The Removal of the Jews
From Industrial Production
(September 18, 1942)
Memorandum by General von Ginant to the General Staff of the
Wehrmacht in reaction to the removal of the Jews from industrial
I. To date, the following orders have been in force for
1) Polish and Ukrainian workers are to be replaced by
Jewish workers, in order to release the former for work in the Reich; the
enterprises concerned will set up camps for the Jews.
2) For the full exploitation of Jewish labor for the war
effort, purely Jewish enterprises and Jewish sections of enterprises will
The evacuation of the Jews without advance notice to
most sections of the Wehrmacht has caused great difficulties in the
replacement of labor and delay in correct production for military purposes.
Work for the SS, with priority "Winter," cannot be completed in
II. Unskilled workers can be replaced in part, if the
Commissioner General for Labor is prepared to relinquish the 140,000 Poles
who were assigned for work in the Reich, and if the Police is successful in
rounding them up. Previous experience gives cause for doubt in this
A small proportion of the skilled labor can be supplied
by students at present in government technical schools.
Fully skilled labor would first have to be trained. The
training of labor drawn mainly from agriculture requires several months to
a year, and more in the case of particularly highly qualified workers and
Whether the solution of this especially complex problem,
on which the continued productivity of the Government-General for the war
economy depends primarily, can be speeded up by the release of skilled
workers from the Reich is beyond my competence to judge.
III. According to the figures supplied by the
Government-[Generals] Central Labor Office, manpower in industry totals
a little over a million, of which 300,000 are Jews. The latter include
roughly 100,000 skilled workers.
In the enterprises working for the Wehrmacht, the
proportion of Jews among the skilled workers varies from 25% to 100%; it is
100% in the textile factories producing winter clothing. In other
enterprises – for instance the important motor manufacturing works which
produce the "Fuhrmann" and "Pleskau" models – the key
men, who do the wheel-work, are mainly Jews. With few exceptions all the
upholsterers are Jews.
A total of 22,700 workers are employed at the present
time on reconditioning uniforms in private firms, and, of these, 22,000
(97%) are Jews. Of these, 16,000 are skilled textile and leather workers.
A purely Jewish enterprise with 168 workers produces
metal parts for harnesses. The entire production of harnesses in the
Government-General, the Ukraine and, in part, in the Reich depends on this
IV. The immediate removal of the Jews would cause a
considerable reduction in Germanys war potential, and supplies to the
front and to the troops in the Government-General would be held up, at
least for the time being.
1) There would be a serious drop in production in the
armaments industry, ranging from 25% to 100%.
2) There would be an average decrease of about 25% in
the work done at the motor vehicle repair workshops, i.e., about 2,500
vehicles fewer would be put back into working order per month.
3) Reinforced units would be required to maintain
V. Unless work of military importance is to suffer, Jews
cannot be released until replacements have been trained, and then only step
by step. This can only be done locally, but should be centrally directed
from a single office in coordination with the Higher SS and Police
Leader (Hoeher SS- und Polizeifuehrer).
It is requested that the orders may be carried out in
this manner. The general policy will be to eliminate the Jews from work as
quickly as possible without harming work of military importance.
VI. It has now been noted that a great variety of
Wehrmacht offices have placed military orders of the highest priority,
particularly for winter needs, in the Government-General, without the
knowledge of the Armaments Department or the Military Commander of the
Government-General. The evacuation of the Jews makes it impossible for
these orders to be completed in time.
It will take some time to register systematically all
the enterprises involved.
It is requested that the evacuation of Jews employed in
industrial enterprises may be postponed until this has been done.
Yad Vashem Archives, 04/4-2.
Source: Yad Vashem