"In August 1944, 22-year old Iwan Saitschuk, slave laborer from the Ukraine, is arrested in the Gestapo camp in the Stedinger Strasse [in Oldenburg, northern Germany]. Iwan, questioned at the camp, is being fettered and shot immediately."
"[...] foreign workers should be assigned the poorest paid work. Only through this method local workers may achieve promotion from their as badly-paid unskilled work to the qualified and well-paid skilled work."
(Friedrich Syrup, 1918)
Excerpt from Göring's commands concerning the usage of Soviet slave laborers (7th November 1941):
"Germans do not shovel or knock down stones; those are the Russian tasks. As concerns the punishment, shortage of nutrition and immediate execution are the only acceptable levels. No other possibilities apply."
|Famous German TV showmaster Hans Rosenthal was forced to work as a gravedigger when he was only 16 years old. A year later, in 1942, he was sent to work at a firm that recycled tin cans. The cans were filled with alcohol and sent to the Wehrmacht-soldiers fighting in Russia. As it was very cold, they needed the spirit urgently. Rosenthal, a slave laborer of Jewish belief, thus worked for the benefit of his suppressors' army.|
|Later in his life, Rosenthal claimed compensation. He received an amount that equals approximately 30 cents per hour. He was lucky to receive even this small amount of recognition and compensation. Other slave laborers are still fighting for recognition.|
|One of them is Salvatore Mario Bertorelli. Captured and brought to Nazi-Germany, he was forced to work for Kali Chemie AG, a firm producing chemical material. Bertorelli and the other slave laborers had to work seven days a week without any protective gear amidst chemicals that cauterized their skin.|
|Because laborers had to sleep upon mats of straw, they were quickly infected by lice and other parasites as they do not get any soap. But Bertorelli's fate got even worse. Arbitrarily, he got sent to the Arbeits-erziehungslager Nordmark (educational labor camp) in Kiel in northern Germany.|
|His work consisted of clearing roads for military trucks after bombing raids and carrying unexploded bombs away. Food was restricted and torture was present at all times. After three months, Bertorelli was taken back to the chemistry firm. His friends almost did not recognize him. He was just skin and bones; his body was covered with bruises and open wounds.|
|So far, Salvatore Mario Bertorelli has received no recognition and no compensation for all the misery he had suffered. Kali Chemie AG now belongs to a Belgian company. Thus, his claims are being rejected since the original German owners no longer exist.|
|Victims like Hans Rosenthal and Salvatore Mario Bertorelli deserve a voice. In World War II: Justice at Last, you will learn about the plight of slave labors then and now.|