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                           of the
               International Military Tribunal
                           For The
             Trial of German Major War Criminals

               His Majesty's Stationery Office

                                                   [Page 56]

                     SLAVE LABOUR POLICY

Article 6 (b) of the Charter provides that the "ill-
treatment or deportation to slave labor or for any other
purpose, of civilian population of or in, occupied
territory" shall be a War Crime. The laws relating to forced
labor by the inhabitants of occupied territories are found
in Article 52 of the Hague Convention, which provides:--

                                                   [Page 57]
     "Requisition in kind and services shall not be
     demanded from municipalities or inhabitants except
     for the needs of the army of occupation. They
     shall be in proportion to the resources of the
     country, and of such a nature as not to involve
     the inhabitants in the obligation of taking part
     in military operations against their own country."

The policy of the German occupation authorities was in
flagrant violation of the terms of this convention. Some
idea of this policy may be gathered from the statement made
by Hitler in a speech on the 9th November, 1941:

     "The territory which now works for us contains
     more than 250 million men, but the territory which
     works indirectly for us includes now more than 350
     million. In the measure in which it concerns
     German territory, the domain which we have taken
     under our administration, it is not doubtful that
     we shall succeed in harnessing the very last man
     to this work."

The actual results achieved were not so complete as this,
but the German occupation authorities did succeed in forcing
many of the inhabitants of the occupied territories to work
for the German war effort, and in deporting at least 5
million persons to Germany to serve German industry and

In the early stages of the war, manpower in the occupied
territories was under the control of various occupation
authorities, and the procedure varied from country to
country. In all the occupied territories compulsory labor
service was promptly instituted. Inhabitants of the occupied
countries were conscripted and compelled to work in local
occupations, to assist the German war economy. In many cases
they were forced to work on German fortifications and
military installations. As local supplies of raw materials
and local industrial capacity became inadequate to meet the
German requirements, the system of deporting laborers to
Germany was put into force. By the middle of April, 1940,
compulsory deportation of laborers to Germany had been
ordered in the Government General; and a similar procedure
was followed in other eastern territories as they were
occupied. A description of this compulsory deportation from
Poland was given by Himmler. In an address to SS officers he
recalled how in weather 40 degrees below zero they had to
"haul away thousands, tens of thousands, hundreds of
thousands". On a later occasion Himmler stated:

     "Whether 10000 Russian females fall down from
     exhaustion while digging an anti-tank ditch
     interests me only insofar as the anti-tank ditch
     for Germany is finished .... We must realize that
     we have 6-7 million foreigners in Germany ....
     They are none of them dangerous so long as we take
     severe measures at the merest trifles."

During the first two years of the German occupation of
France, Belgium, Holland, and Norway, however, an attempt
was made to obtain the necessary workers on a voluntary
basis. How unsuccessful this was may be seen from the report
of the meeting of the Central Planning Board on 1st March,
1944. The representative of the defendant Speer, one Koehrl,
speaking of the situation in France, said:

     "During all this time a great number of Frenchmen
     was recruited and voluntarily went to Germany."

He was interrupted by the defendant Sauckel:

     "Not only voluntary, some were recruited forcibly."

To which Koehrl replied:

     "The calling up started after the recruitment no
     longer yielded enough results."

                                                   [Page 58]

To which the defendant Sauckel replied:

     "Out of the five million workers who arrived in
     Germany, not even 20,0000 came voluntarily"

and Koehrl rejoined:--

     "Let us forget for the moment whether or not some
     slight pressure was used. Formally, at least, they
     were volunteers."

Committees were set up to encourage recruiting, and a
vigorous propaganda campaign was begun to induce workers to
volunteer for service in Germany. This propaganda campaign
included, for example, the promise that a prisoner of war
would be returned for every laborer who volunteered to go to
Germany. In some cases it was supplemented by withdrawing
the ration cards of laborers who refused to go to Germany,
or by discharging them from their jobs and denying them
unemployment benefit or an opportunity to work elsewhere. In
some cases workers and their families were threatened with
reprisals by the police if they refused to go to Germany. It
was on the 21st March, 1942, that the defendant Sauckel was
appointed Plenipotentiary-General for the Utilization of
Labor, with authority over "all available manpower,
including that of workers recruited abroad, and of prisoners
of war".

The defendant Sauckel was directly under the defendant
Goering as Commissioner of the Four Year Plan, and a Goering
decree of the 27th March, 1942 transferred all his authority
over manpower to Sauckel. Sauckel's instructions, too, were
that foreign labor should be recruited on a voluntary basis,
but also provided that "where, however, in the occupied
territories, the appeal for volunteers does not suffice,
obligatory service and drafting must under all circumstances
be resorted to." Rules requiring labor service in Germany
were published in all the occupied territories. The number
of laborers to be supplied was fixed by Sauckel, and the
local authorities were instructed to meet these requirements
by conscription if necessary. That conscription was the rule
rather than the exception is shown by the statement of
Sauckel already quoted, on 1st March, 1944.

The defendant Sauckel frequently asserted that the workers
belonging to foreign nations were treated humanely, and that
the conditions in which they lived were good. But whatever
the intention of Sauckel may have been, and however much he
may have desired that foreign laborers should be treated
humanely, the evidence before the Tribunal establishes the
fact that the conscription of labor was accomplished in many
cases by drastic and violent methods. The "mistakes and
blunders" were on a very great scale. Man-hunts took place
in the streets, at motion picture houses, even at churches
and at night in private houses. Houses were sometimes burnt
down, and the families taken as hostages, practices which
were described by the defendant Rosenberg as having their
origin "in the blackest periods of the slave trade". The
methods used in obtaining forced labor from the Ukraine
appear from an order issued to SD officers which stated:

     "It will not be possible always to refrain from
     using force .... When searching villages,
     especially when it has been necessary to burn down
     a village, the whole population will be put at the
     disposal of the Commissioner by force .... As a
     rule no more children will be shot. If we limit
     harsh measures through the above orders for the
     time being, it is only done for the following
     reason .... The most important thing is the
     recruitment of workers."

                                                   [Page 59]

The resources and needs of the occupied countries were
completely disregarded in carrying out this policy. The
treatment of the laborers was governed by Sauckel's
instructions of the 20th April, 1942, to the effect that:
"All the men must be fed, sheltered and treated in such a
way as to exploit them to the highest possible extent, at
the lowest conceivable degree of expenditure."

The evidence showed that workers destined for the Reich were
sent under guard to Germany, often packed in trains without
adequate heat, food, clothing, or sanitary facilities. The
evidence further showed that the treatment of the laborers
in Germany in many cases was brutal and degrading. The
evidence relating to the Krupp Works at Essen showed that
punishments of the most cruel kind were inflicted on the
workers. Theoretically at least the workers were paid,
housed, and fed by the DAF, and even permitted to transfer
their savings and to send mail and parcels back to their
native country; but restrictive regulations took a
proportion of the pay; the camps in which they were housed
were unsanitary, and the food was very often less than the
minimum necessary to give the workers strength to do their
jobs. In the case of Poles employed on farms in Germany, the
employers were given authority to inflict corporal
punishment and were ordered, if possible, to house them in
stables, not in their own homes. They were subject to
constant supervision by the Gestapo and the SS, and if they
attempted to leave their jobs they were sent to correction
camps or concentration camps. The concentration camps were
also used to increase the supply of labor. Concentration
camp commanders were ordered to work their prisoners to the
limits of their physical power. During the latter stages of
the war the concentration camps were so productive in
certain types of work that the Gestapo was actually
instructed to arrest certain classes of laborers so that
they could be used in this way. Allied prisoners of war were
also regarded as a possible source of labor. Pressure was
exercised on non-commissioned officers to force them to
consent to work, by transferring to disciplinary camps those
who did not consent. Many of the prisoners of war were
assigned to work directly related to military operations, in
violation of Article 31 of the Geneva Convention. They were
put to work in munition factories and even made to load
bombers, to carry ammunition and to dig trenches, often
under the most hazardous conditions. This condition applied
particularly to the Soviet prisoners of war. On the 16th
February, 1943, at a meeting of the Central Planning Board,
at which the Defendants Sauckel and Speer were present,
Milch said:

     "We have made a request for an order that a
     certain percentage of men in the Ack-Ack artillery
     must be Russians, 50,000 will be taken altogether.
     Thirty thousand are already employed as gunners.
     This is an amusing thing, that Russians must work
     the guns."

And on the 4th October, 1943, at Posen, Himmler, speaking of
the Russian prisoners, captured in the early days of the
war, said:

     "As that time we did not value the mass of
     humanity as we value it today, as raw material, as
     labor. What, after all, thinking in terms of
     generations, is not to be regretted, but is now
     deplorable by reason of the loss of labor, is that
     the prisoners died in tens and hundreds of
     thousands of exhaustion and hunger."

The general policy underlying the mobilization of slave
labor was
stated by Sauckel on the 20th April, 1942. He said:

     "The aim of this new gigantic labor mobilization
     is to use all the rich and tremendous sources
     conquered and secured for us by our
                                              [Page 60]
     fighting Armed Forces under the leadership of
     Adolf Hitler, for the armament of the Armed
     Forces, and also for the nutrition of the
     Homeland. The raw materials, as well as the
     fertility of the conquered territories and their
     human labor power, are to be used completely and
     conscientiously to the profit of Germany and her
     allies ...All prisoners of war from the
     territories of the West, as well as the East,
     actually in Germany, must be completely
     incorporated into the German armament and
     nutrition industries 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. ...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 indisputable necessity for the solution
     of the mobilization of the labor program in this

Reference should also be made to the policy which was in
existence in Germany by the summer of 1940, under which all
aged, insane, and incurable people, "useless eaters," were
transferred to special institutions where they were killed,
and their relatives informed that they had died from natural
causes. The victims were not confined to German citizens,
but included foreign laborers, who were no longer able to
work, and were therefore useless to the German war machine.
It has been estimated that at least some 275,000 people were
killed in this manner in nursing homes, hospitals and
asylums, which were under the jurisdiction of the defendant
Frick, in his capacity as Minister of the Interior. How many
foreign workers ;were included in this total it has been
quite impossible to determine.

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