Violent Methods of Deportation for Slave Labor (Part 2 of 2)

Nazi Conspiracy & Aggression
VolumeI Chapter X

The village of Biloserka in the Ukraine was also the victim of arson as has already been related in the quotation from the enclosure to Rosenberg's letter of 21 December 1942 to Sauckel (018-PS). Additional proof of resort to arson in this village is furnished by other correspondence originating within the Rosenberg Ministry and dated 12 November 1943:

"But even if Mueller had been present at the burning of houses in connection with the national conscription in Biloserka, this should by no means lead to the relief of Mueller from office. It is mentioned specifically in a directive of the Commissioner General in Lusk of 21 September 1942, referring to the extreme urgency of the national conscription. 'Estates of those who refuse to work are to be burned, their relatives are to be arrested as hostages and to be brought to forced labor camps.' " (290-PS) The SS was directed to participate in the abduction of slave laborers, and in the case of raids on villages or burning of villages, to turn the entire population over for slave labor in Germany. A secret SS order dated 19 March 1943 (3012-PS) states:

"The activity of the labor offices, resp. of recruiting commissions, is to be supported to the greatest extent possible. It will not be possible always to refrain from using force. During a conference with the Chief of the Labor Commitment Staffs, an agreement was reached stating that whatever prisoners can be released, they should be put at the disposal of the Commissioner of the Labor Office. When searching (Uberholung) villages, resp., when it has become necessary to burn down villages, the whole population will be put at the disposal of the Commissioner by force." (3012-PS)

From Shitomir, where Sauckel appealed for more workers for [Page 890] the Reich, the Commissioner General reported on the brutality of the conspirators' program, which he described as a program of coercion and slavery. This is revealed in a secret report of a conference between the Commissioner General of Shitomir and Rosenberg in Winniza on 17 June 1943 (265-PS).

The report is dated 30 June 1943 and is signed by Leyser. It reads as follows: "The symptoms created by the recruiting of workers are, no doubt, well known to the Reichs Minister through reports and his own observations. Therefore, I shall not report them. It is certain that a recruitment of labor, in this sense of the word, can hardly be spoken of. In most cases, it is nowadays a matter of actual conscription by force." ******* "But as the Chief Plenipotentiary for the mobilization of labor explained to us the gravity of the situation, we had no other device. I consequently have authorized the commissioners of the areas to apply the severest measures in order to achieve the imposed quota. The deterioration of morale in conjunction with this does not necessitate any further proof. It is nevertheless essential to win the war on this front too. The problem of labor mobilization cannot be handled with gloves." (265-PS) These recruitment measures enslaved so many citizens of occupied countries that entire areas were depopulated. Thus, a report from the Chief of Main Office III with the High Command in Minsk, dated 28 June 1943, to Ministerialdirektor Riecke, a top official in the Rosenberg Ministry states: "The recruitment of labor for the Reich, however necessary, had disastrous effects. The recruitment measures in the last months and weeks were absolute manhunts, which have an irreparable political and economic effect. From White Ruthenia, approx. 50,000 people have been obtained for the Reich so far. Another 130,000 are to be obtained. Considering the 2.4 million total population these figures are impossible. *** "Due to the sweeping drives (Grossaktionen) of the SS and police in November 1942, about 115,000 hectare farmland is not used, as the population is not there and the villages have been razed. ***" (3000-PS)

The conspirators' policy, of permanently weakening the enemy through the enslavement of labor and breaking up of families, was applied in the Occupied Eastern Territories after Rosenberg's approval of a plan for the apprehension and deportation of 40,000 to 50,000 youths of the ages from 10 to 14. The stated pur- [Page 891] pose of this plan, approved by Rosenberg, was to prevent a reinforcement of the enemy's military strength and to reduce the enemy's biological potentialities. (031-PS) Further evidence of the Nazi conspirators' plan to weaken their enemies in utter disregard of the rules of International Law is contained in a secret order issued by a rear-area Military Commandant to the District Commissar at Kasatin on 25 December 1943. The order provided in part that: "1. The able-bodied male population between 15 and 65 years of age and the cattle are to be shipped back from the district East of the line Belilowka-Berditschen- Shitomir (places excluded)." (1702-PS)

The program of enslavement and its accompanying measures of brutality were not limited to Poland and the Eastern Occupied Territories, but extended to Western Europe as well. Frenchmen, Dutchmen, Belgians, and Italians all came to know the Nazi slave-masters. In France these slave- masters intensified their program in the early part of 1943 pursuant to instructions which Speer telephoned to Sauckel from Hitler's headquarters at eight in the evening of 4 January 1943. These instructions are found in a note for the files signed by Sauckel, dated 5 January 1943, which states: "1. On 4 January 1943 at 8 p.m. Minister Speer telephones from the Fuehrer's headquarters and communicates that on the basis of the Fuehrer's decision, it is no longer necessary to give special consideration to Frenchmen in the further recruiting of specialists and helpers in France. The recruiting can proceed with emphasis and sharpened measures." (556-13-PS)

To overcome the resistance to his enslavement program, Sauckel improvised new impressment measures which were applied in both France and Italy by his own agents and which he himself labelled as grotesque. At a meeting of the Central Planning Board on 1 March 1944 Sauckel stated: "The most abominable point made by my adversaries is their claim that no executive had been provided within these areas in order to recruit in a sensible manner the Frenchmen, Belgians and Italians and to dispatch them to work. Thereupon I even proceeded to employ and train a whole batch of French male and female agents who for good pay just as was done in olden times for "shanghaiing" went hunting for men and made them drunk by using liquor as well as words, in order to dispatch them to Germany. "Moreover, I charged some able men with founding a special [Page 892] labor supply executive of our own, and this they did by training and arming with the help of the Higher SS and Police Fuehrer, a number of natives, but I still have to ask the Munitions Ministry for arms for the use of these men. For during the last year alone several dozens of very able labor executive officers have been shot dead. All these means I have to apply, grotesque as it sounds, to refute the allegation there was no executive to bring labor to Germany from these countries." (R-124) As in France, the slave hunt in Holland was accompanied by terror and abduction. The "Statement of the Netherlands Government in view of the Prosecution and Punishment of the German Major War Criminals", (1726-PS)

contains the following account of the deportation of Netherlands workmen to Germany: "Many big and reasonably large business concerns, especially in the metal industry, were visited by German commissions who appointed workmen for deportation. This combing out of the concerns was called the "Sauckel-action", so named after its leader, who was charged with the appointment of foreign workmen in Germany. "The employers had to cancel the contracts with the appointed workmen temporarily, and the latter were forced to register at the labour offices, which then took care of the deportation under supervision of German 'Fachberater.' "Workmen who refused (relatively few) were prosecuted by the Sicherheitsdeinst (SD). If captured by this service, they were mostly lodged for some time in one of the infamous prisoners camps in the Netherlands and eventually put to work in Germany. "In this prosecution the Sicherheitsdienst was supported by the German Police Service, which was connected with the labour offices, and was composed of members of the N.S.B. and the like. "At the end of April 1942 the deportation of working labourers started on a grand scale. Consequently in the months of May and June the number of deportees amounted to not less than 22,000, resp. 24,000 of which many were metal workers. "After that the action slackened somewhat, but in October 1942 another top was reached (2,60). After the big concerns, the smaller ones had, in their turn, to give up their personnel. "This changed in November 1944. The Germans then started a ruthless campaign for man-power, passing by the labour [Page 893] offices. Without warning, they lined off whole quarters of the towns, seized people in the streets or in the houses and deported them. "In Rotterdam and Schiedam where these raids (razzia's) took place on 10 and 11 November, the amount of people thus deported was estimated at 50,000 and 5,000 respectively. "In other places where the raids were held later, the numbers were much lower, because one was forewarned by the events. The exact figures are not known as they have never been published by the occupants. "The people thus seized were put to work partly in the Netherlands, partly in Germany ***." (1726-PS)

A document found in the OKH files furnishes further evidence -of the seizure of workers in Holland. This document contains the partial text of a lecture delivered by a Lieutenant Haupt of the German Wehrmacht concerning the situation of the war economy in the Netherlands: "There had been some difficulties with the Arbeitseinsatz, i.e., during the man-catching action (Menchenfang Aktion) which became very noticeable because it was unorganized and unprepared. People were arrested in the streets and taken out of their homes. It has been impossible to carry out a unified release procedure in advance, because for security reasons, the time for the action had not been previously announced. Certificates of release, furthermore, were to some extent not recognized by the officials who carried out the action. Not only workers who had become available through the stoppage of industry but also those who were employed in our installations producing things for our immediate need. They were apprehended or did not dare to go into the streets. In any case it proved to be a great loss to us. ***" (3003-PS)

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