The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

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Hitler represented the exclusive right to make decisions
(see Page 9 of my presentation) but the two defendants who
shared his everyday life during the period of hostilities
brought his decisions into being, elaborated them, and
ensured their execution.

Jodl fulfilled this role of counsellor, although in theory
his authority was by no means equal to Keitel's. This did
not prevent him from intervening in matters outside the
field of pure operations, but in which he likewise engaged
his personal responsibility.

This responsibility of the two defendants has a bearing on
the preparation and execution of plans of aggression. We
shall not come back to this point. In this matter our
British colleague, Mr. Roberts, has perfectly brought out
the role played by Wilhelm Keitel and Alfred Jodl, and we
shall consider more particularly their responsibility in the
conduct of the war.


First of all, their responsibility for the murder and ill-
treatment of civilians, collective sanctions, and the murder
of hostages (Page 13 of my presentation).

From the beginning of the war, and keeping pace with the
occupation of new territories by the German armies, there
appeared measures against the civilian population, in
violation of the laws of war and of the law of nations.
These violations range from the apparently harmless to the
most severe sanctions, the most cruel treatment, the most
senseless and inhuman executions.

If we turn to the occupied territories in the East, towards
Norway, towards the Western countries, we find everywhere
the same reaction everywhere, the same scrupulous execution
of the same directives. On 16th September, 1941, Keitel
signed an order regarding the suppression of Communist
insurrectionary movements in the occupied territories. This
is Exhibit RF 1432, 389-PS. If the Tribunal will permit me,
I should like to read briefly from this document.

Keitel's directives are the following:

     "Every case of insurrection against the German
     occupying power is to be attributed to Communist
     initiative, irrespective of the particular
     The most severe measures are to be taken to check the
     rising at the first signs, so as to uphold the
     authority of the Forces of Occupation and to prevent
     such movements from spreading. Moreover, it must not be
     forgotten that in the countries in question, human life
     often means nothing and that intimidation can be
     achieved only by unusual severity. In this case, the
     death penalty must as a general rule be considered a
     fitting reprisal for the death of a German soldier."
THE PRESIDENT: We have had this read already.

M. QUATRE: I am sorry, Mr. President. On 5th May, 1942 -- as
regards  Belgium and France in particular -- Keitel ordered
hostages to be taken and

                                                  [Page 140]
executed in these two countries. They were to be chosen from
the Nationalists, the Democrats and the Communists. This is
Exhibit RF 1433, 1590-PS, the original of which is now in
the hands of the prosecution of the Union of Soviet
Socialist Republics, which will not fail to submit it in the
course of its presentation. This order merely confirms
previous directives, since orders given in August and
September, 1941, by General von Stuelpnagel, Commander-in-
Chief in France, already decreed the execution of hostages.
This is Exhibit RF 1434, 1588-PS, submitted 29th January,
1946, by the French prosecution as Exhibit RF 274.

To impose order in the occupied territories and to protect
the members of the German Army from attempted violence,
Keitel did not hesitate to violate the stipulations of
Articles 46 and 50 of the Hague Convention, which forbid the
use by the occupying power of all means of coercion or
collective reprisals and which, on the contrary, impose
respect for the lives of individuals.

These were not isolated cases of violation; the same things
are repeated in all the occupied countries. These preventive
arrests were built up into a system. They are well suited to
the goal that the High Command had set itself: that of
assuring in this manner a certain attitude on the part of
the population which should be advantageous from a military
point of view. The terms of Exhibit RF 1433, which I have
just quoted, are perfectly definite:

     "All military commanders should always have on hand a
     certain number of hostages of various political
     leanings. It is important that these should include
     personalities in the public eye; in cases of attempted
     violence, hostages belonging to the same group as the
     guilty person are to be shot...."
The reign of terror thus instituted was to reach its climax
in the regulations for applying the decree "Nacht und
Nebel," issued by Keitel on 12th December, 1941. This is
Exhibit RF 1436 which I submit to-day, Document 669-PS. If
the Tribunal will allow me, I shall read a few
characteristic lines indicating Keitel's intentions.

THE PRESIDENT: I think we had it more than once already.

M. QUATRE: I apologise, Mr. President, and I shall go on.
This is the starting point of the deportations to which
France, among other countries, has contributed to such a
great extent. It is unnecessary to labour the point. You
know the treatment inflicted upon these women and men, torn
from their homes in contempt of every law; and the
atrocities committed on them are present in all our minds.

Let us likewise call attention to Exhibit RF 1437, 20-UK,
submitted 9th January, 1946, as Exhibit GB 163. That is an
order of 26th May, 1943, signed on his behalf in which
Keitel prescribed in paragraph 3 that detailed
investigations are to be made in given cases regarding the
relatives of Frenchmen fighting for the Russians, if these
relatives reside in the occupied zone of France. If the
investigation reveals that these relatives have helped to
facilitate their flight from France, severe measures are to
be taken.

On 22nd September, 1943, the High Command of the Army, this
time over Jodl's signature, sent the Commander-in-Chief in
Denmark a telegram which is interesting from two points of
view. It is Exhibit RF 1438, 56-UK, already submitted on
31st January, 1946, as Exhibit RF 335. The first paragraph
authorises the enrolment of Danish Nationals in the military
formations of the occupying army, in S.S. formations. Apart
from being injurious to the honour of the individuals, it
contravenes the terms of the preamble of the Hague
Convention, which stipulates that, in cases not included in
the regular provisions, the population and the belligerents
must remain under the safeguard of the laws of humanity and
the exigencies of the public conscience. This

                                                  [Page 141]
attempt at Germanisation ignored completely the exigencies
of the public conscience.

As for the second paragraph, ordering the Jews to be
deported from Denmark, that is the application of the
general principle of the deportation of Jewish populations
which was to lead to their utter extermination. The Tribunal
is sufficiently informed on this point, so it is unnecessary
to labour it.


I now come to the unwarranted devastation and destruction of
cities, towns, and villages (Page 20 of my presentation).
The policy of terrorism carried on by the German armies in
France against the Resistance movement, against the Free
French Forces, broke all bounds when the occupying power
took steps, not against the members of the Resistance forces
themselves, but against the inhabitants of villages and
towns suspected of harboring these Resistance forces or
giving them aid. I quote in this connection from a brochure
put out by the High Command of the German Army under the
date of 6th May, 1944, which bears the signature of the
defendant Jodl in the name of the Chief of the O.K.W. This
is Exhibit RF 1439, formerly 665-F submitted 31st January,
1946, as Exhibit RF 411. Paragraph 161 of this notice reads
as follows:

     "The cleaning up of villages suspected of concealing
     bands needs experience. The forces of the Security
     Service and the rural Secret Police are to be employed.
     The real helpers of the bands are to be identified and
     the most rigorous measures taken against them.
     Collective measures against the populations of entire
     villages, including the burning of the places in
     question, can be ordered only in exceptional cases and
     then only by divisional commanders, S.S. leaders, or
     chiefs of police." (Page 21 of my presentation.)
But what the defendant Jodl had ordered as an exceptional
measure became the general rule in France in the spring and
in the summer of 1944. Actions which had been exceptional
when this order was signed now took on the aspect of large-
scale operations, ordered and carried out in violation of
the law of nations, by Army units assisted by the forces of
the Security Service and the rural Secret Police.

On the pretext of investigating or making reprisals against
local Resistance elements, German officers and men
scrupulously carried out the orders given by the Chief of
the General Staff of Operations.

So that when the German armies in France were driven back,
their route was marked by dead towns such as those which
bore the names of Oradour-sur-Glane, Maille, Cerisay, Saint-
Die and Vassieux-en-Vercors. Jodl is responsible for these
"mopping-up" operations, which began with the most arbitrary
arrests and went on by progressive stages to torture, the
wholesale massacre of men, women, old people, and children -
- even infants in arms -- and the looting and burning of the
villages themselves. No distinction was made among the
inhabitants; all of them, even the babies, were

Never have the necessities of war justified such measures,
all of which violate Article 46 and 50 of the Hague

I come now (Page 23 of my presentation) to the mobilisation
of civilian workers and to the deportation of civilians for
forced labour. The decree appointing Sauckel"
Plenipotentiary for Manpower," under date of 21st March,
1942, is signed by Hitler, Lammers, Chief of the Reich
Chancellery, and the defendant Keitel. This is Exhibit RF
1440, 1666-PS, submitted by the American prosecution on 12th
December, 1945, as Exhibit USA 208.

The first paragraph provides for the recruiting of all
available civilian labour for employment in the German war
industry and particularly in the armament industry. All
unemployed workers in Germany, the Protectorate, the
Government General and all the occupied territories were
liable to this. This constitutes a violation of Article 52
of the Hague Convention.

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