Wehrmacht Units Implicated in War Crimes

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Post by David Thompson » 25 Dec 2007 04:59

12th Army:

The defendant Kuntze assumed command in the Southeast on 27 October 1941, a month which exceeded all previous monthly records in killing innocent members of the population in reprisal for the criminal acts of unknown persons. On 9 October 1941, 2200 Communists and Jews were shot in reprisal for 22 German soldiers of the 521st Army Signal Communication Regiment murdered at Topola; on 18 October 1941, 1736 men and 19 Communist women were shot in reprisal for German losses sustained in the fight for Kraljevo; on 19 October 1941, 182 men were shot to death in Meckovac and 1600 men from Valjevo were shot to death in reprisal for 16 Germans killed and 24 wounded; on 21 October 1941, 2300 Serbs of various ages and professions were shot to death; on 27 October 1941, 101 arrestees were shot to death with further killings to be carried out after more arrestees had been turned in; and on 28 October 1941, 2200 Serbs were shot for 10 German soldiers killed and 24 wounded in action. It seems highly improbable that Kuntze could step into the command in the Southeast in the midst of the carrying out and reporting of these reprisal actions without gaining knowledge and approval. Reports made to the defendant Kuntze, shown in the evidence, reveal that on 29 October 1941, 76 persons were shot in reprisal in Serbia; on 2 November 1941, 20 persons were shot to death near Loznica; on 2 November 1941, 125 persons were shot to death at Valjevo; and on 27 November 1941, 265 Communists were shot as a reprisal measure at Valjevo. Under date of 31 October 1941, the commanding general in Serbia, General Boehme, recapitulated the shootings in Serbia in a report to Kuntze as follows: "Shootings - 405 hostages in Belgrade (total up to now in Belgrade 4750), 90 Communists in Camp Sabac, 2300 hostages in Kragujevac, 1700 hostages in Kraljevo." In a similar report under date of 30 November 1941, General Boehme reported to Kuntze as follows: "Shot as hostages (total) 534 (500 of these by Serbian auxiliary police)." Many other similar shootings are shown by the record. Included was a report covering the whole period of the resistance movement up to and including 5 December 1941, wherein it is shown that 31338 reprisal prisoners were to be shot on the basis of the 100 to 1 order, that 11164 had been shot and that 20174 remained to be shot in reprisal to fulfill the quota fixed on the 100 to 1 basis.

* * * * *
With reference to the alleged mistreatment of Jews and other racial groups within the area commanded by the defendant Kuntze during the time he was Deputy Armed Forces Commander Southeast, the record shows the following: On 3 November 1941, the chief of the administrative staff, an official subordinate to General Boehme, who was in turn subordinate to the defendant Kuntze, ordered the immediate arrest of all Jews and gypsies as hostages and the deportation of their wives and children to an assembly camp near Belgrade. On 4 November 1941, a detailed report concerning the shooting of Jews and gypsies between 27-30 October 1941, is shown in the war diary of the 433d Infantry Regiment [704th Infantry Division]. (NOKW-905, Pros. Ex. 143.) [Document reproduced in section VB.] The lurid details of the shooting of these 2200 persons is graphically recited in this report. A report under date of 5 December 1941 containing the notes of the Armed Forces Commander Southeast (Kuntze) made on a tour of inspection says in part:
"All Jews and gypsies are to be transferred into a concentration camp at Semlin (at present there are about 16000 people there). They were proved to be the bearers of the communication service of the insurgents."
On 4 February 1942, the 704th Infantry Division reported to General Bader that it had delivered 161 partisans, 17 Jews, and 2 Jewesses to the SD-Belgrade. On 19 March 1942, General Bader reported to the defendant Kuntze that 500 Jews had been transported from Metrovica to Semlin. On 10 March 1942, General Bader reported to Kuntze that in the Jewish camp of Semlin there were 5780 persons, mostly women and children. On 20 April 1942, General Bader reported to the defendant Kuntze that in the concentration camps there were 182 hostages, 3266 reprisal prisoners, and 4005 Jews.

NMT judgment against General der Pioniere Walter Kuntze, Trials of War Criminals Before the Nuernberg Military Tribunals vol. XI
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Post by David Thompson » 25 Dec 2007 05:12

2d Panzer Army:(actions carried out against officers of the Italian "Bergamo" Division at Split)

On 11 and 13 September 1943, and subsequent to the issuance of the preceding sanctions, the defendant received Fuehrer orders directing that the officers of all Italian units who had cooperated with insurgents or permitted their arms to fall into the hands of insurgents, were to be shot and that the officers of resisting units who continued their resistance after receipt of a short ultimatum also were to be shot. The record discloses that the defendant Rendulic was insistent that his corps commanders carry out these orders "without any scruples." In this connection it is shown that troops subordinated to the XV Mountain Corps captured 300 Italian officers and 9000 men who resisted capture at Split. On 6 October 1943, it was reported to the 2d Panzer Army by the XV Mountain Corps that three generals and 45 officers had been sentenced to death by a general court martial and executed. The report further states that nine additional Italian officers had been found guilty of treason and shot. Under date of 9 October 1943, the XXI Mountain Corps reported to the 2d Panzer Army that reprisal measures were carried out against 18 Italian officers.

NMT judgment against Generaloberst Lothar Rendulic, Trials of War Criminals Before the Nuernberg Military Tribunals vol. XI
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Post by David Thompson » 25 Dec 2007 05:20

LXIX Army Corps:
In the daily report of the LXIX Reserve Corps to the 2d Panzer Army for 5 November 1943, it is shown that the 173d Reserve Division hanged 100 bandits for an attack on railroad installations and on certain police forces. This action from the language used appears to have been a retaliation measure and not a shooting of francs-tireurs. That it was excessive as such is self evident. In a similar report dated 7 November 1943, it shows that the 173d Reserve Division hanged 19 Communists at the scene of a railroad explosion in reprisal for the act. On 8 November 1943, this same division shot 21 hostages as a reprisal for railroad sabotage. A similar report shows that the 187th Reserve Division on 21 December 1943, shot 25 people "suspected of being bandits" and hostages as a reprisal for band attacks.

The reports made are hopelessly inadequate. The defendant appears to have made no effort to require reports showing that hostages and reprisal prisoners were shot in accordance with international law. Killings by shooting and hanging took place for railroad sabotage out of all proportion to the nature of the offense. Retaliation was taken against special groups such as Communists and bandit suspects. The population does not appear to have been warned of the intention to kill hostages and innocent members of the population in the event of the recurrence of offenses against the occupying power. The reprisals appear to have been taken without regard to any possible connection of the population with the offense committed. Hostages were shot and reprisal prisoners killed when it was well known that the offenses for which retaliations were ordered, were committed by organized bands having no connection whatever with the immediate population. Innocent members of the population were shot in reprisal for German losses sustained in combat after the Fuehrer order of 18 August 1943, [NOKW-509, Pros. Ex. 340] authorizing the treatment of band members as prisoners of war. No more glaring injustice can be pointed to, it being a case where the guilty escape and the innocent are put to death. Court martial proceedings do not appear to have been held. The defendant excuses his indifference to all these killings by saying that it was the responsibility of the division commanders. We agree that the divisional commanders are responsible for ordering the commission of criminal acts. But the superior commander is also responsible if he orders, permits, or acquiesces in such criminal conduct. His duty and obligation is to prevent such acts, or if they have been already executed, to take steps to prevent their recurrence.

The records show that this defendant had full knowledge of these acts.

* * * * *
The defendant is charged, also, with responsibility for the destruction of numerous towns and villages by troops subordinate to him without military necessity existing for their so doing. The record establishes that on 16 October 1943 the 187th Reserve Division arrested the majority of the populations of the villages of Paklonica and Vocarica as hostages and then burned down the villages. The record further shows that on 24 September 1943 the 173d Reserve Division burned down the villages of Grgeteg and Bukavac. It shows also that on 26 November 1943 [NOKW-049, Pros. Ex. 356] the village of Grgurevci was burned down by troops of the 173d Reserve Division in reprisal for an attack on police from the village. Other cases of a similar character are shown by the record. Under some circumstances, the destruction of villages is a legitimate reprisal measure. The reports of these incidents are very fragmentary and give little or no details surrounding the actions. They do indicate that the acts were taken as reprisal measures and not from military necessity as that term is ordinarily used. We are obliged to say that the evidence is not sufficient to sustain a finding that these destructions were in violation of the laws of war.

NMT judgment against General der Infanterie Ernst Dehner, Trials of War Criminals Before the Nuernberg Military Tribunals vol. XI
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Post by David Thompson » 25 Dec 2007 05:34

XV Mountain Corps; 21 Mountain Corps:
The more serious charge is that pertaining to the evacuation of large areas within the corps command for the purpose of conscripting the physically fit into the Croatian military units and of conscripting others for compulsory labor service.

On 8 March 1944, the XV Mountain Corps reported to the 2d Panzer Army in part as follows: "Operation 'Bergwiese' terminated. Final report not yet available. Another 74 able-bodied men taken into custody." On 9 March 1944, the same division reported 332 able-bodied men in custody from the same operation. On 20 March 1944, the XV Mountain Corps reported in part as follows: "Operation 'Illusion' carried out after refusal by German Navy. No contact with enemy, 100 able-bodied persons brought to Fiume." On 21 March 1944, the XV Mountain Corps reported as follows: "Intention: Harehunt code name 'Lagerleben' (taking into custody of 200 compulsory recruits 6 kilometers east-southeast of Brinje)." This whole question can be disposed of by a consideration of the operation "Panther."

Shortly after taking command of the XV Corps, the defendant formulated a plan for the evacuation of the male population between the ages of 15 and 55 from the area between Una and Korana. This territory was supposed to contain about 7000 to 8000 men who were partly equipped with arms procured from the Italians. The area had been under the temporary control of the bands to such an extent that the Croat Government had complained of its inability to conscript men for military service from the area. It was planned to crush the bands and evacuate the men and turn them over to the Croatian Government for use as soldiers and compulsory labor. The operation was designated as operation "Panther" and is so carried in the German army reports. On 6 December 1943, the 2d Panzer Army approved operation "Panther." The order of approval provided that the estimated 6000 persons fit for military service should be held in camps at Sisak and Karlovac.

The evacuation of persons fit for military service was to be known by the code name "Silberstreifen" (silver stripes). On 2 December 1943, the 2d Panzer Army ordered the operation to commence on 6 December 1943. The last sentence of the order states: "Sending the evacuated population fit for military service to Germany for labor service is considered expedient."

The operation was carried out, but only 96 men fit for military service were captured. It is evident that the inhabitants had been warned before the operation was commenced and had left to escape capture. The defendant attempts to justify his action by asserting that the primary purpose of the operation "Panther" was the suppression of the bands, that the operation was purely a tactical one so far as he was concerned, and that the disposition of the captured population fit for military service was for the decision of the Croatian Government and not his concern.

We point out that the Croatian Government was a satellite government and whatever was done by them was done for the Germans. The captured men fit for military service were turned over to the Croat administration and were undoubtedly conscripted into the Domobrans, the Waffen Ustasha, the Croat units of the Wehrmacht, or shipped to Germany for compulsory labor just as the defendant well knew that they would be. The occupation forces have no authority to conscript military forces from the inhabitants of occupied territory. They cannot do it directly, nor can they do it indirectly. When the defendant as commanding general of the corps area participated in such an activity, he did so in violation of international law. The result is identical if these captured inhabitants were sent to Germany for compulsory labor service. Such action is also plainly prohibited by international law as the evidence shows. See Articles 6, 23, 46 of the Hague Regulations. We find the defendant von Leyser guilty on this charge.

The defendant is also charged with issuing the Commissar Order of 6 June 1941 and causing the same to be carried out while he was in command of the 269th Infantry Division in Russia in 1941. The record shows a report of the 269th Infantry Division under date of 28 September 1941 wherein it is stated: "Special occurrences - one female commissar shot. One woman who was in contact with partisans, likewise shot." Under date of 20 November 1941, this same division reports as follows: "Two Russian prisoners of the 1st Battery were shot upon the order of the battalion commander. These were one commissar and one Russian high ranking officer." On 9 July 1941, the 269th Infantry Division reported to the XLI Infantry Corps to which it was subordinated as follows: "34 Politruks (commissars) liquidated."

This evidence clearly shows that the 269th Infantry Division, commanded by the defendant von Leyser killed commissars pursuant to the Commissar Order. This was a criminal order and all killings committed pursuant to it were likewise criminal. We find the defendant guilty on this charge.

NMT judgment against General der Infanterie Ernst von Leyser, Trials of War Criminals Before the Nuernberg Military Tribunals vol. XI
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Post by David Thompson » 25 Dec 2007 05:39

LXVIII Army Corps:
The records show the following actions by troops subordinate to this defendant: On 9 September 1943 during mopping up operations of Levadeia "as reprisal measures for one murdered German soldier, 10 Greeks hanged." On 7 November 1943 the LXVIII Corps reports: "18 Communists were shot in Tripolis as reprisal for railroad sabotage committed lately." On 29 November 1943 the LXVIII Corps reports: "As reprisal for band attack on Tripolis-Sparta road, 100 hostages shot at the place of attack." On 5 December 1943 the LXVIII Corps reported "50 hostages were shot in Aighion for attacks committed lately", and on 6 December 1943 "for attack on railroad stronghold east of Tripolis, 50 hostages were hanged." On 6 December 1943 operation "Kalavritha" was commenced. In reprisal for the killing of 78 German soldiers, the 117th Division under the command of General von Le Suire carried out this attack. More than 25 villages were destroyed, and 696 Greeks are admitted to have been shot in reprisal. There is evidence of an eyewitness that approximately 1300 Greeks were killed in reprisal. The defendant admits that this reprisal measure was excessive and says that he orally reprimanded General von Le Suire for the severity of this reprisal measure. No reprimand or complaint as to Le Suire's conduct appears in the documentary evidence before the Tribunal.

The diary of the LXVIII Corps reports the following reprisal measures: on 17 November 1943, "In retaliation for an attack on one officer in the Rhizaes area, 20 Communists executed"; on 22 April 1944, "In Tripolis 12 well known Communists were shot as a retaliation measure for the murder of a rural police officer"; on 23 February 1944, "Shooting of 200 hostages from the Tripolis hostage camp at the place of attack." This reprisal was for two truck convoy attacks resulting in 33 German dead and nine wounded. On 11 March 1944, for an attack on an armed German convoy, General Le Suire asked and was granted permission by this defendant to shoot "200 hostages (Communists) to be taken out of all hostage camps." Defendant contends that only 141 hostages were actually shot. The extent of the reprisals taken in the area of the LXVIII Corps is shown by the testimony of the defendant who says that between July 1943 and December 1943, 91 acts of sabotage occurred and 60 reprisals taken, and from January 1944 to June 1944 there was a monthly average of 55 acts of sabotage and engagements with bands.

It hardly seems necessary for us to point out that many of these reprisal killings were excessive and many were unlawful because there was no connection between the inhabitants shot and the offense committed. Reprisals were taken against special groups, such as "Communists" and "bandit suspects" without any relationship to the offense being established. The Kalavritha Operation can only be described as plain murder and a wanton destruction of property. The assertion of the defendant that he orally reprimanded General von Le Suire for the severity of this operation does not appear too convincing in view of the recommendations later made by defendant for the advancement of Le Suire to a higher command. Reprisal measures were carried out in the corps area without rhyme or reason. They became a part of the tactical campaign for the suppression of the bands in the first instance rather than as a last resort. It is plain that deterring the local population at the scene of the offense was not the primary objective. Reprisal prisoners were taken from hostage camps generally and at points distant from the place where the offenses occurred. It was more the case of an eye for an eye than an honest attempt to restrain the population by a use of hostage and reprisal measures as a last resort.

On 5 April 1944, the notorious "blood bath" at Klissura occurred. (NOKW-469, Pros. Ex. 482.) [Part of this document is reproduced in section VB.] The facts are: On the date in question an engagement between bands and German troops occurred about 2 1/2 kilometers outside the village of Klissura. After the retreat of the bands, the troops moved into the village and began searching for evidence of band support. None was found. Later in the afternoon, units of the 7th SS Panzer Grenadier Regiment entered the village and began almost immediately to kill the inhabitants. At least 215 persons, and undoubtedly more, were killed. Among these killed were 9 children less than 1 year old, 6 between 1 and 2 years of age, 8 between 2 and 3 years, 11 between 3 and 4 years, and 4 between 4 and 5 years. There were 72 massacred who were less than 15 years of age, and 7 people in excess of 80 years. No justification existed for this outrage. It was plain murder.

On 10 June 1944, troops of this same regiment carried out a reprisal measure against the inhabitants of the village of Distomon. (NOKW-467, Pros. Ex. 484.) It seems that bands were first engaged near Stiri, 5 kilometers southeast of Distomon. After the defeat of the bands, the troops returned to Distomon and shot approximately 300 of the population, including men, women, and children. It also was plain calculated murder.

A complaint was voiced by the Plenipotentiary of the Foreign Office and an investigation demanded. The defendant Felmy was charged with the duty of having the investigation made. He denies that this regiment was subordinate to him or that he had any disciplinary control over it. For the purpose of this discussion, we will accept his statement as true even though the order to investigate and report through Wehrmacht channels indicates the contrary. The point that is material here is that the investigation was made, the battle report of the commanding officer was found to be false, and the action of the regimental commander found to be in excess of existing orders. Upon the discovery of these facts the defendant Felmy recommended that disciplinary action (the method of trying minor offenses) be taken against the officer in charge in consideration of the sacrifices of the regiment in the combat area at the time. The defendant testified that he never knew what punishment, if any, was assessed against this guilty officer. He seems to have had no interest in bringing the guilty officer to justice. Two of the most vicious massacres of helpless men, women, and children appear to have met with complete indifference on his part. The falsification of the battle report by the regimental commander seems to have been deemed the major offense.

NMT judgment against General der Flieger Hellmuth Felmy, Trials of War Criminals Before the Nuernberg Military Tribunals vol. XI
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Post by David Thompson » 25 Dec 2007 05:45

XXII Mountain Corps:
A brief summarization of the evidence against the defendant is required. On 13 September 1943, General Stettner, commander of the 1st Mountain Division, a unit subordinate to the defendant and whose headquarters was at the time also in Ioannina, issued an order in part as follows (NOKW-1104, Pros. Ex. 451):
"In order to oppose energetically the continued raids on convoys and members of the Wehrmacht, it is ordered that from 20 September 1943 onward for every German soldier wounded or killed by insurgents or civilians, 10 Greeks from all classes of the population are to be shot to death. This order must be carried out consistently in order to achieve a deterrent effect."
On 29 September 1943, the XXII Corps reported:
"Telephone sabotage in the area of Arta. Poles sawed off at two places. Thirty male civilian suspects arrested and shot."
On 3 October 1943, the defendant issued an order reading in part as follows: "
On account of the repeated cable sabotage in the area of Arta 30 distinguished citizens (Greeks) from Arta and 10 distinguished citizens (Greeks) from Filipias are to be arrested and kept as hostages. The population is to be notified that for every further cable sabotage 10 of these 40 hostages will be shot to death."
The defendant denies that any of these hostages were shot and there is no evidence in the record to the contrary. On 4 October 1943, the 1st Mountain Division reported to the XXII Corps as follows:
"Mopping up operations Eisl continue beyond Alomotros. Villages destroyed as reprisal measure. All civilians shot to death."
On 18 October 1943, the 1st Mountain Division reported to the XXII Corps as follows:
"Shot to death: Paramythia - reprisal measure for 6 murdered German soldiers, 58. Thereakision - reprisal measure for murder of Lieutenant Colonel Salminger, 14. Arta, Klissura - Suspicious elements near the localities where attacks had occurred (about), 30. Ioannina City - 1."
On 25 October 1943, the 1st Mountain Division issued a special directive to its subordinate units which stated in part:
"If a member of the German Wehrmacht is killed by either attack or murder in a territory considered pacified, 50 Greeks (male) are to be shot for one murdered German. * * * The decision regarding executions for losses in band combat is made by the competent troop commander.[ Here also the ratio is 1:50. The prerequisite for the order of execution is indubitable proof that the population of a village has participated in hostile action against the German armed forces. In addition, the villages are to be destroyed."/quote] This order supersedes that of 13 September 1943. Numerous killings of hostages and reprisal prisoners, in addition to those enumerated, appear in the record. There are reports to the effect that "all the inhabitants" of named villages and "all men capable of bearing arms" were shot to death. Persons designated as "civilians" were shot on numerous occasions.

* * * * *
The defendant Lanz is also charged as commander of the XXII Mountain Corps with having ordered or permitted the unlawful execution of Italian officers and soldiers of the surrendered Italian army. He is also specifically charged with ordering troops under his command to execute the captured Italian General Gandin and all officers of his staff. The general situation regarding the collapse of Italy and the surrender of its armies has been set forth in the portion of the opinion dealing with the defendant Rendulic and it will not be repeated here except as necessity requires.

The record discloses that the defendant Lanz knew when he assumed command of the XXII Mountain Corps that Field Marshal Badoglio had succeeded Mussolini as head of the Italian Government and Commander in Chief of the Italian Army. On 8 September 1943, he heard of the armistice which the Italians had signed with the Allies. On the same day, due to the absence of senior officers from Athens, General Alexander Löhr, commander in chief of Army Group E, commissioned the defendant Lanz to negotiate with General Vecchiarelli, the commander in chief of the 11th Italian Army. After much negotiating, General Vecchiarelli surrendered the 11th Army to the Germans on 9 September 1943. The surrender terms were carried out during the following 14 days, without difficulty insofar as troops stationed on the Greek mainland were concerned. On the islands of Corfu and Cephalonia, however, difficulties arose. These two islands were occupied by one Italian division under the command of General Gandin. The defendant Lanz as commanding general of the XXII Corps demanded that General Gandin surrender his troops and the demand was refused even though General Vecchiarelli had directed him to do so. General Gandin vacillated, contending that his orders were not clear and that he had no right to surrender the division. The situation resulted in fighting between the German and Italian troops on the island of Cephalonia and the eventual surrender of the Italian forces, including General Gandin and his staff, on 21 September 1943.

During this stage of the proceedings, a Fuehrer order arrived directing that the 6000 or 7000 Italians of General Gandin's division were to be shot for mutiny. The defendant Lanz refused to carry out this order for the reason that it was neither feasible nor lawful to do so. The Fuehrer order was then modified providing only that the officers were to be shot for mutiny. The defendant objected to the shooting of all officers and advocated that the order apply only to the guilty. The evidence indicates that the defendant Lanz ordered the German commandant of the islands to determine the guilty officers by court martial proceedings. This was done and on 24 September 1943, General Gandin and his staff officers were shot.

A similar situation developed on the island of Corfu. Fighting ensued, the Italians surrendered, and the officers shot after a summary court martial. The record shows that a large number of Italian officers were shot in this manner. One instance shows that on 5 October 1943, 58 Italian officers were shot by troops subordinate to the XXII Corps.

The killing of these Italian officers was clearly unlawful. The evidence of the defendant shows that he believed that their killing was unlawful. While his protests to Army Group E, based on the illegality of the Fuehrer order, were successful in reducing the number of Italians to be subjected to the unlawful order, the fact remains that the killing of the reduced number was just as much a criminal act. That he gave the order to the commandant of Cephalonia to execute the guilty officers only, he readily admits. The Italian soldiers were not francs-tireurs. They were still allies of Germany, insofar as their commanding officers then knew, although they had notice that an armistice had been signed with the Allied Powers. If they were prisoners of war by virtue of the surrender of the 11th Italian Army by General Vecchiarelli, it is clear that they were entitled to the protection of the Geneva Convention, 1929, regulating the treatment to be afforded prisoners of war. This was not done in any material respect. The reasoning set forth on the same subject in this opinion as it pertains to the defendant Rendulic applies here and is adopted by reference to the present situation. We are obliged to hold that the killing of the Italian officers was a war crime for which the defendant is responsible.

NMT judgment against General der Gebirgstruppe Hubert Lanz, Trials of War Criminals Before the Nuernberg Military Tribunals vol. XI
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Post by David Thompson » 25 Dec 2007 05:56

Military Commander, Greece:
A review of some of the hostage and reprisal measures taken within area of the defendant's command and for which responsibility attaches, will be necessary. On 3 December 1943, the following report was made:
"Nineteen Communist reprisal prisoners shot, as revenge for the murder and wounding of Greek police, by the Senior SS and Police Leader in Athens."
On 31 December 1943, the defendant reported:
"In December 1943 on the Peloponnesus 758 people were shot to death, including reprisal operation 'Kalavritha'. In the remaining areas hostages were seized, and to a small extent executions have taken place."
On 9 January 1944, it was reported:
"By (order of) Senior SS and Police Leader, 30 Communists were shot to death in reprisal for the murder of Greek policeman and for 36 attacks."
On 10 January 1944, the Military Commander Greece reported:
"50 Communists shot as reprisal measure for murdering two German police."
On 13 March 1944, it was reported:
"On the highway Sparta-Tripolis, truck convoy attacked. Eighteen Wehrmacht members dead, 25 heavily wounded, 19 slightly wounded, and 6 Greeks wounded. As reprisal, state of emergency for southern Peloponnesus. Shooting of 200 Communist hostages."
On 18 March 1944, the defendant reported in part as follows:
"Tendency to strikes and partial strikes at the railroad and several plants at the beginning of March 1944 were suppressed by energetic military measures; 50 Communists were shot immediately while others who were arrested are awaiting their sentence."
While the defendant was absent from his command for almost 2 months prior to 17 March 1944, he appears to have known of and approved the action taken by his deputy as shown by the foregoing report. On 22 March 1944, the Military Commander Greece reported:
"On the Peloponnesus, five Greeks hanged in reprisal for attack on railroad."
On 22 March 1944, the defendant reported:
"administrative subarea headquarters [administrative area headquarters] Corinth report 52 hostages in Tripolis and 44 hostages in Sparta were shot as reprisal measure on 21 March 1944."
On 1 April 1944, defendant reported:
"Up to now - Wehrmacht one dead, 14 wounded. Tracks blocked only for a short while. The execution of 70 Greeks at the locality of the incident has been ordered."
On 2 April 1944, defendant reported:
"65 Communists in reprisal for railroad sabotage, 10 south La Rissa shot to death at the scene of the incident."
On 6 April 1944, defendant reports:
"In Verria [Veroia] (60 southeast West Solonika). Fire attack by bandits during roll call of the battalion. Losses of our own - four dead, eleven wounded of which eight are heavily wounded. One hundred and fifty people suspected of belonging to bands shot in Verria as reprisal measures."
On 8 April 1944, the defendant reported: "
50 Communists shot to death for attack on German soldiers (three dead) North Athens."
On 25 April 1944, the defendant reported:
"In Tripoli, 12 known Communists shot in reprisal for a murdered Gendarmerie officer."
On 26 April 1944, the defendant reported:
"Officers of the commander of the Ordnungspolizei [order police] attacked by about 70 bandits while on duty trip on the road Arachova-Amphissa (15 west Levadeia). Major Schulz and Major Krueger dead, Captain Unger and four men missing. Two passenger automobiles and two motorcycles were burned out. Three men found their way to Levadeia. Fifty Communists from Levadeia were shot as reprisal measures. Additional reprisal measures are intended."

NMT judgment against General der Fleiger Wilhelm Speidel, Trials of War Criminals Before the Nuernberg Military Tribunals vol. XI
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byron
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Post by byron » 25 Dec 2007 11:15

A lot of Infos about the "exploits" of the 1. Gebirgsdivision and the XXII. Gebirgs-Armeekorps in Greece:

http://www.hfmeyer.com

None of the guilties has ever been brought to justice, except Lunz who was sentenced to twelve years in prison, but served only three.

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Post by David Thompson » 25 Dec 2007 16:29

Hermann Göring Parachute Division, 1st Parachute Division, 16th SS Panzer Grenadier Division, 114th Light Infantry Division:

Nazi anti-partisan reprisals in Italy 1944
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Post by David Thompson » 25 Dec 2007 16:33

For some Heer units involved in unlawful reprisals and illegal executions of POWs in the Balkans and occupied East, see:

Documents on German reprisals in WWII Greece
viewtopic.php?t=61241
Anti-partisan warfare and reprisals in WWII Yugoslavia
viewtopic.php?t=60988
The German Army & anti-partisan warfare in USSR
viewtopic.php?t=62191

David Thompson
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Post by David Thompson » 25 Dec 2007 16:34

For some Heer units involved in supporting Einsatzgruppen operations, see:

The German Army and the Einsatzgruppen
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Andreas
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Post by Andreas » 04 Jan 2008 15:10

Landesschützenbatallion 783 executed Jewish POWs near Kirovograd in 1941.

http://www1.jur.uva.nl/junsv/Excerpts/683000.htm

All the best

Andreas

JamesL
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Post by JamesL » 04 Jan 2008 19:00

10th and 21st Panzer Divisions

Slaughter of American POW's at Sidi Bou Zid, Tunisia

The US 168th Infantry Regiment (Iowa National Guard) was engaged in battle with elements of the German 10th and 21st Panzer Divisions at Sidi Bou Zid. The Americans were surrounded and captured by the Germans. Below are some excerpts from "Account of Operations 168th Infantry, 34th Division, from 24 December 1942 to 17 February 1943.

____________________

"Finally a German armored car bearing a white flag came dashing into the American circle. Col Drake ordered his men to wave the car away. German tanks came in following that vehicle without any negotiations for surrender. The Germans had used the white flag as subterfuge to come inside the circle of defense without drawing fire. The tanks closed in from all directions cutting Drake’s forces into small groups. The men who did not surrender were killed by the Germans.

"Colonel Drake was taken to General Schmidt, Group Commander of the 10th and 21st Panzer Divisions. The German Commander promised Colonel Drake that all the American wounded would be cared for and that he could leave American medical personnel to properly look after them, but immediately upon Colonel Drake leaving the field, the American medical personnel was carried off as prisoners and the American dead and wounded left to the ravages of the Arabs who proceeded to immediately strip the dead and wounded and to beat insensible those wounded who protested to the stripping of their clothes.

The American prisoners were assembled in a group and under guard marched back that afternoon and night along the road to DJ LESSOUDA. Those Americans who were slightly wounded or who became ill because of fatigue, lack of food and water and could not keep up with the column were ruthlessly bayoneted or shot.

The men had been left to the systematic robbery of the German soldiers and some junior officers. During this time pockets and kits were thoroughly searched …while watches, rings, pocketbooks, pens and all valuables were ruthlessly seized.

All day they marched through desert sands with unrelieved thirst almost unbearable. Colonel Drake appealed to the German Commander in the name of common humanity to give the men a drink of water, but was met with the statement, “We only have enough for our troops.” Near midnight …. The men were herded into a circle in the open desert and there practically froze in the piercing cold of the African night.

The men burrowed into the ground for warmth, scooping out the sand with their hands. No means whatsoever was provided for ordinary sanitation. Officers and men thrown in like pigs.
____________

The report continues with descriptions of the troops being locked in railroad box cars for days and torture during interrogations by German troops.


The entire report can be seen at the 34th Division website.
http://www.34infdiv.org/history/168inf/ ... akeRpt.pdf

The battle is also discussed in
US Army in World War II: Mediterranean Theater of Operatioins: Northwest Africa - Seizing the Initiative in the West.

JamesL
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Post by JamesL » 23 Jan 2008 16:09

Killing of American Medics and Wounded Personnel
Road between Villers-Cotterets and Meaux, France - Aug 1944

"When we arrieved at Meaux, I went to division trains headquarters and told them about the possible roadblock on the west road. I was told that they had already received confirming information about this roadblock and that about forty-five minutes before I came through Villers-Cotterets, an American ambulance half-track with red crosses painted on the front and both sides and filled with wounded men was ambushed at this same roadblock. All personnel had been killed."

Source:
Death Traps: The Survival of an American Armored Division in World War II. Belton Y. Cooper, Presidio Press, 1998, page 98-99.

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Andy H
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Re:

Post by Andy H » 02 Apr 2008 11:03

JamesL wrote:Killing of American Medics and Wounded Personnel
Road between Villers-Cotterets and Meaux, France - Aug 1944

"When we arrieved at Meaux, I went to division trains headquarters and told them about the possible roadblock on the west road. I was told that they had already received confirming information about this roadblock and that about forty-five minutes before I came through Villers-Cotterets, an American ambulance half-track with red crosses painted on the front and both sides and filled with wounded men was ambushed at this same roadblock. All personnel had been killed."

Source:
Death Traps: The Survival of an American Armored Division in World War II. Belton Y. Cooper, Presidio Press, 1998, page 98-99.
Hi James

Is there any indication that this was a pre determined attack and not just a tragic mistake?

Regards

Andy H

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