- Forum Staff
- Posts: 23251
- Joined: 20 Jul 2002 19:52
- Location: USA
Speer's testimony is from vol. 16 of the IMT proceedings, which are available on-line at:
The Avalon Project at the Yale Law School
Nuremberg Trial Proceedings Volume 16 at:
19 June 46
Now, with the permission of the High Tribunal I should like to call the Defendant Speer to the witness box.
THE PRESIDENT: Yes.
[The Defendant Speer took the stand.]
Will you state your full name, please?
ALBERT SPEER (Defendant): Albert Speer.
THE PRESIDENT: Will you repeat this oath after me: I swear by God-the Almighty and Omniscient-that I will speak the pure truth-and will withhold and add nothing.
[The defendant repeated the oath.]
THE PRESIDENT: Sit down.
DR. FLACHSNER: Herr Speer, will you please tell the Tribunal about your life up until the time you were appointed Minister?
SPEER: I was born on 19 March 1905. My grandfather and my father were successful architects. At first I wanted to study mathematics and physics; but then I took up architecture, more because of tradition than inclination. I attended the universities at Munich and Berlin; and in 1929 at the age of 24, I was the first -assistant at the technical college in Berlin. At the age of 27-, in 1932, I went into business for myself until 1942.
In 1934 Hitler noticed me for the first time. I became acquainted with him and from that period of time onward I exercised my architect's profession with joy and enthusiasm, for Hitler was quite fanatical on the subject of architecture; and I received many important construction contracts from him. Along with putting up a new Reich Chancellery in Berlin and various buildings on the Party Rally grounds here in Nuremberg, I was entrusted with the replanning of the cities of Berlin and Nuremberg. I had sketched buildings which would have been among the largest in the world, and the carrying through of these plans would have cost no more than 2 months of Germany's war expenditure. Through this predilection which Hitler had for architecture I had a close personal contact with him. I belonged to a circle which consisted of other artists and his personal staff. If Hitler had had any friends at all, I certainly would have been one of his close friends.
Despite the war, this peaceful construction work was carried on until December 1941, and only the winter catastrophe in Russia put an end to it. The German part of the manpower was furnished by me for the reconstruction of the destroyed railroad installations in Russia.
DR. FLACHSNER: The Prosecution, in Document 1435-PS, which is Exhibit USA-216, has quoted a remark from your first speech as a Minister, dated February 1942, in which you state that at that
19 June 46
time you had placed 10,000 prisoners of war at the disposal of the armament industry.
Mr. President, this remark may be found in my document book, on Page 4 of the English text and Page 1 of the French text.
Herr Speer, what do you have to say about this document?
SPEER: At that time in my capacity as an architect I had nothing to say as to whether these workers were to be taken into armaments or not. They were put at the disposal of the Stalag, the prisoner-of-war installation of the OKW. I took it as a matter of course that they would be put at the disposal of armaments in the larger sense.
DR. FLACHSNER: Herr Speer, did you ever participate in the planning and preparation of an aggressive war?
SPEER: No. Since I was active as an architect up until the year 1942, there can be no question about that whatsoever. The buildings which I constructed were completely representative of peacetime building. As an architect I used up material, manpower, and money in considerable amounts for this purpose. This material, in the last analysis, was lost to armaments.
DR. FLACHSNER: Were you . . .
SPEER: One moment, please.
The carrying out of these large building plans which Hitler had supported was, actually and especially psychologically, an obstacle to armament.
DR. FLACHSNER: The Prosecution asserts you had been a Reichsleiter.
SPEER: No, that is a mistake on the part of the Prosecution.
DR. FLACHSNER: You wore the Golden Party Badge. When and why did you receive it?
SPEER: I received the Golden Party Badge from Hitler in 1938. It was because I had completed the plans for a new building program in Berlin. Besides myself, five other artists received this Golden Party Badge at the same time.
DR. FLACHSNER: Were you a member of the Reichstag?
SPEER: In 1941 I was called into the Reichstag by Hitler, that is, outside of an election, as replacement for a member who had left the Reichstag. Hitler at that time told me that in my person he also wanted an artist represented in the Reichstag.
DR. FLACHSNER: Did you ever receive a donation?
DR. FLACHSNER: How did your activity as a Minister start?
19 June 46
SPEER: On 8 February 1942, my predecessor, Dr. Todt, was killed in an airplane crash. Several days later Hitler declared I was to be his successor in his many offices. At that time I was 36 years of age. Up until that time, Hitler considered the main activity of Todt to be in the building sphere, and that is why he called me to be his successor. I believe that it was a complete surprise to every-one when I was called to office as a Minister. Immediately upon my assuming office, it could be seen that not building but the intensification of armaments was to be my main task, for the heavy losses of material in the battles in Russia during the winter of 1941-1942 was a great blow. Hitler called for considerable intensification of armament production.
DR. FLACHSNER: When you assumed office, did you find an office completely set up in the Reich Ministry for Arms and Munitions?
SPEER: No, Dr. Todt had neglected this function of his up until that time; and in addition, in the fall of 1941 Hitler issued a decree according to which the armament of the Army was to take second place to the armament of the Air Force. At that time he foresaw a victorious outcome of the war in Russia and had decreed that armament was to be concentrated on the imminent war against England and was to be converted to that end. Because of this unbelievable optimism of his, the rescinding of that order was postponed until January 1942; and only from that date onward- that is, during the last month of his life-did Dr. Todt start to build up his organization. Therefore I had the difficult task first of all to work myself into a completely new field; secondly, at the same time to create all organizational prerequisites for my task; and thirdly, to restore the decreasing armament production for the Army and to increase production as much as possible within the next few months. As is very well known today, I succeeded in doing that.
DR. FLACHSNER: What promises did you receive from Hitler about the duration of your task and about the set-up of your staff of collaborators?
SPEER: Hitler promised me that I should consider my task only as a war task and that after the war I might once more resume my profession of architect.
DR. FLACHSNER: At this point I should like to mention a passage from Document 1435-PS, which deals with a speech delivered by Speer on 24 February 1942, 10 days after he assumed office. This document shows that he was very reluctant about changing his profession of architect for that of Minister. I quote:
19 June 46
"Finally I can say for myself that my personal contribution is a very large one.
Up until very recently I lived in a world of pure ideals." In Document 1520-PS, which is Exhibit GB-156, found on Page 2 of my document book, Page 5 of the English text and Page 2 of the French and Russian texts, on 8 May 1942 Hitler stated; and I quote: "The Fuehrer thereupon stated several times that the Reich Ministry Speer would be dissolved on the day when peace was concluded."
I should further like to submit Document Number Speer-43 which is a memorandum from Speer to Hitler, dated 20 September 1944. Mr. President, this may be found on Page 6 of the English text, Page 3 of the French and Russian texts. From this document you can see that Speer was considered hostile to the Party ("parteifremd" and "parteifeindlich") by Bormann and Goebbels because of his circle of collaborators. Speer writes in his memorandum, and I quote:
"The task which I have to fulfill is a nonpolitical one. I was content in my work as long as I personally and my work were evaluated only according to professional achievements and standards. I do not feel strong enough to carry out successfully and without hindrance the technical work to be accomplished by myself and my co-workers if it is to be measured by Party political standards." Herr Speer, can you describe the fundamental principles according to which you built up your Ministry?
THE PRESIDENT: What exhibit number are you giving that?
DR. FLACHSNER: Exhibit Number 1, Mr. President. Herr Speer, can you describe the fundamental principles which you followed in building up your Ministry?
SPEER: I personally was no expert, and I did not want to act as an expert. Therefore, I selected the best possible experts to be found in Germany as my co-workers. I believed that these men were to be found within industry itself. Therefore, I made up my Ministry of honorary industrial workers. This was done in the United States in a similar way during the war in matters of production. Professional civil servants were lacking in my Ministry, and you cannot really consider my Ministry as one set up along normal lines. In June 1944 I delivered a speech in Essen about the fundamental principles upon which I founded my Ministry and its work, to defend myself against the various attacks against my system in Party circles.
DR. FLACHSNER: Mr. President, I regret, but I believe that the High Tribunal is not yet in possession of my document book
19 June 46
containing the interrogatories. I would have been glad to point out that the statements given by witnesses Saur and Schieber in this connection are summed up in this answer. Now I shall submit...
THE PRESIDENT: If you will give us the references-give us the names of the witnesses; we can take notice of them afterwards. What is the name?
DR. FLACHSNER: The witness Saur and we are dealing with his answers to Points 4, 5, and 8 of the interrogatory. The witness Schieber gives a statement regarding this point under Figure 12 of his interrogatory.
Now I should like to submit the speech given by Speer on 9 June 1944 as Exhibit Number 2. It confirms the testimony which the defendant has made about the set-up of his Ministry by engaging honorary industrial co-workers. I shall quote it. I am sorry to say that this speech also is not contained in Your Honor's supplementary volume. I am very sorry. I will just have to read it, and I quote:
"These honorary co-workers drawn from industry..."
THE PRESIDENT: Dr. Flachsner, it is a little bit inconvenient to the Tribunal not to have these documents before them. You could not possibly postpone the particular documents that you have not got here until tomorrow morning? Shall we have the supplementary volume then?
DR. FLACHSNER: The promise was given me that it would be at my disposal by this afternoon.
THE PRESIDENT: Yes; well, then, would it be convenient to leave those parts which are contained in the supplementary volume over until tomorrow?
DR. FLACHSNER: In the Supplementary Volume Number 5 we find a document, very short in part, with which I shall not concern myself today. Only this one speech which I am mentioning now is . . .
THE PRESIDENT: Very well.
DR. FLACHSNER: I quote:
"These honorary co-workers, drawn from industry, carry the responsibility to the last detail for what is manufactured in the various enterprises and industries and how it is manufactured." Then a few lines further down:
"Among your main tasks, next to the awarding of contracts to these industries, is to supervise the restrictions on types, the specialization of industries, involving under certain circumstances the closing-down of certain enterprises; to further rationalization from the point of view of raw
19 June 46
materials, construction, and production; as well as unconditional exchange of experience, without regard to patents."
From various passages of this document it can be seen clearly that Speer considered his office an improvised instrument which made use of the existing authorities of the Reich for the fulfillment of his tasks but without burdening himself with these tasks. The decree of 10 August, which is mentioned in the speech of Speer, shows that he expressly prohibited his offices from turning into administrative offices. The defendant did not want bureaucratic official methods of working in his Ministry.
THE PRESIDENT: What speech of Speer are you referring to? You said the decree of 10 August.
DR. FLACHSNER: It is still the same speech, Mr. President, which I just mentioned. The decree is mentioned therein.
THE PRESIDENT: I didn't get what the year was when you began. What was the year?
DR. FLACHSNER: The year was 1942, 10 August; and the speech was given in the year 1944. Therefore, he was referring to a decree which had been in force for some time.
Just how important it was to the defendant to have new non-bureaucratic forces in his Ministry is shown in the passage from his speech which I would like to quote now:
"Any institution which has lasted for some period of time and which exceeds a certain size has a tendency to become bureaucratic. Even if, in one of the first large attacks on Berlin, large parts of the current files of the Ministry were burned, and therefore, for some time, we were lucky enough to have unnecessary ballast taken from us, we cannot expect that occurrences of that sort will continuously bring new vigor into our work."
Herr Speer, so far as the Tribunal wishes, will you please briefly supplement these statements about the tasks of your Ministry from the technical point of view?
SPEER: I shall try to be very brief.
THE PRESIDENT: Well, you, Dr. Flachsner, you read us the speech.
DR. FLACHSNER: The speech, yes . . .
THE PRESIDENT: It seems to be very remote to every issue, even as it is, and why you should want to supplement it, I don't know.
DR. FLACHSNER: I thought it might be of interest to the High Tribunal to hear about the sphere of activity which the defendant
19 June 46
had in his capacity as Minister. This speech was made to experts and is, therefore, really only of interest to an expert. I assumed that the High Tribunal would wish to know just what the task of the Production Ministry of Herr Speer was. I think the Prosecution imagined its sphere of activity to be considerably greater than it actually was.
THE PRESIDENT: If you want to know what he says about the tasks of his Ministry, you can ask him. But you have just been reading his speech, and we don't want to...
DR. FLACHSNER: No, no, I do not want that either. He is just to give us briefly some of the technical tasks of his Ministry. That is what I wanted to know.
THE PRESIDENT: You don't seem to be hearing me accurately. Wouldn't it be better if you put your earphones on?
What I said was that you had read the speech and we didn't want to hear any more argument upon the speech from the defendant. If you want to ask the defendant what the tasks of his Ministry are, ask him. What you asked him was, "Do you wish to supplement the speech?"
DR. FLACHSNER: Herr Speer, Will you please tell us what the tasks were which your Ministry had to carry out and please do not refer to the things that I mentioned in the speech.
SPEER: I believe the tasks of a production ministry are well known in all industrial states. I just wanted to summarize briefly which functions I had to concern myself with in detail in this Ministry.
For one, we had to surmount the deficiency in raw materials, metals, and steel. Then, by the introduction of assembly-line work, which is customary in the United States but was not yet current in Germany, the work was systematized; and thus machinery and space were utilized to the utmost. Also, it was necessary to amplify the production programs, for example, for fine steel, aluminum, and individual parts like ball bearings and gear wheels.
One of the most important tasks was the development of new weapons and their serial production; and then, beginning with 1943, the reparation of the damage caused by the extraordinarily sudden bombing attacks, which forced us to work with improvised means and methods.
DR. FLACHSNER: What was the importance of this activity in the sphere of your Ministry?
SPEER: It is to be taken as a matter of course that this sphere of activity was the most important in our country, if only because it included providing equipment for the Army. I claimed that during
19 June 46
the war the rest of the economy would have to be regulated according to the exigencies of armament. In times of war, at home, there are only two tasks which count: To furnish soldiers for the front, and to supply weapons.
DR. FLACHSNER: Why was the task of your Ministry purely a war function?
SPEER: Because during peacetime the giving of orders is normally regulated according to supply and demand, but in wartime this regulating factor is lacking.
DR. FLACHSNER: Therefore it was one of the main tasks of your Ministry to exercise a State control over the distribution of orders?
DR. FLACHSNER: Then, at first, you had responsibility only for armaments production for the Army; but at the end of 1944, you were responsible for the entire field of armament and war production. Can you briefly tell me the stage of this development, and how thereby the extent of your task grew?
SPEER: It would be best for me to tell you about the development by dealing with the number of workers I had.
In 1942 I took over the armaments and construction programs with altogether 2.6 million workers. In the spring of 1943 Doenitz gave me the responsibility for naval armament as well, and at this point, I had 3.2 million workers. In September of 1943, through an agreement with the Minister of Economy, Herr Funk, the production task of the Ministry of Economy was transferred to me. With that I had 12 million workers working for me.
Finally, I took over the air armament from Goering on 1 August 1944. With that the total production was marshaled under me with 14 million workers. The number of workers applies to the Greater German Reich, not including the occupied countries.
DR. FLACHSNER: How was it possible to have a task of that magnitude directed by a Ministry that consisted almost exclusively of honorary members, who moreover had no practical routine experience in purely administrative matters?
SPEER: The administrative sectors in the various armament offices retained their tasks. In that way, for example, in the Army, the Heereswaffenamt-the Army Ordnance Office-which contained several thousand workers, gave the orders, supervised the carrying out of these orders, and saw to it that delivery of the orders and payment were carried out in a proper manner. Only in that way did I succeed in having the entire armament production-which
19 June 46
amounted to 3,000 or 4,000 million marks a month-carried through with an honorary co-worker staff of 6,000 people.
DR. FLACHSNER: Were all armament enterprises of a Wehrmacht branch subordinate to you?
SPEER: No. There actually was a small group of enterprises which were run directly by the Wehrmacht branches with their own workers. These were exempted. They were the munition plants and similar industries, and also the enterprises of the SS.
DR. FLACHSNER: The Prosecution is charging you with the fact you share the responsibility for the recruiting of foreign workers and prisoners of war and for taking manpower from concentration camps. What do you say to this?
SPEER: Neither I nor the Ministry was responsible for this. The Ministry was a new establishment, which had a technical problem to deal with. It took no competence in any field away from an existing authority. The conditions of work were still handled through the old existing authorities. The Food Ministry and the various offices connected with it were responsible for the food supply, and the occupation-supervising agencies in the Reich Labor Ministry were responsible for the maintenance of safe and bearable conditions at the places of work; the Trustees of Labor, working under the Plenipotentiary for Labor Commitment, were responsible for the salaries and the quality and quantity of work done; and the Health Office of the Reich Ministry of the Interior was responsible for health conditions. The Justice Department and the Police Department were responsible for violations against labor discipline, and, finally, the German Labor Front was responsible for representing the interests of labor with the employers. The centralizing of all of these authorities lay in the hands of the Gauleiter as Reich Defense Commissioner. The fact that the SS put itself and its concentration camp internees outside the control of the State is not a matter with which I or my Ministry was concerned.
DR. FLACHSNER: Your Codefendant Sauckel testified to the effect that with the carrying out of the recruiting of workers for the industries, his task was finished. Is that correct in your opinion?
SPEER: Yes, certainly, as far as the placing of workers is concerned, for one of the subjects of dissension between Sauckel and me was that the appropriate employment of workers in industry itself had to be a matter of the works manager and that this could not be influenced by the labor office. It applied however only to labor recruitment and not to the observance of labor conditions. In this connection, the office of Sauckel was partly responsible as supervising authority.
19 June 46
DR. FLACHSNER: To what extent could the works manager conform with the decrees of Sauckel as to labor conditions and so on?
SPEER: The decrees issued by Sauckel were unobjectionable, but the works managers did not always find it possible to carry through the decrees for reasons which were outside their power. The bombing attacks brought about difficulties, disorganized transportation, or destroyed living quarters. It is not possible to make the managers responsible for the observance of these decrees under circumstances which often took on catastrophic proportions after the summer of 1944. These were times of crises and it was a matter for the Reich authorities to determine just how far it was possible to carry through these decrees and it is not right to push this responsibility on the little works manager.
DR. FLACHSNER: How far was the factory manager responsible to your Ministry in this regard?
SPEER: Within the framework of the above-mentioned responsibility which industry enjoyed, the armament factory managers had received a semiofficial function from me. This, of course, applied only to technical tasks.
DR. FLACHSNER: Were there any industries making secret items which were not permitted to be inspected by the Gauleiter? I recall evidence given here where this was reported.
SPEER: There were some industries which concerned themselves with secret matters; but in such cases the works trustee of the Labor Front was represented, and he could report to the Gauleiter on conditions in the factory through the Gauobmann (chief of the Labor Front in a Gau).
DR. FLACHSNER: Did you approve the punishment of people who were unwilling to work?
SPEER: Yes, I considered it right that workers who violated labor discipline should be punished, but I did not demand supplementary measures in this regard. As a matter of principle, I represented the view that a satisfactory work output on the part of 14 million workers could be achieved in the long run only through the good will of the worker himself. This-is a bit of experience which applies generally, causing every employer in the world to do all in his power to have his workers satisfied.
DR. FLACHSNER: Did you support the efforts made by Sauckel to improve the social conditions of the workers, and if so, why did you?
SPEER: Naturally I supported them, even though I did not have any jurisdiction along that line; and the same reasons which I have
19 June 46
Just mentioned applied, for our experience showed that labor which is satisfied has much less loss in the way of material. This for me was very important, considering our deficiency in raw materials. It is obvious moreover that the better quality produced by satisfied laborers is of special significance in time of war.
DR. FLACHSNER: In the records of your discussions with Hitler, there are various directives made by Hitler dealing with the care and the treatment of foreign workers. Did you cause Hitler to give these directives?
DR. FLACHSNER: In this connection, I should like to submit three pieces of evidence-first of all, Document Speer-11. Mr. President, this is found on Page 10 of the English text, Page 7 of the French text. In this document, upon Speer's request in March 1942, it was put down; and I quote:
"That the Russians under all circumstances were to receive sufficient food and that civilian Russians were not to be put behind barbed wire and be treated as prisoners of war."
As my next piece of evidence, which will be Exhibit Number 4, I would like to submit Document Number Speer-13. According to this document, in May 1943 Hitler decided, at the suggestion of Speer, that the German as well as Russian miners should receive a substantial amount of supplementary rations and it is specified there that especially the Russian prisoners of war are to receive compensation in the form of tobacco and similar items for special efforts and achievements. The next piece of evidence is Exhibit Number Speer-5, and it is Document Number 9. Mr. President, this is found on Page 12 of the English text and Page 9 of the German text in the document book. According to this document the food supply in Italian armament plants is to be put at about the level of the German rations. In this connection it is important that Speer, at the same time, issued directives that also the families of these workers receive equivalent care. I had other documents of this type at my disposal but in order to save the time of the translation department, I did not include them in my document book. Herr Speer, to whom did the bonuses of the armament industry go, and what did they consist of?
SPEER: We gave out many millions of packages to armament plants. They contained additional food, chocolate, cigarettes, and so forth; and these bonuses were given in addition to all the extra food rations which were determined by the Food Ministry for those who worked longer hours or who did heavy work. In the industries,
19 June 46
these bonuses were given to all workers without distinction, including the foreign workers, prisoners of war, and the workers from concentration camps.
DR. FLACHSNER: I shall again refer to the fact that these bonuses were also given to armament workers from concentration camps later on when discussing another document.
In what form did your Ministry put its demands to the industries?
SPEER: It is important to note that the demands made of industries were only in the manner of production schedules and it was up to the industries to place their demands as to manpower, machinery, and material on the basis of these schedules.
DR. FLACHSNER: Was there often an unusual increase in working hours in industry and how did this happen?
SPEER: Working time should remain uniform in modern assembly-line production during the entire month. Due to the bombing attacks, delays in supplying tools and raw materials set in. As a result the number of hours of work varied from ~ to 12 a day. The average, according to our statistics, might have been 60 hours to 64 hours a week.
DR. FLACHSNER: What were the working hours of the factory workers who came from concentration camps?
SPEER: They were exactly the same as for all the other workers in the industry, for the workers from concentration camps were on the whole only a part of the workers employed; and these workers were not called upon to do any more work than the other workers in the factory.
DR. FLACHSNER: How is that shown?
SPEER: There was a demand on the part of the SS that the inmates of concentration camps be kept in one part of the factory. The supervisors consisted of German foremen and specialists. The working hours, for inherent reasons, had to be co-ordinated with those of the entire industry, for it is a known fact that there is only one rhythm of work in a given industry.
DR. FLACHSNER: It is shown unequivocally from two documents which I shall submit in another connection that the workers from concentration camps in army and naval armament and in the air armament branch worked on an average 60 hours per week.
Why, Herr Speer, were special KZ Camps, the so-called work camps, established next to the industries?
SPEER: The work camps were established so that long trips to the factories could be avoided and in this way permit the workers to arrive fresh and ready for work.
19 June 46
Furthermore, the additional food which the Food Ministry had granted for all workers, including the workers from concentration camps' would not have been received by these men if they had come directly from big concentration camps; for then this additional food would have been used up in the concentration camp. In this way, those workers who came from concentration camps received, in full measure, bonuses which were granted in the industry, such as cigarettes or additional food.
DR. FLACHSNER: Did you know, during your activities, that the workers from concentration camps had advantages if they worked in factories?
SPEER: Yes. My co-workers called my attention to this fact, aura I also heard it when I inspected the industries. Of course, a wrong impression should not be created about the number of concentration camp inmates who worked in German industry. In tote, 1 percent of the labor personnel came from concentration camps.
DR. FLACHSNER: When you inspected establishments, did you ever see concentration camp inmates?
SPEER: Of course, when on inspection tours of industries I occasionally saw inmates of concentration camps who, however, looked well fed.
DR. FLACHSNER: Concerning the report which Herr Speer made about concentration camps and the treatment which the inmates received in factories, I refer to a confidential letter from the office chief Schieber to Speer, dated 7 May 1944. I submit it as Document Number Speer-44, Exhibit Number 6. Mr. President, I am sorry, this will also be found in the second document book, which has not yet been submitted. But it would be a pity if I were not to discuss it at this time, for it fits so well into this pattern. Therefore, I should like to quote briefly from it.
The office chief Schieber writes to his Minister as follows. . .
THE PRESIDENT: Dr. Flachsner, the Tribunal thinks it would be much more helpful to them to have the document before them.
We are told that the book will be ready tomorrow afternoon, and that it will not be ready before tomorrow afternoon.
DR. FLACHSNER: Mr. President, I believe that I did everything possible at the time to see that the documents were put at the disposal of the translation department in good time. The difficulty must have arisen from the fact that the interrogatories did not come back in time. I assume that that is what happened. The quotation from this document is not long, Mr. President. I believe I might as well quote from it now. Or do you wish that. . .
19 June 46
THE PRESIDENT: No; go on, if it is more convenient to you. I do not mind. You may go on.
DR. FLACHSNER: Thank you very much. The office chief Schieber writes to his Minister:
"Considering the care which the manpower from camps received from our factory managers in spite of all the difficulties and considering the general decent and humane treatment which foreign and concentration camp laborers received, both the Jewesses and concentration camp laborers work very efficiently and do everything in order not to be sent back to the concentration camp. "These facts really demand that we transfer still more concentration camp inmates into armament industries."
And a few lines further down:
"I have discussed this whole matter in great detail with the delegate of Obergruppenfuehrer Pohl, Sturmbannfuehrer Maurer, and especially pointed out that by a decentralized dividing-up of concentration camp laborers it might be possible appropriately to utilize their forces while affording them better nourishment and satisfactory lodging."
Then it says:
"Moreover, Maurer especially points out..."
THE PRESIDENT: You need not make such long pauses as you are making.
DR. FLACHSNER: "Aside from that, Maurer especially points out that Obergruppenfuehrer Pohl constantly improved the food situation of concentration camp inmates working in factories and that by granting additional protein foods, given under constant medical supervision, a marked increase in weight was obtained and thereby better work achieved."
In another document we see that the employment of concentration camp workers in armament industries is recommended, in that advantages accrue to these workers and that for this reason concentration camp inmates are glad to work in armament industries. I refer, in this connection, to Document 1992-PS, which may be found on Page 11 of the document book. It is Page 14 in the English text. This document shows that already in 1937 inmates of concentration camps were being employed in workshops and that this work was quite popular. Herr Speer, what do you know about the working conditions in subterranean factories?
SPEER: The most modern equipment for the most modern weapons had been housed in subterranean factories. Since we did
19 June 46
not have many of these subterranean works at our disposal, we had to house in the main this latest equipment there. This equipment required perfect conditions of work-air which was dry and free from dust, good lighting facilities, big fresh air installations, so that the conditions which applied to such a subterranean factory would be about the same as those in a night shift in a regular industry.
I should like to add that contrary to the impression which has been created here in Court, these subterranean factories, almost without exception, were staffed with German workers, because we had a special interest in having these modern installations manned by the best workers which were at our disposal.
DR. FLACHSNER: Can you tell us about how many of these factories there were?
SPEER: It was an insignificant number at the end of the war. We were using 300,000 square meters of subterranean premises and were planning for 3,000,000 square meters.
DR. FLACHSNER: Herr Speer, in the year 1943 you visited the concentration camp at Mauthausen? Why did you visit this camp?
SPEER: I learned, when I inspected industries at Linz, that along the Danube, near the camp at Mauthausen, a large harbor installation and numerous railroad installations were being put up so that the paving stone coming from the quarry at Mauthausen could be transported to the Danube. This was purely a peacetime matter which I could not tolerate at all, for it violated all the decrees and directives which I had issued. I gave short notice of an impending visit, for I wanted to ascertain on the spot whether this construction work was an actual fact and request stoppage of the work. This is an example for giving directives in this field even within the economic administrative sphere of the SS. I stated on that occasion that it would be more judicious to have these workers employed during wartime in a steel plant at Linz rather than in peacetime construction.
DR. FLACHSNER: Will you describe the visit to the camp?
SPEER: My visit ostensibly followed the prescribed program as already described by the witness Blaha. I saw the kitchen barracks, the washroom barracks, and one group of barracks used as living quarters. These barracks were made of massive stone and were models as far as modern equipment is concerned. Since my visit had only been reported a short time in advance, in my opinion it is out of the question that big preparations could have been made before my visit.
Nevertheless, the camp or the small part of the camp which I saw made a model impression of cleanliness. However, I did not see any of the workers, any of the camp inmates, since at that time they were all engaged in work. The entire inspection
19 June 46
lasted perhaps 45 minutes, since I had very little time at my disposal for a matter of that kind and I had inner repulsive feelings against even entering such a camp where prisoners were being kept.
DR. FLACHSNER: The main purpose of your visit then was to request the stoppage of the work which you considered nonessential to the war effort?
DR. FLACHSNER: On your visit were you able to learn about the working conditions in the camp?
SPEER: No, I could not do that, since no workers were to be seen in the camp and the harbor installations were so far from the street that I could not see the men who were working there.
THE PRESIDENT: The translation that came through to me was that it was against him spiritually to enter such places. Was that correct? Well, what did you say?
DR. FLACHSNER: No. I asked him whether on the occasion of this visit he was able to learn about the working conditions which applied in this camp. That was my question.
THE PRESIDENT: Well, did you say anything about "spiritually"?
DR. FLACHSNER: No.
Did you learn, on your visit at Mauthausen or on another occasion, about the cruelties which took place at this concentration camp and at other concentration camps?
DR. FLACHSNER: Now, I should like to conclude my questions on the utilization of workers by asking you: Did you have any interest in the fact that a healthy and sufficiently trained labor supply should be at your disposal?
SPEER: Naturally I had the utmost interest along this line even though I was not competent for this. As from 1942 we had mass production in armament, and this system with assembly-line workers demands an extraordinary large percentage of skilled workers. Because of drafting for military service, these skilled laborers had become especially important, so that any loss of a worker or the illness of a worker meant a big loss for me as well.
Since a worker needed an apprenticeship of 6 to 12 weeks and since even after this for a period of about 6 months a great amount of scrap must be allowed for-for it takes about that much time before quality work can be expected-it is evident that the care of skilled workers in industry was an added worry for us.
19 June 46
DR. FLACHSNER: The Prosecution has mentioned the so-called extermination by work. Could a change of personnel which would have taken place through extermination by work, be tolerated at all by an industry?
SPEER: No. A change in the workers, in the way in which it was described here, cannot be borne by any industry. It is out of the question that in any German industry anything like that took place without my hearing about it; and I never heard anything of that sort.
DR. FLACHSNER: Herr Speer, the Prosecution asserts that you applied means of terror and brutality so that the achievements of the compulsory workers would be increased to the utmost...
DR. FLACHSNER: Just a moment. I have not finished. The Prosecution is of the opinion that you used SS and Police against recalcitrant workers and favored and recommended the use of concentration camps for such. Is that correct?
SPEER: No, not in that form, for that was against my interests. There were efforts in Germany to bring about increased productivity through very severe compulsory measures. These efforts did not meet with my approval. It is quite out of the question that 14 million workers can be forced to produce satisfactory work through coercion and terror, as the Prosecution maintains.
DR. FLACHSNER: In this connection, please refer to Page 7 of the English text, Page 4 of the French text. I should like to quote from Document Number Speer-43.
It says there:
"I do not believe that the second system which might be applied in our economy, the system of compulsion by plant commissars, or extensive proceedings and punishment when output is insufficient, can lead to success." Now, Mr. President, I have come to the end of my first part.
THE PRESIDENT: The Court will adjourn.
[The Tribunal adjourned until to June 1946 at 1000 hours.]
AND FIFTY-NINTH DAY
Thursday, 20 June 1946
THE PRESIDENT: I have an announcement to make. In the first place, supplementary witnesses will be heard at the end of the case for the defendants. Secondly, interrogatories and other documents received by that time must be offered in evidence then. Thirdly, interrogatories and other documents allowed before the end of the evidence but received at a later date will be received and considered by the Tribunal up to the end of the Trial. That is all.
[The Defendant Speer resumed the stand.]
DR. FLACHSNER: Yesterday we finished talking about the utilization of labor in industry, and now we shall turn to the question of how the factories were supplied with manpower; that is to say, the question of mass and special demands for laborers.
Herr Speer, you stated in your testimony of 18 October 1945 first, that you categorically demanded new laborers from Sauckel; secondly, that you knew that among these laborers there would be foreigners; thirdly, that you had known that some of these foreign workers were working in Germany against their will. Please comment on this statement.
SPEER: This voluntary statement is quite correct. During the war I was very grateful to Sauckel for every laborer whom I got through him. Many a time I held him responsible for the fact that through lack of manpower the armament industry did not achieve the results it might have, but I always emphasized the merits which accrued to him because of his activity on behalf of armaments.
DR. FLACHSNER: Now, when in your testimony of 18 October 1945, and at present again, you refer to manpower, do you mean all manpower in general, including German workers, foreigners from occupied countries, and foreigners from friendly or annexed states, and also prisoners of war?
SPEER: Yes. Beginning with the middle of 1943, I was at odds with Sauckel over questions of production and about the insufficient availability of reserves of German labor. But that has nothing to do with my fundamental attitude toward Sauckel's work.
20 June 46
DR. FLACHSNER: What percentage of the total number of laborers assigned was Sauckel obliged to furnish upon your demands?
SPEER: You mean of the total labor supply, not foreigners?
DR. FLACHSNER: Yes.
SPEER: Up to August, 1944-that is up till the time when I took over the air armament as well-perhaps 30 or 40 percent of all the workers provided. Of course, by far the majority of them were German workers. When in August 1944 I took over the air armament I had no appreciable demand for workers because the bomber attacks on the transportation system in the Reich resulted in a steady decline of armament production.
DR. FLACHSNER: Was your need for labor unlimited?
SPEER: No. The volume of armament production and also of our entire production with my corresponding need for labor was governed by our raw material supply.
DR. FLACHSNER: That means, your need was restricted by the amount of raw materials available?
SPEER: My need for labor was limited by the amount of raw materials.
DR. FLACHSNER: You achieved a marked increase in production figures for armament. In order to achieve this increase, did the workers employed increase proportionally?
SPEER: No. In 1944 7 times as many weapons were manufactured as in 1942, 51/~ times as many armored vehicles, and 6 times as much ammunition. The number of workers in these branches was increased by only 30 percent. This success was not brought about through a greater exploitation of labor but rather through the abolition of obsolete methods of production and through an improved system of controlling the production of armament.
DR. FLACHSNER: What was meant by the concept "war production"-"Kriegsproduktion"?
SPEER: The concept which is frequently used here, "war production," is nothing else but the ordinary concept, production. It comprises everything which is manufactured industrially or by artisans, including the civilian needs.
DR. FLACHSNER: What was meant in Germany by the concept of "armaments"? What did that include?
SPEER: The concept of "armaments" was in no way restricted to that sphere which was outlined through the Geneva prisoner-of-war agreement. The modern concept of "armaments" is a much
20 June 46
more comprehensive one. It includes a much wider sphere of activity. There were no basic principles set down for our concept of "armaments. The characteristic of an armament factory was that as an intermediary authority, the Armament Inspectorate took care of it and watched over it. In Germany, for instance, the entire production of raw steel belonged to armament; all rolling mills, foundries and forges; the production or the manufacture of aluminum and modern synthetic materials; the chemical production of nitrogen or fuel or synthetic rubber; the production of synthetic wool; the manufacture of individual items the use of which in armament cannot be predicted at the time of their manufacture such as ball bearings, gears, valves, engine pistons, and so forth, or the production of tool machinery; the setting up of assembly lines; similarly the manufacture of motor cars and the construction of locomotives, of merchant ships, also textile factories, and factories manufacturing leather goods or wooden wares.
In the interrogatories which I sent to my witnesses, I tried to have stated what percentage of the German armament industries produced armaments as defined by the Geneva Convention, and I should like to give you the figures. My co-workers agree unanimously that between 40 and 20 percent of our armament program was concerned with the production of weapons, armored cars, planes, warships, or the general equipment which the various branches of the Armed Forces required. The bulk of the material, therefore, was not armament in the sense of the Geneva Convention. The reason for the expansion of the concept of "armament" in Germany was, besides manufacturing reasons, the preferential treatment which applied to these industries, a treatment which resulted in numerous industries clamoring to be called armament industries.
DR. FLACHSNER: Mr. President, in the questionnaires which have not yet been submitted to the Tribunal because the book is not yet ready, the witness Sauer under Figures 7 and 10, the witness Schieber under Figures 6 to 9, and the witness Kehrl under Figures 4 to 7, concern themselves with the definition as applied to the concept of armament.
THE PRESIDENT: What was the last name?
DR. FLACHSNER: Kehrl.
Herr Speer, by way of example, you know Krupp's at Essen. How far did this concern produce armament equipment in the sense of the Geneva prisoner-of-war agreement, that is, weapons, munitions, and objects which are necessary for the direct conduct of war?
SPEER: Krupp's are an excellent example of the fact that an armament concern only reserves a fraction of its production for war
20 June 46
equipment. Of course, I must point out the fact that especially this Krupp concern was one of those armament industries which, among others, had the smallest production of armament, on a percentage basis. Krupp's main interest lay in mines, and in three large works which produced unprocessed and highly tempered steel. The manufacture of locomotives and products for the chemical industry were specialties of Krupp's. On the other hand, the actual armament specialty of Krupp's-the construction of armored turrets for warships, and large special guns-was not at all exploited during this war. Only in 1944 did Krupp erect the first big factory for the production of guns near Breslau. Up to that time Krupp was mainly concerned with the designing of new weapons, while for the production other firms were licensed. All in all, one can say that at Krupp's, 10 to 15 percent of the personnel turned out armament equipment in the sense of the Geneva Agreement, even though the entire works were classified as armament works.
DR. FLACHSNER: What did you and your Ministry have to say as to whether a factory would receive German or foreign workers?
SPEER: My Ministry had no influence in that direction at all. The need for workers was reported to my Ministry by the industries which were subordinate to me. They reported a total figure of workers needed, and there were no specifications as to whether foreign workers, prisoners of war, or German workers were wanted. This total figure was forwarded to the Plenipotentiary General for Labor. Sauckel refused to accept detailed demands, and he was quite right in this respect, for he could not issue detailed directives to the offices subordinate to him concerning the percentage of German or foreign workers which were to be allocated locally to the various factories.
The ultimate distribution of workers to the factories was taken care of by the labor offices without any intervention of my offices or agencies. Therefore, here too, we did not exert influence as to whether Germans, foreigners or prisoners of war were allocated to any factory. The factory then had to report back to us about the number of workers newly received. This report was turned in to my Ministry in a lump figure so that I could not tell whether and what number of foreign workers or prisoners of war the total figure contained. Of course, I knew that foreign workers worked on armament equipment, and I quite agreed to that.
DR. FLACHSNER: Mr. President, to facilitate matters for the Tribunal I would like to remark that Figures 1, 7, 8, and 17 of the questionnaire of the witness Schmelter deal with these
20 June 46
questions. In the questionnaire of Schieber, Numbers 10, 11, 30, and 31 deal with this point. Furthermore, in the questionnaire of Kehrl relevant material is contained in the answers to Numbers 8 and 9.
Herr Speer, who sent in the demands for manpower needed in armament to the Plenipotentiary General for the Allocation of Labor?
SPEER: The demands for workers were split up into various sectors, according to the different economic branches. There were approximately 15 different sectors which placed their demands. I placed demands for Army and Navy armament and for construction, and beginning with September of 1943, for the sectors chemistry, mining, and other production. Air armament had its special labor allocation department, and their demands were voiced by the Reich Air Ministry.
DR. FLACHSNER: In the questionnaires, the witness Schmelter has dealt with this matter in his answer to Question 2; the witness Schieber in his answers to Questions 2, 3, and 5; and the witness Kehrl under Questions 2 and 3. Weren't the demands for labor for the three branches of the Armed Forces centralized in your Ministry?
SPEER: No. Of course, beginning with March 1942, I had nominally taken over the Armament Office under General Thomas from the OKW, and this Armament Office was a joint office of all three Armed Forces branches, where labor allocation problems were discussed too. Through an agreement between Goering and me it was decided that air armament, independently of me, should look after its own interests. This agreement was necessary since at first, as Minister for Army Armament, I had a biased interest and therefore did not want to make decisions regarding the demands for labor of a unit that was not subordinate to me.
DR. FLACHSNER: How far are you responsible for the employment of prisoners of war in armament, and here I mean armament in a restricted sense and in contradiction to the Geneva Convention?
SPEER: I did not exert my influence to have prisoners of war employed contrary to the directives given out by the OKW. I knew the point of view held by the OKW, according to which the Geneva Convention was to be strictly observed. Of course, I knew as well that these Geneva regulations did not apply to Russian prisoners of war and Italian military internees. I could not exert any influence on the allocation of prisoners of war to the individual factories. This allocation was determined by the labor offices in connection with the offices depending on the chief of Prisoner of War Affairs, the "Stalag."
20 June 46
DR. FLACHSNER: In this connection I should like to refer to the questionnaire of the witness Schmelter, to his reply to Question 14.
Herr Speer, who was the competent officer on the intermediate level under the OKW?
SPEER: The supervision of the proper allocations of prisoners of war was carried out by the Military Economy Officer (Wehrwirtschaftsoffizier) as the intermediary authority. He was incorporated in the office of the Military Area Commander who was under the jurisdiction of the Army.
DR. FLACHSNER: The Prosecution has submitted an affidavit by Mr. Deuss, who is an American statistics expert. This is Document 2520-PS. According to this affidavit, 400,000 prisoners of war were employed in the production of war equipment. These figures are supposed to originate from statistics in your Ministry. Will you comment on this figure?
SPEER: The figures are well known to me through my activity as a Minister, and they are correct. This figure of 400,000 prisoners of war covers the total number of prisoners of war employed in armament production. It is a wrong conclusion drawn in this affidavit that all these prisoners of war were connected with the production of objects of armament as specified by the Geneva Convention. Statistics concerning the number of prisoners of war employed in those industries which produced armament goods as specified in the Geneva Convention were not kept by us and, therefore, no such figure can be compiled from my documents.
Apart from that, this figure of 400,000 prisoners of war includes 200,000 or 300,000 Italian military internees, all of whom were brought into my production field at that time. This affidavit does not prove, therefore, that prisoners of war were employed in the production of armament goods as such.
DR. FLACHSNER: The Central Planning Board was mentioned here Frequently. You were a member of this board. Can you describe in detail the origin of the Central Planning Board and its sphere of activity?
SPEER: When in 1942 I assumed my office it was imperative to centralize the allocation and distribution of various materials for the three branches of the Armed Forces, and to guarantee the proper direction of war economy for a long time to come. Up to that time this matter had been taken care of in the Ministry of Economy, and partly in the OKW. Both these agencies were much too weak to prevail against the three Armed Forces branches.
20 June 46
In pursuance of my proposal, in March 1942 the Central Planning Board was established by the Delegate for the Four Year Plan. Its three members, Milch, Korner, and myself, were entitled to make joint decisions only, which, however, could always be reached without any difficulty. It is obvious that through my predominant position I was the decisive factor in this Central Planning Board. The tasks of the Central Planning Board were clearly outlined and laid down in Goering's decree, which I had drafted. To make statistics on the demands for labor or on the allocation of workers was not a matter which was laid down in this decree. This activity was not carried out systematically by the Central Planning Board despite the documents presented here. As far as the decisions regarding demands and allocation of labor were concerned, I tried to have this done by the Central Planning Board, since this would have been an essential factor in the directing of the entire economy. This, however, always met with Sauckel's refusal because he considered it as interfering with his rights.
DR. FLACHSNER: To this point I submit the decree of Goering regarding the establishment of a Central Planning Board under the Four Year Plan. It was published on 25 April 1942, and this shall be Document Number Speer-42, Exhibit Number 7.
Mr. President, this text may be found on Page 17 of the English document book.
The sphere of activity of the Central Planning Board...
THE PRESIDENT: Wait a minute. What number are you giving to it? On the document here it has got Speer Number 142.
DR. FLACHSNER: No, that must be a typographical error. It should be 42, Mr. President; it may be found...
THE PRESIDENT: What is the exhibit number?
DR. FLACHSNER: Exhibit Number Speer-7.
THE PRESIDENT: What does 42 mean? What is the point of putting 42 on it if its exhibit number is 7?
DR. FLACHSNER: Mr. President, that is the number according to which the document was admitted when we compiled the document book. However, the Exhibit Number 7 is the decisive number in this case.
THE PRESIDENT: Very well.
DR. FLACHSNER: It is only meant to facilitate finding it in the document book. It is on Page 17 of the English text; and I might be allowed to call the attention of the High Tribunal to Figure 3 of the decree. According to this, the Central Planning Board had to decide on all the necessary new industrial projects,
20 June 46
on the increase in the production of raw materials and their distribution, and also on the co-ordination of the demands on the transportation system. This decree does not provide for any regulation of the labor problem. Herr Speer, how did it come about that, despite this, labor demands were discussed in the Central Planning Board?
SPEER: These minutes of all the 60 meetings of the Central Planning Board which took place from 1942 until 1945 are contained in the stenographic records. These 5,000 typed pages give a clear report on the tasks and the activities carried out by the Central Planning Board. It is quite obvious to any expert that there was no planning with regard to manpower allocation, for it is clear that a plan regarding labor allocation would have to be revised at least every 3 months, just as we had to do for raw materials. In fact, three to four meetings took place in the Central Planning Board which were concerned with labor allocation. These three or four discussions were held for the following reasons: In the years 1942 and 1943, that is, before I took over the management of the total production, whenever soldiers were recruited for the Armed Forces, I had reserved for myself the right to distribute the various recruitment quotas in the different sectors of production. At one meeting this distribution was effected by the Central Planning Board as a neutral committee. At this session, of course, there was a representative of the Plenipotentiary General for the Allocation of Labor, since at the same time the problem of replacements had to be dealt with. Another problem which was discussed by the Central Planning Board was the distribution of coal for the following year. Just as in England, coal was the decisive factor in our entire war economy, too. At these discussions we had to determine at the same time how the demands for labor supply for the mines could be satisfied by the Plenipotentiary General for the Allocation of Labor, because only in agreement with him could proper plans be made for the following year. From this discussions resulted on the allocation of Russian prisoners of war in mines, a matter which has been mentioned here. Furthermore, two sessions took place in which the demands put forward by all interested parties were actually discussed, and in a way which the Prosecution would like to generalize as applying to the entire activities of the Central Planning Board. These two sessions took place in February and March of 1944, and no others were held either before or after. Besides, these two sessions took place during my illness. Even at that time it was not quite clear to me why it was that just when I was ill Sauckel first complied with my wish to have the Central Planning Board included, and then later went back on his promise.
20 June 46
DR. FLACHSNER: The Prosecution have submitted various extracts dealing with sessions of the Central Planning Board.
As far as you know, are these extracts taken from the stenographic records, or are they taken from the minutes?
SPEER: They are taken from the stenographic records. Besides these stenographic records, minutes were taken on the result of the meeting. These minutes are the actual result of the meeting. No material from the actual minutes has so far been submitted by the Prosecution. The contents of the stenographic records are, of course, remarks and debates which always take place when matters of such importance are dealt with, in every war economy of every country, even when the authorities involved are not directly responsible for questions such as those dealing with labor allocation.
DR. FLACHSNER: Therefore, do these quotations which have been heard here concern decisions made by the Central Planning Board or by you?
SPEER: I have already answered that.
DR. FLACHSNER: I would like to put one more question to you. You were the Plenipotentiary for Armaments in the Four Year Plan? What about that?
SPEER: In March 1942, Goering, giving heed to my proposal, created the office of Plenipotentiary for Armaments and War Production, in the Four Year Plan, and I was appointed to that office. This was purely a matter of form. It was generally known that Goering had quarreled with my predecessor, Todt, since armament problems for the Army had not been put under his control in the Four Year Plan. In assuming this capacity as Plenipotentiary for Armaments and War Production, I had subordinated myself to Goering. In fact, the Plenipotentiary for Armaments and War Production never achieved any influence. I issued no directives whatsoever in that capacity. As Minister I possessed sufficient authority, and it was not necessary that I should use the authority which I had under the Four Year Plan.
DR. FLACHSNER: For the benefit of the High Tribunal, when dealing with the question of the Central Planning Board perhaps I might refer to the fact that statements were made relative to it by the witness Schieber in his questionnaire under Figures 4 and 45, and by the witness Kehrl in his questionnaire under Figure 2.
Now I shall turn to the problem of the responsibility for the number of foreign workers in general.
Herr Speer, the Prosecution charges you with coresponsibility for the entire number of foreign workers who were transported
20 June 46
- Forum Staff
- Posts: 23251
- Joined: 20 Jul 2002 19:52
- Location: USA
20 June 46
to Germany. Your Codefendant Sauckel has testified in this connection that first of all he worked for you in this matter, so that his activity was primarily determined by your needs. Will you please comment on this?
SPEER: Of course, I expected Sauckel to meet above all the demands of war production, but it cannot be maintained that he primarily took care of my demands, for beginning with the spring of 1943 I received only part of the workers I needed. If my maximum had been met, I should have received all of them. For this I need cite but one example. During that same period some 200,000 Ukrainian women were made available for housework, and it is quite certain that I was of the opinion that they could be put to better use in armaments production. It is also clear that the German labor reserve had not been fully utilized. In January 1943 these German reserves were still ample. I was interested in having German workers-including, of course, women-and this nonutilization of German reserves also proves that I cannot be held solely responsible for covering the essential needs, that is, for demanding foreign labor.
DR. FLACHSNER: I should like to point out that the following witnesses have made statements in connection with this problem in their respective questionnaires:
The witness Schmelter in Points 12, 13, and 16; the witness Schieber, in Point 22; the witness Rohland in Points 1 and 4; and the witness Kehrl in Point 9. Herr Speer, if you or your office demanded workers, then of course you knew that you would receive foreign workers among them. Did you need these foreign workers?
SPEER: I needed them only in part, in view of my requirements for production. For instance, the coal mines could not get along without Russian prisoners of war. It would have been quite impossible to employ German reserves, which consisted mainly of women, in these mines. There were, furthermore, special assignments for which it was desirable to have foreign skilled labor, but the majority of the needs could be met by German workers, even German female workers. The same principle was followed in the armament industries in England and America and certainly in the Soviet Union, too.
THE PRESIDENT: Can't you go on, Dr. Flachsner? There is no need to wait.
DR. FLACHSNER: Yes. In my documentary evidence I shall return to this point in more detail.
Herr Speer, I should like to go back to your testimony of 18 October 1945. In it you stated several times that you knew that the workers from occupied countries were being brought to
20 June 46
Germany against their will. The Prosecution alleges that you approved of the use of force and of terror. Will you comment on that?
SPEER: I had no influence on the method by which workers were recruited. If the workers were being brought to Germany against their will that means, as I see it, that they were obliged by law to work for Germany. Whether such laws were justified or not, that was a matter I did not check at the time. Besides, this was no concern of mine. On the other hand, by application of force and terror I understand police measures, such as raids and arrests, and so on. I did not approve of these violent measures, which may be seen from the attitude I took in the discussion I had with Lammers on 11 July 1944. At that time I held the view that neither an increase in police forces, nor raids, nor violent measures were the proper thing. In this document I am, at the same time, referred to as one of those who expressed their objections to the violent measures which had been proposed.
THE PRESIDENT: Where is the document?
DR. FLACHSNER: Mr. President, that is Document 3819-PS; which the Prosecution submitted in the cross-examination of, I believe, the Defendant Keitel and of the Defendant Sauckel. I did not include it in my document book. Herr Speer, why were you against such violent measures?
SPEER: Because through violent measures of that kind a regular allocation of manpower in the occupied countries would not have been possible in the long run. However, I wanted production to be regulated and orderly in the occupied countries. Measures of violence meant to me a loss of manpower in the occupied countries, because there was the danger that these people would in increasing numbers take to the woods so as not to have to go to Germany, and thus strengthen the lines of the resistance movements. This, in turn, led to increased acts of sabotage and that, in turn, to a decrease of production in the occupied countries.
Therefore, time and again the military commanders, and the commanders of the army groups, as well as myself, protested against large-scale measures of violence as proposed.
DR. FLACHSNER: Were you especially interested in the recruiting of workers from specific countries, and if so, why?
SPEER: Yes. I was especially interested in labor recruitment from France, Belgium and Holland-that is, countries in the West- and from Italy, because, beginning with the spring of 1943, the Plenipotentiary General for the Allocation of Labor had decreed that mainly workers from these regions were to be assigned for war production. On the other hand, the workers from the East
20 June 46
were mainly to be used for agriculture, for forestry, and for the building of railroads. This decree was repeatedly stressed to me by Sauckel, even as late as 1944.
DR. FLACHSNER: In this connection I should like to refer to Document 3012-PS, which is Exhibit USA-190. This document is found on Page 19 of the English text, and Page 16 of the French text of my document book. I quote from the conference of the Economic Inspectorate South in Russia. Peuckert-the delegate of Sauckel in Russia-states here, and now I quote:
". . . provisions have been made for employing workers from the East principally in agriculture and in the food economy, while the workers from the West, especially those skilled workers required by Minister Speer, are to be made available to the armament industry..."
Document 1289-PS, which is Exhibit Number RF-71, may be found on Page 42 of the English text of my document book and Page 39 of the French and German texts.
Here we are concerned with a file note by Sauckel on 26 April 1944 and I quote:
"Only by a renewed mobilization of reserves in the occupied western territories can the urgent need of German armament for skilled workers be satisfied. For this purpose the reserves from other territories are not sufficient either in quality or in quantity. They are urgently needed for the requirements of agriculture, transportation, and construction. Up to 75 percent of the workers from the West have always been allocated to armament."
THE PRESIDENT: Dr. Flachsner, speaking for myself, I don't know what the problem is that you are trying to solve, or what argument you are putting forward, in the very least. I don't know what relevance this has at all. What does it matter whether they came from the West or whether they came from the East? I understand your argument, or the defendant's argument, that the armament industry, under the Geneva Convention, does not include a variety of branches of industry which go eventually into armament, and it only relates to things which are directly concerned with munitions. But when you have placed that argument before us, what is the good of referring us to this sort of evidence?
I mean, I only want to know because I don't understand in the least what you are getting at.
DR. FLACHSNER: Mr. President, this is to prepare for the problem to which we are now turning, and that is the problem of the blocked or protected factories (Sperrbetriebe). By setting up these blocked factories, Speer, if I may put it that way, wanted to put an effective stop to the transfer of workers from the West to
20 June 46
Germany. Therefore I first have to show that up to that time his workers, the labor for his industries, mainly came from the West. I want to establish that...
THE PRESIDENT: Supposing he did want to stop them from coming from the West; what difference does it make?
DR. FLACHSNER: Mr. President, Speer is being charged with actively having taken part in the deportation of workers from the West, workers who were used in his armament industries. Now, the date is important here. Beginning with the year 1943 he followed a different policy. Before that time, as may be seen from the evidence, the workers who had come to Germany had to a large extent been voluntary workers.
THE PRESIDENT: Of course, if you can prove that they were an voluntary workers it would be extremely material, but you are not directing evidence to that at all.
DR. FLACHSNER: Mr. President, this is the final goal of my evidence. I should like to carry it on through, if possible, to the end.
THE PRESIDENT: I am only telling you that I don't understand what the end is.
Go on; don't wait any further.
DR. FLACHSNER: Herr Speer, the Plenipotentiary General for the Allocation of Labor designated Italy and the occupied western territories as the countries from which foreign laborers would mainly be recruited for armament purposes. How far did you endorse Sauckel's measures in these countries?
SPEER: Up to the spring of 1943 I completely endorsed them. Up to that time no obvious disadvantages had resulted for me. However, beginning with the spring of 1943, workers from the West refused in ever-increasing numbers to go to Germany. That may have had something to do with our defeat at Stalingrad and with the intensified air attacks on Germany. Up to the spring of 1943, to my knowledge, the labor obligations were met with more or less good will. However, beginning with the spring of 1943, frequently only part of the workers who had been called up came to report at the recruiting places.
Therefore, approximately since June 1943, I established the so-called blocked factories through the military commanders in France. Belgium, Holland, and Italy soon followed suit in establishing these blocked industries. It is important to note that every worker employed in one of these blocked factories was automatically excluded from allocation to Germany; and any worker who was recruited for Germany was free to go into a blocked factory in his
20 June 46
own country without the labor allocation authorities having the possibility of taking him out of this blocked factory.
DR. FLACHSNER: What consequences did this have on the recruitment of laborers in the occupied western territories?
SPEER: After the establishment of the blocked factories, the labor allocation from the occupied countries in the West to Germany decreased to a fraction of what it had been. Before that between 80,000 and 100,000 workers came for instance from France to Germany every month. After the establishment of the blocked factories, this figure decreased to the insignificant number of 3,000 or 4,000 a month, as is evident from Document RF-22. It is obvious, and we have to state the facts, that the decrease in these figures was also due to the resistance movement which began to expand in the West at that time.
DR. FLACHSNER: Did you and your offices endorse the policies followed by Sauckel at that time?
SPEER: No. At that time the first serious difference arose about the "blocking" of these workers from labor allocation in Germany. This came about through the fact that the loss of laborers, which I had in the production in the occupied countries, was larger than the number of workers who came to Germany from the occupied countries of the West. This may be seen from Document RF-22. According to it perhaps 400,000 workers came from France to Germany in 1943, especially during the first half of the year. Industrial workers in France, however, decreased by 800,000, and the French workers in France who worked for Germany decreased by 450,000.
DR. FLACHSNER: Why did you demand to take over the entire German production from
the Ministry of Economics in the summer of 1943?
SPEER: According to my opinion there was still a considerable latent reserve in the German production, since the German peace economy had not been converted into a war economy on a sufficiently large scale. Here was, in my opinion, next to the German women workers, the largest reserve of the German home labor supply.
DR. FLACHSNER: What did you undertake when the total production was handed over to you by the Ministry of Economy?
SPEER: At that time, I had already worked out the following plan. A large part of the industry in Germany produced so-called consumer goods. Consumer goods were, for instance, shoes, clothing, furniture, and other necessary articles for the Armed Forces and for the civilian requirements. In the occupied western territories, however, the industries which supplied these products were kept
20 June 46
idle, as the raw materials were lacking. But they nevertheless had a great potential. In carrying through this plan I deprived German industries of the raw materials which were produced in Germany, such as synthetic wool, and sent them to the West. Thereby, in the long run, a million more workers could be supplied with work in the country itself; and thus I obtained 1 million German workers for armament.
DR. FLACHSNER: Did you not thereby want to increase armament production or help it along in France as well?
SPEER: No. All these plans failed. Before the outbreak of war the French Government did not succeed in building up armament production in France, and I also failed, or rather my agencies failed, in this task.
DR. FLACHSNER: What were your intentions with this new plan? What advantages did you gain?
SPEER: I will comment on it quite briefly. Through this plan I could close down whole factories in Germany for armament; and in that way I freed not only workers, but also factory space and administrative personnel. I also saved on electricity and transportation. Apart from that, since these factories had never been of importance for the war effort they had received hardly any foreign workers; and thus I almost exclusively obtained German workers for the German production, workers, of course, who were much more valuable than any foreign workers.
DR. FLACHSNER: Did not such a plan entail dangers and disadvantages for the German industrial development?
SPEER: The disadvantages were considerable, since any closing down of a factory meant the taking out of machinery, and at the end of the war a reconversion to peacetime production would take at least 6 to 8 months. At that time, at a Gauleiter meeting at Posen, I said that if we wanted to be successful in this war, we would have to be those to make the greater sacrifices.
DR. FLACHSNER: How was this plan put into effect?
THE PRESIDENT: Dr. Flachsner, what has the Tribunal got to do with the details of these plans? What do we care whether his plans were efficient or whether they were inefficient? The only question this Tribunal has got to decide is whether they were legal in accordance with the character of international law. It does not matter to us whether his plans were good plans or bad plans, or what the details of the plans were, except insofar as they are legal or illegal.
DR. FLACHSNER: Yes, Mr. President.
20 June 46
THE PRESIDENT: It is a mere waste of our time to go into the details of these plans.
DR. FLACHSNER: I wanted to show that the tendencies, or rather the tendency, followed by the defendant in his labor allocation policy was to employ foreigners in their own country and to use the German reserves solely for his own purpose, that is, for armament proper. Thus everything which...
THE PRESIDENT: But, Dr. Flachsner, that is a question of efficiency, not of legality. What he is saying is that he had a lot of German workers, good workers, and they were producing consumer goods instead of producing armament goods. He thought it better to institute his industries so that the workers could remain in France or the other western countries. What have we got to do with that? If they were forced to work there, it is just as illegal as if they had been brought to Germany to be forced to work. At least, that is the suggestion that is made by the Prosecution.
DR. FLACHSNER: Yes, but I thought and believed. ..
THE PRESIDENT: We will adjourn now.
[A recess was taken.]
THE PRESIDENT: The Tribunal will hear defendants' counsel at 2 o'clock tomorrow afternoon on the question of the apportionment of time for the defendants' counsels' speeches.
DR. FLACHSNER: Herr Speer, please tell us briefly how you and M. Bichelonne, the French Minister of Economy, agreed on your program; but please be concise.
SPEER: Immediately after taking over production in September 1943, I agreed with Bichelonne that a large-scale program of shifting industry from Germany to France should be put into operation, according to the system I already described. In an ensuing conference, Bichelonne stated that he was not authorized to talk about labor allocations with me, for Minister Laval had expressly forbidden him to do so. He would have to point out, he said, that a further recruitment of workers on the present scale would make it impossible to adhere to the program which we had agreed upon. I was of the same opinion. We agreed, therefore, that the entire French production, beginning with coal, right up to the finished products, should be declared as "blocked industries." In this connection both of us were perfectly aware of the fact that this would almost inhibit the allocation of workers for Germany, since, as I have already explained, every Frenchman was free to enter one of
20 June 46
these blocked factories once he had been called up for work in Germany. I gave Bichelonne my word that I should adhere to this principle for a protracted period, and, in spite of all difficulties which occurred, I kept my promise to him.
DR. FLACHSNER: Mr. President, in connection with this I should like to quote from Document R-124, which is Exhibit USA-179. It is on Page 37 of the English document book. It is a speech of Sauckel's before the Central Planning Board and has been mentioned frequently. I shall quote from it only what follows:
". . .when I came to France the next time my agencies in France stated:... Minister Bichelonne has concluded an agreement with Minister Speer according to which only French workers are to be considered for allocations in France and none of them need go to Germany any more. This coincided with the first large-scale conference."
Herr Speer, what were the consequences of this change-over of labor allocation from Germany to France?
SPEER: I have already mentioned that. Beginning with 1 October recruiting of labor came almost to a complete standstill.
DR. FLACHSNER: Later on I shall comment in detail, on the strength of documents, on the effect of this Speer-Bichelonne plan and on the tendency pursued by Speer in connection with the various attempts to apply this principle. At the moment I shall therefore discontinue the questions on the subject and will confine myself to quoting from the official French document, RF-22, Page 20 of the English text of my document book, Page 17 of the German and French texts. I quote:
"Finally a real hostility arose between Sauckel and Speer, who was commissioned with the organization of forced labor in the occupied territories."
And then a few lines further on:
"The superiority of the former over the latter which made itself felt more and more during the . . . occupation facilitated to a large degree the resistance against the removal of workers."
The text shows that the first-mentioned, the Defendant Speer, and the military commander. . .
THE PRESIDENT: That is all cumulative; that's what you have been proving three or four times already.
DR. FLACHSNER: Very well, I shall not continue with it. I only want to rectify a mistake, Herr Speer. It is mentioned in the document that you had something to do with organizing forced labor in France; is that true?
20 June 46
SPEER: No, the organization of labor in France was not under my control.
DR. FLACHSNER: You have already mentioned that this shifting of the labor program was not only confined to France. Will you tell me to which other countries it also applied?
SPEER: Summarizing the last question: The program was extended to Belgium, Holland, Italy, and Czechoslovakia. The entire production in these countries was also declared blocked, and the laborers in these blocked industries were given the same protection as in France, even after the meeting with Hitler on 4 January 1944, during which the new program for the West for 1944 was fixed. I adhered to this policy. The result was that during the first half of 1944, 33,000 workers came from France to Germany as compared with 500,000, proposed during that conference; and from other countries, too, only about 10 percent of the proposed workers were taken to Germany.
DR. FLACHSNER: What about the figures applying to workers from the Protectorate?
SPEER: Everywhere only a fraction of the numbers proposed was sent.
DR. FLACHSNER: A document, Number 1739-PS, Exhibit RF-10, has been submitted by the Prosecution. It is on Page 23 of the English text of my document book and is a report by Sauckel dated December 1942; also there is a document, Number 1290-PS, on Page 24 of the English text, which has also been submitted. These documents appear to show that, according to Sauckel's personal assertions, from the beginning of his activities until March inclusively there was an excess supply of labor. Is that true?
SPEER: Yes, that is true.
DR. FLACHSNER: Document 16-PS, Exhibit USA-168, which is on Page 25 of the English text of my document book, shows that Sauckel was not in favor of using German women in all the armament industry, but in the summer of 1942 he had several hundred thousand Ukrainian girls placed at the disposal of German households.
These three documents together show that Speer in his Ministry cannot be held responsible for the total number of workers who came to Germany. I should also like to present another document as Exhibit Number Speer-8. Mr. President, it is given Number 02 in the document book, and it is on Page 26 of the English text. It refers to a meeting of the Central Planning Board.
20 June 46
THE PRESIDENT: Dr. Flachsner, you are not stating the exhibit numbers of any of these documents, so that you are not offering them properly in evidence at all. I mean you are referring now to 02, which is some numbering which we have got nothing whatever to do with.
DR. FLACHSNER: May I then present this document as Exhibit Number 8?
THE PRESIDENT: What about the one before? Oh, that is already in. Perhaps it would be well to submit a list afterwards, giving the proper exhibit numbers for all these documents you are referring to.
DR. FLACHSNER: Yes, Mr. President, I shall be glad to do that. I should like to quote-this is a remark made by Speer:
"For this it is necessary to supply the industries with new German workers, even unskilled labor, because I cannot replace all those which we have to give up as soldiers, with foreigners. The German supply is simply becoming too scanty. Already today we are having one case of sabotage after another and we do not know their origin. Cases of sabotage will arise. The measures which will have to be taken in order to switch at least I million Germans over to the armament industry are extremely hard and will, in my opinion, lower the entire living standard of the upper classes. Therefore this means that, roughly speaking, we are going to be proletarians for the duration of the war, if it lasts a long time. This matter has to be faced' coolly and soberly. There is no alternative."
This opinion and project of Speer, namely, to exploit ruthlessly the labor reserve within Germany, was Pot realized until the summer of 1944. And this was a subject for argument between Speer on one side, and Sauckel and the Gauleiter on the other. The testimony of the witnesses in the questionnaires will deal with it. To assist the Tribunal I should like to state that with Schieber, it is the answer to Question 22; with Rohland, it is the answer to 1 and 4; with Kehrl, it is answer Number 9; and in the case of Schmelter it is Questions 13 and 16. Unfortunately, I cannot quote the pages of the English book, Mr. President, because I have not yet seen it.
THE PRESIDENT: What was the document you were referring to?
DR. FLACHSNER: Mr. President, the fired-in questionnaires in the supplement volume of my document book, which I hope is now in the hands of the Tribunal.
THE PRESIDENT: Yes, it is.
20 June 46
DR. FLACHSNER: Besides, I should like to reserve the right to submit these documents in toto at the end of my examination. I am only taking the liberty of referring to the points in which the witnesses have dealt with this question.
THE PRESIDENT: Very well.
DR. FLACHSNER: Furthermore, we are informed about the different opinions presented by Sauckel and Speer through a conference of Speer's during a meeting of the Central Planning Board on 21 December 1943. I refer to Page 27 of the English text of my document book and it will be my Exhibit Number 9. I quote...
THE PRESIDENT: You don't need to quote it, Dr. Flachsner; I thought I had made it clear to you that we are not concerned with the efficiency or the inefficiency of these plans.
DR. FLACHSNER: Herr Speer, there is an important document submitted by the Prosecution. It is the minutes of a meeting with Hitler on 4 January 1944. It has been submitted as 1292-PS, Exhibit USA-225. I refer to Page 28 of the English text of my document book. How was this meeting arranged? SPEER: It was called by request of Hitler.
DR. FLACHSNER: For what reason?
SPEAR: To settle the arguments between Sauckel and myself.
DR. FLACHSNER: And what was Hitler's decision?
SPEER: His decision was a useless compromise, as was often the case with Hitler. These blocked factories were to be maintained, and for this purpose Sauckel was given the order to obtain 3,500,000 workers from the occupied territories. Hitler gave the strictest instructions through the High Command of the Armed Forces to the military commanders that Sauckel's request should be met by all means.
DR. FLACHSNER: Did you agree to this decision?
SPEER: No, not at all; for if it were executed my program of shifting industries to the West had to collapse.
DR. FLACHSNER: And what action did you take after that?
SPEER: Contrary to the Fuehrer's decision during that meeting, I informed the military commander of the way I wanted it, so that in connection with the expected order from the High Command of the Armed Forces the military commander would have two interpretations of the meeting in his hands. Since the military commander was agreeable to my interpretation, it could be expected that he would follow my line of thought.
DR. FLACHSNER: In this connection, may I present a document whim is on Page 29 of the English text of my document book,
20 June 46
Page 26 of the German and French texts. This is a teletype message from Speer to General Studt in Paris. It will be Exhibit Number 10. Two things appear from this letter. First, Speer wrote, and I quote:
"Gauleiter Sauckel will start negotiations with the appropriate agencies with regard to the occupied western territories, in order to achieve clarity on the manner and possibility of the execution."
THE PRESIDENT: What is the point in reading that, Dr. Flachsner?
DR. FLACHSNER: Mr. President, the Prosecution has submitted this document, 1292-PS, to prove...
THE PRESIDENT: The defendant just told us what's in the document. He has told us the substance of the whole affair. We quite understand what the difference of opinion between Sauckel and Speer was.
DR. FLACHSNER: This document shows the reaction on the part of the defendant, namely what he did, so that Hitler's decision, as such, would be contravened or at least weakened. In this letter the defendant said to General Studt...
THE PRESIDENT: Dr. Flachsner, the Tribunal has given you the clearest possible indication of the view they take about these matters of different plans and differences of view between Sauckel and Speer. Why don't you pass on to some other part of your case if there is any other part of it?
DR. FLACHSNER: Mr. President, I do not wish to discuss the argument between these two. I am trying to show the actions taken by Speer so as to put his point of view into practice. This does not refer to...
THE PRESIDENT: Yes, but that is irrelevant. As I said just now, the defendant has told us what he did. It is not necessary to read it all out to us again.
DR. FLACHSNER: Very well. In that case, may I go on to present a document which is on Page 30 of the English text of my document book, Page 27 of the German and French texts; Exhibit Number Speer-11. It is a letter from Speer to Sauckel dated 6 January 1944, and it is ascertained in this letter that for the French industrial firms working in France 400,000 workers should be reserved at once, and another 400,000 workers during the following months, who therefore would not be deported.
What results did these two letters have, Herr Speer, with reference to Hitler's order that 1 million workers should be taken from France to Germany?
SPEER I should like to summarize the entire subject and say a few words about it. We had a technique of dealing with inconvenient
20 June 46
orders from Hitler that permitted us to by-pass them. Jodl has already said in his testimony that for his part he had developed such a technique too. And so, of course, the letters which are being submitted here are only clear to the expert as to their meaning and the results they would have to have. From the document which is being presented now, from Sauckel's speech on 1 March 1944, Document Number R-124, it is evident, too, what the results were in regard to the labor allocation in the occupied territories. The result is clear and I have already described it here, and I think we can therefore pass to Page 49.
DR. FLACHSNER: Herr Speer, can you give me a description of the results of the air attacks on the occupied' western territories?
SPEER: Yes. In this connection I should again like to summarize a few points. The invasion was preceded by heavy air attacks on the transportation system in the occupied western territories. As a result of that, beginning with May and June 1944, production in France was paralyzed and 1 million workers were unemployed. With that, the idea of shifting production had collapsed as far as I was concerned; and according to normal expectations of the French officials, too, the impression was general that a large-scale movement toward Germany would now set in.
I gave the order that in spite of the fact that the entire French industry was paralyzed the blocked factories should be kept up, although I knew as an expert that their rehabilitation, considering the damage to the transportation system, would not be possible in less than 9 or 12 months, even if the air attacks should cease entirely. I was, therefore, acting against my own interests here. The French Prosecution has confirmed this in Document RF-22. The corresponding passages are indicated in the document book.
Between 19 and 22 June I had a conference with Hitler and' I obtained a decree according to which the workers in the occupied territories, in spite of the difficulties of transport, had to remain on the spot no matter what happened. Seyss-Inquart has already testified that a similar decision applied to Holland. Upon my orders the workers in these blocked factories even continued to receive their wages.
DR. FLACHSNER: In this connection I submit Exhibit Number Speer-12. It is an extract from the Fuehrer conference from 19 to 22 June 1944, and I beg the Tribunal to take judicial notice of it. The document is on Page 22 of the English text of my document book.
Herr Speer, you would have had to be aware of the fact that following this decision of yours at least 1 million unemployed
20 June 46
workers in all the western territories would be unproductive for quite a long time. How could you justify such a decision?
SPEER: I must say quite openly that this was the first decision of mine which had its inner justification in the war situation having deteriorated so disastrously. The invasion was a success. The heavy air attacks on production were showing decisive results. An early end of the war was to be forecast and all this altered the situation as far as I was concerned. The practical conclusions I drew from this situation will become apparent through various other examples which I shall put forward in the course of the Trial. Of course, Hitler was not of the same opinion during that period. On the contrary, he believed that everything ought to be done in order to utilize the last reserves of manpower.
DR. FLACHSNER: Please describe briefly your attitude toward the meeting of 11 July 1944, to which we have already referred once before. This was Document 3819-PS. Please be very brief.
SPEER: During this meeting of 11 July I maintained my point of view. Once again I pointed to Germany's reserves, as becomes apparent from the minutes, and I announced that the transport difficulties should not be allowed to influence production, and that the blocked factories were to be kept up in those territories. Both I and the military commanders of the occupied territories were perfectly aware of the fact that with this the well-known consequences for these blocked factories would be the same as before, that is, that the transfer of labor from the occupied western territories to Germany would be stopped.
DR. FLACHSNER: The French Prosecution has presented a Document Number 814, Exhibit RF-1516. It presented it during the session of 30 May, if I remember correctly. It came up during the cross-examination of your Codefendant Sauckel.
According to this order troops were to round up workers in the West. Please give a brief statement on that. So as to refresh your memory, I want to say that reference is made in this telegram to the meeting of 11 July.
SPEER: The minutes of the meeting show, as I said before, that I opposed measures of coercion. I did not see Keitel's actual order.
DR. FLACHSNER: Number 824 is another document submitted by the French Prosecution on the same subject. It is a letter by General Von Kluge dated 25 July 1944; Exhibit RF-515. It refers to the telegram from Keitel which has been previously mentioned. Do you know anything about it, and whether that order was ever actually carried out?
SPEER: I know that the order was not carried out. To understand the situation, it is necessary to become familiar with the
20 June 46
atmosphere prevailing about 20 July. At that time not every order from headquarters was carried out. As the investigations after 20 July proved, at that time in his capacity as Commander, West, Kluge was already planning negotiations with the western enemies for a capitulation and probably he made his initial attempts at that time. That, incidentally, was the reason for his suicide after the attempt of 20 July had failed. It is out of the question...
THE PRESIDENT: You gave the number 1824. What does that mean?
DR. FLACHSNER: Mr. President, Number 824 is the number which the French Prosecution has given to this document. That is the number under which it has submitted it. Unfortunately, I cannot ascertain the exhibit number. I have made inquiries, but I have not had an answer yet.
I am just given to understand that it is RF-1515. That is its exhibit number.
THE PRESIDENT: Thank you.
SPEER: It is out of the question that Field Marshal Kluge, in the military situation in which he found himself, and considering his views, should have given orders for raids and measures of coercion at that moment. The release of the Sauckel-Laval agreement, which was mentioned in this document, had no practical significance, since the blocked factories were maintained, and thus this agreement could not become effective. This was well known to the officials in France, and the best proof for the fact that the order was not carried out is Document RF-22 of the French Prosecution, which shows that in July 1944 only 3,000 workers came to Germany from France. If the military authorities had used measures of coercion, it would have been a simple matter to send a very much larger number of workers than these 3,000 from France to Germany.
DR. FLACHSNER: Did you use your influence to stop completely the allocation of labor from occupied territories to Germany?
SPEER: No; I must state quite frankly that although I did use my influence to reduce the recruitment of labor or to put an end to measures of coercion and raids, I did not use it to stop the allocation of labor completely.
DR. FLACHSNER: I shall now pass to another problem. The Prosecution has touched upon and mentioned the Organization Todt. Can you briefly explain the tasks of the Organization Todt to the Tribunal?
SPEER: Here, again, I shall give a little summary. The tasks of the Organization Todt were exclusively technical ones, that is to say, they had to carry out technical construction work; in the East,
20 June 46
particularly road and rail construction, and in the West the construction of concrete dugouts which became known as the so-called Atlantic Wall. For this purpose the Organization Todt used foreign labor to a disproportionately high degree. In the West there were about 20 foreigners to 1 German worker; in Russia there were about 4 Russians to 1 German. This could only be carried out in the West if the Organization Todt could use local construction firms and their work-yards to a considerable extent. They supplied the technical staff and recruited their own workers, it being clear that these firms had no possibility to recruit by coercion. Accordingly a large number of workers of the Organization Todt were volunteers; but naturally a certain percentage always worked in the Organization Todt under the conscription system. Here the Organization Todt has been described as part of the Armed Forces. As a technical detail it should be stated in this connection that foreign workers did not, of course, belong to it, but only German workers who naturally in occupied territories had to figure as members of the Armed Forces in some way or other. The Prosecution had a different opinion on this matter. Apart from the Organization Todt there were certain transport units attached to my Ministry, which were working in occupied territories, and it is for a certain reason that I am anxious to state that they were on principle recruited as volunteers. The Prosecution has alleged that the Organization Todt was the comprehensive organization for all military construction work in the occupied territories. That is not the case. They only had to carry out one quarter to one-fifth of the construction program.
In May 1944 the Organization Todt was taken over by the Reich and subsequently made responsible for some of the large-scale construction programs and for the management of the organization of the Plenipotentiary for Control of Building in the Four Year Plan. This Plenipotentiary for Control of Building distributed the contingents coming from the Central Planning Board and was responsible for other directive tasks, but he was not responsible for the carrying out and for the supervision of the construction work itself. There were various official building authorities in the Reich, and in particular the SS Building Administration had their own responsibility for the building programs which they carried out.
DR. FLACHSNER: The Prosecution has alleged that you had concentration camp inmates employed in the armament industry and has submitted Document R-124, Exhibit USA-179.
Mr. President, this document is on Page 47 of the English text in my document book. It is about a conference with Hitler in September 1942. How did that conference come about, Herr Speer?
20 June 46
SPEER: When in February 1942 I took over the armament department of the Army there were demands for considerable increases all along the line; and to meet them it was necessary to construct numerous new factories. For this purpose Himmler offered his concentration camps both to Hitler and to me. It was his plan that some of these necessary new constructions, as well as the necessary machinery, should be housed within the concentration camps, and were to be operated there under the supervision of the SS. The chief of the armament department of the Army, Generaloberst Fromm, was against this plan, and so was I. Apart from general reasons for this, the first point was that uncontrolled arms production on the part of the SS was to be prevented. Secondly, this would certainly entail my being deprived of the technical management in these industries. For that reason when planning the large armaments extension program in the spring of 1942, I did not take into consideration these demands by the SS. Himmler went to see Hitler and the minutes of this conference, which are available here, show the objections to the wishes which Hitler put to me upon Himmler's suggestions.
DR. FLACHSNER: Mr. President, in this connection I should like to draw your attention to Page 44 of the German text, which is Page 47 of the English text.
It is Point 36 of a Fuehrer protocol. There it says, and I quote:
". . . beyond a small number of workers it will not be possible to organize armament production in the concentration camps . . ."
THE PRESIDENT: Dr. Flachsner, the witness has just given us the substance of it, has he not?
DR. FLACHSNER: Herr Speer, according to this document you proposed that factories should be staffed entirely with internees from concentration camps. Did you carry that out?
SPEER: No, it was not carried out in this form because it soon became clear that it was Himmler's intention to gain influence over these industries and in some way or other he would undoubtedly have succeeded in getting these industries under his control. For that reason, as a basic principle, only part of the industrial staff consisted of internees from concentration camps, so as to counteract Himmler's efforts. And so it happened that the labor camps were attached to the armament industries. But Himmler never received his share of 5 to 8 percent of arms, which had been decided upon. This was prevented due to an agreement with the General of the Army Staff in the OKW, General Buhle. The witness will testify to this.
20 June 46
DR. FLACHSNER: May I further draw your attention to Document 1584-PS, on Page 48 of the English text in my document book. It is Exhibit USA-22'1, and is a letter from Himmler to Goering dated 9 March 1944. Himmler is emphasizing the fact that if his responsibility, that is to say, that of the SS, would be extended, a speeding-up and an increase in production could be expected. The accompanying letter from Pohl to Himmler shows that it was proposed to supervise and control the employment of concentration camp inmates and even to use the SS as responsible works manager. According to his experience and knowledge, it would not be sufficient merely to assign the internees to other industries. The SS, therefore, wished to supervise and control the labor employment in these industries.
This document shows something else, however; for it confirms the statement of the Defendant Speer that inmates of concentration camps were also paid premiums if they proved particularly efficient; furthermore, it shows on the last page that on an average the working hours of all internees were 240 hours per month, which would correspond to 60 working hours per week. I also refer to a document which has already been mentioned yesterday; it is Number 44 and has already been submitted by me as Exhibit Number 6; it is in the second document book. Mr. President, that is the first book in the supplementary volume.
This document shows clearly how far the extension of the SS industries was determined by Himmler's and Pohl's ambition. The document also states, and I quote:
". . . the monthly working hours contributed by concentration camp inmates did not even amount to 8 million hours, so that most certainly not more than about 32,000 men and women from concentration camps can be working in our armaments industries. This number is constantly diminishing."
Mr. President, this sentence is on Page 90, at the bottom. You will find it there in the English text.
The letter also shows that the author computes nearly the same number of working hours as is mentioned by Pohl in his letter; namely 250 hours per month, which is approximately 63 hours per week.
Herr Speer, through this letter you learned of the fact that workers, particularly foreigners, were not returned to their old places of work when for certain acts they had become involved with the Police, but that they were taken to concentration camps. What steps did you take then?
SPEER: Here again I should like to summarize several points. I received the letter on or about 15 May in Berlin, when I returned
20 June 46
after my illness. Its contents greatly upset me because, after all, this is nothing more than kidnaping. I had an estimate submitted to me about the number of people thus being removed from the economic system. The round figure was 30,000 to 40,000 a month. The result was my declaration in the Central Planning Board on 22 May 1944, where I demanded that these workers, even as internees, as I called them, should be returned to their old factories at once. This remark, as such, is not logical because, naturally, the number of crimes in each individual factory was very low, so that such a measure was not practicable. Anyhow, what I wished to express by it was that the workers would have to be returned to their original places of work. This statement in the Central Planning Board has been submitted by the Prosecution. Immediately after the meeting of the Central Planning Board I went to see Hitler, and there I had a conference on 5 June 1944. The minutes of the Fuehrer conference are available. I stated that I would not stand for any such procedure, and I cited many arguments founded entirely on reason, since no other arguments would have been effective. Hitler declared, as the minutes show, that these workers would have to be returned to their former work at once, and that after a conference between Himmler and myself he would once again communicate this decision of his to Himmler.
DR. FLACHSNER: I submit Exhibit Number 13, which is an extract from the Fuehrer conference of 3 to 5 June 1944; you will find this document on Page 92 of the document book.
SPEER: Immediately after this conference I went to see Himmler and communicated to him Hitler's decision. He told me that no such number had ever been arrested by the Police. But he promised me that he would immediately issue a decree which would correspond to Hitler's demands; namely, that the SS would no longer be permitted to detain these workers. I informed Hitler of this result, and I asked him once more to get in touch with Himmler about it. In those days I had no reason to mistrust Himmler's promise because, after all, it is not customary for Reich Ministers to distrust each other so much. But anyhow, I did not have any further complaints from my assistants concerning this affair. I must emphasize that the settling of the entire matter was not really my affair, but the information appeared so incredible to me that I intervened at once. Had I known that already 18 months before Himmler had started a very similar action, and that in this letter, which has been submitted here...
DR. FLACHSNER: Mr. President, this is Document 1063-PS, and it is Exhibit USA-219. I have reproduced it on Page 51 of the English text of my document book. That is the document to which the witness is now referring.
20 June 46
How far did your efforts go to get workers for the armaments industry from concentration camps?
SPEER: I wanted to make a brief statement with reference to the document. Had I known this letter, I would never have had enough confidence in Himmler to expect that he would correctly execute his order as instructed by Hitler. For this letter shows quite clearly that this action was to be kept secret from other offices. These other offices could only be the of lice of the Plenipotentiary General for the Allocation of Labor or my own office. Finally, I want to say in connection with this problem that it was my duty as Minister for Armament to put to use as many workers as were possibly available for armaments production, or any other production. I considered it proper, therefore, that workers from concentration camps, too, should work in war production or armament industries.
The main accusation by the Prosecution, however, that I deliberately increased the number of concentration camps, or caused them to be increased, is by no means correct. On the contrary I wanted just the opposite, looking at it from my point of view of production.
DR. FLACHSNER: May I refer in this connection to the answers of the witness Schmelter to Numbers 9 and 35 in the questionnaire which was submitted to him, and to the answer of the witness Schieber to Number 20. Herr Speer, Document Number R-124, Exhibit USA-179, which was submitted by the Prosecution, contains several remarks you made during the meetings of the Central Planning Board.
Mr. President, may I draw your attention to Page 53 of the English text of my document book.
Herr Speer, what do you mean to say by your remark concerning "idlers" in the meeting of 30 October 1942?
SPEER: I made the remark as reproduced by the stenographic record. Here, however, I had an opportunity to read all the shorthand notes of the Central Planning Board and I discovered that this remark was not followed up in any way and that no measures by me were demanded.
DR. FLACHSNER: On the same page of the document book, Mr. President, there is a statement from a meeting on 22 April 1943.
Herr Speer, what do you have to say in connection with that remark regarding Russian prisoners of war?
SPEER: It can be elucidated very briefly. This is proof of the fact that the
conception "armaments" must be understood in the
20 June 46
way I have explained, because the two sectors from which the 90,000 Russians employed in armaments originated, according to this document, were the iron, steel, and metal industries with 29,000; and the industries constructing engines, boilers, vehicles and apparatuses of all sorts with 63,000.
DR. FLACHSNER: Herr Speer, the Prosecution has also mentioned a remark made by you on 25 May 1944. That, too, can be found on Page 53 of the English text of the document book. There you said at a conference with Keitel and Zeitzler that in accordance with Hitler's instructions the groups of auxiliary volunteers were to be dissolved, and that you would effect the transfer of the Russians from the rear army areas.
SPEER: Here, again, I read through the shorthand notes. It can be explained briefly. The "Hiwi" mentioned in the document are the so-called auxiliary volunteers who had joined the troops fighting in Russia. As the months went by, they took on large proportions, and during the retreat they followed along, as they would probably have been treated as traitors in their own country. These volunteers were not, however, as I desired it, put into industry, since the conference which was planned did not take place.
DR. FLACHSNER: Please make a brief statement concerning Sauckel's memorandum, 556-PS, which was submitted by the Prosecution, of a telephone call on 4 January 1943 which refers to labor allocation.
SPEER: After this telephone call further measures were to be taken in France to increase the number of workers available for allocation. Minutes of a Fuehrer conference which I found recently, namely, those of the meeting of 3 to 5 January 1943, show that at that time Hitler's statement of opinion referred to increased employment of French people in France for local industry and economy.
DR. FLACHSNER: Mr. President, I shall submit this document later because up to now I have not yet had the opportunity to...
THE PRESIDENT: Can you tell the Tribunal how long you are going to be, Dr. Flachsner?
DR. FLACHSNER: I hope, Mr. President, that I should be through before 5 o'clock this afternoon.
THE PRESIDENT: You will not lose sight of what I have said to you already about the relevance of the argument and evidence you have been adducing up to date?
DR. FLACHSNER: I will not, Mr. President.
THE PRESIDENT: The Tribunal will adjourn now.
[The Tribunal recessed until 1400 hours.]
20 June 46
DR. FLACHSNER: Herr Speer, this morning we stopped at a discussion of Sauckel's telephone message of 4 January 1943 regarding the matter of labor allocation. As you have already stated, the minutes of a Fuehrer conference of 3 to 5 January, which I shall submit to the Tribunal later on, are connected with this. Will you please make a brief statement on the subject of that discussion?
SPEER: This record states that measures must be taken to raise economy in France to a higher level. It contains stern injunctions from Hitler concerning the ways and means that he contemplated using to this end. It states that acts of sabotage are to be punished with the most rigorous means and that "humanitarian muddleheadedness" is out of place.
These minutes also show that at that time I asked Hitler to transfer the management of production questions in France to me, a step which was actually taken several months later.
I mention this only for the purpose of making it clear, while I am still in a position to testify as a witness, that I did not carry out Hitler's policy of abandoning all "humanitarian muddleheadedness" in France. My attention was drawn to one case in which 10 hostages were to be shot as a reprisal for acts of industrial sabotage committed in the Meurthe-et-Moselle district. At that time I managed to prevent the sentence from being carried out. Roechling, who was at that time in charge of iron production in the occupied western territories, is my witness in this case. That is the only case I know of where hostages were to be shot on account of sabotage in production. I can also prove that, through a decision by Hitler dated September 1943, I was responsible for providing a supplementary meal in addition to the existing ration for factory workers employed in France. In a letter which I sent to the Plenipotentiary General for the Allocation of Labor in December 1943, I strongly urged the necessity not only of paying wages to the workers in the occupied western territories, but also of making available to them a corresponding quantity of consumer goods-a line of policy which doubtless does not accord with the policy of plundering the western regions, on which so much stress has been laid by the French Prosecution.
All three documents are in my possession and they can be produced. I only mention these facts to show that I neither approved nor followed the very harsh policy laid down by Hitler for application in France in the records of 3 to 5 January.
20 June 46
DR. FLACHSNER: I now turn to another point. Herr Speer, what did you have produced in France; that is, on the basis of your program?
SPEER: We have already discussed this at sufficient length No armament goods were manufactured, only bottleneck parts and consumer goods.
DR. FLACHSNER: Very well. I merely wanted to get that clear. The Prosecution has submitted to you minutes of a Fuehrer conference-R-124-dated March 1944 and containing a statement that you discussed with Hitler the Reich Marshal's proposal to deliver prisoners of war to France. What can you say to that?
SPEER: This record is dated 3 March 1944. From January until May 1944 I was seriously ill, and the discussion took place without me. A member of my staff was in charge of this discussion-a man who enjoyed the confidence of Hitler in an unusually high degree. In any case, the proposal was not carried out.
DR. FLACHSNER: Herr Speer, you attended the session of 30 May, at which the question was discussed of how the of lice of the Plenipotentiary General for the Allocation of Labor came to be established. Will you comment briefly on that point?
SPEER: I should like to say that I wanted a delegate to deal with all labor allocation problems connected with my task of military armament production. My chief concern in the allocation problem, at the beginning of my term of office, was with the Gauleiter, who carried on a policy of Gau particularism. The nonpolitical offices of the Labor Ministry could not proceed against the Gauleiter, and the result was that manpower inside Germany was frozen. I suggested to Hitler that he should appoint a Gauleiter whom I knew to this post-a man named Hanke. Goering, by the way, has already confirmed this. Hitler agreed. Two days later, Bormann made the suggestion that Sauckel be chosen. I did not know Sauckel well, but I was quite ready to accept the choice. It is quite possible that Sauckel did not know. anything about the affair and that he assumed-as he was was entitled to do-that he was chosen at my suggestion. The office of the Plenipotentiary General for the Allocation of Labor was created in the following way:
Lammers declared that he could not issue special authority for a fraction of labor allocation as that would be doubtful procedure from an administrative point of view, and for that reason the whole question of manpower would have to be put into the hands of a plenipotentiary. At first they contemplated a Fuehrer decree. Goering
20 June 46
protested on the grounds that it was his task under the Four Year Plan. A compromise was made, therefore, in accordance with which Sauckel was to be the Plenipotentiary General within the framework of the Four Year Plan, although he would be appointed by Hitler.
This was a unique arrangement under the Four Year Plan. Thereby Sauckel was in effect subordinated to Hitler; and he always looked upon it in that way.
DR. FLACHSNER: You have heard that Sauckel, in giving his testimony on 30 May, said that Goering participated in the meetings of the Central Planning Board. Is that true?
SPEER: No, that is in no way correct. I would not have had any use for him, for after all, we had to carry out practical work.
DR. FLACHSNER: The Prosecution has submitted a statement by Sauckel dated 8 October 1945, according to which arrangements for his delegates to function in the occupied territories were supposed to have been made by you. Is that true?
SPEER: No. In 1941 I had not yet anything to do with armament; and even later, during the period of Sauckel's activity, I did not appoint these delegates and did not do much to promote their activities. That was a matter for Sauckel to handle; it was in his jurisdiction.
DR. FLACHSNER: The French Prosecution quoted from the record of Sauckel's preliminary interrogation on 27 September 1945. According to this record you gave a special order for transport trains with foreign workers.
SPEER: I believe it would be practical to deal at the same time with all the statements made by Sauckel which apply to me; that will save time.
DR. FLACHSNER: Please go ahead.
SPEER: Arrangements for transport trains were made by Sauckel and his staff. It is possible that air raids or a sudden change in the production program made it necessary for my office to ask for transport trains to be rerouted; but the responsibility for that always rested with the Plenipotentiary General for the Allocation of Labor.
Sauckel also testified here that after Stalingrad Goebbels and I started on the "total war effort." But that is not correct in this form. Stalingrad was in January 1943, and Goebbels started on his "total war effort" in August 1944. After Stalingrad a great reorganization program was to be carried out in Germany in order to free German labor. I myself was one of those who demanded this.
Neither Goebbels nor I, however, was able to carry out this plan. A committee of three, Lammers, Keitel, and Bormann, was formed; but owing
20 June 46
to their lack of technical knowledge they were unable to carry out their task. My Labor Allocation Department was further mentioned by Sauckel in his testimony. This worked as follows: Every large factory and every employer of labor had an allocation department which, naturally, came under mine. None of these departments, however, encroached in the slightest degree on Sauckel's tasks. Their sphere of activity was not very great, as may be seen from the fact that each was one of 50 or 60 departments coming under my office. If I had attached very much importance to it, it would have been one of my six or eight branch offices.
Sauckel further mentioned the Stabsleiter discussions which took place in his office. A representative of my Labor Allocation Department for Army and Navy armament and for building attended these conferences. At these meetings, which were attended by about 15 people who were in need of labor, the question of priority was settled on the basis of Sauckel's information on the state of economy generally. These were really the functions erroneously ascribed here to the Central Planning Board.
In addition it was asserted that I promoted the transport of foreign workers to Germany in April 1942 and that I was responsible for the fact that foreign workers were brought to Germany at all. That, however, is not true. I did not need to use any influence on Sauckel to attain that. In any case, it is evident from a document in my possession-the minutes of a Fuehrer conference of 3 May 1942 - that the introduction of compulsory labor in the western region was approved by the Fuehrer at Sauckel's suggestion.
I can further quote a speech, which I delivered on 18 April 1942, showing that at that period I was still of the opinion that the German building industry, which employed approximately 1.8 million workmen, was to be discontinued to a large extent to divert the necessary labor to the production of armaments. This speech which I made to my staff, in which I explained my principles and also discussed the question of manpower, does not contain any mention of the planning of a foreign labor draft. If I had been the active instigator of these plans, surely I would have mentioned the subject in this speech. Finally, in connection with Sauckel's testimony, I must correct the plan of the organization submitted here. It is incorrect in that the separate sectors enumerated in it are classified under various ministries. In reality these sectors of employers of labor were classified under various economic branches, independently of the ministries. They only corresponded where my own Ministry and the Air Ministry were concerned.
20 June 46
- Forum Staff
- Posts: 23251
- Joined: 20 Jul 2002 19:52
- Location: USA
20 June 46
It is also incorrect in stating that the building industry was represented in the Ministry of Economics. That came under my jurisdiction. From 1943 on, the chemical and mining industries, both of which are listed under the Ministry of Economics, were under my jurisdiction. To my knowledge, these branches were represented through plenipotentiaries in the Four Year Plan even prior to September 1943 and stated their requirements directly to Sauckel independently of the Ministry of Economics.
This plan further is incorrect in stating that the demands for these workers from individual employers went directly to Hitler. It would have been impossible for Hitler to settle this dispute between 15 employers. As I have already said, the latter attended the Stabsleiter conferences, over which Sauckel presided.
DR. FLACHSNER: Herr Speer, what did you do with your documents at the end of the war?
SPEER: I felt bound to preserve my documents so that the necessary transition measures could be taken during reconstruction. I refused to allow these documents even to be sifted. They were turned over in their entirety to the Allied authorities here in Nuremberg, where I had a branch archive. I handed them over when I was still at liberty in the Flensburg zone. The Prosecution is thus in possession of all my documents to the number of several thousand, as well as all public speeches, Gauleiter speeches, and other speeches dealing with armament and industry; some 4,000 Fuehrer decisions, 5,000 pages of stenographic records of the Central Planning Board, memoranda, and so forth. I mention this only because these documents show conclusively to what extent my task was a technical and economic one.
DR. FLACHSNER: In your documents, as far as you remember, did you ever make statements regarding ideology, anti-Semitism, et cetera?
SPEER: No; I never made any statements of the kind, either in speeches or memoranda. I assume that otherwise the Prosecution would be in a position to produce something like that.
DR. FLACHSNER: Herr Speer, you also figured as armament Minister on the list of members of the new Government drawn up by the men responsible for the Putsch of 20 July. Did you participate in the attempted assassination of 20 July?
SPEER: I did not participate, nor was I informed of it in advance. At that time I was against assassinating Hitler.
DR. FLACHSNER: Mr. President, this point is mentioned in interrogatories by the witness Kempf under Point 9 and the witness Stahl under Point 1.
20 June 46
[Turning to the defendant.] What was the reason why you, as the only minister from the National Socialist regime, were on the opposition list? SPEER: At that period I was working in collaboration with Army experts of the General Staff and the commander of the Home Defense Forces. Both staffs were the nucleus of the attempt of 20 July. I had particularly close relations with Generaloberst Fromm, chief of the Home Defense Forces, and also with Generaloberst Zeitzler, the Chief of the Army General Staff. After 20 July Fromm was hanged and Zeitzler was dismissed from the Army. A close contact developed through this collaboration, and these circles recognized my technical achievements. I assumed at that time that that was why they wanted to retain me.
DR. FLACHSNER: So political reasons did not play any part in that connection?
SPEER: Certainly not directly. Of course, I was well known for the fact that for a long time I had spoken my mind emphatically and in public regarding the abuses which took place in Hitler's immediate circle. As I found out later, I shared the opinions of the men of 20 July in many points of principle.
DR. FLACHSNER: What were your relations with Hitler in regard to your work?
SPEER: My closest contact with him, in my capacity of architect, was probably during the period from 1937 to September 1939; after that, the relationship was no longer so close on account of the circumstances of the war. After I was appointed successor to Todt a closer but much more official working relationship was again established. Because of the heavy demands made upon me by my armament work, I had very little opportunity to go to headquarters. I only visited the Fuehrer's headquarters about once in 2 or 3 weeks. My 4 months' illness in the spring of 1944 was exploited by many people interested in weakening my position, and after 20 July the fact that I had been scheduled for the Ministry undoubtedly occasioned a shock to Hitler-a fact which Bormann and Goebbels used to start an open fight against me. The details are shown by a letter which I sent to Hitler on 20 December 1944 and which has been submitted as a document.
DR. FLACHSNER: Were you able to carry on political discussions with Hitler?
SPEER: No, he regarded me as a purely technical minister. Attempts to discuss political or personnel problems with him always failed because of the fact that he was unapproachable. From 1944 on, he was so averse to general discussions and discussions on the war situation that I set down my ideas in memorandum form
20 June 46
and handed them to him. Hitler knew how to confine every man to his own specialty. He himself was therefore the only co-ordinating factor. This was far beyond his strength and also his knowledge. A unified political leadership was lacking in consequence, as was also an expert military office for making decisions.
DR. FLACHSNER: Then, as technical minister, do you wish to limit your responsibility to your sphere of work?
SPEER: No; I should like to say something of fundamental importance here. This war has brought an inconceivable catastrophe upon the German people, and indeed started a world catastrophe. Therefore it is my unquestionable duty to assume my share of responsibility for this disaster before the German people. This is all the more my obligation, all the more my responsibility, since the head of the Government has avoided responsibility before the German people and before the world. I, as an important member of the leadership of the Reich, therefore, share in the total responsibility, beginning with 1942. I will state my arguments in this connection in my final remarks.
DR. FLACHSNER: Do you assume responsibility for the affairs covered by the extensive sphere of your assignments?
SPEER: Of course, as far as it is possible according to the principles generally applied and as far as actions were taken according to my directives.
DR. FLACHSNER: Do you wish to refer to Fuehrer decrees in this connection?
SPEER: No. Insofar as Hitler gave me orders and I carried them out, I assume the responsibility for them. I did not, of course, carry out all the orders which he gave me.
DR. FLACHSNER: Mr. President, I turn now to a second part of my evidence in the case of the defendant. This presentation is not meant to exonerate the defendant from those charges, brought against Speer by the Prosecution, which apply to his actual sphere of activity.
This part concerns itself rather with the accusations raised by the Prosecution against the defendant as a member of the so-called joint conspiracy. This second part is relatively brief and I assume that I shall be able to conclude my entire presentation of evidence within an hour.
In this matter we are concerned with Speer's activity in preventing Hitler's destructive intentions in Germany and the occupied countries and with the measures he took and the attempts he made to shorten a war which he believed already lost.
20 June 46
I assume that the High Tribunal will agree to my presentation. Herr Speer, up to what time did you devote all your powers to obtaining the strongest possible armament and thus continuing the war?
SPEER: Up to the middle of January 1945.
DR. FLACHSNER: Had not the war been lost before that?
SPEER: From a military point of view and as far as the general situation was concerned, it was certainly lost before that. It is difficult, however, to consider a war as lost and to draw the final conclusions as regards one's own person if one is faced with unconditional surrender.
DR. FLACHSNER: Did not considerations arising out of the production situation, of which you were in a position to have a comprehensive view, force you to regard the war as lost long before that?
SPEER: From the armament point of view not until the autumn of 1944, for I succeeded up to that time, in spite of bombing attacks, in maintaining a constant rise in production. If I may express it in figures, this was so great that in the year 1944 I could completely re-equip 130 infantry divisions and 40 armored divisions. That involved new equipment for 2 million men. This figure would have been 30 percent higher had it not been for the bombing attacks. We reached our production peak for the entire war in August 1944 for munitions; in September 1944 for aircraft; and in December 1944 for ordnance and the new U-boats. The new weapons were to be put into use a few months later, probably in February or March of 1945. I may mention only the jet planes which had already been announced in the press, the new U-boats, the new antiaircraft installations, et cetera. Here too, however, bombing attacks so retarded the mass production of these new weapons-which in the last phase of the war might have changed the situation-that they could no longer be used against the enemy in large numbers. All of these attempts were fruitless, however, since from 12 May 1944 on our fuel plants became targets for concentrated attacks from the air.
This was catastrophic. 90 percent of the fuel was lost to us from that time on. The success of these attacks meant the loss of the war as far as production was concerned; for our new tanks and jet planes were of no use without fuel.
DR. FLACHSNER: Did you ten Hitler about the effect on production, of the bombing attacks?
SPEER: Yes, I told him of this in great detail, both orally and in writing. Between June and December 1944 I sent him 12 memoranda, all with catastrophic news.
20 June 46
DR. FLACHSNER: Mr. President, in this connection I should like to submit to the Tribunal a document, a Speer memorandum of 30 June 1944. It is reproduced on Page 56 of the English document book and will be Exhibit Number 14. I should like to quote from this. Speer writes to Hitler:
"But in September of this year the quantities required to cover the most urgent needs of the Wehrmacht cannot possibly be supplied any longer, which means that from that time on there will be a deficiency which cannot be made good and which must lead to tragic consequences."
Speer informed Hitler in another memorandum, dated 30 August 1944, on the situation in the chemical industry and the fuel production industry. This is Page 62 of the English text, Exhibit Number 15. I quote only one sentence:
". . . so that these are shortages in important categories of those materials necessary for the conduct of modem warfare."
Herr Speer, how was it possible that you and the other coworkers of Hitler, despite your realization of the situation, still tried to do everything possible to continue the war?
SPEER: In this phase of the war Hitler deceived all of us. From the summer of 1944 on he circulated, through Ambassador Hewel of the Foreign Office, definite statements to the effect that conversation with foreign powers had been started. Generaloberst Jodl has confirmed this to me here in Court. In this way, for instance, the fact that several visits were paid to Hitler by the Japanese Ambassador was interpreted to mean that through Japan we were carrying on conversations with Moscow; or else Minister Neubacher, who was here as a witness, was reported to have initiated conversations in the Balkans with the United States; or else the former Soviet Ambassador in Berlin was alleged to have been in Stockholm for the purpose of initiating conversations. In this way he raised hopes that, like Japan, we would start negotiations in this hopeless situation, so that the people would be saved from the worst consequences. To do this, however, it was necessary to stiffen resistance as much as possible. He deceived all of us by holding out to the military leaders false hopes in the success of diplomatic steps and by promising the political leaders fresh victories through the use of new troops and new weapons and by systematically spreading rumors to encourage the people to believe in the appearance of a miracle weapon-all for the purpose of keeping up resistance. I can prove that during this period I made continual reference in my speeches and in my letters, which I wrote to Hitler and Goebbels, as to how dishonest and disastrous I considered this policy of deceiving the people by promising them a miracle weapon.
20 June 46
DR. FLACHSNER: Herr Speer, were orders given to destroy industry in Belgium, Holland, and France?
SPEER: Yes. In case of occupation by the Allies, Hitler had ordered a far-reaching system of destruction of war industries in all these countries; according to planned preparations, coal and mineral mines, power plants, and industrial premises were to be destroyed.
DR. FLACHSNER: Did you take any steps to prevent the execution of these orders?
DR. FLACHSNER: And did you prevent them?
SPEER: The Commander, West was responsible for carrying out these orders, since they concerned his operational zone. But I informed him that as far as I was concerned this destruction had no sense and no purpose and that I, in my capacity of Armament Minister, did not consider this destruction necessary. Thereupon no order to destroy these things was given. By this, of course, I made myself responsible to Hitler for the fact that no destruction took place.
DR. FLACHSNER: When was that?
SPEER: About the beginning of July 1944.
DR. FLACHSNER: How could you justify your position?
SPEER: All the military leaders whom I knew said at that time that the war was bound to end in October or November, since the invasion had been successful. I myself was of the same opinion in view of the fuel situation. This may be clearly seen from the memorandum, which I sent to Hitler on 30 August, in which I told him that in view of this development in the fuel situation no operational actions by the troops would be possible by October or November. The fact that the war lasted longer than that can be ascribed only to the standstill of the enemy of Pensive in 1944. This made it possible to throttle our fuel consumption and to give the Western Front new supplies of tanks and ammunition. In these circumstances I was perfectly willing to accept responsibility for abandoning the industries in the western countries to the enemy in an undamaged condition, for they could be of no use to them for at least 9 months, the transport system having been destroyed beforehand. This memorandum coincides with the protection of the unemployed workers in the blocked factories-a matter which Is dealt with this morning.
DR. FLACHSNER: Did Hitler sanction these measures?
SPEER: He could not sanction these measures for he knew nothing about them. It was a period of such hectic activity at
20 June 46
headquarters that he never thought of checking up on the measures taken for destruction. Later, in January 1945, reports appeared in the French press on the rapid reconstruction of their undestroyed industries. Then, of course, serious charges were raised against me.
DR. FLACHSNER: The French Prosecution has submitted a document, RF-132. This is a report by the field economics officer attached to the Wehrmacht commander for the Netherlands. According to this report, a decree by the Commander West was still in existence in September 1944. This said that destructive measures were to be taken only in the coastal towns and nowhere else, and the field economics officer for the Netherlands stated, as may be seen from the document, that the order issued by the Commander, West was obsolete and that he himself had therefore decreed on his own initiative that the industries in Holland should be destroyed. How was this possible and what did you do about it? SPEER: As a matter of fact, some overzealous lower officials caused the basic decrees not to destroy in the West to be ignored. Our communications system for orders had been largely destroyed through bombing attacks. Seyss-Inquart had drawn my attention to the fact that destruction was to take place in Holland. He has already testified that I authorized him not to take destructive measures. This was in September 1944. In addition, in order to prevent such destruction, on 5 September 1944, acting without authorization, I directed the managers of the coal and iron production and the chief of the civilian administration in Luxembourg to prevent destruction in the Minette ore mines, in the Saar coal mines, and the coal mines of Belgium and Holland, et cetera. In view of the hopeless war situation at that time, I, as the person responsible for supplying electric current, continued to furnish current to the undertakings on the other side of the front so that the pump stations in the coal mines would not have to stop working, because if these pump stations had stopped the mines would have been flooded.
DR. FLACHSNER: In this connection, I am submitting a copy of a letter from Speer to Gauleiter Simon at Koblenz. This is Exhibit Number Speer-16, Page 57 of the English text in my document book.
Herr Speer, with regard to the other occupied countries apart from France, Belgium, and Holland, did you use your influence to prevent destruction?
SPEER: From August 1944, in the industrial installations in the Government General, the ore mines in the Balkans, the nickel works in Finland; from September 1944, in the industrial installations in Upper Italy; beginning with February 1945, in the oil fields in
20 June 46
Hungary and the industries of Czechoslovakia. I should like to emphasize in this connection that I was supported to a great extent by Generaloberst Jodl, who quietly tolerated this policy of non-destruction.
DR. FLACHSNER: What were Hitler's intentions with regard to the preservation of industry and means of existence for the German population at the beginning of September 1944, when enemy troops approached the boundaries of the Greater German Reich from all sides?
SPEER: He had absolutely no intention of preserving industry. On the contrary, he ordered the "scorched earth" policy with special application to Germany. That meant the ruthless destruction of all animate and inanimate property on the approach of the enemy. This policy was backed by Bormann, Ley, and Goebbels, while the various branches of the Wehrmacht and the competent ministries opposed it.
DR. FLACHSNER: Since these efforts by Speer to prevent the application of destructive measures, which had been considerably intensified, also applied to areas then considered part of the German Reich, such as Polish Upper Silesia, Alsace and Lorraine, Austria, the Protectorates of Bohemia and Moravia, I should like to have this topic admitted as part of my evidence. Herr Speer, did the commanders of the armies in the wider German area that I have just defined have executive powers to carry out orders of destruction?
SPEER: No. As far as industries were concerned, those executive powers were vested in me. Bridges, locks, railroad installations, et cetera, were the affair of the Wehrmacht.
DR. FLACHSNER: In your measures for the protection of industry, did you differentiate between the territory of the so-called Altreich and those areas which were added after 1933?
SPEER: No. The industrial region of Upper Silesia, the remaining districts of Poland, Bohemia and Moravia, Alsace-Lorraine, and Austria, of course, were protected against destruction in the same way as the German areas. I made the necessary arrangements by personal directives on the spot-particularly in the Eastern Territories.
DR. FLACHSNER: What steps did you take against the scorched earth policy?
SPEER: I returned from a trip to the Western Front on 14 September 1944 and found the decree awaiting me that everything was to be destroyed ruthlessly. I immediately issued a counterdecree officially ordering all industrial installations to be spared. At that time I was very much upset about the fact that industries were
20 June 46
now to be destroyed in Germany in the hopeless war situation, and I was all the more upset because I thought I had succeeded in saving the industries in the occupied western territories from destruction.
DR. FLACHSNER: I should like to submit a document in this connection, a decree by Speer dated 14 September 1944 for the protection of industries. It is on Page 58 of the English text of my document book; Exhibit Number 17. Herr Speer, did you succeed in getting this order carried out?
SPEER: The scorched earth policy was officially proclaimed in the Volkischer Beobachter at the same time in an official article by the Reich press chief, so that I realized quite clearly that my counterdecree could not be effective for any length of time. In this connection I used a method which is perhaps typical of the means employed by Hitler's immediate circle. In order to dissuade him from the scorched earth policy, I made use of the faith which he induced in all his co-workers that the lost territories would be recaptured. I made him decide between the two situations: Firstly, if these industrial areas were lost, my armament potential would sink if they were not recaptured; and secondly, if they were recaptured they would be of value to us only if we had not destroyed them.
DR. FLACHSNER: You thereupon addressed a letter to Bormann. I should like to submit this letter as Exhibit Number 18, Mr. President; Page 59 of the English text of the document book. This teletype . . .
SPEER: I think we can dispense with the quotation.
DR. FLACHSNER: Yes. You sent this teletype message to Bormann before you discussed the contents with Hitler?
SPEER: Yes. I should like to summarize...
THE PRESIDENT: Would you give the French page as well so that the French members may have it?
DR. FLACHSNER: It is Page 56 of the French text of the document book.
SPEER: Hitler approved of the text which I suggested to him, in which I gave him the alternative of either considering the war as lost or of leaving the areas intact. For the time being there was in any case no danger, because the fronts remained stable. Hitler insisted particularly on the destruction of the Minette ore mines in France; but in this case too I was successful, as may be seen from the document, in preventing the destruction of these
20 June 46
mines - again by exploiting Hitler's hopes of a successful counterattack.
DR. FLACHSNER: Mr. President, the document to which the defendant has just referred is an extract from the Fuehrer decree of 18 to 20 August 1944; and I submit it as Exhibit Number Speer-19. It is reproduced in the supplement to my document book, Page 101.
Herr Speer, how did this order originate?
SPEER: I have already told you.
DR. FLACHSNER: The term "paralysis" frequently occurs in your document in connection with industrial installations, et cetera. Will you tell the Tribunal just what you mean by the use of this term?
SPEER: I can only say briefly that this concerns the removal of specific parts, which put the plant temporarily out of commission; but these parts were not destroyed; they were merely concealed.
DR. FLACHSNER: You emphasized a few minutes ago that up to January. 1945 you tried to achieve the highest possible degree of armament. What were your reasons for giving up the idea after January 1945?
SPEER: From January 1945 onward, a very unpleasant chapter begins: The last phase of the war and the realization that HITLER had identified the fate of the German people with his own; and from March 1945 onward, the realization that Hitler intended deliberately to destroy the means of life for his own people if the war were lost. I have no intention of using my actions during that phase of the war to help me in my personal defense, but this is a matter of honor which must be defended; and for that reason I should like to tell you briefly about this period of time.
DR. FLACHSNER: Herr Speer, what was the production situation in the various activities under your jurisdiction at the end of January 1945?
SPEER: The fuel production had been quite inadequate since the beginning of the attacks on fuel plants in May 1944, and the situation did not improve afterwards. The bombing of our transportation centers had eliminated the Ruhr area as a source of raw material for Germany as early as November 1944; and with the successful Soviet offensive in the coal areas of Upper Silesia, most of our supply of coal from that region had been cut off since the middle of January 1945.
Thus we could calculate precisely when economy must collapse; we had reached a point at which, even if there were a complete cessation of operations on the part of the enemy, the war would
20 June 46
soon be lost, since the Reich, because of its lack of coal, was on the verge of an economic collapse.
DR. FLACHSNER: In this connection, I submit a memorandum which Hitler received from Speer on 11 December 1944, as Exhibit Speer-20. Mr. President, you will find an extract on Page 64 of the English document book, Page 61 of the German and French books. It states, and I quote:
"In view of the whole structure of the Reich economy, it is obvious that the loss of the Rhenish-Westphalian industrial area will in the long run spell ruin for the whole German economy and the further successful prosecution of the war. This would mean, in fact, the total loss of the Ruhr territory as far as the German economy is concerned, with the exception of products manufactured locally within the sector... It is superfluous to discuss the consequence resulting for the whole German Reich if it is deprived of the Ruhr territory. . ." On 15 December 1944, in connection with the Ardennes Offensive which was then imminent, Speer pointed out to Hitler in detail the consequences entailed by a possible loss of Upper Silesia.
In this connection I submit Speer's memorandum-Page 102 of the supplementary volume of my document book in the English text and the same page in the French text. This is an extract from a memorandum addressed to the Chief of the Army General Staff, dated 15 December 1944, Exhibit Number 21.
SPEER: This memorandum was addressed to Hitler as well.
DR. FLACHSNER: It is not necessary to quote from this memorandum. It points out that a possible loss of Upper Silesia would make fighting impossible even after a few weeks and that the Wehrmacht could in no way be supplied with armaments. A large part of Upper Silesia was actually lost shortly afterwards. On 30 January 1945, Speer again sent a memorandum to Hitler-Page 67 of the English text of the document book, Page 64 in the French text. I submit this document as Exhibit Number 22, and I quote only the following:
"After the loss of Upper Silesia, the German armament production will no longer be in a position to cover even a fraction of the requirements of the front as regards munitions, weapons and tanks, losses on the front, and equipment needed for new formations."
By way of special emphasis, there follows this sentence-and I quote:
"The material superiority of the enemy can therefore no longer be compensated, even by the bravery of our soldiers."
Herr Speer, what did you mean by the last sentence I quoted?
20 June 46
SPEER: At that time Hitler issued the slogan that in defense of the fatherland the soldiers' bravery would increase tremendously and that vice versa the Allied troops, after the liberation of the occupied territories, would have less will to fight. That was also the main argument employed by Goebbels and Bormann to justify the use of all means to intensify the war.
DR. FLACHSNER: Herr Speer, did other sources advise Hitler in the same way that you yourself did?
SPEER: In this connection I shall take several points together. Guderian, the Chief of Staff of the Army, reported to Ribbentrop at that time to tell him that the war was lost. Ribbentrop reported this to Hitler. Hitler then told Guderian and myself at the beginning of February that pessimistic statements of the nature of those contained in my memorandum or the step I had taken in regard to the Reich Minister for Foreign Affairs would in future be considered as high treason and punished accordingly. In addition, some days later, in a situation conference, he forbade his other close collaborators to make any statements about the hopelessness of the situation. Anyone who disobeyed would be shot without regard for position or rank and his family would be arrested. The statements which Guderian and I made to Hitler about the hopelessness of the war situation had precisely the opposite effect from that which we desired. Early in February, a few days before the beginning of the Yalta Conference, Hitler sent for his press expert and instructed him, in my presence, to announce in the most uncompromising terms and in the entire German press, the intention of Germany never to capitulate. He declared at the same time that he was doing this so that the German people should in no case receive any offer from the enemy. The language used would have to be so strong that enemy statesmen would lose all desire to drive a wedge between himself and the German people. At the same time Hitler once again proclaimed to the German people the slogan "Victory or Destruction." All these events took place at a time when it should have been clear to him and every intelligent member of his circle that the only thing that could happen was destruction.
At a Gauleiter meeting in the summer of 1944 Hitler had already stated-and Schirach is my witness for this-that if the German people were to be defeated in the struggle it must have been too weak, it had failed to prove its mettle before history and was destined only to destruction. Now, in the hopeless situation existing in January and February 1945, Hitler made remarks which showed that these earlier statements had not been mere flowers of rhetoric.
During this period he attributed the outcome of the war in an increasing degree to the failure of the German people, but he never
20 June 46
blamed himself. He criticized severely this alleged failure of our people who made so many brave sacrifices in this war.
DR. FLACHSNER: Generaloberst Jodl has already testified before this Court that both Hitler and his co-workers saw quite clearly the hopelessness of the military and economic situation. Was no unified' action taken by some of Hitler's closer advisers in this hopeless situation to demand the termination of war?
SPEER: No. No unified action was taken by the leading men in Hitler's circle. A step like this was quite impossible, for these men considered themselves either as pure specialists or else as people whose job it was to receive orders-or else they resigned' themselves to the situation. No one took over the leadership in this situation for the purpose of bringing about at least a discussion with Hitler on the possibility of avoiding further sacrifices. On the other side there was an influential group which tried, with all the means at their disposal, to intensify the struggle. That group consisted of Goebbels, Bormann, and Ley, and, as we have said, Fegelein and Burgsdorff. This group was also behind the move to induce Hitler to withdraw from the Geneva Convention. At the beginning of February Dr. Goebbels handed to Hitler a very sharp memorandum demanding our withdrawal from the Geneva Convention. Hitler had already agreed to this proposal, as Naumann, who was State Secretary to Goebbels, told me. This step meant that the struggle was to be carried on with all available means and without regard for international agreements. This was the sense of the memorandum addressed by Goebbels to Hitler.
It must be said that this intention of Hitler and Goebbels failed on account of the unanimous resistance offered by the military leaders, as Naumann also told me later.
DR. FLACHSNER: Herr Speer, the witness Stahl said in his written interrogatory that about the middle of February 1945 you had demanded from him a supply of the new poison gas in order to assassinate Hitler, Bormann, and Goebbels. Why did you intend to do this then?
SPEER: I thought there was no other way out. In my despair I wanted to take this step as it had become obvious to me since the beginning of February that Hitler intended to go on with the war at all costs, ruthlessly and without consideration for the German people. It was obvious to me that in the loss of the war he confused his own fate with that of the German people and that in his own end he saw the end of the German people as well. It was also obvious that the war was lost so completely that even unconditional surrender would have to be accepted.
20 June 46
DR. FLACHSNER: Did you mean to carry through this assassination yourself, and why was your plan not realized?
SPEER: I do not wish to testify to the details here. I could only carry it through personally because from 20 July only a limited circle still had access to Hitler. I met with various technical difficulties . . .
THE PRESIDENT: The Tribunal would like to hear the particulars, but will hear them after the adjournment.
[A recess was taken.]
DR. FLACHSNER: Herr Speer, will you tell the Tribunal what circumstances hindered you in your undertaking?
SPEER: I am most unwilling to describe the details because there is always something repellent about such matters. I do it only because it is the Tribunal's wish.
DR. FLACHSNER: Please, continue.
SPEER: In those days Hitler, after the military situation conference, often had conversations in his shelter with Ley, Goebbels, and Bormann, who were particularly close to him then because they supported and co-operated in his radical course of action. Since 20 July it was no longer possible even for Hitler's closest associates to enter this shelter without their pockets and briefcases being examined by the SS for explosives. As an architect I knew this shelter intimately. It had an air-conditioning plant similar to the one installed in this courtroom.
It would not be difficult to introduce the gas into the ventilator of the air-conditioning plant, which was in the garden of the Reich Chancellery. It was then bound to circulate through the entire shelter in a very short time. Thereupon, in the middle of February 1945, I sent for Stahl, the head of my main department "Munitions," with whom I had particularly close relations, since I had worked in close co-operation with him during the destructions. I frankly told him of my intention, as his testimony shows. I asked him to procure this new poison gas for me from the munitions production. He inquired of one of his associates, Oberstleutnant Soika of the armament of lice of the Army, on how to get hold of this poison gas; it turned out that this new poison gas was only effective when made to explode, as the high temperature necessary for the formation of gas would then be reached. I am not sure whether I am going too much into detail.
An explosion was not possible, however, as this air-conditioning plant was made of thin sheets of tin, which would have been torn to pieces by the explosion.
Thereupon I had conferences with Hanschel, the chief engineer of the Chancellery, starting in the middle of
20 June 46
March 1945. By these discussions I managed to arrange that the antigas filter should no longer be switched on continuously. In this way I would have been able to use the ordinary type of gas. Naturally, Hanschel had no knowledge of the purpose for which I was conducting the talks with him. When the time came, I inspected the ventilator shaft in the garden of the Chancellery along with Hanschel; and there I discovered that on Hitler's personal order this ventilator had recently been surrounded by a chimney 4 meters high. That can still be ascertained today. Due to this it was no longer possible to carry out my plan.
DR. FLACHSNER: I shah now come to another problem. Herr Speer, you have heard the testimony of the witnesses Riecke and Milch in this courtroom; and they have already testified to your activities after the middle of February 1945, which you undertook in order to secure the food position. What do you yourself have to say in regard to your work in that direction?
SPEER: I can say quite briefly that the preferential food supplies which I finally put into effect were arranged at the time for the purpose of planned reconversion from war to peace. This was at the expense of armament, which I personally represented. The tremendous number of measures which we introduced would be too extensive to describe here. All of these decrees are still available. It was a question of arranging, contrary to the official policy, that shortly before their occupation large towns should be sufficiently supplied with food and of taking every step to insure that, despite the catastrophe in transportation, the 1945 crop should be insured by sending the seed in good time, which was a burning problem just then. Had the seeds arrived a few weeks too late, then the crops would have been extremely bad These measures had, of course, a direct, disadvantageous effect on armament production which cannot be measured. But at any rate, armaments were only able to maintain production through reserves until the middle of March, after which there was no armament production worth mentioning. This was due to the fact that we had only 20 to 30 percent of the transportation capacity at our disposal, which necessitated preference for food transports over armaments. Therefore transportation of armaments was, practically speaking, out of the question.
DR. FLACHSNER: Was it possible to carry out such measures, which were openly against the official war plans of "Resistance to the Last," on a large scale? Were there any people at all who were prepared to approve such measures as you suggested and to put them into practice?
SPEER: All these measures were not so difficult; and they were not so dangerous, as one might perhaps imagine, because in those
20 June 46
days - after January 1945-any reasonable measure could be carried out in Germany against the official policy. Any reasonable man welcomed such measures and was satisfied if anyone would assume responsibility for them. All of these conferences took place among a large circle of specialists. Every one of these participants knew the meaning of these orders without its ever being said. During those days I also had close contacts with reference to other similar measures with the State Secretaries of the Ministries of Transport, of Food, of Propaganda, and later even with the State Secretary of the Party Chancellery, that is, Bormann himself. They were all old Party members and in spite of that they did their duty to the nation at that time differently from the way in which many leading men in the Party were doing it. I kept them currently informed-in spite of Hitler's prohibition-of the developments in the military situation, and in that manner there was much that we could do jointly to stop the insane orders of those days.
DR. FLACHSNER: In which sectors did you see a danger for the bulk of the German people through the continuation of the war?
SPEER: By the middle of March 1945 the enemy troops were once more on the move. It was absolutely clear by then that quite soon those territories which had not yet been occupied would be occupied. That included the territories of Polish Upper Silesia and others outside the borders of the old Reich. The ordered destruction of all bridges during retreat was actually the greatest danger, because a bridge blown up by engineers is much more difficult to repair than a bridge which has been destroyed by an air attack. A planned destruction of bridges amounts to the destruction of the entire life of a modern state.
In addition, beginning with the end of January, radical circles in the Party were making demands for the' destruction of industry; and it was also Hitler's opinion that this should be so. In February 1945 therefore I stopped production and delivery of the so-called industrial dynamiting materials. The intention was that the stocks of explosives in the mines and in private possession should be diminished. As a witness of mine has testified, these orders were actually carried out. In the middle of March Guderian and I tried once more to stop the ordered destruction of bridges or to reduce it Pro a minimum. An order was submitted to Hitler which he refused bluntly, on the contrary demanding intensified orders for the destruction of bridges. Simultaneously, on 18 March 1945, he had eight officers shot because they had failed to do their duty in connection with the destruction of a bridge. He announced this fact in the Armed Forces bulletin so that it should serve as a warning for future cases. Thus it was extremely difficult to disobey orders for the destruction of bridges. In spite of this existing prohibition
20 June 46
I sent a new memorandum to Hitler on 18 March 1945, the contents of which were very clear and in which I did not allow him any further excuses for the measures he had planned. The memorandum was brought to the attention of numerous of his associates.
DR. FLACHSNER: The Tribunal will find extracts from that memorandum on Page 69 of the English text of the document book (Exhibit Speer 23). Will you continue, please?
SPEER: I shall quote something more from that memorandum; on Page 69, Mr. President:
"The enemy air force has concentrated further on traffic installations. Economic transportation has thereby been considerably reduced... In 4 to 8 weeks the final collapse of German economy must therefore be expected with certainty... After that collapse, the war cannot even be continued militarily... We at the head have the duty to help the nation in the difficult times which must be expected. In this connection we must soberly, and without regard for our fate, ask ourselves the question as to how this can be done even in the more remote future. If the opponent wishes to destroy the nation and the basis of its existence, then he must do the job himself. We must do everything to maintain, even if perhaps in a most primitive manner, a basis of existence for the nation to the last."
Then there follow a few of my demands, and I shall summarize them briefly. I quote:
"It must be insured that, if the battle advances farther into the territory of the Reich, nobody has the right to destroy industrial plants, coal mines, electric plants, and other supply facilities, as well as traffic facilities and inland shipping routes, et cetera. The blowing-up of bridges to the extent which has been planned would mean that traffic facilities would be more thoroughly destroyed than the air attacks of the last years have been able to achieve. Their destruction means the removal of any further possibilities of existence for the German nation."
Then, I shall quote briefly the conclusion of the memorandum:
"We have no right, at this stage of the war, to carry out destructions on our part which might affect the life of the people. If the enemies wish to destroy this nation, which has fought with unique bravery, then this historical shame shall rest exclusively upon them. We have the obligation of leaving to the nation all possibilities which, in the more
20 June 46
remote future, might be able to insure for it a new reconstruction." This expressed clearly enough something which Hitler must know in any case, because there was no need for much economic insight to realize the results of such destruction for the future of the nation.
On the occasion of the handing over of the memorandum Hitler knew of the contents, since I had discussed it with some of his associates. Therefore his statements are typical of his attitude toward this basic question. I would not have raised the severe accusation which I made here by saying that he wanted to draw Germany into the abyss with him, if I had not confirmed his statements in that respect in the letter of 29 March 1945.
THE PRESIDENT: Are you meaning May or March?
SPEER: March 1945, Mr. President.
DR. FLACHSNER: Mr. President you will find this document on Page 75 of the English text of the document book, and it is Page 72 in the French text. I submit it as Exhibit Number 24. It is Speer's letter to Hitler dated 29 March 1945.
Will you continue, please?
THE PRESIDENT: Ought you not to read this letter?
DR. FLACHSNER: The defendant wishes to read it himself.
Will you read it?
SPEER: I quote:
"When on 18 March I transmitted my letter to you, I was of the firm conviction that the conclusions which I had drawn from the present situation for the maintenance of our national power would find your unconditional approval, because you yourself had once determined that it was the task of the Government to preserve a nation from a heroic end if the war should be lost. "However, during the evening you made declarations to me, the tenor of which, unless I misunderstood you, was clearly as follows: If the war were lost, the nation would also perish. This fate was inevitable. There was no necessity to take into consideration the basis which the people would need to continue a most primitive existence. On the contrary, it would be better to destroy these things ourselves, because this nation will have proved to be the weaker one and the future belongs solely to the stronger eastern nation. Besides, those who would remain after the battle were only the inferior ones, for the good ones had been killed."
20 June 46
I go on to quote:
"After these words I was profoundly shaken, and when on the next day I read the order for destruction, and shortly after that the strict order of evacuation, I saw in this the first steps toward the realization of these intentions. . ."
DR. FLACHSNER: Mr. President, may I in this connection submit as a Speer document the destruction order of Hitler dated 19 March 1945, which the Tribunal will find on Page 73 of the French and Page 76 of the English text of the document book.
I also submit to the Tribunal the execution order for the traffic and communication systems which you will find on Page 78 of the English text and Page 75 of the French text. They become Exhibit Number Speer-26. Then I submit the order for destruction and evacuation by Bormann, dated 23 March 1945, which is contained on Page 102 of my document book. The latter document bears the Exhibit Number Speer-27.
Herr Speer, since these are orders with technical expressions, will you please summarize the contents briefly for the Tribunal?
THE PRESIDENT: You said that last one was at Page 102 of the second volume. In my copy is a document of General Guderian of 15 December 1944.
DR. FLACHSNER: Mr. President, I beg to apologize, I have made a mistake. It is not Page 102, it is Pages 93 and 94, I beg to apologize. I have only just received the document today.
Herr Speer, will you briefly elucidate these orders?
SPEER: I can summarize them very briefly. They gave the order to the Gauleiter to carry out the destruction of all industrial plants, all important electrical facilities, water works gas works, and so on, and also the destruction of all food stores and clothing stores. My jurisdiction had specifically been excluded by that order, and all my orders for the maintenance of industry had been canceled.
The military authorities had given the order that all bridges should be destroyed, and in addition all railway installations, postal systems, communication systems in the German railways, also the waterways, all ships, all freight cars, and all locomotives. The aim was, as is stated in one of the decrees, the creation of a traffic desert.
The Bormann decree aimed at bringing the population to the center of the Reich, both from the West and the East, and the foreign workers and prisoners of war were to be included. These millions of people were to be sent upon their trek on foot. No
20 June 46
provisions for their existence had been made, nor could it be carried out in view of the situation.
The carrying out of these orders alone would have resulted in an unimaginable hunger catastrophe. Add to this that on 19 March 1945 there was a strict order from Hitler to all army groups and all Gauleiter that the battle should be conducted without consideration for our own population. With the carrying out of these orders, Hitler's pledge of 18 March would be kept, namely, that it would not be necessary ". . . to take into consideration the basis which the people would need to continue a most primitive existence. On the contrary, it would be better to destroy these things ourselves..." Considering the discipline which came into force in Germany in connection with every order, no matter what its contents, it was to be expected that these orders would be carried out. These orders also applied to those territories which had been included in the Greater German Reich. During journeys into the most endangered territories, and by means of discussions with my associates, I now quite openly tried to stop the carrying out of these orders. I ordered that the high explosives which were still available in the Ruhr should be dropped down the mines, and that the stores of high explosives which were on the building sites should be hidden. We distributed submachine guns to the most important plants so that they could fight against destruction. All this, I know, sounds somewhat exaggerated; but the situation at the time was such that if a Gauleiter had dared to approach the coal mines in the Ruhr and there was a single submachine gun available, then it would have been fired.
I tried to convince the local army commanders of the nonsensical character of the task of exploding bridges, which had been given to them, and furthermore by talking to the local authorities I succeeded in stopping most of the evacuation which had been ordered. In this connection the State Secretary of the Party Chancellery, Klopper, deserves credit in that he held up the evacuation orders which were to be sent to the Gauleiter.
When I came back from this journey, I was called before Hitler at once. This was on 29 March 1945. I had intentionally resisted his orders so openly, and I had discussed the lost war with so many of his Gauleiter that my insubordination must have become known to him. Witnesses are available from that period who know that that is what I wanted to achieve.
I did not want to betray him behind his back. I wanted to put the alternative before him. At the beginning of the conference he stated that he had had reports from Bormann to the effect that
20 June 46
I considered the war as lost and that I had openly talked against his prohibition. He demanded that I should make a statement to the effect that I did not consider the war lost, and I replied, "The war is lost." He gave me 24 hours to think, and it was during those 24 hours that the letter was written from which the extract has been quoted and which has been submitted to the Tribunal in full.
After this period of reflection, I intended to hand him this letter as my reply. But he refused to accept it. Thereupon, I declared to him that he could rely on me in the future, and in that way I was able to get him to hand over to me once more the carrying out of the destruction work.
DR. FLACHSNER: In this connection, may I submit Hitler's order dated 30 March 1945, which the Tribunal will find on Pages 83 of the English and 79 of the French text in the document book. It will be Exhibit Number 28. Then what did you do on the strength of this new order which you had?
SPEER: I had the text of it drawn up and it gave me the possibility of circumventing the destruction which had been ordered. I issued an order at once re-establishing all my old orders for the safeguarding of industry. In this connection, I did not submit this new order of mine for Hitler's approval, although he had expressly made this proviso in his order. Contrary to the promise which I had given him, namely, that I would stand behind him unconditionally, I left as early as the following day to see Seyss-Inquart, who has testified to that here, and two other Gauleiter to tell them too that the war was lost and to discuss the consequences with them. On that occasion I found Seyss-Inquart very understanding. Both my decree for the prevention of destruction and my discussions were contrary to the promise I had given Hitler on 29 March. I considered that this was my natural duty.
DR. FLACHSNER: I submit as Exhibit Number Speer-29 the instructions issued by Speer on 30 March for carrying out the order which has already been mentioned. In the French and German texts of the document book it appears on Page 81 and in the English document book on Page 85.
SPEER: In spite of this, the orders for the destruction of bridges still remained in force; and everywhere in Germany, Austria, and Poland and elsewhere you can see the results today. I made numerous journeys to the front and had many conferences with the commanders of the front-line troops. Perhaps that may have brought about relief in some form or other. Finally, I succeeded
20 June 46
- Forum Staff
- Posts: 23251
- Joined: 20 Jul 2002 19:52
- Location: USA
20 June 46
in persuading the commander of the Signal Corps, on 3 April 1945, to forbid at least the destruction of the signet postal, railway, and wireless installations by means of a new order.
Finally, on 5 April I issued six OKW orders under the name of General Winter, who has been a witness in this courtroom. These orders were to insure the preservation of important railway lines. The orders are still in existence. I issued these orders through my command channels and the channels of the Reich railways; and considering the tremendous mix-up of orders at the time, such orders, which I was not empowered to give, would at least have a confusing effect.
DR. FLACHSNER: Herr Speer, a number of attempts on your part to shorten the war became known to the press. Could you please describe to the Court the situation which has been hinted at in the press.
SPEER: I do not want to spend too much time on things which did not succeed. I tried repeatedly to exclude Himmler and others from the Government and to force them to account for their deeds. To carry out that and other plans, eight officers from the front joined me, all of whom held high decorations. The State Secretary of the Propaganda Ministry made it possible for me on 9 April to speak briefly over the entire German radio system. All preparations were made, but at the last moment Goebbels heard about it and demanded that Hitler should approve the text of my speech. I submitted to him a very modified text. But he forbade even this very modified text.
On 21 April 1945 it was possible for me first of all to record a speech at the broadcasting station at Hamburg. This was to be broadcast as the instructions for the final phase. The recording officials, however, demanded that this speech should be broadcast only after Hitler's death, which would relieve them of their oath of allegiance to him.
Furthermore, I was in contact with the chief of staff of an army group in the East, the Army Group Vistula. We were both agreed that a fight for Berlin must not take place and that, contrary to their orders, the armies should by-pass Berlin. To begin with, this order was carried out; but later several persons empowered with special authority by Hitler were sent outside Berlin and succeeded in leading some divisions into Berlin. The original intention however that entire armies should be led into Berlin was thus not carried through. The chief of staff with whom I had these conferences was General Kinzler.
DR. FLACHSNER: Were these attempts still of any avail at the beginning of April and later on?
20 June 46
SPEER: Yes. We expected that the war would last longer, for Churchill, too, prophesied at the time that the end of the war would come at the end of July 1945.
DR. FLACHSNER: You have described here how much you did to preserve industrial plants and other economic installations. Did you also act on behalf of the foreign workers?
SPEER: My responsibility was the industrial sector. I felt it my duty, therefore, in the first place to hand over my sector undamaged. Yet several attempts of mine were also in favor of foreign workers in Germany. In the first place, these foreign workers and prisoners of war, through the steps which I had taken to secure the food situation, were quite obviously cobeneficiaries of my work during the last phase.
Secondly, during local discussions on the prevention of blastings, contrary to the evacuation orders which had been received from the Party, I made it possible for the foreign workers and prisoners to remain where they were. Such discussions took place on 18 March in the Saar district, and on 28 March in the Ruhr district. At the beginning of March I made the proposal that 500,000 foreigners should be repatriated from the Reich to the territories which we still held; that is to say, the Dutch to Holland, the Czechs to Czechoslovakia. The Reichsbahn, however, refused to take responsibility for these transports, since the traffic system had already been so damaged that the carrying out of this plan was no longer possible. Finally, both in the speech I intended to make over the German broadcasting system on 9 April and in the attempted Hamburg speech, I pointed out the duties which we had toward the foreigners, the prisoners of war, and the prisoners from concentration camps during this last phase.
DR. FLACHSNER: Mr. President, may I draw your attention to Page 88 of the English text in this connection; it is Page 84 of the French, and I submit it as Exhibit Number Speer-30.
Herr Speer, you have described to us how much during the last phase of the war you were opposed to Hitler and his policies. Why did you not resign?
SPEER: I had a chance to resign on three occasions; once in April 1944, when my powers had been considerably reduced; the second time in September 1944, when Bormann and Goebbels were in favor of my resignation; and the third time on 29 March 1945, when Hitler himself demanded that I should go on permanent leave, which was equivalent to resignation. I turned down all these opportunities because, beginning with July 1944, I thought that it was my duty to remain at my post.
20 June 46
DR. FLACHSNER: There has been testimony in this courtroom to the effect that the last phase of the war, that is, from January 1945, was justified from the point of view that the nation should be spared unnecessary sacrifices. Were you of that same opinion?
SPEER: No. It was said that military protection against the East would have been necessary to protect refugees. In reality, until the middle of April 1945, the bulk of our last reserves of armored vehicles and munitions were used for the fight against the West. The tactical principle, therefore, was different from the one it should have been if the fight had been carried out with the aims which have been stated here. The destruction of bridges in the West and the destruction orders against the basis of life of the nation show the opposite. The sacrifices which were made on both sides after January 1945 were senseless. The dead of this period will be the accusers of the man responsible for the continuation of that fight, Adolf Hitler. The same is true of the ruined cities, which in this last phase had to lose tremendous cultural values and where innumerable dwellings suffered destruction. Many of the difficulties under which the German nation is suffering today are due to the ruthless destruction of bridges, traffic installations, trucks, locomotives, and ships. The German people remained loyal to Adolf Hitler until the end. He betrayed them with intent. He tried to throw them definitely into the abyss. Only after 1 May 1945 did Doenitz try to act with reason, but it was too late.
DR. FLACHSNER: I have one last question.
Was it possible for you to reconcile your actions during the last phase of the war with your oath and your conception of loyalty to Adolf Hitler?
SPEER: There is one loyalty which everyone must always keep; and that is loyalty toward one's own people. That duty comes before everything. If I am in a leading position and if I see that the interests of the nation are acted against in such a way, then I too must act.- That Hitler had broken faith with the nation must have been clear to every intelligent member of his entourage, certainly at the latest in January or February 1945. Hitler had once been given his mission by the people; he had no right to gamble away the destiny of the people with his own. Therefore I fulfilled my natural duty as a German. I did not succeed in everything, but I am glad today that by my work I was able to render one more service to the workers in Germany and the occupied territories.
DR. FLACHSNER: Mr. President, I have now reached the end of my examination of the Defendant Speer.
May I perhaps draw the attention of the Tribunal to the fact that statements have been made on the theme which was the
20 June 46
subject of this afternoon's session by the witnesses: Kehrl, in his interrogatory under 10 and 12; Rohland, under 5, 6, and 8; Schieber, under 25; Guderian, under 1 to 3, 7 to 9, and on point 6; Stahl, named by Speer, under Points 1 and 2 of his testimony; and Kempf, under Number 10 of her testimony.
Still outstanding are an interrogatory from the witness Malzacher and an interrogatory-which is most important to the defense-of the witness Von Poser, since he was the liaison officer between the General Staff of the Army and Speer's Ministry; these will be handed in when received. Furthermore, still outstanding is the interrogatory of General Buhle, who was the Chief of the Army Staff?, and Colonel Baumbach, who was commander of a bomber squadron. The remaining documents I shall submit to the Tribunal at the end of the final examination of the Defendant Speer.
THE PRESIDENT: Do any of the other defendants' counsel want to ask any questions?
DR. SERVATIUS: Witness, curing the negotiations which Baucke had in 1943 and 1944 with Laval in Paris, were there representatives present who came from your department and did they support Sauckel's demands?
SPEER: During these conferences representatives from my departments were sometimes present. They were present for the purpose of protecting the blocked factories and also to see to it that there were no encroachments on the production interests which I planned to protect.
DR. SERVATIUS: So that these representatives were, therefore, not acting to support Sauckel's demands but were against them?
SPEER: It was not the task of these representatives to act for or against Sauckel's demands, because Sauckel stated his demands in such a definite way that a subordinate official was not in a position to speak either for or against these demands in any way. This would have been a task which I would have had to carry out myself.
DR. SERVATIUS: So that these representatives did not fulfill any task?
SPEER: My representatives were the representatives from the armament, from the heavy armament and war production in the occupied territories, and as such they had their special tasks.
DR. SERVATIUS: Witness, did you in 1943, acting independently and without consultation with Sauckel, transfer 50,000 French Organization Todt workers to the Ruhr district?
SPEER: Yes, that is true. After the attack on the Mohne Dam and the Eder Dam in April and May 1943, I went there and in that
20 June 46
period I ordered that a special group from the Organization Todt should take over the restoration of these plants. I did this because I also wanted the machinery and the technical staff on the spot. This special group right away without asking me brought the French workers along. This had tremendous repercussions for us in the West because the workers on the building sites on the Atlantic Wall, who had up to that time felt safe from Sauckel's reach. . .
DR. SERVATIUS: Witness, we are not interested in hearing what was done there. I am only interested in the fact that these 50,000 OT workers were obtained without Sauckel's agreement and by yourself independently; and that you have confirmed, haven't you?
SPEER: Yes, that is true.
DR. SERVATIUS: Sauckel was responsible for the ruling on working hours in these plants. Do you know that the 10-hour day was later on ordered by Goebbels in his capacity as Plenipotentiary for Total Warfare, applicable to both Germans and foreign workers?
SPEER: That is probably true. I do not directly recollect it, but I assume it is right.
DR. SERVATIUS: Then you have stated that the Geneva Convention was not applied to Soviet prisoners of war and Italian civilian internees?
DR. SERVATIUS: Do you know that the Geneva Convention, although it was not recognized for Soviet prisoners of war, was nevertheless applied de facto, and that there were orders to that effect?
SPEER: I cannot give you any information about that, because it was too much of a detail and was dealt with by my departments directly. I should like to confirm it for you.
DR. SERVATIUS: I shall later on submit to the Tribunal a document which confirms this.
Do you know that Italian civilian internees, that is, those who came from the Italian Armed Forces, were transferred to the status of free workers and therefore did not come under the Convention?
SPEER: Yes, that is true, and it was done on Sauckel's request.
DR. SERVATIUS: The factory managers were responsible for carrying out Sauckel's orders in the factories. Is that right?
SPEER: As far as they could be carried out, yes.
DR. SERVATIUS: And you have said that if, on account of special events such as air attacks, it was not possible to carry them out, the supreme authorities in the Reich would have had to take them over?
20 June 46
DR. SERVATIUS: Which authorities in the Reich do you mean?
SPEER: The Plenipotentiary General for the Allocation of Labor.
DR. SERVATIUS: That would be Sauckel
SPEER: Yes. And the German Labor Front, which was responsible for accommodations and working conditions.
DR. SERVATIUS: Which organization did Sauckel have at his disposal to stop these abuses? Was this a matter of practical assistance then?
SPEER: No. I think you have misunderstood me. The "catastrophe emergency" comprised conditions brought about by force majeure. Nobody could remedy them, even with the best will in the world, because every day there were new air attacks. But it is impossible, as Sauckel has testified, to hold the factory manager also responsible for the fact that these conditions could not be alleviated. I wanted to indicate that in such emergencies the leaders in their entirety must get together and decide whether conditions were still bearable or not. In that connection it was the special duty of Sauckel, as the official who made the reports and gave the orders, to convene such meetings.
DR. SERVATIUS: To whom then was he supposed to make such recommendations?
SPEER: To the Fuehrer.
DR. SERVATIUS: Witness, you have explained your own administrative organization and you have said that you were an opponent of a bureaucratic administration. You introduced self administration for the factories; and on the professional side, you formed "rings" and above them committees which were directed by you.
DR. SERVATIUS: And it was a closed administration which could not be penetrated from the outside by other authorities?
SPEER: Yes, I would not have allowed that.
DR. SERVATIUS: So you were actually the representative of these firms toward the higher authorities.
SPEER: Only as far as the technical tasks were concerned, as I have stated here.
DR. SERVATIUS: You limited yourself to the technical tasks?
SPEER: Well, otherwise I would have been responsible for food conditions, or health conditions, or matters which concerned the
20 June 46
Police; but that was expecting too much. In that case one would have had to give me another post.
DR. SERVATIUS: Witness, did you not refer earlier to the fact that, particularly as far as food was concerned, you had given instructions which would benefit the workers; and are you not in that way confirming my view that you bore the entire responsibility for that sector?
SPEER: Not in the least. I believe that I undertook the actions of the last phase within my general responsibility, but not the particular responsibility for that sector.
DR. SERVATIUS: Then, Witness, you spoke about the responsibility of the Gauleiter as Reich defense commissioners with reference to the armament industries. Could you describe in more detail the scope of that responsibility, because I did not understand it.
SPEER: From 1942, responsibility was transferred to the Gauleiter as Reich defense commissioners to an ever-increasing degree. This was mostly the effort of Bormann...
DR. SERVATIUS: What tasks did they have?
SPEER: Just a minute... who desired the centralization of all the forces of the State and the Party in the Gauleiter. This state of centralization had almost been achieved in full after 1943, the only exception which still existed being my armament offices, the so-called Armament Inspectorates. These, since they had previously come under the OKW, were military establishments which were staffed by officers; and that made it possible for me to remain outside the jurisdiction of the Gauleiter. But the Gauleiter was the central authority in his Gau, and he assumed the right to give orders where he did not have it. The situation with us was, as you know, that it was not so important as to who was vested with authority; it was a question of who assumed the right to give orders. In this case most Gauleiter did assume all the rights, by which means they were the responsible and central authority.
DR. SERVATIUS: What do you mean by "central authority"? Perhaps I may put something to you: The Gauleiter, as Reich defense commissioner, only had the task of centralizing the offices if a decision was necessary in the Gau, for instance, after an air attack, the removal of the damage, construction of a new plant, or acquisition of new grounds, so that the various departments would be brought to one conference table; but he did not have the authority to give orders or make decisions. Is that right?
SPEER: No. I should like to recommend that you talk to a few Gauleiter who will tell you how it was.
20 June 46
DR. SERVATIUS: In that case, I will drop the question. I will submit the law. You then went on to say, Witness, that during a certain period there was a surplus of labor in Germany. Was this due to the fact that Sauckel had brought too many foreign workers into Germany?
SPEER: There may be an error here. My defense counsel has referred to two documents according to which during the time from April 1942 until April 1943 Sauckel had supplied more labor to the armament sector than armament had requested. I do not know if that is the passage you mean. DR. SERVATIUS: I can only remember that you said that there had been more workers than were required.
DR. SERVATIUS: You do not mean to say that this had been caused by the fact that Sauckel had brought too many workers in from foreign countries?
SPEER: No. I wanted to prove by that answer that even according to Sauckel's opinion at the time he did not endeavor to bring workers to Germany from France, et cetera, corresponding to my maximum demands. For if in a report to Hitler he asserts that he brought more workers to the armament sector than I demanded, as can be seen from the letter' then it would be clear that he did more than I asked him to do. Actually, it was quite different. In actual fact, he did not supply these workers at all, and we had a heated argument because it was my opinion that he had supplied a far smaller number and had boosted his report to Hitler. However, for this Trial the document is valid.
DR. SERVATIUS: You have just pointed out also that there was an argument between you and Sauckel as to whether there were sufficient labor reserves in Germany; and if I have understood you rightly, you said that if workers had been mobilized in the manner used by England and the Soviet Union, one would not have needed any foreign workers at all. Is that true?
SPEER: No, I did not say that.
DR. SERVATIUS: Well then, how am I to understand it?
SPEER: I have expressed clearly enough that I considered Sauckel's labor policy of bringing foreigners into Germany to be the proper course. I did not try to dodge that responsibility, but there did exist considerable reserves of German labor; that again is only proof of the fact that I was not responsible for the maximum demands made, and that was all I wanted to prove.
DR. SERVATIUS: Are the laws known to you according to which German women and youths were used to a very considerable degree?
20 June 46
DR. SERVATIUS: Do you also know that officers' wives and the wives of high officials also worked in factories?
SPEER: Yes, as from August 1944.
DR. SERVATIUS: Well then, where were these labor reserves of which you are speaking?
SPEER: I was talking about the time of 1943. In 1943 I demanded in the Central Planning Board that the German labor reserves should be drawn upon, and in 1944 during the conversation of 4 January with Hitler I said the same thing. Sauckel at that time stated-and that can be seen from his speech of 1 March 1944, which has been submitted as a document-that there were no longer any reserves of German workers.
DR. SERVATIUS: Yes.
SPEER: But at the same time he also testified here that he had succeeded in 1944 in mobilizing a further 2 million workers from Germany, whereas at a conference with Hitler on 1 January 1944 he considered that to be completely impossible. Thus he has himself proved here that at a time when I desired the use of internal labor he did not think there was any, although he was later forced by circumstances to mobilize these workers from Germany after all; therefore my statement at the time was right.
DR. SERVATIUS: Witness, these 2 million workers you have mentioned, were they people who could be employed in industry?
SPEER: Yes, of course.
DR. SERVATIUS: Were they employed directly as skilled workers in industry?
SPEER: No, they had to be trained first.
DR. SERVATIUS: Did they not first of all have to go through complicated transfers to be released from one firm to another?
SPEER: Only partly, because we) had a possibility of using them in the fine-mechanical industry and other kinds of work; and also, as everyone who is familiar with American and British industry knows, these modern machines are perfectly suitable to be worked by women, even for difficult work.
THE PRESIDENT: The Tribunal is not interested in all these details, Dr. Servatius.
DR. SERVATIUS: Mr. President, I am very interested in the basic question, because if workers were obtained from foreign countries in excess numbers and if, therefore, there was no necessity for the State to have them, it is of the greatest importance from the point of view of international law in considering
20 June 46
as to whether labor can be recruited That is what I wish to clarify.
I have two more questions, and perhaps I may put them now.
THE PRESIDENT: Yes, you can put two more questions, but not on those details.
DR. SERVATIUS: No, they are questions on other points. Witness, you have stated that your attempt to subordinate Sauckel to yourself failed. Did you not achieve that subordination in practice by the fact that on the intermediate level Sauckel's Gau labor exchanges would have to do what your armament commissions ordered?
SPEER: No. That is a matter into which I shall have to go in greater detail. If you want an explanation...
DR. SERVATIUS: But you have said "no". . .
SPEER: Yes. But these are entirely new conceptions which should first be explained to the Court, but if "no" is sufficient for you.
DR. SERVATIUS: There is no need for any lengthy statement, because if you clearly say "no," the matter is settled.
Witness, one last question. You said that Sauckel decided the question of distributing labor within his working staff.
DR. SERVATIUS: He himself says that the Fuehrer made certain decisions. Must not one differentiate between the wholesale demands for a program where it is a problem of the distribution of labor over a lengthy period, and the distribution which was effected currently according to the progress of the program ?
SPEER: According to my recollection, and also from having read the records I received of the Fuehrer conferences, there are two phases to be distinguished. The first one ended in October 1942, during which there were frequent joint conferences with Sauckel, which I attended. During these conferences the distribution of labor for the next months was discussed in detail. After that time there were no longer any conferences with Hitler, which went into detail, at which I was present. I only know of the conferences of January 1944, and then there was another conference in April or May 1944 which has not yet been mentioned here. During those conferences there was only a general discussion, and the distribution was then carried out in accordance with the directives, as Sauckel says.
DR. SERVATIUS: But that is just what I am asking you. These were lump demands referring to a program, and the basic decision was made that 2 million workers were to be obtained from foreign countries; the subsequent distribution was carried out by Sauckel.
20 June 46
SPEER: Yes, that is right, and I can confirm Sauckel's testimony that his orders concerning the occupied territories always came from Hitler, since he needed Hitler's authority to assert himself in occupied territory. DR. SERVATIUS: In that case, Mr. President, I have no further questions.
THE PRESIDENT: The Tribunal will adjourn.
[The Tribunal adjourned until 21 June 1946 at 1000 hours.]
ONE HUNDRED AND SIXTIETH DAY
Friday, 21 June 1946
[The Defendant Speer resumed the stand.]
THE PRESIDENT: Have you finished, Dr. Servatius?
DR. SERVATIUS: Yes.
THE PRESIDENT: Very well. Do any other defendants' counsel want to ask any questions?
PROFESSOR DR. HERBERT KRAUS (Counsel for Defendant Schacht): Witness, on 25 January 1946 you handed two statements to my client here in the prison at Nuremberg. During his examination Dr. Schacht made brief mention of these, and for the sake of brevity I should like the Tribunal to allow me to read out the statement which the defendant gave me that day so that its truth may be confirmed. It is very brief. The first statement reads as follows:
"I was on the terrace of the Berghof on the Obersalzberg waiting to submit my building plans"-this was in the summer of 1937-"when Schacht appeared at the Berghof. From where I was on the terrace I could hear a loud argument between Hitler and Schacht in Hitler's room. Hitler's voice grew louder and louder. At the end of the discussion Hitler came out on the terrace and, visibly excited, he told the people about him that he could not collaborate with Schacht, that he had had a terrible argument with him, and that Schacht was going to upset his plans with his finance methods." Now, that is the first statement. Is it correct?
SPEER: Yes, it is.
DR. KRAUS: It is correct. The second statement deals with the events after 20 July. It reads as follows:
"It was on or about 22 July that Hitler said in my presence to a fairly large group of people..."
THE PRESIDENT: What year?
DR. KRAUS: 1944, Your Lordship.
". . . that Schacht, as one of the opponents of the authoritarian system, should be one of those to be arrested. Hitler went on to speak harshly of Schacht's activities and of the difficulties
21 June 46
which he, Hitler, had experienced through Schacht's economic policy as regards rearmament. He said that actually a man like Schacht should be shot for his oppositional activity before the war."
The last sentence of the statement says:
"After the harshness of these remarks, I was surprised to meet Schacht here alive."
Is this statement correct, too?
SPEER: Yes, it is.
DR. KRAUS: Thank you.
THE PRESIDENT: Do any of the other defendants' counsel want to ask questions?
Then, do the Prosecution wish to cross-examine?
MR. JUSTICE ROBERT H. JACKSON (Chief of Counsel for the United States):
Defendant, your counsel divided your examination into two parts which he described first as your personal responsibilities, and secondly as the political part of the case, and I will follow the same division.
You have stated a good many of the matters for which you were not responsible, and I want to make clear just what your sphere of responsibility was. You were not only a member of the Nazi Party after 1932, but you held high rank in the Party, did you not?
MR. JUSTICE JACKSON: And what was the position which you held in the Party?
SPEER: I have already mentioned that during my pre-trial interrogations. Temporarily in 1934 I became a department head in the German Labor Front and dealt with the improvement of labor conditions in German factories. Then I was in charge of public works on the staff of Hess. I gave up both these activities in 1941. Notes of the conference I had with Hitler about this are available. After 8 February 1942 I automatically became Todt's successor in the central office for technical matters in the Reichsleitung of the NSDAP.
MR. JUSTICE JACKSON: And what was your official title?
SPEER: Party titles had just been introduced, and they were so complicated that I cannot tell you at the moment what they were. But the work I did there was that of a department chief in the Reichsleitung of the NSDAP. My title was Hauptdienstleiter or something of the kind.
MR. JUSTICE JACKSON: In the 1943 directory it would appear that you were head of the "Hauptamt fur Technik."
21 June 46
MR. JUSTICE JACKSON: And your rank appears to be "Oberbefehlsleiter"?
SPEER: Yes, that is quite possible.
MR. JUSTICE JACKSON: Which as I understand corresponds roughly to a lieutenant general in the army?
SPEER: Well, compared to the other tasks I had it was very little.
MR. JUSTICE JACKSON: And you attended Party functions from time to time and were informed in a general way as to the Party program, were you not?
SPEER: Before 1942 I joined in the various Party rallies here in Nuremberg because I had to take part in them as an architect, and of course besides this I was generally present at official Party meetings or Reichstag sessions.
MR. JUSTICE JACKSON: And you heard discussed, and were generally familiar with, the program of the Nazi Party in its broad outlines, were you not?
SPEER: Of course.
MR. JUSTICE JACKSON: You-there is some question as to just what your relation to the SS was. Will you tell me whether you were a member of the SS?
SPEER: No, I was not a member of the SS.
MR. JUSTICE JACKSON: You filled out an application at one time, or one was filled out for you, and you never went through with it, I believe, or something of that sort.
SPEER: That was in 1943 when Himmler wanted me to get a high rank in the SS. He had often wanted it before when I was still an architect. I got out of it by saying that I was willing to be an ordinary SS man under him because I had already been an SS man before. Thereupon, Gruppenfuehrer Wolff provisionally filled out an application form and wanted to know what my previous SS activities had been in 1932. It came up during his inquiries that in those days I was never registered as a member of the SS, and because of this they did not insist on my joining as I did not want to become a new member now.
MR. JUSTICE JACKSON: And why did you not want to be a member of the SS, which was after all one of the important Party formations?
SPEER: No, I became well known for turning down all these honorary ranks. I did not want them because I felt that one should only hold a rank where one had responsibility.
21 June 46
MR. JUSTICE JACKSON: And you did not want any responsibility in the SS?
SPEER: I had too little contact with the SS, and did not want any responsibility in that connection.
MR. JUSTICE JACKSON: Now there has been some testimony about your relation to concentration camps, and, as I understand it, you have said to us that you did use and encourage the use of forced labor from the concentration camps.
SPEER: Yes, we did use it in the German armament industry.
MR. JUSTICE JACKSON: And I think you also recommended that persons in labor camps who were slackers be sent to the concentration camps, did you not?
SPEER: That was the question of the so-called "Bummelanten," and by that name we meant workers who did not get to their work on time or who pretended to be ill. Severe measures were taken against such workers during the war, and I approved of these measures.
MR. JUSTICE JACKSON: In fact, in the 30 October 1942 meeting of the Central Planning Board you brought the subject up in the following terms, did you not-quoting Speer:
"We must also discuss the slackers. Ley has ascertained that the sick list decreases to one-fourth or one-fifth in factories where doctors are on the staff who examine the sick men. There is nothing to be said against SS and Police taking drastic steps and putting those known to be slackers into concentration camp factories. There is no alternative. Let it happen several times, and the news will soon get around."
That was your recommendation?
MR. JUSTICE JACKSON: In other words, the workmen stood in considerable terror of concentration camps, and you wanted to take advantage of that to keep them at their work, did you not?
SPEER: It is certain that concentration camps had a bad reputation with us, and the transfer to a concentration camp, or threat of such a possibility, was bound to reduce the number of absentees in the factories right from the beginning. But at that meeting, as I already said yesterday, there was nothing further said about it. It was one of the many remarks one can make in wartime when one is upset.
MR. JUSTICE JACKSON: However, it is very clear-and if I misinterpret you I give you the chance to correct me-that you understood the very bad reputation that the concentration camps
21 June 46
had among the workmen and that the concentration camps were regarded as being much more severe than the labor camps as places to be in.
SPEER: That is correct. I knew that. I did not know, of course, what I have heard during this Trial, but the other thing was a generally known fact.
MR. JUSTICE JACKSON: Well, it was known throughout Germany, was it not, that the concentration camps were pretty tough places to be put?
SPEER: Yes, but not to the extent which has been revealed in this Trial.
MR. JUSTICE JACKSON: And the bad reputation of the concentration camp, as a matter of fact, was a part of its usefulness in making people fearful of being sent there, was it not?
SPEER: No doubt concentration camps were a means, a menace used to keep order.
MR. JUSTICE JACKSON: And to keep people at work?
SPEER: I would not like to put it in that way. I assert that a great number of the foreign workers in our country did their work quite voluntarily once they had come to Germany.
MR. JUSTICE JACKSON: Well, we will take that up later. You used the concentration camp labor in production to the extent that you were required to divide the proceeds of the labor with Himmler, did you not?
SPEER: That I did not understand.
MR. JUSTICE JACKSON: Well, you made an agreement finally with Himmler that he should have 5 percent, or roughly 5 percent, of the production of the concentration camp labor while you would get for your work 95 percent?
SPEER: No, that is not quite true.
MR. JUSTICE JACKSON: Well, tell me how it was. That is what the documents indicate, if I read them aright.
SPEER: Yes, it is put that way in the Fuehrer minutes, but I should like to explain the meaning to you. Himmler, as I said yesterday, wanted to build factories of his own in his concentration camps. Then he would have been able to produce arms without any outside control, which Hitler, of course, knew. The 5 percent arms production which was to have been handed to Himmler was to a certain extent a compensation for the fact that he himself gave up the idea of building factories in the camps. From the psychological point of view it was not so simple for me to get Himmler to give up this idea when he kept on reminding Hitler of it. I was hoping
21 June 46
that he would be satisfied with the 5 percent arms production we were going to give him. Actually this 5 percent was never handed over. We managed things quietly with the Operations Staff of the OKW and with General Buhle, so that he never got the arms at all.
MR. JUSTICE JACKSON: Well, I am not criticizing the bargain, you understand. I don't doubt you did very well to get 95 percent, but the point is that Himmler was using, with your knowledge, concentration camp labor to manufacture arms, or was proposing to do so, and you wanted to keep that production within your control?
SPEER: Could the translation come through a bit clearer? Would you please repeat that?
MR. JUSTICE JACKSON: You knew at this time that Himmler was using concentration camp labor to carry on independent industry and that he proposed to go into the armament industry in order to have a source of supply of arms for his own SS?
MR. JUSTICE JACKSON: You also knew the policy of the Nazi Party and the policy of the Government towards the Jews, did you not?
SPEER: I knew that the National Socialist Party was anti-Semitic, and I knew that the Jews were being evacuated from Germany.
MR. JUSTICE JACKSON: In fact, you participated in that evacuation, did you not?
MR. JUSTICE JACKSON: Well, I gather that impression from Document L-156, Exhibit RF-1522, a letter from the Plenipotentiary for the Allocation of Labor which is dated 26 March 1943, which you have no doubt seen. You may see it again, if you wish. In which he says...
SPEER: I know it.
MR. JUSTICE JACKSON: "At the end of February, the Reichsfuehrer SS, in agreement with myself and the Reich Minister for armaments and munitions, for reasons of state security, has removed from their places of work all Jews who were still working freely and not in camps, and either transferred them to a labor corps or collected them for removal."
Was that a correct representation of your activity?
MR. JUSTICE JACKSON: Will you tell me what part you had in that? There is no question that they were put into labor corps or collected for removal, is there?
21 June 46
SPEER: That is correct.
MR. JUSTICE JACKSON: Now you say you did not do it, so will you tell me who did?
SPEER: It was a fairly long business. When, in February 1942, I took over my new office, the Party was already insisting that Jews who were still working in armament factories should be removed from them. I objected at the time, and managed to get Bormann to issue a circular letter to the effect that these Jews might go on being employed in armament factories and that Party offices were prohibited from accusing the heads of these firms on political grounds because of the Jews working there. It was the Gauleiter who made such political accusations against the heads of concerns, and it was mostly in the Gau Saxony and in the Gau Berlin. So after this the Jews could remain in these plants. Without having any authority to do so, I had had this circular letter from the Party published in my news sheet to heads of factories and had sent it to all concerned, so that I would in any case receive their complaints if the Party should not obey the instruction. After that the problem was left alone, until September or October of 1942. At that time a conference with Hitler took place, at which Sauckel also was present. At this conference Hitler insisted emphatically that the Jews must now be removed from the armament firms, and he gave orders for this to be done-this will be seen from a Fuehrer protocol which has been preserved. In spite of this we managed to keep the Jews on in factories and it was only in March 1943, as this letter shows, that resistance gave way and the Jews finally did have to get out.
I must point out to you that, as far as I can remember, it was not yet a question of the Jewish problem as a whole, but in the years 1941 and 1942 Jews had gone to the armament factories to do important war work and have an occupation of military importance; they were able to escape the evacuation which at that time was already in full swing. They were mostly occupied in the electrical industry, and Geheimrat Bucher, of the electrical industry -that is AEG and Siemens-no doubt lent a helping hand in order to get the Jews taken on there in greater numbers. These Jews were completely free and their families were still in their homes.
The letter by Gauleiter Sauckel you have before you was not, of course, submitted to me; and Sauckel says that he himself had not seen it. But it is certainly true that I knew about it before action was taken; I knew because the question had to be discussed as to how one should get replacements. It is equally certain, though, that I also protested at the time at having skilled labor removed from my armament industries because, apart from other reasons, it was going to make things difficult for me.
21 June 46
MR. JUSTICE JACKSON: That is exactly the point that I want to emphasize. As I understand it, you were struggling to get manpower enough to produce the armaments to win a war for Germany.
MR. JUSTICE JACKSON: And this anti-Semitic campaign was so strong that it took trained technicians away from you and disabled you from performing your functions. Now, isn't that the fact?
SPEER: I did not understand the meaning of your question.
MR. JUSTICE JACKSON: Your problem of creating armaments to win the war for Germany was made very much more difficult by this anti-Jewish campaign which was being waged by others of your codefendants.
SPEER: That is a certainty; and it is equally clear that if the Jews who were evacuated had been allowed to work for me, it would have been a considerable advantage to me.
THE PRESIDENT: Mr. Justice Jackson, has it been proved who signed that document, L-156? It has got a signature apparently on it.
MR. JUSTICE JACKSON: There is a signature on it, I believe the plenipotentiary general for the employment of labor is my thought on it. We will look at that.
THE PRESIDENT: Perhaps the defendant could tell what the signature is.
[The document was shown to the defendant.]
SPEER: I do not know the man. Yes, he must be one of the smaller officials in the offices of the Plenipotentiary for Labor, because I knew all the immediate associates of Sauckel personally- no; I beg your pardon, the document comes from the Regierungsprasident in Koblenz, as I see here. Then it is an assistant in the Government District of Koblenz, whom of course I did not know.
MR. JUSTICE JACKSON: In any event, there is no question about the statement as you have explained it?
MR. JUSTICE JACKSON: Now I want to ask you about the recruiting of forced labor. As I understand it, you know about the deportation of 100,000 Jews from Hungary for subterranean airplane factories, and you told us in your interrogation of 18 October 1945 that you made no objection to it. That is true, is it not?
SPEER: That is true, yes.
MR. JUSTICE JACKSON: And you told us also, quite candidly, on that day that it was no secret to you that a good deal of the manpower brought in by Laurel was brought in by illegal methods. That is also true, is it not?
21 June 46
SPEER: I took great care at the time to notice what expression the interrogating officer used; he used the expression "they came against their wish"; and that I confirmed.
MR. JUSTICE JACKSON: Did you not say that it was no secret to you that they were brought in an illegal manner? Didn't you add that yourself?
SPEER: No, no. That was certainly not so.
MR. JUSTICE JACKSON: Well, in any event, you knew that at the Fuehrer conference in August of 1942 the Fuehrer had approved of all coercive measures for obtaining labor if they couldn't be obtained on a voluntary basis, and you knew that that program was carried out. You, as a matter of fact, you did not give any particular attention to the legal side of this thing, did you? You were after manpower; isn't that the fact?
SPEER: That is absolutely correct.
MR. JUSTICE JACKSON: And whether it was legal or illegal was not your worry?
SPEER: I consider that in view of the whole war situation and of our views in general on this question it was justified.
MR. JUSTICE JACKSON: Yes, it was in accordance with the policy of the Government, and that was as far as you inquired at the time, was it not?
SPEER: Yes. I am of the opinion that at the time I took over my office, in February 1942, all the violations of international law, which later-which are now brought up against me, had already been committed.
MR. JUSTICE JACKSON: And you don't question that you share a certain responsibility for that program for bringing in-whether it is a legal responsibility or not, in fact-for bringing in this labor against its will? You don't deny that, do you?
SPEER: The workers were brought to Germany largely against their will, and I had no objection to their being brought to Germany against their will. On the contrary, during the first period, until the autumn of 1942, I certainly also took some pains to see that as many workers as possible should be brought to Germany in this manner.
MR. JUSTICE JACKSON: You had some participation in the distribution of this labor, did you not, as among different plants, different industries, that were competing for labor?
SPEER: No. That would have to be explained in more detail-I do not quite understand it like that.
21 June 46
- Forum Staff
- Posts: 23251
- Joined: 20 Jul 2002 19:52
- Location: USA
21 June 46
MR. JUSTICE JACKSON: Well, you finally entered into an agreement with Sauckel, did you not, in reference to the distribution of the labor after it reached the Reich?
SPEER: That was arranged according to the so called priority grades. I had to tell Sauckel, of course, in which of my programs labor was needed most urgently. But that sort of thing was dealt with by general instructions.
MR. JUSTICE JACKSON: In other words, you established the priorities of different industries in their claim for the labor when it came into the Reich?
SPEER: That was a matter of course; naturally that had to be done.
MR. JUSTICE JACKSON: Yes. Now, as to the employment of prisoners of war, you-whatever disagreement there may be about the exact figures, there is no question, is there, that prisoners of war were used in the manufacture of armament?
SPEER: No, only Russian prisoners of war and Italian military internees were used for the production of arms. As for the use of French and other prisoners of war in this production I had several conferences with Keitel on the subject. And I must tell you that Keitel always adopted the view that these prisoners of war could not be used in violation of the Geneva Prisoner of War Convention. I can claim that on the strength of this fact I no longer used my influence to see that these prisoners of war should be used in armament industries in violation of the Geneva Convention. The conception, of course, "production of arms" is very much open to argument. It always depends on what position one takes, whether you have a wide conception of "armaments" or a narrow one.
MR. JUSTICE JACKSON: Well, you succeeded to Dr. Todt's organization, and you had all the powers that he had, did you not?
MR. JUSTICE JACKSON: And one of his directives was dated 31 October 1941, a letter from the OKW which is in evidence here as Exhibit 214, Document EC-194, which provides that the deputies of the Reich Minister for arms and munitions are to be admitted to prisoner-of-war camps for the purpose of selecting skilled workers. That was among your powers, was it not?
SPEER: No. That was a special action which Dr. Todt introduced on the strength of an agreement with the OKW. It was dropped later, however.
MR. JUSTICE JACKSON: Now, on 22 April 1943, at the thirty-sixth meeting of this Planning Board, you made this complaint, did you not, Herr Speer? Quoting:
21 June 46
"There is a statement showing in what sectors the Russian PW's have been distributed, and this statement is quite interesting. It shows that the armament industry only received 30 percent. I always complained about that." That is correct, is it not?
SPEER: I believe that has been wrongly translated. It should not say "munitions industry"; it should say, "The armament industry received 30 percent."
MR. JUSTICE JACKSON: I said "armament."
SPEER: Yes. But this is still no proof that these prisoners of war were employed in violation of the Geneva Prisoner of War Convention, because in the sector of the armament industry there was ample room to use these workers for production articles which, in the sense of the Geneva Prisoner of War Agreement, were not armament products. However, I believe that in the case of the Russian prisoners of war, there was not the same value attached to strict observance of the Geneva Convention as in the case of prisoners from western countries.
MR. JUSTICE JACKSON: Is it your contention that the prisoners were not used-I now speak of French prisoners of war- that French prisoners of war were not used in the manufacture of materials which directly contributed to the war, or is it your contention that although they were used it was legal under the Geneva Convention?
SPEER: As far as I know, French prisoners of war were not used contrary to the rules of the Convention. I cannot check that, because my office was not responsible for controlling the conditions of their employment. During my numerous visits to factories, I never noticed that any prisoner of war from the western territories was working directly on armament products.
MR. JUSTICE JACKSON: Just tell exactly what French prisoners of war did do by way of manufacture. What were they working on?
SPEER: That I cannot answer. I already explained yesterday that the allotment of prisoners of war, or foreign workers, or German workers to a factory was not a matter for me to decide, but was carried out by the labor office, together with the Stalag, when it was a question of prisoners of war. I received only a general survey of the total number of workers who had gone to the factories, and so I could get no idea of what types of labor were being employed in each individual factory. So I cannot give a satisfactory answer to your question.
MR. JUSTICE JACKSON: Now let us take the 50,000 skilled workers that you said yesterday you removed and put to work in
21 June 46
a different location, that Sauckel complained about. What did you put them to work at?
SPEER: Those were not prisoners of war.
MR. JUSTICE JACKSON: Let us take those workers. What were you doing with them?
SPEER: Those workers had been working on the Atlantic Wall. From there they were transferred to the Ruhr to repair the two dams which had been destroyed by an air attack. I must say that the transfer of these 50,000 workers took place without my knowledge, and the consequences of bringing 50,000 workers from the West into Germany amounted to a catastrophe for us on the Atlantic Wall. It meant that more than one-third of all the workers engaged on the Atlantic Wall left because they, too, were afraid they might have to go to Germany. That is why we rescinded the order as quickly as possible, so that the French workers on the Atlantic Wall should have confidence in us. This fact will show you that the French workers we had working for the Organization Todt were not employed on a coercive basis, otherwise they could not have left in such numbers when they realized that under certain circumstances they, too, might be taken to Germany. So these measures taken with the 50,000 workers from the Organization Todt in France were only temporary and were revised later. It was one of those mistakes which can happen if a minister gives a harsh directive and his subordinates begin to carry it out by every means in their disposal.
MR. JUSTICE JACKSON: Are you familiar with Document EC-60, which reports that the labor organization of Todt had to recruit its manpower by force?
SPEER: At the moment I cannot recollect it.
MR. JUSTICE JACKSON: I beg your pardon?
SPEER: At this moment I cannot recollect it. Could I see the document?
MR. JUSTICE JACKSON: Yes, if you would like to. I just remind you that the evidence is to the contrary of your testimony on that subject.
Page 42, the paragraph which reads:
"Unfortunately the assignments for the Organization Todt on the basis of Article 52 of the Hague Convention on Land Warfare have for some time decreased considerably, because the larger part of the manpower allocated does not turn up. Consequently further compulsory measures must be employed. The prefect and the French labor exchanges co-operate quite
21 June 46
loyally, it is true, but they have not sufficient authority to carry out these measures."
SPEER: I think that I have perhaps not understood correctly. I do not deny that a large number of the people working for the Organization Todt in the West had been called up and came to their work because they had been called up, but we had no means whatsoever of keeping them there by force. That is what I wanted to say. So if they did not want to work, they could leave again; and then they either joined the resistance movement or went into hiding somewhere else.
MR. JUSTICE JACKSON: Very well. But this calling-up system was a system of compulsion, was it not?
SPEER: It was the calling-up of French workers for service in the Reich or in France. But here again I must add something. This report is dated June 1943. In October 1943 the whole of the Organization Todt was given the status of a "blocked factory" and thereby received the advantages which other blocked factories had. I explained that sufficiently yesterday. Because of this, the Organization Todt had large offers of workers who went there voluntarily, unless, of course, you see direct coercion in the pressure put on them through the danger of their transfer to Germany, and which led them to the Organization Todt or the blocked factories.
MR. JUSTICE JACKSON: Were they kept in labor camps?
SPEER: That is the custom in the case of such building work. The building sites were far away from any villages, and so workers' camps were set up to accommodate the German and foreign workers. But some of them were also accommodated in villages, as far as it was possible to accommodate them there.- I do not think that on principle they were only meant to be accommodated in camps, but I cannot tell you that for certain.
THE PRESIDENT: Has the document been introduced before?
MR. JUSTICE JACKSON: I was just going to give it to you. The document from which I have quoted is United States Exhibit 892.
Now, leaving the question of the personal participation in this. . .
THE PRESIDENT: Is it new, Mr. Justice Jackson?
MR. JUSTICE JACKSON: No, it has been in.
THE PRESIDENT: It has been in before?
MR. JUSTICE JACKSON: I am told that I am wrong about that, and that it is new.
892 is a new number.
[Turning to the defendant.] Leaving the part of your personal participation in this program...
21 June 46
THE PRESIDENT: Could you tell us what the document is and where it comes from? I see it is EC-60; so it must be captured. But . . .
MR. JUSTICE JACKSON: It is one of the economic documents. It is a very large document.
IN PRESIDENT: Could you tell us what it is or who signed it? It is a very long document, apparently, is it?
MR. JUSTICE JACKSON: It is a long document, and it is a report of the Oberfeldkommandant-L-i-l-l-e is the name of the signer. Now, coming to the question...
THE PRESIDENT: Let me look at the document, will you? You see, Mr. Justice Jackson, my attention has been drawn to the point that as far as the record is concerned, we have only this extract which you read. We have not got the date, and we do not have the signature, if any, on the document.
MR. JUSTICE JACKSON: I was merely refreshing his recollection to get out the facts, and I was not really offering the document for its own sake. I will go into more detail about it, if Your Honor wishes. There is a great deal of irrelevant material in it.
THE PRESIDENT: If you do not want to offer it, then we need not bother about it.
MR. JUSTICE JACKSON: A great part of it is not relevant.
THE PRESIDENT: Yes.
MR. JUSTICE JACKSON: The quotation is adequately verified.
THE PRESIDENT: In that case you may refer to it without the document being used.
Then we need not have the document identified as an exhibit.
MR. JUSTICE JACKSON: [Turning to the defendant.] Leaving the question of your personal participation in these matters and coming to the questions dealt with in the second part of your examination, I want to ask you about your testimony concerning the proposal to denounce the Geneva Convention. You testified yesterday that it was proposed to withdraw from the Geneva Convention. Will you tell us who made those proposals?
SPEER: This proposal, as I already testified yesterday, came from Dr. Goebbels. It was made after the air attack on Dresden, but before this, from the autumn of 1944 on, Goebbels and Ley had often talked about intensifying the war effort in every possible way, so that I had the impression that Goebbels was using the attack on Dresden and the excitement it created merely as an excuse to renounce the Geneva Convention.
21 June 46
MR. JUSTICE JACKSON: Now, was the proposal made at that time to resort to poison gas warfare?
SPEER: I was not able to make out from my own direct observations whether gas warfare was to be started, but I knew from various associates of Ley's and Goebbels' that they were discussing the question of using our two new combat gases, Tabun and Sarin. They believed that these gases would be of particular efficacy, and they did in fact produce the most frightful results. We made these observations as early as the autumn of 1944, when the situation had become critical and many people were seriously worried about it.
MR. JUSTICE JACKSON: Now, will you tell us about these two gases and about their production and their effects, their qualities, and the preparations that were made for gas warfare?
SPEER: I cannot tell you that in detail. I am not enough of an expert. All I know is that these two gases both had a quite extraordinary effect, and that there was no respirator, and no protection against them that we knew of. So the soldiers would have been unable to protect themselves against this gas in any way. For the manufacture of this gas we had about three factories, all of which were undamaged and which until November 1944 were working at full speed. When rumors reached us that gas might be used, I stopped its production in November 1944. I stopped it by the following means. I blocked the so-called preliminary production, that is, the chemical supplies for the making of gas, so that the gas production, as the Allied authorities themselves ascertained, after the end of December or the beginning of January, actually slowed down and finally came to a standstill. Beginning with a letter which is still in existence and which I wrote to Hitler in October 1944, I tried through legal methods to obtain his permission to have these gas factories stop their production. The reason I gave him was that on account of air raids the preliminary products, primarily cyanide, were needed urgently for other purposes. Hitler informed me that the gas production would have to continue whatever happened, but I gave instructions for the preliminary products not to be supplied any more.
MR. JUSTICE JACKSON: Can you identify others of the group that were advocating gas warfare?
SPEER: In military circles there was certainly no one in favor of gas warfare. All sensible Army people turned gas warfare down as being utterly insane since, in view of your superiority in the air, it would not be long before it would bring the most terrible catastrophe upon German cities, which were completely unprotected.
MR. JUSTICE JACKSON: The group that did advocate it, however, consisted of the political group around Hitler, didn't it?
21 June 46
SPEER: A certain circle of political people, certainly very limited. It was mostly Ley, Goebbels and Bormann, always the same three, who by every possible means wanted to increase the war effort; and a man like Fegelein certainly belonged to a group like that too. Of Himmler I would not be too sure, for at that time Himmler was a little out of favor with Hitler because he allowed himself the luxury of directing -an army group without being qualified.
MR. JUSTICE JACKSON: Now, one of these gases was the gas which you proposed to use on those who were proposing to use it on others, and I suppose your motive was...
SPEER: I must say quite frankly that my reason for these plans was the fear that under certain circumstances gas might be used, and the association of ideas in using it myself led me to make the whole plan.
MR. JUSTICE JACKSON: And your reasons, I take it, were the same as the military's, that is to say, it was certain Germany would get the worst of it if Germany started that kind of warfare. That is what was worrying the military, wasn't it?
SPEER: No, not only that. It was because at that stage of the war it was perfectly clear that under no circumstances should any international crimes be committed which could be held against the German people after they had lost the war. That was what decided the issue.
MR. JUSTICE JACKSON: Now, what about the bombs, after the war was plainly lost, aimed at England day after day; who favored that?
SPEER: You mean the rockets?
MR. JUSTICE JACKSON: Yes.
SPEER: From the point of view of their technical production the rockets were a very expensive affair for us, and their effect compared to the cost of their output was negligible. In consequence we had no particular interest in developing the affair on a bigger scale. The person who kept urging it was Himmler, in this case. He gave one Obergruppenfuehrer Kammler the task of firing off these rockets over England. In Army circles they were of the same opinion as I, namely, that the rockets were too expensive; and in Air Force circles, the opinion was the same, since for the equivalent of one rocket one could almost build a fighter. It is quite clear that it would have been much better for us if we had not gone in for this nonsense.
MR. JUSTICE JACKSON: Going back to the characteristics of this gas, was one of the characteristics of this gas an exceedingly
21 June 46
high temperature? When it was exploded it created exceedingly high temperature, so that there could be no defense against it?
SPEER: No, that is an error. Actually, ordinary gas evaporates at normal atmospheric temperature. This gas would not evaporate until very high temperatures were reached and such very high temperatures could only be produced by an explosion; in other words, when the explosives detonated, a very high temperature set in, as you know, and then the gas evaporated. The solid substance turned into gas, but the effects had nothing to do with the high temperature.
MR. JUSTICE JACKSON: Experiments were carried out with this gas, were they not, to your knowledge?
SPEER: That I can tell you. Experiments must certainly have been carried out with it.
MR. JUSTICE JACKSON: Who was in charge of the experimentations with the gases?
SPEER: As far as I know it was the research and development department of the OKH in the Army ordnance office. I cannot tell you for certain.
MR. JUSTICE JACKSON: And certain experiments were also conducted and certain researches conducted in atomic energy, were they not?
SPEER: We had not got as far as that, unfortunately, because the finest experts we had in atomic research had emigrated to America, and this had thrown us back a great deal in our research, so that we still needed another year or two in order to achieve any results in the splitting of the atom.
MR. JUSTICE JACKSON: The policy of driving people out who didn't agree with Germany hadn't produced very good dividends, had it?
SPEER: Especially in this sphere it was a great disadvantage to us.
MR. JUSTICE JACKSON: Now, I have certain information, which was placed in my hands, of an experiment which was carried out near Auschwitz and I would like to ask you if you heard about it or knew about it. The purpose of the experiment was to find a quick and complete way of destroying people without the delay and trouble of shooting and gassing and burning, as it had been carried out, and this is the experiment, as I am advised. A village, a small village was provisionally erected, with temporary structures, and in it approximately 20,000 Jews were put. By means of this newly invented weapon of destruction, these 20,000 people were eradicated almost instantaneously, and in such a way that there was no trace
21 June 46
left of them; that it developed, the explosive developed, temperatures of from 400° to 500° centigrade and destroyed them without leaving any trace at all. Do you know about that experiment?
SPEER: No, and I consider it utterly improbable. If we had had such a weapon under preparation, I should have known about it. But we did not have such a weapon. It is clear that in chemical warfare attempts were made on both sides to carry out research on all the weapons one could think of, because one did not know which party would start chemical warfare first.
MR. JUSTICE JACKSON: The reports, then, of a new and secret weapon were exaggerated for the purpose of keeping the German people in the war?
SPEER: That was the case mostly during the last phase of the war. From August, or rather June or July 1944 on I very often went to the front. I visited about 40 front-line divisions in their sectors and could not help seeing that the troops, just like the German people, were given hopes about a new weapon coming, new weapons and wonder-weapons which, without requiring the use of soldiers, without military forces, would guarantee victory. In this belief lies the secret why so many people in Germany offered their lives, although common sense told them that the war was over. They believed that within the near future this new weapon would arrive. I wrote to Hitler about it and also tried in different speeches, even before Goebbels' propaganda leaders, to work against this belief. Both Hitler and Goebbels told me, however, that this was no propaganda of theirs but that it was a belief which had grown up amongst the people. Only in the dock here in Nuremberg, I was told by Fritzsche that this propaganda was spread systematically among the people through some channels or other, and that SS Standartenfuehrer Berg was responsible for it. Many things have become clear to me since, because this man Berg, as a representative of the Ministry of Propaganda, had often taken part in meetings, in big sessions of my Ministry, as he was writing articles about these sessions. There he heard of our future plans and then used this knowledge to tell the people about them with more imagination than truth.
MR. JUSTICE JACKSON: When did it become apparent that the war was lost? I take it that your attitude was that you felt some responsibility for getting the German people out of it with as little destruction as possible. Is that a fair statement of your position?
SPEER: Yes, but I did not only have that feeling with regard to the German people. I knew quite well that one should equally
21 June 46
avoid destruction taking place in the occupied territories. That was just as important to me from a realistic point of view, for I said to myself that after the war the responsibility for all these destructions would no longer fall on us, but on the next German Government, and the coming German generations.
MR. JUSTICE JACKSON: Where you differed with the people who wanted to continue the war to the bitter end, was that you wanted to see Germany have a chance to restore her life. Is that not a fact? Whereas Hitler took the position that if he couldn't survive, he didn't care whether Germany survived or not?
SPEER: That is true, and I would never have had the courage to make this statement before this Tribunal if I had not been able to prove it with the help of some documents, because such a statement is so monstrous. But the letter which I wrote to Hitler on 29 March, in which I confirmed this, shows that he said so himself.
MR. JUSTICE JACKSON: Well, if I may comment, it was not a new idea to us that that was his viewpoint. I think it was expressed in most of the other countries that that was his viewpoint.
Now, were you present with Hitler at the time he received the telegram from Goering, suggesting that Goering take over power?
SPEER: On 23 April I flew to Berlin in order to take leave of several of my associates, and-I should like to say this quite frankly-after all that had happened, also in order to place myself at Hitler's disposal. Perhaps this will sound strange here, but the conflicting feelings I had about the action I wanted to take against him and about the way he had handled things, still did not give me any clear grounds or any clear inner conviction as to what my relations should be toward him, so I flew over to see him. I did not know whether he knew of my plans, and I did not know whether he would order me to remain in Berlin. Yet I felt that it was my duty not to run away like a coward, but to stand up to him again. It was on that day that Goering's telegram to Hitler arrived. This telegram was not to Hitler, but from Goering to Ribbentrop; it was Bormann who submitted it to him.
MR. JUSTICE JACKSON: Submitted it to Hitler?
SPEER: Yes, to Hitler.
MR. JUSTICE JACKSON: What did Hitler say on that occasion?
SPEER: Hitler was unusually excited about the contents of the telegram, and said quite plainly what he thought about Goering. He said that he had known for some time that Goering had failed, that he was corrupt, and that he was a drug addict. I was extremely shaken, because I felt that if the head of the State had known this for such a long time, then it showed a lack of responsibility on his
21 June 46
part to leave such a man in office, when the lives of countless people depended on him. It was typical of Hitler's attitude towards the entire problem, however, that he followed his statement up by saying: "But let him negotiate the capitulation all the same."
MR. JUSTICE JACKSON: Did he say why he was willing to let Goering negotiate the capitulation?
SPEER: No. He said in an offhand manner: "It doesn't matter anyway who does it."
He expressed all his disregard for the German nation in the way he said this.
MR. JUSTICE JACKSON: That is, his attitude was that there was nothing left worth saving, so let Goering work it out. Is that a fair statement of his position?
SPEER: That was my impression, yes.
MR. JUSTICE JACKSON: Now, this policy of driving Germany to destruction after the war was lost had come to weigh on you to such a point that you were a party to several plots, were you not, in an attempt to remove the people who were responsible for the destruction, as you saw it, of your country?
SPEER: Yes. But I want to add...
MR. JUSTICE JACKSON: There were more plots than you have told us about, weren't there?
SPEER: During that time it was extremely easy to start a plot. One could accost practically any man in the street and tell him what the situation was, and then he would say: "This is insane"; and if he had any courage he would place himself at your disposal. Unfortunately, I had no organization behind me which I could call upon and give orders to, or designate who should have done this or that. That is why I had to depend on personal conversations to contact all kinds of people. But I do want to say that it was not as dangerous as it looks here because actually the unreasonable people who were still left only amounted perhaps to a few dozen. The other 80 million were perfectly sensible as soon as they knew what it was all about.
MR. JUSTICE JACKSON: Perhaps you had a sense of responsibility for having put the 80 million completely in the hands of the Fuehrer Principle. Did that occur to you, or does it now, as you look back on it?
SPEER: May I have the question repeated, because I did not understand its sense.
MR. JUSTICE JACKSON: You have 80 million sane and sensible people facing destruction; you have a dozen people driving them on to destruction and they are unable to stop it. And I ask
21 June 46
if you have a feeling of responsibility for having established the Fuehrer Principle, which Goering has so well described for us, in Germany?
SPEER: I, personally, when I became Minister in February 1942, placed myself at the disposal of this Fuehrer Principle. But I admit that in my organization I soon saw that the Fuehrer Principle was full of tremendous mistakes, and so I tried to weaken its effect. The terrible danger of the authoritarian system, however, became really clear only at the moment when we were approaching the end. It was then that one could see what the principle really meant, namely, that every order should be carried out without criticism. Everything that has become known during this Trial in the way of orders carried out without any consideration, finally proved-for example the carrying-out of the order to destroy the bridges in our own country-to be a mistake or a consequence of this authoritarian system. The authoritarian system-or let me put it like this-upon the collapse of the authoritarian system it became clear what tremendous dangers there are in a system of that kind, quite apart from the personality of Hitler. The combination of Hitler and this system, then, brought about these terrible catastrophes in the world.
MR. JUSTICE JACKSON: Well, now-Hitler is dead; I assume you accept that-and we ought to give the devil his due. Isn't it a fact that in the circle around Hitler there was almost no one who would stand up and tell him that the war was lost, except yourself?
SPEER: That is correct to a certain extent. Among the military leaders there were many who, each in his own sphere, told Hitler quite clearly what the situation was. Many commanders of army groups, for instance, made it clear to him how catastrophic developments were, and there were often fierce arguments during the discussions on the situation. Men like Guderian and Jodl, for instance, often talked openly about their sectors in my presence, and Hitler could see quite well what the general situation was like. But I never observed that those who were actually responsible in the group around Hitler, ever went to him and said, "The war is lost." Nor did I ever see these people who had responsibility endeavor to unite in undertaking some joint step with Hitler. I did not attempt it for my part either, except once or twice, because it would have been useless, since at this stage, Hitler had so intimidated his closest associates that they no longer had any wills of their own.
MR. JUSTICE JACKSON: Well let us take the Number 2 man, who has told us that he was in favor of fighting to the very finish. Were you present at a conversation between Goering and General Galland, in which Goering, in substance, forbade Galland to report the disaster that was overtaking Germany?
21 June 46
SPEER: No; in that form, that is not correct. That was another conference.
MR. JUSTICE JACKSON: Well, tell us what there is about General Galland's conversation with Goering, as far as you know it.
SPEER: It was at the Fuehrer's headquarters in East Prussia in front of Goering's train. Galland had reported to Hitler that enemy fighter planes were already escorting bomber squadrons as far as Liege and that it was to be expected that in the future the bomber units would travel still farther from their bases escorted by fighters. After a discussion with Hitler on the military situation Goering upbraided Galland and told him with some excitement that this could not possibly be true, that the fighters could not go as far as Liege. He said that from his experience as an old fighter pilot he knew this perfectly well. Thereupon Galland replied that the fighters were being shot down, and were lying on the ground near Liege. Goering would not believe this was true. Galland was an outspoken man who told Goering his opinion quite clearly and refused to allow Goering's excitement to influence him. Finally Goering, as Supreme Commander of the Air Force, expressly forbade Galland to make any further reports on this matter. It was impossible, he said, that enemy fighters could penetrate so deeply in the direction of Germany, and so he ordered him to accept that as being true. I continued to discuss the matter afterward with Galland and Galland was actually later relieved by Goering of his duties as Commanding General of Fighters. Up to this time Galland had been in charge of all the fighter units in Germany. He was the general in charge of all the fighters within the High Command of the Air Force.
THE PRESIDENT: What is the date of that?
MR. JUSTICE JACKSON: I was going to ask.
SPEER: It must have been toward the end of 1943.
THE PRESIDENT: Mr. Justice Jackson, perhaps we had better adjourn now.
[A recess was taken.]
MR. JUSTICE JACKSON: If it please the Tribunal, I wanted to ask you whether it was known in the days when you were struggling for manpower enough to make armaments for Germany, that Goering was using manpower to collect art and transport art for his own purposes. Was that known to you at the time?
SPEER: He did not need many workers for that purpose.
21 June 46
MR. JUSTICE JACKSON: Well, very few were very valuable, were they not?
SPEER: The art treasures were valuable, not the workers.
MR. JUSTICE JACKSON: To him?
MR. JUSTICE JACKSON: Well, let me ask you about your efforts in producing, and see how much difficulty you were having. Krupp's was a big factor in the German armament production, was it not?
MR. JUSTICE JACKSON: The biggest single unit, wouldn't you say?
SPEER: Yes, but not just to the extent I said yesterday. It produced few guns and armaments, but it was a big concern, one of the most respected ones in the armament industry.
MR. JUSTICE JACKSON: But you had prevented, as far as possible, the use of resources and manpower for the production of things that were not useful for the war, is not that true?
SPEER: That is true.
MR. JUSTICE JACKSON: And the things which were being created, being built in Krupp's, whether they were guns or other objects, were things which were essential to carrying on the economy or to conducting the war? That would be true, would it not?
SPEER: Generally speaking one can say that in the end every article which in wartime is produced in the home country, whether it is a pair of shoes for the workers, or clothing, or coal is, of course-is made to assist in the war effort. That has nothing to do with the old conception, which has long since died out, and which we find in the Geneva Prisoner of War Convention.
MR. JUSTICE JACKSON: Well, at the moment I am not concerned with the question of the application of the Geneva Convention. I want to ask you some questions about your efforts to produce essential goods, whether they were armament or not armament, and the conditions that this regime was imposing upon labor and adding, as I think, to your problem of production. I think you can give us some information about this. You were frequently at the Krupp plant, were you not?
SPEER: I was at the Krupp plant five or six times.
MR. JUSTICE JACKSON: You had rather close information as to the progress of production in the Krupp plant, as well as others?
21 June 46
SPEER: Yes, when I went to visit these plants, it was mostly in order to see how we could do away with the consequences of air attacks. It was always shortly after air raids, and so I got an idea of the production. As I worked hard I knew a lot about these problems, right down to the details.
MR. JUSTICE JACKSON: Krupp also had several labor camps, did they not?
SPEER: Of course, Krupp had labor camps.
MR. JUSTICE JACKSON: Krupp was a very large user of both foreign labor and prisoners of war?
SPEER: I cannot give the percentage, but no doubt Krupp did employ foreign workers and prisoners of war.
MR. JUSTICE JACKSON: Well, I may say to you that we have investigated the Krupp labor camps, and from Krupp's own charts it appears that in 1943 they had 39,245 foreign workers and 11,234 prisoners of war, and that this steadily increased until in September 1944 Krupp had 54,990 foreign workers and 18,902 prisoners of war.
Now, would that be somewhere near what you would expect from your knowledge of the industry?
SPEER: I do not know the details. I do not know the figures of how many workers Krupp employed in all. I am not familiar with them at the moment. But I believe that the percentage of foreign workers at Krupp was about the same as in other plants and in other armament concerns.
MR. JUSTICE JACKSON: And what would you say that percentage was?
SPEER: That varied a great deal. The old established industries which had their old regular personnel had a much lower percentage of foreign workers than the new industries which had just grown up and which had no old regular personnel. The reason for this was that the young age groups were drafted into the Armed Forces and therefore the concerns which had a personnel of older workers still retained a large percentage of the older workers. Therefore the percentage of foreign workers in Army armaments, if you take it as a whole and as one of the older industries, was lower than the percentage of foreign workers in air armaments, because that was a completely new industry which had no old regular personnel.
But with the best will in the world I cannot give you the percentage.
21 June 46
MR. JUSTICE JACKSON: Now, the foreign workers who were assigned to Krupp-let us use Krupp as an example-were housed in labor camps and under guard, were they not?
SPEER: I do not believe that they were under guard, but I cannot say. I do not want to dodge giving information here, but I had no time to worry about such things on my visits. The things I was concerned about when I went to a factory were in an entirely different sphere. In all my activities as Armament Minister I never once visited a labor camp, and cannot, therefore, give any information about them.
MR. JUSTICE JACKSON: Well now, I am going to give you some information about the labor camp at Krupp's, and then I am going to ask you some questions about it. And I am not attempting to say that you were personally responsible for these conditions. I merely give you the indications as to what the regime was doing and I am going to ask you certain questions as to the effect of this sort of thing on your work of production.
Are you familiar with Document D-288, which is United States Exhibit 202, the affidavit of Dr. Jager, who was later brought here as a witness?
SPEER: Yes, but I consider that somewhat exaggerated.
MR. JUSTICE JACKSON: You don't accept that?
MR. JUSTICE JACKSON: Well, you have no personal knowledge of the conditions.
What is the basis of your information that Dr. Jager's statement is exaggerated?
SPEER: If such conditions had existed, I should probably have heard of them, since when I visited plants the head of the plant naturally came to me with his biggest troubles. These troubles occurred primarily after air raids when, for example, both the German workers and foreign workers had no longer any proper shelter. This state of affairs was then described to me, so that I know that what is stated in the Jager affidavit cannot have been a permanent condition. It can only have been a condition caused temporarily by air raids, for a week or a fortnight, and which was improved later on. It is clear that after a severe air raid on a city all the sanitary installations, the water supply, gas supply, electricity, and so on, were out of order and severely damaged, so that temporarily there were very difficult conditions.
MR. JUSTICE JACKSON: I remind you that Dr. Jager's affidavit relates to the time of October 1942, and that he was a witness here. And, of course, you are familiar with his testimony.
21 June 46
MR. JUSTICE JACKSON: Well now, I call your attention to a new document, which is D-361, and would become United States Exhibit 893, a document signed by the office chief of the locomotive construction works, describing conditions of his labor supply, foreign labor.
And I am not suggesting - I repeat I am not suggesting that this was your responsibility. I am suggesting it is the responsibility of the regime. I should like to read this despite its considerable length. This is dated at the boilermaking shop, 25 February 1942, addressed to Hupe by way of Winters and Schmidt.
"I received the enclosed letter of the 18th of this month from the German Labor Front, sent to my private address, inviting me to the Office of the German Labor Front. I tried to settle the business, which I did not know about, by telephone. The answer from the German Labor Front was that the matter was very important and called for my personal appearance. Hereupon I asked Herr Jungerich of the Department for Social Labor Matters whether I had to go. He answered, 'You probably do not have to, but it would be better if you went.' About 9:50 I went to Room 20 at the place indicated and met Herr Prior. "the following provided the subject of this conversation, which Herr Prior carried on in a very excited manner, and which lasted about half an hour:
"On the 16th, 23 Russian prisoners of war were assigned to Number 23 Boiler Shop, the people came in the morning without bread and tools. During both breaks the prisoners of war crept up to the German workers and begged for bread, pitifully pointing out their hunger. (For lunch on the first day the factory was able to distribute among the Russians rations which remained over from French PW's.) In order to alleviate these conditions, I went to the Weidkamp kitchen on the 17th, on instructions from Herr Theile, and talked to the head of the kitchen, Fraulein Block, about the provision of the midday meal. Fraulein Block promised me the food immediately, and also lent me the 22 sets of eating utensils which I asked for. At the same time I asked Fraulein Block to give any food left over by the 800 Dutchmen messing there to our Russian PW's at noon until further notice. Fraulein Block promised to do this too, and the following noon she sent down a container of milk soup as an extra. The following noon the ration was short in quantity. Since a few Russians had collapsed already, I telephoned Fraulein Block and asked for an increase in the food, as the special ration had ceased from the second day onwards. As my telephone conversation
21 June 46
was unsuccessful, I again visited Fraulein Block personally. Fraulein Block refused in a very abrupt manner to give any further special ration. "Now, regarding the discussion in detail, Herr Prior, two other gentlemen of the DAF and Fraulein Block, head of the Weidkamp kitchen, were present in the room. Herr Prior commenced and accused me, gesticulating, and in a very insulting manner, of having taken the part of the Bolsheviks in a marked way. He referred to the law paragraphs of the Reich Government which spoke against it. I was unfortunately not clear about the legal position, otherwise I would have left the conference room immediately. I then tried to make it clear to Herr Prior, with special emphasis, that the Russian PW's were assigned to us as workers and not as Bolsheviks; the people were starved and not in a position to perform the heavy work with us in the boiler shop which they were supposed to do; sick people are a dead weight to us and not a help to production. To this remark Herr Prior stated that if one was no good, then another was; that the Bolsheviks were a soulless people; and if 100,000 of them died, another 100,000 would replace them. On my remarking that with such a coming and going we would not attain our goal, namely the delivery of locomotives to the Reichsbahn, who were continually cutting down the time limit, Herr Prior said, 'Deliveries are only of secondary importance here.'
"My attempts to get Herr Prior to understand our economic needs were not successful. In closing, I can only say that as a German I know our relations to the Russian prisoners of war exactly, and in this case I acted only on behalf of my superiors and with the view to the increase in production which is demanded from us."
It is signed, "Sohling, Office Chief, Locomotive Construction Works."
And there is added this letter as a part of the communication, signed by Theile:
"I have to add the following to the above letter:
"After the Russian PW's had been assigned to us on the 16th of this month by labor supply, I got into touch with Dr. Lehmann immediately about their food. I learned from him that the prisoners received 300 gr. of bread each between 0400 and 0500 hours. I pointed out that it was impossible to last until 1800 hours on this ration of bread, whereupon Dr. Lehmann said that the Russians must not be allowed to get used to western European feeding. I replied that the PW's could not do the work required of them in the boiler
21 June 46
shop on that food, and that it was not practical for us to have these people in the works any longer under such conditions. At the same time I demanded that if the Russians continued to be employed, they should be given a hot midday meal, and that if possible the bread ration should be split so that one-half was distributed early in the morning and the second half during our breakfast break. My suggestion has already been carried out by us with the French PW's and has proved to be very practicable and good.
"Unfortunately, however, Dr. Lehmann took no notice of my suggestion, and on this account I naturally had to take matters into my own hands and therefore told Herr Sohling to get the feeding of the Russian PW's organized on exactly the same lines as for the French PW's, so that the Russians could as soon as possible carry out the work they were supposed to do. For the whole thing concerns an increase in production such as is demanded from us by the Minister of munitions and armaments and by the DAF."
Now, I ask you, in the first place, if the position of the chief of the locomotive construction works was not entirely a necessary position in the interests of production?
SPEER: It is clear that a worker who has not enough food cannot achieve a good work output. I already said yesterday that every head of a plant, and I too at the top, was naturally interested in having well-fed and satisfied workers, because badly fed, dissatisfied workers make more mistakes and produce poor results.
I should like to comment on this document. The document is dated 25 February 1942. At that time there were official instructions that the Russian workers who came to the Reich should be treated worse than the western prisoners of war and the western workers. I learned of this through complaints from the heads of concerns. In my document book, there is a Fuehrer protocol which dates from the middle of March 1942-that is, 3 or 4 weeks after this document-in which I called Hitler's attention to the fact that the feeding both of Russian prisoners of war and of Russian workers was absolutely insufficient and that they would have to be given an adequate diet, and that moreover the Russian workers were being kept behind barbed wire like prisoners of war and that that would have to be stopped also. The protocol shows that in both cases I succeeded in getting Hitler to agree that conditions should be changed and they were changed. I must say furthermore that it was really to Sauckel's credit that he fought against a mountain of stupidity and did everything so that foreign workers and prisoners of war should be treated better and receive decent food.
21 June 46
MR. JUSTICE JACKSON: Well, we will, go on with the conditions later. Because I am going to ask you, if you are not responsible and Sauckel is not responsible, who is responsible for these conditions, and you can keep it in mind that is the question that we are coming up to here.
I will show you a new document, which is a statement, D-398, which would be Exhibit USA 894-A, taken by the British-American team in the investigation of this work camp at Krupp's.
Well, D-321. I can use that just as well. We will use Document D-321, which becomes 893.
THE PRESIDENT: 894 was the last number you gave us. What number is this document that you are now offering?
MR. JUSTICE JACKSON: 398 was 894. 321 will be 895. Now, this relates to the-this is an employee of the Reich Railways. None of our investigation, I may say, is based upon the statements of the prisoners themselves.
"I, the undersigned, Adam Schmidt, employed as Betriebswart on the Essen-West Railway Station and residing . . . state voluntarily and on oath:
"I have been employed by the Reich Railways since 1918 and have been at Essen-West Station since 1935. In the middle of 1941 the first workers arrived from Poland, Galicia, and the Polish Ukraine. They came to Essen in trucks in which potatoes, building materials and also cattle had been transported, and were brought to perform work at Krupp's. me trucks were jammed full with people. My personal view was that it was inhuman to transport people in such a manner.
The people were packed closely together and they had no room for free movement. The Krupp overseers laid special value on the speed with which the slave workers got in and out of the trucks. It was enraging for every decent German who had to watch this to see how the people were beaten and kicked and generally maltreated in a brutal manner. In the very beginning when the first transport arrived we could see how inhumanly these people were treated. Every truck was so overfilled that it was incredible that such a number of people could be jammed into one. I could see with my own eyes that sick people who could scarcely walk they were mostly people with foot trouble, or with injuries, and people with internal trouble) were nevertheless taken to work. One could see that it was sometimes difficult for them to move. The same can be said of the Eastern Workers and PW's who came to Essen in the middle of 1942."
21 June 46
He then describes their clothing and their food. In the interest of time, I will not attempt to read the entire thing.
Do you consider that that, too, is an exaggerated statement?
SPEER: When the workers came to Germany from the East, their clothing was no doubt bad, but I know from Sauckel that while he was in office a lot was done to get them better clothes, and in Germany many of the Russian workers were brought to a considerably better condition than they had previously been in in Russia. The Russian workers were quite satisfied in Germany. If they arrived here in rags, that does not mean that that was our fault. We could not use ragged workers with poor shoes in our industry, so conditions were improved.
MR. JUSTICE JACKSON: Well, now, I would like to call your attention to D-398.
THE PRESIDENT: Well, before you pass from that, what do you say about the conditions of the transports? The question you were asked was whether this was an exaggerated account. You have not answered that except in reference to clothing.
SPEER: Mr. President, I cannot give any information about this transport matter.
I received no reports about it.
MR. JUSTICE JACKSON: Well, I will ask you about Exhibit 398, which becomes USA-894. I mean Document 398, which becomes Exhibit 894, a statement by Hofer, living in Essen:
"From April 1943 I worked with Lowenkamp every day in Panzer Shop 4. Lowenkamp was brutal to the foreigners. He confiscated food which belonged to the PW's and took it home. Every day he maltreated Eastern Workers, Russian PW's, French, Italian, and other foreign civilians. He had a steel cabinet built which was so small that one could hardly stand in it. He locked up foreigners in the box, women too, for 48 hours at a time without giving the people food. "They were not released even to relieve nature. It was forbidden for other people, too, to give any help to the persons locked in, or to release them. While clearing a concealed store he fired on escaping Russian civilians without hitting any of them.
"One day, while distributing food, I saw how he hit a French civilian in the face with a ladle and made his face bleed. Further, he delivered Russian girls without bothering about the children afterwards. There was never any milk for them so the Russians had to nourish the children with sugar water. When Lowenkamp was arrested he wrote two letters and sent them to me through his wife. He tried to make out that he never beat people."
21 June 46
- Forum Staff
- Posts: 23251
- Joined: 20 Jul 2002 19:52
- Location: USA
21 June 46
There is a good deal more of this, but I will not bother to put it into the record.
Is it your view that that is exaggerated?
SPEER: I consider this affidavit a lie. I would say that among German people such things do not exist, and if such individual cases occurred they were punished. It is not possible to drag the German people in the dirt in such a way. The heads of concerns were decent people too, and took an interest in their workers. If the head of the Krupp plant heard about such things, he certainly took steps immediately.
MR. JUSTICE JACKSON: Well, what about the steel boxes? The steel box couldn't have been built? Or don't you believe the steelbox story?
SPEER: No, I do not believe it; I mean I do not believe it is true. After the collapse in 1945 a lot of affidavits were certainly drawn up which do not fully correspond to the truth. That is not your fault. It is the fault of-after a defeat, it is quite possible that people lend themselves to things like that.
MR. JUSTICE JACKSON: Well, I would like to have you examine Document 258, and I attach importance to this as establishing the SS as being the guards:
"The camp inmates were mostly Jewish women and girls from Hungary and Romania. The camp inmates were brought to Essen at the beginning of 1944 and were put to work at Krupp's. The accommodation and feeding of the camp prisoners was beneath all dignity. At first the prisoners were accommodated in simple wooden huts. These huts were burned down during an air raid and from that time on the prisoners had to sleep in a damp cellar. Their beds were made on the floor and consisted of a straw-filled sack and two blankets. In most cases it was not possible for the prisoners to wash themselves daily, as there was no water.
There was no possibility of having a bath. I could often observe from the Krupp factory, during the lunch break, how the prisoners boiled their under-clothing in an old bucket or container over a wood fire, and cleaned themselves. An air-raid trench served as shelter, while the SS guards went to the Humboldt shelter, which was bombproof. Reveille was at 5 a. m. There was no coffee or any food served in the morning. They marched off to the factory at 5.15 a. m. They marched for three-quarters of an hour to the factory, poorly clothed and badly shod, some without shoes, and covered with a blanket, in rain or snow. Work began at 6 a. m. The lunch break was from 12 to 12.30. Only during the break was it at all possible for the prisoners
21 June 46
to cook something for themselves from potato peelings and other garbage. The daily working period was one of 10 or 11 hours. Although the prisoners were completely undernourished, their work was very heavy physically. The prisoners were often maltreated at their work benches by Nazi overseers and female SS guards. At 5 or 6 in the afternoon they were marched back to camp. The accompanying guards consisted of female SS who, in spite of protests from the civil population, often maltreated the prisoners on the way back with kicks, blows, and scarcely repeatable words. It often happened that individual women or girls had to be carried back to the camp by their comrades owing to exhaustion. At 6 or 7 p.m. these exhausted people arrived back in camp. Then the real meal was distributed. This consisted of cabbage soup. This was followed by the evening meal of water soup and a piece of bread which was for the following day. Occasionally the food on Sundays was better. As long as it existed there was never any inspection of the camp by the firm of Krupp. On 13 March 1945 the camp prisoners were brought to Buchenwald Concentration Camp, from there some were sent to work. The camp commandant was SS Oberscharfuehrer Rick. His present whereabouts is unknown."
The rest of it doesn't matter. In your estimation that, I suppose, is also an exaggeration?
SPEER: From the document...
DR. FLACHSNER: Mr. President . . .
THE PRESIDENT: May I hear the answer. I thought the defendant said something.
DR. FLACHSNER: May I call the attention of the Court to the document itself, of which I have only a copy? It is headed "Sworn on oath before a military court," and there is an ordinary signature under it. It does not say that it is an affidavit or a statement in lieu of oath, or any other such thing, it says only, "Further inquiries must be made," and it is signed by Hubert Karden. That is apparently the name of the man who was making the statement. Then there is another signature, "Kriminalassistent Z. Pr." That is a police official who is on probation and who may later have the chance of becoming a candidate in the criminal service. He has signed it. Then there is another signature, "C. E. Long, Major, President." There is not a word in this document to the effect that any of these three people want to vouch for the contents of this as an affidavit. I do not believe this document can be used as an affidavit in that sense.
21 June 46
THE PRESIDENT: Yes, Mr. Justice Jackson? Do you wish to say anything?
MR. JUSTICE JACKSON: I-the document shows for itself. I am not-as I have pointed out to this witness, I am giving him the result of an investigation. I am not prosecuting him with personal responsibility for these conditions. I intend to ask him some questions about responsibility for conditions in the camp.
THE PRESIDENT: Well, there is a statement at the top of the copy that I have got, "Sworn on oath before a military court."
MR. JUSTICE JACKSON: Yes, they were taken in Essen, in this investigation. And of course, if I were charging this particular defendant with the responsibility there might be some argument about it. They come under the head-they clearly come under the head of the Charter, which authorizes the receipt here of proceedings of other courts.
THE PRESIDENT: Have you got the original document here?
MR. JUSTICE JACKSON: Yes.
[A document was submitted to the Tribunal.]
THE PRESIDENT: The Tribunal sees no objection to the document being used in cross-examination.
Did you give it an exhibit number?
MR. JUSTICE JACKSON: I should have; it is USA-896.
THE PRESIDENT: Yes.
MR. JUSTICE JACKSON: [Turning to the defendant.] I now want to call your attention to Exhibit Number 382.
SPEER: I wanted to comment on the document.
THE PRESIDENT: Mr. Justice Jackson, there are some photographs which have been put before us. Are they identified and do they form part of an exhibit?
MR. JUSTICE JACKSON: They form part of the exhibit which I am now offering.
THE PRESIDENT: I see.
MR. JUSTICE JACKSON: But the witness desires to comment on the last document, and I will listen to that before we go ahead.
SPEER: First I should like to say, as you have so often mentioned my nonresponsibility, that if in general these conditions had been true, on the basis of my statement yesterday I should consider myself responsible. I refuse to evade responsibility. But the conditions were not what they are said to have been here. There are only individual cases which are quoted.
21 June 46
As for this document I should only like to say from what I have seen of it that this seems to concern a concentration camp, one of the small concentration camps near the factories. The factories could not inspect these camps. That is why the sentence is quite true where it says that no factory representative ever saw the camp. The fact that there were SS guards also shows that it was a concentration camp.
If the question which you asked me before, as to whether the labor camps were guarded-those for foreign workers-if that refers to this document, then your conclusion was wrong. For as far as I know, the other labor camps were not guarded by SS or by any other organizations.
My position is such that I feel it is my duty to protect the heads of plants from any injustice which might be done them. The head of a plant could not bother about the conditions in such a camp. I cannot say whether conditions were as described in this camp. We have seen so much material on conditions in concentration camps during the Trial.
MR. JUSTICE JACKSON: Now I will ask to have you shown Exhibit Number D-382-I should say Document D-382-which would be United States Exhibit 897. Now that is the statement of several persons as to one of those steel boxes which stood in the foreign workers' camp in the grounds of Number 4 Armor Shop, and of those in the Russian camp. I do not know that it is necessary to read the complete descriptions.
Is that merely an individual instance, or what is your view of that circumstance?
SPEER: What is pictured here is quite a normal locker as was used in every factory. These photographs have absolutely no value as evidence.
MR. JUSTICE JACKSON: Very well. I will ask to have you shown Exhibit D-230. Together with D-230 is an interoffice record of the steel switches, and the steel switches which have been found in the camp will be shown to you. Eighty were distributed, according to the reports.
SPEER: Shall I comment on this?
MR. JUSTICE JACKSON: If you wish.
SPEER: Yes. Those are nothing but replacements for rubber truncheons. We had no rubber; and for that reason, the guards probably had something like this.
MR. JUSTICE JACKSON: That is the same inference that I drew from the document.
21 June 46
SPEER: Yes, but the guards did not immediately use these steel switches any more than your police use their rubber truncheons. But they had to have something in their hands. It is the same thing all over the world.
MR. JUSTICE JACKSON: Well, we won't argue that point.
SPEER: I am not an expert. I only assume that that is the case. I cannot testify on oath that that was the case. That was only an argument.
THE PRESIDENT: Did you give a number to that?
MR. JUSTICE JACKSON: 898, Your Honor.
Now, 899 would be our Document D-283, which is a 1943 report from the Krupp hospitals taken from the files of Krupp's.
"Cases of Deaths of Eastern Workers.
"Fifty-four Eastern Workers have died in the hospital in Lazarettstrasse, 4 of them as a result of external causes and 50 as a result of illness. "The causes of death in the case of these 50 Eastern Workers who died of illnesses were the following: Tuberculosis, 36 (including 2 women); malnutrition, 2; internal hemorrhage, 1; disease of the bowels, 2; typhoid fever, 1 (female); pneumonia, 3; appendicitis, 1 (female); liver trouble, 1; abscess of the brain, 1. This list therefore shows that four-fifths died of tuberculosis and malnutrition."
Now, did you have any reports from time to time as to the health conditions of the labor which was engaged in your production program?
SPEER: First I should like to comment on the document. The document does not show the total number of the workers to which the number of deaths refers, so that one cannot say whether that is an unnaturally high proportion of illness. At a session of the Central Planning Board which I read here again, I observed it was said that among the Russian workers there was a high rate of tuberculosis. I do not know whether you mean that. That was a remark which Weiger made to me. But presumably through the health offices we tried to alleviate these conditions.
MR. JUSTICE JACKSON: There was an abnormally high rate of deaths from tuberculosis; there is no doubt about that, is there?
SPEER: I do not know whether that was an abnormal death rate. But there was an abnormally high rate of tuberculosis at times.
MR. JUSTICE JACKSON: Well, the exhibit does not show whether the death rate itself was abnormally high, but it shows
21 June 46
an abnormal proportion of deaths from tuberculosis among the total deaths, does it not? Eighty percent deaths from tuberculosis is a very high incidence of tuberculosis, is it not?
SPEER: That may be. I cannot say from my own knowledge.
MR. JUSTICE JACKSON: Now I would like to have you shown. ..
THE PRESIDENT: Did you give that a number? That would be 899, would it not?
MR. JUSTICE JACKSON: 899, Your Honor.
Now, let me ask you to be shown Document D-335. This is a report from the files of Krupp, dated at Essen on 12 June 1944, directed to the "Gau Camp Physician, Herr Dr. Jager," and signed by Stinnesbeck:
"In the middle of May I took over the medical supervision of the PW Camp 1420 in the Norggerathstrasse. The camp contains 644 French PW's. "During the air raid on 27 April of this year the camp was largely destroyed and at the moment conditions are intolerable.
"315 prisoners are still accommodated in the camp. 170 of these are no longer in huts, but in the tunnel in Grunerstrasse on the Essen-Mulheim railway line. This tunnel is damp and is not suitable for continued accommodation of human beings. The rest of the prisoners are accommodated in 10 different factories in Krupp's works.
"Medical attention is given by a French military doctor who takes great pains with his fellow countrymen. Sick people from Krupp's factories must be brought to the sick parade too. Miss parade is held in the lavatory of a burned-out public house outside the camp. The sleeping accommodations of the four French medical orderlies is in what was the urinal room. There is a double tier wooden bed available for sick bay patients. In general, treatment takes place in the open. In rainy weather it has to be held in this small room. These are insufferable conditions! There are no chairs, tables, cupboards, or water. The keeping of a register of sick is impossible.
"Bandages and medical supplies are very scarce, although people badly hurt in the works are often brought here for first aid and have to be bandaged before being taken to the hospital. There are many strong complaints about food, too, which the guard personnel confirm as being justified. "Illness and less manpower must be reckoned with under these circumstances.
21 June 46
"The construction of huts for the accommodation of the prisoners and the building of sick quarters for the proper treatment of the sick persons is urgently necessary.
"Please take the necessary steps.
SPEER: That is a document which shows what conditions can be after severe air raids. The conditions were the same in these cases for Germans and foreign workers. There were no beds, no cupboards, and so forth. That was because the camp in which these things had been provided had been burned down. That the food supply was often inadequate in the Ruhr district during this period was due to the fact that attacks from the air were centered on communication lines, so that food transports could not be brought into the Ruhr to the necessary extent. These were temporary conditions which we were able to improve when the air raids ceased for a time. When conditions became even worse after September or October of 1944, or rather after November of 1944, we made every effort to give food supplies the priority for the first time over armament needs, so that in view of these difficulties the workers would be fed first of all, while armaments had to stand back somewhat.
MR. JUSTICE JACKSON: Well, then you did make it your business to get food and to see to the conditions of these workers? Do I understand that you did it, that you took steps?
SPEER: It is true that I did so, and I am glad that I did, even if I am to be reproached for it. For it is a universal human obligation when one hears of such conditions to try to alleviate them, even if it is somebody else's responsibility. But the witness Riecke testified here that the whole of the food question was under the direction of the Food Ministry.
MR. JUSTICE JACKSON: And it was an essential part of production, was it not, to keep workers in proper condition to produce? That is elementary, is it not?
SPEER: No. That is wrongly formulated.
MR. JUSTICE JACKSON: Well, you formulate it for me as to what the relation is between the nourishment of workers and the amount of production produced.
SPEER: I said yesterday that the responsibility for labor conditions was divided up between the Food Ministry, the Health Office in the Reich Ministry of the Interior, the Labor Trustee in the office of the Plenipotentiary General for the Allocation of Labor, and so on. There was no comprehensive authority in my hands. In the Reich, because of the way in which our state machine was built up,
21 June 46
we lacked a comprehensive agency in the form of a Reich Chancellor, who would have gathered all these departments together and held joint discussions. But I, as the man responsible for production, had no responsibility in these matters. However, when I heard complaints from factory heads or from my deputies, I did everything to remove the cause of the complaints.
MR. JUSTICE JACKSON: The Krupp works . . .
THE PRESIDENT: Shall we break off now?
MR. JUSTICE JACKSON: Any time you say, Sir.
[The Tribunal recessed until 1400 hours.]
21 June 46
THE PRESIDENT: The Tribunal will consider the matter. Now, the Tribunal will go on with the cross-examination.
[The Defendant Speer resumed the stand.]
MR. JUSTICE JACKSON: I think perhaps, Your Honor, the photographs in evidence are left a little unintelligible, if the record does not show the description of them. I shall read it briefly.
"Torture cabinets which were used in the foreign workers' camp in the grounds of Number 4 Armor Shop and those in the dirty neglected Russian Camp were shown to us, and we depose the following on oath:
"Photograph 'A' shows an iron cupboard which was specially manufactured by the firm of Krupp to torture Russian civilian workers to an extent that cannot possibly be described by words. Men and women were often locked into a compartment of the cupboard, in which hardly any man could stand up for long periods. The measurements of this compartment are: Height 1.52 meters; breadth and depth 40 to 50 centimeters each. Frequently even two people were kicked and pressed into one compartment. The Russian...'' I will not read the rest of that.
"Photograph 'B' shows the same cupboard as it looks when it is locked.
21 June 46
"Photograph 'C' shows the cupboard open.
"In Photograph 'D' we see the camp that was selected by the Krupp Directorate to serve as living quarters for the Russian civilian workers. The individual rooms were 2 to 21/2 meters wide, 5 meters long, and 2 meters high. In each room up to 16 persons were accommodated in double tier beds." (Document USA-897) I think that covers it.
THE PRESIDENT: Mr. Justice Jackson, one moment. I think you ought to read the last three lines of the second paragraph, beginning, "At the top of the cupboard..."
MR. JUSTICE JACKSON: Oh yes, I am sorry.
"At the top of the cupboard there are a few sievelike air holes through which cold water was poured on the unfortunate victims during the ice-cold winter."
THE PRESIDENT: I think you should read the last three lines of the penultimate paragraph in view of what the defendant said about the evidence.
MR. JUSTICE JACKSON: "We are enclosing two letters which Camp Commandant Lowenkamp had smuggled out of prison in order to induce the undersigned Hofer to give evidence favorable to him."
And perhaps I should read the last:
"The undersigned, Dahm,"-one of the signers-"personally saw how three Russian civilian workers were locked into the cupboard, two in one compartment, after they had first been beaten on New Year's Eve 1945. Two of the Russians had to stay the whole of New Year's Eve locked in the cupboard, and cold water was poured on them as well."
I may say to the Tribunal that we have upwards of a hundred different statements and depositions relating to the investigation of this camp. I am not suggesting offering them, because I think they would be cumulative, and I shall be satisfied with one more, D-313, which would become Exhibit USA-901, which is a statement by a doctor.
THE PRESIDENT: Mr. Justice Jackson, was this camp that you are referring to a concentration camp?
MR. JUSTICE JACKSON: Well, it was, as I understand it, a prisoner-of-war camp and a labor camp. There were labor camps and prisoner-of-war camps at Essen. I had not understood that it was a concentration camp, but I admit the distinction is a little thin at times.
21 June 46
This document reads:
"I; the undersigned, Dr. Apolinary Gotowicki, a physician in the Polish Army, was taken prisoner by the Germans on 3 January 1941 and remained as such until the entry of the Americans. I gave medical attention to the Russian, Polish, and French prisoners of war who were forced to work in various places of Krupp's factories. I personally visited the Russian PW camp in the Raumastrasse in Essen, which contained about 1,800 men. There was a big hall in the camp which could house about 200 men comfortably, in which 300 to 400 men were thrown together in such a catastrophic manner that no medical treatment was possible. The floor was cement and the mattresses on which the people slept were full of lice and bugs. Even on cold days the room was never heated and it seemed to me, as a doctor, unworthy of human beings that people should find themselves in such a position. It was impossible to keep the place clean because of the overcrowding of these men who had hardly room to move about normally. Every day at least 10 people were brought to me whose bodies were covered with bruises on account of the continual beatings with rubber tubes, steel switches, or sticks.
The people were often writhing with agony and it was impossible for me to give them even a little medical aid. In spite of the fact that I protested, made complaints and petitions, it was impossible for me to protect the people or see that they got a day off from work. It was difficult for me to watch how such suffering people could be dragged to do heavy work. I visited personally, with danger to myself, gentlemen of the Krupp administration, as well as gentlemen from the Krupp Directorate, to try to get help. It was strictly forbidden, as the camp was under the direction of the SS and Gestapo; and according to well-known directives I had to keep silent, otherwise I might have been sent to a concentration camp. I have brought my own bread innumerable times to the camp in order to give it to the prisoners, as far as it was possible, although bread was scarce enough for me. From the beginning in 1941 conditions did not get better, but worse. The food consisted of a watery soup which was dirty and sandy, and often the prisoners of war had to eat cabbage which was bad and stank. I could notice people daily who, on account of hunger or ill-treatment, were slowly dying. Dead people often lay for 2 or 3 days on the beds until their bodies stank so badly that fellow prisoners took them outside and buried them somewhere. The dishes out of which they ate were also used as toilets because they were too tired or
21 June 46
too weak from hunger to get up and go outside. At 3 o'clock they were wakened. The same dishes were then used to wash in and later for eating out of. This matter was generally known. In spite of this it was impossible for me to get even elementary help or facilities in order to get rid of these epidemics, illnesses, or cases of starvation. There can be no mention of medical aid for the prisoners. I never received any medical supplies myself. In 1941 I alone had to look after these people from a medical point of view; but it is quite understandable that it was impossible for me as the only one to look after all of these people, and apart from that, I had scarcely any medical supplies. I could not think what to do with a number of 1,800 people who came to me daily crying and complaining. I myself often collapsed daily, and in spite of this I had to take everything upon myself and watch how people perished and died. A report was never made as to how the prisoners of war died. "I have seen with my own eyes the prisoners coming back from Krupp's and how they collapsed on the march and had to be wheeled back on barrows or carried by their comrades. It was in such a manner that the people came back to the camp. The work which they had to perform was very heavy and dangerous and many cases happened where people had cut their fingers, hands or legs. These accidents were very serious and the people came to me and asked me for medical help. But it was not even possible for me to keep them from work for a day or two, although I had been to the Krupp Directorate and asked for permission to do so. At the end of 1941, two people died daily, and in 1942 the deaths increased to three and four per day.
"I was under Dr. May and I was often successful in getting him to come to the camp to see the terrible conditions and listen to the complaints, but it was not possible for him to get medical aid from the Medical Department of the Armed Forces or Krupp's, or to get better conditions, treatment, or food. I was a witness during a conversation with some Russian women who told me personally that they were employed in Krupp's factory and that they were beaten daily in the most bestial manner. The food consisted of watery soup which was dirty and inedible and its terrible smell could be perceived from a distance. The clothing was ragged and torn and on their feet they had rags and wooden shoes. Their treatment, as far as I could make out, was the same as that of the prisoners of war. Beating was the order of the day. The conditions lasted for years, from the very beginning until
21 June 46
the day the American troops entered. The people lived in great anxiety and it was dangerous for them to describe to anyone anywhere the conditions which reigned in their camps. The directions were such that they could have been murdered by any one of the guards, the SS, or Gestapo if they noticed it. It was possible for me as a doctor to talk to these people; they trusted me and knew that I was a Pole and would never betray them to anyone. "Signed: Dr. Apolinary Gotowicki."
[Turning to the defendant.] Now you have explained that some of these conditions were due, in your judgment, to the fact that bombing took place and the billets of the prisoners and workers were destroyed.
SPEER: That is true, but I should like to point out that the conditions described in this affidavit cannot be considered as general; apart from that, I do not believe that this description is correct, but I cannot speak about these things since you will not expect me to be intimately acquainted with what happened in the camps of the firm of Krupp.
MR. JUSTICE JACKSON: Well, in the first place, was it considered proper by you to billet forced workers and prisoners of war so close to military targets as these prisoners were?
SPEER: I would rather not tell you here things which every German has at heart. No military targets were attacked, and the camps, therefore, could not be near military targets.
MR. JUSTICE JACKSON: You would not consider the Krupp plants proper targets?
SPEER: The camps were not in the Krupp works, they were near the city of Essen. On principle, we did not construct camps near the works which we expected would be bombed; and we did not want the camps to be destroyed.
MR. JUSTICE JACKSON: Did you notice that one of the photographs in evidence shows the camp directly against the works?
SPEER: May I see it again, please?
[A photograph was shown to the defendant.]
Some large factory is recognizable in the background of this photograph, but that does not affect my statement that in almost all cases we constructed the camps outside the cities. I do not know why this particular instance is different, and I cannot even say whether this is a camp or just a hut for changing clothes, or anything which had to be near the camp. I still believe that these cabinets were cabinets for clothes, and this is one of the many huts which were necessary so that the workers could change clothes
21 June 46
before and after their work. Any expert in Germany can tell you that these are wardrobes and not some special cabinets, because they are mass-produced articles; this is also confirmed by the fact that there are air vents at the top, for every wardrobe has these ventilation holes at the top and bottom.
MR. JUSTICE JACKSON: As production Minister, you were vitally interested in reducing the sickness rate among workers, were you not?
SPEER: I was interested in a high output of work, that is obvious; and in addition, in special cases. . .
MR. JUSTICE JACKSON: Well, special cases-part of production is in all cases, is it not, dependent upon the sickness rate of your labor force, and is it not a fact-as a man engaged in production you will know this-that the two greatest difficulties in manpower and production are sickness and rapid turnover, and that those factors reduce production?
SPEER: These two factors were disturbing for us, but not as extensively as your words might suggest. Cases of sickness made up a very small percentage which in my opinion was normal. However, propaganda pamphlets dropped from aircraft were telling the workers to feign illness, and detailed instructions were given to them on how to do it. And to prevent that, the authorities concerned introduced certain measures, which I considered proper.
MR. JUSTICE JACKSON: What were those measures?
SPEER: I cannot tell you in detail, because I myself did not institute these penalties, nor did I have the power to do so; but as far as I know, they were ordered by the Plenipotentiary General for the Allocation of Labor in collaboration with the Police or State authorities; but the jurisdiction in this connection was with the authorities responsible for legal action.
MR. JUSTICE JACKSON: Now, if you did not know what they were, how can you tell us that you approved of them? We always get to this blank wall that nobody knew what was being done. You knew that they were at least penalties of great severity, did you not?
SPEER: When I say that I approved I am only expressing my wish not to dodge my responsibility in this respect. But you must understand that a minister of production, particularly in view of the air attacks, had a tremendous task before him and that I could only take care of matters outside my own field if some particularly important factor forced me to do so. Otherwise, I was glad if I could finish my own work and, after all, my task was by no means a small one.
I think that if during the German air attacks on England you had asked the British Minister of Production whether he shared
21 June 46
the worries of the Minister of Labor and whether he was dealing with them, then he would with justification have told you that he had something else to do at that time, that he had to keep up his production and that he expected the Minister of Labor to manage affairs in his sector; and no one would have raised a direct accusation against the British Minister of Production on that account.
MR. JUSTICE JACKSON: Well, production was your enterprise, and do you mean to tell me that you did not have any records or reports on the condition of the manpower which was engaged in production, which would tell you if there was anything wrong in the sick rate or anything wrong in the general conditions of the labor?
SPEER: What I knew is contained in the reports of the Central Planning Board; there you will get a picture of what I was told. Although there were many other meetings I cannot tell you in detail what I knew, because these were things outside my sphere of activity. Naturally, it is a matter of course that anyone closely concerned with the affairs of State will also hear of matters not immediately connected with his own sphere, and of unsatisfactory conditions existing in other sectors; but one is not obliged to deal with these conditions and later on one will not remember them in detail. You cannot expect that of me. But if you have any particular passage, I shall be glad to give you information on it.
MR. JUSTICE JACKSON: All right; assume that these conditions had been called to your attention and that they existed. With whom would you have taken it up to have them corrected? What officer of the Government?
SPEER: Normally, a minister would send a document to the Government authorities responsible for such conditions. I must claim for myself that when I heard of such deficiencies I tried to remedy them by establishing direct contact with the authority responsible, in some cases the German Labor Front, where I had a liaison officer, or in other cases my letter was transmitted to Sauckel through my office of manpower deployment. My practice in this respect was that if I did not receive a return report I considered the matter settled; for I could not then again pursue those things and make further inquiries whether they had been dealt with or not.
MR. JUSTICE JACKSON: With Krupp's, then, you would not have taken it up? You think they had no responsibility for these conditions?
SPEER: During visits to Krupp's discussions certainly took place on the conditions which generally existed for workers after air attacks; this was a source of great worry for us, particularly with regard to Krupp. I knew this well, but the reports from Krupp
21 June 46
were not different from - I cannot remember ever being told that foreign workers or prisoners of war were in a particularly bad position. Temporarily they all lived under very primitive conditions; German workers lived in cellars during those days, and six or eight people were often quartered in a small basement room.
MR. JUSTICE JACKSON: Your statement some time ago that you had a certain responsibility as a Minister of the Government for the conditions-I should like to have you explain what responsibility you referred to when you say you assume a responsibility as a member of the Government.
SPEER: Do you mean the declaration I made yesterday that I . . .
MR. JUSTICE JACKSON: Your common responsibility, what do you mean by your common
responsibility along with others?
SPEER: Oh, yes. In my opinion, a state functionary has two types of responsibility. One is the responsibility for his own sector and for that, of course, he is fully responsible. But above that I think that in decisive matters there is, and must be, among the leaders a common responsibility, for who is to bear responsibility for developments, if not the close associates of the head of State?
This common responsibility, however, can only be applied to fundamental matters, it cannot be applied to details connected with other ministries or other responsible departments, for otherwise the entire discipline in the life of the State would be quite confused, and no one would ever know who is individually responsible in a particular sphere. This individual responsibility in one's own sphere must, at all events, be kept clear and distinct.
MR. JUSTICE JACKSON: Well, your point is, I take it, that you as a member of the Government and a leader in this period of time acknowledge a responsibility for its large policies, but not for all the details that occurred in their execution. Is that a fair statement of your position?
SPEER: Yes, indeed.
MR. JUSTICE JACKSON: I think that concludes the cross examination.
THE PRESIDENT: Do any of the other prosecutors wish to cross-examine?
STATE COUNSELLOR OF JUSTICE M. Y. RAGINSKY (Assistant Prosecutor for the U.S.S.R.): Defendant Speer, when you told your biography to the Tribunal and answered the questions of Justice Jackson, I think you omitted some substantial matters. I would like to ask you a few questions.
SPEER: I left out such points as I did not wish to contest, since they are, at any rate, contained here in the documents; I would
21 June 46
have a tremendous task if I were to go into all these points in detail.
MR. COUNSELLOR RAGINSKY: I would like to recall these points, and I would like to ask you to answer them briefly.
Did I understand you correctly that, in addition to your ministerial position, you were also the personal architect of Hitler after the death of Professor Todt? Did you hold this position?
MR. COUNSELLOR RAGINSKY: Were you Inspector General of Roads?
SPEER: Only after Dr. Todt's death
MR. COUNSELLOR RAGINSKY: Yes, of course. Were you Inspector General of Waterpower and Power Plants?
MR. COUNSELLOR RAGINSKY: Plenipotentiary for Building in the Central Administration of the Four Year Plan?
MR. COUNSELLOR RAGINSKY: Director of the Organization Todt?
MR. COUNSELLOR RAGINSKY: You were associated with the Technological Office of
the National Socialist Party? You were the leader of the Union of National Socialist Technicians?
MR. COUNSELLOR RAGINSKY: And in addition to these posts, did you have any other
SPEER: Oh, I had 10 or 12 positions. I cannot give you a list of them all now.
MR. COUNSELLOR RAGINSKY: Were you not one of the leaders of the Reich Chamber of
SPEER: No, no, that is not correct. I cannot tell you for certain, but I think I was a senator there or something like that.
MR. COUNSELLOR RAGINSKY: Were you a member of the presidency of the academy of culture? Were you a member of the presidency of the Academy of Arts?
SPEER: Yes, that also.
MR. COUNSELLOR RAGINSKY: I shall not mention the other posts you have held, in order to shorten the cross-examination. Do you remember your statements during the interrogation by Colonel Rosenblith on 14 November 1945?
21 June 46
- Forum Staff
- Posts: 23251
- Joined: 20 Jul 2002 19:52
- Location: USA
21 June 46
SPEER: No, not in detail.
MR. COUNSELLOR RAGINSKY: I will remind you of one question, and will you tell me
whether or not your answer was put down correctly. It was the question whether you acknowledged that in his book Mein Kampf Hitler stated bluntly his aggressive plans for the countries of the East and West and, in particular, for the Soviet Union. You answered, "Yes, I acknowledge it." Do you remember that?
SPEER: Yes, that is perfectly possible.
MR. COUNSELLOR RAGINSKY: And do you confirm that now?
MR. COUNSELLOR RAGINSKY: You do not confirm that now?
SPEER: I shall have to tell you that at the time I was ashamed to say that I had not read the whole of Mein Kampf. I thought that would sound rather absurd.
MR. COUNSELLOR RAGINSKY: All right, we shall not waste time. You were ashamed to admit that, or are you ashamed now? Let us go on to another question.
SPEER: Yes, I cheated at that time.
MR. COUNSELLOR RAGINSKY: You cheated at that time; maybe you are cheating now?
MR. COUNSELLOR RAGINSKY: It does not matter. You worked on the staff of Hess, did you not?
MR. COUNSELLOR RAGINSKY: You worked with Ley?
SPEER: Yes, in the Labor Front.
MR. COUNSELLOR RAGINSKY: Yes, the German Labor Front. You had a high rank in the Nazi Party, as you stated here today; you said that today in Court, did you not?
SPEER: No, it was not a high rank; it did not in any way correspond to the position which I occupied in the State.
MR. COUNSELLOR RAGINSKY: You had better listen to my questions and then answer
them. I repeat; you were collaborating with Hess, and you worked with Ley in the Labor Front. You were one of the leaders of the technicians in the Nazi Party. We will not discuss whether it was a very high rank or not, but you did have a rank in the Nazi Party.
Yesterday, in Court, you said that you were one of Hitler's close friends. You now want to say that so far as the plans and intentions
21 June 46
of Hitler were concerned, you only learned about them from the book Mein Kampf?
SPEER: I can say a few words in this connection. I was in close contact with Hitler, and I heard his personal views; these views of his did not allow the conclusion that he had any plans of the sort which have appeared in the documents here, and I was particularly relieved in 1939, when the Nonaggression Pact with Russia was signed. After all, your diplomats too must have read Mein Kampf; nevertheless, they signed the Nonaggression Pact. And they were certainly more intelligent than I am-I mean in political matters.
MR. COUNSELLOR RAGINSKY: I will not now examine who read Mein Kampf and who did
not; that is irrelevant and does not interest the Tribunal.
So you contend that you did not know anything about Hitler's plans?
MR. COUNSELLOR RAGINSKY: All right, please tell us this. As Chief of the Main Office of Technology of the Nazi Party, what were your tasks?
SPEER: In the Party?
MR. COUNSELLOR RAGINSKY: You probably know it better than I, since you were the
head of that office.
SPEER: I only took over that task or that office in 1942; and in 1942, during the war, this Main Office of Technology of the NSDAP had no task to perform. I took over the officials who were in that department into my Ministry, and there they worked as State functionaries. Detailed information on this is available in the written testimony of the witness Saur, and that is contained in my document book.
MR. COUNSELLOR RAGINSKY: What is contained in the testimony of the witness Saur?
SPEER: The document book also contains a decree which I issued at the end of 1942, and in which I ordered the transfer of these tasks to the State.
MR. COUNSELLOR RAGINSKY: But you did not answer my question. In order to clarify
this, I will read what Saur said on this point, and you will please state whether it is correct or not.
On the tasks of the Main Office of Technology of the Party, Saur said:
"The task of the Main Office of Technology of the Party was the unified direction of technical organizations of German engineers in scientific, professional, and political respects."
21 June 46
It was a political organization, was it not?
SPEER: No, it was chiefly a technical organization.
MR. COUNSELLOR RAGINSKY: A technical organization which occupied itself with political questions.
In the document book which has been presented and partly quoted by your defense counsel there are indications of the tasks of the Main Office of Technology. From one document it is obvious that the engineers were to be taught the National Socialist ideology, and that this organization was also a political and not only a technical one.
SPEER: Where does it say so? May I have the document?
MR. COUNSELLOR RAGINSKY: Of course, the document book of the Defense. I shall hand it to you, if you like to have it. You will see there the structure of the Kreisleitung.
SPEER: The translation said it was from my document book, but it is not from my document book. It is from the organizational handbook of the NSDAP, and...
MR. COUNSELLOR RAGINSKY: That is the structure of the NSDAP. That is Document
1893-PS, which has been presented by your defense counsel.
SPEER: Yes, but in my document book it says that the Main Office of Technology in the NSDAP did not have a political task. This is an extract from the organizational handbook of the NSDAP, and I would not have included it in my document book if I had not had the precise impression that it demonstrates particularly well that, in contrast to all other agencies, the Main Office of Technology had a nonpolitical task within the Party.
MR. COUNSELLOR RAGINSKY: Was the National Socialist Union of German Technicians
a political organization?
SPEER: By no means.
MR. COUNSELLOR RAGINSKY: By no means? Tell me, please, did not the leaders of this Union have to be members of the Nazi Party?
SPEER: They did not have to be members, as far I know. l never paid any attention to whether they were members or not.
THE PRESIDENT: Shall we adjourn now?
[A recess was taken.]
MR. COUNSELLOR RAGINSKY: You were one of the leaders of the Central Planning Board. Was the search for new sources of raw materials part of your program?
21 June 46
SPEER: I do not understand the meaning of the question.
MR. COUNSELLOR RAGINSKY: Was the search for new sources of raw materials part of
the program of the Central Planning Board?
SPEER: No, not actually.
MR. COUNSELLOR RAGINSKY: All right. I shall read to you from your document book. Will you listen, please? Otherwise, we shall lose too much time with you. This is the order dated 22 April 1942 and signed by Goering; it is in your document book, in Volume I, Page 14 of the Russian text, and Page 17 of the English text, Exhibit Speer-7. It states:
"With a view to assuring priority of armaments as ordered by the Fuehrer, and to embrace all the demands which are thereby made on the total economy during the war, and in order to bring about an adjustment between a secure food supply and the raw material and manufacturing facilities in the economy, I order:
"In connection with the Four Year Plan a Central Planning Board shall be organized."
Further on it mentions who the members of the Central Planning Board were. In the third part the tasks of the Central Planning Board are enumerated. I shall read that into the record:
"Point C: The distribution of existing raw materials, especially iron and metals, among the places requiring them.
"Point B: The decision as to the creation of new plants for production of raw materials, or enlargement of the existing plants."
This is written in your document book.
SPEER: Well, there is a difference. I was told "sources of raw materials"; I understand "sources of raw materials" to mean ore, for example, or coal beds. What this paragraph says is the "creation of new means of producing raw materials," that means the building of a factory for steel production, for instance, or an aluminum factory.
I myself said that expanding the supply of raw materials for industry was important, and that I took over this task.
MR. COUNSELLOR RAGINSKY: Yes. Of course, it is rather difficult to deny it, since it is written here in the document.
SPEER: No, it is only that these are technical expressions, and it may be that since they were retranslated into German they were rendered falsely. The meaning of the paragraph is actually quite clear, and every expert can confirm it. It is the same activity...
21 June 46
MR. COUNSELLOR RAGINSKY: I understand the sense. Tell us, when you enumerated the members of the Central Planning Board, was it just accidental that you did not name Funk as a member of that board?
SPEER: No. Actually, Funk worked hardly at all in the Planning Board, and therefore I did not list him. He became a member officially only in September 1943, but even after that time he took part in only one or two meetings, so that his activity was very slight.
MR. COUNSELLOR RAGINSKY: I did not ask you about his activity; I am asking you whether Funk was a member of the Central Planning Board.
SPEER: Yes, from September 1943.
MR. COUNSELLOR RAGINSKY: And it was purely through accident that you did not name him? Or did you have any particular purpose in not naming him?
SPEER: I actually named only the three members who were on the Central Planning Board from the very beginning, since its foundation, because I was speaking only of the foundation of the board. That explains the error. I did not want to occupy the Court's time with something which was generally known.
MR. COUNSELLOR RAGINSKY: All right. You have maintained here that you were concerned only with peaceful construction, and that, as far as the appointment to the post of Minister for armaments was concerned, you accepted it without any particular desire, and you even had your qualms about it. Do you still maintain the same view?
SPEER: May I have the question repeated?
MR. COUNSELLOR RAGINSKY: If you please. You stated here several times, in replying to the questions of your defense counsel, that you accepted the post of Minister for armaments without any special desire, and that you had your qualms about it; and you did not particularly care to accept it. Do you still maintain that now?
MR. COUNSELLOR RAGINSKY: I shall remind you of what you said to the representatives of industry in the Rhine-Westphalia district. Do you remember what you said to them? I shall quote one paragraph from your speech. You said:
"I did not hesitate long in the spring of 1942, and soon one demand of the Fuehrer after another was taken up by us to be carried out and was laid down in program form-programs the realization of which had been pronounced impracticable
21 June 46
or been made dependent on impossible conditions by the agencies formerly dealing with them." (Document Number Speer-2)
Did you say that?
SPEER: Yes. But this has nothing to do with your statement. The demands which are meant here are demands for an increase in military armaments. Those are the demands I accepted. But in addition it was a matter of course that I immediately accepted the appointment as armament Minister without any qualms. I have never denied that. I only said that I would rather be an architect than an armament Minister, and that can probably be understood.
MR. COUNSELLOR RAGINSKY: And now we shall listen to what you said to the Gauleiter in your speech in Munich:
"I gave up all my activity, including my actual profession, architecture, to dedicate myself without reservations to the war task. The Fuehrer expects that of all of us." (Document 1435-PS)
Is that what you are saying now?
SPEER: Yes. I believe that was the custom in your State too.
MR. COUNSELLOR RAGINSKY: I am not asking you about our State. We are now talking
about your State. I am asking you whether you now affirm before the Tribunal what you then said to the Gauleiter.
SPEER: Yes. I only wanted to explain this to you, because apparently you do not appreciate why in time of war one should accept the post of armament Minister. If the need arises that is a matter of course, and I cannot understand why you do not appreciate that and why you want to reproach me for it.
MR. COUNSELLOR RAGINSKY: I understand you perfectly.
MR. COUNSELLOR RAGINSKY: When you made your speech before the Gauleiter, you did
not, of course, think that you would be held responsible before the International Military Tribunal for the words which you then spoke.
SPEER: Excuse me; one moment, please. I must say something in answer to your question: That this is my view, and that I think it quite proper, is evident from the fact that you quoted it from my document book, otherwise I would not have included it in my own document book. I hope you consider me sufficiently intelligent to be capable of setting up my document book correctly.
MR. COUNSELLOR RAGINSKY: But these documents are also in the possession of the Prosecution. However, we shall pass on to the next question.
21 June 46
In response to the questions of your defense counsel you testified about the principles and tasks of your Ministry. In connection with this, I should like to ask you a few questions. Do you remember the contents of your article entitled "Increase of Production," which was published in Das Reich on 19 April 1942? You will be given a copy of this article in a second.
Mr. President, I submit this article as Exhibit USSR-479. [Turning to the defendant.] I shall remind you briefly what you wrote about the principles of your Ministry.
"One thing, however, will be necessary, and that is energetic action, including the most severe punishment, in cases when offenses are committed against the interests of the State... severe prison sentences or death... The war must be won."
Did you write this?
MR. COUNSELLOR RAGINSKY: Now, I shall remind you of another article of yours.
You will also be given a copy of it.
SPEER: Just a moment. May I ask you to read the whole paragraph? You left out a few sentences in the middle.
MR. COUNSELLOR RAGINSKY: Yes, yes, I omitted something, but I shall ask you some questions on that later.
SPEER: But it shows for what offenses prison and death sentences were provided. That is surely relevant. I believe you should quote the passage fully, otherwise the context will be lost.
MR. COUNSELLOR RAGINSKY: You will give your consents or explanations to the questions afterward. But meanwhile listen to the questions as I put them to you. If you want to give your explanation with regard to this, you are entitled to do so later.
THE PRESIDENT: No, no, General Raginsky, the Tribunal would prefer to have the comments now.
MR. COUNSELLOR RAGINSKY: MR. PRESIDENT, if the defend" ant wishes to give an
explanation with regard to this article' I shall let him do so, of course.
SPEER: The text which you omitted reads as follows:
"At my suggestion, the Fuehrer ordered that those heads of concerns and employees, and also those officials and officers, who attempt to secure material or labor by giving inaccurate information will receive severe prison sentences or the death sentences."
The reasons for this were as follows: When I took over my office, the demands addressed to the central departments were increased by the intermediate departments handling the demands. Each of
21 June 46
the many intermediate departments added something of its own, so that the demands reaching me were quite enormous and incredible, and made planning quite impossible. For example, because of these additions the demands which I received for copper in one year amounted to more than the whole world's yearly production of copper. And' in order to prevent this and to obtain accurate indications, I issued an order to deter these officials, officers, heads of concerns, and employees from giving false figures.
In my Gauleiter speech I spoke of this, and I said the result of this decree would surely be that no one would any longer dare to forward false information to higher offices, and that was the purpose of the decree; I said that it would never be necessary to put the decree into effect, since I did not believe that the heads of concerns, employees, officials, and officers would in view of such a severe penalty have enough boldness to continue supplying false indications. In fact, no penalty was ever imposed, but the result of the decree was that demands for materials and workers reaching me decreased considerably.
MR. COUNSELLOR RAGINSKY: You maintained that your obligations and duties as a Minister included only production. Did I understand you correctly?
SPEER: Yes, armaments and war production.
MR. COUNSELLOR RAGINSKY: And the supply of industry with raw materials, was that
not included in your duties?
SPEER: No, that was my task from September 1943 onwards, when I took over the whole of production. It is true that from then on I was in charge of the whole of production, from raw materials to the finished products.
MR. COUNSELLOR RAGINSKY: In the book Germany at War (Deutschland im Kampf),
which was published in November 1943- you will be given this volume now, and I submit this document to the Tribunal as Exhibit Number USSR-480-it says:
"On the basis of the Fuehrer decree of 2 September 1943 relative to the concentration of war economy, and of the decree of the Reich Marshal of the Greater German Reich and the Plenipotentiary of the Four Year Plan for Central Planning of 4 September 1943, Reich Minister Speer will now direct the entire war economic production in his capacity as Reich Minister for Armaments and War Production. He alone is competent and responsible for guiding, directing, and applying the industrial war economy."
Is this correct? I ask you to answer briefly, is it correct or not?
21 June 46
SPEER: This is expressed rather unprofessionally, because the term "industrial war economy" does not quite cover the concept "armament and war production." This was not drawn up by an expert, but otherwise it agrees with what I have testified. I said that war production embraced the whole of production.
MR. COUNSELLOR RAGINSKY: Yes, but after September 1943, you were responsible not
only for war industry but for the whole war economy as well, and those are two different things.
SPEER: No, exactly that is the mistake. It says here "industrial war economy," which means something like production, war economy, or production, in trade and industry, with that qualification; and when it says earlier "the entire war economic production," the person who wrote this also meant production. But the concept . . .
MR. COUNSELLOR RAGINSKY: You mentioned here already that having accepted the post of Minister in 1942, you inherited a great and heavy task. Tell us briefly, please, what was the situation with regard to strategic raw materials, and in particular with regard to alloy metals used in the war industry?
THE PRESIDENT: Well, General Raginsky, is it necessary for us to go into details? Is it not obvious that a man who was controlling many millions of workers had a large task? What is this directed to?
MR. COUNSELLOR RAGINSKY: Mr. President, the question is preparatory; it leads to another question, and inasmuch as it is connected . . .
THE PRESIDENT: Yes, but what is the ultimate object of the cross-examination?
You say it is leading to something else. What is it leading to?
MR. COUNSELLOR RAGINSKY: The object is to prove that the Defendant Speer participated in the economic plundering and looting of occupied territories.
THE PRESIDENT: Yes, then ask him directly about that.
MR. COUNSELLOR RAGINSKY: I am just coming to that now.
[Turning to the defendant.] Do you acknowledge the fact that you participated in economic plundering of occupied territories?
SPEER: I participated in the economic exploitation of the occupied countries, yes; but I do not believe the term "plundering'' is very clearly defined. I do not know what is meant by "plundering of an occupied territory."
MR. COUNSELLOR RAGINSKY: To make up the deficit of strategic raw materials, did you not export alloy metals for the war industry from Belgium, France, and other occupied territories?
21 June 46
SPEER: Of course, I did not export them myself; but certainly I participated in some way. I was not responsible for it, but certainly I urged strongly that we should obtain as much metal from there as possible.
MR. COUNSELLOR RAGINSKY: I am satisfied with your answer and the Tribunal will draw its conclusions.
Do you remember Hitler's decree about the concentration of war economy, published on 2 September? You will be given a copy of this decree at once. This document is being submitted as Exhibit Number USSR-482. I do not intend to read all of this as it will take too much time, but I would like to read into the record a few paragraphs of this decree, which begins:
"Taking into consideration the stricter mobilization and uniform commitment of all economic forces required by the exigencies of war, I order the following:" Paragraph 2:
"The powers of the Reich Minister for Economy in the sphere of raw materials and production in industry and trade are given to the Reich Minister for armaments and munitions. The Reich Minister for armaments and munitions, in view of the extended scope of his tasks, will be known as Reich Minister for Armaments and War Production."
Did you see this decree?
SPEER: Yes, I know it.
MR. COUNSELLOR RAGINSKY: Will you, in connection with this decree, tell us briefly and concisely how the functions between you and Funk were divided?
SPEER: Well, that is shown in the text. I was in charge of all production, from raw materials to the finished product, and Funk was in charge of all general economic questions, primarily the questions of financial transactions, securities, commerce, foreign trade, and so forth. This, however, is not exhaustive, but just approximate information.
MR. COUNSELLOR RAGINSKY: That answer satisfies me. In connection with this decree, did you receive plenipotentiary powers for the regulation of goods exchange and goods traffic?
SPEER: I do not quite understand what you mean.
MR. COUNSELLOR RAGINSKY: All right. So as not to lose any time, then, you will be given a document signed by you and Funk, and dated 6 September 1943. This document I present to the Tribunal as Exhibit Number USSR-483. I shall read the first sentence of the first paragraph:
21 June 46
"Insofar as existing laws establish the authority of the Reich Minister of Economy in the regulation of goods traffic, this authority for the period of the war will be exercised by the Minister for Armaments and War Production " In this way your role in the war effort of Germany, your role as head of the German war economy during the period of the war, was much wider in scope than that which you have described here to the Tribunal, is that not so?
SPEER: No, I did not try to picture the situation differently, and I said that during the war the Minister for armaments held the most important position of all in the Reich; and that everyone had to work for him. I do not believe that I could have given a more comprehensive description of my task. This matter of goods traffic is of quite subordinate significance. I cannot even say what is meant here by "goods traffic." It is a technical term which I do not quite understand.
MR. COUNSELLOR RAGINSKY: Yes, but this document is signed by you, and now you do not know exactly what is meant by it. You signed it together with Funk?
SPEER: Of course.
MR. COUNSELLOR RAGINSKY: Tell us, how was contact between your Ministry and the German Labor Front maintained and was there contact between the two organizations?
SPEER: There was a liaison man between the German Labor Front and me, just as between all other important offices in the Reich.
MR. COUNSELLOR RAGINSKY: Would you not name that officer?
SPEER: It was my witness Hupfauer, who later was chief of the central office under me.
MR. COUNSELLOR RAGINSKY: You testified that a number of concerns, such important
concerns as the textile industry, processing of aluminum and lumber, et cetera, should not be included' in the list of war economy concerns. Did I understand you correctly? Did you maintain that?
SPEER: No, that is a mistake. That must have been wrongly translated.
MR. COUNSELLOR RAGINSKY: How should I understand it correctly?
SPEER: I think there are two mistakes here in the translation. In the first place, I did not speak of war economy in my testimony, but I used the term "armament." I said that this term "armament"
21 June 46
includes textile concerns and wood and leather processing concerns. But armament and war economy are two entirely different terms.
MR. COUNSELLOR RAGINSKY: And the textile industry is wholly excluded from the term "armament"?
SPEER: I said that various textile concerns were incorporated in armament industry, although they did not produce armaments in the strict sense of the word.
MR. COUNSELLOR RAGINSKY: Did not the textile industry manufacture parachute equipment for the Air Force?
SPEER: Yes, but if you consult the Geneva Agreement on prisoners of war, you will see that it is not forbidden to manufacture that-for prisoners of war to manufacture that. I have the text here, I can read it to you.
MR. COUNSELLOR RAGINSKY: And do you want us seriously to accept that powder can
be manufactured without cellulose, and are you for that reason narrowing down the conceptions of war industry and war production?
SPEER: No, you have misunderstood me completely. I wanted to make the concept "armament industry" as broad as possible, in order to prove that this modern conception of armament industry is something entirely different from the industries producing armaments in the sense of the Geneva Convention.
MR. COUNSELLOR RAGINSKY: All right. You spoke of your objection to using foreign
workers, and your motives for this objection were indicated by Schmelter in his testimony. He was in charge of labor in your Ministry. This testimony was presented by your defense counsel; I shall read only one paragraph, and will you please confirm whether it is correct or not:
In so far as he-Speer-repeatedly mentioned to us that utilization of foreign workers would create great difficulties for the Reich with regard to the food supply for these workers . . ."
Were these the motives for your objection?
SPEER: The translation must be incorrect here. I know exactly how the text reads and what the sense of this statement is. The sense is entirely correct. The question was this: If we brought new workers to Germany, we had first of all to make available to them the basic calories necessary to feed a human being. But the German laborers still working in Germany had to receive these basic calories in any case. Therefore, food was saved if I employed German workers in Germany and the additional calories for persons doing heavy work and working long hours could again have been increased. That was the sense of Schmelter's statement.
21 June 46
MR. COUNSELLOR RAGINSKY: Defendant Speer, you have evaded a direct answer to my question.
SPEER: I will gladly...
MR. COUNSELLOR RAGINSKY: You are now going into details which are of no interest to me. I asked you whether I understood this particular passage, which I read from the testimony of Schmelter, correctly or not.
SPEER: No, it was falsely translated. I should like to have the original in German.
MR. COUNSELLOR RAGINSKY: The original is in your document book and you can read it. I will pass to the next question.
SPEER: Yes, but it is necessary to show it to me now. In cross examination by the Russian prosecutor I do not really need to bring my document book to the stand with me.
THE PRESIDENT: You must give him the document, if you have got the document.
MR. COUNSELLOR RAGINSKY: MR. PRESIDENT, this document is contained in the document book presented by the defense counsel. The Tribunal has the original, I have only the Russian translation. Schmelter's affidavit was submitted to the Tribunal yesterday.
THE PRESIDENT: Have you got it, Dr. Flachsner?
DR. FLACHSNER: Yes.
[The document was handed to the defendant.]
THE PRESIDENT: Thank you.
SPEER: On what page, approximately?
MR. COUNSELLOR RAGINSKY: It is Page 129 in the Russian translation, answer to Question 13, the last paragraph.
SPEER: Yes. It says in the German text:
"He-that is, Speer-referred repeatedly to the fact that the employment of foreign workers would cause greater difficulties in production and would mean that the Reich would have to supply additional food." (Document Speer-38) I explained that. I explained the reasons for that; I think, it you are not convinced, that this explanation of mine is also mentioned later in the affidavit.
MR. COUNSELLOR RAGINSKY: Your deputy, Schieber, in reply to the question whether
Speer knew that the workers which he requested from Sauckel were brought from occupied territories, answered:
"Well, that was the great debatable question. We always said that Sauckel would only create partisans if he brought workers to Germany against their will." (Document Speer-37)
21 June 46
In connection with this, I am saying that you not only knew that the people who were working in your industries were enslaved workers, but that you also knew of the methods which Sauckel used. Do you confirm that?
SPEER: I knew that some of the workers were brought to Germany against their will. I have already said so. I also said that the effects of this compulsory recruitment I considered wrong and disastrous for production in the occupied territories. This is a repetition of my testimony.
MR. COUNSELLOR RAGINSKY: It is of no use to repeat your testimony. Tell me, did you not insist that Sauckel supply you with forcibly recruited workers beyond the demands which you had already made? I shall remind you of your letter to Sauckel; this will expedite the proceedings. On 6 January 1944 you wrote to Sauckel:
"Dear Party-Comrade Sauckel, I ask you, in accordance with your promise to the Fuehrer, to assign these workers so that the orders issued to me by the Fuehrer may be carried out on time. In addition there is an immediate need of 70,000 workers for the Todt Organization to meet the time limit set on the Atlantic Wall by the Fuehrer in Order Number 51; notification of the need for this labor was given more than 6 months ago, but it has not yet been complied with." (Document Speer-11)
Did you write this letter? Do you admit it?
SPEER: Yes. I even admit that I included this letter in my document book, and for the following reasons: The conference at which Hitler ordered that 1 million workers were to be brought from France to Germany took place on 4 January 1944. On the same day I told General Studt, my representative in France, that the requirements for blocked industries in France were to be given priority over the requirements for Germany. Two days later I told Sauckel, in the letter which you now have in your hand, that my need in France amounted to 800,000 workers for French factories and that in addition requirements for workers on the Atlantic Wall had not yet been fully met, that this labor was therefore to be provided first, before the 1 million workers were sent to Germany. I said yesterday already that through these two letters the program which had been ordered by Hitler was brought to a standstill, and that it was the purpose to inform the military commander, who also received this letter, that the workers were to be used first in France; that information was very valuable to the military commander.
MR. COUNSELLOR RAGINSKY: Defendant Speer, did you know that in the factories of which you were in charge, some of the forced
21 June 46
laborers were convicts whose prison terms had already expired? Did you know that?
SPEER: During my period of office I did not know it; I learned of it here from a document.
MR. COUNSELLOR RAGINSKY: You claim that you did not know it?
SPEER: I know what you mean; it is mentioned in the Schieber letter of 4 May 1944, which is in my document book, but I could not possibly remember all these details.
MR. COUNSELLOR RAGINSKY: You cannot remember, but Schieber, on 4 May 1944, in a special letter addressed to you personally, wrote to you about it and you could not possibly not have known it. The fact that this letter is included in your document book does not change the situation.
SPEER: On the basis of this letter I then wrote to Himmler with regard to the workers who had finished their prison sentences. I can submit this letter at any time, I left it out to avoid making the document book too long. This letter shows that I asked Himmler to let those workers who had served their sentences remain free. Himmler's point of view was that these workers should remain in custody.
MR. COUNSELLOR RAGINSKY: Do you remember the letter from the OKW of 8 July 1943,
on the subject of manpower for mining? Do you remember this letter and the contents of this letter?
MR. COUNSELLOR RAGINSKY: I shall remind you. This document was submitted to the Tribunal as Exhibit Number USA-455 and has been quoted here several times. I think, therefore, that it is not necessary to read ail of it into the record, but I will read just a few basic points. The Fuehrer's order to assign 300,000 Russian prisoners of war to coal mining is mentioned in this letter. Do you remember this order?
SPEER: I should like to see it.
MR. COUNSELLOR RAGINSKY: You will be given a chance to see it. In Paragraph 2 of this document it is mentioned that:
"All prisoners of war taken in the East after 5 July 1943 are to be brought to the camps of the OKW and from there, either directly or by barter through other employing agencies, will be turned over to the Plenipotentiary General for the Allocation of Labor for commitment in coal mining."
In Paragraph 4 of this document it is mentioned that:
"All male prisoners from 16 to 55 years of age captured in guerrilla fighting in the operational army area of the eastern
21 June 46
commissariats, the Government General, and the Balkans, will in the future be considered prisoners of war. The same applies to males in the newly conquered regions of the East. They are to be sent to prisoner-of-war camps and from there committed for labor in the Reich."
This letter was also sent to you and therefore you knew what kind of methods were used to obtain workers for your coal industry. Do you admit that?
SPEER: No, I do not admit it.
MR. COUNSELLOR RAGINSKY: All right.
SPEER: I do not know whether you mean that the prisoners who were taken in the fighting against partisans in the operational area were to be sent to the mines. I assumed at the time that they were taken prisoner in battle, and a partisan captured in battle is, of course, a prisoner of war. Here the assertion was made that in particular the prisoners taken in the partisan areas were not treated as prisoners of war. But this document seems to me to be evidence to the contrary. It shows that prisoners taken in the partisan areas were treated as prisoners of war.
MR. COUNSELLOR RAGINSKY: I am definitely not interested in your comments on this document. I asked you whether you knew in what particular way and through what particular methods you were receiving workers for your coal industry, and you answered that you did not admit knowledge of it; I think that covers the question with regard to the document. We will pass on to the next document. On 4. January 1944 you participated in a meeting which took place in Hitler's headquarters and at which the question of utilization of manpower for 1944 was discussed. You stated that you would have to have an additional 1.3 million workers. During this meeting it was decided that Sauckel would furnish not less than 4 million workers from occupied territory in 1944, and that Himmler would help him to supply this number. The minutes of the meeting, signed by Lammers, stated that the decision of all participants in the meeting was unanimous. Do you acknowledge that, as a participant in this meeting and as a Reich Minister, you are among those responsible for the forced deportation to Germany of a few million workers?
SPEER: But the program was not carried through in any way. This program, specifically, was not carried through.
MR. COUNSELLOR RAGINSKY: Defendant Speer, if you do not answer my questions, we shall lose too much time.
THE PRESIDENT: But General Raginsky, from the outset of this defendant's evidence, if I understand it, he admitted that he
21 June 46
knows that prisoners of war and other workers were brought to Germany forcibly, against their will. He has never denied it.
MR. COUNSELLOR RAGINSKY: Yes, MR. PRESIDENT, he admitted it. But the question now is whether he admits that he himself is responsible for the decision taken at this meeting which he attended on 4 January. He did not answer that and I am asking him again.
[Turning to the defendant.] I shall repeat my question. I am not asking you whether Sauckel really carried' through this program. I am asking you whether on 4 January you participated in a decision taken at Hitler's headquarters that Sauckel, with the assistance of Himmler, should deport 4 million people to forced labor. You participated in that decision, did you not? It is obvious from the minutes which state that the decision was unanimous. Now, on that basis, do you accept responsibility for this decision?
SPEER: As far as my sector and my responsibility in it are concerned, I assume that the Tribunal will decide the extent of my responsibility. I cannot establish it myself.
MR. COUNSELLOR RAGINSKY: Now, I shall read to you an excerpt from a document presented to the Tribunal as Exhibit Number USA-184. This document mentions a decision of Sauckel to the effect that a levy and recruitment of two age classes-1926 and 1927-will be carried through in all newly occupied Eastern Territories. This document also states that "the Reich Minister for armaments and munitions approved this order," and the document ends with the following sentence:
"Levy and recruitment must be speeded up and carried through with the greatest energy and all appropriate measures must be applied." Do you remember this order?
SPEER: I read this document here; it is correct.
MR. COUNSELLOR RAGINSKY: Now we shall pass on to the next question. You stated here that you were highly critical of Hitler's entourage. Will you please name the persons whom you criticized?
SPEER: No, I will not name them.
MR. COUNSELLOR RAGINSKY: You will not name these persons because you did not criticize anybody; am I to understand you in that way?
SPEER: I did criticize them, but I do not consider it right to name them here.
MR. COUNSELLOR RAGINSKY: Well, I will not insist on an answer to this question.
21 June 46
You had some differences with Hitler. Tell us, did they begin after you had convinced yourself that Germany had lost the war?
SPEER: I made clear statements on this point yesterday.
MR. COUNSELLOR RAGINSKY: You spoke here quite extensively about your opposition to the destruction of industries in the western section of the Reich before the withdrawal of the German Armed Forces. But did you not do that only because you counted upon the reoccupation of these regions in the near future and because you wanted to save these industries for your own use?
SPEER: No, that was not the reason. I explained in detail yesterday that this served as my pretext to prevent the destruction. If, for instance, you look at my memorandum dealing with the motor fuel situation, it is obvious that I did not believe a reoccupation was possible, and I do not think that any military leader in 1944 considered a reoccupation of France, Belgium, or Holland possible. That also applies to the Eastern Territories, of course.
MR. COUNSELLOR RAGINSKY: I think it would be better if we referred to the document. That is the right way of doing it and it would save time. It is a draft of a telegram which you prepared for Gauleiter Burckel, Wagner, and others.
I shall read from Page 56, of your document book:
"The Fuehrer has stated that he can in a short time accomplish the reoccupation of the territories which are at present lost to us, since in continuing the war the western areas are of great importance for armament and war production." What you stated in your testimony is quite different from what you wrote to the Gauleiter.
SPEER: No, my counsel quoted and explained all this yesterday. I should like to see the document again. I do not know whether it is necessary to repeat this whole explanation; it was given yesterday and lasted about 10 minutes. Either my explanation of yesterday is believed or not.
MR. COUNSELLOR RAGINSKY: I do not want you to repeat what you said yesterday; if
you do not want to answer me, I prefer to pass on to the next question.
THE PRESIDENT: General Raginsky, if you asked him a question which was asked yesterday, he must give the same answer if he wants to give a consistent answer.
MR. COUNSELLOR RAGINSKY: MR. PRESIDENT, I do not think it is necessary to repeat yesterday's question; it would be an absolute waste of time. If he does not want to answer truthfully, then I shall pass on to the next question.
21 June 46
THE PRESIDENT: The witness says: "I did answer the question truthfully yesterday, but if you want me to repeat it again, I will do it, but it will take 10 minutes to do it." That is what he said and it is a perfectly proper answer.
MR. COUNSELLOR RAGINSKY: I prefer to pass on to the next question.
[Turning to the defendant.] Tell us why you sent this telegram about the destruction of industries to the Gauleiter.
SPEER: It was not sent only to the Gauleiter; it was sent to my representatives as well as to the Gauleiter. The Gauleiter had to be informed because they could on their own initiative have ordered destruction to be carried out, and since they were not subordinate to me but to Bormann I had to send this teletype message which I had drafted to Bormann with the request to forward it to the Gauleiter.
MR. COUNSELLOR RAGINSKY: You stated that the adherents of Hitler's "scorched earth" policy were Ley, Goebbels, and Bormann. Now, what about those who are alive today, those who are now sitting in the dock. Did not any of them support Hitler in this policy?
SPEER: As far as I recall, none of those now in the deck were in favor of the scorched earth policy. On the contrary, Funk, for example, was one of those who opposed it very strongly.
MR. COUNSELLOR RAGINSKY: This policy was advocated only by people who are now dead?
SPEER: Yes, and probably they killed themselves because they advocated this policy and did other such things.
MR. COUNSELLOR RAGINSKY: Your defense counsel has submitted to the Tribunal several letters addressed to Hitler, dated March 1945. Tell us, did Hitler, after receiving these letters, lose confidence in you?
SPEER: I said yesterday already that violent disputes followed these letters, and that Hitler wanted me to go on leave, on permanent leave; that is, in effect he wanted to dismiss me. But I did not want to go.
MR. COUNSELLOR RAGINSKY: I have heard this before. But nevertheless, Hitler appointed you on 30 March 1945 to be in charge of the total destruction of all industries.
SPEER: Yes; that is, I was competent for the destruction or nondestruction of industry in Germany until 19 March 1945. Then a Hitler decree which has also been submitted took away from me this power to carry out destruction, but Hitler's decree of 30 March 1945, which I drew up, returned this power to me.
The main thing,
21 June 46
however, is - I have also submitted the orders which I issued on the strength of this power; they show clearly that I prohibited the carrying-out of destruction, and thereby my purpose was achieved. Not Hitler's decree, but the wording of my executional order was decisive. That order is also among the documents.
MR. COUNSELLOR RAGINSKY: In spite of the fact that Hitler received such letters from you, he did not regard you as a man opposing him?
SPEER: Hitler said in the talk which I- had with him at that time that both for domestic and for foreign political reasons he could not dispense with my services. That was his explanation. I believe that already then his confidence in me was shaken, since in his will he named another as my successor.
MR. COUNSELLOR RAGINSKY: And the last question. In April 1945, you wrote, in the
Hamburg radio studio, a speech which you intended to deliver if Berlin fell. In this speech, which was not delivered, you advocated the banning of werewolf organization. Tell us, who was in charge of the werewolves?
SPEER: Reichsleiter Bormann was in charge of the werewolves.
MR. COUNSELLOR RAGINSKY: And besides Bormann, who?
SPEER: No, just Bormann, as far as I know-I am not quite certain-the werewolf organization was subordinate to Bormann.
MR. COUNSELLOR RAGINSKY: Naturally. If Bormann were still alive, then you would have said that Himmler was the leader of this organization. I did not expect another answer from you. I have no more questions of the defendant.
THE PRESIDENT: Dr. Servatius, did you want to ask something which arises out of the cross-examination?
DR. SERVATIUS: I have only a few questions on the cross-examination. Witness, you stated that after air raids deficiencies arising in the concerns were reported by you to the DAF or to Sauckel. That is correct, is it not?
SPEER: No, not quite in this form. I was asked whether I received occasional reports on such conditions. I said "yes," I passed them on to Sauckel or to the DAN because they were the competent authorities.
DR. SERVATIUS: What did these reports which were sent to Sauckel contain?
SPEER: As far as I remember I said in the examination that I do not exactly recall receiving such reports. In any case the question was only a theoretical one: What would I have done if I had
21 June 46
received such reports? I thought that reports had certainly reached me, but I can no longer recall their specific contents.
DR. SERVATIUS: What was Sauckel to do?
SPEER: Against the air raids Sauckel could not do anything either.
DR. SERVATIUS: If you sent the reports to him it meant that he was to provide help?
SPEER: Yes, or that he, as the competent authority, would have precise information on conditions in his field of work, even if he could not help.
DR. SERVATIUS: His field was the recruiting of manpower.
SPEER: No, also labor conditions.
DR. SERVATIUS: Labor conditions could be improved only through material deliveries, through food deliveries, and so forth.
SPEER: Of course, but in the last analysis the Plenipotentiary General for the Allocation of Labor was responsible for working conditions. That is obvious from the decree which Goering signed. Naturally it was also the concern of other authorities to create good working conditions; that is quite clear.
DR. SERVATIUS: But, after all, it was not a question of issuing a decree, but of giving practical help.
SPEER: Practical help after air raids was not given by the central agency; that was impossible since transportation and telephone connections were generally cut. It was given by the local authorities.
DR. SERVATIUS: In other words, Sauckel could not do anything?
SPEER: No, not personally, but his local offices under him participated in rendering aid.
DR. SERVATIUS: But he had to turn to you for any material, since everything was confiscated for armament?
SPEER: As far as building material was concerned, he could get it only from me, and he did in fact receive large amounts of it. I must add that Sauckel himself did not receive them but, as far as I recall, generally the German Labor Front, since the DAN actually took care of the camps.
DR. SERVATIUS: Which were the responsible agencies? Were you not the agency which cared for the concerns?
SPEER: Not in the sense which you mean. You want me to answer that I was responsible for the working conditions.
21 June 46
THE PRESIDENT: Dr. Servatius, the Tribunal thinks that we have been over all this already with the witness.
DR. SERVATIUS: MR. PRESIDENT, I think this question has not yet been dealt with. Yesterday internal administration was discussed. A second series of agencies existed for taking care of the factories, namely, through the Armament Commission and the Armament Inspection Office; and there was a third possibility open to the witness Speer for making contact with the factories through the Reich Labor Efficiency Engineers. In this connection I wanted to ask him another question.
SPEER: I shall be glad to explain it.
DR. SERVATIUS: Did not the Labor Efficiency Engineers constitute your only real possibility of improving conditions in the concerns, and did you have direct supervision?
SPEER: I must define for you the task of the labor engineers; it was an engineering task, that is shown in their designation.
DR. SERVATIUS: It was limited to this engineering task?
DR. SERVATIUS: Then I have no more questions.
DR. FLACHSNER: Mr. President, I have only two questions arising out of the cross-examination.
One of the questions is this: Herr Speer, I refer once more to the answer which you gave to Justice Jackson at the end of the cross-examination, and to clarify that answer I would like to ask you this: In assuming a common responsibility, did you want to acknowledge measurable guilt or coresponsibility under the penal law, or did you want to record a historical responsibility before your own people and before history?
SPEER: That question is a very difficult one to answer; it is actually one which the Tribunal will decide in its verdict. I only Granted to say that even in an authoritarian system the leaders must accept a common responsibility, and that it is impossible for them to dodge that common responsibility after the catastrophe, for if the war had been won the leaders would also presumably have laid claim to common responsibility. But to what extent that is punishable under law or ethics I cannot decide, and it was not my purpose to decide.
DR. FLACHSNER: Thank you. Secondly, the American Prosecution showed you a number
of documents on conditions which for the most part, I believe even entirely, concerned the firm of Krupp. You said that you yourself had no knowledge of these conditions. Did I understand you correctly?
21 June 46
SPEER: I did not know the details necessary to be able to judge these documents individually.
DR. FLACHSNER: I have no more questions, Mr. President. However, I must reserve the right, in connection with these affidavits which are evidence against my client-the position is actually not quite clear to me-to decide whether it is necessary to cross-examine the person who made the affidavits. I regret that, but I may possibly have to do it. I had no previous knowledge that these documents would be introduced here.
Then, Mr. President, I need just 5 minutes to finish my documentary evidence.
THE PRESIDENT: Yes, Dr. Flachsner, with reference to these affidavits, if you want to cross-examine any witness you must apply in writing to do so, and you must do so promptly. Because I think I am correct in saying that there are only two other of the defendants to be examined, and unless the application comes in soon, it will not be possible to find the witnesses or to bring them here in time.
Now, you say you will finish in 5 minutes?
DR. FLACHSNER: Yes.
THE PRESIDENT: I think you may as well finish now, then. However, Dr. Flachsner, the Tribunal has one or two questions to put to the defendant.
THE TRIBUNAL (Mr. Biddle): Defendant, you spoke of not using the western prisoners in war industry and in the making of munitions, do you remember?
THE TRIBUNAL (Mr. Biddle): Were there regulations to that effect?
THE TRIBUNAL (Mr. Biddle): There were regulations to that effect?
SPEER: Yes, as far as I know, but my knowledge need not be precise. I only recall talks with Keitel about employment in individual cases, and these Keitel turned down. Otherwise I had no knowledge.
THE TRIBUNAL (Mr. Biddle): You never saw any regulation which made that distinction, did you?
THE TRIBUNAL (Mr. Biddle): And with respect to civilians from non-occupied countries, they were used in war industries, I suppose, were they not?
21 June 46
SPEER: Foreign workers were employed without consideration for any agreement.
THE TRIBUNAL (Mr. Biddle): That is just what I want to know. Now, you said the concentration camps had a bad reputation? I think those were your words, were they not, a bad reputation? Is that right?
THE TRIBUNAL (Mr. Biddle): What did you mean by that phrase "bad reputation"? What sort of reputation, for what?
SPEER: That is hard to define. It is-it was known in Germany that a stay in a concentration camp was an unpleasant matter. I also knew that but I did not know any details.
THE TRIBUNAL (Mr. Biddle): Well, even if you did not know any details, is not "unpleasant" putting it a little mildly? Was not the reputation that violence and physical punishment were used in the camps? Was not that the reputation that you meant? Is it not fair to say that, really?
SPEER: No, that is going a little too far, on the basis of what we knew. I assumed that there was ill-treatment in individual cases, but I did not assume that it was the rule. I did not know that.
THE TRIBUNAL (Mr. Biddle): Did you not know that violence or physical force was used to enforce the regulations if the internees did not obey them?
SPEER: No, I did not know it in this form. I must say that during the time in which I was a Minister, strange though as it sounds, I became less disturbed about the fate of concentration camp inmates than I had been before, because while I was in office I heard only good and calming reports about the concentration camps from official sources. It was said that the food was being improved, and so on and so forth.
THE TRIBUNAL (Mr. Biddle): Only one other question. I was interested in what you said at the end about all of the leaders being responsible for certain general principles, certain great things. Can you say any one of those things? What did you mean? What principles? Did you mean going on with the war, for instance?
SPEER: I think that, for example, the beginning of the war or the end of the war are such basic principles. I think . . .
THE TRIBUNAL (Mr. Biddle): You deem the beginning of the war and the end of the war basic principles for which the leaders were responsible?
THE TRIBUNAL (Mr. Biddle): Thank you.
21 June 46
THE PRESIDENT: The defendant can return to the dock.
[The defendant left the stand.]
- Posts: 525
- Joined: 06 May 2003 13:37
- Location: Sweden, Scania
- Forum Staff
- Posts: 23251
- Joined: 20 Jul 2002 19:52
- Location: USA
The people who are interested in reading things like this usually download the file onto a floppy disk and read it off-line.
"Which book is it from?"
International Military Tribunal Nuremberg Trial Proceedings, Volume 16 (see the first page of this thread, where the book is identified).
- Posts: 525
- Joined: 06 May 2003 13:37
- Location: Sweden, Scania