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-Second Day: Thursday, 30th May, 1946
(Part 7 of 10)

[M. HERZOG continues his cross examination of Ernst Friedrich Christoph Sauckel]

[Page 158]

Q. I will have it shown to you. Point it out to the interpreter also.

A. Yes, I find the place about General Warlimont, but in the German translation it sounds entirely different from what you are reading.

Q. It is on Page 3. Have you found it?

A. Yes.

Q. Then I can resume the reading of it:

"(a) Troops which are in action against partisans will, in addition, be used for the recruiting of labour in the zones held by partisan bands. Any person who cannot give a satisfactory reason for staying in that region will be compulsorily recruited.

(b) If large towns are totally or partially evacuated as a result of food-supply difficulties, all the population capable of work will be recruited for labour with the aid of the Wehrmacht.

(c) A special drive for recruiting labour among refugees from areas close to the front must be made with the aid of the Wehrmacht.

Gauleiter Sauckel accepted these proposals with gratitude and expressed the hope that certain results would be obtained by these means."

Do you still claim that the Wehrmacht did not carry out the recruiting of labour?

A. I did not deny that in this combat area, and for the purpose of maintaining order in these rear areas, these measures were proposed, but they were not carried through.

Q. Well, I am going to produce a document which refers to three or four days after this meeting of ministers. It is a telegram from defendant Keitel. Document 814, which I submit to the Tribunal under Exhibit 1516-RF. It is a telegram addressed by defendant Keitel to all military commanders. I call your attention to the fact that it bears the stamp of the labour Section of the Military Governor in France. This is dated 15th July and here is the text of it

THE PRESIDENT: M. Herzog, some of these documents are not tabbed and it is quite impossible to find them unless you tell us where they are.

M. HERZOG: I have tabbed only those documents which I intend to use several times so that the Tribunal will be able to find them easily. Otherwise, the documents must be in the order in which I use them. Document 814 should, therefore, be immediately after 3819, unless I am mistaken.

THE PRESIDENT: 3819, you mean?

M. HERZOG: Actually it is after the document marked RF-15; it is the fourth document after RF-814.

[Page 159]

THE PRESIDENT: We have got 815 after that, after RF-15 we've got 815.

M. HERZOG: After 815 we have Document 823, then 824, and 814, Mr. President.

THE PRESIDENT: Yes, yes, now I see it.


Q. This document contains the instructions which Keitel gave in connection with this meeting of leaders. I read the second paragraph:

"The present situation demands the use of all imaginable means for the finding of supplementary labour, because it is the fighting men who benefit first of all by all armament measures. In view of this fact all considerations of internal unrest, the increase of resistance and such matters must be put in the background. We must concentrate on giving every help and support to the General Plenipotentiary for Labour. I refer to my directives for the co-operation of the Wehrmacht in the acquisition of workers from France."
Do you still contend that the Wehrmacht was not used for the recruiting of labour?

A. I must emphasize here again that I did not dispute that these things had been planned and ordered. I did not dispute that fact and I should like to emphasize that again; but these measures were not carried through and that I would like to emphasize also, and besides that, I did not send this telegram.

Q. Is it correct to say that the German police proceeded to take steps to recruit foreign workers?

A. How far the police carried through their measures in detail, I do not know, but I do know that they carried through some measures on their own accord.

Q. But is it not true that you recommended to your offices that they should contact the chiefs of police of the SD and of the SS?

A. I considered both the SD and the police to be ordered and justified institutions and I had to ask for their help when it was necessary.

Q. You, therefore, admit that you recommended to your offices that they should get into contact with the chiefs of police of SD and of SS for the accomplishment of their tasks?

A. To support me in my tasks, where an orderly participation or the use of the police was necessary from an administrative a point of view; not for the recruiting of workers themselves; only to deal with difficulties or administrative disturbances.

Q. I ask you the question again and I ask you to answer "yes" or "no." Did you recommend to your offices to get in touch with the chiefs of police of SS and of SD?

A. I can only answer "yes" to that question with the reservation - on occasions when it was necessary to call in police aid, not in order to carry through the task itself.

Q. Is it true that the chiefs of the German Police assisted in the conferences which you held with the French authorities concerning the recruiting of labour?

A. Sometimes representatives of the Higher SS and Police Leaders were present, and this was true also in the case of the French where the Minister of the Interior or the Minister of the Police was present. I neither demanded that nor proposed it.

Q. But you admit that the representatives of the German police were present at these discussions? Can you give the name of one of these representatives? Do you know Standartenfuehrer Knochen?

A. Standartenfuehrer Knochen was in Paris, and occasionally he was present at these conferences.

Q. Is it right that the chiefs of the German Police attended the conferences which the German authorities held concerning labour problems?

A. To my recollection they attended various conferences, but that occurred at the suggestion of the military Commander-in-Chief under whose direction these conferences took place.

[Page 160]

Q. Was there a representative of the police at the conference of chiefs on the 11th July, 1944, which we mentioned just now in Document 3819-PS?

A. Do you mean the meeting at Berlin?

Q. Yes, the Berlin meeting on 11th July, 1944.

A. I believe Kaltenbrunner attended that conference. This meeting had been called by Reich Minister Lammers.

Q. Have you never asked Himmler, in the presence of the Fuehrer, for the help of the SS in the recruiting of labour?

A. At a discussion with the Fuehrer in January, Reichsfuehrer SS Himmler was present. On this occasion, as far as I recollect, I pointed out that the programme for the year 1944 which had been drawn up by the Fuehrer could not be carried through by me if, in certain areas, the partisan menace and obstruction were not removed. And that, of course, could only be done by the authorities who had jurisdiction there.

Q. You admit, therefore, that you asked Reichsfuehrer SS Himmler to put his police forces at your disposal?

A. No, it is not correct to put it that way. I have to contradict you on that. Neither I nor my offices could have police forces put at our disposal; I merely asked for help in those areas where I was supposed to carry through administrative measures and where a pacification and restoration of order was first necessary. Otherwise I could not carry through my task.

Q. I am going to show you Document 1292-PS. It has already been submitted to the Tribunal as Exhibit USA 225. It is the minutes of a meeting in the presence of the Fuehrer on 4th January, 1944. It is in my Document Book a little way after the marked document, and is also marked with a tab.

On Page 3 of the French text, Page 5 of the German text, you declared:

"Success will depend mainly on what German executive forces are put at our disposal. An action cannot be carried through with native executive forces."
Do you recognize that declaration?

A. Will you please indicate the place to me? I have not found it yet. Which page in German?

Q. It must be on Page 5 of the text which was given to you.

A. Yes, that is correct. That is a statement, a rather abbreviated statement, probably made by Reich Minister Lammers. But I should like to say emphatically that it can be interpreted only in this way, that in those areas - they were very numerous at the time - I could not put into effect an administration to deal with manpower unless through executive forces order could be restored. This statement, therefore, is not quite correct as presented here.

Q. Defendant Sauckel, you told to us only yesterday that you were formerly a worker. Did you ever consider that a worker could be taken to his work handcuffed?

A. No, I never considered such a thing, and I now hear for the first time that I am supposed to have sent or had workers sent to their places of work handcuffed. I do not remember that. In any case, I never decreed anything like that. That I can say.

Q. On 30th August, 1943, you made a speech in Paris to the General Staff for the Employment of Labour which you were setting up in France. I give you Document 816, which I submitted to the Tribunal this morning, and I ask you to consult it again. I ask you to read ...

Mr. President, I think I have made a mistake. I do not think I submitted that document, and therefore I submit it now, under Exhibit RF-1517.


Q. Will you look at Page 10 of the photostat which has been given to you - Page 38 of the French translation - the last line on the page:

[Page 161]

"The application of the most severe measures for forced labour service, police action or the use of handcuffs must be done by us with the most correct demeanour."
That is what you declared on 30th August, 1943, before the General Staff for the Employment of Labour, when they met in Paris.

A. I have not found the place. Will you please have it shown to me?

Q. Have you found it now?

A. Yes, I have found it.

Q. And you considered that handcuffs could be used in the recruiting of labour?

A. It can only be a statement regarding cases of flagrant resistance to the authority of the State or the carrying through of an administrative action. Experience shows us that this has been found necessary the whole world over. I only said that everything should be done in an orderly and correct way. It cannot be understood in any other way. I did not call that a rule to be applied for the recruitment of labour.

Q. But you said that to the General Staff for the Employment of Labour in France. The Tribunal will judge that.

A. Yes, but it must be interpreted that we would do this only if there was flagrant resistance to an executive office, otherwise we never intended to do this.

Q. The Tribunal will judge that.

Defendant Sauckel, have you ever created any special police for the recruiting of labour?

A. No, I established no special police; I explained that yesterday. That was the suggestion put by the French units themselves for protection. In a conference I exaggerated and called it "police" but it was not a police.

Q. Have you heard of a "Committee for Social Security"?

A. Yes, that was talked about.

Q. Have you heard a committee mentioned which was called "League for Social Order and Justice"?

A. Yes.

Q. Have you ever drafted any orders or sent any instructions which advised the institution of these committees?

A. It was proposed, yes, and it was discussed. As far as I remember, that was in the spring of 1944.

Q. And you claim that you never set up these committees or drafted any instructions concerning the setting up of these committees?

A. I have already said that I did that.

Q. You admit that you drafted instructions concerning the formation of these special police forces?

A. That was done on the basis of discussions which I had with these French units.

Q. So you did do this?

A. Yes, in agreement with these French units.

Q. Very well.

M. HERZOG: I submit to the Tribunal Document 82; under Exhibit RF-1518. These are instructions of the defendant Sauckel for the formation of these special police forces. The document consists of several sets of instructions. On Page 6, there is an instruction of 25th January, 1944, from the defendant Sauckel.

THE PRESIDENT: Where is it?

M. HERZOG: On Page 6, immediately after Document 1292 in my Document Book you will find instructions from the defendant Sauckel.

Q. I read:

"Berlin, 25th January, 1944. Secret.

Subject: Formation of a protection corps for the execution of the tasks of the labour service in France and in Belgium during the year 1944.

[Page 162]

(1) To the Military Commander in France, Paris.

To the Military Commander for Belgium and the North of France, Brussels.

A protection corps called 'Committee for Social Peace' will be created in France and in Belgium to carry out the tasks which are necessary for the employment of labour, and especially for Germany, and to strengthen the executive possibilities. This protection corps will consist of nationals of these two countries with a nucleus of German police who will act as leaders. This protection corps in France will consist of approximately 5,000 men and in Belgium of approximately 1,000 men. I give the following provisional instructions for the formation of this protection corps and the accomplishment of its tasks:

1. Selection of members of the Protection Corps. The selection will be made in close agreement with the competent police and SD offices which will screen the candidates, especially from the point of view of their loyalty. The selection will be made especially among the members of political movements favourably disposed to collaboration with Germany.

2. Organization of the Protection Corps. The Protection Corps will be directed from central offices to be set up in Paris and Brussels. The directors of these offices will be designated by me" - (that is to say, by you, defendant Sauckel). - "They will take orders from my delegates in France. In purely police questions, the Protection Corps will be directed by the Higher SS and Police Leaders. The regional groups of the Protection Corps will take orders from the commanders of German police forces, and the latter will receive instructions from the Feldkommandantur and from the recruiting offices as to their participation in actions concerning labour. The German Police and the services of the SD will deal with the instructions in police matters; training as far as the employment of labour is concerned will be given in so far as is necessary by the experts of the Feldkommandantur and the recruiting offices.

The members of the Protection Corps will not wear a uniform; they will however carry firearms.

3. Execution of the tasks. The members of the Protection Corps assigned to the recruiting offices or to the Feldkommandantur will be employed in such a way as to ensure maximum efficiency in the execution of measures ordered. For example, the forces put at their disposal must be informed immediately if Frenchmen who have been summoned by German offices do not appear. They must find out the domiciles of these persons and bring them to report according to the instructions of the German police leader in collaboration with the French and German police. Furthermore, they must track down immediately all those who have refused to appear when summoned, and those who have broken their contracts. In the interests of an effective executive, it is expedient that they should receive regularly lists of persons summoned and persons liable for service to enable them to act immediately in cases where German directives have not been complied with.

It is to be presumed that these quick methods coupled with fitting punishment and immediate publication of the punishments will have a more deterrent effect than that achieved by tracking down the men afterwards, as has been done up to now. Furthermore, members of the Protection Corps are to keep the German offices informed of any particular difficulties in recruitment."

And all that, defendant, is signed "Sauckel." Do you still claim that you did not form a special police corps in France and Belgium?

A. I already told my attorney yesterday that, in agreement with French organizations, such a protective unit was set up, so that on the one hand people who wanted to work could be protected, and on the other hand administrative

[Page 163]

measures could be carried out. Since the Frenchmen themselves declared that they were ready and willing to collaborate, I did not see anything against this or anything that was in any way not permissible.

It was to alleviate the conditions of the local people themselves.

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