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Martin Bormann’s Circular of May 5, 1943, which included a Memorandum on the General Principles Governing the Treatment of Foreign Laborers Employed in the Reich (dated April 15, 1943)

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a) If possible, each foreign worker will be used for that job in which he can deliver the highest performance on the basis of his training and prior experience.

b) Camps will be the standard accommodation for foreign workers. Ideally, accommodations must be equipped with all the necessities as regards orderliness, cleanliness, and hygiene. Prison-like bars and barbed wire are prohibited. Great importance is placed on accommodating male and female foreign workers in a manner that corresponds with their national customs, to such extent as permitted by the circumstances of the war. The foreigners are to be housed with other members of their ethnic group, insofar as this is possible. The cooperation of foreign workers in camp administration and the maintenance of order is ensured. For all camps, there are camp rules that specifically define the duties and rights of camp and workshop leaders.

c) When recruited, foreign workers are required to bring clothing and shoes with them to Germany. When this is not possible, or when it becomes necessary to replace worn-out clothing, they will be provided with clothing and shoes – taking into account the limitations of wartime – to guarantee that they will be protected against weather exposure to the extent necessary to maintain their health.

d) Foreign workers receive the food rations determined by the Reich Minister for Nutrition and Agriculture; these are based on the provisions for German workers in comparable jobs. If possible, ethnic foods will be considered. It will be ensured that foreign laborers will actually be given provisions in the rations allotted to them. Fraud, exorbitant prices, etc., by oversight offices and executive organs will be persecuted as though the crime had been committed against Germans.

e) All foreign workers have the right to effective health services. The directives on preventing epidemics and infectious diseases are applied without restriction. Medical aid is provided by camp, ward, or public-hospital physicians, depending on local circumstances. The number of beds required for stationary care in the sick ward or the public hospital is to be maintained in the appropriate manner. Nurses and, under certain circumstances, physicians and assistants of the patient’s own ethnicity are to be consulted if possible. Delivery facilities for pregnant female laborers are to be provided, as well as breast-feeding and child care facilities to the extent required. Child care is to be provided by female members of the mother’s own ethnic group. Pregnant workers will only be transferred back to their home countries in exceptional cases and on their own request.

f) Entertainment is the most important element in preserving foreign workers’ ability and motivation to work. Events, leisure activities, sports, etc., are to be organized primarily in the camps by the camp staff. In addition, special artistic and folkloric ensembles representing various nationalities will be employed for further entertainment. If possible, Heimat films will be screened as well. Moreover, each camp shall have access to books, magazines, and newspapers in the appropriate foreign languages. Language classes shall facilitate communication in the workplace. Specialized dictionaries for all the nations are being edited and published.

Furthermore, Eastern European workers also have the opportunity to go out on their day off at the very least.

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