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Translation of document 3787-PS
Vol. 67-3 [pencil note] 140/39. W/Le 29 Supreme Command of the Armed Forces AFA/L No. 1436/39 g Kdos IV Berlin, 10th July 1939 Subject: 2nd Meeting of the Reich Defense Council 100 Copies. 84th copy. (224) pencil MOST SECRET I enclose herewith the report of the 2nd meeting of the Reich Defense Council on 25th June 1939. --1 appendix Chief of the Supreme Command of the Armed Forces By order of and acting for [signed] v. [illegible] [stamp] Economic Staff Le 14th July 1939 No. 140/39 Distribution: I. Party: Fuehrer’s Deputy for the attention of SS-Brigadefuehrer Knoblauch -- 1st Copy. II. Reich Departments and Prussiart State Ministry: Chief of the Reich Chancellery — 2nd Copy. for the attention of Min. Dir. Kritzinger for the Chief of the Reich Chancellery — 3rd Copy. President of the Secret Cabinet Council Ministerpraesident General Field Marshal Goering Commissioner for the Four Years Plan and the Prussian State Ministry for the attention of Min. Councillor Bergbohm — 4th & 5th Copies. Reich Air Ministry and C. in C. Air Force Chief of the Ministry Office for the attention of Generalmajor Bodenschatz — 6th & 7th Copies. Foreign Office for the attention of Legation Councillor Dr. Baron v.d. Heyden-Rynsch. — 8th Copy. [Page 719] General Plenipotentiary for Reich Administration for the attention of Min. Section Head Dr. Danckwerts. — 9th-18th Copies. For Direction Staff of the General Plenipotentiary for Administration. For Reich Ministry of the Interior. For Reich Ministry of Justice. For Reich Ministry of Education. For Reich Ministry for Church Affairs. For Reich Office for Planning. General Plenipotentiary for Economy for the attention of Min. Director Sarnow: 19th 29th Copies. For Direction Staff of the General Plenipotentiary for Economy. For Reich :Ministry of Economy. For Reich Ministry of Food & Agriculture. For Reich Ministry of Labour. For Reich Chief Forrester. For Reich Commissioner for Price Control. Reich Ministry of Finance for the attention of Min. Section Head: Geh. Rat. Dr. Bender. 30th Copy. Reich Ministry of Finance for the attention of Finance President von Dietz. 31st Copy. Reich Ministry of Transport — Motor Transport and roads-- for the attention of Min. Section Head Baur. 32nd Copy. Reich Ministry of Transport — railways -- for the attention of Min. Councillor Dr. Ebeling. 33rd Copy. Reich Post Ministry for the attention of Min. Councillor Honold. 34th Copy. Reich Ministry of Enlightenment and Propaganda for the attention of Oberstleutnant Wentscher. 35th Copy. Reichsbank Directorate for the attention of Reichsbank Director Dr. Mueller. 36th Copy. [Page 720] General Inspector of German roads for the attention of Chief Government Councillor for Construction (Oberreg. Baurat) Henne. 37th Copy. III Armed Forces: OKH (Section 2 of Army General Staff). 38th-47th Copies. OKM (A II).48th-53rd Copies. Reich Minister for Air and C. in C. Air Force. (Section 2 of the Air Force General Staff). 54th-61st. Copies. Supreme Command of the Armed Forces: WZ. 62nd Copy. WH. 63rd Copy. Armed Forces Reserve [?j (WR). 64th Copy. L (I, II, IV). 65th-70th Copies. Armed Forces Communications Service also to the Liaison Officer at the Postal Ministry). 71st-73rd Copies A/Ausl.Abw. 74th-77th Copies. General Armed Forces Department. 78th-79th Copies. Armed Forces Staff. 80th-84th Copies Reserve held by L IV. 85th-100th Copies. ---------- REPORT ON THE 2ND MEETING OF THE REICH DEFENSE COUNCIL Date: 23.6.1939. Commencement: 1110 Place: Large Conference Room of the Reich Air Ministry. Termination: 1355 President: Ministerpraesident General Field Marshal Goering. Persons present: Supreme Reich Authorities The Fuehrer’s Deputy SS-Brigadefuehrer Knoblauch Chief of the Reich Chancellery Reichminister Dr. Lammers Ministerpraesident General Secretary of State Koerner Field Marshal Goering Secretary of State Neumann Commissioner for the Four Years Plan Min. Councillor Bergbohm. Prussian State Ministry Oberst.v.Schell Oberstleutnant Schricker General Plenipotentiary for Reichsminister Dr. Frick Reich Administration Reichsfuehrer-SS Himmler Secretary of State Pfundtner Secretary of State Dr. Stuckart General of the Regular Uniformed Police Daluege Ministerial Section Head Danckwerts General Plenipotentiary for Economy Reichsminister Funk. Secretary of State Dr. Posse. Secretary of State Dr. Syrup. Secretary of State Dr. Landfried Secretary of State Backe Ministerial Councillor Dr. Burandt Reich Ministry of Finance Keichsminister count Schwerin v.Krosigk. Reich Ministry of Transport Reichsminister Dr. Dorpmueller Secretary of State Kleinmann General Inspector of German Roads Professor Dr. Ing. Todt ARMED FORCES [Wehrmacht] Supreme Command of the Armed Forces Generaloberst Keitel WFA (Secretariat Reich Defense Oberst d.G. Warlimont Council) Oberst d.G. Gause Oberstleutnant v.Mauch Armed Forces Staff Generalmajor Thomas Supreme Command of the Army Army General Staff General of Artillery Halder Oberst i.G. Gercke General Army Department Oberst d.G. Burdach Supreme Command of the Navy Grossadmiral Dr.h.c.Raeder Reich Minister for Air and C. in C. Generaloberst Milch Air Force General der Flieger Stumpff Generalmajor Bodenschatz ---------- CONTENTS DISTRIBUTION OF LABOUR: Page Directives of the President of Reich Defense Council. Principles governing the distribution and employment of the population in wartime. Employment of labour in the case of mobilization; Schedule of manpower for the war. Effect of the schedule of manpower on the continued direction of economy. Economy in personnel in public administration. Increase in the efficiency of the Transport Service. Suspension of the Secret Protection of the Reich Defense Laws ---------- A. INTRODUCTION Ministerpraesident General Field Marshal Goering emphasized, in a preamble that, according to the Fuehrer’s wishes, the Reich Defense Council was the determining body in the Reich for all questions of preparation for war. It is to discuss only the most important questions of Reich Defense. They will be worked out by the Reich Defense Committee. Meetings of the Reich Defense Council are to be convened only for those decisions which are unavoidable. It is urged that the Departmental Chiefs themselves be present. B. DISTRIBUTION OF LABOUR I. The President announced the following directives to govern the distribution and employment of the population in wartime. 1. The total strength of the Armed Forces is determined by the Fuehrer. It includes only half the number of those fit and liable for military service. Nevertheless, their disposition will involve difficulties for economy, the administration, and the whole of the civil sphere. 2. When a schedule of manpower is made out, the basis on which the question is to be judged is how the remaining number, after those required for the Armed Forces have been withdrawn. can be most suitably employed. 3. Of equal importance to the requirements of the Armed Forces are those of the Armament Industry. It, above all, must be organized in peace-time, materially and as regards personnel, in such a way that its production does not decrease but increases immediately with the outbreak of war. 4. The direction of labour to the vital war armament industry and to other civilian requirements is the main task of the General Plenipotentiary for Economy. a. War armament covers not only the works producing war materials, but also those producing synthetic rubber (Buna), [Page 723] armament production tools [Waffenbetriebsmittel], hydrogenation works, coal mining etc. b. (1) As a rule, no essential and irreplaceable workers may be taken away from “war decisive” factories, on whose production depends the course of the war, unless they can be replaced. Coal mining is the most urgent work. Every worker who is essential to coal mining is "indispensable". Note. Coal mining has even now become the key point of the whole of the armament industry, of communications and of export. If the necessary labour is not made available for it now, the most important part of the export trade, the export of coal, will cease. The purchase of coal in Poland will stop. The correct distribution of labour is determinative. In order to be able to man these key points with the right people, severe demands will shortly be submitted to the Fuehrer which, even in the current mobilization year, will under certain circumstances, lead to an exceptional direction of the war, e.g. to the immobilization of lorries and to the closing down of unessential factories owing to lack of coal. In addition, there is the supplying of Italy and other countries such a. Scandinavia with coal (to maintain the German supplies of iron). (2) The remaining “war essential” industries can and must suffer losses, as must the “vital” industries which are of importance to the life o f the people, --cf. No. 23--. Note by the Reich Defense Committee. The industries will be combined under the term “war economy industries,” --cf. the “General principles for cooperation between the OKW and the General Plenipotentiary for Economy in the preparation of war economy industries for war” dated 3.5.1939, which was approved by the President of the Reich Defense Council, and the “Principles for the distribution and direction of the Population in wartime,” dated 10.6.1939. c. (1) An important and valuable specialist worker will be of more use in his place of work than at the fighting front. The greater number of specialist workers must be drawn from those who are no longer liable for military service, that is from the older age groups. (2) A second category of workers liable for military service will be called up during the war after their replacements have been trained. A decisive role is played by the extensive preliminary training and retraining of workers. (3) Preparations must be made for replacing the mass of other workers liable for military service, even by drawing on an increased number of women. There are also disabled servicemen. (4) Compulsory work for women in wartime is of decisive importance. It is important to proceed to a great extent with the training of women in war-essential work, as replacements and to augment the number of male workers. d. In order to avoid confusion when mobilization takes place, persons working in war-essential branches e.g. administration, communication, police, food, will not at first be removed. It is essential to establish the degrees of urgency and the standard of value. e. In the interests of the auxiliary civilian service, provided by every European people to gain and maintain the lead in the decisive initial weeks of a war, efforts must, in this way, be made to ensure by a trustworthy organization, easily understood, that every German in wartime not only possesses his mobilization orders but has also been thoroughly prepared for his wartime activity. The works must be adapted to receive the replacements and additional workers. II. The President of the Reich Defense Committee, Generaloberst Keitel, Chief of the OKW, made a report explaining the “Principles for the distribution and employment of the population in wartime,” issued by the Reich Defense Council on 10th June 1939. III. The President allotted the following tasks: 5. In 4 weeks time, Secretary of State Dr. Syrup will be requested to make a conclusive report to the President of the Reich Defense Council on the problem of personnel in connection with the employment of women. 6. The General Plenipotentiary for Economy is given the task of settling what work is to be given to prisoners of war, to those in prison, concentration camp and penitentiary. According to a statement by the Reichsfuehrer-SS, greater use will be made of the concentration camps in wartime. The 20,000 inmates will be employed mainly in workshops inside the concentration camps. IV. Secretary of State Reich Minister of Labor Dr. Syrup made a report on the employment of labor in the event of mobilization and the schedule of manpower for the war. 7. The figures for the schedule of manpower drawn up experimentally, could be only of a preparatory character and merely give certain guiding principles. The basis of a population of 79 million was taken. Of these, 56.5 million are between the ages of 14 and 65. It is also possible to draw upon men over the age of 65 and upon minors of between 13 and 14. Defectives and the infirm must be deducted from the 56.5 million. Most prisoners are already employed in industry. The greatest deduction is that of 11 million mothers with children under 14. After these deduc- tions have been made, there remains an employable population of 43.5 million: 26.2 million men, after deducting 7 million members of the Armed Forces: 19.2. 17.3 million men, after deducting 250,000 nurses etc.: 17.1 for the whole of Germany’s employable economic civil life. The President does not consider women over the age of 60 as employable. 8. The number of workers at present employed and of employees (2/3 of those gainfully employed) distributed over 20 large branches of industry, amounts roughly to the following: 24 million men (excluding 2 million service men), 14 million women. 9. No information was then available regarding the number which the Armed Forces will take from the individual branches of industry. Therefore an estimate was made of the numbers remaining in the individual branches of industry after 5 million servicemen had been called up. The President’s demand, that the exact number liable to be drawn upon be established, is being complied with. These enquiries are not secret apart from figures given and formations. 10. About 13 economic groups can support the deduction of approx. 2 million men apart from service men called up, especially the building trade, whose peace-time strength of 2.6 million can be cut to 1 million, to the advantage mainly of mining and agriculture. Builders will be required only for roads, expansion of the war industry and the like. 11. Apart from the 13.8 million women at present employed a further 3.5 million unemployed women, who are included on the card index of the population, can be employed. 2 million women would have to be redirected: e.g. a transfer can be made to agriculture and to the metal and chemical industry, from the textile, clothing and ceramic industries, from small, trading, insurance, and banking businesses and from the number of women in domestic service. 12. The lack of workers in agriculture, from which about 25% of the physically fit male workers will be withdrawn, must be made up by women (2 in the place of 1 man) and prisoners of war. No foreign workers can be counted on. The Armed Forces are requested to release to a great extent works managers and specialist workers such as milkers, tractor drivers (35/c. are still liable for call up). 13. The President emphasized that factory managers, police, and the Armed Forces must make preparations for the employment of prisoners-of-war. 14. In the agricultural sphere, preparations must also be made to relieve individual employment through help from neighboring farms, systematic use of all machines and making a store of spare parts available. 15. The President announced that, in the war, hundreds of thousands of workers from non-war economy concerns in the Protectorate are to be employed under supervision in Germany, particularly in agriculture, and housed together in hutments. General Field Marshal Goering will obtain a decision from the Fuehrer on this matter. 16. The speaker recommended the increased expansion of Women’s Labor Service in peacetime, in contrast to the men's, which is to be decreased. The girls are to be employed by the peasants, not in groups but singly. 17. a. The result of the procedure of establishing indispensable and guaranteed workers is at present as follows: of 1,172,000 applications for indispensability, 727,000 have been approved and 233,000 rejected; 8.1 million peacetime personnel and 1.9 supplementary workers have been guaranteed. These are mainly distributed as follows: war economy -- industries 8.13 million, administration 890,000, security and auxiliary service, air defense 320,000, additional police defense 185,000, civilians attached to the Armed Forces 740,000. Note. Reserves for the additional Police Defense will he reduced to 100,000 persons. b. The great flucuation in labor has been considerably decreased by the restriction on periods of notice and recruiting contained in the latest decrees and, in the case of mobilization, is stopped altogether. c. The orders to supplementary personnel to report for duty are ready and tied up in bundles at the Labor Offices. 18. a. There can be production premium in connection with the wage schedule to be fixed for the war. b. Family accommodation will be made to depend on the employment of members of the family. 19. Service men, no longer fit for service in the field, are to be placed in employment in Germany as soon as possible. 20. New occupational recruits will, in wartime, be directed only into war economy factories. 21. When labor is being regrouped, it is important and, with specialist workers, essential that the workers are re-trained for their work in the new factory, in order to avoid setbacks in the initial months of the war. After a few months have passed, it must be possible to replace most of the specialist workers. 22. The speakers asked that the table of figures for the schedule of personnel be checked by all authorities, in order to gain a complete and detailed picture. 23. The President remarked that factory managers, even if they can in wartime count only on their older and most valuable workers, must not neglect the training of new young workers and must make preparations for the training of older age groups as specialist workers. V. The General Plenipotentiary for Economy, Reich Minister of Economy Funk, stated his opinion of the consequences of the schedule of manpower, from the point of view of the carrying on of industry. 24. a. In accordance with the verbal agreements made with the OKW, the regulations regarding indispensable personnel have been laid down, and the certificates of indispensability issued. b. The regrouping of labor must lead to decreases in production. The re-training will be carried out at high pressure after determining those to be called up for war service. 25. In reply to the request by the speaker that when withdrawing workers for the Naval Dockyards, more consideration should be shown for the important sections of industry particularly Export and Newspaper concerns, the President pointed out the necessity of carrying out the Naval Building Program as ordered by the Fuehrer, in its entirety. 26. Secretary of State Backe, Reich Ministry of Food, stated the percentage of workers in agriculture, liable for military service to be 30-34%, and not only 25% -- see para. 12. He repeated the request that factory managers, milkers and tractor drivers be released; of 3.3% "indispensable” applications, only one-half had been approved. VI. The General Plenipoteniary .for Administration, Reich Minister of the Interior, Dr. Frisk, dealt with the saving of labor in the public administration. 27. The task is primarily a problem of organization. As can be seen from the surveys showing how the authorities, economic and social services are organized, which were submitted to those attending the Conference, there are approximately 50 different [Page 728] kinds of officials in the District Administration (Kreisinstanz), each quite independent of the other-an impossible state of affairs. Formerly there were in the State two main divisions, the state Civil Service and the Wehrmacht. After the seizure of power the Party and the permanent Organizations (Reich Food Estate etc.) were added to these, with all their machinery from top to bottom. In this way the number of public posts and officials was increased many times over. This makes Public Service more difficult. 28. Since the war tasks have increased enormously, the organizing of total war naturally requires much more labor, even in the Public Administration, than in 1914. But it is an impossibility that this system should have increased its numbers 20- to 40-fold, in the lowest grade alone. For this reason the Reich Ministry of the Interior is striving for the co-ordination of administration. The officials of the general and domestic administration are the backbone of the administration, also in time of war. Difficulties arise through the numerous authorities who, from the highest to the lowest, all make a particular effort to increase their numbers. That is a heritage from the Liberal system, where every Specialist Department endeavored to build up its own official organization, At the very least there must be extensive co-ordination of all the authorities in the middle grade, such as has been introduced in the Ostmark and Sudeten Gau Law. In the Kreis administration the authorities must be co-ordinated as much as possible. For then in this way difficulties can already be smoothed out at this stage or by middle grade authorities, without calling upon the central authorities or even the chief state administration. 29. Instead of further discussions before the whole assembly, the forming of a small commission was recommended, which will make definite proposals. Extensive preparatory work has been undertaken. Note by the Reich Defense Committee. The commission came into operation under letter OKW WFA No. 1465/39 Top Secret L IVa dated 27.6.1939. President: Secretary of State Dr. Stuckart, Plenipotentiary for Administration. Members: Fuehrer’s Deputy. Commissioner for the Four Years' Plan Plenipotentiary for Economy. Reich Minister for Finance. Reich Minister of the Interior. OKW. 30. The President requested that the commission’s proposals be submitted. It was an important section of the preparation for war. VII. The speech by the GBW [Plenipotentiary for Economy] provided for in the agenda regarding the importance of the officials of the GBW, the factories and organizations, the directing of new occupational recruits (shortage of labor, migration from the country, Women’s Labor Service), training of youth, stepping-up of production, procedure for obtaining maximum efficiency, supply position, was not given. C. INCREASING THE EFFICIENCY OF THE COMMUNICATIONS SERVICE Report by the Chief of the Transport Service in wartime, Oberst Gercke, Chief of Department 5 (Transport Department) of the Army General Staff. 31. The result of the examination of the work necessary for strategic concentration a year and a half ago showed that the transport service could not meet all the demands made on it by the Armed Forces. The Minister of Transport agreed. The 1938 section of the Four Year Program will presumably be completed in August 1939. 32. Shortly after this program was drawn up, demands were made on the Wehrmaeht, which changed completely the usual employment of the Wehrmacht at the beginning of a war. Troops had to be brought to the frontier, in the shortest possible time, in numbers which had until then been completely unforeseen. The Wehrmacht was able to fulfill these demands by means of organizational measures, but transport could not. 33. In, the Transportation sphere Germany is at the moment not ready for war. a. In the case of the three operations in 1938/1939 there was no question of an actual strategic concentration. The troops were transported a long time beforehand near to the area of strategic concentration by means of camouflaged measures. b. This stop gap is of no acre whatsoever, when the time limit cannot be laid down and known a long time beforehand, but an unexpected and almost immediate military decision is required instead. According to the present situation transport is not in a position despite all preparations, to bring up the troops. 34. a. There was now a considerably extended program to be drawn up for 5 years, as against that of the year before. This means the utmost which can be achieved, both as regards manufacture, and in the way of train personnel and rolling stock by the Reichsbahn. b. Nevertheless this program is not expected to be sufficient for the demands made by the Wehrmacht and Industry. The speed of the mobilization of the Wehrmacht has made this mobilization more complicated. And in addition there is the speeding up of the strategic concentration. c. In addition to this, shipping and lorries must be utilized more than ever before. And at the same time to ensure the transportation of the speedily mobilized Wehrmacht and Industry, better use must be made of rolling stock by means of a more extensive employment of lorries in the supply and distribution traffic of the Reichsbahn. 35. The renewal of installations and tracks, only 50% of which is at the moment possible, is, from 1940 onwards, to be included in the rearmament work. 36. Mainly Industry but also the Army and Air Force, are interested in the water-ways in connection with the distribution of fuel reserves and the replenishing of stocks. The demands of the Sections of the Wehrmacht for the allocation of shipping space can be met in the main during the current year. 37. a. In order of importance in the development of the waterways, the connection from the Weser to the Danube is, from the military point of view, as important, if not more important, than the connection from the Rhine. to the Danube. The usefulness of the Rhine is questionable, for the time being there is no water communication from the North to the South East. b. The Armed Forces have a further particular interest in the Central Canal (Mittellandkanal). It cannot be put to sufficient use for the war industry situated thereby means of the ships' lifting gear on the Elbe alone. c. The Hansa Canal must be connected above Hamburg if the transportation of war industry is to be carried out without a hitch. If the Elbe-Trave Canal is separated from the Hansa Canal by the port of Hamburg, the efficiency of the installations will decrease. 38. In order that troops may be moved in lorries speedily and without hindrance, the highways which secured the connections from East to West and from North to South must be determined in the same way as are the transport routes in connection with the railways; they, together with the Reichsautobahnen, must be developed to a greater devree. [Page 731] Cross roads and level crossings are to be abolished, especially at the exit areas [Auslaufgebieten]. This matter will be taken up further by the Reich Defense Committee. 39. The President remarked that, even in peacetime, certain vital supply stores of Industry and the Armed Forces are to be transferred to the war industrial centers to economize in transport later on. The VJP will provide for the further development of the shipping pool so that it can be used principally for reinforcements. The Central Canal is of special importance. Numerous other canals could also be used. AA guns could be employed, on inland ships, to good effect. Unfortunately, many bridges are too low; this must be remedied. At any rate, it is urged that the water-ways be included in the forefront of the subjects to be considered by the departments. 40. a. The Reich Minister for Transport, Dr. Dorpmueller, explained that the reason for the shortage of rolling stock was that the railway network had been considerably increased. Furthermore, the additional Reich territories required a new communications system and new railway lines. The materials there needed to be considerably supplemented. The delay was caused by the fact that the Reich Ministry of Transport received neither steel, nor material, nor personnel. For work on the railways and the waterways was not described as essential to the State. b. The President gave the assurance that, under certain circumstances, vital sections of the work of the Reich Ministry of Transport would be declared essential to the State. 41. To sum up, the President affirmed that all essential points had been cleared up at this meeting. The directive of the Reich Defense Council for preparing means of transportation for war was issued on June 23rd, 1939: RVR OKW/WFA No. 1371/39 Secret L IV dated 24.6.1939. D. THE LAST ITEM ON THE AGENDA The results of the suspension of the secret protection (Geheimschutz) of the Reich, Defense Law and measures for facilitating commercial intercourse are dealt with by the letter from the Reich Defense Committee OKW WFA/L No. 1114/39 Most Secret IVa dated 26.6.1939.