Alfred Jodl

(4 of 10)

June 22, 1940: An armistice is signed between France and Germany. Under its terms, the French army is to be disbanded, and two thirds of France is to be occupied by the Germans.

From Churchill's Deception by Louis C. Kilzer: Hitler arranged for the surrender to take place at Compiègne, the exact spot where the Germans had surrendered to the Allies in 1918. On a monument erected to commemorate that occasion, the Allies had emblazoned these words: "Here on the eleventh of November 1918 succumbed the criminal pride of the German empire …" Twenty-two years later, Adolf Hitler would erase those words . . . .

It was Hitler's turn to dictate peace. In some respects that diktat was to prove soft, better than the one Germany had received. Germany would occupy northern and far-western France, territory it needed to control, in order to further the fight against England if England still chose to fight. In the remaining territory, France would retain its sovereignty and, to Mussolini's dismay, its colonies. France would also retain its fleet, the one French instrument of war that most concerned the British. Marshal Henri Phillippe Pètain replaced Reynaud, and the locus of unoccupied France became Vichy, not Paris.

Hitler did not give these terms because he had any great respect for the French. He gave them to impress the British with his reasonableness. If he made such terms with a country he occupied, the British should know he would make even better terms for them. "The British," Hitler told Jodl, "have lost the war, but they don't know it. One must give them time, and they will come round." Hitler ordered the monument at Compiègne dynamited by German troops, allowing only the statue of Foch to remain, a symbol of the Fuehrer's respect.

June 1940: French General Weygand Maxime Weygand is appointed by Petain to the Bordeaux-Vichy cabinet as Minister for National Defence. Weygand will acquire a probably undeserved reputation as an opponent of collaboration when he protests, in Vichy, against the Protocols of Paris of 28 May 1941, signed by Admiral Darlan. Weygand is actually favorably disposed towards collaboration with Germany, but with discretion. He will subsequently apply Vichy's racist laws against Jews very harshly. He will later be relieved of all his duties by the Germans, but will suffer no ill treatment at their hands.

From Jodl's IMT testimony: I never heard a single word about the Weygand case. I heard only one thing when Himmler reported to the Fuehrer in my presence: "I have given Weygand a very nice villa in Baden. He is completely provided for there, in such a way that he can be satisfied." That is the only thing I ever heard in which the name of Weygand figured.

June 30, 1940: From a document signed by Jodl:

Chief WFA. The Continuation of the War against England. If political means are without results, England's will to resist must be broken by force:

a) by making war against the English mother country.

b) by extending the war on the periphery.

Regarding Point a) there are three possibilities:

1) Siege . . . .

2) Terror attacks against English centers of population.

3) Landing of troops . . . .

Germany's final victory over England is only a question of time . . . .

Together with propaganda and temporary terror attacks--declared to be reprisal actions--this increasing weakening of English food supply will paralyze the will of her people to resist, and finally break, and thus force its government to capitulate. -Jodl.

From Jodl's IMT testimony: This proposal, which actually is only a compilation of notes, proves three things: First of all, that on 30 June 1940 I did not know of any intention or of the possibility of entering into a war with Russia, otherwise I would not have written: "Germany's final victory over England is only a question of time."

Secondly, I admit having voiced a thought that was later carried into practice with such perfection by the Anglo-American Air Force.
Thirdly, this thought came to me only after the attack on the civilian population had been started and continued by the English Air Force, despite months of efforts and repeated warnings on the part of the Fuehrer.

It is a historical fact, confirmed by many documents, that the Fuehrer tried to the utmost to avoid this form of aerial war against the population. But it was already clear at that time, that he would not be able to succeed . . . .

Not only do I still affirm that [I am an honorable soldier and a truthful man], but I also think that the submission of these documents has actually, and quite specifically, proved it.

July 12, 1940: The OKW under Jodl sets up a special group for the planning of Operation Felix, a proposed German march through Spain and the seizure of Gibraltar and the Spanish possessions in North Africa. Franco, however, will ultimately refuse to cooperate, and the plan will never be implemented. (Brown)

From Jodl's IMT testimony: I cannot make a statement on what other people thought. I can only talk about serious intentions in connection with Spain in 1940. That I can talk about. But as far as this paper [a document handed to Jodl in court, but not to be found today in the record] is concerned, I can say nothing about it. For at the time I had long ago dismissed the thing as impossible. I know of it only since I have been in Nuremberg; I never saw it before. As I have just said, it is some preliminary work carried out by the younger General Staff officers, which I saw here in the document room for the first time, with great interest and some amusement. It was not shown to me at the time, because it could already be seen that in a week's time the situation would change.

July 19, 1940: Jodl is promoted to General of Artillery.

From Jodl's IMT testimony: If the Prosecution mean that as a so-called political soldier I was promoted especially quickly, they are mistaken. I became a general in my fiftieth year. That is quite normal. In July 1940, when I was appointed general of Artillery, it is true I skipped the grade of lieutenant general, but that was only an accident. A much younger general in the Air Force, Jeschonnek, Chief of the General Staff of the Luftwaffe, was to be promoted to Air Chief Marshal. Then Schmundt said to the Fuehrer: "Jodl could perhaps do that too." Thereupon, shortly before the Reichstag session, the Fuehrer decided to promote me also-to general of Artillery. This Jeschonnek, who is much younger than I am, became Generaloberst much sooner than I. Zeitzler, who was formerly my subordinate, became Generaloberst at the same time as I did.

July 29, 1940: Jodl holds a secret meeting with top level military officers in the OKW's command train, the Atlas. From an account by General Walter Warlimont:

Jodl went round ensuring that all doors and windows were closed and then, without any preamble, disclosed to us that Hitler had decided to rid the world "once and for all" of the danger of Bolshevism by a surprise attack on Soviet Russia to be carried out at the earliest possible moment, i.e. in May 1941.

July 29, 1940: General Halder, Chief of Staff of the German Army, records in his diary remarks that were made by Hitler during a military conference:

Russia is the factor by which England sets the greatest store . . . . If Russia is beaten, England's last hope is gone . . . . Decision: As a result ... Russia must be dealt with. Spring 1941. (Baldwin)

From Jodl's IMT testimony: For the first time, on 29 July 1940, at the Berghof near Berchtesgaden [I first heard of the Fuehrer's fears that Russia might prove hostile to us]. The Fuehrer kept me back alone after a discussion on the situation, and said to me, most unexpectedly, that he was worried that Russia might occupy still more territory in Romania before the winter, and that the Romanian oil region, which was the conditio sine qua non for our war strategy, would thus be taken from us. He asked me whether we could not deploy our troops immediately, so that we would be ready by autumn to oppose with strong forces any such Russian intention. These are almost the exact words which he used, and all other versions are false . . . .

It was precisely on the basis of this conversation--when I protested that it was quite impossible to carry out a troop deployment at that time for it would take 4 months--that the Fuehrer ordered that these deployment arrangements were to be improved. Two orders were then issued immediately. One, I believe, is of 9 August. It was called "Reconstruction East" and included all measures to improve the deployment arrangements in the eastern area. The second order was issued on 27 August. We do not have it here, but it has been recorded in the War Diary of the Naval Operations Staff.

August 11, 1940: From the diary of Italian Foreign Minister Count Galeazzo Ciano:

[The] decision for war had been taken: Mussolini continues to talk about a lightning attack into Greece at about the end of September. In the meantime, the original Italian plan of attacking Yugoslavia was shelved, because of German opposition, and lack of the necessary transport.

August 27, 1940: From an order issued by Jodl:

Transfer of 10 divisions and 2 armored divisions to the Government General, in case prompt intervention should prove necessary for the protection of the Romanian oil fields.

From Jodl's IMT testimony: At first it was 10 divisions [that we had in the East], which in the course of the Western campaign were reduced to 6 or 5 divisions. The notification from the commander in the East that, with such weak forces, he could neither keep Poland quiet nor guard the demarcation line [is what prompted us to send troops to the East after the Western campaign]. This entry is a proof of the Fuehrer's intentions at that time with regard to this reinforcement in the East . . . . The first order for deliberation concerning an attack, or for the discussion of any aggressive operation at all, was issued in writing by the Armed Forces Operations Staff and submitted to the Fuehrer on 12 November.

September 3, 1940: Friedrich Paulus becomes Chief Quartermaster I to the High Command of the Army.

September 6, 1940: From an order by Jodl, addressed to the Foreign Intelligence Service:

For the work of our own Intelligence Service, as well as for answering questions asked by the Russian Intelligence Service, the following guiding principles apply . . . . The Eastern area will be manned by stronger forces in the coming weeks. By the end of October, the status indicated on the enclosed map ought to have been reached.

From Jodl's IMT testimony: The reason [for this order] was a dispatch from Canaris reporting the concentration of 30 Russian divisions against Bessarabia. Whether the [May 24] note [Situation in the East becomes precarious due to the Russian menace against Bessarabia] expressing anxiety originated with me, or whether it was an idea of the Fuehrer's which I jotted down, I can no longer say today . . . .

This order signed by me [above] was interpreted as the first attempt to conceal the impending attack on Russia. I issued instructions such as these to Canaris’ office every 6 weeks. They formed the basis for the so-called counterespionage work, which I do not wish to discuss in detail here. In this case, what matters to me was that the weak forces which we kept in the East at this time should be made to appear actually stronger. That, for instance, can be clearly seen from Paragraph 3 that says, and I quote: "In statements on the equipment situation of the forces, especially of the armored divisions, it is advisable to exaggerate if necessary."

I also pointed out in the next paragraph that antiaircraft defenses should be exaggerated. All this was done because at that time anxiety had already arisen that possibly a Russian operation against Romania might develop. The purpose of this order was to deter them from that, and it was intended for the intelligence only. If, on 6 September, I had already known of any aggressive intention against Russia, I would have said exactly the contrary; for with this order, as I had issued it, I would have been working in the interests of Gisevius and his friends--namely, I would have been informing the Russians that we were beginning to deploy our troops.

September 17, 1940: Hitler postpones Operation Sealion.

September 29, 1940: FDR delivers a Fireside Chat to the American people:

For, on September 27th, 1940, this year, by an agreement signed in Berlin, three powerful nations, two in Europe and one in Asia, joined themselves together in the threat that if the United States of America interfered with or blocked the expansion program of these three nations--a program aimed at world control--they would unite in ultimate action against the United States. The Nazi masters of Germany have made it clear that they intend not only to dominate all life and thought in their own country, but also to enslave the whole of Europe, and then to use the resources of Europe to dominate the rest of the world...

November 12, 1940: The first order for deliberation concerning an attack on the USSR, or for the discussion of any aggressive operation at all, is issued in writing by the Armed Forces Operations Staff and submitted to Hitler: "Irrespective of the result of these discussions, all preparations for the East which have already been verbally ordered are to be carried out."

From Jodl's IMT testimony: But this first order, which is known to me, had to be preceded by oral instructions from the Fuehrer to the Commander-in-Chief of the Army. I am not in a position to say, however, when these oral instructions had been given to the Army . . . . In my presence the Fuehrer never even hinted at any other reason than a purely strategic and operational one. For months on end, one might say, he incessantly repeated:

"No further doubt is possible. England is hoping for this final sword-thrust against us on the continent, else she would have stopped the war after Dunkirk. Private or secret agreements have certainly already been made. The Russian deployment is unmistakable. One day we shall suddenly become the victim of cold-blooded political extortion, or we shall be attacked."

But otherwise, though one might talk about it for weeks on end, no word was mentioned to me of any other than purely strategic reasons of this kind.

October 12, 1940: The Germans occupy the Romanian oil fields.

October 28, 1940: Italy's ambassador in Athens, Emmanuele Grazzi, hands an ultimatum from Mussolini to Greek leader Metaxas. In it, the Duce demands that his troops be permitted to occupy unspecified 'strategic points' inside Greek territory. Metaxas rejects the ultimatum with the words 'Alors, c'est la guerre' [French, literally 'Then, it's war,' metaphorically 'What can one do?']. Italian military forces launch an invasion of Greece from Albanian territory.

October 29, 1940: From a memorandum by Falkenstein, a major of the General Staff and Luftwaffe liaison officer with the Operations Stab of the OKW headed by the Jodl:

5) The Fuehrer is at present occupied with the question of the occupation of the Atlantic islands with a view to the prosecution of a war against America at a later date. Deliberations on this subject are being embarked upon here. Essential conditions are at the present: (a) No other operational commitment; (b) Portuguese neutrality; (c) support of France and Spain. A brief assessment of the possibility of seizing and holding air bases and of the question of supply is needed from the GAF (German Air Force).

...General Botticher has made repeated reference, especially in his telegram 2314, dated 26th of October, to the fact that in his opinion too many details of our knowledge of American aircraft industry are being published in the German press. The matter has been discussed at Armed Forces Supreme Command. I pointed out that the matter was specifically a GAF one, but have taken the liberty of referring the matter to you on its own merits.

October 30, 1940: To support the Greek government, the British send an expeditionary force to Crete and other Greek islands. In addition, the Soviet government sends 134 fighter aircraft to the Greeks, to help stem the Italian invasion.

October 31, 1940: The Italian Supreme Command announces that "Our units continue to advance into Epirus and have reached the river Kalamas at several points. Unfavorable weather conditions and action by the retreating enemy are not slowing down the advances of our troops." In reality, the Italian offensive is already in trouble.

November 4-13, 1940: In the Battle of Pindus, a successful Greek counter-attack ends in a complete Greek victory.

November 12-14, 1940: Soviet Foreign Commissar Vyacheslav Molotov travels to Berlin, to meet with German Chancellor Adolf Hitler.

November 14, 1940: From official notes of the German naval war staff:

Naval Supreme Commander with the Fuehrer. Fuehrer is "still inclined" to instigate the conflict with Russia. Naval Supreme Commander recommends putting it off until the time after the victory over England, since there is heavy strain on German forces, and the end of warfare is not in sight.

December 13, 1940: From Direction Number 20--Operation Marita:

The result of the battles in Albania is not yet decisive. Because of a dangerous situation in Albania, it is doubly necessary [to foil] the British endeavor to create airbases under the protection of a Balkan front, which would be dangerous, above all to Italy, as well as to the Rumanian oil fields.

2. My plan therefore is (a) to form a slowly increasing task force in Southern Rumania within the next months. (b) After the setting in of favorable weather, probably in March, to send this task force for the occupation of the Aegean North coast by way of Bulgaria and, if necessary, to occupy the entire Greek mainland...

From Jodl's IMT testimony: Italy was beaten, as usual, and sent the Chief of the Operational Staff of the Supreme Command to me, crying for help. But in spite of this calamity, the Fuehrer did not intervene in the war in Albania. He did not send a single German soldier there, although the matter had been under consideration. He ordered only an operation against Greece, starting from Bulgaria, to be prepared for the following spring. Even that was for the primary purpose of occupying the Salonika Basin, thereby giving direct relief to the Italians and only in the event, which to be sure was feared, of English divisions now landing in the Balkans as the result of Italy's madness. In that case it was decided to consider the whole of Greece as an operational area, since we could not possibly tolerate a Royal Air Force base in the immediate vicinity of the Romanian oil fields. And this contingency is shown very clearly in the order which has been submitted to the Tribunal . . . . I should like to quote two passages, two very brief passages from it ... it says:

"'Operation Marital' My plan therefore is"--I am quoting--". . . to send these forces straight through Bulgaria, for the occupation of the north Aegean coast and, if necessary, the entire mainland of Greece." I then quote ... : "The primary objective of the operation is the occupation of the Aegean coast and the Salonika Basin. The continuation of the attack by way of Larissa and the Isthmus of Corinth may prove necessary." It is quite obvious from these conditional orders that the occupation of the whole of Greece was intended only if we should be forced to take this measure by the landing of English troops, which at that time was not yet the case.

December 18, 1940: Hitler gives orders for military preparations against the USSR.

From Directive No. 21: Operation Barbarossa. The German Armed Forces must be prepared, even before the conclusion of the war against England, to crush Soviet Russia in a rapid campaign . . . . General Intention: The bulk of the Russian Army stationed in western Russia will be destroyed by daring operations led by deeply penetrating armored spearheads. Russian forces still capable of giving battle will be prevented from withdrawing into the depths of Russia. The enemy will then be energetically pursued and a line will be reached from which the Russian Air Force can no longer attack German territory.

From the IMT testimony of Field Marshal Friedrich Paulus: We [the office of the Chief of Stall] received the orders about military measures from the High Command of the Wehrmacht. Such was the Directive Number 21. I thought that those people held responsibility were the first military advisers of Hitler in the High Command of the Wehrmacht. As far as I can remember, Hitler signed that; and Keitel and Jodl initialed it. At any rate, most of the directives [were signed by Hitler], unless they were signed by other people in his name. [The office of the Chief of Stall] had to relegate the orders which were given it by the Supreme Command to the proper departments . . . .

I can only say, from my personal experience, and my own opinion as I look back now, following the entire development, that there was a clear plan from the beginning, the conception of that plan on 3 September 1940, then the directive of 21 December, and then its execution. Just at which precisely measurable date the decision was taken, I do not know, of course.

From Keitel's IMT testimony: I believe it must have been during the first half of December that the orders were issued, the well known order Barbarossa. To be precise, these orders were given at the beginning of December, namely, the orders to work out the strategic plan . . . . I knew nothing about the conference in Zossen, and I think General Buschenhagen was also there, according to the statements he has made here. I did not know anything about the Finnish General Heinrichs' presence in Zossen and have heard about it for the first time here. The only way I can explain this is that the General Staff of the Army wanted to get information, or other things, and that for that purpose they discussed that with the persons concerned. I did not meet General Heinrichs until May 1941. At that time I had a conference with him and General Jodl at Salzburg. Before that I had never seen him and I had never talked to him . . . .

Yes, there was considerable significance attached to [the fact that Hitler would order the actual deployment of the troops 8 weeks before the operational plan would become effective]. I have been interrogated about that by the Soviet delegation here. The reason was that according to the calculations of the Army, it would take about eight weeks to get these troops, which were to be transported by rail, into position; that is to say, if troops from Reich territory were to be placed in position on an operative starting line. Hitler emphasized, when the repeated revisions of the plan were made, that he wanted to have complete control of such deployment. In other words, troop movements without his approval were not to be made. That was the purpose of this instruction.

January 30, 1941: Hitler speaks in Berlin:

England in reality is socially the most backward country in the world. Thus, considered internally, this gigantic external wealth is really barren as far as the masses, as distinct from the few, are concerned. But even externally, this world domination is only a figment. New centers have been given to the world. Gigantic States have arisen which can be neither attacked nor even threatened by Great Britain. The whole British idea of world domination was based on getting others to proceed against the Continent.

But outside this European Continent, or far beyond it, great states have come into existence which are completely unassailable by England. British diplomacy may only attempt to maintain its position there by clever manipulations, and by trying to bring other forces into play, which means that it must now attempt to raise the so-called Balance of Power in Europe to a Balance of Power in the world. In other words, it has to play Great Powers against each other, in order to maintain at least a semblance of a World Power. In Europe itself, however, the awakening of the nations has already done away with the theory of the so-called Balance of Power, that is, disorganization of the Continent. The national development of Germany, and the creation of the new German Reich pierced into this disorganized European Continent and, to the south of us, Italy did the same. To this must be added new elements...

February 3, 1941: From notes of a meeting between Hitler, Keitel, Jodl, Brauchitsch, and Halder, as well as Colonel Schmundt, Hitler's Adjutant:

The proposed time schedule is charted on the map. First Deployment Echelon (Aufmarschstaf) now being transferred, Front-Interior-East. Second Deployment Echelon from the middle of March gives 3 divisions for reinforcement in the West, but Army groups and Army High Commands are withdrawn from the West. In the East there are already considerable reinforcements though still in the rear area. From now on, "Attila" [the code word for the operation for the occupation of unoccupied France] can be carried out only with difficulty. Economic traffic is hampered by transport movements.

From the beginning of April, Hungary will be approached about the march-through. Third Deployment Echelon, from the middle of April. "Felix" is now no longer possible, as the main part of the artillery has been shipped. In industry, the full capacity timetable is in force. No more camouflage. Fourth Deployment Echelon, from 25. IV to 15. V, withdraws considerable forces from the West ("Seeloewe" can no longer be carried out). [Seeloewe = Sea Lion] The concentration of troops in the East is clearly apparent. The full capacity timetable is maintained. The complete picture of the disposition of forces on the map shows 8 Marita divisions.

Commander-in-Chief, Army, requests that he no longer have to assign 5 control divisions for this; but might hold them ready as reserves for commander in the West. Fuehrer: "When Barbarossa commences, the world will hold its breath and make no comment."

From Jodl's IMT testimony: He [Hitler] attempted to [clear up the political situation by diplomatic means] by the well-known conference with Molotov; and I must say that I placed great hopes on this conference. The military situation for us soldiers was as follows: With a definitely neutral Russia in our rear--a Russia which in addition sent us supplies--we could not lose the war. An invasion, such as took place on 6 June 1944, would have been entirely out of the question if we had had at our disposal all the forces we had used and lost in this immense struggle in Russia. And it never for a single moment entered my mind that a statesman, who after all was also a strategist, would needlessly let such an opportunity go. And it is a fact that he struggled for months with himself about this decision, being certainly influenced by the many contrary ideas suggested to him by the Reich Marshal, the Commander-in-Chief of the Navy, as well as the Minister for Foreign Affairs . . . .

The Intelligence Service was put to work as from January 1941. The divisions on our borders and also along the Romanian frontier grew rapidly. On 3 February 1941 the Chief of the General Staff of the Army informed the Fuehrer of the operations which he himself intended to carry out. At the same time he presented a map showing the Russian troop deployment. This map indicated--and this has been proved by documents--that there were 100 infantry divisions, 25 cavalry divisions . . . . I have already said that 150 Russian divisions were deployed against us in February . . . .

I should like to say ... that at this same time our deployment, as reported by General Halder, had only just begun. And furthermore ... it is clear ... that it was not until 1 June that the actual attack formations, consisting of 14 armored divisions and 12 motorized infantry divisions, were brought up. In fact, they were not actually moved until 10 June. I mention this so that it cannot be said that the German intention to attack was already obvious in February 1941. Such was not the case.

February 24, 1941: Hitler speaks in Munich:

I place my confidence in the best army in the world, in the best army that the German nation has ever possessed. It is numerically strong, it has the finest weapons, and is better led than ever before. We have a body of young leaders who have not merely proved their worth in the present war but, I can well say, have covered themselves with glory. Wherever we look today, we see a bodyguard of chosen men to whom the German soldiers have been entrusted. They in their turn are the leaders of soldiers who are the best trained in the world, who are armed with the finest weapons on earth. Behind these soldiers and their leaders stands the German nation, the whole German people...

February 27, 1941: From an Agreement between Germany, Bulgaria, and Rumania, for attacking Greece, and eventually Turkey:

During the operation of the German troops against Greece or Turkey, the Bulgarian army will not be committed in an offensive way against the two mentioned countries, according to an agreement between the two governments. It will be reinforced, in order to safeguard the new order on the Balkan [Peninsula]. 2. Up to the arrival of German troops on the Bulgarian South and Southeast border, the Bulgarian army will alone defend its territory with its own troops...

March 1, 1941: Bulgaria officially joins the Tripartite Pact signed previously by Germany, Italy, and Japan (September 27, 1940).

Spring 1941: The Waffen SS now consists of the equivalent of six divisions: Das Reich, Totenkopf, Polizei, Wiking, SS Division Nord, and the Leibstandarte, 1 SS Infantry, 2 SS Infantry and the SS Cavalry Brigades. The Waffen SS will see action throughout the war and ultimately grow to a force of over 38 divisions. The Waffen SS will be condemned as a criminal organization at Nuremberg.

From Jodl's IMT testimony: At the beginning of the war, I believe, we began with three SS divisions. The number increased until the end of the war to an estimated 35 to 37 divisions, as against a number of Army divisions which varied, but which one can give approximately as about 280, 290, 300. As soon as the Fuehrer had ordered the establishment of a new series of divisions he said, after consulting Himmler, that so-and-so many divisions were to be set up and so-and-so many Waffen-SS divisions. He determined the number. I had the impression that in setting up the SS divisions, the Fuehrer wanted to go as far as he absolutely could.

The limit [of how far Hitler could go] was in the fact that the soldiers of these Waffen SS divisions were to be volunteers; and the time came very soon when Himmler had to report, "I do not get any more replacements for the divisions;" and from that time on the situation arose that, when the men came for military duty, the cream of the crop was taken by the SS, and these people, even if they were strict Catholic peasants' sons, were drafted into the SS divisions. I myself received bitter letters from peasants' wives about this . . . .

[Political viewpoints were not taken into account], the decisive thing was that the fellow was big, looked healthy, and promised to become a good soldier. That was the decisive thing. I believe that the majority of the men in the General SS came to the Waffen-SS and volunteered. But I also know that very many did not do that and were drafted in the normal way by the Army, so that they were treated in the Army just like any other German . . . . [It] is true [that there were many who belonged neither to the Party nor to the SS but served in the Waffen-SS]; it does not apply to the very beginning of the war, but it is absolutely true for the second half of the war. Undoubtedly, [the second half of the war contained the greater number], that--the second half--I always call that part after the big losses in the first Russian campaign of 1941.

March 4, 1941: From a lecture by Sudeten leader Konrad Heinlein:

National Socialism soon swept over us Sudeten Germans. Our struggle was of a different character from that in Germany. Although we had to behave differently in public we were, of course, secretly in touch with the National Socialist revolution in Germany so that we might be a part of it. The struggle for Greater Germany was waged on Sudeten soil, too. This struggle could be waged only by those inspired by the spirit of National Socialism, persons who were true followers of our Fuehrer, whatever their outward appearance. Fate sought me out to be the leader of the national group in its final struggle. When, in autumn 1933, the leaders of the NSDAP asked me to take over the political leadership of the Sudeten Germans, I had a difficult problem to solve.

Should the National Socialist Party continue to be carried on illegally or should the movement, in the interest of the self-preservation of the Sudeten Germans, and in order to prepare their return to the Reich, wage its struggle under camouflage, and by methods which appeared quite legal to the outside world? For us Sudeten Germans, only the second alternative seemed possible, for the preservation of our national group was at stake. It would certainly have been easier to exchange this hard and mentally exhausting struggle, for the heroic gesture of confessing allegiance to National Socialism and entering a Czechoslovak prison. But it seemed more than doubtful whether, by this means, we could have fulfilled the political task of destroying Czechoslovakia as a bastion in the alliance against the German Reich.

March 5, 1941: Basic Order Number 24:

The Fuehrer has issued the following order regarding collaboration with Japan: It must be the aim of the collaboration based on the Three Power Pact to induce Japan, as soon as possible, to take active measures in the Far East. Strong British forces will thereby be tied down, and the center of gravity of the interests of the United States of America will be diverted to the Pacific. The sooner she intervenes, the greater will be the prospects of success for Japan in view of the still undeveloped preparedness for war on the part of her adversaries. The Barbarossa operation will create particularly favorable political and military prerequisites for this. To prepare the way for the collaboration it is essential to strengthen the Japanese military potential with all means available.

For this purpose the High Commands of the branches of the Armed Forces will comply in a comprehensive and generous manner with Japanese desires for information regarding German war and combat experience, and for assistance in military economics and in technical matters. Reciprocity is desirable, but this factor should not stand in the way of negotiations. Priority should naturally be given to those Japanese requests that would have the most immediate application in waging war. In special cases the Fuehrer reserves the decisions for himself. The harmonizing of the operational plans of the No parties is the responsibility of the Naval High Command. This will be subject to the following guiding principles:

a. The common aim of the conduct of war is to be stressed as forcing England to the ground quickly, and thereby keeping the United States out of the war. Beyond this, Germany has no political, military, or economic interests in the Far East which would give occasion for any reservations with regard to Japanese intentions.

b. The great successes achieved by Germany in mercantile warfare make it appear particularly suitable to employ strong Japanese forces for the same purpose. In this connection every opportunity to support German mercantile warfare must be exploited.

c. The raw material situation of the pact powers demands that Japan should acquire possession of those territories that it needs for the continuation of the war, especially if the United States intervenes. Rubber shipments must be carried out, even after the entry of Japan into the war, since they are of vital importance to Germany.

d. The seizure of Singapore as the key British position in the Far East would mean a decisive success for the entire conduct of war of the three powers. In addition, attacks on other systems of bases of British naval power--extending to those of American naval power only if the entry of the United States into the war cannot be prevented--will result in weakening the enemy's system of power in that region and also, just like the attack on sea communications, in tying down substantial forces of all kinds (Australia).

A date for the beginning of operational discussions cannot yet be fixed. In the military commissions to be formed in accordance with the Three-Power Pact, only such questions are to be dealt with as equally concern the three participating powers. These will include primarily the problems of economic warfare. The working out of the details is the responsibility of the main commission with the co-operation of the Armed Forces High Command. The Japanese must not be given any intimation of the Barbarossa operations.

From Jodl's IMT testimony: The document [above] is very important. First, I must make a confession. So far I have been accused of merely having received this document. But it emanated from me; I authorized it. My staff in the Navy group worked it out. Consequently, I knew this document better than anybody else. It is not an operational order, it is a guide for German officers. All German officers who officially or unofficially came into contact with Japanese officers were to be told exactly what the aims of German policy were, namely, to attack England even in the Far East and, precisely thereby, to keep America out of the war . . . .

Such a directive was necessary, in order that officers of the Japanese Army and Navy should not use careless statements on the part of German officers for their own political purposes. For this reason, the Foreign Office also received a copy, as is shown in the distribution list . . . . This would never have happened in the case of an operational order. Also, that is why the Fuehrer did not sign it. I should like to add that the purpose of this document was not to exert influence on Japan, as that would have been a political action; it was merely a directive for all officers telling them what to say in such a case . . . . And so, in all the war measures of the Naval Operations Staff, America was granted an exceptional position for a long time.

March 9, 1941: The Italians launch a full-scale counterattack across the entire front in Greece. It fails.

From The Order of the Death's Head by Heinz Hoehne: [Helmut] Krausnick, the historian, has summarized all that can be said with certainty concerning the genesis of the "Final Solution" plan: "What is certain is that, the nearer Hitler's plan to overthrow Russia as the last possible enemy on the continent of Europe approached maturity, the more he became obsessed with the idea--with which he had been toying as a 'final solution' for a long time--of wiping out the Jews in the territories under his control. It cannot have been later than March 1941, when he openly declared his intention of having the political commissars of the Red Army shot, that he issued his secret decree for the elimination of the Jews."

Documentary evidence exists for a sort of warning order: on 3 March 1941 Hitler dictated to General Alfred Jodl a general directive [issued March 13, below] for the forthcoming war against the Soviet Union and this contained the first intimation that the Reichsfuehrer SS, Heinrich Himmler, would assume responsibility for the Jewish/Bolshevist ruling class in the East. Jodl noted: "The Bolshevist/Jewish intelligentsia must be eliminated as having been the 'oppressor' of the people up to now."

From Jodl's IMT testimony: Consultation on military questions depended entirely on the circumstances of the moment. At a time when he [Hitler] himself was filled with doubts, he often discussed military problems for weeks or months, but if things were clear in his own mind, or if he had formed a spontaneous decision, all discussion came to an end. The Fuehrer informed us of events and occurrences at the beginning of the war--that is, the efforts of other countries to prevent this war, and even to put an end to it after it had already begun, only to the extent that these events were published in the press. He spoke to the politicians and to the Party quite otherwise than to the Wehrmacht, and to the SS differently again.

The secrecy concerning the annihilation of the Jews, and the events in the concentration camps, was a masterpiece of secrecy. It was also a masterpiece of deception by Himmler, who showed us soldiers faked photographs about these things in particular, and told us stories about the gardens and plantations in Dachau, about the ghettos in Warsaw and Theresienstadt, which gave us the impression that they were highly humane establishments.

March 13, 1941: From an operational directive to Fuehrer Order Number 21 [See: December 18, 1940]:

b) In the area of operations of the Army the Reichsfuehrer-SS is, on behalf of the Fuehrer, entrusted with special tasks for the preparation of the political administration--tasks which result from the struggle which has to be carried out between two opposing political systems. Within the realm of these tasks the Reichsfuehrer-SS shall act independently and under his own responsibility. The executive power invested in the Supreme Commander of the Army (OKH) and in agencies determined by him shall not be affected by this. It is the responsibility of the Reichsfuehrer-SS that, through the execution of his tasks, military operations shall not be disturbed. Details shall be arranged directly through the OKH with the Reichsfuehrer-SS.

c) As soon as the area of operations has reached sufficient depth, it is to be limited in the rear. The newly occupied territory in the rear of the area of operations is to be given its own political administration. For the present it is to be divided on the basis of nationality and according to the positions of the Army groups into North (Baltic countries), Center (White Russia), and South (Ukraine). In these territories, the political administration is taken care of by Commissioners of the Reich, who receive their orders from the Fuehrer.

3) For the execution of all military tasks within the areas under the political administration in the rear of the area of operations, commanding officers that are responsible to the Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces [OKW] shall be in command. The commanding officer is the supreme representative of the Armed Forces in the respective areas, and the bearer of the military sovereign rights. He has the tasks of a territorial commander and the rights of a supreme Army commander or a commanding general. In this capacity, he is responsible primarily for the following tasks: a) Close co-operation with the Commissioner of the Reich in order to support him in his political tasks; b) exploitation of the country and securing its economic values for use by German industry.

4) The Fuehrer has entrusted the uniform direction of the administration of economy in the area of operations and in the territories of political administration to the Reich Marshal, who has delegated the Chief of the 'Wi Ru Amt.' with the execution of the task. Special orders on that-will come from the OKW/Wi Mu Amt ... III. Regulations regarding Romania, Slovakia, Hungary, and Finland.

9) The necessary arrangements with these countries shall be made by the OKW together with the Foreign Office and according to the wish of the respective high commands. In case it should become necessary during the course of the operations to grant special rights, applications for this purpose are to be submitted to the OKW ... IV. Directives regarding Sweden.

12) Since Sweden can only become a transient area for troops, no special authority is to be granted to the commander of the German troops. However, he is entitled and compelled to secure the immediate protection of railroad transports against sabotage and attacks.

March 25, 1941: The Yugoslav government signs on to join the Tripartite Pact, which had been concluded in 1940 between Germany, Italy and Japan.

March 27, 1941: A military putsch in Yugoslavia establishes General Simovic as head of government.

From Jodl's IMT testimony: This [Simovic] Putsch against a legal government, by officers meddling in politics, immediately after Yugoslavia had joined the Tripartite Pact, had necessarily an anti-German tendency. We stood directly on the verge of the campaign against Greece, against the whole of Greece, for in the meantime English divisions had landed there, and this campaign could only be waged with a safely neutral Yugoslavia behind us . . . .

I have something else to add which concerns me personally with regard to the Yugoslav problem. On this morning, when the Fuehrer spontaneously ordered the immediate preparation of an attack on Yugoslavia, I proposed to him, or at least I mentioned to him that, after concentrating our troops, we ought first to clarify the real situation, the political situation, by an ultimatum. He refused to do so. He said, "That will not be of any use." Field Marshal Keitel has already confirmed this ... that was on the 27th . . . .

If the Court will compare this sentence on Page 71, Paragraph 1, with the sentence on Page 69 of the document book a difference will be noticed. Page 69 contains the order signed by the Fuehrer, and it begins with this sentence which I shall quote: "The military putsch in Yugoslavia has altered the political situation in the Balkans. Even if she makes a declaration of loyalty, Yugoslavia must be considered as an enemy, and therefore beaten as quickly as possible."

This, as appears from the date, was issued on 27 March. I worked that whole night at the Reich Chancellery, which is another proof of the sudden nature of the whole case. At 4 o'clock on the morning of the 28th … I put the following aide-memoire, this operational aide-memoire, into the hand of General Von Rintelen, our liaison officer with the Italian High Command. In it I had written--I quote: "Should political developments call for armed intervention against Yugoslavia, it is the German intention..." et cetera. I must admit that, in this instance, I ventured a little into the political field, but in so doing I thought that if Germany did not clarify the political situation beyond any doubt, Italy perhaps might do it. A code name for this operation was ordered for the first time 3 days after the putsch, which proves that it had not been planned in 1937 as was once stated here . . . .

From the point of view of international law [Greek neutrality] no longer existed at that date. The English had in the meantime landed on Crete and at Piraeus, and we had already learned about this on 5 or 6 March. The order, therefore, was in accordance with all the principles of international law. But to conclude the Yugoslav problem I may add that the allegation made by the Prosecution, that the plan to attack Yugoslavia emanated from Jodl's office, is a statement which has not been and cannot be substantiated by anything . . . .

I recall [Ribbentrop suggesting to Hitler that before military action was taken, an attempt should be made to settle the differences with Yugoslavia by diplomatic means] especially well because about 1 hour before I had said the same thing to the Fuehrer, that we should clear up the situation with an ultimatum. An hour later, without knowing about this, the Reich Foreign Minister made the same remark, and he fared considerably worse than I did. The Fuehrer said: "Is that how you size up the situation? The Yugoslavs would swear black is white. Of course, they say they have no warlike intentions, and when we march into Greece they will stab us in the back." I recall that statement very exactly.

March 27, 1941: Hitler decides to invade Yugoslavia. From an internal document:

The Fuehrer is determined, without waiting for possible loyalty declarations of the new government, to make all preparations in order to destroy Yugoslavia militarily and as a national unit. No diplomatic inquiries will be made nor ultimatums presented. Assurances of the Yugoslav government that cannot be trusted anyhow in the future will be taken note of. The attack will start as soon as the means and troops suitable for it are ready. It is important that actions will be taken as fast as possible. An attempt will be made to let the bordering states participate in a suitable way. An actual military support against Yugoslavia is to be requested of Italy, Hungary, and in certain respects of Bulgaria too. Rumania's main task is the protection against Russia...

From the IMT testimony of Friedrich Paulus: Due to the development of events in Yugoslavia, Hitler, at the end of March 1941, decided to attack Yugoslavia. On 27 or 28 March I was called to the Reich Chancellery in Berlin, where there had just been a conference between Hitler, Keitel, and Jodl, in which the Commander-in-Chief and the Chief of Staff of the Army had participated, that is, had been ordered to be present.

When I arrived I was advised by the Chief of Staff of the Army, General Halder, that Hitler had decided to attack Yugoslavia, in the first place to eliminate a threat to the flank of the intended operation against Greece, and get hold of the rail line going from Belgrade southward through Dish, and then also with an eye to the future--to Plan Barbarossa--to keep the right flank free from the outset.

March 30, 1941: From a summary contained in General Halder’s diary of a conference at Berlin with Hitler and leaders of the Wehrmacht:

Clash of two ideologies. Crushing denunciation of Bolshevism, identified with a social criminality. Communism is an enormous danger for our future. We must forget the concept of comradeship between soldiers. A Communist is no comrade before nor after the battle. This is a war of extermination. If we fail to grasp this, and though we are sure to beat the enemy, we shall again have to fight the Communist foe 30 years from now. We do not wage war to preserve the enemy . . . .

War against Russia. Extermination of the Bolshevist Commissars and of the Communist intelligentsia. The new states must be Socialist, but without intellectual classes of their own. Growth of a new intellectual class must be prevented. A primitive Socialist intelligentsia is all that is needed. We must fight against the poison of disintegration. This is no job for military courts. The individual troop commander must know the issues at stake. They must be leaders in the fight. The troops must fight back with the methods with which they are attacked. Commissars and GPU men are criminals, and must be dealt with as such. This need not mean that the troops get out of hand. Rather the commander must give orders which express the common feelings of his troops. This war will be very different from the war in the West. In the East, harshness today means leniency in the future. Commanders must make the sacrifice of overcoming their personal scruples.

From Luftwaffe Generalfeldmarschall Albert Kesselring's IMT testimony: I had the definite impression that the purpose of the address to the leaders was to convince them of the necessity of the war as a preventive war; and that it was imperative to strike before the building up and the mobilization of the Russian armed forces became a danger to Germany ... the purpose of the address was to give us a convincing picture of the general situation; of the military situation and its time schedule--and it did convince us.

From Keitel's IMT testimony: Views were expressed there regarding the administration and economic exploitation of the territories to be conquered or occupied. There was the completely new idea of setting up Reich commissioners and civilian administrations. There was the definite decision to charge the Delegate for the Four Year Plan with the supreme direction in the economic field. And what was for me the most important point, and what affected me most was the fact that besides the right of the military commander to exercise the executive power of the occupation force, a policy was to be followed here in which it was clearly expressed that Reichsfuehrer-SS Himmler was to be given extensive plenipotentiary powers concerning all police actions in these territories, which later on became known. I firmly opposed that, since to me it seemed impossible that there should be two authorities placed side by side. In the directives here it says: "The authority of the Commander-in-Chief of the Army is not affected by this."

That was a complete illusion and self-deception. Quite the opposite happened. As long as it was compatible with my functions, I fought against this. I think I ought to say that I have no witness to that, other than General Jodl, who shared these experiences with me. Eventually, however, Hitler worked out those directives himself, more or less, and gave them the meaning he wanted. That is how these directives came about. That I had no power to order the things which are contained in these directives is clear from the fact that it says that the Reich Marshal receives this task ... the Reichsfuehrer-SS receives that task, et cetera. I had no authority whatever to give orders to them. ...

After short reports regarding the operational orders to the individual commanders, there followed a recapitulation, which I must describe as a purely political speech. The main theme was that this was the decisive battle between two ideologies, and that this fact made it impossible--that the leadership in this war, the practices which we knew as soldiers, and which we considered to be the only correct ones under international law, had to be measured by completely different standards. The war could not be carried on by these means. This was an entirely new kind of war, based on completely different arguments and principles. With these explanations, the various orders were then given to do away with the legal system in territories that were not pacified, to combat resistance with brutal means, to consider every local resistance movement as the expression of the deep rift between the two ideologies. These were decidedly quite new and very impressive ideas, but also thoughts which affected us deeply . . . . I personally made no remonstrances, apart from those that I had already advanced and the objections I had already expressed before. However, I have never known which generals, if any of the generals, addressed the Fuehrer. At any rate, they did not do so after that discussion.

From The Crucial Years 1939-1941 by Hanson W. Baldwin: Undeniably dissidence and separatism existed in Russia, particularly in the Ukraine, sickened by the blood purges and communization of the land, and the stern rule of the Bolsheviks. A skillful political and ideological plan might well have capitalized upon a real yearning for freedom. But, well before the event--in March 1941--the nature of the forthcoming campaign was clearly forecast.

Early in March, General Jodl, reflecting Hitler's wishes, issued a general statement of special instructions to the OKW staff, in which he stressed that the "forthcoming campaign is more than a mere armed conflict; it is a collision between two different ideologies." During the month, these instructions were elaborated into detailed plans; conquered areas would not be governed by the Army but would be administered by the Nazi Party, with Reich commissars and Gauleiters in control, and the dreaded SS the ultimate authority. Conquered Russia was to serve as a granary for the Reich, even though "as a result many millions of people will be starved to death."

April 6, 1941: On Palm Sunday, Hitler invades Yugoslavia and Greece. The Luftwaffe opens the assault by conducting a saturation-type-bombing raid on the capital, Belgrade.

From Jodl's IMT testimony: Not only did Yugoslavia receive assurances from Hitler, but we also received them from the Yugoslav Government, which had concluded a treaty with us on the previous day. I do not know what preparations for warning the Yugoslav Government had been made, but at the moment of the putsch it immediately made military preparations and deployed its forces along our border . . . .

I do not hold the view [that it is honorable to attack a city crowded with civilians without a declaration of war or even half an hour's warning]. I have already said that I, personally, and half an hour or an hour later the Reich Foreign Minister, suggested an ultimatum. This city [Belgrade] was at the same time the center of a putsch government which had annulled a treaty concluded with Germany, and which, from that moment on, had made preparations along the whole front for war with Germany . . . . I cannot say [how many civilians were killed in the bombing of Belgrade without warning], but surely only a tenth of the number killed in Dresden, for example, when you had already won the war.

April 13, 1941: German troops enter Belgrade, Yugoslavia.

April 14, 1941: Hungarian troops occupy northern Yugoslavia.

April 21, 1941: From a letter from Dr. Lammers to Keitel:

Herewith I am sending you a copy of the Fuehrer's decree of the 20th of this month by which the Fuehrer appointed Reichsleiter Alfred Rosenberg as his commissioner for the central control connected with the east European region. In this capacity, Reichsleiter Rosenberg is to make the necessary preparations for the probable emergency with all speed. The Fuehrer wishes that Rosenberg shall be authorized for this purpose to obtain the closest co-operation of the highest Reich authorities, receive information from them, and summon the representatives of the highest Reich authorities to conferences. In order to guarantee the necessary secrecy of the commission and the measures to be undertaken, for the time being, only those of the highest Reich authorities should be informed, on whose co-operation Reichsleiter Rosenberg will primarily depend. They are: the Commissioner for the Four-Year Plan [Goering] the Reich Minister of Economics, and you yourself [Keitel].

Therefore, may I ask you in accordance with the Fuehrer's wishes to place your co-operation at the disposal of Reichsleiter Rosenberg in the carrying out of the task imposed upon him. It is recommended, in the interests of secrecy, that you name a representative in your office with whom the office of the Reichsleiter can communicate and who, in addition to your usual deputy, should be the only one to whom you should communicate the contents of this letter. I should be obliged if you would acknowledge the receipt of this letter. Heil Hitler, Yours very sincerely, signed, Dr. Lammers.

Hitler's order: I name Reichsleiter Alfred Rosenberg as my commissioner for the central control of questions connected with the east European region. An office, which is to be furnished in accordance with his orders, is at the disposal of Reichsleiter Rosenberg, for the carrying out of the duties thereby entrusted to him. The necessary money for this office is to be taken out of the Reich Chancellery Treasury in a lump sum. Fuehrer's headquarters, 20th April 1941. The Fuehrer, signed, Adolf Hitler; Reich Minister and Head of Reich Chancellery, signed, Dr. Lammers.

April 25, 1941: From top-secret letter addressed to Rosenberg:

The Chief of the Reich Chancellery has sent me a copy of the Fuehrer's directive appointing you his plenipotentiary for dealing with questions relating to eastern European territories. I, on the part of the High Command of the Armed Forces, entrust the handling of these questions to the Chief of the Armed Forces Operations Staff, General of Artillery Jodl, with Major General Warlimont as his deputy. I request that your department contact these two persons only. Heil Hitler! Yours truly, Keitel.

From Jodl's IMT testimony: Minister Lammers sent the very same letter to all Reich Ministries. He asked every Ministry to designate a plenipotentiary and a deputy; and accordingly, Field Marshal Keitel naturally designated the two officers who were at headquarters. I never worked with Rosenberg, and it was not necessary to do so--except for one single talk with him, which I mentioned yesterday. Only my propaganda section conferred with the Ministry for the Eastern Occupied Territories about leaflets--quite simple matters which every soldier can understand. To a certain extent politics did come into it, for without politics there could be no strategy. It is an essential part of strategy. But since I was not a strategist, but only dealt with this matter as a General Staff officer, I was not concerned with this subject directly.

May 13, 1941: Hitler Order:

Order concerning the exercise of martial jurisdiction and procedure in the area 'Barbarossa' and special military measures . . . . The application of martial law aims, in the first place, at maintaining discipline. The fact that the operational areas in the East are so far-flung, 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 courts martial 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 the Chief of the Supreme Command of the Armed Forces will give this order.

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."

May 24, 1941 Jodl's Diary: Situation in the East becomes precarious due to the Russian menace against Bessarabia.

May 27, 1941: FDR delivers a Fireside Chat:

Today the whole world is divided, divided between human slavery and human freedom--between pagan brutality and the Christian ideal. We choose human freedom--which is the Christian ideal. No one of us can waver for a moment in his courage or his faith. We will not accept a Hitler-dominated world. And we will not accept a world, like the post-war world of the 1920's, in which the seeds of Hitlerism can again be planted and allowed to grow. We will accept only a world consecrated to freedom of speech and expression--freedom of every person to worship God in His own way--freedom from want--and freedom from (terrorism) terror. Is such a world impossible of attainment...?

June 6, 1941: Hitler's Commissar Order to his Generals:

The war against Russia cannot be fought in knightly fashion. The struggle is one of ideologies and racial differences and will have to be waged with unprecedented, unmerciful, and unrelenting hardness. All officers will have to get rid of any old fashioned ideas they may have. I realize that the necessity for conducting such warfare is beyond the comprehension of you generals, but I must insist that my orders be followed without complaint. The commissars hold views directly opposite to those of National Socialism. Hence, these commissars must be eliminated. Any German soldier who breaks international law will be pardoned. Russia did not take part in the Hague Convention and, therefore, has no rights under it.

Note on the order's margin by Jodl: We must count on retaliation against German fliers. It is best, therefore, to brand [Es wird aufgezogen--man zieht es am besten auf als Repressalie] the entire action as retaliation.

From Jodl's IMT testimony: I did not participate in preparing this draft. I was not concerned with prisoners of war nor with questions of martial law at that time. But the draft was submitted to me before it was transmitted to Field Marshal Keitel. The intention of the Fuehrer that was set forth in this draft was rejected unanimously by all soldiers. Very heated discussions took place about this also with the Commander-in-Chief of the Army. This resistance ended with the characteristic sentence by the Fuehrer: "I cannot demand that my generals should understand my orders, but I do demand that they follow them." Now, in this case, by my notation I wanted to indicate to Field Marshal Keitel a new way by which one might possibly still circumvent this order which had been demanded . . . .

It is correct that, because of his ideological opposition to Bolshevism, the Fuehrer counted on the possible authorization of the commissars [decree] as a certainty. He was confirmed in this belief, and gave his reasons by saying: "I have carried on the war against Communism for 20 years. I know Communism, but you do not know it." I must add that we as well were, of course, to a certain extent under the influence of what had been written in the literature of the entire world about Bolshevism since 1917. We also had had some experiences, for example, the [Bavarian Soviet] Republic in Munich. Despite that, I was of the opinion that first of all we should wait and see whether the [commissars] would actually act as the Fuehrer expected them to act; and if his suspicions were confirmed, we could then make use of reprisals. That was what I meant by my notation in the margin . . . .

I believe one should further explain the expression "aufziehen." The German word "auiziehen" also has something doubtful about it. It has been said that that was a typical military expression used by the Defendant Jodl at that time. That does not mean, as is assumed by the Prosecution, "to camouflage." Rather, I would say literally: "I believe we must handle this operation quite differently," that is, tackle it in a different way. We would say that we would handle the demonstration to the Fuehrer of new weapons in a different way; that means, for instance, "in a different sequence; in a different manner." Among us soldiers "aufziehen," to handle, meant exactly the same as "to tackle" or "to arrange" something. But it did not mean "to deceive." . . . .

I have only to add that the Fuehrer said on that occasion: "If you do not believe what I am telling you, then read the reports from Counterintelligence which we have received regarding the behavior of the Russian commissars in the occupied Baltic states. Then you will get a picture of what can be expected from these [commissars]."

June 12, 1941 Declaration of St James's Palace:

The representatives of Great Britain, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and the Union of South Africa and of the exiled governments of Belgium, Czechoslovakia, Greece, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Yugoslavia, and of General de Gaulle of France, met at the ancient St. James’s Palace and sign a declaration: The only true basis of enduring peace is the willing cooperation of free peoples in a world in which, relieved of the menace of aggression, all may enjoy economic and social security; It is our intention to work together, and with other free peoples, both in war and peace, to this end.

June 21, 1941: A massive invasion force prepares for action on the Soviet border.

From Jodl's IMT testimony: We had to use 10,000 trains for this deployment. If one could have run 100 a day it would have taken 100 days; but we never reached that figure, So for purely technical reasons this deployment had already taken 4 months . . . .
[Events in Yugoslavia] gave [the Fuehrer's decision] the final impetus. Until that the Fuehrer still had doubts. On 1 April, not earlier, he decided to attack; and on 1 April he ordered the attack to be made ready for about 22 June. The order for the attack itself--that is, the real opening of the campaign--was issued only on 17 June, which is likewise proved by documents . . . .

[Barbarossa] was undeniably a purely preventive war. What we found out later on was the certainty of enormous Russian military preparations opposite our frontiers. I will dispense with details, but I can only say that, although we succeeded in a tactical surprise as to the day and the hour, it was no strategic surprise. Russia was fully prepared for war . . . . I recall approximately that there had been about 20 [Soviet] airfields in eastern Poland, and that in the meantime these had been increased to more than a hundred . . . .

I do not want to go into the strategic principles, into the operations behind the front; but I can state briefly that we were never strong enough to defend ourselves in the East, as has been proved by the events since 1942. That may sound grotesque, but in order to occupy this front of over 2,000 kilometers we needed 300 divisions at least; and we never had them. If we had waited until the invasion, and a Russian attack had caught us in a pincer movement simultaneously, we certainly would have been lost. If, therefore, the political premise was correct; namely, that we were threatened by this attack, then from a military point of view also, the preventive attack was justified. The political situation was presented to us soldiers in this light; consequently we based our military work accordingly.

From the IMT testimony of Field Marshal Friedrich Paulus: The attack on the Soviet Union took place as I have related, according to a plan prepared carefully and well in advance. The troops for this attack were at first assembled in the rear of the deployment area. By special orders they were then moved by groups into jumping-off positions, and then took up their position along the entire long front from Romania to East Prussia for a simultaneous attack. The Finnish theater of war was excluded from this operation.

Just as the large-scale operational plan, as I described it at the beginning, was to a certain extent tried out theoretically, the detailed employment of troops was discussed during military exercises by the staffs of army groups, corps, and divisions; and drawn up in orders down to the details, long before the beginning of the war.

A large-scale diversion, which was to be organized in Norway and along the coast of France, was designed to simulate an invasion of Britain in June 1941, and thus divert Russia's attention.

All measures were taken not only for operational, but also for tactical surprise, as for instance, the prohibition of open reconnaissance, on and across the boundary, before the beginning of the war. That meant, on the one hand, that possible losses that might be caused due to the lack of reconnaissance had to be taken into account for the sake of surprise; but on the other hand, it meant that a surprise attack across the boundary by the enemy was not feared.

All of these measures show that it was a question of a criminal attack . . . . Of the defendants, as far as I observed them, [these are] the top military advisers to Hitler. They are the Chief of the Supreme Command of the Armed Forces, Keitel; Chief of the Operations Branch, Jodl; and Goering, in his capacity as Reich Marshal, as Commander-in-Chief of the Air Forces and as Plenipotentiary for Armament Economy.

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