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         Nazi Conspiracy & Aggression, Supplement B
                    XXII. Oswald Pohl*
Diversion of Concentration Camp Labor to Armament Industries

     Excerpts from Testimony of Oswald Pohl, taken at
     Nurnberg, Germany, 3 June 1946, 1400-1700, by Col.
     John Amen, Lt. Col. Smith W. Brookhart, Jr., and
     Robert M.W. Kempner. Also present: Lt. Joachim von
     Zastrow and Bert Stein, Interpreters; Anne
     Daniels, Reporter.

* Oswald Pohl held the following positions: Chief of
Administration and Economic Main Office of SS;
Ministerialdirektor of the Reich Ministry of the Interior;
SS-Obergruppenfuehrer; General of Waffen-SS. Pohl managed
to avoid capture until May 1946, when he was discovered
working on a farm in the disguise of a farmhand. He was
brought to Nurnberg and these interrogations ensued.

Q. Now  tell us when you took over the administration of
the concentration camps and how that came about.

A. At the occasion of a conversation which I had with
Himmler in the summer of 1942 -- and I had conversations
with him about every quarter of a year -- he said to me:
"Pohl, I have talked to Speer. The war is reaching its
climax; the demands of the armament industries are
becoming larger and larger, and the securing of the
necessary manpower is becoming more and more difficult.
Therefore, we have to try to commit this manpower which is
in the concentration camps into the armament industry to
an increased extent, and I have the intention of
transferring this task to you."

                                                 [Page 1581]

I asked him not to do that because, in the meantime, my
little office -- which at first had been just a small
office within the central office of the SS -- had, later
on, become an independent office for budget and
construction. Then, still later on, all the economic
questions became mixed up in it, and then it became the

I told him, therefore, that in this main office I had so
much to do already, because I also had under me the
administration of the entire Waffen SS, and of the General
SS. Those were about 50 large, independent enterprises.
Also, I had to carry out many special tasks concerning
Party and Reich matters. So the transfer to me of new and
additional tasks seemed impossible to me.

He told me, however, that the labor commitment of the
inmates was so important, and he had no other expert that
he could charge with that task, that therefore I would
have to do it, in the interest of armaments. He said he
would relieve me of all other matters connected with that
because Gruppenfuehrer Gluecks was remaining there.
Obergruppenfuehrer Eicke had been killed in action in the
meantime, and Gluecks was head of this agency, as
successor to Eicke.

Q. How soon did you do anything about using the manpower
which was needed by Speer in the armament industry?

A. The procedure was discussed with Himmler, but it was
done in this way. That was the reason for Himmler's
intervention. There was really no method about the thing
until that time. The small firms in the Reich that were in
want of workers, no matter what branch of the industry
they belonged to, addressed themselves to the Inspectorate
of the Concentration Camps. Then Gluecks or his
representatives allotted so many inmates to them. As a
consequence, that meant a strong decentralization of
manpower, which it was wished to prevent.

From that time on, Gluecks had to visit me in Berlin once
a week. He had to submit the requisitions from the firms
to me, and then I decided whether a firm was to get
laborers or not. If greater contingents were involved in
heavy industry, that is, hundreds of them, the Armaments
Ministry was consulted about it. That is, it went through
the Armaments Ministry.

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