The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

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COLONEL AMEN to witness: As a member of the Abwehr, were you
generally well informed on the plan of the German Reich for
waging of war?

WITNESS: In so far as the office of the Abwehr was concerned
in the preparation for these matters.

Q. Did any intelligence information ever come to your
attention which was not available to an ordinary person, or
to an ordinary officer in the army?

A. Yes, certainly. It is a function of my office.

Q. And, on the basis of the knowledge which you so obtained,
did you in your group come to any decisions as to whether or
not the attack on Poland, for example, was an unprovoked act
of aggression?


WITNESS: Would you be kind enough to repeat the question?

THE PRESIDENT: That is one principal question which this
Court has to decide. You cannot produce evidence upon a
question which is within the province of the Court to

COLONEL AMEN: Very well, sir. The witness is now available
for cross-examination.

THE PRESIDENT: Is it the Soviet prosecutor's wish to ask any
questions of this witness? General Rudenko

definite replies to questions and I should like to have
certain details. Am I to understand you rightly that the
insurgent units of the Ukrainian nationalists were organised
under the direction of the German High Command?

A. They were Ukrainian immigrants from Galicia.

Q. And from these immigrants were formed insurgent units

A. Yes, "Commando" perhaps is not quite the right
expression. They were people who were brought together in
tents and were given a military or a semi-military training.

Q. What was the function of these Commandos?

A. They were organisations of immigrants from the Ukraine
Galicia, as I already previously stated, who worked together
with the Amt Abwehr.

Q. What were these troops supposed to accomplish?

A. Tasks were assigned to them from time to time at the
beginning of the operation by the office in charge of the
command. That is, in the case of orders originating from the
office to which I belonged, they were determined by the OKW.

                                                  [Page 289]

Q. What functions did these groups have?

A. These Commandos were to carry out sabotage behind the
enemy's front line.

Q. That is to say, in what territory?

A. In those territories with which Germany had entered into
war or, speaking of a concrete case, such as the trial is
concerned with, in Poland.

Q. Of course, in Poland. Well, sabotage and what else.

A. Sabotage, wrecking of bridges and other objectives of
military importance. The Wehrmacht operational staff
determined what was of military importance; details of that
activity I have just described, namely, destruction of
militarily important objectives or objectives important for
a particular operation.

Q. But what about terroristic activities? I am asking you
about the terroristic activities of these units.

A. Political tasks were not assigned to them by us, i.e.,
the Amt Ausland-Abwehr. Political assignments were made by
the respective Reich office where it should be said, often
as a result of erroneous ...

Q. You have misunderstood me. You are speaking about
sabotage and I was asking you concerning terroristic acts of
these organisations. Do you understand me? Was terror one of
their tasks? Let me repeat again; as well as the sabotage
acts, were there any terror acts assigned to them?

A. On our part never.

Q. You have told me that from your side there was no
question of terrorism. From whose side was there? Who worked
on this aspect?

A. Well, that was the whole point at the time. Each one of
these military Abwehr units was being asked again and again
to use their purely military organisation, which was
established to take care of the tasks of the Armed Forces
operation, for political or terroristic methods, as is
clearly shown by the memorandum on our files concerning the
campaign against Poland.

Q. Answering the question of Colonel Amen as to whether the
Red Army men were looked upon as an ideological enemy and
was subjected to corresponding measures, what do you mean by
corresponding measures? I repeat the question. You have said
that the Red Army man was looked upon by you, I mean by the
German High Command, as an ideological enemy, and was to be
subjected to the corresponding measures. What does it mean?
What do you mean by "corresponding measures"?

A. By special measures I mean quite clearly all those brutal
methods which were actually used and which I have already
mentioned, and of which I am convinced there were many more,
more than I could possibly have seen in my restricted field
and more than were known to me.

Q. You have already told the Tribunal that there were
special commandos for the screening of prisoners of war. I
understand that they were screened in the following way:
into those who were to be killed and the others who were to
be interned in camps, is that right?

A. Yes, but these special commandos of the S.D. alone were
concerned with the execution of those selected amongst the
prisoners of war.

Q. That, of course, makes the chief of the commandos
responsible and decisive for the question as to who was to
die and who was not to die.

 A. Yes, it was this very subject that was under discussion
with Reinecke. The fact was mentioned that he was to be the
head of one such commando which was to decide who, in view
of the order, was to be looked upon as Bolshevistically
tainted and who was not.

Q. And the chief of the commando decided upon his own
authority, what to do with them.

A. Yes, at least up to the date of the discussion in which I
participated upon an order from Canaris, this point, amongst
others, was one of the most important ones of this

                                                  [Page 290]

Q. You have told us about your protest and the protest of
Canaris against these atrocities, killings and so forth.
What were the results of these protests?

A. As I have already stated, there were some very modest
results, so modest that you can hardly call them results at
all. The fact that executions were to take place out of
sight of the troops or at least at a 500-metres distance, I
can in no way call a result.

Q. What conversation did you have with Muller on this
subject, concerning his concessions? You told us when you
were asked by General Alexandrov (please who is Alexandrov?)
you were questioned by Colonel Rosenblith, a representative
of the Soviet Delegation. I am sorry I made a mistake.
Perhaps you will remember your communication to Colonel
Rosenblith regarding the conversation and the concession
that Muller made. I shall ask you to tell us that part

A. Yes, correct. Yes, if the name is Alexandrov, though I do
not know what Alexandrov meant in this connection.

Q. Alexandrov was a mistake on my part, forget it. I am
interested in the question of Muller, concerning the
shootings, torturings, and so forth.

A. I had a long conversation with Muller, especially with
regard to the selections. I cited, to be concrete, the case
of the Crimean Tartars, i.e., the case of Soviet Russian
soldiers who, according to their nationality, originated
from the Crimea; and cases where, for certain reasons,
Mohammedan people were declared Jews, and were then
executed. Apart from the brutality of these and all other
similar measures, these cases proved the entirely irrational
point of view, or points of view, incomprehensible to any
normal person, which characterised the handling of the
entire matter. To that, among other things, I made

Q. You told us where these measures were carried out.

THE PRESIDENT: He doesn't hear you, carry on but do a little
bit more slowly.

GENERAL RUDENKO: Have you finished your conversation with

WITNESS: No, I didn't quite finish, I had many discussions
with Muller and all this was a consensus of these
discussions. All the subjects about which I have given
evidence were discussed first with Muller as the man in
authority in at least one sector. As for Reinecke, he then
merely decided according to his own ideas, and his own point
of view, and contrary to my views or those held by the Amt.
I would be grateful if you would tell me what particular
points you would like me to explain and I will gladly repeat

Q. Your usual topic of discussion was murders, shootings,
and so forth, especially shootings. I am interested in all
that. What did Muller say about it? How were shootings to
take place, especially in relation to your protests?

A. He told me in a rather cynical form that in this case the
shootings would take place somewhere else if the troops were
too disturbed by them and if, as I described it, "their
morale suffers," etc ., and that was the main meaning of
what he said.

Q. That was the result of your protest?

A. Yes, that was the very poor result of our protest, and
then still a certain concession ...

Q. And one last question. The conditions of the
concentration camps where Soviet prisoners were taken and
where mass destruction of prisoners was committed; were all
these orders the result of directives of the German High

A. In some sort of co-operation with the competent
authorities, the Reichs-Sicherheitshauptamt. Corroborating
all I have stated, I must point out that at the time, I
myself did not read the orders, and that I learned of the
work alone on parallel lines, or the collaboration, or the
co-ordination in this question only from conversations and
primarily from the conversations with Reinecke, and

                                                  [Page 291]

wherever I encountered a representative of the O.K.W. in the
persons of Reinecke and of the afore-mentioned Muller.

Q. Excuse me, did you get to know that information in
private or unofficial sessions or conversations?

A. It was a strictly official meeting called by General
Reinecke. I was not there as "Lahousen", but as a
representative of the Ausland-Abwehr.

Q. The orders which are passed on in these sessions, did
they come to you directly from the German High Command?

A. They came from the German High Command and from one of
the highest officers of the R.S.H.A., according to what
Reinecke said during one of these discussions. I have never
seen them with my own eyes, therefore this is all I can

Q. But you have heard during these meetings where and when
they were discussed?

A. Yes, during the discussions, the course of which I have
already described, or at least in its essential aspects, of

Q. And during these sessions which you mentioned were the
questions raised about murders, and burning of cities?

A. There was no talk at these discussions about setting on
fire, but mention was made of the orders which had been
issued with respect to the prisoners.

Q. About the murders only.

A. About the executions.


THE PRESIDENT: Does the French prosecutor wish to ask any

BY M. DUBOST: One single question.

Q. Who gave the orders for the liquidation of the army

A. I did not understand that - the destruction of the
"Kommandos"? What was it exactly that you meant? Presumably
the killing of members of the Kommando troops?

Q. Who gave the orders for the execution?

A. I did not read the order myself, but according to what
was said in our circles about this subject, the idea came
from Hitler himself, who was instrumental in reorganising
the S.D., but who also has helped in the reforming of the
S.D. I do not know.

Q. The defendants Keitel, Jodl, what orders did they handle;
what orders did they give?

A. I cannot say that because I do not know.

Q. What were the reasons for these orders, as far as you

A. Not merely was it my opinion, but it was common
knowledge, that the reasons for these orders were, to have
an intimidating effect and thus to crush and paralyse the
activity of the commandos.

Q. Who gave the order to have Generals Giraud and Weygand
executed or murdered?

A. I did not hear the first part of the question. Who gave
the order to kill Weygand and Giraud? The order to
liquidate, that is, to be explicit, to murder Weygand and
Giraud, as Canaris told me, came from Keitel. This order and
this intention regarding the case Weygand, were furthermore
directly transmitted to me in a personal remark on the part
of Keitel. Keitel asked me after Canaris had read to him a
report in my presence, On 23rd December, 1940, according to
my notes, about the progress in the case Weygand.

As regards the second case, that is the case Giraud, it is a
fact that the order came from Keitel to Canaris - this I
heard first from Canaris himself - and so did the other
chiefs who were present. I further heard of it a second time
during a report from Canaris to Keitel, in my presence, in
July, 1942, when this order was communicated to me in a
manner similar to that of case Weygand, and, finally, in a

                                                  [Page 292]

direct manner, that is, a telephone conversation which I
described here, received from Keitel and transmitted as
urgent intelligence.

(The British Chief Prosecutor indicated that he had no
questions to ask.)

THE PRESIDENT: Do you want to ask any questions, Dr. Nelte?

DR. NELTE (Counsel for defendant Keitel): The witness,
Lahousen, has given very important evidence, particularly -

THE PRESIDENT: Are you going to make a speech now?

DR. NELTE: My client, the defendant Keitel, would like to
put numerous questions to the witness after he has had a
discussion with me. I therefore ask the Tribunal to allow
either that there may be a considerable adjournment now, or
that at the next session this question may be discussed in

THE PRESIDENT: Very well. You shall have an opportunity to
cross-examine at 10 o'clock to-morrow. Does any member of
the Tribunal wish to ask any questions of the witness now?


Q. I should like to ask the witness whether the orders for
the killing of the Russians and in connection with the
treatment of the prisoners were in writing?

A. As far as I know, yes, but I did not see or read these
orders myself.

Q. Were they official orders?

A. Yes, they were official orders, of course, though the
facts were brought out in a roundabout way. It was these
orders which Reinecke and the others discussed and this is
how I learned about their essential points; I did not read
them myself at any time. Still, that they were not oral
agreements I knew, because they were commented upon;
consequently I knew that something existed in writing. Only,
I cannot say whether there were one or more orders, or who
signed them. This I did not claim to know. I submitted my
knowledge which is based solely on discussions and reports
from which I quite clearly could deduct the existence of

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