INTERVIEW WITH FORMER AMERICAN DIRECTORS OF THE OPEL WERKE, GERMANY.

Created: 1/9/1942

OCR scan of the original document, errors are possible

BEMP1 t'om DectJSS-persec. 3rA re-rewew-iytfi

The following facte will facilitatesome of the Information supplied in

randum of January

Before the wer (bepel's entire production of trucks was concentrated ot the Brandenburg plant. Opel's entire output of passenger0 units annually) was produced at the Rucsselaholm plant, where0 workers were employed on thio activity. It is these men that were laid off when passenger car production was stopped In

The passenger car facilities and workers wereconverted to the production of the air craftto onf In addition,

BESTBIOTfl

the plantenufaoturos parts for the trucks made at B, as lt did beforo the war.

approvtl foi released

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Poc*$

Sir:

Reference is had to conversation with Mr. Chandler Morse of your Office andetter of1 from Mr. Emllo Despresroposed interview with

;er was useduide during the Interview in order to cover as much of the ground, in which you are particularly interested, as possible. This report of the interview will therefore follow very closely the questionnaire.

Production

1. Current passenger car production at the OdcI Plant is zero. It is estimated that approximatelyhree-ton Blitz trucks are being produced daily at the Opel Plant atnear Berlin. Monthly production is estimatednits. These are all the military adaption of the standard Blitz Commercial Truck, approximate specifications" wheelbase, 4x2 drive, wood cargo body with troop seats,ylinder gasoline engine. This truck is the German equivalent of the Ford andon truck ln the US. A-

The Brandenburg Plant has also been tooled toour-wheel drive three-ton model for useross-country troop and cargo carrier. Production was to start on this Job in It ie believed thater month of this model are currently being built.

Interview, January 9,

The cooplete manufacture of the above trucks le carried out at Brandenburg except for sheet metal, rear axle genre, and brake cylinders which are manufactured ln the main Opel Plant at Rucsselshclm-am-Maln.

The above production figures compare with pre-waraa follows: Passenger car0 units per monther year, allowing for Inventory time. Trucker month0 per year. Slnoo the Munich meeting of6 all Opel truckhas been exclusively for the German Army excopt for small allotments for export.

All spare parts Tor Opel passenger cars and Blitz trucks except current production models are produced in the Ruessel-ahelm factory. According to latest reports this production is being maintained at approximately the pre-war rate whichtoelchsraarks monthly. Thie spare parts production requires the labororkmen;

In connection withtz truck production atit Is Interesting to note that8 the Armyservices have urged Opel toroduction retson, 4x8 trucks per day. The factory is capable of meeting this rote but has never been able to obtain sufficient tires ana bat-terleB through the allocating puthorltiee to turn out thewhich the Army desires.

2. Tho principal non-eutomotlve items manufactured ln the Oriel Plant at Ruesselshela are the following:

Reduction gears for reducing the oropeller speed forLiquid Cooled Craft Engine, lit is understood thatS. Air Corps is ffmlllar with this engine and thobox. Spmples are available at the Allison Motorsseparate plant wpe established at Ruesselshelm for theof these reduction gear*. Production The plant nowen perie understood to be working onhour shifts. Itthat productionets of gears perln checking thie figure with the Cadillacln Detroit, where blmller gears are beingAllison, it would seem that production should boets perat output of

the Mercedes engine isngines per month.

Interview, January 9,

connection with the above activity there ic ofInterest the fact that the German Government asked theto rurnlsh lPboretory facilitiesniversitywho wps considered the top gear man In Germany. Thesewere provided but the professorkiing acclCenthe badly fractured both legs end was incapacitated foryear, sole that little research has been

carriec, oul

The production of the alrcrpft reduction gears vps carried on concurrently with production of passenger cars pnd trucks at the Opel Flpnts. Coincident with the opening of the campaign ln Poland in9 passenger car production was immediately 'storied0 workers were laid off rending conversion of the Ruesselsheim Plant for the production of:

Wiring harnesses King assemblies Till surfaces Hydraulic lancing gears Caroline tpnks

all for the Junkersombers. All of0 workers laid off had been reabsorbed byt Is estimatednits per month of thr above assemblies were being turned out at that time. The Opel riant also has under consideration afor the manufacture of Ordnance fusee but it is not known whether production hap been started.

not prepared to hazard guesses as to

the output oi^Tnijioove items by other automotive plants except as regardsruck production which will be foundater paragraph.

[estimate

cars. Ofery sm^ll number were actually owned by the Army which ln time of war expected to and effectively didprivately owned cprs for their use. Ofassenger cars, it is estimatedere in the smallest classylinder dlsrlacemfnt up to one liter. These are almost completely useless for military purposes. It is estimated thatwere lniter class ofipht beof some military vp].ue. Twenty pere believed to have been initer class; in terms of body sppce and performance, these wouia approach the American Ford and Chevrolet. These were the most popular size with the German Army. Tho remainingre ln theiter category end were used only as Stpff cars for the higher officers, etc.

would notuess ea to quanllllUb Ul UUHU if! bertaany. Many of theae were of the three-wheel variety and even the four-wheel delivery van types were too light in construction to be of any mllitnry value.

They estimatewnership of trucks three-ton (thle German rating corresponds to the American Ford, Chevrolet class) and overnits as of Ofere owned by the Aray. This figure is based on Opel 3lltz sales to the German Army which werenits per year for the four years crecec-inp hostilities andf Army purchases of transport vehicles.

Based on German lnduetry figures, z% of truck production wee of the heavy duty tyoeons and over. These Include the big dietcl tryctor-trpllcr combinations whichrmlllar fight on the German roads nnd have since been en important link ln the German Military euprly system. It le estimated that thereotal0 of these tractor units. These jobs are capable ofoons on the tractor chassis and ot the timeoad ofoons. The principal manufacturers of these dlesel units were Mercedes,nd Krupp.

According tothe German Army also used consider-

able quantitiesOel, si* wheel drive) heavy artillery tractore andedium artillery trnctors. He would notuest as to the quantities of these vehicles ln the German Army. It is known, however, that both of these tyres have been very li-factory in service. As an Illustration of this

the invasion of Austria, where so many of these TWW^^rrfflclee felled between the Germand Viennareat majority of the commercial trucks in Bavaria had to be requisitioned overnight and were fent into Austria to salvage tbe equipment which had failed. On his way back to Berlin, Hitlerersonal visit to the Opel Plant and personally signed en orderrucksompliment to the Opel Worke for the high performance of the commercial vehicles which had gotten the Army outod spot.

concurred that the max-

l.wn mm Ui mmU lit Germany00 units per year. Their estimate or peak annual pre-war passenger car productionnits. This figure is based on Opel's allocated share of total German industry output as follows:

Interview, January 9,

Opel production for German market

Total German market

Opel production for Export

Total Export

Total German production

h f total

= S of total

m the writer has

imposed on the German automotive industry by the government. This program does exist but the results effected up to9 were far less than is generally believed In this country. Like all matters affecting the German automotive industry the Standardizationaf controlled by General Von Schell of the Verkeraminleterlun (Traneport Ministry) in conjunction with the Automobllwirtshaftsgrupre (Industry Council) conroeod ofof the manufacturers. Much valuable work was accomplished ln reducing the variety of components end ecceesorlcs for instance6 there wereypee of engine oil punpe used on German care, whereas9 there weretandard typee. However, the Germans were still far behind. Bureau of Standards and thein thla connection.

In so far as the standardization of vehicle types lathe first year ln which this wps to be effective0 but actually nothing was done because, of the war and theof automotive plrnts to strictly military production. Although General Von Schell's powers on standardization were dictatorial, the approach up to9 was very gradual and persuasive rather than by mandatory decree. For instance, General Von Schell ruled7 that truck users would boeduction in the annual tax if they purchased vehicles conforming to certain basic specification* desired by by the Military Authorities. These 6pecificationp concerned loading height, angles of aprroach and departure, engine power, etc. In spite of the competitive advantages of building vehicles to meet

Hroin^ the thrcc-ton Opelt take advantage of the reduced user's tax. Normally the annual taxruck of this size wouldeichsmarks, which was reducedeichsmarks.

5. The information regarding airplane production, supplied

Interview, January 9,

ammmmBwammflHLVr>se^onfidential statement made Inu oy Dr. Hons Strack, Legatlonsrat, of the German Foreign Office whom he believes to beosition to havedata. Dr. Strsck's estimate of production at that timenits per month of all tyr.es. The estimatedplanes00 units, again of all types.

osition to have

lnforT!"crreTTTrTJrrTTr^TuTput of Ordnance items (in Np-zi Germanymore comfortable not to know certain things)

cited several examples to Indicate the plentiful availaBTlTt^o: anti-alrcrnft guns. One exrmple was the protection of the Opel Plant for which he estimate*uns were placed in the Ruesseleheim Velsbaden district. The smallest of these werem'sertain proportion of Israel- guns up tom's.

lie unfamiliar with the situation regarding sub-mar lnrJ^nTcTToTnted out that in view of the difficulty ofbatteries for military trucks, there mustery tight situation on the lead required for submarine batteries.

With regard to petroleum inventory ?nda fijureons as beingconsumption. He understands that they planned0 tons and that the production ofproductsons Of couree,rationing of petroUum products has been in effectsince before the wrr. However, it Is Interesting toaccording tosupply of dieeel fuel has been

more restrictedr^{rppiy of gasoline. It appears that all crude oils are not equally suitable for the quantitative production of diesel fuel and that the crude from Russian sources is consid-eraDly more satisfactory for diesel oil production than Roumanian crude.

With regnrd to lubricating oils the supply of theseo be sufficient and the quality satisfactory under normal German operating conditions. However, according to these lubricantsigh percentage of tar vhichglvesvery unsatisfactory results under extremely low temperatures. iscussed withsoi? detail the apparent failure of German Motor Transport on the Russian front under winter conditions. It was distinctly his opinion that this was not due to any fault of design or construction of the vehicles but almost entirely to the unavailability of suitable lubricants for extreme low temperature operation.

Interview, January 9,

With regard to synthetic rubber products,

"not recall offhand much of the data on thisshortly before the war he hadomplete reportsubjectand would attempt toopy of

it which heubxlt to Colonel Dor.ovnr.. Generally speaking or. this subject HM^HHpointed out that the greatest difficulty in manufacturlTTg^Trl^^rro- pynthetic rubber has been caused by the fact thatna" rubber will not stick to the tire fabric. It Is therefore neceseary to Immlx30J* natural rubber with the synthetic product. This Is done inay that the part of the tire tread in oontPCt with the frbrlc casing^ natural rubber whereas the outer surface of the tire ie lOQJE synthetic rubber. Apparently there hae been great difficulty in securing the quantity of natural rubber required to fully utilize the German synthetic rubber capacity. gm^Hi^wps given to understand by repreeentetivee of thee manufacturers that the "Buna" rubber program was two years behind schedule The two principal'producing plants for "Buna" will be found listed at the end of this report ln the list of critical plpnte.

Steel Ingot production in the Reich ir eetl.-nated by

n

0 tonn per year. Steel hoe been rationedindustry in Germany Thedomestic passenger cor production were constantlythey were entirely discontinued In lleves that the production of Btctl In Germanyon at full cappclty. Prior to'*thef the Swedish iron ore output. of thie ore now available to Germany, there ie no reasonthere mayhortage of raw materials. As,out that ooparently there was

no shortage ofaluin^uim^raegneslum, end manganese. All of these metals are of course on an Allocation basis but, for example, there has been no pressure froa authorities to substitute other metals for aluminum pistons in German cars and trucks. On the contrary, many automotive parte, such as wiring harnesses, colls,hich were formerly made of coprer are now being monufrc-tured of aluminum.

Chromium, nickel, tin,ead have all been under very strict allocationumber of yepre and are very difficult to obtain with every effort being made to find substitute material.

It le believed that the sue ly of coal from German andFrench, Belgian, Czechoslovak, and Austrian mines lt adequate although Germany has had to assure the supply of the Scandinavian countries, Italy, and Switzerland which were formerly supplied largely from England. There has been, cvory winter since the war,

interview, january 9,

an acute shortage of coal for domestic heating but it is believed that this is causedack of transportation facilities rather thanack of coal at the mines. 9 rather serious labor trouble was experienced in the german coal mines and it is understood that this situation has never been satisfactory since then.

labor supply

isote toto submit to colonelspeaking, the employment at the orel blitz truckbrandenburg increasednd at the mainat ruesselsheim,007 the new hands were recruited principally formother trades. high wages in the opel plants attractedother industrlee and while theoretically lt is nota german workertochpnge hla job without permission fromstates that in practice this has never

been closely controiiea. however, the labor rates ln the opel plants were relatively so attrrctive0 that the government labor officials reclassified many jobs and effected an overall reduction of earnings in the plants.

the new workers added to the force at the orel plant were trained by orel. however, since the war there has been alowering of the quality of the workmen employed. this has been caused principallyigher ratio of young andworkmen end by the necessity of employing poor physical specimens. very few women workers were employed in the opel plant on automotive production. since aircraft materiel has been in production, the number of women workers has been increased but docs not amountizeable proportion of the total.

the only foreign workers employed by ooelroupreeks who were recruited by the german labor offices ln czeckoslovakio and placed in the opel blitz truck plant at brandenburg. these men have proved to be satisfactory productive workers but considerable trouble was experienced because of friction between theee czecks and the german workers. consequently it has been necessary to keep the czecks allin certain departments and it hec. rlso been found necessaiy to erect barracks on the factory grounds to house them.

german labor law requires that manufacturersinimum ratio of apprentices to total employment. the opel plant at

CONFIDENTIAL

January 9,

maintainsrtntlce schooleightten year old boys. It hop been planned tout the space is not available pnd thisbeen deferred until after the war. The apprenticelasts four years during which the apprentices are paidper nat lWBys nee a

long waiting list ofet into this school. Host of those accepted are eons of Opel workmen. Very completeare available for the trainingpecial school section of the plant. Practically every type of productive machine is operated in the school and in addition, the apprentices ore given classroom work in euch subjecte a- arithmetic and mechanical drpwinp. The apprentices are never used to operate productive machinery ln the plant proper but when added production isin the plant, the a- prentiof mnchlne tool* are occasionally up to turn out production itemc-.

far as

is no systematic planar^Lne^piant to the Army and back. On the contrary, since the invasion of Poland through the invpslon of France and down to the present, the movement has been all one way; that is, from the riant to the Army. There haveroportion of cases where men vera discharged from the Army and returned to the Plant. In these cases the plant is bound to restore the men to the Job he occupied when called to duty. ery few lnttancea, men who hed been discharged have beenecond time to the Army but these were all special cases of Army Interpreters pnd other specialized

3. The organization of lpborcrmpn Plant le rather confusing because of the inter-relatlonehlp of Government and Party, "here is an official Government labor organizationlnletry of Labor which is responsible for the operation of employment bureaus and the administration of German labor lavs. There le also the Nazi Party Labor Organization, the "Arbelterront" to which all employees belong and the primary Job of which lb the political education of the German workmen. Very frequently the Government and Party orgrnlzetions fuse because the Government labor officialertain Plantertain district will also be the Party labor representative for tho same Plant or area. In the Opel Plant, the labor organization vre as follows:

The top labor man in the Plant le the Betreibsfjhrer (Works Leader). Normallyerman factory this post is occupied by the herd of the company, since the Opelnder American management, lt wasoerman occupy thie Job. The Betreibsfuhrer was chosen by the company but hod to be

IAL

Interview, January 9,

approved by the Nazi Party, specifically by the Gauleiter of the district. ule the 3etreibsfuhrer wouldarty member although ln the Opel Mant the treasurer of the Company ws appointed to this post and he wasember of the Nazi Party.

linder the 3ctreibsfuhrer Is an electee group of employees known astrelbsratB (Works Council). In the Opel Plant at Ruesselshelra, this consisted of ten men. Theee men are nominated by the 3etrelbsfuhrer and elected by the employeeseriod of one year. No Immediate choice of candidates is given to the employees; ten men are nominated and voted on; if one or more of them do not obtaingiven percentage of the total vote they are not elected ond alternate condldates ?re nominated.

The 3etrelbsrat is presided overetreibsobraan who is appointed by the Wazi Party. The company has absolutely nothing vrhatsoever to say about the choice of this functionary. Under the Betrelbsrat the Plant la organized into 'Cells',ore or less departmental basis. otherrool materseparate department would have their own Cell,inp^rtment woulc aleo have one Cell. Each of these Celleell Obman. orkmen has any complaint, he goes to his Cell Obman who takes the matter up with theForeman or Supervisor. If they can't settle the matter, it is taken up at the weekly meeting of the Betrelbsratthis meeting is held on company time and the company has no control of the time spent by Cell Obman on labor problems. In many instances lt is necessary to engage an extra productive workerke the place of one who is elected to the Betrelbsrat orell Obman.) If the matter can still not be settled in the Betrelbsrat, lt is taken up with the Betrelbsfuhrcr for settlement with the General Management of the company. If the Management does not settle it to the satisfaction of the worker, the matter is referred to the Nazi Kreislelter (District Laborhose decision is practically final although on certain major issues, appeal could be made to the Gauleiter and eventually to Party Headquarters in Berlin.

Cf courseerman plant the types of complaints which the workers and management have to arbitrate arc relatively restricted, Inasmuch as no strikes ore allowed under anyond no discussion of basic wage rates is allowed. Incentive wages may be discussedeiling is placed on these by the labor authorities. (Consequently very Tevt questions cannot be settled in the plant,) ajority of the labor representatives in the plant are Nazi party members. HHHHklB wss unablc to state whether any of those in the Opel iTan^naaiormerly been Union officials.

Interview, January 9,

oan be seen from the above, the labor representatives ere usually production workers or occasionally clerlcel employees "who are chosen by their fellow workers. There are, however,individuals ln the organization who art Disced there by the Party organization whether the management likes lt or not. These include the Betreibsobman referred to above and also members of the Gestaco and S. S. Corps and, If the plant hae any military potentialities, as was the case with the Orel Plant, there is also an executive called the 'aehrvlrtschaf tefuhrerEconomics Leader) who la ln chargeant protection against sabotage, bombing,nd is also supposed to keep up tolan for most effective use of the riant ln war times. Thisneed not keep the plant management up to date on hisand reports directly to General Thomas, the head of the War Economics Ministry (Wehrwlrtschaftsinlnisterium) in Berlin.

As stated above, the labor organization ln thehadver to discuss bade wage rates which arethe Government Labor Offices. The average basic rate InFlent0 wasfennigs per hour. Throughallied on productive labor, the average ^ay of thegroup of thes raised1 Relch6marks perto9 basiceen fooevhate tne exact figure. At that time since Opel

rateswere out of line with rates for comparable trrdee ln the same district the Government ordered reductions In both the basic rfte and the maximum incentive wage. The average overall reduction waslthough in some cases the reductions amounted to ae muchecause of reolaseIflcation of certain types of labor. For example, certain operations performed by women workers on which the rate had0 Reiehsraarks per hour were reclassifiedasic rate offennigs per hour was established for these oreratlone.

outn Germany theln wsgcratesror skilled and uncalled labor isles? thfn in this country.

Prior to9 tho German hourly wge-oarner waa required tooure per month5efore receiving any overtime. oure of wor't could be required on any days including Sundays ant holidays. At the beginning of the war in the work hours were changed toours per day, six drye per week; ln other0 hour week which could also Include Sunday anc holiday work.tes were figured by the company for theours extra work per week. This overtimeraid to, the Government and not to the worker. In0 the work wee* was again changed toays oroure rer week. Out of this the Government vpp raid the overtime forours and the worker the overtime forours. The overtime rateimes breic rrte.

January2

Based on American standards, the clothing of theemployee is very poor and9 has been severelyis doneoint system under w: ich eachointsear's clothing needs, sinceoints and since the remainingoints wouldapproximately one shirt, two or three pairs of tockssuits of underwear it would seem obvious that the rationminimum requirements in order to enforce the usesaccumulated sullies. The rationing system doesthe purchase of any shoesa special permit isthe purchase of shoes or even for resoling or otheropinion, the clothing rationing causes as much

fiy restriction in Germany and ie particularlyhard on young women who are restrictedery inadequate sur>ly of silk stockings, lingerie, etc. This incidentally is confirmed by the- writer's own observation?. 7ew uairs of silk stockings in the lugf-egeisitor to Germpny has been an incredible "open sesame" into the homes of even very wealthy people. After the invasion of the low countries and France the avidity with which the highest ranking German Army Officers and pary leaders cleaned out the shops of Amsterdam, Brussels, rnd Paris bespeaks volumes on their accumulated appetite for decent articles of clothing. These Germans were obviously flabbergasted by the stock which existed In the occu-led countries of articles which to the peorle of ivese countries seemed matter of course. As examples; hosiery and lingerie .nnd anything else macie of silk; all woolen articles; all articles containing rubber, such as women's girdles, men's garters and suspenders, and the ordinary simple elastic used for children's clothing; and of course the abundant eurply of such things as razor bledes, needles,robably most astonishing of all plenty of soap containing precious fat.

As regards the food supply in Germany, |

concurred that it isp^tomaTTCalnlency oflatlon and the rationing causes little complaint. The writer believes, that one of the principal reasons for so little complaint is the efflc lent working; of the ration system. In most countries where food rationing exists there ere two great sources of trouble: One, widespread bootlegging; two, bat <'lstrlbutlon or an inadequate supply to afford each holdern card the quantities to which he is entitled. The second trouble ie the cause of the long lines of waiting people at the doors of food stores.

In Germany, bootlegging does exist to some extent and certainly the wealthy people are able to fill In their diet with expensive unrestricted food such ae game, lobster, caviar, etc.

i

But thl* le not rufficiently wldesrre/'d tothe morale of the population generally. Ae fep ae the workinrIs eoncern-

nny dlfnoultybtaining the food

stuffs to which their rationing card entitles them. It Is con-

The principal food Itemserman oleses in hie diet are milk, butter, cream, and ell fats of vhlch he getsnone. The egg ration Is usually two eggs per week. Except during the local seasons there are norullsprrcticl-celly speaking, no citrus fruits at any time. The meat rrtion has consistently averaged about one0 grams) per week. This ie probablyoer cent less than the normal German

f any Particular

estimates thatof the ho-jrly wage workers

In the00 men) were ln the heavy worker category and were given double rations. As far as he can recall there were no heavier ration categories then this in the plant.

tolls It lr true thrt the aver-ge German pecerte strict food rationing quiteis own cointrv,etitee of the Germane In the occuied territories were The writer livedermanarty member in Paris from September throughbtained my food ration card through the French authorities and received the regular French ration (approximately S5est than the bpsic ration in

gormeny). He obtained his direct from the Germrn Authorities

hie rations were plmoet exactlyime ae greatine. Obviously the German rations to Party visitors to Perls were depigned to allow them to spread -oneong their

conqueredut there wasatomach ache caused by tring to make up for years of rhort rttlone of mot, butter, eggs, etc

>Zl only anto use the Opel Plantolitical unit but effectively, the riantolitical organization. As win hrve been seen under tne earlier remarks

nLi^n thc Plant' every ^dividual employee L d" rcct influence of the Nari Party Labor Organization, .bile ostenelbly thie organization (the Arbeltsfront) le engaged

CJJn? the.weirare of tne wooers rnd employees, ln actual practice their primary job is the political education of the

-

On an overage of once eachig political rally voulc- be held In the plant attended by every-member of the riant personnel. In between these big rallies there would be Innumerable anall group raeetlnge. There would also be scnoole" conducted by Nazi Party labor Organizers for plant foremen and employee supervisors. These schools purported to beechnical character butreat part of their teaching vre strictly political. As anumber of the .cachers assigned to the Opel Plant made statements deprecating its American ownership and prophesying tomeday the German would

regain their birthright1. In addition to the schools held ln the plant, picked individuals from among the riant foremen and superintendents were sent to iiazl Labor Schools outside where they were deeply inculcated with the Narl philosophy. The plants were constantly plastered with posters of the worst possible political tyre. Although thle was an American owned plant, many of these poetere which had to be put up were directly aimed at American Political figures, sucn ac the Preeldent, various Senators, and others who made statements or srocches which did not meet with liail approval.

The plant had attempted toouse organ similar to the publications of Araorlcn Companies but this publication was subjected to the censorshlD and rc-edlting of the local Nazi Party offices and quickly degeneratedarty ratherlant organ.

!Qunever Hitler, Gocbbele, or Goerlngpeech of any importance vhateoever, production was stopped in the Plant and all members of the plant personnel bad to gather around the loud speakers to listen to these speeches. In addition to the above activities there were plant chapters of various partysuch as the 'Hitler Jugend- (the Hitler Youth theThe National Socialist Drivers Corps).

litti

there was very lpnt personnel Tor these party activities pnd initiative in this connection was cntirelylrcklngor^heoart of the workers. According to certainly no spontaneous push from the -ner. for greater production.

Or course the minorfficials ihow some Initiative which they hope will mark them In the eyes of their suporiors. however, most of thisn devising ways to ingratiate themselves with the higher party officials and was more frequentlyher than isimulating to production.

Interview, January 9,

6. Thore were no air raids of any military importance in the Ruesselsheim Wiesbaden area up to Consequently the effects of air r; ids could not be observed ln the Opel PlantH -rce fully with the writer that the Germanshole are considerably more susceptible to the effects of air raids than other Europeans. base their impression on the resctionof^neHuessel-slerical employees who commute from Frankfurt am Main. Although thlB city was not bombed to any great extent air raid alarms were fairly frequent and the effect of loss of sleep seemed to be very marked on the limited number of people observed. The writer spent several nl^hte in Antwerp during which. bombed the Port severely and the effects on the Germane were noticeably greater than on the Belgians.

tere seems toidespread Impression that the average Germantolid, square-headed individualne-track mind. elieve that moat people who have lived ln Germany will agree that in reality the average German le very impressionable and very changeable. These changes of viewpoint and attitude are so brusque and contrrdictory as to frequently astonish foreigners who have occasion to observe them. Certainly the German csn blowd cole, ortiolstlc and pessimistic more frequently andreater degree then any of the Latin or Anglosaxon peoples of Europe,his undoubtedly accounts for some of the necessity for the ultra-intensive prceganfla -to which the Gerarn reo-le are constantly subjected. H feels that thle question of German temperament shouldpjor consder-rtion in directing propaganda to the German people. He feels that the one Idea which has been most deeply impressed on them is that should they lose this war the consequences will be Indescribable in chaos and suffering. At the proper time, he feels that useropaganda theme to dlaelpate this fixed Idea would be extre-nely fruitful in alienatingnumbers of Germane from the wr effort.

7. No remarks

8. While the observations madeed on the Opel Worksection of the German economy most remarks apply generally to all industrial slants of comparable size since the whole of German industry is organized by the same Nazi system.

January

Technological Factors

rka was not confronted with anyproblems because of the 'carcity of certain Automotive axle gears were changed from chrometo chrome manganese alloy. The new gears were found to

be equally satisfactory. As oointed out earlier ln this report, copper electrical windings were replaced by aluminum windings with no loss of quality.

Cutting tools and bearings were maintained at desiredof quality.

In the case of both passenger cars and trucks, therea constant degeneration of quality7 ln theof trim material. This did not effect the functioningvehicle but Particularly ln export was the source ofdissatisfaction with German vehicles. One thingvery noticeable on German vehicles, exported after theofas the very bad inspection. words, the vehicles were fall of minor defects inthis to the transfer of themilitary rroductlon end to the loss ofinspector personnel to the Armed Forcee.

there has

Opel's experience in technological questions was certianly typical of German automotive Industry and In general of German industryhole. Government regualtion' of industry is carried outystem of industry councils (Wirtscheftegruppc) and the decisions worked out by these councils in conjunction with the proper Government authorities are mandatory on all members of the particular industry.

er cent of German trucks were dlesel powered. At peak production this wouldrucka per year. Inreat major'ty of German power driven agricultural machines, building machinery and thousands of cm<-ll Industrial installations were dlesel powered. From an operating standpoint those dlesel enrines were highly However, as pointed out in the discussion on petroleum products, the proportion of Diesel fuel required ln Germany hadoint where the most efficient use could not be made of available supplies of crude oil. In other words inon of crude on the basis of requirements too much dlesel of specific grades wasd not enough gasoline. Conse-

endency to discourage further dlesel production and

_

quently, according to

Interview, January 9,

even some attempt to convert certain classes of existinginjection type gasoline burning

Technically, gas burning motors have proved relatively iful as developed ln Europe. In ao far as the writer

not able to advise Just how far this program hasTeenpufjhecl nor has he any information to substantiate reports whicha widespread conversion of dlesel raotoro to produccr-gao.

success:

knows the best results obtalnod'to date aref the engine efficiency of the gasoline operated engine. However, the system ofehicle motor from gas compressed ln tanks has not proven popular because of (a) shortage ofand materials for producing tho tanks; (b) the bulk and

it?ifh?n tne vchlcle; (c) the transportation and handling difficulties Involved in returning empty tanksroperly equipped generating etation for refilling with new gaa.

vehlcl such as ch

small trailer behindolid fuel bituminous coal, has and German Govcrnmen this type or equlpmei ciable productio were lesseneral Motors Aseemb Into the production o

mechanism known generally ln mounted on the vehicle ornd generates its own gas by arcoal, wood, or prepared tly more successful. Thencouraged experimentation with cr country waa there any appre-nd the writer estimate there pereted vehicles in Germany, in Denmark ond Sweden have gone rating equipment for the conver-trucks.

hat this gas producing equipment has boon more successful in these two countries than eloewhoro because of the ready availability of surplus wood for fuel. On the other hand, only the prcoent abnormal oconomic conditions would Justify the

fo?f thegenerating equipmenthevrolet truck in Sweden, for instance, le almost as much as the cost of the truck. Subsequently fuel coBt la relatively cheap but lt is understood that the maintenance of the gas-producing equipment is bothersome and costly and as previously stated tho performance of the truck Is reduced byoar

flJ?OV0 covers tho subjects outllnod in the questionnaire which you furnished me. In talkingccasionally come German Indi

Interview, January 9,

mentioned which they considered, especially critical ln the Germany economy, particularly from the standpoint of war These plants are listed hereunder for whatever interest they may have:

Berg^sche Stnhl Industrie

Remscheld

argeof the precision steel forgings for tho German Automotive and aircraft industries.

In so far as j

:now. ires

all aviation spark plugs for Germany

(Electron- BadStuttgart

Most important German manufacturer of aircraft and automotive pistons and aircraft radio cases.

Becker Foundry

(West)

importantin Germany of aluminum and magnesium castings for aircraft.

(Verclnlgete- Schwelnfurt kuggelagerfabrlken)

The German subsidiary of the Swedish Ball Boarlng Trust. Hasonopoly on precision ball bearings forand automotive work ln Germany.

Kruppwerko

Helnkcl Flu^gzuegwerke

Plant

ilesBerlin)

Ordnance

According to the largest airora: factory in Germany. He has visited the plant personally as well asf the other aircraft factories of Germany and states that this isthe biggest andomplete

Interview, January 9,

Plant 2

.

.

City Rostock

Des6au Augsburg

Frankfurt am Main

Smaller than the Oranien-burg Plant but vital to the German Air Force.

Still one of the mostGerman Aircraft factories.

Practically the soleof Diesel engines for submarines.

Former manufacturer of electrical refrigerators and other appliances now the principal producer of many vital aircraft parts.

G, Farbenindustrle Continental Tire Co.

Near Frankfurt am Main (suburb) Hanover

'Crmany'B two principal Juna Rubber producing ilants.

|were of the opinion thatplants producesarge proportion of theof articles which they manufacture that theany one of these plants wouldost serious blow towar machine. If further information along this linethat '

;rlbutlon of the

;roft and automotive components In Germany than anyone in this country at the present time.

osition was such that he had occasion to visit great"many German Plants and to be familiar with their productive capacity, processes, methods, etc

Interview, January 9,

The writer will be pleased to discuss any phases of the above report or to make any further contacts ln this connection which you may desire.

Attached for your informationopyeport on the Utilization of civilian automotive maintenance facilities by the German Army which may be of some interest.

Yours very truly,

Incl.

Copy of report

mb

January2

SUBJECT: Report on German Military Transport

Russel A- Oemun

Office of The Quartermaster General

Military Attache Reports vhlch you recentlyme are returned herewith. There is nothingan add

on the Bpeclfio aubjects of German Army Motor Transportdescribed ln those reports. There ie, however, onephase of Gorman motor maintenance whioh io not mentioned and on which the following comments may be of lnterost.

Baaed on my observations in Germany and later in German occupied France and Belgium,elieve it can bo saidasic principle of German military maintenance operation is to utilize to the greatest possible extent the civilian facilities which are available. In Germany, prior to the invasion of the low countries, thle was manifested as far as motor transport is concerned by the extensive use of private garages, service stations, and factory service departments for the maintenance of army vehiclea. In the occupied territories, the Invading armies were closely followed by ommissars* whose Job waa to organize the local automotive industry for the most effective utilization by the German Army.

These Kommlssaro are civilians attached to thebranch or tho Minlatry of Transport, (Verkohrshis Ministry le ln direct control of the ontlre Germanindustry including its dealer organizations, independent garages, etc. The head of the Automotive Industry Branch is General Von Schell. While the organization is purely civilian, lt Is headed, like many other Government Departments ln Germany, by an Army Officer who maintains his rank in the German Army. General Von Schell le to all intents and purposes the dictator or the automotive industry with rull power to decide whativen company may build, what quantities, at what prices they shall sell them, and any other pertinent question. Although not directly connected with the Army ln anyery close liaison is maintained between General Von Schell's orfice and the Army General Starr regarding the utilization or the automotive industry in the sorvicc of the Army. When the Gorman armies Invaded the low oountrlcs and France, General Von Sohell's authority was immediately extended to these territories and his stafr took over the Job or organizing the local automotive plants and other facilities.

lot i

Report on German Military Transport January2

was obvlouehorough Job of intelligencepreparation had been done prior to the invasion. Asthe Konmissar appointed by General Von Schell toall General Motors operations ln the low countriesormer General Kotoro distributor for Germanyone excuse or another had made frequent trips toOperations in Belgium and Franceeriod ofwas thoroughly familiar with their activities and The Kommlesar appointed to organize the Fordthe same countries was the German director of tho FordCologne, Germany.

Another example of pre-war preparation will be of Interest; for several years prior the appointment of distributors and dealers ln other countries by German car and truckwas closely watched by the German Transport Ministry and Military Authorities. This waa particularly true of the countries adjacent to Germany such as Hungary, Bulgaria.and the Scandinavian Countries. Factory managements were under constant pressure to eliminate Jewish dealers (the only commercially successful ones ln several of theseo appoint firms of marked pro-German sympathies, to extend beyond all reasonable oommorciai requirements the service facilities ln tho Balkans, etc. f German automotive experts were products of the Opeleneral Motors The distribution of Opel cars and trucks outside of Germany waa entirely controlled by General Motors OverseasNew York, through their various local assembly plants. This method of operationhorn ln the sides of the German Authorities who were thus unable to exert the sane pressure on the export Opel dealers that they exerted on the dealers for other German makes. Nevertheless,eriod of year6 they were able to Influence the development of tho major basesery sound automotive maintenance organization throughout Hungary and the Balkan Countries. This organization now undoubtedly Is serving its purpose.

German Kommlssar took possession of thePlant ln Antwerp, Belgium withinours after theof that city. The plant was not requisitioned but"protective custody"nder thethe German Military decree which authorizes theln any area toommlesar or "Custodian" of

any business whenever he considers lt necessary or desirable in the interest of the Reich. Onoe appointed the Kommlssar has full

Report on German Military Transport January2

authority to operate the buQlncoa aa he sees fit and is, to quote the decree, "reaponGiblc only to the authority which appointed him".

Immediately upon occupation of the plant ln Antwerp the Kommissar rehiredfocal workmen and employees, proceeded to clean up the plant, which had been somewhat sabotaged by the retreating Belgians and French, and toomplete inventory of the materials on hand. Sales to olvlllans were naturally stopped immediately throughout the occupied territories. Every automotive dealer was required to submit an inventory of vehicles and spare parte on hand. With the complete capitulation of the Belgianew days Inter all army automotive equipment and spare parte stores were taken over as prizes of war. The Army Motor Maintenance Corpsmmediately returned all General Motors spare parts to the General Motors Plant, placing them under the custody of the Kommissar while Belgian Army vehicles were sorted out according to their make and state of repair and arrangements made for their reconditioning.

The method of handling thla reconditioning le Interesting. Through pre-war intelligence the best equipped garages and service stationa throughout Belgium had been spotted and their potential capacity estimated. These shops were Immediately occupied by the German Army. The Kommissar. then entered the picture and made the following proposals to the owners of each of these shops:

a- ontract could be signed employing the shop to work exclusively for the German Army.

b.. The contract would becost plus" basisusually the owner would be required only to submit his payroll on which ho was Any spare partswould be furnished by the German Array or if available in the invontory of the shop would be billed at list price.

If the owner wae agreeable he could remain in charge of his businessa non-commissioned German Officer would be placed in the shop for liaison between the owner of the Gorman Army personnel vieltlng the ahop on business but othcrwlee there would be no The owner would be given full charge of tho management.

Report on German Military Transport January2

fl. If the owner of the shop would not accept thisommlssar would be appointed to run his business end he would be out ln the cold.

Obviously the owners of most businesses ln the occupied territories accepted the German proposition Inasmuch es lt affordedivelihood for themselves and permitted them to give work to their employees. umber of Instances the owners of shops had fled the country ln edvonco of the Gorman Armies; ln these cases either the responsible employoo remaining was placed ln charge of the business under the above conditionsommiosar was appointed to run the shop.

In talking to the Kommisssr of the Ocneral Motors Assembly Plant In Belgium, he mentioned several times the figure0 vehicles as the number which the German Army found

as prises of war or requisitioned from the civilian population in Belgi-am and Holland. Between June and0 all of theso vehicles ln addition to thousands of German vehicles were run through these shops nnd put in first-claas running order. Obviously theeo shops were5 efficient. In tho first place the German Army is cluttered up with an extremelylot of vehiclesln one big shop lnersonallyifferent makes of German Army vehicles ln the shop at the same time. Obviously thie diversity of makes and modelsery tough spare parte problem for one thing and secondly lt gave the workers who were unsympathetic to theood excuse for stalling by saying their tools wouldn't fit certain oars or that they didn't understand tho functioning of otrtoln makee. However, byigid discipline and by lmprc-eslng on management and workers alike that the price of detectable sabotage was being shot against tho nearest wall very excellent results wore obtained.

should not be deduced from the above that thedid not come equipped with its own maintenancecomparable to the first and second echelons inStates Army were of course performed ln the field andwere that they were very efficientlytheir organization appeared to be set up on aany vehicle which could not be promptly repaired inwould be evacuated to one of the civilian shopswhere lt would be repaired and returnedivisionalpool.

Report on German iilitary Transport January2

11. There was .surprisingly little pressure for expediting vehicles through the shops except ln the case of heavy dutyelieve this wre due to the fact that most civilian vehicles were prohibited on the road and there wasarge surplus

of passenger cars and light trucks from which vehicles could be

requisitioned when rcouired.

12. Returning to the functlone of themmissar in charge of General Motors Operationsafter an inventory had been accomplished, the Assembly Plant in 3elgium was put ln operation to build urhevrolet trucks andassenger cars for which the materials were on hand. These were sold to the German Aray. The Plant was thenas central headquarters for spare parts for American cars ln the low countries andeconditioning plant for the British vehicles recuperated at Dunkirk.

13- It wee estimated that after "cannibalizing"to supply parts for damaged vehicles,0ilitary vehicles were recovered. Since there were no spare parts available on the continent for these British trucks end since the supply of spare ports for American vehicles was obviously limited, lt was decided toartscenter ln the Antwerp General Motors Plant. Since, like ell assembly plants, this one had very little machine tool equipment, tools were requisitioned from various factoriesBelgium and installed ln the plant.

previously 6tated the same Kommissar who wascharge of General Motors Operations ln Belgium waswith General Motors Operations In France. The patternactivity ln that country was very similar except thatreasons of convenience any unassembled materiel found

in faris was sent to the bigger plant ln Antwerp and the Paris Plant turnedepair shop.

Generalommisiar employed aof approximatelyeople in Belgium and Prance. ell civilians and consisted of ar.0re parts experts,and General Administrative Executives. was ell picked by the Kommissar from his own This staff and the Kommissar were paid byGeneral Motors Companies in which they worked. Aspreviously, the Kommlesar vee assigned by General

von Schell of the Ministry of Transi ort in Berlin and his actual

Report on German Killtrry Transport January2

local appointments were under the authority of the Commanding Generals of the occupied territories, obviously the liaison between the Kommlssar and the local Military Authorities was extremely close and to all appearances woe very satisfactory.

might be Judged from the above that the systemmaintenance was used by the German Army onlyterritory. This is not the case. It may be ofto note that the Kommlssar ln charge of Generalln the occuried territory was aleo contractorto the German Air Force for the repair andmilitary planes. In this connection he had constructedtwo very large repair shors. According to hiswhich were corroborated by Luftwaffe Officers with whom

J spoke, all plane? which were damaged beyond quick repair at Air Field shops were turned over to this organization. They dismounted the motors and returned these to the motorfor reconditioning and then completely reconditioned th6 fuselage, wings, undercarriages, etc.

SUMMARY:

In the third and higher echelons of-motor maintenance, the German Army emrloys available civilian facilities andto the greatest possible extent. This system of contractual maintenance has given satisfactory results in Germany, in her satellite states, and even in the occupied territories.

I attachurther rerort on German economic conditions as related to the automotive industryfor the Coordinator of Information.

mb

Incls.

Military Attache Rcorts Report to Coordinator of Info.

Original document.

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