The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

Nazi Conspiracy & Aggression
Volume I Chapter IX
Aggression Against the U.S.S.R.
(Part 5 of 16)

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"The Chief of the Supreme Command of the Armed Forces. "Hq. of the Fuehrer 9 March 1941 DRAFT

"Honorable Reich Minister! (TODT)

"For the missions which the Fuehrer has assigned to the Armed Forces in the East, extensive measures for the diversion and deception of friend and foe are necessary prerequisites for the success of the operations.

"The Supreme Command of the Armed Forces has issued guiding rules for the deception in accordance with more detailed directives of the Fuehrer. These rules aim essentially at continuing preparations for the attack against England in an increasing degree. Simultaneously the actual preparations for deployment in the East should be represented as a diversionary maneuvre to divert from plans which are being pursued for an attack against England. In order to insure success for these measures, it is indispensable that these same principles are being also followed on the part of the Organization Todt.

"K. J. W." [Initials of Keitel, Jodl and Warlimont] (874-PS)

On 13 March 1941 Keitel signed an operational supplement to Fuehrer Order #21 (446-PS), which was issued in the form of "Directives for Special Areas" (447-PS). This detailed operational order, which was issued more than three months in advance of the attack, indicates how complete were the plans on practically every phase of the operation. Section I of the directive is headed "Area of Operations and Executive Power" and outlines who was to be in control of what and where. It states that while the campaign is in progress, the Supreme Commander of the Army has the executive power in territory through which the army is advancing. During this period, however, the Reichsfuehrer SS is entrusted with "special tasks." This assignment is discussed in paragraph 2b:

"*** b. In the area of operations, the Reichsfuehrer SS is, on behalf of the Fuehrer, entrusted with special tasks for the preparation of the political administration, tasks which result from the struggle which has to be carried out between two opposing political systems. Within the realm of these tasks, the Reichsfuehrer SS shall act independently and under his own responsibility. The executive power invested in the Supreme Commander of the Army (OKH) and

[Page 804]

in agencies determined by him shall not be affected by this. It is the responsibility of the Reichsfuehrer SS that through the execution of his tasks military operations shall not be disturbed. Details shall be arranged directly through the OKH with the Reichsfuehrer SS." (447-PS)

The order then states that, in time, political administration will be set up under Commissioners of the Reich. The relationship of these officials to the army is discussed in paragraphs 2c and 3:

"c. As soon as the area of operations has reached sufficient depth, it is to be limited n the rear. The newly occupied territory in the rear of the area of operations is to be given its own political administration. For the present, it is to be divided, according to its genealogic basis and to the positions of the Army Groups, into North (Baltic countries), Center (White Russia) and South (Ukraine). In these territories the political administration is taken care of by Commissioners of the Reich who receive their orders from the Fuehrer.

"3. For the execution of all military tasks within the areas under political administration in the rear of the area of operations, commanding officers who are responsible to the Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces (OKW) shall be in command.

"The commanding officer is the supreme representative of the Armed Forces in the respective areas and the bearer of the military sovereign rights. He has the tasks of a Territorial Commander and the rights of a supreme Army Commander or a Commanding General. In this capacity he is responsible primarily for the following tasks.

"a. Close cooperation with the Commissioner of the Reich in order to support him in his political task.

"b. Exploitation of the country and securing its economic values for use by German industry (see par. 4). (447-PS)

The directive also outlines the responsibility for the administration of economy in the conquered territory. This provision is also contained in Section I, paragraph 4:

"4. The Fuehrer has entrusted the uniform direction of the administration of economy in the area of operations and in the territories of political administration to the Reich Marshal who has delegated the Chief of the 'Wi Rue Amt' with the execution of the task. Special orders on that will come from the OKW/Wi/Rue/Amt." (447-PS)

The second section deals with matters of personnel, supply, and communication traffic. Section III of the order deals with the

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relations with certain other countries and states, in part, as follows:

"III. Regulations regarding Rumania, Slovakia, Hungary and Finland.

9. The necessary arrangements with these countries shall be made by the OKW, together with the Foreign Office, and according to the wishes of the respective high commands. In case it should become necessary during the course of the operations to grant special rights, applications for this purpose are to be submitted to the OKW." (447-PS)

The document closes with a section regarding Sweden:

"IV. Directives regarding Sweden.

12. Since Sweden can only become a transient-area for troops, no special authority is to be granted the commander of the German troops. However, he is entitled and compelled to secure the immediate protection of RR- transports against sabotage and attacks.

"The Chief of the High Command Of the Armed Forces
"signed: KEITEL" (447-PS)

As was hinted in the original Barbarossa Order, Directive No. 21 (446-PS), the plan originally contemplated that the attack would take place about 15 May 1941. In the meantime, however, the Nazi conspirators found themselves involved in a campaign in the Balkans and wee forced to delay Barbarossa for a few weeks. Evidence of this postponement is found in a document (C-170) which has been identified by Raeder as a compilation of official extracts from the Naval War Staff War Diary. It was prepared by naval archivists who had access to the Admiralty files and contains file references to the papers which were the basis for each entry. This item dated 3 April 1941 reads as follows:

"Balkan Operations delayed 'Barbarossa' at first for about five weeks. All measures which can be construed as offensive actions are to be stopped according to Fuehrer order." (C-170)

The original plaintext version of this file is available via ftp.

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