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The IMT testimony of Gerd von Rundstedt

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The IMT testimony of Gerd von Rundstedt

Postby David Thompson on 20 Aug 2004 20:53

At the International Military Tribunal (IMT) trial of major war criminals at Nuernberg, the indictment accused the German General Staff of being a criminal organization. On 18 Aug 1946, Generalfeldmarschall Gerd von Rundstedt testified as a defense witness on behalf of the General Staff. His testimony is found in vol. 21 of the IMT proceedings, and can be seen on-line at The Avalon Project of the Yale School of Law at:

http://www.yale.edu/lawweb/avalon/imt/proc/08-12-46.htm

This is part 1 of 2:
DR. LATERNSER: With the approval of the Tribunal, I call as my last witness Field Marshal Von Rundstedt.

[The witness Von Rundstedt took the stand.]

THE PRESIDENT: Will you state your full name, please?

GERD VON RUNDSTEDT (Witness): Gerd von Rundstedt.

THE PRESIDENT: Will you repeat this oath after me:

I swear by God-the Almighty and Omniscient-that I will speak the pure truth-and will withhold and add nothing.

[The witness repeated the oath.]

THE PRESIDENT: You may sit down.

DR. LATERNSER: Field Marshal, you are the senior officer of the former German Army. What was your last position?

VON RUNDSTEDT: I am the senior officer of the German Army and have been a soldier for over 54 years. My last position was Commander-in-Chief West, until 9 March 1945.

DR. LATERNSER: During what period were you commander-in-chief in Berlin?

VON RUNDSTEDT: From I October 1932 until 31 October 1938.

DR. LATERNSER: What was the attitude of the military leaders towards domestic and foreign politics?

VON RUNDSTEDT: We generals did not concern ourselves with politics. We did not take part in any political discussions, and we did not hold any political discussions among ourselves.

I should like in this connection to quote the famous British Field Marshal Montgomery, who said: "As a servant of the nation, the Army is above politics, and that must remain so."

DR. LATERNSER: Did the Reichswehr in 1933 help Hitler to assume power?

VON RUNDSTEDT: No.

DR. LATERNSER: What was the attitude of the generals toward the Party and its methods?

VON RUNDSTEDT: The generals either rejected the Party or were indifferent. As for the methods regarding the Jewish question, they absolutely rejected them, particularly because many comrades were severely affected by the Aryan laws. The so-called master race is an absurdity. There is a mixture of Slav, Romanic, and Dinaric races in Germany. We also rejected the attitude in the Church question, and we succeeded in retaining chaplains in the Army up to the end.

DR. LATERNSER: Was this attitude also true of the younger generals who, in the course of the war, came into positions subject to the Indictment?

VON RUNDSTEDT: As far as my own close acquaintances are concerned, absolutely.

DR. LATERNSER: Did you, in 1934, as the senior officer, have an opportunity of doing anything to demand from Hitler punishment of the murderers of Schleicher?

VON RUNDSTEDT: No. In the first place, Reich President Von Hindenburg was still at the head of the State. In the second place, I was not the senior officer. We had a Commander-in-Chief of the Army and a Minister of War for things of that sort.

DR. LATERNSER: Did the troop maneuvers or the trips of the General Staff after 1935 indicate any intention or plan for wars of aggression?

VON RUNDSTEDT: No, in no way. The large-scale maneuvers and the General Staff or Führer trips were always concerned with war in our own country.

DR. LATERNSER: Were you, as resident commander-in-chief in Berlin, consulted before the declaration of military sovereignty?'

VON RUNDSTEDT: No.

DR. LATERNSER: Did you know Generaloberst Von Fritsch well?

VON RUNDSTEDT: Very well; he was my subordinate for a time.

DR. LATERNSER: Did he tell you, as his official representative after 1937, of Hitler's intention to wage wars of aggression?

VON RUNDSTEDT: No, he could not do that, because there is such a thing as an official secret.

DR. LATERNSER: You deputized for him, did you not, when he went on prolonged leave to Egypt in the winter of 1937-1938? Did he on that occasion tell you of Hitler's intentions as contained in the minutes of the meeting of 5 November 1937?

VON RUNDSTEDT: I only deputized for Generaloberst Von Fritsch; his official representative was the Chief of the General Staff, Beck. Generaloberst Von Fritsch did not give me any information at that time, nor did Generaloberst Beck.

DR. LATERNSER: What were the results of the measures which Hitler took on 4 February 1938, in the military field?

VON RUNDSTEDT: Hitler eliminated the Minister of War as intermediary between himself and the Wehrmacht; thus he himself now had command over all three branches of the Wehrmacht. In addition, he took the opportunity of dismissing high military leaders who were unwelcome to him.

DR. LATERNSER: In February of 1938 you had a private conference with Hitler alone. What did he tell you about the attitude of the German generals?

VON RUNDSTEDT: He complained very bitterly about the supreme military leaders. He said that he alone had been the one who had forced rearmament through. The supreme leaders had always resisted and said it was going too fast. In the occupation of the Rhineland, he charged the leaders with a certain cowardice when they asked for withdrawal of the troops behind the Rhine, since France was not adopting a threatening attitude.

DR. LATERNSER: Did you in this talk discuss the question of a successor to Fritsch?

VON RUNDSTEDT: Yes. Hitler first suggested to me General Von Reichenau. That suggestion I turned down in the name of the Army. He then suggested General Von Brauchitsch, whose appointment I entirely approved in the name of the Army.

DR. LATERNSER: When did you, as commander-in-chief in Berlin, learn of the planned march into Austria?

VON RUNDSTEDT: I was suddenly assigned to represent General Von Brauchitsch in Breslau, at a commemoration celebration of the Iron Cross, and it was only there that I officially learned that the occupation of Austria had actually taken place.

DR. LATERNSER: How were the commanders-in-chief informed of existing intentions?

VON RUNDSTEDT: We were told of the intentions of the Supreme Command by our Commander-in-Chief, Von Brauchitsch, but he was only allowed to tell us what concerned us.

DR. LATERNSER: Mr. President, I should now like to question the witness on Affidavits 3 and 5 of Field Marshal Von Blomberg and Generaloberst Blaskowitz. They are USA-536 and 537 (Documents Numbers 3704-PS and 3706-PS), in the first volume of the document book of the Prosecution. In this connection I should like to call the attention of the Court to the fact that these affidavits, in the paragraphs in question, agree word for word, although they were made on different days by different persons.

[Turning to the witness.] Field Marshal, the two affidavits of Field Marshal Von Blomberg and Generaloberst Blaskowitz say that the groups of German staff officers - that is the way in which it is put - considered the solution of the Polish question by war to be indispensable and that that was the reason for secret armament. Is that true?

VON RUNDSTEDT: In the first place, a group of German staff officers never existed ...

DR. LATERNSER: What is meant by staff officers?

VON RUNDSTEDT: A staff officer is an officer holding the rank of Major, Lieutenant Colonel, or Colonel, then come the Generals.

DR. LATERNSER: Please continue.

VON RUNDSTEDT: Even if the statement of Blomberg is intended to mean that a German war of aggression against Poland was indispensable, that is not true. On the other hand, if he means that we had to expect an attack from Poland at any time, I can say that in the first years after the World War, I also counted on this possibility. Hence the border protection and fortifications on the Eastern border of the Reich against Poland. But as I said, no sensible person thought of a war of aggression. We were in no position to wage such a war.

DR. LATERNSER: Generaloberst Blaskowitz, at the end of this Affidavit Number 5, USA Exhibit-537, says that the front commanders-in-chief were the actual advisers in the OKW, and as an example he gives the battle of Kutno. Is this correct?

VON RUNDSTEDT: That is not correct. The commanders-in- chief never had an advisory role. Our Commander-in-Chief of the Army was the only one who had to hold council with the supreme authorities. As for the battle of Kutno, any advice to Hitler is absolute nonsense. The orders for the battle of Kutno were given by me as Commander-in-Chief of Army Group South, according to the instructions which I had from Herr Von Brauchitsch, and Herr Blaskowitz had only to obey and could not, have given any sort of advice to Hitler. No, no, that must be a mistake.

DR. LATERNSER: What impression did the discussion on 22 August 1939 at the Obersalzberg make on you, Field Marshal?

VON RUNDSTEDT: When we left the conference, we thought that this undertaking would end just like the so-called Sudeten war in 1938, primarily because Russia was on our side. When on 26 August the movement for the beginning of operations, which had been ordered, was suddenly stopped, and was to begin again on 1 September, we said, "Ah, that is the same kind of bluff which we had in 1938." We did not take the decision for war seriously.

DR. LATERNSER: Did you, after the conference of 22 August, talk to other commanders-in-chief and exchange ideas on the impressions gathered at this discussion?

VON RUNDSTEDT: I remember with certainty that I talked to Field Marshal Von Bock about it. I left Obersalzberg very quickly. With Manstein and later with my staff I exchanged the same views which I have just mentioned.

DR. LATERNSER: Did you have knowledge of the attack on the Gleiwitz radio station?

VON RUNDSTEDT: No.

DR. LATERNSER: In 'what way did you learn of the intention of occupying Denmark and Norway?

VON RUNDSTEDT: I learned of the accomplished fact through official channels.

DR. LATERNSER: How about the entry into Yugoslavia and Greece?

VON RUNDSTEDT: It was the same.

DR. LATERNSER: You participated in the conference in March 1941, when Hitler spoke of the necessity of attacking the Soviet Union?

VON RUNDSTEDT: Yes.

DR. LATERNSER: What were you told about Soviet preparations?

VON RUNDSTEDT: Until a short time before that I had been in France, and I had no knowledge whatever of the ostensible preparations of the Russians. At the conference, to our surprise, we were told that the Russians were very strongly armed, were concentrating troops and preparing to attack us. If I am not mistaken, information from the Japanese Military Attache was referred to, and a map of the Russian distribution of forces on the borders of Poland was shown to us, so that we had to assume that these facts were actually true.

DR. LATERNSER: Was this impression confirmed after the entry into Russia?

VON RUNDSTEDT: Yes. The resistance at the border was not too great, but it grew continually as we advanced into the interior of the country. Very strong tank forces, tanks of a better type, far superior to ours, appeared; and an enormous number of airfields, troop camps, munitions dumps, and newly built roads through impassable territory were encountered. Maps were also found, showing German territory as far as Silesia, so that we had the impression that Hitler must have been right.

DR.LATERNSER: At the conference in March 1941, Hitler announced the Commissar Order. What was your attitude toward this order?

VON RUNDSTEDT: Our attitude was unanimously and absolutely against it. Immediately after the conference we approached Brauchitsch and told him that this was impossible. Our com-manders-in-chief of the armies were of the same opinion. The order was simply not carried out, and as I learned afterwards, it was later rescinded. General Von Brauchitsch, to make this order more or less ineffective, issued a very strict order to the troops on the correct conduct of German soldiers in the coming war. I know of no case in which this order was used in any way.

DR. LATERNSER: Was the intention to remove the Jewish population in the East announced at this conference?

VON RUNDSTEDT: No, Hitler would never have expressed such intentions to officers.

DR. LATERNSER: According to the Russian Prosecution 33,000 Jews were shot in November 1941 in Kiev. Where were the armies of Army Group South in November 1941?

VON RUNDSTEDT: My armies were on the line Rostov-Stalino, along the Donets, to the district east of Kharkov. The rear border between the army area and the Ukraine district under civil administration followed a line east of Kiev along the Dnieper.

DR. LATERNSER: Then Kiev was not at that time in any operational area of an army under your command?

VON RUNDSTEDT: No.

DR. LATERNSER: Did the commanders-in-chief of the army groups of the armies in the East have any powers outside this area of operations?

VON RUNDSTEDT: No.

DR. LATERNSER: Was the operational area kept as small or as large as possible?

VON RUNDSTEDT: The operational area of the army was kept as small as possible, first, in order to trouble the army as little as possible with affairs in the rear, and secondly, to make the Ukraine district, et cetera, which was under the civil administration, as large as possible and thus remove it from the influence of the Army.

DR. LATERNSER: And now for the Commando Order. What was your attitude toward the
Commando Order?

VON RUNDSTEDT: We military commanders were absolutely opposed to, the Commando Order and in oral discussions among our staffs we agreed to make it ineffective.

DR. LATERNSER: Did you, as Commander-in-Chief West, receive a report of any case in which the order was applied?

VON RUNDSTEDT: Not a single case was reported to me, and my chief of staff, whom I asked about it here in Nuremberg, knew of no case either. I must assume that this Commando Order had an intimidating effect on the enemy, for I know of no Commando operation undertaken afterwards, aside from that on the island of Sark, where illegal acts did take place, but no prisoners were taken by us.

DR. LATERNSER: Illegal acts on whose part?

VON RUNDSTEDT: On the part of those who had undertaken the Commando operation.

DR. LATERNSER: Now the invasion came, or was expected. Document Number 531-PS shows that you asked to have the Commando Order rescinded. For what reason?

VON RUNDSTEDT: During the invasion, strong air landings far behind the front, perhaps as far as Paris, had to be expected, and a distinction between Commando troops and fighting troops would no longer have been possible. Moreover, it was at least a good opportunity to do away with this order altogether, and the more since the majority of the new divisions did not even know it.

DR. LATERNSER: But you said in your request to have it rescinded that the order had been obeyed up to that time. How do you explain that?

VON RUNDSTEDT: I had to express it in that way. I had evaded the order, but I could not very well say: "Paragraph 1. I have not carried out the Commando Order." Some sort of pretence had to be kept up.

DR. LATERNSER: Now a few questions about the struggle against the Resistance movement in France. What agencies were responsible for peace and order in the occupied area in France?

VON RUNDSTEDT: The Military Commander was responsible for peace and order in occupied France. In Pétain's France -- shall I say -- that is, in the South of France, the Military Commander had a special general in Lyons who was to work in close co-operation with the Pétain Government. As the Resistance movement in southern France became ever stronger and developed into a tremendous threat to the troops fighting in the Mediterranean area - that was in the winter of 1943 and 1944 - the Commander-in-Chief West was made responsible for the southern part of France. Thereupon I placed this general in Lyons under the Army Group "Gustav" which was at Toulon and was responsible for establishing order in the South of France.

DR. LATERNSER: Were the French Government and the French population warned?

VON RUNDSTEDT: The French Government was repeatedly warned and asked to oppose this movement with an its strength, for the sake of the inhabitants. We issued proclamations to the population which in a fair manner were always first submitted to the French Government for scrutiny. When the invasion threatened, I personally asked the old gentleman to warn his people on the radio and ask that in their own interests they should not do such things. He promised to do so. Whether he did it, I do not know.

DR. LATERNSER: Were these warnings observed?

VON RUNDSTEDT: Unfortunately, no. Finally even the French Police, whom we had armed better to combat the movement, went over to the rebels.

DR. LATERNSER: Did the Germans nevertheless fight against them with forbearance?

VON RUNDSTEDT: Yes, as far as we possibly could. For example, never were entire towns destroyed from the air, but single planes were always sent out against particular places of resistance. Mass use of artillery or tanks did not take place. The fact that excesses such as those at Oradour took place, we all greatly regretted. At that time I immediately demanded a report, since I could not order a judicial investigation, and I also reported this unfortunate occurrence to the OKW.

DR.LATERNSER: Why could you not order a judicial investigation?

VON RUNDSTEDT: All the troop units of the SS were subordinate only to Himmler. I had neither disciplinary power nor judicial power over them, I could not give them leave, or bestow awards. I was limited only to the tactical employment of these divisions, much as if I were having an Italian, or Hungarian, or Slovakian division under my command.

DR. LATERNSER: Was the legality of the Resistance movement recognized?

VON RUNDSTEDT: General Eisenhower and De Gaulle declared via radio that it was legal. We inquired of the High Command of the Wehrmacht what should be done in the matter, and the decision received was negative. Later, after the Allied troops had landed on the Mediterranean coast, the legality of the new French Army is said to have been recognized and observed without argument.

DR. LATERNSER: What is your attitude toward illegal warfare?

VON RUNDSTEDT: My point of view is the following, based on quite understandable patriotic feeling: Disorderly, irregular warfare behind the front of the enemy army must bring very great misery to the population of the country affected. No army in the world can tolerate such conditions for any length of time, and in the interests of the security and protection of its own troops, it must take sharp, energetic measures. But this should, of course, be done in a correct and soldierly manner. Excesses such as those in Oradour were strongly condemned by myself and by all army leaders. We very much disliked seeing the attempt made on the German side to set up this Werewolf movement at the last moment. If it had been put into practice, it would have brought untold misery to our fatherland, and justly so. I would consider it fortunate for humanity if through international agreements such illegal wars could in future be made impossible. That is my point of view.

DR. LATERNSER: What measures did you introduce to relieve the position of the French population during the occupation?

VON RUNDSTEDT: I would not like to give all the details here. I can only say that I did everything to help Marshal Pétain, with whom I was on terms of great confidence. I asked Hitler to define at last what position France was to have in the future Europe. I assisted Marshal Pétain to raise his Guards and tried to create a new French Army for him, though it did not grow into more than a regiment. I succeeded in obtaining more rations for the fine French railroad men who managed all our transports, and I tried to have their relatives who were prisoners of war returned to them, in the same way in which Hitler had approved after the Dieppe raid that the relatives of those in Dieppe, could return. We did what we could to supply the great city of Paris with coal and food, though the transport situation for the German Army was almost unbearably poor. Those are the main points.

DR. LATERNSER: One intermediate question: on one of the last few days, a witness said that from 1944 on the concentration camps were guarded by soldiers of all branches of the Wehrmacht. How do you explain that?

VON RUNDSTEDT: I know nothing about that. Since Himmler was Commander-in-Chief of the Reserve Army after the attempted assassination of the Führer, he could probably issue such an order. If he did issue it, my feeling is that he wanted to charge the Army also with all these occurrences in connection with the concentration camps.

DR. LATERNSER: Now a few questions about the Ardennes offensive. Was an order to shoot prisoners ever issued before or during this offensive?

VON RUNDSTEDT: Such an order was not issued by Hitler. On the contrary, he considered it most important to take as many prisoners as possible in the offensive. I consider it impossible that a subordinate military command issued such an order, which would contradict our training and our ideas.

DR.LATERNSER: Did you not oppose this offensive?

VON RUNDSTEDT: I opposed the offensive for the following reasons: The operational idea as such can almost be called a stroke of genius, but all, absolutely all conditions for a possible success of such an offensive were lacking. Therefore, Field Marshal Model and I suggested that we should be satisfied with less and should attack the Allied troops east of Aix-la-Chapelle from several sides. These suggestions remained unheeded. The offensive had to start with completely inadequate forces on the ground and in the air and, as predicted, could only fail.

DR. LATERNSER: Did you oppose Hitler on other occasions also?

VON RUNDSTEDT: Not personally, because I had no opportunity of doing so; but to his staff I frequently objected to measures ordered from above; especially in the case of the Normandy invasion, the Ardennes offensive, after it had failed, and the conduct of operations in Holland. But it was all in vain.

DR. LATERNSER: When did you consider the war lost?

VON RUNDSTEDT: In my opinion the war could not be won after the fall of Stalingrad. I considered the war lost when the Allies had succeeded in establishing a strong bridgehead on French soil. That meant the end.

DR. LATERNSER: Did you or other commanders-in-chief attempt to stop the continuation of the war when you regarded it as lost?

VON RUNDSTEDT: Both Field Marshal Rommel and I twice attempted to persuade Hitler to change the conduct of the war and especially to withdraw the front to the German borders. But as was to be expected, these suggestions were not heeded.

DR. LATERNSER: Since Hitler refused to listen to such advice, did you not consider causing a violent overthrow?

VON RUNDSTEDT: I would never have thought of such a thing; that would have been base, barefaced treachery, and could not have changed the situation. The Army and the people still believed in Hitler at that time, and such an overthrow would have been quite unsuccessful. Even if I, perhaps with the aid of the Allies, had brought about an overthrow, the fate of the German people, according to the famous statement of the Big Three, would have been exactly what it is now, and I would have emerged and been considered for all time as the greatest traitor, to my fatherland.

DR. LATERNSER: You lost your position three times during the war. What were the reasons?

VON RUNDSTEDT: In 1941 a quite impossible order of a technical nature was issued from above, and would have led to the destruction of the entire Kleist Panzer Army near Rostov. I objected to it, I demanded that the order be withdrawn, and said that otherwise I would be compelled to consider it a lack of confidence in my leadership, and I would ask that another commander-in-chief be selected. Thereupon, I was removed from my post that same night, on 1 December, at my own request, as it was put. That was the first case. The second case was on 2 July 1944, when by a very cordial letter, I was replaced by another commander-in-chief because of the impaired state of my health.

The third case was on 9 March 1945. Then I could no longer be expected as an old gentleman to continue performing the exacting duties of Commander-in-Chief West.

Those were the three cases.

DR.LATERNSER: And in none of these cases did you resign against the will of Hitler?

VON RUNDSTEDT: In the first case one might say so. But he did not hold it against me in any way, for already in the following March I was made Commander-in-Chief in France.

DR. LATERNSER: Now I come to the last question. You know, Field Marshal, that the Prosecution have asked that the body of military leaders be declared criminal. As the senior officer of the German Army, you know the attitude of these leaders toward military and international law. Would you please tell the Court about it briefly?

VON RUNDSTEDT: The rules of warfare and of international law as set down in the Geneva Convention and the Hague Rules on Land Warfare were always binding for us older leaders. Their strict observance by the troops was demanded, and very severe measures were taken in case of excesses, which in war can probably take place in all armies. The court-martial records of the various divisions can give information on this point. Property of the inhabitants was ordered to be respected. Severe punishment for plundering had to be meted out, if only in the interests of maintaining discipline amongst our own troops. Raping of women and other inhuman acts were also subject to severe punishment. What we could do to support the inhabitants of enemy countries affected by the war was done as far as was possible. The wounded or conquered enemy was no longer considered as such, but had a claim to decent treatment. We ordered that the battle itself was to be fought chivalrously. We old officers who lived through the time of cavalry battles and of infantry bayonet attacks, witnessed the increasing mechanization of warfare with regret. Today the bravest men and the best troops are helpless against the force of sheer material. All the more did we leaders believe that where there was fighting on land, the old soldierly decent forms of battle should be maintained, and that they should be impressed on the troops again and again.

As senior soldier of the German Army, I will say this: We accused leaders were trained in the old soldierly traditions of decency and chivalry. We lived and acted according to them, and we endeavored to hand them down to the younger officers.

DR.LATERNSER: I have no further questions.

COMMANDER PETER CALVACORESSI (Junior Counsel for the United Kingdom): Field Marshal, in time of war, the military commander must keep in close touch, must he not, and know the opinions of his immediate subordinates, is that right?

VON RUNDSTEDT: That is not necessary to that extent. My subordinates only had to know my operational and tactical views. For the rest, they were free as army leaders within their sphere.

COMMANDER CALVACORESSI: I want to quote to you one sentence from the evidence which has been given by your former commander-in-chief. The translators already have it. It is on Page 2 of Affidavit Number 4:

"During operations, the OKH maintained a constant exchange of ideas with army groups by means of telephone, radio, and courier. The Commander-in-Chief of the Army used every opportunity to maintain a personal exchange of ideas with the commanders of army groups, armies, and lower echelons by means of personal visits to them."


Is that, generally speaking, correct?

VON RUNDSTEDT: That is absolutely correct as far as the conduct of the war, operations, and tactical actions are concerned. Such an exchange did take place from the army groups up to the Commander-in-Chief of the Army.

COMMANDER CALVACORESSI: I shall read you one more sentence from the evidence that has been given by Generaloberst Blaskowitz. He has said - and I want you to tell me whether you agree with this - that it was common practice for the commanders of army groups and of armies to be asked from time to time for estimates of a situation, and for their recommendations, by telephone, teletype, or wireless, as well as by personal records.

VON RUNDSTEDT: It is not correct that they had to give such estimates. They could do so.

COMMANDER CALVACORESSI: Now I have some questions on the Russian campaign. You yourself at a conference with Hitler and your Army colleagues raised a question of a gap which existed between your army group and that of Field Marshal Von Bock. Is that right?

VON RUNDSTEDT: That is correct.

COMMANDER CALVACORESSI: And you knew from your former experience that although on the map that gap was shown as swamp land, it could be used by troops; and you therefore advised about the steps that should be taken to prevent its exploitation by the enemy?

VON RUNDSTEDT: I pointed out that according to my experiences in the last war against Russia, the Russians could operate freely in this swamp area, and that it would therefore be practical if German troops also could be moved through this area. This suggestion was not accepted. As the operations later showed, the Russians had strong forces in the area, and from there they constantly threatened the left Rank of my army group.

COMMANDER CALVACORESSI: Yes. I am not concerned with whether the advice was listened to or not. But you agree that you offered it?

VON RUNDSTEDT: It was not advice; it was a question which occurred to me as I described the plan of the operation to the Führer. It was not advice.

COMMANDER CALVACORESSI: I am not going to quarrel with you on that. I want to mention one other conference about which we have already heard a certain amount, and that was the meeting which took place - I think it was in the office of Field Marshal Von Brauchitsch – in May 1938, when there was a question of seizing the Sudetenland. Is it not a fact that at that conference Von Brauchitsch asked for the opinion of you and your fellow-officers on the proposals which Hitler had laid before you?

VON RUNDSTEDT: At that time, a memorandum was read which the Chief of the General Staff, Beck, had drawn up, and which warned against a war over the question of the Sudetenland. It was to be submitted to Hitler by Von Brauchitsch. We were asked for our opinion on this memorandum, and we unanimously agreed that war should not be waged.

COMMANDER CALVACORESSI: You were unanimously agreed with General Beck that the sort of war that was likely to happen at that time, if Hitler had his way, should not be waged at that time in that way?

[VON RUNDSTEDT: . . . ] this war if France, England, and America were likely to join the enemy side. That was the fundamental idea of the memorandum. We could probably have dealt with Czechoslovakia alone, although certainly not if the countries just mentioned had come to her aid. And against that Hitler was to be warned.

COMMANDER CALVACORESSI: Then it is fair to say, is it not, that in order to support himself in the objections which he proposed to make to Hitler, Brauchitsch assembled a circle of leading generals who were of the same opinion as himself? That strengthened his hand, did it not?

VON RUNDSTEDT: Yes; one might say that.

COMMANDER CALVACORESSI: You all agreed in giving similar advice to the advice which had been given by Generaloberst Beck?

THE PRESIDENT: Is this a convenient time to break off?

COMMANDER CALVACORESSI: Yes, My Lord.

[The Tribunal recessed until 1400 hours.]

Afternoon Session

[The witness Von Rundstedt resumed the stand.]

COMMANDER CALVACORESSI: You have given evidence, Field Marshal, to the effect that you had little or no knowledge of such moves as the occupation of the Rhineland or the seizure of the Sudetenland, is that correct?

VON RUNDSTEDT: I had no previous knowledge of the occupation of the Rhineland, just as little as I knew anything of the occupation of the Sudetenland in 1939. I was inactive at the time, retired.

COMMANDER CALVACORESSI: What was the highest post you held when you were in service between 1933 and the outbreak of the war in 1939?

VON RUNDSTEDT: As I stated earlier, from 1 October 1932 until 31 October 1938 I was Commander-in-Chief of Group I, Berlin. Then I retired.

COMMANDER CALVACORESSI: Therefore, during the period up to the outbreak of the war, during such time as you held the post, and when you received little or no information about what was going on, you were not a member of the indicted group, as defined in this Indictment?

VON RUNDSTEDT: No, I was not a member of that group.

COMMANDER CALVACORESSI: And as far as the invasion of Norway is concerned, you were at that time active in a different theater of war, is that right?

VON RUNDSTEDT: At the time when the Norway enterprise began I was Commander-in-Chief of Army Group A, stationed at Coblenz, in the West.

COMMANDER CALVACORESSI: And in any case, the Norwegian invasion was not the affair of the OKH, but of the OKW?

VON RUNDSTEDT: I cannot tell you whether it was an affair of the Navy or of the OKW.

COMMANDIRR CALVACORESSI: Now, in general, before the war, you would say your picture is: the generals were left alone to occupy themselves with training exercises and the training of relatively small details and units. Is that a fair summary of the evidence you gave before the Commission?

VON RUNDSTEDT: That probably is a misunderstanding. The smaller training exercises were a matter for the divisional commanders and commanding generals, and only General Von Fritsch asked of the commanders-in-chief that they too should concern themselves with smaller details occasionally.

COMMANDER CALVACORESSI: Anyhow, during this period when the boundaries of Germany were rapidly expanding, you say that the problem of defense came first in the minds of the military leadership of Germany?

VON RUNDSTEDT: I did not quite understand that. Did you say the borders of Germany were expanding? They did not do that. It was only in 1938 through the Sudeten affair and until...

COMMANDER CALVACORESSI: I mean from the beginning of the period of the Anschluss until the outbreak of the war with Poland.

VON RUNDSTEDT: Yes, quite.

COMMANDER, CALVACORESSI: And you said this morning the exercises which were held at that time were defensive exercises, defensive maneuvers?

VON RUNDSTEDT: I did not hold any maneuvers any more. After the Sudeten war in 1938 I was pensioned. Whether and to what extent maneuvers were carried out in 1939 is beyond my knowledge.

COMMANDER CALVACORESSI: And you referred this morning to prewar maneuvers prior to 1939, and as I understand it, you spoke of these maneuvers as simply defensive exercises?

VON RUNDSTEDT: Yes. Those were the maneuvers in 1936 and 1937. During the latter I myself, as an army commander, was leading a party in Pomerania against an enemy attack on Germany-

COMMANDER CALVACORESSI: Would you also describe as defensive exercises those which were held with stukas and other weapons at Guernica in Spain?

VON RUNDSTEDT: About that I cannot give you any information. When rearmament had been decided upon in 1935, or 1936, I think, the Air Force introduced stukas too. But I do not know that. At any rate, I considered that at that time any type of weapon was justified within the rearmed Army.
Last edited by David Thompson on 02 Nov 2005 00:37, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby David Thompson on 20 Aug 2004 20:57

Part 2 of 2:
COMMANDER CALVACORESSI: We will pass on to another point. You told us that German officers were severely aloof from politics?

VON RUNDSTEDT: Yes.

COMMANDER CALVACORESSI: Is it not the case that this policy is very closely associated with the name of General Von Seeckt?

VON RUNDSTEDT: General Von Seeckt took the greatest care in the Reichswehr to see that no officer concerned himself with political matters. What he himself did politically is another story, and about that I cannot give you any information.

COMMANDER CALVACORESSI: Is it not true to say that the reason why General Von Seeckt, was determined to keep the Army out of politics is the fact that at the time when he took over there had just been the Kapp Putsch?

VON RUNDSTEDT: That I do not believe. It is a very ancient Prussian tradition that an officer does not concern himself with politics. And General Von Seeckt, was just as loyal to the Right - in the Kapp Putsch - as to the Left - the Communist revolt in the Ruhr, for example - always supporting the constitution of the Weimar Government. That was our general attitude.

COMMANDER CALVACORESSI: I have no doubt that all that is perfectly true, but I suggest to you that this whole Prussian policy was revised and insisted upon by Von Seeckt because, as a result of the Kapp Putsch, he saw how important it was to keep the Army out of entanglements with incompetent politicians.

VON RUNDSTEDT: That is entirely my view too. All the more since the Hitler Putsch in 1923 placed the Army in a very difficult position because the Bavarian division was commencing to detach itself from Seeckt.

COMMANDER CALVACORESSI: Now, Kapp was a failure, wasn't he? He tried unsuccessfully to overthrow the Republic?

VON RUNDSTEDT: No. Seeckt, never tried to overthrow the Republic.

COMMANDER CALVACORESSI: I said Kapp.

VON RUNDSTEDT: I beg your pardon then; I misunderstood you.

COMMANDER CALVACORESSI: I will repeat that Kapp was a failure, wasn't he? He tried unsuccessfully to overthrow the Republic?

VON RUNDSTEDT: Kapp was a failure and a very stupid one at that, a Putsch which could never succeed.

COMMANDER CALVACORESSI: But after 1933 or 1934 Hitler was not a failure, was he?

VON RUNDSTEDT: I shall have to state that Hitler, under Hindenburg's Government, was called into the Government by legal means, namely, by the majority of the people, as the leader of the strongest party. That was a perfectly democratic way in keeping with the constitution, not by means of a Putsch.

COMMANDER CALVACORESSI: I am not concerned with the forms of democracy or anything like that. I was only asking you whether, after 1933-1934, it was plain that Hitler was not a failure; he was doing very well, wasn't he?

VON RUNDSTEDT: He had the majority of the people behind him.

COMMANDER CALVACORESSI: That is an assent to success from which we will pass on. Generaloberst Reinhardt has said that there was not a single officer who did not back up Hitler in his extraordinary successes. Do you agree with that?

VON RUNDSTEDT: No.

COMMANDER CALVACORESSI: Von Blomberg has said that you and your colleagues in the Army had at that time no reason to oppose Hitler, because he produced the results you desired. Do you disagree with that, too?

VON RUNDSTEDT: That is not quite correct. We did our duty because Hitler had legally been made Chancellor by Hindenburg, and because, after his death, he appeared as the Führer on the basis of the testament.

COMMANDER CALVACORESSI: Well, the answer is, no, you don't agree with the Field Marshal.

VON RUNDSTEDT: I have never agreed with Field Marshal Von Blomberg at any time.

COMMANDER CALVACORESSI: Have you at any time agreed with Generaloberst Blaskowitz?

VON RUNDSTEDT: How am I to understand that? He was one of my subordinates; but I cannot accept what he has said in the affidavits in that form.

COMMANDER CALVACORESSI: Well, I am only putting to you the fact that when Hitler's power was assured and there was no more danger of his being a failure, the nonpolitical opponents began to disappear.

VON RUNDSTEDT: No, we always remained nonpolitical. Of course there were active National Socialists, like Reichenau and Blomberg, in the Army, but the bulk were politically quite indifferent.

COMMANDER CALVACORESSI: Surely it is common ground, isn't it, that there was a lot in common between Hitler's policy and the general aspirations of you and your colleagues immediately after 1933?

VON RUNDSTEDT: Yes; that is to say the equality aimed at by Hitler and achieved by him was welcomed by us, and that which was good in the National Socialist movement, as I have already emphasized, and which was mostly taken over from old Prussian traditions, we of course welcomed also; but we all disapproved of the excesses which I have mentioned earlier, the older generation at any rate.

COMMANDER CALVACORESSI: When you say that there was a certain amount that was good in National Socialist ideas and that that was taken over from the old Prussian times, are you not saying that Hitler revived the old Prussian policy of nationalistic expansion and that you were glad about it?

VON RUNDSTEDT: That had very little to do with politics as such. The principles are important: care for the worker, just as under Bismarck, social welfare, common good which takes precedence over all personal interest - those are the things I am referring to.

COMMANDER CALVACORBSSI: Now, before the war, did you and your colleagues at the head of the Army discuss the question of the neutrality of Belgium, for instance?

VON RUNDSTEDT: To my knowledge, no. We were not thinking of Belgium. We always believed, as I said earlier today, that Poland would some day attack Germany.

COMMANDER CALVACORESSI: Didn't you say before the Commissioner that you used to have discussions about the neutrality of Belgium?

VON RUNDSTEDT: No, that must be a mistake. Answering the question put by the American Prosecutor I only replied that a march through Belgium into the Ruhr was considered possible by us.

COMMANDER CALVACORESSI: Well, I have here a copy of the transcript of what was said before the Commissioner. I only need to read one sentence, and it is at Page 1352 of the English version. According to what I have here you said that "the opinion concerning the neutrality of Belgium and the Netherlands was very much doubted within the higher military circles." Now, all I want to ask you about that: If you discussed that question, was that not a political discussion?

VON RUNDSTEDT: May I just put that right. This statement before the Commission was made concerning 1939, when we had drawn up our troops in the West, and when the question arose whether Holland and Belgium would remain neutral or not. My answer was given in that connection at the time.

COMMANDER CALVACORESSI: Very well. You have also said that you opposed or you fought Nazi totalitarian ideas; is that right?

VON RUNDSTEDT: May I ask you to repeat that question to me, please?

COMMANDER CALVACORESSI: You have said, I believe, that you opposed Nazi totalitarian ideas?

VON RUNDSTEDT: We could not put up any resistance. I opposed it, as so many of my comrades did.

COMMANDER CALVACORESSI: Well, wasn't that a political attitude, a political standpoint?

VON RUNDSTEDT: Everybody can have a political standpoint for himself, but a soldier cannot participate in political activities. That is what I understand by political standpoint.

COMMANDER CALVACORESSI: A soldier then, in your view, has political views but may not express them; is that right?

VON RUNDSTEDT: Yes, that could be applicable. Of course it was possible to talk to some friend about such questions and discuss them, but there was never a meeting or a body called together for the purpose of discussing political questions.

COMMANDER CALVACORESSI: Now I want to move on to the late thirties. When you say that all the generals - I forget your exact words this morning, but most of the generals, you said, did maintain the old nonpolitical attitude. I want to show you a document.

My Lord, this is Document Number 4060-PS and it will be Exhibit USA-928. Now this is a sketch of a speech which General Reinecke proposed to give in the autumn of 1938 to some of the up-and-coming military people. General Reinecke held a very high position in the German Army, didn’t he?

VON RUNDSTEDT: At the end he was the chief chairman of that National Socialist leadership training outfit; in 1938 he must still have been a junior staff officer, a low-grade staff officer.

COMMANDER CALVACORESSI: What do you mean by a junior staff officer? By the middle of the war he was one of the few people who were immediately subordinated to Keitel, wasn't he?

VON RUNDSTEDT: About that I cannot give you any information.

COMMANDER CALVACORESSI: But, anyhow at this time, he was a Colonel. It is Page 2.

VON RUNDSTEDT: Yes.

COMMANDER CALVACORESSI: After all, he was a very high-ranking officer.

VON RUNDSTEDT: Yes, but still one of the younger officers. About this entire subject I cannot give any testimony. I have never at any time had anything to do with it. As I have mentioned, I was no longer active in November 1938, and so I cannot give you any information about these training courses which Reinecke held.

COMMANDER CALVACORESSI: All I am asking you to do is to look at certain passages in this document which I shall indicate to you and which, in my submission, show that the extreme non-political attitude of the generals was not maintained at this time.

VON RUNDSTEDT: That will be applicable insofar as Hitler tried everything to make the Armed Forces National Socialist-minded ...

THE PRESIDENT: Mr. Calvacoressi, the witness has said that he was retired at the time and has never seen the document. You can put it in if it is a new document.

COMMANDER CALVACORESSI: Should I read from this point or would it be more convenient at the end of the cross-examination?

THE PRESIDENT: I think we can look at it ourselves.

COMMANDER CALVACORESSI: If Your Lordship pleases. My Lord, there is another document which bears on the same subject and which I will also put in at this point. That is Document Number 4065-PS, and it will be Exhibit USA-929.

THE PRESIDENT: What is the number of the PS?

COMMANDER CALVACORESSI: 4065, My Lord. [Turning to the witness.] Now, Field Marshal, I want to ask you a few questions about the rearmament of Germany. You have told us that that was purely defensive. Do you maintain that?

VON RUNDSTEDT: I had said before that the measures against Poland mentioned in Blomberg's affidavit were of a purely defensive nature. After rearmament was carried out up to 36 divisions, the German Army alone was still too weak to conduct an aggressive war against Poland, not to speak of aggression against a western or an eastern neighbor. I still maintain my opinion that we are here concerned with a defensive measure. If Hitler had planned a war of aggression, he would at least have been compelled to have 3 to 4 times as many divisions. This was utterly impossible.

COMMANDER CALVACORESSI: Well, if you are defending yourselves, you must be defending yourselves against somebody, and you said before the Commission that you were, among other things, taking defensive measure's against the Lithuanians.

VON RUNDSTEDT: Yes.

COMMANDER CALVACORESSI: Are you still asking the Tribunal to believe that you were very much concerned with the defense of Germany against the Lithuanians?

VON RUNDSTEDT: May I answer? I called it, at the time, the basis for the various games of war. Lithuania was menacing the isolated province of East Prussia, where at that time there was only one, although later three divisions. The Poles and Czechs added together were fully in a position to attack and to occupy the whole of Eastern Germany, not to mention that the French might have crossed the Rhine in the West. Those were the thoughts which I expressed, and which were the basis for our games of war: how were we going to defend ourselves against an invasion from the East and West, or from the East or the West.

COMMANDER CALVACORESSI: Well, now, we have already had that. You have never agreed with General Von Blomberg on any point, but I think I'll draw your attention to the fact that in June 1937 Marshal Von Blomberg, who was, after all, War Minister and Commander-in-Chief at that time, issued a directive in which he said that Germany need not consider an attack from any side. That is already in evidence, My Lord. It is a quotation from Document Number C-175, Exhibit USA-69.

Now, you said that you thought Germany was to act outside a war. Was it your opinion that Hitler was rearming too fast?

VON RUNDSTEDT: No, on the contrary.

COMMANDER CALVACORESSI: He wasn't arming fast enough?

VON RUNDSTEDT: He was rearming too quickly. That was what he accused Generals Von Fritsch and Von Blomberg of, namely, that they had tried to slow down the speedy rearmament. Many divisional commanders adopted the same attitude. We could not keep pace with the rearmament program, since we did not have enough trained reservists.

COMMANDER CALVACORESSI: Then it is fair to say that what you objected to about Hitler in this matter were his methods?

VON RUNDSTEDT: That I do not understand. I do not understand what you mean.

COMMANDER CALVACORESSI: What aims did you and your colleagues hope to gain through Hitler on the question of rearmament if not through the methods Hitler himself was using?

VON RUNDSTEDT: The aim itself to be achieved by rearmament was to protect ourselves from an aggressive war, particularly coming from the East. This had been attempted earlier by the Stresemann Government, by peaceful means through Geneva. What I said regarding the speed of the rearmament was in answer to a question by counsel as to whether Hitler ever criticized the generals. I myself have never discussed rearmament with Hitler, giving him my point of view.

COMMANDER CALVACORESSI: Now, you knew, from reading the newspapers, didn't you, that Hitler was adopting what I would call a diplomatic offensive?

VON RUNDSTEDT: I do not know what you mean by that. He effected a diplomatic offensive at Munich and at Godesberg. Is that what you mean by it?

COMMANDER CALVACORESSI: Let me put i t in a slightly different way. Was it not clear to any reasonably well-informed citizen that a strong military machine was an essential part of Hitler's general foreign policy; was it or was it not clear?

VON RUNDSTEDT: That was evident, for with Hitler's creation of this military machine, Germany could feel secure against any attack from abroad. What we had not succeeded in doing by peaceful means, Hitler achieved with a stroke of his pen; that is, the rearmament program. But I stress this fact once more: for an attack even on Poland, these miserable 36 divisions were far too weak.

COMMANDER CALVACORESSI: Now, is it your opinion that Schuschnigg would have turned down and given in to Hitler if he had not known that Hitler had a strong military machine?

VON RUNDSTEDT: That I do not believe ...

DR. LATERNSER: I object, Mr. President. This question is not permissible because the witness does not know what Schuschnigg thought at the moment and he cannot testify as to what was in the mind of Schuschnigg. I request that this question be ruled out.

COMMANDER CALVACORESSI: My Lord, I should have thought it was a question of common knowledge and that everyone was discussing this matter at the time. I am not asking him what was in Schuschnigg's mind, but I am asking whether in his mind he thought Hitler could have achieved what he did achieve without a strong arm. He can give an answer to that question.

THE PRESIDENT: Perhaps the Tribunal can judge for them-selves about it.

COMMANDER CALVACORESSI: If My Lord pleases, I do not want to go over ground that has already been very well covered, but I only want to draw your attention to this matter which, of course, has not been gone over in connection with this particular part of the case. My Lord, if the Tribunal wish to refresh their minds on this point, I would ask them to, refer to that part of the transcript (Morning Session of I April 1946, Volume X, Page 328 et sequentes) where the Defendant Ribbentrop was cross-examined on matters concerning these.

VON RUNDSTEDT: I am very willing to answer the question.

COMMANDER CALVACORESSI: I do not think, Witness, that the Tribunal is interested in having any more on this point. Now, the last point with which I want to deal is the question of the conduct of the war. You know, of course, about the Commando Order and it is not necessary for us to look at it again. You had said today that it was never carried out in your area when you were in the West?

VON RUNDSTEDT: Yes.

COMMANDER CALVACORESSI: And you told the OKW in 1944 that it had been carried out?

VON RUNDSTEDT: Yes.

COMMANDER CALVACORESSI: Will you please state, categorically, which of those two statements is true, because they cannot both be true.

VON RUNDSTEDT: They do not conflict, because I told counsel that the Commando Order was not carried out by us, but passed up under silence. Since, however, it came to the Army from Hitler and had been announced in the Wehrmacht communiqué, one might have had to say at that time: "No, I will not carry out that order," whereupon one would have been dismissed or something. We simply did not carry out the order, and when I asked to have it rescinded, I wrote in Paragraph 1: "Action was taken accordingly." That was, I do not mind saying so openly, an insincerity. I told you. Why I said so, I cannot explain it in any other way. Anyhow, I ask you to believe me that it was not carried out.

COMMANDER CALVACORESSI: Whether it was issued or not there is no doubt, is there? Whether it was carried out or not - and there is no doubt that it was issued through regular army channels - and whatever may be the true picture of the number of men who, may have lost their lives as a result of the issuance of this illegal order, it is clear, isn't it, that the mere issuing of this order through regular army channels shows that there was something wrong, something rotten with the military leadership of Germany?

VON RUNDSTEDT: There was not a single person in the West who lost his life on the strength of that Commando Order.

COMMANDER CALVACORESSI: The German soldier is well known for his discipline, is he not?

VON RUNDSTEDT: Yes.

COMMANDER CALVACORESSI: And you wouldn’t suggest, I suppose, that he is more liable to commit excesses than any other soldier?

VON RUNDSTEDT: That did not happen in this case wish to repeat that in the West not a single man was killed on account of that Commando Order.

COMMANDER CALVACORESSI: Well, I want to leave the Commando Order now. In general, supposing for the sake of argument that we find that the German soldier is normally well-disciplined and well-behaved, if he would act and behave with unnecessary brutality, would you not feel compelled to look for some extraordinary outside motive?

VON RUNDSTEDT: Within my field of authority no brutalities occurred.

COMMANDER CALVACORESSI: If that did occur, you would have to look for some such motive, would you not?

VON RUNDSTEDT: If the Commando Order was carried out elsewhere in another theater of war then the commander or the unit in question acted in accordance with Hitler's order, which they had to assume was founded on international law.

COMMANDER CALVACORESSI: I have already said that we are not talking about the Commando Order any more. I am going to suggest to you that if these German soldiers, for the sake of argument, behaved badly in occupied territory, a logical reason for it would be the knowledge by them that their commanders had a ruthless disregard and indifference for the sufferings of the population.

THE PRESIDENT: The Tribunal thinks that it is too hypothetical a question to put to him.

COMMANDER CALVACORE: Your Lordship, if you please.

You commanded the Army Group South in Russia in the autumn of 1941, didn't you?

VON RUNDSTEDT: Yes, Army Group South.

COMMANDER CALVACORESSI: And one of your subordinate commanders was Field Marshall Von Reichenau?

VON RUNDSTEDT: Yes.

COMMANDER CALVACORESSI: And you no doubt heard many times about the order which Field Marshall Von Reichenau issued to the 6th Army about how to behave in Russia?

VON RUNDSTEDT: I never discussed that with him nor do I recollect that I had seen that order before I came to England and my chief of staff spoke about it. Von Reichenau had repeatedly given orders which the army group never received, and which did not concern them either. I do not recollect having seen the so-called "severity order" (Härtebefehl), but I do not deny on the other hand that through some channels it may have reached my army group and probably got into the office. At any rate, my former first General Staff officer, who is also interned here in Nuremberg, cannot recollect either that we received that order for our information. It was a matter of course that one could not approve of that order, particularly since it was in contradiction to the clear order ...

COMMANDER CALVACORESSI: Well, just a minute, please. I only asked you if you knew of its existence, and I take it from what you have been saying that you do know of its existence. Are you saying that Reichenau was exceptional in these matters?

VON RUNDSTEDT: Yes, correct.

COMMANDER CALVACORESSI: That he was exceptional?

VON RUNDSTEDT: Considering Reichenau's entire attitude and his character, I assume that to be the case. General Von Manstein, General Von Kleist, General Von Schobert, General Von Stülpnagel would never have issued such an order on their own, especially since -- may I go on? -- General Von Brauchitsch had given the strictest orders that the conduct of the war in the East was to be carried out in an absolutely soldierly manner and in accordance with the rules and regulations.

COMMANDER CALVACORESSI: You see, yesterday we had put in evidence an order of Field Marshal Von Manstein which was strikingly similar to the "Rundstedt" order. In some passages ...

VON RUNDSTEDT: The "Reichenau" order, you mean.

THE PRESIDENT: You said the "Rundstedt" order.

COMMANDER CALVACORESSI: I beg your pardon, My Lord.

Now, you commanded three, or was it four, armies in Army Group South?

VON RUNDSTEDT: I had four armies under my command, besides the Romanians.

COMMANDER CALVACORESSI: And of these four armies which fought so far away so many years ago, we have recovered orders of this kind from two. I put it to you that any soldier of the 6th Army or the 11th Army who received this order would be justified in assuming that his commanders-in-chief were encouraging or at least tolerating excesses, and now, just to show you that these matters were not confined to one army group or even to one front, I want you to look at this signal, Document Number 4067-PS, and it will be Exhibit USA-930. My Lord, it is convenient to put this in at this point: I am not suggesting that the witness is himself personally concerned with it. This is a signal that was made to the Panzer Army Africa in June 1942, and I will read it, as it is pretty short, in fun:

"For Panzer Army Africa via the German General with the Supreme Command of the Italian Armed Forces in Rome--OKH/Quartermaster General for information -- General for special duty with the OKH for information - Air Force/ Quartermaster General for information - OKW/WR for information. Top Secret, only to be transmitted via officers. According to information received, numerous German political refugees are supposed to be amongst the Free French units in Africa. The Führer has ordered that they are to be treated with the greatest severity. They are therefore to be disposed of without mercy in battle. Where this has not happened, they are to be shot retroactively on the command of the nearest German officer immediately and without further ado, as long as they do not have to be kept back for the time being for purposes of intelligence. Handing over a written copy of this order is forbidden. Commanders are to be informed verbally."


It is unsigned.

You see, whoever sent this order was conscious of its criminality as appears quite clearly from the last two sentences. "The Führer has ordered that they are to be treated with the greatest severity." The order which the Army puts on that in sending it out is to kill. Do you remember the death of Field Marshal Rommel?

VON RUNDSTEDT: Yes.

COMMANDER CALVACORESSI: It was generally supposed at the time, was it not, that there was something suspicious about the death of Rommel; did you hear these rumors at that time?

VON RUNDSTEDT: No, I did not hear these rumors; otherwise I would have refused to act as representative of the Führer at the State funeral for Field Marshal Rommel; that would have been an infamy beyond words. I only heard of those rumors from the American papers after I was taken prisoner. According to these, Rommel's young son was supposed to have said that his father took poison in order not to be hanged.

COMMANDER CALVACORESSI: You never heard during all these months that succeeded the death of Rommel up to the end of the war, that it was generally, said that Rommel had been "bumped off "?

VON RUNDSTEDT: No, it was merely said that he had been under suspicion.

COMMANDER CALVACORESSI: My Lord, I have no further questions.

THE PRESIDENT: Any other cross-examination? Dr. Laternser.

DR. LATERNSER: Field Marshal, you have been questioned with reference to Affidavit Number 4, which comes from Field Marshal Von Brauchitsch and is Exhibit USA-335. The Prosecution attached value to the assertion made in this affidavit that in this manner - referring to personal visits of the commanders-in-chief - the commander-in-chief was in a position to obtain the advice of the other commanders under him. What was the nature of such advice; on which subject could it have been given and in which way?

VON RUNDSTEDT: The matter was very simple. Let me go back a bit. Say I am the commander of a regiment and am giving a task to my battalion commander, saying: "You will attack that village with your battalion." When I go to see him and ask him, "How do you propose to do this?" he will reply, "I propose to do this and that, Sir, and if I may say so, I would like to go to the left where there is better terrain." It is the same on a higher level. If the Commander-in-Chief of the Army should come to see me, as the army group commander, he might say: "Herr Von Rundstedt, how are you going to tackle your task?" and I might say, "In such and such a way, and perhaps I will need one more division." That is the only way of doing it, a friendly discussion. But I would never say to my superior: "What you are doing is wrong, do it differently." Is this intelligible, the way I have put it?

DR.LATERNSER: I think so; then it amounted to a discussion as to how the special task assigned to some commander was to be carried out?

VON RUNDSTEDT: It was not a discussion with the commander-in-chief as to whether it was to be carried out, but a short discussion on how it was to be carried out and how it could best be achieved. You see, sometimes a subordinate has quite a clever idea which the superior will accept gratefully. That was out of the question as far as Hitler was concerned, though.

DR. LATERNSER: And on the other hand, there were always discussions and meetings concerning the solving of tasks in all the armies?

VON RUNDSTEDT: Yes, I imagine so.

DR. LATERNSER: Now with reference to Affidavit Number 5, by General Blaskowitz. The Prosecution has emphasized that leaders of army groups and armies had been in contact by means of telephone, teletype, and radio and had thus been in a position to get situation reports from each other. Are we not concerned with the ordinary daily communiqués which every unit commander had to make so as to facilitate military leadership?

VON RUNDSTEDT: Yes, definitely. These situation reports were made up in the morning on what happened during the previous night, and in the evening on what happened during the day. If there was an action which was of particular importance to me as the superior commander, then I would ask for reports not only once or twice but possibly three times, by telephone or by teletype: "How are things going; how are you doing? Are you advancing or retreating?" That is the meaning of this.

DR. LATERNSER: The Prosecution still refers to this Affidavit Number 5 by General Blaskowitz, and for the purpose of clearing up this statement, as the interpretation by the Prosecution might lead to misunderstandings, I have asked General Blaskowitz to make a statement on his affidavit. I shall read part of it to you now and subsequently I shall ask you whether the facts are correct as General Blaskowitz has given them. I quote:

"The purpose of the present declaration is to make clear a restrictive clause I mentioned in my affidavit of 10 November 1945: 'In their sphere!' This restriction was intended to convey what I am explaining in today's supplementary declaration. I did not mean a conference of commanders at the front forming a 'group' or an actual 'advisory circle.' Both expressions might be misunderstood; they only designate a circle from which individual advisers could be heard by their superiors on matters affecting the latter's spheres."

Would this supplement to the previous explanation correspond to what a commander could actually do?

VON RUNDSTEDT: Yes, that is so, and it removes the misunderstanding which I never believed had originated with General Blaskowitz in that sense.

DR. LATERNSER: You were furthermore asked regarding the misunderstanding which occurred before the opening of the Russian campaign between you and Field Marshal Von Bock concerning a gap due to by-passing a large swamp area.

VON RUNDSTEDT: That is an error; it was not a misunderstanding between Von Bock and myself. This deployment plan had been laid down by the OKH, and I, as commanding officer of Army Group South, did not like this gap. That was why I reported to Hitler, saying: "My army group has such and such a task and will do this or that. It would be a good plan if some troops were to pass through this gap." It was not a disagreement with Bock at all, it was a suggestion for improvement coming from me.

DR. LATERNSER: When you reported to Hitler concerning your intention of carrying out your military tasks, did you do so jointly with Field Marshal Von Bock, or were the reports made one after the other?

VON RUNDSTEDT: They took place one after the other. First Bock and his army commanders had their turn. Then I had my turn with my commanders. I again refer to the order that officers were not supposed to know any more than what concerned them. That meant that I was not supposed to know how Bock was going to operate with his army group. According to Hitler's order, it was none of my business. I was only allowed to know where the tip of his right wing was.

DR. LATERNSER: And that reached a point where you actually reported separately?

VON RUNDSTEDT: Yes, and that is easy to understand since the more there were present at such a report the more uneasy one felt:

DR. LATERNSER: An order has been submitted to you, 4067-PS, according to which German citizens, when found fighting for the Free French units in Africa, were to be shot. Did you ever hear ...

VON RUNDSTEDT: No.

DR. LATERNSER: . . . that this order was put into practice?

VON RUNDSTEDT: No, I do not know anything about the order.

DR. LATERNSER: You said that you had never agreed with Field Marshal Von Blomberg's ideas. In this affidavit, which is constantly being referred to by the Prosecution, Field Marshal Von Blomberg gives his opinion of what is called the "Group of German Staff Officers." Did Field Marshal Von Blomberg have particularly close connections with the generals under him?

VON RUNDSTEDT: He always remained somewhat aloof. He did not seem to live on the earth. He was a pupil of the Steiner school of theosophy, and no one really liked him. Once he was a subordinate of mine, before becoming Minister of War. His position was rather exceptional.

DR. LATERNSER: You have not answered the question. Did Blomberg have such close contact with the generals under him that he could state their opinions in such a decided manner as he did in this affidavit?

VON RUNDSTEDT: I cannot imagine that.

DR.LATERNSER: Thank you very much. I have no further questions.

THE PRESIDENT: The witness may retire.
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Postby Christian W. on 01 Nov 2005 22:05

Intresting reading: :)
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Postby Mr Holmes on 02 Nov 2005 12:22

Thanks David.

DR. LATERNSER: What was the attitude of the generals toward the Party and its methods?

VON RUNDSTEDT: The generals either rejected the Party or were indifferent. As for the methods regarding the Jewish question, they absolutely rejected them, particularly because many comrades were severely affected by the Aryan laws. The so-called master race is an absurdity.


What is the consensus over this particular question and of its answer? How many of the high-ranking Generals/Field Marshalls were acquitted from the IMT? Would the reasons be over this issue (as it relates to the Holocaust), or for the war of aggression?



DR. LATERNSER: Was this impression confirmed after the entry into Russia?

VON RUNDSTEDT: Yes. The resistance at the border was not too great, but it grew continually as we advanced into the interior of the country. Very strong tank forces, tanks of a better type, far superior to ours, appeared; and an enormous number of airfields, troop camps, munitions dumps, and newly built roads through impassable territory were encountered. Maps were also found, showing German territory as far as Silesia, so that we had the impression that Hitler must have been right.


Can this be verified independently? Were maps and other classified documents showing such plans found in Soviet divisional HQ's? Were those maps of a militarily detailed nature, showing attack paths, etc?
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Postby Kim Sung on 02 Nov 2005 12:23

Thank you for this prescious material~
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Postby Mr Holmes on 02 Nov 2005 12:28

COMMANDER CALVACORESSI: You have said, I believe, that you opposed Nazi totalitarian ideas?

VON RUNDSTEDT: We could not put up any resistance. I opposed it, as so many of my comrades did.

COMMANDER CALVACORESSI: Well, wasn't that a political attitude, a political standpoint?

VON RUNDSTEDT: Everybody can have a political standpoint for himself, but a soldier cannot participate in political activities. That is what I understand by political standpoint.

COMMANDER CALVACORESSI: A soldier then, in your view, has political views but may not express them; is that right?

VON RUNDSTEDT: Yes, that could be applicable. Of course it was possible to talk to some friend about such questions and discuss them, but there was never a meeting or a body called together for the purpose of discussing political questions.


How well did this sort of testimony stand in the IMT? Was this also utilised by most other soldiers (officers and no)?
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Postby David Thompson on 02 Nov 2005 16:10

Sepp -- (1) You asked:
DR. LATERNSER: What was the attitude of the generals toward the Party and its methods?

VON RUNDSTEDT: The generals either rejected the Party or were indifferent. As for the methods regarding the Jewish question, they absolutely rejected them, particularly because many comrades were severely affected by the Aryan laws. The so-called master race is an absurdity.

What is the consensus over this particular question and of its answer? How many of the high-ranking Generals/Field Marshalls were acquitted from the IMT? Would the reasons be over this issue (as it relates to the Holocaust), or for the war of aggression?

Field Marshal von Rundstedt makes three statements here. As far as I can tell from my reading, the consensus of modern historians is that the first two statements are inaccurate. There third statement expresses an opinion, which was and is shared by many people.

(a)
What is the consensus over this particular question and of its answer?


The consensus today is that von Rundstedt's answer was exaggerated and inaccurate. The context of von Rundstedt's statements is important to consider. At the IMT proceedings, the prosecution charged that certain organizations of the German government and Nazi Party -- the General Staff and High Command of the Armed Forces, the Reich Cabinet, the SS, the Gestapo and SD, the SA and the Nazi Party Leadership Corps -- comprised criminal groups. If the IMT judges found that these groups were criminal organizations, membership in those groups could be punished independently, as a crime separate and distinct from war crimes, crimes against peace and crimes against humanity. In other words, if the organization was criminal, everyone who belonged to it was a criminal.

The criminal allegations in the IMT indictment against the General Staff and High Command of the Armed Forces can be seen starting at:

http://www.ess.uwe.ac.uk/genocide/highcmnd1.htm

Field Marshal von Rundstedt's statements were given in defense of the charge that the German General Staff and High Command of the Armed Forces comprised a criminal organization, and that everyone who held a position of responsibility in them should be considered a criminal. The IMT, after carefully considering the question, generally rejected the theory of criminal organizations as applied to these groups. Instead, the IMT judges emphasized the need to show personal responsibility -- of showing that a defendant belonged to one or more groups of people who had committed war crimes, or knowingly aided and abetted the commission of war crimes, or continued to participate in the organization knowing that war crimes were being committed as a matter of policy.

Subsequent studies have shown that many of the members of the German General Staff and High Command of the Armed Forces were indifferent to the Nazi Party and its ideology, that some of the members rejected the party and its ideology, but that other members were much more enthusiastic about the Nazis and Nazism.

There are substantial collections of documents and statements on this issue in the reports of the subsequent NMT proceedings in the High Command case and the Hostage case. Unfortunately, neither of these reports is available on-line, although I've posted extracts from them here. The subject is also covered in Gordon A. Craig's The Politics of the Prussian Army 1640-1945, Oxford University Press, New York: 1955, in Telford Taylor's The Sword and the Swastika: Generals and Nazis in the Third Reich, Simon & Schuster, New York: 1952, and in many other memoirs, studies and learned papers.

(b)
How many of the high-ranking Generals/Field Marshalls were acquitted from the IMT?


None of the high ranking members of the German armed forces who were defendants in the IMT trial -- Goering, Keitel, Jodl, Doenitz and Raeder -- were acquitted. They were, however, convicted on the basis of their personal responsibility for stated criminal charges.

(c)
Would the reasons be over this issue (as it relates to the Holocaust), or for the war of aggression?

The reasons for their convictions varied from defendant to defendant at the IMT proceedings. You can read the specifics in the individual judgments of these men, given at:

IMT judgment against Karl Doenitz
viewtopic.php?t=25074
IMT judgment against Hermann Goering
viewtopic.php?t=63165
IMT judgment against Alfred Jodl
viewtopic.php?t=71478
IMT judgment against Wilhelm Keitel
viewtopic.php?t=29333
IMT judgment against Erich Raeder
viewtopic.php?t=25073

(2) You also asked:
DR. LATERNSER: Was this impression confirmed after the entry into Russia?

VON RUNDSTEDT: Yes. The resistance at the border was not too great, but it grew continually as we advanced into the interior of the country. Very strong tank forces, tanks of a better type, far superior to ours, appeared; and an enormous number of airfields, troop camps, munitions dumps, and newly built roads through impassable territory were encountered. Maps were also found, showing German territory as far as Silesia, so that we had the impression that Hitler must have been right.

Can this be verified independently? Were maps and other classified documents showing such plans found in Soviet divisional HQ's? Were those maps of a militarily detailed nature, showing attack paths, etc?

I don't think so. The question of whether or not the Soviets were planning an attack has been extensively argued by historians and discussed here in the forum at:

German-Soviet relations 26 Aug 1939-22 Jun 1941
viewtopic.php?t=60917
Was Stalin really planning to attack Germany in 1942?
viewtopic.php?t=63302
A review about the preventive war
viewtopic.php?t=9746
Grand Admiral Erich Raeder's reflections 10 Jan 1944
viewtopic.php?t=61243

and elsewhere. This would have made an excellent propaganda campaign, if true, but as far as I know the Nazis did not attempt to document it. Soviet plans for an attack on Germany are discussed as a general future possibility in Hitler's contemporaneous and subsequent conversations, but only as a possibility. The behavior of, and subsequent statements by, Soviet leaders indicates that there was no such plan for the immediate future, and that the Stalin was taken by surprise when the Germans launched Operation Barbaross.

As for von Rundstedt, my impression is that he may have been influenced in his testimony by the possibility that he would later be put on trial for war crimes. The British planned such a trial, judging from contemporary newspaper reports (released from internment in Norfolk (NYT 23 Jul 1948:2:6); to face war crimes indictment (NYT 28 Aug 1948:4:6; NYT 12 Sept 1948:30:1; NYT 23 Sept 1948:5:5; NYT 3 Nov 1948:32:6; 23 Jan 1949:2:4); delay announced (NYT 20 Mar 1949:3:6; NYT 20 May 1949:2:3); prosecution by a British military tribunal for war crimes in connection with Hitler's 1942 Commando Order quashed on grounds that defendant was judged unfit to stand trial (NYT 6 May 1949:4:2); freed 26 May 1949 (LT 27 May 1949:4a)). Von Rundstedt died at Hanover on 24 February 1953.
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Postby Mr Holmes on 03 Nov 2005 10:18

David,

You have written so much (a goldmine of information to be precise), that it will take time for it all to sink in. The only way I will be able to ask further questions to your own post is to post about this section today, and about that section tomorrow. I hope that I will not prove to be burdensome. I will play diabolus advocatus in the questions I pose only in order to find out more about this case. The questions I pose will use as their primary source, the actual trial as you have provided above (so as to not stray further afield thereby rendering this thread more in tune with the "Axis Biographical History" section of this forum, rather than in this Holocaust & War Crimes section!)

In answer to my first query, you wrote thus:

(a)
What is the consensus over this particular question and of its answer?


The consensus today is that von Rundstedt's answer was exaggerated and inaccurate. The context of von Rundstedt's statements is important to consider. At the IMT proceedings, the prosecution charged that certain organizations of the German government and Nazi Party -- the General Staff and High Command of the Armed Forces, the Reich Cabinet, the SS, the Gestapo and SD, the SA and the Nazi Party Leadership Corps -- comprised criminal groups. If the IMT judges found that these groups were criminal organizations, membership in those groups could be punished independently, as a crime separate and distinct from war crimes, crimes against peace and crimes against humanity. In other words, if the organization was criminal, everyone who belonged to it was a criminal.


You then go on to write:

Instead, the IMT judges emphasized the need to show personal responsibility -- of showing that a defendant belonged to one or more groups of people who had committed war crimes, or knowingly aided and abetted the commission of war crimes, or continued to participate in the organization knowing that war crimes were being committed as a matter of policy.


A person's chosen profession, in legal standing as von Rundstedt's was prior to 1933, and subesequently, of the election which raised the NSDAP to government, cannot in and otself, I think, prove that the legal body of a nation's armed forces is inherently illegal. That a war of aggression was waged by the Thrid Reich, is indisputable. A General's involvement in planning the nation's defence as exemplified here:

COMMANDER CALVACORESSI: Are you still asking the Tribunal to believe that you were very much concerned with the defense of Germany against the Lithuanians?

VON RUNDSTEDT: May I answer? I called it, at the time, the basis for the various games of war. Lithuania was menacing the isolated province of East Prussia, where at that time there was only one, although later three divisions. The Poles and Czechs added together were fully in a position to attack and to occupy the whole of Eastern Germany, not to mention that the French might have crossed the Rhine in the West. Those were the thoughts which I expressed, and which were the basis for our games of war: how were we going to defend ourselves against an invasion from the East and West, or from the East or the West.


Von Rundstedt on occassion, within the IMT text, testifies that he was not fully privvy to the aggressive intentions of the Third Reich's military planning. Indeed he expresses his doubts that such a conquest of the various nations of Europe could be conducted with the paltry 36 divisions at the Reich's disposal.

However, as you state, the IMT looked at each General's culpability and judged accordingly and you wrote thus:

Field Marshal von Rundstedt's statements were given in defense of the charge that the German General Staff and High Command of the Armed Forces comprised a criminal organization, and that everyone who held a position of responsibility in them should be considered a criminal. The IMT, after carefully considering the question, generally rejected the theory of criminal organizations as applied to these groups. Instead, the IMT judges emphasized the need to show personal responsibility [...]


I gather that the IMT (as is obviously indicated in the trial), therefore, looked at each particular person and his involvement with both the NSDAP and also the conduct of war within their particular sphere or area of operations, but also whether they knew how the war was being run in other combat areas, and how well Third Reich policy was enforced in the particular area of operations.

The following, I think, proves the difficult situation faced by many of the higher commanders:

COMMANDER CALVACORESSI: I do not think, Witness, that the Tribunal is interested in having any more on this point. Now, the last point with which I want to deal is the question of the conduct of the war. You know, of course, about the Commando Order and it is not necessary for us to look at it again. You had said today that it was never carried out in your area when you were in the West?

VON RUNDSTEDT: Yes.

COMMANDER CALVACORESSI: And you told the OKW in 1944 that it had been carried out?

VON RUNDSTEDT: Yes.

COMMANDER CALVACORESSI: Will you please state, categorically, which of those two statements is true, because they cannot both be true.

VON RUNDSTEDT: They do not conflict, because I told counsel that the Commando Order was not carried out by us, but passed up under silence. Since, however, it came to the Army from Hitler and had been announced in the Wehrmacht communiqué, one might have had to say at that time: "No, I will not carry out that order," whereupon one would have been dismissed or something. We simply did not carry out the order, and when I asked to have it rescinded, I wrote in Paragraph 1: "Action was taken accordingly." That was, I do not mind saying so openly, an insincerity. I told you. Why I said so, I cannot explain it in any other way. Anyhow, I ask you to believe me that it was not carried out.


This kind of tit-for-tat resistance/enforcement may have been employed across the board. In lieu of this, would it be unfair to state that the following statement made by von Rundstedt, and consequently labelled as exaggerated, seem unfair? That he was a soldier's soldier, and not a politican's soldier?

The generals either rejected the Party or were indifferent.
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Postby David Thompson on 03 Nov 2005 15:35

Sepp -- You asked:
This kind of tit-for-tat resistance/enforcement may have been employed across the board. In lieu of this, would it be unfair to state that the following statement made by von Rundstedt, and consequently labelled as exaggerated, seem unfair? That he was a soldier's soldier, and not a politican's soldier?
The generals either rejected the Party or were indifferent.

The question put to von Rundstedt was (my emphases throughout):
DR. LATERNSER: What was the attitude of the generals toward the Party and its methods?

His answer was:
VON RUNDSTEDT: The generals either rejected the Party or were indifferent. As for the methods regarding the Jewish question, they absolutely rejected them, particularly because many comrades were severely affected by the Aryan laws. The so-called master race is an absurdity.

From the question put to von Rundstedt, and his answer ("The generals;" "they"), we can see that he is talking about the German General Staff (OKH) and the High Command of the Armed Forces (OKW). Your question, however, relates to von Rundstedt personally and his views and attitudes as an individual ("he was a soldier's soldier").

In regard to von Rundstedt's statements about the German General Staff (OKH) and the High Command of the Armed Forces (OKW), I think it is fair to say that they were exaggerated or inaccurate. I don't have enough information, without doing additional research, to characterize von Rundstedt's personal attitude toward the Nazi Party or its methods in the 1933-1945 period.
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Postby StaHit on 03 Nov 2005 18:57

Just a few small notes:

The behavior of, and subsequent statements by, Soviet leaders indicates that there was no such plan for the immediate future,


Not true. See a lot of indications to the contrary in this whole thread viewtopic.php?t=12353&postdays=0&postorder=asc&start=705

and that the Stalin was taken by surprise when the Germans launched Operation Barbaross.


Stalin's surprise is not a proof of his peaceful intentions.
Last edited by StaHit on 04 Nov 2005 18:21, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby David Thompson on 03 Nov 2005 19:45

StaHit -- You wrote, quoting me:
Just a few small notes:
The behavior of, and subsequent statements by, Soviet leaders indicates that there was no such plan for the immediate future,

Not true. See a lot of indications to the contrary in this thread viewtopic.php?t=12353&postdays=0&postorder=asc&start=705

After reading the last two pages of the thread, starting with your link, I'm not seeing "a lot of indications to the contrary" which would support your statement "Not true." Your posts refer to a book review by R.C. Raack (no link) which discusses arguments advanced by others (without any footnotes regarding their sources), and an unsourced quote from Stalin. R.C. Raack, in his work "Stalin’s Plans for World War II," says that Stalin was planning to wait until there was a stalemate between Germany and Great Britain before attacking Germany and starting a wave of communist revolutions across western Europe.

While this would not particularly surprise me, there is still little or no evidence that the Soviets planned this attack for mid-1941 ("no such plan for the immediate future"), and much evidence that a supposed Soviet attack at that time was (and is) a post-war fantasy.
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Postby StaHit on 04 Nov 2005 18:19

David Thompson wrote:StaHit -- You wrote, quoting me:
Just a few small notes:
The behavior of, and subsequent statements by, Soviet leaders indicates that there was no such plan for the immediate future,

Not true. See a lot of indications to the contrary in this thread viewtopic.php?t=12353&postdays=0&postorder=asc&start=705

After reading the last two pages of the thread, starting with your link, I'm not seeing "a lot of indications to the contrary" which would support your statement "Not true." Your posts refer to a book review by R.C. Raack (no link) which discusses arguments advanced by others (without any footnotes regarding their sources), and an unsourced quote from Stalin. R.C. Raack, in his work "Stalin’s Plans for World War II," says that Stalin was planning to wait until there was a stalemate between Germany and Great Britain before attacking Germany and starting a wave of communist revolutions across western Europe.

While this would not particularly surprise me, there is still little or no evidence that the Soviets planned this attack for mid-1941 ("no such plan for the immediate future"), and much evidence that a supposed Soviet attack at that time was (and is) a post-war fantasy.


Well, I didn't mean just two last pages :wink: I will edit my first post in order to make it clear. The review is not linked because it's simply not available on the Internet still.
As for R.C.Raack I recommend to read his other thoroughly sourced articles which were linked here: viewtopic.php?t=12353&postdays=0&postorder=asc&start=645
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Re: The IMT testimony of Gerd von Rundstedt

Postby Adam Carr on 11 Jul 2012 12:05

This the text of Rundstedt's testimony at the IMT trial itself. But he also gave much more extensive testimony to the IMT investigating commission in June 1945. Messenger quotes it in his Rundstedt biography. Does anyone know if this testimony is available online, in English or German?
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