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Translation of document 016-PS
The Deputy for the 4 Year Plan
The General Plenipotentiary for Labor Mobilization
Berlin W 8, 24 April 1942
Mohrenstrasse 65 (Thuringia/House)
Bureau of Ministry [Ministerburo] received 27. April 1942, No. 0887 Min. 28/v
Dr. K.P. has been informed
Very esteemed and dear Party-member Rosenberg!
Inclosed please find my program for the mobilization of labor. Please excuse the fact that this copy still contains a few corrections.
[signed]: Fritz Sauckel
copie for Mr. Wittenbacher
Chancellory 1 May 1942 (Kanzlei) Mischke
read: ILFL/KS 45.42
filed: 1-5, 5/5 42 Pg
To The “Reichsminister” for the Occupied Territories of the East, Party-Member Rosenberg
The Deputy for the Four Year Plan
The Plenipotentiary for Labor-Mobilization
20 April 1942
The Labor-Mobilization Program
On the occasion of the Hero/Memorial Day, in 1942, the hardest and most gigantic commitment of German soldiery in all history was announced to the German people by the Fuehrer. Besides the heroic and victorious conduct against an enemy of an unheard of superiority in number and material, and fighting with the courage of utter despair and beastly brutality, stands the endurance of hardships unparalleled in history of severest winter of cold, ice, snow and story since 140 years. The conquest of the unbelievable difficulties arising from such a climate and terrible weather conditions elevates our soldiers of the East Front, by comparison with the human and soldierly efforts of all times up to now, without exaggeration, to supermen.
It is now the duty of the Home Front towards those soldiers to summon all its strength for an equally gigantic effort to enable them to win complete, final and most rapid victory.
All the burdens and further necessary restrictions, even in the field of nutrition, must be endured with proud determination in consideration of the shining example of the soldiers.
Our Armed Forces of Greater Germany surpassed themselves in heroism, resistance and endurance at the Front of the East, in Africa, in the air and on the sea. To insure their victory in any case, it is necessary now to produce more and better weapons, materiel and ammunition through another increased effort and endeavor of the entire German people, that is, all the producing workers, intellectual and manual, the women and the entire German Youth.
In this manner will the German Home Front contribute decisively to the frustration of the hopes of our enemies to again escape their complete and final defeat.
The aim of this new, gigantic labor mobilization is to use all the rich and tremendous sources, conquered and secured for us by our fighting Armed Forces under the leadership of Adolf Hitler, for the armament of the Armed Forces and also for the nutrition of the Homeland. The raw-materials as well as the fertility of the conquered territories and their human labor power are to be used completely and conscientiously to the profit of Germany and their allies.
In spite of the fact that most of the German people capable of doing so have already made a most commendable effort for the war economy, more considerable reserves must be found and made available under any circumstances.
The decisive measure to realize this is in the uniformly regulated and directed Labor-mobilization of the nation in the war.
To reach this goal, the following principles must be worked out and executed:
A. All important Production Programs, actually in progress, must under no circumstances be disturbed by the new measures. On the contrary, they should even be increased.
B. All orders of the Fuehrer, Reichs-Fieldmarshal of the Greater German Reich and the “Minister” for ammunition and armament are to be carried out as quickly as possible. Labor supply necessary for that purpose must be freed and made available either in Germany or in the occupied territories.
C. The task concerning the seed and harvest of German peasantry and all the territories under German control with the view to secure the largest production is just as urgent. The lacking laborers must be made available as quickly as possible.
D. A supply system for the vitally necessary materials for the German people will be assured.
The realization of these principles for labor-mobilization requires:
1. The cooperation of all the forces of the party, economy and the state under coordinated leadership.
2. The best will of all the German people.
3. The most far-reaching measures to imbue all the employed German workmen and women with the highest confidence in the justice of the consideration of their own personal welfare and their salaries as well as the best possible care for their health and shelter under the actual war circumstances.
4. The quickest and best solution of the question of the use of women and youth labor.
To reach the goal determined by the Fuehrer the simultaneous and quickest use of numerous different measures of unified purpose are absolutely necessary. As any one of those must not interfere with the others, but rather complement them, it is also absolutely necessary that all the offices [Dienststellen] in the Reich, its territories and communities, in party, state and economy, participating in this decisive task act according to coordinated, synchronized directives.
Thus, the labor-mobilization of the nation contributes extraordinarily to the quickest and victorious termination of the war It requires every effort of the German people on the Home front. It is for that German people, for their preservation, their freedom, happiness and amelioration of their nutrition and standards of living that this war is being fought.
I. In the districts [Gau], it is the task of the district-chief [Gauleiter] to take in his hands the propaganda and orientation of the German people concerning the necessity of labor-mobilization and to carry out important measures for the care of the employed youth and women as well as to supervise the condition of camps and shelters.
They also assure themselves of the closest and friendliest cooperation of all the participating institutions.
II. It is not only the most distinguished duty of the General Plenipotentiary, but a condition sine qua non for the success of his task, to assure himself of the utmost cooperation and understanding of all the highest Reichs-Bureaus [Reichs-stellen], especially those offices [Dienststellen] of the Armed Forces whose departments are concerned with his task.
III. Equally necessary is the mutual understanding of all the Reichs-leaders [Reichsleiter] of the party, especially the cooperation of the German Labor Front [Deutsche Arbeits-front] and the institutions of economy.
IV. The General Plenipotentiary for labor mobilization will therefore use with the help of the smallest, personal staff of assistants the existing party, state and economic institutions and assure the quickest success of his measure with the good will and the cooperation of all concerned.
V. The General Plenipotentiary for labor mobilization has therefore, with the consent of the Fuehrer and the knowledge of the Reichsmarshal of Greater Germany and the director [Letter] of the Party Chancellory [Reichskanzlei] appointed all the district chiefs [Gauleiters] as his plenipotentiaries in the German Districts of the National Socialist Party.
VI. The plenipotentiaries for labor mobilization are using all the offices of the Party in their district. The chiefs of the highest offices of the State and economy of their districts will assist and advise the District chiefs in all matters concerning the labor mobilization.
The most important for that purpose would be the following:
The President of the Land Labor Office [Praesident des Landesarbeitsamtes]
The Trustee for Labor, [Treuhaender der Arbeit],
The leader of the Peasants [Landesbauernfuehrer],
The economic adviser of the district [Gauwirtschaftsberator]
The District Superintendant of the German Labor Front [Gauobmann der Deutschen Arbeitsfront],
The leader of the womanhood of the district [Gaufrauenschaftsleiterin],
The leader of the Hitler Youth of the region [Gebietsfuehrer der Hitler-Jugend],
The highest representative of the interior and general administration, and of the office for Agriculture [der hoechste Vertreter der Inneren und Allgemeinen Verwaltung bzw. des Landeswirtschaftsamtes].
Should the confines [Bezirk] of a Land-Labor Office comprise several Districts, it seems advisable that the President of the Land-Labor Office in question should make available to the District Chief, in whose district capital there is no Land-Labor Office, his closest and most capable assistants in such a way that also in those offices the continuous information and instruction of the district-chiefs about all the measures concerning the labor-mobilization remains assured.
VII. The most distinguished and important task of the district-chiefs of the National Socialist Party in their capacity as plenipotentiaries in their districts consists in assuring the best understanding and cooperation of all the offices of their districts participating in the labor-mobilization.
Nevertheless, it must be strictly observed that the dignitaries of the party and the offices of the National Socialist Party, its organizations, sub-divisions and attached institutions do not assume functions coming under the jurisdiction of the State, the Armed Forces or economic institutions and for which only those authorities are responsible; they are not to interfere with official business not coming under their jurisdiction, according to the wish of the Fuehrer.
Should we succeed with the help of the Party in convincing all the German intellectual and manual workers of the great importance of the labor-mobilization for the outcome of the war, and succeed in taking good care and keeping up the morale of all the men, women, and the German youths who work within the labor-mobilization program under extraordinarily strenuous circumstances, as far as their physical and mental capabilities of endurance are concerned, and should we furthermore be able, also with the help of the party, to use prisoners of war as well as civilian workmen and women of foreign blood not only without harm to our own people but to the greatest advantage to our war and nutrition industries, then we will have accomplished the most difficult part of the labor mobilization program.
The Task and its Solution
(No figures are mentioned because of security reasons. I can assure you, nevertheless, that we are concerned with the greatest labor-problem of all times, especially with regard to figures.)
A. The Task:
1. The conscription of new soldiers to a gigantic extent for all branches and services of the Armed Forces has been rendered necessary by the present war-situation.
a. The removal of workers from all professional enterprises, especially of a great number of trained personnel from armament producing war industries.
b. Also the removal of especially non-essential personnel from the war nutrition industry.
2. The war situation also necessitates-the continuation of the tremendously increased and improved armament programs as ordered by the Fuehrer.
3. The most essential commodities for the German people must continue to be produced for minimum requirements.
4. The German housewife’s health, particularly the health of those on the farms, must not be endangered in their quality as mothers by the war. On the contrary, they must be relieved in every possible way.
B. The Solution:
1. All skilled workers removed from defense plants through induction into the Armed Forces must absolutely and immediately be replaced in such a way that no bottleneck or decrease in the production of the war product results. It is the responsibility of all the authorities for the labor mobilization to make sure that this directive is considered in each case.
The most capable workers must, therefore, be removed from the reserves of discontinued, lesser defense installations, and the discontinued construction industry and be made available to the enterprises from which specialists are being called into the Armed Forces. 8 Reeks before their actual induction, in order to enable them to instruct and familiarize their replacement with their work.
2. Workmen or women available because of destruction or damage of their installations must just as quickly be made available and incorporated again in the war industry.
3. The Armament and Nutrition tasks make it vitally necessary, not only to include the entire German labor power but also to call on foreign labor.
Consequently, I immediately tripled the transport program which I found when I took charge of my mission.
The main effort of that transport has been advanced into the months of May-June in order to assure in time and under any circumstances the availability of foreign labor power from the occupied territories for an increased production, in view of coming operations of the army, as well as agricultural labor in the sector of the German Nutrition Industry.
All prisoners of war, from the territories of the West as well of the East, actually in Germany, must be completely incorporated into the German armament and nutrition industries. Their production must be brought to the highest possible level.
It must be emphasized, however, that an additional tremendous quantity of foreign labor has to be found for the Reich. The greatest pool for that purpose are the occupied territories of the East.
Consequently, it is an immediate necessity to use the human reserves of the conquered Soviet territory to the fullest extent. Should we not succeed in obtaining the necessary amount of labor on a voluntary basis, we must immediately institute conscription or forced labor.
Apart from the prisoners of war still in the occupied territories, we must, therefore, requisition skilled or unskilled male and female labor from the Soviet territory from the age of 15 up for the labor-mobilization.
On the other hand, one quarter of the total need of foreign labor can be procured in Europe’s occupied territories West of Germany, according to existing possibilities.
The procurement of labor from friendly and also neutral countries can only cover a small part of the total need. Practically only skilled workers and specialists can be considered in this case.
4. In order to relieve considerably the German housewife, especially the mother with many children and the extremely busy farm-woman and in order to avoid any further danger to their health, the Fuehrer also charged me with the procurement of 400,000-500,000 selected, healthy and strong girls from the territories of the East for Germany.
5. The spring cultivation of the fields [Fruehjahrsbestellung] will be assured by the use of the German youth in class-formation, together with their teachers according to an agreement with Reichs-Youth-Leader [Reichsjugendfuehrer] and the responsible, highest Reichs-Authorities.
6. The labor mobilization of the German women is of very great importance.
Examining this very difficult problem and after getting thoroughly acquainted with the fundamental opinion of the Fuehrer as well as of the Reichsmarshal of the Greater German Reich and my own most careful inquiries and their results, I must absolutely reject the possibility of having an obligatory service decreed by the State for all German women and girls for the German War and Nutrition industry.
Although, at the beginning, I myself, and probably the majority of the leading personalities of the party and of the womanhood with me, believed that for certain reasons an obligatory service for women should be decreed, I am of the opinion that all responsible men and women in party, state and economy should accept with the greatest veneration and gratitude the judgment of our Fuehrer Adolf Hitler, whose greatest concern has always been the health of the German women and girls; in other words, the present and future mothers of our nation.
I cannot enumerate all the reasons which made me come to that decision. I only ask for confidence in me as an old fanatical district chief of the National Socialist party and to believe that this could be the only possible decision.
We all agree that this decision might appear unjust towards millions of women who are engaged in defense and nutrition industries under the most strenuous conditions but we also realize that an evil cannot be remedied by spreading it to the utmost.
The only possible way to eliminate the existing injustices and hardships consists in winning the war in order to enable us to remove all women and girls engaged from jobs unsuitable for women, namely endangering their health, the birth-rate of our nation, and family and national life.
We must also consider the difference, whether a woman or girl has been used to work in the field or in a factory because of her young age, and whether already she has proved to be able to stand this kind of work.
Aside from physical harm, the German women and girls under any circumstances mud protected from moral and mental harm according to the wish of the Fuehrer.
It is doubtful that these conditions could be fulfilled in the case of mass-conscription and employment. It is impossible to compare the German Woman with the German soldier in this case, because of the existing fundamental natural and racial differences between man and woman.
We cannot accept the responsibility for the dangers threatening the life of the nation resulting from such a measure in the field of women labor mobilization, in view of the countless men on the fighting front-our dead soldiers.
The many millions of women, however, faithfully and industriously engaged in the German economy, and especially now, in war time, rendering valuable services, deserve' the best possible care and consideration. They, as well as the soldiers and workmen, deserve the greatest gratitude of our nation. They must be treated in the best possible way by the labor offices and labor authorities and their economic and health necessities must be generously considered. The Fuehrer as well as the Reichsmarshal of the Greater German Reich attach the greatest value to those measures. For instance, it would be completely wrong to threaten pregnant women with punishment and court procedures, as has happened already, if they miss a day of work because of troubles resulting from their condition during the usual period of precaution [Schonungsperiode]. Nevertheless, it must and will be possible to maintain the necessary work discipline.
7. A last, but also important reserve consists in the possibility of the personal increased production of each German worker. It will be the most distinguished task of the party and the German labor front to achieve that increased production. There is no doubt that the German intellectual and mental worker will accomplish it, no matter where, he works and in spite of the difficult conditions of our present nutrition.
This will be the best way for the German worker on the home front to express his gratitude towards the soldier on the fighting front who bears the most gigantic and terrible hardships in this severe winter, thus remaining victorious over our enemies.
It is also the task of the party, State and economy in cooperation to improve the sick rate by 1 percent through the adequate cooperation of health insurance institutions [Krankenkasse] and approved doctors [Vertrauensarzt]. This was accomplished in the district of Thuringia. Such an improvement of the sick rate throughout the Reich would mean the gain of 200,000 new workers.
The severest measures must be used against loafers, as we can not allow those parasites to shunt their duties in this decisive struggle of our people at the cost of the others.
I tried to determine the exterior solution of the task concerning the labor mobilization, as conditioned by the present war situation, under paragraph B. 1-7.
It is only natural that all the possibilities contained in that paragraph will be completely exhausted. The rejection of a general conscription of all the women and girls does not mean that I condemn absolutely the use of women and girls who are in a position to make themselves available for a suitable job wherever they can be useful to the war industry without violating the principles of the Fuehrer. This will be done in closest cooperation with the competent offices of the party, state, the Armed Forces and the economy.
The labor mobilization program as laid down in paragraph 1-7 constitutes not only the greatest labor mobilization of a people but also in history.
Adolf Hitler, however, made it clear through his idea of National Socialism that figures are not the decisive factor in the life of nations. Besides the tremendous figure of the employed labor forces stands their productive capacity. This productive capacity depends not only on the amount of calories, which I put at their disposal in the form of nourishment, but also on their moral and mental condition.
This makes it necessary to consider besides the gigantic, organiztional question, the questions of nutrition, shelter, orientation, propaganda, and spiritual guidance.
Measures to be Taken to Assure the Well-Being of German Workmen and Women
There must be no doubt for the German producing people that they out-do by far all the other workers of the world through their conscientious work and their readiness to accept the most strenuous tasks under proper. political and philosophical guidance.
The district Chiefs will at this decisive stage of the war assure with the help of all the institutions and organizations of the party the best political and ideological care ever known in the history of labor and humanity in wartime, for the German producing people in their districts.
I am convinced in my capacity as general plenipotentiary for labor mobilization that everything will be done by the party to maintain within or without the plants the attitude and morale of the German workers on a high level through the use of all means of propaganda and orientation, meetings and appeals, as the only way to make the home front worthy of the fighting front, and the only means of accomplishing this gigantic task and winning the war.
I will constantly see to it, that; the authorities for labor mobilization as well as the managers of the plants assist the party and primarily the German labor front in its decisive and great task in this field.
Even workmen and women employed in war plants in their home towns and living and eating with their families must be properly looked after. I mention only: Provisions of coal and potatoes, consideration of their possibility to get to their place of work. The lack of spring vegetables and other troubles caused by war conditions and affecting the nerves and health of our people must be offset by the strength and satisfaction gathered by the realization of the National Socialist principles of folks community [Volksgemeinschaft] social justice and the necessity to hold out together and the belief and the confidence in our Fuehrer.
This task becomes much more complicated in the case of those millions of workmen and women who have been conscripted for labor far from their homes in jobs they are not used to. This is a necessity of war.
Such utilization of labor power can neither be restricted nor can the hardships connected with it be reduced.
The aim is to make life for our folks comrades [Volkskameraden] as agreeable as possible and to facilitate the conditions of their utilization. All these German people must be assisted by billeting them, if possible, in decently furnished rooms under as decent conditions, by encouraging companionship during their free time through the party and to assure prompt issue of ration tickets and other such things.
In this connection the Politeness-Drive [Aktion “Hoeflichkeit"] introduced by Reichs-Director party member Dr. Goebbels will be binding to the utmost for all labor offices and all offices of economy and nutrition.
All camps where German producing people, men or women, are to be quartered, muscle perfect examples of German cleanliness, order and hygiene.
The German plants and the German economy must not hesitate to do everything in their power to make life far from their own homes and families tolerable for conscripted folks comrades men or women quartered in those camps. As there is a complete order guaranteed in a way for the German soldier of the Armed Forces in his company for his external requirements as well as for his character, which elevates him far above the soldiers of other nations, so should this also be made possible in adequately applied form for the producing men within the labor mobilization program.
The necessary measures for the care of the producing German people within the labor mobilization program should therefore be carried out to the fullest extent by the German labor front.
In case of more extensive commitment of women and girls away from their home towns and families, the rules for shelter and care as applied by the women’s labor service [Weiblichen Arbeitsdienstes] must fundamentally be respected.
Prisoners of War and Foreign Workers.
The complete employment of all prisoners of war as well as the use of a gigantic number of new foreign civilian workers, men and women, has become an indisputable necessity for the solution of the mobilization of labor program in this war.
All the men must be fed, sheltered and treated in such a way as to exploit them to the highest possible extent at the lowest conceivable degree of expenditure.
It has always been natural for us Germans to refrain from cruelty and mean chicaneries towards the beaten enemy, even if he had proven himself the most bestial and most implacable adversary, and to treat him correctly and humanly, even when we expect useful work of him.
As long as the German defense industry did not make it absolutely necessary, we refrained under any circumstances from the use of Soviet prisoners of war as well as of civilian workers, men or women, from the Soviet territories. This has now become impossible and the labor power of these people must now be exploited to the greatest extent.
Consequently, I arranged my first measures concerning the food, shelter and treatment of these foreign laborers with the highest competent Reichs-authorities and with the consent of the Fuehrer and the Reichsmarshal of the Greater German Reich in such a way that a top performance will be demanded and will be obtained.
It must be remembered, though, that even the effort of a machine is conditioned by the amount of fuel, skill and care given to it. How many more conditions must be considered in the case of men, even of low kind and race, than in the case of a machine!
I could not accept the responsibility towards the German people, if after having brought such a tremendous number, of men to Germany these men would one day become a burden fo1 the German people or even endanger their health, instead of doing very necessary and useful work, because of mistakes made in their nutrition, shelter and treatment.
The principles of German cleanliness, order and hygiene must therefore also be carefully applied to Russian camps.
Only in such a way will it be possible to exploit that labor to the highest benefit of arms production for the fighting front and for the war nutrition program, without any trace of false sentimentalism.
The necessary instructions concerning the food, shelter and treatment of the people from the East have been communicated to the competent authorities of the police, defense and nutrition bureaus; beyond that, I turn to the district-chiefs of the National Socialist Party with the request to assist me also in this field to the best of their abilities, in order to avoid any harm that might result from the use of that kind of labor to the German people.
The subjects of blood-related, allied and friendly nations are to be treated with particular care and consideration.
All action making the stay and work in Germany more difficult and unnecessarily unbearable for the foreign workers and exceeding the restrictions and hardships imposed by the war must be avoided. We depend to a large extent on their good will and their production.
It is therefore only logical to make their stay and work in Germany as bearable as possible-without denying anything to ourselves.
This can be realized, for instance, by facilitating their national and folk [volkstuemlich] habits concerning food, shelter, and organization of their evenings after work, etc., as far as conditions and the consideration of our own people permit.
It is very possible that, if the authorities for the labor mobilization, the general and interior administration, party and labor front cooperate in close harmony in this mobilization of foreign workmen and women, the tremendous advantage resulting from this mass commitment of millions of prisoners of war and foreign, civilian working men and women for the German defense and nutrition industries may be supplemented by an equal success for the propaganda of the national socialist Great German Reich and for its prestige throughout the world.
On the other hand the greatest harm for our war industry may result if the cooperation of all forces involved is not assured and all those problems are not solved by all competent offices.
Therefore in closing I would ask you to observe the following principles carefully:
l. All technical and administrative matters for the labor mobilization come exclusively under the authority and responsibility of the General Plenipotentiary for Labor Mobilization, the National Labor Offices [Landesarbeitsaemter] and the Labor Offices [Arbeitsaemter].
2. All questions and tasks concerning propaganda orientation, observation of political consequences and care (of people engaged in this labor-mobilization program) come under the jurisdiction of :
a. The party, if outside of the plant
l. The German Labor Front for manufacturing plants, the Bureau for farm politics [Amt fuer Agrarpolitik] for agricultural enterprises.
3. The issue of food and clothing ration cards, financial indemnities and relief come exclusively under the jurisdiction of the competent authorities or institutions of economy.
Ask the district chiefs of the National Socialist Party, as my plenipotentiaries, to assure a smooth cooperation between those various bureaus as well as the best possible harmony and mutual complete exchange of information.
4. The solution of the task concerning the war mobilization of labor is of such decisive importance that even the most important local or regional interests concerning most vital peace tasks must not interfere with it. Whoever violates that rule must be made responsible if the German soldier in his decisive struggle for the fate of our nation lacks arms and ammunition, synthetic gasoline or rubber, vehicles or airplanes.
Therefore, I want to deeply impress upon all the men and women who participate decisively in this war in the labor mobilization program with insistence to comply with all those necessities, decisions and measures, according to the old National Socialist principle:
Nothing for us, everything for the Fuehrer and his work, that is, for the future of our Nation!
[signed]: Fritz Sauckel