Europe Works in the Reich

Clearing Rubble in Himmler’s Palace

Gerard de Ruiter from Holland was prisoner in the subcamp Lichterfelde.

Nearby: Fritz Sauckel

General Plenipotentiary for Labor Deployment

Party and SS departments used prisoners at the subcamp Berlin-Lichterfelde for labour. Inmates of this subcamp, managed by the concentration camp Sachsenhausen, were also put to work in the buildings of the Reich Security Main Office and the Gestapo.

They had to clear away rubble after air raids, defuse unexploded bombs, repair bomb shelters and dig splinter protection trenches. On May 7, 1944, 29 prisoners fell victim to an Allied air raid.

Fritz Sauckel, the General Plenipotentiary for Labour Deployment, was based at the Europa-haus, which was built in 1931. He organised the forced recruitment of around six million civil forced labourers (not including prisoners of war and concentration camp inmates). In the propaganda pamphlet “Europe is working in Germany. Sauckel mobilises the labour reserve” he presented his merits.


Stresemannstraße 92
10963 Berlin


S/U Potsdamer Platz


“Clearing Rubble in Himmler’s Palace”: Interview with Gerard de Ruiter, 2007,

“Nearby: Fritz Sauckel”: Collection of the Berliner Geschichtswerkstatt (1); Bundesarchiv, photo 183-J21595 (2); Friedrich Didier, Europe is working in Germany, Munich 1943 (3-8)