Albert Speer
(3 of 8)



June 13, 1942: Speer visits Peenemuende to witness a test-flight of a V-2 rocket.

July 9, 1942: From a decree issued by Fritz Sauckel ordering improved conditions for the slave-laborers; Die Beschaftigung von auslandischen Arbeitshraftenin Deutschland:

According to reports of transportation commanders (Transportleiter) presented to me, the special trains provided by the German railway have frequently been in a really broken down condition. Numerous windowpanes have been missing in the coaches. Old French coaches without lavatories have been partly employed so that the workers had to fit up an emptied compartment as a lavatory. In other cases, the coaches were not heated in winter so that the lavatories quickly became unusable because the water system was frozen and the flushing apparatus was therefore without water.

From Speer's IMT testimony: The decrees issued by Sauckel were unobjectionable, but the works managers did not always find it possible to carry through the decrees for reasons which were outside their power. The bombing attacks brought about difficulties, disorganized transportation, or destroyed living quarters. It is not possible to make the managers responsible for the observance of these decrees under circumstances which often took on catastrophic proportions after the summer of 1944. These were times of crises and it was a matter for the Reich authorities to determine just how far it was possible to carry through these decrees and it is not right to push this responsibility on the little works manager. Within the framework of the above-mentioned responsibility which industry enjoyed, the armament factory managers had received a semiofficial function from me. This, of course, applied only to technical tasks. There were some industries which concerned themselves with secret matters; but in such cases the works trustee of the Labor Front was represented, and he could report to the Gauleiter on conditions in the factory through the Gauobmann (chief of the Labor Front in a Gau).

July 25, 1942: Himmler writes to the Chief Office for Race and Settlement:

Concerns: Admission of Reichsminister Albert Speer, born 19.3.05 [March 19, 1905], into the SS. Herewith, with request for further action and verification, the family tree of Reichsminister Albert Speer. By order of Reichsfuehrer SS, Reichsminister Speer was, with effect from 20.7.1942 [July 20, 1942], attached [aufgenommen] to the Personal Staff RFSS as SS-Man No. 46,104.

Reichsfuehrer SS does not wish Reichsminister Speer to be inconvenienced at this point about these very incomplete enrollment documents. You are thus instructed to address yourself directly to the relevant offices (registries, parishes, etc.) in order to obtain the necessary documentation in support of the family tree. You are requested to inform this office upon completing verification so that the SS Suitability Certificate can be endorsed.

From Speer's IMT testimony: That was in 1943 [that I filled out an application to join the SS] when Himmler wanted me to get a high rank in the SS. He had often wanted it before when I was still an architect. I got out of it by saying that I was willing to be an ordinary SS man under him because I had already been an SS man before. Thereupon, Gruppenfuehrer Wolff provisionally filled out an application form and wanted to know what my previous SS activities had been in 1932. It came up during his inquiries that in those days I was never registered as a member of the SS, and because of this they did not insist on my joining as I did not want to become a new member now. I became well known for turning down all these honorary ranks. I did not want them because I felt that one should only hold a rank where one had responsibility. I had too little contact with the SS, and did not want any responsibility in that connection.

August 18, 1942: From a discussion between the Sauckel and Frank at Krakow:

Frank: I am pleased to report to you officially, Party Comrade Sauckel, that we have up to now supplied 800,000 workers for the Reich . . . . Recently you have requested us to supply a further 140,000. I have pleasure in informing you officially that in accordance with our agreement of yesterday, 60 percent of the newly requested workers will be supplied to the Reich by the end of October and the balance of 40 percent by the end of the year. Beyond the present figure of 140,000 you can, however, next year reckon upon a higher number of workers from the Government General, for we shall employ the Police to conscript them.

September 8, 1942: From a decree by Sauckel:

The Fuehrer and Supreme Commander of the Wehrmacht; General Headquarters of the Fuehrer. The extensive coastal fortifications which I have ordered to be erected in the area of Army Group West necessitate in the occupied territory the utilization of all available workers to the fullest extent and to their utmost capacity. The assignment of indigenous workers, made up to now, is insufficient. In order to increase it, I order the introduction of compulsory labor and the prohibition of changing the place of employment without permission of the authorities in the occupied territories. Furthermore, in future, the distribution of food and clothing ration cards to those subject to compulsory labor shall depend on the possession of a certificate of employment. Refusal to accept an assigned job, as well as leaving the place of work without the consent of the authorities in charge, will result in the withdrawal of the food and clothing ration cards. The GBA [the office of Sauckel] in agreement with the military commanders or the Reich Commissioners, will issue the appropriate directives.

From Speer's IMT testimony: We gave out many millions of packages to armament plants. They contained additional food, chocolate, cigarettes, and so forth; and these bonuses were given in addition to all the extra food rations which were determined by the Food Ministry for those who worked longer hours or who did heavy work. In the industries, these bonuses were given to all workers without distinction, including the foreign workers, prisoners of war, and the workers from concentration camps.

September 14, 1942: From notes of a conversation between Goebbels and Thierack:

Concerning the extermination of asocial elements, Doctor Goebbels is of the opinion that the following groups must be exterminated: All Jews and gypsies; Poles who have to serve 3 or 4 years penal servitude; Czechoslovakians and Germans who have been condemned to death or hard labor for life or placed in protective custody. The idea of extermination by work is best.

September 21-22, 1942: From notes of a Speer conference with Hitler:

I pointed out to the Fuehrer that, apart from an insignificant amount of work, no possibility exists of organizing armament production in the concentration camps, because: (1) the machine tools required are missing; (2) there are no suitable premises. Both these assets would be available in the armament industry, if use could be made of them by a second shift. The Fuehrer agrees to my proposal that the numerous factories set up outside towns for reasons of air raid protection should release their workers to supplement the second shift in town factories and should in return be supplied with labor from the concentration camps—also two shifts. I pointed out to the Fuehrer the difficulties which I expect to encounter if Reichsfuehrer SS Himmler should be able, as he requests, to exercise authoritative influence over these factories. The Fuehrer, too, does not consider such an influence necessary. The Fuehrer, however, agrees that Reichsfuehrer SS Himmler should derive advantage from making his prisoners available; he should get equipment for his division. I suggest giving him a share in kind (war equipment) in ratio to the man-hours contributed by his prisoners. A 3 to 5 percent share is being discussed, the equipment also being calculated according to man-hours. The Fuehrer would agree to such a solution. The Fuehrer is prepared to order the additional allocation of this equipment and weapons to the SS, upon submission of a list."

From Speer's IMT testimony: It is important to note that the demands made of industries were only in the manner of production schedules and it was up to the industries to place their demands as to manpower, machinery, and material on the basis of these schedules. Working time should remain uniform in modern assembly-line production during the entire month. Due to the bombing attacks, delays in supplying tools and raw materials set in. As a result the number of hours of work varied from 10 to 12 a day. The average, according to our statistics, might have been 60 hours to 64 hours a week. They were exactly the same as for all the other workers in the industry, for the workers from concentration camps were on the whole only a part of the workers employed; and these workers were not called upon to do any more work than the other workers in the factory. There was a demand on the part of the SS that the inmates of concentration camps be kept in one part of the factory. The supervisors consisted of German foremen and specialists. The working hours, for inherent reasons, had to be coordinated with those of the entire industry, for it is a known fact that there is only one rhythm of work in a given industry.

The work camps were established so that long trips to the factories could be avoided and in this way permit the workers to arrive fresh and ready for work. Furthermore, the additional food which the Food Ministry had granted for all workers, including the workers from concentration camps' would not have been received by these men if they had come directly from big concentration camps; for then this additional food would have been used up in the concentration camp. In this way, those workers who came from concentration camps received, in full measure, bonuses which were granted in the industry, such as cigarettes or additional food.

September 30, 1942: Hitler speaks in Berlin:

In my eyes, the year 1942 already has behind it the most fateful trial of our people. That was the winter of '41 to '42. I may be permitted to say that in that winter the German people, and in particular its Wehrmacht, were weighed in the balance by Providence. Nothing worse can or will happen . . . . The occupation of Stalingrad, which will also be carried through, will deepen this gigantic victory and strengthen it, and you can be sure that no human being will drive us out of this place...

From Speer's Spandau Draft: Just before the time when the situation in Stalingrad became completely hopeless, thinking some music might help clear my brain, I accompanied my wife, who like everybody else still suspected nothing untoward in the Eastern war, to a performance of The Magic Flute at the opera. But sitting in our box, in those softly upholstered chairs among this festively attired audience, all I could think of was that same kind of crowd at the Paris Opera when Napoleon was retreating in Russia, and of the now identical suffering of our own soldiers. I suddenly felt violently ill with palpitations and fled to the ministry, back to work, where I tried to suppress my horrible feelings of guilt toward my brother, who as a private in the Sixth Army was caught at Stalingrad, and where I tried to hammer into my brain Hitler's order, "Think of nothing except your own sphere of activity--there is no such thing as collective responsibility."

From Speer's Nuremberg Draft: I had seen my brother last the previous summer when he was home on leave. He came to see me at the office but I had people waiting, an official lunch, meetings scheduled. Even so, going against Hitler's rule which prohibited people holding high rank in government from extending privileges to thier relatives, I promised that I would get him out of Russia at the end of this campaign and get him into a construction battalion in the West for the remainder of the war.

October 5, 1942: Letter from Fritz Sauckel to Rosenberg:

The Fuehrer has worked out new and most urgent plans for armament which require the quick mobilization of two million more foreign workers. The Fuehrer therefore has granted me, for the execution of his decree of 21 March 1942, new powers for my new duties, and has especially authored me to take whatever measures I think are necessary in the Reich, the Protectorate, the Government General, as well as in the occupied territories, in order to assure, at all costs an orderly mobilization of labor for the German armament industry. The additional required labor forces will have to be drafted, for the most part, from the recently occupied Eastern Territories, especially from the Reichskommissariat Ukraine.

Therefore, the Reichskommissariat Ukraine must furnish 225,000 workers by 31 December 1842 and 225,000 more by 1 May 1942. I ask you to inform Reich Commissioner, Gauleiter, Party Member Koch at once about the new situation and requirements and especially to see that he supports personally in every possible way the execution of this new order. I intend to visit Party Member Koch shortly and I would be grateful if he could inform me as to where and when I could meet him for a personal discussion. Just now though, I ask that the recruiting be taken up at once with all energy and the use of every factor, especially the experts of the labor offices. All directives which temporarily limited the procurement of Eastern Workers are annulled. The Reich procurement for the next months must be given priority over all other measures. I do not ignore the difficulties which exist for the execution of this new order, but I am convinced that with the ruthless use of all resources and with the full co-operation of an concerned the execution of the new demands can be accomplished by the date fixed. I have already communicated the new demands directly to the ReichCommissioner for the Ukraine by teletype. In reference to our phone-call of today, I will send you the text of the Fuehrer's decree at the beginning of next week.

From Speer's IMT testimony: According to my recollection, and also from having read the records I received of the Fuehrer conferences, there are two phases to be distinguished. The first one ended in October 1942, during which there were frequent joint conferences with Sauckel, which I attended. During these conferences the distribution of labor for the next months was discussed in detail. After that time there were no longer any conferences with Hitler, which went into detail, at which I was present. I only know of the conferences of January 1944, and then there was another conference in April or May 1944 which has not yet been mentioned here. During those conferences there was only a general discussion, and the distribution was then carried out in accordance with the directives, as Sauckel says. I can confirm Sauckel's testimony that his orders concerning the occupied territories always came from Hitler, since he needed Hitler's authority to assert himself in occupied territory.

October 14, 1942: Hitler, in conversation with Albert Speer:

The A-4 is a measure that can decide the war. And what encouragement to the home front when we attack the English with it. This is the decisive weapon of the war, and what is more it can be produced with relatively small resources. Speer, you must push the A-4 as hard as you can! Whatever labor and materials they need must be supplied instantly. You know I was going to sign the decree for the tank program. But my conclusion now is: Change it around and phase it so that A-4 is put on a par with tank production. But in this project we can use only Germans. God help us if the enemy finds out about this business.

October 30, 1942: Speer speaks at a meeting of the Central Planning Board:

We must also discuss the slackers. Ley has ascertained that the sick list decreases to one-fourth or one-fifth in factories where doctors are on the staff who examine the sick men. There is nothing to be said against SS and Police taking drastic steps and putting those known to be slackers into concentration camp factories. There is no alternative. Let it happen several times, and the news will soon get around.

From Speer's IMT testimony: I considered it right that workers who violated labor discipline should be punished, but I did not demand supplementary measures in this regard. As a matter of principle, I represented the view that a satisfactory work output on the part of 14 million workers could be achieved in the long run only through the good will of the worker himself. This is a bit of experience which applies generally, causing every employer in the world to do all in his power to have his workers satisfied. Naturally I supported them [efforts made by Sauckel to improve the social conditions of the workers], even though I did not have any jurisdiction along that line; and the same reasons which I have just mentioned applied, for our experience showed that labor which is satisfied has much less loss in the way of material. This for me was very important, considering our deficiency in raw materials. It is obvious moreover that the better quality produced by satisfied laborers is of special significance in time of war.

I made the remark as reproduced by the stenographic record. Here, however, I had an opportunity to read all the shorthand notes of the Central Planning Board and I discovered that this remark was not followed up in any way and that no measures by me were demanded . . . .

Yes, we did use it [forced labor from the concentration camps] in the German armament industry. That [that 'slackers' be sent to the concentration camps] was the question of the so-called "Bummelanten," and by that name we meant workers who did not get to their work on time or who pretended to be ill. Severe measures were taken against such workers during the war, and I approved of these measures . . . .

It is certain that concentration camps had a bad reputation with us, and the transfer to a concentration camp, or threat of such a possibility, was bound to reduce the number of absentees in the factories right from the beginning. But at that meeting, as I already said yesterday, there was nothing further said about it. It was one of the many remarks one can make in wartime when one is upset . . . . I did not know, of course, what I have heard during this Trial, but the other thing was a generally known fact. Yes [it was known throughout Germany that the concentration camps were pretty tough places to be put], but not to the extent which has been revealed in this Trial. No doubt concentration camps were a means, a menace used to keep order . . . .

I assert that a great number of the foreign workers in our country did their work quite voluntarily once they had come to Germany.

November 8, 1942: Hitler speaks in Munich:

... if the enemy, on his part, makes preparations to attack, don't think I want to forestall him there, but at the same moment we let him attack also. Because then defense still is less expensive. Then just let him attack; he'll bleed to death that way, and thus far we have always taken care of the situation anyhow. At any rate, the Russians are not at the Pyrenees or before Seville; that, you see, is the same distance as for us to be in Stalingrad today, or on the Terek, let us say, but we are there; that can really not be disputed. That is a fact, after all. Naturally, when nothing else will do any more, they also say it's a mistake. Then they suddenly turn around and say: 'It is absolutely a mistake for the Germans to have gone to Kirkenes, or to have gone to Narvik, or now perhaps to Stalingrad--what do they expect to do in Stalingrad? For Stalingrad is a capital mistake, a strategic mistake.' We will just wait and see whether that was a strategic mistake...

November 26, 1942: From a letter from Sauckel to the presidents of the land labor offices:

In agreement with the Chief of the Security Police and the SD, these Jews who are still in employment are also, from now on, to be evacuated from the territory of the Reich and are to be replaced by Poles, who are being evacuated from the Government General . . . . The Poles who are to be evacuated as a result of this measure will be put into concentration camps and put to work, insofar as they are criminal or asocial elements. The remaining Poles, so far as they are suitable for labor, will be transported-without family-into the Reich, particularly to Berlin, where they win be put at the disposal of the labor allocation offices to work in armament factories instead of the Jews who are to be replaced.

From Speer's IMT testimony: In my opinion, a state functionary has two types of responsibility. One is the responsibility for his own sector and for that, of course, he is fully responsible. But above that I think that in decisive matters there is, and must be, among the leaders a common responsibility, for who is to bear responsibility for developments, if not the close associates of the head of State?

This common responsibility, however, can only be applied to fundamental matters, it cannot be applied to details connected with other ministries or other responsible departments, for otherwise the entire discipline in the life of the State would be quite confused, and no one would ever know who is individually responsible in a particular sphere. This individual responsibility in one's own sphere must, at all events, be kept clear and distinct.

December 1942 : From a report by Sauckel quoting Speer:

Speer: For this it is necessary to supply the industries with new German workers, even unskilled labor, because I cannot replace all those which we have to give up as soldiers, with foreigners. The German supply is simply becoming too scanty. Already today we are having one case of sabotage after another and we do not know their origin. Cases of sabotage will arise. The measures which will have to be taken in order to switch at least I million Germans over to the armament industry are extremely hard and will, in my opinion, lower the entire living standard of the upper classes. Therefore this means that, roughly speaking, we are going to be proletarians for the duration of the war, if it lasts a long time. This matter has to be faced' coolly and soberly. There is no alternative.

From Speer's IMT testimony: The concept which is frequently used here, war production (Kriegsproduktion), is nothing else but the ordinary concept, production. It comprises everything which is manufactured industrially or by artisans, including the civilian needs.

The concept of 'armaments' was in no way restricted to that sphere which was outlined through the Geneva prisoner-of-war agreement. The modern concept of "armaments" is a much more comprehensive one. It includes a much wider sphere of activity. There were no basic principles set down for our concept of 'armaments', The characteristic of an armament factory was that as an intermediary authority, the Armament Inspectorate took care of it and watched over it. In Germany, for instance, the entire production of raw steel belonged to armament; all rolling mills, foundries and forges; the production or the manufacture of aluminum and modern synthetic materials; the chemical production of nitrogen or fuel or synthetic rubber; the production of synthetic wool; the manufacture of individual items the use of which in armament cannot be predicted at the time of their manufacture such as ball bearings, gears, valves, engine pistons, and so forth, or the production of tool machinery; the setting up of assembly lines; similarly the manufacture of motor cars and the construction of locomotives, of merchant ships, also textile factories, and factories manufacturing leather goods or wooden wares.

In the interrogatories which I sent to my witnesses, I tried to have stated what percentage of the German armament industries produced armaments as defined by the Geneva Convention, and I should like to give you the figures. My co-workers agree unanimously that between 40 and 20 percent of our armament program was concerned with the production of weapons, armored cars, planes, warships, or the general equipment which the various branches of the Armed Forces required. The bulk of the material, therefore, was not armament in the sense of the Geneva Convention. The reason for the expansion of the concept of 'armament' in Germany was, besides manufacturing reasons, the preferential treatment which applied to these industries, a treatment which resulted in numerous industries clamoring to be called armament industries.

The demands for workers were split up into various sectors, according to the different economic branches. There were approximately 15 different sectors which placed their demands. I placed demands for Army and Navy armament and for construction, and beginning with September of 1943, for the sectors chemistry, mining, and other production. Air armament had its special labor allocation department, and their demands were voiced by the Reich Air Ministry.

December 17, 1942: United Nations Statement:

... those responsible for these crimes shall not escape retribution...

December 1942: Abraham Esau is appointed as Hermann Goering’s plenipotentiary for nuclear physics research.

From Speer's IMT testimony: We had not got as far as that [researches conducted in atomic energy], unfortunately, because the finest experts we had in atomic research had emigrated to America, and this had thrown us back a great deal in our research, so that we still needed another year or two in order to achieve any results in the splitting of the atom. Especially in this sphere it was a great disadvantage to us [to drive people out who didn't agree with Germany].

January 5, 1943: From a Sauckel circular:

On 4 January 1943, at 8 o'clock in the evening, Minister Speer telephoned from the general headquarters of the Fuehrer giving the information that, by virtue of a decision of the Fuehrer it was no longer necessary, when recruiting skilled and unskilled labor in France, to have any particular regard for the French. Recruitment could be carried on there with pressure and more severe measures.

From Sauckel's IMT testimony: This note or rather this decision did not come from me. This was a communication which came from the Fuehrer's headquarters, based on a decision made by the Fuehrer. In spite of that—and I want to emphasize that particularly—my attitude towards the French Government did not change, and it does not say so in this record either. I continued to adopt the same polite attitude in my negotiations with the Government, and I ask the Tribunal to be allowed to make a short statement on how these negotiations with the French Government were conducted.

The only thing towards which I worked was the program which I drew up and which is in the possession of the Tribunal; a program which I admit, and for which I take all the consequences and the responsibility, even for my subordinates. This program was carried out through my decrees, which are also available in full. The development of the war did not permit me to give full consideration to the circumstances which now, post faction, appear obvious. We ourselves stood in the midst of the flow of events as the war developed and did not have time to ponder over such matters.

The Sperrbetriebe were industries which were the result of an agreement between Reich Minister Speer and, I believe, the French Minister of Economics, Bichelonne. They were industries which worked partly for German armaments and partly for German civilian requirements, and did not come under my offices. The number of workers brought from foreign countries to Germany, according to careful estimates and the records of the statistical department of the Reich Ministry of Labor, might be said to be about 5 million.

From Speer's IMT testimony: Of course, I expected Sauckel to meet above all the demands of war production, but it cannot be maintained that he primarily took care of my demands, for beginning with the spring of 1943 I received only part of the workers I needed. If my maximum had been met, I should have received all of them. For this I need cite but one example. During that same period some 200,000 Ukrainian women were made available for housework, and it is quite certain that I was of the opinion that they could be put to better use in armaments production. It is also clear that the German labor reserve had not been fully utilized. In January 1943 these German reserves were still ample. I was interested in having German workers-including, of course, women-and this non-utilization of German reserves also proves that I cannot be held solely responsible for covering the essential needs, that is, for demanding foreign labor.

I needed them only in part, in view of my requirements for production. For instance, the coal mines could not get along without Russian prisoners of war. It would have been quite impossible to employ German reserves, which consisted mainly of women, in these mines. There were, furthermore, special assignments for which it was desirable to have foreign skilled labor, but the majority of the needs could be met by German workers, even German female workers. The same principle was followed in the armament industries in England and America and certainly in the Soviet Union, too.

After this telephone call further measures were to be taken in France to increase the number of workers available for allocation. Minutes of a Fuehrer conference which I found recently, namely, those of the meeting of 3 to 5 January 1943, show that at that time Hitler's statement of opinion referred to increased employment of French people in France for local industry and economy. This record states that measures must be taken to raise economy in France to a higher level. It contains stern injunctions from Hitler concerning the ways and means that he contemplated using to this end. It states that acts of sabotage are to be punished with the most rigorous means and that "humanitarian muddle-headedness" is out of place.

These minutes also show that at that time I asked Hitler to transfer the management of production questions in France to me, a step which was actually taken several months later. I mention this only for the purpose of making it clear, while I am still in a position to testify as a witness, that I did not carry out Hitler's policy of abandoning all "humanitarian muddle-headedness" in France.

My attention was drawn to one case in which 10 hostages were to be shot as a reprisal for acts of industrial sabotage committed in the Meurthe-et-Moselle district. At that time I managed to prevent the sentence from being carried out. Roechling, who was at that time in charge of iron production in the occupied western territories, is my witness in this case. That is the only case I know of where hostages were to be shot on account of sabotage in production.

I can also prove that, through a decision by Hitler dated September 1943, I was responsible for providing a supplementary meal in addition to the existing ration for factory workers employed in France. In a letter which I sent to the Plenipotentiary General for the Allocation of Labor in December 1943, I strongly urged the necessity not only of paying wages to the workers in the occupied western territories, but also of making available to them a corresponding quantity of consumer goods--a line of policy which doubtless does not accord with the policy of plundering the western regions, on which so much stress has been laid by the French Prosecution.

All three documents are in my possession and they can be produced. I only mention these facts to show that I neither approved nor followed the very harsh policy laid down by Hitler for application in France in the records of 3 to 5 January.

January 12, 1943: From notes of a conference between Sauckel, Laval and other French leaders:

Gauleiter Sauckel demands a further 250,000 new workers. Gauleiter Sauckel knows very well--and his offices have certainly informed him about this--the difficulties which the French Government had in carrying out the program last year. The Gauleiter must realize that as a result of the number of prisoners of war and workers who are already employed by Germany, the sending of another 250,000 workers will increase even further the difficulties of the French Government. I cannot conceal these difficulties from the Gauleiter, because they are evident; and the Germans who are in Paris know these difficulties. When the Gauleiter replies that they have had to overcome the same difficulties in Germany and when he even states that French industry must be expanded, it seems to me that I must remind him that Germany not only demands workers of France, but is also beginning to take away the machines from factories in order to transport them to Germany. France may have nothing left, but until now she still had her means of production. If these too are taken from her, France loses even her possibilities for working.

I do everything to facilitate a German victory, but I must admit that German policy makes heavier demands on me nearly every day and these demands do not conform to a definite policy. Gauleiter Sauckel can tell the German workers that they are working for Germany. I cannot say that Frenchmen are working for France.

I see that in many fields the French Government is not able to act. One would almost believe that on the German side they set no value on the good will of the French and that they are bent on instituting a German administration throughout France. My task is being made more difficult every day. It is true that I do not allow myself to be discouraged; but I consider, however, that it is my duty to remind the Gauleiter of the gravity of Franco-German relations and of the impossibility of continuing along this path. It is no longer a matter of a policy of collaboration; rather, it is on the French side a policy of sacrifice, and on the German side a policy of coercion.

The present state of mind in France, the uncertainty concerning the means which the French Government possesses, the half-freedom in which it finds itself, all these do not give me the necessary authority to furnish Gauleiter Sauckel with an immediate reply. We can do nothing. We are not free to change salaries; we are not free even to combat the black market; we cannot take any political measure without everywhere coming up against some German authority which has substituted itself in our place.

I cannot guarantee measures which I do not take myself. I am persuaded that the Fuehrer is unaware that the French Government cannot act. There cannot be in one country two governments on questions which do not concern directly the security of the occupation forces . . . . It is not possible for me to be a mere agent for German measures of coercion.

From Speer's IMT testimony: During these conferences representatives from my departments were sometimes present. They were present for the purpose of protecting the blocked factories and also to see to it that there were no encroachments on the production interests which I planned to protect. It was not the task of these representatives to act for or against Sauckel's demands, because Sauckel stated his demands in such a definite way that a subordinate official was not in a position to speak either for or against these demands in any way. This would have been a task which I would have had to carry out myself. My representatives were the representatives from the armament, from the heavy armament and war production in the occupied territories, and as such they had their special tasks.

January 22, 1943: From the secret diary of Ulrich von Hassell:

According to people who ... have pipe lines to the Army both on the battle front and at home, there is now a real possibility for peace. The evil of the situation is revealed in the fact that at this same time there come reports from the 'enemy's side' which give rise to ever-increasing doubts as to whether they are now holding out for the complete destruction of Germany

January 24, 1943 Casablanca: FDR, flanked by Churchill, announces the controversial policy of Unconditional Surrender:

Some of you Britishers know the old story: we had a general called US Grant. His name was Ulysses Simpson Grant but in my, and the Prime Minister's early days, he was called 'Unconditional Surrender Grant.' The elimination of German, Japanese and Italian war power means the unconditional surrender of Germany, Italy and Japan . . . . It does not mean the destruction of the population of Germany, Italy or Japan, but it does mean the destruction of the philosophies in those countries which are based on conquest and the subjugation of other people.

February 1, 1943: Speer writes to Himmler:

Dear Party Comrade Himmler, I am informed that a large resettlement drive is about to be undertaken in the district of Bialystok. Following the evacuation of about 40,000 Jews from the districts ghetto's, 40,000 White Ruthenian peasants, who if left in place could support partisans active in the areas, are to be transferred to the habitations left by the Jews. As the available space is considered insufficient for thier needs, application has been made to me for building materials for a barrack settlement for 20,000.

While fully appreciating these measures, I fear priority for building materials in these times of scarcity must be given to housing for armament workers and victims of enemy bombardments at home. I must therefore ask you to have these people settled without further demands on our limited building supplies. Heil Hitler. Yours, Speer. [Note: Himmler will reply on February 9th, agreeing to Speers request.] (Sereny)

February 2, 1943: Paulus surrenders at Stalingrad. (Clark II)

From Stalingrad by Antony Beevor: Now the last letter from Ernst [Speer] in Stalingrad said that he could not stand watching his fellow patients die in the field hospital. He had rejoined his comrades in the front lines, despite his grotesquely swollen limbs and pathetic weakness.

From Speer's Spandau Draft: In mid-January Hitler, having at last realized Goering’s incapacity to act, finally ordered Milch to try to save the day. I drove to the airfield with him when he left Luftwaffe HQ south of the encircled city from where he would direct whatever rescue operations were still possible and he promised faithfully to try to find my brother. Despite the Russian's dreadfully effective air defense, he did manage to fly in a few supplies of food and medicines and, more extraordinary still, flew out another few thousand wounded. But he couldn't find my brother--the unit was reached for but it, and he, had disappeared. Like hundred of thousands of other soldiers, my brother was declared missing, presumed dead. (Sereny)

February 5-6, 1943: Sauckel speaks at the Congress of Gauleiter and Reichsleiter held at Posen:

The remarkable violence of the war forces me to mobilize, in the name of the Fuehrer, many millions of foreigners for labor for the entire German war economy and to urge them to effect the maximum production. The purpose of this utilization is to assure in the field of labor the war material necessary in the struggle for the preservation of the life and liberty, in the first place, of our own people, and also for the preservation of our Western culture for those peoples who, in contrast to the parasitical Jews and plutocrats, possess the honest will and strength to shape their life by their own work and effort. This is the vast difference between the work which was exacted through the Treaty of Versailles and the Dawes and Young Plans at one time--which took the form of slavery and tribute to the might and supremacy of Jewry--and the use of labor which I, as a National Socialist, have the honor to prepare and to carry out as a contribution by Germany in the fight for her liberty and for that of her allies.

From Speer's IMT testimony: No, only Russian prisoners of war and Italian military internees were used for the production of arms. As for the use of French and other prisoners of war in this production I had several conferences with Keitel on the subject. And I must tell you that Keitel always adopted the view that these prisoners of war could not be used in violation of the Geneva Prisoner of War Convention. I can claim that on the strength of this fact I no longer used my influence to see that these prisoners of war should be used in armament industries in violation of the Geneva Convention; The conception, of course, "production of arms" is very much open to argument. It always depends on what position one takes, whether you have a wide conception of "armaments" or a narrow one.

February 12, 1943: From notes of a meeting of the Military Commanders and all responsible officials of the Reich labor service:

Gauleiter Sauckel likewise thanks the various services for the successful carrying out of the first action. Immediately after the beginning of the new year, he is obliged to announce further severe measures. There is a great new need of labor for the front as well as for the Reich armament industry . . . .

The situation at the front calls for 700,000 soldiers fit for front-line service. The armament industry would have to lose 200,000 key workers by the middle of March. I have received an order from the Fuehrer to find 200,000 foreign skilled workers as replacements and I shall need for this purpose 150,000 French skilled workmen, while the other 50,000 can be drawn from Holland, Belgium, and other occupied countries. In addition, 100,000 unskilled French workers are necessary for the Reich. The second action of recruitment in France makes it necessary that by the middle of March 150,000 skilled workers and 100,000 unskilled workmen and women be transferred to Germany.

February 13, 1943: Goebbels' Diary: Evening at my house, Speer and Ley . . . . We are entirely of one mind on all fundamental questions ...

February 18, 1943 Totalkrieg: In Berlin, Goebbels delivers his most famous speech:

The tragic battle of Stalingrad is a symbol of heroic, manly resistance to the revolt of the steppes. It has not only a military, but also an intellectual and spiritual significance for the German people. Here for the first time our eyes have been opened to the true nature of the war. We want no more false hopes and illusions. We want bravely to look the facts in the face, however hard and dreadful they may be. The history of our party and our state has proven that a danger recognized is a danger defeated. Our coming hard battles in the East will be under the sign of this heroic resistance. It will require previously undreamed of efforts by our soldiers and our weapons. A merciless war is raging in the East. The Fuehrer was right when he said that in the end there will not be winners and losers, but the living and the dead...

From Speer's IMT testimony: Sauckel also testified here that after Stalingrad Goebbels and I started on the "total war effort." But that is not correct in this form. Stalingrad was in January 1943, and Goebbels started on his "total war effort" in August 1944. After Stalingrad a great reorganization program was to be carried out in Germany in order to free German labor. I myself was one of those who demanded this. Neither Goebbels nor I, however, was able to carry out this plan. A committee of three, Lammers, Keitel, and Bormann, was formed; but owing to their lack of technical knowledge they were unable to carry out their task.

From Speer's USSBS interview: Since I started my job, I have always sternly demanded that more women go to work than was the case before. Statistics of WW1 show that contribution then was far greater. It is correct, Sauckel and the Party protected the women, and said that they must not be used for labor to the same extent. One was of the opinion that the uses of women on a large scale would have badly influenced the morale of women, and that therefore it could not be done. In general the war was not taken seriously enough at home, almost up to its end, i.e. up to fall 1944.

Also the unconditional belief in victory—even with the Gauleiter’s—has something to do with it. They were too optimistic. Here our Reichs propaganda fired back [Note: Speer probably meant to say 'Here the our propaganda back-fired]. Nobody thought that we could lose the victory. The words of Churchill--'blood, sweat, and tears'--would have been the right slogan for us, too. Instead of that, we only had 'Our victory is assured.' Because of this mentality no Gauleiter wanted to make any personal sacrifices. It almost happened, against my protestations in 1943, that of the Ukrainian country girls, 200,000 entered households as maids instead of drawing maids into armament . . . .

That was what enervated me when I read British and American newspapers and pictures, and saw where, for instance, women built planes. One of the memoranda where I demanded the same concerns only this topic. The German workers too did not understand it. The workers were disturbed because women could stay at home, while the men had to put in overtime. That made the German (worker) as mad as it made me. But this was here a question of interior politics and I did not get my proposals through. Here at home we had only a few responsible people who wanted to take part in the war with their own sacrifices. All of them wanted to continue an easy life. If one demands things from the people one can only do it by starting at the head. If the minister or Gauleiter starts to send his maid away, he can demand the same of those further down. If he keeps her, one again arrives at compromises, and nothing happens. (SBS)

February 19, 1943: From notes of a meeting attended by Speer, Sauckel, and Field Marshal Milch:

Sauckel: If any prisoners are taken, they will be needed there.

Milch: We have made a request for an order that a certain percentage of men in the antiaircraft artillery must be Russians. Fifty thousand will be taken altogether, thirty thousand are already employed as gunners. It is an amusing thing that Russians must work the guns.

February 24, 1943: A letter from Sauckel to Hitler:

Plenipotentiary General for Allocation of Labor, to the Fuehrer general headquarters of the Fuehrer. My Fuehrer, I beg herewith to take leave of you before my intended journey to France. The purpose of my journey is:

1) To put at the disposal of the Reich, within the given time, skilled labor to replace German key workers being drafted into the Wehrmacht. May I add that Field Marshal Keitel and General von Unruh received a communication from me yesterday to the effect that half of these replacements for key men, that is 125,000 French qualified skilled men, have already arrived in the Reich on I January 1943 and that a corresponding number of soldiers can be called to the colors. I shall now make sure in France that the second half shall arrive in the Reich by the end of March, or earlier if possible. The first French program was executed by the end of December.

2) To assure the necessary labor for the French dockyards for the carrying out of the programs drawn up by Grand Admiral Doenitz and Gauleiter Kaufmann.

3) To assure the necessary labor for the programs of the Luftwaffe.

4) To assure the necessary labor for the other German armament programs which are in progress in France.

5) To make available supplementary labor in agreement with State Secretary Backe, with a view to intensifying French agricultural production.

6) To have discussions, if necessary, with the French Government on the subject of the carrying out of the labor service, the calling up of age-groups, and so forth, with a view to activating the recruitment of labor for the benefit of the German war economy.

From Speer's IMT testimony: I wanted to prove ... that even according to Sauckel's opinion at the time he did not endeavor to bring workers to Germany from France, et cetera, corresponding to my maximum demands. For if in a report to Hitler he asserts that he brought more workers to the armament sector than I demanded, as can be seen from the letter then it would be clear that he did more than I asked him to do. Actually, it was quite different. In actual fact, he did not supply these workers at all, and we had a heated argument because it was my opinion that he had supplied a far smaller number and had boosted his report to Hitler. I have expressed clearly enough that I considered Sauckel's labor policy of bringing foreigners into Germany to be the proper course. I did not try to dodge that responsibility, but there did exist considerable reserves of German labor; that again is only proof of the fact that I was not responsible for the maximum demands made, and that was all I wanted to prove.

February 27, 1943: Goebbels' Diary:

Speer, Ley and Funk at the house--we talked about everything until 2 AM . . . . Speer & Funk ... feel, however, with Goering now so lethargic and resigned ... I should take over leadership of Council [of Ministers], on the face of it as his deputy. I [tell them] I am quite prepared to do this but we would at least nominally need his agreement. He is at present ... yet again ... vacationing . . . . Speer offers to get on his plane in pursuit, in order to persuade him to agree. If we get him on our side, I have no doubt we'd very quickly get the Fuehrer's backing and ... could begin work. I would propose a group of ten leading personalities with whom I would then govern, i.e., set up a structure of inner-political leadership. All of us know there will be problems, but on this evening it is perfectly clear to us that if there was ever a repetition of events such as we witnessed this past winter on the Eastern front, we would be facing a most svere crisis of public confidence . . . . Our only reason for fear is the never-to-be-thought-of-possibility that we could lose the war ... but the time to consider this danger and take all measures against it, is now.

The discussion this evening was incredibly productive. What a relief to talk with true National Socialists such as these three.

February 27, 1943: Speer travels to Berchtesgaden to enlist Goering in the plan for a new Council of Ministers.

From Speer's Nuremberg Draft: He [Goering] viewed the situation exactly as we did and he was particularly struck when I told him that we were sure Bormann was seeking to succeed Hitler. I was able to present him with a number of details supporting this view. That certainly activated his juices! We reached complete agreement and decided to ask Goebbels to fly up the next day for a second conference.

By the next evening everything was decided: we would set up the Council of Ministers as a joint instrument of power; Goebbels and I would be appointed members. We set a date for a third meeting in Berlin [with Funk and Ley] after which we would proceed together against Bormann and his group. We would stand together, supporting each other in the decisive meeting with Hitler. All was agreed: a small conspiracy. (See: April 12, 1943)

Early 1943: Mass production of the A-4 finally begins. Ultimately, 42 000 concentration camp prisoners will be used as slave labor in the production of these rockets in underground works; at least 30 000 will perish. (Piszkiewicz, Burrows)

From Speer's IMT testimony: The most modern equipment for the most modern weapons had been housed in subterranean factories. Since we did not have many of these subterranean works at our disposal, we had to house in the main this latest equipment there. This equipment required perfect conditions of work-air which was dry and free from dust, good lighting facilities, big fresh air installations, so that the conditions which applied to such a subterranean factory would be about the same as those in a night shift in a regular industry.

I should like to add that contrary to the impression which has been created here in Court, these subterranean factories, almost without exception, were staffed with German workers, because we had a special interest in having these modern installations manned by the best workers which were at our disposal. It was an insignificant number at the end of the war. We were using 300,000 square meters of subterranean premises and were planning for 3,000,000 square meters.

March 11, 1943: From the record of a telephone conversation of the Chief of the Economic Staff East of the German Army:

The Plenipotentiary General for Allocation of Labor, Gauleiter Sauckel, points out to me in an urgent teletype that the allocation of labor in German agriculture, as well as all the most urgent armament programs ordered by the Fuehrer, make the most rapid procurement of approximately 1 million women and men from the newly occupied Eastern Territories within the next 4 months an imperative necessity. For this purpose, Gauleiter Sauckel demands the shipment of 5,000 workers daily beginning 15 March; 10,000 workers, male and female, beginning 1 April, from the newly occupied Eastern Territories. . . .

In consideration of the extraordinary losses of workers which occurred in German war industry because of the developments of the past months, it is now necessary that the recruiting of workers be taken up again everywhere with all vigor. The tendency momentarily noticeable in that territory, to limit and/or entirely stop the Reich recruiting program, is absolutely not bearable in view of this state of affairs. Gauleiter Sauckel, who is informed about these events, because of this applied directly to General Field Marshal Keitel on 10 March 1943, in a teletype, and emphasized on this occasion that, as in all other occupied territories, where all other methods fail a certain pressure must be used, by order of the Fuehrer.

From a 1943 report from the Krupp hospitals taken from the files of Krupp's: Cases of Deaths of Eastern Workers. Fifty-four Eastern Workers have died in the hospital in Lazarettstrasse, 4 of them as a result of external causes and 50 as a result of illness. The causes of death in the case of these 50 Eastern Workers who died of illnesses were the following: Tuberculosis, 36 (including 2 women); malnutrition, 2; internal hemorrhage, 1; disease of the bowels, 2; typhoid fever, 1 (female); pneumonia, 3; appendicitis, 1 (female); liver trouble, 1; abscess of the brain, 1. This list therefore shows that four-fifths died of tuberculosis and malnutrition.

From Speer's IMT testimony: First I should like to comment on the document. The document does not show the total number of the workers to which the number of deaths refers, so that one cannot say whether that is an unnaturally high proportion of illness. At a session of the Central Planning Board which I read here again, I observed it was said that among the Russian workers there was a high rate of tuberculosis. I do not know whether you mean that. That was a remark which Weiger made to me. But presumably through the health offices we tried to alleviate these conditions. I do not know whether that was an abnormal death rate. But there was an abnormally high rate of tuberculosis at times.

March 13, 1943: Goebbels' Diary:

Later in the evening the news reached us of another exceedingly heavy air raid on Essen. This time the Krupp plant has been hard hit. I telephoned to the Deputy Gauleiter, Schlessmann, who gave me a rather desperate report. Twenty-five major fires were raging on the ground of the Krupp plant alone. Air warfare is at present our greatest worry . . . . Things simply cannot go on like this. The Fuehrer told Goering what he thought, without mincing words. It is expected that Goering will now do something decisive

March 17, 1943: Sauckel to Rosenberg:

After a protracted illness, my deputy for labor allocation in the Occupied Eastern Territories, State Councilor Peuckert, is going there to regulate the allocation of labor both for Germany and the territories themselves. I ask you sincerely, dear Party Member Rosenberg, to assist him to your utmost on account of the pressing urgency of Peuckert's mission. I may thank you already at this moment for the good reception accorded to Peuckert up to this time. He himself has been charged by me to co-operate fully and unreservedly with all bureaus of the Eastern Territories. Especially the labor allocation for German agriculture and likewise the most urgent armament production programs ordered by the Fuehrer, make the fastest importation of approximately 1 million men and women from the Eastern Territories within the next 4 months, a necessity.

Starting 15 March the daily shipment must reach 5,000 female or male workers, while from the beginning of April this number has to be stepped up to 10,000, if the most urgent programs and the spring tillage and other agricultural tasks are not to suffer to the detriment of the food and of the Armed Forces. I have provided for the allotment of the draft quotas for the individual territories, in agreement with your experts for labor supply, as follows: Daily quota starting 15 March 1943: From General Kommissariat, White Ruthenia—500 people: Economic Inspection, Center—500 people; Reichskommissariat, Ukraine—3,000 people; Economic Inspection, South—1,000 people; total—5,000 people. Starting 1 April 1943, the daily quota is to be doubled corresponding to the doubling of the entire quota. I hope to visit personally the Eastern Territories towards the end of the month, and ask you once more for your kind support.

From Speer's IMT testimony: Arrangements for transport trains were made by Sauckel and his staff. It is possible that air raids or a sudden change in the production program made it necessary for my office to ask for transport trains to be rerouted; but the responsibility for that always rested with the Plenipotentiary General for the Allocation of Labor.

March 20, 1943: Goebbels' Diary:
Even if the claim that Krupp has been 80 percent destroyed is terribly exaggerated, we must nevertheless expect serious stoppages of production.

From The Arms of Krupp by William Manchester: The one consequence strategic bombing votaries hadn't expected, and which they have been trying to explain ever since, was an increase in output during heavy raids. Nevertheless that is what happened. The 'serious stoppages' Goebbels anticipated never occurred. Afterward Willi Schlieker—number three man in the Ministerium for Armament and War Production, after Speer himself and Karl-Otto Saur—revealed after the war that "as the bombings grew, so did German production, until on the very eve of defeat, when Germany had collapsed within, the Ruhr was producing more than ever before." Schlieker recalled that Hitler had told Speer, "Give me six hundred tanks a month, and we will abolish every enemy in the world." The Generalstab, said Willi, echoed the Fuehrer—"600 tanks a month, 600 was the magic figure. By the end of 1943 Germany was producing 1,000 tanks a month . . . . By November 1944, when the Allies had already made their first breach of German soil, Germany was producing 1,800 tank a month . . . . Production rose and soared . . . . By mid-1944 airplane production had reached a peak of 3,750 aircraft a month . . . .

Feldmarschall Walther Model might still be holding the Ruhr today if transportation hadn't broken down. His supply lines disintegrated because the railroad grid had become a hopeless snarl. Schlieker told American bombing experts that the Ruhrgebiet "ultimately collapsed, not because of the bombing of plants, mills and mines but because the railroad exits were so clogged with blowouts, breaks, and burnt-out locomotives that they could not carry away the 30,000 tons of finished goods the Ruhr produced every day.

March 26, 1943: From a memo by Sauckel:

At the end of February, the Reichsfuehrer SS, in agreement with myself and the Reich Minister for armaments and munitions, for reasons of state security, has removed from their places of work all Jews who were still working freely and not in camps, and either transferred them to a labor corps or collected them for removal.

From Speer's IMT testimony: Himmler ... wanted to build factories of his own in his concentration camps. Then he would have been able to produce arms without any outside control, which Hitler, of course, knew. The 5 percent arms production which was to have been handed to Himmler was to a certain extent a compensation for the fact that he himself gave up the idea of building factories in the camps. From the psychological point of view it was not so simple for me to get Himmler to give up this idea when he kept on reminding Hitler of it. I was hoping that he would be satisfied with the 5 percent arms production we were going to give him. Actually this 5 percent was never handed over. We managed things quietly with the Operations Staff of the OKW and with General Buhle, so that he never got the arms at all . . . .

I knew that the National Socialist Party was anti-Semitic, and I knew that the Jews were being evacuated from Germany. When, in February 1942, I took over my new office, the Party was already insisting that Jews ho were still working in armament factories should be removed from them. I objected at the time, and managed to get Bormann to issue a circular letter to the effect that these Jews might go on being employed in armament factories and that Party offices were prohibited from accusing the heads of these firms on political grounds because of the Jews working there. It was the Gauleiter who made such political accusations against the heads of concerns, and it was mostly in the Gau Saxony and in the Gau Berlin. So after this the Jews could remain in these plants.

Without having any authority to do so, I had had this circular letter from the Party published in my news sheet to heads of factories and had sent it to all concerned, so that I would in any case receive their complaints if the Party should not obey the instruction. After that the problem was left alone, until September or October of 1942. At that time a conference with Hitler took place, at which Sauckel also was present. At this conference Hitler insisted emphatically that the Jews must now be removed from the armament firms, and he gave orders for this to be done--this will be seen from a Fuehrer protocol which has been preserved. In spite of this we managed to keep the Jews on in factories and it was only in March 1943, as this letter shows, that resistance gave way and the Jews finally did have to get out.

I must point out to you that, as far as I can remember, it was not yet a question of the Jewish problem as a whole, but in the years 1941 and 1942 Jews had gone to the armament factories to do important war work and have an occupation of military importance; they were able to escape the evacuation which at that time was already in full swing. They were mostly occupied in the electrical industry, and Geheimrat Bucher, of the electrical industry--that is AEG and Siemens--no doubt lent a helping hand in order to get the Jews taken on there in greater numbers. These Jews were completely free and their families were still in their homes.

The letter by Gauleiter Sauckel you have before you was not, of course, submitted to me; and Sauckel says that he himself had not seen it. But it is certainly true that I knew about it before action was taken; I knew because the question had to be discussed as to how one should get replacements. It is equally certain, though, that I also protested at the time at having skilled labor removed from my armament industries because, apart from other reasons, it was going to make things difficult for me ... if the Jews who were evacuated had been allowed to work for me, it would have been a considerable advantage to me.


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