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-Third Day: Friday, 31st May, 1946
(Part 9 of 13)

[MR. DODD continues his cross examination of Ernst Friedrich Christoph Sauckel]

[Page 209]

Q. Well, your answer to all of this is, then, that you do not remember what you said there; this does not help you at all to remember.

A. You cannot possibly expect me to remember exactly events of brief duration which took place so long ago.

Q. I am perfectly willing to leave it there. There is the written record against your failure of memory, and I will leave that with the Tribunal.

THE PRESIDENT: Mr. Dodd, I think you should put to him -

THE WITNESS (Interposing): ... with which I was not, however, familiar before this.

THE PRESIDENT: I think you should put to him the next paragraph. "Thirdly..." which follows after the sentence about handling them so roughly,

MR. DODD: Yes, sir.


Q. Now, if you will keep your finger on that place that you have there, you will not lose it, and you will find the next sentence is - begins:

"Thirdly, he has termed the wage rates previously decreed by the Reichsmarschall intolerable and has persuaded the Reichsmarschall that Russians should have the possibility of earning up to one-half of the wages of German workers".
With reference to that statement, what had the Reichsmarschall suggested, by the way?

A. Before I took up my office - and I have talked about that at length with my defence counsel - there existed decrees of the Ministerial Council regarding wage regulations and I continuously improved those wages; four times, in fact, as far as I could manage to during my term in office.

THE PRESIDENT: That is not an answer to the question. The question you were asked was: What had the Reichsmarschall suggested as wages for these workers? You can answer that.

A. The Reichsmarschall did not make any suggestions to me. When I came into office I found regulations in existence which I considered inadequate.

Q. Well, tell us a little more about it. What do you mean by inadequate? You used the word here, "intolerable". What was the situation when you came into the office with respect to wages?

A. I have already explained that yesterday during the examination by my defence counsel and I gave as an example the fact that an Eastern worker, when I came into office, received wages of about 60 pfennig per hour, which, after deductions for food and lodging, would leave him about four and a half marks in cash. I altered that after I came into office and doubled the cash payments. The purpose of the instructions which existed before my appointment was probably to prevent too great a circulation of money for reasons connected with the currency. I do not know the details.

MR. DODD: This, Mr. President, becomes Exhibit USA 887.

I have no further questions.

DR. BALLAS (replacing Dr. Horn for defendant von Ribbentrop):

[Page 210]



Q. I have a few questions to put to the witness.

Yesterday in cross-examination you spoke about a French diplomatic organization established under the French Ambassador Scapini, which was organized for Frenchmen in Germany. Is it true that it was at defendant Ribbentrop's wish that this organization was formed?

A. By our mutual wish and agreement. We both had the same interests. That is correct.

Q. Can you tell me the reasons which caused von Ribbentrop to create this organization?

A. The reason for this was, in my opinion, to create understanding between the French and German population by giving assurance that particular care would be taken of Frenchmen working in Germany.

Q. This diplomatic organization was also responsible for the treatment of French prisoners-of-war? Just one minute. Can you tell me for what reasons the German Foreign Office decided on so unusual an arrangement at a time when a state of wax still existed between France and Germany?

A. There were conferences between the French Government of Marshal Petain and the German Government, and both nations carefully tried to bring about an understanding.

Q. Thus these unusual measures referring to prisoners of war?

A. Not only because of that; I considered it a particular necessity and I might mention in this connection that this organization was later divided or supplemented. In addition to M. Scapini, who took care of French prisoners of war in particular, a M. Brohne took particular charge of French civilian workers.

Q. It is true that defendant von Ribbentrop in the Foreign Office created an organization to care for foreign workers and bring into Germany artists, lecturers, newspapers, books, etc., from occupied countries so that these workers would return home positively inclined toward an understanding with Germany?

A. It was the purpose of an agreement established by the Reich Foreign Minister in consultation with the Reich Propaganda Ministry, the German Labour Front and my office, to improve the leisure time of the foreign workers by means of foreign artists and lecturers. Many Russian artists were in Germany for this purpose. It also had the purpose of bringing libraries and periodicals to these people from their home countries.

DR. BALLAS: Thank you, I have no further questions.

DR. SERVATIUS: Mr. President, in order to rectify an error in a table in Document I, I want to have the witness' confirmation.

(Witness handed document.)

Q. Under the agencies having quotas you have mentioned Minister Funk's offices.

A. Yes.

Q. And going down you find written in the third square, " armament inspectorate", and under that, "Reichsautobahn". These two places have been incorrectly filled in. They do not belong there. Is it true that these two places should be crossed out?

A. Yes, that is correct.

DR. SERVATIUS: I ask, therefore, that the chart be rectified by having these two squares crossed out. They belong to Speer's ministry but I have not paid any close attention to that side and I do not wish to discuss it.

Then, from the Buchenwald photograph album there were a number of pictures submitted, which show the defendant together with Himmler.

[Page 211]


Q. Witness, can you tell from the picture the approximate time of that meeting? There are certain indications which you have discussed with me yesterday. Will you briefly describe these?

A. Yes. The left-hand top picture shows that construction is still going on; I see unfinished road-beds and the like. This appears therefore to be during the construction period.

Q. And what can you say about the time from the dress of the various people?

A. The dress shows quite clearly that this is a time before the war, for Himmler is wearing a black uniform, which he never wore during the war. Apart from that he is wearing a sword, which was forbidden during the war. It is quite clear that this meeting took place before the war.

Q. Are these people wearing decorations?

A. I cannot see whether they are wearing decorations.

Q. And so I can conclude that this picture was taken some time before the war?

A. Quite definitely some time before the war, because I myself did not wear a SS uniform during the war.

Q. Document 810 was submitted yesterday. That is a report about the meeting in the Wartburg. Beginning on Page 25 of the German text there is a report by Dr. Sturm, which was shown you and in which is said, among other things, that there had been collaboration with the Gestapo and the concentration camps and that that was the right road to take. You were asked whether that was your view, too, and whether such collaboration was correct.

What did you understand by that? Do you mean to say that you agreed to the methods used in concentration camps, as practised by Himmler?

A. Under no circumstances. I wanted to indicate that it was correct, as the document shows, that workers' discipline should be enforced step by step, as provided for in cases of disobedience: first reprimand, then small factory fines, as provided for, in fact, in my decree No. 13, which I want to submit as documentary evidence, and only then, after reprimands and small disciplinary penalties in the factory had proved inadequate, should there be further treatment of these cases, as is mentioned in the document, by having them brought to trial by the prosecuting authority. I called for a correct penal procedure. By no means did I want thereby to characterise methods in concentration camps as correct. I was not at all familiar with these methods at that time.

DR. SERVATIUS: Mr. President, I have a document, 1764-PS, before me. I have not been able to ascertain when and if it has already been submitted. I have just received it in the form of a photostatic copy. It is the so-called Hemmen report, a report which Ambassador Hemmen made about a sector of the labour mobilization programme in France. I want to read a short passage to the defendant which deals with the number of Frenchmen employed in Germany, and I want him to confirm it.


Q. Witness, I shall read you a passage and ask you to -

THE PRESIDENT: Dr. Servatius, it is not usual to allow documents to be put in re-examination. Why was this not used in the examination-in-chief?

DR. SERVATIUS: The figures were questioned during the cross-examination, not before. I attach no great importance to finding out in detail how many hundred thousands came or went. I can omit this question and come back to it in the final pleadings.

THE PRESIDENT: The Tribunal was not saying you could not use it now. As it arose out of the cross-examination, I think you may be able to use it.


Q. Witness, I should like briefly to read to you the important passage, and I want you to tell me whether the views presented there are correct.

[Page 212]

Ambassador Hemmen reports here in a letter received at the Foreign Office on 6th February, 1944, under (III) as follows:
"Regarding labour employment in Germany:

It started with voluntary recruitment of workers which, up to the end of 1942, produced 400,000 men. During the first half of 1943 two further voluntary recruitments for 250,000 men each were carried out. The first, which allowed for the release of prisoners of war at a ratio of one prisoner to three recruits or the granting of worker status, produced some 200,000, whereas the second could be carried out only by using the new compulsory service law, that is to say, coercion, and produced only 122,000 men."

I omit the end of the page and read from Page 8:
"As the total result of the Sauckel action 818,000 persons, mostly men, went to Germany; 168,000 of them came because of the compulsory service law. Of all these, at the end of January 1944, there were only 428,000 still there."
These statements, as far as you can recollect, are they generally correct?

A. May I remark in this connection that Ambassador Hemmen at the embassy in Paris dealt with these questions, and that this is correctly stated. Finally, you meant to say 428,000 and not 428, did you not?

Q. Thousand.

A. That is the decisive point, that because of the short duration of the contracts, the Frenchmen were changed every six months, and thus only one half could be there at that time.

Q. Yes, you have already said that.

A. As an explanation I should like permission to tell the Tribunal that while there was a ratio of one to three - meaning that Germany gave back one prisoner of war in return for three workers - both the prisoners of war as well as the French civilian workers who had replaced them for the most part had returned to their own country after six months, as they stayed for only that period.

It was very hard to win the Fuehrer over to this regulation.

DR. SERVATIUS: I have no further questions.

THE PRESIDENT: We will adjourn now.

(A recess was taken.)

THE PRESIDENT: The Tribunal will hear some supplementary applications for witnesses and documents at 2 o'clock on Monday.

M. HERZOG: Mr. President, I would like to come back briefly to Document D-655, that is to say, to the photographs showing the defendant Sauckel at the concentration camp of Buchenwald.

The prosecution has never pretended, and does not pretend now, that these photographs belong to a period during the war. Quite to the contrary, the original, which has been shown to you, has the date of these photographs and the year is 1938.

The defendant, when he was examined by his Counsel, told us that he visited Buchenwald in the company of Italian officers. I do not see a single Italian officer on these photographs; I simply see the Reichsfuehrer SS Himmler.

However, I do not dispute and I never claimed that these photographs belonged to a year other than 1938.

DR. SERVATIUS: Mr. President, I have one last question in connection with Document 82 from the Document Book Sauckel III, Page 206 and following. On Page 207 we find a statement under Number 3 which I should like to put to the defendant again, because the Prosecutor for the Soviet Union has stated that Sauckel declared here that he gave no protection against crime. I should like to read the sentence to the defendant again and ask him for an explanation.

[Page 213]

I myself quoted it once before; apparently there is a misunderstanding. It is a very short sentence; it reads:
"You can demand of me every protection in your labour employment area but no protection for crimes".

Q. Does that mean, witness, that you did not grant protection against crimes?

A. On the contrary, it can be seen very clearly from that document that I did not tolerate any crime. I did not protect those people who were subordinate to me when they committed crimes there. They were not to do that; that was what I prohibited

DR. SERVATIUS: I believe that German usage shows very clearly that this explanation, as the defendant has just given it, is correct.

I have no further questions to put to the witness.

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