This document of death, this pamphlet is the Auschwitz III Construction Contract between IG Farben and the Confederazione Fascista degli Industriali for Construction of the Buna Works at Auschwitz III, as well as construction at Heydebrek and Blechhammer, and was printed in 1942. I've only been able to scan five pages as the document is fairly weak and I have a flat bed scanner--I just don't think it would take much more abuse without falling out of its binding. But I have scanned some of it, notably the participatory Italian companies and some of the allocation of workers to the different concentration camps.
The full title reads of the work reads:
Contratto per l’escusione di lavori di construzione in partecipazione con imprese germaniche, nei cantieri di Heydebrek, Blechhammer e Auscwitz. It was printed by Tipografia del Gianicolo, in Rome, 1942, by the Confederzione Fascista degli Industriali, Federazione Nazionale Fascista Raggruppamento Germania. The document measures a fragile 30.5 x 21 cm, and is 29 pages long. Like dozens of thousands of other things here at the store, this was formerly in the “Pamphlet Collection” of the Library of Congress (which received the publication 12 July 1945) until we purchased the collection at the end of 1999.
This is also probably the most awful thing I own. Its like looking at those blueprints for the crematoria and the barracks--so precise, swimming in their blue pool, these concise, sure, white lines; designs for one of the worst things built in the 20th century--just drawings, lines on a long sheet of paper, for building something. Completely removed from the breathing world, just cold logical constructions for someone else's end. That's the feeling I get from handling this thing--the Italians and Germans figuring out where to put the thousands of workers, making sure that they get paid, providing for some sort of maintenance for the workers' health, salaries, benefits, work schedules, breaks, vacations, incentives, mailing and the post, and so on. All of the bits of the most mundane things that go into a large construction projects, like building a highrise, or a tunnel, or a highway, or a bridge to hell. This contract could've been for just about anything at all. But it isn't. Its for building a part of Auschwitz when anyone with any sense whatsoever knew what was already going on there.
Of the many terible things in this document I was really bothered to see Heydebrek, Blechhammer and Auschwitz abbreviated at the top of some of these pages. This is just so wrong. Wrong on every level, being an attribute of the nothingness, of the emptiness, of this document.
It is a simple, basic document on one of the least simple and basic things of the 20th century. The contract detailed labor expectations, needs and regulations from both the German and laboring Italian sides for the construction of these three concentration and slave labor camps in 1942. Subjects of interest in this document include salaries, housing, vacations, health care and insurance, as well as the application of German laws to the workers, qualifications, and classification of occupations.
Perhaps the part of most interest is the short list—reprinted below—on pages 3 & 4 of the firms and engineers taking part in this agreement..
The names that are attached to this document and signing off on the contract of this agreement (of 2 March 1942 which provided 8,636 Italian laborers for this construction) include:
1) for IG Farbenindustrie AG, Heydebreck, Heydebreck OS
Adolf Mueller and (Hans) Deichmann
Hans Deichmann served as (senior) legal representative for IG Farbenindustrie in Rome and Milan from 1942 to 1945 and in 1942 was responsible for recruiting Italian workers for construction in the above-named concentration camps.
2) for Oberschleische Hydrierwerke AG, Blechhammer, Kreis-Consei
3) for IG Farbenindustrie AG Auschwitz, Auschwitz OS
Adolf Mueller and (Hans) Deichmann
The signatures representing Italian interests include:
--Blechhammer was a satellite camp of Auschwitz III (Monowitz)
--Auschwitz III, also called Buna or Monowitz, was established in nearby Monowice to provide forced laborers for the Buna synthetic rubber works. The German conglomerate I.G. Farben established a factory in order to take advantage of cheap concentration camp labor and the nearby Silesian coalfields. It invested more than 700 million Reichsmarks (about 1.4 million U.S. dollars in 1942 terms) in Auschwitz III.
On Italian labor being used at Nazi Concentration camps, as found in Vol VIII, pg 749, Nuremberg War Crime Tribunals:
Q. Did you go to ter Meer* to get Italian workers — I am thinking of a prosecution exhibit, the one which was shown to ter Meer on cross examination.
A. I was told at the time by an official source that Italian industry, after the collapse, would no longer produce because there was no coal, no current, or something. I was also told that since the Italian State obtained goods from Germany — buna, for example — the Italian State would be willing to enter into an agreement with Germany to make labor available, as was always the case from Italy. I said to him: “In case that is so” — neither ter Meer nor I knew whether that really would be the case — I said, “help the people at Auschwitz; help them to get workers if now” — I believe this was in 1944 — “the plants gradually go into operation.” For in these plants we wanted to have skilled workers — as I said yesterday, it is very important whether or not the man in charge has knowledge of the work he is doing. --Vol VIII, pg 749, Nuremberg War Crime Tribunals.
*”Fritz ter Meer served on the IG Farben [Farben was Hitler and Hitler was Farben. (Senator Homer T. Bone to Senate Committee on Military Affairs, June 4, 1943.] board of directors from 1926 to 1945 and was the head officer directing the operations of the IG Farben factory at Auschwitz. The Nuremberg War Crimes Tribunal sentenced him to seven years in prison. He was released after serving only four years. Not long after, in 1956, Ter Meer was elevated to the chairman of the supervisory board at BAYER, a position he held for seven years. His grave in Krefeld has a meter-high wreath on it - donated by BAYER in recognition of his services.”