Archive/File: imt/tgmwc/tgmwc-16/tgmwc-16-149.06 Last-Modified: 2000/05/10 THE PRESIDENT: What was your question, Colonel Pokrovsky? It was whether the draft did not - COLONEL POKROVSKY: I asked a question to which I received no answer. My Lord, I asked him what he could say about the actual part which Spain was to play in the seizure of Gibraltar in 1941. THE WITNESS: I cannot make a statement on what other people thought. I can only talk about serious intentions in connection with Spain in 1940. That I can talk about, but as far as this paper is concerned, I can say nothing about it. For I had dismissed long ago the plan as impossible. I know of it only since I have been in Nuremberg; I never saw it before. BY COLONEL POKROVSKY: Whether that plan could not be carried out is quite another question. Defendant Keitel said that you could give an explanation. You declare that you cannot say anything. A. As I have just said, it is some preliminary work done by the younger General Staff officers, and I read the document, with great interest and some amusement, in the Document Room here for the first time. It was not shown to me at the time it was written because it was clear that in a week's time the situation would be different. Q. You know nothing about the proposed dispatch of an expeditionary corps to Egypt, Iran, and Iraq through Transcaucasia in the direction of the Persian Gulf, if the Soviet Union had collapsed, as is stated here; you did not know anything about that either? A. It was never a really serious proposition. On the contrary, I had the biggest row of my life with the Fuehrer because I refused to attack over the Caucasus in the direction of Baku. But the General Staff officers did entertain such ideas in the first flush of optimism because of the big victories in the summer. That is what they are there for, to have ideas. But the decisions are made by the older and more level-headed men. Q. So you confirm that the success of the Red Army upset what you call "the bold and far-reaching plans" of Hitlerite Germany to send an expeditionary corps to Syria and Egypt? Is that right? A. If the Soviet Union had collapsed, then one might have entertained such ideas for continuing the war. But never the idea, for instance, of attacking Turkey. She would have come over to our side anyway voluntarily. That was the opinion of the Fuehrer. Q. How do you know that? A. How do I know it? Even the document says so, and there are the entries in the diaries of the Armed Forces Operations Staff which are here in court. One passage reads: "After big German victories Turkey will come over to our side, anyway. I order that she be given preferential treatment in the supply of munitions and arms and armoured vehicles." In fact, Turkey had expressed such a wish and she was very grateful to receive from us tanks equipped with arms. The Fuehrer would never have done that if he had expected Turkey to join our opponents. Q. We shall proceed to another group of questions. On the eve of the campaign against Russia a conference was held between the representatives of the OKW, the OKH and the so-called RSHA, to decide the order of the participation of the SIPO (Security Police). Do you know anything about this conference at which the witness Ohlendorf was present? [Page 22] A. I know nothing about that. I was working on quite different matters, an I have never had any conferences or connections with the RSHA at all. Q. Are you acquainted with Wilhelm Scheidt, a colleague in the prisoner-of-war Department? A. Yes, I know him. He was an assistant to General Scherf. Q. Are you acquainted with his testimony which was given before the Tribunal It is, my Lord, in Part 4, Pages 19 and 20. It proves that the criminal practice of inflicting punitive measures on the peaceful population was known to the officers of the OKW Operations Staff and of the General Staff of the Army. Do you remember that? A. I do not know the words that he used. Neither the Armed Forces Operations Staff nor myself were ever associated with criminal actions. I rejected criminal actions and fought against them, and I made that abundantly clear here. Q. Am I to understand that you deny all knowledge of the criminal punitive measures taken against the civilian population? Do you mean to say you knew nothing about them? A. Of course, I know of the fight against your partisans. That is quite clear. I have explained two instructions which were issued by the Armed Forces Operation, Staff in this connection. Q. On 7th January, 1946, the witness von dem Bach-Zelewski testified that the real aim of this struggle against the partisans was the extermination of the Slaw and the Jews, and that the methods used in this struggle were known to the High Command. Do you wish to deny this too? A. It might have been the intention of Bach-Zelewski; it was not mine. My instructions were different. I already described that intention yesterday a senseless. The numbers of guerrillas made no difference in the gigantic struggle between the German and the Soviet Armies. They were a minute percentage. Q. Could you recollect, Jodl, when and in what circumstances you yourself said at one of Hitler's conferences that the German troops were entitled to trey the partisans as they wished and to subject them to any kind of death, by torture by quartering, hanging them head downward, etc. Do you remember something of the kind? A. About this matter, which is more comical than serious, we talked for quit some time during the preliminary interrogation. Q. Perhaps you can tell us about this matter at less length but with greater precision. Will you answer my question whether you spoke these words or anything like these words and in what circumstances did you say them? A. I want to explain it briefly. It was on the 1st December, 1942. As the Tribunal will remember a directive in regard to partisan warfare was issued on 11th November by the Armed Forces Operations Staff, which we pronounced to be out-dated by the new issue on 6th May, 1944. In that directive which was issue on 11th November, I had written the sentence: "The burning down of villages as a reprisal is forbidden because necessarily only creates new partisans." The draft of that instruction remained in the Fuehrer's hands for weeks. He always objected that this instruction would hamper the troops in ruthlessly fighting the partisans. As at that time I had already issued that instruction, and he still had not given his approval, I became rather rude, and when he once more countered with lengthy explanations of his fighting experience, his experience of fighting the Communists in Chemnitz, I said, in order to break the ice at last: "My Fuehrer, what people do in battle does not come into this instruction at all. As far as I am concerned you can quarter them or you can hang the upside down." If I had known that the Russian gentlemen have so little sense of irony, I would have added: "And roast them on the spit." That is what I said and I added: "But in this instruction we are concerned with reprisals after the battle, and they must be prohibited." [Page 23] Then there were roars of laughter from all the officers present, and from the Fuehrer, and he gave me permission to issue that directive, and the testimony of a witness, General Buhle, who was present, will confirm that to you. That quartering of people has not been the custom in Germany since the sixteenth century, any more than that of hanging people upside-down, as everybody in the world knows. Therefore that remark could only be an ironical one. COLONEL POKROVSKY: I ask the Tribunal to grant me one minute to end this group of questions, literally one minute only. THE PRESIDENT: I beg your pardon, what did you say? COLONEL POKROVSKY: I ask permission for one minute to ask the last question of this group. BY COLONEL POKROVSKY: Q. Do you know that the German troops, evidently understanding irony better than we do and, in the literal sense of the word, quartered, hanged and roasted Soviet captives over the fire. Did you know of that? A. Not only did I not know it, but I do not even believe it. COLONEL POKROVSKY: With the permission of the Tribunal I shall proceed to the last group of questions left to me after the recess. THE PRESIDENT: How much longer will that take, Colonel Pokrovsky? COLONEL POKROVSKY: I have only a very few questions to put and I believe it will not take very long. (A recess was taken until 14.00 hours.) ALFRED JODL - Resumed CROSS-EXAMINATION - Continued BY COLONEL POKROVSKY: Q. You have given very important testimony before the Tribunal. You have admitted that in 1941 the warriors of the Red Army at Vyazma were fanatically resisting the fascist invaders. Many of them were taken prisoner only because they were too exhausted to move. You thereby explained the gigantic percentage of mortality among the Soviet prisoners of war. Is that correct? A. That is true with regard to the prisoners, particularly in the Vyazma pocket. Q. Can you think of any other reasons you know, which would account for this heavy mortality among the Soviet prisoners of war? A. I did not hear of any other reasons. Q. Then I will refresh your memory a little and draw your attention to a short excerpt from our Exhibit USSR 353. It is a letter from Rosenberg to the Commander-in-Chief of the Army, that was sent direct to the OKW. The letter is dated 28th February, 1942. I would draw your attention to a few short extracts from this document. On Page 1, I believe, the following sentences are underlined: "The fate of the Soviet prisoners of war in Germany is a large-scale tragedy. A great part of them have died of hunger or from the inclemency of the weather. Thousands have also died of typhus." I will leave out a few sentences and proceed to the next page: "Several intelligent commanding officers have taken this line with some success..." Before it had been a question of the population being willing to supply the prisoners of war with food of their own accord. "In the majority of cases, however, the camp commanders have forbidden the civilian population to give any food to the prisoners of war and have deliberately let them die of starvation. Moreover, in many cases, when prisoners of war on the march could no longer keep up from sheer hunger and exhaustion, they were shot in full view of the horrified civilian population, and the corpses were left by the roadside." [Page 24] And farther on: "Remarks have often been heard like these: The more of these prisoners die, the better it will be for us." And again on the third page: "It would be too artless to imagine that what went on in the prisoner-of-war; camps could be concealed from the Soviet Government. It is obvious from Molotov's circular note that the Soviets are perfectly well aware of the conditions described above." Have you found the passages in question? A. Yes, I have found them. Q. Now, did you really know nothing of the reasons for this mass mortality? A. No. I heard of the letter here, in Court, for the first time. Q. Defendant Jodl, I am not asking you about the letter. I am asking you about the reasons for this mass mortality among the Soviet prisoners. So you did not know of the reasons which led to this mass mortality? THE PRESIDENT: Is the document signed? COLONEL POKROVSKY: The document bears no signature. It is a captured document, 081-PS. It belongs to the documents captured by the USA and was handed to us so that we could submit it to the Tribunal. Q. I did not hear your reply, defendant. A. I knew nothing about these reasons for the mass mortality. In any case they are completely wrong, that I do know, because I can give rough figures from memory as regards the number of Soviet prisoners of war and their whereabouts. Q. Good. We will now deal with this question from a different angle. Are you familiar with the name of von Gravenitz? A. Von Gravenitz? Yes, the name is familiar to me. Q. Did he not work in the OKW? A. He was, if I am not mistaken, in the General Office of the Armed Forces as a subordinate of General Reinecke. Q. This time you are quite accurate, you are right, do you know General Oesterreich? A. No, I do not know that general. Q. You have never even heard the name? A. I do not recall it.
Site Map ·
What's New? ·
Home · Site Map · What's New? · Search Nizkor