The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

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Your Lordship, the next exhibit will be USA 556, and it has
been given the number D-411. It is also Exhibit UK 81. It is
the last document in Document Book 2. This is a set of
documents which includes a directive dated 10th October,
1941, by Field Marshal von Reichenau, who was the Commander-
in-Chief (Oberbefehlshaber) of the German 6th Army, then
operating on the Eastern Front. Reichenau, who died in 1942,
was therefore a member of the group as defined in the
Indictment, and here is what he had to say. I begin reading
at Page 5 of the translation:

   "Subject: Conduct of Troops in Eastern Territories.
   Regarding the conduct of troops towards the Bolshevistic
   System, vague ideas are still prevalent in many cases.
   The most essential aim of the war against the Jewish-
   Bolshevistic system is a complete destruction of their
   means of power and the elimination of Asiatic influence
   from the European culture. In this connection the troops
   are facing tasks which exceed the one-sided routine of
   soldiering. The soldier in the Eastern Territories is
   not merely a fighter according to the rules of the art
   of war, but also a bearer of ruthless national ideology
   and the avenger of bestialities which have been
   inflicted upon German and racially related nations.
   Therefore, the soldier must have full understanding of
   the necessity for a severe but just revenge on subhuman
   Jewry. The Army has to aim at another purpose, that is,
   the annihilation of revolts in the Hinterland, which, as
   experience proves, have always been caused by Jews.

                                                   [Page 15]

   The combating of the enemy behind the front line is
   still not being taken seriously enough. Treacherous,
   cruel Partisans and unnatural women are still being made
   prisoners of war, and guerrilla fighters dressed partly
   in uniforms or plain clothes, and vagabonds, are still
   being treated as proper soldiers and sent to prisoner-of-
   war camps. In fact, captured Russian officers even talk
   mockingly about Soviet agents moving openly about the
   roads and very often eating at German field kitchens.
   Such an attitude of the troops can only be explained by
   complete thoughtlessness, so it is now high time for the
   commanders to clarify the meaning of the present
   The feeding from our army kitchens of the natives and of
   prisoners of war who are not working for the armed
   forces is an humanitarian act just as much misunderstood
   as is the giving of cigarettes and bread. Things which
   the people at home can spare under great sacrifices and
   things which are being brought by the Command to the
   Front under great difficulties, should not be given to
   the enemy by the soldier, not even if they originate
   from booty. They are an important part of our supply.
   When retreating, the Soviet troops have often set
   buildings on fire. The troops should be interested in
   extinguishing fires only as far as it is necessary to
   secure sufficient numbers of billets. Otherwise, the
   disappearance of symbols of the former Bolshevistic
   rule, even in the form of buildings, is part of the
   struggle of destruction. Neither historic nor artistic
   considerations are of any importance in the Eastern
   The command issues the necessary directives for the
   securing of raw materials and plants essential for war
   economy. The complete disarming of the civil population
   in the rear of the fighting troops is imperative,
   considering the long and vulnerable lines of
   communication. Where possible, captured weapons and
   ammunition should be stored and guarded. Should this be
   impossible because of the situation, the weapons and
   ammunition must be rendered useless. If isolated
   Partisans are found, using firearms in the rear of the
   Army, drastic measures are to be taken. These measures
   will be extended to that part of the male population who
   were in a position to hinder or report the attacks. The
   indifference of numerous allegedly anti-Soviet elements,
   which originates from a 'wait-and-see' attitude, must
   give way to a clear decision for active collaboration.
   If not, no one can complain about being judged and
   treated as members of the Soviet system.
   The fear of the German counter-measures must be stronger
   than the threats of the wandering Bolshevistic remnants.
   Being far from all political considerations of the
   future the soldier has to fulfil two tasks:
      1. Complete annihilation of the false Bolshevistic
      doctrine of the Soviet State and its Armed Forces.
      2. The pitiless extermination of foreign treachery
      and cruelty, and thus the protection of the lives of
      military personnel in Russia.
   This is the only way to fulfil our historic task to
   liberate the German people once and for ever from the
   Asiatic-Jewish danger.
   (Signed) von Reichenau,

The Tribunal will note the sheet immediately preceding
Reichenau's order. That is sheet number 4 of the
translation, which is a memorandum dated 28th October, 1941.
It shows that Reichenau's order met with Hitler's approval
and was thereafter circulated by order of the Commander-in-
Chief of the German Army.

The Tribunal will also note from the first sheet, the very
top sheet of the several following, that Reichenau's order
was thereafter circulated down to

                                                   [Page 16]

divisional level, and was received by the 12th German
Infantry Division on 27th November, 1941.

These being the directives and policies prescribed by the
German military leaders, it is no wonder that the Wehrmacht
joined in the monstrous behaviour and activities of the S.S.
and S.D. on the Eastern Front.

Colonel Storey described to the Tribunal the formation by
the Sipo and S.D. of units known as Einsatzgruppen, which
were sent out to operate in and behind the operational areas
on the Eastern Front, in order to combat Partisans and to
cleanse and pacify the civilian population. Major Farr and
Colonel Storey both presented to the Tribunal a large amount
of evidence showing the manner in which these units

I want to refer back briefly to a few of these documents in
order to trace the participation of the Armed Forces in
those circumstances.

Colonel Storey read at length from Document 3012-PS, which
is Exhibit USA 190, dated 19th March, 1943. It is a
directive from the Commanding Officer of one of these
groups. This directive praised and justified such activities
as the shooting of Hungarian Jews, the shooting of children
and the total burning of villages, and directed that in
order not to obstruct the procuring of slave labour for the
German armament industry, "as a rule no more children will
be shot."

Major Farr read from Document R-102, which is Exhibit USA
470, a report covering the Work of the Einsatzgruppen in the
German occupied territories of the Soviet Union during the
month of October, 1941. This report states cynically on Page
4: "Spontaneous demonstrations against Jewry followed by
pogroms on the part of the population against the remaining
Jews have not been recorded, on account of the lack of
adequate investigation."

It shows as clearly as the human eye can see that
"pacification" and "anti-Partisan activities" became mere
code words for the extermination of Jews just as much as
"Weserubung " was the code word for the invasion of Norway
and Denmark.

We have seen from the documents quoted a few moments ago
that the German Army received some similar policies and
directives. It only remains to show that in the field the
army and the S.S. worked hand in glove.

The Tribunal will recall the document quoted by Major Walsh,
1061-PS, already in evidence as Exhibit USA 275, It
describes the destruction of the Warsaw Ghetto, and at this
time I merely want to call attention to one paragraph
appearing at Page 6 of the translation, the third paragraph
from the bottom of the page, where the author of the
document stresses the close co-operation between the S.S.
and the Army. Quoting:

   "The longer the resistance lasted, the tougher the men
   of the Waffen S.S., Police and Wehrmacht became; they
   fulfilled their duty indefatigably in faithful
   comradeship, and stood together as models and examples
   of soldiers. Their duty hours often lasted from early
   morning until late at night. At night, search patrols
   with rags wound round their feet remained at the heels
   of the Jews and gave them no respite. Not infrequently
   they caught and killed Jews who used the night hours for
   supplementing their stores from abandoned dug-outs and
   for contacting neighbouring groups or exchanging news
   with them."

To the same general effect is Document R-135, Exhibit USA
289, which is a report dated 5th June, 1943, by the German
General Commissioner for Minsk. Major Farr read from this
report, describing an anti-Partisan operation in which 4,500
enemies were killed, 5,000 suspected Partisans and 59
Germans. The co-operation by the German Army is shown in the
following excerpt, and I will begin reading at the bottom of
Page 3 of the translation:

   "The figures mentioned above indicate that again a heavy
   destruction of the population must be expected. If only
   492 rifles are taken from

                                                   [Page 17]

   4,500 enemy dead, this discrepancy shows that among
   these enemy dead were numerous peasants from the
   country. The battalion Dirlewanger especially has a
   reputation for destroying many human lives. Among the
   5,000 people suspected of belonging to bands, there were
   numerous women and children.
   By order of the Chief of anti-Partisan units, S.S.
   Obergruppenfuehrer von dem Bach, units of the Armed
   Forces have also participated in the operation. S.S.
   Standartenfuehrer Kunze was in command of the Armed
   Forces detachments, among whom there were also 90
   members from my office and from the District
   Commissariat of Minsk. Our men returned from the
   operation yesterday without losses."

I need not read the rest of that. The next paragraph shows
again the participation of the Armed Forces personnel.

The S.S. Obergruppenfuehrer von dem Bach, referred to in
this quotation, will be a witness later in the day, and in
this connection I want to call the Court's attention to
Document 1919-PS, Exhibit USA 170, which is Himmler's speech
on 4th October, 1943 to a gathering of S.S. Generals at
Posen. In this speech, Himmler mentioned the appointment of
von dem Bach to be chief of all anti-Partisan units, and I
would like to read one paragraph from Page 3 of the document
merely for purposes of identification of the witness:

   "Chief of the anti-Partisan Units:
   In the meantime I have also set up the department of the
   Chief of the anti-Partisan units. Our comrade S.S.
   Obergruppenfuehrer von dem Bach is chief of the anti-
   Partisan units. I considered it necessary for the
   Reichsfuehrer S.S. to be in authoritative command in all
   these battles, for I am convinced that we are best in a
   position to take action in this struggle, which is
   decidedly a political one. Except where the units which
   had been supplied and which we had formed for this
   purpose were taken from us to fill in gaps at the front,
   we have been very successful."

There is one further document which has already been
introduced, from which I wish read new material. That is L-
180, which is already in evidence as Exhibit USA 276. It is
the report of Einsatzgruppe A, covering the period up to
15th October. 1941. I think the excerpts which I will read
will make clear beyond doubt the participation of the German
military leaders and Armed Forces in the activities of these
Einsatzgruppen. I read first from Page 2 of the translation,
the top of the page:

   "Einsatz Group A, after preparing their vehicles for
   action, proceeded to their area of concentration as
   ordered on 23rd June, 1941, the second day of the
   campaign in the East. Army Group North, consisting of
   the 16th and 18th Armies and Panzer-Group 4, had left
   the day before. Our task was to establish hurriedly
   personal contact with the Commanders of the Armies and
   with the Commander of the Army of the Rear Area. It must
   be stressed from the beginning that co-operation with
   the Armed Forces was generally good; in some cases, for
   instance, with Panzer-Group 4, under Colonel General
   Hoeppner, it was very close and almost cordial.
   Misunderstandings which cropped up with some authorities
   in the first days, were cleared up mainly through
   personal discussions."

This ends that particular extract. I read next a series of
extracts, of which the first is at the bottom of Page 2:

   "Similarly, native anti-Semitic forces were induced to
   start pogroms against Jews during the first hours after
   the occupation, though this inducement proved to be very
   difficult. According to orders, the Security Police was
   determined to solve the Jewish question with all
   possible means and most decisively. But it was desirable
   that the Security Police should not put in an immediate
   appearance, at least in the beginning, since the

                                                   [Page 18]

extraordinarily harsh measures were apt to stir even German
circles. It had to be shown to the world that the native
population itself took the initiative, by way of natural
reaction against the suppression by Jews during several
decades, and against the terror exercised by the Communists
during the preceding period."

Next I pass to Page 4 of the translation, about half-way
down the page, the middle of the first complete paragraph:

   "After the failure of purely military activities, such
   as the placing of sentries and combing through the newly
   occupied territories with whole divisions, even the
   Armed Forces bad to look out for new methods. The
   Einsatz Group undertook to search for new methods. Soon,
   therefore, the Armed Forces adopted the experiences of
   the Security Police and their methods of combating the
   Partisans. For details I refer to the numerous reports
   concerning the struggle against the Partisans."

I pass next to Page 6 under "Instigation of Self-Cleansing

   "Considering that the population of the Baltic countries
   had suffered very heavily under the government of
   Bolshevism and Jewry while they were incorporated in the
   U.S.S.R., it was to be expected that after the
   liberation from that foreign government, they (that is,
   the population themselves) would render harmless most of
   the enemies left behind after the retreat of the Red
   Army. It was the duty of the Security Police to set in
   motion these self-cleansing movements, and to direct
   them into the correct channels in order to accomplish
   the purpose of the cleansing operations as quickly as
   possible. It was no less important, in view of the
   future, to establish the unshakeable and provable fact
   that the liberated populations themselves took the most
   severe measures against the Bolshevist and Jewish enemy
   quite on their own, so that the direction by German
   authorities could not be found out.
   In Lithuania this was achieved for the first time by
   Partisan activities in Kowno. To our surprise it was not
   easy at first to set in motion an extensive pogrom
   against Jews. Klimatis, the leader of the Partisan unit
   mentioned above, who was used for this purpose
   primarily, succeeded in starting a pogrom on the basis
   of advice given to him by a small advance detachment
   acting in Kowno, and in such a way that no German order
   or German instigation was noticed from the outside.
   During the first pogrom, in the night from 25th to 26th
   June, the Lithuanian Partisans did away with more than
   1,500 Jews, set fire to several synagogues or destroyed
   them by other means, and burned down a Jewish dwelling
   district consisting of about 60 houses. During the
   following nights about 2,300 Jews were made harmless in
   a similar way. In other parts of Lithuania similar
   actions followed the example of Kowno, though smaller
   and extending only to the Communists who had been left
   These self-cleansing actions went smoothly because the
   Army authorities, who had been informed, showed
   understanding for this procedure. From the beginning it
   was obvious that only the first days after the
   occupation would offer the opportunity for carrying out
   pogroms. After the disarmament of the Partisans the self-
   cleansing action of necessity came to an end."

I pass to Page 10 of the translation, toward the bottom
under "Other Jobs of the Security Police":

   "Occasionally the conditions prevailing in the lunatic
   asylums necessitated operations of the security Police."

Passing to the next paragraph:

   "Sometimes authorities of the Armed Forces asked us to
   clean out in a similar way other institutions which were
   wanted as billets. However,

                                                   [Page 19]

   as interests of the Security Police did not require any
   intervention, it was left to the authorities of the
   Armed Forces to take the necessary action with their own

I pass on to Page 17 of the translation, the paragraph at
the top of the page:

   "But it was decided - "

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