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1900 - 1999
In his letter of 10 August 1940-21 Bauer 106-the Reich Minister of Transport laid down that the management of the German Railway be directed that the costs of the repair of damage caused to railway coaches and their fittings by the careless or malicious behaviour of foreign workers in special labour trains be charged to the guilty persons, and where these are not determined, to the authorities responsible for the transportation. After the German Railway claimed again last winter considerable damage to and extraordinary soiling of railway coaches, it proposed to the management of the German Railway the demand of the costs of the repair of the damage and soiling from the Manpower Authorities. In this respect I direct, that is must definitely be left to the German Railway to pull up the guilty transport users. The writing off of the costs on the budget of the Reich stocks [Reichstocks] can only be considered exceptionally in the event of special circumstances. All cases are particularly to be refused in which the workers used normal trains or in which the damage was caused by deficiencies in the special trains provided.
According to reports of transportation commanders [Transportleiters] presented to me, the special trains provided by the German Railway have frequently been in a really deficient condition. Numerous windowpanes have been missing in the coaches. Old French coaches without lavatories have been partly employed, so that the workers had to fit up an emptied compartment as a lavatory. In other cases the coaches were not heated in winter so that the lavatories quickly became unusable because the water system was frozen and the flushing apparatus was therefore without water.
In order to obtain reliable records of the condition of special trains at the time of provision, in agreement with the Reich Minister of Transport, I beg to direct the transportation commanders, together with a representative of the station of departure, to determine in writing before the departure of a special train the deficiencies existing in the interior fittings of the railway coaches. The records are to be given up after completion of the transport operation to the labour reception office which has to present them to the competent state labour office. The transportation commanders will have to contact the office director of the station at least 1 to 2 hours before the departure of the train.
Simultaneously, I beg to direct the transportation commanders to give particular attention during the journey to the exclusion of damage and soiling of the railway carriages.
In view of the further tasks, involved in the winding up of the transport operation, incumbent on the transportation commander he will have to be relieved of the further mutual determination of the condition of railway carriages at the end of the journey.
I transfer the discharge of claims of the German Railway in respect of repairs to the state labour offices in whose area the special train was dispersed.
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