Translated by Carlos W. Porter
DESCRIPTION: Six parts. Page one — printed leaflet/signature printed in facsimile)
On Compulsory Labour and Labour Service in the Eastern Theatre of Operations of the Newly Occupied Eastern Territories
To ensure the military and economic requirements in the Eastern theatre of operations, the following order is hereby issued in accordance with the Economic Staff for the East:
All residents of the theatre of operations aged 14 to 65 are subject to public compulsory labour according to the degree of their ability to work; they are to report of the local responsible labour authorities or otherwise appointed office for registration upon request.
The duty to perform compulsory labour may also include the performance of labour outside the usual place of residence or outside the theatre of operations.
Persons subject to compulsory labour will, upon enlisting for work, receive a ruling to their obligation.
Jews will be subject to a special regulation [Sonderregulung].
The duty to perform compulsory labour according to section 1 also includes the duty, upon request by the responsible labour authorities, to submit to a certain types of vocational training, instruction, or re-training.
Restriction in changing jobs
Employees (workers, employees, and apprentices) may only leave their jobs with the prior consent of the responsible authorities; similarly, employers will require the prior consent of the labour authorities to dismiss their employees. Leaving the job or dismissal from the job without the necessary approval shall be without legal effect. [!]
Approval of the labour authorities according to paragraph 1 is not required when: a) the business (work site) has been shut down b) the employee was hired for a limited period of less than one month in the first place.
Businesses (private and public enterprises and administrations of all types) and homes may only hire employees with the prior approval of the locally responsible authorities. The assignment of labour forces by the labour authorities in itself implies granting of this approval.
Approval is not necessary for hiring in enterprises active in agriculture and forestry, domestic shipping, of mining and petroleum extraction.
The provisions of paragraphs 3 and 4 do not apply in combat zones, or to the hiring or dismissal of persons by troop units.
Employees who have been discharged from their employment must immediately report to the locally responsible authorities or otherwise appointed offices.
Workers and employees, in particular, trained technical workers not in service corresponding to their professional prior training (not working in their usual occupations) must, upon request by the locally responsible labour authorities, and insofar as necessary for additional labour service, are to be dismissed and made available to the labour service in their usual occupation. Regardless of the above, the employer must inform the locally responsible labour authorities of all workers not employed in their usual occupations.
In accordance with the above, unmarried working persons, or persons considered equivalent to the same, and required for foreign labour (outside their usual place of residence or outside the theatre of operations) are to be processed accordingly, insofar as necessary. They must, if applicable, be replaced by persons who cannot leave the area or otherwise fit for work to a restricted extent only.
Permits to carry on an existing trade or vocation, itinerant worker permits, city residence permits, and similar certificates of approval, may only be issued with the prior approval of the locally responsible labour authorities.
Certificates which have already been issued may be withdrawn upon the application of the labour authorities.
Formulation of wage and working conditions
Persons subject to compulsory labour will be paid according to the suitable conditions and based on the broadest possible application of the principle of payment for labour. Only those labourers not permitted to receive remuneration under an agreement or premium system are to be paid on a time-wage basis. Insofar as the occupation is exercised outside the theatre of operations, only the corresponding conditions of the locality of occupation will apply.
The work week is 54 hours; in addition to the aforementioned number of hours per week, every person subject to compulsory labour will also be obligated to perform overtime, night work, and work on Sundays and holidays, within suitable limits.
Insofar as the conditions of the undertaking permit, working canteens must be set up for workers, as well as shops selling food , semi-luxuries [Genussmittel], and objects for daily use. The retail shops must also be made available to family members of the persons active in the undertaking, insofar as possible.
Sickness insurance and other social security
Workers who perform their compulsory labour inside the theatre of operations, or in civilian or military offices, or in undertakings of importance to the economy, including farming or forestry, will, in the event of illness, or, as the result of an industrial accident, receive the following health care (medical care and sickness compensation and hospital care) according to separate provisions.
When working outside the theatre of operations, the relevant conditions of the locality of operations will apply.
Anyone performing compulsory labour away from his usual place of residence, or outside the theatre of operations, and therefore living separately from his family will, upon application, receive support to ensure a decent maintenance for his family, according to the separate provisions of the economic staff for the East.
Anyone performing compulsory labour away from his usual place of residence, or outside the theatre of operations, and therefore living separately from his family will, insofar as possible in view of his personality, ability, and fitness for independent agricultural operations, be taken into full consideration upon implementation of the new agricultural arrangement under the existing regulations governing the allocation of land, draught animals, working animals, and inventory.
Implementation and punitive measures; entry into effect
The Quartermaster General, in agreement with the economic staff for the East, will issue the necessary provisions for the implementation and supplementing of the above regulation.
Violations of the above regulation and any provisions issued for the implementation thereof, particularly, refusal to work, or wilful withholding of labour, as well as wilfully staying away from work on the part of persons obligated to perform compulsory labour, will be subject to severe punishment according to the more detailed terms of the implementing regulations.
The above regulation becomes effective immediately.
Headquarters, Supreme Command of the Army, 6 February 1943
Chief of the General Staff of the Army
Zeitzler [handwritten signature]
Page two: illegible signature; indelible pencil/all signatures in red ink/all written corrections and deletions in ink/ upper right next to it — Memorandum: for the file (blue, underlined)
On the conference with KV- Chief State Councillor Peuckert, in Rovno, on 10 March 1943.
The following persons were present:
- Major General Nagel, Economy, in the south
- Lt. General Bruch Rue, in the Ukraine
- KV Chief Peukert, Economy Staff East, Chief of the Labour Group and Official of the G.B.A.
- Supreme Government Councillor Meincke, Representative of the official of the G.B.A.
- Supreme Military Administrative Councillor Bong-Schmidt, Economy, in the south, Chief of the Labour Group
- KV Division chief Dr. Ackermann, Economy in the south, Chief of the La Group in Rovno (part of the time)
State Councillor Peuckert declared by way of introduction, that the Labour Service in German agriculture and the armaments programme ordered by the Fuehrer urgently requires the most rapid procurement of another 1 million workers from the Eastern territories. German agriculture alone requires another 800,000 workers, of whom only 30,000 have arrived so far. Based on the order of the regulations of the GBA with relation to the reporting of men and women for the purpose of defending the Reich, dated 27.1.1943, over one million women are said to have reported for duty; but these are said to have been mostly women who are only available for duty with the Labour Service on a part-time basis, and whose service in the armaments industry under the Labour Service is therefore hardly possible.
The Fuehrer is furthermore said to have ordered that the capacity of the German armaments industry must be first fully exploited to the fullest, before the armaments industries located near the front would be brought to full capacity. It is said to have been planned to import workers from the Eastern territories, particularly, in agriculture and in the food industry, workers from the West (particularly, the technical workers needed by Minister Speer) of the armaments economy [sic — sentence defective in German] The 1 million workers to be imported from the East are to be allocated in the next 4 months. It is therefore said to be necessary to achieve a daily departing transport of 5,000 workers per day by 15.3., a number which must be increased to 10,000 per day by 1.4. The RKU is participating in this nominal daily [emphasis] target with 3,000 workers, Economy in the south (former territory) with 1,000 workers, Economy in the Centre with 500, and White Ruthenia with 500 workers.
State Councillor Peukert is aware of the difficulties which stand in the way of fulfilment of this contingent. Nevertheless, in his view, it will be fundamentally necessary to continue to rely upon voluntary recruitment. To carry out recruitment on a voluntary basis with the greatest possible success, an intensive and systematic propaganda action must be initiated. Care for the Eastern workers in the Reich must, after the overcoming of various initial difficulties, must now be considered to be thoroughly satisfactory, having thoroughly convinced himself of that fact in two districts personally. The fact that the sickness rate among Eastern workers is now below 2%, testifies to the truth of that statement. Furthermore, for example, the foreign worker emblem has lost so much of its depreciatory character for the wearer that every foreigner working in the Reich is said to be obligated to wear a national emblem. If recruitment on a voluntary basis does not lead to the desired result, it was said that it will be necessary to proceed with labour conscription (see paragraph 1 of the regulation of the Chief of the General Staff of the Army on compulsory labour and the labour service in the theatre of operations of the newly occupied Easter territories dated 6.2.1943). He emphasised that the use of labour conscription in all the territories newly occupied by German troops corresponded to the express will of the Fuehrer. Of course, if it is hardly feasible to introduce labour conscription adapted to the individual person, 1) only barely capable of implementation, it will therefore be necessary to decide in favour of "corporative" [emphasis added] labour conscription. Moreover, he did not intend to speak in exact detail on the type of application of measures of compulsion, since the measures to be taken must be adjusted to the different actual local situations. He was however thankful for every measure in relation to the type of recruitment, but he must require that the contingents be filled. In the RKU region, the following measures were said to be planned:
- conscription based on the year of birth 2) in somewhat the manner of a 2-year term of labour service with the promise of allocation of land;
- reinforced recruitment, first in the cities, together with a combing out of the businesses;
- the struggle against the partisans, first along the railway from Brest-Pinsk-Gomel, to a width of perhaps 50 km wide [along the railway].
For the implementation of these measures, the reinforced importation of police forces was said to be intended. A conference in this regard is said to be planned to take place over the course of the next few weeks, between Sauckel, Rosenberg, and Himmler. The relative success, in terms of the labour service, is said to have been ensured by the concentrated assignment of 350 to 500 recruiters.
- instead of "abgestellte" originally "abgestimmte"
- instead of "jahrgangsweise" originally "jahrgangsmaessig"
A similar action is said to be needed, to start from Tschernigow outwards to the west; d) reinforced recruiting in the countryside after implementation of the spring order in co-operation with the La. According to own data of the La, it is said to be possible to recruit approximately 200 to 250,000 workers for the Reich.
General Nagel then gave a survey of the development of the labour service in the area of inspection, and stressed that it has always been possible for the inspection to satisfy both the justified needs of the local suppliers, troops, mining, railways, fortifications, etc. as well as the Reichs contingent. 700,000 workers in total were said to being transported into the Reich. He would not therefore capitulate before large numbers, even in the future.
Whether the new requirements of Gauleiter Sauckel could be fulfilled on time, could not, however, be foreseen at present. Particularly, in view of the strain on the [transport situation] [emphasis added], the question of the transport for the workers remained unclear for the moment. Nor could certain deficits caused by transport difficulties be recovered in time; but rather necessarily resulted in an postponement of transports.
The commander of the military region of the south, General Friederici, was said to have applied, a few days ago, for a prohibition of recruitment for workers for the Reich in the territory of the Army. General F. was said said to have based his application on the possible danger in the event of continued recruitment being unable to supply the needs of the troops and the local armaments and agricultural economies. It was furthermore said to be necessary to leave certain worker reserves with regard to possible fortification needs which might arise in the territory of the Army (East Wall). The responsibility for this was, however, not that of General F., but, rather, the Inspector of the Economy. General F. furthermore spoke out against the methods of recruitment, which, in his view, would result in unecessary unrest among the population and a reinforcement of the partisans. The Inspector of the Economy I was said to have raised a prohibition against the planned recruitment with the greatest concern among the Army group south, in addition to which, in his view, without endangering the interests of the troops and the agricultural economy from the areas of Tschernigow, Ssumy, Saporoshjeland, and Melipopol. 15,000 workers were to be given up by businesses in the city Dnjepropetrowsk, which should be possible in the view of Claus-Selzner, but which the Inspector of the Economy considers impossible. It was said to appear quite conceivable that rabble wandering around and not caught by the labour authorities might exist in these numbers. But no exact statements could be made in this regard.
The Inspector of the Economy established the following points as points of view as decisive to the success of further recruitment:
- Effective propaganda [emphasis added]. The only thing that counted was, not what was true 3) or false, but only, what was believed [emphasis added]. Even if it could be left open that the care for the Eastern workers in the Reich was now perfect (a report just received from Dr. Kohl, Economy Staff East, however still describes considerable defects), it must not be forgotten that over 80% of the letters from Eastern workers to members of their families are delivered uncensored and some of them only arrive months later. These letters are said to have related to a time, therefore, when there were still many things in the Reich which were not entirely in order, but which therefore had unfavourable effects over a longer time.
Above all, propaganda must be directed first and foremost at the German soldier himself, since at the present time, all military agencies have a — if not negative, but at any uncomprehending — attitude with regards to the recruitment, as a result unskilled recruiting methods some of them only used locally.
- Clear guidelines and implementation conditions for recruitment. The soldier was said to be used to receiving clear orders. He was therefore waiting for the implementing regulations anticipated in paragraph 15 of the regulation on compulsory labour and the labour service in the area of operations of the newly occupied territories dated 6.2.1943. In particular, it was said to be necessary to clarify which measures of compulsion were to be taken in the event of failure to comply with the duty to perform compulsory labour (see paragraph 16 of the regulations).
The Inspector of the Economy promised to instruct the Army group south on the contents of the conference, in particular, the urgency of the demand of Gauleiter Sauckel.
3) instead of "wahr" originally "war" 4) instead of "werde" originally "wird"
State Councillor will obtain an order from the Chief of the Economic Staff for the East which sketches out the concept of "rational" recruitment methods" in greater detail. He will furthermore take the opportunity to discuss the questions arising in connection with recruitment of labour for the Reich personally with the Army Group for the South and the Commander of the Army Territory South.
Supreme Military Administrative Council and representative Chief Group Leader
(third page: signature and hand-written mark upper right blue)
At the OFKbe
Telephone conversation of the Chief of the Economic Staff for the East
Br. B. Nr.3663/43
Inspector for the Economy In South
The General Plenipotentiary for the Labour Service, Gauleiter Sauckel, informed me, in an urgent teletype, that labour service in German agriculture as well as the armaments programme ordered by the Fuehrer make the most rapid importation of approximately 1 million men and women from the newly occupied territories necessary over the next four months an urgent necessity. Gauleiter Sauckel demanded, for this purpose, starting on 15.3 the transport of 5000 male workers per day, and, starting on 1 April, 10,000 male or female workers from the newly occupied territories. The daily arrival of 5,000 (10,000) workers was allocated as follows in agreement with the GBA:
- Reichskommissar Ukraine 3,000 (6,000) workers per day
- Inspector for the Economy South 1,000 (2,000) workers per day
- Inspector for the Economy Centre 500 (1,000) workers per day
- General Commissar for White Ruthenia 500 (1,000) workers per day
With regards to the extraordinarily high deficits in manpower arising for the German war economy due to the events of the past few months, it is now necessary for the recruitment of labour for the Reich to be taken up everywhere with all energy. The recognisable tendency in that area at the present moment to restrict or completely stop recruitment for the Reich is, in view of this situation, intolerable. Gauleiter Sauckel, who has been informed of these events, addressed himself directly to General Field Marshal Keitel in a teletype dated 10.3.43 and stated, on this occasion, that, as in all other occupied territories, wherever all other means failed, a certain pressure must be exerted upon order of the Fuehrer. I therefore order that conditions be created in the individual areas, in agreement with the local administrative offices and with the responsible La leaders in the countryside, which conditions must be fulfilled on the basis of the duty to perform compulsory labour. If the conditions are not fulfilled through voluntary recruitment, they are to be fulfilled through levies. For implementation of the duty to perform compulsory labour, force can be used in individual cases. It is however not permissible for manpower to be procured through collective measures of compulsion. I am attempting, in agreement with the responsible command agencies, to order the prohibition of any disturbance of recruitment for the Reich, and that these will be supported by the military agencies in every respect.
(signed) Stapf [typewritten signature]
11.3.43 signed Dr. Bachmann [typewritten signature]
22.45 hours KVR
Announced: KVS Guth
Bender [handwritten signature]
Part four: Signature (illegible) (indelible pencil /upper right over the date: for the file (blue, underlined) / right, beneath "Aktenvermerk" (memorandum): main conference (letterhead) / ink and betr. Marking partly overlapping from lower left after upper right; erl [?] (pencil) / right from * to * marginal line (blue) upper right next to "vorzulegen" (for the General Headquarters Conference) (ink)
With regards to: Labour service of prisoners of war in coal mining in the Donez. It appears necessary, if renewed labour service by prisoners of war in coal mining in the Donez should come into question, to take care that this service and the Stalags are subordinate to the General of the prisoners of war only, and that the assignment of labour is undertaken according to the decree of 1942.
After the prisoners of war had been lying around for weeks in the mining camps of the OFK with nothing to do, they were gradually made useful to the mining industry. Of the 52,000 prisoners of war originally available, approximately 26,000 were assigned to the mining industry, which used them in 18,000 shifts daily. As a result of the mortality rate of 12% per month, the assignment sank to 12,000, of whom 8,000 remained active in production recently. A great number of the miners were never used in the production of coal, but rather, in timbering operations and similar special jobs.
Signed Schnur [typewritten signature]
To be presented to the Inspector
Page five: blue signature / l n "Abschrift" (copy) red stamp: "Economic Inspector for the South", Br. B. Nr. I 791/43 geh" ("I "791" "3" in "43" over stamped "2" and "geh" in ink) / r n "Abschrift": bei Akte (Copy: for the file) (blue, underlined) / "Akte" partly overlapping P illegible (indelible pencil) / right, next to "Akte" with date underneath: W (red, as well as underlined; twice crossed out in blue) / right, beneath letterhead: Secret Stamp in red.
The Commander of the Security Police and the SD
To Lt. Coronel Eicke
According to our consultation of today's date I enclose the copy of an order which I have sent to my command leaders on 19.3. I am asking you to consider this order as intended for your personal information only.
Please note that the more severe security police measures were made necessary by the political situation, and that they have, for the most part, already been stopped by the present order.
Signed signature [sic] SS Stuermbahnfuehrer u.Kdr.
Bender [handwritten signature]
Page six: signature in blue
Copy of Copy
Sonderkommando 4 a, dated 19.3.43
To all Commando leaders personally
Of the SD exterior commandos
The task of the security police and the SD is the detection and combating of enemies of the Reich in the interests of security, in the territory of operations, in particular, the security of the troops. In addition to the destruction [Vernichtung] of enemies appearing openly, elements who might, based on their attitude or past, actively arise as enemies under favourable circumstances, must be wiped out [auszuumerzen] through preventive measures. The responsibility of the Security Police in the field of operations is based on the Barbarossa Decree. The considerable scale of measures recently taken by the security police were considered by myself to be necessary.
1) The situation on the front in my area had become so tense, that the population, at that time, influenced by the Hungarians and Italians, who were fleeing backwards under chaotic circumstances, often took a position hostile to us.
2) The serious partisan movements, originating, particularly, from the Briansker Forest, were another reason. In addition, new bands of partisans, formed from the population, shot up in all areas, like mushrooms out of the earth. The procurement of weapons was obviously no problem for them. It would have been irresponsible for to sit back and allow all these movements to continue without doing anything. As the principal points of the severe measures I will indicate the following:
- the shooting of the Hungarian Jews
- the shooting of farmers
- the shooting of children
- burning villages to the ground
- the escape of SD prisoners [sic — Fluchten von SD Haeftlingen][?].
The Chief of Einsatzgruppe C once again confirmed the correctness of the measures taken, and expressed his gratitude for the radical intervention. With regards to the political situation at the present moment, particularly, in the armaments industry in the homeland, the measures of the security police are to subordinated to the greatest possible extent to the labour service for Germany. The Ukraine recently released 1 million workers for the armaments industry, to be made available in the immediate future, of whom 500 men are to be placed daily. The work of the exterior commandos must therefore be adapted immediately. The following orders are hereby issued in this regard:
- Special treatment is to be restricted to a minimum [Sonderbehandlungen sind auf ein Mindestmass zu beschraenken].
- The registration of Communist Party officials, activists, etc. should only take place through the drawing up of lists, without arrests It is no longer a matter, for example, of arresting the close relations of Communist Party members. Even members of the Komsomolz are only to be arrested, if they were active in a leading position. [Die Erfassung der KP-Funktionaere, Aktivisten, usw. Haben zunaechst nur listenmaessig zu erfolgen, ohne Verhaftungen]. Es geht z,B, nicht mehr an, dass bei KP-Mitgliedern die naehere Verwandschaft verhaftet wird. Auch Mitglieder des Komsomolz sind nur dann festzunehmen, wenn diese in einer fuehrenden Stellung taetig waren.]
- The activity of the labour authorities is to support the recruitment commission insofar as possible. At the same time, it will not always be possible to proceed without measures of compulsion. In a conference with the leaders of the labour service, it was agreed that everywhere where prisoners could be released, they should be made available to the labour authorities. In taking villages, or when it is necessary to burn a village, the entire population must be made available to the officials by force.
- Basically, no more children are to be shot.
- Reporting on partisan activities and units remain unaffected by the present order. I draw your attention to the fact that [anti-] partisan activity is to take place with my approval only.
- Prisons are to be kept basically empty.
We must be clear in our minds that the Slav interprets all soft treatment as weakness, and acts accordingly at the first available opportunity. If we temporarily restrict our severe security police measures through the above order, this is done on the following grounds. The most important thing is the procurement of labour. There will be no examination of persons to be sent into the Reich. Nor should there be any requirement of written certification of political verification and the like.
[Das wichtigste ist die Arbeiterbeschaffung. Eine Ueberpruefung der ins Reich zu verschickenden Personen erfolgt nicht. Es sind daher auch keine schriftlichen Bescheinigungen fuer politische Ueberpruefung und dergleichen abzugeben.]
Signed Christensen [typewritten signature]
Signed Signature [sic]
Bender [handwritten signature]
Additional information about this document
|Author(s):||Zeitzler , Peuckert , Bachmann , Schnur , Bender , Christensen|
|Title:||Document 3012-PS: "Sonderbehandlung"/Special Treatment|
|First posted on CODOH:||June 29, 1996, 7 p.m.|