(7 of 10)
The Reich Plenipotentiary in Denmark has given the following report to the Minister for Foreign Affairs:
1) The arrest of the Jews will take place on the night of 1-2 October. Transportation from Zealand will be carried out by ship . . . .
2) Should I receive no contrary instruction, I do not intend allowing the Jewish action to be mentioned, either on the radio or in the press . . . .
3) . . . I intend leaving the possessions of the evacuated Jews undisturbed, in order that the seizure of these possessions cannot be imputed to be the reason or one of the reasons for the action.
Does the Reichsfuehrer-SS know? Answer: The Reichsfuehrer SS knows, is in agreement. [And then, in Jodl's handwriting:] The Fuehrer agrees.
From Jodl's IMT testimony: Yes, that is my handwriting, but that refers only to the announcement of the release of the interned Danish soldiers. Then, it is important to note in this document that the commander in Denmark said that he did not intend having the property of the evacuated Jews disturbed. He said: "I intend leaving the possessions of the evacuated Jews undisturbed." He had the executive power at that time.
Jewish action carried out in the night of the 1-2 October by the German Police without incidents.October 3, 1943: From another communication from Denmark to OKW Operations Staff:
According to the statement of the Reich Plenipotentiary, the Reichsfuehrer-SS has ordered that the Reichsfuehrer SS alone, as the person ordering the Jewish action, is to receive the exact figures on arrests. The Plenipotentiary has, therefore, given no figures to the commander of the German troops in Denmark. 232 Jews have been handed in by the Police, via the collecting points set up by the Watch Battalion, Copenhagen.
From Jodl's IMT testimony: I cannot say [just what the Watch Battalion was] at the moment; I do not know how it was composed. It might have been a unit of the Police; it might have been part of the Army; I cannot say with certainty. At any rate it was a unit which was used only for guard duties. But it is interesting that I wrote the remark: "Is a matter of complete indifference to us," which proves that I was not interested in the affair, and refused to have any part in it. That [the Watch Battalion might have been a part of the Wehrmacht] is not certain. I do not wish to dispute it definitely. There were also watch battalions of the Army, but it might equally well have been a watch unit of the Police. I cannot say it with certainty, but General von Hanneckeh should have information about it . . . .
[I don't think it was the Wehrmacht], it says here, ". . . it was carried through by the Police," and I do not believe that any unit of the Wehrmacht concerned itself with deportation of Jews. I do not believe it; the Wehrmacht rejected that. I do not believe that it happened; I do not believe it. The note does not imply that [it was a matter of complete indifference to me how many Jews were deported], but it does prove that the matter was a political one, and with political matters I was not concerned. My attitude to the Jewish question has, I believe, been made clear already . . . .
[These Jews did not go to Auschwitz]. The French Prosecution read it here; these Jews, of whom we are speaking now, were taken to Theresienstadt; a few of the older people died there, but all of them were treated well, and received clothing and food. I had the same information, and this document of the Danish Government confirms it ... I believe that, because the Danish Government confirms it here; it was confirmed in this court by the Prosecution itself.
Let those who have hitherto not imbrued their hands with innocent blood beware, lest they join the ranks of the guilty; for most assuredly, the three Allied powers will pursue them to the uttermost ends of the earth, and will deliver them to their accusers, in order that justice may be done. The above declaration is without prejudice to the case of German criminals whose offenses have no particular geographical localization, and who will be punished by joint decision of the government of the Allies...November 7, 1943: From a speech by General Jodl at Munich before an audience of Gauleiter:
The dilemma of manpower shortage has led to the idea of making more thorough use of the manpower reserves in the territories occupied by us. Here, right and wrong conceptions are mixed together. I believe that as far as labor is concerned, the utmost has been done; but where this is not yet the case, it would appear preferable from the political point of view, to abstain from compulsory measures, and instead, to aim at order and economic effort. In my opinion, however, the time has now come to take steps with remorseless vigor and resolution, in Denmark, Holland, France, and Belgium to compel thousands of idle persons to carry out fortification work, which takes precedence over all other tasks. The necessary orders for this have already been given . . . .
My most profound confidence is, however, based upon the fact that, at the head of Germany, there stands a man by his entire development, his desires, and striving can only have been destined by fate to lead our people into a brighter future. In defiance of all views to the contrary, I must here testify that he is the soul, not only of the political, but also of the military conduct of the war; and that the force of his willpower, and the creative riches of his thought, animate and hold together the whole of the German Armed Forces, with respect to strategy, organization and munitions of war.
From Jodl's IMT testimony: I did not belong to his [Hitler's] private circle, and he did not know any more about me than that my name was Jodl, and that therefore, presumably, I came from Bavaria . . . . Chiefly, all the old guard from the time when the Party was in its developing stage [were in the inner circle]: Bormann first of all, the original women secretaries, his personal physician, and the political or SS adjutants . . . . Bormann proposed this speech [above] to the Fuehrer, and the Fuehrer ordered it, though I undertook this speech very reluctantly, chiefly because of lack of time. The Italian defection had preceded it. It was the time of the heavy air attacks. At that moment, it was naturally necessary to give the political leaders at home, a completely un-embroidered picture of the whole military situation, but at the same time to fill them with a certain amount of confidence in the supreme leadership. This speech, which had the title, "The strategic situation of Germany at the beginning of the fifth year of the war," could obviously not be made by a Blockleiter; it could only be made by an officer of the Armed Forces Operations Staff, and so I came to deliver this speech . . . .
The contents, as I have already said, were an over-all picture of the strategic situation. Here, before the Tribunal, naturally only the introduction was read. This introduction painted a picture of what lay behind us, but not from the political point of view, rather from the strategic angle. I described the operational necessity for all the operations of the so-called wars of aggression. In no way did I identify myself with the National Socialist Party, but, as is only natural for a General Staff officer, with my Supreme Commander; for at that time it was no longer a question of National Socialism or democracy. The question was the "to be or not to be" of the German people. And there were patriots in Germany too, not only in the neighboring states; and I shall count myself among these patriots while I have breath. Moreover, it is not important to whom one speaks, but it is important what one says and what one speaks about. Besides, I may also state that I delivered that same speech to the military-district commanders, and to the senior officers of the reserve army . . . .
It was impossible for me to begin a speech of that kind, with a critical controversy about the Party, or about my Supreme Commander. It was necessary to create confidence between the officer and the Party leader; for this confidence was not only necessary in order that the speech would serve its purpose; this confidence was the prerequisite for victory. Moreover, I should like to make an important point ... that is not the Gauleiter speech at all; it is not the speech that I delivered. That is nothing else but the "wastepaper basket" version of this speech. It is the first rough draft, which was completely revised and altered, because it contained many things that were not important. The entire nucleus of the speech, namely, the section about the situation at the time, the part dealing with the enemy, and the means at his disposal and his intentions, all that is missing. The things contained in this document are many hundreds of notes for the speech which were' sent to me by my staff. I compiled my speech from these notes, and then I returned all this material to my staff. It is in no way the manuscript; that looks entirely different . . . .
I have already clearly said that this was the rough draft, not the speech that I made; but parts of the first draft, and most of the contents, consist of notes by my staff, which they sent me for the preparation of this speech. I crossed out whole pages, and sent the whole rough draft back again, and only then did I make my speech . . . .
The introduction and the conclusion, as contained here in the first draft were, of course, basically retained in the speech in this form. However, the whole speech was only finally worked out on the basis of this first draft; it was shortened, changed, parts were crossed out, and mistakes were eliminated. And only then, came the main part of the speech, for which only the material is here. There is no proof, and I am not in a position to say, whether I actually spoke even one sentence of those that are here, in the form in which it is found in the first draft.
From the IMT testimony of Professor Dr. Percy Ernst Schramm: First of all, let me tell you that the reason why I remember it exactly is because I received the material on which the speech was based. After it was no longer needed, it was given to me for my War Diary. It was like this: That was a speech for which material was collected in the various departments. For this purpose an enormous map was needed, which was difficult to prepare, because it was larger than the offices in which we were working. The speech was made at this annual meeting in Munich on 8 or 9 November. The particular reason for the General making a speech outside the usual military circle was the following: Italy's dropping out of the war in September 1943 had led to a break in the Southern Front, extending from Marseilles to Athens, a distance of 4,000 km. We had succeeded in filling the gap again, but all those who understood the situation felt a good deal of uneasiness.
The battle in the East is the most difficult which the German people have ever had to bear. Our enemy's achievements pale by comparison with what our men are enduring here. Here, too, not only will their ultimate goal, to cause the collapse of the German front, not be achieved, but as always in world history, only the final battle will decide the final outcome. The people who, with the greatest innate worth, with the greatest persistence, and with the greatest fanaticism, take advantage of the decisive moment, will however, win this battle. Hence, what I am demanding of the German soldier is enormous.
The task of those at the front is to accomplish the seemingly impossible. The task of those at home is to support and strengthen those at the front line, in their struggle to achieve what seems impossible, or what may seem impossible to bear, so that those at the front recognize clearly that the fate of our entire people, of our women and children and of our entire future depends on the mobilization of our total strength to force a decision in our favor; that every sacrifice which we make today is nothing, compared to the sacrifices which we would be forced to make if we were not to win the war; that therefore our only thought must be to conduct the war ruthlessly, with the unalterable goal of achieving victory, no matter what the situation, and where we have to fight.
From the IMT testimony of Major Herbert Buchs: From November 1943 I was a General Staff officer of the Air Force serving with the Chief of the Armed Forces Operations Staff, and in that capacity I was second adjutant to General Jodl. I remained in this position until the end, until our arrest on 23 May 1945. I was in the headquarters in East Prussia, and in addition to that I was in the headquarters in Berlin, and in 1944 also in Berchtesgaden . . . . [Of those in the Party clique at the Fuehrer's headquarters], a circle of people, I would name Fegelein, Bormann, and Burgdorf. These were three gentlemen who were in very close personal and official contact, and who made that impression on outsiders. They not only had very close relations among themselves, but I also observed that these three gentlemen had very strong influence on Adolf Hitler himself. There is Fegelein, Himmler's liaison officer to Adolf Hitler; then Bormann, the head of the Party Chancellery and the representative of the Party; and General Burgdorf, who had a dual position as Chief of the Army Personnel Office and at the same time Chief Adjutant of the Armed Forces with the Fuehrer.
During the last two days in Teheran, Marshal Stalin, Mr. Churchill, and I looked ahead--ahead to the days and months and years, that will follow Germany's defeat. We were united in determination that Germany must be stripped of her military might, and be given no opportunity within the foreseeable future to regain that might. The United Nations have no intention to enslave the German people. We wish them to have a normal chance to develop, in peace, as useful and respectable members of the European family. But we most certainly emphasize that word "respectable"--for we intend to rid them, once and for all, of Nazism and Prussian militarism, and the fantastic and disastrous notion that they constitute the Master Race...December 30, 1943: According to a post-war statement by the German Police General Panke, Jodl is present this day at a conference with Hitler. Terror, counter-terror, and reprisal murders in Denmark are said to have been discussed.
From Jodl's IMT testimony: In some points, that statement [by General Panke] is correct; in others, it is incorrect. During that conference, at least as long as I was present, the word "murder" was never mentioned. The Fuehrer said:
"I want to fight the terror of sabotage and attacks, now beginning in Norway, with exactly the same weapons. That is to say, if a Danish factory working for Germany is blown up, which has happened, then a factory working solely for the Danes will be blown up also. If some of our strong points are attacked by terrorists, which has also happened, these terrorists will be hunted, surrounded, and wiped out in fighting; and I do not want courts martial, which only create martyrs."
He did not say or suggest, however, that innocent Danes should now be murdered as a reprisal. I can only say that, in my presence and in the presence of Field Marshal Keitel, that and nothing else was said. Again, it is a very debatable question, from the point of view of international law, whether an army is not entitled to adopt the fighting methods of its opponents in its countermeasures, particularly in such franc-tireur warfare, and in rebellions like these. It seems to me a very moot point. I do not think that, even in my absence, any other statements were made. Once during the conference, I went out to telephone and was away for a short time, perhaps 15 minutes.
It is of no importance to establish documentary proof of breaches of international law. What is important, however, is the collection of material suitable for a propaganda presentation of a display trial. A display trial, as such, is therefore not meant actually to take place, but merely to be a propaganda presentation of cases of breaches of international law by enemy soldiers, who will be mentioned by name, and who have already, either been punished with death, or are awaiting the death penalty. The Chief of the OKW asks the Chief of the Foreign Department to bring with him pertinent documents, for his next visit to the Fuehrer's headquarters.February 20, 1944: The Allies begin a massive bombing campaign against Germany.
1. Every captured escaped prisoner of war who is an officer, or a not working non-commissioned officer, except British and American prisoners of war, is to be turned over to the Chief of the Security Police and of the Security Service under the classification "Step III" regardless of whether the escape occurred during a transport, whether it was a mass escape or an individual one.
2. Since the transfer of the prisoners of war to the security police and security service may not become officially known to the outside, under any circumstances, other prisoners of war may by no means be informed of the capture. The captured prisoners are to be reported to the Army Information Bureau as "escaped and not captured". Their mail is to be handled accordingly. Inquiries of representatives of the Protective Power of the International Red Cross, and of other aid societies will be given the same answer.
3. If escaped British and American prisoners of war, who are officers or not working non-commissioned officers, respectively, are captured, they are to be detained, at first, outside the prisoner of war camps, and out of sight of prisoners of war...
From Keitel's IMT testimony: The facts are that one morning it was reported to me that the escape had taken place. At the same time, I received the information that about 15 of the escaped officers had been apprehended in the vicinity of the camp. I did not intend to report the case at the noon conference on the military situation held at Berchtesgaden, or rather, at the Berghof, as it was highly unpleasant, being the third mass escape in a very short period. As it had happened only 10 or 12 hours before, I hoped that, in the course of the day, the majority of them would be caught, and that in this way, the matter might be settled satisfactorily. While I was making my report Himmler appeared. I think that it was towards the end of my report that he announced the incident in my presence, as he had already started the usual general search for the escaped prisoners. There was an extremely heated discussion, a serious clash between Hitler and myself, since he immediately made the most outrageous accusations against me, on account of this incident. Things are sometimes incorrectly represented in Westhoff's account, and that is why I am making a detailed statement.
During this clash the Fuehrer stated in great excitement, "These prisoners are not to be sent back to the Armed Forces; they are to stay with the Police." I immediately objected sharply. I said that this procedure was impossible. The general excitement led Hitler to declare again and with considerable emphasis, "I am ordering you to retain them, Himmler; you are not to give them up." I put up a fight for the men who had already come back, and who should, according to the original order, be brought out again, and handed over to the police. I succeeded in doing it; but I could not do anything more. ...
As far as I remember, Colonel General Jodl was certainly present, at least for part of the time, and heard some of it, though perhaps not every word, since he was in the adjoining room, at first. At any rate, Jodl and I returned to our quarters together. We discussed the case, and talked about the extremely unpleasant consequences that the whole matter would have. On returning to my quarters, I immediately ordered General Von Graevenitz to report to me the following morning. In this connection, I must explain that Reich Marshal Goering was not present. If I was a little uncertain about that during my interrogation, it was because I was told that witnesses had already stated that Goering was present. But right from the beginning, I thought it improbable and doubtful. It is also incorrect, therefore, that Goering raised any accusations against me at the time. There had not been a conference in Berlin either. These are mistakes which I think I can explain by saying that Graevenitz, who came with Westhoff and saw me for the first time, was present during the report and witnessed a scene of a kind unusual in military life, because of the violence of my remarks in connection with the incident. ...
First of all, I made serious accusations. I myself was extraordinarily excited, for I must say that even the order that the prisoners were to be retained by the police caused me extreme anxiety, regarding their fate. I frankly admit that the possibility of their being shot, while trying to escape, remained in my subconscious mind. I certainly spoke in extreme agitation at the time, and did not weigh my words carefully. And I certainly repeated Hitler's words, which were, "We must make an example," since I was afraid of some further serious encroachments upon the Prisoners of War Organization in other ways, apart from this single case of the prisoners not being returned to the Wehrmacht. On reading the interrogation report, I saw the statement by Graevenitz, or rather, Westhoff, to the effect that I had said, "They will be shot, and most of them must be dead already." I probably said something like, "You will see what a disaster this is; perhaps many of them have been shot already." I did not know, however, that they had already been shot; and I must confess that in my presence Hitler never said a word about anybody being shot. He only said, "Himmler, you will keep them; you will not hand them over."
I did not find out until several days later that they had been shot. I saw, among other papers, also an official report from the British Government, stating that not until the 31st--the escape took place on the 25th--that not until the 31st were they actually shot. Therefore, Westhoff is also wrong in thinking that orders had already been issued, saying that an announcement was to be made in the camp, stating that certain people had been shot, or would not return; and that lists of names were to be posted. That order did not come until later, and I remember it; I remember it because of the following incident: A few days afterwards, I think on or about the 31st, before the situation report, one of the adjutants told me that a report had been received that some had been shot. I requested a discussion alone with Hitler and told him that I had heard that people had been shot by the police. All he said was that he had received it too--naturally, since it was his report. In extreme disgust I told him my opinion of it.
At that time, he told me that it was to be published in the camp as a warning to the others. Only upon this, the announcement in the camp was ordered. In any case, Westhoff's recollection of some of the facts which he has sworn to, is not quite accurate; even if such expressions as those used by him, and explained by me here, may have occurred. We shall hear his own account of that. ...No, he [Hitler] never told me that [he'd ordered them shot]. I never heard it from him. I heard it very much later, as far as I can remember, from Reich Marshal Goering, with whom the whole incident was, of course, the subject of discussions and conversations, especially as an Air Force camp was involved . . . . I neither received that order, nor did I know or hear of it, nor did I pass on such an order.
From Jodl's IMT testimony: At the moment when Himmler reported this fact, I was not in the big hall of the Berghof. I was in the next room, telephoning. Hearing a very loud discussion, I went over to the curtain to hear what was going on. I heard that they were talking about the escape of the English airmen from the Sagan Camp. The Reich Marshal was not present at this situation conference. I am absolutely certain about that . . . . From talks with the Chief of the General Staff of the Luftwaffe, I learned that the Reich Marshal was indignant at this shooting, and I knew that particularly in situations such as these, the former officer in him, who did not approve of such incredible acts, came to the surface. One must give him his due. There were repeated arguments over this between him and the Fuehrer, which I witnessed personally . . . .
When I stood at the curtain for those 1 or 2 minutes, I heard the Fuehrer say first of all: "That is unheard of. That is the tenth time that dozens of officer prisoners have escaped. These officers are an enormous danger. You don't realize, meaning Keitel, that in view of the 6 million foreign people who are prisoners and workers in Germany, they are the leaders who could organize an uprising. That is the result of this careless attitude of the commandants. These escaped Air Force officers are to be turned over to Himmler immediately."
And then I heard Field Marshal Keitel answer: "My Fuehrer, some of them have already been put back into the camp. They are prisoners of war again. I cannot turn them over." And the Fuehrer said, "Very well, then they can stay there." That is what I heard with my own ears at that moment, until a telephone conversation called me away again . . . .
We drove back to Berchtesgaden together from the Berghof. Field Marshal Keitel was beside himself, for on the way up, he had told me that he would not report the escape of these fliers to the Fuehrer. He [had] hoped that, on the next day, he would have them all back. He was furious with Himmler, who had immediately reported it to the Fuehrer. I told him that if the Fuehrer, in view of the total situation in Germany, saw such a great danger in the escape of foreign officers, then England should be notified, so that the order might be rescinded--all officers who were prisoners had to make an attempt to escape.
I must say openly that, at this moment, neither of us had any thought that these recaptured fliers might be shot. For they had done nothing, except escape from a camp, which German officers [had] also done dozens of times. I imagined that he wanted to remove them from the disciplinary action of the Army, which certainly, in his opinion, would be far too lenient, and wanted to have them work, as punishment, for some time in a concentration camp under Himmler. That is what I imagined . . . .
I had the impression then that he [Hitler] was disavowing all humane conceptions of right. Before this time, I personally knew of no action of his, which could not be justified legally, at least under international law. All his previous orders, so far as I knew, could still be justified in some way. They were reprisals. But this act was not a reprisal ... I consider it sheer murder. I [served] with unabated loyalty after this event, but I did everything in my power to avoid further injustice.
From Jodl's IMT testimony: As far as I recall, until the spring of 1945, when the headquarters were finally moved to the Reich Chancellery in Berlin, Kaltenbrunner did not take part in any situation discussions. I cannot recall ever seeing him at a discussion in the Fuehrer's headquarters. From the spring of 1945-that is, from the end of January, I frequently met Kaltenbrunner in the Reich Chancellery. Before that time he came to the Fuehrer's headquarters, from time to time, and talked to me there--especially about taking over the Canaris Intelligence Service--but he was not present at the situation conferences of the Fuehrer . . . .
Before he [Kaltenbrunner] took over the Intelligence Service from Canaris … on 1 May 1944 … he sent me from time to time very good reports from the southeastern area, and these reports first called my attention to his experience in the Intelligence Service. He then took over the Intelligence Service, and although I was against it at first, after I had expressed my views to him, I even supported him, for I had the impression that the man knew his business. After that, of course, I constantly received reports from Kaltenbrunner, as I previously had received them from Canaris. Not only did I receive the daily reports from agents; but, from time to time, he sent what I should call a political survey on the basis of the individual agent's reports. These comprehensive situation reports, about the political situation everywhere abroad, attracted my special attention, because they summed up our whole military situation with a frankness, soberness, and seriousness, which had not been at all noticeable in Canaris' reports . . . . I never heard of Kaltenbrunner being in this private circle of the Fuehrer, and I never saw him there. What I saw was a purely official attitude.
From Jodl's IMT testimony: I draw attention to Document F-665, in Document Book 2, Page 126. Here the first page is given of a directive for partisan warfare. It is called "Instructions for Partisan Warfare," and was signed by me personally, on 6 May 1944. The Tribunal will see that, in the second sentence, it says that the instructional pamphlet number so-and-so, "Instructions for Partisan Warfare in the East," issued by the OKW, Armed Forces Operations Staff, dated 11 November 1942, is canceled. That proves that at least since 11 November 1942, the troops had in their possession instructions issued by the Armed Forces Operations Staff as to how the battle against partisans should be conducted . . . .
I did not submit this directive either to Field Marshal Keitel or to the Fuehrer, because it was a contradiction of all existing orders. I shall prove in detail later, that it gives instructions for all so-called partisans in France and Yugoslavia--partisan areas in Russia were now in front of our lines--to be treated immediately as regular fighting troops, and thus as prisoners of war.
I took this unusual step because I became convinced, after the shooting of the English [sic] Air Force officers at Sagan, that the Fuehrer no longer concerned himself with the idea of human rights; and also because, after 1 May 1944, I myself felt responsible for questions of international law, as the "Canards" department had been dissolved on that day; and the foreign section, together with the international law department, had come under my command. I was resolved not to tolerate, and not to participate in any such violations of international law on our part, and I acted accordingly, from that day up to the end of the war.
In this order, I declared all partisans and those supporting them, and even those wearing civilian clothes, to be regular troops and prisoners of war, long before Eisenhower--on 7 July 1944 only--demanded that terrorists in France should be given that status . . . .
I reduced the collective measures and collective punishments that the Fuehrer had decreed, without restraint, to what was permitted by Article 50 of the Hague Rules of Land Warfare. In this article, collective punishment is prohibited, unless the entire population is equally guilty in terror activities of any kind. Therefore, with this Number 161, I did not order the burning down of villages, not even in exceptional cases; but on the contrary, I said that such collective measures might be used only in very exceptional cases, and then only with the approval of a divisional commander, for he would have a tribunal, and could make a judicial investigation.
I do not wish to trouble the Tribunal with any other merits of mine, which may be read in this document. I discussed the good treatment of the population; the necessity of leaving them the necessaries of life, et cetera. I believe, at any rate, that this document actually serves as a model, of how this sort of war may be brought within the scope of international law. I did this, as I was convinced that at that time the French Maquis movement, and also the Tito revolt, had gradually begun to develop into a regular war.
Now the case of the 2d SS Panzer Division is cited as an example of things that I caused, through this Number 161. I can say only, that the behavior of the SS Panzer Division is the responsibility of its commander. I learned about it only months afterwards. I am grateful to the French Prosecution for having submitted this document, and I am grateful also for the statement that the Maquis movement in the beginning was nothing else than franc-tireur warfare, the heroism of which I do not dispute . . . .
What we knew about the conduct of partisan warfare has already been submitted to this Tribunal. I refer to the instructions which I signed regarding the combating of partisans . . . . It begins with a lengthy discourse on how the partisans conducted this war. Of course, we did not invent this. This was extracted from hundreds of reports. That troops, in such a fight, seeing the methods employed by the enemy, would on their-part not be exactly mild, can readily be imagined. In spite of that, the directives which we issued never contained a word to the effect that no prisoners were to be taken in these partisan fights. On the contrary, all reports showed that the number taken prisoner was larger by far, than the number killed. That it was the Fuehrer's view that, in their fight against the partisans, the troops should in no way be restricted, is authentically proved by the many arguments which I, as well as the General Staff of the Army, had with the Fuehrer on this subject . . . .
Then [if the commanding generals received reports about cruelties committed by their own soldiers] they would be court-martialed. That again is established in the documents. I remind you of an order, issued by the Fuehrer, which begins with the sentence, "It has been reported to me that individual soldiers of the Armed Forces have been dealt with by court martial, because of their behavior when fighting partisans." There was no other way open. And even on these orders, he always acted in accordance with his own legal judgment. Who could stop him from doing that?
From the Affidavit of General Rottiger: Only now, on the strength of documents put before me, do I realize that, in issuing the order to employ the severest measures to combat partisans, the highest levels might possibly have had in mind the final aim of using this combating of partisans by the Army, to achieve the relentless extermination of Jewry and other undesirable elements . . . . Although, generally speaking, one knew what the special tasks of the SD units were, and although this apparently happened with the knowledge of the highest leaders of the Armed Forces, we opposed these methods as far as possible, since it meant endangering our own troops.
From Jodl's IMT testimony: Of course, one is wise after the event. I too have learned many things today, which I did not know before. However, this knowledge does not apply at all here, because there were next to no Jews among the partisans. In the main, these partisans were fanatical Russian fighters--mostly White Russians--and were as hard as steel. And, to a question put by my counsel, even the witness Bach-Zelewski had to admit that there were just about no Jews among these partisans.
As regards the extermination of Slavs, I can only say that the Slavs who were killed in the partisan fighting amounted to no more than one-twentieth or one-thirtieth of the numbers which, in the normal, large-scale battles with the Soviet Russian armies, the Russians lost in dead or wounded. As far as figures are concerned, that carries no weight at all. Therefore, that is a completely erroneous view. I have never spoken to a single officer who had knowledge of these matters and told me about them.
From the Affidavit of SS Leader Rode: As proof, one can quote the OKW and OKH order which stated that all members of partisan groups who had been captured, such as Jews, agents, and political commissars, were to be handed over by the troops to the SD for 'special treatment' without delay. Apart from that, this order contained instructions that, in guerrilla fighting, no prisoners, apart from the above-mentioned, were to be taken . . . . As far as is known to me, the SD special task groups, attached to the various army groups, were under the jurisdiction of the latter in every way--that is to say, tactically, as well as in every other way. For that reason, the tasks and methods of these units were fully known to the commanding generals. They approved of the tasks and methods, since apparently, they never raised any decisive objections to them.
From Jodl's IMT testimony: Such an order never existed. I have never seen such an order. It was not contained in the instructions regarding guerrilla fighting. Apart from that, practically every word in that statement is untrue. There never was an order from the OKW--OKH--that is, an order that came from both departments. Jews among the guerrillas. I have already dealt with that. Agents among the guerrillas. Agents--that is a chapter by itself. Political commissars. That is quite another point. They were never handed over to the SD for special treatment--if they were handed over at all--because the task of the SD was an entirely different one. They may have been handed over to the Security Police. In other words, every word is untrue . . . . No, I do not know him [SS Leader Rode]. I do not think it is necessary to say much about this, because the General of the Police Schellenberg [Correction: Jodl subsequently testifies that he meant to say Ohlendorf], who led such a special task group himself, and who really must know, has stated quite clearly on this witness stand what jurisdiction he was under, and from whom he received his orders.
All partisans captured in enemy uniform, or civilian clothing; or surrendering during combat, are to be treated, in principle, as prisoners of war. The same applies to all persons encountered in the immediate fighting area, who may be considered as supporting the partisans, even when no combat action can be proved against them. Partisans in German uniform, or in the uniform of an [army allied to Germany], are to be shot after careful interrogation, if captured in combat. Deserters [from the partisans], no matter how they are dressed are, on principle, to be well treated. The partisans must hear of this.
From Jodl's IMT testimony: The fight against partisans was a horrible reality. In July 1943, to quote some figures, 1,560 instances of railway sabotage occurred in Russia. There were 2,600 in September; that is 90 per day. A book by Ponomarenko was published from which an American paper quoted 500,000 Germans as having been killed by the partisans. If a zero is crossed off from that figure, it is still quite a considerable achievement for a peaceful Soviet population. But the book is also said to have stated that the population became increasingly hostile; that murder and terror became more frequent; and that the peaceful Quisling mayors were being killed. At any rate it was a tremendous fight which was taking place in the East . . . .
I am tormented by the thought that someday all the bridges over the Rhine will be destroyed. According to my observations of the density of the Allied bombings recently, it should be possible for the enemy to do this. If the enemy, after cutting off all traffic [to] the armies in the occupied territories, did not carry out his landings at the Atlantic Wall, but on the North Sea coast in Germany [instead], what would the situation be [then]?
From Inside the Third Reich by Albert Speer: In Germany itself we had scarcely any troop units left at our disposal. If the airports at Hamburg and Bremen could be taken by parachute units and the ports of these cities be seized by small forces, invasion armies debarking from ships would, I feared, meet no resistance and would be occupying Berlin and all of Germany within a few days. The Rhine would cut off the three armies in the West meanwhile, and the army groups in the East tied down in heavy defensive battles; in any case they were too far away to be able to intervene in time. My fears had the same sensational cast as some of Hitler's errant notions. The next time I went to Obersalzberg, Jodl said ironically to me that he supposed I was now, on top of everything else, becoming an armchair strategist. But Hitler was struck by the idea. (See June 5, 1944)
Skeletal divisions are to be created in Germany, into which, in an emergency, the men on leave and the convalescents can be pumped. Speer will provide weapons by a crash program. There are always three hundred thousand men on furlough at home; that means ten to twelve divisions.June 6, 1944: D-Day.
From Bodyguard of Lies by Anthony Cave Brown: [Having] wakened from his drugged sleep, Hitler was informed of the landings. Admiral von Puttkamer and General Rudolf Schmundt, Hitler's Army adjutant, took a prepared situation map into his suite at the Berghof. The Fuehrer, who was in his dressing gown, listened to the briefing, and then sent for Keitel and Jodl. They declared that a full report from Rundstedt had not yet been received, but it was clear that a number of major landings had taken place between Cherbourg and Le Havre, and that more landings were either expected, or were occurring.
Jodl explained that he had countermanded Rundstedt's orders to the Hitler Jugend and Panzer Lehr divisions. Hitler approved, and stated that, in his opinion, this might well be the opening of the invasion, but that Allied intentions in Normandy were diversionary. He repeated this belief several times, and announced that any question of using the strategic reserves must await a clarification of the picture. Hitler issued several commands that morning. He ordered Jodl to issue the code word 'Junkroom,' the command to begin the V-1 bombardment of London, which meant little, since the launch units were not ready to open fire.
Chief of Staff Western Command emphasizes the desire of the Supreme Command to have the enemy bridgehead annihilated by the evening of June 6 since there exists the danger of additional sea and air-borne landings for support . . . . The beachhead must be cleaned up not later than tonight.
From The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich by William L. Shirer: In the eerie mountain air of the Obersalzberg, from which Hitler was now trying to direct the most crucial battle of the war up to this moment--he had been saying for months that Germany's destiny would be decided in the West--this fantastic order [above] seems to have been issued in all seriousness, concurred in by Jodl and Keitel. Even Rommel, who passed it on by telephone shortly before 5 o'clock that afternoon, an hour after his return from Germany, seems to have taken it seriously.[Note: The reply of General Pemsel at 7th Army HQ, when Rommel informed him of the order, was delicious: "Das war unmoeglich" -- That would be impossible.]
Obergruppenfuehrer Kaltenbrunner informed the Deputy Chief of Operations Staff in Klessheim, on the afternoon of the 6th of June, that a conference … had been held shortly before, by the Reich Marshal [Goering], the Reich Foreign Minister [Ribbentrop], and the Reichsfuehrer-SS [Himmler]. Contrary to the original suggestion made by the Reich Foreign Minister, who wished to include every type of terror attack on the German civilian population, including bombing attacks on cities, it was agreed in the above conference that [only] those attacks carried out with aircraft armament aimed directly at the civilian population and their property should be taken as the standard for the evidence of a criminal action in this sense. Lynch law would have to be the rule; there was no mention of trial by court-martial or handing over to the police . . . .
The Deputy Chief of the WFS pointed out that, besides the lynch law, a procedure must be worked out for segregating such enemy aviators who are suspected of criminal action of this kind by sending them to the reception camp for aviators at Oberursel and, if the suspicion was confirmed, handing them over to the SD for special treatment . . . . At a conference with Colonel Von Brauchitsch [Colonel of the Air Force] on the 6th of June, it was settled that the following actions are to be regarded as terror actions justifying lynch law: Low-level attacks with aircraft armament on the civilian population, single persons, as well as crowds. Shooting in the air our own [German] men who had bailed out. Attacks with aircraft armament on passenger trains in the public service. Attacks with aircraft armament on military hospitals, hospitals, and hospital trains, which are clearly marked with the red cross. Additional note on document by Keitel: Remarks by the Chief of the OKW on the agenda dated 6 June 1944. Most secret; Staff officers only. If one allows the people to carry out lynch law, it is difficult to enforce rules. Ministerial Director Berndt got out and shot the enemy aviator on the road. I am against legal procedure. It doesn't work out. - Keitel
From Keitel's IMT testimony: There are some notes in handwriting made by Jodl and myself. That is the record of a report written by me in the margin which runs as follows: "Courts-martial will not work"; at least that was the content. That was written at the time, because the question of sentence by courts-martial came up for discussion; since this very document laid down in detail, for the first time, what a terror-flier was, and because it stated that terror attacks were always attacks carried out from low-flying aircraft with machine guns. I was led to think that crews attacking in low-level flights could not, generally speaking, in 99 out of 100 cases be captured alive, if they crashed; for there is no possibility of saving oneself with a parachute from a low-level attack. Therefore, I wrote that remark in the margin.
Furthermore, I considered, apart from the fact that one could not conduct proceedings against such a flier, one would, secondly, not be able to conclude a satisfactory trial, or a satisfactory investigation, if an attack had been carried out from a considerable height, because no court, in my opinion, would be able to prove that such a man had had the intention of attacking those targets which possibly were hit. Finally, there was one last thought, which was that, in accordance with the rules, court-martial sentences against prisoners of war had to be communicated to the enemy state through the protecting power, and 3 months' grace had to be given, during which the home state could object to the sentence. It was, therefore, out of the question that, through those channels, the deterrent results desired could be achieved within a brief period. That was really what I meant. I also wrote another note, and this refers to lynch law. It states: "If you allow lynching at all, then you can hardly lay down rules for it." To that I cannot say very much, since my conviction is that there is no possibility of saying, under what circumstances such a method could be regulated, or considered justified by mob justice, and I am still of the opinion that rules cannot be laid down, if such proceedings are tolerated. ...
It was my point of view that it was a method completely impossible for us soldiers. One case had been reported by the Reich Marshal, in which proceedings against a soldier, who had stopped such action, were suppressed. I know of no case where soldiers, with reference to their duty as soldiers, behaved towards a prisoner of war in any way, other than that laid down in the general regulations. That is unknown to me. I should also like to state, and this has not been mentioned yet, that I had a discussion with Reich Marshal Goering at the Berghof about the whole question, and he, at that time, quite clearly agreed with me: We soldiers must reject lynch law, under any circumstances. I requested him, in this awkward position in which we found ourselves, to approach Hitler once more personally, to persuade him not to compel us to give an order in these matters, or to draft an order.
From Jodl's IMT testimony: The reason [for this concern about the treatment of enemy airmen who had made emergency landings] was that numerous reports had been received, of people being attacked by individual enemy aircraft, contrary to international law. The Fuehrer demanded countermeasures, and that is the origin of the memorandum [above]. It is not a draft for an order, still less an order. It is a note, containing proposals made by the Luftwaffe in that connection. There was no talk, as yet, about lynching. The fact, that I concerned myself with this problem at all, may find its explanation in the responsibility which, as I have previously mentioned, I believed had rested with me since 1 May with regard to questions of international law. The note that I wrote on the document has already been read. I objected to one paragraph, a case that I nevertheless considered entirely admissible, according to international law. This was later crossed out, and replaced by a statement that it was to be considered murder if, one of our soldiers, landing by parachute, was shot. I wrote this objection ... "Is the Foreign Office in agreement with Number 3b?"--namely, that the shooting of our own airmen who have been shot down, and are parachuting to earth, is to be considered a mean terrorist act.
From the IMT testimony of Major Herbert Buchs (Jodl's second adjutant): I recall that in the spring of 1944, at Berchtesgaden, the Fuehrer vehemently demanded that Allied fliers, who made emergency landings in Germany, no longer be protected by the Armed Forces, against the enraged populace. This demand was based on reports, alleging that a Kreisleiter of the Party, and an officer of the Air Force, had protected an Allied airman. At that time, the Fuehrer made this demand, in a very sharp and pointed manner. He demanded that the Armed Forces issue the appropriate orders, to put a stop to this, once and for all. This demand was made at a situation conference attended by these gentlemen, and Jodl himself; but I do not think that General Jodl had any direct connection with the handling of the whole question, as it was not directly connected with military matters.
General Jodl, like all the other gentlemen, rejected this demand and, on his part, did everything he could, to try to dissuade the Fuehrer from this demand. He began immediately by adopting a critical attitude, which expressed itself later in details he gave, of four cases of violation of international law, on the part of Allied airmen. In a case of this kind, in which the Fuehrer, in the heat of his rage, made such demands, it was impossible for the gentlemen to whom the demand was put, to oppose him at the moment, let alone flatly refuse to carry out the order. There was nothing else for them to do--General Jodl used these tactics frequently--but to try by obtaining data, arguments pro and con, and asking for comments and opinions from all the offices concerned, to collect the material, and at a quiet opportune moment approach the Fuehrer on the matter again, and try to dissuade him from his extravagant demand. Outwardly, this resulted in a lengthy correspondence, in which the files of the various departments involved were sent back and forth, all with the intent of delaying the matter to the utmost and, if possible, shelving it completely. My impression, as far as the treatment of the terror-fliers was concerned, was that, in this case, we really succeeded, even though the Fuehrer's attention was repeatedly called to this question through new reports and statements, and he demanded that a decree be put into execution . . . .
On one occasion in August 1944, I personally was called to account by the Fuehrer rather sharply. After an air raid on Munich, Fegelein had described low-level attacks to Hitler rather crudely, and reported the incident where a plane was shot down by antiaircraft artillery, and two Allied airmen had made an emergency parachute landing. When they were captured, and brought off by a Wachtmeister of the antiaircraft artillery, he himself said that he had called this man to account, and had asked him why he had not shot the two fliers. The man replied, "because I had no orders to do so." At that moment, I interpolated on my own account, that no such order existed. And then the Fuehrer reproached me in the most violent manner, because the leading men of the Armed Forces had not issued a decree like that. Then, of course, he again demanded that the order be carried out ... No [it was not carried out then], for that was the period after 20 July, and the time of the campaign in the West, when there were more urgent questions in the foreground. And because of all of these questions, that of the treatment of terror-fliers was again put aside.
Obergruppenfuehrer Kaltenbrunner informed the deputy chief of the Operations Staff in Klessheim on the afternoon of the 6th that a conference on this question had been held shortly before, between the Reich Marshal, the Reich Foreign Minister, and Reichsfuehrer-SS. Contrary to the original suggestion made by Ribbentrop, who wished to include every type of terror attack on the German civilian population, that is, also bombing attacks on cities, it was agreed at the above conference that only attacks carried out with aircraft armament should be considered as criminal actions in that sense.
From Jodl's IMT testimony: I just wanted to add that lynching was suggested in an article by Goebbels, published in the Voelkischer Beobachter. The more I concerned myself with this problem, the more it was obvious that nothing at all could be achieved with measures of this kind, for one could never capture a guilty low-flying airman, for he would either escape, or he would be dashed to pieces on the ground. This would only lead to a general murder of airmen. Therefore, I decided--and I was in complete agreement with Field Marshal Keitel on this point--to cause this entire action to fail. The Court can see that, between Document 731-PS, which was compiled on 21 May, and Document 735-PS, 16 days had elapsed wherein nothing had been done. When, on 6 June, I received a rather lengthy report, I noted on it, "This is not sufficient; we have to start all over again; how can we be certain that other enemy airmen will not be treated in the same way? Should some legal procedure be arranged or not?" If I wrote that, then, Your Honors, it is absolute proof, if you consider my general method of work, that I had no other intention than to delay and drag things out, until the matter had solved itself. And I succeeded in this case. No military authority issued an order. We did not even go so far as to make a draft of an order. The only thing we had, were these scraps of paper. It has been proved, and it will be proved further, that many months afterwards the Fuehrer brought the gravest charges against us, and against the Luftwaffe in particular, of having torpedoed his order.
Subject: Treatment of commando participants.
1. Even after the landing of Anglo-Americans in France, the order of the Fuehrer [of 18 October 1942] on the annihilation of terror and sabotage [units, remains] fully in force. Enemy soldiers in uniform, in the immediate combat area of the bridgehead, that is, in the area of the divisions fighting in the most forward lines, as well as of the reserves up to the corps commands, according to Number 5 of the basic order of 18 October 1942, remain exempted.
2. All members of terror and sabotage units, found outside the immediate combat area, who include fundamentally all parachutists, are to be killed in combat. In special cases, they are to be turned over to the SD.
3. All troops committed outside the combat area of Normandy are to be informed, [briefly and succinctly] about the duty to destroy enemy terror and sabotage [units, according] to the directives issued for it.
4. Supreme Commander West will report immediately, daily, how many saboteurs have been liquidated in this manner. This applies especially also, to undertakings by the military commanders. The number is to be published daily in the Armed Forces communiqué, to exercise a frightening effect, as had already been done, toward previous commando undertakings, in the same manner.
From Keitel's IMT testimony: It is true that the Commander-in-Chief West, after the landing of Anglo-American forces in Northern France, considered that a new situation had arisen with reference to this Fuehrer Order of 18 October 1942, directed against the parachute Commandos. The inquiry was, as usual, reported; and General Jodl and I represented the view of the Commander-in-Chief West, namely, that this order was not applicable here. Hitler refused to accept that point of view; and gave certain directives in reply, which, according to the document, had at least two editions; after one had been cancelled as useless, the Document 551-PS remained as the final version as approved by the Fuehrer during that report. I remember all this so accurately because, on the occasion of presenting that reply during the discussion of the situation, this handwritten appendix was added by General Jodl, with reference to the application in the Italian theatre, too. With that appendix, this version, which was approved and demanded by Hitler, was then sent out to the Commander-in-Chief West . . . .
I am of the opinion that, giving any assistance to agents or other enemy organs in such sabotage acts, is a violation of the Hague Rules for Land Warfare. If the population takes part in, aids, or supports such action, or covers the perpetrators--hides them or helps them in any way or in any form--that, in my opinion, is clearly expressed in the Hague Rules for Land Warfare, namely that the population must not commit such actions.
From Jodl's IMT testimony: Commando operations decreased considerably, as a result of the public announcements in the Wehrmacht communiqué [October 7, 1942]. I believe that not more than 8 or 10 cases occurred in all. For a time, during the months of July and August 1944, increasingly large numbers of terrorists were reported killed in the Wehrmacht communiqué; these, however, were not Commando troops, but insurgents who were killed in the fighting in France . . . .
In that order, territorial limits were set restricting the use of the Commando Order, which henceforth was to apply only to enemy operations behind the corps command posts, but not to the battle area of the beachhead. These were territorial limitations that had not so far been fixed or ordered; and I immediately accepted this order for the Italian theater of war because, in Italy also, there existed a fighting front on land. If this order were put into practice in Italy, it would mean that no Commando operation that began with a landing on the coast need be regarded as a Commando operation, because all these landings took place in front of the lines of the corps command posts. Therefore, I was very anxious to have the same lighter conditions applied to the whole Italian theater of war . . . .
According to press reports, the Anglo-Americans intend in the future to attack [small places, too] from the [air, which] are of no importance militarily, or to the war economy, as a retaliatory measure against the V-1. Should this news prove true, the Fuehrer wishes it to be made known, through the radio and the press, that any enemy airman who takes part in such an attack, and is shot down, will not be entitled to be treated as a prisoner of war, but, as soon as he falls into German hands, will be treated as a murderer and killed. This measure is to apply to all attacks on small places [that] are not military targets, communications centers, armament targets, and the like, and therefore, are not of importance to the conduct of war. At the moment nothing is to be ordered; the only thing to be done is to discuss such a measure with the ... Foreign Office.
From Jodl's IMT testimony: To this I can say--again from talks with Ambassador Ritter--that I knew that the Reich Foreign Minister advocated official procedure, that is, official notice that we could no longer consider certain acts of terror as belonging to regular warfare. That was the original point of view of the Foreign Office. To this, I said at the time that the Fuehrer would probably not be interested, as I had concluded from his oral instructions. As it turned out, the suggestion, such as the Reich Foreign Minister intended to make, was never put forward, or at least I never saw it.
In view of the spectacular Russian advance, and of the capture of Caen ... the Germans cannot, as things are now developing, face both fronts. They will soon have to decide whether to throw their main weight against the attack from the east, or that from the west. Knowing what to expect from a Russian invasion, it is likely that they will decide on concentrating on the Russian front. This will help to ease our task in the West. Having broken through at Caen, it is essential that we should maintain the initiative and offensive without pause, and advance to the rear of the German flying bomb bases, as soon as possible . . . . I continue to hope that, in the end, your strategy will again prove successful, backed as it is by every sound military, as well as political, consideration.July 12, 1944: From an account of a meeting in Berlin:
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 with the assistance of the Wehrmacht, for labor].
c) The refugees from the areas near the front should be rounded up with special vigor, with the assistance of the Wehrmacht.
From Jodl's IMT testimony: I remember a conference with these two commanding generals [Field Marshal von Rundstedt and Rommel] when the Fuehrer and I flew to the headquarters [that] had been prepared north of Reims. That was about July 1944. During that conference, both Field Marshal Von Rundstedt, and particularly Rommel, described in an unmistakable manner the seriousness of the entire situation in France, characterized by the tremendous superiority of the Anglo-Saxon Air Force, against which ground operations were powerless. I remember quite clearly that Field Marshal Rommel asked the Fuehrer at the end, "My Fuehrer, what do you really think about the further development of the war?" The Fuehrer was rather angry at this remark, and he answered curtly, "That is a question which is no part of your duty. You will have to leave that to me."
From Barbarossa: The Russian-German Conflict, 1941-45 by Alan Clark: Resistance there was none; abject confession [following the failed bomb plot] was profuse. There is no better testimonial to the discipline of the German Army, or to the callous efficiency of the Nazi Party machine, than the way in which the Reich withstood the multiple stresses of the last week in July 1944. At a time when the Russian tide across Poland seemed unstoppable, when the floodgates in Normandy were creaking under the rising weight of Patton and Bradley's armies, Germany was saturated by a wave of denunciation, imprisonment, and murder.
The breach between officers of the Army and the SS (of every rank) came into the open with Bormann's order to the Gauleiters to "arrest Army officers on suspicion [sic] as practically the whole of the General Staff is in league with the Moscow Free Germany Committee." Jodl, ever quick to disclaim association with his own caste, endorsed a memorandum of Burgdorf from OKW, to the effect that "the whole General Staff should be abolished." All the quasi-independent empires of the Third Reich--the SS, the Gauleiters, the Labor Front, the civil police, the Armaments Commission, the Propaganda Ministry, the Hitler Youth--all had wavered momentarily as the tremor ran across their foundations, yet, in the shrill chorus of recrimination, came to realize that their very existence, even their prerogatives of internecine quarreling, depended on the life of the Fuehrer.
From Jodl's IMT testimony: The commanding general of an army group could not [report for a discussion with Hitler without being invited]. The commanding general of an army group would, first of all, have to ask the Commander-in-Chief of the Army, as long as there was one. When the Commander-in-Chief of the Army no longer existed, the commanding generals of army groups then applied to the military adjutant's office, or they applied to the Chief of the General Staff of the Army for permission to make a report, which the commanding generals could not do themselves . . . .
I complained that we were not in a position to prevent military reports and news of irresponsible sources from reaching the Fuehrer. It was a standing rule that police circles particularly continually used the opportunity, through Himmler, to criticize the traditional, or--as they called it--the reactionary, humanitarian, chivalrous attitude of the higher military leaders, so that the severe orders of the Fuehrer for brutal action--as he called it--might be stayed. This was a constant state of affairs. [By no means all] of them [were involved], and it was not directed against all the commanding generals, but it was against quite a few . . . .
Well, the outcome of what I have just described, was that Himmler went to the Fuehrer and reported to him, privately of course. He complained about certain commanding generals, all of them of the Army; and we knew about it because, the following day, the Fuehrer suddenly began to raise some objections to some commanding general, without our knowing why, and would cause bad feeling.
The 20th of July was the blackest day which German history has seen as yet, and will probably remain so for all times . . . .
The Fuehrer ignored this, and other things; and now, the would-be assassins wished to eliminate him as a 'despot.' And yet, they themselves experienced how the Fuehrer did not come to power by force, but borne up by the love of the German people.
From Jodl's IMT testimony: [At] a moment when I am to be blown up [by one of my own comrades, acting together with many opponents of the regime] in a cowardly, insidious [manner, should] I perhaps approve of it all? That was to me the worst thing that happened. If the man with a pistol in his hand had shot the Fuehrer, and had then given himself up, it would have been entirely different. But these tactics, I considered most repulsive to any officer. I spoke under the impression of those events, which are actually among the worst I know, and I maintain today what I said then. . . . .
He came to power, borne up by the love of the German people. I had tremendous experiences in that respect. He was almost overwhelmed by this love of the people and of the soldiers. I have told you, how unfortunately little I knew of all these things [the SS, the Gestapo, and the concentration camps for political opponents], almost nothing. Of course, with knowledge of these things, all this takes a different aspect.
[The shooting of those 50 American soldiers who landed in the north of Italy to destroy a military target] was [also] murder, undoubtedly. But it is not the task of a soldier to be the judge of his commander-in-chief. May history or the Almighty do that.
From the IMT testimony of Professor Dr. Percy Ernst Schramm: The officers of the staff were called to our mess hall, at short notice. We were told that the General wanted to address his staff. As not all the officers were able to attend, I was ordered to take notes, so that the other officers could be informed of what the General had said. I remember clearly that I jotted down a few key words, still standing, so this is not a shorthand record. I cannot write shorthand. There was no time to find a stenographer. Afterwards, probably on the following day, I reconstructed the General's speech as far as possible from my notes. I am not certain, of course, if all the details are quite accurate, because the notes, which I had taken standing up, were much too sketchy for that. And, of course, I am particularly doubtful about the accuracy of the actual words spoken. I now see that there are 4 1/2 pages. The speech was, of course, very much longer than that. It is therefore a compressed account.
The General appeared on the scene with white bandages around his head. We were all most surprised that he should have recovered so quickly from the attempt, considering that he had been standing right next to the explosion. I must say that, at that time, we were deeply impressed by the concentrated energy with which he reappeared before his staff, and by his moral attitude to such an attempt.
The Polish Army of Polish Patriots ... calls on the thousands of brothers thirsting to fight, to smash the foe before he can recover from his defeat . . . . Every Polish homestead must become a stronghold in the struggle against the invaders . . . . Not a moment is to be lost.July 29, 1944: Radio Station Kosciuszko, located in Moscow, calls on all Poles to rise up and "Fight The Germans!":
No doubt Warsaw already hears the guns of the battle which is soon to bring her liberation . . . . The Polish Army now entering Polish territory, trained in the Soviet Union, is now joined to the People's Army, to form the Corps of the Polish Armed Forces, the armed arm of our nation, in its struggle for independence. Its ranks will be joined tomorrow by the sons of Warsaw. They will all together, with the Allied Army, pursue the enemy westwards, wipe out the Hitlerite vermin from Polish land, and strike a mortal blow at the beast of Prussian Imperialism.July 30, 1944: From an order issued by Keitel:
Subject: Treatment of members of foreign 'Military Missions' captured together with partisans. In the areas of the High Command Southeast and Southwest, members of foreign so-called 'Military Missions' (Anglo-American as well as Soviet-Russian), captured in the course of the struggle against partisans, shall not receive the treatment as specified in the special orders regarding the treatment of captured partisans. Therefore, they are not to be treated as prisoners of war, but in conformity with the Fuehrer's order concerning the annihilation of terror and sabotage troops of 18 October 1942. This order shall not be transmitted to units subordinate to the corps commands, and the equivalent staffs of the other branches of the Armed Forces, and is to be destroyed after being made known. The Chief of the High Command of the Wehrmacht, Keitel.August 1, 1944: The Warsaw Uprising begins, as the Jewish partisans capture a major German arsenal, the main post office and power station, Praga railway station, and the tallest building in Warsaw: the Prudential building.
From the IMT testimony of Field Marshal Friedrich Paulus: We had the possibility of making ourselves heard and understood by the German people, and believed it our duty to make known to the German people our view, not only of military events, but also of the events of 20 July, and to tell them .of the convictions we had since gained. In this regard the initiative came chiefly from the ranks of the army I had led to Stalingrad. There we experienced how, through the orders of those military and political leaders against whom we were now taking a stand, more than 100,000 soldiers died of hunger, cold, and snow. There, we experienced--in concentrated form-- the horrors and terrors of a war of conquest . . . . Apart from the possibility of making propaganda through radio, and those newspapers which we had created, apart from that propaganda to the German people, we had no other facilities.
When you receive these lines, I shall be no more. I cannot bear the reproach that I have sealed the fate of the West through faulty measures, and I have no means of defending myself. I draw a conclusion from that, and am dispatching myself where already thousands of my comrades are. I have never feared death. Life has no more meaning for me, and I also figure on the list of war criminals that are to be delivered up. Our applications were not dictated by pessimism, but by sober knowledge of the facts. I do not know if Field-Marshal Model, who has been proved in every sphere, will still master the situation. From my heart I hope so. Should it not be so, however, and your cherished new weapons not succeed, then, my Fuehrer, make up your mind to end the war. The German people have borne such untold suffering, that it is time to put an end to this frightfulness. There must be ways to attain this end, and above all to prevent the Reich from falling under the Bolshevist heel.
From Jodl's IMT testimony: I stood next to the Fuehrer when he received this letter. He opened the envelope, read the letter, and then gave it to me to read. It said exactly the opposite of what I had expected. Field Marshal Von Kluge began his letter with fulsome praise, for the Fuehrer's personality and steadfastness in the conduct of the war. He said that he was much more in sympathy with his ideals than the Fuehrer assumed. He had begun his task in the West, full of confidence. But as the promised support of our own Air Force had not been given, he was now convinced that the situation was hopeless; and his dying counsel was to make peace now. That briefly, was what the letter contained . . . .
No commanding general could touch upon the political question, because the ending of a war is not a military, but a political decision. But indirectly, I must say that there was not one officer in a responsible position, who did not tell the Fuehrer soberly, honestly, and openly, what the military situation was, and describe it as hopeless--as indeed it turned out to be at the end. I, myself, too, expressed this view in writing, in a memorandum to the Fuehrer.
From the IMT testimony of Professor Dr. Percy Ernst Schramm: I remember that [an order from Hitler saying that generals must not resign] very exactly, from an order which appeared in the middle of 1944, repeating, with great strictness, an order already issued before my time. [That] must have been during 1940 or 1941. That order was about 11 typewritten pages in length, and most forcefully worded. Its contents are still clear in my mind, because I discussed it afterwards with several of my comrades. The order stated that every commanding officer--and the departments under him correspondingly--was entitled to mention any objections he might have to the measures of the Supreme Command; but that he would then have to obey unconditionally the order, once it was given him by higher quarters; that is to say, he would have to do something which meant acting contrary to his intentions. It added that it was impossible for a commander to resign in consequence of this. The reason stated was that the sergeants in the trench could not tell their company commander that they wanted to resign, when they were not in agreement with his orders.
I repeat, it was so emphatically worded that we talked about it a great deal. From that time on, the commanders had even less chance of evading an order from the Supreme Command. If it applied to the commanders, it naturally applied all the more to General Jodl.
From Jodl's IMT testimony: I know just how improbable these explanations sound, but very often the improbable is true, and the probable untrue. I can only say, fully conscious of my responsibility, that I never heard, either by hint or by written or spoken word, of an extermination of Jews. On one single occasion I had doubts, and that was when Himmler spoke about the revolt in the Jewish Ghetto. I did not quite believe in this heroic fight; but Himmler immediately supplied photographs, showing the concrete dugouts which had been built there, and he said, "Not only the Jews but also Polish Nationalists have taken refuge there and they are offering bitter resistance." And with that he removed my suspicions . . . .
I am speaking of the uprising in the Warsaw Ghetto, of which I heard through a personal report from Himmler given in our presence, in the presence of soldiers at the Fuehrer's headquarters. Himmler spoke only of an uprising, and of bitter fighting. As far as the activities of the Police are concerned, of the so-called action groups, Einsatzgruppen and Einsatzkommandos--a conception, incidentally, of which I first heard here in detail--there was never any explanation through the Fuehrer himself, other than that these police units were necessary to quell uprisings, rebellions, and partisan actions, before they grew into a menace. This was not a task for the Armed Forces, but for the Police, and for that reason the Police had to enter the operational areas of the Army. I have never had any private information on the extermination of the Jews; and on my word, as sure as I am sitting here, I heard all these things for the first time after the end of the war.
I share your conviction that firm agreement between the three leading powers constitutes a true guarantee of future peace, and answers to the best hopes of all peace-loving peoples. The continuation of our governments in such a policy in the postwar period as we have achieved during this great war will, it seems to me, have a decisive influence. Of course, I have a great desire to meet with you and the President. I attach great importance to it from the point of view of the interests in our common business. But, as far as I am concerned, I must make one reservation. The doctors advise me not to undertake long journeys. For a certain period I must take account of this. I warmly welcome your wish to come to Moscow in October. We shall have to consider military and other questions, which are of great importance.October 9, 1944: Churchill arrives in Moscow. Soon, he and Stalin are discussing spheres of influence in the Balkans. Churchill’s account:
The moment was apt for business, so I said, "Let us settle our affairs in the Balkans. Your armies are in Rumania and Bulgaria. We have interests, missions, and agents there. Don’t let us get at cross-purposes in small ways. So far as Britain and Russia are concerned, how would it do for you to have ninety per cent predominance in Rumania, for us to have ninety per cent of the say in Greece, and go fifty-fifty about Yugoslavia?" While this was being translated I wrote out on half a sheet of paper: Rumania Russia 90% The others 10% Greece Great Britain 90% (in accord with USA) Russia 10% Yugoslavia 50-50% Hungary 50-50% Bulgaria Russia 75% The others 25% I pushed this across to Stalin, who had by then heard the translation. There was a slight pause. Then he took his blue pencil and made a large tick upon it, and passed it back to us. It was all settled in no more time than it takes to sit down . . . . After this there was a long silence. The penciled paper lay in the center of the table. At length I said, "Might it not be thought rather cynical if it seemed we had disposed of these issues, so fateful to millions of people, in such an offhand manner? Let us burn the paper." "No, you keep it," said Stalin. (Churchill)October 12, 1944 Beleidigender Ardennes: Hitler takes Speer aside at the daily situation conference. He confides that he is planning a decisive move; a great, surprise offensive in the West, utilizing all available forces. "For that, you must organize a special corps of German construction workers: one sufficiently motorized to be able to carry out all types of bridge building, even if rail transportation should be halted. Stick to the organizational forms that proved their value in the western campaign of 1940," Hitler continues: "Everything else must be put aside for the sake of this, no matter what the consequences. This will be the great blow which must succeed." (Speer)
From Jodl's IMT testimony: There were four conferences about the Ardennes Offensive. I took part in all of them. No, [there never was any request for an order, nor was an order ever issued at one of these conferences, to shoot prisoners during this offensive]. And I can also add that not once during any one of those conferences was a single word mentioned, which did not deal with purely operational considerations. There was no talk at all about the conduct of the troops . . . . There can be no question of such an order [to shoot enemy prisoners]. It never could have been issued through the military channels. It could have been issued only through the Police: that is to say, Himmler or the SS.
From the IMT testimony of General Horst Freiherr von Buttlar-Brandenfels: As far as I can remember, the first preparations [for the Ardennes Offensive] were begun in about September 1944 ... I do know that, in the zone which was proposed for the offensive, there had already been troop movements, ordered by the Supreme Command, before the Commander, West, who was responsible, was informed; and that he therefore made frequent inquiries of us, asking for an explanation of these movements.
Major War Criminals. UJ [Churchill and FDR refer to Josef Stalin as Uncle Joe, or UJ, in their correspondence] took an unexpectedly ultra-respectable line. There must be no executions without trial, otherwise the world would say we were afraid to try them. I pointed out the difficulties in international law; but he replied: if there were no trials, there must be no death sentences, but only life-long confinements.October 22, 1944 FDR to Churchill:
Your statement of the present attitude of Uncle J. towards war criminals, the future of Germany, and the Montreux Convention is most interesting. We should discuss these matters, together with our Pacific war effort, at the forthcoming three-party meeting...October 28, 1944: From the commander-in-chief, Norway, to the Reich Commissioner, Norway, and the Navy:
Because of the unwillingness of the northern Norwegian population to evacuate voluntarily, the Fuehrer has agreed to the proposals of the Reich Commissioner, and has ordered that the entire Norwegian population east of the Fjord of Lyngen be evacuated by force in the interest of their own security, and that all homes are to be burned to the ground or destroyed. The commander, Northern Finland, is responsible that the Fuehrer's orders be carried out without consideration. Only by this method, can the Russians, with strong forces, aided by these homesteads, and the population familiar with the terrain, be prevented from following our withdrawal operations during the winter, and shortly appearing in front of our position in Lyngen. This is not the place for sympathy for the civilian population.
From Jodl's IMT testimony: I have known this document for a long time; it is signed by me. [Lyngen is] on the northern coast, where Finland is closest to the coast of the polar region, and very near Norway . . . . One of the Fuehrer's civilian adjutants advised me that Terboven wished to speak to the Fuehrer. He had had trouble with the Wehrmacht in Norway, because of the evacuation of the civilian population from northern Norway. The civilian adjutant said he wanted to advise me first, before he established connections with Terboven by telephone. Thereupon, I at once had inquiries made, through my staff of the commander in Norway--Finland. I was told that the Wehrmacht--the commander of the Wehrmacht in Norway--had rejected Terboven's proposals, and did not consider them possible on such a large scale. In the meantime, Terboven had spoken with the Fuehrer. I then remonstrated with the Fuehrer, and told him that, in the first place, the decree and Terboven's intention were not practicable on such a scale, and secondly, that there was no necessity for it on such a large scale. I said that it would be better to leave it to the discretion of Generaloberst Rendulic, to decide what he wanted, or had to destroy for military reasons. The Fuehrer, however, incited by Terboven, insisted on the decree's being issued, on the grounds of these arguments which I had to set down. But it was certainly not carried out to this extent. This is also shown by the report of the Norwegian Government, and it can also be seen from personal discussions between me and my brother.
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