War Victims Pension from the German Government?
NS-Zwangsarbeiter: Fast 55 Jahre nach Kriegsende weigern sich noch immer viele Unternehmen zu entschädigen. Seit über einem Jahr pokern Bundesregierung und Industrie mit den Opfern. Die Verhandlungen stocken. Acht Milliarden Mark, sagte Schröder gestern, sind das letzte Angebot. Diese Firmen wollen laut American Jewish Committee nicht entschädigen. Wollen sie warten, bis auch der letzte Zwangsarbeiter gestorben ist? Und glauben sie, dass wir das hinnehmen?
German Firms That Used Slave Or Forced Labor
During the Nazi Era
Prepared by the American Jewish Committee Berlin Office.
December 7, 1999
The following list of companies is composed of two categories: companies that requisitioned forced and slave labor during the Third Reich and companies today with names and locations so similar that the assumption can be made that they are the same firms. The American Jewish Committee does not claim any legal connection between the historical and actual list of companies. The AJC wishes to stress that this list is meant as a public service, broadening discussion about the labor system during the Nazi era. It is not intended as a judgment of individual companies.
The source for the historical data is the book Catalogue of Camps and Prisons in Germany and the German-Occupied Territories, published in July 1949 by the International Tracing Service (ITS) in Arolsen, Germany and reissued in 1990 by Martin Weinmann under the title Das nationalsozialistische Lagersystem Verlag Zweitausendeins: Frankfurt 1990. The sources for companies currently in operation are two major registers of German companies, Mittelstaendische Unternehmen 1999, Vol. 1 - 3, Darmstadt Hoppenstedt: 1999 and Handbuch der Grossunternehmen 1999, Vol. 1-2, Darmstadt Hoppenstedt: 1999.
The research of the ITS in Arolsen was for the purposes of locating missing persons. The intention was not to provide a complete historical document of all work sites where forced labor was employed. For this reason, this list should only be considered a beginning in the compilation of a register of German companies still in operation that used forced labor and slave labor.
The figures used in the next to last column are merely a sampling, based on available information, of the numbers of slave or forced laborers in specific camps at any given time. Almost every firm on the list had more than one camp and, therefore, the number of laborers listed is only a tiny fraction of the total number that a company used.
For example, Blohm & Voss (number 15 on the list) used 60,000 forced and slave laborers, according to Professor Ulrich Herbert, Germanys preeminent expert on slave and forced labor during the Nazi era, though only 700 are on the AJC list.
Slave laborers were concentration camp prisoners requisitioned by German companies from the SS, and a very high percentage of them died as a result of the intolerable, subhuman working conditions. Forced laborers were individuals brought from Nazi-occupied territories to work in German industry under harsh conditions.
Professor Herbert also points out that the firms identified on the AJC list account for just a fraction of all German companies that used slave or forced labor. Indeed, he notes, virtually every industrial company of any size in Germany used slave or forced labor.
The American Jewish Committee urges all companies on this list to join the central compensation fund for forced and slave laborers. In addition, we call on all companies, regardless of their founding date or their activities during the Third Reich, to join the fund, which the German government has called an historical, ethical and moral responsibility for itself and German industry.