4000bce - 399
400 - 1399
1400 - 1499
1500 - 1599
1600 - 1699
1700 - 1799
1800 - 1899
1900 - 1999
COL. TAYLOR: May it please the Court, Sir, when the Court rose on Friday I had completed that part of the presentation on Counts One and Two. I now turn to that part of the Indictment which charges that the General Staff and High Command group had a major responsibility for the War Crimes and Crimes against Humanity involved in the execution of the Common Plan or Conspiracy set forth in Counts Three and Four of the Indictment. For purpose of brevity I shall refer to these crimes simply as War Crimes.
The presentation of the documents under this part of the case should take all or the better part of the morning session. At the conclusion of that, I propose to call a single witness, one witness, Erich von dem Bach-Zelewski, whose testimony on direct examination should not exceed 25 or 30 minutes. After that, I shall take possibly 10 minutes to conclude, and that will be the entire presentation.
On this part of the case I propose to show that members of the General Staff and High Command group, including the defendants who are members of the group, ordered and directed the commission of War Crimes, and thereby participated in the commission of War Crimes in their official capacity as members of the group. I also propose to show, in certain instances, the actual commission of War Crimes by members of the German Armed Forces as a result of these orders or as a result of other orders and arrangements made by members of the General Staff and High Command group which controlled the German Armed Forces. However, I do not propose to make a full showing of War Crimes committed by the German Armed Forces. The full presentation of the evidence under Counts Three and Four will be made, pursuant to agreement among the Chief Prosecutors, by the French and Soviet Delegations, and a substantial amount of the evidence to be presented by them will be relevant to the charges against the General Staff and High Command group
We will at this time show the Tribunal that the General Staff and High Command became wedded to a policy of terror. In some cases, the evidence of this policy is in documentary form, and we will present the activating papers which were signed by, initialed by, and circulated among the members of the group. In other instances, where the actual crimes were committed by others than
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members of the German Armed Forces, where, for example, prisoners of war were handed over to and mistreated by the SS or SD, we will show that in those cases members of this group were well aware that they were assisting in the commission of War Crimes. We will show that many crimes committed by the SS and SD were committed with the knowledge and necessary support of the General Staff and High Command group.
The first matter which I will take up relates to the killing, in violation of international law and the rules of war, of Allied commandos, paratroopers, and members of military missions, and the first document to which I wish to refer is 498-PS, which will be Exhibit USA-501.
This story starts with the order embodied in that document, which is an order issued by Hitler on 18 October 1942, and which Mr. Storey has already mentioned in the presentation of charges against the Sicherheitsdienst. The order begins with a recital that Allied commandos were using methods of warfare alleged to be outside the scope of the Geneva Convention, and thereafter proceeds to specify the methods of warfare which German troops should use against Allied commandos, and the disposition which should be made of captured commandos.
This order is one of the two basic documents in the story. I will read it in full:
"1. For some time our enemies have been using in their warfare methods which are outside the international Geneva Conventions. Especially brutal and treacherous is the behavior of the so-called commandos, who, as is established, are partially recruited even from freed criminals in enemy countries. From captured orders it is divulged that they are directed not only to shackle prisoners, but also to kill defenseless prisoners on the spot at the moment in which they believe that the latter, as prisoners, represent a burden in the further pursuit of their purpose or could otherwise be a hindrance. Finally, orders have been found in which the killing of prisoners has been demanded in principle.
"2. For this reason it was already announced, in an addendum to the Armed Forces communiqué of 7 October 1942, that in the future, Germany, in the face of the sabotage troops of the British and their accomplices, will resort to the same procedure, that is, that they will be ruthlessly mowed down by the German troops in combat, wherever they may appear.
"3. I therefore order:
"From now on all enemies on so-called commando missions in Europe or Africa, challenged by German troops, even if they are to all appearances soldiers in uniform or demolition troops,
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whether armed or unarmed, in battle or in flight, are to be slaughtered to the last man. It does not make any difference whether they are landed from ships and airplanes for their actions, or whether they are dropped by parachute. Even if these individuals, when found, should apparently be prepared to give themselves up, no pardon is to be granted them on principle. In each individual case full information is to be sent to the OKW for publication in the communiqué of the Armed Forces.
"4. If individual members of such commandos, such as agents, saboteurs, et cetera, fall into the hands of the Armed Forces by some other means, through the police in occupied territories, for instance, they are to be handed over immediately to the SD. Any imprisonment under military guard, in PW stockades, for instance, et cetera, is strictly prohibited, even if this is only intended for a short time.
"5. This order does not apply to the treatment of any soldiers who, in the course of normal hostilities, large-scale offensive actions, landing operations, and airborne operations, are captured in open battle or give themselves up. Nor does this order apply to enemy soldiers falling into our hands after battles at sea, or to enemy soldiers trying to save their lives by parachute after air battles.
"6. I will hold responsible under military law, for failing to carry out this order, all commanders and officers who either have neglected their duty of instructing the troops about this order, or acted against this order when it was to be executed."
It is signed Adolf Hitler, and the Tribunal will note that this order was issued by OKW in 12 copies, and the distribution shown on the second page included the three Supreme Commands, Army, Sea, and Air, and the principal field commands.
Now, the same day Hitler issued a supplementary order, that is, Document 503-PS, which will be Exhibit USA-542. This was issued for the purpose of explaining the reasons why the basic order was issued. In this explanation, Hitler gave a rather different set of reasons for the issuance of the order and pointed out that Allied commando operations had been extraordinarily successful in the destruction of rear communications, intimidating laborers, and destroying important war plants in occupied areas. This is the other basic document; and while I need not read it in full, I would like to read substantial excerpts, starting with the first paragraph at the top of the page:
"Added to the decree concerning the destruction of terror and sabotage troops"-then in parentheses was a cross reference
to the order which I have just read-"a supplementary order of the Fuehrer is enclosed.
"This order is intended for commanders only and must not, under any circumstances, fall into enemy hands.
"The further distribution is to be limited accordingly by the receiving bureaus.
"The bureaus named in the distribution list are held responsible for the return and destruction of all distributed copies of this order and copies made thereof."
It is signed, "The Chief of the High Command of the Armed Forces, by order of Jodl"
Thereafter follows a distribution list and then the supplementary order itself, signed by Hitler. I will start reading the first two paragraphs of the supplementary order which appear at the bottom of Page 1 of the translation:
"I have been compelled to issue strict orders for the destruction of enemy sabotage troops and to declare non-compliance with these orders severely punishable. I deem it necessary to announce to the competent commanding officers and commanders the reasons for this decree.
"As in no previous war, a method of destruction of communications behind the front, intimidation of the populace working for Germany, as well. as the destruction of war-important industrial plants in territories occupied by us has been developed in this war."
I propose to skip to the bottom of Page 2, the last two paragraphs on Page 2 of the translation:
"The consequences of these activities are of extraordinary weight. I do not know whether each commander and officer is cognizant of the fact that the destruction of one single electric power plant, for instance, can deprive the Luftwaffe of many thousand tons of aluminum, thereby eliminating the construction of countless aircraft that will be missed in the fight at the front and so contribute to serious damage of the homeland as well as to bloody losses of the fighting soldiers.
"Yet this form of war is completely without danger for the adversary. Since he lands his sabotage troops in uniform but at the same time supplies them with civilian clothes, they can, according to need, appear as soldiers or civilians. While they themselves have orders ruthlessly to remove any German soldiers or even natives who get in their way, they run no danger of suffering really serious losses in their operations, since at the worst, if they are caught, they can immediately surrender and thus believe that they will theoretically fall
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under the provisions of the Geneva Convention. There is no doubt, however, that this is a misuse in the worst form of the Geneva agreements, especially since part of these elements are even criminals liberated from prisons, who can rehabilitate themselves through these activities.
"England and America will therefore always be able to find volunteers for this kind of warfare, as long as they can truthfully assure them that there is no danger of loss of life for them. At worst, all they have to do is successfully to commit their attacks on people, traffic installations, or other installations and, upon being encountered by the enemy, to capitulate.
"If the German conduct of war is not to suffer grievous damage through these incidents, it must be made clear to the adversary that all sabotage troops will be exterminated, without exception, to the last man.
"This means that their chance of escaping with their lives is nil. Under no circumstances can it be permitted, therefore, that a dynamite, sabotage, or terrorist · unit simply allows itself to be captured, expecting to be treated according to the rules of the Geneva Convention. It must, under all circumstances, be ruthlessly exterminated.
"The report on this subject appearing in the Armed Forces communiqué will briefly and laconically state that a sabotage, terror, or destruction unit has been encountered and exterminated to the last man.
"I therefore expect the commanding officers of armies subordinate to them, as well as individual commanders, not only to realize the necessity of taking such measures, but to carry out this order with ad energy. Officers and noncommissioned officers who fail through some weakness are to be reported without fail or, if the circumstances require aft, e. g. if danger is imminent, to be at once made strictly accountable. The homeland, as well as the fighting soldier at the front, has the right to expect that behind their backs the essentials of nourishment as well as the supply with war-important weapons and ammunition remains secure.
"These are the reasons for the issuance of my decree.
"If it should become necessary, for reasons of interrogation, initially to spare one man or two, then they are to be shot immediately after interrogation."
Your Lordship, the next is Document C-179, which will be Exhibit USA-543. As this document shows, 10 days later on 28 October 1942 and while the Defendant Raeder was Commander-in-Chief of the
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German Navy, the naval war staff in Berlin transmitted its copy of the basic order of 18 October to the lower naval commands. The copy distributed by the Navy and the covering memorandum from the naval war staff show clearly the secrecy which surrounded the dissemination of this order; and I read the first sheet of this document only, the cover sheet:
"Enclosed please find an order of the Fuehrer regarding annihilation of terror and sabotage units. This order must not be distributed in writing by flotilla leaders, section commanders, or officers of this rank. After verbal notification to subordinate sections, the above officers must hand this order over to the next higher section, which is responsible for its withdrawal and destruction."
Passing over to Page 3 of this document, at the very end we find a similar admonition in the notice for distribution, at the very end of the document; I read:
"These instructions are not to be distributed over and above the battalions and the corresponding staffs of the other services. After notification, those copies distributed over arid above the regimental and corresponding staffs of the other services must be withdrawn and destroyed."
The next document, Your Lordship, is C-178, which becomes Exhibit USA-544. This document is dated 11 February 1943, which was 12 days after the Defendant Doenitz had become Commander-in-Chief of the German Navy. On that day, this memorandum was circulated within the naval war staff in order to clear up certain misunderstandings as to the scope of the basic order of 18 October 1942. This document, of which I will read the first four paragraphs, indicates why the earlier order had been treated as such a secret matter and also directs that all naval commanders and officers who failed to carry out the order, or to instruct their units concerning the order, would run the risk of serious court-martial penalties. I'll read the first four paragraphs only:
"From the notice given by the 3rd Section of the Naval Operations Staff on 1 February 1943 it has been discovered that the competent departments of the General Staff of the Army, as well as those of the Air Force Operations Staff, have a wrong conception regarding the treatment of saboteurs. A telephone inquiry at the 3rd Section of the Operations Staff proved that this naval authority was not correctly informed either.
"In view of this situation, reference is made to Paragraph 6 of the Fuehrer Order of 18 October 1942"-and then a crossreference-"according to which an commanders and officers who have neglected their duty in destructing their units about
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the order referring to treatment of saboteurs are threatened with punishment by court-martial.
"The first Fuehrer order concerning this matter of 18 October 1942 was given the protection of top secret merely because it stated therein (1) that according to the Fuehrer's views, the spreading of military sabotage organizations in the East and West may have tremendous consequences for our whole conduct of the war, and (2) that the shooting of uniformed prisoners acting on military orders must be carried out even after they have surrendered voluntarily and asked for pardon.
"On the other hand, the annihilation of sabotage units in battle is not at all to be kept secret; but on the contrary, to be currently published in the OKW reports. The purpose of these measures to act as a deterrent will not be achieved if those taking part in enemy commando operations would not learn that certain death and not safe imprisonment awaits them. As the saboteurs are to be annihilated immediately, unless their statements are first needed for military reasons, it is necessary that not only all members of the Armed Forces must receive instructions that these types of saboteurs, even if they are in uniform, are to be annihilated but also all departments of the home staff, dealing with this kind of questions, must be informed of the course of action which has been ordered."
I will call the Tribunal's attention to the two reasons given in that quotation for keeping secret from the public knowledge of the fact that uniformed prisoners would be shot, even after they had surrendered and asked for pardon. This shows a clear awareness that that was in direct contravention of the Hague and Geneva Conventions.
THE PRESIDENT: Colonel Taylor, did you read the paragraph beginning, "Practical difficulties . . . "?
COL. TAYLOR: No, Your Honor. I'll read that.
THE PRESIDENT: I think you should.
COL. TAYLOR: "Practical difficulties may develop because of the definition of the term sabotage units.' The annihilation and destruction, according to Paragraph 5 of the Fuehrer Order of 18 October 1942, do not apply to troops participating in largescale landing operations and large-scale airborne operations. The criterion is to be found in that, in the latter case, an open battle takes place, whereas, for instance, 10 or more people who land by sea or air, or drop by parachute not to fight an open battle but to destroy either a factory, a bridge, or a
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railway installation, would fall into the category of those who must be annihilated."
The next document, Your Honor, is 508-PS, which will be Exhibit USA-545. Now, the Hitler order of 18 October 1942 was actually carried out in a number of instances, of which we have the documentary proof for several. Document 508-PS shows that during the night of 19-20 November 1942, a British freight glider crashed near Egersund, in Norway. The glider carried a British commando unit of 17 men, of whom three were apparently killed in the crash. All were in British uniform. Fourteen survivors were executed in accordance with the Hitler Order the evening of 20 November. In proof of this I will read certain extracts from 508-PS, beginning on Page 1 of the translation, the paragraph numbered "1)":
"1. Following supplementary report is made about landing of a British freight glider at Egersund in the night of . . . "
It reads November 11 in the translation, but I believe in the original it was November 20; that is a typographical error.
"a) No firing on the part of the German defense.
"b) The towing plane (Wellington) crashed after touching the ground; 7-man crew dead. The attached freight glider also crashed; of the 17-man crew 14 alive. Indisputably a sabotage force. Fuehrer Order has been carried out." ;
I pass to Page 3 of the translation, on which page appear two teletype messages. I wish to read the first two paragraphs at the top of the page:
"On 20 November 1942 at 5:50 an enemy plane was found 15 kilometers northeast of Egersund. It is a British aircraft (towed glider) made of wood without engine. Of the 17member crew three are dead, six are severely, the others are slightly, wounded.
"All wore English khaki uniforms without sleeve insignia. Furthermore, following items were found: 8 knapsacks, tents, skis, and radiosender, exact number still unknown. The glider carried rifles, light machine guns and machine pistols, number unknown. At present the prisoners are with the battalion in Egersund."
Passing to the second teletype message, the first paragraph:
"Beside the 17-member crew extensive sabotage material and work equipment were found. Therefore the sabotage purpose was absolutely proved. The 280th Infantry Division ordered the execution of the action according to the Fuehrer Order. The execution was carried out toward the evening of 20 November. Some of the prisoners wore blue ski-suits under their khaki
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uniforms which had no insignia on the sleeves. During a short interrogation the survivors have revealed nothing but their names, ranks and serial numbers."
I pass to the last paragraph of that teletype, at the foot of Page 3 of the translation:
"In connection with the shooting of the 17 members of the crew, the Armed Forces Commander of Norway has issued an order to the district commanders, according to which the interrogations by G-2"-that was I. C. in the German-"and by BDS"-police-"are important before the execution of the Fuehrer Order; in case of Paragraph Number 4 of the Fuehrer Order, the prisoners are to be handed over to the BDS."
Your Lordship, the next document is 512-PS, Exhibit USA-546. This document recites three specific instances where the Hitler Order was carried out in Norway and especially emphasizes the desirability of taking individual commandos prisoner for interrogation. I read from Document 512-PS, dated 13 December 1942:
"According to the last sentence of the Fuehrer Order of 18th October, individual saboteurs can be spared for the time being in order to keep them for interrogation. The importance of this measure was proved in the cases of the Glomfjord, 2-man torpedo Drontheim, and glider plane Stavanger, where interrogations resulted in valuable knowledge of enemy intentions. Since in the case of Egersund the saboteur was liquidated immediately and no clues were obtained; therefore, Armed Forces Commander refers to the abovementioned last sentence of the Fuehrer Order calling for liquidation only after a short interrogation."
One final document from the Norwegian Theater of War is relative.
THE PRESIDENT: Colonel Taylor, what does "RK" in the last paragraph mean? The first words of the last paragraph?
COL.TAYLOR: Red Cross (Roses Kreuz).
THE PRESIDENT: So they had a protest from the Red Cross?
COL. TAYLOR: Yes, Sir.
THE PRESIDENT: And "BDS"?
COL.TAYLOR: That is "Befehlshaber der Sicherheitspolizei (Sipo)."
Document 526-PS which is Exhibit USA-502, dated 10 May 1943, Colonel Storey has already brought to the Tribunal's attention in connection with the presentation against the Sicherheitsdienst. I will first read the opening sentences:
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"On 30 March 1943, in Toftefjord (degree of latitude 70), an enemy cutter was sighted. Cutter was blown up by enemy.
"Crew: 2 dead and 10 taken prisoners.
"Cutter sent from Scalloway (Shetland Isles) by the Norwegian Navy."
Passing to the word "Purpose":
"Purpose: Building of an organization for the sabotaging of strong-points, battery positions, staff and troop billets and bridges.
"Assigner of mission in London: Norwegian Major Munthe.
"Fuehrer Order executed by Sicherheitsdienst (Security Service).
"Wehrmacht communiqué of 6 April announces the following about it: 'In northern Norway an enemy sabotage unit was engaged and destroyed on approaching the coast.'"
Now, shifting to the Italian Theater of War, I call the Court's attention to 509-PS, which will be Exhibit USA-547. This document is dated 7 November 1943; and is a telegram from the Supreme Commander in Italy to OKW; and it shows that on 2 November 1943 three British commandos, taken prisoner near Pescara in Italy, were given "special treatment" (sonderbehandelt), which as the Court knows from previous evidence in the case, meant death. What happened to the nine remaining prisoners of war in the hospital, we do not know.
I have one more document from the Italian Theater, 2610-PS, Exhibit USA-548. This specifically shows the carrying out of Hitler's orders. It consists of an affidavit, dated 7 November 1945, by Frederick W. Roche, a major in the Army of the United States. Major Roche was the Judge Advocate of an American Military Commission which tried General Anton Dostler, formerly Commander of the 75th German Army Corps, for the unlawful execution of 15 members of the United States Armed Forces. I will read from this affidavit:
"Frederick W. Roche, being duly sworn, deposes and says:
"I am a major in the Army of the United States. I was the Judge Advocate of the Military Commission which tried Anton Dostler for ordering the execution of the group of 15 United States Army personnel who comprised the 'Ginny Mission.' This Military Commission, consisting of five officers, was appointed by command of General McNarney, by Special Order, Number 269, dated 26 September 1945, Headquarters, Mediterranean Theater of Operations, United States Army, APO 512.
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"The Military Commission met at Rome, Italy, on 8 October 1945, and proceeded with the trial of the case of the United States versus Anton Dostler. The trial of this case consumed 4 days, and the findings and sentence were announced on the morning of 12 October 1945. The charge and specification in this case are as follows:
"Charge: Violation of the law of war.
"Specification: In that Anton Dostler, then general, commanding military forces of the German Reich, a belligerent enemy nation, to wit the 75th Army Corps, did, on or about 24 March 1944, in the vicinity of La Spezia, Italy, contrary to the law of war, order to be shot summarily, a group of United States Army personnel consisting of two officers and 13 enlisted men who had then recently been captured by forces under General Dostler, which order was carried into execution on or about 26 March 1944, resulting in the death of the said 15 members of the Army of the United States...."-and a list of names follows.
"I was present throughout the entire proceeding. I heard all the testimony and I am familiar with the records in this case. The facts developed in this proceeding are as follows:
"On the night of 22 March 1944 two officers and 13 enlisted men of the 2677th Special Reconnaissance Battalion of the Army of the United States disembarked from some United States Navy boats and landed on the Italian coast near Stazione di Framura. All 15 men were members of the Army of the United States and were in the military service of the United States. When they landed on the Italian coast, they were all properly dressed in the field uniform of the United States Army and they carried no civilian clothes. Their mission was to demolish a railroad tunnel on the main line between La Spezia and Genoa. That rail line was being used by the German forces to supply their fighting forces on the Cassino and Anzio beachhead fronts. The entire group was captured on the morning of 24 March 1944 by a patrol consisting of Fascist soldiers and a group of members of the German Army. All 15 men were placed under interrogation in La Spezia and they were held in custody until the morning of 26 March 1944, when they were all executed by a firing squad. These men were never tried nor were they brought before any court or given any hearing; they were shot by order of Anton Dostler, then general commanding the 75th German Army Corps.
"Anton Dostler took the stand in this case and testified, by way of defense, that he ordered the 15 American soldiers to
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be shot pursuant to the Hitler Order of 18 October 1942 on commando operations, which provided that commandos were to be shot and not taken prisoners of war, even after they had been interrogated. He also testified that he would have been subject to court-martial proceedings if he did not obey the Hitler Order.
"The following is a true copy of the findings and sentence in the case of the United States against Anton Dostler, as these findings and sentence appear in the original record of the trial and as they were announced in open court at Rome, Italy, on 12 October 1945:
"Findings: General Dostler, as President of this Commission it is my duty to inform you that the Commission, in closed session and upon secret written ballot, at least two-thirds of all the members of the Commission concurring in each finding of guilty, finds you of the specification and of the charge: Guilty.
"Sentence: And again in closed session and upon secret written ballot, at least two-thirds of all .the members of the Commission concurring, sentences you: To be shot to death by musketry."
Now the order of 18 October 1942 remained in force, so far as we know, until the end of the war. I wish to offer 506-PS, which will be Exhibit USA-549. This document is dated 22 June 1944. It is initialed by Warlimont, and in it the OKW made it where the commando operation was undertaken lay only one person. I will read the single paragraph of the order:
"The Operations Staff agrees with the view taken in the letter of the army group judge to the Supreme Commander Southwest of 20 May 1944. The Fuehrer Order is to be applied even if the enemy employs only one person for a task. Therefore, it does not make any difference if several persons or a single person take part in a commando operation. The reason for the special treatment of participants in a commando operation is that such operations do not correspond to the German concept of usage and customs of warfare."
The Allied landing in Normandy early in June 1944, in the course of which large-scale airborne operations took place, raised among the Germans the question as to how far the Hitler Order would be applied in Normandy, and in France behind the German lines. I direct the Court's attention to Document 531-PS, which will be Exhibit USA-550. The memorandum is dated 23 June 1944 and is signed by Warlimont. Warlimont's memorandum starts by quoting
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a teletype received from the Supreme Command in the West, inquiring what should be done about applying the Hitler Order to airborne troops and commandos.
I would like to read a small part of the teletype, beginning at the beginning:
"Supreme Command West; teletype message Number 1750/44; top secret; 23 June 1944.
"The treatment of enemy commando groups has so far been carried out according to the order referred to."
If I may interpolate here, the order referred to is shown in the cross-reference to the Fuehrer Order of 18 October 1942.
"With the large-scale landing achieved, a new situation has arisen. The order referred to directs, in Paragraph 5, that enemy soldiers who are taken prisoner in open combat or surrender within the limits of normal combat operations (such as large-scale landing operations and undertakings) are not to be treated according to Paragraphs 3 and 4. It must be established in a form easily understood by the troops how far the concept 'within the limits of normal combat operations, et cetera' is to be extended."
Then I pass down to Subparagraph D and read the first sentence of that subparagraph.
THE PRESIDENT: I think you ought to read the latter part of "C."
COL. TAYLOR: Your Honor, I think it is all summarized in the one sentence.
THE PRESIDENT: The last sentence is the one that I mean,
COL. TAYLOR: "Considerable reprisals against our own prisoners must be expected if its contents become known."
Then, continuing with "D":
"The application of Number 5 for all enemy soldiers in uniform penetrating from the outside into the occupied western territories is held by the Supreme Command West to be the most correct and clearest solution."
Accordingly, as it is there shown, the Supreme Command in the West directed that Paragraph 5, which is the paragraph under which the orders for execution are not to be applied, should be utilized in the West.
At the foot of the page is the position taken by the Armed Forces Operational Staff, the recommendation they were making:
"1. The Commando Order remains basically in effect, even after the enemy landing in the West.
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"2. Number 5 of the order is to be clarified to the effect that the order is not valid for those enemy soldiers in uniform who are captured in open combat in the immediate combat area of the beachhead by our troops committed there, or who surrender. Our troops committed in the immediate combat area means the divisions fighting on the front line as well as reserves up to and including corps headquarters.
"3. Furthermore, in doubtful cases, enemy personnel who have fallen into our hands alive are to be turned over to the SD, upon whom it is incumbent to determine whether the Commando Order is to be applied or not.
"4. Supreme Command West is to see to it that all units committed in its zone are orally acquainted in a suitable manner with the order concerning the treatment of members of commando undertakings of 18 October 1942, along with the above explanation."
The final document on this episode, or inquiry, is 551-PS, which becomes Exhibit USA-551, and this is the actual order of 25 June 1944, constituting OKW's reply to the inquiry from the Supreme Command West, signed by Keitel, initialed by Warlimont and Jodl. I will read beginning with:
"Subject: Treatment of commando participants.
"1. Even after the landing of Anglo-Americans in France, the order of the Fuehrer on the annihilation of terror and sabotage units of 18 October 1942 remains fully in force.
"Enemy soldiers in uniform in the immediate combat area of the bridgehead, that is, in the area of the divisions fighting in the most forward lines, as well as of the reserves up to the corps commands, according to Number 5 of the basic order of 18 October 1942, remain exempted.
"2. All members of terror and sabotage units, found outside the immediate combat area, who include fundamentally all parachutists, are to be killed in combat. In special cases, they are to be turned over to the SD.
"3. All troops committed outside the combat area of Normandy are to be informed about the duty to destroy enemy terror and sabotage units briefly and succinctly, according to the directives issued for it.
"4. Supreme Commander West will report immediately daily how many saboteurs have been liquidated in this manner. This applies especially also to undertakings by the military commanders. The number is to be published daily in the Armed Forces communiqué to exercise a frightening effect, as
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had already been done toward previous commando undertakings in the same manner."
Your Lordship, there is just one further development in connection with this order, this basic order, and that was that in July 1944. The question was then raised within the German High Command as to whether the order should be applied to members of foreign military missions with special regard to the British, American, and Soviet military missions which were co-operating with Allied Forces in Southeastern Europe, notably in Yugoslavia. A long document signed by Warlimont, which is 1279-PS, and becomes Exhibit USA552, embodies the discussions which were had at OKW. I think I need not read from this document, and merely wish to point out that the Armed Forces operational staff recommended that the order should be applied to these military missions and drew up a draft to this effect. I would, however, like to read 537-PS, which is Exhibit USA-553. This is the order which actually resulted from these discussions. It is dated 30 July 1944. I will read that in full:
"Subject: Treatment of members of foreign 'Military Missions' captured together with partisans.
"In the areas of the High Command Southeast and Southwest, members of foreign so-called 'Military Missions' (Anglo-American as well as Soviet-Russian) captured in the course of the struggle against partisans shall not receive the treatment as specified in the special orders regarding the treatment of captured partisans. Therefore they are not to be treated as prisoners of war but in conformity with the Fuehrer's order concerning the annihilation of terror and sabotage troops of 18 October 1942.
"This order shall not be transmitted to units subordinate to the corps commands and the equivalent staffs of the other branches of the Armed Forces, and is to be destroyed after being made known.
"The Chief of the High Command of the Wehrmacht, Keitel"
Pursuant to this order, approximately 15 members of an Allied military mission to Slovakia were executed in January 1945, as is shown by Document L-51, which is already in the record as Exhibit USA-521, and which has been read in full by Lieutenant Harris. I wit not read it again.
This concludes the presentation of documents with respect to the order of the 18th of October 1942 and its subsequent enforcement and application. I can pass from here to another subject.
THE PRESIDENT: We will adjourn for 10 minutes now.
[A recess was taken.]
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COL. TAYLOR: Your Lordship, the order I have just been discussing operated chiefly in the Western Theater of War. This was natural since Germany occupied almost the entire western coast of Europe from 1940 until the last year of the war, and during that period land fighting in Western Europe was largely limited to commando operations.
I want to pass now to the Eastern Front, where there was largescale land fighting in Poland and the Soviet Union, from 1941 on. Here the German forces were fighting among a hostile population and had to face extensive partisan activities behind their lines. I propose to show here that the activities of the German Armed Forces against partisans and against other elements of the population became a vehicle for carrying out Nazi political and racial policies and a vehicle for the massacre of Jews and numerous segments of the Slav population which were regarded by the Nazis as undesirable. I will show that it was the policy of the German Armed Forces to behave with the utmost severity to the civilian population of the occupied territories; and that its military operations, particularly against partisans, were so conducted as to advance the Nazi policies to which I have referred.
I will show that the Armed Forces supported, assisted, and acted in cooperation with the SS groups to which reference has been made in the presentation by Major Farr and Colonel Storey.
I do not plan to make a full or even partial showing of war crimes on the Eastern Front. That will be done by the Soviet Delegation. Nor do I plan to retrace the ground covered by Colonel Storey and Major Farr during their presentation of the evidence against the SS, SD, and Gestapo, except to the extent necessary to clarify the relations between these organizations and the German Armed Forces and to demonstrate their close collaboration in the occupied territories of Eastern Europe.
The first document to which I will make reference is Document C-50, which will be Exhibit USA-554; and it will show that these policies of severity were determined upon and made official even before the invasion of the Soviet Union took place. This document consists of an order by Hitler dated 13 May 1941 and two covering transmittal sheets of subsequent date. I ask The Tribunal to note on Page 4 of the translation that the order is signed by Keitel, the Chief of the Supreme Command of the Armed Forces, and also to note the distribution, which appears at the foot of the second sheet, showing the distribution to the principal staff sections. The order itself begins on the third page, and that is where I propose to read. The document is entitled, "Order concerning the exercise of martial jurisdiction and procedure in the area 'Barbarossa' and special military measures":
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"The application of martial law aims, in the first place, at maintaining discipline.
"The fact that the operational areas in the East are so farflung, the battle strategy which this necessitates, and the peculiar qualities of the enemy, confront the courts-martial with problems which, being short-staffed, they cannot solve while hostilities are in progress and until some degree of pacification has been achieved in the conquered areas, unless jurisdiction is confined, in the first instance, to its main task.
"This is possible only if the troops themselves take ruthless action against any threat from the enemy population.
"For these reasons I herewith issue the following order effective for the area 'Barbarossa' (area of operations, Army rear area, and area of political administration):
"I. Treatment of offenses committed by enemy civilians.
"1. Until further notice the military courts and the courtsmartial will not be competent for crimes committed by enemy civilians.
"2. Guerillas should be disposed of ruthlessly by the military, whether they are fighting or in flight.
"3. Likewise all other attacks by enemy civilians on the Armed Forces, its members, and employees, are to be suppressed at once by the military, using the most extreme methods, until the assailants are destroyed.
"4. Where such measures have been neglected or were not at first possible, persons suspected of criminal action will be brought at once before an officer. This officer will decide whether they are to be shot.
"On the orders of an officer with the powers of at least a battalion commander, collective drastic measures will be taken without delay against localities from which cunning or malicious attacks are made on the Armed Forces, if circumstances do not permit of a quick identification of individual offenders.
"5. It is expressly forbidden to keep suspects in custody in order to hand them over to the courts after the reinstatement of civil courts.
"6. The commanders of the army groups may, by agreement with the competent naval and air force commanders, reintroduce military jurisdiction for civilians in areas which are sufficiently pacified.
"For the area of the political administration this order will be given by the Chief of the Supreme Command of the Armed Forces.
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"II. Treatment of offenses committed against inhabitants by members of the Armed Forces and its employees.
"1. With regard to offenses committed against enemy civilians by members of the Wehrmacht and its employees prosecution is not obligatory, even where the deed is at the same time a military crime or offense.
"2. When judging such offenses, it must be borne in mind, whatever the circumstances, that the collapse of Germany in 1918, the subsequent sufferings of the German people, and the fight against National Socialism which cost the blood of innumerable supporters of the movement, were caused primarily by Bolshevistic influence and that no German has forgotten this fact.
"3. Therefore, the judicial authority will decide in such cases whether a disciplinary penalty is indicated, or whether legal proceedings are necessary. In the case of offenses against inhabitants it will order a court-martial only if maintenance of discipline or security of the forces call for such a measure. This applies, for instance, to serious offenses originating in lack of self-control in sexual matters or in a criminal disposition and to those which indicate that the troops are threatening to get out of hand. Offenses which have resulted in senseless destruction of billets or stores or other captured material, to the disadvantage of our forces, should as a rule be judged no less severely.
"The order to institute proceedings requires in every single case the signature of the judicial authority.
"4. Extreme caution is indicated in assessing the credibility of statements made by enemy civilians.
"III. Responsibility of military commanders of the troops. Within their sphere of competence military commanders are personally responsible for seeing that:
"1. Every commissioned officer of the units under their command is instructed promptly and in the most emphatic manner on principles set out under I, above.
"2. Their legal advisers are notified promptly of these instructions and of verbal information in which the political intentions of the High Command were explained to the commanders-in-Chief .
"3. Only those court sentences are confirmed which are in accordance with the political intentions of the High Command.
"IV. Security. Once the camouflage is lifted, this decree will be treated as 'most secret."'
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Your Lordship, the next document will be C-148, Exhibit USA555. Less than 3 months after the invasion of the Soviet Union, the instructions which I have just read were amplified and made even more drastic. Document C-148 is an order dated 16 September 1941, signed by Keitel, widely distributed, as is shown on the second sheet where the distribution is listed. This order is of general application in all theaters of war, but from its contents it is clearly of primary importance for the Eastern Front. I read, beginning at the start of the order:
"Subject: Communist insurrection in occupied territories.
"1. Since the beginning of the campaign against Soviet Russia, Communist insurrection movements have broken out everywhere in the area occupied by Germany. The type of action taken is growing from propaganda measures and attacks on individual members of the Armed Forces into open rebellion and widespread guerilla warfare.
"It can be seen that this is a mass movement centrally directed by Moscow, which is also responsible for the apparently trivial isolated incidents in areas which up to now have been otherwise quiet.
"In view of the many political and economic crises in the occupied areas, it must, moreover, be anticipated that nationalist and other circles will make full use of this opportunity of making difficulties for the German occupying forces by associating themselves with the Communist insurrection.
"This creates an increasing danger to the German war effort, which shows itself chiefly in general insecurity for the occupying troops, and has already led to the withdrawal of forces to the main centers of disturbance.
"2. The measures taken up to now to deal with this general Communist insurrection movement have proved inadequate. The Fuehrer has now given orders that we take action everywhere with the most drastic means, in order to crush the movement in the shortest possible time. Only this course, which has always been followed successfully throughout the history of the extension of influence of great peoples, can restore order.
"3. Action taken in this matter should be in accordance with the following general directions:
"a. It should be inferred in every case of resistance to the German occupying forces, no matter what the individual circumstances, that it is of Communist origin.
"b. In order to nip these machinations in the bud the most drastic measures should be taken immediately and on the
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first indication, so that the authority of the occupying forces may be maintained and further spreading prevented. In this connection it should be remembered that a human life in the countries concerned frequently counts for nothing, and a deterrent effect can be attained only by unusual severity. The death penalty for 50-100 Communists should generally be regarded in these cases as suitable atonement for one German soldier's death. The way in which sentence is carried out should still further increase the deterrent effect.
"The reverse course of action, that of imposing relatively lenient penalties and of being content, for purposes of deterrence, with the threat of more severe measures does not accord with these principles and shall not be followed."
Unless the Court desires the next paragraph read, I will pass to Page 2, at the very end of the document, Paragraph Number 4:
"The commanding officers in the occupied-territories shall see to it that these principles are made known without delay to all military establishments concerned in dealing with Communist measures of insurrection"-Signed-"Keitel." ~
Your Lordship, the next document will have the Exhibit Number USA-556, and it has been given the number D-411. It also has the designation UK-81. It is the last document in Document Book 2. This is a set of documents which includes a directive, dated 10 October 1941, by Field Marshal Von Reichenau, who was the Commander in-Chief (Oberbefehlshaber) of the German 6th Army then operating on the Eastern Front. Reichenau, who died in 1942, was therefore a member of the group as defined in the Indictment; and here is what he had to say. I begin reading at Page 5 of the translation:
"Subject: Conduct of troops in Eastern Territories.
"Regarding the conduct of troops towards the Bolshevistic system, vague ideas are still prevalent in many cases. The most essential aim of war against the Jewish-Bolshevistic system is a complete destruction of their means of power and the elimination of Asiatic influence from the European culture. In this connection the troops are facing tasks which exceed the one-sided routine of soldiering. The soldier in the Eastern Territories is not merely a fighter according to the rules of the art of war, but also a bearer of ruthless national ideology and the avenger of bestialities which have been inflicted upon German and racially related nations.
"Therefore, the soldier must have full understanding for the necessity of a severe but just revenge on subhuman Jewry.
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The Army has to aim at another purpose, that is the annihilation of revolts in the hinterland, which as experience proves, have always been caused by Jews.
"The combatting of the enemy behind the front line is still not being taken seriously enough. Treacherous, cruel partisans and unnatural women are still being made prisoners of war; and guerilla fighters dressed partly in uniforms or plain clothes and vagabonds are still being treated as proper soldiers and sent to prisoner-of-war camps. In fact, captured Russian officers talk even mockingly about Soviet agents moving openly about the roads and very often eating at German field kitchens. Such an attitude of the troops can only be explained by complete thoughtlessness, so it is now high time for the commanders to clarify the meaning of the present struggle.
"The feeding of the natives and of prisoners of war who are not working for the Armed Forces from army kitchens is an equally misunderstood humanitarian act, as is the giving of cigarettes and bread. Things which the people at home can spare under great sacrifices and things which are being brought by the command to the front under great difficulties should not be given to the enemy by the soldier, not even if they originate from booty. It is an important part of our supply.
"When retreating the Soviets have often set buildings on fire. The troops should be interested in extinguishing fires only as far as it is necessary to secure sufficient numbers of billets. Otherwise, the disappearance of symbols of the former Bolshevistic rule, even in the form of buildings, is part of the struggle of destruction. Neither historic nor artistic considerations are of any importance in the Eastern Territories.
"The command issues the necessary directives for the securing of raw materials and plants essential for war economy. The complete disarming of the civil population in the rear of the fighting troops is imperative, considering the long and vulnerable lines of communication. Where possible, captured weapons and ammunition should be stored and guarded. Should this be impossible because of the situation, the weapons and ammunition will be rendered useless. If isolated partisans are found using firearms in the rear of the Army, drastic measures are to be taken. These measures will be extended to that part of the male population who were in a position to hinder or report the attacks. The indifference of numerous allegedly anti-Soviet elements, which originates from a 'wait-and-see' attitude, must give way to a clear decision for active
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collaboration. If not, no one can complain about being judged and treated as a member of the Soviet system.
"The fear of the German counter measures must be stronger than the threats of the wandering Bolshevistic remnants. Being far from all political considerations of the future, the soldier has to fulfill two tasks: '
"1. Complete annihilation of the false Bolshevistic doctrine of the Soviet State and its armed forces.
"2. The pitiless extermination of alien treachery and cruelty and thus the protection of the lives of German military personnel in Russia.
"This is the only way to fulfill our historic task to liberate the German people once and forever from the Asiatic-Jewish danger. Signed: Von Reichenau, Oberbefehlshaber."
The Tribunal will note the sheet immediately preceding Reichenau's order. That is Sheet Number 4 of the translation, which is a memorandum dated 28 October 1941. It shows that Reichenau's order met with Hitler's approval and was thereafter circulated by order of the Commander-in-Chief of the German Army.
The Tribunal will also note from the first sheet, the very top sheet in the several ensuing, that Reichenau's order was thereafter circulated down to divisional level, and was received by the 12th German Infantry Division on 27 November 1941.
These being the directives and policies prescribed by the German military leaders, it is no wonder that the Wehrmacht joined in the monstrous behavior and activities of the SS and SD on the Eastern Front.
Colonel Storey described to the Tribunal the formation of units known as Einsatzgruppen by the Sipo and SD, which were sent out to operate in and behind the operational areas on the Eastern Front, in order to combat partisans and to cleanse and pacify the civilian population. Major Farr and Colonel Storey both presented to the Tribunal a large amount of evidence showing the manner in which these units operated.
I want to refer back briefly to a few of these documents in order to trace the participation of the Armed Forces in those circumstances.
Colonel Storey read at length from 3012-PS, which is Exhibit USA-190, dated 19 March 1943. It is a directive from the commanding officer of one of these groups. This directive praised and justified such activities as the shooting of Hungarian Jews, shooting of children, and the total burning of villages and directed that in order not to obstruct the procuring of slave labor for the German armament industry, "as a rule no more children will be shot."
Major Farr read from R-102, which is Exhibit USA-470, a report covering the work of the Einsatzgruppen in the German occupied
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Territories the Soviet Union during the month of October 1941. This report states cynically on Page 7:
"Spontaneous demonstrations against Jewry followed by pogroms on the part of the population against the remaining Jews have not been recorded on account of the lack of adequate instructions."
It shows as clearly as the human eye can see that pacification and anti-partisan activities became mere code words for the extermination of Jews just as much as Weserubung was the code word for the invasion of Norway and Denmark.
We have seen from the documents quoted a few moments ago that the German Army received some similar policies and directives. It only remains to show that in the field the Army and the SS worked hand in glove.
The Tribunal will recall the document quoted by Major Walsh, 1061-PS, already in evidence as Exhibit USA-275. It describes the destruction of the Warsaw ghetto; and at this time I merely want to call attention to one paragraph appearing at Page 6 of the translation, the third paragraph from the bottom of the page, where the author of the document stresses the close cooperation between the SS and the Army. I read that one paragraph and quote:
"The longer the resistance lasted, the tougher the men of the Waffen-SS, Police, and Wehrmacht became; they fulfilled their duty indefatigably in faithful comradeship and stood together as models and examples of soldiers. Their combat duty often lasted from early morning until late at night. At night search patrols with rags wound round their feet remained at the heels of the Jews and gave them no respite. Not infrequently they caught and killed Jews who used the night hours for supplementing their stores from abandoned dug-outs and for contacting neighboring groups or exchanging news with them."
To the same general effect is R-135, Exhibit USA-289, which is a report dated 5 June 1943 by the German General Commissioner for Minsk. Major Farr read from this report, describing an antipartisan operation in which 4,500 enemies were killed: 5,000 suspected partisans and 59 Germans. The cooperation by the German Army is shown in the following excerpt, and I will begin reading at the bottom of Page 3 of the translation:
"The figures mentioned above indicate that again a heavy destruction of the population must be expected. If only 492 rifles are taken from 4,500 enemy dead, this discrepancy shows that among these enemy dead were numerous peasants from the country. The battalion Dirlewanger especially has a reputation for destroying many human lives. Among the 5,000
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people suspected of belonging to bands, there were numerous women and children.
"By order of the chief of anti-partisan units, SS Obergruppenfuehrer Von dem Bach, units of the Wehrmannschaften have also participated in the operation. SA Standartenfuehrer Kunze was in command of the Wehrmannschaften, among whom there were also 90 members from my office and from the District Commissariat of Minsk. Our men returned from the operation yesterday without losses."
I need not read the rest of that. The next paragraph shows again the participation of the Armed Forces personnel
The SS Obergruppenfuehrer Von dem Bach, referred to in this quotation, will be a witness later in the day, and in this connection I want to call the Court's attention to 1919-PS, Exhibit USA-170, which is Himmler's speech on October 4, 1943 to a gathering of SS generals at Posen. In this speech Himmler mentioned the appointment of Von dem Bach to be chief of all anti-partisan units, and I would like to read one paragraph from Page 3 of the document merely for purpose of identification of the witness:
"Chief of the anti-partisan combat units:
"In the meantime I have also set up the department of the Chief of the anti-partisan combat units. Our comrade SS Obergruppenfuehrer Von dem Bach is Chief of the anti-partisan combat units. I considered it necessary for the Reichsfuehrer SS to be in authoritative command in all these battles, for I am convinced that we are best in a position to take action in this struggle, which is decidedly a political one. Except where the units which had been supplied and which we had formed for this purpose were taken from us to fill in gaps at the front, we have been very successful."
There is one further document which has already been introduced from which I wish to read new material. That is L-180, which is already in evidence as Exhibit USA-276. It is the report of Einsatzgruppe A, covering the period up to 15 October 1941. I think the excerpts which I will read will make clear beyond doubt the participation of the German military leaders and Armed Forces in the activities of these Einsatzgruppen. I read first from Page 2 of the translation, the top of the page:
"Einsatz Group A, after preparing their vehicles for action, proceeded to their area of concentration as ordered on 23 June 1941, the second day of the campaign in the East. Army Group North, consisting of the 16th and 18th Armies and Panzer Group 4, had started the advance the day before. Our task was to establish hurriedly personal contact with the commanders of the armies and with the commander of the army
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rear area. It must be stressed from the beginning that cooperation with the Armed Forces was generally good; in some cases, for instance with Panzer Group 4 under Colonel General Hoppner, it was very close and almost cordial. Misunderstandings which cropped up with some authorities in the first days were cleared up mainly through personal discussions."
This ends that particular extract. I read next a series of extracts, of which the first is at the bottom of Page 2:
"Similarly, native anti-Semitic forces were induced to start pogroms against Jews during the first hours after the entry, though this inducement proved to be very difficult. Following out orders the Security Police was determined to solve the Jewish question with all possible means and most decisively. But it was desirable that the Security Police should not put in an immediate appearance, at least in the beginning, since the extraordinarily harsh measures were apt to stir even German circles. It had to be shown to the world that the native population itself took the first action by way of natural reaction against the suppression by Jews during several decades and against the terror exercised by the Communists during the preceding period."
Next I pass to Page 4 of the translation, about half way down the page, the middle of the first complete paragraph:
"After the failure of purely military activities, such as the placing of sentries and combing through the newly occupied territories with whole divisions, even the Armed Forces had to look out for new methods. The Einsatz group undertook the search for new methods as an essential task. Soon, therefore, the Armed Forces adopted the experiences of the Security Police and their methods of combatting the partisans. For details I refer to the numerous reports concerning the struggle against the partisans."
I pass next to Page 6 under "Instigation of self-cleansing actions": "Considering that the population of the Baltic countries had suffered very heavily under the government of bolshevism and Jewry while they were incorporated in the U.S.S.R., it was to be expected that after the liberation from that foreign government, they (that is, the population themselves) would render harmless most of the enemies left behind after the retreat of the Red Army. It had to be the duty of the Security Police to set in motion these self-cleansing movements and to direct them into the correct channels in order to accomplish the purpose of the cleansing operations as quickly as possible. It was no less important, in view of the future, to establish the unshakeable and provable fact that the liberated population
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themselves took the most severe measures against the bolshevist and Jewish enemy quite on their own, so that the direction by German authorities couldn't be found out.
"In Lithuania this was achieved for the first time by partisan activities in Kovno. To our surprise it was not easy, at first, to set in motion an extensive pogrom against the Jews. Klimatis, the leader of the partisan unit mentioned above, who was used for this purpose primarily, succeeded in starting a pogrom on the basis of advice given to him by a small advanced detachment acting in Kovno and in such a way that no German order or German instigation was noticed from the outside. During the first pogrom in the night from 25 to 26 June, the Lithuanian partisans did away with more than 1,500 Jews, setting fire to several synagogues or destroying them, by other means and burning down a Jewish dwelling district consisting of about 60 houses. During the following nights 2,300 Jews were eliminated in a similar way. In other parts of Lithuania similar actions followed the example of Kovno, though smaller and extending to the Communists who had been left behind.
"These self-cleansing actions went smoothly because the Army authorities, who had been informed, showed understanding for this procedure. From the beginning it was obvious that only the first days after the occupation would offer the opportunity for carrying out pogroms. After the disarmament of the partisans the self-cleansing actions ceased necessarily."
I pass to Page 10 of the translation, toward the bottom under "Other jobs of the Security Police":
"Occasionally the conditions prevailing in the lunatic asylums necessitated operations of the Security Police."
Passing to the next paragraph:
"In some cases authorities of the Armed Forces asked us to clean out, in a similar way, other institutions which were wanted as billets. However, as interests of the Security Police did not require any intervention, it was left to the authorities of the Armed Forces to take the necessary action with their own forces."
I pass on to Page 17 of the translation, the paragraph at the top of the page: "But it was decided... "
THE PRESIDENT: Colonel Taylor, did you read Paragraph 5 (1) on Page 10?
COL. TAYLOR: 5 (1) on Page 10? I read the first passage, Your Honor. If you would like it in full...
THE PRESIDENT: I think perhaps you might go to the end of it.
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COL. TAYLOR: "Occasionally the conditions prevailing in the lunatic asylums necessitated operations of the Security Police. Many institutions had been robbed by the retreating Russians of their whole food supply. Often the guard and nursing personnel had fled. The inmates of several institutions broke out and became a danger to the general security; therefore, in Aglona (Lithuania) 544 lunatics, in Mariampol (Lithuania) 109 lunatics, and in Mogutowo, near Luga, 95 lunatics were liquidated."
Passing back to Page 17, the first paragraph on that page:
"When it was decided to extend the German operations to Leningrad and also to extend the activities of Einsatz Group A to this town, I gave orders on 18 July 1941, to parts of Einsatzkommandos 2 and 3 and to the staff of the group to advance to Novosselje, in order to prepare these activities and to be able to advance as early as possible into the area around Leningrad and into the city itself. The advance of the forces of Einsatz Group A, which were intended to be used for Leningrad, was effected in agreement with and on the express wish of Panzer Group 4."
The final quotation from this document is Page 18, last paragraph: ''Einsatzkommandos of Einsatz Group A of the Security Police participated from the beginning in the fight against the nuisance created by partisans. Close collaboration with the Armed Forces and the exchange of experiences which were collected in the fight against partisans, brought about a thorough knowledge of the origin, organization, strength, equipment and system used by the Red partisans as time went on." Now, in the light of these documents, I would like to turn to some of the remaining affidavits which are before the Tribunal in Document Book I. These affidavits have been furnished by responsible officials in both the Wehrmacht and the SS and fill in much of the background for the documents.
Affidavit Number 12 is an affidavit by Schellenberg, which in view of the fact that its contents have been covered in Schellenberg's and Ohlendorf's testimony, I do not propose to read. It covers much of the same ground, and I see no reason to take the time of the Tribunal by reading it. I should like to have it considered, subject to the usual rule that Schellenberg can be questioned on any of these matters by the Defense. The affidavit itself is available in French and Russian as well as in English and in German for the Defense, so I will pass over that one.
I turn to Affidavit Number 13, which will be Exhibit USA-558, Document Number 3711-PS. Schellenberg's affidavit will be Exhibit USA-557, Document Number 3710-PS; Number 13 is 558. This is an
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affidavit by Wilhelm Scheidt, a retired captain of the German Army, who worked in the War History Section of the OKW from 1941 to 1945. It sheds considerable light on the relations between the Wehrmacht and the SS at the top with respect to anti-partisan warfare. I will read the affidavit:
"I, Wilhelm Scheidt, belonged to the War History Section of the OKW from the year 1941 to 1945.
"Concerning the question of partisan warfare I state that I remember the following from my knowledge of the documents of the Operations Staff of the OKW as well as from my conversations in the Fuehrer's headquarters with Major General Walter Scherff, the Fuehrer's appointee for the compilation of the history of the war. °
"Counter-partisan warfare was originally a responsibility of Reichsfuehrer SS Heinrich Himmler, who sent police forces to handle this matter.
"In the years 1942 and 1943, however, counter-partisan warfare developed to such an extent that the Operations Staff of the OKW had to give it special attention. In the Army Operations Section of the Operations Staff of the OKW, a specific officer was assigned the development of counterpartisan warfare as his special task. It proved necessary to conduct extensive operations against the partisans with Wehrmacht troops in Russian, as well as Yugoslavian territory. Partisan operations for a long while threatened to cut off the lines of communication and transport routes that were necessary to support the German Wehrmacht. For instance, a monthly report concerning the attacks on the railroad lines in occupied Russia revealed that in the Russian area alone from 800 to 1,000 attacks occurred each month during that period causing among other things the loss of from 200 to 300 locomotives.
"It was a well-known fact that partisan warfare was conducted with cruelty on both sides. It was well known that reprisals were inflicted on hostages and communities whose inhabitants were suspected of being partisans or of supporting them. It is beyond question that these facts must have been known to the leading officers in the Operations Staff of the OKW and in the Army's General Staff. It was further well known that Hitler believed that the only successful method of conducting counter-partisan warfare was to employ cruel punishments as deterrents.
"I remember that, at the time of the Polish revolt in Warsaw, SS Gruppenfuehrer Fegelein reported to Colonel General
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Guderian and Jodl about the atrocities of the Russian SS Brigade Kaminski which fought on the German side."
Now, the foregoing documents and the testimony of Ohlendorf and Schellenberg relate to the arrangements which were made between the OKW, OKH, and Himmler's headquarters with respect to anti-partisan warfare. They show conclusively that these arrangements were made jointly and that the High Command of the Armed Forces was not only fully aware of, but was an active participant in, these plans.
Turning now to the field, I would like to read three statements by General Hans Rottiger, which will be Affidavits Numbers 15 and 16: Exhibit USA-559, Document Number 3713-PS; and USA-560, Document Number 3714-PS. General Rottiger attained the rank of general of panzer troops, the equivalent of a lieutenant general in the American Army, and was Chief of Staff of the German 4th Army, and later of Army Group Center on the Eastern Front, during the period of which he speaks.
The first statement is as follows:
"As Chief of Staff of the 4th Army from May 1942 to June 1943, to which was later added the area of the 9th Army, I often had occasion to concern myself officially with antipartisan warfare. For the execution of these operations the troops received orders from the highest authority, as for example even the OKH, to use the harshest methods. These operations were carried out by troops of the army group and of the army, as, for example, security battalions.
"At the beginning, in accordance with orders which were issued through official channels, only a few prisoners were taken. In accordance with orders Jews, political commissars, and agents were delivered up to the SD.
"The number of enemy dead mentioned in official reports was very high in comparison with our own losses. From the documents which have been shown to me I have now come to realize that the order from the highest authorities for the harshest conduct of the anti-partisan war can only have been intended to make possible a ruthless liquidation of Jews and other undesirable elements by using for this purpose the military struggle of the Army against the partisans."
The second statement:
"Supplementary to my first declaration of 8 December 1945, I declare:
"As I stated orally on 28 November 1945, my then commander of the 4th Army instructed his troops many times not to wage war against the partisans more severely than was required at the time by the position. This struggle should only be pushed
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to the annihilation of the enemy after all attempts to bring about a surrender failed. Apart from humanitarian reasons we necessarily had an interest in taking prisoners, since very many of them could very well be used as members of native volunteer units against the partisans.
"Alongside the necessary active combatting of partisans, there was propaganda directed at the partisans and also at the population with the object, by peaceful means, of causing them to give up partisan activities. For instance, in this way the women, too, were continually urged to get their men back from the forests or to keep them by other means from joining the partisans. And this propaganda had good results. In the spring of 1943 the area of the 4th Army was as good as cleared of partisans. Only on its boundaries, and then only from time to time, were partisans in evidence when they crossed into the area of the 4th Army from neighboring areas. The army was obliged on this account, on the orders of Army Group Center, to give up security forces to the neighboring army to the south."
The third statement by Rottiger, Number 16:
"During my period of service, from May 1942 to June 1943, as Chief of Staff of the 4th Army of the Army Group Center, SD units were attached in the beginning, apparently for the purpose of counter-intelligence activity in front-line areas. It was clear later on that these SD units were causing great disturbances among the local civilian population, with the result that my commanding officer therefore asked the commander of the Army Group, Field Marshal Von Kluge, to order the SD units to clear out of the front-line areas, which took place immediately. The reason for this, first and foremost, was that the excesses of the SD units, by way of execution of Jews and other persons, assumed such proportions as to threaten the security of the army in its combat areas because of the infuriated civilian populace. Although in general the special tasks of the SD units were well known and appeared to be carried out with the knowledge of the highest military authorities, we opposed these methods as far as possible because of the danger which existed for our troops, as I have mentioned above."
I would like now to offer one final document, the last document, 1786-PS, which will be Exhibit USA-561. This is an extract from the war diary of the Deputy Chief of the Armed Forces Operational Staff, dated 14 March 1943. I propose to read the last two paragraphs, which deal with the problem of shipping of suspected partisans to concentration camps in Germany.
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The Tribunal will see, from the extracts which I will read, that the Army was chiefly concerned with preserving a sufficient severity of treatment for suspected partisans without at the same time obstructing the procurement of labor from the occupied territories. I will read the last two paragraphs:
"The Quartermaster General, together with the Economic Staff East, has proposed that the deportees should be sent either to prison camps or to reformatory labor camps in their own area and that deportation to Germany should take place only when the deportees are on probation and in less serious cases.
"In view of the Armed Forces Operations Staff, this proposal does not take sufficient account of the severity required and leads to a comparison with the treatment meted out to the 'peaceful population' which has been called upon to work. He recommends, therefore, transportation to concentration camps in Germany which have already been introduced by the Reichsfuehrer SS for his sphere and which he is prepared to introduce for the Armed Forces in the case of an extension to the province of the latter. The High Command of the Armed Forces therefore orders that partisan helpers and suspects who are not to be executed should be handed over to the competent Higher SS and Police Leader, and orders that the difference between 'punitive labor' and 'being set to labor in Germany' be made clear to the population."
Finally, I would like to offer a group of four affidavits which show that the anti-partisan activities on the Eastern Front were under the command of and supported by the Wehrmacht, and that the nature of these activities was fully known to the Wehrmacht.
The first of these is Affidavit Number 17, Exhibit USA-562, Document Number 3715-PS by Ernst Rode, who was an SS Brigadefuehrer and major general of the Police, and was a member of Himmler's personal command staff from 1943 to 1945:
"I, Ernst Rode, was formerly Chief of the Command Staff of the Reichsfuehrer SS, having taken over this position in the spring of 1943 as successor to former SS Obergruppenfuehrer Kurt Knoblauch. My last rank was Major General of Police and of the Waffen-SS. My function was to furnish the forces necessary for anti-partisan warfare to the Higher SS and Police Leaders and to guarantee the support of Army Forces. This took place through personal discussions with the leading officers of the Operations Staff of the OKW and OKH, namely with General Warlimont, General Von Buttlar, Colonel General Guderian, Colonel General Zeitzler, General Heusinger, later General Wenk, Colonel Graf Kielmannsegg and later,
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Colonel Von Bonin. Since anti-partisan warfare also was under the sole command of the respective army group commander in operational areas-for instance, in Army Group Center under Field Marshal Kluge and later Busch-and since police troops for the most part could not be spared from the Reich Commissariats, the direction of this warfare lay practically always entirely in the hands of the Army. In the same way orders were issued not by Himmler but by the OKH. SS and Police troops transferred to operational areas from the Reichskommissariat to support the army groups were likewise under the latter's command. Such transfers were frequent and therefore resulted in harm to anti-partisan warfare in the Reichskommissariat. According to a specific agreement between Himmler and the OKW and OKH, the direction of individual operations lay in the hands of the troop leader who commanded the largest troop contingent. It was therefore possible that an Army general could have SS and Police under him; and, on the other hand, that army troops could be placed under a general of the SS and Police. Anti-partisan warfare in operational areas could never be ordered by Himmler. I could merely request the OKH to order it, until 1944, mostly through the intervention of Generalquartiermeister Wagner or through State Secretary Ganzenmuller. The OKH then issued corresponding orders to the army groups concerned for compliance.
"The severity and cruelty with which the intrinsically diabolical partisan warfare was conducted by the Russians had already resulted in Draconian laws being issued by Hitler for its conduct. These orders, which were passed on to the troops through the OKW and OKH, were equally applicable to army troops as well as to those of the SS and Police. There was absolutely no difference in the manner in which these two components carried on this warfare. Army soldiers were exactly as embittered against the enemy as were those of the SS and Police.
"As a result of this embitterment orders were ruthlessly carried out by both components, a thing which was also quite in keeping with Hitler's desires or intentions. As proof of this, the order of the OKW and OKH can be adduced which directed that all captured partisans, for instance, such as Jews, agents, and political commissars, should without delay be handed over by the troops to the SD for special treatment. This order also contained the provision that in anti-partisan warfare no prisoners except the above-named be taken. That
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anti-partisan warfare was carried on by army troops mercilessly and to every extreme, I know as the result of discussions with army troop leaders, for instance with General Herzog, Commander of the 38th Army Corps, and with his Chief of Staff, Colonel Pamberg, in the General Staff, both of whom support my opinion. Today it is clear to me that anti-partisan warfare gradually became an excuse for the systematic annihilation of Jewry and Slavism."
Your Lordship, I am told that I misread and said "Hitler" instead of "Himmler".
I next wish to offer another and shorter statement by Rode, which shows that the SD Einsatzgruppen were under Wehrmacht command. This is Number 18, Exhibit USA-563; Document Number 3716-PS:
"As far as I know, the SD Einsatz groups with the individual army groups were completely subordinate to them, that is to say tactically as well as in every other way. The commanders were therefore thoroughly cognizant of the missions and operational methods of these units. They approved of these missions and operational methods because, apparently, they never opposed them. The fact that prisoners, such as Jews, agents, and commissars, who were handed over to the SD, underwent the same cruel death as victims of so-called purifications, is a proof that the executions had their approval. This also corresponded with what the highest political and military authorities wanted. Frequent mentions of these methods were naturally made in my presence at the OKW and OKH; and they were condemned by most SS and Police officers, just as they were condemned by most army officers. On such occasions I always pointed out that it would have been quite within the scope of the authority of the commanders of army groups to oppose such methods. I am of the firm conviction that an energetic and unified protest by all field marshals would have resulted in a change of these missions and methods. If they should ever assert that they would then have been succeeded by even more ruthless commanders, this, in my opinion, would be a foolish and even cowardly dodge."
I would like next to read the final affidavit, Number 24, in Document Book 1.
THE PRESIDENT: Colonel Taylor, unless you are going to conclude this particular part, I think we had better adjourn now.
COL. TAYLOR: I will conclude with two affidavits, Your Honor, but it will take probably 10 minutes.
THE PRESIDENT: Very well, if that will conclude it, go on.
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COL. TAYLOR: It will conclude it. Firstly, Affidavit Number 24, which becomes Exhibit USA-565, Document Number 3718-PS. This is by Colonel Bogislav von Bonin, who, at the beginning of the Russian campaign, was a staff officer with the 17th Panzer Division: "At the beginning of the Russian campaign, I was the first General Staff officer of the 17th Panzer Division which had the mission of driving across the Bug, north of Brest-Litovsk. Shortly before the beginning of the attack my division received, through channels from the OKW, a written order of the Fuehrer. This order directed that Russian commissars be shot upon capture without judicial process immediately and ruthlessly. This order extended to all units of the Eastern Army. Although the order was supposed to be relayed to companies, the commanding general of the 37th Panzer Corps-General of Panzer Troops Lemelsen-forbade its being passed on to the troops because it appeared unacceptable to him from military and moral points of view."
That brings us to the final affidavit, Number 20, Exhibit USA564, Document Number 3717-PS, which is by Adolf Heusinger, Generalleutnant in the German Army, and from 1940 to 1944 Chief of the Operations Section at OKH. I read:
"1. From the beginning of the war in 1939 until autumn 1940, I was I-a of the Operations Section of the OKH, and from autumn 1940 until 20 July 1944 I was chief of that section.
"When Hitler took over supreme command of the Army, he gave to the Chief of the General Staff of the Army the function of advising him on all operational matters in the Russian theater.
"This made the Chief of the General Staff of the Army responsible for all matters in the operational areas in the East, while the OKW was responsible for all matters outside the operational areas, for instance all troops-security units, SS units, Police-stationed in the Reich commissariats.
"All Police and SS units in the Reich commissariats were also subordinate to the Reichsfuehrer SS. When it was necessary to transfer such units into operational areas this had to be done by order of the Chief of the OKW. On the other hand, corresponding transfers from the front to the rear were ordered by the OKW with the concurrence of the Chief of the General Staff of the Army.
"The Higher SS and Police Leaders normally had command of operations against partisans. If stronger army units were committed together with the SS and Police units within operational areas, a higher commander of the Army could be designated commander of the operation.
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"During anti-partisan operations within operational areas all forces committed for these operations were under the command of the commander of the respective army group.
"2. Directives as to the manner and methods of carrying on counter-partisan operations were issued by the OKW-Keitel -to the OKH upon orders from Hitler and after consultation with Himmler. The OKH was responsible merely for the transmission of these orders to army groups' for instance, such orders as those concerning the treatment to be accorded to commissars and Communists, those concerning the manner of prosecuting by courts-martial army personnel who had committed offenses against the population, as well as those establishing the basic principles governing reprisals against the inhabitants.
"3. The detailed working out of all matters involving the treatment of the local populace, as well as anti-partisan warfare in operational areas in pursuance of orders from the OKW, was the responsibility of the Quartermaster General of the OKH.
"4. It had always been my personal opinion that the treatment of the civilian population and the methods of anti-partisan warfare in operational areas presented the highest political and military leaders with a welcomed opportunity of carrying out their plans, namely, the systematic extermination of Slavism and Jewry. Entirely independent of this, I always regarded these cruel methods as military insanity, because they only helped to make combat against the enemy unnecessarily more difficult."
THE PRESIDENT: We will adjourn until a quarter past 2.
[A recess was taken until 1415 hours.]
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COL. TAYLOR: Will Your Lordship swear the witness?
THE PRESIDENT: What is his name?
COL. TAYLOR: Erich von dem Bach-Zelewski.
[The witness, Von dem Bach-Zelewski, took the stand.]
THE PRESIDENT: What is your name?
ERICH VON DEM BACH-ZELEWSKI (Witness): Erich von dem Bach-Zelewski.
THE PRESIDENT: Will you take this oath: "I swear by God-the Almighty and Omniscient-that I will speak the pure truth-and will withhold and add nothing."
[The witness repeated the oath.]
COL. TAYLOR: May I remind the witness to speak very slowly, and to keep his answers as short as possible? Can you hear me?
VON DEM BACH-ZELEWSKI: Yes.
COL. TAYLOR: Were you a member of the SS?
VON DEM BACH-ZELEWSKI: Yes.
COL. TAYLOR: What was the last rank you held in the SS?
VON DEM BACH-ZELEWSKI: SS Obergruppenfuehrer and General of the Waffen-SS.
COL. TAYLOR: Did you serve in the 1914-18 war?
VON DEM BACH-ZELEWSKI: Yes. I was at the front from 1914 to 1918, was wounded twice, and received the Iron Cross, First and Second Class.
COL. TAYLOR: Did you remain in the army after the end of the last war?
VON DEM BACH-ZELEWSKI: Yes, I stayed in the 100,000-man army.
COL. TAYLOR: How long did you remain in the army?
VON DEM BACH-ZELEWSKI: Till 1924, when I took my discharge.
COL. TAYLOR: Did your military activities then stop?
VON DEM BACH-ZELEWSKI: No, I was battalion leader in the Border Defense, and subsequently I took part in maneuvers with the Wehrmacht until the campaign against Poland.
COL. TAYLOR: Did you join the Nazi Party?
VON DEM BACH-ZELEWSKI: Yes.
COL. TAYLOR: In what year?
VON DEM BACH-ZELEWSKI: In the year 1930.
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COL. TAYLOR: What branch of the party did you join?
VON DEM BACH-ZELEWSKI: The Allgemeine-SS.
COL. TAYLOR: What were your activities in the SS prior to the outbreak of the war?
VON DEM BACH-ZELEWSKI: I established the Allgemeine-SS Border Defense in the districts of Schneidemuhl and Frankfurt-ander-Oder, and from, 1934 I was Oberabschnittsfuehrer in East Prussia and afterwards in Silesia.
COL. TAYLOR: Were you a member of the Reichstag during this period?
VON DEM BACH-ZELEWSKI: Yes, I was a member of the Reichstag from 1932 right up to the end.
COL. TAYLOR: Did you take any active part during this war, before the campaign against the Soviet Union?
VON DEM BACH-ZELEWSKI: No, not before the campaign against Russia.
COL. TAYLOR: What was your rank at the beginning of the war?
VON DEM BACH-ZELEWSKI: At the beginning of the war I was SS Gruppenfuehrer and lieutenant general.
COL. TAYLOR: And when were you promoted?
VON DEM BACH-ZELEWSKI: I was promoted on 9 November 1941 to SS Obergruppenfuehrer and general of the Waffen-SS.
COL. TAYLOR: What was your position after the beginning of the campaign against the Soviet Union?
VON DEM BACH-ZELEWSKI: Would you please repeat the question; it was not quite clear.
COL. TAYLOR: What was your position, your function, at the beginning of the war against the Soviet Union?
VON DEM BACH-ZELEWSKI: At the beginning of the campaign against Russia I served as Higher SS and Police Leader in the central sector of the Russian Front, in the rear zone of Army Group Center.
COL. TAYLOR: Was there a similar SS official in the rear zone of each army group?
VON DEM BACH-ZELEWSKI: Yes, in each army group, North, Center, and South, there was a Higher SS and Police Leader.
COL. TAYLOR: Who was the commander of Army Group Center?
VON DEM BACH-ZELEWSKI: The commander of Army Group Center was, in the beginning, General Field Marshal Von Bock, and later General Field Marshal Kluge.
COL. TAYLOR: Who was the Armed Forces commander in the rear zone of Army Group Center?
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VON DEM BACH-ZELEWSKI: General of the Infantry Von Schenkendorff.
COL. TAYLOR: Was he directly subordinate to the commander of the army group?
VON DEM BACH-ZELEWSKI: Yes.
COL. TAYLOR: Who was your immediate superior in the SS?
VON DEM BACH-ZELEWSKI: Heinrich Himmler.
COL. TAYLOR: And who was your immediate superior in the rear zone of the army?
VON DEM BACH-ZELEWSKI: General Von Schenkendorff.
COL. TAYLOR: What was your principal task as Higher SS and Police Leader in central Russia?
VON DEM BACH-ZELEWSKI: My principal task was fighting partisans.
COL. TAYLOR: Are you generally familiar with the operations of the so-called Einsatzgruppen of the SD?
VON DEM BACH-ZELEWSKI: Yes.
COL. TAYLOR: Did these units play any important part in largescale anti-Russian operations?
VON DEM BACH-ZELEWSKI: No.
COL.TAYLOR: What was the principal task of the Einsatzgruppen?
VON DEM BACH-ZELEWSKI: The principal task of the Einsatzgruppen of the Sicherheitspolizei was the annihilation of the Jews, gypsies, and political commissars.
COL. TAYLOR: Then what forces were used for large-scale antipartisan operations?
VON DEM BACH-ZELEWSKI: For anti-partisan activities formations of the Waffen-SS, of the Ordnungspolizei, and above all, of the Wehrmacht were used.
COL. TAYLOR: Please describe the nature of these regular army units that were used for anti-partisan operations.
VON DEM BACH-ZELEWSKI: These units of the Wehrmacht were composed, in the first place, of the security divisions in the rear zone, just behind the battle front; then there were the so-called Landesschutzen battalions which were independent units under the orders of the Wehrmacht commanders; and there were also Wehrmacht formations used for the defense of certain installations such as railways and landing grounds and other military objectives. Moreover, as from 1943 or 1942, there were the so-called "alarm units" composed of formations in the rear zone.
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COL. TAYLOR: Until what date did you remain Higher SS and Police Leader for central Russia?
VON DEM BACH-ZELEWSKI: I was Higher SS and Police Leader for central Russia until the end of 1942, with occasional interruptions when I was at the front and with one interval of about 6 months when I had an illness. At the end of 1942 I was appointed Chief of Anti-Partisan Combat Units.
COL.TAYLOR: Was this position of Chief of Anti-Partisan Combat Units created specially for you?
VON DEM BACH-ZELEWSKI: Yes.
COL. TAYLOR: To whom were you directly subordinate in this new capacity?
VON DEM BACH-ZELEWSKI: Heinrich Himmler.
COL. TAYLOR: Were your functions in this new capacity restricted to any particular part of the Eastern Front?
VON DEM BACH-ZELEWSKI: No. My sphere of activity comprised the entire Eastern zone.
COL. TAYLOR: What was the general nature of your duties as Chief of Anti-Partisan Combat Units?
VON DEM BACH-ZELEWSKI: First of all, I had to establish an intelligence center at Himmler's headquarters to which all reports in connection with partisan activities were dispatched, where they were evaluated, and then forwarded to the competent authorities.
COL. TAYLOR: In the course of your duties did you confer with the commanders of army groups and armies on the Eastern Front?
VON DEM BACH-ZELEWSKI: With the commanders of the army groups, not of the armies, and with the district commanders of the Wehrmacht.
COL. TAYLOR: Did you advise these commanders with respect to the methods which should be employed to combat partisans?
VON DEM BACH-ZELEWSKI: Yes.
COL.TAYLOR: Will you name some of the commanders with whom you personally conferred?
VON DEM BACH-ZELEWSKI: I am quoting from memory, without giving a complete list: General of Cavalry Bremer, Wehrmacht commander in the East; General Field Marshal Kuechler, commanding general of Army Group North; the commanding generals of Army Group Center, Kluge and Busch; the Wehrmacht commander in the Ukraine, General of the Luftwaffe Kitzinger; General Field Marshal Freiherr van Weichs, commanding general in Serbia, at Belgrade; and General Kugler, Wehrmacht commander in the Trieste area.
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COL. TAYLOR: What proportion of Wehrmacht troops was used in anti-partisan operations as compared to Police and SS troops?
VON DEM BACH-ZELEWSKI: Since the number of Police and SS troops was very small, anti-partisan operations were undertaken mainly by Wehrmacht formations.
COL.TAYLOR: Were the anti-partisan troops usually commanded by Wehrmacht officers or by SS officers?
VON DEM BACH-ZELEWSKI: It varied, depending mostly on the individual area; in the operational areas Wehrmacht officers nearly always commanded, but an order existed to the effect that the formation, be it Wehrmacht, Waffen-SS or Police, which supplied the most troops for a particular operation, had command of it.
COL. TAYLOR: Did the highest military leaders issue instructions that anti-partisan operations were to be conducted with severity?
VON DEM BACH-ZELEWSKI: Yes.
COL.TAYLOR: Did the highest military authorities issue any detailed instructions as to the methods to be used in anti-partisan operations?
VON DEM BACH-ZELEWSKI: No.
COL. TAYLOR: What was the result, in the occupied territories, of this lack of detailed directives from above?
VON DEM BACH-ZELEWSKI: This lack of detailed directives resulted in a wild state of anarchy in all anti-partisan operations.
COL.TAYLOR: In your opinion, were the measures taken in anti-partisan operations far more severe than the circumstances warranted, or were- they not?
VON DEM BACH-ZELEWSKI: Since there were no definite orders and the lower commanders were forced to act independently, the operations varied according to the character of the officer in command and the quality of the troops. I am of the opinion that the operations often not only failed in their purpose but even overshot their mark.
COL. TAYLOR: Did these measures result in the unnecessary killing of large numbers of the civilian population?
VON DEM BACH-ZELEWSKI: Yes.
COL. TAYLOR: Did you report these excessive measures to the commanders of the army groups and other Wehrmacht officers with whom you worked?
VON DEM BACH-ZELEWSKI: This state of affairs was generally known. There was no necessity to make a special report about it, since every operation had immediately to be reported in all detail, and was known to every responsible leader.
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COL. TAYLOR: Were any effective steps taken by the higher military authorities or by the commanders of army groups to stop these excesses?
VON DEM BACH-ZELEWSKI: I remember that General Von Schenkendorff in particular made innumerable reports in this connection and discussed them with me; both of us forwarded them through our service channels.
COL. TAYLOR: Did these reports by General Von Schenkendorff have any effect?
VON DEM BACH-ZELEWSKI: No.
COL. TAYLOR: Why not?
VON DEM BACH-ZELEWSKI: Quartermaster General Wagner certainly attempted to effect a change by suggesting that more rigid supervision be imposed on the troops, but he did not succeed in his purpose.
COL. TAYLOR: Was an order ever issued by the highest authorities, that German soldiers who committed offenses against the civilian population were not to be punished in the military courts?
VON DEM BACH-ZELEWSKI: Yes, this order was issued.
COL.TAYLOR: Was this order an obstacle to correcting the excesses of the troops?
VON DEM BACH-ZELEWSKI: Yes, in my opinion this order prevented the orderly conduct of operations, since one can train troops only if one has adequate disciplinary powers and jurisdiction over them and is able to check excesses.
COL. TAYLOR: What decorations did you win during the war?
VON DEM BACH-ZELEWSKI: In this war I received the clusters to the Iron Cross I and II, the German Cross in gold, and the Knight's Cross to the Iron Cross.
COL. TAYLOR: Your Lordship, the witness is available for examination by others.
THE PRESIDENT: Does the Soviet Prosecutor wish to ask any questions?
COL. POKROVSKY: With your permission, I wish to ask a series of questions.
[Turning to the witness.] What forces of the Police and SS were at your disposal in 1941 and 1942, when you were Chief of the Police and SS in the rear zone of Army Group Center?
VON DEM BACH-ZELEWSKI: Directly under my command in 1941 were one police regiment of the Regular Police, and occasionally, for about 2 or 3 months at a time, one SS cavalry brigade.
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COL. POKROVSKY: Was the Einsatzgruppe B. headed by Nebe, under your command?
VON DEM BACH-ZELEWSKI: No.
COL. POKROVSKY: Did you or did you not receive Nebe's reports?
VON DEM BACH-ZELEWSKI: Not directly, but I managed to see them.
COL. POKROVSKY: What do you know of the activities of Einsatzgruppe B?
VON DEM BACH-ZELEWSKI: Einsatzgruppe B was located in Smolensk, and operated in precisely the same way as all the other Einsatzgruppen. One heard everywhere in conversation that the Jews were being rounded up and sent to ghettos.
COL. POKROVSKY: Did you report to the commands of the operational groups on the activities of Einsatzgruppe B?
VON DEM BACH-ZELEWSKI: I asked for information on the activities of Einsatzgruppe B directly through Schenkendorff, from the I. C. of Army Group Center.
COL. POKROVSKY: Did you know of the order issued by the commander of the 6th Army, General Reichenau, regarding the partisan movement?
VON DEM BACH-ZELEWSKI: Would you be good enough to repeat the name; was it General Von Reichenau?
COL. POKROVSKY: Yes.
VON DEM BACH-ZELEWSKI: Yes, I know of that. I think it was in 1941, but I am not certain-it might have been in 1942-when General Von Reichenau sent to all the Wehrmacht commanders an order approving the actions taken against the Jews and partisans.
COL. POKROVSKY: In 1943 or later were there, under your command, units or companies specially selected to combat the partisan movement?
VON DEM BACH-ZELEWSKI: In 1943, as Chief of Anti-Partisan Combat Units, I had no direct authority to issue orders, since I was head of the central office, but I did lead some operations wherever the authority of two commanders overlapped.
COL. POKROVSKY: Do you know anything about the existence of a special brigade consisting of smugglers, poachers, and persons released from prison?
VON DEM BACH-ZELEWSKI: When all the troops really suitable for anti-partisan warfare had been withdrawn, an anti-partisan battalion under the command of Dirlewanger was formed and
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attached to Army Group Center at the end of 1941 or the beginning of 1942. This battalion was gradually strengthened by the addition of reserve units until it reached the proportions, first, of a regiment and, later, of a brigade. This "Dirlewanger Brigade" consisted for the most part of previously convicted criminals; officially it consisted of so-called poachers, but it did include real criminals convicted of burglary, murder, et cetera.
COL. POKROVSKY: How do you explain the fact that the German Army Command so willingly strengthened and increased its forces by adding criminals to them and then using these criminals against the partisans?
VON DEM BACH-ZELEWSKI: I am of the opinion that this step was closely connected with a speech made by Heinrich Himmler at Weselsburg at the beginning of 1941, prior to the campaign against Russia, when he spoke of the purpose of the Russian campaign, which was, he said, to decimate the Slav population by 30 million, and that it was in order to achieve this purpose that troops of such inferior caliber were introduced.
COL. POKROVSKY: Is it correct then to say that the character of the troops used by the commanders to fight the partisans had been given careful consideration? Did they receive precise instructions how to treat the population and how to fight against the partisans? I am now referring to the proposed and officially sanctioned extermination of the population.
VON DEM BACH-ZELEWSKI: Yes, I think this purpose was a decisive factor in the selection of certain commanders and formations.
COL. POKROVSKY: By what means and by what measures were Wehrmacht units brought in to fight the partisans? Were they specially recruited or were they used from time to time according to some set plan?
VON DEM BACH-ZELEWSKI: I think that on the whole there was no definite set plan. So-called large-scale operations were initiated, planned, and executed by headquarters. Anti-partisan fighting, however, was mostly of a spontaneous nature, since every lower commander was obliged to keep his own area free of partisans and thus had to act on his own initiative.
COL. POKROVSKY: You said that in very many cases generals and officers of the Wehrmacht personally headed the operations against the partisans. Can you give us some concrete facts and the names of some of the generals and officers?
VON DEM BACH-ZELEWSKI: I didn't fully understand the meaning of the question. The names of commanders?
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COL. POKROVSKY: You have told us that certain operations during the struggle against the partisans were conducted by officers and generals of the Wehrmacht, and I now ask you if you can name some of the officers and generals?
VON DEM BACH-ZELEWSKI: Yes, some of the generals I have already mentioned. In addition I remember Major General Hartmann, in central Russia. One large-scale anti-partisan operation was either led by him or at least directed by him from his headquarters. I also remember Colonel General Reinhardt in whose rear zone there were important partisan groups. I might even say that there was not a single general in the rear zone who did not participate in the struggle against the partisans. I cannot, of course, remember all the names; but if I hear them mentioned, I can tell you whether or not they participated.
COL. POKROVSKY: Could you tell us what undertaking was commanded by General Ackmann?
VON DEM BACH-ZELEWSKI: No, I cannot remember that.
COL. POKROVSKY: Were there any general orders relating to prisoners of war, the civilian population, or the partisans?
VON DEM BACH-ZELEWSKI: Unfortunately there were no general instructions which clearly stated how the partisans or the population were to be treated. That was the complaint I made: That no instruction was issued on the treatment of the partisans and that we were not even told who was to be considered a partisan. When anything happened and the German Wehrmacht was attacked, there were never clear orders on what was to be done by way of reprisals.
COL. POKROVSKY: Am I to understand that in the absence of direct orders commanders were given a clear field and had the right to declare any person they wished a partisan and treat him accordingly?
VON DEM BACH-ZELEWSKI: The commanders certainly had to and could act and decide independently. No precise control was possible in individual cases, but the activities of all the troops used were always clearly known to the High Command; because the individual reports of the troops contained all details of the counter measures taken against the partisans-that is, they had to contain the number of partisans killed in combat, the number of partisans shot, of partisan suspects shot, and the number of our own losses. At the same time captured weapons had to be listed in detail, so that each leader could therefore see clearly how an operation worked out in practice.
COL. POKROVSKY: That means that each commander decided for himself whether there was any reason to suspect a man and to execute him?
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VON DEM BACH-ZELEWSKI: Yes.
COL. POKROVSKY: Do you know of any order prescribing the seizure of hostages and the burring of villages as a reprisal for abetting the partisans?
VON DEM BACH-ZELEWSKI: No. I do not think that written orders to that effect were ever issued, and it is precisely this lack of any orders which I considered a mistake. It should, for instance, have been definitely stated how many people could be executed as a reprisal for the killing of one, or of 10 German soldiers.
COL. POKROVSKY: Am I to understand that if certain commanders burned villages as a punitive measure against the local population, they, the commanders, would be acting on their own initiative?
VON DEM BACH-ZELEWSKI: Yes. These steps would be taken by a commander on his own initiative. Nor could his superior officers do anything against it, since orders emanating from the highest authorities definitely stated that if excesses were committed against the civilian population in the partisan areas, no disciplinary or juridical measures could be taken.
COL. POKROVSKY: And can we assume that the same applied to the seizure of hostages?
VON DEM BACH-ZELEWSKI: Well, I think that the question of hostages did not arise at all in the anti-partisan struggle. The hostage system was more common in the West. At any rate the term '`hostage" was not used in anti-partisan warfare.
COL. POKROVSKY: Do you know anything about the forcible abduction and deportation to Germany of minors between 14 and 18 years of age?
VON DEM BACH-ZELEWSKI: Naturally, I do not remember details such as the age groups, but when I was appointed Chief of Anti-Partisan Combat Units, I welcomed an order, issued at my suggestion, forbidding indiscriminate reprisals of the troops and decreeing that in future captured partisans and partisan suspects would no longer be shot but would be brought to the Reich by the Sauckel organization.
COL. POKROVSKY: If I understood you correctly, you replied to a question of my colleague, the American Prosecutor, by saying that the struggle against the partisan movement was a pretext for destroying the Slav and Jewish population?
VON DEM BACH-ZELEWSKI: Yes.
COL. POKROVSKY: Was the Wehrmacht Command aware of the methods adopted for fighting the partisan movement and for destroying the Jewish population?
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VON DEM BACH-ZELEWSKI: The methods were known generally, and hence to the military leaders as well. I do not, of course, know whether they were aware of the plan mentioned by Himmler.
COL. POKROVSKY: Did you personally take part in any conferences with generals of the Wehrmacht during which the methods of anti-partisan warfare were clearly and plainly discussed?
VON DEM BACH-ZELEWSKI: The methods as such were discussed in detail and knowledge of them was taken for granted, but it was not mentioned at these discussions that such and such a number of persons were to be shot. That would be a wrong conclusion.
COL. POKROVSKY: You have told us that the Germans intended to destroy the Slav population in order to reduce the number of Slavs to 30 million. Where did you get this figure and this order?
VON DEM BACH-ZELEWSKI: I must correct that: Not to reduce to 30 million, but by 30 million. Himmler mentioned this figure in his speech at the Weselsburg.
COL. POKROVSKY: Do you confirm the fact that actually all the measures carried out by the German commanders and by the Wehrmacht in the occupied Russian territories were directed to the sole purpose of reducing the number of Slavs and Jews by 30 million?
VON DEM BACH-ZELEWSKI: The meaning of that is not quite clear to me. Did the Wehrmacht know that the Slav population was to be diminished by 30 million? Would you please repeat the question, it wasn't quite clear?
COL. POKROVSKY: I asked: Can you actually and truthfully confirm that the measures taken by the Wehrmacht Command in the district administrative areas then occupied by the Germans were directed to the purpose of diminishing the Slavs and Jews by 30 million? Do you now understand the question?
VON DEM BACH-ZELEWSKI: I believe that these methods would definitely have resulted in the extermination of 30 million if they had been continued, and if developments of that time had not completely changed the situation.
COL. POKROVSKY: I have no further questions to put to the witness.
THE PRESIDENT: Does the Defense have any questions?
DR. EXNER: Witness, you said you were chief of anti-partisan operations, didn't you?
VON DEM BACH-ZELEWSKI: Chief of Anti-Partisan Combat Units.
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DR. EXNER: Well, if such chaotic conditions really existed, why didn't you alter the system?
VON DEM BACH-ZELEWSKI: Because I was never given the requisite authority.
DR. EXNER: I beg your pardon?
VON DEM BACH-ZELEWSKI: Because I was never given authority. I. could not issue orders, I had no disciplinary powers, and I was not an appointing authority for military courts.
DR. EXNER: Then did you make a report on the existing conditions to your superior officers?
VON DEM BACH-ZELEWSKI: Every day. I had a permanent staff at Himmler's headquarters.
DR. EXNER: Did you suggest any changes?
VON DEM BACH-ZELEWSKI: Persistently.
DR. EXNER: And why were these changes never realized?
VON DEM BACH-ZELEWSKI: I think I have already expressed myself quite clearly on this point: because I think that these changes were not desired.
DR.EXNER: You also, as you have informed us, reported to your superior authorities on the number of enemy dead, wounded, and prisoners after each operation. Tell me what, approximately, was the proportion of enemy prisoners to the enemy dead?
VON DEM BACH-ZELEWSKI: The figures varied in each case. I cannot generalize, but it was a fact that prisoners usually far outnumbered the enemy dead.
DR. EXNER: The prisoners outnumbered the dead?
VON DEM BACH-ZELEWSKI: Yes, but only in the years after the order allowing prisoners to be taken.
DR.EXNER: The system was harsher at first, you say, and milder later on?
VON DEM BACH-ZELEWSKI: Yes, it was milder insofar as we now had definite orders stating where the prisoners were to be brought and to whom they were to be turned over. There were no such orders in the beginning.
DR. EXNER: Can you name any orders which you received from military authorities, dealing in any way with the annihilation of millions of Slavs?
VON DEM BACH-ZELEWSKI: I already gave my answer to that question to the prosecutor when I said that a written order to that effect did not exist.
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DR. EXNER: Do you know that the reports which you sent to Himmler on the actions which you had carried out were submitted by Himmler directly to the Fuehrer?
VON DEM BACH-ZELEWSKI: May I reply to that in some detail? At first I had a permanent staff at Himmler's headquarters. My chief of staff was there permanently while I was at the front. Between the Wehrmacht offices-that is, OKW and OKH-and my own staff there was constant and organized interchange of reports, for reports on partisan activities did not always reach me first, since from some operational areas the channel for reports was through the OKH. Therefore the Wehrmacht sent me as many reports as I sent to the Wehrmacht. These reports were collected in my staff, and were daily sent to Himmler who forwarded them again.
DR. EXNER: To whom?
VON DEM BACH-ZELEWSKI: The gentlemen of the Wehrmacht have confirmed to me, here in prison, that these reports were submitted during strategic conferences.
DR. EXNER: Can you tell me whether Jews participated in the partisan groups?
VON DEM BACH-ZELEWSKI: There is no question but that in individual partisan groups Jews did participate, in numbers corresponding to the size of the Jewish population.
DR. EXNER: In individual groups? Was it not more in the nature of an exception?
VON DEM BACH-ZELEWSKI: Yes, it was definitely an exception.
DR. EXNER: That is why I do not quite understand how actions taken against the partisans were to lead to the extermination of the Jews.
VON DEM BACH-ZELEWSKI: I did not say that; I was speaking earlier of the Einsatzgruppen of the Sicherheitspolizei.
DR. EXNER: Oh, I see, that is different. Do you know anything about the Dirlewanger regiment?
VON DEM BACH-ZELEWSKI: That was the Dirlewanger Brigade, which I described in detail to the prosecutor a short time ago.
DR.EXNER: Yes. Was that brigade at any time under your command?
VON DEM BACH-ZELEWSKI: Yes, in 1941.
DR. EXNER: Was it a formation of the Army or the SS?
VON DEM BACH-ZELEWSKI: No, it was not a formation of the Waffen-SS; it was supplied by the Allgemeine SS, that is, by the Berger office.
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DR.EXNER: Can you tell me who was present at Himmler's speech at the Weselsburg?
VON DEM BACH-ZELEWSKI: About 12 Gruppenfuehrer were present, I can name them if you like.
DR. EXNER: You mean Gruppenfuehrer . . .
VON DEM BACH-ZELEWSKI: Gruppenfuehrer of the SS.
DR. EXNER: Were any officers of the Wehrmacht present?
VON DEM BACH-ZELEWSKI: No.
DR. EXNER: Thank you very much.
DR.KRAUS: You were present in Konigsberg on the 18th of August 1935 when the former President of the Reichsbank, Schacht, made a speech at the Eastern Fair (Ostmesse)?
VON DEM BACH-ZELEWSKI: Yes.
DR. KRAUS: What was your position at that time?
VON DEM BACH-ZELEWSKI: I was Oberabschnittsfuehrer.
DR.KRAUS: Were you present at the speech in your official capacity?
VON DEM BACH-ZELEWSKI: Yes, as Oberabschnittsfuehrer of the SS.
DR.KRAUS: And you suddenly left the room in the middle of the speech, as a protest?
VON DEM BACH-ZELEWSKI: Yes, in the middle of the speech I left the room.
DR. KRAUS: In protest?
VON DEM BACH-ZELEWSKI: Yes.
DR. KRAUS: Then you did not agree with the speech?
VON DEM BACH-ZELEWSKI: I did not leave on account of the speech but as a protest.
DR. KRAUS: As a protest against the contents of the speech?
VON DEM BACH-ZELEWSKI: No.
DR. KRAUS: May I ask, then, why you protested?
VON DEM BACH-ZELEWSKI: It is well known that in East Prussia I conducted a violent campaign against the then Gauleiter Koch, which led to his suspension. Koch and I were bitterly opposed and I could not therefore understand why Reich Minister Schacht, who God knows did not belong to Koch's school of thought, should take pains to pay compliments to this man, whom I knew to be corrupt.
DR.KRAUS: Were you protesting, then, against the attitude of Herr Schacht or that of Herr Koch?
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VON DEM BACH-ZELEWSKI: I think Herr Schacht must have known that it was a protest against Koch. In any case I had it explained to him later, and we finally settled the matter amicably through mediators.
DR. KRAUS: I see. Thank you.
DR.SERVATIUS: Witness, you said that a change was made regarding the treatment of partisans, and that it was ordered that the partisans were to be placed into the labor service. Where did this order originate?
VON DEM BACH-ZELEWSKI: I cannot give you detailed information about this, I only know that Herr Sauckel himself went around in the East and made long speeches to the effect that it would be best if these men who were captured in partisan warfare were placed in the labor service through his organization.
DR.SERVATIUS: I asked where this order originated. Did it originate with Himmler or, as you described it, with the Sauckel organization?
VON DEM BACH-ZELEWSKI: No. The Sauckel organization could, of course, never issue orders relating to partisan warfare. I presume that the Sauckel organization suggested the order, but of course it had to originate with Himmler or the OKW.
DR.SERVATIUS: What do you know of the Sauckel organization? Where did it exist?
VON DEM BACH-ZELEWSKI: I know only what was generally known: namely, that this organization existed for the purpose of bringing manpower into the Reich for work in the armament industry.
DR.SERVATIUS: You spoke of an organization; but you don't know anything about this organization, do you?
VON DEM BACH-ZELEWSKI: No, I don't mean it in your sense, a large independent organization; that is not what I mean. But it was obvious that a man who was responsible for the whole of manpower must have an organization at his disposal I beg your pardon, it was a mistake on my part.
DR.SERVATIUS: Then you do not know that Sauckel had no executive power at all and that he was not provided with an administrative machine of his own.
VON DEM BACH-ZELEWSKI: No, I don't know that.
THE PRESIDENT: I want the attention of the defendants' counsel. What I want to say is this, that unless counsel and the witnesses speak slowly and make adequate pauses between the questions and the answers, it is impossible for the interpreters to interpret properly, and the only result is that the questions and answers do not
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come through to the Tribunal, nor do the defendants' counsel get the benefit of the true meaning of the answers which have been given in the examination-in-chief, and everything that you may think you gain by rapidity of cross-examination, you lose by the inadequacy of the translation. I will repeat, that you should pause at the end of your sentences and at the end of your questions, so as to give the interpreter's voice time to come through.
DR. STAHMER: Witness, you said that from 1942 onwards you were Chief of Anti-Partisan Combat Units. As such, it was your duty to fight the partisans in the East?
VON DEM BACH-ZELEWSKI: Yes, that is correct, in the East.
DR. STAHMER: Now, you said that it was not quite clear what was to be understood by the term "partisan"; the concept of "partisan" was never during the entire period clearly defined. Is that correct?
VON DEM BACH-ZELEWSKI: Yes, the sense of that is correct. In my opinion a distinction should be drawn between partisans and partisan suspects. The troops did not always make this distinction. A partisan was a man carefully selected and trained by the enemy. He was also very well armed. I always insisted that this concept was not vague, but concrete. If fire is opened from a wood, a house, or a village, it is not correct to say that everyone in the wood, house, or village for this reason: The tactics of the partisans were to disappear rapidly after a successful action; they relied on the element of surprise inherent in this method of warfare. If the troops took their counter measures without being specially trained and without exact knowledge of this concept of "partisan," then they would conclude from the fact that they had been fired on from a village, that all the inhabitants were partisans. In my view, a partisan can be considered as such only if he is encountered or captured with a weapon in his hand. If he has no weapon, he cannot be considered a partisan.
DR.STAHMER: Now, what did you do in a positive way to clarify this concept of "partisan"?
VON DEM BACH-ZELEWSKI: As I have already said, ever since 1941, even before I was Chief of Anti-Partisan Combat Units, not only I but also General Von Schenkendorff, continually sent numbers of memoranda containing suggestions. Moreover, in the Russian Army Group Center, for instance, we organized schools for fighting partisans, where the troops were to be trained along these lines. Schenkendorff and I, together, worked out a series of regulations for fighting partisans, but they were never published. Immediately after I was appointed Chief of Anti-Partisan Combat Units, that is, in the beginning of 1943, my staff began to prepare
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a new series of regulations for fighting partisans. Many months passed, however, before these regulations were finally published, in 1944, when they were already practically useless.
DR. STAHMER: Who issued these regulations?
VON DEM BACH-ZELEWSKI: These regulations were published by the Wehrmacht, in the form of an ordinary Wehrmacht directive.
DR. STAHMER: They were issued by the Wehrmacht?
VON DEM BACH-ZELEWSKI: They came out in 1944.
DR. STAHMER: What were their contents?
VON DEM BACH-ZELEWSKI: They were entitled, Regulations for the Fighting of Partisans (Bandenkampfvorschrift).
DR. STAHMER: What were their contents?
VON DEM BACH-ZELEWSKI: They comprised the whole of partisan warfare; thus they contained reconnaissance, operational details, differences between small-scale, medium-scale, and largescale operations.
DR. STAHMER: Since these partisan combat regulations did not appear before 1944, was it not your task, as you had all anti-partisan forces in the whole East, to instruct your forces directly on their conduct?
VON DEM BACH-ZELEWSKI: In the first place, as I have said, I had no authority to issue orders. Consequently, I could only make suggestions. Secondly, closely organized anti-partisan forces never existed; it was an empty name which they were given. Any kind and number of formations would be assigned for anti-partisan warfare whenever necessary. It is wrong to say that I had troops at my disposal for the sole purpose of fighting the partisans. Moreover- and I should like to emphasize that-the document appointing me Chief of Anti-Partisan Combat Units stated as follows: Anti-partisan operations will be commanded either by the Higher SS and Police Officer, or the competent Wehrmacht commander in their respective areas. According to that directive, my own task was only that of an inspector, in spite of my continuous request for authority to issue orders.
DR. STAHMER: I don't quite understand . . .
THE PRESIDENT: You must go slowly and you must pause between your sentences.
DR. STAHMER: As general of the Waffen-SS you must have had power to issue orders?
VON DEM BACH-ZELEWSKI: I had authority only to issue orders when I personally conducted an operation.
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DR.STAHMER: But you were appointed, as you said, to fight the partisans and you must have had combat units for the purpose?
VON DEM BACH-ZELEWSKI: No, I had no such units.
DR. STAHMER: Then how did you conduct your fight against the partisans?
VON DEM BACH-ZELEWSKI: In each case, I went to the respective commander, discussed the operation with him and asked for the necessary troops, unless they were put at my disposal, as it often happened, by the OKW or the OKH directly.
DR. STAHMER: You asked for troops, unless they were put at your disposal. But then these troops assigned to you were under your command, were they not?
VON DEM BACH-ZELEWSKI: No, only if I personally commanded the operation. Otherwise, as I said, either the competent general of the Wehrmacht or, in the area of the civil government, the higher SS and police Leader commanded the operation. It was expressly noted in the directive containing my appointment as Chief of the Anti-Partisan Combat Units, that I could request authority to command an operation only if the authority of two higher SS and police leaders or of two Wehrmacht commanders overlapped, thus calling for a higher authority to handle the conflicting responsibilities.
DR. STAHMER: Did you never personally command an operation?
VON DEM BACH-ZELEWSKI: Yes, I conducted one operation in 1943.
DR. STAHMER: In what way?
VON DEM BACH-ZELEWSKI: This undertaking took place in the fall of 1943, in the region of Idrizza Polotsk. I first flew to the Army Group Center and talked the matter over with the then chief, General Krebs. Then I went on to Army Group North and discussed the same matter with Field Marshal Kuechler. Kuechler organized all the troops of the SS and Police and also the Wehrmacht formations in the rear areas into a so-called corps under the command of Jaeckel. The Army Group Center did the same with its own forces, and also formed a corps under the command of the Higher SS and Police Leader in the area. I myself, with my staff, was in command of both, and Colonel Von Mellenthin of the OKH was assigned to me as liaison officer. Then I conducted the enterprise personally. In the meantime the front had been broken through in foggy weather, and I made the independent decision of turning against the Red Army forces which had broken through; thus my units became the front line.
DR. STAHMER: You said a little while ago that you had been decorated with the Knight's Cross. Did you receive this decoration for this undertaking alone?
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VON DEM BACH-ZELEWSKI: No, as I said before, I was already at the front in the year 1941. Again and again I was with the fighting units: In 1941 at Moscow, in 1942 at Velikie-Luki, and later at Koebel, at Warsaw during the uprising in Warsaw; and from 1944 onwards I commanded an SS corps.
DR. STAHMER: Did you not know that you were particularly commended by Hitler and Himmler and decorated mainly for your ruthless and efficient actions in the war against the partisans?
VON DEM BACH-ZELEWSKI: No. I received no decoration for the war against the partisans. I received all my decorations, beginning with the clusters to the Iron Cross II, at the front and from the Wehrmacht. I will gladly give you names.
DR.STAHMER: The Brigade Dirlewanger was an SS brigade, wasn't it?
VON DEM BACH-ZELEWSKI: The Brigade Dirlewanger did not belong to the Waffen-SS. It was an organization which could possibly be classified as part of the Allgemeine-SS. It was not supplied and kept up by the Waffen-SS, but by the Berger office.
DR. STAHMER: Was the commander of the Brigade Dirlewanger a member of the SS?
VON DEM BACH-ZELEWSKI: Yes.
DR.STAHMER: Didn't you yourself suggest that criminals should be organized and used for fighting the partisans?
VON DEM BACH-ZELEWSKI: No.
DR. THOMA: Witness, do you know that the civil government in White Ruthenia often protested against the manner in which the anti-partisan activities were carried on?
VON DEM BACH-ZELEWSKI: Yes.
DR. THOMA: The civil authority was subordinate to the Reich Commissioner, and he in turn was subordinate to Rosenberg as Minister for the Occupied Eastern Territories, is that correct?
VON DEM BACH-ZELEWSKI: Yes.
DR. THOMA: If I understood you correctly, you disapproved of the manner in which the fighting against partisans was carried on, involving many innocent people; and you disapproved also of the existence of the Dirlewanger Regiment and of the speech of Reichsfuehrer SS Himmler?
VON DEM BACH-ZELEWSKI: Yes.
DR. THOMA: How could you then reconcile it with your conscience to remain chief or inspector of anti-partisan units and also head of such Einsatzgruppen?
VON DEM BACH-ZELEWSKI: I was never chief of Einsatzgruppen.
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THE PRESIDENT: The question had not come through then on the interpreter's voice before you began to answer. You must give greater pauses between the question and answer.
DR. THOMA: How did you reconcile it with your conscience to remain inspector of the anti-partisan forces in the East?
VON DEM BACH-ZELEWSKI: Not only could I reconcile that with my conscience, but I actually strove to obtain this position because in the years 1941 and 1942 I saw, together with Schenkendorff, that things could not continue as they were. General Schenkendorff, my immediate superior, recommended me for the position.
DR. THOMA: But you knew that you could not achieve anything with these suggestions?
VON DEM BACH-ZELEWSKI: No, I couldn't know that. What I realize and acknowledge today, I could not possibly have known then.
DR. THOMA: At any rate, you achieved nothing?
VON DEM BACH-ZELEWSKI: I don't think that; my opinion is rather that if someone else had been in my position, the disaster would have been greater.
DR. THOMA: Do you believe that Himmler's speech, in which he demanded the extermination of 30 million Slavs, expressed only his personal opinion; or do you consider that it corresponded to the National Socialist ideology?
VON DEM BACH-ZELEWSKI: Today I believe that it was the logical consequence of our ideology.
DR. THOMA: Today?
VON DEM BACH-ZELEWSKI: Today.
DR. THOMA: What was your own opinion at that time?
VON DEM BACH-ZELEWSKI: It is difficult for a German to fight through to this conviction. It took me a long time.
DR.THOMA: Then how is it that a few days ago a witness, namely, the Witness Ohlendorf, appeared here and admitted that through the Einsatzgruppen he had killed 90,000 people, but told the Tribunal that this did not harmonize with the National Socialist ideology?
VON DEM BACH-ZELEWSKI: I am of a different opinion. If for years, for decades, a doctrine is preached to the effect that the Slav race is an inferior race, that the Jews are not even human beings, then an explosion of this sort is inevitable.
DR. THOMA: Nevertheless the fact remains that, together with whatever attitude towards life you had at that time, you also had a conscience?
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VON DEM BACH-ZELEWSKI: And today, too-for that reason I am here.
[Dr. Exner approached the lecterns]
THE PRESIDENT: Dr. Exner, are you cross-examining on behalf of some other defendant, or what?
DR. EXNER: I should like to ask two or three questions which my client put to me as important during the recess.
THE PRESIDENT: You have already cross-examined, have you not?
DR. EXNER: Yes, but I now have three new questions. We were not able to prepare ourselves for this cross-examination.
THE PRESIDENT: Very well. Go on.
DR. EXNER: Witness, you said an order was issued in the year 1944 regarding anti-partisan warfare. During the recess, I found in the document book of the Prosecution, under 1786-PS, mention of a combat directive on partisan warfare, dated 27 November 1942. Do you know of this?
VON DEM BACH-ZELEWSKI: No.
DR. EXNER: But it must exist, since it is mentioned here.
VON DEM BACH-ZELEWSKI: I don't know it
DR.EXNER: Do you know of a Russian directive for partisan warfare?
VON DEM BACH-ZELEWSKI: Yes, that existed.
DR. EXNER: Could you give us information on the contents of this directive? What were the combat methods prescribed?
VON DEM BACH-ZELEWSKI: I no longer remember it.
DR. EXNER: Do you know where this directive is available?
VON DEM BACH-ZELEWSKI: No.
DR. EXNER: Thank you.
THE TRIBUNAL (Mr. Biddle): One moment. Do you know how many members of the Wehrmacht were used at any one time in this anti-partisan activity? What was the largest number of the troops?
VON DEM BACH-ZELEWSKI: Large-scale undertakings were those carried out with one division or more. I believe the largest number of troops for a single operation might have been three divisions.
THE TRIBUNAL (Mr. Biddle): I mean all the troops on the Eastern Front at any one time used in these anti-partisan activities?
VON DEM BACH-ZELEWSKI: I cannot answer that, because these troops were never together under my direction. Operations were conducted simultaneously, large-, small-, and medium-scale
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operations were being carried out everywhere at the same time. Reports of such operations came in every day.
THE TRIBUNAL (Mr. Biddle): Do you know how many Einsatzgruppen were used?
VON DEM BACH-ZELEWSKI: I know of three, one for each army group.
THE PRESIDENT: [To Colonel Taylor.] You don't want to reexamine?
COL. TAYLOR: No, Sir.
THE PRESIDENT: Then the witness may go.
[The witness left the stand.]
I ask the Tribunal to bear in mind that the German High Command is not an evanescent thing, the creature of a decade of unrest, or a school of thought or tradition which is shattered and utterly discredited. The German High Command and military tradition have in the past achieved victory and survived defeat. They have met with triumph and disaster, and they have survived through a singular durability.
An eminent American statesman and diplomat, Mr. Sumner Welles, has written, and I quote from his book The Time for Decision, Page 261:
". . . that the authority to which the German people have so often and so disastrously responded was not in reality the German Emperor of yesterday, or the Hitler of today, but the German General Staff. Whether their ostensible ruler is the Kaiser, or Hindenburg, or Adolf Hitler, the continuing loyalty of the bulk of the population is given to that military force controlled and guided by the German General Staff."
I think that this emphasizes the historical importance of the decision which this Tribunal is called on to make. But we are not now indicting the German General Staff at the bar of history, but on specific charges of crimes against international law and the dictates of the conscience of mankind, as embodied in the Charter which governs this Court.
The picture we have seen is that of a group of men with great power for good or evil, who chose the 'latter, who deliberately set out to arm Germany to the point where the German will could be imposed on the rest of the world, and who gladly joined forces with the most evil forces at work in Germany. "Hitler produced the results which all of us warmly desired," we are told by Blomberg and Blaskowitz, and that is obviously the truth. The converse is no
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less clear; the military leaders furnished Hitler with the means and the might which were necessary to his survival, to say nothing of the accomplishment of those purposes which seemed to us so ludicrously impossible in 1932 and so fearfully imminent in 1942.
I have said that the German militarists were inept as well as persistent. Helpless as Hitler would have been without them, he succeeded in mastering them. The generals and the Nazis were allies in 1933. But it was not enough that the generals should be his voluntary allies; Hitler wanted them permanently and completely under his control. Devoid of political skill and principle, the generals lacked the mentality or morality to resist. On the day of the death of President Hindenburg, in August 1934, the German officers swore a new oath. Their previous oath had been to the Fatherland; now it was to a man-Adolf Hitler. Later the Nazi emblem became part of their uniform, the Nazi flag their standard. By a clever process of infiltration into key positions, Hitler seized control of the entire military machine.
We will no doubt hear the generals ask what they could have done about it. We will hear that they were helpless, and that to protect their jobs and families and lives, they had to follow Hitler's decisions. No doubt this became true, but the generals were a key factor in Hitler's rise to complete power and a partner in his criminal aggressive designs. It is always difficult and dangerous to withdraw from a criminal conspiracy. Never has it been suggested that a conspirator may claim mercy on the ground that his fellow conspirators threatened him with harm, should he withdraw from the plot.
In many respects the spectacle which the German General Staff and High Command group presents today is the most degrading of all the groups and organizations before this Court. They are the bearers of a tradition not devoid of valor and honor; but they emerge from this war stained both by criminality and ineptitude. Attracted by the militaristic and aggressive Nazi policies, the German generals found themselves drawn into adventures of a scope they had not foreseen. From crimes in which almost all of them participated willingly and approvingly were born others in which they participated partly because they were too ineffective to alter the governing Nazi policies and partly because they had to continue collaboration to save their own skins.
Having joined the partnership, the General Staff and High Command group planned and carried through manifold acts of aggression which turned Europe into a charnel house and caused the Armed Forces to be used for foul practices, foully executed, of terror, pillage, and wholesale slaughter. Let no one be heard to say that the military uniform shall be a cloak, or that they may find sanctuary
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by pleading membership in the profession to which their actions were a disgrace.
COL. STOREY: If the Tribunal pleases, the next subject will be the presentation of supplemental evidence concerning the persecution of the churches as presented by Colonel Wheeler.
COLONEL LEONARD WHEELER, JR. (Assistant Trial Counsel for the United States): Your Honors, the material now to be submitted comprises, first, supplemental proof on the suppression of the churches within Germany: the Evangelical churches, the Catholic Church, and the Bibelforscher (or Bible students); and second, acts of suppression in the annexed and occupied territories, Austria, Czechoslovakia, and Poland. A large part of this proof will be from the official files of the Vatican.
I now submit to the Court United States Trial Brief H (supplemental), on "Suppression of the Christian Churches in Germany and in the Occupied Territories," and Document Book H (supplemental), containing English translations of all the documents referred to in the supplemental brief, or to be referred to in my oral presentation. I shall take up first the supplemental proof on the suppression of the churches in Germany.
Hitler announced in March 1933 a distinction in his policy toward politics and morals on the one hand and religion on the other. I offer in evidence Document Number 3387-PS, Exhibit Number USA566. This is a speech by Hitler to the Reichstag on March 23, 1933, quoted in the Volkischer Beobachter, for March 24, 1933, Page 1, Column 5 of the German newspaper. I quote from this speech:
"While the Government is determined to carry through a political and moral purging of our public life, it is creating and insuring the requisites of a truly religious life. The Government sees in both Christian confessions the factors most important for the maintenance of our Volkstum. It will respect agreements concluded between them and the Lander. However, it expects that its work will meet with like appreciation. The Government will treat all other denominations with objective justice. However, it can never condone that belonging to a certain denomination or to a certain race should be regarded as a license for the commission or toleration of crime. The Government will devote its care to harmony between Church and State."
Toward the Evangelical churches, the Nazi conspirators proceeded at first with caution, and an appearance of legality. They set up a new constitution of the German Evangelical Church, which introduced the innovation of a single Lutheran Reich Bishop, who assumed all the administrative functions of the old agencies of the
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churches. I refer to Document Number 3433-PS, the Degree concerning the Constitution of the German Evangelical Church, dated July 14, 1933, appearing in the Reichsgesetzblatt, 1933, Part I, Page 471, and request that the Court take judicial notice of it.
It is too well known to require documentation that the new Reich Bishop, Bishop Muller, heeded the voice of his Nazi masters. One of his first steps was to maneuver the Evangelical Youth Association into the Hitler Jugend under the Defendant Von Schirach in December 1933. In proof of this I refer to Document Number 1458(a)-PS, already in evidence as part of Document Book D. This is an excerpt from Von Schirach's book, The Hitler Youth-Idea and Formation.
By 1935 it had become evident that more than persuasion by the Reich Bishop was necessary. Consequently the Nazi conspirators promulgated a number of public laws which, under innocent sounding titles, gradually wove a tight net of state control over all the affairs of the Evangelical churches. We ask that the Court take judicial notice of these laws published in the Reichsgesetzblatt. These may be briefly summarized as follows:
3434-PS, "Law concerning Procedure for Decisions in Legal Affairs of the Evangelical Church," dated 26 June 1935, signed by Hitler and Frick, appearing in 1935 in Reichsgesetzblatt, Part I, Page 774. This gave the Reich Minister of the Interior, the Defendant Frick, when question was raised in a civil lawsuit, sole authority to determine the validity of measures taken in the Evangelical state churches, or in the German Evangelical Church since May 1, 1933.
3435-PS, "First Ordinance for Execution of the Law concerning Procedure for Decisions in Legal Affairs of the Evangelical Church," dated July 3, 1935, appearing in 1935 Reichsgesetzblatt, Part I, Page 851. This implemented the earlier law, by setting up an Office for Decisions with three members appointed by the Reich Minister of the Interior.
3466-PS, "Decree to Unite the Competences of Reich and Prussia in Church Affairs," dated July 16, 1935, signed by Hitler, published in 1935 Reichsgesetzblatt, Part I, Page 1029. This transferred to Reich Minister without Portfolio Kerrl the Church Affairs hitherto handled by the Reich and Prussian Ministries of the Interior and for Science, Education, and Training of the Population.
3436-PS, "Law for the Safeguarding of the German evangelical Church," dated 24 September 1935, published in the 1935 Reichsgesetzblatt, Part I, Page 1178, signed by Hitler and the Minister for Church Affairs, Dr. Kerrl. This empowered the Reich Minister of Church Affairs to issue ordinances with binding legal force.
3437-PS, "Fifth Decree for Execution of the Law for the Safeguarding of the German Evangelical Church," dated 2 December
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1935, published in 1935 Reichsgesetzblatt, Part I, Page 1370. This prohibited "Organs of Church Leadership" in the Evangelical churches from filling pastorates, engaging clerical assistants, examining and ordaining candidates of the state churches, visitation, publishing of the banns, and collection and administration of church dues and assessments.
This series of laws culminated on June 26, 1937, in Document Number 3439-PS, the "Fifteenth Decree for the Execution of the Law for Security of the German Evangelical Church," dated June 25, 1937, published in 1937 Reichsgesetzblatt, Part I, Page 697. By this, the Reich Minister for Church Affairs, Kerrl, established a finance department for the churches to supervise the administration of all church property, the budget, and the use of budget funds and to regulate salaries and allowances of officials, clergy, and employees. Thus, before the outbreak of the war, the Nazi conspirators had the Evangelical churches tied hand and foot physically and administratively, if not spiritually.
Against the Catholic Church with its international organization the Nazi conspirators launched a most vigorous and drastic attack- again at first, however, cloaked under a mantle of co-operation and legality. A concordat signed by the Defendant Von Papen, one of the foremost Catholic laymen in Germany, was concluded between the Reich Government and the Vatican on July 20, 1933. It is printed in the 1933 Reichsgesetzblatt, Part II, Page 679 to Page 690, and contained in Document Number 3280 (a)-PS. I ask the Court to take judicial notice of it. I quote Article 1:
"The German Reich guarantees freedom of profession and public practice of the Catholic religion.
"It acknowledges the right of the Catholic Church, within the limit of those laws which are applicable to all, to manage and regulate its own affairs independently and, within the framework of its own competence, to publish laws and ordinances binding on its members."
Other articles which, being matters of common knowledge, I assume need not be read into the record, formulated basic principles such as freedom of the Catholic press, of Catholic education, and of Catholic charitable, professional, and other organizations.
The proposal for the concordat came from the Reich, and not from the Vatican. I refer to Document Number 3268-PS, Exhibit Number USA-356, excerpts from the Allocution of Pope Pius XII to the Sacred College on June 2, 1945, already read into evidence. I quote from Page 1 of the English mimeographed excerpts, Page 1 of the German translation, third paragraph, which has not previously been read, "In the spring of 1933 the German Government asked the Holy See to conclude a concordat with the Reich."
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The present Pope, Pope Pius XII, then Cardinal Pacelli, negotiated and signed the concordat on behalf of the Vatican. As Archbishop Pacelli he had previously been Papal Nuncio in Germany for 12 years.
Relying upon the Nazis' assurances, particularly Hitler's speech of March 23, 1933 above quoted (3387-PS), the Catholic hierarchy revoked its previous opposition against Catholics becoming members of the National Socialist Party. I offer in evidence Document Number 3389-PS, Exhibit USA-566, a pastoral letter, dated March 23, 1933, from the Bishop of Cologne, and I quote from the Volkischer Beobachter for March 29, 1933 Page 2 Columns 2 and 3:
"The Archbishop of Cologne, Cardinal Schulte, announces to the Archdiocese of Cologne a declaration of the Bishops' Conference at Fulda, which states:
"The bishops of the diocese of Germany, in their dutiful solicitude to keep the Catholic faith pure and to protect the inviolable aims and rights of the Catholic Church, have adopted, for weighty reasons during the last years, an attitude of opposition toward the National Socialist movement, through prohibitions and warnings, which were to remain in effect as long and as far as those reasons remained valid.
"It should now be recognized that there are public and solemn declarations issued by the highest representative of the Reich Government-who at the same time is the authoritarian leader of that movement-which acknowledge the inviolability of the teachings of the Catholic faith and the unswerving mission and rights of the Church and which expressly guarantee the full validity of the legal pacts concluded between the several German Lander and the Church.
'without lifting the condemnation, implied in our previous measures, of certain religious and ethical errors, the Episcopate now believes it can be confident that those general prohibitions and warnings prescribed need no longer be regarded as necessary."
The Catholic Center Party, yielding to these assurances and to pressure, was dissolved on July 5, 1933. I refer to Document Number 2403-PS, already in evidence as part of U.S. Document Book B. an excerpt from Documents of German Politics, the official Nazi publication, a document of which the Court can take judicial notice; and I quote from the last five lines of Page 1 of the English translation, appearing on Page 55 of the original German text, which states:
"Also the parties of German Catholicism which were supposed to be most deeply rooted, had to bow to the law of the New
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Order On July 4, 1933, the Bavarian People's Party (Document 27), and on July 5, 1933, the Center Party (Document 29), published an announcement of their dissolution."
In spite of these evidences of confidence and co-operation or submission on the part of the Catholics, the Nazi conspirators almost immediately commenced a series of violations of the concordat. I
offer in evidence Document Number 3476-PS, Exhibit USA-567, being the Papal Encyclical, "Mit brennender Sorge"-in German- by Pope Pius XI on March 14, 1937, and also ask the Tribunal to take judicial notice of all of it. I quote from the one-page English excerpt . . .
THE PRESIDENT: Did you say 3476 or 3466?
COL. WHEELER: 3476.
THE PRESIDENT: We don't seem to have that.
COL.WHEELER: That may be a mistake, Sir, for 3563; the number was changed. The part of it which is in English in the Document Book, Sir, is under 3280-PS.
THE PRESIDENT: 3280?
COL.WHEELER: The. difficulty is that the German original came in after the translation had been made from another source.
THE PRESIDENT: 3280(a)-PS?
COL.WHEELER: 3280 without the (a). It's just a couple of paragraphs.
THE PRESIDENT: Oh, yes; I see.
COL.WHEELER: These are found on Page 2, Paragraph 2, of the German original, which is in evidence now, which was secretly reproduced at Fulda from copies smuggled into Germany from Rome, and read definitely from pulpits all over Germany. I quote:
"It discloses intrigues which from the beginning had no other aim than a war of extermination. In the furrows in which we had labored to sow the seeds of true peace, others, like the enemy in Holy Scripture (Matt. xiii, 25), sowed the tares of suspicion, discord, hatred, calumny, of secret and open fundamental hostility to Christ and His Church, fed from a thousand different sources and making use of every available means. On them and on them alone and on their silent and vocal protectors rests the responsibility for the fact that now, on the horizon of Germany, there is to be seen, not the rainbow of peace, but the threatening storm clouds of destructive religious strife.
"Anyone who has even a grain of a sense of truth left in his mind and even a shadow of a feeling of justice left in his heart will have to admit that, in the difficult and eventful
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years which followed the concordat, every word and every action of Ours was ruled by loyalty to the terms of the agreement; but also he will have to recognize with surprise and deep disgust that the unwritten law of the other party has been arbitrary misinterpretation of agreements, circumvention of agreements, weakening of the force of agreements and, finally, more or less open violation of agreements.
"Only 10 days after the Concordat was signed...."
THE PRESIDENT: None of this is in our book.
COL. WHEELER: That's not in your book?
THE PRESIDENT: Not what you've been reading. The first paragraph, down to the words "destructive religious wars" is in our book. The rest isn't in it.
COL.WHEELER: I think there must have been an error today then, Sir. There was a second edition of that 3280, which contains the second paragraph. I'll have that substituted as soon as this is over.
THE PRESIDENT: All right.
DR. ALFRED SEIDL (Counsel for Defendant Frank): The United States Prosecution said earlier in the proceedings that a certain part of the material now being presented as evidence in the question of the opposition to the churches was made available by the Vatican. The Defendant Hans Frank has just sent me some questions which I do not want to withhold from the Tribunal. The questions are these:
1. Is the Vatican a Signatory to the Charter of the International Military Tribunal?
2. Did the Vatican deliver the material in an accusatory capacity?
3. Has the Vatican, acting as a co-prosecutor, identified itself with the principles of these proceedings?
The Defendant Hans Frank adds by way of explanation that his continued membership in the Roman Catholic Church depends on the reply to these questions.
THE PRESIDENT: I think it desirable that the Tribunal understand your objections. The first question that you ask is: Is the Vatican a Signatory to the Charter? Is that right?
DR. SEIDL: Yes.
THE PRESIDENT: Your second question was what? What was your second question?
DR. SEIDL: The second question is: Whether the Vatican submitted the material which is now being presented, acting as co-prosecutor?
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THE PRESIDENT: And your third?
DR.SEIDL: The third question is-and it is addressed directly to the Prosecution-whether the Vatican, as prosecutor, has identified itself with the principles upon which this Trial is being conducted?
[There was a pause in the proceedings while the Judges conferred.]
THE PRESIDENT: In the opinion of the Tribunal the observations which have just been made by counsel on behalf of the Defendant Frank are entirely irrelevant, and any motion which they were intended to support is denied. The Prosecution will therefore continue.
COL. WHEELER: I now offer in evidence the first of a number of documents which the Vatican has supplied to the Prosecution in this case from its own files and which authoritatively state the acts of suppression of the Church by the Nazi conspirators. This first Vatican document, which deals in part with acts of suppression within Germany, is Document Number 3261-PS, Exhibit Number USA-568, a verbal note of the Secretariat of State of His Holiness the Pope to the German Embassy, dated January 18, 1942. I read the certificate accompanying this document:
"The Vatican, November 13th, 1945.
"I, Domenico Tardini, Secretary of Extraordinary Ecclesiastical Affairs, hereby certify that the attached document, consisting of nine printed pages and entitled, 'Verbal note of the Secretariat of State of His Holiness to the German Embassy,' January 18th, 1942, Pages 3-11, is a true and correct translation into the English language from the Italian language of a carbon copy of a document now in the possession of the Secretariat of State of His Holiness, the original of which was dispatched to the German Embassy."-Signed-"Domenico Tardini."
The paper in the document book, Your Honors, is a mimeographed copy of the same printed document which we received from the Vatican. We did not have enough printed documents to make them in the document books.
On Page 2 of the English mimeographed text of this verbal note, Paragraphs 3 and Appearing on Page 2 of the German translation, Paragraphs 3 and 4-the Papal Secretary of State describes, I quote:
"Measures and acts which gravely violate the rights of the Church, being contrary not only to the existing concordats but to the principles of international law ratified by the Second Hague Conference... "
THE PRESIDENT: Did you say you were reading the third paragraph?
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COL. WHEELER: Yes, Your Honor. It is the third full paragraph on Page 2. It starts in the middle of the paragraph with the last word on the seventh line of the third paragraph.
· THE PRESIDENT: It is very difficult for us to find it if you don't tell us it begins in the middle of the paragraph.
COL. WHEELER: The last word of that line is "measures". It's the seventh line of the paragraph beginning "Yet, despite this keen desire," Sir.
THE PRESIDENT: Yes, I see.
COL.WHEELER: "... but often-and this is much more grave-to the very fundamental principles of Divine Law both natural and positive."
The next paragraph specifies these measures. I quote:
"Let it suffice to recall in this connection, among other things, the changing of the Catholic state elementary schools into undenominational schools; the permanent or temporary closing of many minor seminaries, of not a few major seminaries, and of some theological faculties; the suppression of almost all the private schools and of numerous Catholic boarding schools and colleges; the repudiation, decided upon unilaterally, of financial obligations which the State, municipalities, and so forth, had towards the Church; the increasing difficulties put in the way of the activity of the religious orders and congregations in the spiritual, cultural, and social field, and above all the suppression of abbeys, monasteries, convents, and religious houses in such great numbers that one is led to infer a deliberate intention of rendering impossible the very existence of the orders and congregations in Germany."
The Nazis did not overlook other sects or denominations in their efforts to suppress Christian religion in Germany. They persecuted the "Bibelforscher" or Bible students...
THE PRESIDENT: Perhaps, if you are going on to another church, it would be better to break off until tomorrow morning.
[The Tribunal adjourned until 8 January 1946 at 1000 hours.]