Hitler's Foreign Workers: Enforced Foreign Labor in Germany under the Third Reich

TitleHitler's Foreign Workers: Enforced Foreign Labor in Germany under the Third Reich
Publication TypeBook
Year of Publication1997
AuthorsHerbert, Ulrich
Number of Pages529
PublisherCambridge University Press
CityCambridge ; New York
Abstract

"This is an account of the most important instance of forced labor by foreign workers outside their own country in the twentieth century, when millions of workers from the USSR, Poland, France, Czechoslovakia, Italy and elsewhere toiled in the service of the Nazi regime. The workers are examined first from the viewpoint of the Nazi leadership, the entrepreneurs and the authorities, and second through the eyes of the workers themselves." "The Nazis could pursue World War II only by replacing the skilled German workers who had been sent off as soldiers by a foreign work force brought to Germany and employed in agriculture and industry. After this scheme had failed to work on a voluntary basis, from the spring of 1940 huge numbers of foreign workers were brought to Germany by force. By 1944 one in three members of the German work force was a foreign forced laborer. In total, more than 12 million such laborers were put to work, for varying periods. The monthly peak was reached in August 1944 when 7.8 million were working, of whom 5 million were civilians and 2.8 million prisoners of war." "This is the first major study of what in effect was slave labor on a massive scale, whose reverberations are still felt today in current debates about work compensation and the legacy of the Third Reich."--Jacket.

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