GHDI logo

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)

page 4 of 4    print version    return to list previous document      next document

g) All foreign workers are granted religious counseling if they require it. At this point, only counseling by laymen is allowed for nationals from the occupied Eastern territories. Counseling by Russian and Ukrainian emigrants is prohibited.

In case of death, foreigners are buried in public cemeteries.

h) Political persuasion is primarily supposed to mobilize forces against Bolshevism and is to be conducted accordingly.

Since they have been issued as directives by the responsible agencies, the principles laid out above are binding on all organizations, offices, and individuals. All offices charged with the deployment and supervision of foreign laborers, especially workshop and camp leaders, are responsible for implementing and complying with these principles in practice. They must be aware that violations of the abovementioned principles harm the German wartime economy, and thus indirectly the front, and for that reason they must be prosecuted not only as apolitical crimes (i.e., assault, fraud, exorbitant pricing), but under certain circumstances even as aiding the enemy. Not only the perpetrators themselves, but also the heads of the responsible offices can also be held accountable. Furthermore, insufficient instruction or supervision of subordinated offices can lead to prosecution under employment law.

All existing orders and directives for the treatment of foreign workers will be reviewed for their compliance with the abovementioned principles by the responsible offices. Should this not be the case, they will be changed immediately and brought into line.

Berlin, April 15, 1943.

Source of original German text: Rundschreiben Bormanns vom 5. Mai 1943 mit Merkblatt über die allgemeinen Grundsätze für die Behandlung der im Reich tätigen ausländischen Arbeitskräfte (Beweisstück GB-538), in Der Prozess gegen die Hauptkriegsverbrecher vor dem Internationalen Militärgerichtshof. Nürnberg 14. November 1945 - 1. Oktober 1946. Volume XXV, Amtlicher Text – Deutsche Ausgabe, Urkunden und anderes Beweismaterial. Nuremberg 1947. Reprint: Munich, Delphin Verlag, 1989, Document 205-PS, pp. 298-301.

Translation: Insa Kummer

first page < previous   |   next > last page