Conducts research and collects data on the global history of labour, workers, and labour relations

Defensive Work

23 June 1942
Cap Gris Nez, Organisation Todt, 1942
Bundesarchiv 146-1973-036-05

After the proclamation of the Arbeitseinsatz (Relève, Labour Service) in June 1942, several thousand Algerians registered with the German Consulate in Algiers for work programs in the German Reich. They were collected for transport, but many of the applicants never saw Germany. They were sent to occupied France instead, to work in various military and paramilitary construction projects of Organisation Todt. According to a German recruiting officer, they 'make a healthy and solid impression. They are Mohamedans who, for religious reasons, drink no alcohol and are thrifty.' The Allied landing in North Africa ended the recruiting of labourers in Algeria and Morocco a little later.

Read more? Gerhard Höpp, 'The suppressed discourse: Arab victims of National Socialism' in: The World in World Wars (Leiden 2010)