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Last-Modified: 2000/03/30


Q. It is a note, is it not, witness, signed Warlimont, your
deputy, 15th October. I think you will find it the second
document in your file. I do not want to read it all again
because it has been read, but you see: "The Proposal of the
Amt Ausland Abwehr will be submitted as Appendix 1."

The Tribunal will find Appendix 1, in which he says - in
which it is suggested under letter "A" that sabotage troops
who do not wear uniforms should be court-martialled. You
have said "No." You have given your reasons. I will not
worry you about that any more. And then "B": "Members of
sabotage units who are in uniform but are guilty of
dishonourable activities are, after capture, to be put into
special confinement."

And then, if you will go back to 15th October, just the
second paragraph down:

  "The Chief of WR" - that is the legal department - "has
  made a statement to the effect that the order was to be
  drawn up in such a way that it will take into account our
  own interests."

                                                  [Page 407]

Is it "our own interests," witness? "Take into account our
own interests"?

A. Yes, "our own interests."

   Q. " ... our own interests while considering the future
   conduct of the war. In this way he wanted to avoid
   repercussions which would counteract our further
   intentions. Sabotage is an essential part of conducting
   war at a time of total warfare; we ourselves have
   strongly developed this method of fighting."

And you write against that, do you not, "But the English
make much more use of it"?

A. Yes, it is an undeniable fact that at that time of the
war, the English made much more use of it than we.

Q. Is that a reason for making a law - an order of this kind
to try and discourage the English from using sabotage

A. No, that is certainly not a reason. It is only a denial
of the statement that we strongly developed this method of
fighting; hence my remark, "Yes, but the English to a much
greater extent than we." That, of coursed has nothing at all
to do with the reason for the order.

Q. Then I am not going to take more time on that particular
document, except - Have you got a document dated the 14th of
October with 1, 2, 3, 4 at the end? I think it is on a
separate page, the 1, 2, 3, 4.

A. Yes.

Q. It says:

  "With this view in mind to prevent the enemy fighting the
  war by using sabotage troops, following questions have to
  be clarified before formulating an order:
  (1) Have we ourselves the intention of dropping sabotage
  units in the zone, of rear echelons of the enemy, or also
  far back in the zone of the interior?
  (2) Who will drop more sabotage troops, the enemy or we?
  (3) Can we establish the principle: Sabotage units do not
  conduct legal war: they are to be exterminated in the
  fighting without mercy?
  (4) Do we attach importance to first arresting members of
  this group for interrogation by Counter-Intelligence and
  not killing them immediately?"

These were the considerations which were discussed in your
office before the orders were drawn up.

A. These were questions - not points of view - questions
which were raised in the Wehrmachtsfuehrungsstab as a result
of the Wehrmacht communique. Fortunately, the submission of
all these documents proves the complete correctness of
everything I said here two days ago. The staff, the Legal
Department and the department "Ausland" racked their brains
and pondered how they could draw up the executive order for
the Fuehrer's additional passage in the Wehrmacht
communique. Neither they nor I came to any conclusion, and
no proposal was made to the Fuehrer; nothing was done. That
is what I stated here the day before yesterday, and that is
what, fortunately, you yourself have proved by submitting
these documents.

Q. You have said, I think, that part of the Fuehrer's order
disgusted you?

A. Yes.

Q. And you have said in your interrogation that circulating
this order was one of the things which went against your
inner conscience - one of the few things. "Your inner " - to
use your actual words.

A. In the preliminary interrogation I said that it was one
of the few - or the only - order I received from the Fuehrer
which I, in my own mind, completely rejected.

Q. You rejected it, but these young men went on being shot,
did they not?

A. I have already described exactly how the
commanders-in-chief at the front, vigorously supported by
me, interpreted this order in the mildest imaginable way

                                                  [Page 408]

in practice; actually, only very few such incidents
occurred, and I believe that most - at any rate, nearly all
that came to my knowledge - were very strongly justified,
because the fighting methods of those people were not
methods of honest soldiers.

Q. You see, you talk about your inner conviction. I think
Keitel spoke about his inner conscience. But should we have
heard anything about these convictions and this conscience
if Germany had not lost the war?

A. No, but then we might have heard of the strangled at
Dieppe in a similar trial.

Q. It is very late and ... now, I just want to deal with a
few examples, very, very quickly, of the order being carried
out, as you said it was only carried out a few times. First
of all, I just want to refer to Document UK 57, which is
Page 309 of Document Book 7, German copy Page 344. It is a
report which is initialled by Keitel.

   "On 16th of September, 1942" - mark the date; that is
   more than a month before the Commando Order came into
   force - "ten Englishmen and two Norwegians landed on the
   Norwegian coast, dressed in the uniform of the British
   Mountain Rifle Regiment, heavily armed and equipped with
   explosives of every description. After negotiating
   difficult mountain country; they blew up important
   installations in the power station Glomfjord, on 21st
   September. The German sentry was shot dead on that
   occasion. Norwegian workmen were threatened that they
   would be chloroformed. For this purpose the Englishmen
   were equipped with morphia syringes. Several of the
   participants have been arrested, whilst the others
   escaped into Sweden."

Then follow seven names, which I read out to the Tribunal, I
think, in January. They were shot on 30th October, 1942.
That would be, shot as a result of the order which you
circulated, although it was not in existence when those men
blew, up that power station. You told me some little time
ago, that that power station was a proper military target.
These men were in uniform. Can you begin to justify that?

A. No, I cannot justify that, and I will not justify it. I
consider it completely illegal, because this order could
certainly not have been retroactive; but I did not learn of
this affair at the time. Of UK 57 I read the first and
second parts here for the first time; the third part I read
in April, 1944.

O. Well, now, there are other exhibits dealing with this
matter which I am not going to put to you. They have been
referred to before, and I do not want to be cumulative. I
would like you ... or perhaps I will ask you one question

I think it was laid down, was it not, that every action
taken under this Fuehrer order was to be reported in the
Wehrmacht communique?

A. Yes, that was ordered.

Yes, I just want to give you an example of the Wehrmacht

MR. ROBERTS: Document 526-PS, Exhibit USA 502. My Lord, it
is 7A, Page 15. It is dated 10th May, 1943, German Page 21
of the small book.


It is a notice from the "Q" branch of your staff:

  "On 30th March, 1943, in Toftefjord (degree of latitude
  70), an enemy cutter was sighted. Cutter was blown up by
  enemy. Crew: Two dead and ten taken prisoners.
  Cutter was sent from Scalloway (Shetland Isles) by the
  Norwegian Navy.
  Armament: two Colt machine guns, two mounted machine
  guns. Also a small transmitting set. There were likewise
  found on board: four tripods for mounting machine guns,
  six sub-machine guns and 1,000 kilos of high explosives
  "Purpose: Construction of an organization for sabotaging
  of strong-points, battery positions; staff and troop
  billets and bridges.
                                                  [Page 409]
  Assigner of Mission in London: Norwegian Major Munthe.
  Fuehrer order executed by Sicherheitsdienst (Security
  Wehrmacht report of 6th April announces the following:-
  In Northern Norway an enemy sabotage unit was engaged and
  destroyed on approaching the coast."

That was false, was it not?

A. I confirmed this communique of 6th April, which included
the contribution from the commander in Norway, as I received
it on 6th April; this brief formulation always originated
with the commander at the front. But what actually happened
is set down in this note of 10th May, which, most
unfortunately, I never saw, because on 10th May, 1943, I
travelled by train to Bad Gastein to begin a cure of a
severe attack of lumbago; and so, unfortunately, I saw this
document for the first time here in Nuremberg. I am sorry,
because this would have been one of the few cases in which I
might have been able to intervene.

Q. Yes, but, witness, keep it in front of you, because, you
see, the action was not taken on 10th May; it was taken
before, or on 6th April. Look at the last paragraph:

  "Wehrmacht report of 6th April announces the following:
  Enemy sabotage unit engaged and destroyed on approaching
  the coast."

Whereas, in fact, they had been taken prisoner and then shot
like dogs by the SD.

A. Yes, I have just said that. Before this contribution of
the 6th of April, I heard nothing about the whole matter,
but only on the 10th of May did it come to our knowledge,
and then the Wehrmachtsfuehrungsstab issued this note. The
whole investigation into these events was made by the
Counter-Intelligence, the office of Canaris, together with
its Security Police; it was not the "SD"; that is wrong; it
was the Security Police.

Unfortunately I did not know of these details; the
Counter-Intelligence knew them. I was concerned with the
whole question only because I had to issue the communique,
otherwise I would never have dealt with the Commando Order;
it happened accidentally.

Q. Now I just want to show you one more instance. It is
Document 2610-PS.

MR. ROBERTS: It is, my Lord, in small Document Book 7A, Page
23, the German small book, Page 41.


Q. Now, I want you to notice, witness, this is the only
document which I rely on, which is not one of your own
captured contemporaneous German documents. This is a report
from the Judge Advocate General's Department, United States
Army. It concerns fifteen United States personnel who were
shot under this order. If you look at the second page:

  "On the night Of 22nd March, 1944, two officers and
  thirteen enlisted men of the 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 were members
  of the United States Army and were in the military
  service of the United States. When they landed they were
  all properly dressed in the field uniform, they had no
  civilian clothes. Their mission was to demolish a
  railroad tunnel on the main line between La Spezia and
  Genoa. That rail line was used to supply the German
  Forces on the Cassino and Anzio Beachhead fronts."

That was a good military target, that tunnel, was it not?

A. Yes, a military target, absolutely.

Q. And all fifteen men were shot because of the order that
you circulated.

A. I did not understand. The order which - which I
circulated; yes.

Q. . which you circulated on 19th of October. You circulated
a supplementary order to the Fuehrer Order, the last
paragraph of which, I think, disgusted you. That is Document

                                                  [Page 410]

A. It would be more correct to say, "which you had to

Q. I'll take that question up in a moment. I do not agree. I
must not argue with you, but I must put some questions.

General Dostler, who ordered that shooting of those men, he
himself, you see, was also shot by sentence of this

I am going to turn now from the Commando Order and

A. (Interposing): May I say something else about this

Q. Yes, anything you like.

A. This incident never came to my knowledge; at least, I
have no recollection of it. As far as I know, it never
appeared in the Wehrmacht communique, because General
Dostler did not report the incident to his Commanding
Officer Kesselring, who might have been able to take, and
might have taken, a different course in this affair.

Q. Why do you say that you had to circulate this order? No
man can compel another to circulate an order for murder.

A. I have explained at length that this order could not
simply be interpreted as an order to murder, but that very
serious and justified doubts and considerations could arise
with regard to International Law, and with regard to the
right or wrong of this order. In any case, you should have
complete appreciation of such a delicate situation, because
even now, in my position here, I cannot say or do as I like,
and that exactly is what happened to me during these last
five and a half years.

Q. You could have refused. You could have said, and the
other generals could have said, could you not: "We are all
honourable soldiers. We will not publish and issue those

A. Certainly under other circumstances it might have been
possible, firstly, if at the time I had not had that
conflict with the Fuehrer, and secondly, if the British
Ministry of War had made my task a little easier. However,
these events and the statement made by the British on the
2nd of September put the Fuehrer into a rage against which I
was powerless. As to how much I tried to resist, that
document itself is the best proof, because the threat of
punishment and the detailed justification were directed
against me personally.

THE PRESIDENT: Mr. Roberts, would that be a convenient time
to break off?

(A recess was taken.)


Q. I want to ask you a few questions about the deportation
of the Jews from Denmark. Will you look, please, at a new
document, D-547, which I offer as Exhibit GB 488.

Now, that is to the OKW Operational Staff from the
Commander, Denmark, dated 20th September, 1943. That is
before the teletype, which has been put in, two days before:

  "The Fuehrer has agreed in principle with Best's telegram
  that the Jewish question in Denmark be solved very soon
  by deportation.
  Execution of this measure should take place while the
  state of martial law still exists. It is not certain if
  sufficient police forces can be provided for the arrest
  of the Jews and their families, about 6,000 persons, most
  of whom live in Copenhagen. The Army would be heavily
  I believe that the results of the deportation will be
  The armament industry deliveries will be prejudiced.
  Considerable disturbances will have to be reckoned with."
  And you made a note on the back of it: "I know nothing of
  this. If a political measure is to be carried out by the
  Commander, Denmark, the OKW must be notified by the
  Foreign Office."

Is that right?

A. Yes. - I would not have recalled this document, but I
certainly wrote the note. It proves what I did not remember
until now, that obviously this question

                                                  [Page 411]

had been discussed in Denmark some days before and that the
Commander in Denmark had been making objections.
Consequently I wrote, "I know nothing of this. This is a
political measure, and if a political measure is to be
carried out by the Commander, Denmark, the OKW must be
notified by the Foreign Office."

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