Tag Archives: military construction

The “Organisation Todt” (OT)

(The following text is based on an article which I wrote for off-line use)

We can read in a file from the Directorate-General War Victims about my great-great-uncle Kalman Lehrer (sometimes also known as Kalman Kalech) during WWII. We read there that he was conscripted into labor service in the Julius Berger Company.

I tried to figure out what the Julius Berger Company was (click here for my earlier post about this subject.

What I initially did not read well and missed in the document is the abbreviation ‘OT’ which is written on one of the documents in that file:

From Kalman Lehrer’s file at the Belgian Office of War Victims (file:DOS-DDO d210703)

What we see is that Kalman Lehrer

a été mis au travail force dans le Nord de La France (O.T.). Il figure sur les listes de salaires (établies par quinzaines) de la firme « Julius Berger » du 26.7.42 au 31.10.42“

(translation: [Kalman Lehrer] was conscripted into labor service in Northern France (OT). He is listed in the wages lists (established by fortnights) of the firm “Julius Berger” from 26.7.42 to 31.10.42.)

First I’ll try to explain more about the OT, which stood for Organisation Todt, and then I’ll continue about Kalman Lehrer during the war.

The OT’s establishment:
The “Organisation Todt” (OT) was established in May 1938, when Hitler instructed the Generalinspekteur für das Strassenwesen, Dr. Ing. Fritz Todt, who had proven himself with the autobahn construction, to continue the previously Wehrmacht led construction of the Westwall . Todt has developed the organization out of a combination of planning departments, private companies (the Julius Berger company was such a company) and until the war started in 1939, the Reichsarbeitsdienst . During the war the OT transformed into a military construction unit and its structure changed from year to year as it was adapted to the requirements of the respective orders.

The OT fell from March 1940 under the responsibility of the Reichsminister für Bewaffnung und Munition (RMfBM)- Minister for Armament and Munitions.

After the death of Fritz Todt in February 1942, the OT reorganized under Albert Speer (Mannheim, 19 march 1905 – London, 1 September 1981). From the beginning of 1941 it was headed by Continue reading The “Organisation Todt” (OT)