The millions of foreign and forced laborers in the German Reich posed a serious problem for the Nazi regime. On the one hand, they were indispensable for the German war economy. On the other, they were a significant security risk, not least because of the possibility of “racial corruption.” A multitude of new laws was supposed to ensure the total isolation of foreigner workers from the German population. Their range of movement was supposed to be strictly limited to their workplaces and their lodgings. Public institutions were closed to them, and contact with the German population was forbidden and subject to severe punishment. However, their treatment varied depending on their status in the Nazi racial hierarchy. Workers from Eastern European countries were exploited with particular harshness and brutality.

Medical Examination of Polish Farm Hands Recruited as Foreign Workers for the Reich (April/May 1940)

  • Arthur Grimm


Source: Medical examination for Polish farm hands recruited as foreign laborers for the Reich. Photo: Arthur Grimm.
bpk-Bildagentur, image number 30024607. For rights inquiries, please contact Art Resource at requests@artres.com (North America) or bpk-Bildagentur at kontakt@bpk-bildagentur.de (for all other countries). 

© bpk / Arthur Grimm