Többens and Schultz

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Többens and Schultz
Native name
Többens und Schultz & Co
Slave labour
IndustryTextile manufacturing
OwnersFritz Schultz, Walter Többens
Number of employees
18,000 (1942)

Többens and Schultz (German: Többens und Schultz & Co) was a Nazi German textile manufacturing conglomerate making German uniforms, socks and garments in the Warsaw Ghetto and elsewhere,[1] during the occupation of Poland in World War II. It was owned and operated by two major war profiteers: Fritz Emil Schultz from Danzig,[2] and a convicted war criminal,[3] Walter C. Többens (i.e. Walther Caspar Toebbens, from Hamburg).[1][3]


Schultz and Többens appeared in Warsaw in the summer of 1941,[4] not long after the Ghetto was closed off with walls topped with barbed wire. The unemployment, hunger and malnutrition there were rampant.[5] At first, they both acted as middlemen between the German high command and the Jewish-run workshops, and placed production orders with them.[6] Within weeks they opened their own factories in the Ghetto using slave labour on a record scale.[4]

By spring 1942 the Stickerei Abteilung division run by Schultz at Nowolipie 44 Street had 3,000 workers making shoes, leather products, sweaters and socks for the Wehrmacht. Other divisions were making furs and wool sweaters also, guarded by the Werkschutz police.[6] Some 15,000 Jews were working for Többens in the Warsaw Ghetto,[7] at the Prosta Street and at the Leszno Street factories among other places. Staying with any of them was a source of envy for other Jews living in fear of deportations.[6] In early 1943 Többens gained for himself the appointment of a Jewish deportation commissar of Warsaw in order to keep his own workforce secure and maximize profits.[8]


Resulting from the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising and the destruction of an entire city district by the SS, in May 1943 Többens had transferred his businesses, including 10,000 Jewish slave workers with families spared from Treblinka, to the Poniatowa concentration camp facility set up near Lublin, part of the so-called "territorial solution to the Jewish Question" never fully realized by the Schutzstaffel (SS).[9] Fritz Schultz took his manufacture along with 6,000 Jews and their 400 children[10] to the nearby Trawniki concentration camp commanded by Karl Streibel.[1][4]

The workshop of W.C. Toebbens & Co at Poniatowa concentration camp before Aktion Erntefest

A number of vastly profitable enterprises were run by the SS in the Lublin reservation, part of the General Government during the Holocaust in Poland.[11] SS-Gruppenführer and Generalleutnant der Polizei Odilo Globocnik from Austria racked up millions of Reichsmarks and gold from his murderous Operation Reinhard.[12] The business was booming, with large amounts of money initially coming from the victims of gassing, and foodstuffs requisitioned from terrorized farmers for free. But not for long.[13]

During the final phase of the Holocaust,[14] the SS-WVHA's economic department under Oswald Pohl[15] had given up the idea of a "reservation",[3] partly due to the Soviet counter-offensive and the Jewish revolts.[16] The SS proceeded to shut down the Ostindustrie entirely in order to prevent further unrest. On 3 November 1943, all sub-camps of the Majdanek death camp were liquidated in Aktion Erntefest, the single largest German massacre of Jews in the entire war, with approximately 43,000 victims across District Lublin fatally shot in fake anti-aircraft trenches by the Reserve Police Battalion 101 (a unit of the German Order Police), augmented by a squad of Hiwis called "Trawniki men".[17] Többens was captured in Austria by the Americans in 1946. He escaped from a train on the way to a trial in Poland and settled under an assumed name in Bavaria, where he founded a new business from his wartime profits. He revealed his identity in 1952, and died in a car accident two years later.[3]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c Chris Webb, H.E.A.R.T (2009). "Transfer of Factories from the Warsaw Ghetto". Georg Michalsen Testimony. Holocaust Education & Archive Research Team. Retrieved 8 March 2015. It is correct that at the beginning of the Stroop Action I still took care of a transfer of Toebbens Jews to Poniatowa, which means that one more transfer of the firm of Toebbens to Poniatowa left Warsaw... Of special note is the fact that I was not a participant in the transport of Jews of the Schultz firm to Trawniki. If such a transport took place, then possibly SS Oberscharfuhrer Bartetzko was involved. – SS-Sturmbannführer Georg Michalsen.
  2. ^ Powell 2000, p. 114 (ibidem).
  3. ^ a b c d Dan Kurzman (2009). Tobbens Poniatow factories. The Bravest Battle: The Twenty-eight Days Of The Warsaw Ghetto Uprising. Da Capo Press. p. 346. ISBN 0786748265. Retrieved 9 March 2015.
  4. ^ a b c John Menszer (2015). "Tobbens' Shop in the Warsaw ghetto". Background information to Survivor Stories. Holocaust Survivors: Encyclopedia. Retrieved 8 March 2015.
  5. ^ Lucy S. Dawidowicz (2010). The War Against the Jews: 1933–1945. Warsaw ghetto. Open Road Media. pp. 270–272. ISBN 1453203060. Retrieved 8 March 2015.
  6. ^ a b c CBnZŻ (2011). "Getto Warszawskie". Workshops, with internal links to locations (in Polish). Centrum Badań nad Zagładą Żydów. Retrieved 9 March 2015.
  7. ^ ARC (16 July 2006). "Poniatowa: Aktion Erntefest". Walter Toebbens Company in the Warsaw Ghetto. Action Reinhard Camps. Retrieved 9 March 2015.
  8. ^ Powell, Lawrence N. (2000). Troubled Memory. Univ of North Carolina Press. p. 114. ISBN 0807825042.
  9. ^ Nicosia, Francis; Niewyk, Donald (2000). The Columbia Guide to the Holocaust. New York: Columbia University Press. p. 232. ISBN 0231528787.
  10. ^ Wojciech Lenarczyk, Dariusz Libionka (2009). "Obóz pracy dla Żydów w Trawnikach in : Erntefest 3–4 listopada 1943 – zapomniany epizod Zagłady" (PDF). Transfer szopow Schultza z getta warszawskiego. Państwowe Muzeum na Majdanku, Lublin, 2009, ss. 183–210. p. 191. Retrieved 10 March 2015.
  11. ^ Robin O'Neil (2008). The 'Entefest' (Harvest Festival) massacres. Belzec: Stepping Stone to Genocide; 11: SS Enterprises. JewishGen Yizkor Book Project. ISBN 0976475936. Retrieved 8 March 2015.
  12. ^ Kopówka, Edward; Rytel-Andrianik, Paweł (2011), "Treblinka II – Obóz zagłady" [Monograph, chapt. 3: Treblinka II Death Camp] (PDF file, direct download 20.2 MB), Dam im imię na wieki [I will give them an everlasting name. Isaiah 56:5] (in Polish), Drohiczyńskie Towarzystwo Naukowe [The Drohiczyn Scientific Society], pp. 116–117, ISBN 978-83-7257-496-1, retrieved 8 March 2015, The amount of loot stolen by Globocnik himself is unknown, although SS-Unterscharführer Franz Suchomel admitted in court that he filled a box with one million Reichsmarks for him.
  13. ^ Dariusz Pawłoś, Fundacja Polsko-Niemiecka Pojednanie (2015). "Eksploatacja wsi 1939–1945" [German economic exploitation of Polish countryside 1939–1945]. Eksploatacja Ekonomiczna i Wysiedlenia Ludności Wiejskiej. Instytut Pamięci Narodowej. Retrieved 8 March 2015.
  14. ^ Stone, Dan (1 September 2010). Histories of the Holocaust. Oxford University Press. ISBN 0191614203. Retrieved 11 July 2013.
  15. ^ Dobroszycki, Lucjan (1984). "Introduction (Ostindustrie)". The chronicle of the Łódź Ghetto: 1941–1944. Yale University Press. p. lxi. ISBN 0300039247. Retrieved 9 March 2015.
  16. ^ See: the uprisings at the Sobibor and Treblinka extermination camps, and armed resistance in the Warsaw, Białystok, and Vilna ghettos.
  17. ^ Browning, Christopher R. (1998) [1992]. "Arrival in Poland" (PDF). Ordinary Men: Reserve Police Battalion 101 and the Final Solution in Poland. Penguin Books. pp. 135–142. Archived from the original (PDF file, direct download 7.91 MB complete) on 1 May 2013. Retrieved 7 May 2013.

Further reading[edit]