Sauckel, Ernst Friedrich Christoph “Fritz”, born 27-10-1894 in Haßfurt, Bavaria, the only child of a postman and a seamstress, was educated at local schools and left early when his mother fell ill. He joined the merchant marine of Norway and Sweden when he was 15, first on a Norwegian three-masted schooner, and later on Swedish and German vessels. He went on to sail throughout the world, rising to the rank of Vollmatrose, full sailor. At the outbreak of World War I, he was on a German vessel en route to Australia when the vessel was captured. He was subsequently interned in France from August 1914 until November 1919. He returned to Germany, found factory work in Schweinfurt, and studied engineering in Ilmenau from 1922 to 1923. He joined the National Socialist German Workers Party, NSDAP , in 1923, number 1,395. In 1924 he married Elisabeth Wetzel, with whom he had ten children. Two of his children died during WWII. He wrote most of Hitler’s speeches and remained a party member over its dissolution and publicly rejoined in 1925. Sauckel was appointed party Gauleiter, region leader of Thüringia in 1927 and became a member of the regional government in 1929. Following Adolf Hitler’s (did you know) appointment as Chancellor in 1933, he was promoted to Reich Regent of Thüringia and Reichstag member. He was also given an honorary rank of Obergruppenführer in the SA and the SS in 1934. During World War II he was Reich defense commissioner for the Kassel district Wehrkreis IX, before being appointed General Plenipotentiary for Labour Deployment, Generalbevollmächtigter für den Arbeitseinsatz) on 21-03-1942, on the recommendation of Martin Bormann. He worked directly under Hitler through the Four-Year Plan Office, directing and controlling German labour. In response to increased demands, he met the requirement for manpower with people from the occupied territories. Voluntary numbers were insufficient and forced recruitment was introduced within a few months.
Of the 5 million foreign workers brought to Germany, around 200,000 came voluntarily. The majority of the acquired workers originated from the Eastern territories, where the methods used to gain workers were reportedly very harsh. After the capitulation of Nazi Germany he hides, but then actually gives himself up to the American authorities. At the Nuremberg trials, Fritz Sauckel was accused of conspiracy to commit crimes against peace; planning, initiating and waging wars of aggression; war crimes and crimes against humanity. He defended the Arbeitseinsatz as “nothing to do with exploitation. It is an economic process for supplying labour”. Sauckel surmised that Speer bore greater legal and moral responsibility by virtue of the fact that the former merely met the demands of the latter, in accordance with protocol. This strategy did not yield to his favour, however, as the ratio in the final judgment against the respective defendants outlined that Albert Speer‘s tasks were numerous, with the forced labour program comprising only one facet of his ministerial responsibilities, while Sauckel was singularly responsible for his office as General Plenipotentiary. He denied that it was slave labour or that it was common to deliberately work people to death (extermination by labour or to mistreat them. After a defense led by Robert Servatius,
Servatius died old age 88, on 07-08-1983. Sauckel was found guilty of war crimes and crimes against humanity. Albert Speer escaped the death sentence, but served 20 years at Spandau prison .
Death and burial ground of Sauckel, Ernst Friedrich Christoph “Fritz”.
After his death condemnation he was constant praying loudly in his cell and at last together with a number of colleagues, as the third one, hanged on 16-10-1946. His last words were recorded as “Ich sterbe unschuldig, mein Urteil ist ungerecht. Gott beschütze Deutschland!”, I die an innocent man, my sentence is unjust. God protect Germany!
The bodies of Fritz Sauckel and the other Nuremburg condemned and hanged, and Herman Goering (did you know) who committed suicide hours before his hanging, Minister of the Interior of the Third Reich, Wilhelm “Willi” Frick, An early and intellectually influential member of the Nazi Party, Alfred Rosenberg, German’s Foreign Minister, Joachim von Ribbentrop, the founder and publisher of Der Stürmer newspaper, which became a central element of the Nazi propaganda machine, Chief jurist of Nazi Germany and Governor-General of the ‘General Government’ territory of occupied Poland. Julius Streicher, his last cry was “Heil Hitler”, further the Chief jurist of Nazi Germany and Governor-General of the ‘General Government’ territory of occupied Poland, Hans Frank, the Third Reich and Reichscommissar in the Netherland, Arthur Seyss Inquart, Generaloberst and Chef der Wehrmacht, Alfred Jodl, Chef Oberkommando der Wehrmacht, Wilhelm Keitel, and Chief of the Reichssicherheitshauptamt (RSHA, Reich Main Security Office), Ernst Kaltenbrunner were secretly transferred in Army trucks to the Ostfriedhof, Eastern Cemetery of Munich, on 16-10-1946 and cremated. The coffins had faked names and they gave Streicher’s, the Anti Jew, coffin ironical a Jewish name. The same night four Generals, an American, an Englishman, a Frenchman and a Russian were secretly driven straight to the closest bridge, the Reichenbachbrücke over the river Isar and they scattered the ashes downstream.
Burial ground of Sauckel, Ernst Friedrich Christoph “Fritz”.