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The Removal of the Jews From Industrial Production

Memorandum by General von Ginant to the General Staff of the Wehrmacht in reaction to the removal of the Jews from industrial production.

I. To date, the following orders have been in force for the Government-General:

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 be established.

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 time.

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 respect.

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 craftsmen.

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-[General’s] 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 enterprise.

IV. The immediate removal of the Jews would cause a considerable reduction in Germany’s 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 supplies.

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.

Yad Vashem