University of Wisconsin Digital Collections
Link to University of Wisconsin Digital Collections
Link to University of Wisconsin Digital Collections
The History Collection

Page View

Military government weekly information bulletin
Number 62 (October 1946)

Press and radio comment,   pp. 18-31 PDF (7.5 MB)


Page 26

Conclusion: The Tribunal finds that von
Papen is not guilty under this Indictment,
and directs that he shall be discharged by
the Marshal, when the Tribunal presently
adjourns.     Albert Speer
Speer joined the Nazi Party in 1932. In
1934 he was made Hitler's architect and
became a close personal confidant.... On
15 February 1942 .... Speer was appointed
Chief of the Organization Todt and Reich
Minister for Armaments and Munitions
(after 2 September 1943, for Armaments and
War    Production).  The  positions  were
supplemented by his appointments in March
and April 1942 as General Plenipotentiary
for Armaments and as a member of the
Central Planning Board, both within the
Four Year Plan. Speer was a member of
the Reichstag from 1941 until the end of
the war.
The Tribunal is of opinion that Speer's ac-
tivities do not amount to initiating, planning
or preparing wars of aggression, or of con-
spiring to that end.... The evidence intro-
duced against Speer under Counts Three and
Four relates entirely to his participation in
the slave labor program. Speer himself had
no direct administrative responsibility for
this program.... Speer had     extensive
authority  over production.  His original
authority was over construction and produc-
tion of arms for the OKW. This was progres-
sively expanded to include naval armaments,
civilian production and finally.... air ar-
mament ....
The practice was developed under which
Speer transmitted to Sauckel an estimate of
the total number of workers needed, Sauckel
obtained the labor and allocated it to the
various industries in accordance with in-
structions supplied by Speer. Speer knew
when he made his demands on Sauckel that
they would be supplied from foreign laborers
serving under compulsion....
Speer... established the so-called "block-
ed industries" in the occupied territories
which were used to produce goods to be
shipped to Germany. Employees of these in-
dustries were immune from deportation to
Germany as slave laborers and any wokerr
who had been ordered to go to Germany
could avoid deportation if he went to work
for a blocked industry. This system, al-
though somewhat less inhumane than deport.-
ation to Germany, was still illegal....
Speer was also directly involved in the
utilization of forced labor as Chief of the
Organization Todt. The Organization Todt
functioned principally in the occupied areas
on such projects as the Atlantic Wall and
the construction of military highways, and
Speer has admitted that he relied on compul-
sory service to keep it adequately staffed...
Speer was also involved in the use of prison-
ers of war in armament industries but con-
tends he only utilized Soviet prisoners of
war in industries covered by the Geneva
Convention....
In mitigation it must be recognized that
Speer's establishment of blocked industries
did keep many laborers in their homes and
that in the closing stages of the war he was
one of the few men who had the courage to
tell Hitler that the war was lost and to take
steps to prevent the senseless destruction of
production facilities, both in occupied ter-
ritories and in Germany. ยข He carried out his
opposition to Hitler's scorched earth program
in some of the western countries and in Ger-
many by deliberately sabotaging- it at con-
siderable personal risk.
Conclusion: The Tribunal finds that Speer
is not guilty on Counts One and Two (con-
spiracy, crimes against peace), but is guilty
under Counts Three and Four (wars crimes,
crimes against humanity).
Sentence: Twenty years imprisonment.
Constantin von Neurath
He is a professional diplomit.... On
2 June 1932 he was apopinted Minister of
Foreign Affairs in the von Papen cabinet, a
position which he held under the cabinets of
von Schleicher and Hitler. Von Neurath
resigned.... on 4 February 1938 and was
made Reich Minister without Portfolio,
president of the Secret Cabinet Council and
a member of the Reich Defense Council. On
18 March 1939 he was appointed Reich Pro-,
26


Go up to Top of Page