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History - Fritz Sauckel

Fritz Sauckel, General Plenipotentiary for the Employment of Labour

Sauckel was born in 1894 in Hassfurt as the only child of a seamstress and a postman. He joined the merchant marine at the age of fifteen and went on to sail throughout the world. At the outbreak of WWI, he was on a German vessel when it was captured and he was subsequently interned.

His NSDAP membership allows him, in 1925, to enter party leadership in Thuringia.

The work of Sauckel from the mid-1930s is linked with the creation of the Buchenwald concentration camp near Weimar where, up until the end of the war 56,000 people will be murdered.
1942 he is appointed General Plenipotentiary for the Employment of Labour (Generalbevollmächtigter für den Arbeitseinsatz). Hitler gives him far reaching powers. He will fulfil his new mission with "fanatical enthusiasm" and will deport more then 5 million people from the occupied countries. He organises the human supply for German industry with brutal eagerness, in the conviction that he is therefore justifiably eliminating the "inferior races" for the victory of the Fatherland.

After the capitulation of Nazi Germany he hides, but then actually gives himself up to the American authorities.

At Nuremburg he was found guilty of war crimes and crimes against humanity, and hanged on October 16, 1946.