The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

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Last-Modified: 2000/01/04

Q. I am asking you now about the time when Hitler marched
into Czechoslovakia, in the spring of 1939.

A. That was in the same year of mobilisation, that is to say
at that time, as far as figures are concerned, there were
fewer divisions than Czechoslovakia had at her disposal. In
the autumn of 1938 the number of formations, divisional
formations, was probably equal. In the spring of 1939, when
we marched in, the strength.

                                                   [Page 50]

which was used then was less than that which stood ready in
the autumn of 1938. Accurate figures, if they are important
to this Tribunal, you could get better from General Jodl.

Q. As to the number of divisions which Czechoslovakia had at
her disposal in March, 1939, could you not tell us anything
about that?

A. No, I do not know anything about that.

DR. DIX: Then I shall possibly ask General Jodl about that

THE PRESIDENT: Perhaps you will actually offer this document
in evidence when the defendant Schacht gives evidence. Is
that what you intend to do?

DR. DIX: I am going to submit it in evidence and it will be
included in my document book. It is not necessary to keep it
now, because I have to take it up again when Schacht comes
to be examined, and you will find it then in the document
book. However, I would like to suggest that the copy which I
have given to the witness should become a part of the
record, because my questions have referred to this document.
For this reason it might be useful to make this copy a part
of the record.

THE PRESIDENT: If you want to make it a part of the record
it had better be given a number now. It had better be S-1,
had it not?

DR. DIX: Your Lordship, may I suggest Sch-1?


BY DR. STAHMER (representing Dr. Servatius for the defendant

Q. Witness, on 4th January, 1944, a conference allegedly
took place between the Fuehrer and Sauckel about the
manpower question. Were you present at this conference ?

A. Yes.

Q. Did Sauckel on this occasion state that he could not fill
the manpower demands of industry to the extent demanded?

A. Yes, he discussed it thoroughly and also explained why he
could not do this.

Q. What reasons did he give?

A. He pointed out the great difficulties encountered in the
areas from which he was supposed to draft or recruit
manpower, the strong activity of guerrillas and partisans in
these areas, the great obstacles in obtaining sufficient
police forces at his disposal, and similar reasons. I do not
remember any details.

BY DR. KRANZBUEHLER (counsel for defendant Donitz):

Q. Field Marshal, were you the leader of the German
delegation which signed the capitulation with which the war
in Europe was terminated?

A. Yes.

Q. When and where did that take place?

A. In Berlin on 8th May, that is to say during the night 8th-
9th May, 1945.

Q. Were you asked for credentials which would designate you
as authorised to negotiate about the capitulation?

A. Yes. I took the credentials with me to Berlin. They had
been signed by Admiral Donitz in his capacity as Chief of
State and Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces, and stated
in a few words, that he had authorised and ordered me to
conduct the negotiations and to carry out the capitulation.

Q. Were these papers examined by the Allies and

A. In the course of the afternoon of 8th May I was asked to
present my credentials. Apparently they were examined, and
several hours later they were returned to me by a high
ranking officer of the Red Army, who said that I had to show
them again when signing.

Q. Did you show them again?

A. I had my credentials at hand during the act of
capitulation and handed them over to become part of the

BY PROFESSOR DR. JAHRREISS (counsel for the defendant Jodl):

Q. Witness, during your testimony you have explained the
Organisation of the High Command of the Armed Forces. This
Organisation was based on a decree

                                                   [Page 51]

of the Fuehrer and Reich Chancellor of 4th February, 1938.
In that decree the O.K.W. was designated as the military
staff of the Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces.

So, in that aspect you were the Chief of Staff. Now, the
prosecution has repeatedly named Jodl as your Chief of
Staff. Is that correct?

A. No. General Jodl never was my Chief of Staff. He was the
Chief of the Armed Forces' Operations Staff and a
departmental chief of the Armed Forces High Command, as I
have already stated.

Q. That is to say, the Chief of several co-ordinated

A. Yes; I never had a Chief of Staff.

Q. Mention was made here about the discussion between Hitler
and Schuschnigg at Obersalzberg on 12th February, 1938. Do
you remember that? A diary entry by Jodl referring to this
conversation has been submitted to the Tribunal. Was Jodl
present at this conference?

A. No, he was not present and his knowledge is derived from
the conference which I described before and which I held
with him and Canaris, about the news which was to be
disseminated as to certain military preparations during the
days following the Schuschnigg conference; it is therefore
an impression gained by General Jodl as a result of the
description given to him.

Q. In the course of the preparations for solving the German-
Czechoslovakian question, i.e. the Sudeten question, the
plan to stage an incident played a great role. Did you ever
give an order to the department Abwehr II (Counter
Intelligence) under Canaris to stage such an incident in
Czechoslovakia or on the border?

A. No, such orders were never given to the Abwehr, anyway
not by me.

Q. After Munich, that is in October, 1938, Field Marshal
Jodl, then Chief of National Defence, left this position and
was transferred to Vienna. Who was his successor?

A. Jodl was transferred to the front. He became chief of an
artillery division in Vienna and his successor was
Warlimont, at that time Colonel Warlimont.

Q. Did you say his successor?

A. Yes.

Q. If I understood you correctly, you mean that Jodl was not
only sent on leave but he definitely left his office?

A. Jodl had definitely left the High Command of the Armed
Forces (O.K.W.) and became chief of a division; Warlimont
was not his representative but his successor.

Q. Now, the prosecution has said that at the occasion of
that famous conference of 23rd May, 1938 - no, 1939 -
Warlimont was present as deputy designate for Jodl. What had
Jodl to do with that conference?

A. Nothing at all: he was at that time a front-line officer
and commander in Vienna.

Q. Why did you select Jodl to be chief of the Armed Forces
Operations Staff?

A. Because of our co-operation from 1935 to 1938. My opinion
was that I could not find a better man for that position.

Q. How did Jodl picture his military career once his command
as artillery commander in Vienna or Bruenn ended?

A. I knew about his passionate wish to become commander of a
mountain division. He frequently told me about it.

Q. Well, would there have been any chance to get such a

A. Yes, I tried to use my influence with the Commander-in-
Chief of the Army and I remember that during the summer of
1939, I wrote him that his wish to become the commander of a
mountain division in Reichenhall - I do not remember the
number - would come true. I was glad to be able to give him
that information.

Q. Was it up to you to make the decision or was it up to the

                                                   [Page 52]
A. I had made a request to the Commander-in-Chief of the
Army and he had made the decision.Q. And if I understand
correctly, you yourself notified Jodl?A. I wrote him a
letter because I knew that it would make him very happy.

Q. May I ask, Field Marshal, whether you corresponded
regularly with Jodl?

A. No; I believe that was the only letter which I wrote to
him during that year.

Q. I ask that for a definite reason. Jodl left the O.K.W. He
knew that if the necessity arose he would become Chief of
the future so-called Armed Forces Operations Staff, a rather
important position. He went to the front, as you say. One
would think that then he would receive a private letter not
only once from you but would be kept informed by you

A. That was certainly not done on my part and, according to
my personal opinion, every general staff officer who goes to
the front is happiest when he is not bothered with such
things any longer.

Q. Yes, but fate does not grant us everything which would
make us happy. It could be that somebody got the official
order, for instance, to keep this gentleman informed.

A. I certainly did not do it. I do not believe that it
happened, but I do not know for sure whether or not somebody
tried to do it.

Q. During the period when Jodl was in Vienna and Bruenn,
that is, away from Berlin, was he repeatedly in Berlin to
get information?

A. I did not see him and he did not come to see me. I
believe it is very unlikely, because if such were the case
he would have visited me.

Q. Consequently I have to understand what you say to mean
that when he came to Berlin shortly before the beginning of
the war, in response to a telegram, he first had to be
informed as to what was going on?

A. Yes, and that was the first contact between him and

Q. You informed him?

A. Yes.

Q. Another thing, Field Marshal. You remember, perhaps, the
somewhat stormy morning in the Reich Chancellery after the
Simowitsch Putsch; that was 27th March, 1941, was it not?

A. Yes, Yugoslavia.

Q. If one reflects on the politics and the history of the
wars of the last two hundred years in Europe, one asks: Was
there nobody at that conference in the Reich Chancellery who
might have suggested that instead of attacking immediately,
it would be better to march to the borders of that State,
whose attitude was now quite undecided, and then clarify the
situation by an ultimatum?

A. Yes, during all these pros and cons under turbulent
conditions in that morning session, Jodl himself, to my
knowledge, brought that point up in the debate. Proposal: to
march and to send an ultimatum; that is about the way it

Q. If I am correctly informed, you were in the East in
October, 1941, for the purpose of an inspection or a visit
to Army Group North; is that correct?

A. Yes, in the autumn of 1941 I frequently went by plane to
Army Group North in order to get information for the

Q. Was Field Marshal Leeb the commander of Army Group North?

A. Yes, he was.

Q. Did von Leeb tell you about particular worries which he
had at that time?

A. I think it was during my last or next to last visit to
von Leeb, that the questions of capitulation - that is to
say, the question of the population of Leningrad - played an
important role, which worried him very much at that time.
There were certain indications that the population was
streaming out of the city and infiltrating into his area. I
remember that at that time he asked me to make the
suggestion to the Fuehrer, that as he could not take over
and feed millions of civilians within the area of his Army
Group, a sluice, so to speak, should be made towards the
East, i.e. the Russian zone, so that the population could
flow out in that direction.

                                                   [Page 53]

I reported that to the Fuehrer at that time.

Q. Well, did the population flow in any other direction?

A. Yes, especially to the South. According to von Leeb a
certain pressure exerted by the population to get through
the German lines made itself felt at the time in the
woodlands in a southern direction.

Q. And that would have impeded your operations?

A. Yes.

Q. Field Marshal, you are aware, I suppose, since it has
been mentioned this morning, of the order issued by the
Fuehrer and Supreme Commander about the commandos, dated
18th October, 1942. That is Document 498-PS, which has been
submitted here. That an order of that kind would be issued
had been announced publicly beforehand. Do you know that?

A. Yes; the item in question was included in one of the
daily communiques of the Wehrmacht.

Q. We are dealing with the Armed Forces communique of 1st
October, 1942, which, below the usual report, states with
reference to what had happened:

  "The High Command of the Armed Forces therefore considers
  itself obliged to issue the following orders":

The first item is of no interest here and then, as the
second item, appears the following sentence:

  "In the future all terror and sabotage troops of the
  British and their accomplices who do not conduct
  themselves as soldiers, but rather like bandits, will be
  treated as such by the German troops and will be killed
  without mercy wherever they appear."

Field Marshal, who drafted this wording?

A. The Fuehrer personally. I was present when he dictated
and corrected it.

BY DR. LATERNSER (counsel for the General Staff and the

Q. Witness, I should like to continue at the point which was
last mentioned by Prof. Jahreiss. The Commando Order
(Document 498-PS) was discussed, and Hitler threatened that
all commanders would be court-martialled if they did not
carry out this order. Do you know what considerations
prompted Hitler to include this particular passage in the

A. Yes, they are actually quite clear, I should think; the
purpose was to put emphasis on the demand that this order
should actually be carried out, since it was definitely
considered by the generals, and those who were to carry it
out, as a very severe order, and for that reason compliance
was to be enforced by the threat of punishment.

Q. Now, I should like to put several questions to you
concerning the character of the so-called groups of the
General Staff and the O.K.W. What do you understand to be
the German General Staff?

A. By the General Staff I understand those officers who are
especially trained to be assistants to the higher

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