Archive/File: imt/nca/supp-b/nca-sb-02-reinecke.01-00 Last-Modified: 1997/12/10 Nazi Conspiracy & Aggression, Supplement B XXIII. Hermann Reinecke* Branding and Other Inhumane Treatment of Russian Prisoners of War Excerpts from Testimony of Hermann Reinecke, taken at Nurnberg, Germany, 23 October 1945, 1045-1235, by Col. John H. Amen, IGD. Also present: Lt. Daniel F. Margolies; General Erwin Lahousen (German P/W); Richard W. Sonnenfeldt, Interpreter; Anne Daniels, Court Reporter. * Hermann Reinecke was a General of Infantry (Lt. Gen.); Chief of the General Office of OKW; Chief of the NS Political Guidance Staff, OKW; Honorary member of the Special Senate of the People's Tribunal. Reinecke was known as one of the most Nazified of the General generals. In August 1944 he was one of the judges in the trial of participants in the 20 June 1944 attempt on Hitler's life. BY LT. MARGOLIES: Q. I have here document R-94. The order deals with the marking of Russian prisoners of war. [Document referred to did not form part of prosecution case as finally prepared and hence is not published in this series.] A. Yes. (The witness examined the document.) I know this order, and, as I said yesterday, it deals with tattooing. It was issued by General Graevenitz at the time, and as soon as we learned about it, it was recalled. Q. Who is the order signed by? A. It is signed by the Chief of the Prisoner of War Department, General Graevenitz. Q. On the order it states -- A. (Interposing) It was always signed "By Order of the Chief of the Supreme Command of the Wehrmacht." I know this exactly. Graevenitz issued this in July of 1942, and either the Chief of the Department, the Chief of the Section, or the Chief of the Prisoner of War Department would sign it. He personally had to recall this order; he had to issue another order to cancel this one. Q. When an order is signed by the Chief of the OKW, does he know about the order before it is issued? A. Normally, an order is signed by the Chief of the OKW -- such an order would have to be previously approved and concurred in by the Chief of the OKW. However, I remember exactly that this order here was issued without either his or my approval, and thus it had to be recalled later. I don't know any more exactly; you would have to ask Graevenitz about it. I believe that this order was issued after a general directive had been issued by Keitel that prisoners of war would have to be marked in some way. Q. Well, do you remember when the order was recalled? [Page 1607] A. Yes; I know that exactly because all of us insisted on that as soon as we heard about it. I can swear to that. Q. Well, do you remember discussing this order with Field Marshal Keitel? A. If I remember correctly, a general order was given by Keitel that they would have to be marked or identified in some way, and that, of course, was because of the many escapes that took place. Those people would get away from the camps and then put on civilian clothes, and it would be impossible to identify them. I think this suggestion was made at the instigation of the police. I believe that this is the order that resulted. (Referring to the document) -- Yes, that is it. BY COLONEL AMEN: Q. Your recollection has been refreshed about the meeting with Lahousen? A. Yes. I was very much moved and very much stirred yesterday that some of my answers were doubted. I can only repeat again that I had nine departments under me, and one can't remember all these things after four years. Q. Well, you can certainly remember that there were many conferences concerning the orders for the mistreatment of Russian prisoners of war. A. Of course, most of those conferences or discussions took place with the Prisoner of War Department. Q. No, but you personally attended many conferences where those orders were discussed? A. Of course, that is difficult to say, but it is possible. Q. Well, I will refresh your recollection about it, I think, in a very little while. Meanwhile, here is document 1519-PS. [Circular regarding treatment of Soviet Prisoners of War. See Vol. IV, p. 58.] I ask you to read it and see if that helps to refresh your recollection on any of these points. (The document was submitted to the witness.) A. Of September 1941? Oh, yes. This, then, must have been of consequence. I mean, the meeting must have taken place shortly before this. I guess that must have been in connection with the trip that I took to the front in August of that year. I noted all those things, and then I must have said, "Now listen, we can't work things like that," because the commandants of the camps were complaining. [Page 1608] Q. What were the commandants of the camps complaining about? A. Well, just about this. Those were camps that were under the authority of the Army; they were not under us. I didn't have any camps there. They complained about the attitude of the Police, and they wanted the same thing that we wanted, namely, they wanted to have all these things done outside the camps. Q. Who is "they"? A. By "they" I mean the commandants of the camps, and of course us too. If I remember correctly, in August we had not received any Russian prisoners of war in the home area. Q. Where were they? A. They were all with the Army, and that is where the orders were sent. I believe the order that I was shown yesterday had the initials of Warlimont on it and I believe it was sent to the Army. Q. So what? A. What I mean to say about that is that these orders were sent from the Leadership Staff of the Armed Forces to the Army, and then we only saw it much later. Otherwise, we would have issued this order on the 8th of September 1941 very much earlier. Q. Well, the first order was issued on 16 June, was it not? A. But not about this subject, I don't believe. There is one mention here of the 26th of June 1941 and -- oh, yes, there is one up here of the 16th of June addressed to the Commander of the District. Only Breier could answer this. I was in the sanitarium at Dresden at that time, and therefore it is impossible for me to answer these questions. This is also an order that was issued without my collaboration, because otherwise it would have to say "AWA" [General Office of the Armed Forces]. Q. That is a lot of nonsense. Now, do you remember document number 502-PS [Vol. III, p. 422] which had to do with the killing of the prisoners outside of the camp? Do you remember that order? A. You mean an order from us? Q. Never mind who it was from. I said do you remember the order that I showed you yesterday, dated 17 July 1941, about killing prisoners outside of the camp? This order right here. (The document was submitted to the witness.) A. You mean what I saw yesterday? Q. I say do you remember it, yes or no? [Page 1609] A. I don't remember it; it was not issued by us. Q. That isn't true either. Read the first line. Read it out loud. (Whereupon the witness read as instructed.) Doesn't that say that the activation of commandos will take place in accordance with the agreement of the Chief of the Security Police and Security Service, and the Supreme Command of the Armed Forces? A. Yes, that is possible; yes.
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