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Subject: Reorganization of the concerns of prisoners of war.
1. The Fuehrer has ordered under the date 25 Sept 1944:
The custody of all prisoners of war and interned persons, as well as prisoner of war camps, and institutions with guards are transferred to the commander of the reserve army from October 1, 1944.
For all questions which have to do with the fulfilling of the agreement of 1939, as well as affairs of the police and aid societies, and for the affairs of the German prisoners of war in the enemies hands, the high command of the military forces will give particulars of the transfer and the delineation of the twofold duties in direct consultation with the commander of the reserve army and the divisions of the military forces.
2. The Reichsfuehrer SS has commanded:
a. In my capacity as commander of the reserve army, I transfer the affairs of prisoners of war to Gottlob Berger, SS-lieut. general and [SS-Obergruppenfuehrer und General der Waffen-SS] chief of staff of the Volksturm.
b. The commanders of prisoners of war with the individual military commands are subject to the command of the senior SS officer effective as of 1 October 1944.
c. The mobilization of labor of the prisoners of war will be organized with the present labor mobilization office in joint action between SS-Lieut. General Berger [SS-Obergruppenfuehrer] and SS-Lieut. General Pohl.
The strengthening of security in the field of prisoner of war affairs is to be accomplished between SS-Lieut. General Berger and the Chief of the Security Police, SS-Lieut. Gen. Dr. Kaltenbrunner.
1. Particulars of the transfer will be determined in joint action between SS-Lieut. Gen. Berger and the Chief of the General Office of the Military Forces, General Reineck.
3. The Reichsfuehrer SS has also commanded:
All camp and labor commands are immediately to investigate with respect to security and suppression of any attempt at uprising, and to take all the proper measures. In this connection I order that from now on, all canned goods which the prisoners receive in packages are to be cut open and must be given to the prisoners opened because of the notes and tools which are often hidden in the cans. This treatment is to be accorded to an canned goods of prisoners which have been saved unopened up to now.
4. I am passing this new order on for information. As soon as further details of the transfer, future treatment of the affair of prisoners of war, and the exact delineation of the tasks of the Reichsfuehrer SS and of the High Command are established, I shall forward them.
I request you work in closest collaboration with the offices to whom the responsibility of the affairs of the prisoners of war was transferred.