Medical Examination of Polish Farm Hands Recruited as Foreign Workers for the Reich (April/May 1940)
The millions of foreign and forced laborers in the German Reich posed a serious problem for the Nazi regime. On the one hand, they were indispensable for the German war economy. On the other, they were a significant security risk, not least because of the possibility of "racial corruption." A multitude of new laws was supposed to ensure the total isolation of foreigner workers from the German population. Their range of movement was supposed to be strictly limited to their workplaces and their lodgings. Public institutions were closed to them, and contact with the German population was forbidden and subject to severe punishment. However, their treatment varied depending on their status in the Nazi racial hierarchy. For example, Slavic workers were exploited with particular harshness and brutality. Photo by Arthur Grimm.