Archive/File: imt/nca/nca-02/nca-02-15-criminality-07-06 Last-Modified: 1996/10/16 Nazi Conspiracy & Aggression, Volume II, Chapter XV [Page 389] Another affidavit which sheds light on the relations between the Wehrmacht and the SS at the top level with respect to antipartisan warfare (3711-PS) is sworn to by Wilhelm Scheidt, a retired captain of the German Army who worked in the War History Section of OKW from 1941 to 1946: "I, Wilhelm Scheidt, belonged to the War History Section of the OKW from the year 1941 to 1946. "Concerning the question of partisan warfare I state that I remember the following from my knowledge of the documents of the Operations Staff of the OKW as well as from my conversations in the Fuehrer's headquarters with Generalmajor Walter Scherff, the Fuehrer's appointee for the compilation of the history of the war. "Counterpartisan warfare was originally a responsibility of Reichsfuehrer-SS Heinrich Himmler, who sent police forces to handle this matter. "In the years 1942 and 1943 however counter-partisan warfare developed to such an extent that the Operations Staff of the OKW had [Page 390] to give it particular attention. In the Army Operations Section of the Operations Staff of the OKW a specific officer was assigned the development of counter- partisan warfare as his special job. It proved necessary to conduct extensive operations against the partisans with Wehrmacht troops in Russian as well as Yugoslavian territory. Partisan operations for a long while threatened to cut off the lines of communication and transport routes that were necessary to support the German Wehrmacht. For instance, a monthly report concerning the attacks on the railroad lines in occupied Russia revealed that in the Russian area alone from 800 to 1,000 attacks occurred each month during that period, causing among other things, the loss of from 200 to 300 locomotives. "It was a well-known fact that partisan warfare was conducted with cruelty on both sides. It was also well- known that reprisals were inflicted on hostages and communities whose inhabitants were suspected of being partisans or of supporting them. It is beyond question that these facts must have been known to the leading officers in the Operations Staff of the OKW and in the Army's General Staff. It was further well-known that Hitler believed that the only successful method of conducting counter-partisan warfare was to employ cruel punishments as deterrents. "I remember that at the time of the Polish revolt in Warsaw, SS-Gruppenfuehrer Fegelein reported to Generaloberst Guderian and Jodl about the atrocities of the Russian SS Brigade Kaminski, which fought on the German side." "(Signed) Wilhelm Scheidt "Retired Captain of the Reserve" (3711-PS) The foregoing documents show the arrangements which were made between the OKW, OKH and Himmler's headquarters with respect to anti-partisan warfare. They show conclusively that the plans and arrangements were made jointly, and that the High Command of the Armed Forces was not only fully aware of but an active participant in these plans. The same is true of the field commanders. General Roettiger, who attained the rank of General of Panzer Troops (the equivalent of a Lt. General in the American Army), has made three statements (3713-PS, 3714-PS). Roettiger was Chief of Staff of the German 4th Army, and later of Army Group Center, on the Eastern Front during the period of which he speaks: "As Chief of Staff of the 4th Army from May 1942 to June 1943, to which was later added the area of the 9th Army, I often had occasion to concern myself officially with antipartisan warfare. During these operations the troops received orders from the highest authority, as for example even the OKH, to use the harshest methods. These operations were carried out by troops of the Army Group and of the Army, as for example security battalions. "At the beginning, in accordance with orders which were issued through official channels, only a few prisoners were taken. In accordance with orders, Jews, political commissars and agents were delivered up to the SD. "The number of enemy dead mentioned in official reports was very high in comparison with our own losses. From the documents which have been shown to me I have now come to realize that the order from highest authorities for the harshest conduct of the antipartisan war can have been intended to make possible a ruthless liquidation of Jews and other undesirable elements by using for this purpose the military struggle of the army against the partisans." (3713-PS) Roettiger's second statement reads: "Supplementary to my above declaration I declare: "As I stated orally on 28 November, my then Commander- in-Chief of the Fourth Army instructed his troops many times not to wage war against the partisans more severely than was required at the time by the position. This struggle should only be pushed to the annihilation of the enemy after all attempts to bring about a surrender failed. Apart from humanitarian reasons we necessarily had an interest in taking prisoners since very many of them could very well be used as members of native volunteer units against the partisans. "Alongside the necessary active combatting of partisans there was propaganda directed at the. partisans and also at the population with the object, by peaceful means, of causing them to give up partisan activities. For instance, in this way the women too were continually urged to get their men back from the forests or to keep them by other means from joining the partisans. And this propaganda had good results. In the spring of 1943 the area of the 4th Army was as good as cleared of partisans. Only on its boundaries and then from time to time were partisans in evidence at times when they crossed into the area of the 4th Army from neighboring areas. The army was obliged on this account on the orders of the Army Group to give up security forces to the neighboring army to the south. "(signed) Roettiger" (3713-PS) [Page 892] Roettiger's third statement reads: "During my period of service in 1942/3 as chief of staff of the 4th Army of the Central Army Group, SD units were attached in the beginning, apparently for the purpose of counter-intelligence activity in front- line areas. It was clear that these SD units were causing great disturbances among the local civilian population with the result that my commanding officer therefore asked the commander-in-chief of the army group, Field Marshal von Kluge, to order the SD units to clear out of the front-line areas, which took place immediately. The reason for this first and foremost was that the excesses of the SD units by way of execution of Jews and other persons assumed such proportions as to threaten the security of the Army in its combat areas because of the aroused civilian populace. Although in general the special tasks of the SD units were well known and appeared to be carried out with the knowledge of the highest military authorities, we opposed these methods as far as possible, because of the danger which existed for our troops. "(Signed) Roettiger" (3714-PS) An extract from the War Diary of the Deputy Chief of the Armed Forces Operational Staff (Warlimont), dated 14 March 1943, deals with the problem of shipping off suspected partisans to concentration camps in Germany (1786-PS). It appears clearly from this extract that the Army was chiefly concerned with preserving a sufficient severity of treatment for suspected partisans, without at the same time obstructing the procurement of labor from the occupied territories: "The General Quartermaster [General Quartiermeister] together with the Economic Staff (East) [Wirtschaftsstab Ost] has proposed that the deportees should be sent either to prison camps or to 'training centres in their own area,' and that deportation to Germany should take place only when the deportees are on probation and in less serious cases. "In view of the Armed Forces Operations Staff [Wehrmachtfehrungstab] this proposal does not take sufficient account of the severity required and leads to a comparison with the treatment meted out to the 'peaceful population' which has been called upon to work. He recommends therefore transportation to concentration camps in Germany which have already been introduced by the Reichsfuehrer SS for his sphere and which he is prepared to introduce for the Armed Forces [Wehrmacht] in the case of an extension to the province of the latter. The High Command of the Armed Forces [Ober- [Page 393] kommando der Wehrmacht] therefore orders that partisan helpers an(l suspects who are not to be executed should be handed over to the competent Higher SS and Police Leader [Hoehrer SS und Polizeifuehrer] and orders that the difference between 'punitive work' and 'work in Germany' is to be made clear to the population." (1786- PS)
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