The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

Shofar FTP Archive File: imt/nca/supp-b/nca-sb-02-reinecke.01-03


Archive/File: imt/nca/supp-b/nca-sb-02-reinecke.01-03
Last-Modified: 1997/12/10

Q. Well, can you remember any time when you ever opposed
anything that Mueller said?

A. I can only say again that all of us were very distressed
about this thing and how it was working out. However, it was
ordered and thus it had to be carried out.

Q. You weren't distressed about it.

A. Yes.

Q. What did you do about it?

A. I couldn't do anything against it.

Q. You didn't try to do anything, did you? You have just
heard Lahousen say what you did about it, which was to
support Mueller.

A. If two different departments did not agree, then the
normal thing would have been that Admiral Canaris, as the
representative of his office, would have gone to Keitel and
told him, "It doesn't work out like that." And then Keitel
would have settled the difficulty.

Q. Now we will ask Lahousen about that.

General Lahousen: I want to make a statement here. That is
just what happened. Admiral Canaris had been to see Keitel
to make representations about just what had happened; that
is, about the contents of these orders: (a) as far as
international law was concerned -- that is, about the
customs of international law; and (b) about the lunacy of
this order. He made very strong representations about it.

I received directives from Canaris before I went to this
conference. The purpose of that was to provide you, Mr.
Reinecke, with a golden bridge, so to speak. I was to give
you all the facts upon which to build, and I was going to
give you all the material support possible. Instead of
taking this opportunity, you relied upon Mueller.

General Reinecke: Well, the way I look at it, I must have
already received Keitel's opinion, because I can't imagine
anything else.

General Lahousen: Your personal position was very harsh, in
particular; it came out in the expressions which were used
at the

                                                 [Page 1616]
                                                            
time and which I don't remember exactly any more, and
therefore I can't repeat them. However, they are in that
notation that I made in the document; that is, your personal
expressions about these questions.

To General Reinecke by Col Amen:

Q. Do you deny anything which Lahousen says?

A. It is difficult to deny it.

Q. I don't care whether it is easy or difficult; do you or
don't you?

A. If he remembers those things, then it must have been like
that.

General Lahousen: I can only tell the truth as to just how
it happened.

A. If he put it down in a document -- at nay rate, I can't
remember it.

Q. Then you don't dispute it; is that right?

A. Well, if he noted it down like that, then what can I --
well, I remembered it differently.

Q. Do you dispute it or don't you?

(Witness shrugs his shoulders.)

Don't just shrug your shoulders; do you dispute it or don't
you?

A. If he says it happened like that and he noted it down on
paper, then it must be correct. I myself could not fix it as
positively as all that.

Q. But you don't dispute it?

A. No.

To General Lahousen by Col. Amen:

Q. Now, I want to ask Lahousen if it isn't a fact that these
orders for the treatment of Russian prisoners of war were
the subject of constant discussion in the General Staff?

A. I believe yes. I don't happen to know of any concrete
instances, but I must suppose that this subject -- which had
created a terrific reaction within the armed forces -- was
discussed many times at various places.

Q. And is there any question but what the reaction was a
very strong one?

A. No. I know that the reaction was especially strong from
the front; that is, especially the commanders and those in a
position of command at the front.

I have already stated in my first interrogations that
several of these commanders refused to transmit these orders
any further,

                                                 [Page 1617]
                                                            
but I am sorry that I cannot name them. I remember very well
that Canaris undertook a trip at once, or at least a very
short time after this order had been issued, to see the
Supreme Commanders and to ascertain their opinions as to
this order. Then Canaris told me about this, and that is
where I derived the foundation for what I just told you.

Q. Now, what was Reinecke's position at the time of this
conference?

A. He was the Chief of the General Office of the Armed
Forces.

Q. And what was his responsibility at that time insofar as
the prisoners of war were concerned?

A. I can't say that positively, but I can only deduce
something from the presence of Colonel Breier, who belonged
to your Department.

General Reinecke: Yes, he did.

A. And from the fact that you presided over this conference,
I had to conclude thus, that you were concerned very much
with this question -- that is, the responsibility -- without
being able to say concretely just how the organization was
at that time.

Q. Well, how did Reinecke happen to be at the conference, so
far as you know?

A. He was presiding over it, and I even believe that he
called it. He called it in order to comment on and explain
these orders.

Q. So that if he suggests that he did not know anything
about these orders first-hand, that does not conform with
the facts as they appeared at the conference?

A. That is absolutely out of the question.

To General Reinecke by Col. Amen:

Q. Do you agree with that?

A. No, I don't agree. Perhaps I may explain this again
clearly. As I said before, as far as I remember, when I came
back from the front I called this conference. All these
orders for the treatment of Russian prisoners were not given
by me, but they all came from the Leadership Staff of the
Armed Forces without my participation.

This also appears in this order -- and this was after we had
issued the outlines. It says here: "The outlines given by
the OKW for the occupied areas." That proves quite clearly
that the original order came from Keitel and the Fuehrer,
and was signed by Warlimont to the General Staff of the
Army, because all the camps were under their jurisdiction
and the measures had to be taken their. Then gradually,
after the prisoners of war came un-

                                                 [Page 1618]
                                                            
der our jurisdiction, we were forced to take a certain
position on that problem.

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