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To the presidents of the Gau employment offices and to the Reich Trustees of Labor as well as to the directors of the employment offices.
The following agreement has been concluded between the Plenipotentiary General for the Arbeitseinsatz, Gauleiter and Reich Governor [Reichstatthalter] Sauckel and the Reichsleiter of the German Labor Front, Reichsorganisation leader Dr. Ley.
1. The German Labor Front, on the basis of decree Nr 4 of the Plenipotentiary General for the Arbeitseinsatz of 7 May 1942-GBA 405/42 (Nr 2b) has the sole and exclusive mission of caring for all foreign workers employed within the Reich. Excluded are the farm workers employed in the Reich food administration.
2. The Reichsleiter of the German Labor Front, Reichsorganisationleiter Dr. Ley, in collaboration with the Plenipotentiary General for the Arbeitseinsatz, Gauleiter Sauckel, will establish a "central inspection" for the continuous supervision of all measures concerning the care of the foreign workers mentioned under
1. This will have the designation:
"Central inspection for the care of foreign workers."
The central inspection for the care of foreign workers exercises its functions upon directives and in the name of the Plenipotentiary General for the Arbeitseinsatz and of the Reichsleiter of the German Labor Front. In order to avoid all duplication of work, it will be its sole responsibility, to scrutinize all measures taken for the care of foreign workers employed in the factories and camps, also to remove immediately all defects discovered-as far as possible-on the spot and to issue the necessary instructions for this.
The authority of the Plenipotentiary General for the Arbeitseinsatz to empower the members of his staff and the presidents of the state employment offices to get direct information on the conditions regarding the employment of foreigners in the factories and camps, will remain untouched.
3. The central inspection for the care of foreign workers will be continuously in touch with the main office VI of the Plenipotentiary General for the Arbeitseinsatz. It will instruct the office on the general observations made and will make suggestions for changes, if that should become necessary.
4. The offices of the administration of the Arbeitseinsatz will be constantly informed by the "central inspection for the care of foreign workers" of its observations, in particular immediately in each case in which action of State organizations seems to be necessary.
This agreement becomes effective on the day of its signing.Berlin, 2 June 1943Berlin, 2 June 1943
For the carrying out of this agreement I order the following:
1. The supervision of all welfare measures in the realm of the employment of foreign workers is the sole responsibility of the central inspection for the care of foreign workers. Complaints about bad quarters, food, deficient provision of free time activities and cultural and propagandistic care will in the future be directed by me to the central inspection for investigation and elimination of possible deficiencies. The labor offices and Gaulabor offices must direct complaints and protests coming to them to the locally competent office of the German Labor Front.
The central inspection will inform the Plenipotentiary General for Arbeitseinsatz regarding its decisions and the measures instituted by it and their completion.
2. The employment of foreign workers, their identification, equalization between the plants, transfers, supervision of practical and vocationally correct employment in the plant, the promotion of instructional measures to increase production, as well as drafting of the labor-contract regulations, the carrying out of pay regulation measures, and the supervision of the orderly paying of foreign workers, remain as formerly the task of the competent offices of the administration of the Arbeitseinsatz and Reich trusteeship.
3. The directives for the employment of eastern and western laborers given in Va 5780.28/90 of 9 January and Va 5780/196 of 4 February 1943 remain in force with the provision that the labor offices and Gau labor offices and the specialists employed with them for the inspection of camps for eastern laborers need only undertake the tasks mentioned under No. 2.
4. The close interrelationship of the tasks of the Arbeitseinsatz and the care of foreign labor demands, independently of the measures to be effected, for the execution of the above agreement, a constant and close cooperation between the offices of the administration of the Arbeitseinsatz and offices of the German labor front. If, for example, it is determined in the execution of Arbeitseinsatz measures, that an insufficient labor performance on the part of foreign labor results from absence of welfare work, then the competent agencies of the German Labor Front are to be informed of this without delay so that the latter may effect the correction of existing deficiencies. On the other hand the offices of the German Labor Front will bring to the attention of the competent agencies of the Arbeitseinsatz administrative findings made in the course of their welfare work which require an evaluation from the point of view of the Arbeitseinsatz.
For the adjustment of individual questions of cooperation between the offices concerned and the erection of a permanent exchange of findings the Gau labor offices will enter into negotiations with the appropriate administration [Gauwaltungen] of the German Labor Front and will inform the labor offices on the rulings effected for the districts.By order
The German rearmament.
The German rearmament began approximately in the year 1935; at first to a modest extent, after we had withdrawn from the League of Nations and had re-established the German sovereignty of arms.
Question: How much was the total expenditure for the German Armament up to 1 September 1939?
Answer: For the Armed Forces about 30 and not more than 40,000,000,000.
Q. Do you know about the speech of Adolf Hitler, delivered at the Sport Palace on 1 September 1939, in which he admitted to have spent 90,000,000,000 marks for German rearmament?
A. Yes. I know of his speech and also of the figure mentioned. I was utterly surprised by this figure and I nearly fainted when I heard this figure. As far as my knowledge went, this figure was exaggerated by about two thirds.
Q. Was it the purpose of German rearmament to prepare for a war of aggression?
A. Even during the years 1938 and 1939 none of us soldiers gave thought to a war of aggression. I knew that we were not at all prepared for a war of aggression, and even less for a world war.
Q. Did you ever advocate a German war of aggression in your official capacity?
A. I was in favor of a war of aggression under certain conditions, e.g. if by such a war of aggression a certainly impending attack of an adversary was to be prevented.
Q. What were the reasons for the German attack on the Soviet Union?
A. Because we had sure knowledge of the preparations of the Soviet Union for an attack and wished to prevent it.
Q. Did you know that some individuals in Germany, both military and civilian, advocated a total war?
Q. Did you yourself favor total war, i.e. a war disregarding international law of warfare?
Q. Was Germany prepared for a world war at the time of the Munich crisis?
A. No, for at that time no preparations had been made on our side, neither strategically nor operationally.
Q. Would Germany have begun the military attack if France and Gt. Britain had not agreed to the Munich Treaty?
A. Hardly, in my opinion, because as I said before, we were not prepared for a war at that time, especially if France had fulfilled her obligation to help Czechoslovakia.
Q. Had Adolf Hitler made up his mind firmly to get his political aims, even at the price of war of aggression waged by Germany or even of a world war?
A. I do not know that, but I am firmly convinced that he did not want a world war.
Q. Did you, in your capacity as Chief of the Supreme Command of the Armed Forces, never sign an ordinance which might have implied a violation of the International Law of Warfare?
A. Not that I know of.
The investigating officer submits at this instance an ordinance of the Fuehrer concerning a General Trustee for the Employment of Labor to Wilhelm Keitel, an ordinance dated 21 March 1941.
Q. Were you one of the signatories of this ordinance?
Q. Were you aware of the fact that a rule of International Law is violated by the employment of prisoners of war and the civilian population of the occupied countries in the German armament industry?
A. No, as long as the ordinance is applied in accordance with International Law. I am not responsible for further ordinances issued later on the basis of this ordinance in order to carry it into effect. I add, that the Fuehrer would have issued the ordinance also without my counter-signature; or to put it better that he would not have made the ordinance of 21 March 1942 dependent on my counter-signature.
The Czechoslovakian Problem.
Q. Who conceived the idea to solve the problem of the Sudeten-Germans by means of an occupation by German forces, and to solve the whole problem of Czechoslovakia forcibly by means of an occupation of the remainder of the Republic?
A. That was exclusively the idea of the Fuehrer, although possibly political advisers co-operated; about this I know nothing, though.
Q. Was there a part-mobilization or were there movements of German forces against Czechoslovakia during the second half of May 1938 with the purpose of solving the Sudeten-German problem by the used of force?
A. No. The idea of military action was not yet discussed at that time, so far as I know.
Q. Do you remember an order of Adolf Hitler's of 28 May 1938, ordering the preparation of military action against Czechoslovakia for the 2 October?
A. I do not remember such an order, although I should have known about it.
The investigating officer now reads to Wilhelm Keitel the following passage from the Reichstag speech of Adolf Hitler's of 30 January 1939, page 453 of the book "Dokumente der deutschen Politik" (Documents of German Policy), vol. 7, part 2:
As Germany had not mobilized, let alone any intentions to attack Czechoslovakia, the situation was bound-there is no doubt about it-to lead to a grave loss of prestige of the Reich. This unbearable provocation, made still worse by a really infamous prosecution and terrorization of our Germans living there, has led me to the decision to solve the Sudeten-German problem now finally and radically. On 28 May
(1) I ordered to prepare military interference against this state for the 2 October.
(2) I ordered the enormous and speedy completion of our defensive front in the West.
Keitel declares thereto:
Such orders may have been given, although from my memory I do not know anything about it; for according to my memory the respective preparatory measures were ordered only later, during the summer. I believe, though, that the declarations of Hitler's are correct, but I do not know where they come from.
I stress the fact that Germany was not prepared for military action against Czechoslovakia in May 1938. I know, it is true, that the Fuehrer had made up his mind to solve the Sudeten-German problem in any case and within a reasonable space of time.
Q. Was the danger of a Czechoslovakia mobilization discussed at the time of the invasion of Austria by German forces?
A. I myself have drawn the attention of the Fuehrer to the fact that we were not prepared and could not occupy Austria if Czechoslovakia would mobilize. This indication was rejected by the Fuehrer.
Q. Do you know that at the time of the Austrian crisis Goering and Neurath gave guarantees, both in their own names and that of the Fuehrer, to Czechoslovakia that Germany felt bound by the Treaty of Arbitration concluded with Czechoslovakia in 1925 and that Germany had no intentions of attacking Czechoslovakia?
A. I do not know anything about such a guarantee.
I was present, I admit, in Berchtesgaden, Godesberg, and Munich when Neville Chamberlain visited the Fuehrer. But I did not participate in any of the discussions and was but passively present, ready for any military information required.
Q. Did the Fuehrer consult you with regard to the military possibilities of Germany before the meetings with Chamberlain?
A. No. He was well informed about the military possibilities proper, and he knew that we were not at all prepared for war at the time of the Munich crisis.
Q. Was then Adolf Hitler in favor of war at that time?
A. No, because Germany was not prepared for war, as I have to stress again.
Q. What would have happened militarily, if Gt. Britain, France and the Soviet Union had taken the side of Czechoslovakia, and if they had declined the discussions with Germany and Italy, which led to the Munich Treaty?
A. The military means of the German Reich were by no means sufficient against such a constellation. An action at such a time would have been madness.
Q. Was it the political purpose of the Munich Treaty to eliminate the Soviet Union from the European affairs?
A. That is correct, for Czechoslovakia was considered to be a virtual field of deployment of the Soviet Union which might have dangerous consequences for military operations.
Q. Did the Armed Forces as a whole make their influence felt by means of an official representative with regard to the designation of the border-line in consequence of the so-called Munich Treaty?
A. I personally did not, neither did an officer of my Staff to my knowledge; but it may be that a representative of the Army was given the duty to point out strategical points of view, when the borderline was discussed.signed: Wilhelm KEITEL
Nazi Conspiracy and Aggression Volume IV
Office of the United States Chief Counsel for Prosecution of Axis Criminality
Washington, DC : United States Government Printing Office, 1946