Nazi Reprisals & "Communist Insurrection" 9/41

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Nazi Reprisals & "Communist Insurrection" 9/41

Post by David Thompson » 06 Oct 2004 04:38

"Document C-148: Communist Insurrection In Occupied Territories [translation]", in Nazi Conspiracy and Aggression. Volume VI: US Government Printing Office, District of Columbia: 1946. pp. 961-963.

Note that all resistance is presumptively communist resistance, and the 1:50 and 1:100 reprisal killing ratios ("In this connection it should be remembered that a human life in unsettled countries frequently counts for nothing and a deterrent effect can be attained only by unusual severity") set by this order. Note that it is meant to apply to western Europe as well.

This order makes an interesting comparison with the earlier Fuehrer Order of 23 Jul 1941 for security measures in the East, available at:
In view of the vast size of the occupied areas in the East, the forces available for establishing security in these areas will be sufficient only if all resistance is punished not by legal prosecution of the guilty, but by the spreading of such terror by the occupying forces as is alone appropriate to eradicate every inclination to resist amongst the population.
Here is the 16 Sept 1941 order on Communist Insurrection In Occupied Territories:
The Chief of the Supreme Command of the Armed Forces
WFSt/Section L(IV)Qu) No. 002060/41 Most Secret 40 copies, 25th copy
Fuehrer's Headquarters 9/16/1941.

1. Since the beginning of the campaign against Soviet Russia, Communist insurrection movements have broken out everywhere in the areas occupied by Germany. The type of action taken is growing from propaganda measures and attacks on individual members of the Armed Forces, into open rebellion and widespread guerilla warfare.

It can be seen that this is a mass movement centrally directed by Moscow, who is also responsible for the apparently trivial isolated incidents in areas which up to now have been otherwise quiet.

In view of the many political and economic crises in the occupied areas, it must, moreover, be anticipated, that nationalist and other circles will make full use of this opportunity of making difficulties for the German occupying forces by associating themselves with the Communist insurrection.

This creates an increasing danger to the German war effort, which shows itself chiefly in general insecurity for the occupying troops, and has already led to the withdrawal of forces to the main centers of disturbance.

2. The measures taken up to now to deal with this general insurrection movement have proved inadequate. The Fuehrer has now given orders that we take action everywhere with the most drastic means in order to crush the movement in the shortest possible time.

Only this course, which has always been followed successfully throughout the history of the extension of influence of great peoples can restore order.

3. Action taken in this matter should be in accordance with the following general directions:

a. It should be inferred, in every case of resistance to the German occupying forces, no matter what the individual circumstances, that it is of Communist origin.

b. In order to nip these machinations in the bud, the most drastic measures should be taken immediately on the first indication, so that the authority of the occupying Forces may be maintained, and further spreading prevented. In this connection it should be remembered that a human life in unsettled countries frequently counts for nothing and a deterrent effect can be attained only by unusual severity. The death penalty for 50-100 Communists should generally be regarded in these cases as suitable atonement for one German soldier's life. The way in which sentence is carried out should still further increase the deterrent effect. The revere course of action, that of imposing relatively lenient penalties, and of being content, for purposes of deterrence, with the threat of more severe measures, does not accord with these principles and should therefore not be followed.

c. The political relations between Germany and the country in which the disturbance is taking place, are no criterion for the censuring of the military authorities in occupation. Rather, it should be borne in mind and so represented in propaganda, that stern measures also rid the inhabitants of the Communist criminals, and are thus to their own advantage. Clever propaganda of this kind will consequently not result in the severe measures against the Communists having an undesirable reaction on the well-disposed sections of the population.

d. Forces formed from the local inhabitants will generally fail to accomplish such acts of violence. They should on no account receive further support, for this involves increased danger to our own troops. On the other hand, the fullest use can be made of rewards and remuneration for the population, in order to ensure their cooperation in a suitable way.

e. Where, in exceptional cases, court martial proceedings should be instituted in connection with Communist insurrections or other offences against the German occupying Forces, the most severe penalties are indicated. In this connection only the death penalty can constitute a real deterrent. In particular, acts of espionage, deeds of sabotage and attempts to enter the Armed Forces of a foreign power, should as a matter of principle, be punished by death. Sentence of death should also as a general rule, be passed in cases of illicit possession of arms.

4. The Commanding Officers in the occupied territories are seeing to it that these principles are made known without delay to all military establishments concerned in dealing with Communist measures of insurrection.

Keitel [Illegible initial]


Armed Forces Commander South East Copies:
1st with Intelligence Section, Officer Commanding Serbia:
2nd with Intelligence Section, Officer Commanding Salonica-Aegean:
3rd with Intelligence Section, Officer Commanding Southern Greece:
4th with Intelligence Section, Officer Commander Crete:
5th Armed Forces Commander Norway:
6th Armed Forces Commander Netherlands:
7th Armed Forces Commander Eastern territory:
8th Armed Forces Commander Ukraine:
9th Armed Forces plenipotentiary with the Reich Protector in Bohemia and Moravia:
10th Reich Supreme Command of the Army (Ops Section):
11th (OQu IV):
12th (Gen. Qu) with Intelligence Section for:
13th Military Commander France:
14th Military Commander Belgium and Northern France:
15th Military Commander with Government of Poland:
16th Chief of Army Ordnance and BdE with Intelligence:
17th Section for Officer Commanding German troops in Denmark:
18th C-in-C of the Air Force (General staff of the Air Force):
19th Supreme Command of the Navy (Naval War Staff):
20th Armistice Commission Wiesbaden:
21st Foreign Office for the attention of Herr Botsch Ritter:
22nd Orders staff Frankfurt/O) (Verfuegungstab):
23rd Orders staff Breslau ) via LIII:
24th Supreme Command of the Armed Forces Armed Forces Ops Staff:
25th Section L:
26th-32nd Armed Forces Propaganda:
33rd Foreign Department / Abwehr:
34th Foreign Section:
35th Abwehr:
36th Economic Ordnance Dept: (Wi Rue Amt):
37th General Armed Forces Dept.:
38th WR[?]:
39th Admin Officer with Government of Poland Cracow:

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