IMT Testimony of Paul Hausser in defense of the Waffen-SS

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Ivan Ž.
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Re: IMT Testimony of Paul Hausser in defense of the Waffen-SS

Post by Ivan Ž. » 21 Nov 2017 17:43

wbell,

I think you should have checked the link (= read my full post) before replying in the first place, it would have saved us some time and space here (I posted a link because I didn't want to make a double post on the forum board).

Anyhow, as you surely know, a city commander is not "every soldier". SS-Obersturmbannführer Jürgen Wagner was a city commander in the capital of the Banat, Petrovgrad, I already wrote this in the link. So, not just some village, but a very important city (the seat of Serbian ethnic Germans and the future "Prinz Eugen" Division). He was the commander of the II Battalion, "Deutschland" Regiment, of Hausser's "Reich" Division (also previously mentioned). I've also credited the sources of the info there (all info from Momčilović's book has been well sourced and documented, I can write you his sources/documents as well). As soon as Wagner entered the city he started persecuting the Jews, at first by closing and marking all of their stores. I already wrote about what followed.

Now you do have the information, even the photographs (you had them for four days already). You may also visit the town yourself and try to find the synagogue that Hausser's officer Wagner ordered to be destroyed in 1941. And no, SS-Ostubaf. Wagner was not punished, he rose to the rank of SS-Brigadeführer and became a division commander ("Nederland" Division).

You may notice that the IMT prosecution who mentions an imaginary "Golden Lily" Division (!) wasn't really well-prepared for the trial, so there's nothing strange in the fact that they failed to find suficient evidence to charge Hausser. As you may have noticed, not many people outside the Banat/Vojvodina region seem to have bothered to talk about the "Reich" Division's (Hausser's) crimes in Petrovgrad 1941 until very much recently. The other sources I mentioned in the link (the one written by Dr Teodor Kovač and the one edited by Dr Njegovan Drago) also might be of interest to you.

Another "small detail" from the days of the "Reich" Division's rule in Petrovgrad: a trilingual announcement and a photo of the execution of Jew Viktor Elek. He was accused of having a bad attitude towards German and Hungarian workers in the sugar factory he was in charge of. Also executed and mentioned in the announcement was Serb Sava (Svetislav) Cukić, who was killed because of an accidental clash with a German player in a local football game (half a year earlier), which resulted in that player's internal injury and death, and a big Serb-German fight. In the announcement, both were credited only as a Jew and as a Serb, without any other reason given for their deaths. Unfortunately, much more people were killed during those two weeks (and later on) than just one Jew and one Serb.

As I wrote, these were all public events, that happened while one of Hausser's commanders was in charge of the city.

VE1.jpg
VE1b.jpg
[/size]Source: Momčilović, "Zrenjaninske vatre".

Paul Hausser (in overcoat) in the Banat, April 1941 [The board reads: Панчево = Pančevo]
PH.jpg
[/size]Source: SDZ Photo

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Re: IMT Testimony of Paul Hausser in defense of the Waffen-SS

Post by wbell » 21 Nov 2017 18:29

Ivan,

Ok, I've read your post; thanks. I was unaware of the other thread until you brought it to my attention.

Certainly Jurgen Wagner was responsible for war crimes in April 1941, which occurred in Petrovgrad. It would seem that he was in the field and directly involved. Do you have any indication that Hausser was made aware of Wagner's actions?

In his statement Hausser commanded the Reich Division "autumn of 1939 until I was wounded a second time in October 1941." According to the information available on the Reich Division, in June 1941 it included 13 Battalions comprising of 19,021 men.

(http://www.axishistory.com/axis-nations ... -das-reich)

The Order of Battle Order (1939-1941)

SS.VT-Standarte Der Führer
SS.VT-Standarte Deutschland
SS.VT-Standarte Germania
SS.VT-Artillerie-Standarte
SS.VT-Artillerie-Standarte
SS.VT-Aufklärung-Abteilung
SS.VT-Panzerjäger Bataillon
SS.VT-Flak-Abteilung
SS.VT-Pioneer-Abteilung
SS.VT-Nachrichten-Abteilung
SS.VT-Panzerabwehr-Abteilung
SS.VT-Flak-Abteilung
SS-Ersatz-Abteilung

When Wagner was charged, I would have thought that anyone connected with it would have also been charged. Certainly the trial would have revealed more information. I'm not defending or making excuses for anyone, but have to ask the obvious. Having had some experience in these matters, I can't imagine that a higher-ranking General wasn't charged, if he was guilty of war crimes. If he was there, he should have been charged! What happened with this? If they had evidence, the court that convicted Wagner should have done something!

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Re: IMT Testimony of Paul Hausser in defense of the Waffen-SS

Post by Ivan Ž. » 21 Nov 2017 19:42

wbell wrote:Do you have any indication that Hausser was made aware of Wagner's actions?
A small example: according to document no. 2481 from the Jewish Historical Museum in Belgrade (quoting Momčilović's book and source), on 25 April 1941, Jürgen Wagner sent a shipment of Jewish valuables along with a report to the command of the SS Division "Reich" (= Hausser) with the following message: "The town command in Groß-Betschkerek [Petrovgrad] hands over various valuables that the Hilfspolizei confiscated from the Jews before the entry of the troops and [then] handed over to the town command." [Note: Wagner obviously didn't "confiscate" (steal) the Jewish valuables himself, but he did forward them to Hausser, instead of returning them to their rightful owners; there is no record of Hausser returning them either, especially since their owners were imprisoned by his men at the time, and were never released, but killed (not by his men though)].

I didn't have the time yet to go through various Serbian/Yugoslav archives and search for more details on Hausser myself. There are probably more documents. But, again, everything that Wagner did was public, there were proclamations, nothing was hidden or done behind commander's or anyone's back. Being an officer and a commander of an important city, Wagner was undoubtedly regularly informing his commanding officer(s) about his work. Even if he wasn't, Hausser would have been informed (directly or indirectly) by any of hundreds or thousands of eyewitnesses: other officers, soldiers, local officials, civilians. A mass persecution and public executions are not something that can really be hidden in an urban environment, especially in a capital city.
wbell wrote:SS.VT-Standarte Der Führer
SS.VT-Standarte Deutschland
SS.VT-Standarte Germania [...]
Scratch "Germania" off the 1941 list (it became nucleus for the formation of the "Wiking" Division in late 1940).
wbell wrote:When Wagner was charged, I would have thought that anyone connected with it would have also been charged. Certainly the trial would have revealed more information. I'm not defending or making excuses for anyone, but have to ask the obvious. Having had some experience in these matters, I can't imagine that a higher-ranking General wasn't charged, if he was guilty of war crimes. If he was there, he should have been charged! What happened with this? The court that convicted Wagner should have done something if they had evidence!
I support your question and find all this very strange indeed. I didn't find Hausser's name in the list of people declared war criminals by the Yugoslav State Commission or the UN Commission (for war crimes committed in Yugoslavia). Personally, I think that Hausser had strong connections with the "right people" (however, this hunch is not supported by any evidence; I'm mentioning it only as something that might be worth investigating, if possible). I've never seen his name tied to any crimes committed by members of his division during the invasion of Yugoslavia, in Petrovgrad, Pančevo, or elsewhere. His division judge (Rudolf Hoffmann) was tried for the Pančevo massacre. Hausser wasn't. His battalion commander (Jürgen Wagner) was tried for the crimes in Petrovgrad. Hausser wasn't. As if there was no division commander in the "Reich" Division, so the officers were free to do whatever they pleased. As if Hausser was never there. I was very surprised when I finally found that photo of him in the Banat.

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Re: IMT Testimony of Paul Hausser in defense of the Waffen-SS

Post by wbell » 21 Nov 2017 21:20

Yes; I found the photo interesting as well. Wearing my attorney hat for a moment, there's nothing incriminating in the photo in and by itself. It would only be relevant if the prosecutor could verify the location and date in-which it was taken(which may put him in the vicinity of the crime, at the time it occurred).

Something inculpatory would be required, such as:

1. Evidence that Hausser gave instructions for the atrocities to occur;
2. Evidence that he had personal knowledge of the atrocities at the time they were being committed and was a party to the offence (act or omission); or
3. Evidence that he had personal knowledge after-the-fact, where he did not take action against Wagner (report the incident charging Wagner under military law).

The court transcripts of Wagner's trial should be a matter of public record. It seems logical that Wagner would be questioned on who's authority he acted. I would have thought that Wagner might say (like many did) that he was only following orders. If you know of a web address where the full transcript is available (in English), I'd like to read it.

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Re: IMT Testimony of Paul Hausser in defense of the Waffen-SS

Post by Ivan Ž. » 22 Nov 2017 01:58

Hello again,

Yes, of course, there is nothing incriminating in the Hausser-photo, I've posted it as a rare photo of him in the region in question. The location is Pančevo and the month is April 1941, that's all I can tell right now.

Regarding the attorney hat: :)

Regarding the evidence that Hausser gave instructions for the atrocities to occur: I know of no such documents and it is questionable whether they ever existed (it is possible, of course). As you yourself wrote, he was old and likely wiser than many others; I doubt that he left too many incriminating documents behind him. But, as I previously wrote, I did not have the time to dig through various archives myself and search for detailed info on Hausser, perhaps such evidence is there. The following Serbian archives should be checked (just for starters): Arhiv Vojvodine, Muzej Vojvodine, Istorijski arhiv Zrenjanin, Arhiv Jugoslavije, Istorijski arhiv Pančevo, Jevrejski istorijski muzej Beograd, Vojni arhiv Beograd.

Regarding the evidence that Hausser had personal knowledge of the atrocities at the time that were being committed and was a party to the offence (act or omission): As I wrote above, (more than) several archives need to be searched for documents that actually contain Hausser's name. But let's not drift away from logic and sanity: those were his units; it was all public; he was there. We should rather search for a theory in which Hausser could not have known about the atrocities. None of it was secret, neither he was some senile old fool, unaware of his surroundings or whether he was coming or going.

Note: At the moment, I've managed to find a report on the execution in Pančevo (mentioning that Hausser's division judge did sentence a group of people to death as an act of reprisal), that was sent by the Ic of the Inf. Regt. "Großdeutschland" to the Petrovgrad commander (Jürgen Wagner). There is no mention of Hausser (which is normal for such a document), but the point remains: this was all official business, and such business does not bypass the division commander. In any case and in the temporary absence of more documentation, the previously quoted document describing Wagner sending Jewish valuables to Hausser (which included: dollars, gold, silver, jewellery, brilliants etc) shows that Hausser at least knew of - and participated in thievery that was a product of persecution based on ethnicity (i.e. racial hatred).

Another note: I've just found that the Yugoslav State Commission also declared Wagner's regimental commander and immediate superior, Wilhelm Bittrich, a war criminal (also for the April 1941 war crimes). So, now we have both the battalion and the regimental commander held responsible for war crimes in the same area and timeframe. But when it comes to the division commander... as if he never existed. :?

Regarding the evidence that Hausser had personal knowledge after-the-fact, where he did not take action against Wagner (report the incident charging Wagner under military law): I don't think such a document would have been made and could be found; either he reported his officer or not. As far as is known, as I already wrote - not only that he never reported him, but the officer became a general and a division commander.

Regarding a possible web address of full transcript of Wagner's trial: None is known to me, in any language; I'd love to read it myself; I don't even know whether the transcript was made and had been archived anywhere. I assume that it was, but everything is possible. The above listed archives should be checked for this document as well.

Ivan

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Re: IMT Testimony of Paul Hausser in defense of the Waffen-SS

Post by David Thompson » 22 Nov 2017 06:03

For interested readers --

On the killings at Pancevo

http://forum.axishistory.com/viewtopic. ... 3648#23648 (Wehrmacht 21/22 April 1941)
http://forum.axishistory.com/viewtopic. ... 868#377868 ("Grossdeutschland" 22 Apr 1941)
http://forum.axishistory.com/viewtopic. ... 017#550017 (443rd Infantry Regiment; 29 Oct 1941)
http://forum.axishistory.com/viewtopic. ... 195#460195 ("Prinz Eugen" Aug 1943)
Massacre at Pancevo - Color Footage
viewtopic.php?f=6&t=104111

"On Reprisals" at http://forum.axishistory.com/viewtopic.php?f=6&t=159640

Bittrich, Wilhelm "Willi" (26.2.1894-19.4.1979) [SS-Obergruppenführer und General der Waffen-SS] – WWI service as officer-pilot; service, Free Corps (Freikorps) "Huelsen" Mar-Jul 1919; service, Free Corps (Freikorps) "Ehrhardt" Jan-Jun 1920; entered Reichswehr 1923 and trained German pilots in the USSR; NSDAP: 829700 (joined 1932); SS: 39177; commander, SS Air Squadron "East" (Führer SS Fliegerstaffel "Ost") 31 Oct 1932-8 Mar 1934; service, 74th SS Regiment "Baltic Sea" (Führer 74.SS-Standarte "Ostsee") at Greifswald 8 Mar-25 Aug 1934; transferred to SS combat troop branch (SS-Verfügungstruppe) 25 Aug 1934; commander, Political Readiness Detachment (Führer Politische Bereitschaft) Hamburg 25 Aug 1934-1 Apr 1935; leader, company in Ist Battalion of 1st SS Regiment "Germany" (Führer 2./I./SS-Standarte 1 "Deutschland") 1 Apr 1935-29 Sept 1936; leader, IInd Battalion of SS Regiment "Germany" (Führer II./SS-Standarte "Deutschland") 29 Sept 1936-23 Mar 1938; leader, Ist Battalion of 3rd SS Regiment (Führer I.Sturmbann/SS-Standarte 3 "Der Führer") 23 Mar 1938-1 Jun 1939; staff, "Leibstandarte Adolf Hitler" 1 Jun 1939-1 Feb 1940; staff, replacement office for SS combat division in the SS Main Office (SS-V.-Division, SS-Hauptamt); service, SS Guidance Main Office (SS-Führungshauptamt) 1 Feb-1 Dec 1940; commander (Kdr.), SS Regiment "Deutschland"/SS-Division "Reich" 1 Dec 1940-14 Oct 1941; acting commander, SS-Division "Reich" Oct 1941-Jan 1942; service, SS Guidance Main Office (SS-Führungshauptamt) Jan-1 Jun 1942; commander, SS-Kavallerie-Division "Florian Geyer" 1 Jun 1942-15 Dec 1943; commander, 9.SS-Panzer-Division "Hohenstaufen" 15 Feb 1943-10 Jul 1944; commander, II.SS-Panzer-Korps 29 Jun 1944-8 May 1945 [Knights Cross 1941; Oakleaves 1944; Swords 1945] {taken prisoner by American troops 8 May 1945; extradited to France; put on trial by a French military tribunal at Marseilles Jun 1953 on charges of of permitting hangings, pillage and arson; convicted and sentenced to 5 years imprisonment 23 Jun 1953 (NYT 24 Jun 1953:6:6); put on trial for war crimes by a French court at Bordeaux and acquitted 1954; died 19 Apr 1979 at Wolfratshausen / Bayern (Axis Biographical Research, SS und Deutschen Polizei [SS and German Police], http://www.geocities.com/~orion47/SS-PO ... lizei.html; Waffen-SS Commanders I, pps. 78-82; Roll of Infamy p. 16; Dienstaltersliste der Schutzstaffel der NSDAP [9 Nov 1944]).}

Wagner, Juergen (Jürgen) (1901-1947) [SS-Gruppenführer und Generalleutnant der Waffen-SS] -- commander, 4th SS Panzergrenadier Brigade "Niederland" 9 Mar 1943-8 May 1945; commander, 23rd SS Volunteer Panzer Grenadier Division "Netherlands" (SS Freiwilligen Panzergrenadier Division "Nederland") in Croatia [Knights Cross 1943; Oakleaves 1944]{taken prisoner by allied troops; extradited to Yugoslavia; put on trial for war crimes by a Yugoslav court; convicted and sentenced to death by hanging; executed 5 Apr 1947 (MacLean, Quiet Flows the Rhine p. 141) or 27 Jun 1947 at Belgrade (Waffen-SS Commanders II, p. 313) or in Aug 1947 (SS: Roll of Infamy p. 174).}

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Re: IMT Testimony of Paul Hausser in defense of the Waffen-SS

Post by michael mills » 22 Nov 2017 06:55

Another "small detail" from the days of the "Reich" Division's rule in Petrovgrad: a trilingual announcement and a photo of the execution of Jew Viktor Elek. He was accused of having a bad attitude towards German and Hungarian workers in the sugar factory he was in charge of. Also executed and mentioned in the announcement was Serb Sava (Svetislav) Cukić, who was killed because of an accidental clash with a German player in a local football game (half a year earlier), which resulted in that player's internal injury and death, and a big Serb-German fight. In the announcement, both were credited only as a Jew and as a Serb, without any other reason given for their deaths. Unfortunately, much more people were killed during those two weeks (and later on) than just one Jew and one Serb.
According to the public notice announcing the execution of the two men, they were sentenced by a court-martial on 24 April 1941. In other words, these were not summary executions, but were preceded by a judicial proceeding under martial law. Presumably Hausser as commander of the German troops occupying the city reviewed the judgement of the court-martial and approved it, which suggests that he agreed that the two condemned men had committed offences against the ethnic German and Hungarian populations of the Banat and that the sentence of death was justified.

The two men were not innocent civilians plucked off the street. The Serb had been responsible for the death of an ethnic German, in the context of ethnic conflict between the German and Serb population groups, and the Jew had been accused of mistreating ethnic German and Hungarian workers under his control.

Whether the offences of these two men, which seem to have been part of an inter-ethnic conflict, warranted the death penalty is something that can be called into question. But what is clear is that the two executed men were not random victims of blind racial hatred; they were not put to death for who they were, but for what they had done.

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Re: IMT Testimony of Paul Hausser in defense of the Waffen-SS

Post by wbell » 22 Nov 2017 08:18

michael mills wrote: ...Whether the offences of these two men, which seem to have been part of an inter-ethnic conflict, warranted the death penalty is something that can be called into question. But what is clear is that the two executed men were not random victims of blind racial hatred; they were not put to death for who they were, but for what they had done.
Thanks Michael. I do find it interesting that Wagner was executed for war crimes and his Division Commander (Hausser) wasn't implicated.

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Re: IMT Testimony of Paul Hausser in defense of the Waffen-SS

Post by michael mills » 22 Nov 2017 09:27

Wagner sending Jewish valuables to Hausser (which included: dollars, gold, silver, jewellery, brilliants etc) shows that Hausser at least knew of - and participated in thievery that was a product of persecution based on ethnicity (i.e. racial hatred).
That was confiscation of enemy property, an action commonly practised by all sides in wartime.

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Re: IMT Testimony of Paul Hausser in defense of the Waffen-SS

Post by michael mills » 22 Nov 2017 09:50

I do find it interesting that Wagner was executed for war crimes and his Division Commander (Hausser) wasn't implicated.
Tito's Communists basically executed every German officer they could get their hands on, as well as massacring large numbers of ethnic Germans and Hungarians. Perhaps Hausser was just lucky not to fall into their hands.

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Re: IMT Testimony of Paul Hausser in defense of the Waffen-SS

Post by wbell » 22 Nov 2017 10:19

David Thompson wrote: On the killings at Pancevo

http://forum.axishistory.com/viewtopic. ... 3648#23648 (Wehrmacht 21/22 April 1941)
http://forum.axishistory.com/viewtopic. ... 868#377868 ("Grossdeutschland" 22 Apr 1941)
http://forum.axishistory.com/viewtopic. ... 017#550017 (443rd Infantry Regiment; 29 Oct 1941)
http://forum.axishistory.com/viewtopic. ... 195#460195 ("Prinz Eugen" Aug 1943)
Massacre at Pancevo - Color Footage
viewtopic.php?f=6&t=104111

"On Reprisals" at http://forum.axishistory.com/viewtopic.php?f=6&t=159640
Thanks David,

I checked through these. Unfortunately the photos were missing. I found it interesting that the standing orders given included:

Treatment of the civilian population:

"The evacuation of the civilian population from entire areas in the villages is to be carried out only by special order of the Combat Command [Kampfgruppe], General Bader."

"Villages and houses in which areas ammunition has been found, from which shots have been fired, or the residents of which have aided and abetted insurgents are to be burned down. Other than that, the burning down of villages is to cease in consideration of the necessity for troop billets."

"Just and understanding treatment of the population by the troops must show that they are only fighting the insurgents and that the peaceful population has nothing to fear."

"...Troops must be conscious of fact and are to avoid transgressing the prescribed limits of their duties. Regarding food taken from the country, attention is called to the directive issued via Section Ib of the Division."

General Bader was another officer who started his career in the Prussian Army. I understand that although he was the LXV Corps commander (including Haussen's Division and Wagner's Battalion). He was not charged with any war crimes despite atrocities being committed by men in his overall command.

Generally speaking, where did the responsibility for atrocities stop? What was deemed to be reasonable regarding military accountability? What does this mean in the context of SS members being criminally responsible because they're SS? Perhaps this is a new topic, but it does relate specifically to the discussion.

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Re: IMT Testimony of Paul Hausser in defense of the Waffen-SS

Post by Ivan Ž. » 22 Nov 2017 13:22

Once again, I am shocked by Michael's writing and that such a material is tolerated on the forum board and in the Holocaust section.

First of all, just like Hausser, Michael ignores the incriminating details, and pretends that there was no persecution based on ethnicity under Hausser's command, searching for any details that could wash the guilt off Hausser's hands, or just move attention from it. He refuses to admit that the persecution itself (without an actual act of murder) is a crime and keeps leading the discussion away from the point.
michael mills wrote:According to the public notice announcing the execution of the two men, they were sentenced by a court-martial on 24 April 1941. In other words, these were not summary executions, but were preceded by a judicial proceeding under martial law. Presumably Hausser as commander of the German troops occupying the city reviewed the judgement of the court-martial and approved it, which suggests that he agreed that the two condemned men had committed offences against the ethnic German and Hungarian populations of the Banat and that the sentence of death was justified.

The two men were not innocent civilians plucked off the street. The Serb had been responsible for the death of an ethnic German, in the context of ethnic conflict between the German and Serb population groups, and the Jew had been accused of mistreating ethnic German and Hungarian workers under his control.

Whether the offences of these two men, which seem to have been part of an inter-ethnic conflict, warranted the death penalty is something that can be called into question. But what is clear is that the two executed men were not random victims of blind racial hatred; they were not put to death for who they were, but for what they had done.
According to the public announcement...? Nothing was written in the public announcement about their guilt and trial except that they were a Jew and a Serb. The fact that the court-martial sentenced them to death (and executed the same day) speaks only about the validity of the court-martial and does not prove in any way that they had a fair trial. No one claimed that they were randomly-picked victims. Both were killed in revenge and because of their ethnicity. One for being Jewish and the other for being a Serb. Why do you think that their ethnicity was written next to their names in the announcement, and not, for example, "a criminal" or "a murderer"? The mentioned football accident happened half a year ago; if the man was guilty, he would have been prosecuted in the meantime. What are you defending, Michael? The people were killed for crying out loud! For an old accident and for (an alleged!) mistreatment of workers (more likely because he was one of the richest Jews in town). Not innocent civilians? Interesting! But, on the other hand, when SS men round-up, lock-up, rob and torment Jewish civilians, that's a security measure? And when a Jew mistreats workers and gets executed - he was not innocent. Unbelievable.
michael mills wrote:
Wagner sending Jewish valuables to Hausser (which included: dollars, gold, silver, jewellery, brilliants etc) shows that Hausser at least knew of - and participated in thievery that was a product of persecution based on ethnicity (i.e. racial hatred).
That was confiscation of enemy property, an action commonly practised by all sides in wartime.
Again, since the Jews were the other side here: when exactly did the Jews confiscate German property? (This was not a confiscation of Yugoslav property, but Jewish.) And how and why exactly were the Jews enemy? Unbelievable what is tolerated here.
michael mills wrote:
I do find it interesting that Wagner was executed for war crimes and his Division Commander (Hausser) wasn't implicated.
Tito's Communists basically executed every German officer they could get their hands on, as well as massacring large numbers of ethnic Germans and Hungarians. Perhaps Hausser was just lucky not to fall into their hands.
What do Tito's communists have to do with Hausser's responsibility for the criminal actions of his troops in April 1941? The SS General Wagner had a way-longer period of time between his capture, trial and execution than the Jew Elek and the Serb Cukić. Yet, the Jew and the Serb were not innocent and the SS General was just unlucky to fall into the hands of the murderous communists? Once again, unbelievable.

Ivan

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Re: IMT Testimony of Paul Hausser in defense of the Waffen-SS

Post by Gorque » 22 Nov 2017 14:50

An interesting thread: For my benefit as well as others, I think a little retelling of the occupation command structure of Serbia is in order.

On April 12, '41 the boundaries of the various regions of Yugoslavia are established by Führer decree while still under military administation. OKH also issues a proclamation to the population that is under German military administration of the laws that are to be in effect for these areas. On April 20, 1941, OKH names Helmuth Föster as the military commander of Serbia, which includes the Serbian Banat. Assisting him in his administrative duties is SS-Brigadeführer Harald Turner, as chief of the administrative staff, Franz Neuhausen, as plenipotentiary general for economic affairs, Felix Benzler of the Foreign Office and Wilhelm Fuchs. Wilhelm Fuchs is in command of Einsatzgruppe Yugoslavia, later renamed Einsatzgruppe Serbia, which is made up of SD, SiPo, 64 Reserve Police Battalion, and a detachment of Gestapo. A part of Fuch's orders was the rounding up of Yugoslavs who were supposedly opposed to the German invasion and occupation. This list was compiled by Walter Schellenberg of the Ausland-SD. Fuchs subdivides E.G. Serbia and the E.G. responsible for the Banat is headed by SS-Obersturmführer (Victor maybe?) Zöller.

What further details regarding the initial military occupation administration have I missed?

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Re: IMT Testimony of Paul Hausser in defense of the Waffen-SS

Post by Gorque » 22 Nov 2017 15:06

An interesting book in regards to the amount of discretion of the military administration of occupied Serbia. (Preview only)

https://books.google.com/books?id=y0in2 ... ia&f=false
Last edited by Gorque on 22 Nov 2017 15:12, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: IMT Testimony of Paul Hausser in defense of the Waffen-SS

Post by wbell » 22 Nov 2017 15:08

Regarding a commander's responsibility:

Brigadeführer Kurt Meyer, commander of the 12th SS Panzer Division Hitlerjugend , was sentenced to death for his involvement in the Ardenne Abbey massacre (the murder of Canadian POWs). Prior to the battle Meyer told the troops not to give the enemy any quarter. This was apparently interpreted by the court as take no prisoners. Meyer held that it was not his intention and that he didn't find out about the killings until after the fact. He was found responsible for exciting the troops and condoneding the action.

Upon his appeal the reviewing officer, Major-General Christopher Vokes, reduced the sentence to life imprisonment. It was held that death was an appropriate sentence only when "the offence was conclusively shown to have resulted from the direct act of the commander or by his omission to act" In other words, he would have to have knowledge prior to or during the crime and not attempt to stop it (party to the offence). Because he didn't take disciplinary action, or report the crime, he would bear the responsibility to a lesser degree.

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