Copy for Va 5135/2049 32
Fact sheet for the labor deployment of the Soviet POWs;
Here: Measures for the restoration of full ability to work.
The Soviet POWs, almost without exception, are in a state of severe malnutrition, which at present does not yet qualify them for normal work performance. However, in the interest of the economy, only those Soviet POWs fully capable of work should be employed. POWs who are not completely fit for work only hinder the production process and lead to work hold-ups and decreases in production figures. For these reasons, it is necessary to exhaust all means that might be appropriate for improving their physical condition, as the basis for their working capacity.
The level of the food ration itself cannot be changed at this time. But an increase in its useful effect can indeed be achieved by efficient utilization, adapted to the physical requirements of the Soviet POWs. This can come about, for example, by dividing the hot meal and giving it out in two rounds, at midday and in the evening; by spreading the distribution of the bread ration over the individual mealtimes; by occasionally giving hot drinks in addition and, in the event of symptoms of diarrhea, providing easily digestible food; and by preventing the POWs from consuming raw field crops, food scraps, or other things that are hard to digest.
If the businessman/contractor himself feeds the Soviet POWs, the necessary adaptation of the food to the physical requirements of the POWs will entail a certain amount of additional work [for him]. This extra work, however, can justifiably be demanded of the businessman, as it is he, in the final analysis, who benefits from the enhanced output.
In addition to adaptation of the diet to physical requirements, it must be ensured that the food served to the POWs can be used as productively as possible by the body of the POW. It is necessary, therefore, for the quarters assigned to the POWs to be made easy to heat and kept warm. Furthermore, an opportunity must be created for bodily cleansing and for drying wet uniforms and items of clothing, as cold living quarters and wet clothing will result in a loss of body heat by the Soviet POWs.
From the outset, it will not be permissible to set excessive work requirements for Soviet POWs whose physical constitution is still poor, to avoid making the restoration of their full work capacity an illusory goal. It is therefore necessary, at the beginning, to demand only a reduced output from Soviet POWs who are not in full possession of their physical powers, and to increase their amount of work gradually, in keeping with the improvement in their physical health.