The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)
Nuremberg, war crimes, crimes against humanity

The Trial of German Major War Criminals

Sitting at Nuremberg, Germany
27th May to 6th June, 1946

One Hundred and Forty-First Day: Wednesday, 29th May, 1946
(Part 1 of 9)

[Page 92]

THE PRESIDENT: The Tribunal will adjourn this afternoon at 4 o'clock in order to sit in closed session.

MR. DODD (of the American Prosecution): Mr. President, the day before yesterday the Tribunal asked if we would ascertain whether or not Document D-880 had been offered in evidence. It consists of extracts from the testimony of Admiral Raeder and we have ascertained that it was offered, and it is Exhibit GB 463. It was put to a witness by Mr. Elwyn Jones in the course of cross-examination, and it has been offered in evidence.


MR. DODD: Also, with respect to the Tribunal's inquiry concerning the status of other defendants and their documents, we are able to say this morning that, with respect to the defendant Jodl, the documents are now being translated and mimeographed and there is no need for any hearing before the Tribunal.

The Seyss-Inquart documents have been heard and are now being translated and mimeographed.

The von Papen documents are settled; there is no disagreement between the prosecution and the defendant von Papen. And they are in the process of being mimeographed and translated.

With respect to the defendant Speer, we think there will be no need for any hearing, and I expect that by the end of today they will be sent to the translating and mimeographing departments.

The documents for the defendant von Neurath have not yet been submitted by the defendant to the prosecution.

And with respect to the defendant Fritzsche, our Russian colleagues will be in a position to advise us more exactly in the course of the day. I expect that I shall be able to advise the Tribunal as to the defendant Fritzsche before the session ends today.

THE PRESIDENT: Does that conclude all questions of witnesses?

MR. DODD: Yes, I believe - at least, we have no objection to any of the witnesses.

THE PRESIDENT: Very well, then; there need not be any further hearing in open court on the cases of the defendants Jodl, Seyss-Inquart, von Papen and Speer until their actual cases are presented.

MR. DODD: Yes, sir.


DR. SERVATIUS (Counsel for the defendant Sauckel). Mr. President, I have a technical question to bring up. Yesterday the witness Hildebrandt arrived, but again it was the wrong Hildebrandt. This is the third witness who has appeared here in this comedy of errors; it was the wrong one for Mende, the wrong one for Stothfang, and the wrong one for Hildebrandt. But this witness knows where the right ones are.

[Page 93]

The witnesses had received information in their camp that they were to appear here and they were then taken to the collecting centre for Ministerial Directors in Berlin-Lichterfelde. Perhaps it will still be possible to bring these two witnesses here. Especially the witness Hildebrandt, who can testify about the French matters, would be of importance, if we could still bet him.

THE PRESIDENT: Was the name given accurately to the General Secretary?

DR. SERVATIUS: The name was given accurately. The other man's name was also Hildebrandt, only not Hubert, but Heinrich. He was also a Ministerial Director -

THE PRESIDENT: I do not mean only the surname but all his Christian names.

DR. SERVATIUS: Yes, one name was Heinrich and the other Hubert, and as abbreviated it was "H" for both, "Dr. H. Hildebrandt," that apparently caused the confusion.

THE PRESIDENT: Well, I say the names of all witnesses had better be given in full, really in full, not merely with initials.

DR. SERVATIUS: I had given the name in full. As to the physician, the witness, Dr. Jaeger, I received his private address this morning. He is not under arrest. He was at first a witness for the prosecution. His private address is in Essen, on the Viehhof Platz, and he is there now.

THE PRESIDENT: I think you had better take up all these details with the General Secretary and he will give you every assistance.

DR. SERVATIUS: Concerning the case of Sauckel, I should like to make one more remark to the Tribunal.

There are about 150 documents which have been submitted by the prosecution, and some of them are only remotely connected with Sauckel. No trial brief and no special oral charges were presented here against Sauckel so that I cannot see in detail to what extent Sauckel is held responsible. The case was dealt with only under the heading of "Slave Labour," and so the ground of the defence is somewhat uncertain.

I do not intend to discuss every one of these 150 documents, but I should like to reserve the right to deal with some of them later if that should appear necessary. I want to point out only the more important ones and then return to them in the course of the proceedings. At any rate, may I ask you not to construe it as an admission if I do not raise objections against any of these documents now.

THE PRESIDENT: No admission will be inferred from that. Dr. Servatius, I have before me here a document presented by the French Prosecution against the defendant Sauckel. I suppose what you mean is that that document, that trial brief, entitled "Responsabilite Individuelle," does not refer to each of these 150 documents.

DR. SERVATIUS: There was, first of all, the Document Book "Slave Labour," submitted by the American Prosecution, that is not headed "Sauckel" but "Slave Labour," and I cannot say therefore which parts concern Sauckel in particular.

THE PRESIDENT: Well, it does say, "And the special responsibility of the defendants Sauckel and Speer therefore." That is the American Document Book. It does name Sauckel.


THE PRESIDENT: And there is this other trial brief presented by M. Mounier on behalf of the French Delegation, which is definitely against Sauckel, but there is no doubt that does not specify all these 150 documents that you are referring to.


[Page 94]




Witness, yesterday near the end of the session we spoke about a manifesto, a memorandum which was intended to impress upon the various offices their duty to carry out your directives and to remove the resistance that existed. Now, you yourself have made statements which are hardly compatible with your directives, it seems. I submit to you Document R-124. That concerns a meeting of the Central Planning Board of 1st March, 1944. There, in regard to recruitment, you said that it would be "necessary to Shanghai," as it was the custom in earlier times, in order to get the workers.

You said:

"I have even resorted to the method of training staffs of French men and women agents who go out on man-hunts and stupefy the victims with drink and persuasive arguments in order to get them to Germany."
Have you found that?

A. I have found it.

THE PRESIDENT: Whereabouts in 124 is it?

DR. SERVATIUS: That is R-124.

THE PRESIDENT: Yes, but it is a very long document.

DR. SERVATIUS: It is in the document itself, Page 1770.

THE PRESIDENT: Yes, I have it.

A. (Continuing) That is, as I can see, the report on or record of a meeting of the Central Planning Board in the spring of 1944. During that year it had become extremely difficult for me to meet the demands of the various user groups which were represented in the Central Planning Board. At no time did I issue directives or even recommendations for "shanghai-ing." In this conference I merely used that word reminiscent of my days as a seaman, in order to defend myself against those who demanded workers of me and in order to make it clear to the gentlemen how difficult my task had become, particularly in 1944. Actually, a very simple situation is at the root of this. According to German labour laws and according to my own convictions the "Arbeitsvermittlung" (procurement of labour) - the old word for "Arbeitseinsatz" (direction of labour) - was a privilege of the State, and we, myself included, scorned private methods of recruitment. In 1944 Premier Laval, chief of the French government, told me that he was also having the greatest difficulties in implementing the labour laws where his own workers were concerned.

In view of that, and in agreement with one of my assistants, Dr. Didier, conferences were held in the German Embassy - the witness Hildebrandt, I believe, can give more information about that - with the chief of the collaborationist organizations; that is to say, organizations within the French population which advocated collaboration with Germany. During these conferences at the German Embassy, these organizations stated that in their opinion official recruitment in France had become very difficult. They said that they would like to take charge of that and would like to provide recruiting agents from their own ranks and also provide people out of their membership who would go to Germany voluntarily. Recruitment was not to take place through official agencies but in cafes. In these cafes, of course, certain expenses were necessary, which had to be met, and the recruiting agents had to be paid a bonus or be compensated by a glass of wine or some liquor. That way of doing things, naturally, did not appeal to me personally, but I was in such difficulties in view of the demands put to me that I agreed, without intending, of course, that the concept of "Shanghai-ing," with its overseas reminiscences, and so forth, should be seriously considered.

[Page 95]

Q. Did this suggestion come from the Frenchmen, or was it your suggestion?

A. As I have said already, the suggestion was made by the French leaders of these organizations.

Q. If you read on a few lines in the document, you will find that mention is made of special executive powers which you wanted to create for the employment of labour, it says there:

"Beyond that I have charged a few capable men with the establishment of a special executive force for the Arbeitseinsatz. Under the leadership of the Higher SS and Police Leader a number of local troops have been trained and armed, and I now have to ask the Ministry of Armaments for weapons for these people."
How do you explain that?

A. That, also, can be explained clearly only in connection with the events that I have just described. At that time there had been many raids on German offices and mixed German-French labour offices. The chief of the Department for the Direction of Labour in the office of the military commander in France, President Dr. Ritter, had been murdered. A number of recruiting offices had been raided and destroyed. For that reason these organizations who were in favour of collaboration had suggested for the protection of their own members that a sort of bodyguard for the recruiting organization should be set up. Of course I could not do that myself because I had neither the authority nor the machinery for doing it, but it had to be done in accordance with the orders of the military commander by the Higher SS and Police Leader, that is, under his supervision. This was done in conjunction with the French Minister of the Interior at that time, Darnand. For the same reasons, namely to be able to stand my ground against the reproaches of the Central Planning Board, I used an example in this drastic form. As far as I know, these hypothetical suggestions were not put into practice.

Q. Who actually carried out the recruitment of the foreign workers?

A. The actual recruitment of foreign workers was the task of the German offices established in the various regions, the offices of the military commanders or similar civilian German institutions.

Q. You ordered recruitment to be voluntary. What was the result of that voluntary recruitment?

A. Since voluntary recruitment was the underlying principle, several million foreign workers came to Germany voluntarily.

Q. Now, in the meeting of the Central Planning Board - the same meeting which we have just discussed - you made a remark which contradicts that. It is on Page 67 of the German photostat, English, Page 1827. I shall read the sentence to you. Kehrl is speaking; he says:

"During that entire period, you brought a large number of Frenchmen to the Reich by voluntary recruitment."
Then an interruption by Sauckel:
"Also by forced recruitment."
The speaker continues:
"Forced recruitment started when voluntary recruitment no longer yielded sufficient numbers."
Now comes the remark on which I want you to comment. You answered:
"Of the five million foreign workers who came to Germany, less than two hundred thousand came voluntarily."
Please explain that contradiction. A. I see that this is another interpolation by me. All I wanted to say was that Herr Kehrl's opinion, that all workers had come voluntarily, was not quite correct. This proportion which is recorded here by the stenographer or the man writing the records is quite impossible. How that error occurred, I do not know. I never saw the record. But the witness Timm or others can give information on that.

Q. I refer now to Document S-15. That is Directive No. 4, which has been quoted already and which lays down specific regulations with regard to recruiting

[Page 96]

measures. It has already been submitted as Document 3044-PS. Now, why did you abandon the principle of voluntary recruitment?

A. In the course of the war our opponents also carried out very considerable and widespread measures. The need for manpower in Germany, on the other hand, had become tremendous. During that period, a request was also put to me by French, Belgian and Dutch circles to bring about a better balance of economy in these territories; and even to introduce what we called a labour draft, so that the force of enemy propaganda would be reduced and the Dutch, Belgians, and French themselves could say that they were not going to Germany voluntarily, but that they had to go on account of the compulsory labour service and on account of legal orders.

Q. Did the proximity of the front have any influence on the fact that people no longer wanted to come voluntarily?

A. Of course I believed that also, and it is understandable that the chances of victory and defeat caused great agitation among the workers, and the situation at the front certainly played an important part.

Q. Did purely military considerations also cause the introduction -

THE TRIBUNAL (Mr. Biddle Interposing): Dr. Servatius, will you ask the witness what he means by a labour draft law. Does he mean a law of Germany or a law of the occupied countries?


Q. Witness, you heard the question, whether you mean a German law or a law of the administration of the occupied countries?

A. That varied. The Reich Government, in some of the territories, introduced laws which corresponded to the laws that were valid for the German people themselves. These laws could not be issued by are, but they were issued by the chiefs of the regional administrations or the government of the country concerned on the order of the German government.

In France, these laws were issued by the Laval government in agreement with Marshal Petain; in Belgium, by a vote of the general secretaries or general directors of the ministries there.

THE PRESIDENT: Do you mean in the other countries by the German government or the German government's representatives? You have only spoken of -

THE WITNESS( Interposing): The directives to introduce German labour laws in the occupied territories were given by the Fuehrer. They were proclaimed and introduced by the chiefs who had been appointed by the Fuehrer for these territories, because I myself was rat in a position to issue any directives, laws or regulations there.

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