Robert Ley was leader of the German Labour Front from 1933 to 1945, who in Mai 1942 declared: "It is not enough to isolate the Jewish enemy of mankind, the Jews have got to be exterminated .."

Robert Ley was made head of the German workers' front after Hitler's accession to power. To weld German labour into a solid organization backing Hitler, Ley abolished the democratic trade unions and built up a powerful labour organization designed to facilitate German militarization and war preparations. He was also head of the Union of Germans Living Abroad.

During World War II, Robert Ley supervised the mobilization of foreign as well as German labour for war work. Near the war's end he fled to the mountains near Berchtesgaden, where he was captured by U.S. troops on May 16, 1945.

Ley attempted to poison himself at the time of his capture but was thwarted by an Allied soldier who knocked the bottle out of Ley's hand. The prisoner was wearing a ring, a cyanide capsule hidden in it, a common practice among high-ranking Nazi officers. In the end, Ley cheated the justice system by hanging himself with a towel in the lavatory in the Nürnberg prison on October 25, 1945, while awaiting trial.