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 8 of 10)

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

[Page 163]

Q. I ask you to answer my question "yes" or "no." Do you admit that you set up this special police service?

A. I admit that I suggested this Protective Corps and that it was set up, but only on a small scale.

Q. Is it true that you issued instructions or imposed measures of constraint against those who evaded the forced labour services?

A. I did not issue them myself, but rather the French Government did. That is correct; for in every occupied territory, and that is so the whole world over, the authority of the occupying power must be respected.

Q. Is it true that you demanded that the death penalty should be applied to Civil Servants, who, for instance, hindered your action?

A. It is true that, at a conference with the French Premier Laval, I suggested the death penalty in cases of very serious obstruction. I suggested it at a conference.

Q. Then you admit that you demanded the application of the death penalty in the case of these Civil Servants?

A. Yes, if a serious case of sabotage was being dealt with, according to martial law.

Q. Is it true that your task was to procure for the German war industry the labour it required?

A. That was one of my tasks.

Q. In this respect, were you responsible to the defendant Speer, Minister for Armament and Munitions, for the carrying out of your task?

A. I was responsible to the Four-Year Plan and to the Fuehrer, and I had instructions from the Fuehrer to meet the requirements of Minister Speer as far as it was possible for me to do so.

Q. Did the defendant Speer approve of all the steps which you took in recruiting foreign labour?

A. In any event, he agreed, or he demanded, that workers be put at his disposal; but sometimes we did not entirely agree about how it should be done. For instance, we did not agree about the blocked factories in France.

Q. We will come to that later. I ask you to tell me whether you always succeeded in satisfying the demands for workers which were made to you by the different sections of the German economy?

A. No. I was not always successful.

Q. And when you failed, did the demands that were made to you by defendant Speer have to be satisfied by you by taking priority over all others?

A. Yes, they had to have priority.

Q. Were there not incidents in this respect? For instance, did it not happen that some transports of workers were diverted from their original destination on instructions from Speer?

A. It did happen that, contrary to my instructions, labour transports were stopped or transferred to other regions, or other factories. But whether the order always emanated from Herr Speer or from an armament commission or from another office, I do not know. It was not always from the same quarter.

Q. In your interrogatory you declared, however, that the original destination of these transports was sometimes changed in order to satisfy the demands of Speer's offices. Do you confirm this?

A. Yes; but I mean by that something different. In that case I was informed about it. There were two kinds of changes, or deviations, those which I did not know about and those which were agreed upon.

Q. Will you tell the Tribunal what was understood by the system of the "red ticket"?

[Page 164]

A. The "red ticket" system was applied when there was a demand for workers, mostly specialized or skilled workers, which had to take priority over all other demands, because the work was necessary.

Q. The system of the "red ticket" was applied to the armament industry, was it not?

A. The "red ticket" applied to armament, yes.

Q. And it was established by agreement between the defendant Speer and yourself?

A. That was a system which, in my opinion, was always intended to meet emergencies; there were changes and deviations, such as lists or red tickets. Originally, there were only lists, and the red ticket was added by decree.

Q. You, therefore, admit that by these various systems, you share with the defendant Speer the responsibility of having compelled workers to work in German factories for the needs of the war which Germany was fighting against their own country?

A. I should like to emphasize, particularly, that this red ticket system did not apply only to foreign workers; it applied especially to German workers, skilled German workers.

Q. But it was applied also to foreign workers?

A. It applied to foreign workers as well, if they were specialists and declared their willingness.

Q. Will you tell the Tribunal, what the method of blocking of industries ("Betriebe") means?

A. An industry was blocked if it was manufacturing non-essential articles or so-called luxury articles.

Q. I do not think you understood my question. What were the "S" industries in France, for instance, the factories blocked by Speer?

A. Sperrbetriebe known as "S" enterprises - is that what you mean?

Q. Yes.

A. Sperrbetriebe were industries which produced for Speer in France and which had been agreed upon with the French Minister Bichelonne, and they were blocked as regards labour recruitment.

Q. Did you not exert strong pressure on the defendant Speer to get him to abandon the practice of blocking industries?

A. I asked him and I urged him, but I could not get him to give up these blocked industries.

Q. Did you ever bring up the matter with Hitler and insist in Hitler's presence that Speer give up his position?

A. Yes, I insisted on this with Hitler but I had no success.

Q. In this connection did you not ask the Fuehrer that he should increase your powers at the expense of the defendant Speer's?

A. I did not ask for a general extension of my powers, but I asked that conditions should be allowed to remain as they were previously and I ask to be permitted to explain this - my task was to bring workers from France to Germany - the departments under Speer demanded skilled workers from me. There were skilled workers in the industries which Speer had blocked and these same industries in Germany would, of course, be worse off if instead of having skilled French workers they were supplied with unskilled French workers, or men without experience in the trade. I had to procure workers by all means but I considered it more reasonable for the German economy to procure for it the right kind of workers and not workers who were unskilled.

M. HERZOG: I beg the Tribunal to turn back to Document 3819, the second part of 3819. It consists of two letters, both addressed to the Fuehrer by the defendant Sauckel and by the defendant Speer on this subject of the blocking of industries.

First of all I will read to the Tribunal some extracts from Sauckel's letter, which happens to be the second.

[Page 165]

THE PRESIDENT: Have not both of these been read already?

M. HERZOG: I think they have already been read, Mr. President. I cannot affirm it but I believe so.

Document 3819-PS has already been submitted to the Tribunal as Exhibit GB-306. If the Tribunal wishes, I can limit myself to very short extracts.

THE PRESIDENT: You need not read them for the purposes of your question to the defendant.


In this letter, on Page 27, you asked whether you could obtain in a general manner a free hand for the rational utilization of labour.

Do you admit that you asked the Fuehrer for this free hand?

A. I have not found the place. I could never ask for a free hand, but I did ask to be permitted to recruit as previously. I cannot find the place that you are quoting.

Q. You will find it on Page 27.

A. In this German text it says: "In this situation, it is absolutely necessary that I should again have a free hand." That means, as I had before the blocked industries were instituted. That is correct because I was interested in a rational use of labour.

Q. That is what I asked you to confirm to me. Did you ask that your powers should be increased at the expense of those of your co-defendant Speer? Will you answer "yes" or "no," if you can?

A. I do not understand the question - that I received powers or demanded them?

Q. Did you ask for them?

A. Yes, I demanded them, for it was to Speer's advantage.

Q. And do you not remember that on other occasions, the defendant Speer likewise asked that his powers should be increased at the expense of yours?

A. Yes, that may have happened, too.

Q. You declared in your interrogatory that "the very close relations between Speer and Goebbels after the fall of Stalingrad made Speer want very much to have me under his authority." Can you confirm this?

A. Yes.

Q. Is it true that your general programme for recruiting labour included the employment of prisoners of war?

A. The employment of prisoners of war, as far as they should and could be put to work under the care of the Wehrmacht.

Q. Do you remember the order which we mentioned this morning, your Order No. 10, which provided for the order of priority of work and gave priority to armament needs. Was this order applicable to prisoners of war?

A. As I explained yesterday, this order was applicable to prisoners of war only by way of analogy and to the extent set forth in the rules of work issued by the OKW and by me, and contained in a schedule of work.

Q. But in Article 8 this order simply decreed that it was applicable to prisoners of war.

A. Yes, in accordance with the other orders which existed; that was a matter of course.

Q. You spoke to us yesterday about the inspection service. Is it true that in September 1943 you came to an agreement with Dr. Ley for setting up a central inspection office for foreign workers?

A. Yes, in order to take care of these workers.

Q. In consequence, you admit that you are responsible for the measures concerning the treatment of foreign workers?

A. I am responsible for the directives which I issued; they are all known.

Q. Do you consider yourself responsible for the feeding of foreign workers?

[Page 166]

A. I consider myself responsible for the directives which I issued with regard to the feeding of foreign workers. The actual feeding of these people was not the task and responsibility of the labour authorities. That was the responsibility of the factories, or the camp commandants who had been charged by the factories to look after this.

Q. I am going to have submitted to you Document 025-PS. This document was submitted to the Tribunal as Exhibit USA-698. You had it yesterday. It consists of the report of a meeting in the office of the General Plenipotentiary for the Employment of Labour, that is to say, you yourself, on 3rd September, 1942. The document is dated 4th September.

(This document, Mr. President, is at the end of my Document Book, after Document 827, the last page of the French translation.) I read -

THE PRESIDENT: The last page is 857, is it not, the document called 857, the last page I have got. It is just in front of 2200-PS. Did you come across that? It is just after 1913-PS.

M. HERZOG: Mr. President, after 1913-PS.


M. HERZOG: I read:

"The Fuehrer cannot understand that in the struggle for the future of Europe, it should be the country which has to bear the brunt of this struggle which suffers most from hunger - whereas, in France - "
THE PRESIDENT: It is on Page 1 of it -P age 4?

M. HERZOG: No, Mr. President, on Page 4 of the French text, that is to say, on the last page.


Q. "The Fuehrer cannot understand that in the struggle for the future of Europe, it should be the country which has to bear the brunt of this struggle which suffers most from hunger, whereas, in France, in Holland, in Hungary, in the Ukraine or anywhere else, one cannot yet speak of hunger. He desires that it should be the reverse in the future. As regards the foreign workers living in the Reich (with the exclusion of workers from the East) little by little their rations must be reduced to correspond to their output. It is not admissible that lazy Dutchmen or Italians should receive better rations than a good worker from the East. The guiding rule of output must apply equally to feeding."
I ask you what you meant when you stated that "the guiding rule of output must apply equally to their feeding"?

A. There was a standard ration in the Reich which was increased by additional rations based on output or performance. I fought for the principle that these additional rations which the workers from the West were already receiving should be granted to the workers from the East as well, and that where Western workers, that is, Dutch and Belgian workers, did not keep up their output in the same way as the Eastern workers, these additional rations should be cut down as the case demanded, but not the standard ration which applied to the German people as well.

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