The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

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Last-Modified: 2000/01/05

Q. It is quite clear. I am not going through the
correspondence again. I pointed it out as we went along.
Your letters are saying both lynching and the measures to be
taken for the publication of lynching and the other
procedure of segregating these people in the hands of the
S.D. pending confirmation of the suspicion of their being
terror flyers. It is quite clear. I have taken you through
nearly ten letters in which it is stated implicitly that it
is put to the Reich Marshal on both these points,
publication of lynching and segregation from other prisoners
of war. He is saying, I agree with the proposed procedure.

A. May I add something?

Q. Yes, do.

A. I recall my discussion with Reich Marshal Goering at the
Berghof. We waited for Hitler, who was to give a speech to
the generals. This must have been at about the same time. In
this discussion two points were mentioned. Point one was the
conception of the desired - or how should I say - of the
planned or the conceived lynch-law. The second question was
that my influence with Hitler had not been strong enough to
settle this matter definitely. These two points I talked
over with Goering that day. We established that the entire
method discussed here was the preliminary to the
announcement of requisite measures for the free use of lynch-
law. We agreed that as soldiers we rejected it and secondly,
I asked him most urgently to use his influence with Hitler
again so that he might desist from such measures. This
discussion took place at the Berghof in the ante-room of the
hall where Hitler addressed the generals. I remember this
very distinctly.

I just looked over the correspondence which was exchanged
all along. I only recognise certain fragments. They deal
with the deliberations on a measure

                                                  [Page 102]

desired by Hitler, which, thank goodness, never was adopted
as corresponding orders were not issued.

Q. Would you look at the next document, D-784, Exhibit GB
317. That is a note from General Warlimont to you. Paragraph
(1) says that the Foreign Office has agreed, Ambassador
Ritter telephoned on the 29th that the Reich Foreign
Minister has agreed to this draft. Paragraph (2) says:

  "The Reich Marshal is in agreement with the formulation
  of the concept 'terror flyer' as proposed by the O.K.W.
  and with the method suggested."

That is sent to you, and on it there is a pencilled note,
initialled by Warlimont:

  "We must act at last. What else is necessary for this?"

Didn't you act on it?

A. No.

Q. Then, why -

A. As a matter of fact -

Q. Then why, if you did not act on it, were you asking the
Luftwaffe four days later if they had given instructions to
the camp at Oberursel? Look at D-785, GB 318.

THE PRESIDENT: Sir David, it appears to be initialled by the
defendant - D-784.

SIR DAVID MAXWELL FYFE: My copy is initialled "W,"

THE PRESIDENT: D-784 on the copy I have is initialled "K" at
the top, alongside Warlimont's note.

SIR DAVID MAXWELL FYFE: Oh, yes. I am sorry, my Lord. The
fault is entirely mine. My Lord is quite right.

Q. So, before I pass from D-784, that was submitted to you
and initialled by you?

A. No, I only put my "K" on Document D-784 to show that I
saw it. I wrote nothing on it.

Q. But the document was submitted to you, and so you did see
that document? You knew that both the Foreign Office and
Goering were agreeing to this procedure being adopted?

A. I read it. I wrote "K" on it.

Q. And four days later, in D-785, your department is asking
Goering through von Brauchitsch as to whether it had been
carried out:

  "Please report whether instructions have been given to
  the Commandant of the Air Force reception camp of
  Oberursel in the sense of the statements of the High
  Command of the Armed Forces/Operations Staff of the Armed
  Forces of 15th June, or when it is intended to do so."

A. I have not seen this document before, but it seems to me
to confirm the accuracy of my view-point that in these
inquiries to the Reich Marshal the transfer to Oberursel was
the only point in question and not whether he wanted lynch-
law, approved it or whether he considered it as right. That
seems to be quite obvious. I do not know anything about the
question itself.

Q. Please look at D-786, GB 3 19. You were going beyond that
the next day. This is 5th July. It is actually a report of
the meeting on 4th July. It says that Hitler decreed the

  "According to Press reports, the Anglo-Americans intend
  in future to attack from the air small places, too, which
  are of no importance militarily or to the war economy, as
  a retaliatory measure against the 'V-1s.' Should this
  news prove true, the Fuehrer wishes it to be made known
  through the radio and the Press that any enemy airman who
  takes part in such an attack and is shot down will not be
  entitled to be treated as a prisoner of war, but, as soon
  as he falls into German hands will be treated as a
  murderer and killed. This measure is to apply to all
  attacks on small places which are not military targets,
                                                  [Page 103]
  communications' centres, armament targets, etc., and
  which are not of importance to the war.
  At the moment nothing is to be ordered; the only thing to
  be done is to discuss such a measure with the W.R. and
  the Foreign Office."

So that, far from modifying the matter, you, or rather,
Hitler was increasing the severity of the measures to be

A. I do not remember this, but if that note was made at the
time, something like that must have been mentioned by him in
this conference, but I do not remember the incident.

Q. I only want to put this point to you. You have said twice
- on Friday and again today - that no order of the Wehrmacht
had been issued. It would not need an order of the Wehrmacht
to encourage the population to lynch flyers who had crashed.
All that would be required to produce that result would be
to hold off the police from arresting people who murdered
them, would it not? You would not need an order of the
Wehrmacht to encourage your population to murder flyers who
had crashed, would you?

A. No, only the Wehrmacht had the right to take a shot-down
or landed airman into custody, and protect him against being
lynched by the population, and prevent anything like that
from happening.

Q. You will agree with me that once an American or British
airman was handed over to the S.D., his chance of survival
would not be, what, one in a million? He would be killed,
would he not?

A. I did not know it then, I only heard it here. I did not
know it at the time.

Q. You will agree that that was in fact what happened. When
an airman was handed over to the S.D. he would be killed,
would he not? That is what would happen?

A. I did not know that it was so, but in this ...

Q. I am not saying what you believe. Now we know what would

A. No.

Q. You have told us several times that you did not know
anything about the S.D. In fact, at one time you were a sort
of a court of appeal from the S.D. in France, were you not?
You confirmed the killings by the S.D. in France, did you

A. I do not recall that I did any ...

Q. French Exhibit 1244. I am afraid that I do not have a
German copy, but this is what it says: it is dated, Paris,
6th August, 1942:

  "In the criminal proceedings against the French citizens:
  (1) Jean Marechal, born on 15th October, 1912. (2)
  Emmanuel Thepault, born on 14th June, 1916.
  Field Marshal Keitel, acting within the powers given to
  him on 26th and 27th June, 1942, by the Fuehrer in his
  office as Commander-in-Chief of the land armies has
  refused to pardon these two men condemned to death and
  has ordered that the sentences should be executed within
  the scope of the general punishments."

They were condemned by the Tribunal de la Folkcommandantur
at Evreux, and this was sent to the Commandant de la Police
de Surete et du S.D., sent to the Commandant of the Police
of the Surete and of the S.D. Does that not show that you
were dealing with a confirmation of sentences of death and
passing on your confirmation to the S.D.?

A. This entire incident is an enigma to me. It happened in
many cases that I signed as deputy for the Fuehrer, to whom
I submitted all decisions which, as the Commander-in-Chief,
he had to ratify, and I may have put the signature "By order
of the Commander-in-Chief of the Army: Keitel." By order -
that might have been possible, otherwise I know nothing
about it.

                                                  [Page 104]

Q. Well, it doesn't look like that. Let me remind you of the
words: "Marshal Keitel, dans le cadre des pouvoirs qui lui
ont ete donnees les 26 et 27 Juin 1942." That date. It is
acting within the powers given to you by the Fuehrer. Had
you not been given the powers?

A. No, I did not have any such power's in that case. That is
a mistake. However, I may have put a signature: "By order of
the Commander-in-Chief of the Army: Keitel, Field Marshal."

THE PRESIDENT: Are you passing from that?

SIR DAVID MAXWELL FYFE: Yes, I was going to pass on.

THE PRESIDENT: Well, isn't D-775 relevant to that? The last
line of the first paragraph.

SIR DAVID MAXWELL FYFE: My Lord, I am very grateful to you.

THE PRESIDENT: D-775. As I understand it, the defendant was
saying that he didn't know what would necessarily happen to
these prisoners if they were handed over to the S.D. Those
are the last words of the first paragraph.

SIR DAVID MAXWELL FYFE: Very good, my Lord.


Q. The words are:

  "... the handing over of enemy prisoners-of-war airmen
  from the Air Force Reception Camp at Oberursel to the
  S.D. for special treatment."

We know, defendant, that "special treatment" means death.
Didn't you know, in 1944, what "special treatment" meant?

A. Yes, I knew what "special treatment" meant.

Q. Now, there is just one other point in the document which
my friend General Rudenko put to you on Saturday, I think it
was, or Friday evening, EC-338. You remember General Rudenko
put this. This document is the report of Admiral Canaris
about the treatment of prisoners of war, dealing with the
position of the Soviet Union as not being signatory to the
Convention. You remember the point that Admiral Canaris put
to you, that although they weren't signatories, since the
eighteenth century there had been established a principle
that war captivity was neither revenge nor punishment, but
solely protective custody. Do you remember the document? It
was a report from Canaris to you as of 15th September, 1941,
setting out the position of prisoners of war of a country
that had not signed the Convention. You remember, you said
you agreed with it, but that you had to put on this
statement that it was nonsense from the point of view of the
present situation because it arose from a military concept
of chivalrous warfare, that this was the destruction of an
ideology. You said that you had to put that on Hitler's
instructions. Do you remember?

A. I had submitted to him the procedure and I asked him to
read this, and upon that, I wrote out this note.

Q. Yes. Now, there is a paragraph 3-a, which I want you to
have in mind at the moment, on the point I am dealing with

  "The screening of the civilians and politically
  undesirable prisoners of war, as well as the decision
  over their fate, is effected by the action detachments of
  the Security Police, Sicherheitspolizei." That is
  underlined in purple - that is, it is your underlining -
  and opposite it is your pencilled note, "very efficient."
  That is, "action detachments of the Security Police, very
  efficient." Then it goes on,".. and the S.D." Then
  Admiral Canaris says, "... along principles which are
  unknown to the Wehrmacht authorities," and you have put
  opposite "unknown to the Wehrmacht authorities ... .. not
  at all." Do you remember doing that?

A. I cannot recall it at the present moment. I must have
made this remark in reference to the fact that this was
unknown to the Wehrmacht. I think that is right.

Q. You see, it is perfectly clear. Admiral Canaris says it
is unknown to the

                                                  [Page 105]

Wehrmacht authorities, and you put opposite to that, in your
pencilled notation, "not at all." You couldn't have got that
from Hitler; that must have been your own point, was it not,
if you put in, in pencil, "not at all"? You must have
thought that they were known to the Wehrmacht.

A. Not at all.

(The defendant reads the document.)

I cannot clarify this statement. I put these remarks down in
a hurry. I cannot identify or define them neither can I give
any clear explanation, because I do not know. However, I
have the recollection that I wanted to make, or did make, a
note to the effect that it remained unknown to the Wehrmacht
and that is correct.

Q. Now, I just want to take you quite shortly on the last of
my points, and then ask you one question about it. You have
said to the Tribunal, I should think probably at least
twenty-five times, that you were not interested in politics,
that you simply took your orders as to military
preparations. I just want to ask you a little about that.

First of all, let's take the Austrian problem. There I only
want to put one document to you. You remember defendant
General Jodl's account in his diary about the pretended
military movements which, according to defendant Jodl - I
gather that you said that General Lahousen took a different
view - had an immediate effect in Austria? Do you remember
that? You must remember that.

A. Yes.

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