Archive/File: imt/nca/supp-b/nca-sb-02-schellenberg.02 Last-Modified: 1997/12/11 Nazi Conspiracy & Aggression, Supplement B Use of Russian P/W's Behind the Russian Lines Excerpts from Testimony of Walter Schellenberg, taken at Nurnberg, Germany, 13 November 1945, 1445- 1710, by Lt. Col. Smith W. Brookhart, Jr., IGD. Also present: George A. Sakheim, Interpreter; S/Sgt. William A. Weigel, Reporter. [Page 1623] Q. You have mentioned the operation Zeppelin. Will you tell us about your participation in this? A. The operation Zeppelin was initiated in 1942. The purpose of this organization was to choose from a selection of Russian prisoners intelligent and suitable men to be deployed on the eastern front behind the Russian lines. This work was done by our own Commandos of the operation Zeppelin. The PW's thus selected were turned over to Commandos in the rear, who trained the prisoners. They were trained in assignments of the secret messenger service and in wireless communications. In order to furnish these prisoners with a motive for work, they were treated extremely well. They were shown the best possible kind of Germany. This was accomplished by trips around Germany where they were shown industry and farms, and super-highways. Q. What was your particular function in connection with the training of these units? A. I laid down the policy for the training, but did not myself participate in the execution of the plan. I remember only that one time in 1943 I called a meeting of the Commando leaders at Breslau. This was necessary because after Stalingrad and the general withdrawal in Russia, the influencing of the Russian prisoners had become increasingly difficult. Therefore, it became necessary to change from a mass deployment of Russian prisoners, such as dropping them by parachute, to using a few highly skilled, intelligent Russians who were with us because of thier conviction. A. At approximately what period of time was this change noticeable? A. That was in January 1943. Q. Thereafter, you were confined to the very limited group that you have just described? A. Yes. Thereafter we attempted to select prisoners from the larger PW camps where every kind of category had been thrown together. We tried to select those who would be valuable to us and confine them to one special camp. [Page 1624] Q. Are you still speaking about Russian prisoners for use on the Eastern front? A. Yes. Q. As far as the operation Zeppelin is concerned, that was limited entirely to the Eastern front? A. Yes, only to the Eastern front. From the wireless reports of these Commandos behind the Russian lines and the special reports of those Russian prisoners confined to the highly selected camps, we made reports.
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