not be trivial in the choice
     of means, and if necessary, hit them like hitting a
     piece of cold iron. As soon as I saw that these women
     were standing near the ovens, I had to drive them back
     to their work." (D-355)

Comparable admission were made by August Kleinschmidt,
another Krupp employee. (D-306)

(c) Dr. Apolinary Gotowicki, a doctor in the Polish Army,
who was taken a prisoner of war and in that capacity
attended some Russian, Polish and French prisoners of war at
the Krupp factories, has stated under oath:

     "*** Every day, at least 10 people were brought to me
     whose bodies were covered with bruises on account of
     the continual beatings with rubber tubes, steel
     switches or sticks. The people were often writhing with
     agony and it was impossible for me to give them even a
     little medical aid. *** I could notice people daily who
     on account of hunger or ill-treatment, were slowly
     dying. Dead people often lay for 2 or 3 days on the
     pailliases until their bodies stank so badly that
     fellow prisoners took them outside and buried them
     somewhere. *** I have seen with my own eyes the
     prisoners coming back from Krupps and how they
     collapsed on the march and had to be wheeled back on
     barrows or carried by their comrades. *** The work
     which they had to perform was very heavy and dangerous
     and many cases happened where people had cut their
     fingers, hands or legs. These accidents were very
     serious and the people came to me and asked me for
     medical help. But it wasn't even possible for me to
     keep them from work for a day or two, although I had
     been to the Krupp directorate and asked for permission
     to do so. At the end of 1941, 2 people died daily and
     in 1942 the deaths increased to 3-4 per day." (D-313)

(d) A particular form of torture which was inflicted upon
Russian workers was a steel cabinet specially manufactured
by Krupp, into which workers were thrown after beatings. The
cabinets are shown in photographs attached to a sworn
statement wherein it is stated:

     "Photograph 'A' shows an iron cupboard which was
     specially manufactured by the Firm of Krupp to torture
     Russian civilian workers to such an extent that it is
     impossible to describe. Men and women were often locked
     in one compartment of the cupboard, in which a man
     could scarcely stand,
                                                  [Page 801]
     for long periods. The measurements of this compartment
     are height 1.52 meters, breadth and depth 40 to 50 cm.
     each. In fact, people were often kicked and pressed
     into one compartment in pairs. At the top of the
     cupboard, there were sieve-like air holes through which
     cold water was poured on the unfortunate victims during
     the ice-cold winter." (D-82; for further evidence of
     constant beatings of foreign workers, see D-253, D-312,
     D-354, and D-267).

(e) Records found in the Krupp files plainly indicate that
the practice of beating and torturing prisoners of war and
foreign workers was deliberately prescribed by Krupp
officials. Steel switches which were used to beat the
workers were distributed pursuant to the instructions of
Kupke, head of the Krupp camps for foreign workers (D-230).
In a memorandum dated 19 March 1942, from the Krupp Works
Catering Department, it was said:

     *** With regards to the times ahead it seems desirable
     to us, to draw attention to the authorities concerned,
     with the necessary pressure, to the fact that only
     severest treatment of the French prisoners of war will
     ensure that they maintain their performance even with
     the present food position, which is the same for German

As previously shown, Hassel, an official in the Krupp works
police, stated that the Russians "ought to have beatings
substituted for food" (D-318).

(7) The Krupp companies specifically requested and actively
sought out the employment of prisoners of war and foreign

(a) In a memorandum dated 13 July 1942 by Weinhold, a Krupp
official, complaint was registered over the fact that "the
reign laborers are only available two to three months after
they have been asked for by us." (D-281).

b) In a letter to the Krupp firm dated 27 August 1942,
Colonel Zimmerman of the Oberkommando des Heeres, said:
     "According to our estimate, there ought to be enough
     workers in your ignitor workshops to reach the demanded
     production figure. This especially, as the 105
     Russians, demanded by your firm at the Conference of
     the special committee M 111 on the 24 April 1942, were
     assigned to your works at the beginning of June re-
     letter from Wa J Ru (Mun. 2). ***
     "Unfortunately, I found out at the sitting of the
     special committee M 111 on the 26 August 1942 that the
     firm of Krupp asks for another 55 workers, including 25
     skilled labourers, with-
                                                  [Page 802]
     out having a corresponding raise in the production
     figures. I cannot judge from here, what the reasons for
     this are." (D-345)

(c) In a memorandum dated 21 December 1942 concerning the
possibility of the Krupp works obtaining additional
conscripted French workers, Dr. Lehmann, a Krupp official,

     "*** We discussed how far it would be possible for
     complete shifts of workers conscripted from French
     factories to be transferred to Essen. We are to
     collaborate as far as practicable in the splitting up
     of our requirements amongst individual military
     government offices and military police posts. So far as
     possible one of our representatives is to assist in the
     selection from amongst the conscripts." (D-196; see
     also D-280).

(8) Concentration camp laborers, who were brought to the
Krupp works at the request of Krupp officials, were
subjected to persecution, degradation, despoilment, and
torture in a manner similar to that of prisoners of war and
slave laborers.

(a) Mr. Ihn, a director of the Krupp firm, has stated in a
signed but unsworn statement, that the Krupp firm first
asked for concentration camp labor on 22 September 1942, and
that the first group of them arrived "in the summer or
autumn of 1944" (D-274).

(b) The fact that concentration camp labor was requested by
the Krupp works; that such persons were to be confined
behind barbed wire enclosures; and that they were to be
closely guarded by SS personnel is further shown in a
memorandum entitled "Visit of the Director of Distribution
of Workers of the Weimar-Buchenwald Concentration Camp; SS
Hauptsturmfuehrer Schwarz on 26-74", written by Trockel, a
Krupp official. In the course of this memorandum, Trockel

     "Herr Schwarz came on behalf of his Commandant SS
     Standartenfuehrer Pister to talk over with us, the
     question of employment of Kl detainees. He pointed out
     that the employment of men could not be reckoned with
     for a considerable period. Our last request was for 700
     "As not less than 500 women would be assigned, we
     agreed that the figure should remain at 500 women. in
     order that the assignment should not be endangered.
     "*** The main things are the erection of a barbed
                                                  [Page 803]
     wire fence in front of the hall which allows a small
     exit and the erection of a small barracks for the
     Commander of the guard and his duty office and for the
     German female guard personnel. ***"

     "The SS are providing a guard consisting of guard
     commander and 10 men. For 520 women we have to name
     approx. 45 German women who will be sworn in to the SS,
     given 3 weeks training in the women's camp at
     Ravensbruck and then given full official supervision
     duties by the SS. ***" (D-238)

(c) Dr. Jaeger, senior camp doctor in the Krupp camps, has
described conditions at the camp which the Krupp works
maintained for concentration camp labor as follows:

     "Camp Humboldstrasse had been inhabitated by Italian
     prisoners of war. After it had been destroyed by an air
     raid, the Italians were removed and 600 Jewish females
     from Buchenwald Concentration Camp were brought in to
     work at the Krupp factories. Upon my first visit at
     Camp Humboldstrasse, I found these females suffering
     from open festering wounds and other diseases.
     "I was the first doctor they had seen for at least a
     fortnight. There was no doctor in attendance at the
     camp. There were no medical supplies in the camp. They
     had no shoes and went about in their bare feet. The
     sole clothing of each consisted of a sack with holes
     for their arms and head. Their hair was shorn. The camp
     was surrounded by barbed wire and closely guarded by SS
     "The amount of food in the camp was extremely meagre
     and of very poor quality. The houses in which they
     lived consisted of the ruins of former barracks and
     they afforded no shelter against rain and other weather
     conditions. I reported to my superiors that the guards
     lived and slept outside their barracks as one could not
     enter them without being attacked by 10, 20 and up to
     30 fleas. One camp doctor employed by me refused to
     enter the camp again after he had been bitten very
     badly. I visited this camp with a Mr. Grono on two
     occasions and both times we left the camp badly bitten.
     We had great difficulty in getting rid of the fleas and
     insects which had attacked us. As a result of this
     attack by insects of this camp, I got large boils on my
     arms and the rest of my body. I asked my superiors at
     the Krupp works
                                                  [Page 804]
     to undertake the necessary steps to delouse the camp so
     as to put an end to this unbearable, vermin-infested
     condition. Despite this report, I did not find any
     improvement in sanitary conditions at the camp on my
     second visit a fortnight later." (D-288)

(d) The conditions under which the concentration camp
workers existed at the Krupp camps and factories and the
indignities and barbarities to which they were subjected are
vividly described in affidavits by such workers (D-256; D-
277; D-272). In general, the affidavits disclose that these
concentration camp laborers slept on bare floors of damp,
windowless and lightless cellars; that they had no water for
drinking or cleansing purposes; that they were compelled to
do work far beyond their strength; that they were
mercilessly beaten; that they were given one wretched meal a
day, consisting of a dirty watery soup with a thin slice of
black bread; and that many of them died from starvation,
tuberculosis and overexertion. A chart entitled "Fried.
Krupp Berthawerk, Markstaedt Breslau, Number of Occupied
Foreigners, Prisoners of War and Concentration Camp Inmates"
shows the use of concentration camp labor at that factory,
as well as at the above-mentioned Krupp company in Essen (D-

(9) Charts prepared by Krupp officials show that in
September 1943, the Krupp concerns employed 39,245 foreign
workers and 11,224 prisoners of war, and that the number
mounted steadily until September 1944, when 54,990 foreign
workers and 18,902 prisoners of war were used (Chart
entitled "Foreigners and Prisoners of War of the Krupp
Concern"; chart entitled "Cast Steel Works, Number of
Prisoners of War and Foreigners", not here reproduced.) The
majority of the foreign laborers consisted of Russians,
French, Poles, and Dutch.

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