The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

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                                                  [Page 369]

   Nazi Conspiracy & Aggression, Volume II, Chapter XV
An affidavit (2610-PS) dated 7 November 1945, by Frederick
W. Roche, a Major in the Army of the United States,
furnishes other evidence of the carrying out of the Hitler
order. Major Roche was the Judge Advocate of an American
Military Commission which tried General Anton Dostler,
formerly Commander of the 75th German Army Corps, for the
unlawful execution of 15 members of the United States Armed
Forces. His affidavit states:

     "FREDERICK W. ROCHE being duly sworn deposes and says:
     "I am a Major in the Army of the United States.
     "I was the Judge Advocate of the Military Commission
     which tried Anton Dostler for ordering the execution of
     the group of fifteen United States Army personnel who
     comprised the 'Ginny Mission.' This Military Commission
     consisting of five officers was appointed by command of
     General McNarney, by Special Orders No. 269, dated 26
     September 1945, Headquarters, Mediterranean Theater of
     Operations, United States Army, APO 512.
     "The Military Commission met at Rome, Italy, on 8
     October 945 and proceeded with the trial of the case of
     the United States v. Anton Dostler. The trial of this
     case consumed four days and the findings and sentence
     were announced on the morning of 12 October 1945. The
     charge and specification in this case are as follows:
     "'Charge: Violation of the law of war.'
     "'Specification: In that Anton Dostler, then General,
     commanding military forces of the German Reich, a
     belligerent enemy nation, to wit the 75th Army Corps,
     did, on or about 24 March 1944, in the vicinity of La
     Spezia, Italy, contrary to the law of war, order to be
     shot summarily, a group of United States Army
     personnel, consisting of two officers and thirteen
     enlisted men who had then recently been captured by
     forces under General Dostler, which order was carried
                                                  [Page 370]
     into execution on or about 26 March 1944, resulting in
     the death of the said fifteen members of the Army of
     the United States identified as follows ***'."
     "I was present throughout the entire proceeding. I
     heard all the testimony, and I am familiar with the
     record in this case. The facts developed in this
     proceeding are as follows: On the night of 22 March
     1944, two officers and thirteen enlisted men of the
     2677th Special Reconnaissance Battalion of the Army of
     the United States disembarked from some United States
     Navy boats and landed on the Italian coast near
     Stazione di Framura. All fifteen men were members of
     the Army of the United States and were in the military
     service of the United States. When they landed on the
     Italian coast they were all properly dressed in the
     field uniform of the United States Army and they
     carried no civilian clothes. Their mission was to
     demolish a railroad tunnel on the main line between La
     Spezia and Genoa. That rail line was being used by the
     German Forces to supply their fighting forces on the
     Cassino and Anzio Beachhead fronts. The entire group
     was captured on the morning of 24 March 1944 by a
     patrol consisting of Fascist soldiers and a group of
     members of the German Army. All fifteen men were placed
     under interrogation in La Spezia and they were held in
     custody until the morning of 26 March 1944 when they
     were all executed by a firing squad. These men were
     never tried nor were they brought before any court or
     given any hearing; they were shot by order of Anton
     Dostler, then General Commanding the 75th German Army
     "Anton Dostler took the stand in this case and
     testified by way of defense that he ordered the fifteen
     American soldiers to be shot pursuant to the Hitler
     order of 18 October 1942 on commando operations, which
     provided that commandos were to be shot and not taken
     prisoners of war, even after they had been
     interrogated. He also testified that he would have been
     subject to court martial proceedings if he did not obey
     the Hitler order.
     "The following is a true copy of the findings and
     sentence in the case of the United States v. Anton
     Dostler, as these findings and sentence appear in the
     original record of the trial and as they were announced
     in open court at Rome Italy on 12 October 1945:
     " 'FINDINGS: General Dostler, as president of this
     commission it is my duty to inform you that the
                                                  [Page 371]
     commission in closed session and upon secret written
     ballot, at least two-thirds of all the members of the
     commission concurring in each finding of guilty, finds
     you of the specification and of the charge:
     " 'SENTENCE: And again in closed session and upon
     secret written ballot, at least two-thirds of all of
     the members of the commission concurring, sentences

The order of 18 October 1942 remained in force, so far as
the evidence shows, until the end of the war. On 22 June
1944 in a document initialed by Warlimont (506-PS) the OKW
made it clear that the Hitler order was to be applied even
in cases where the commando operation was undertaken by only
one person:

"WFSt agrees with the view taken in the letter of the army
group judge [Heeresgruppenrichter] with the Supreme
Commander Southwest of 20 May 1944 (Br. B. Nr 68/44 g.K.).
The Fuehrer order is to be applied even if the enemy employs
only one person for a task. Therefore, it does not make any
difference if several persons or a single person take part
in a commando operation. The reason for the special
treatment of participants in a commando operation is that
such operations do not correspond to the German concept of
usage and customs of (land) warfare." (506-PS)

The allied landing in Normandy early in June 1944, in the
course of which large scale air-borne operations took place,
raised among the Germans the question as to how far the
Hitler order would be applied to Normandy, and in France
behind the German lines. A memorandum (531-PS) dated 23 June
1944 and signed by Warlimont, starts by quoting a teletype
from the Supreme Command in the West inquiring what should
be done about applying the Hitler order to air-borne troops
and commandos:

     "Supreme Command West reports by teletype message No.
     1750/44 Top Secret of 23 June 1944:
     "The treatment of enemy commando groups has so far been
     carried out according to the order referred to. With
     the large-scale landing achieved, a new situation has
     arisen. The order referred to directs in number 5 that
     enemy soldiers who are taken prisoner in open combat or
     surrender within the limits of normal combat operations
     (large-scale landing operations and undertakings) are
     not to be treated according to num-
                                                  [Page 372]
     bers 3 and 4. It must be established in a form easily
     understood by the troops how far the concept 'within
     the limits of normal combat operations, etc.' is to be
     "The application of number 5 for all enemy soldiers in
     uniform penetrating from the outside into the occupied
     western areas is held by Supreme Command West to be the
     most correct and clearest solution." (531-PS)

Warlimont's memorandum (531-PS) continues by reciting the
position taken with reference to the request by the OKW
Operations Staff, of which Warlimont was the Deputy Chief:

     "Position taken by Armed Forces Operational Staff:
     "1. The Commando order remains basically in effect even
     after the enemy landing in the west.
     "2. Number of the order is to be clarified to the
     effect, that the order is not valid for those enemy
     soldiers in uniform, who are captured in open combat in
     the immediate combat area of the beachhead by our
     troops committed there, or who surrender. Our troops
     committed in the immediate combat area means the
     divisions fighting on the front line as well as
     reserves up to and including corps headquarters.
     "3. Furthermore, in doubtful cases enemy personnel who
     have fallen into our hands alive are to be turned over
     to the SD, upon whom it is incumbent to determine
     whether the Commando order is to be applied or not.
     "4. Supreme Command West is to see to it that all units
     committed in its zone are orally acquainted in a
     suitable manner with the order concerning the treatment
     of members of commando undertakings of 18 October 42
     along with the above explanation." (531-PS)
On 25 June 1944 the OKW replied to this inquiry in a
teletype message (551-PS) signed by Keitel and initialed by
Warlimont and Jodl:

     "Subject: Treatment of Commando Participants.
     "1. Even after the landing of Anglo-Americans in
     France, the order of the Fuehrer on the destruction of
     terror and sabotage units of 18 October 1942 remains
     fully in force.
     "Enemy soldiers in uniform in the immediate combat area
     of the bridgehead, that is, in the area of the
     divisions fighting in the most forward lines as well as
     of the reserves up to the Corps Commands, according to
     No. 5 of the basic order of 18 October 1942, remain exempted.
     "2. All members of terror and sabotage units, found
     outside the immediate combat area, who include
     fundamentally all
                                                  [Page 373]
     parachutists, are to be killed in combat. In special
     cases, they are to be turned over to the SD.
     "3. All troops, committed outside the combat area of
     Normandy, are to be informed about the duty to destroy
     enemy terror and sabotage units briefly and succinctly
     according to the directives, issued for it.
     "4. Supreme Commander West will report immediately
     daily, how many saboteurs have been liquidated in this
     manner. This applies especially also to undertakings by
     the military commanders. The number is to be published
     daily in the Armed Forces Communique to exercise a
     frightening effect, as has already been done toward
     previous commando undertakings in the same manners."
                                    "[Initial] W [Warlimont]
                               "[signature] Keitel (551-PS).

In July 1944, the question was raised within the German High
Command as to whether the order of October 1942 should be
applied to members of foreign military missions, with
special regard to the British, American, and Soviet military
missions which were cooperating with allied forces in
Southeastern Europe, notably in Yugoslavia. A long-document
signed by Warlimont (1279-PS) embodies the discussions which
were had at that time at OKW. It discloses that the Armed
Forces Operational Staff recommended that the order should
be applied to these military missions and drew up a draft
order to this effect. The order which actually resulted from
these discussions (537-PS), dated 30 July 1944 and signed by
Keitel, provides:

     "Re: Treatment of members of foreign 'Military
     Missions,' captured together with partisans.
     "In the areas of the High Command Southeast and
     Southwest members of foreign so-called 'Military
     Missions' (Anglo-American as well as Soviet-Russian)
     captured in the course of the struggle against
     partisans shall not receive the treatment as speculated
     in the Special Orders regarding the treatment of
     captured partisans. Therefore they are not to be
     treated as PWs but in conformity with the Fuehrer's
     order are the elimination of terror and sabotage troops
     of 18 October 1942 (OKW/WFSt. 003830/42 g. Kdos).
     "This order shall not be transmitted to other units of
     the Armed forces via the High Commands and equivalent
     staffs and is to be destroyed after being made record.
     "The Chief of the High Command of the Wehrmacht
                                           "Keitel" (537-PS)

Pursuant to this order, approximately 15 members of an

                                                  [Page 374]
military mission to Slovakia were executed in January 1945.
An affidavit (L-51) signed by one Adolf Zutter, who was the
adjutant at the camp where the executions took place, reads
in part:

     "Concerning the American Military Mission which had
     landed behind the German main line of resistance in
     Slovakian or Hungarian territory in January 1945, I
     remember when in January 1945 it was brought to the
     concentration camp at Mauthausen. I suppose there were
     about 12 to 15 newcomers. They wore an American or
     Canadian uniform, of brown-green color, blouse, and cap
     made of cloth. Eight or ten days after their arrival
     the order for execution came in by radiogram or
     teletype. Colonel Ziereis came to me in the office and
     said: now Kaltenbrunner has authorized the execution.
     The letter was secret and had the signature: signed
     Kaltenbrunner. These people were then shot according to
     martial law and T/Sgt [Oerscharfuehrer] Niedermeyer
     handed their belongings over to me. In spring 1945, a
     written order based on an Army manual to destroy all
     files was received by the security officer in
     Mauthausen, 1st Lt. [Obersturmfuehrer] Reimer; this
     order had been sent by Lt [Untersturmfuehrer]
     Meinhardt, security officer of Section D in
     Oranienburg. Reimer forwarded this order personally in
     written form to the various sections and supervised the
     compliance with it. Among the files were also all the
     execution orders." (L-51)

The foregoing documents with respect to the order of 18
October 1942, and its subsequent enforcement and
application, clearly demonstrate that members of the General
Staff and High Command Group, including the defendants
Keitel, Jodl, Doenitz, and Raeder, ordered and directed the
commission of war crimes by members of the German Armed
Forces, and that these orders were carried out in numerous

(b) War Crimes on the Eastern Front. The order of October
1942 with respect to the murdering of captured commandos
operated chiefly in the Western theater of war, against
British and American commando troops. This was natural since
Germany occupied almost the entire Western coast of Europe
from 1940 until the last year of the war, and during that
period land fighting in Western Europe was largely limited
to commando operations. The Mediterranean Theater likewise
lent itself to this type of warfare.

On the Eastern Front, where there was large-scale land
fighting in Poland and the Soviet Union from 1941 on, the
German forces were fighting amongst a hostile population and
had to

                                                  [Page 375]

face extensive partisan activities behind their lines. It
will be shown that the activities of the German Armed Forces
against partisans and other elements of the population
became a vehicle for carrying out Nazi political and racial
policies, and a cloak for the ruthless and barbaric massacre
of Jews and of numerous segments of the Slavic population
which were regarded by the Nazis as undesirable. It was the
policy of the German Armed Forces-to behave with the utmost
severity to the civilian population of the occupied
territories, and to conduct its military operations,
particularly against partisans, so as to further these Nazi
policies. It will be shown that the German Armed Forces
supported, assisted, and acted in cooperation with the SS
Groups which were especially charged with antipartisan
activities. Members of the General Staff and High Command
Group ordered, directed, encouraged, and were fully aware of
these criminal policies and activities.

It is not proposed to make a full or even partial showing of
war Crimes committed by the Nazis on the Eastern Front;
evidence of those crimes are to be presented by the Soviet
delegation. Evidence concerning the activities of the SS,
SD, and Gestapo will be discussed only to the extent
necessary to clarify the relations between these
organizations and the German Armed Forces and to demonstrate
their close collaboration in the occupied territories of
Eastern Europe.

These policies of ruthless severity to the civilian
population of the occupied Eastern territories were
determined upon and made official for the German Armed
Forces even before the invasion of the Soviet Union took
place. An order by Hitler, dated 13 May 1941, and signed by
Keitel as Chief of the Supreme Command of the Armed Forces
(C-50) provided:


     "Concerning the exercise of martial jurisdiction and
     PROCEDURE IN THE AREA 'Barbarossa' and special military
     "The application of martial law aims in the first place
     at maintaining discipline.
     "The fact that the operational areas in the East are so
     far-flung, the battle strategy which this necessitates,
     and the peculiar qualities of the enemy, confront the
     courts-martial with problems which, being short-
     staffed, they cannot solve while hostilities are in
     progress, and until some degree of pacification has
     been achieved in the conquered areas, unless
     jurisdiction is confined, in the first instance, to its
     main task.
                                                  [Page 376]
     "This is possible only if the troops take ruthless
     action themselves against any threat from the enemy
     "For these reasons I herewith issue the following order
     effective for the area 'Barbarossa' (area of
     operations, army rear area, and area of political
     "I. Treatment of offences committed by Enemy Civilians.
     "1. Until further notice the military courts and the
     courts-martial will not be competent for crimes
     committed by enemy civilians.
     "2. Guerillas should be disposed of ruthlessly by the
     military, whether they are fighting or in flight.
     "3. Likewise all other attacks by enemy civilians on
     the Armed Forces, its members and employees, are to be
     suppressed at once by the military, using the most
     extreme methods, until the assailants are destroyed.
     "4. Where such measures have been neglected or were not
     at first possible, persons suspected of criminal action
     will be brought at once before an officer. This officer
     will decide whether they are to be shot.
     "On the orders of an officer with the powers of at
     least a Battalion Commander, collective despotic
     measures will be taken without delay against localities
     from which cunning or malicious attacks are made on the
     Armed Forces, if circumstances do not permit of a quick
     identification of individual offenders.
     "5. It is expressly forbidden to keep suspects in
     custody in order to hand them over to the courts after
     the reinstatement of civil courts.
     "6. The C-in-Cs of the Army Groups may by agreement
     with the competent Naval and Air Force Commanders
     reintroduce military jurisdiction for civilians, in
     areas which are sufficiently settled.
     "For the area of the 'Political Administration' this
     order will be given by the Chief of the Supreme Command
     of the Armed Forces.
     "II. Treatment of offences committed against
     inhabitants by members of the Armed Forces and its
     "1. With regard to offences committed against enemy
     civilians by members of the Wehrmacht and its employees
     prosecution is not obligatory even where the deed is at
     the same time a military crime or offence.
     "2. When judging such offences, it must be borne in
                                                  [Page 377]
     whatever the circumstances, that the collapse of
     Germany in 1918, the subsequent sufferings of the
     German people and the fight against National Socialism
     which cost the blood of innumerable supporters of the
     movement, were caused primarily by Bolshevik influence
     and that no German has forgotten this fact.
     "3. Therefore the judicial authority will decide in
     such cases whether a disciplinary penalty is indicated,
     or whether legal measures are necessary. In the case of
     offences against inhabitants it will order a court
     martial only if maintenance of discipline or security
     of the Forces call for such a measure. This applies for
     instance to serious offences originating in lack of
     self control in sexual matters, or in a criminal
     disposition, and to those which indicate that the
     troops are threatening to get out of hand. Offences
     which have resulted in senseless destruction of billets
     or stores or other captured material to the
     disadvantage of our Forces should as a rule be judged
     no less severely.
     "The order to institute proceedings requires in every
     single case the signature of the Judicial Authority.
     "4. Extreme caution is indicated in assessing the
     credibility of statements made by enemy civilians.
     "III. Responsibility of the Military Commanders.
     "Within their sphere of competence Military Commanders
     are personally responsible for seeing that:
     "1. Every commissioned officer of the units under their
     command is instructed promptly and in the most emphatic
     manner on principles set out under I above.
     "2. .Their legal advisers are notified promptly of
     these instructions and of verbal information in which
     the political intentions of the High Command were
     explained to C-in-Cs.
     "3. Only those court sentences are confirmed which are
     in accordance with the political intentions of the High
     "IV. Security.
     Once the camouflage is lifted this decree will be
     treated as "Most Secret":
                          "By order
                "Chief of the Supreme Command
                     of the Armed Forces
                                    "(signed) Keitel" (C-50)

Less than three months after the invasion of the Soviet
Union, these instructions were amplified and made even more
drastic. An order dated 16 September 1941 and signed by
Keitel, was wide-

                                                  [Page 378]
ly distributed (C-148). This order was of general
application in all theaters of war, but was clearly of
primary importance for the Eastern Front:

     "Subject: Communist Insurrection in occupied
     "1. Since the beginning of the campaign against Soviet
     Russia, Communist insurrection movements have broken
     out everywhere in the areas occupied by Germany. The
     type of action taken is growing from propaganda
     measures and attacks on individual members of the Armed
     Forces, into open rebellion and widespread guerilla
     "It can be seen that this is a mass movement centrally
     directed by Moscow, who is also responsible for the
     apparently trivial isolated incidents in areas which up
     to now have been otherwise quiet.
     "In view of the many political and economic crises in
     the occupied areas, it must, moreover, be anticipated,
     that nationalist and other circles will make full use
     of this opportunity of making difficulties for the
     German occupying forces by associating themselves with
     the Communist insurrection. "This creates an increasing
     danger to the German war effort, which shows itself
     chiefly in general insecurity for the occupying troops,
     and has already led to the withdrawal of forces to the
     main centers of disturbance.
     "2. The measures taken up to now to deal with general
     insurrection movement have proved inadequate. The
     Fuehrer has now given orders that we take action
     everywhere with the most drastic means in order to
     crush the movement in the shortest possible time.
     "Only this course, which has always been followed
     successfully throughout the history of the extension of
     influence of great peoples, can restore order.
     "3. Action taken in this matter should be in accordance
     with the following general directions:
     "a. It should be inferred, in every case of resistance
     to the German occupying Forces, no matter what the
     individual circumstances, that it is of Communist
     "b. In order to nip these machinations in the bud, the
     most drastic measures should be taken immediately on
     the first indication, so that the authority of the
     occupying Forces may be maintained, and further
     spreading prevented. In this connection it should be
     remembered that a human life in unsettled countries
     frequently counts for nothing and a deterrent effect
     can be attained only by unusual severity. The
                                                  [Page 379]
     death penalty for 50-100 Communists should generally be
     regarded in these cases as suitable atonement for one
     German soldier's life. The way in which sentence is
     carried out should still further increase the deterrent
     "The reverse course of action, that of imposing
     relatively lenient penalties, and of being content, for
     purposes of deterrence, with the threat of more severe
     measures, does not accord with these principles and
     should therefore not be followed."
     "4. The Commanding Officers in the occupied territories
     are seeing to it that these principles are made known
     without delay to all military establishments concerned
     in dealing with Communist measures of insurrection."
                                   "[Indecipherable initial]
                                            "Keitel" (C-148)

The German military leaders took up, sponsored, and
instructed their troops to practice the racial policies of
the Nazis. On 10 October 1941 a directive was issued by
Field Marshal von Reichenau, the Commander-in-Chief
(Oberbefehlshaber) of the German 8th Army, then operating on
the Eastern Front (UK-81). Reichenau (who died in 1942) was
therefore a member of the group, an here is what he had to

     "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 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
     "Therefore the soldier must have full understanding for
     the necessity of a severe but just revenge on subhuman
     Jewry. The Army has to aim at another purpose, i.e.,
     the annihilation of revolts in hinterland which, as
     experience proves, have always been caused by Jews.
     "The combatting 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 guerilla fighters dressed
     partly in uniforms or plain
                                                  [Page 380]
     clothes and vagabonds are still being treated as proper
     soldiers, and sent to prisoner of war camps. In fact,
     captured Russian officers talk even 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 of the natives and of prisoners of war who
     are not working for the Armed Forces from Army kitchens
     is an equally misunderstood humanitarian act 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. It is an important part of our supply.
     "When retreating the Soviets have often set buildings
     on fire. The troops should be interested in
     extinguishing of 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
     territories. 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 communications. Where possible,
     captured weapons and ammunition should be stored and
     guarded. Should this be impossible because of the
     situation of the battle so the weapons and ammunition
     will 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 apparently 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
     judges and treated a member of the Soviet System.
     "The fear of the German countermeasures must be
     stronger than the threats of the wandering bolshevistic
     remnants. Being far from all political considerations
     of the future the soldier has to fulfill two tasks:
                                                  [Page 381]
     "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 fulfill our historic task to
     liberate the German people once for ever from the
                                     "(Signed) von Reichenau
                                    "Field Marshal." (UK-81)

Immediately preceding Reichenau's order is a memorandum,
dated 28 October 1941, which 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. It is
also clear Reichenau's order was thereafter circulated down
to divisional level, and was received by the 12th Infantry
Division on 27 November 1941. (UK-81)

These being the directives and policies prescribed by the
German military leaders, it is no wonder that the Wehrmacht
joined in the monstrous behavior of the SS and SD on the
Eastern Front. Units (known as Einsatzgruppen) were formed
by the SIPO and SD and 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

In a directive dated 19 March 1943, the Commanding Officer
of one of these units praised and justified such activities
as the shooting of Hungarian Jews, the shooting of children,
and the total burning down of villages (3012-PS). The
officer directed that in order not to obstruct the procuring
of slave labor for the German armament industry,

     "as a rule no more children will be shot" (3012PS)

A report covering the work of the Einsatzgruppen in the
German occupied territories of the Soviet Union during the
month of October 1941 disregards every vestige of decency (R-
102). It cynically that, in the Baltic areas,

     "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 indoctrination" (R-102).

This report shows clearly that "pacification" and "anti-
partisan activity are mere code words for "extermination of
Jews and Slavs" just as much as "Weserubung" was a code word
for the invasion and subjugation of Norway and Denmark.

Documents quoted earlier show that the German Army was

                                                  [Page 382]
operating under similar policies and directives. It only
remains to show that, in these practices, the Army and the
SS worked hand in glove. The report describing the
destruction of the Warsaw Ghetto (1061-PS) stresses the
close cooperation between the SS and the Army:

     "The longer the resistance lasted, the tougher the men
     of the Waffen SS, 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 dugouts
     and for contacting neighboring groups or exchanging
     news with them."

To the same general effect is a report dated 5 June 1943 by
the German General Commissioner for Minsk (R-135). This
report describes an anti-partisan operation in which 4,500
"enemies" were killed, 5,000 suspected partisans were
killed, and 59 Germans were killed. The cooperation in this
adventure by the German Army is shown in the following

     "The above mentioned figures show, that we have to
     count with a strong annihilation of the population. The
     fact that only 492 rifles were found on the 4,500 enemy
     dead, demonstrates that the numerous peasants from the
     country were also among the enemy dead. The battalion
     Direwanger is particularly known to have destroyed
     numerous human lives. Among the 5,000 partisan suspects
     who were shot, are numerous women and children.
     "Units of the troops [Wehmannschaften] also took part
     in the action, by order of SS Lt. General
     [Obergruppenfuehrer] von dem Bach. SA Colonel
     [Standartenfuehrer] Kunze led the troops
     [Wehrmannschaften], who included also 90 members of my
     authority and of the district-commissarate Minsk-Stadt.
     Our men returned yesterday from the action without any
     losses. I refuse the use of officials and Reich-
     Employees of the General Commissarate in the rear
     areas. The men who work for me have not been classified
     as essential, after all in order to fight the partisans
     actively in the place of the Armed Forces and the
     "Of the troops [Wehrmannschaften], one railroad
     employee had been wounded (shot through the lung). The
     political effect of this large scale action on the
     peaceful population had
                                                  [Page 383]
     been disastrous, because of the numerous executions of
     women and children. The town BEGOMIE was cleared by the
     Armed Forces and the Police in December. The population
     of Begomie was predominantly favorable to us. Begomie,
     which has been fortified as a strong point by the
     partisans, has been destroyed by German Air Attacks
     during the fighting." (R-135)

The SS Obergruppenfuehrer von dem Bach referred to in this
quotation is mentioned in Himmler's speech to a gathering of
SS generals at Posen on 4 October 1943 (1919-PS). In this
speech Himmler announced the appointment of von dem Bach to
be Chief of all anti-partisan units:

     "In the meantime I have also set up the department of
     Chief of the Anti-partisan Units" [Bandenkampf-
     Verbunde]. Our comrade SS-Obergruppenfuehrer von dem
     Bach is Chief of the anti-partisan units. I considered
     it necessary for the Reichsfuehrer SS to be in
     authoritative command in all these battles, for I am
     convinced that we are best in a position to take action
     against this enemy struggle, which is a decidedly
     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.
     "It is notable that, by setting up this department we
     have gained (p. 58) for the SS in turn a division, a
     corps, an army, and the next step, which is the High
     Command of an army or even of a group -- if you wish to
     call it that." (1919-PS)

The report of Einsatzgruppe A, (180) covering the period up
to 1 October 1941, makes clear beyond doubt the
participation of the German military leaders and Armed
Forces in these extermination policies:

     "Action-Group A, after preparing their vehicles for
     action proceeded to their area of concentration as
     ordered on 23 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 hurriedly establish 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 cooperation with the
     Armed Forces was generally good, in some cases, for
     instance with Panzer-Group 4 under Col. Gen. Hoeppner,
     it was very close, almost cordial. Misunderstand-
                                                  [Page 384]
     ings which cropped up with some authorities in the
     first days, were cleared up mainly through personal
     "Similarly, native anti-Semitic forces were induced to
     start pogroms against Jews during the first hours after
     capture, though this inducement proved to be very
     difficult. Following out 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 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 first action
     by way of natural reaction against the suppression by
     Jews during several decades and against the terror
     exercised by the Communists during the preceding
     "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 had to look out for new methods. The
     Action-Group undertook to search for new methods. Soon
     therefore the Armed Forces adopted the experiences of
     the Security Police and their methods of combatting the
     partisans. For details I refer to the numerous reports
     concerning the struggle against the partisans."
     "1. Instigation of self-cleansing actions.
     "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 USSR, it was to be expected that
     after the liberation from that foreign government, they
     (i.e., 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 unshakable and provable
     fact that the liberated population 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
                                                  [Page 385]
     san 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 advanced 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 25. to 26.6
     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 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 actions ceased necessarily.
     "It proved much more difficult to set in motion similar
     cleansing actions in Latvia. Essentially the reason was
     that the whole of the national stratum of leaders had
     been assassinated or destroyed by the Soviets,
     especially in Riga. It was possible though through
     similar influences on the Latvian auxiliary to set in
     motion a pogrom against Jews also in Riga. During this
     pogrom all synagogues were destroyed and about 400 Jews
     were killed. As the population of Riga quieted down
     quickly, further pogroms were not convenient."
     "5. Other jobs of the Security Police.
     "1. Occasionally the conditions prevailing in the
     lunatic asylums necessitated operations of the Security
     Police. Many institutions had been robbed by the
     retreating Russians of their whole food supply. Often
     the guard and nursing personnel had fled. The inmates
     of several institutions broke out and became a danger
     to the general security; therefore
     in Aglona (Lithuania) - 544 lunatics
     in Mariampol (Lithuania) - 109 lunatics and
     in Magutowo (near Luga) - 95 lunatics
     were liquidated."
                                                  [Page 386]
     "When it was decided to extend the German operations to
     Leningrad and also to extend the activities of Action
     Group A to this town, I gave orders on 18 July 1941 to
     parts of Action Detachments 2 and 3 and to the Staff of
     the Group to advance to Novosselje, in order to prepare
     these activities and to be able to advance as early as
     possible into the area around Leningrad and into the
     city itself. The advance of the forces of Action Group
     A which were intended to be used for Leningrad, was
     effected in agreement with and on the express wish of
     Panzer-Group 4."
     "Action detachment of Action Group A of the Security
     Police participated from the beginning in the fight
     against the nuisance created by partisans. Close
     collaboration with the Armed Forces and the exchange of
     experiences which were collected in the fight against
     partisans, brought about a thorough knowledge of the
     origin, organization, strength, equipment and system
     used by the Red partisans as time went on." (L-180).

Certain affidavits, furnished by responsible officials in
both the Wehrmacht and the SS, fill in much of the
background for the documents quoted above. An affidavit
(3710-PS) by Walter Schellenberg who, at the time under
discussion, was an important official in the RSHA, states:

     "In the middle of May 1941, as far as I remember, the
     Chief of Amt 4 of the RSHA (SS-Brigadefuehrer Mueller),
     in the name of the Chief of the RSHA (SS-Gruppenfuehrer
     Heydrich), held discussions with the
     Generalquartiermeister of the Army (General Wagner)
     about questions connected with the operations of the
     SIPO and SD within the bounds of the Field Army during
     the imminent campaign against Russia. Wagner could come
     to no agreement with Mueller and therefore asked
     Heydrich to send another representative. I was at that
     time Chief of Section E in Amt 4 of the RSHA under
     Chief of Amt Mueller and was sent by Heydrich to Wagner
     because of my experience in matters of protocol for the
     purpose of drawing up the final agreement. According to
     the instructions given to me, I was supposed to make
     sure that this agreement would provide that the
     responsible headquarters in the Army would be firmly
     obligated to give complete support to all activities of
     the Combat Groups and Combat Commandos of the SIPO and
     SD. I discussed the problem of this mutual relationship
     in great detail with Wagner. In accordance with this
     discussion I then presented him
                                                  [Page 387]
     with the completed draft of an agreement, which met
     with his full approval. This draft of an agreement was
     the basis for a final discussion between Wagner and
     Heydrich towards the end of May 1941.
     "The contents of this agreement, as far as I remember,
     were substantially as follows. Its basis was the
     Fuehrer's command, mentioned at the very beginning of
     the agreement, that the SIPO and SD should operate
     within the combat elements of the Field Army, with the
     mission of utterly smashing all resistance in conquered
     front-line areas as well as in conquered rear supply
     zones by every means and as quickly as possible. The
     various areas were then set down in which the SIPO and
     SD were to be active and operating. The individual
     Combat Groups were then assigned to the army groups
     which were to take part in the campaign and the
     individual Combat Commandos to the respective armies
     which were to take part in the campaign.
     "The Combat Groups and Combat Commandos were to operate
     in detail:
     "1. In front-line areas: in complete subordination to
     the Field Army, tactically, functionally and
     "2. In rear operational areas: in merely administrative
     subordination to the Field Army, but under command and
     functional control of the RSHA;
     "3. In rear Army areas: arrangement as in 2;
     "4. In areas of the civil administration in the East:
     same as in the Reich.
     "The tactical and functional authority and
     responsibility of front-line headquarters of the Field
     Army over the Combat Commandos found no limitation in
     the agreement and therefore needed no further
     "The agreement made it clear that the administrative
     subordination embraced not only disciplinary
     subordination but also the obligation for rear
     headquarters of the Field Army to support the Combat
     Groups and Combat Commandos in matters of supply
     (gasoline, rations, etc.) as well as in the use of the
     communications network.
     "This agreement was signed by Heydrich and Wagner in my
     presence. Wagner signed it either 'acting for' or 'by
     order of' the OKH.
     "After Wagner and Heydrich had affixed their
     signatures, both of them asked me to leave the room for
     half an hour. Just while leaving I heard how they both
     wanted to discuss in complete privacy the Fuehrer's
     command, which was ap-
                                                  [Page 388]
     parently known in advance by each of them personally,
     and its far-reaching implications. After the half hour
     was over I was called in once more just to say goodbye.
     "Today I read the 'Operational and Situational Report
     No. 6 of the Combat Groups of the SIPO and SD in the
     USSR (covering the period from 1 October 1941 to 31
     October 1941),' as well as the 'Comprehensive Report of
     Combat Group A up to 15 October 1941.' The whole
     substance of these reports shows that the prime mission
     of the Combat Groups and Combat Commandos of the SIPO
     and SD was to undertake and carry out mass executions
     of Jews, Communists and other elements of resistance.
     It is also clear from the above-cited 'Comprehensive
     Report,' which embraces no more than the first four
     months of these operations, that the cooperation of the
     respective Oberbefehlshabers with Combat Group A was
     'in general good and in individual instances, for
     instance that of Panzergruppe 4 under Colonel General
     Hoeppner, very close, in fact almost cordial' (page 1).
     From an inclosure to this same report, bearing the
     title 'Summary of the Number of Executed Persons,'
     particularly from the figures arranged according to the
     successively conquered areas, it is evident that the
     SIPO and SD operated in front-line areas so as fully to
     carry out their prime function of conducting mass
     executions of all elements of resistance even from the
     very beginning of the advance against Russia. I
     acknowledge the reliability and authenticity of both of
     the above cited reports. Therefore I must today express
     my firm conviction that the Oberbefehlshabers of the
     army groups and armies which were to take part in the
     Russian campaign were accurately informed through the
     normal OKH channels of communication about the
     extensive future mission of the Combat Groups and
     Combat Commandos of the SIPO and SD as including
     planned mass executions of Jews, Communists and all
     other elements of resistance.
     "In the beginning of June 1941 all of the Ic counter-
     intelligence officers, and, as far as I remember, all
     of the Ic officers of all army groups, armies, army
     corps and some of the divisions which were to take part
     in the coming Russian campaign were called in by
     Wagner, together with Heydrich and the Chief of the Amt
     for Counter-Intelligence Abroad in the OKW (Admiral
     Canaris) for a general conference in the OKW Building
     at Berlin. The responsible leaders of the Combat Groups
     and Combat Commandos of the SIPO and SD were for the
     most part likewise present. I was also there.

                                                  [Page 389]
     The essential substance and purpose of this meeting was
     to outline the military strategy against Russia and to
     announce the above-mentioned details of the written
     agreement reached by Wagner and Heydrich.

     "This group of Ic counter-intelligence officers and Ic
     officers remained at Berlin a few days longer and was
     carefully instructed in several additional conferences,
     at which I was not present, about further details of
     the coming Russian campaign. I assume that these
     discussions were concerned with the exact delineation
     of the Fuehrer's command 'to smash utterly all
     resistance in occupied areas by every means and as
     quickly as possible,' including even planned mass
     executions of all elements of resistance. Otherwise the
     cooperation between the Field Army and the Combat
     Groups, which in the above-cited documents is clearly
     revealed as existing but a few weeks thereafter, could
     not in my opinion have been forthcoming. In any event
     there is hardly any reason to doubt that these Ic
     counter-intelligence officers, immediately upon their
     return from Berlin, accurately informed their own
     superiors, including all Oberbefehlshabers of the army
     groups and armies which were to march against Russia,
     about the full extent of the agreement."
                               "(signed) Walter Schellenberg
                                "26 November 1945" (3710-PS)

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