The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

Nazi Conspiracy & Aggression
Individual Responsibility Of Defendants
William Keitel
(Part 5 of 5)

[Page 544]

(6) Aggression against Greece and Yugoslavia. On 12 November 1940 Hitler issued orders to the Army to prepare for the occupation of the Greek mainland (444-PS). On 13 December 1940 a Hitler order stated that the invasion of Greece was planned and would start as soon as the weather became favorable. The composition of combat teams and their routes of march were given. When the Greek operation was concluded, the mass of the troops involved were to be employed for a new task. This order was distributed to the OKW, as well as to the-three armed services. (1541-PS)

On 11 January 1941 Hitler ordered preparation for armed intervention in Albania, to assist the Italians against Greece. The order was initialled by Keitel and Jodl (448- PS). On 20 January 1941 Jodl reported, in notes of a meeting between Hitler and Mussolini, that Hitler stated that one of the purposes of German troop concentrations in Rumania was for use in his plan for the operation against Greece. This was four months prior to the attack. (C-134)

On 19 February 1941 an OKW order signed by Warlimont gave decisions for carrying out the Greek campaign, providing that pontoon building would commence on 26 February, and that the Danube would be crossed on 2 March. (C-59)

On 18 March 1941 Raeder, in the presence of Keitel and Jodl, asked for confirmation that the whole of Greece would have to be occupied even in the event of a peaceful settlement, and Hitler replied that complete occupation was a prerequisite to any settlement. (C-167)

At a meeting on 27 March 1941, attended by both Keitel and Jodl, Hitler outlined the proposed operations against Yugoslavia and Greece. The actual plan for military operations, Directive No. 25, was issued on the same day. (1746-PS)

(7) Aggression against the U.S.S.R. On 12 November 1940 Hitler issued a directive in which, among other things, it was stated that preparations for the East already verbally ordered should be continued, regardless of the outcome of current political discussions for the clarification of Russia's attitude. The directive was initialled by Jodl. (444-PS)

The original directive for preparation of the attack on Russia -- case "Barbarossa" -- was signed by Hitler on 18 December 1940 and initialled by Keitel and Jodl (446-PS). On 3 February 1941 Hitler held a meeting to discuss the intended invasion. Keitel and Jodl were both present (872- PS). On 1 March 1941 an OKW map was prepared to show the intended division of occupied

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Russian territory. The distribution list shows that Keitel and Jodl received copies. (1642-PS)

In March of 1941 Keitel wrote to Reich Minister Todt to give him detailed instructions about camouflaging the coming invasion. The letter was initialled by Jodl. (874-PS)

On 13 March 1941 Keitel issued an operational supplement to Hitler's Barbarossa order (446-PS). This order defined the area of operations and established the relationship between political and military officers in those areas (4.47-PS). On 1 June 1941 there was issued, with Hitler's approval, a timetable for the invasion, showing the disposition and missions of the Army, Navy, and Air Force. This paper was signed by Keitel (C-39). On 14 June 1941 an order was issued for final reports on Barbarossa to be made in Berlin by Army, Navy, and Air Commanders. (C-78)

While the foregoing preparations were being made, planning for the production of armaments and supplies was being conducted by one of Keitel's subordinates, General Thomas, Chief of the Wirtschaft Ruestungsamt in OKW. (2353-PS)

By a Fuehrer order dated 20 April 1941 Rosenberg was appointed "Deputy for a Centralized Treatment of Problems concerning the Eastern Territories" Jodl and Warlimont were appointed Keitel's representatives with the Rosenberg office (865-PS). A preliminary report by Rosenberg on his work up to the time of the invasion mentions Keitel and Jodl as having consulted and worked with him in those preparations. (1039-PS) A memorandum written by General Thomas on 20 June 1941. states that Keitel had confirmed to him Hitler's policy on raw materials -- that it took less manpower to seize territories containing raw materials, than it did to make synthetic substitutes. (1456-PS)

(8) War Crimes and Crimes against Humanity -- Crimes against Military Personnel -- Lynching of Allied Airmen. On 21 May 1944 Keitel received a note from WFST to the effect that Hitler had decided that enemy fliers who had been forced down should be shot without court-martial, if they had engaged in "acts of terror" Keitel wrote on the note "Please arrange for order to be drafted. K" (731-PS)

By 4 June 1914 Jodl and Warlimont were ready to go ahead with formulating the plans. Goering was to be asked what actions of enemy fliers should be punishable by death; the Airmen's Reception Camp at Oberursel was to be told which fliers should be delivered to the SD; and the Foreign Office was to be kept advised. (737-PS)

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At subsequent conferences Keitel and Jodl raised question about the difficulty of establishing general rules in such a matter. The "Acts of Terror" were:

1. Low level attacks on civilians.

2. Shooting German fliers in parachutes.

3. Attacks on civilian passenger planes.

4. Attacks on Red Cross hospitals or trains. (735-PS)

On 17 June 1944 Keitel wrote to the Foreign Office to ask their approval of the proposed measure and the agreed definition of "Acts of Terror" (730-PS). On the same day Keitel wrote to Goering to ask for his approval of the definitions of "Acts of Terror" and also to ask that he give verbal instructions to the Commandant of the camp at Oberursel to hand over fliers guilty of such acts to the SD. Both Keitel and Jodl initialled this letter (729-PS). Goering replied that fliers not guilty of acts of terror must be protected, and suggested that such matters be handled by the courts. (732-PS)

A draft of a Foreign Office letter dated 20 June 1944 expresses misgivings about the Geneva Convention, and concern about the publicity that would be involved. (728-PS)

On 26 June 1944 Goering's adjutant telephoned the WFST to say that Goering agreed to the procedures suggested. (733-PS)

On 29 June Warlimont was informed that Ribbentrop had approved the Foreign Office draft (728-PS), but wished to obtain Hitler's approval before communicating his own final written approval to Keitel. (740-PS)

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

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