The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

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Last-Modified: 1999/10/05


THE PRESIDENT: No, I know it does not, but this is an
official document produced by the Republic of France, is it
not?

M. DUBOST: Yes.

THE PRESIDENT: How do you show that this Appendix No. 2 to
the report on captivity is equally an official document with
this one? That is what we want to know.

M. DUBOST: Mr. President, it is a report which was submitted
in the name of the French Government by the delegation which
I represent.

THE PRESIDENT: Well, you see, this one here is headed
"Service of Information of War Crimes, Official French
Edition." Now, that seems to us to be different from this
mere typewritten copy, which has on it "Appendix Number 2 to
the Report on the Captivity." We do not know whose report on
the captivity.

M. DUBOST: Mr. President, you have before you the official
note of transmission from our government. I requested that
it should be handed to you.

THE PRESIDENT: In this document?

M. DUBOST: From this distance I think that is it.

THE PRESIDENT: We have this document, which appears to be an
official document, but this Appendix has no such seal upon
it as this has.

M. DUBOST: There is mention of an appendix to this document.

THE PRESIDENT: The other is marked: Appendix. It must be
identified by a seal.

M. DUBOST: The covering letter has a seal, and the fact that
it alludes to the document is sufficient, in my opinion, to
authenticate the document transmitted.

THE PRESIDENT: This one?

M. DUBOST: The covering letter is officially sealed and the
appended document is attached to it.

                                                  [Page 283]

THE PRESIDENT: Is the explanation that you have torn off the
appendix from this document and have put in the appendix
separately?

M. DUPOST: I did not tear any document, Mr. President. I
received an official document, whose authentic character is
attested by the covering letter.

THE PRESIDENT: Where is this letter?

M. DUBOST: The letter is at the top of the sheaf of papers
which you are holding in your right hand, Mr. President, if
I am not mistaken.

THE PRESIDENT: I see the letter now, yes.

M. DUBOST: May I continue?

THE PRESIDENT: No.

This document here has a letter attached to it. This
document here is not referred to in that letter
specifically. Therefore, there is nothing to connect the two
documents together.

M. DUBOST: I think there is a note in the margin in
manuscript. I have not the document before me here, and
cannot be positive about it, but I think there is a note in
the margin in manuscript.

THE PRESIDENT: The Tribunal wishes you to put this in as one
document. I see there is a manuscript note here at the side,
which refers to the Appendix. If you will put the whole
thing in together-

M. DUBOST: It is all submitted in one file: I wish to read
to the Tribunal, extracts from two letters addressed to the
German Armistice Commission at Wiesbaden by the ex-
ambassador Scapini, both dated 4 April, 1941. The Tribunal
will find them reproduced in the document book before them,
Pages 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, and 22.

Top right-hand corner, Page 16:

   "4 April, 1941:
   
   M. Scapini, Ambassador of France, to his Excellency
   Monsieur Abetz, German Ambassador in Paris. Subject: Men
   captured after the coming into force of the Armistice
   Convention and treated as prisoners of war."

At the bottom of this page:

   "1. The Geneva Convention
   
   The Geneva Convention applies only during a state of war
   as far as captures are concerned. Now, armistice
   suspends war operations. Hence, any man captured after
   the Armistice Convention came into force, and treated as
   a prisoner of war, is wrongfully retained in captivity."

Page 17, third paragraph-concerns the Armistice Convention
in its second section. It states only that the French Armed
Forces stationed in regions to be occupied by Germany are to
be brought back quickly into unoccupied territory and be
demobilised, but does not say that they are to be taken into
captivity, which would be contrary to the Geneva Convention.

   Fifth paragraph of the same page: "1. Civilians: If it
   is admitted that civilians captured before the Armistice
   cannot be treated as prisoners of war as discussed in my
   previous letter, surely there is all the more reason not
   to consider as such those captured after the Armistice.
   I note in this respect that captures, some of which were
   collective, were carried out several months after the
   end of hostilities."

Then on Page 18, the top of the page: "To the categories of
civilians defined in my first letter, I wish to add one
more: that of demobilised men who were going back to their
homes in the occupied zone after the Armistice and who, more
often than not, were captured on their way home and sent in
to captivity as a result of the initiative of local military
authorities.

   2. Soldiers: That is how I would define, by convention,
   men who,
   
                                                  [Page 284]
   
   
   though freed after the Armistice, could not for some
   reason - due to the difficult circumstances of that
   period - be provided with the regular demobilisation
   papers. Many of them were captured and taken into
   captivity under the same conditions as those mentioned
   above."

I think the Tribunal will not require the reading of that
example, but if the President wishes, I shall read it.

THE PRESIDENT: No.

M. DUBOST: Let us turn to Page 19, second half of the page,
the last paragraph :

   "A. Civilians not subject to military requirements: It
   is obvious that these men could not be considered
   soldiers according to French law. They can be
   classified, according to age, into three groups :
   
      (a) Men under twenty-one not yet mobilised. Example:
      Flanquart, Alexandre, eighteen years old, captured by
      the German troops at Courrieres, in the Department
      Pas-de-Calais, at the time of the arrival of these
      troops, in that region. His address in captivity was
      No. 65/388, Stalag 11-B.
      
      (b) Men between twenty-one and forty-eight who were
      not mobilised, or who were demobilised, or who were
      considered unfit for service."

There follows a rather lengthy list which the Tribunal will
perhaps accept without my
reading it. It consists merely of names.

In the middle of the page:

   "Men specially assigned to the army: I will classify
   them into two groups:
   
   1. Men mobilised into special corps which are military
   formations, established at the time of the mobilisation
   by different ministerial departments, according to the
   following chart."

At the top of Page 21:

   Men specially assigned, who on mobilisation were kept in
   the positions which they held, in peace time, in
   military services or establishments. Example: Workers in
   artillery depots.
   
   Civilians specially assigned: Contrary to those
   mentioned above, the civilians who were specially
   assigned did not belong to military formations and were
   not subject to military authority. Nevertheless they
   were arrested. Example: (I omit several lines) Mouisset,
   Henri, specially assigned to the Marret-Bonin factory.
   (I omit a few more lines) Address in captivity: No. 102
   Stalag II-A."

Those people were not all freed, far from it. Some remained
prisoners until the end of the war.

Arrest of Dutch Army officers. We shall cite now a document
submitted under No. 324 RF, the text of which is in your
document book, on Page 15 his. This text may be summarised
in a few words. It is the story of Dutch officers who were
freed after the capitulation of the Dutch Army, and
recaptured shortly afterwards to be
sent to captivity in Germany.

Paragraph 3 of this document:

   "On 9 May, 1942, a summons addressed to all regular
   officers of the former Dutch Army who were on active
   service on 10 May, 1940, was published in the Dutch
   newspapers, according to which they were to be present
   on 15 May, 1942, at the Chassee Barracks in Breda."

Paragraph 5:

   "More than one thousand regular officers reported to the
   Chassee Barracks on 15 May. The doors were closed after
   them."

Paragraph 7:

   "A German officer of high rank came into the barracks
   and declared
   
                                                  [Page 285]
   
   that the officers had not kept their word to undertake
   no action against the Fuehrer and, as a result of this,
   they were to be kept in captivity."

The following paragraph states that they were taken from the
station at Breda to Nuremberg, in Germany.

Numerous obstacles were placed in the way of the release of
French prisoners of war who, for reasons of health, should
have been sent back to their families. I shall quote a
document already submitted as Exhibit RF 297, Page 23 of
your document book:

   "The question of releasing French generals, prisoners of
   war in German hands, for reasons of health or age, was
   taken up on several occasions by the French
   authorities."

This reproduction of the stencil is not quite clear.

I continue with paragraph 2:

   "So far as this question is concerned, the Fuehrer has
   always refused to consider either to release them, or to
   allow them to be put in hospitals in foreign or neutral
   countries."

Paragraph 3:

   "Today there is less question than ever of release or of
   putting in hospitals" - and a written note reads: "No
   reply to be given to the French note."

This note, in fact, was addressed by the C in C of the
German Army to the German Armistice Commission, who had
discussed with the General Staff whether or not to reply to
the request concerning the release of French generals who
were ill, a request made by the de facto government ruling
France at that time.

Much more serious measures were taken against our prisoners
of war by the German authorities when, for reasons of a
patriotic nature, some of our compatriots who were prisoners
gave the Germans to understand that they were not willing to
collaborate with Germany. The German authorities considered
those of our compatriots who acted in this way as incapable
of being assimilated, and as dangerous, because of their
courage and their determination. The measures formulated
concerning them amounted to nothing less than murder. We
know of numerous examples of murders perpetrated on
prisoners of war, either because they took part in commando
actions or because the Nazis charged them with having
committed terroristic acts from the air, or with escaping or
attempting to escape; or they even simply accused them of
active resistance or merely ethical resistance against the
Nazi regime. These murders were carried out by means of
deportation and the internment of these prisoners in
concentration camps. While interned in these camps, they
were subjected to the regime about which you know, and which
was bound to cause their death, or else they killed them
quite simply with a bullet in the back of the neck,
according to the method which has been described by our
American colleagues and on which I will not dwell at length.

In other cases they were lynched on the spot by the
population in accordance with direct orders, and with the
tacit consent of the German Government.

In still other cases, they were handed over to the Gestapo
and the SD who, as I will prove to you at the end of my
statement, during the last years of the occupation had the
right to carry out executions.

With the authorisation of the Tribunal we shall study two
cases of extermination of combat troops captured after
military operations; commandos and airmen.

As the Tribunal knows, men who were in commandos were nearly
always volunteers. In any case, they were selected from the
most courageous fighters and those who showed the greatest
physical aptitude for combat. We can consider them,
therefore, as the elite, and the order to exterminate them
as an

                                                  [Page 286]


attempt to annihilate the elite by spreading terror through
the ranks of the Allied Armies. From a legal point of view
the execution of the commandos cannot be justified. The
Germans themselves, moreover, used commandos quite
extensively, but whereas, in the case of their own men being
taken prisoner, they always insisted that they be recognised
as belligerents, they denied that right to our men or to
those of the Allied Armies.

The major order concerning these exterminations was signed
by Hitler on 18 October, 1942, and it was extensively
carried out. Moreover, this order was preceded by other
orders of the OKW, which show that the question had been
carefully studied before becoming the object of a final
order by the Chief of the German Government.

Under Number 553-PS, the Tribunal will find, on Page 24 of
the document book, an order signed by Keitel, which we
submit as Exhibit RF 363. This order demands that all
isolated parachutists or small groups of parachutists shall
be executed. It is dated 4 August, 1942, and is on Page 25.
The Tribunal will see it is signed by Keitel; it has already
been quoted. Paragraph 3 says:

THE PRESIDENT: Do not read it.

M. DUBOST: I thank the Tribunal for sparing me the reading
of it.

On 7 October, 1942, a communique of the OKW, circulated by
Press and radio, announced the decision taken by the High
Command to execute saboteurs. On Page 26, the Tribunal will
find in the document book extracts from the "Volkischer
Beobachter" of 8 October 1942, stating:

   "In future all terrorist and sabotage troops of the
   British and their allies, who do not behave as soldiers
   but as bandits, will be treated as such by the German
   troops and shot on the spot without any consideration,
   wherever it may be." (Exhibit RF 364).

As Exhibit RF 365 we submit minutes of meetings of the
General Staff of the Wehrmacht, dated 14 October 1942.

   Paragraph 3: "During the era of total warfare sabotage
   has become one of the most important elements in the
   conduct of war. It is sufficient to state our attitude
   to this question. The enemy will find evidence of it in
   the reports of our own propaganda departments."

Page 29, paragraph 3, the end of the paragraph, still from
the notes of this meeting, dated 14 October 1942, of the
General Staff of the Army:

   "Sabotage is an essential element, and we have developed
   it ourselves as a means of combat."

THE PRESIDENT: What paragraph?

M. DUBOST: The third paragraph, Mr. President, then the
sixth paragraph.

   "We have already by radio announced our intention of
   liquidating, in future, all groups of terrorists and
   saboteurs conducting themselves like bandits.
   Consequently we are of opinion that the task of the OKW
   is only to give certain practical directives concerning
   what the troops should do with these groups."

Page thirty. The Tribunal will see what were the orders
which were given as to the treatment of what the German
General Staff called "Groups of terrorists and British
saboteurs," since they were commandos of the other side,
commandos of the enemy. It is certain that the German
General Staff never called their own commandos "groups of
terrorists and saboteurs."

Paragraph one, fourth line, refers to groups of the British
Army in British uniform or not in British uniform. I cite:
"We must exterminate them in the course of combat or when
they are fleeing."

   Sub-paragraph (B). "Member of terrorist groups and
   sabotage

                                                  [Page 287]
   
   groups of the British Army who, in uniform, have fought
   our troops in dishonourable fashion, contrary to
   International Law, must be kept in separate custody."
   
   I omit two lines and I read: The instructions on their
   treatment will be given by the OKW in agreement with the
   juridical service and the Counter Intelligence
   Department - Foreign Section."
   
   Finally, Page thirty-one, paragraph two: "In future
   every group of terrorists or saboteurs will be
   considered as acting contrary to the laws of war in
   cases where terrorists, saboteurs, agents, etc. are
   found to be carrying out acts considered by the troops
   to constitute acts of terrorism or barbarism. This
   applies equally to soldiers and civilians, whether in
   uniform or not."
   
   Paragraph three. "In that event the groups will be
   annihilated to the last man, during combat or when they
   try to flee."
   
   Paragraph four: "It is forbidden to intern them in war
   prison camps."

Thus in carrying out these orders, if British soldiers, even
in uniform, were captured during a commando operation, the
German troops were to judge whether they had acted according
to the laws of war or not, and, without any appeal,
subordinates could annihilate them to the last man, even
when they were not engaged in active fighting. These orders
were applied to British commandos.

We shall now quote Document 498-PS, which was submitted by
our American colleagues and which confirms the information
which we have just brought to the Tribunal by reading the
preceding documents. It seems useless to read this document.

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