The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

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


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

                                                 [Page 1612]
                                                            
Q. I will ask him to see if he can't help to refresh your
memory about this conference which took place, at which you
were both present, and at which the Russian prisoner of war
situation was discussed.

A. Yes.

General Lahousen: Reinecke, we are concerned here with the
conference which, according to my memory -- and as I also
stated here -- took place very shortly after the beginning
of the Russian campaign. You were presiding over it.
According to my memory, the following men were present:
Outside of myself there was Obergruppenfuehrer Mueller of
the Reich Security Main Office; the representative of that
section, or rather, of the Prisoner of War Department -- I
can't remember his name any more, but it was not General
Graevenitz.

Colonel Amen: Colonel Breier?

General Lahousen: Right. And perhaps there were one or two
more officers, whom I can't remember. The subject of the
conference was the command concerning the order as to the
treatment of Russian prisoners of war. That is, as far as I
can remember it.

General Reinecke: Yes.

General Lahousen: In this conference you explained and also
gave the reasons for the measures which had led to the
extremely harsh treatment of this question. At that time I
heard, by order of my department and my superior, Admiral
Canaris -- I had to present the misgivings and reservations
which the office had against this decree, or rather, against
the orders, which were in contradiction to all international
customs. [See documents 1519-PS,  vol. IV, p. 58; EC-338,
vol. VII, p. 411.] I don't mean agreement, because there was
no agreement with Russia on that subject.

As far as I remember, these reservations or this protest had
the following contents in the main:

First, the repercussions of these measures upon the morale
of the troops, which were especially and most unfavorably
influences because it happened that those executions were
carried out within sight of the troops.

Second, the unfavorable effects as far as the CIC Service
was concerned. That was because these measures violated the
most elementary confidence as far as the ranks of the
prisoners of war were concerned, and that was especially so
for certain Russian peoples as, for instance, the
Caucasians. They were horrified and put out by this.

                                                 [Page 1613]
                                                            
Third, I pointed out the lunacy of the execution of these
orders or these methods, and I put this question. This
question, in the main, was addressed to Obergruppenfuehrer
Mueller, according to what opinions and what points these
executions were being carried out. That was because it was
reported to me that, for instance, prisoners who came from
the Crimea, who were Tartars, who had been circumcised
because they were Mohammedans, had been killed by the SD
commanders, who were competent in these things. That was
because they had been regarded as Jews; that is, they had
been killed because they had been regarded as Jews.

The fourth point is that because of these methods all
desertions or inclination towards desertion had been
destroyed.

Lastly, thus the will of resistance of the members of the
Read Army itself had only been increased and therefore the
opposite effect had been achieved of what had apparently
been intended, namely, that by the extermination of certain
elements regarded as the promulgators of Bolshevism, it
would kill Bolshevism.

In the discussion which started about this, Mueller told me
he only granted that the executions were not to take place
within sight of the troops, but out of their sight. He made
this compromise in a certain cynical manner. Furthermore, he
granted a certain and more defined limitation as far as the
term "contaminated by Bolshevism" was concerned. That is, a
new limitation on that term should be imposed. Outside of
that, or as far as the further course of the discussion was
concerned, Mueller addressed himself very sharply against
any relaxation of this order. He declared that we were in a
war of life and death with Bolshevism, and that the soldier
of the Red Army was not to be regarded as a soldier like the
soldiers of the Allies, but as an ideological enemy to the
death, and should be treated accordingly.

You, Mr. Reinecke, agreed with this opinion of
Obergruppenfuehrer Mueller in the main, in your conclusions,
and you again described this whole problem which I recalled
to you in very hot words when we left the conference; that
is, after the session had broken up, I mentioned the
negative result as far as my protest was concerned, and I
regretted it very much. I mentioned this to Colonel Breier -
- the Colonel Breier that you mentioned. He only shrugged
his shoulders and said, "What do you want to do? You know
Reinecke very well."

What I pictured here from my memory is, moreover, contained
in a document which I had made for the orientation of my
chief, Admiral Canaris. I made this notation at once, and
thus everything is documented. The document is in a
collection which I

                                                 [Page 1614]
                                                            
have called my collection of rarities. I have marked many of
my papers thus.

That is all.

To General Reinecke by Col. Amen:

Q. Now, do you remember the conference?

A. Yes, it must have happened something like that.

Q. Well now, don't say "It must have happened something like
that." Did it happen like that or didn't it?

A. It is very difficult for me to remember particulars, but
if General Lahousen has made a notation in a document about
it --

General Lahousen: Yes.

A. -- then it must have happened just as he set forth.

Q. Do you deny anything which Lahousen has just said? Answer
yes or no.

A. The only thing that I can imagine -- because of my own
position I can't imagine that I could have taken such a
radical point of view. I must have received an order from
Keitel as to that.

Q. Do you deny anything which Lahousen has just said?

A. I can't deny it because if he noted it down at that time
-- I have nothing in writing that I can remember about that.

Q. Do you deny anything which Lahousen said? And if so,
what?

A. I say again that if he made those notations then they
must be right. However, I cannot remember that I myself took
such a radical position.

Q. But you don't deny anything that Lahousen said or wrote
in his book? Is that correct?

A. None other than my own radical opinion. I don't know, but
I must have said they were not my orders at the time; they
must have been there and have come from the Leadership Staff
of the Armed Forces.

Q. I don't care whose orders they were, at the moment. I am
asking you whether you deny anything that Lahousen said, and
if so, what?

A. I can only say that I cannot agree that I should have
manifested such a radical attitude as to those things
personally.

Q. What part of it do you deny, if any?

A. I personally -- and I believe General Lahousen mentioned
that I had supported Obergruppenfuehrer Mueller's point of
view very strongly.

General Lahousen: Yes.

                                                 [Page 1615]
                                                            
Q. Right. Now, do you deny that or do you admit it?

A. As I said before, it is clear that the thing happened
later, that the order was issued like that. The sentence
here, that the officers of the CIC were to participate in
it, proves that.

Q. There was never an occasion when you opposed anything
that Obergruppenfuehrer Mueller said; isn't that a fact?
Never?

A. That I don't really know.


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