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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