The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

Shofar FTP Archive File: imt/tgmwc/tgmwc-06/tgmwc-06-56.08

Archive/File: imt/tgmwc/tgmwc-06/tgmwc-06-56.08
Last-Modified: 1997/11/18

                                                  [Page 239]

MAJOR-GENERAL ZORYA: Mr. President, in pursuance of the
statement made by the Russian Delegation, I will ask for
permission to bring before the Tribunal for direct
examination the field marshal of the former German Army,
Friedrich Paulus, who will be examined by the Chief
Prosecutor of the U.S.S.R., General Rudenko.

THE PRESIDENT: Very well; the witness may be brought in.

(The witness took his place in the box.)


Q. Will you please tell me your name?

A. Friedrich Paulus.

Q. Will you repeat this oath after me: "I swear by God the
Almighty and Omniscient that I will speak the pure truth and
will withhold and add nothing."

(The witness repeats the oath.)


Q. Your name is Friedrich Paulus?

A. Yes.

Q. You were born 1890?

A. 1890.

Q. You were born in the village of Breitenau, in the
district of Kassel, in Germany?

A. Yes.

Q. By nationality you are a German?

A. Yes.

Q. You are field marshal of the former German Army?

A. Yes.

Q. Your last official position was Commander of the 6th Army
at Stalingrad?

A. Yes.

Q. Will you please tell us, Witness, did you, on 8th
January, 1946, make a statement to the Government of the
Soviet Socialist Republics?

A. Yes, I did.

Q. You confirm this statement?

A. Yes, I confirm this statement.

Q. Please, tell us, Witness, what you know regarding the
preparation by the Hitlerite Government and the German High
Command of the armed attack on the Soviet Union.

                                                  [Page 240]
A. From personal experience, I can state the following: On
3rd September, 1940, I took office with the High Command of
the Army as Quartermaster-Genereal of the General Staff. As
such I was deputy to the Chief of the General Staff, and had
in addition to carry out the instructions of a general
operational nature which he delegated to me.

When I took office I found in my sphere of work, among other
things, a still incomplete operational plan dealing with an
attack on the Soviet Union. This operational plan had been
worked out by the then Brigadier-General Marx, Chief of the
General Staff of the 18th Army, who for this purpose had
been temporarily transferred to the Land Forces High
Command. The Chief of the Land Forces, General Staff,
General Halder, turned over to me the continuation of the
work which was ordered by the Armed Forces High Command, on
the following basis:

An investigation was to be made as to the possibilities of
an attack against the Soviet Union, with regard to the
terrain, the strength of the attack, the manpower needed,
and so forth. In addition it was stated that altogether
about 130 to 140 German divisions would be available for
this operation. It was furthermore to be taken into
consideration that from the beginning, Roumanian territory
was to be utilised for the deployment of the German Southern
Army. On the Northern flank the participation of Finland in
the war was taken into account, but was ignored by the army
in the preparation of this passive plan.

Then, in addition, as a basis for the plan which was to be
worked out, the aims -- the instructions of the O.K.W. --
were given:

(i) The destruction of those parts of the Russian Army
stationed in the West of Russia, and the prevention of the
escape of complete units deep into Russia.

(ii) The reaching of a line from which the Russian Air Force
would be unable to attack German territory effectively, and
the final aim was the reaching of the Volga-Archangel line.

The operational plan which I just outlined was completed at
the beginning of November and was followed by two
manoeuvres, with the command of which the General Staff
entrusted me. Senior officers of the Land Forces High
Command were also assigned. The basic strength requirements
assumed in these manoeuvres were: The launching of an Army
Group South of the Pripet territory, specifically from
Southern Poland and from Roumanian territory, with the aim
of reaching the Dnieper-Kiev line; North of the Pripet
territory another Army Group, the strongest, from the area
around Warsaw and Northward, with the general direction of
attack being the Minsk-Smolensk line, the intention being to
direct it against Moscow later; then a further Army Group
namely Army Group North, from the area of East Prussia, with
the initial direction of attack being through the Baltic
States toward Leningrad.

The conclusion which was drawn from these manoeuvres was at
that time, in case of actual hostilities, provision should
be made initially for reaching the general line Dnieper-
Smolensk-Leningrad, and then the operation was to be carried
forward if the situation developed favourably, supply lines,
etc., being adjusted accordingly.

In connection with these manoeuvres and for the evaluation
of the theoretical experience gained in them there was a
further conference of the Chief of Staff of the Land Forces
and the Chiefs of Staff of the Army Groups, which had been
planned for the East. And further, in connection with this
conference, there was a speech about Russia by the then
Chief of the Eastern Air Forces department, Colonel Kinsel,
describing Russia's geographic and economic conditions, the
Red Army, etc. The most significant point here was that no
preparations whatever for an attack by the Soviet had come
to our notice.

With these manoeuvres and conferences that I have just
described the theoretical considerations and plans for this
offensive were concluded. Immediately thereafter, that is on
18th December, 1940, the Armed Forces High Command

                                                  [Page 241]
issued Directive No. 21. This was the basis for all military
and economic preparations which were to be carried out. In
the Land Forces High Command this directive resulted in
going ahead with the drafting and working out of directions
for troop deployments for this operation.

These first directions for troop deployment were authorised
on 3rd February, 1941, by Hitler after a report by the
Commander-in-Chief of the Land Forces. Later on several
supplements were issued at Obersalzberg; thereupon they were
forwarded to the troops.

For the beginning of the attack the High Command of the
Armed Forces chose the time when large troop movements could
be made on Russian territory. That was expected from about
the middle of May on. Preparations were made in accordance
with this. Then at the end of March this date underwent a
change, when Hitler decided, due to the development of the
situation in Yugoslavia, to attack that country.
Consequently, in the commands issued at the beginning of
April, 1941, this tentative date for the start of the

THE PRESIDENT: I am afraid you are a little too fast.

THE WITNESS: Where shall I begin again?

THE PRESIDENT: I think you had better begin again where you
said that at the end of March Hitler made a change in the

A. (continuing): Because of his decision to attack
Yugoslavia, the date foreseen for the beginning of the
attack had to be postponed by about five weeks, that is to
the last half of June. And indeed, this attack then did take
place on 22nd June, 1941.

In conclusion, I confirm the fact that the preparation for
this attack on the Soviet Union, which actually took place
on 22nd June, 1941, dated back to the autumn of 1940.

Q. In what way and under what circumstances---

THE PRESIDENT: One moment. Did the witness give the date? He
said that preparations for this attack had been made, and
what I want to know is, did he give the date from which it
had been prepared?
(To the witness):

Did you give the date from which the preparations went

A. I gave it at the beginning: From the time my personal
observations began, when I entered office, on 3rd September,


Q. In what way and under what circumstances was the
participation of the satellite States secured?

A. From personal observation, I can say the following
regarding this.

Firstly, in regard to Roumania:

About September, 1940, iust at the time when I had received
this operational sketch for the attack on the Soviet Union,
the use of Roumanian territory for the deployment of the
German right or South wing was planned from the outset. A
military mission headed by the then Lieutenant General of
Cavalry, Hansen, was sent to Roumania. A whole Panzer
Division, the 13th, was transferred to Roumania as a
training unit. To those who knew about the plans for the
future it was obvious that this step could only serve the
purpose of preparing the future partner in the war for the
task intended for him.

Secondly, in regard to Hungary:

In December, 1940, Colonel Lazslo, the chief of the
Operational Group of the Hungarian General Staff, came to
the headquarters of the Land Forces High Command at Zossen.
He asked for a conference regarding questions of
organisation. The Hungarian Army at that time was concerned
with the question of changing over its units, which were
organised in brigades, and divisions, and also with the
establishing of motorised troops and of Panzer units. The
chief of the Organisation Division of the Land Forces
General Staff, and myself, advised Colonel Lazslo. At the
same time, the then

                                                  [Page 242]
Brigadier General Buhle and several Hungarian military
commissions were in Berlin, and with them the Hungarian
Minister of War, General von Bartha. They discussed armament
deliveries to Hungary with German authorities.

It was clear to all of us who were informed as to future
plans, that all these measures, including the supplying of
arms to other armies were only conceivable at that time if
these weapons were to be employed in future military

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