Friday, May 01, 2009

From Destruction through Labour to Destruction of Labour

This phrase comes from Browning, p.87, and describes a transition that can be encapsulated in two extracts. The first comes from Oswald Pohl and describes the labour policy that existed as of April 1942 in the General Government:

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The commander of camp alone is responsible for the employment of the workers. This work input must be exhaustive in the true sense of the word, in order to obtain a maximum of achievement. [...] The work time is bound to no borders. [...] Time-consuming advances and lunch time only for meal purposes are forbidden. [IMT: The process, volume XXXVIII, page 366/Doku. 129-R].
The second comes from the diary of Hans Frank, is dated 9 December 1942, and describes the dilemma that Frank faced after Himmler had intervened to exterminate his essential Jewish workers:
In our time-tested Jews we have had a not insignificant source of labour manpower taken from us. It is clear that the process of mobilizing labour is rendered more difficult when in the midst of this wartime labour program the order comes that all Jews are to be left to their destruction [cited, Browning, p.79].

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