The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

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Last-Modified: 1999/11/26

Guderian:  As from today, with the taking over of the command by the
XXIVth tank corps and the 9th army in the Weichsel army group, a new
demarkation line will be in force, which will run north to Glogau, south
of Lissa, north of Krotoschin into the general direction of Kalisch.
Here the XL corps is in the line which covers exclusively the terrain
from Lissa to Posen; then there is the Posen command and to the north
the Vth SS-alpine-corps, with whom communication at present is very bad,
due to harassing tactics, of enemy patrols, which continuously interrupt
the communication system. Up here, on the Tischtiegel front a continuous
line, and ahead of it a locked door. It is not quite clear, whether
Graetz is in our possession. Then, we have the Posen fortress, which was
subjected to several attacks from the northwest and the south. Here,
apparently a fort was taken, it is not entirely clear, whether here or

At any rate, something unpleasant happened there.

Through decoding of enemy radio messages it has been possible to
ascertain beyond doubt, that opposing forces were elements of the 1st
guards tank army. They are to be deployed in this line. The flanks
extend exactly, as is pencilled in here, in this general direction.

The Fuehrer:  I want within the next days, a clear picture of the troop
concentrations, the position of the enemy, their probable objectives,
and the areas

                                                              [Page 671]

of concentration, since counter-measures depend upon this knowledge.

Guderian:  Yes. At any event the 1st guard armored army is reported as
deploying in the Posen area.

The Fuehrer:  With how many corps?

Guderian:  With their armored corps; four altogether.

The Fuehrer:  They have normally 1600 tanks. How many, will they have
left now?

Guderian:  Half that amount at the most.

The fortress Posen, which has held out, lies in between. The enemy
infantry, according to radio messages, depends mainly on the railroad
which runs from Nakel to the south toward Jarotschin via Gnesen.

Fuehrer:  The further they penetrate here the more difficult their

Goering:  The railroads are all intact, indeed; they will get through
smoothly along the railroads.

Fuehrer:  I hope that not all trains and all locomotives were left
behind by us.

Guderian: There has been a considerable bottle neck not everything could
be gotten out. Then there the second guard armored army with their
corps. The situation there has also become somewhat more complicated.
Strong reconnaissance elements of the enemy have crossed the river Netze
near Scharnikau and are advancing toward Schoenlanke, Schloppe and
Filehne. Schneidemuehl was attacked today. This bridgehead near Usch was
still in our hands this morning. The
enemy, however, has by-passed it and crossed the river Netze.

Fuehrer:  This river is no obstacle.

Guderian:  It is frozen over now.

Fuehrer:  Completely frozen over.

Guderian:  He is threatening the position of Schneidemuehl and is also
probing his way from the east and the northeast; there he was repulsed.
The headquarters of the army group is being moved to Groessinsee.

The situation around Nakel is uncertain, Nakel itself is lost. The
Latvian division has displaced toward the north. The General High

                                                              [Page 672]

has withdrawn toward Preusisch Friedland; the enemy has broken through
in between.

The situation around Krone is questionable. Bromberg is in the hands of
the enemy. holding force is in this railroad triangle and the enemy is
advancing from there with the second guard cavalry corps along the roads
of the valley of the Vistula and along the railroad in the direction of
Schwetz. The XXXXVIth panzercorps with the 4th panzer division, the
337th division and the 542nd division has launched a counterattack.

The bridgehead around Kulm which has become smaller is held on the
eastern fringe only by the 252nd division.

Fuehrer: If necessary it must be given up.

Guderian:  It must be given up. The Reich Fuehrer intends as he has
already discussed with you, to give it up.

Fuehrer: The big one; he wants to have a small one.

forces, while the 32nd division is on its way.

Fuehrer: That's our problem child now (East Prussia).

Guderian: The army group North launched their attack,
Guderian: He wants to hold Graudenz and the small bridge head of
Marienwerder and take across his forces there.

Fuehrer: No he prefers to hold Graudenz. Marienwerderburg is so far

Guderian:  Graudenz is preferable, it is a fortress. The lines run along
here. The enemy attacked there and succeeded in breaking through. He
also at tacked near Graudenz but was repulsed.

The enemy is also pushing against the bridgehead of Mewe and succeeded
in crossing the river to the south with minor elements but was repulsed
to the north.

At Marienburg are battles for the sactle and the railroad which are in
our hands. A navy battalion is marching in there.

Fuehrer:  They have thus far given a good account of themselves.

Guderian:  Yes, indeed. The position along the Nogat is held by the

The 7th panzer division is being deployed toward Neuteich, in order to
defeat the enemy who has crossed the Nogat, and is fighting in
collaboration with the Navy regiment which up to now has

                                                              [Page 673]
occupied the bridgehead, in order to clear up this matter on the left
bank of the Nogat.

The bridgehead south of Elbing is still in our hands. The enemy has
penetrated into the town with several tanks, 15 altogether. A battle is
in progress.

The Reichsfuehrer wants to deploy the 32nd division in the Nakel area.

Fegelein: One regiment just arrived, he reports just now.

Fuehrer:  Where?

Fegelein: I don't know.

Guderian" The 227th division which likewise has come down from Kurland
stands here. It is already here with essential elements, with the bulk
of its forces, while the 32nd division is on its way.

Fuehrer:  That's our problem child now (East Prussia).

Guderian:  The army group North launched their attack, this morning, and
achieved pretty good results. Advanced elements of these tank destroyers
and the Arko 302 have advanced half way to Frauenburg-Elbing. There they
were already this morning. Armoured groups that advanced here got up to
this point, the 28th Jaeger division got as far as Karwinden and
Liebemuehl and engaged the enemy north of that town. Group Einem was to
give support in this direction in order to force a decision. The 170th
division and 131st division also obtained good results in their attack,
as is shown here by these blue arrows.

Further to the south is the territory of the 18th armored division and
the remnants of the 229th division. Their own attack aimed mainly at
keeping the enemy engaged did not succeed, the decision remains that we
defend ourselves in this position. It is intended to attack again at
this place in order to tie down the enemy.

Down here an enemy attack was repulsed.

"Grossdeutschland" was pulled out here together with another division,
at present however, still without gasoline.

Fuehrer:  "Grossdeutschland" to be sent there?

                                                              [Page 674]

"Grossdeutschland" is to be sent up here, also the 562nd division. It is
intended to move the 562nd division up there on foot in order to be able
to deploy them up there or here, as necessary. The disengagement
occurred without pressure of the enemy. The enemy did not pursue. O.P.'s
and rear guard elements are still far behind in touch with the enemy.

There is a pressure against Friedland without result.

Furthermore, the enemy attacked south of Koenigsberg in considerable
force. The 547th division, remnants of the 61st division and elements of
the 2nd division "Hermann Goering" which were movable have been put into
action. The main pressure of the enemy lies at the northeastern front
and north of Koenigsberg where the remnants of the 551st division and
the 286th division apparently have lost the last remainder of their
fighting power and where, therefore, this morning a critical situation
has arisen. It is not quite certain whether the front still runs as is
shown here or whether it was taken back into.

Fuehrer:  If they are in this line, they can no longer withdraw.

Guderian:  Then nothing will come back from the Nehrung. I spoke with
Colonel General Reinhardt and pointed this fact out to him.

Lasch, the commander of the fortress Koenigsberg, was given the command
as far as the Samland coast. I ask for your subsequent approval.

Fuehrer:  Yes, or course.

Guderian:  He is the most remarkable personality we have up there. Koeh
himself has called up, also General Lasch, reporting that a serious
crisis has arisen there. General Lasch went there personally in order to
halt the disordered troops here. It is hoped that they get there in time
in order to halt them. There are now 3 battalions of the 95th division,
3 battalions of the 58th division, 3 battalions fortress troops, a
chemical brigade, and the 278th s.p. artillery brigade.

                                                              [Page 675]

Fuehrer: I cannot understand one thing. One should have left the
fortress troops here to the end and bring in the infantry first.

Guderian: Yes, indeed, do it the other way round.

Fuehrer: One can experience the most primitive affairs if one does not
indicate exactly in advance what has to be done.

Guderian: It was indicated that at first one division should be
restaged. That was done. There is still another battalion with trucks on
its way. I hope they get there in time to halt it.

Fuehrer: Where are the S.P. guns?

Guderian: The S.P. guns are mostly here already. That's already on the
way. The 278th and the Tiger detachment are still in here.

Fuehrer: I hope they have not been sent down here.

Guderian: They had such order.

Fuehrer: Find out, these are 60 pieces.

Guderian: This up here is the weakest point.

Army Group Kurland was again successful holding back the enemy. It has
now become necessary due to strong enemy pressure to withdraw the front
toward a formerly designated line. Enemy attacks have failed there, his
preparations were broken up. Here is a break-through which is being
successfully fought off by the 14th panzer division supported by
elements of the 218th division.

All enemy attacks have been repulsed there under considerable losses to
the enemy. He lost 10 tanks. Unimportant local break-throughs will be
cleared up by the 12th armored division which is approaching the scene.

The enemy is regrouping from here also, toward the west and it seems
more and more as if his main effort is directed toward the southern
front in the direction of Libau.

Fuehrer: That's obvious because there is a port there, and they hope to
get it. Libau, therefore, must be heavily protected.

Guderian: Rather heavy enemy air activities during the night.

                                                              [Page 676]

Goering: There are 10,000 captured air corps officers at Sagan, their
custody is the responsibility of the Director General of Training [BDE].
Personnel for guarding or transporting them is said to be lacking. The
thought has been expressed to leave the prisoners to their Soviet
Allies. It would give them 10,000 flyers.

Fuehrer: Why did you not remove them earlier. This is unequalled

Goering: That's the BDE. We have nothing to do with it I can only report

The Fuehrer:They must go, even if they have to march afoot through the
mud. The Volkssturm will he called out. Anyone who escapes, will be
shot. This has to be done with all means available.

Goering: That is from Sagen, there are 10,000 men.

Guderian: Of those to be transported back, the 4th panzer division has
been moved out completely, also the 227th division. The rest of the 32nd
division is moving back now. Then the general command of the 111rd SS
panzercorps will move tonight, and tomorrow night the "Nederland"
division, which has come out already. Sections of "Nordland" have also
already been withdrawn from the front.

The Fuehrer: Are they to get replacements? Are these underway already?

Guderian: Fegelein has seen to that. He has already ordered that they
should be replenished immediately.

The Fuehrer: It is absolutely clear, the army group Vistula has nothing
beside the corps Nehring, one group and what stands on the Weichsel.
This has to be organized. That comes only now from here, partly from
Germany. This must be done. Nevertheless!

Goering: How many cattle-ears are required for 10,000 men?

The Fuehrer: If we transport them according to German standards we will
need at least 20 transport trains for 10,000 men. If we transport them
according to Russian standards, we will need 5 or 3.

Goering: Take off pants and boots so they can't walk in the snow.

                                                              [Page 677]

Guderian: Then Wlassow wanted to make certain statements.

The Fuehrer: Wlassow is nothing at all.

Goering:  Then they should not walk around in German uniforms.
Everywhere one sees young people. That only irritates the people. If one
tries to get hold of them, then they are Wlassow people.

The Fuehrer: Well, I was against it, to have them dressed in our
uniforms. But who was for it? That was our dear army, who had their own

Goering:  At present they are walking around like that.

The Fuehrer: I can't give them a change of clothes, we have no uniforms.
Altogether at that time I wanted the foreigners. . . . But our Herr v.
Seeckt sold German steel helmets to the Chinese. One has no sense of
honor around here. Every wretch is put in German uniform. I was always
against it. I was against putting Cossacks in German uniforms. We had to
give them Cossack uniforms and insignia as proof that they were fighting
for us. That is much more romantic too. The British would not think of
putting English clothes on an Indian. Such shamelessness exists only
with us because there's no character in it. Otherwise one would not put
German steel helmets on the heads of others. The British let the Indians
run around as natives.

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