Forced labour under German rule during World War II

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Use of forced labour by Nazi Germany
Lapanka zoliborz warszawa Polska 1941.jpg
Street round-up (Polish łapanka [waˈpanka]) of random civilians to be deported to Germany for forced labour; Warsaw's Żoliborz district, 1941

The use of forced labour and slavery in Nazi Germany and throughout German-occupied Europe during World War II took place on an unprecedented scale. [2] It was a vital part of the German economic exploitation of conquered territories. It also contributed to the mass extermination of populations in German-occupied Europe. The Nazi Germans abducted approximately 12 million people from almost twenty European countries; about two thirds came from Central Europe and Eastern Europe. [1] Many workers died as a result of their living conditions – extreme mistreatment, severe malnutrition, and worst tortures were the main causes of death. Many more became civilian casualties from enemy (Allied) bombing and shelling of their workplaces throughout the war. [3] At its peak the forced labourers comprised 20% of the German work force. Counting deaths and turnover, about 15 million men and women were forced labourers at one point during the war. [4]

Unfree labour work people are employed in against their will

Unfree labour is a generic or collective term for those work relations, especially in modern or early modern history, in which people are employed against their will with the threat of destitution, detention, violence, compulsion, or other forms of extreme hardship to themselves or members of their families.

Nazi Germany The German state from 1933 to 1945, under the dictatorship of Adolf Hitler

Nazi Germany is the common English name for Germany between 1933 and 1945, when Adolf Hitler and his Nazi Party (NSDAP) controlled the country through a dictatorship. Under Hitler's rule, Germany was transformed into a totalitarian state where nearly all aspects of life were controlled by the government. The official name of the state was Deutsches Reich until 1943 and Großdeutsches Reich from 1943 to 1945. Nazi Germany is also known as the Third Reich, meaning "Third Realm" or "Third Empire", the first two being the Holy Roman Empire (800–1806) and the German Empire (1871–1918). The Nazi regime ended after the Allies defeated Germany in May 1945, ending World War II in Europe.

German-occupied Europe European countries occupied by the military forces of Nazi Germany

German-occupied Europe refers to the sovereign countries of Europe which were occupied and civil occupied including puppet government by the military forces and the government of Nazi Germany at various times between 1939 and 1945 and administered by the Nazi regime. The farthest east in Europe the German Wehrmacht managed to occupy was the town of Mozdok in the Soviet Union; the farthest north was the settlement of Barentsburg in the Kingdom of Norway; the farthest south in Europe was the island of Gavdos in the Kingdom of Greece; and the farthest west in Europe was the island of Ushant in the French Republic.

Contents

The defeat of Nazi Germany in 1945 freed approximately 11 million foreigners (categorized as "displaced persons"), most of whom were forced labourers and POWs. In wartime, the German forces had brought into the Reich 6.5 million civilians in addition to Soviet POWs for unfree labour in factories. [1] Returning them home was a high priority for the Allies. However, in the case of citizens of the USSR, returning often meant suspicion of collaboration or the Gulag. The United Nations Relief and Rehabilitation Administration (UNRRA), Red Cross, and military operations provided food, clothing, shelter, and assistance in returning home. In all, 5.2 million foreign workers and POWs were repatriated to the Soviet Union, 1.6 million to Poland, 1.5 million to France, and 900,000 to Italy, along with 300,000 to 400,000 each to Yugoslavia, Czechoslovakia, the Netherlands, Hungary, and Belgium. [5]

Gulag government agency in charge of the Soviet forced labor camp system

The Gulag was the government agency in charge of the Soviet forced-labour camp-system that was set up under Vladimir Lenin and reached its peak during Joseph Stalin's rule from the 1930s to the early 1950s. English-language speakers also use the word gulag to refer to any forced-labor camp in the Soviet Union, including camps which existed in post-Stalin times. The camps housed a wide range of convicts, from petty criminals to political prisoners. Large numbers were convicted by simplified procedures, such as by NKVD troikas or by other instruments of extrajudicial punishment. The Gulag is recognized by many as a major instrument of political repression in the Soviet Union.

United Nations Relief and Rehabilitation Administration international relief agency, dominated by the US but representing 44 nations

United Nations Relief and Rehabilitation Administration (UNRRA) was an international relief agency, largely dominated by the United States but representing 44 nations. Founded in 1943, it became part of the United Nations in 1945, and it largely shut down operations in 1947. Its purpose was to "plan, co-ordinate, administer or arrange for the administration of measures for the relief of victims of war in any area under the control of any of the United Nations through the provision of food, fuel, clothing, shelter and other basic necessities, medical and other essential services". Its staff of civil servants included 12,000 people, with headquarters in New York. Funding came from many nations, and totaled $3.7 billion, of which the United States contributed $2.7 billion; Britain, $625 million; and Canada, $139 million.

International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement international humanitarian movement,Henri dunant

The International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement is an international humanitarian movement with approximately 17 million volunteers, members and staff worldwide which was founded to protect human life and health, to ensure respect for all human beings, and to prevent and alleviate human suffering.

Forced workers

German Polish-language recruitment poster: "'Let's do farm work in Germany!' See your wojt at once." Chodzmy na roboty rolne do Niemiec.jpg
German Polish-language recruitment poster: "'Let's do farm work in Germany!' See your wójt at once."

Hitler's policy of Lebensraum (room for living) strongly emphasized the conquest of new lands in the East, known as Generalplan Ost , and the exploitation of these lands to provide cheap goods and labour for Germany. Even before the war, Nazi Germany maintained a supply of slave labour. This practice started from the early days of labour camps of "undesirable elements" (German : unzuverlässige Elemente), such as the homeless, homosexuals, criminals, political dissidents, communists, Jews, and anyone whom the regime wanted out of the way. During World War II the Nazis operated several categories of Arbeitslager (labour camps) for different categories of inmates. Prisoners in Nazi labour camps were worked to death on short rations and in bad conditions, or killed if they became unable to work. Many died as a direct result of forced labour under the Nazis. [1]

<i lang="de" title="German language text">Lebensraum</i> "Living space", one of the Nazi Partys goals at obtaining for superior races

The German concept of Lebensraum comprises policies and practices of settler colonialism which proliferated in Germany from the 1890s to the 1940s. First popularized around 1901, Lebensraum became a geopolitical goal of Imperial Germany in World War I (1914–1918) originally, as the core element of the Septemberprogramm of territorial expansion. The most extreme form of this ideology was supported by the Nazi Party (NSDAP) and Nazi Germany until the end of World War II.

<i>Generalplan Ost</i> Nazi racial plan of enslavement and genocide of Slavic people living in Eastern Europe

The Generalplan Ost, abbreviated as GPO, was the Nazi German government's plan for the genocide and ethnic cleansing on a vast scale, and colonization of Central and Eastern Europe. It was to be undertaken in territories occupied by Germany during World War II. The plan was partially realized during the war, resulting directly and indirectly in the deaths of around 9.4 to 11.4 million ethnic Slavs by starvation, disease, ethnic cleansing, mass murder, or extermination through labor, including about 4.5 million Soviet citizens, 2.8 to 3.3 million Soviet POWs,1.8 to 3 million Poles, 300 to 600 thousand Serbs and 20 to 25 thousand Slovenes. Its full implementation, however, was not considered practicable during the major military operations, and was prevented by Germany's defeat.

Slavery System under which people are treated as property to be bought and sold, and are forced to work

Slavery is any system in which principles of property law are applied to people, allowing individuals to own, buy and sell other individuals, as a de jure form of property. A slave is unable to withdraw unilaterally from such an arrangement and works without remuneration. Many scholars now use the term chattel slavery to refer to this specific sense of legalised, de jure slavery. In a broader sense, however, the word slavery may also refer to any situation in which an individual is de facto forced to work against their own will. Scholars also use the more generic terms such as unfree labour or forced labour to refer to such situations. However, and especially under slavery in broader senses of the word, slaves may have some rights and protections according to laws or customs.

After the invasion of Poland, Polish Jews over the age of 12 and Poles over the age of 12 living in the General Government were subject to forced labor. [6] Historian Jan Gross estimates that “no more than 15 per cent” of Polish workers volunteered to go to work in Germany. [7] In 1942, all non-Germans living in the General Government were subject to forced labor. [8]

Invasion of Poland invasion of Poland by Germany, the Soviet Union, and a small Slovak contingent

The Invasion of Poland, known in Poland as the September Campaign or the 1939 Defensive War, and in Germany as the Poland Campaign (Polenfeldzug), was an invasion of Poland by Germany that marked the beginning of World War II. The German invasion began on 1 September 1939, one week after the signing of the Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact between Germany and the Soviet Union. The Soviets invaded Poland on 17 September following the Molotov–Tōgō agreement that terminated the Soviet and Japanese Battles of Khalkhin Gol in the east on 16 September. The campaign ended on 6 October with Germany and the Soviet Union dividing and annexing the whole of Poland under the terms of the German–Soviet Frontier Treaty.

General Government German-occupied zone in Poland in World War II

The General Government, also referred to as the General Governorate for the occupied Polish Region, was a German zone of occupation established after the joint invasion of Poland by Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union in 1939 at the onset of World War II. The newly occupied Second Polish Republic was split into three zones: the General Government in its centre, Polish areas annexed by Nazi Germany in the west, and Polish areas annexed by the Soviet Union in the east. The territory was expanded substantially in 1941 to include the new District of Galicia.

"Obligations of a worker during his or her stay in Germany" (in German and Polish) Pflichten der polen.jpg
"Obligations of a worker during his or her stay in Germany" (in German and Polish)

The largest number of labour camps held civilians forcibly abducted in the occupied countries (see Łapanka) to provide labour in the German war industry, repair bombed railroads and bridges, or work on farms. Manual labour was a resource in high demand, as much of the work that today would be done with machines was still a manual affair in the 1930s and 1940s – shoveling, material handling, machining, and many others. As the war progressed, the use of slave labour increased massively. Prisoners of war and civilian "undesirables" were brought in from occupied territories. Millions of Jews, Slavs and other conquered peoples were used as slave labourers by German corporations, such as Thyssen, Krupp, IG Farben, Bosch, Daimler-Benz, Demag, Henschel, Junkers, Messerschmitt, Siemens, and even Volkswagen, [9] not to mention the German subsidiaries of foreign firms, such as Fordwerke (a subsidiary of the Ford Motor Company) and Adam Opel AG (a subsidiary of General Motors) among others. [10] Once the war had begun, the foreign subsidiaries were seized and nationalized by the Nazi-controlled German state, and work conditions there deteriorated as they did throughout German industry. About 12 million forced labourers, most of whom were Eastern Europeans, were employed in the German war economy inside Nazi Germany throughout the war. [11] The German need for slave labour grew to the point that even children were kidnapped to work in an operation called the Heu-Aktion. More than 2,000 German companies profited from slave labour during the Nazi era, including Deutsche Bank and Siemens. [12]

Manual labour physical work done by people

Manual labour or manual work is physical work done by people, most especially in contrast to that done by machines, and to that done by working animals. It is most literally work done with the hands, and, by figurative extension, it is work done with any of the muscles and bones of the body. For most of human prehistory and history, manual labour and its close cousin, animal labour, have been the primary ways that physical work has been accomplished. Mechanisation and automation, which reduce the need for human and animal labour in production, have existed for centuries, but it was only starting in the 18th and 19th centuries that they began to significantly expand and to change human culture. To be implemented, they require that sufficient technology exist and that its capital costs be justified by the amount of future wages that they will obviate. Semi-automation is an alternative to worker displacement that combines human labour, automation, and computerization to leverage the advantages of both man and machine.

Mechanization process of changing from working largely or exclusively by hand or with animals to doing that work with machinery

Mechanization is the process of changing from working largely or exclusively by hand or with animals to doing that work with machinery. In an early engineering text a machine is defined as follows:

Every machine is constructed for the purpose of performing certain mechanical operations, each of which supposes the existence of two other things besides the machine in question, namely, a moving power, and an object subject to the operation, which may be termed the work to be done.

Machines, in fact, are interposed between the power and the work, for the purpose of adapting the one to the other.

Shovel tool for digging, lifting, and moving bulk materials

A shovel is a tool for digging, lifting, and moving bulk materials, such as soil, coal, gravel, snow, sand, or ore.

Classifications

A class system was created amongst Fremdarbeiter ("foreign workers") brought to Germany to work for the Reich. The system was based on layers of increasingly less privileged workers, starting with well paid workers from Germany's allies or neutral countries to forced labourers from conquered Untermenschen ("sub-humans") populations.

<i>Untermensch</i> German word meaning "subhuman"; used by Nazi Germany

Untermensch is a term that became infamous when the Nazis used it to describe non-Aryan "inferior people" often referred to as "the masses from the East", that is Jews, Roma, and Slavs – mainly Poles, Serbs, and later also Russians. The term was also applied to Blacks, Mulattos and Finn-Asian. Jewish people were to be exterminated in the Holocaust, along with the Polish and Romani people, and the physically and mentally disabled. According to the Generalplan Ost, the Slavic population of East-Central Europe was to be reduced in part through mass murder in the Holocaust, with a majority expelled to Asia and used as slave labor in the Reich. These concepts were an important part of the Nazi racial policy.

Arbeitsbuch Fur Auslander (Workbook for Foreigner) identity document issued to a Polish Forced Labourer in 1942 by the Germans together with a letter "P" patch that Poles were required to wear to distinguish them from the German population. Arbeitsbuch Fur Auslander 1942.jpg
Arbeitsbuch Für Ausländer (Workbook for Foreigner) identity document issued to a Polish Forced Labourer in 1942 by the Germans together with a letter "P" patch that Poles were required to wear to distinguish them from the German population.

In general, foreign labourers from Western Europe had similar gross earnings and were subject to similar taxation as German workers. In contrast, the central and eastern European forced labourers received at most about one-half the gross earnings paid to German workers and much fewer social benefits. [1] Forced labourers who were prisoners of labour or concentration camps received little if any wage and benefits. [1] The deficiency in net earnings of central and eastern European forced labourers (versus forced labourers from western countries) is illustrated by the wage savings forced labourers were able to transfer to their families at home or abroad (see table).

The Nazis issued a ban on sexual relations between Germans and foreign workers. [17] Repeated efforts were made to propagate Volkstum ("racial consciousness"), to prevent such relations. [18] Pamphlets, for instance, instructed all German women to avoid physical contact with all foreign workers brought to Germany as a danger to their blood. [19] Women who disobeyed were imprisoned. [20] Even fraternization with the workers was regarded as dangerous, and targeted with pamphlet campaigns in 1940–1942. [21] The soldiers in the Wehrmacht and SS officers were exempt from any such restrictions. It is estimated that at least 34,140 Eastern European women apprehended in Łapankas (military kidnapping raids), were forced to serve them as "sex slaves" in German military brothels and camp brothels during the Third Reich. [22] [23] In Warsaw alone, there were five such establishments set up under military guard in September 1942, with over 20 rooms each. Alcohol was not allowed in there, unlike on the western front, and the victims underwent genital checkups once a week. [24]

Numbers

In the late summer of 1944, German records listed 7.6 million foreign civilian workers and prisoners of war in the German territory, most of whom had been brought there by coercion. [13] By 1944, slave labour made up one quarter of Germany's entire work force, and the majority of German factories had a contingent of prisoners. [13] [25] The Nazis also had plans for the deportation and enslavement of 50% of Britain's adult male population in the event of a successful invasion. [26]

Polish-forced-workers' Zivilarbeiter badge Polenabzeichen.jpg
Polish-forced-workers' Zivilarbeiter badge
OST-Arbeiter badge Ostarbeiter-Abzeichen-vector.svg
OST-Arbeiter badge
Todt-Arbeiter badge Armband-ot-arbeitet.jpg
Todt-Arbeiter badge
Foreign civilian forced labourers in Nazi Germany by country of origin, January 1944 with transfer payment to the Reich per labourer Source: Beyer & Schneider [1]
CountriesNumber% of total RM
Total6,450,000100.0%
Occupied Central and Eastern Europe4,208,00065.2% median 15 RM
Czechoslovakia348,0005.4%
Poland1,400,00021.7%33.5 RM
Yugoslavia270,0004.2%
USSR including annexed lands 2,165,00033.6%4 RM
Hungary25,0000.4%
Greece20,0000.3%
Occupied Western Europe2,155,00033.4 median 700 RM
France (except Alsace-Lorraine)1,100,00017.1%487 RM
Norway2,000
Denmark23,0000.4%
Netherlands350,0005.4%
Belgium500,0007.8%913 RM
Italy [lower-alpha 1] 180,0002.8%1,471 RM
German allies and neutral countries87,0001.3%
Bulgaria35,0000.5%
Romania6,0000.1%
Spain8,0000.1%
Switzerland18,0000.3%

Organisation Todt

The Organisation Todt was a Nazi era civil and military engineering group in Nazi Germany, eponymously named for its founder Fritz Todt, an engineer and senior Nazi figure. The organization was responsible for a huge range of engineering projects both in pre-World War II Germany, and in all of occupied Europe from France to Russia. Todt became notorious for using forced labour. Most of the so-called "volunteer" Soviet POW workers were assigned to the Organisation Todt. [27] The history of the organization falls into three main phases. [28]

  1. A pre-war period between 1933 and 1938, during which the predecessor of Organisation Todt, the office of General Inspector of German Roadways (Generalinspektor für das deutsche Straßenwesen), was primarily responsible for the construction of the German Autobahn network. The organisation was able to draw on "conscripted" (i.e. compulsory) labour from within Germany through the Reich Labour Service ( Reichsarbeitsdienst , RAD).
  2. The period from 1938 until 1942 after Operation Barbarossa, when the Organisation Todt proper was founded and utilized on the Eastern front. The huge increase in the demand for labour created by the various military and paramilitary projects was met by a series of expansions of the laws on compulsory service, which ultimately obligated all Germans to arbitrarily determined (i.e. effectively unlimited) compulsory labour for the state: Zwangsarbeit. [29] From 1938–40, Over 1.75 million Germans were conscripted into labour service. From 1940–42, Organization Todt began its reliance on Gastarbeitnehmer (guest workers), Militärinternierte (military internees), Zivilarbeiter (civilian workers), Ostarbeiter (Eastern workers) and Hilfswillige ("volunteer") POW workers.
  3. The period from 1942 until the end of the war, with approximately 1.4 million labourers in the service of the Organisation Todt. Overall, 1% were Germans rejected from military service and 1.5% were concentration camp prisoners; the rest were prisoners of war and compulsory labourers from occupied countries. All were effectively treated as slaves and existed in the complete and arbitrary service of a ruthless totalitarian state. Many did not survive the work or the war. [28]

Extermination through labour

Arbeit Macht Frei ("work will set you free") gate at KZ Sachsenhausen Camp ArbeitMachtFrei.JPG
Arbeit Macht Frei ("work will set you free") gate at KZ Sachsenhausen
Forced concentration camp labour at U-boat pens in Bremen, 1944 Bundesarchiv Bild 185-23-21, Bremen-Farge, U-Boot-Bunker "Valentin", Bau.jpg
Forced concentration camp labour at U-boat pens in Bremen, 1944

Millions of Jews were forced labourers in ghettos, before they were shipped off to extermination camps. The Nazis also operated concentration camps, some of which provided free forced labour for industrial and other jobs while others existed purely for the extermination of their inmates. To mislead the victims, at the entrances to a number of camps the lie "work brings freedom" ("arbeit macht frei") was placed, to encourage the false impression that cooperation would earn release. A notable example of labour-concentration camp is the Mittelbau-Dora labour camp complex that serviced the production of the V-2 rocket. Extermination through labour was a Nazi German World War II principle that regulated the aims and purposes of most of their labour and concentration camps. [30] [31] The rule demanded that the inmates of German World War II camps be forced to work for the German war industry with only basic tools and minimal food rations until totally exhausted. [30] [32]

Controversy over compensation

To facilitate the economy after the war, certain categories of the victims of Nazism were excluded from compensation from the German Government; those were the groups with the least amount of political pressure they could have brought to bear, and many forced labourers from the Eastern Europe fall into that category. [33] There has been little initiative on the part of the German government or business to compensate the forced labourers from the war period. [1]

As stated in the London Debt Agreement of 1953:

Consideration of claims arising out of the Second World War by countries which were at war with or were occupied by Germany during that war, and by nationals of such countries, against the Reich and agencies of the Reich, including costs of German occupation, credits acquired during occupation on clearing accounts and claims against the Reichskreditkassen shall be deferred until the final settlement of the problem of reparations.

Whether 10,000 Russian females fall down from exhaustion while digging an antitank ditch interests me only in so far as the antitank ditch for Germany is finished.

Heinrich Himmler, Reichsführer-SS
(4 October 1943)
[34]

To this date, there are arguments that such settlement has never been fully carried out and that Germany post-war development has been greatly aided, while the development of victim countries stalled. [1]

A prominent example of a group which received almost no compensation for their time as forced labourer in Nazi Germany are the Polish forced labourers. According to the Potsdam Agreements of 1945, the Poles were to receive reparations not from Germany itself, but from the Soviet Union share of those reparations; due to the Soviet pressure on the Polish communist government, the Poles agreed to a system of repayment that de facto meant that few Polish victims received any sort of adequate compensation (comparable to the victims in Western Europe or Soviet Union itself). Most of the Polish share of reparations was "given" to Poland by Soviet Union under the Comecon framework, which was not only highly inefficient, but benefited Soviet Union much more than Poland. Under further Soviet pressure (related to the London Agreement on German External Debts), in 1953 the People's Republic of Poland renounced its right to further claims of reparations from the successor states of Nazi Germany. Only after the fall of communism in Poland in 1989/1990 did the Polish government try to renegotiate the issue of reparations, but found little support in this from the German side and none from the Soviet (later, Russian) side. [33]

The total number of forced labourers under Nazi rule who were still alive as of August 1999 was 2.3 million. [1] The German Forced Labour Compensation Programme was established in 2000; a forced labour fund paid out more than 4.37 billion euros to close to 1.7 million of then-living victims around the world (one-off payments of between 2,500 and 7,500  euros). [35] Germany Chancellor Angela Merkel stated in 2007 that "Many former forced labourers have finally received the promised humanitarian aid"; she also conceded that before the fund was established nothing had gone directly to the forced labourers. [35] German president Horst Koehler stated

It was an initiative that was urgently needed along the journey to peace and reconciliation... At least, with these symbolic payments, the suffering of the victims has been publicly acknowledged after decades of being forgotten. [35]

See also

Lists of German companies that exploited slave labor

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Organisation Todt Third Reich civil and military engineering group

Organisation Todt (OT) was a civil and military engineering organisation in Nazi Germany from 1933 to 1945, named for its founder, Fritz Todt, an engineer and senior Nazi. The organization was responsible for a huge range of engineering projects both in Nazi Germany and in occupied territories from France to the Soviet Union during World War II. It became notorious for using forced labour. From 1943-45 during the late phase of the Third Reich, OT administered all constructions of concentration camps to supply forced labor to industry.

Fritz Sauckel German general

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Lager Sylt was a Nazi concentration camp on Alderney in the British Crown Dependency in the Channel Islands. Built in 1942, along with three other labour camps by the Organisation Todt, the control of Lager Sylt changed from March 1943 to June 1944 when it was run by the Schutzstaffel - SS-Baubrigade 1 and Lager Sylt became a subcamp of the Neuengamme concentration camp.

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Extermination through labour Method of mass killing

Extermination through labour was the practice of concentration camps in Nazi Germany to kill prisoners by means of forced labour.

<i>Arbeitseinsatz</i>

Arbeitseinsatz was a forced labour category of internment within Nazi Germany during World War II. When German men were called up for military service, Nazi German authorities rounded up civilians to fill in the vacancies and to expand manufacturing operations. Some labourers came from Germany but exponentially more from roundups (łapanka) in the German-occupied territories. Arbeitseinsatz was not restricted to the industry sector and to arms producing factories; it also took place, for example, in the farming sector, community services, and even in the churches.

Holocaust victims individual who died because of the Holocaust

Holocaust victims were people who were targeted by the government of Nazi Germany for various discriminatory practices due to their ethnicity, religion, political beliefs, or sexual orientation. These institutionalized practices came to be called The Holocaust, and they began with legalized social discrimination against specific groups, and involuntary hospitalization, euthanasia, and forced sterilization of those considered physically or mentally unfit for society. These practices escalated during World War II to include non-judicial incarceration, confiscation of property, forced labor, sexual slavery, medical experimentation, and death through overwork, undernourishment, and execution through a variety of methods, with the genocide of different groups as the primary goal.

Soldau concentration camp Nazi concentration camp in Działdowo

The Soldau concentration camp established by Nazi Germany during World War II was a concentration camp for Polish and Jewish prisoners. It was located in Działdowo, a town in north-eastern Poland, which after the Nazi-Soviet invasion of Poland in September 1939 was annexed into the Province of East Prussia.

German mistreatment of Soviet prisoners of war

During World War II, Nazi Germany engaged in a policy of deliberate maltreatment of Soviet prisoners of war (POWs), in contrast to their treatment of British and American POWs. This resulted in some 3.3 to 3.5 million deaths.

<i>Ostarbeiter</i>

Ostarbeiter was a Nazi German designation for foreign slave workers gathered from occupied Central and Eastern Europe to perform forced labor in Germany during World War II. The Germans started deporting civilians at the beginning of the war and began doing so at unprecedented levels following Operation Barbarossa in 1941. They apprehended Ostarbeiter from the newly formed German districts of Reichskommissariat Ukraine, General Government Distrikt Galizien, and Reichskommissariat Ostland. These comprised German occupied Poland and the conquered territories of the Soviet Union. According to Pavel Polian over 50% of Ostarbeiters were formerly Soviet subjects originating from the territory of modern-day Ukraine, followed by Polish women workers, approaching 30%. Among the Eastern workers were ethnic Ukrainians, Poles, Belarusians, Russians, Tatars, and others. Estimates of the number of Ostarbeiter range between 3 million and 5.5 million.

Economy of Nazi Germany

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Alderney camps

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Polish decrees

Polish decrees, Polish directives or decrees on Poles were the decrees of the Nazi Germany government announced on 8 March 1940 during World War II to regulate the working and living conditions of the Polish workers (Zivilarbeiter) used during World War II as forced laborers in Germany. The regulation intentionally supported and even created anti-Polish racism and discrimination on the grounds of ethnicity and racial background.

Forced labor of Germans after World War II

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<i>Heuaktion</i>

The Heuaktion was a Nazi German World War II operation, in which 40,000 to 50,000 Polish children aged 10 to 14 were kidnapped by the German occupational forces and transported to Germany proper as slave labourers. The term "heuaktion" was an acronym for homeless, parent-less and unhoused. After arriving in Germany, the children were handed over to Organisation Todt and the Junkers aircraft works. The intention of the mass abduction was to pressure the adult populations of the occupied territories to register as workers in the Reich, and to weaken the “biological strength” of the areas of the Soviet republics which Germany had invaded.

Occupation of Poland (1939–1945) Occupation of Poland by Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union during the Second World War (1939–1945)

The occupation of Poland by Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union during World War II (1939–1945) began with the German-Soviet invasion of Poland in September 1939, and it was formally concluded with the defeat of Germany by the Allies in May 1945. Throughout the entire course of the foreign occupation, the territory of Poland was divided between Germany and the Soviet Union (USSR) with the intention of eradicating Polish culture and subjugating its people by occupying German and Soviet powers. In summer-autumn of 1941 the lands annexed by the Soviets were overrun by Germany in the course of the initially successful German attack on the USSR. After a few years of fighting, the Red Army drove the German forces out of the USSR and across Poland from the rest of Central and Eastern Europe.

References

Informational notes

  1. By September 1943 Italy had switched sides, and in Northern Italy the Italian Social Republic puppet state was born; therefore it is included in Occupied Western Europe. Bulgaria, Hungary and Romania would not switch sides until summer 1944 and are included in German allies section.

Citations

  1. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 John C. Beyer; Stephen A. Schneider. Forced Labour under Third Reich. Nathan Associates. Part1 Archived 2015-08-24 at the Wayback Machine and Part 2 Archived 2017-04-03 at the Wayback Machine .
  2. Ulrich Herbert, Hitler's Foreign Workers: Enforced Foreign Labour in Germany under the Third Reich (1997)
  3. Czesław Łuczak (1979). Polityka ludnościowa i ekonomiczna hitlerowskich Niemiec w okupowanej Polsce [Civilian and economic policy of Nazi Germany in occupied Poland]. Poznań: Wydawnictwo Poznańskie. pp. 136–. ISBN   832100010X . Retrieved 11 October 2013. Also in: Eksploatacja ekonomiczna ziem polskich (Economic exploitation of Poland's territory) by Dr. Andrzej Chmielarz, Polish Resistance in WW2, Eseje-Artykuły.
  4. Panikos Panayi, "Exploitation, Criminality, Resistance. The Everyday Life of Foreign Workers and Prisoners of War in the German Town of Osnabrück, 1939–49," Journal of Contemporary History Vol. 40, No. 3 (Jul., 2005), pp. 483–502 in JSTOR
  5. William I. Hitchcock, The Bitter Road to Freedom: The Human Cost of Allied Victory in World War II Europe (2008), pp 250–56
  6. Diemut Majer (2003). “Non-Germans” Under the Third Reich: The Nazi Judicial and Administrative System in Germany and Occupied Eastern Europe with Special Regard to Occupied Poland, 1939–1945. JHU Press. ISBN   978-0-8018-6493-3.
  7. Gellately, Robert (2002). Backing Hitler: Consent And Coercion In Nazi Germany. Oxford: Oxford University Press. p. 127. ISBN   0192802917.
  8. Majer, 2003, p. 303
  9. Marc Buggeln (2014). Slave Labor in Nazi Concentration Camps. Index of Companies. OUP Oxford. p. 335. ISBN   0191017647 via Google Books, preview.
  10. Sohn-Rethel, Alfred Economy and Class Structure of German Fascism, CSE Books, 1978 ISBN   0-906336-01-5
  11. Marek, Michael (2005-10-27). "Final Compensation Pending for Former Nazi Forced Labourers". Deutsche Welle. Retrieved 2008-05-20. See also: "Forced Labour at Ford Werke AG during the Second World War". The Summer of Truth Website. Archived from the original on 2007-10-14. Retrieved 2008-05-20.
  12. "Comprehensive List Of German Companies That Used Slave Or Forced Labour During World War II Released". American Jewish Committee. 7 December 1999. Archived from the original on 2008-04-08. Retrieved 2008-05-20. See also: Roger Cohen (February 17, 1999). "German Companies Adopt Fund For Slave Labourers Under Nazis". The New York Times . Retrieved 2008-05-20. "German Firms That Used Slave or Forced Labour During the Nazi Era". American Jewish Committee. January 27, 2000. Retrieved 2008-07-17.
  13. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 Ulrich Herbert (16 March 1999). "The Army of Millions of the Modern Slave State: Deported, used, forgotten: Who were the forced workers of the Third Reich, and what fate awaited them?". Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung. Archived from the original on June 4, 2011. Retrieved January 6, 2013.
  14. A. Paczkowski, Historia Powszechna/Historia Polski, Wydawnictwo Naukowe PWN, Warszawa 2008, tom 16, p. 28
  15. Alexander von Plato; Almut Leh; Christoph Thonfeld (2010). Hitler's Slaves: Life Stories of Forced Labourers in Nazi-Occupied Europe. Berghahn Books. pp. 251–62. ISBN   1845459903.
  16. Павел Полуян. Остарбайтеры (in Russian). Retrieved 2008-05-20.
  17. Special treatment is done by train (Sonderbehandlung)
  18. Robert Edwin Hertzstein, The War That Hitler Won p139 ISBN   0-399-11845-4
  19. Leila J. Rupp, Mobilizing Women for War, p 124-5, ISBN   0-691-04649-2, OCLC   3379930
  20. Robert Edwin Hertzstein, The War That Hitler Won p212 ISBN   0-399-11845-4
  21. Robert Edwin Hertzstein, The War That Hitler Won p211-2 ISBN   0-399-11845-4
  22. Nanda Herbermann; Hester Baer; Elizabeth Roberts Baer (2000). The Blessed Abyss (Google Books). Detroit: Wayne State University Press. pp. 33&#x2011, 34. ISBN   0-8143-2920-9 . Retrieved January 12, 2011. 
  23. Lenten, Ronit (2000). Israel and the Daughters of the Shoah: Reoccupying the Territories of Silence. Berghahn Books. pp. 33–34.  ISBN   1-57181-775-1 .
  24. Joanna Ostrowska, Marcin Zaremba, "Do burdelu, marsz!" (March in, to the brothel!), Polityka, No 22 (2707), May 30, 2009; pp. 70–72 (in Polish)
  25. Allen, Michael Thad (2002). The Business of Genocide. The University of North Carolina Press. p. 1. See also: Herbert, Ulrich. "Forced Labourers in the "Third Reich"". International Labour and Working-Class History. Archived from the original on 2008-04-15. Retrieved 2008-05-20.
  26. Shirer, William. The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich, Arrow books 1991.
  27. Christian Streit: Keine Kameraden: Die Wehrmacht und die Sowjetischen Kriegsgefangenen, 1941–1945, Bonn: Dietz (3. Aufl., 1. Aufl. 1978), ISBN   3-8012-5016-4 – "Between 22 June 1941 and the end of the war, roughly 5.7 million members of the Red Army fell into German hands. In January 1945, 930,000 were still in German camps. A million at most had been released, most of whom were so-called "volunteer" (Hilfswillige) for (often compulsory) auxiliary service in the Wehrmacht. Another 500,000, as estimated by the Army High Command, had either fled or been liberated. The remaining 3,300,000 (57.5 percent of the total) had perished."
  28. 1 2 HBC (25 September 2009). "Organization Todt". World War II: German Military Organizations. HBC Historical Clothing. Retrieved 16 October 2014. Sources: 1. Gruner, Wolf. Jewish Forced Labor Under the Nazis. Economic Needs and Racial Aims, 1938–1944 (New York: Cambridge University Press, 2006), published in association with the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. 2. U.S. War Department, "The Todt Organization and Affiliated Services" Tactical and Technical Trends No. 30 (July 29, 1943).
  29. Verordnung zur Sicherstellung des Kräftebedarfs für Aufgaben von besonderer staatspolitischer Bedeutung of October 15, 1938 (Notdienstverordnung), RGBl. 1938 I, Nr. 170, S. 1441–1443; Verordnung zur Sicherstellung des Kräftebedarfs für Aufgaben von besonderer staatspolitischer Bedeutung of February 13, 1939, RGBl. 1939 I, Nr. 25, S. 206f.; Gesetz über Sachleistungen für Reichsaufgaben (Reichsleistungsgesetz) of September 1, 1939, RGBl. 1939 I, Nr. 166, S. 1645–1654. [ RGBl = Reichsgesetzblatt, the official organ for he publication of laws.] For further background, see Die Ausweitung von Dienstpflichten im Nationalsozialismus Archived 2005-11-27 at the Wayback Machine (in German), a working paper of the Forschungsprojekt Gemeinschaften, Humboldt University, Berlin, 1996–1999.
  30. 1 2 Stanisław Dobosiewicz (1977). Mauthausen/Gusen; obóz zagłady (Mauthausen/Gusen; the Camp of Doom) (in Polish). Warsaw: Ministry of National Defense Press. p. 449. ISBN   83-11-06368-0.
  31. Wolfgang Sofsky (1999). The Order of Terror: The Concentration Camp. Princeton: Princeton University Press. p. 352. ISBN   0-691-00685-7.
  32. Władysław Gębik (1972). Z diabłami na ty (Calling the Devils by their Names) (in Polish). Gdańsk: Wydawnictwo Morskie. p. 332. See also: Günter Bischof; Anton Pelinka (1996). Austrian Historical Memory and National Identity. Transaction Publishers. pp. 185–190. ISBN   1-56000-902-0. and Cornelia Schmitz-Berning (1998). "Vernichtung durch Arbeit". Vokabular des Nationalsozialismus (Vocabulary of the National Socialism) (in German). Walter de Gruyter. p. 634. ISBN   3-11-013379-2.
  33. 1 2 Jeanne Dingell. "The Question of the Polish Forced Labourer during and in the Aftermath of World War II: The Example of the Warthegau Forced Labourers". remember.org. Retrieved 2008-06-02.
  34. Shirer 1990, p.937
  35. 1 2 3 Erik Kirschbaum (12 June 2007). "Germany ends war chapter with "slave fund" closure". Reuters. Archived from the original on 2008-07-24. Retrieved 2008-07-13.

Further reading