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Fritz Sauckel's Labor Mobilization Program (April 20, 1942)

To remedy Germany’s labor shortage, foreign workers were recruited for German industry and agriculture or drafted into forced labor as early as the start of the war. On March 21, 1942, Hitler appointed Fritz Sauckel Plenipotentiary-General for Labor Mobilization. Sauckel remained in this position until the end of the war and was responsible for the deportation and exploitation of approximately 5 million forced laborers from the occupied territories. In April 1942, Sauckel sent the following document, a description of his program of abduction and enslavement – which mainly targeted residents of Eastern Europe and the Soviet Union – to Alfred Rosenberg, who had been appointed Reich Minister for the Occupied Eastern Territories in 1941. After the war, both Sauckel and Rosenberg were found guilty at the Nuremberg Trials of the Major War Criminals. Both were executed.

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Very esteemed and dear Party-member Rosenberg!
Enclosed please find my program for the mobilization of labor. Please excuse the fact that this copy still contains a few corrections.

Heil Hitler!
[signed] Fritz Sauckel

To The “Reichminister”
for the Occupied Territories of the East
Party-Member Rosenberg

[From] The Deputy for the Four-Year Plan
The Plenipotentiary for Labor Mobilization

20 April 1942

The Labor Mobilization Program

[ . . . ]

The aim of this new, gigantic labor mobilization is to use all the rich and tremendous sources, conquered and secured for us by our fighting Armed Forces under the leadership of Adolf Hitler, for the armament of the Armed Forces and also for the nutrition of the Homeland. The raw materials as well as the fertility of the conquered territories and their manpower are to be used completely and conscientiously to the profit of Germany and her allies.

In spite of the fact that most of the German people capable of doing so have already made a most commendable effort for the war economy, more considerable reserves must be found and made available under any circumstances.

The decisive measure to realize this is the uniformly regulated and directed labor mobilization of the nation at the war.

[ . . . ]

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