Nuremberg Trial Proceedings Vol. 10


Saturday, 6 April 1946

Morning Session

GEN. RUDENKO: Defendant Keitel, I am asking you about the directive concerning the so-called communist insurrectionary movement in the occupied territories. Yesterday your counsel showed you this directive. It is an order of 16 September 1941, Number R-98. I shall remind you of one passage from this order. It states:

"In order to nip in the bud any conspiracy, the strongest measures should be taken at the first sign of trouble in order to maintain the authority of the occupying power and to prevent the conspiracy from spreading...";

and furthermore:

"...one must bear in mind that in the countries affected human life has absolutely no value and that a deterrent effect can be achieved only through the application of extraordinarily harsh measures."

You remember this basic idea of the order, that human life absolutely does not amount to anything. Do you remember this statement, the basic statement of the order, that "human life has absolutely no value"? Do you remember this sentence?


GEN. RUDENKO: You signed the order containing this statement?


GEN. RUDENKO: Do you consider that necessity demanded this extremely evil order?

KEITEL: I explained some of the reasons for this order yesterday and I pointed out that these instructions were addressed in the first place to the Commander-in-Chief of the Wehrmacht offices in the Southeast; that is, the Balkan regions, where extensive partisan warfare and a war between the leaders had assumed enormous proportions, and secondly, because the same phenomena had been observed and established on the same or similar scale in certain defined areas of the occupied Soviet territory.

GEN. RUDENKO: Does this mean that you consider this order to have been entirely correct?


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KEITEL: I have already explained in detail, in replying to questions, my fundamental standpoint with regard to all orders concerning the treatment of the population. I signed the order and by doing so I assumed responsibility within the scope of my official jurisdiction.

THE PRESIDENT: The Tribunal considers that you are not answering the question. The question was perfectly capable of an answer "yes" or "no" and an explanation afterwards. It is not an answer to the question to say that you have already explained to your counsel.

GEN. RUDENKO: I ask you once more, do you consider this order, this particular order -- and I emphasize, in which it is stated that "human life has absolutely no value" -- do you consider this order correct?

KEITEL: It does not contain these words; but I knew from years of experience that in the Southeastern territories and in certain parts of the Soviet territory, human life was not respected to the same degree.

GEN. RUDENKO: You say that these words do not exist in the order?

KEITEL: To my knowledge those exact words do not appear; but it says that human life has very little value in these territories. I remember something like that.

GEN. RUDENKO: According to your recollection now, you remember that you were interrogated by General Alexandrov on 9 November 1945. To a question in regard to the meaning of this sentence you replied: "I must admit that this sentence is authentic, although the Fuehrer himself inserted this sentence in the order."

Do you remember your explanation?

KEITEL: That is correct. That is true.

GEN. RUDENKO: I can produce this order for you. I did not produce it because you were familiarizing yourself with it yesterday.

KEITEL: I did not read through all the points yesterday. I merely admitted its actual existence.

THE PRESIDENT: It would help the Tribunal if you got a translation of the document. When you are cross-examining upon a document and as to the actual words of it, it is very inconvenient for us not to have the document before us.

GEN. RUDENKO: Mr. President, I shall at once present this order to the defendant.

[Handing the document to the defendant.]

THE PRESIDENT: Is it Document 389-PS?


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GEN. RUDENKO: Yes, this is Document 389-PS.

THE PRESIDENT: When you are citing a document it would be a good thing if you would cite the number rather slowly because very often the translation does not come through accurately to us.

GEN. RUDENKO: All right, I shall observe this in the future, Mr. President. I numbered this document R-98, but it has a double number, R-98 and 389-PS. I cited Subparagraph 3b) of this order.

Defendant Keitel, have you familiarized yourself with the document?

KEITEL: Yes. The text in the German language says that "in the countries affected human life frequently has no value ..."

GEN. RUDENKO: And further?

KEITEL: Yes, "... and a deterrent effect can be obtained only by extreme harshness. To atone for the life of a German soldier . . ."

GEN. RUDENKO: Quite clear. And in this same order, in this same Subparagraph "b," it is stated that:

"To atone for the life of one German soldier, 50 to 100 Communists must, as a rule, be sentenced to death. The method of execution should strengthen the measure of determent."

Is that correct?

KEITEL: The German text is slightly different. It says: "In such cases in general, the death penalty for 50 to 100 Communists may be considered adequate."

That is the German wording.

GEN. RUDENKO: For one German soldier?

KEITEL: Yes. I know that and I see it here.

GEN. RUDENKO: That is what I was asking you about. So now I ask you once more ...

KEITEL: Do you want an explanation of that or am I not to say any more?

GEN. RUDENKO: I shall now interrogate you on this matter. I ask you whether, when signing this order you thereby expressed your personal opinion on these cruel measures? In other words, were you in agreement with Hitler?

KEITEL: I signed the order but the figures contained in it are alterations made personally by Hitler himself.

GEN. RUDENKO: And what figures did you present to Hitler?

KEITEL: The figures in the original were 5 to 10.

GEN. RUDENKO: In other words, the divergence between you and Hitler consisted merely in the figures and not in the spirit of the document?


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KEITEL: The idea was that the only way of deterring them was to demand several sacrifices for the life of one soldier, as is stated here.


THE PRESIDENT: That was not an answer to the question. The question was whether the only difference between you and Hitler on this document was a question of figures. That admits of the answer "yes" or "no." Was the only difference between you and Hitler a question of figures?

KEITEL: Then I must say that with reference to the underlying principle there was a difference of opinion, the final results of which I no longer feel myself in a position to justify, since I added my signature on behalf of my department. There was a fundamental difference of opinion on the entire question.

GEN. RUDENKO: All right. Let us continue.

I would like to remind you of one more order. It is the order dated 16 December 1942, referring to the so-called "Fight against the Partisans." This document was submitted to the Tribunal as Exhibit Number USSR-16; I shall not examine you in detail with regard to this order. It was presented to you yesterday by your defense counsel.

KEITEL: I do not remember that at the moment.

GEN.RUDENKO: You do not remember?

KEITEL: Not the one that was presented yesterday.

GEN. RUDENKO: All right. If you do not remember I can hand you this document in order to refresh your memory.

THE PRESIDENT: What was the PS number of this document?

GEN. RUDENKO: This is the document submitted by the Soviet Prosecution as Exhibit Number USSR-16 (Document Number USSR-16).

THE PRESIDENT: I just took down that it was USA-516, but I suppose I was wrong in hearing. It is USSR-16, is it?



GEN. RUDENKO: [Handing the document to the defendant.] I shall interrogate you, Defendant Keitel, only on one question in connection with this order. In Subparagraph 1 of this order, Paragraph 3, it is stated, and I would draw your attention to the following sentence:

"The troops are therefore authorized and ordered in this struggle to take any measures without restriction even against women and children, if that is necessary to achieve success."

Have you found this passage?


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GEN. RUDENKO: Have you found the order calling for the application of any kind of measures you like without restriction, also against women and children?

KEITEL: "To employ without restriction any means, even against women and children, if it is necessary." I have found that.

GEN. RUDENKO: That is exactly what I am asking you about. I ask you, Defendant Keitel, Field Marshal of the former German Army, do you consider that this order is a just one, that measures may be employed at will against women and children?

KEITEL: Measures, insofar as it means that women and children were also to be removed from territories where there was partisan warfare, never atrocities or the murder of women or children. Never!

GEN. RUDENKO: To remove -- a German term -- means to kill?

KEITEL: No. I do not think it would ever have been necessary to tell German soldiers that they could not and must not kill women and children.

GEN.RUDENKO: You did not answer my question.

Do you consider this order a just one in regard to measures against women and children or do you consider it unjust? Amswer "yes" or "no." Is it just or unjust? Explain the matter later.

KEITEL: I considered these measures to be right and as such I admit them; but not measures to kill. That was a crime.

GEN. RUDENKO: "Any kind of measures" includes murder.

KEITEL: Yes, but not of women and children.

GEN. RUDENKO: Yes, but it says here "Any kind of measures against women and children."

KEITEL: No, it does not say "any measures." It says "...and not to shrink from taking measures against women and children." That is what it says.

No German soldier or German officer ever thought of killing women and children.

GEN. RUDENKO: And in reality ... ?

KEITEL: I cannot say in every individual case, since I do not know and I could not be everywhere and since I received no reports about it.

GEN. RUDENKO: But there were millions of such cases?

KEITEL: I have no knowledge of that and I do not believe that it happened in millions of cases.

GEN. RUDENKO: You do not believe it?


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GEN. RUDENKO: I shall proceed to another question. I shall now refer to one question, the question of the treatment of Soviet prisoners of war. I do not intend to examine you in regard to the branding of Soviet prisoners of war and other facts; they are sufficiently well known to the Tribunal. I want to examine you in regard to one document, the report of Admiral Canaris, which was presented to you yesterday. You remember yesterday your counsel submitted to you the Canaris report; it is dated 15 September 1941 and registered under Document Number EC-338. As you will remember, even a German officer drew attention to the exceptional arbitrariness and lawlessness admitted in connection with the Soviet prisoners of war. Canaris in this report pointed to the mass murders of Soviet prisoners of war and spoke of the necessity of definitely eliminating this arbitrariness. Did you agree with the statements advanced by Canaris in his report, with reference to yourself?

KEITEL: I did not understand the last statement. With reference to myself?

GEN. RUDENKO: The last question amounts to this: Were you, Keitel, personally in agreement with the proposals made by Canaris in his report, that the arbitrary treatment permitted should be done away with where Soviet prisoners of war were concerned?

KEITEL: I answered my counsel yesterday ...

GEN. RUDENKO: You can answer my question briefly; were you in agreement with it?

KEITEL: Yes, I will be brief -- on receiving that letter, I immediately submitted it to the Fuehrer, Adolf Hitler, especially on account of the enclosed publication by the Peoples' Commissars, which was dated the beginning of July, and I asked for a new decision. On the whole I shared the objections raised by Canaris, but I must supplement that ...

GEN. RUDENKO: You shared them? Very well. I shall now present you with the original copy of Canaris' report, containing your decision.

Mr. President, I shall now present to the defendant the document containing his decision. This decision was not read into the record in court and I shall also present the text of his final decision to the Tribunal.

THE PRESIDENT: Do you have the original?

GEN.RUDENKO: Yes, I gave it to the defendant.

And now, Witness Keitel, will you please follow?

KEITEL: I know the document with the marginal notes.


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GEN. RUDENKO: Listen to me and follow the text of the decision. This is Canaris' document, which you consider, a just one. The following are the contents of your decision:

"These objections arise from the military conception of chivalrous warfare. We are dealing here with the destruction of an ideology and, therefore, I approve such measures and I sanction them." Signed: "Keitel."

Is this your resolution?

KEITEL: Yes, I wrote that after it had been submitted to the Fuehrer for decision. I wrote it then.

GEN. RUDENKO: It is not written there that the Fuehrer said so; it is said "I sanction them" -- meaning Keitel.

KEITEL: And I state this on oath; and I said it even before I read it.

GEN.RUDENKO: This means that you acknowledge the decision. I will now draw your attention to another passage of this document. I draw your attention to Page 2. Please observe that the text of Canaris' report mentions the following:

"The separation of civilians and prisoners of war who are politically undesirable, and decision to be made in regard to their fate, is to be effected by task forces (Einsatzkommando) belonging to the Security Police and the SD in accordance with directives not known to the Wehrmacht establishments and whose execution cannot be checked by the latter."

Canaris writes this; your decision, Defendant Keitel, is written in the margin. It says, "Highly expedient." Is that correct?

KEITEL: Please repeat the last question. The last words I heard were "Canaris writes."

GEN. RUDENKO: Yes, and I am now mentioning the fact that your decision "Highly expedient" appears in the margin, opposite that paragraph, and written by your own hand. Have you found this?

KEITEL: Yes. The word "expedient" refers to the fact that the army offices had nothing to do with these Einsatzkommandos and know nothing about them. It states that they are not known to the Wehrmacht.

GEN. RUDENKO: And furthermore it refers to the fact that the Security Police and the SD should wreak vengeance on civilians and prisoners of war? You consider that expedient?

KEITEL: No, I thought it expedient that the activities of these Kommandos be unknown to the Armed Forces. That is what I meant. That appears here and I underlined "unknown."


6 April 46

GEN. RUDENKO: I am asking you, Defendant Keitel, known as Field Marshal and one who, before this Tribunal, has repeatedly referred to yourself as a soldier, whether you, in your own bloodthirsty decision of September 1941, confirmed and sanctioned the murder of the unarmed soldiers whom you had captured? Is that right?

KEITEL: I signed both decrees and I, therefore, bear the responsibility within the sphere of my office; I assume the responsibility.

GEN. RUDENKO: That is quite clear. In this connection I would like to ask you, since you have repeatedly mentioned it before the Tribunal, about the duty of a soldier. I want to ask you: Is it in accordance with the concept of a "soldier's duty" and the "honor of an officer" to promulgate such orders for reprisals on prisoners of war and on peaceful citizens?

KEITEL: Yes, as far as the reprisals of August and September are concerned, in view of what happened to German prisoners of war whom we found in the field of battle, and in Lvov where we found them murdered by the hundreds.

GEN. RUDENKO: Defendant Keitel, do you again wish to follow the path to which you resorted once before, and revive the question of the alleged butchery of German prisoners of war? You and I agreed yesterday that as far back as May 1941, prior to the beginning of the war, you had signed a directive on the shooting of political and military workers in the Red Army. I have some ...

KEITEL: Yes, I also signed the orders before the war but they did not contain the word "murder."

GEN. RUDENKO: I am not going to argue with you since this means arguing against documents; and documents speak for themselves.

I have a few last questions to ask you: You informed the Tribunal that the generals of the German Army were only blindly carrying out Hitler's orders?

KEITEL: I have stated that I do not know if any generals raised objections or who they were, and I said that it did not happen in my presence when Hitler proclaimed the principles of the ideological war and ordered them to be put into practice.

GEN. RUDENKO: And do you know that the generals, on their own initiative, promulgated orders on atrocities and on the violation of the laws and customs of war, and that these orders were approved by Hitler?

KEITEL: I know that high authorities in the Army issued orders altering, modifying, and even cancelling in part; for instance, as


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regards jurisdiction, the March decree and other measures, because they also discussed it with me.

GEN. RUDENKO: You do not understand me. I did not ask about modifications, but whether the generals, on their own initiative, ever promulgated orders inciting to the violation of the laws and customs of war.

KEITEL: I do not know of that. I do not know what order you are referring to, General. At the moment I cannot say that I know that.

GEN. RUDENKO: I shall refer to one order only. What I have in mind is General Field Marshal Reichenau's order governing the conduct of troops in the East.

This document, Mr. President, was presented by the Soviet Prosecution as Exhibit Number USSR-12 (Document Number USSR-12). The passages to which I refer are underlined in this document, and I shall read into the record one quotation from this order governing the conduct of troops in the East:

"Feeding the inhabitants and prisoners of war... is ... a mistaken humanity..."

KEITEL: I know the order. It was shown to me during a preliminary interrogation.

GEN. RUDENKO: This order, issued on Reichenau's initiative and approved by Hitler, was distributed as a model order among all the army commanders.

KEITEL: I did not know that; I heard about it here for the first time. To my knowledge I never saw the order either.

GEN. RUDENKO: Of course you would, quite obviously, consider such orders as entirely insignificant. After all, could the fate of Soviet prisoners of war and of the civilian population be of any possible interest to the Chief of the OKW, since their lives were of no value whatsoever?

KEITEL: I had no contact with the commanders at the front and had no official connection with them. The Commander-in-Chief of the Army was the only one who had.

GEN. RUDENKO: I am finishing your cross-examination. When testifying before the Tribunal you very often referred, as did your accomplices, the Defendants Goering and Ribbentrop, to the Treaty of Versailles, and I am asking you, were Vienna, Prague, Belgrade and the Crimea part of Germany before the Treaty of Versailles?


GEN. RUDENKO: You stated here that in 1944, after the law had been amended, you received an offer to join the Nazi Party.


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You accepted this offer, presented your personal credentials to the leadership of the Party, and paid your membership fees. Tell us, did not your acceptance to join the membership of the Nazi Party signify that you were in agreement with the program, objectives, and methods of the Party?

KEITEL: As I had already been in possession of the Golden Party Badge for three or four years, I thought that this request for my personal particulars was only a formal registration; and I paid the required Party membership subscription. I did both these things and have admitted doing them.

GEN. RUDENKO: In other words, before this formal offer was ever made, you already, de facto, considered yourself a member of the Nazi Party?

KEITEL: I have always thought of myself as a soldier; not as a political soldier or politician.

GEN. RUDENKO: Should we not conclude, after all that has been said here, that you were a Hitler General, not because duty called you but on account of your own convictions?

KEITEL: I have stated here that I was a loyal and obedient soldier of my Fuehrer. And I do not think that there are generals in Russia who do not give Marshal Stalin implicit obedience.

GEN. RUDENKO: I have exhausted all my questions.

SIR DAVID MAXWELL-FYFE: Defendant, do you remember on the 2d of October 1945 writing a letter to Colonel Amen, explaining your position? It was after your interrogations, and in your own time you wrote a letter explaining your point of view. Do you remember that?

KEITEL: Yes, I think I did write a letter; but I no longer remember the contents. It referred to the interrogations, however.


KEITEL: And I think it contained a request that I be given a further opportunity of thinking things over, as the questions put to me took me by surprise and I was often unable to remember the answers.

SIR DAVID MAXWELL-FYFE: I want to remind you of one passage and ask you whether it correctly expresses your view:

"In carrying out these thankless and difficult tasks, I had to fulfill my duty under the hardest exigencies of war, often acting against the inner voice of my conscience and against my own convictions. The fulfillment of urgent tasks assigned by Hitler, to whom I was directly responsible, demanded complete self-abnegation."

Do you remember that?


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SIR DAVID MAXWELL-FYFE: Well, now, I just want you to tell the Tribunal, what were the worst matters in your view in which you often acted against the inner voice of your conscience? Just tell us some of the worst matters in which you acted against the inner voice of your conscience.

KEITEL: I found myself in such a situation quite frequently, but the decisive questions which conflicted most violently with my conscience and my convictions were those which were contrary to the training which I had undergone during my 37 years as an officer in the German Army. That was a blow at my most intimate personal principles.

SIR DAVID MAXWELL-FYFE: I wanted it to come from you, Defendant. Can you tell the Tribunal the three worst things you had to do which were against the inner voice of your conscience? What do you pick out as the three worst things you had to do?

KEITEL: Perhaps, to start with the last, the orders given for the conduct of the war in the East, insofar as they were contrary to the acknowledged usage of war; then something which particularly concerns the British Delegation, the question of the 50 R.A.F. officers, the question which weighed particularly heavy on my mind, that of the terror-fliers and, worst of all, the Nacht und Nebel Decree and the actual consequences it entailed at a later stage and about which I did not know. Those were the worst struggles which I had with myself.

SIR DAVID MAXVIELL-FYFE: We will take the Nacht und Nebel.

My Lord, this document and a good many to which I shall refer are in the British Document Book Number 7, Wilhelm Keitel and Alfred Jodl, and it occurs on Page 279. It is L-90, Exhibit USA-503.

[Turning to the defendant.] Defendant, I will give you the German document book. It is 279 of the British document book, and 289...

KEITEL: Number 731?

SIR DAVID MAXWELL-FYFE: It is Page 289, I do not know which volume it is; Part 2, I think it is.

You see, the purpose of the decree is set out a few lines from the start, where they say that in all cases where the death penalty is not pronounced and not carried out within a week,

". . . the accused are in the future to be deported to Germany secretly, and further proceedings in connection with the offenses will take place here. The deterrent effect of these measures lies in: (a) the complete disappearance of the accused;


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(b) the fact that no information may be given as to their whereabouts or their fate."

Both these purposes, you will agree, were extremely cruel and brutal, were they not?

KEITEL: I said both at the time and yesterday, that I personally thought that to deport individuals secretly was very much more cruel than to impose a sentence of death. I have ...

SIR DAVID MAXWELL-FYFE: Would you turn to Page 281 -- 291 of yours -- 281 of the English Book?

KEITEL: Yes, I have it.

SIR DAVID MAXWELL-FYFE: You say that this is your covering letter:

"The Fuehrer is of the opinion:" -- Line 4 -- "In the case of offenses such as these, punishment by imprisonment, or even penal servitude for life, will be considered a sign of weakness. Effective and lasting intimidation can only be achieved either by capital punishment or by measures which keep the culprit's relatives and the population generally uncertain as to his fate."

You will agree that there again these sentences of the Fuehrer which you are here transmitting were cruel and brutal, were they not?



KEITEL: May I add something?

SIR DAVID MAXWELL-YYFE: Certainly, as shortly as you can.

KEITEL: I made a statement yesterday on this subject and I drew your attention particularly to the words: "It is the Fuehrer's long considered will," which were intended to convey to the generals who were receiving these orders what was written between the lines.

SIR DAVID MAXWELL-FYFE: But, you know, Defendant, that that was by no means the end of this series of orders, was it? This order was unsuccessful despite its cruelty and brutality in achieving its purpose, was it not? This order, the Nacht und Nebel Order, in that form was unsuccessful in achieving its purpose; it did not stop what it was designed to stop? Is that right?

KEITEL: No, it did not cease.

SIR DAVID MAXWELL-FYFE: So that in 1944 you had to make a still more severe order. Would you look at Document D-762? My Lord, that will become Exhibit GB-298.

[Turning to the defendant:] It says:


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"The constant increase in acts of terror and sabotage in the occupied territories, committed more and more by bands under unified leadership, compels us to take the sternest countermeasures in a degree corresponding to the ferocity of the war which is forced upon us. Those who attack us from the rear at the crisis of our fight for existence deserve no consideration.
"I therefore order:
"All acts of violence committed by non-German civilians in the occupied territories against the German Wehrmacht, the SS, or the Police, or against installations used by them, are to be combated in the following manner as acts of terrorism and sabotage:" -- (l) - "The troops," -- the SS and so on -- "are to fight down on the spot... all terrorists and saboteurs." -- (2) -- "Those who are apprehended later are to be handed over to the nearest local Security Police and the SD office." -- (3) -- "Accomplices, especially women, who take no active part in the fighting, are to be employed on labor. Children are to be spared."

Now, would you look at Paragraph II:

"The Chief of the OKW will issue the necessary executive instructions. He is entitled to make alterations and additions as far as required by the exigencies of war operations."

Did you think that was a cruel and severe order or not?

KEITEL: Yes, I do think so, but may I make one small correction? It must have been incorrectly translated. The actual wording is: "Women are to be employed on labor. Children are to be spared." So it says in the original version which I have before me.

SIR DAVID MAXWELL-FYFE: I said "spared." "Spared" meant that they were not to be treated thus. I was careful to mention that.


SIR DAVID MAXWELL-FYFE: Now, you had authority to make alterations and additions. Did you, by your alterations and additions, attempt to mitigate the severity of that order in any way?

KEITEL: I have no recollection of having issued any additional orders to mitigate its severity. I may also say that I never would have issued anything without first presenting it to the Fuehrer.

SIR DAVID MAXWELL-FYFE: Just let us see what you did issue. Would you look at Document D-764, which will be Exhibit GB-299?

Now, that is your executive order, countersigned I think by the Senior Military Judge, putting forward your order based on that decree; and would you look at Paragraphs 4 and 5:


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"All legal proceedings now going on in connection with acts of terrorism, sabotage, or other crimes committed by non-German civilians in the occupied territories which imperil the security or readiness for action of the occupying power are to be suspended. Indictments are to be dropped. Sentences already pronounced are not to be carried out. The culprits are to be handed over with a report on the proceedings to the nearest local Security Police and SD office. In the case of death sentences which have already become final, the regulations now in force will continue to apply.
"Crimes affecting German interests but which do not imperil the security or readiness for action of the occupying power do not justify the retention of jurisdiction over non-German civilians in the occupied territories. I authorize the commanders of the occupied territories to draw up new regulations in agreement with the Higher SS and the Police Leader."

And then you ask them to consider among the first, one handing them over to the SD for forced labor.

That was certainly not mitigation of the order, was it? You were not making it any easier.

KEITEL: There are a few sentences to be added here. This arose out of the daily discussion of these matters which I dealt with later on the same lines as the first decree. I made suitable annotations, and signed them.

SIR DAVID MAXWELL-FYFE: Well, now, that is what you called terrorism and sabotage. Let us look at what happened to people who were guilty of something less than terrorism or sabotage. Look at Document D-763. That will be GB-300. "Non-German civilians... "



"Non-German civilians in the occupied territories who endanger the security or tactical preparedness of the occupying power otherwise than through acts of terrorism and sabotage, are to be handed over to the SD. Section I, Number 3 . .. " -- that is the part that says women will be employed on labor and children will be spared -- "of the Fuehrer's order also applies to them."

Well, you knew perfectly well what would happen to anyone who was handed over to the SD, that he would probably be killed, certainly be put into a concentration camp, did you not?

KEITEL: I did not interpret it that way; the words "to be allocated on labor" were always used; but it has become clear to me from what I have learned that they frequently ended in the concentration camp. However, it was always described to us, to me, as


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a labor camp. That was the description, "labor camps of the Secret State Police."

SIR DAVID MAXWELL-FYFE: But this is August 1944. You will agree that that is a most severe course to take with people who have been guilty of something less than terrorism or sabotage, do you not?



KEITEL: I assume that you do not wish me to discuss this origin and development here. Otherwise I could explain them; but I will merely answer the question. The answer is, yes, it was a very severe measure. The explanation, if I may state it very briefly, is that, as is known, during the interminable daily situation reports on the incidents in all the occupied territories, I received from the Fuehrer instructions and orders which were afterwards crystallized in a form similar to this document; and I think I have already described in detail the way in which I discussed these things with him and how I worked, that on principle I never issued or signed anything which did not agree in principle with his wishes.

SIR DAVID MAXWELL-FYFE: That was severe enough for you for only 3 weeks, was it not, because on 4 September, which is barely 3 weeks later, you issued another order, Document D-766, Exhibit GB-301. Now, this was issued, as it shows, as an agreement with Himmler, Kaltenbrunner, the Reich Minister of Justice and Dr. Lammers. Now look at I:

"Non-German civilians in occupied territories who have been sentenced by German courts for a criminal act against the security or tactical preparedness of the occupying power, the sentence having become final, and who are in custody in the occupied territories or in the home front area, are to be handed over, together with a report on the facts, to the nearest local Security Police and SD office. An exception is made only in the case of those sentenced to death for whom the execution of the penalty has been ordered.
"II. Persons convicted of criminal acts against the Reich or the occupying power and prohibited, in accordance with the directives ... issued issued by the Fuehrer for the prosecution of such acts, from intercourse with the outside world, are to be given a distinguishing mark."

Now, had you any idea how many people would be affected by that order?

KEITEL: No, I cannot say anything about that. I know only that it was made necessary by the increasing tension in the occupied territories, due to lack of troops to keep order.


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SIR DAVID MAXWELL-FYFE: Well, let me remind you. You called a conference to consider this matter. That is shown in Document D-765, and I also show you D-767, the report of the conference. You need not worry about 765, which just says that there is to be a conference but in Document D-767, which will be Exhibit GB-303, there is a report of the conference. The second paragraph says:

"The ReichsFuehrer SS" - Himmler -- "demands in his letter the immediate surrender to the SD of approximately 24,000 non-German civilians who are under arrest or held for interrogation." -- Now listen to this: "No answer was given to the question raised during the discussion as to why they must be surrendered to the SD at the present moment, in spite of the considerable amount of administrative work involved."

Can you give any answer now as to why 24,000 people who had been sentenced should be transferred to the tender mercies of the SD?

KEITEL: May I read this note? I do not know it; may I read it now, please?

SIR DAVID MAXWELL-FYFE: Certainly. You will see that I did not trouble you with it all, but it says what I had already put to you earlier, that the Nacht und Nebel Decree had become superfluous as a result of the terror and sabotage decree, and that the Wehrmacht Legal Department had presented these things for discussion.

Now, can you give us any answer as to why these 24,000 unfortunate persons who had been sentenced should be handed over to the tender mercies of the SD?

KEITEL: I must say that I am surprised by the whole incident. I did not attend the conference, and apparently I did not read the note since, as a matter of principle, I always marked every document which had been presented to me with my initials. I am not acquainted with the figures quoted; this is the first time I have seen them; I am not acquainted with them and I do not remember them, unless another order was ...

SIR DAVID MAXWELL-FYFE: I will give you something which you have read.

KEITEL: As regards the facts about which you ask, I must answer in the affirmative. I do not know the figures, only the facts.

SIR DAVID MAXWELL-FYFE: And you cannot answer my question. You cannot give us any reason as to why the Wehrmacht and these other offices were sending the 24,000 people, who had been sentenced by ordinary courts, over to the SD? You cannot give us any reason for that?

KEITEL: No; I may say that up to a point I can. I think "SD" is a misinterpretation. I think police custody was meant. That does not mean the same thing.


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KEITEL: I do not know if it might have been the same thing.

SIR DAVID MAXWELL-FYFE: Surely you have been at this Trial too long to think that handing people over to the SD means police custody. It means a concentration camp and a gas chamber usually, does it not? That is what it meant in fact, whether you knew it or not.

KEITEL: I did not know it, but it obviously led to the concentration camp in the end. I consider it possible; in any case, I cannot say that it was not.

THE PRESIDENT: Sir David, the last paragraph but one refers to the OKW.

SIR DAVID MAXWELL-FYFE: Yes, My Lord, I am just coming to that.

[Turning to the defendant.] If you will notice that, Defendant, two paragraphs below the one I put to you it states:

"As the OKW is not particularly interested in trying the minor matters still remaining for the military tribunals, they are to be settled by decrees to be agreed upon by local authorities."

It is quite clear that your office was deeply concerned in this business, was it not, Defendant?

KEITEL: I do not know exactly what it means, but it was obviously mentioned at that conference.

SIR DAVID MAXWELL-FYFE: Now, before I put the next document, I want you to realize how we have been going. We started with the Nacht und Nebel Decree, which disappeared, and we went on to the Terror and Sabotage Decree. We then proceeded to acts which were less than terror and sabotage, but were criminal acts under the rules of the occupying power.

I now want you to consider what was done to people who simply refused to work. Would you look at Document D-769? That is Exhibit GB-304. That is a telegram from Luftwaffe General Christiansen, who was in the Netherlands, Commander of the Air Forces in the Netherlands, through his Chief of Staff.

Now listen to this:

"Owing to railway strike, all communications in Holland at standstill. Railway personnel does not respond to appeals to resume work. Demands for motor vehicles and other means of transport for moving troops and maintaining supplies are no longer obeyed by the civil population. According to the Fuehrer's decree of 18 August 1944" -- that is the Terror and


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Sabotage Decree, which you have already had -- "and the supplementary executive instructions of the Chief of the OKW" -- which we have already seen -- "troops may use weapons only against persons who commit acts of violence as terrorists or saboteurs, whereas persons who endanger the security or tactical preparedness of the occupying power in any other way than by terrorism or acts of sabotage, are to be handed over to the SD."

Then General Christiansen comes in with this:

"This regulation has proved too complicated, and therefore ineffective. Above all, we do not possess the necessary police forces. The troops must again receive authority to shoot also, with or without summary court martial, persons who are not terrorists or saboteurs in the sense of the Fuehrer's decree, but who endanger the fighting forces by passive resistance. It is requested that the Fuehrer's decree be altered accordingly, as the troops cannot otherwise assert themselves effectively against the population, which in its turn, appears to endanger the conduct of operations."

Now, Defendant, will you agree that shooting, with or even without trial, railway men who will not work, is about as brutal and cruel a measure as could well be imagined by the mind of man? Do you agree?

KEITEL: That is a cruel measure, yes.

SIR DAVID MAXWELL-FYFE: What was your answer to that cruel measure?

KEITEL. I cannot say. I do not recollect the incident at all, but perhaps the answer is there.

SIR DAVID MAXWELL-FYFE: Well, look at the Document D-770, which is, I think, your answer; it is Exhibit GB-305. You will notice on the distribution list that that goes to the Commander of the Armed Forces in the Netherlands, and further to the signal which we have just been looking at. Now, you say:

"According to the Fuehrer's order of 30 July 1944, non-German civilians in the occupied territories who attack us in the rear in the crisis of our battle for existence deserve no consideration. This must be our guiding principle in the interpretation and application of the Fuehrer's decree itself and the Chief of the OKW's executive decree of 18 August 1944.
"If the military situation and the state of communications make it impossible to hand them over to the SD, other effective measures are to be taken ruthlessly and independently. There is, naturally" -- and I ask you to note the word


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"naturally" -- "no objection to passing and executing death sentences by summary court-martial under such circumstances."

I can not remember, Defendant, whether you have ever had an independent command yourself or not. Have you? Have you had an independent command, apart from your division? I think that was the last independent command you had. You have not had an independent command yourself, have you? Don't I make myself clear?

KEITEL: I did not understand. What do you mean by "independent"?

SIR DAVID MAXWELL-FYFE: I mean that you have not been a commander or chief of an army or army group yourself, if I remember rightly, or of an area, have you?

KEITEL: No, I have not.

SIR DAVID MAXWELL-FYFE: I ask you to put yourself in General Christiansen's position. That answer of yours was a direct encouragement, practically, amounting to an order, to shoot these railway men out of hand, was it not? "To take other effective measures ruthlessly and independently."

KEITEL: That is explained by the form of summary courtmartial. It is not left to the discretion of the individual; jurisdiction of summary court-martial was provided.

SIR DAVID MAXWELL-FYFE: Just look at the way it is put, Defendant. I suggest to you that it is quite clear. One sentence states: "If handing over to the SD is impossible, owing to the military situation and the state of communications, other effective measures are to be taken ruthlessly and independently."

Then, the next sentence: "There are, naturally" -- look at the word "naturally." I suppose that it was "naturlich," in German. Is that correct?

KEITEL: I have not the word "naturlich" here. Two words, so far as I can make out, have been inserted.

SIR DAVID MAXWELL-FYFE: But it says: "There are, naturally, no objections to passing and executing death sentences by summary court-martial procedure." What you are saying is that, of course, there is no objection to a summary court, but you are telling him, in addition to that, that he is to take effective measures ruthlessly and independently. If General Christiansen had shot these railway men out of hand, after getting that letter from you, neither you nor any other superior could have blamed him for it, could you?

KEITEL: According to the last sentence, he was obliged to carry out summary court martial procedure. It says: "There are no


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objections to the executing of this sentence by summary courtmartial under such circumstances." That is how I meant it.

SIR DAVID MAXWELL-FYFE: But what did you mean by "effective measures to be taken ruthlessly and independently"? What did you mean by that, if it was only an ordinary summary court procedure?

KEITEL: Not apart from summary court procedure, but by means of the same. That is what the last sentence means. It is already unusual to appoint a summary court-martial in such cases.

SIR DAVID MAXWELL-FYFE: Yes, even on your basis, to use a military summary court to shoot railway men who will not work is going rather far even for you, is it not? It is going rather far, isn't it?

KEITEL: That was a very severe measure, yes.

SIR DAVID MAXWELL-FYFE: Do you tell the Tribunal that when you make all these additions, taking you through the chain of additions that you make to the order replacing the Nacht und Nebel Order, of which you disapproved, do you say that you went to Hitler for every one of these executive orders and answers that you made?

KEITEL: Yes. I went to him on the occasion of every one of these orders. I must emphasize the fact that I did not issue any of these orders without previously submitting it to the Fuehrer. I must expressly point out that that was so.

DR. NELTE: Mr. President, I think a misunderstanding has crept into the translation. The translation interprets "Standgericht" as summary court. I do not believe that the words "summary court" reflect accurately what we understand in the German language by "Standgericht." I do not know just what you understand in the English or American language by "summary court," but I can imagine that this means some summary procedure.

SIR DAVID MAXWELL-FYFE: I was taking it in favor of the Defendant that it meant the court he referred to yesterday, one officer and two soldiers. I was taking that. If I am wrong, the Defendant will correct me. Is that right, Defendant?

KEITEL: I described this Standgericht (summary court-martial procedure) briefly yesterday, and the criterion of a summary courtmartial was that it was not always necessary for a fully trained legal expert to be present, although it was desirable.

THE PRESIDENT: While you are on the subject of translation, the Defendant seemed to suggest that there was no word in the German which is translated by the English word "naturally." Is that true?


6 April 46

SIR DAVID MAXWELL-FYFE: I had it checked and I am told that the translation is right.

THE PRESIDENT: There is a German word which is translated by "naturally"? I should like to know that from Dr. Nelte.

DR. NELTE: I am told that a false conception or false judgment might be produced in this connection since in British and American law a summary court has no right to pass sentences of death. I am told that a summary court ...

THE PRESIDENT: Excuse me, Dr. Nelte, I did not ask that question. The question I asked you was whether there was any German word which is translated into English by the word "naturally." Is that not a clear question?

DR. NELTE: In the German text it says "under such circumstances, of course." I think the English translation is incorrect in using the word "naturally" and in putting it after "in these circumstances" instead of at the beginning, so that one is led to conclude that it means, "there are naturally no objections (es gibt naturlich keine Einwendungen)," whereas the German text says, "Against the passing and executing of death sentences by summary court procedure there are -- under such circumstances, of course -- no objections (Gegen die Verhangung und Vollstreckung von Todesurteilen im standgerichtlichen Verfahren bestehen unter solchen Verhaltnissen selbstverstandlich keine Bedenken)."

THE PRESIDENT: Then the answer to my question is "yes." There is a word in the German which is translated "naturally."

DR. NELTE: Yes, but the words "naturally" and "under such circumstances" are separated in the English version, while in the German version they belong together. "Naturally" refers to "under such circumstances."

SIR DAVID MAXWELL-FYFE: Now I want to come to another point. You told us yesterday that with regard to forced labor you were concerned in it because there was a shortage of manpower and you had to take men out of industry for the Wehrmacht. Your office was concerned with using military forces in order to try and round-up people for forced labor, was it not?

KEITEL: I do not think that is quite the correct conception. The Replacement Office in the High Command of the Wehrmacht ...

SIR DAVID MAXWELL-FYFE: If you are going to deny it, I put the document to you: I put General Warlimont's views to you and see if you agree. I think it saves time in the end. If you look at Document 3819-PS, which will be Exhibit GB-306, Page 9 of the English version. It is the report of a meeting at Berlin on 12 July 1944. You have to look on through the document after the letters


6 April 46

from the Defendant Sauckel and the Defendant Speer, the account of a meeting in Berlin. I think it is Page 10 of the German version. It starts with a speech by Dr. Lammers and goes on with a speech from the Defendant Sauckel, then a speech from the witness Von Steengracht, then a speech from General Warlimont: "The Deputy of the head of the OKW, General Warlimont, referred to a recently issued Fuehrer order." Have you found the portion? I will read it if you have.

KEITEL: Yes, I have found the paragraph "The Representative of the Chief of the OKW... "


"The Representative of the Chief of the OKW, General Warlimont, referred to a recently issued Fuehrer order, according to which all German forces had to participate in the task of raising manpower. Wherever the Wehrmacht was stationed, if it was not employed exclusively in pressing military duties (as, for example, in the construction of coastal defenses), it would be available, but it could not be assigned expressly for the purpose of the GBA. General Warlimont made the following practical suggestions:
"a) The troops employed in fighting the partisans are to take over, in addition, the task of raising manpower in the partisan areas. Everyone who cannot give a satisfactory reason for his presence in these areas is to be recruited by force.
"b) When large cities are wholly or partly evacuated on account of the difficulty of providing food, those members of the population suitable for labor are to be utilized for labor with the assistance of the Wehrmacht.
"c) The refugees from the areas near the front should be rounded up with special vigor with the assistance of the Wehrmacht."

After reading this report of General Warlimont's words, do you still say that the Wehrmacht.

KEITEL: I am not aware that the Armed Forces have ever received an order mentioning the rounding-up of workers. I would like to say that I know of no such demand and I have not found any confirmation of it. The conference as such is unknown to me and so are the proposals you mentioned. It is new as far as I am concerned.

SIR DAVID MAXWELL-FYFE: It is quite clear that General Warlimont is suggesting that the Wehrmacht should help in the rounding up of forced labor, isn't it?

KEITEL: But as far as I know it has never happened. I do not know that such an order was given. According to the record, this is a proposal made by General Warlimont, yes.


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THE PRESIDENT: Sir David, perhaps in those circumstances you should read the three lines after the passage you have read.

SIR DAVID MAXWELL-FYFE: My Lord, I should. The next line:

"Gauleiter Sauckel accepted these suggestions with thanks and expressed the expectation that a certain amount of success could be achieved by this means."

KEITEL: May I say something about that? May I ask that Gauleiter Sauckel be asked at a given time whether and to what extent troops of the Armed Forces did actually participate in such matters. It is not known to me.

SIR DAVID MAXWELL-FYFE: No doubt the Defendant Sauckel, will be asked a number of questions in due time. At the moment I am asking you. You say that you do not know anything about it?

KEITEL: No, I do not recollect that any order was given in this connection. I gather from the statement by Warlimont that discussions took place.

SIR DAVID MAXWELL-FYFE: Now I want to ask you a few questions about the murder of various prisoners of war. I want to get it quite clear. Did you mean yesterday to justify the order for the shooting of Commandos, dated 18 October 1942? Did you wish to say that it was right and justified, or not?

KEITEL: I stated yesterday that neither General Jodl nor I thought that we were in a position, or considered it possible, to draft or submit such a written order. We did not do it because we could not justify it or give reasons for it.

SIR DAVID MAXWELL-FYFE: The next question that I put to you is this: Did you approve and think right the order that was made that Commandos should be shot?

KEITEL: I no longer opposed it, firstly on account of the punishment threatened, and secondly because I could no longer alter the order without personal orders from Hitler.

SIR DAVID MAXWELL-FYFE: Did you think that that order was right?

KEITEL: According to my inner convictions I did not consider it right, but after it had been given I did not oppose it or take a stand against it in any way.

SIR DAVID MAXWELL-FYFE: You know that your orders had contained provisions for the use of parachutists being dropped, for sabotage purposes, don't you? Your own orders have contained that provision of parachutists being dropped for sabotage purposes. Don't you remember in the Fall Grun against Czechoslovakia? I would put it to you if you like, but I would so much prefer that you try to


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remember it yourself. Don't you remember that your own orders contained a provision for parachutists being dropped for sabotage purposes in Czechoslovakia?



KEITEL: No, I do not remember the order.

SIR DAVID MAXWELL-FYFE: I refer you to it. My Lord, it is Page 21 and 22 of the document book.

KEITEL: Which document book, please.?

SIR DAVID MAXWELL-FYFE: Yes. It ought to be your first document book, and quite early on. It is part of the Fall Grun, which is Document 388-PS, and it is Item 11. I think it is somewhere about Page 15 or 16 or 20. You remember the Schmundt minutes and then it is divided into items.

The Tribunal will find it at the foot of Page 21:

[Turning to the defendant.]

"For the success of this operation, co-operation with the Sudeten German frontier population, with deserters from the Czechoslovakian Army, with parachutists or airborne troops, and with units of the sabotage service will be of importance."

KEITEL: May I read the paragraph that I think you mean?

SIR DAVID MAXWELL-FYFE: Yes; it is headed "Missions for the Branches of the Armed Forces... "

KEITEL: "Missions for the Branches of the Armed Forces." It states:

"For success, co-operation with the Sudeten German frontier population and the deserters from the Czechoslovakian Army, with parachutists or airborne troops and with units of the sabotage service can be of importance."

These parachutists and airborne troops were in fact to be set to work on frontier fortifications, as I explained yesterday, since army authorities believed that the artillery resources at our command were insufficient to permit our combating them with artillery.

This does not mean parachutists or saboteurs, but actual members of the German Air Force, and the sabotage service is mentioned at the end.

SIR DAVID MAXWELL-FYFE: The sabotage service must be people who are going to do sabotage if they are going to be of any use, must they not? They do sabotage, don't they?

KEITEL: Undoubtedly; but not by means of airborne troops and parachutists, but through saboteurs in the frontier areas who offer


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their services for this kind of work. Yes, that is what they are thinking of. We had many such people in the Sudeten region.

SIR DAVID MAXWELL-FYFE: I am not going to argue with you, but I want to have it clear. I now want to come to the way in which this order of the Fuehrer was announced. You will find the order -- the Tribunal will find it on Page 64 -- but what I want him to look at if he would be so kind, is Page 66 of the book, Page 25, Defendant, of your book. The second sentence of the Defendant Jodl's "To the Commanders" about this order. That is on Page 25, and Defendant Jodl says: "This order is for the commanders only and must not under any circumstances fall into enemy hands." Was that because you and the Defendant Jodl were ashamed of the order, that you had this secrecy provision put on it?

KEITEL: I have not found it yet, and I would like to know the connection. Page 25 is a teletype letter.

SIR DAVID MAXWELL-FYFE: From the Oberkommando Wehrmacht, dated 19 October. Now have you got it, the second sentence?

KEITEL: Dated 18 October 1942?

SIR DAVID MAXWELL-FYFE: 19 October, issuing order of the 18th. "This order is for commanders only and must not under any circumstances fall into enemy hands." Was that because you were ashamed of the order, that it was put like that?

KEITEL: I have not seen the letter and I think General Jodl should be asked about it. I do not know the contents, but I have already stated the opinion of both of us. I cannot give you the reason.

SIR DAVID MAXWELL-FYFE: You can't give me the reason for this secrecy?

KEITEL: I do not know the motives behind it and I would ask you to put this question to General Jodl. I have not seen it. But I have already stated my own views and those of General Jodl.

SIR DAVID MAXWELL-FYFE: Well, now, I want you to look at the way that even Hitler expresses it with regard to this. If you look -- I guess it is Page 31 in our book. It is a report from Hitler wherein he says:

"The report which should appear on this subject in the Armed Forces communique will state briefly and laconically that a sabotage, terror, or destruction unit has been encountered and exterminated to the last man." (Document Number 503-PS)

You were doing your best -- and when I say "you," I mean you collectively, Hitler, yourself, and Jodl and everyone else concerned. You were doing your best to keep quiet about this, about anything being known about this order, weren't you?


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KEITEL: That was not my impression; on the contrary, in every case we subsequently published the facts in the Wehrmacht orders, the Wehrmacht report. It is my recollection, namely, that in the Wehrmacht report we stated that such and such an incident had occurred, followed by such and such consequences. That is my recollection.

SIR DAVID MAXWELL-FYFE: I am now only going to ask you to look at one document further on, because in that regard, you remember, after the Soviet Union tried certain people at Kharkov, when you were trying to get up some counter-propaganda -- now, look at this document, about these executions, it is Page 308, Document UK-57. You have got a copy of it. I am going to ask you about only two incidents. You see it is a memorandum and the passage that I want you to look at is Number 2, the fourth memorandum, Paragraph 2, which is headed "Attempted Attacks on the Battleship Tirpitz." Do you see that?

KEITEL: Just one moment, I have not found it yet. Battleship Tirpitz, oh, yes.

SIR DAVID MAXWELL-FYFE: Have you got it? Just listen, now:

"At the end of October 1942 a British Commando that had come to Norway in a cutter, had orders to carry out an attack on the Battleship Tirpitz in Drontheim Fjord, by means of a two-man torpedo. The action failed since both torpedoes, which were attached to the cutter, were lost in the stormy sea. From among the crew, consisting of six Englishmen and four Norwegians, a party of three Englishmen and two Norwegians were challenged on the Swedish border; however, only the British seaman in civilian clothes, Robert Paul Evans, born 14 January 1922, in London, could be arrested and the others escaped into Sweden.
"Evans had a pistol pouch in his possession, such as are used to carry weapons under the armpit, and also a knuckle duster."

And now the next page:

"Violence representing a breach of international law could not be proved."

Did incidents such as that, under this order, come to your attention?

KEITEL: I do not remember the actual incident, but I can see that it has been reported by the department.

SIR DAVID MAXWELL-FYFE: Well, now you have told us that you have been a soldier for 41 years; that emphasizes your military position. What, in the name of all military tradition, has


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that boy done wrong by coming from a two-man torpedo to make an attack on a battleship; what had he done wrong?

KEITEL: No, this is an attack against a weapon of war, if carried out by soldiers in their capacity of members of the armed forces, it is an attack made with the object of eliminating a battleship by means of sabotage.

SIR DAVID MAXWELL-FYFE: But why, why should you not if you were prepared to go on a two-man torpedo for an attack against a battleship, what is wrong with a sailor doing that? I want to understand what is in your mind. What do you, as a man who has been a soldier for 40 years, what do you see wrong for a man doing that, towing out a torpedo against a battleship? Tell us. I cannot understand what is wrong.

KEITEL: This is no more wrong than an attack with an aerial bomb if it is successful. I recognize that it is right, that it is a perfectly permissible attack.

SIR DAVID MAXWELL-FYFE: Well now, if you did not see that incident I will not go through putting the others in, as they are all just the same, men in uniform coming up to the Gironde to attack German ships.

What I want to understand is this. You were a Field Marshal, standing in the boots of Blucher, Gneisenau, and Moltke. How did you tolerate all these young men being murdered, one after the other without making any protests?

KEITEL: I have stated here in detail my reasons for not making any further resistance or objection; and I cannot alter any statement now. I know that these incidents occurred and I know the consequences.

SIR DAVID MAXWELL-FYFE: But, Field Marshal, I want you to understand this. As far as I know, in the German military code, as in every military code, there is no obligation on the part of a soldier to obey an order which he knows is wrong, which he knows is contrary to the laws of war and law. It is the same in your army, and our army, and I think in every army, isn't that so?

KEITEL: I did not personally carry out the orders of 18 October 1942. I was not present either at the mouth of the Gironde or at the attack on the battleship Tirpitz. I knew only that the order was issued, together with all the threats of punishment which made it so difficult for the commanders to alter or deviate from the order on their own initiative. You, Sir David, asked me yourself whether I considered this order to be right or to serve any useful purpose and I have given you a definite answer: that I could not have prevented the action taken at the mouth of the Gironde or in the case of Tirpitz if I had wanted to.


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SIR DAVID MAXWELL-FYFE: You see my difficulty. I have given you only two cases; there are plenty more. There are others which occurred in Italy which we have heard. The point I am putting to you is this: You were the representative; that you have told us a hundred times, of the military tradition. You had behind you an officers corps with all its...

KEITEL: No, Sir David, I must deny that. I was not responsible either for the Navy or for the Army or for the Air Force. I was not a commander; I was a Chief of Staff and I had no authority to intervene in the execution of orders in the various branches of the Armed Forces, each of which had its own Commander-in-Chief.

SIR DAVID MAXWELL-FYFE: We have heard about your staff rank, but I want to make this point perfectly clear. You were a Field Marshal, Kesselring was a Field Marshal, Milch was a Field Marshal, all, I gather, with military training behind them and all having their influence if not their command, among the Armed Forces of Germany. How was it that there was not one man of your rank, of your military tradition, with the courage to stand up and oppose cold-blooded murder? That is what I want to know.

KEITEL: I did not do it; I made no further objection to these things. I can say no more and I cannot speak for others.

SIR DAVID MAXWELL-FYFE: Now, let us pass if you can say no more than that. I want to see what you did with regard to our French allies because I have been asked to deal with some matters for the French Delegation.

You remember that on the Eastern Front you captured some Frenchmen who were fighting with the Russians. Do you remember making an order about that? You captured some De Gaullists, as you called them, that is Free French people who were fighting for the Russians. Do you remember your action with regard to that?

KEITEL: I recollect the transmission of a Fuehrer order in regard to the surrender of these Frenchmen to their lawful government, which was recognized by us.

SIR DAVID MAXWELL-FYFE: That is not, of course, the part of the order I want to put to you.

"Detailed investigations are to be made in appropriate cases with regard to relatives of Frenchmen fighting for the Russians. If the investigation reveals that relatives have given assistance to facilitate escape from France, then severe measures are to be taken.
"OKW/Wi. Ru is to make the necessary preparations with the respective military commander or the Higher SS and Police Leader in France. - Signed -- Keitel."


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Can you imagine anything more dreadful than taking severe measures against the mother of a young man who has helped him to go and fight with the allies of his country? Can you imagine anything more despicable?

KEITEL: I can think of many things since I have lost sons of my own in the war. I am not the inventor of this idea; it did not originate with me; I only transmitted it.

SIR DAVID MAXWELL-FYFE: You appreciate the difference, Defendant, between the point which you made and the point which I make. Losing sons in a war is a terrible tragedy. Taking severe measures against a mother of a boy who wants to go and fight for his country's allies, I am suggesting to you, is despicable. The one is a tragedy; the other is the height of brutality. Do you not agree?

KEITEL: I can only say that it does not state the consequences of the investigations and findings. I do not know.

SIR DAVID MAXWELL-FYFE: Well, if that is all the answer you can make I will ask you to look at something else.

KEITEL: No, I should like to add that I regret that any families were held responsible for the misdeeds of their sons.

SIR DAVID MAXWELL-FYFE: Well, I will not waste the time by taking up the word "misdeed." If you think that is a misdeed it is not worth our discussing it further. I just want to protest against your word.

Now, let us see; that was not an isolated case. Just look at Page 110 (a) of the document book which you have, Page 122. This is an order quite early on 1 October 1941.

"Attacks committed on members of the Armed Forces lately in the occupied territories give reason to point out that it is advisable that military commanders always have at their disposal a number of hostages of different political tendencies, namely:
"(1) Nationalists,
"(2) Democratic-bourgeois, and
"(3) Communists.
"It is important that these should include well-known leading personalities, or members of their families whose names are to be made public.
"Hostages belonging to the same group as the culprit are to be shot in case of attacks.
"It is asked that commanders be instructed accordingly. - Signed -- Keitel." (Document 1590-PS).

Why were you so particular that, if you happened to arrest a democratic-bourgeois, your commanders should have a sufficient


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bag of democratic-bourgeois to shoot as hostages? I thought you were not a politician.

KEITEL: I was not at all particular and the idea did not originate with me; but it is in accordance with the instructions, the official regulations, regarding hostages which I discussed yesterday or on the day before and which state that those held as hostages must come from the circles responsible for the attacks. That is the explanation, or confirmation, of that as far as my memory goes.

SIR DAVID MAXWELL-FYFE: Did you agree with that as a course of action, that if you found a member of a democratic-bourgeois family who had been taking part in, say, sabotage or resistance, that you should shoot a number of democratic-bourgeois on his behalf? Did you approve of that?

KEITEL: I have already explained how orders for shooting hostages, which were also given, were to be applied and how they were to be carried out in the case of those deserving of death and who had already been sentenced.

SIR DAVID MAXWELL-FYFE: I am asking you a perfectly simple question, Defendant. Did you or did you not approve of a number of democratic-bourgeois to be taken as hostages, for one democratic-bourgeois who happened to be ...

KEITEL: It does not say so in the document; it says only that hostages must be taken; but it says nothing about shooting them.

SIR DAVID MAXWELL-FYFE: Would you mind looking at it since you corrected me so emphatically? Depending upon the membership of the culprit, that is, whether he is a nationalist, or a democrattc-bourgeois or Communist, "hostages of the corresponding group are to be shot in case of attacks."

KEITEL: If that is in the document then I must have signed it that way. The document referring to the conference with the commanders shows clearly how it was carried out in practice.

SIR DAVID MAXWELL-FYFE: Now answer my question. Did you approve of that?

KEITEL: I personally had different views on the hostage system, but I signed it, because I had been ordered to do so.

SIR DAVID MAXWELL-FYFE: You say you had a different view. Will you just look at a letter from Herr Terboven, who was in charge in Norway, Document 870-PS, and it is Page 85, 71 (a), RF-281. This is a report from Terboven for the information of the Fuehrer and I want you to look at Paragraph 2, "Countereasures", Subparagraph 4. Do you see it? Have you got it, Defendant? I am sorry, I did give you the number; probably you did


6 April 43

not hear it, 71 (a), Page 71 (a) of the document book. So sorry I did not make it clear. My. Lord, I am told that this has been put in by the French Prosecution as Exhibit RF-281. I gave it a GB number, as I recall.

THE PRESIDENT: What number is it?


[Turning to the defendant.] Do you find Section 2, Paragraph 4? That is:

"Now I have just received a teleprint from Field Marshal Keitel, asking for a regulation to be issued, making members of the personnel, and, if necessary their relatives, collectively responsible for cases of sabotage occurring in their establishments (joint responsibility of relatives). This demand serves a purpose and promises success only if I am actually allowed to perform executions by firing squads. If this is not possible, such a decree would have exactly the opposite effect."

Opposite the word "if I am actually allowed to perform executions by firing squads" there is the pencil note from you, "Yes, that is best." So that is a third example where I suggest that you, yourself, are approving and encouraging the shooting of next of kin for the act of some member of their family. What do you say to that, your own pencil mark?

KEITEL: I did make that marginal note. An order given in this matter was different. A reply was given which was different. I wrote that note.

SIR DAVID MAXWELL-FYFE: That is what I wanted to know. Why did you write this remark, "Yes, that is best," approving of a firing squad for relatives of people who, had committed some occupation offense in Norway? Why did you think it was best that there should be a firing squad for the relations? Why?

KEITEL: It was not done and no order to that effect was given. A different order was given.

SIR DAVID MAXWELL-FYFE: That is not what I am asking, and I shall give you one more chance of answering it. Why did you put your pencil on that document, "Yes, that is best"?

KEITEL: I am no longer in a position to explain that today, in view of the fact that I see hundreds of documents daily. I wrote it and I admit it now.

SIR DAVID MAXWELL-FYFE: Of course, unless it means something entirely different from what you have written, it meant that you approved it yourself and thought the best course was that the relations should be shot by a firing squad.

I think Your Lordship said that you wished to adjourn.


6 April 46


SIR DAVID MAXWELL-FYFE: I am not finished, My Lord. I have a few matters for Monday morning.

THE PRESIDENT: Well, the defendant can return to the dock, and we will proceed with the other applications.

[The defendant left the stand.]

Sir David, shall we deal with these applications in the same way as we have done before?

SIR DAVID MAXWELL-FYFE: Yes, My Lord. The first one that I have is an application on behalf of the Defendant Kaltenbrunner for a witness called Hoess, who was former Commander of the Auschwitz Concentration Camp. My Lord, there is no objection on the part of the Prosecution to that.

THE PRESIDENT: So that is the application which has to be made by a great number of the defendants' counsel.

SIR DAVID MAXWELL-FYFE: Oh, yes, Your Lordship is quite right.

My Lord, as Commandant of the Auschwitz Concentration Camp, the Prosecution feel that he could contribute to the information of the Tribunal, if no objection is forthcoming;

THE PRESIDENT: Dr. Stahmer, I see that you are among the counsel who applied for him. Is there anything you wish to add about that?

DR. STAHMER: I have nothing to add to my written application.

THE PRESIDENT: Thank you. Then the Tribunal will consider this, you see, after you have dealt with them.

SIR DAVID MAXWELL-FYFE: My Lord, the next one is Dr. Naville. Dr. Naville was allowed as witness to the Defendant Goering, provided he can be located. He has been located in Switzerland and I understand he has informed the Tribunal that he sees no use in his coming here as a witness for Goering, and he is now asked for by Dr. Nelte, Counsel for Keitel, to prove that prisoners of war had been treated according to the rules of the Geneva Convention, Dr. Naville having been a representative of the Red Cross. Dr. Nelte, I am told, will be satisfied with an interrogatory, and the Prosecution have no objection to an interrogatory.


DR. NELTE: That is correct; I agree, providing that I am allowed to put my questions to Dr. Naville in writing.

But may I add something here, not to this application to present evidence, but with reference to another application, which I already submitted to the Prosecution through the Translation Division


6 April 46

yesterday or the day before. My application to admit Hitler's stenographers as witnesses was rejected by the Tribunal as irrelevant. I have now received a letter and an affidavit from one of these stenographers, and in that affidavit I find a passage which refers to Keitel's attitude towards Hitler at interviews and conferences with him.

Public opinion has criticized the defendants as being in the habit of quoting dead men whenever they want to say anything in their favor; and similar statements have been made in this Court. The Defendant Keitel requests that the part of the affidavit which I have already submitted and which I intend to submit, be admitted as an affidavit so that the witness can still be rejected and yet it will be possible for me to submit that passage of the affidavit with the agreement of the Prosecution.

SIR DAVID MAXWELL-FYFE: If Dr. Nelte, My Lord, will submit the passage, we will consider it, but I have not had the chance of doing it up until now.

THE PRESIDENT: Well, if you will carry out that course and if you want, there is no objection to it.

SIR DAVID MAXWELL-FYFE: Very well, you will let me have it, a copy of it?

DR. NELTE: Certainly.

SIR DAVID MAXWELL-FYFE: My Lord, the next application is on behalf of the Defendant Von Schirach, a request to submit an affidavit of Dr. Hans Carossa. The gist of the affidavit is that the defendant tried to keep himself independent of Party directives in matters of literature and art and that, while Gauleiter in Vienna, he repeatedly intervened on behalf of Jews and concentration camp inmates. My Lord, the Prosecution have no objection to an affidavit being filed.

The next is an application on behalf of the Defendant Funk for interrogatories to be submitted to Mr. Messersmith, dealing with Funk's relation to the Party and his work in the Reich Ministry of Propaganda. My Lord, the Prosecution have no objection, but remind the Tribunal that the Defendant Funk has already, on the 15th of March, asked permission to submit another affidavit to Mr. Messersmith, dealing with Mr. Messersmith's affidavit. The Prosecution did not raise any objections, but the Tribunal has not, as far as we know, granted that yet. So I wanted the Tribunal to know there was a previous request ...

THE PRESIDENT: Do you mean an affidavit or interrogatory on the 15th of March?

SIR DAVID MAXWELL-FYFE: Interrogatories.


6 April 46

THE PRESIDENT: Interrogatories? Surely we must have dealt with it.

SIR DAVID MAXWELL-FYFE: Well, that is the information that my office had. They have not seen the ...


SIR DAVID MAXWELL-FYFE: In case the Tribunal had not dealt with it, we want to point out that there is one outstanding. We have no objection to either.

Then the Defendant Rosenberg requests Hitler's decree to Rosenberg of June 1943. There is no objection on the part of the Prosecution. I am told that we can not trace any previous application but the position at the moment is that we haven't any objection to it.

Then, My Lord, the next is Von Neurath, an application for a questionnaire for Professor Kossuth, long a resident of Prague. Really they ask for interrogatories, My Lord, there is no objection to interrogatories.

Then, My Lord, there is an application in reverse, if I may put it so, from Dr. Dix on behalf of the Defendant Schacht, the downgrading of Herr Huelse, who was drafted as a witness, to an affidavit. My Lord, we have no objection to that.

DR. DIX: This is the witness Huelse. He was granted to me as a witness. In order to shorten and simplify the proceedings, I have decided to forfeit the right to hear the witness because there was an affidavit. I have received the affidavit. While my application to dispense with the witness was pending, however, the witness arrived in Nuremberg. He is here now, and I think therefore, that it will be best for him to stay and for me to be allowed to examine him by confronting him with his own affidavit, asking him to confirm it, and then put some additional questions to him. I think that would be much more practical than having the witness here to no purpose, sending him back again and retaining only the affidavit. My purpose, in any case, was partly to avoid the complications connected with getting him here.

SIR DAVID MAXWELL-FYFE: Do you withdraw the application to have the affidavit...

THE PRESIDENT: Is the witness Huelse a prisoner or not, or an intemee?

DR. DIX: He is a free witness. He is not in detention and he is free to move about Nuremberg.

THE PRESIDENT: Can he remain here until the Defendant Schacht's case comes on?


6 April 46

DR. DIX: I hope so. He has told me that he can stay and that he is willing to do so.

SIR DAVID MAXWELL-FYFE: My Lord, we have no objection. The Tribunal has already granted him as a witness. If Dr. Dix wants him as a witness, of course we have no objection to it.

The next one is an application on behalf of the Defendant Streicher, for an affidavit from a Dr. Herold. To put it quite shortly, the Prosecution suggest that it should be interrogatories rather than an affidavit and on that basis we would make no objection.

My Lord, there is only one thing I have to say. I had a most useful discussion with Dr. Dix last night, following out the Tribunal's suggestion of going through the documents. Dr. Dix was most helpful in explaining the purpose of his documents and what they were. I do suggest that if any of the Defense Counsel when they are explaining the documents would also care to explain the purport of their witnesses -- I do not want to embarrass them in any way -- but if they would voluntarily explain the purport of witnesses, either to Mr. Dodd or myself, we might be able to save them a great deal of time, by indicating whether the evidence of that witness would be agreed to or might be the subject of objection.

I only throw it out now, as we are going to meet over the documents, and if they would extend it to witnesses, I am sure we could achieve a most profitable co-operation.

THE PRESIDENT: You are suggesting, Sir David, are you, that they should explain to you the nature of the evidence which the witness was going to give?


THE PRESIDENT: And if the Prosecution were not going to dispute it, that it might be incorporated in an affidavit?

SIR DAVID M1A.XVTELL-FYFE: Yes, that we could probably dispense with the witness, and probably incorporate that in an affidavit. Of course, I have been told the general purport of the witness, because I attended on the application, but if they could elaborate on it a little more as it often happens when they see the witness and let me know what the scope of the witness' testimony would be, I could probably concede, either in whole or in part, and save them a lot of work and the Tribunal a lot of time.

THE PRESIDENT: Well, I think the Tribunal would like to know whether the defendants' counsel think that is a possible course, whether it might lead to some shortening of the defense. Could Dr. Dix possibly tell us whether he thinks it would be possible?


6 April 46

DR. DIX: Of course, I cannot make any statement on the views of my colleagues, since I cannot read their minds. All I can say at the moment is that I will recommend to my colleagues, as unusually helpful and practical, the kind of conversation which I had the honor of having with Sir David yesterday. Personally, I think that my colleagues too will agree to this procedure unless there is any particular objection to it, which is, of course, always possible. I cannot say any more at the moment.

THE PRESIDENT: You understand what Sir David was suggesting, that such a conversation should apply not only to documents but also to witnesses and if you could indicate rather more fully than you do in your applications what the subject of their evidence was going to be, possibly the Prosecution might be able to say in those circumstances that upon those matters they should not propose to dispute the evidence and therefore it might be incorporated in an affidavit?

SIR DAVID MAXWELL-FYFE: My Lord, if Your Lordship allows me to interject, if they care to bring a statement on a particular witness' testimony, the Prosecution would, I am sure, in many particulars be prepared to say, "Well, you produce that statement on that point and we will admit it, without any formality."

THE PRESIDENT: Perhaps, Dr. Dix, you and the other counsel, for the defendants could consider that matter.

DR. DIX: I have understood it to be exactly as Your Lordship has just stated it. I discussed both the witnesses and the documents with Sir David and that was very helpful; and in that sense I will ...

THE PRESIDENT: If that is all we need do at the moment, then ...

SIR DAVID MAXWELL-FYFE: If Your Lordship pleases, yes.

THE PRESIDENT: Then the Tribunal will adjourn.

[The Tribunal adjourned until 8 April 1946 at 1000 hours.]


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