The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

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Last-Modified: 2000/05/10
Q. Then from the military point of view, from that moment
on, it was necessary for you to attack first, was it not?

A. After the political clarification, as up to then it had
only been a conjecture.

Q. How could you afford to wait for the political clarifying
work if you were afraid of an immediate attack?

A. For that reason we increased our defensive measures to
begin with, until the spring of 1941. Up to then, we only
took measures for defence. It was not until February, 1941,
that we began concentrating troops for an attack.

                                                   [Page 33]

Q. Now, then, just one other question. I am not at all clear
on this. During that period, did you then advise that
Germany attack first, or did you advise that Germany should
not attack? What was your advice? You saw this danger; what
did you do about it?

A. That problem, too, like most of the others, was the
subject of a written statement I made to the Fuehrer in
which I drew his attention to the tremendous military
effects of such a decision. One knew of course how the
campaign would begin but no human being could imagine how it
would end -

Q. We have heard all that. I did not want to go into that.
What I wanted to get at was this: You were afraid that
Russia was going to attack. If that was true, why did you
not advise Germany to attack at once? You were afraid Russia
would attack, and yet you say you advised against moving
into Russia. I do not understand.

A. That is not the case. I did not advise against marching
into Russia; I merely said that if there were no other
possibility, and if there was really no political way of
avoiding the danger, then I, too, could only see the
possibility of a preventive attack.

JUSTICE BIDDLE: That is all. Thank you.

THE PRESIDENT: The defendant can return to the dock.

(The defendant left the witness stand.)


DR. EXNER: I have four witnesses to bring before the
Tribunal, but I should like to begin by making a request. In
consideration of my lame leg may I leave it to my colleague
Jahrreiss to question the witnesses?

THE PRESIDENT: Yes, certainly, Dr. Exner.

Dr. Exner, the Tribunal wishes me to say that we allow
another counsel to examine the witnesses as an exception to
our general rule that only one counsel may appear in court,
and in the presentation of the case on behalf of the
defendant. We will make this exception in your favour.

DR . JAHRREISS (for the defendant Jodl): In that case, with
the permission of the Tribunal, I will call the first
witness, General Horst Freiherr von Buttlar Brandenfels.

took the stand and testified as follows:


Q. Will you state your name, please?

A. Horst Freiherr von Buttlar Brandenfels.

Q. Will you repeat the oath after me:

I swear by God, the Almighty and Omniscient, that I will
speak the pure truth, and will withhold and add nothing.

(The witness repeated the oath.)

THE PRESIDENT: You may sit down.

BY DR. HERMAN JAHRREISS (Counsel for defendant Jodl):

Q. Witness, were you in the Armed Forces Operations Staff
during the war?

A. Yes.

Q. During what period?

A. I was a member of the Armed Forces Operations Staff from
1st January, 1942, until 15th November, 1944.

Q. What was your position on the Staff?

A. I was First General Staff Officer of the Army, and in my
capacity as Department Chief I was in charge of the
Operations Department of the Army.

Q. I am going to have a document shown you, 823-PS, Exhibit
RF-359. It is in Document Book Jodl, second volume, Page
158. Will you please be good enough to have a look at it.

A. Do you want me to read the whole document?

                                                   [Page 34]

I want you to glance through it. Who is the author of the

A. It is written by the Armed Forces Operations Staff,
Department Administration Group.

Q. By whom is it signed?

A. It is signed by me.

Q. By you. To what extent is that document connected with
the defendant Jodl?

A. The document has nothing at all to do with the defendant

Q. Then, please will you look at the right hand top corner
on the first page by the signatures, there is an initial
which can be read as a "J"?

A. That must be a mistake. The initial is exactly the same
as the one which appears below in the signature to the
written note. And this signature is that of the Chief of the
Quartermaster Department, Colonel Polleck.

Q. Colonel Polleck.

A. If you will look at Page 2, you will see two signatures
at the bottom. The first must be that of the expert. I
cannot recognize it for certain. I take it for the signature
of the Administrative Counsellor Niehmenst.

Q. You mean the initial behind which there are the numbers 4
or 9 for the date?

A. I mean the top one.

Q. The top one - ?

A. The top one. The bottom initial is the signature, the
initials of Colonel Polleck. When the document had been
submitted to the Chief of the OKW it was returned to me.
Then I initialled it again at the top, and marked it for the
Quartermaster's Department, that is the Q" underlined at the
top. Then it was again initialled by the "Q" chief, and
after that it is marked "Administrative Group" and
initialled again by the man who dealt with it. In addition I
should like to point out that all this relates to prisoners
of war, and that was a field of work with which, actually,
Jodl had nothing to do. In the Quartermaster and
Organisational Branches of the Armed Forces Operations Staff
we had several fields of work, which, although they came
from his staff -

Q. Just a minute, witness. I do not mind you giving us a
lecture, but I should like to get to the point. There are
remarks in the margin of this document, do you see them?

A. Yes.

Q. Is any one of them written by Jodl?

A. No, they are initialled with  "K" for Field-Marshal

Q. But the French Prosecution asserts that these are
comments made by Jodl on the prisoner-of-war question, and
if I understand you correctly, you mean to say that this was
not possible for reasons of competency?

A. Apart from the fact that there is not a mark on the
document made by Jodl, it is unlikely that Jodl had any
knowledge of the affair at all, because of the way in which
it had to be treated.

Q. But is it not correct, witness, that departments "Q" came
under Jodl?

A. Actually, it is correct, but in "Q" department, just as
in "Org." department, there were several fields of work
which the General had given up and which were dealt with
either directly by the head of the department or through the
deputy chief, with the chief of the OKW.

Q. You say that department was competent for prisoner-of-war
questions, is that true?

A. Among other things it was competent for the question of
prisoners of war.

Q. What other work did this department "Q" have?

A. "Q-I" looked after nothing but supplies, and also
supervised the provisioning of the various theatres of war
which came directly under the OKW; "Q-II" was occupied
mainly with military administration, and "Q-III" dealt with
general questions, such as the prisoner-of-war system, for
example questions concerning international law and so on.

                                                   [Page 35]

Q. Then I have just one more question about these
organisational matters. Were all the departments of the
Armed Forces Operations Staff in the Fuehrer's headquarters?

A. No, for example we had the "Org." department, an
organisational department, which was not located at
headquarters but in the neighbourhood of Berlin.

Q. If I have understood you correctly, the affairs of
department "Q" bypassed Jodl, so to speak, and were dealt
with by the chief of OKW?

A. Not in every case, but in a certain number of cases.

Q. At all events the question of prisoners of war?

A. Certainly, the question of prisoners of war.

Q. Thank you. Witness, what position did you have at the
beginning of the war?

A. At the beginning of the war I was the Second General
Staff Officer in the Central Department of the General Staff
of the Army.

Q. Would you speak a little more slowly. And what were your
duties there?

A. My department dealt with the filling of positions in the
higher command offices for mobilization.

Q. Those of the general staff officers of the OKW too?

A. Yes.

Q. General, do you know who was meant to be Chief of the
Armed Forces Operations Staff in the event of mobilization
from October 1st on?

A. Yes, General von Sodenstern was meant to hold this
position for the next mobilization year.

Q. Am I to understand that if the war had broken out after
1st October - let us say on the 5th or 6th - then Jodl would
not have been Chief of the Armed Forces Operations Staff at

A. I am not sure of the date on which the new mobilization
year of 1939 to 1940 began. From that time on -

MR. ROBERTS: I submit this testimony is not relevant to any
issues in this case at all, and, though it may be somewhat
interesting to hear them, the answers that are given have no
relevancy at all.

THE PRESIDENT: I do not quite understand what the relevancy
of the evidence at the moment is.

DR. JAHRREISS: Mr. President, if the prosecution is right
that the defendant Jodl belonged to a group of conspirators
aiming at world conquest, and if, as the prosecution says,
that group of conspirators obtained use of the German State
machine to achieve their aims, then it must be a somewhat
peculiar State decree when conspirators are changed
periodically. To that extent I believe the case must be
presented to the Tribunal for consideration.

THE PRESIDENT: Has he been given the dates of his exchanges,
without any cross-examination? He went to Vienna at a
certain date, he came back at another date, and we have no
challenge of that.

DR. JAHRREISS: Mr. President, that is a different question.
The defendant Jodl has said that if mobilization was decreed
before the 1st of October he was chief of the Armed Forces
Operations Staff and had to leave Vienna for Berlin. Now the
witness says that this was only up to the new mobilization
year and that then another chief would have been appointed
if the war had broken out fourteen days later. I think -

THE PRESIDENT: Surely that is extraordinarily remote, Dr.
Jahrreiss. You show us a matter of surmise about what would
have happened if something else would have happened. That
does not help us very much.

DR. JAHRREISS: Mr. President, the testimony of the witness
is not a mere conjecture. He only said that the person who
held this important position was disposed of in a routine
manner according to date. He had to prove this.

May I continue, Mr. President?

                                                   [Page 36]

THE PRESIDENT: No, in the interest of time and an
expeditious trial, the Tribunal rules you may not go into


Q. Witness, if I now ask you about a certain field of
activity which you just mentioned, it is because I assume
that you have a particular expert knowledge of it. Is it
true that you were officially connected with the suppression
of the partisans?

A. Yes, The chief responsibility for fighting the partisans
was turned over to my department towards the end of the
summer of 1942, and the tactical basis for partisan warfare
was dealt with by my department from that date on.

Q. Are you familiar with the pamphlet on the suppression of
partisans issued in May, 1944?

A. Yes, the leaflet was drawn up in my department.

Q. Was that the first one or had there been a previous
regulation concerning partisan warfare?

A. Yes. In the autumn of 1942 a short and incomplete
directive had been issued on the subject of partisan
warfare. At that time we were still comparatively
inexperienced, and since partisan fighting had not been
anticipated in peace time, we first had to get further

Q. In this connection I am interested particularly in the
partisan warfare in the East and South-east, on the subject
of which the prosecution has shown that it has very definite
ideas. Is it correct to speak of a guerrilla war, as has
been done here several times?

A. It is correct. According to the extent and danger which
guerrilla fighting assumed, given its limitations as regards
time and space.

Q. Does that mean that the characteristics of this fighting
went beyond the general conception of the "Franc-Tireur"

A. In extent, yes. In the methods, no.

Q. What do you mean by "extent"?

A. I mean by "extent" the dimensions of the area affected by
guerrilla fighting.

Q. Was it territorially of an unusual or of a moderate size?

A. The guerrilla fighting was certainly unusual both in its
territorial extent and as regards the people who took part
in it.

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