Aktion „Arbeitsscheu Reich“

As part of the " work-shy Empire " more than 10,000 men were deported to concentration camps as so-called anti-socials in April and in June 1938 when two waves of arrests. Thereby also approximately 2,300 Jews were imprisoned during the so-called June action that had received varied reasons criminal record.


The term " action, work-shy Empire ' " can be in the official correspondence, which was conducted in connection with the mass arrest, unable to prove. In Buchenwald concentration camp detainees were initially referred to as " forced labor prisoners Reich", a short time later as " work-shy Reich" (ASR). This name was taken up by Hans Buchheim, taken by Wolfgang Ayass for both arrests and has become established.

However, the term " June - Action " for the second wave of arrests that involved also convicted Jews is contemporary. It is, in part with the year 1938, often - but not consistently - used when the persecution of the Jews is in the foreground of the presentation.

Action in April 1938

The arrest and deportation of " asocial " goes back to "basic Decree on the preventive fight against crime by the police," the Ministry of Interior on 14 December 1937. In order for the preventive detention of so-called professional or habitual criminal was unified high-reach and extended to persons who would endanger their anti-social behavior the general public. A habeas corpus was only provided within the second year imprisonment, then apply annually and after four years from the Reichsführer- SS and Chief of the German Police.

After Heinrich Himmler's plan of January 26, 1938 should start a " one-time, comprehensive and surprising Access" done on the " work-shy ". These were men of working age, who had twice refused a job offered to them or abandoned after a short time. By performing this action, the Gestapo was tasked got the necessary information in cooperation with the labor offices.

In the period from April 21 to 30 this arrest operation ran from -reach. In total, between 1500 and 2000 were male " work-shy " deported to the Buchenwald concentration camp.

Actions in May and June 1938

The group of people who should be detained in the sense of " Preventive Crime " was not limited to the " work-shy ", but taken much further. An implementing directive of the Reich Criminal defined in April 1938 as a person who shows through community misconduct or minor, but repeated violations of the law that they do not fit into the community and submit to the " self-evident order" a Nazi state wants to " anti-social ". These were particularly vagrants, beggars, prostitutes, gypsies and drunkards. Even people with untreated venereal diseases were included as well.

On Hitler's personal orders Jews were also included. Wolf Gruner quotes the statement of Hitler's from the last week of May 1938 in the following notation, namely that " the completion of major earthmoving in entire Reich anti-social and criminal Jews to be arrested. " When the assembly was passed down orally, it was misleading, because the sense by uppercase or lowercase letters of the word " anti-social " substantially changes. In fact, the state police headquarters in Vienna took " flash " the initiative and had the district police stations on May 24, 1938 " immediately unpopular, especially criminal preloaded Jews to arrest and convict in the Dachau concentration camp. " The first two transports of 31 May and 3 June. included approximately 1,200 Jews and are referred to by Wolf Gruner as "Austrian special Action ".

Were also there was not until the next transport predominantly "anti-social " abducted. The generally applicable for the kingdom and implemented action is concerned only Jews, whose criminal record included convictions of more than four weeks. Referred to in this wave of arrests in the literature as of June action, were more than 9,000 men arrested by the police between 13 to 18 June 1938.

In the "June Special " many Jews were disproportionately detained with about 2,300 people. Your criminal record did not go alone to " normal delinquency " back, but often based on tracking specific offenses such as breach of exchange or went back to marginal offenses such as violation of traffic regulations. Dachau concentration camp 211 Jewish prisoners were taken. 1256 Jewish men came to Buchenwald and 824 to Sachsenhausen concentration camp, where they were subjected to brutal harassment.


At least with these actions, the focus of security police activity from fighting political opponents had shifted to the separation of " social misfits " who tended due to supposed genetic predisposition to socially harmful conduct. Heydrich justified the action in a quick letter to the judicial police control centers: It is not to tolerate anti-social people beyond the work and thus sabotage the Four Year Plan. According to Wolfgang Ayass not the alleged dangerousness of the individual " antisocial " but whose work ability was the decisive criterion arrest. In many concentration camps, marked with a black angle group of prisoners who made " anti-socials " to the outbreak of war the majority. Martin Broszat points out that at this time began the SS-owned building material production and in concentration camps, larger contingents of prisoners were needed. An important than the work performance of these prisoners " work-shy " but the deterrent effect is likely to be " working slackers " have been on others.

The "June campaign" was also the first one carried out by the security police on their own action, in which a large number of German Jews were deported to concentration camps. Their inclusion in the June action goes back to Hitler's personal orders, which led to a statement of 1 June 1938. Christian Dirks suggests a connection with anti -Semitic attacks in Berlin, which - starting in May - accumulated from 13 to 16 June 1938 and culminated in calls for boycotts, the marking of Jewish shops, cafes and raids in arrests.

Wolfgang Ayass refuted on the basis of occupation numbers, the widespread claim that in the context of the " work-shy Empire " detainees were freed for the most part in 1939 in the amnesty on the occasion of the fiftieth birthday of Hitler. Comparable mass arrests did not repeat itself; However, there were up to 1945 continuous " anti-social " and " work-shy " sent to the concentration camps. Himmler himself estimated in 1943 that the total number of detained " antisocial ", " professional criminals " and detainee to around 70,000 people.

Julia Hörath points out that the " Racial general prevention " has been operated soon after the seizure of power in the interaction between local and central authorities and by no means exclusively controlled centrally by the SS and Gestapo leadership.