The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

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Last-Modified: 1999/10/05

This document is an official document issued by the General
Staff of the High Command of the Army. It expresses the
general doctrine of all the German Staffs. Now, it is Keitel
who presides over the formation of this doctrine. He is
therefore not only a soldier under the orders of his
government; besides being a general he is also a Nazi
politician whose acts are, at the same time, those of a war
leader and of a politician serving the Nazi policy. You have
proof of it in the document which I have just read to you: a
general who is also a politician, in whom both politics and
conduct of the war are combined in one occupation. This is
not surprising for those who know the German line of
thought, which has never separated war and politics. Was it
not Klausewitz who said that war was only politics continued
by other means?

This is doubly important. This constitutes a direct and
crushing charge against Keitel; but Keitel is the German
General Staff. Now this organisation is indicted and you see
by this document that this indictment is justified, as the
German General Staff dabbled in the criminal policy of the
German Cabinet.

In the case of France, the general orders of Keitel were
adopted by Stulpnagel in his order of September 30th, 1941,
better known in France under the name of "Code of Hostages,"
which repeats and specifies in detail the previous orders,
namely that of 23 August, 1941. This order of 30 September
1941, is of major importance to anyone who wishes to prove
under what circumstances French hostages were shot. This is
why I shall be obliged to read large extracts. It defines,
in paragraph 3, the categories of Frenchmen who

                                                  [Page 128]

are to be considered as hostages. I shall read this
document, which I submit to the Tribunal as Exhibit RF 274.

THE PRESIDENT: What is the number of this document?

M. DUBOST: 1588-PS. Paragraph 1 concerns the seizure of
hostages. I read:

   "22 August 1941, I issued the following announcement:
   
   On the morning of 21 August 1941, a member of the German
   Armed Forces was killed in Paris, as a result of a
   murderous attack.
   
   I therefore order that:
   
   1. All Frenchmen held in custody of whatever kind by the
   German authorities, or on behalf of German authorities
   in France, are to be considered as hostages as from 23
   August.
   
   2. If any further incident occurs, a number of these
   hostages, to be determined according to the gravity of
   the attempt, are, to be shot.
   
   On 19 September 1941 by an announcement to the
   Plenipotentiary of the French Government, I ordered the
   Military Commander in France, that, as from 19 September
   1941, all the male French who are under arrest of any
   kind by the French authorities, or who are taken into
   custody because of communist or anarchist agitation, are
   to be kept under arrest by the French authorities also,
   on behalf of the Military Commander in France.
   
   On the basis of my notification of 22 August 1941 and of
   my order of 19 September 1941 the following groups of
   persons are therefore hostages:
   
   (a) All Frenchmen who are kept in detention of any kind
   whatsoever by the German authorities, such as police
   detention, imprisonment on remand or penal detention.
   
   (b) All Frenchmen who are kept in detention of any kind
   whatsoever by the French authority on behalf of the
   German Authorities. This group includes:
   
     (aa) All Frenchmen who are kept in detention of any
     kind whatsoever by the French authorities because of
     communist or anarchist activities;
     
     (bb) All Frenchmen on whom the French penal
     authorities impose terms of imprisonment at the
     request of the German military courts;
     
     (cc) All Frenchmen who are arrested and kept in
     custody by the French authorities on behalf of the
     German authorities or who are being handed over by the
     Germans to French authorities with the demand to keep
     them under arrest.
   
   (c) Stateless inhabitants who have already been living
   for some time in France are to be considered as
   Frenchmen within the meaning of my notification of 22
   August 1941.
   
   3. Release from detention: Persons who were not yet in
   detention on 22nd August 1941 or on 19th September 1941,
   but who were arrested later on or are still being
   arrested, are hostages as from the date of detention if
   the other conditions apply to them.
   
   The release of arrested persons, authorised on account
   of expiration of sentences, lifting of the order for
   arrest, or for other reasons, will not be affected by my
   announcement of 22 August 1941. Those released are no
   longer hostages.
   
   In as far as persons are in detention of any kind with
   the French authorities for communist or anarchist
   activity, their release is possible, as I have informed
   the French Government, only with my approval."

At the end of this paragraph you will read this sentence:

                                                  [Page 129]


   "Among those Frenchmen who may be drawn on by the German
   military command, a list can be made out of the hostages
   to be executed immediately in the event of an incident."

THE PRESIDENT: Which paragraph are you reading?

M. DUBOST : It is a summary of paragraph 6. I will read you
all the text, if you will bear with me for a moment. It is a
text of capital importance and cannot very well be
summarised.
Paragraph 6, Page 4

   "If an incident occurs which, according to my
   announcement of 22 August 1941 necessitates the shooting
   of hostages, the execution must immediately follow the
   order.
   
   The district commanders, therefore must make a selection
   for their own districts from the total number of people
   in detention (hostages) who from a practical point of
   view may be considered for execution, and who are to
   entered on a list of hostages. These lists of hostages
   serve as a basis for the proposals to be submitted to me
   in the case of an execution.
   
   1. According to the observations made so far, the
   perpetrators originate from communist or anarchist
   terror-gangs. The district commanders are therefore to
   select from those in detention (hostages), persons who,
   because of their communist or anarchist views in the
   past, or their positions in such organisations, or their
   former attitude in other ways are most suitable for
   execution. One must take into consideration when making
   a selection, that the intimidating effect of the
   shooting of hostages is all the greater, on the
   perpetrators themselves, and on those persons who, in
   France or abroad bear the spiritual respionsibility - as
   instigators or by their propaganda - for acts of terror
   and sabotage, the more the persons shot are widely
   known. Experience shows that the instigators and the
   political circles interested in these attacks, are not
   concerned about the lives of obscure followers, but are
   more likely to be concerned about the lives of their own
   former officials. Consequently, we must place at the
   head of these lists:
   
      (a) Former deputies and officials of communist or
      anarchist organisations.

(Allow me to comment, gentlemen. There never were any
anarchist  organisations represented in Parliament, in
either of our chambers, and this paragraph (a) could only
refer to former deputies and officials of the communist
organisations of whom we know, moreover, that some were
executed by the Germans as hostages).

      (b) Persons who have supported the spreading of
      communist ideas by word of mouth or writing
      (preparing of leaflets) - Intellectuals.
      
      (c) Persons who have proved by their attitude that
      they are particularly dangerous (for example: attacks
      on members of the Armed Forces, acts of sabotage,
      possession of arms).
      
      (d) Persons who collaborated in the distribution of
      leaflets."

One idea is dominant in this selection: "We must punish the
elite."

In conformity with paragraph (b) of this article, we shall
see that the Germans shot a number of intellectuals,
including Solomon and Politzer, in 1941 and 1942, in Paris
and the provincial towns.

I shall come back to these executions later, when I give you
examples of German atrocities committed in relation to the
policy of hostages in France.

   2. Following the same directives, a list of hostages is
   to be prepared from amongst the prisoners of de Gaullist
   sympathies.
   
   3. Racial Germans of French nationality, who are
   imprisoned for communist or anarchist activity may be
   included in the list. Special attention must be drawn to
   their German origin on the attached form.

                                                  [Page 130]

   Persons who have been condemned to death but who have
   been pardoned, can also be included in the lists.
   
   5. The lists have to record for each district about 150
   persons, that of the Command of Greater Paris about 300
   to 400 persons. The district chiefs should always record
   on their lists those persons who had their last
   residence or permanent domicile in their districts,
   because those to be executed should as far as possible
   be taken from the district where the act was committed."

Last sentence of paragraph 5:

   "The lists are to be kept up to date. Particular
   attention is to be paid to new arrests and releases."
   
   7. In the French text:
   
   Proposals for execution:
   
   "In case of an incident which necessitates the shooting
   of hostages, within the meaning of my announcement of 22
   August 1941, the district chief in whose territory the
   incident happened is to select from the list of hostages
   persons whose execution he wishes to propose to me. In
   making the selection he must, from the personal as well
   as local point of view, draw from persons belonging to a
   circle which is presumed to include the guilty."

I omit a paragraph.

   "For execution, only those persons who were already
   under arrest at the time of the crime may be proposed
   for execution.
   
   The proposal must contain the names and number of the
   persons proposed for execution, i.e. in the order in
   which the choice is recommended."

And, at the very end of Paragraph VIII we read:

   "When the bodies are buried, the communal burial of a
   large number in the same cemetery is to be avoided, in
   order not to create centres which, now or later, might
   form nuclei for anti-German propaganda. Therefore, if
   necessary, the burials must be carried out in different
   places."

Parallel to this document, concerning France, there exists
in Belgium an order of Falkenhausen of 19 September 1941,
which you will find on Page 6 of the official report on
Belgium, Document F 643, which I shall submit as Exhibit RF
275.

I beg your Lordship's pardon. I have sent for the German
text to be handed over to the interpreters. If you will
allow me, I shall read you the translation in French. If you
consider it necessary, we shall subsequently give time for
the German interpreters to read the text in German.

THE PRESIDENT: Is the Belgian document worded in
substantially the same terms as the document you have just
read?

M. DUBOST: Exactly.

THE PRESIDENT: Then I do not think you need to read that.

M. DUBOST: As you wish. Then it will not be necessary,
either, to read in its entirety the warning of Seyss-Inquart
concerning Holland.

I think that by referring to these exhibits in your document
book, you will extract some pieces of evidence which will
only confirm what I read to you of Stulpnagel's order.

For Norway and Denmark there is a teletyped letter from
Keitel to the Supreme Command of the Navy, dated 30 December
1944, which you will find in the document book as Exhibit 48-
C, I read the end of paragraph 1:

  "Every ship-yard worker must know that any act of
  sabotage occurring within his sphere of activity entails
  for him personally, or for his relatives, if he
  disappears, the most serious consequences."

Page 2 of Document 870-PS:

  "4. 1 have just received a teletype from Field Marshal
  Keitel requesting
  
                                                  [Page 131]
  
  the publication of an order according to which the
  personnel or, if need be, their, near relatives
  (liability of next of kin) will be held collectively
  responsible for the acts of sabotage occurring in their
  factories."

And Terboven, who wrote this sentence, added: (and it is he
who condemns Marshal Keitel)

  "This request only makes sense and will only be
  successful if I am actually allowed to perform executions
  by firing squad."

All these documents will be submitted.

THE PRESIDENT: M. Dubost, do I understand that in Belgium,
Holland, in Norway, and in Denmark there were similar orders
or decrees with reference to hostages?

M. DUBOST: I mean to read those concerning Belgium, Holland
and Norway. For Belgium, for instance, you will find at Page
6 of the French text, document 683-F, which is the official
document of the Belgian Ministry of Justice, headed,

  "Brussels, 29 November 1941, 1 rue de Turin" .... "Decree
  of Falkenhausen of 17 September, 1941." It is from
  Paragraph 5, in the middle of Page 6.
  
  "In the future, the population must expect that, if
  attacks are made on members of the German Army or the
  German Police, and the culprits are not arrested, a
  number of hostages proportionate to the gravity of the
  offence, five at a minimum, will be shot if the attack
  causes death. All political prisoners in Belgium are with
  immediate effect to be considered as hostages."

THE PRESIDENT: M. Dubost, I did not want you to read these
documents if they are substantially in the same form as the
document you have already read.

M. DUBOST: They are more or less in the same form, Mr.
President. I shall submit them because they constitute the
proof of the systematic repetition of the same methods to
obtain the same results, that is, to cause terror to reign
in all the occupied countries of the West. But if the
Tribunal considers it constant and established that these
methods were systematically used in all the Western regions,
naturally I shall spare you the reading of documents which
are monotonous, and which repeat in substance what was said
in the document relating to France.

THE PRESIDENT: Perhaps you had better give us references to
the documents which concern Belgium, Holland, Norway and
Denmark.

M. DUBOST: Yes, Mr. President. So I repeat: for Belgium -

Document 683-F, Page 6, decree of Falkenhausen of 19
September 1941, submitted as Exhibit RF 275, as constituting
the official report of the Kingdom of Belgium against the
principal war criminals.

The second document is 46-C, corresponding to UK-42 (24
November 1942) submitted under Exhibit RF 276.

For Holland, a warning by Seyss-Inquart, which you may feel
it necessary for me to read, since Seyss-Inquart is one of
the defendants.

For Holland, Document 224-F, warning of Seyss-Inquart.

   "For the destruction or the damaging of railway
   installations, telephone cables, and post offices, I
   shall make responsible all the inhabitants of the
   community in the area which the act is committed.
   
   The population of these communities must expect that
   reprisals will be taken against private property, and
   that houses or whole blocks will be destroyed."

THE PRESIDENT: I am afraid I do not know where you are
reading. Which paragraph are you reading?

M. DUBOST: I am told, Mr. President, that this document has
not been bound with the Dutch report. I shall file it at the
end of the hearing, if I may.

THE PRESIDENT: Very well.

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