National Technical University of Ukraine «Igor Sikorsky Kyiv Polytechnic Institute»
The article tackles the problem of forcing population of occupied Donbas to
labour during the late years of Nazi occupation. German leadership planned
an exploitation of the economic potential of Donbas. While at the beginning of
the war, supplying raw materials was a priority, the Nazis have changed their
approach later. They decided to also use an industrial potential of the occupied
territories. Implementation of this strategy demanded large numbers of workers.
The purpose of the article is to 1) analyze actions of the Nazi leaders in regard
to exploitation of labor resources in occupied Donbas; 2) clarify reasons
for introduction of compulsory labor service; 3) outline the role of German administration
in labour mobilization.
The compulsory labor service had two purposes: it mobilized local population
to work on a occupied territory and it stipulated work emigration to Germany.
To implement those goals the administration created a registry of all unemployed
persons with their specialty listed. Control over able-bodied working-age population was severe during the whole period of occupation. The forced labor
was exploited in coal industry, road construction, freight works and agricultrure.
Work emigration from Donbas to Germany stemmed from the fact that the
wartime military industry of the Third Reich required more workforce.
The population of Donbas was forced to work in industrial and agricultural
regions of Germany. In total, 320 thousands of persons were involved in this
process: 72 thousands from Voroshilovgrad province and 320 thousands from
Stalin province. Most of those persons were skilled workers from coal, steal and
other metal industries.
Introduction of a compulsory civilian service was aimed at exploiting local
population in the occupied territory. Likewise they exploited ostarbeiters to support
the military industry in the Third Reich.
Keywords: World War II, occupied territory, occupation administration, economic
potential, labour resources, forced labor, ostarbeiter, civil population, mobilization.