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1. The military situation in November/December 1943.
Immediately following the capture of Kiev by the Soviets on 7 November, the district town of Wassilkow as well as the important railroad center Fastow, belonging to the district of Wassilkow, fell into enemy hands, (8-9 November). The following day, the Soviets attempted to advance farther along the rail line Fastow-Kasatin. They succeeded in capturing with weak armored and infantry spearheads in one move, the stations of Kozanka, Popilnva and browki, situated along this line, and to execute further sudden advances past the station of Czernorudka. For this reason the district of Wtscheraische had to be evacuated on 15 November. I withdrew the Germans committed there to the district of Rushin situated 20 kilometers to the South. The withdrawal was effected according to plan and without friction, with all implements, after all camps had been evacuated previously; the cattle-above all the valuable breeds (Oxen and colt stables) led back. German tractors and farm machines transported away and all businesses had been crippled. (Fundamentally, the chief command of the 4th Armored Army, in whose zone these battles took place, had ordered that in the district West of the Dnjepr, in contrast to the ones to the East, no destructions of farm goods or businesses should take place).
The results of the hereby described military events between 8 November and 20 December were as follows:
In a conference, called by me, of the authoritative leaders of all offices of the civilian sector on 8 November, I ordered the immediate start of, and discussed in detail, measures for the most far-reaching decentralization. At the same time, the leaders of all vital, above all of the economic food industry, were informed to effect, in case of an evacuation, the crippling of factories (by taking away important and hard-to-replace machine parts, belts, etc.,) and to prepare this already now. Up till then, however, all factories had to be kept running at full capacity. It should be emphasized here, praisingly, that all measures ordered by me in strictes accordance with the army economic leader [A.W.F.] of the chief command of the 4th Armored Army were executed by the responsible parties and their staff in an exemplary manner, and with the greatest conscientiousness. Although the delivery of cars, for conceivable reasons, did meet with considerable difficulties, we succeeded, due to the splendid cooperation of the authoritive Reich German organizations of military and civil government, in transporting to the West approximately 80% of the most vital goods (grain, cattle, sugar, etc), or in making them available for the armed forces for immediate use as provisions for the fighting troops.
5. In the midst of the conditions, almost restored to normal, I received a call on the eve of the 25th of December from the Army according to which the Soviets with superior forces of tanks and motorized troops, had exerted a strong renewed pressure on the line of Kotscherowo-Brusilow-Fastow and along the street Kiev-Shitomir with the main advance in a South West direction. Shortly afterwards, the long distance calls, as per attached inclosure number 2, was put through according to which the able-bodied male population in the ages between 15 and 65 as well as the cattle had to be led back in the direction East of the line Kililowka-Berkitschew-Shitomir. The transporting of the able-bodied population was charged to the military authorities by the chief quartermaster of the army, while beginning with the morning of 26 December. I discussed and ordered in detail, during an immediate conference for the whole district the shipment of all the cattle. This action started successfully on that day according to plan, while the discussions over the seizure of the male population were not yet concluded in the afternoon hours of the 26th of December and no positive measures of any kind were taken.Enclosure II
1. The able-bodied male population between 15 and 65 years of age and the cattle are to be shipped back from the district East of the line Belilowka-Berditschen-Shitomir (places excluded).
4. Destruction of farm goods and factories in all places must not take place, only a crippling of factories for several weeks will be executed by army economic leader (A.Wi.Fue.).In charge
1. The city of Berditschew is to be evacuated of Reich Germans, German [Volksdeutschen] agencies of the civil government, government of the country, able-bodied population. The cattle is to be taken away. Execution of evacuation measures is charged to the civil government.
4. No destructions are to take place as far as they are not expressly ordered by the armored army. All factories are to be prepared for crippling so that this can be accomplished in the shortest possible time. The electricity and water plants are to be taken over by the technical troops.
6. The same measures are to be prepared for Kasatin in such a way that they can be started at once at the command of the armored army.For the High Command of the Armored Army
Nazi Conspiracy and Aggression Volume IV
Office of the United States Chief Counsel for Prosecution of Axis Criminality
Washington, DC : United States Government Printing Office, 1946