FRITZ SAUCKEL - AUTOGRAPH MANUSCRIPT SIGNED 07/15/1945 - HFSID 286032
FRITZ SAUCKEL These incredibly rare documents are a handwritten, dated and signed account of Nazi Germany's forced labor and mass deportation operations by Germany's chief of slave labor recruitment. They were written by Sauckel for his lawyer during his trial before the International Military Tribunal in Nuremburg after World War II.
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These incredibly rare documents are a handwritten, dated and signed account of Nazi Germany's forced labor and mass deportation operations by Germany's chief of slave labor recruitment. They were written by Sauckel for his lawyer during his trial before the International Military Tribunal in Nuremburg after World War II. They are important documentation of the 20th century's worst war and of some of the worst atrocities ever recorded in human history. They are also a typical example of the defense used by many defendants in the postwar Nuremberg trials: they were only following orders. This defense failed to sway Sauckel's tribunal; he was found guilty of war crimes and later hanged.
Historically Important Autograph Manuscript signed twice (at top of first page and at bottom of last page): "Fritz Sauckel", in pencil, as war crimes defendant, 26 pages, 8x10½. IN GERMAN WITH 1945 ENGLISH TRANSLATION WITH FOOTNOTES AND COMMENTS. Nuremburg [Germany], 1945 July 15. This text was provided by Sauckel to his attorney as a means of fully describing the organization of the forced labor department, and Sauckel's duties and responsibilities. FRITZ SAUCKEL (1894-1946), a Nazi Party member from 1923, was the Nazi chief of slave labor recruitment who seized over five million workers and kept them under the vilest condition. The unprecedented International Military Tribunal was established by the Allied Powers at the end of World War II to try leaders of the Nazi movement and German war effort. A panel of 4 judges, one each from the U.S., Britain, France and the Soviet Union, rendered the verdicts. The first trial (1946) tried the top surviving German leaders, Sauckel included. In his testimony, Sauckel defended what he did as "nothing to do with exploitation. It is an economic process for supplying labor". He denied that it was slave labor or that it was common to deliberately work people to death (extermination by labor) or to mistreat them. He also denied any knowledge of the existence of concentration camps. Fritz Sauckel was hanged on October 16, 1946. His last words were recorded as "Ich sterbe unschuldig, mein Urteil ist ungerecht. Gott beschütze Deutschland!" ("I die innocent, my judgment is unfair. God protects Germany!") Sauckel was indicted on all four charges: crimes against peace, conspiracy to launch an aggressive war, war crimes and crimes against humanity. Found guilty on the latter two charges, he was executed by hanging. In this historically important manuscript Sauckel sets forth a complete, very-detailed description of the operations of his labor department, including mass deportations and his thoughts on the use of forced labor. THIS IS A TRULY REMARKABLE PIECE OF HISTORY AND ONE OF THE MOST IMPORTANT ORIGINAL NUREMBERG MANUSCRIPTS STILL IN PRIVATE HANDS.
"Organization and Practice of Labor Deployment in Germany
1. General comments on the organization and structure of the Labor Ministry.
The deployment of labor was a particularly important task during the war. The installations/apparatus relating to this task was immediately under the control of Reich Marshal Göring, who was in charge of the four-year plan.
For this reason, there was a labor deployment office in the Reich Four-Year Planning Department.
On the other hand, practical implementation was delegated to the Reich Labor Ministry because of its responsibilities.
However, all Reich departments that had anything to do with economic and labor issues also had departments for labor deployment.
In its final form, the Reich Labor Ministry emerged from the Reich Unemployment Insurance Office. The latter had been developed into productive unemployment insurance by its president, the outstanding organizer, "Dr. Syrup," who subsequently became State Secretary in the Labor Ministry, which contributed greatly to doing away with unemployment in Germany.
Reich Minister Seld[t]e headed the Ministry of Labor. There were three plus two state secretaries under him. They represented the minister. The ministry itself was divided into departments, and these in turn into sub-departments. Section chiefs [Referate] were responsible for tasks in various areas.
There was an Industrial Distribution Plan [Geschäftsverteilungsplan] to divide up these tasks and operations.
A Ministry director or supervisor stood at the head of the most important departments. Ministerial principles [Ministerialräte]or senior executive officers [Oberregierungsräte] headed the individual special sections [Fachabteilungen]. The individual section chiefs were supervised by senior executive officers or executive officers [Regierungsträte].
Operations was under the control of mid-level or lower officials or employees.
The Ministry of Labor, which existed for more than 20 years, disposed over a staff of officials and experts that had been superbly trained. Apart from Jurists and other professional officials who were taken from other administrative departments, a group of political economists and men who came from the free economy also held high positions in the Ministry.
As far as I recall - barring error, the most important departments in the Ministry were:
1. Personnel: Ministerial Director Börger
2. Social insurance and fundamental issues (as far as I recall!)
3. Wage issues and working conditions. Director: earlier, Dr. Manofeld; after 1942, Reichs Trustee Dr. Wiesel; afterwards Ministerial Director Dr. Kimmig.
4. Construction (transferred to Dr. Ley)
5. Labor deployment. Ministerial Director Dr. Beisiegel. Legal issues, insurance, compulsory labor [Dienstverpflicht], relief/subsidies, etc.
6. (newly organized) central Labor Deployment, Europe deployment, organization records supervisor, Ministerial Director Dr. Fimm. Industrial divisions/special teams, Sehnlung, deployment of foreigners; health statistics, etc. I do not precisely recall into which departments the departmental sections for youth labor, women's affairs, occupational choice, and the sections relating to labor research were placed. Trade supervision and the police were under Reich Minister Selde while I was working as G.B.A. (Footnote: Generalbevollmächtigter für den Arbeitseinsatz = Plenipotentiary for Labor Deployment.
7 and 8 Can be inferred from the industrial distribution plan; I don't recall the sections and departments.
9. Reich Inspection. I founded this department; leader: Staatsrat President Jung; director: Oberregierungsrat Dr. [looks like: Gerjsen].
3. Field Offices
The following were under the Reich Labor Ministry: the Reich Department for Unemployment Insurance, the Reich institutions in the states and provinces for unemployment insurance, pensions, and the various institutions and funds for injury, accident, and health insurance.
4. Mid-level jurisdiction [Mittelinstanz]
In the Reich regions, the state and Gau (Footnote: Nazi term for district or province) labor offices functioned as jurisdiction. These offices were organized similarly to the Ministry itself. The state president of the state or Gau Labor Office was their chief.
5. Lower jurisdiction [untere Instanz]
The labor offices made up the lower jurisdiction. Depending on the structure of the industry/economy, they comprised the larger cities and the county districts [Landeskreise] that belonged together economically. In general, the labor districts did not correspond to the internal composition of the administration nor to that of the party. There were approximately 45 labor office districts in the entire Reich.
Initially there were about 20 state labor offices. In 1943, these were replaced by Gau labor offices, 42 in number, having the identical organization and tasks.
6. Gau Labor Offices, Reich Trustee, Personnel Union
Until 1943 there was a Reich Trustee for Labor in addition to the State Labor Offices. When the Gau labor offices were formed, the offices of the President and of the Reich Trustee were placed in one hand, i.e., they were combined into the Personnel Union.
The main tasks of the Labor Ministry were: the regulation of all questions of labor and social legislation in an appropriately administrative fashion; furthermore, of labor and social insurance issues; and of labor deployment. As a result, all previously private labor placement was transferred to the institutions set up by the Labor Ministry, i.e., to the state. The independent D.A.F. [Deutsche Arbeitsfront], the economic institutions and the Reich Ministry of Economics, and the Reich Ministry of Nutrition were its opposite numbers. (Footnote: Standen...gegenüber - hard to translate exactly. Means that those institutions were regulated by or stood in relation to and were serviced by the Ministry. This wording will crop up again.)
8. Appointment of the G.B.A.
Because of the enormous workforce requirements, a plenipotentiary office with authority over labor deployment was set up at the end of March 1943 by a decree of the Führer. I was given strict orders to complete this assignment. In accordance with directives, no new organization was to be created; rather, I had to make do with the existing institutions within the Labor Ministry and those of the Four-Year Planning. The G.B.A. was placed immediately under the Reich Marshall in his capacity as leader of the Four-Year Planning.
9. G.B.A. Administrative Offices.
In order to solve the problem of labor deployment, Department III, Wages, and Department V, Labor Deployment, as well as the state and labor offices were placed at the disposal of the G.B.A., without their being removed from the Ministry, so that there was no break down or disturbance of the other assignments under Reich Minister Selde in connection with the work done by the other departments and the entire Ministry. Parts of Department I were added later. As already mentioned, I formed Department VI, Central Labor Deployment (Europe) and Department IX, Reich Inspections.
I made almost no changes with regard to the hiring of functionaries during my time in office.
10. Special Personnel
I entrusted Dr. Timm, who was without a doubt an outstanding and competent expert, with the leadership of Central Labor Deployment. Under him worked three equally extraordinarily competent experts as officials in sub-departments, each comprising two working areas, namely:
1. Ministerialrat Dr. Letsch
a. Mining, as well as construction and civil engineering.
b. He was responsible for labor deployment to and in the Eastern regions.
2. Ministerialrat Dr. Hildenbrandt
a. Complete armaments sector, Speer
b. Responsible for labor deployment from and in the Western regions
3. Oberregierungsrat Dr. Kästner
b. Responsible for labor deployment from and in Italy and the rest of
All the departments and sections that were indispensable for the deployment of labor, such as Statistics, Retraining, Placement, Hygiene, etc., were also in the department that was under Timm. Because I was expressly required to continue to function as Gauleiter and Reichstatthalter (Reich Governor, President) for the Gau of Thuringia, on top of my duties in the new office, and had to spend some of my working time in these offices, I insisted on constant information and mutual communication with the departments that had been placed at my disposal by the Labor Ministry, two personal advisors [Referenten].
1. Ministerialrat Dr. Stattfang. He was also a very competent old official, and had been personal adviser to State Secretary Dr. Syrup. Because I particularly valued the work of Dr. Syrup this association was particularly valuable to me.
2. Landrat Berk. Jurist, Landrat in the county district [Landkreis]of Schleiz, came from internal administration in Thuringia. He functioned primarily as a personal liaison to Reich Minister Speer.
11. The Departments [or agencies] with Great Needs [Bedarfsträger] especially those
with great[est] needs of the entire war economy were my opposite number. The
most important of these were:
1. The armaments industry in the narrower sense, i.e., weapons manufacturers for
the army, aviation, navy; the munitions and iron industries. It was organized into committees and rings by Speer for the Armaments and Munitions Ministry (Footnote: Prob. Short for Reichsministerium für Rüstungsaufgaben und Kriegsproduktion) and for the navy, and by Milch for the Aviation Ministry. Note: Whereas the corresponding experts for the individual weapons production were gathered together in the committees and subcommittees, the rings were formed by the firms that came in question for the production or partial production and supply of various products or weapons.
3. Construction and civil engineering
4. Textiles, glass, chemical industry, etc.
5. German food and agriculture under Reich Minister Pape; food businesses such as butcher shops, bakeries, and restaurants belonged in this category.
6. Transportation under Reich Minister Dorpmüller, including railroads and inland waterways.
7. Finally the industrial branches that supplied civilian needs, which were under Reich Economics Minister Funk until the fifth war year and
8. The trades.
The subdivisions of the German economy under Todt, Speer, Funk, Four-Year-Planning, underwent various reorganizations and changes during the war, and are therefore often difficult to get an overview of.
Initially there existed as state offices, aside from the economics ministries and departments of the state governments which were already in place at the outbreak of the war, and as self-governing offices the chambers of industry, trade, and trades; and as real war economy offices the agricultural offices. In the Gaus, the "Gau economics advisor" was the liaison with the economic institutions. To this end, Todt and Speer set up armaments inspections, with an armaments inspector as control organ of the Armaments Ministry and the armaments commissions, with the armaments chairman at its head, as self-governing organs of the war economy. So, while the agricultural offices of the German states and/or Prussian provinces were adapted, corresponding to the defense districts, the Reich commissions corresponded in large part to the Gaus and the Reich defense districts. Apart from the committees and rings, labor deployment also had to deal with or communicate via the state and/or Gau labor offices and labor offices.
The organization and industrial distribution in Speer's very large ministry was also subject during the war to a variety of [structural] and personnel changes, and is therefore also not known to me. The Reich Ministry also had a very strong labor deployment department. For a long time it was under a general, and then later it was placed at the disposal of Reich Trustee Dr. Schmelter from the Reich Labor Ministry.
At the start of my activities, I was assigned the labor requirements for armaments with the most urgent immediate requirements for approximately one million, and for the Reich Nutrition Ministry for approximately 700,000. To this were added the other departments with great needs. The time frame in which the laborers were to be delivered was not to be more than three months. There was a discussion with the Führer about this enormous demand.
13. Discussion with the Führer
The Führer explained that the demand "must be fulfilled under all circumstances" because 1. a great number of machines (especially locomotives, automotive vehicles of all types, and mechanical weaponry) had been rendered completely useless by the harsh and cold winter in Russia and had to be completely replaced in the shortest time possible; and 2. because a number of newly organized divisions also had to be armed, and their troops had largely been recruited from armaments and agriculture, sectors that needed to be replenished immediately. But it wasn't only replacement of workers who had recently been conscripted into the Wehrmacht, fulfillment of the doubled armaments program and the increase in the number of workers also had to be met. The Führer decided categorically and conclusively for the mass deployment of workers from all regions occupied by Germany. At the same time, he gave corresponding directives to the chief of the OKW, Field Marshall Keitel, to the chief of the Reich Chancellery, Reich Minister Lammers, and to the Reich Foreign Minister. The Führer told me that I would receive the necessary support from the various organs and from his ministers, as he had ordered.
Furthermore, the Führer declared that in the course of the military push to the west, he had immediately released most of the Dutch and Belgian soldiers from war captivity, as well as almost one million Frenchmen. He now had to order all of these back into war captivity. When I expressed my objection that I did not think that getting work from prisoners of war was good and correct, the Fürher decided that he would then absolutely have to insist upon this service requirement [forced labor], and he gave the corresponding directives. I insisted upon giving them German compensation and food rations. After long and difficult negotiations with Reich Führer SS and the Reich Nutrition Minister, this was agreed on in principle with several limitations.
14. Collaboration with Other Departments
In other respects as well, labor deployment faced numerous very difficult problems because the responsibilities among the Reich ministries and also among the economic institutions conflicted, and almost all of them demanded laborers. In addition, the overlaps between the individual departments and labor institutions had to be taken into account, requiring constant negotiation and discussion.
Two of the most difficult problems involved the replacement of workers whose NK[???] (Footnote: I wonder if Nk might mean non-war, nicht-Krieg??? I can't find it anywhere.) supply/position (indispensability) had been canceled because they were called up for military duty, and furthermore because of review of the actual war-sensitive need for workers.
15. Problems with NK Supply/position???
There were many young workers in armaments manufacture, particularly in the Luftwaffe who, age-wise, were among the most eligible for military service. However, Speer, pointing to the armaments program that had been assigned him, managed to get a special protection from cancellation of NK positions for his manufacturing facilities, whereas, for example, agriculture, which was just as important, or factories that supplied civilian needs, not to mention governments, did not enjoy such protection from cancellation of NK positions for his manufacturing facilities, whereas, for example, agriculture, which was just as important, or factories that supplied civilian needs, not to mention governments, did not enjoy such protection. But, whenever there were call-ups they were most severely affected because [personnel] losses to facilities under Speer's protection had to be compensated by them, and therefore affected them doubly. If the nutritional sector and civilian supply was not to collapse, agriculture and factories that supplied the civilian sector had to be constantly supplied with new labor. This was accomplished by collaboration between the state nutrition offices and agriculture offices along with the Gau labor offices with the help of compensation from the Reich (reichausgleich). The other constant point of contention was the civilian demand for labor by factories or by the rings and committees. Because of this Speer and I formed requirement-evaluation committees. These were under the leadership of the armaments inspectors and were comprised of experts from industry and leaders and officials from the labor offices. These committees proved themselves well.
16. The Office of Central Planning
Several weeks after my appointment, Reich Minister Speer formed the "Central Planning" Office. It consisted of the following: 1. Reich Minister Speer; 2. State Secretary Milch; and 3. State Secretary Körner. Milch represented aviation armaments, and Körner the Four-Year-Planning Office. All questions of the war economy were to be worked out within this office among those three offices. To the extent that questions and problems were discussed that related to other departments, the chiefs of those sectors were included. Questions relating to labor deployment were largely discussed there as well. Usually the authoritative department chiefs of the sector took part in these discussions. If no agreement was reached, the matter was discussed with the Führer himself, and his decision stood. He almost always decided in favor of Speer and armaments.
17. My Own Staff
In order to get an overview of the status of stated needs and requirements and the fulfillment of those needs, as well as of all connected problems, I created a working staff that met several times each month. It had the following members: 1. all leading officials of the departments of the Labor Ministry that had been placed at my disposal; 2. my personal section chiefs; and 3. liaisons from all the Reich ministries and Reich institutions with which I was to collaborate in the area of labor deployment. Here all problems relating to the assignment and the implementation of the plan, as well as the results, were openly discussed.
18. Notification of Requirements and Their Fulfillment
Insofar as the requirements for armaments workers could not be met on site by the labor offices the factories notified Speer's ministry directly of their requirements via the committees and rings. The Labor Deployment Department worked hard to organize the individual requirements and sort them into lists according to types of profession, manufacturing sectors, regions, and factories, which were then passed on to the office of the plenipotentiary. There were almost daily telephone conversations and often personal discussions as well between the officials of both houses or offices regarding the requirements themselves, their urgency, and the possibility of meeting them. However, since the requirements constantly increased as a result of war conditions, discussions relating to urgent high requirements took place between Speer and myself. The Führer constantly demanded increases in the armaments programs, and for this reason I often had to accompany Speer to the Führer's headquarters, where the Führer constantly made clear to me the urgency of his programs and their fulfillment in terms of labor deployment. Meeting the needs for skilled and specialized workers was always particularly difficult. They often had to be transferred from far distant regions or towns to other far distant places, and often had to be forcibly mobilized.
19. Training and Retraining of Skilled Workers and Specialists
Because it has become almost impossible to meet the demand locally, it had to be satisfied
by constant negotiation between both houses. This was only possible because of the numerous training and retraining courses in which more than 50,000 German women and men, as well as foreigners were trained and retrained annually. These courses and retraining camps were set up in the occupied territories as well. They were set up and maintained cooperatively by Labor Deployment, the D.A.F., and industrial groups.
20. The Woman Question
Without the deployment of foreign workers, as ordered by the Führer, under no circumstances could the Führer's programs have been implemented. Even if it appears that more women could have been deployed to the armaments industry, one must counter this by stating than then the million women who served in the numerous support services and who were not counted in the labor deployment [figures], but were deployed to agriculture in accordance with Hermann Göring's decree, would then have been lacking there. All support services would then have broken down, and in addition nutrition would have suffered greatly. (Footnote: It must be that a portion went to support services and a portion to agriculture.)
21. Foreign Labor
The Führer generally made the determination of need for foreign labor after consultation with Central Planning. He then gave corresponding directives to the highest Reich offices-both military and civilian-responsible for the regions, or via the chief of the Reich Chancellery, or via the chief of O.K.W.
Based on my own personal experience, it was clear to me that the deployment of foreign workers would only be possible if they remained willing to work and were treated accordingly in a correct and just manner, fed, housed, and cared for. Because of this I decreed a number of binding regulations and directives, and constantly demanded that they be met. They were published repeatedly and announced officially. On the Führer's orders they were also applied to the D.A.F. and the factories, as I myself could not create any new organizations.
Workforce mobilization in the occupied territories was done according to the principle of volunteerism and orderly service requirement [ie., forced mobilization] carried out by their own, or by German, military or civilian authorities. Each worker had to get a labor contract, based on the contracts and pay scales usual for German workers.
22. Authorities in all the Occupied Territories.
I did not have my own officials in the occupied territories. There were workers attached to the army groups and divisions who were subject to Supreme Commanders of the war or military zones. There were also "Labor" departments under the military commanders, the Eastern ministries, the General Gouverneur, and the Reich commissioners. Officials from the Reich Labor Ministry were present, but they functioned as military officials under the chief of the military administration, and as civilian officials under the chief of the civilian administration, and they were virtually integrated into their apparatuses or governments. I myself had "agents" in those territories as a result of a Führer decree.
These were also the chiefs of Labor departments in the territories, and were responsible for the implementation of regional labor deployment in accordance with directives from their military or civilian sovereignty holders [Hoheitsträger]. On the other hand, as my agents they had to see to the deployment interests of the Reich itself. They were responsible for workforce distribution and its organization. The military assignments always had top priority. However, the priority of other regional demands and those of the Reich were decided on the basis of urgency, either by a decision from the Führer, in the case of disagreement, or in consultation between Speer, the G.B.A., and the regional offices, Fulfillment of the important regional economic assignments (quotas) had to be taken into account. Because of this, my agents could also issue directives. They received concrete assignments from the responsible Department VI of the Labor Ministry, and sent their reports there, mainly by telephone via so-called program discussions. Furthermore, they were bound to the G.B.A.'s principles and guidelines.
24. Contingent [quotas, allotments] and Labor Service Requirements
The allotment of contingents was based on the total demands of the German war economy in annual or bi-annual programs by means of direct negotiation with the responsible local government offices or with the highest German military or civilian sovereignty holders, based on quotas established by the Führer. On the basis of Führer decrees, these [people] also issued forced labor laws or regulations on the model of the Reich Labor Service. In the occupied territories the population was divided up into occupational files, and these files functioned as documents for recruitment and for forced labor, so that regional interests could be protected, and to prevent inequitable hardships. In no cases and nowhere were unauthorized actions caused or demanded by me. To the contrary, I always demanded orderly and correct behavior during these actions. SS troops or others were never requested by me.
25. Medical Examinations
The foreign workers had to be examined by a physician in their homelands and in the Reich before their deployment. They could transfer money, and they had the right to an annual vacation.
26. Fundamental Regulations of the G.B.A.
I saw as my foremost task the securing of just, correct, and benevolent treatment, because only in this way would it be possible to win over the foreign laborers, whose number was limited for a number of reasons, to perform consistently well, and to maintain their working capacity. The numerous regulations that I decreed have been published in other organs, and also collected together in a service instruction handbook for Labor Deployment. This was meant only for use by the service. This fact demonstrates that this solicitude is not only now to be an argument in my favor, but rather that it was fundamental to solving the task that had been assigned me and the duties I had taken on. My own personal experience at sea and in service abroad during long passages on those great old sailing ships, as well as my captivity in the previous world war and my activities as a worker in a ball bearing factory in Schweinfurt, as well as my studies to become an engineer-all these were my apprenticeship for this work.
27. Meeting Needs During Total War
Naturally, during the past two years under the concept/byword total war, the working capacity of the German Volk was tested beyond its limits.
28. Closures and Combing-out Actions
The factories supplying civilian needs were closed down in favor of the armaments and important war industries (Speer action) in order to have this workforce for important war labor. I myself preferred a policy so-called combing-out actions (October 1943 through fall 1944). These freed up really usable labor for armaments, but the factories that had been "combed out" were able to continue to produce for the civilian market, even if on a reduced scale. (Footnote: I think he meant "could have...would have" freed up...???). Results: Fall 1943, 400,000; Fall 1944, 250,000. Closings yielded barely 150,000.
During my time, approximately 10 million laborers were supplied to the German war economy, of which just under half were Germans; 1 million foreigners were already in the Reich before my assignment. To this were added approximately 1½ million prisoners of war, who were mostly used in agriculture. At the end of the war, the total number of people working in the economy in the Reich was about 30 million. During my time, about 4 million German workers were conscripted into the Wehrmacht from the factories. Other significant losses that had to be replaced occurred as a result of superannuation, death, injury, illness, and very significantly by the termination of contracts with the foreign workers (½, 1, and 2-year), as well as by breaches of contract.
30. Requirements Remained Almost the Same
Except for the last ¾ year, the requirement for labor could never be entirely satisfied. No sooner was an assignment concluded than there followed a new one of almost the same level. Such were based on the demands from new program decreed by the Führer, as well as by previously mentioned natural losses, particularly to the Wehrmacht."
Paperclip marks on first page. Lightly toned. Fine condition. Accompanied by two b/w photographs in fine condition: an 8x10 of Sauckel on the witness stand; and a 10x8 of all the defendants at the trial. Three items.
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