The image above comes from the affidavit of Karl Sommer. Sommer was an SS officer working in the Economic and Administrative Main Office (EAMO) in 1942, becoming its departmental head in 1944. EAMO was responsible for giving companies access to prisoners for slave labor (kind of a fore-runner of modern temp agencies).
After the war, Sommer was interviewed by the US Chief of Counsel on his activities under the Nazi regime, and specifically, about which companies used Nazi slave labor. Sommer said that the firms, after filling the necessary prerequisites, were allowed to come in to the camps and choose the prisoners they wanted. Even after seeing the horrible conditions in these camps, seeing the death, starvation, torture... these firms chose to take some of these people and exploit them for profit.
The first such firm named on Sommer's list is BMW, which makes 4 further appearances on the list. Altogether, BMW admits to using to using 25,000 - 30,000 slave laborers, POWs and concentration camp inmates. If they were payed, their meager earnings (20 cents an hour) went into the SS treasury to further fund their own annihilation (information from The Ethnic Newswatch 03.31.98). Other firms listed by Sommer include Ford, Volkswagen, Krupp, Siemens, Bayer, Porsche and Daimler-Benz (Mercedes).
Sommer's affidavit (Document No. NI-1065) is now on file in the National Archives.
KRUPP - Makers of washing machines, coffee makers, and the Nazi gas chambers. Krupp used over 70,000 people as slave labor in factories making armaments for the Nazis. It even operated a plant inside the infamous Auschwitz concentration camp which manufactured fuses, and another at the Ravensbreuck camp.
Quotes from the war crimes tribunal transcripts:
* "Once the war was on, Krupps, both Von Bohlen and Alfried being directly responsible therefor, led German industry in violating treaties and international law by employing enslaved laborers, impressed and imported from nearly every country occupied by Germany, and by compelling prisoners of war to make arms and munitions for use against their own countries. There is ample evidence that in Krupp's custody and service they were underfed and overworked, misused, and inhumanly treated. Captured records show that in September 1944 Krupp concerns were working 54,990 foreign workers and 18,902 prisoners of war."
* The children were housed in "sort of prison bunks... The children there were quite naked... Many of them had swollen heads... These children were so undernourished... Fifty or sixty children died every day, and as many were born every day, because there was an influx of eastern female workers with children... The children were cremated inside the camp...."
BAYER used to be a much larger German chemical company called IG Farben. Like Krupp and the telecom companySiemens, IG Farben operated in the Auschwitz death camp where it used prison labor in the production of synthetic rubber and oil. However, their most ghastly act was in the sale ofZyklon B - the poison used in the Nazi gas chambers. During the Nuremburg trials, 24 IG Farben executives were indicted and charged with 5 counts including "slavery and mass murder." 25,000 of the 35,000 slave laborers who worked for IG Farben at Auschwitz died there. The life expectancy of the average slave laborer was 3 and a half months.
DAIMLER-BENZ (now Daimler-Chrysler) started using foreign workers and Soviet & French POWs as forced labor in early 1941, and were heavily dependent on them by the end of that year. The forced laborers were housed in barracks at the plants and worked horrible shifts doing the most back-breaking tasks. Many of the Soviet workers refused to work, and engaged in strikes. Daimler-Benz sent the "ring-leaders" of these strikes to concentration camps.
In December of 1944, Daimler-Benz was using 26,958 forced foreign workers, 4,887 POWs, and thousands of concentration camp inmates under the most brutal conditions to build the Luftwaffe and other weapons of the Nazi war machine. However, this number does not take into account the number of workers who had previously escaped, died, or had been sent to concentration camps. As the war progressed and it became obvious that Germany would lose, Daimler-Benz factories became even more cruel, using more and more prisoners, and sending greater numbers of dissident workers to the camps.
Using Daimler-Benz's own archive to research it's activities under Hitler, Neil Gregor wrote an exhaustive account calledDaimler-Benz in the Third Reich. Referring to Daimler-Benz and other companies using forced labor, Gregor states:
Click here to see a pre-war pro-Nazi ad by Daimler-Benz
OPEL, a subsidiary of GM, employed thousands of forced laborers in it's German auto plants. GM claims that it cut all ties with Opel during the war, yet it regained control of Opel after the war, keeping the profits Opel made working for Hitler. Opel produced half of all the trucks and many of the airplanes used by the Nazi military.
In 1967, GM was given $33 million of our tax dollars as payment for the GM factory the US bombed in Russelsheim.
A well-known anti-semite, Henry Ford, published anti-Jewish slandersand was awarded the highest medal Hitler could award a foreigner (The Grand Cross of the German Eagle). Ford was even named in Hitler's auto-biography, Mein Kampf, as the only man in America who was fully independent from Jewish control.
A US Army report shows Ford, the company, as an enthusiastic supporter of Hitler's regime whose German division made huge profits in becoming an "arsenal of Nazism."
Like GM, Ford claims to have lost control of its German division, Fordwerke, before it started using forced labor. However, according to a well-researched and damning report in The Nation, "Robert Schmidt, the man appointed to run Ford Werke in 1939, states that the company used forced laborers even before the Nazis put the plant in trusteeship." Ford also placed a rabid Nazi as head of Fordwerke, and US Government documents show that Ford was in constant communication with the Ford plants in Nazi-occupied Vichy France.
From a US Forces report on Fordwerke: "Of the 350,000 trucks which the motorized German army possessed in 1942, 100,000 to 120,000 were Ford-built. Of the Wehrmacht's total of 650,000 mobile units of all kinds, 15 to 20% were built by Ford, including approximately 10,000 half-trucks."
It's interesting to note that while Americans of Japanese ancestry were rounded up and placed in camps by the US government, large companies like Ford were allowed to help build the Nazi military without much interference.
VW's founder, Ferdinand Porsche, was an SS activist and chairman of the Panzer committee which developed innovations in armored vehicles. He also played a key role in developing the Fi 103 flying bombs which were usedindiscriminately against civilians.
Statements taken from the U.S. Army War Crimes Investigationreport about the VW hospital facilities: "In the opinion of this officer the function of this organization was nothing more than a death chamber for children of slave workers and veiled by the term 'maternity hospital.'" "The infants literally rotted away with the same sequence of symptoms, vomiting, diarrhea, emaciation, distended blueish colored abdomens and death. The nursery was loaded with bedbugs and flies. The infants cried all night while being bitten by the bedbugs. . . . One mother attempted to take her child from the nursery in a hand bag."
These saucy young gents are ready to take on, or over, the world in Hugo Boss' 1936 line of Nazi uniforms and accessories.
Exposed in 1997, Hugo Boss admitted that not only did its factories make uniforms for the German SS, storm troopers, Wehrmacht and Hitler Youth, they probably did so with slave labor. Read the Washington Post articlehere...