Document 3040-PS: Use of Manpower in the East ("Sonderbehandlung"/Special Treatment)

Published: 1942-02-20

Translated by Carlos W. Porter

Translator's note: the document is an "unpublished" printed excerpt. All documents in the IMT volumes are printed, i.e., the original document is never shown. The annexes are not attached.

(From: Allgemeine Erlassammlung [general compendium of decrees] (AES), part 2, A III f (Treatment of foreign civilian workers), issued by the RSHA. I Org. pages 15-24.)

Use of Manpower from the East

RdErl of the RFSS uChdDtPol im RmdI dated 20.2.1942

S IV D nr. 208/42 (foreign workers)

I enclose in annex 1) the General Provisions on the recruitment and service of labour from the East with a request for your attention and exact consideration.

I have the following additional instructions to issue to the offices of the Security Police and the SD:

  1. Manpower from the ex-Soviet Russian territory:
    1. General Security Measures
      1. The user of manpower from the ex-Soviet Russian territory in the Reich, despite the particular restrictions on the life style of these people, involves greater danger than the use of any other foreign labour, the more so in practice, particularly on the job, since total isolation from German and other foreign workers and strict supervision cannot be effected in many instances. The Security Police is responsible for the prevention of any danger, and must do everything in its power to cope with its tasks, that is, to reduce the extent of the danger to a minimum. Since we cannot rely upon reinforcements, the inspectors and the State Police offices must make it their particular business to urge all other offices participating in the use of this manpower in safeguarding the security police affairs within their field of responsibility.
      2. The tasks arising out of the increasing use of the Russians are to be summarised at a departmental division of the State Police offices, and be supervised on a constant personal basis and in a responsible manner by a leading criminal police officer of that office.
      3. Insofar as possible, an official must be appointed for a certain number of undertakings using manpower from the ex-Soviet territory; the official will administer the supervision of that manpower on the work site and in their lodgings in collaboration with defence officials.
      1. If no defence officials have thus far been appointed in undertakings using manpower from the ex-Soviet Russian territory, such officials must be appointed.
      2. In the absence of other possibilities of checking, an especially intensive executive intelligence service should be created within these labour forces; particular attention must be paid to the spreading of Communist ideas and the danger of sabotage actions.
    2. Housing and supervision
      1. The separate and supervised housing for manpower from the ex-Soviet Russian territory referred to in paragraph A V of Annex 1 must in no case be neglected, with the sole exception of individual female workers in agriculture.
      2. (1) Particular care must be taken with regards to the timely procurement of guard personnel for the undertakings listed in Annex under A V 1 b) and c). If the undertakings and Reichs labour administration are both responsible for intensive assistance in fulfilling this task, the ultimate responsibility still lies with the Security Police offices.

        (2) The following procedure must therefore be provided for:

        1. The agricultural labour officials have received instructions to determine, several weeks ahead of time in all cases, which undertakings are to be allotted the next arrival of manpower from the ex-Soviet Russian territory, and in which numerical strength. They must notify the Security Police and SD immediately upon drawing up the plan referred to above, and with regards to any addition to the same. The latter, in turn, must take care to be informed at all times in this regard, maintaining constant contact with the district spokesman of the guard personnel expert group.
        2. The Inspector of the Security Police and SD, in any territory in which manpower from the ex-Soviet territory is being used for the first time, must receive timely information as to the arrival of every transport from the office IV E 1 b of the RSHA.

          The Inspector will inform: - the Agricultural Labour Office, Labour Service departmental division, which may, if needs be, communicate any rearrangements; and the Inspector of the Order Police, particularly, insofar as such use takes place in an undertaking to which administrative personnel must be assigned to act as guards by the Order Police; the district spokesman of the professional guard agencies expert group with instructions to make guard personnel available to the given undertakings by means of one or more measures, and to contact the locally responsible State Police office, either directly, or through a supervisory organisation; the locally responsible State Police offices.

        3. the State Police (Mail) Office must then, directly or indirectly, examine the housing provided by the undertaking. It must be established whether factory security officers are available in the undertakings, and whether they are sufficient to supervise the numbers of workers from the ex-Soviet Russian territory. If this is not the case, the State Police office must provide additional factory security officers through professional guard agencies. In undertakings in which there are no factory security officers, the procurement of guard personnel must be supervised and checked by a professional guard agency to ensure that they meet the requirements in terms of numbers and suitability.
      3. The use of professional guards in protected undertakings must be approved by the OKW. The Labour Service Affairs Group in the Four Year Plan will issue instructions to the central authorities of all state undertakings responsible for their own guard services that they will only be allowed to receive manpower from the ex-Soviet Russian territory if they ensure supervision of that manpower by the guard services provided for these undertakings. Since poor supervision may endanger the general security of these undertakings, the State Police offices will also keep an eye on the supervision of these undertakings, and report any difficulties to the RSHA.
      4. Despite all precautionary measures, numerous problems are appearing, precisely with regards to the provision of the necessary guard personnel. These problems must be solved locally, and, in the contrary event, must be reported by the FS.
      5. Supervising the guarding of these workers involves the following duties for the State Police officers:
        1. Appointment of the guard personnel leader, as well as his representative.

          In undertakings with factory security officers, the guard personnel leader will usually be the same person as the factory security officer leader. In undertakings using, or which intend to use, exclusively personnel recruited from professional guard agencies, the officer provided by the Order Police — in the countryside, this is usually a rural constable — must be appointed guard personnel leader. If police officials are not available, the leader and representative must also act as auxiliary police officials. In larger camps, a few suitable persons should, if needs be, also be appointed to act as auxiliary police officials, since an auxiliary police official must be available at all times. Care should nevertheless be taken to ensure that guard personnel are only appointed as auxiliary police officials to the extent absolutely necessary.

        2. Instructions for factory security officials and guard personnel

          The guards must maintain a strict distance from Soviet Russian manpower and must not speak a superfluous word with them outside service. They must act energetically with regards to the camp inmates, but may not commit any injustice against them [Sie haben energisch den Lagerinsassen gegenueber aufzutreten, duerfen aber ihnen gegenueber keine Ungerechtigkeiten begehen.]

        3. The behaviour of the guards must be constantly checked. Indiscipline on the part of personnel from among the factory security officials and professionals must be punished by State Police measures.
        4. Selection of German members of the factory personnel to be provided with special factory security functions with regards to the Russians:

          Since only a few persons can be put into service on the job by guard personnel, the necessary number of German supervisors and foremen must be entrusted with the above factory security functions. The men appointed for this purpose must be politically reliable, possess a faultless character, and must be capable of intervening energetically. In undertakings with a factory security main office, the auxiliary security guards must be subordinate to the factory security leader. In undertakings without a main factory security office, an auxiliary factory security leader must be appointed from among them, to be responsible for supervising the auxiliary factory security officials. The factory security leaders are responsible for constant instruction of the guards in the above sense. The State Police must ensure this by sample testing, and, if needs be, provide supplementary training with regards to the given conditions.

        5. General instructions to the guards according to the attached model (see Annex) 1)
        6. Special instructions to the guards in individual cases or local special matters.

          The task of the guards is solely to perform guard duties and maintain discipline among manpower from the ex-Soviet Russian territory. Special administrative matters must not be entrusted to guards. The administration of the camp is, rather, a special matter of the undertaking, including the maintenance of a camp book or camp card file. This naturally does not prevent the guard leader from objecting if defects of administration jeopardize the execution of state police measures.

    3. The Struggle against indiscipline
      1. Corresponding to the equalisation of manpower from the ex-Soviet Russian territory with prisoners of war, strict discipline must prevail both in housing and on the job. Indiscipline, including wilful refusal to work and careless work, will be combated exclusively by the Secret State Police. The slightest cases are to be taken care of by the leader of the guard personnel according to the instructions of the State Police (Main) Offices using the methods contained in Annex. To break acute resistance, the guards may also be permitted to employ physical force against workers. Use of physical force, however, may only be resorted to on the most urgent grounds of necessity. The workers must be constantly instructed they will be only be treated decently if they maintain a disciplined attitude, including the performance of good work. [Zur Brechung acuter Widerstandes wird den Wachmaennern auch eine koerperliche Einwirkung auf die Arbeitskraefte zu erlauben sein. Doch hiervon nur aus zwingenden Anlass Gebrauch gemacht werden. Die Arbeitskraefte sollen stets darueber belehrt werden, dass sie bei disziplinvollem Verhalten einschliesslich guter Arbeitsleistung anstaendig behandelt werden.]
      2. In severe cases, that is, cases in which the measures available to the guard leader are not sufficient, the State Police (Main) Office must intervene with their measures. Correspondingly, as a rule, only severe measures are provided for, i.e., confinement to a concentration camp or Sonderbehandlung [Special treatment]:
      3. Confinement to a concentration camp will take place in the usual manner.
      4. In particularly severe cases, Sonderbehandlung 1) must be applied for with the Reichs Security Main Office, stating the identity of the person(s) involved and an exact description of the facts of the case. [In besonders schweren Faellen ist beim Reichssicherheithauptamt Sonderbehandlung 1) under Angabe der Personalien und des genauen Tatbestandes zu beandtragen.]
      5. Special treatment takes place by hanging. [Sonderbehandlung Sonderbehandlung erfolgt durch Strang] It should not take place in the immediate vicinity of the camp. A certain number of workers from the ex-Soviet Russian territory should be present during the Sonderbehandlung.

        The facts of the case resulting in Sonderbehandlung should be communicated to them as a warning.

      6. If Sonderbehandlung is to take place inside the camp as an exception and for purposes of camp discipline, this must also be applied for.
    4. Acts of hostility to the Reich

      Acts of hostility to the Reich, especially, the dissemination of Communist ideas, propaganda hramful to morale, acts of sabotage, are to be combated with the severest measures. Quick intervention should not be to the detriment of care in gathering information, in order to apprehend the entire group of guilty parties. Actions hostile to the Reich are, as a rule, to be punished by Sonderbehandlung; in less serious cases, confinement to a concentration camp may be considered.

    5. Criminal negligence
      1. Criminal negligence, whether within or without the camp, is basically to be punished by State Police measures. The investigations must, insofar as necessary, be carried out by the Criminal Police.

        Careful instructions have been given to the criminal police authorities to present the findings of their investigations to the responsible State Police (Main) Office before releasing them to the State prosecutor's office.

      2. Criminal acts must, in general, be punished as indiscipline; in less serious cases, State Police measures will apply. In more serious cases — such as murder, manslaughter, robbery — Sonderbehandlung will apply.
      3. In capital cases against German persons, however, a criminal trial may, in individual cases, appear appropriate. If the State Police (Main) Office considers such to be the case, it may bring the proceedings before the State Prosecutor's Office, on the condition that a condemnation to death may certainly be counted upon according to the provisions of criminal law.
    6. Sexual intercourse

      The practice of sexual intercourse among workers from the ex-Soviet Russian territory is forbidden. Nor do they have any opportunity to engage in sexual intercourse, due to their isolated housing. If cases of sexual intercourse should, however, occur — particularly among persons employed on an individual basis in agriculture — the following step should be taken:

      1. All cases of sexual intercourse with German racial comrades, whether male or female, must be punished by Sonderbehandlung in the case of a male worker from the ex-Soviet Russian territory, and confinement to a concentration camp in the case of a female worker [from the ex-Soviet Russian territory].
      2. In cases of sexual intercourse with other foreign workers, such behaviour, on the part of workers from the ex-Soviet Russian territory, is to be punished as severe indiscipline, and punished by confinement to a concentration camp.
    7. Measures involving fraternization with manpower from the ex-Soviet Russian territory
      1. Special care must be paid to the fundamental segregation of manpower from the ex-Soviet Russian territory from the German population. It is a matter of preventing the penetration of Communist ideas into the German population by prohibiting all fraternization not immediately related to work, and, as far as possible, avoiding all solidarity between German persons and manpower from the ex-Soviet Russian territory. Germans guilty of violations hereof must be dealt with using the State Police measures provided, depending on the situation in the individual case.
      2. If German racial comrades, whether men or women, are guilty of sexual intercourse or indecent acts with workers from the ex-Soviet Russian territory, application must be made to confine them to a concentration camp.
      3. Security Police risks also involve a high degree of [risk] of contact between other workers in service in the Reich with workers from the ex-Soviet Russian territory; such contacts should also be combated through measures against the foreign workers. Confinement to a concentration camp (or deportation, in the case of Italians) may as a rule be considered; this also applies to cases of sexual intercourse.
    8. Investigations 1)
      1. Escaped workers from the ex-Soviet Russian territory should basically be entered into the German wanted persons file. Local investigation proceedings should also be initiated.
      2. Upon capture, application should basically be made for Sonderbehandlung of the escapee.
    9. Processing in the Reichs Security Main Office
      1. Applications, reports, and further inquiries arising out of dealings with manpower from the ex-Soviet Russian territory under the above regulations are to be filed with Office IV A 1 of the Reichs Security Main Office responsible for the processing of Soviet Russians 2).
      2. Only questions and reports relating especially to the guarding of these workers must be directed to Office IV E 1 b of the Reichs Security Main Office.
  2. Workers from the Balkans and workers of foreign peoples of non-Polish descent from the General Gouvernement and the annexed Eastern territories
    1. General
      1. These workers are to be dealt with in a uniform manner with regards to the State Police. Based on the political attitude of these peoples or ethnic groups with regards to the Reich on the one hand, and their position in the Eastern sphere on the other hand, they are subject to the generally applicable conditions for foreign manpower, but are subject to special restrictions in their life style.
      2. These restrictions relate principally to an exterior isolation of the above mentioned manpower from the German people. Since the allocation and housing of these workers is not strictly isolated and under guard, the Secret State Police must pay special attention to respect for the above principles. This must have the effect of ensuring, through constant contact with the offices participating in the allocation of foreigners, that consideration is given to this principle in all measures relating to the allocation of labour. Residency of these persons in the Reich, individual housing despite the availability of collective housing, positions of superiority over German workers on the job, etc. must not be tolerated. Insofar as these workers personally violate the above principle and take unjustified action against Germans in the form of insubordination or acts of violence, such behaviour must be combated by State Police measures.
      3. These workers must, however due the fundamentally hostile attitude of their peoples towards the Polish people and Bolshevism, in no way be considered equivalent to the Poles or workers from the ex-Soviet Russian territory. Special attention must nevertheless be paid to them — particularly, through the creation of an executive intelligence service within these workforces — since their relaxed attitude towards the Germans, if needs be, may change abruptly, or at least stiffen, as a result of failure to fulfil overly tense political expectations.
    2. Acts of hostility to the Reich

      Actions hostile to the Reich, such as acts of sabotage, Communist-Marxist agitation, anti-German remarks, strike agitation, must be opposed with all severity in view of the above, using ordinary State Police measures.

    3. The struggle against violation of the labour contract
      1. The struggle against violations of the labour contract on the part of these workers is, first and foremost, the responsibility of the State Police.
      2. This, of course, does not imply any intervention in the activity of the Reichs Labour Trustees in the regulation and mediation of company problems with the means available, insofar as no executive intervention is necessary. The Reichs Labour Trustee will, if necessary, introduce the more severe Secret State Police measures.
      3. In every case, however, the State Police (Main) Office must examine whether or not the violation of the labour contract on the part of the workers may not be attributable to negligence on the part of the undertaking through failure to fulfil the contractual duties as well as poor treatment [!]. If the attitude of the workers involved is justified by negligence on the part of the undertaking, no State Police action should be taken [!], since these are free workers. [!].
      4. In other cases, however, immediate intervention must occur; in the event of violation of the contractual duty to work on the part of the workers, confinement to a labour education camp [Arbeitserziehungslager] must, as a rule, be available [as an option]. In serious cases of repeated violation, confinement to a concentration camp may be applied for. In cases of violation of the labour contract handled by the State Police, the Reichs Labour Trustee must, in any event, be notified of the decision.
    4. Criminal negligence
      1. In all cases of criminal negligence committed by the manpower mentioned above, the investigation proceedings must be introduced by the local police authorities, local constable offices, or criminal (main) offices, after conclusion of investigations by the State Police (Main) Offices.
      2. The district police authorities have been instructed accordingly. Intervention by the State Police (Main) Offices is intended to provide an overview of the crime rate among the Eastern workers in their districts and, moreover, to punish particularly reprehensible criminal offences by State Police measures.
      3. The investigation proceedings initiated in this regard should be handled as follows:

        Morals offences, cases of violent crime, and acts of sabotage, are, basically, to be punished by State Police measures (Sonderbehandlung); I have, however, no objections against handing the investigation proceedings over to the responsible State prosecutor's office if, according to the applicable provisions of criminal law, it can be certain that the guilty party will be sentenced to death [!]. In these cases, the outcome of the criminal proceedings must be communicated; if, despite expectations, the death penalty is not applied, this should be reported to me, enclosing a copy of the judgement.

        Investigatory proceedings arising out of other, minor offences should, as a rule, should be handed over to the responsible State Prosecutor's office. If a serious increase of such criminal offences occurs in a certain region, there should, however, be no objections against punishing even purely criminal minor offences by State Police measures on dissuasive grounds.

    5. Searching for escaped workers

      With regards to the search proceedings for escaped workers, the regulations applicable to Polish civilian workers will apply accordingly.

    6. Sexual intercourse with Germans
      1. Sexual intercourse between workers from the Baltic countries, or foreign workers of non-Polish descent from the General Gouvernement and the annexed Eastern territories, with Germans, must be prohibited with the severest penalities 1) The workers will, upon fulfilment of their duty to report, be severely reprimanded [belehrt] by local police authorities using the enclosed check-sheet 2) [Translator's note: not attached to IMT document translated here], with the foreign-language text printed underneath. A reprimand of the German population will be undertaken by the Party offices.
      2. The district police authorities have received instructions to proceed with the immediate arrest of any workers who violate this regulation, and to file a report with the responsible State Police (Main) Office.
      3. Male workers who have had sexual intercourse with Germans are to be punished with Sonderbehandlung; in the case of female workers, application will be made for confinement to a concentration camp. The regulations for Sonderbehandlung applicable to Polish civilian workers apply accordingly. This also applies to the treatment of the participating German persons.
    7. Processing in the Reichs Security Main Office

      Applications, reports, and further matters arising out of the treatment of manpower from the Baltic states, as well as ethnically foreign manpower of non-Polish descent from the General Gouvernement and the annexed Eastern territories according to the above regulations, should be filed with Office IV D 3 1) of the Reichs Security Office responsible for the processing of these persons.

    8. Manpower of Polish ethnicity from the General Gouvernement and the annexed Eastern territories.

      The regulations applicable to manpower of Polish ethnicity are contained in Annex 1 section C. In event of criminal acts committed by Polish civilian workers, the guidelines issued under B IV of the present decree are to applied accordingly, with regards to the further handling of investigative proceedings brought before the State Police (Main) Police offices.

      The office IV D 2 within the RSHA remains, as before, responsible for the treatment civilian workers of Polish ethnicity.

To the IdS. De BdS., in Prague, all State Police (Main) Offices, Criminal Police (Main) Offices, SD-(L)A.

For information:

To the HSSuPF., BdS., KdS., in the General Gouvernement. - [Not published]

End of text

Translation dated 16 February 1998

[Comment: Parts of the above appear logical to me and parts do not. I am very suspicious of the idea of hanging people for sexual intercourse at a time when labour was badly needed and brothels were being erected (no pun intended) in concentration camps.]

Additional information about this document
Property Value
Author(s): Heinrich Himmler
Title: Document 3040-PS: Use of Manpower in the East ("Sonderbehandlung"/Special Treatment)
  • Carlos W. Porter: translation
Published: 1942-02-20
First posted on CODOH: June 29, 1996, 7 p.m.
Last revision:
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