The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

Fifty-Seventh Day: Tuesday, 12th February, 1946
(Part 6 of 18)

[Page 267]

BY DR. FRITZ (counsel for defendant Fritzsche):

Q. Witness, do you know the defendant Fritzsche?

[Page 268]

A. Yes, I do.

Q. Are you aware of the fact that during the summer and autumn of 1942 he was with your army?

A. Yes.

Q. Witness, in the course of this trial there was a discussion about the command of the O.K.W., which, I gather, was also sharply criticised by you, according to which all the captured Commissars of the Russian Army were to be shot. Are you aware of that order?

A. Yes. It came to my knowledge.

Q. Do you recollect that the defendant Fritzsche, after he learned of this order in the course of his duties, suggested to you and your second-in-command that this order should be disregarded in your sphere of activity?

A. I cannot recollect that incident. I think it is perfectly possible that Herr Fritzsche did discuss this question with the Supreme Command of the Army, but when I became an Army Commander on 20th January, 1942, that order was not carried out in my zone. As far as I know, this order, which in practice did not become operative, was in fact cancelled later on.

Q. So as to refresh your memory, I might ask another question: Do you recollect, perhaps, that Fritzsche suggested to you or your Intelligence officers that leaflets giving that information be dropped over the Russian front?

A. I certainly cannot recollect that, but I consider it perfectly possible that such a discussion with the Intelligence, who were responsible for that sort of thing, took place.

Q. Then one last question: As far as you know the character of the defendant Fritzsche, would you consider it entirely possible and probable that he made this suggestion?

A. Yes, indeed I do.

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