Committee on the
A few overconcerned citizens have protested this development as being wasteful of natural and financial resources, and even more-destructive to human life.
They have spared no criticism, have pulled all variety of political strings to put an end to this most important and vital project in our entire system of national priorities.
May I point out that this city was and is the most economically deprived in the whole nation. There are greater pockets of poverty in this region than the rest of the nation combined.
Unemployment haunts the streets. No trained worker can expect a single day of decent work. The honesty of the common man is being compromised by vicious unemployment, demeaning charity, and a lack of government projects in the area.
We propose to change this state of affairs.
Once our development has your approval, some eleven millions will be poured into the district. Sheet-metal workers, masons, carpenters, contractors, electricians, brick-layers, common construction workers, and even the previously unemployable untrained younger work force will have a project which will take a full year to complete, and provide almost a thousand regular jobs thereafter to repair, do maintenance, and for security personnel.
For the year of initial construction, some seventeen hundred to two thousand men will be gainfully employed, with all the attendant advantages of paychecks for the hungry and the depressed. This is a humanitarian act.
In short, the proposed operation will bring necessary government funds into the city, erase persistent hard-core unemployment, give a whole community new self-respect, and provide a continuing source of funds to the willing, able-bodied, and hard-working citizens of this desperate district.
Gentlemen: the people need our project. Their well-being, and the security of our whole movement, demand that we provide for their immediate needs. We must give the people of Belsen some pride. I ask that you vote favorably on the construction.
--- Rudolf Hoess
Before the Chancellor's
Commission on National Priorities.
Meeting in secret session, April 5, 1940.
Subject: Proposed Construction of
Belsen Concentration Camp,