Marcels letters, p.33
Marcel's Letters, page 33
53 “Deported en masse”: Billstein, et al. Working for the Enemy, 6.
53 Some were as young as ten years old: Heer, Hans and Naumann, Klaus, editors. War of Extermination: The German Military in World War II, 1941–1944. New York, Berghahn Books, 2000, 139.
53 Five million workers would be brought into Germany: Zetterberg, Harriet; Karsten, Thomas L., Lt. USNR; Mathias, James H., Captain JAGD; Meltzer, Bernard D., Lt. (jg) USNR. “The Slave Labor Program, The Illegal Use of Prisoners of War, and The Special Responsibility of Defendants Sauckel and Speer Therefor.” Nuremberg, Germany: International Military Tribunal, 1945-11-11. Ithaca, New York: Cornell University Law Library. Volume 008, Subdivision 15/Forced Labor, 38. Another source cites the figure of seven million workers: Billstein, et al. Working for the Enemy, 142. Another source cites the figure of eight million workers: United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. Resources for Academics and Research. Research in Collections. Search the Collections. Bibliographies. “Forced Labor.” https://www.ushmm.org/research/research-in-collections/search-the-collections/bibliography/forced-labor Last accessed September 19, 2016
53 Fewer than 200,000 were there voluntarily: Zetterberg, et al. “The Slave Labor Program, The Illegal Use of Prisoners of War, and The Special Responsibility of Defendants Sauckel and Speer Therefor,” 38.
53 Relève: Vinen. The Unfree French, 197–199.
53 Radio broadcasts promised favorable wages, comfortable living conditions, and assured prospective workers that the Germans respected everybody, “be he manual or intellectual worker”: Fried. The Exploitation of Foreign Labor by Germany, 113.; Propaganda Radio Paris broadcast of June 24, 1942. Fried. The Exploitation of Foreign Labor by Germany, 201–202.
53 The Germans agreed to release one French prisoner of war for every three volunteers: Vinen. The Unfree French, 197.
54 Many of the first French “volunteers” were from the fringes of society: Petty criminals: Vinen. The Unfree French, 122; “The idle”: Vinen. The Unfree French, 266; Foreigners: Vinen. The Unfree French, 122; Women who were pregnant by German soldiers: Vinen. The Unfree French, 165; Or who had no other way to support their children: Vinen. The Unfree French, 164.
54 Reports even swirled of the Vichy government deporting children on public assistance: Vinen. The Unfree French, 122.
54 The pretense of voluntary recruitment was abandoned: Fried. The Exploitation of Foreign Labor by Germany, 27.
54 The first STO provisions: “Loi du 4 Septembre 1942 Relative à L’Utilisation et à L’Orientation de la Main-D’Oeuvre.” Journal Officiel de la République Française. 13 Septembre 1942. A 74, N220, page 3122. www.gallica.bnf.fr/ark:/12148/bpt6k9614034k/f2.item
55 “air of legality”: Fried. The Exploitation of Foreign Labor by Germany, 244.
55 Prohibited by international law: Fried. The Exploitation of Foreign Labor by Germany, 1.
55 In a letter Sauckel wrote to Hitler: 556 PS-43, August 1943. Zetterberg, et al. “The Slave Labor Program, The Illegal Use of Prisoners of War, and The Special Responsibility of Defendants Sauckel and Speer Therefor,” 8.
55 Five months after the September STO law was published, after Sauckel demanded even more French workers, a second law subjected men who were in their early twenties—those who had been born in 1920, 1921, or 1922—to work in Germany for two years in lieu of fulfilling traditional military service: Loi du 16 Février 1943.
55 In a later letter to Hitler, Sauckel explained: 556 PS-55, January 1944. Zetterberg, et al. “The Slave Labor Program, The Illegal Use of Prisoners of War, and The Special Responsibility of Defendants Sauckel and Speer Therefor,” 9.
55 650,000 French civilian workers would be deported: Other figures range as high as 1,100,000; however, those figures include French prisoners of war who had their status changed (voluntarily or involuntarily) to civilian worker. www.requis-deportes-sto.com
55 Tens of thousands would not return: http://www.requis-deportes-sto.com
56 Had been featured on television: “Minnesota Original” via TPT/Twin Cities Public Television: http://www.mnoriginal.org/artist/chank-diesel/
56 One designer’s font was even the basis of Facebook’s iconic f: “Klavika” designed by Eric Olson, https://processtypefoundry.com/fonts/klavika/ Per the website “Fonts in Use” (http://fontsinuse.com/uses/9/the-social-network): “The Facebook logo is a judicious modification of Eric Olson’s Klavika, with tighter spacing, some wider lettershapes, and a taming of Klavika’s very distinctive ‘k.’”
56 Sixteenth-century ornamented capitals: University of Minnesota’s Bell Museum collection. Ornamented capitals, curated by Bill Moran of Hamilton Type Museum. Bell Museum: http://www.bellmuseum.umn.edu. Hamilton Type Museum: http://woodtype.org
60 Some camps had functions other than extermination: United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. Online Holocaust Encyclopedia: “Concentration Camp System in Depth.” www.ushmm.org/wlc/en/article.php?ModuleId=10007387. Accessed September 29, 2016.
60 Or were specifically for Communists, Roma, or Spanish refugees: Communists: “In the earliest years of the Third Reich, various central, regional, and local authorities in Germany established concentration camps to detain political opponents of the regime, including German communists …” Ibid; Roma: News Wire. “Hollande acknowledges France’s role in interning thousands of Roma during WWII.” France 24. October 29, 2016. http://m.france24.com/en/20161029-france-hollande-acknowledges-internment-thousands-roma-during-wwii; Spanish refugees: Gurs Internment camp in Pyrénées-Atlantique: http://gurs.free.fr
60 I was surprised to learn that camps in Germany had opened as early as 1933, camps existed in Norway and Finland, nearly eighty camps existed inside France, and 170 camps were located in Berlin: 1933: United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. Holocaust Encyclopedia. “Concentration Camps, 1933–1939.” http://www.ushmm.org/wlc/en/article.php?ModuleId=10005263. Accessed September 26, 2016.; Norway and Finland: JewishGen. http://www.jewishgen.org/Forgotten Camps/Camps/MainCampsEng.html; Nearly eighty camps existed inside France: Jewish Virtual Library. http://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/jsource/Holocaust/cclist.html#fran; 170 camps were located in Berlin: Wachsmann, Nikolaus. KL: A History of the Nazi Concentration Camps. New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2015, 36.
60 Some were outposts with a “handful of prisoners”: Wachsmann. KL: A History of the Nazi Concentration Camps, 36.
60 More than forty thousand camps, ghettos, and detention sites existed: United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. “Encyclopedia of Camps and Ghettos, 1933–1945.” Publications. www.ushmm.org/research/publications/encyclopedia-camps-ghettos. Accessed September 1, 2016.
61 A hierarchy existed among prisoners … groups considered “subhuman” by the Germans: Billstein, et al. Working for the Enemy, 142–144.
61 Western European workers received higher wages for their work, and in some cases, additional food: Higher wages: Fried. The Exploitation of Foreign Labor by Germany, 107–134.; Additional food: Hopman, Barbara; Spoerer, Mark; Weitz, Birgit; Brüninghaus, Beate. Zwangsarbeit bei Daimler-Benz (Forced Labor at Daimler-Benz). Stuttgart: Franz Steiner Verlag, 1994, 204.
61 The right to unlimited correspondence: Vinen. The Unfree French, 291.
61 But I kept digging, and eventually found a description within a massive encyclopedia of camps: Megargee, Geoffrey P., Editor. Encyclopedia of Camps and Ghettos, 1933–1945. Volume 1: Early Camps, Youth Camps, and Concentration Camps and Subcamps Under the SS-Business Administration Main Office (WVHA). Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2009, 1277–1278.
62 “This evening I was reading about the corporations that used forced labor: Daimler, Bayer, Krupp”: Statement on Bayer’s website: History I.G. Farbenindustrie AG (1925–1945). “Production requirements grew steadily, yet more and more employees were drafted into military service. For this reason, foreign and forced laborers from the occupied countries of Europe were brought to work in Leverkusen, Dormagen, Elberfeld and Uerd
62 Average life span of a forced laborer was three and a half months: Friedman, Karen. “Big Business and the Holocaust.” Dimensions: A Journal of Holocaust Studies. Vol. 13, No. 2.
63 It was BMW, Siemens, Volkswagen, Porsche, Audi, and Kodak: BMW: Govan, Fiona. “BMW Dynasty Breaks Silence Over Nazi Past.” The Telegraph. September 29, 2011. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/history/world-war-two/8796157/BMW-dynasty-breaks-silence-over-Nazi-past.html; Siemens: Statement on Siemens’s website: “The National Socialist Economy and the War Years (1933–1945).”www.siemens.com/history/en/history/1933_1945_the_national_socialist_economy_and_the_war_years.htm; Volkswagen: Volkswagen website: Place of Remembrance of Forced Labor in the Volkswagen Factory. Forced Labor in the Third Reich: An Introduction. Volkswagen AG, 2013. www.volkswagenag.com/content/vwcorp/content/en/the_group/history/remembrance.html; Porsche: Klawitter, Nils. “Porsche’s Past: The Dark Pre-History of the World’s Favorite Sports Car.” Der Spiegel. October 1, 2009.www.spiegel.de/international/germany/porsche-s-past-the-dark-pre-history-of-the-world-s-favorite-sports-car-a-652371.html; Audi: “Audi Comes Clean About its Nazi Past.” Deutsche Welle. May 26, 2014. www.dw.com/p/1C7E2; Kodak: Friedman, John S. “Kodak’s Nazi Connections.” The Nation. March 8, 2001. www.thenation.com/article/kodaks-nazi-connections
63 It was Hugo Boss, who used forced labor to sew German uniforms: In 2011, Hugo Boss financed the study of the company’s wartime collaboration. The result of their research is published in Hugo Boss, 1924–1945. The History of a Clothing Factory During the Weimar Republic and Third Reich. www.group.hugoboss.com/en/group/about-hugo-boss/history
63 It even included Ford’s German division, Fordwerke: Billstein, et al. Working for the Enemy.
63 Any justice in his execution was too late for the thousands of forced laborers who died working for I.G. Farben, or for starving Siemens workers … or for Daimler workers executed after they “hesitated to obey a work command”: I.G. Farben workers: United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. Learn About the Holocaust. The Holocaust: A Learning Site for Students, “Forced Labor.” https://www.ushmm.org/outreach/en/article.php?ModuleId=10007732; Siemens workers: Helm. Ravensbrück: Life and Death in Hitler’s Concentration Camp for Women, 463; Daimler workers: Bellon, Bernard P. Mercedes in Peace and War: German Automobile Workers, 1903–1945. New York: Columbia University Press, 1990, 246.
70 Seven hundred now called it home: EHESS (L’École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales). http://cassini.ehess.fr/cassini/fr/html/fiche.php?select_resultat=34118. Figures are a combined total of Berchères-Saint-Germain and Berchères-la-Maingot.
70 On the first, which had been mailed in 1903: The postcard included the stamp “The Sower,” issued in 1903.
72 One baby was crucified: Account by Raymond J. Murphy, a twenty-year-old 2d Lt, U.S.A.C., and American B-17 navigator. E&E Report No. 866 filed on August 15 after Murphy had been rescued by the French Resistance and flown to England. Harris, Shane. “The Massacre at Oradour-sur-Glane: An American lawyer finds new evidence about one of World War II’s most notorious war crimes, seven decades after D-Day.” Foreign Policy. June 5, 2014. http://foreignpolicy.com/2014/06/05/the-massacre-at-oradour-sur-glane/
72 Only one woman survived: Oradour-sur-Glane Memorial Center, www.oradour.org
75 “His house has started the process to release him as a father of four children”: “A concession was offered to French workers when, on 16 October 1943, Fritz Sauckel informed Pierre Laval, head of the Vichy Government, that Germany would not demand further French manpower for Germany in 1943; ‘from now on, certain Frenchmen working in Germany will have an opportunity of being replaced, man by man, in German factories and concerns on the principle that the total number of French workers in Germany remains the same.’ Men over 45 and fathers of four children were to be ‘methodically’ replaced by ‘younger men.’” Fried. The Exploitation of Foreign Labor by Germany, 198.
77 The passages about traveling to Eisenach … were surprising: The Eisenach labor camp (a subcamp of Buchenwald) was for BMW workers. As such, it was plausible that Marcel knew someone who had been sent to the Eisenach labor Camp. Eisenach is 220+ miles from Berlin, which would make sense since he noted he had to leave at 6:30 to arrive by 12:30. Ferencz, Benjamin B. Less Than Slaves: Jewish Forced Labor and the Quest for Compensation. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1979, 199.
77 Coded messages were sometimes hidden in benign-sounding phrases: http://www.6thcorpscombatengineers.com/engforum/index.php?showtopic=3770
81 Then, as now, Daimler-Benz built Mercedes cars: The first Mercedes-Benz brand name vehicles were produced in 1926, following the merger of Karl Benz’s and Gottlieb Daimler’s companies into the Daimler-Benz company. Today, Mercedes cars are produced by Daimler AG.
81 “No other motor company did so much for the Third Reich”: Bellon. Mercedes in Peace and War, 232–233.
81 “Would be provided with sufficient business with army contracts from the War Ministry for … years”: Bellon. Mercedes in Peace and War, 222.
81 At least five workers had been executed: Bellon. Mercedes in Peace and War, 237–238.
82 One thousand workers had been ordered from the Ravensbrück and Sachsenhausen camps to work at Daimler’s Genshagen factory: Bellon. Mercedes in Peace and War, 242.
82 “The worst human rights violations happened in Poland”: Bellon. Mercedes in Peace and War, 246–248.
82 The Daimler representative handpicked the workers he wanted: Bellon. Mercedes in Peace and War, 245–246.
82 Text from Daimler website: Daimler, Tradition, “Company History: Daimler-Benz in the Nazi Era (1933–1945).” https://www.daimler.com/company/tradition/company-history/1933-1945.html. Reprinted with permission.
83 The image was of the Riedmühle labor camp, not Marienfelde: Image on Daimler’s website as of September 22, 2013.
84 “Years ago I purchased a small collection of handwritten letters.”: The letter to Wolfgang actually said “Back in 2004 or so,” which was my best recollection at the time. The change has been made to eliminate confusion. Edits have been made throughout to reduce the overall length.
88 He attached a black-and-white image of two expressionless men standing at long machines: The photo is labeled “Ndl. Landau Dreherei.”
89 Swastika inside a gear: That was the symbol for the German Labor Front, the National Socialist trade union organization that replaced the various trade unions after Adolf Hitler’s rise to power. Ley, Robert. Organisationsbuch der NSDAP, 3 Auflage. München. 1937, 229 and Plate 25.
89 International Tracing Service: www.its-arolsen.org
90 Offenses committed by the men transferred to Spandau: Strafanstalt Berlin-Spandau, Document No. 11303723#1 (188.8.131.52/0001-0189/0156/0037) International Tracing Service Archives
91 “Punishable acts” … were exempt from judicial review: Fried. The Exploitation of Foreign Labor by Germany, 191.
91 “On a spree”: I believe the use of the word “spree” in this context referred to a night of drinking. That is based on the use of “spree” in this book: Hélion, Jean. They Shall Not Have Me: The Capture, Forced Labor, and Escape of a French Prisoner in World War II. New York: Skyhorse Publishing, 2012, 215.
91 Work contracts were extended by the length of the prison term: Fried. The Exploitation of Foreign Labor by Germany, 89.
91 I would read an account of one French prisoner in Sachsenhausen “battered to death for taking two carrots from a sheep pen,” and another account of a Frenchman executed after a German’s sandwich went missing: Two carrots: Wachsmann. KL: A History of the Nazi Concentration Camps, 211; Sandwich: Wachsmann.
91 Its bricks were ground to dust, then buried: Goda, Norman J.W. Tales from Spandau: Nazi Criminals and the Cold War. New York: Cambridge University Press, 2007, 272.
91 They pooled money to buy food and help others “get on their feet”: Hopman, et al. Zwangsarbeit bei Daimler-Benz (Forced Labor at Daimler-Benz), 200.
102 Text of the chapter Wolfgang provided: Hopman, et al. Zwangsarbeit bei Daimler-Benz (Forced Labor at Daimler-Benz), 193–210.
102 The part of the factory that made tanks and military vans: Information provided by Wolfgang Rabus, Mercedes-Benz Classic, Archive, in an email dated September 28, 2015.
102 It was also the same part of the factory, I would eventually learn, where Marcel worked: The postcard Marcel mailed January 18, 1943, has “Werk 40” in the return address. “Werk” translates to “plant” or “workshop.”
104 Hunger haunted the barracks: Wachsmann. KL: A History of the Nazi Concentration Camps, 211.
105 Wedding rings were sometimes traded for bread: Poulard, Elie. A French Slave in Nazi Germany: A Testimony. Notre Dame: Notre Dame Press, 2016, 35.
105 “Employers are only permitted to issue these clothes when absolutely necessary”: Fried. The Exploitation of Foreign Labor by Germany, 102.
106 “For the use of the clothes, the worker must pay a fee, which is to be deducted from his wages,” read an order by the Reich Director for Clothing and Related Industries: Fried. The Exploitation of Foreign Labor by Germany, 101–102.
106 For East Workers, companies like Daimler paid the SS “for the privilege of using the camp inmates”: Ferencz. Less Than Slaves: Jewish Forced Labor and the Quest for Compensation, 24.
106 Any mistake was a pretext for a fine: Histoire d’une Période Noire; Conditions de vie Des Déportés du Travail. http://www.requis-deportes-sto.com/index.php/histoire/19431945/conditions-de-vie
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