Anti-partisan warfare and reprisals in WWII Yugoslavia

Discussions on the Holocaust and 20th Century War Crimes. Note that Holocaust denial is not allowed. Hosted by David Thompson.
David Thompson
Forum Staff
Posts: 23724
Joined: 20 Jul 2002 19:52
Location: USA

Anti-partisan warfare and reprisals in WWII Yugoslavia

Post by David Thompson » 04 Oct 2004 23:08

This is the first in a series of posts of German documents on this subject. These extracts are taken from "V: Hostages, Reprisals and Collective Measures in the Balkans. Measures Against Partisans and Partisan Areas: (B) Contemporaneous Documents: Partial Translation of List Document 205, List Defense Exhibit 45: Extracts from Activity Reports, 704th Infantry Division, 8/4/1941 to 9/30/1941", in Trials of War Criminals Before the Nuernberg Military Tribunals Under Control Council Law No. 10. Vol. 11: United States of America v. Wilhelm List, et al. (Case 7: 'Hostage Case'). US Government Printing Office, District of Columbia: 1950. pp. 939-950. They illustrate the large-scale increase in partisan activity south of Belgrade in the months of August and September, 1941.
* * *

8/4/1941, Valjevo - Rail line Valjevo-Belgrade interrupted through dynamiting of a bridge near Stubline, 20 km. southwest of Belgrade. All telephone lines along the rail line disrupted through sawing off of the telephone poles. At 1700 hours on 8/4/1941 rail line will be open again.

At 0500 Mionica, 16 km. southeast of Valjevo, attacked by Communist band, 1 Serbian policeman, 1 civilian killed, 1 Serbian policemen wounded, 12000 dinars stolen. Two companies of the 64th Reserve Police Battalion with a small detachment of the 704th Signal Company pursue the band up to Belanovica, 40 km. southeast of Valjevo, there they are fired upon from a distance of 1500 meters; they attack the band which at once escapes in the terrain which is obstructed from visibility.

It is suspected that secret communications of the insurgents are transmitted by motor vehicles which are frequently disguised as armed forces vehicles. Division orders the control of the motor vehicle traffic.

8/5/1941 - It is reported that the Pantic band is planning an attack on Valjevo during the night from 8/5 to 8/6/1941 or during the following night. The division orders increased alertness of all security posts.

8/5/1941 - Pantic band detachment of the people's liberators attempts to take hostages from the population and sends threatening letters to the police.

Activities by the band of the Jewish physician Dr. Kraus in and near Pecka.

8/6/1941, Valjevo - Truck from 10th Company of 724th Regiment is fired upon on its way from Vrbic, 8 km. east of Krupanj, where two men suspected of being members of a Communist band were arrested; two soldiers suffered injuries on legs and ankles, one of the arrested Serbs was wounded below the knee. After the men riding on the truck opened fire the band immediately fled into the thicket. The soldier with the leg injury was taken to field hospital 704 in Valjevo; the Serb who suffered the knee injury was taken to the civilian hospital where he died shortly thereafter.

8/7/1941 - Disturbances in Bogatic, 20 km. northwest of Sabac. The district capital and district offices were raided by Communists, the district governor, his deputy, and one civilian were shot, wounded persons among the civilian population, prison opened, Serbian police disarmed, district headquarters Sabac sends 3 military policemen and 15 Serbian policemen to Bogatic. LXV Higher [Corps] Command gives orders to the 718th Light Division to have companies frequently advance in this area for reasons of safety.

8/8/1941 - In Belgrade, too, cases of Communist sabotage and raids are increasing.

It is reported from Ljig, 28 km. southeast of Valjevo, that the police stations in Babaic and Ljig were raided by Communist bands, and the policemen disarmed and kidnapped. A woman, who had previously given a statement about the band, and a teacher were also kidnapped. Division announces the establishment of a company leadership course and measures to be taken for the safety of the motor-vehicle convoys.

8/9/1941 - Railroad train moving from Cacak to Belgrade is attacked at 0100 at the railroad station Latkovic, 28 km. east of Valjevo, two members of the 724th Light Regiment and one soldier from Sarajevo killed, one master sergeant from Cacak escapes with one unharmed member of the 724th Light Regiment. Two members of the band were injured.

Since infantry is no longer available, in view of the operation "Baden", 654th Artillery Regiment with 100 men is to move at 0500 to Lajkovac, from where the raid was first reported and is to establish the facts and return to Valjevo at 0930. The same band fired on another train near the railroad station Prnjavol, directly north of Latkovic.

3d Company of 724th Regiment receives information of a band in the Ravna Gora area, 54 km. southeast of Valjevo, under the leadership of a Serbian colonel.

8/15/1941, Valjevo - 0200-0600 hours at Lajkovac railway station, 24 km. northeast of Valjevo, an ammunition train standing there and a passenger train from Cacak were attacked by a band 80-100 men strong. Station holds out, 4 soldiers and 1 Serb railroad official dead, 7 injured. Band probably withdraws to southwest between the Valjevo-Lajkovac and Lajkovac-Cacak rail lines. Maintenance team 704th Signal Company, which eliminated disturbances on Valjevo-Belgrade line, is also used to reinforce the railroad station. Near Slovac, 16 km. northeast of Valjevo, track damaged by explosion; repaired in 2 hours from Lajkovac railroad station. 1700 hours Cacak-Belgrade train, 3 km. east of Lajkovac, runs into locomotive and is derailed, train was fired on, 30 men going on leave were able to fight their way through to Cacak, 1 injured.

On 8/15/1941 1100 hours, division sends out two platoons of 9th Company 724th Regiment, with 2 field ambulances of field hospital 704, to Lajkovac to protect the railroad station. 2245 hours, 3d Company, 724th Regiment arrives in Lajkovac from Uzice. Lajkovac is connected with the telephone network of the Division. Two platoons of 9th Company, 724th Regiment, return again, on 8/16/1941 0800 hours, to Valjevo with ammunition train.

8/8/1941 - A strong band is reported in the Bukova Forest, 17 km. south of Valjevo.

Twenty meters of railroad track blown up 10 km. east of Obrenovac.

Truck with army mail and maintenance team 704th Signal Company is fired upon 7 km. south of Losnica. Escort detachment takes two prisoners.

The red flag is hoisted between Sabac and Losnica, north of the road as far as the Sava. 2d Battalion 750th Regiment undertakes thrusts from Mitrovica and Sabac to the especially threatened villages of Lipolist (to which 120 Communists have withdrawn), Badovinci, Crnobarski, Glogovac. Near Dublje the railroad station is attacked and a stretch of railroad track torn up. First Company of 2d Battalion 750th Regiment comes into conflict with a band there on 8/19/1941.

8/18/1941, Valjevo - Telephone lines to Sabac and Losnica disturbed. Maintenance team 704th Signal Company eliminates the disturbances. The lines are immediately cut again. Radio connection with 704th Engineer Company in Koviljaca must be established.

1st Battalion 724th Regiment with 5 pursuit detachments of 30 soldiers each, 20 Serbian policemen, 20 Arnauts, in addition 1 platoon of 1st Battery 654th Artillery Regiment, surrounds a band 100 men strong in the Gradina mountains, 11 km. southeast of Uzice; 38 enemy dead, 10 farmhouses burned down, 15 set afire by artillery.

Our losses - 1 Arnaut dead. Booty - 5 light machine guns, 12 rifles, 10 hand grenades, 1 pistol, ammunition, 9 tents, 1 horse, 1 typewriter, 1 town stamp of an attacked town, 2 camp newspapers, camp library with identity cards of personnel, including photographs, railroad tickets, Communist literature, a large stock of hard tack. Fifty to sixty men break through chain of Serbian police and escape to the west, 20 Arnauts pursue them, capture 3 light machine guns and pistols; 3 men and 1 woman shot.

8/18/1941, Valjevo - Reports of a band in Vlasic Forest (15 km. x 5 km. large) 30 km. northwest of Valjevo and in the village of Bukovica, 15 km. northwest of Valjevo.

8/18/1941, Valjevo - Bands are reported around Loznica, Zajaca, and Krupanj.

8/19/1941, Valjevo - 0200 hours. For reinforcement of 3d Battalion 738th Regiment, 1 squad is dispatched on motor cars of the 704th Engineer Company to Krupanj, and 1 squad to Losnica. Eleventh Company 738th Regiment reinforced by Engineer Company of 704th Regiment is by force reconnoitering the road Loznica Sabac in direction Petrovica and Lipolist during the night. Action advanced only up to Prinjavac. There, road blocks and heavy gun fire at around 0400 hours. Village half burnt down. After main attack by the enemy at 0930 enemy sustained 7 dead. Own losses 11th Company 738th Regiment - 7 wounded, 2 seriously, 1 hopelessly. 1 national flag, 1 Soviet flag captured. On the way back 11th Company 738th is so strongly attacked before Losnica that withdrawal must take place over Badovinci and beyond the Drina towards Koviljaca.

8/19/1941, Valjevo - * * * Railway line Uzice/Cacak closed because of unexploded bomb on the railway tracks at Rasna, 4 km. south of Pozega. All telephone communications cut. Bomb will be removed from Uzice.

8/19/1941, Valjevo - * * * Division received report of a Communist band in Sokolplanina at Stave, 15 km. west of Valjevo. Through terror the band is compelling the peasants to join and an attack on Stolica and Krupanj is planned.

816th Military Administration Headquarters Uzice reports According to a report by a peasant from Kapavnik-mountains east of the Ibar valley, about 1000 Chetniks with machine guns and mountain artillery are supposed to be between Raska and Mitrovica, planning to attack Novi Pazar and Mitrovica during the next days. Five hundred men are said to have passed during the last days from the Rogosna mountains, west of the Ibar valley, to the Kapavnik mountains.

8/20/1941, Valjevo - An army mail truck with escorting squad shot at between Ub and Obrenovac. Escort returned fire, no losses. Prior to that, mayor of Valjevo and treasurer were arrested by the band and 105000 dinars robbed from the town treasury. Treasurer set free again.
Band writes to post commander [garrison headquarters] Valjevo that the mayor of Valjevo is to be exchanged for the mother-in-law of Dr. Pantic, arrested because of her son-in-law's Communist activities. Division; orders post commander [garrison headquarters] to forward the request to the authority which arrested Pantic's mother-in-law, probably the SD Belgrade.

Bands attempt to cut supply line into Valjevo. Bakers of Valjevo have closed their shops.

In Zovanje, 7 km. southwest of Valjevo, a band is reported.

2230 hours - Attack of a strong enemy reconnaissance troop on Loznica. 2300 hours quiet again.

Band concentration around Krupanj and Loznica. 704th Engineer Company prepares to leave Valjevo on 8/21/1941.

Antitank company of the 714th Infantry Division and motor truck of 704th Signal Company are shot at several times from cornfields and houses while on their way from Obrenovac to Ub, on the same spot on which the mail bus was shot at this morning. The houses from which the shots came are put to fire. Four dead are recognized on enemy side. Losses - 1 slightly wounded.

Three raiding detachments, 1st Battalion, 734th Regiment (4 officers, 100 enlisted men, plus 92 Albanian soldiers plus 40 Serbian Gendarmes) try to find bands reported in the area of Banja Basta, 26 km. northwest of Uzice on the Drina. No band found.

Long distance communication Valjevo-Loznica-Krupanj disrupted.

8/20/1941, Valjevo - Mine of Zajaca closed, because - on account of Communist threats - workers don't show up for work. Supply of ore for one more day available, then the plant will have to be closed also because of lack of coal.

8/21/1941, Valjevo - Decree of the Serbian Minister of the Interior regarding struggle against Communist bands and restoration of peace and order.

Division orders again to reexamine the security of quarters. SF [express - long distance] - trains Belgrade-Salonika are being made safe by an escort detachment in the strength of one squad of 734th Infantry Regiment.

8/22/1941 - 100 bandits are reported 4 km., south of Osecina in the village of Bojcica, 24 km. west northwest of Valjevo. Raiding operation of the 1st Battalion, 724th Regiment (1 officer and 36 enlisted men of the 4th Company of the 724th Regiment; 1 officer and 25 enlisted men of 592d Regional Defense Battalion; 15 Serbs and 40 Albanian gendarmes) towards Arilje, 12 km. south of Pozega, where bands attacked the village and the Serbian gendarmery sustained the loss of two dead and 4 wounded. Because of the break-down of one motor truck, no success. Bands left one-half hour before raiding detachment arrived in Arilje. During pursuit 5 km. south of Arilje, machine gun shots are fired from cornfields. Enemy fled. Pursuit had to be discontinued because of darkness.

8/22/1941 - One platoon of 3d Battalion, 724th Regiment, riding in motor trucks to Krupanj-Loznica reports - Loznica firmly held by Communists.

8/23/1941 - 816th Military Administration Headquarters, Uzice reports - Band attack on Ivanjica, 236 km. south southwest of Cacak, and the antimony plant there is imminent. Division informed 717th Infantry Division.

In Stupnica, 12 km. southeast of Loznica close to westerly road Valjevo-Loznica, Communists through placards are calling all men between the ages of 16 and 60 for recruitment and are threatening reprisals in case of noncompliance.

Call for mass meeting at monastery Korenita, 10 km. southwest of Loznica on road Stolica-Loznica, where the abbot, teacher, and innkeeper will speak on 8/24/1941 on the subject "Procurement of More Weapons and Ammunition."

8/23/1941, Valjevo - In Klinci, 5 km. southwest of Valjevo, one student arrested for Communist activities.

8/23/1941, Valjevo - LXV Higher [Corps] Command orders to search and surround the village of Grabovac, 14 km. southwest of Obrenovac, presumably the seat of the Communist central agency of the Obrenovac district. Operation is named "Geier".

8/23/1941, Valjevo - Committee - 2 raiding detachments of 734th Infantry Regiment together with 20 Serbian gendarmes from Obrenovac, and 2 groups of a police company of 64th Reserve Police Battalion, Obrenovac; 1 platoon of 734th Infantry Regiment, 2 platoons of 7th Company, 750th Infantry Regiment, Sabac; and 1/2 a platoon of 3d Police Company, 64th Reserve Police Battalion, Sabac, and 30 Serbian gendarmes; 1 raiding detachment of 3d Battalion 724th Regiment, and radio car of 704th Signal Company, and 3 portable radio sections, 654th Artillery Regiment, 1 platoon, 2d Battery, 654th Artillery Regiment, Belgrade.

Course - Encirclement of the place developed according to plan. First Battalion, 734th Regiment, was shot at from cornfield; attacked with parts of 3d Battalion, 734th Regiment; surrounding maneuver unsuccessful since enemy withdrew, presumably because of the very quickly starting fire of the artillery sent forward for support.

Result - Five men shot during flight. One mimeograph machine with Communist pamphlets, one bag of rifles captured. Three houses of not present Communists secured.

One truck with 2 medical soldiers of 704th Field Hospital, scheduled to transport 4 seriously wounded and 1 dead of 2d Battalion 750th Regiment, from operation "Geier" to Sabac, was forced to return because of a wrecked road bridge. There, a unit of 7th Company, 750th Regiment, returning from Sabac also ran into a new fight. Wounded were left in Ub and are being treated by a Serbian doctor.

8/23/1941 - The truck was shot at again on its way to Valjevo with the wounded. Return to Ub.

8/27/1941, Valjevo - 11th Company, 724th Regiment, receives word through middleman that allegedly 26000 well armed Chetniks are in the Cer mountains, 20 km. northeast of Loznica. Their aims are:

1. Struggle against Communism.

2. Struggle against the Ustasha.

3. Prevention of antimony export.

4. Liberation of Serbia.

The middleman wants to arrange for a meeting with the leader of the Chetniks on a hill 9 km. north of Stolica. Three man escort is agreed upon for each side.

8/28/1941 [Sic] Valjevo - At the same time LXV Higher [Corps] Command orders - Bands known to be Chetniks should not be attacked. Distribution of pamphlets originating from Chetniks should not be prevented; communism is to be fought with the help of the national Chetniks.

8/27/1941, Valjevo - Divci, 5 km. east of Valjevo, attacked in the evening. Raiding detachment of the 3d Battalion, 724th Regiment, with 25 Serbian gendarmes states - Serbian gendarmerie fled Divci. Band has plundered archives of the town office. One civilian car shot at, son of a Serbian Nationalist shot, car burnt, small railway bridge wrecked.

8/27/1941, Valjevo - All long distance telephone communications emanating from Valjevo disrupted, except the one to Uzice. The occupation of Priboj, Prijepolje, and Novo Varos by an Italian battalion - reported by Colonel Gialla on 8/26/1941 to the 2d Battalion of 724th Regiment at Visegrad - supposed to go into effect on 8/27/1941, did not take place. Italians advanced only up to Brodarevo, 18 km. south of Prijepolje. Apparently they are pressing forward in the strength of one regiment against the rebellious Montenegrins there, while at the same time deploying bombers from the south against the Croatian units fighting in the north.

8/27/1941, Valjevo - On way back from Koviljaca to Valjevo near Osladic 17 km. northwest of Valjevo, at 1830 hours again shot at by 4 machine guns along a track of 2 km. and attacked with hand grenades.

Own losses - 2 killed, 1 missing, 12 wounded, one of whom seriously, 1 truck burnt out; enemy losses unknown.

One raiding detachment, 3d Battalion, 724th Regiment, which had been sent out at 2000 hours from Valjevo to reinforce the police station Kamenica, 14 km. northwest of Valjevo, which is threatened by bands, was joined by the escort detachment.

Near Osladic a 10-meter wide road-bridge was blown up, according to reports from inhabitants.

8/29/1941, Valjevo - On 8/29/1941, the missing soldier is brought with a sprained ankle to Valjevo by a peasant. He had fallen from the back seat of the cycle through a sudden start, had been captured by the bandits, beaten up, and released after a day, with the remark that they were out for officers only.

9/2/1941, Valjevo - Telephone line Valjevo-Uzice interrupted.

0615 hours, 11th Company 724th Regiment Krupanj reports 9/1/1941, 0700 and 2100 hours. Stolica attacked surprisingly by rather strong enemy forces. One lieutenant, director of the plant, captured, another lieutenant probably killed, the platoon dispersed. One NCO, who was supposed to report on situation at Stolica Zajaca to Krupanj, wounded at strong road block 2 km. before Krupanj. 11th Company 724th Regiment tried to reassemble dispersed soldiers by way of light signals during the night of 9/1-2/1941.

0625 hours, 11th Company, 724th Regiment, reconnoiters with patrol in the direction of Stolica.

0815 hours, LXV Higher [Corps] Command communicates that Croats have committed one battalion Ustasha on the line Koviljaca-Loznica.

0917 hours, Return of reconnaissance patrol to Krupanj with a group of the field guard Stolica. Advance to Stolica impossible, as patrol meets with machine-gun fire from the hills 400 meters before the mine. Twenty men of the field guard still missing, two of which are certainly dead. Krupanj threatened as well, because of gatherings on the surrounding hills. No radio contact with 12th Company, 724th Regiment, which was detailed to Loznica. 11th Company, 724th Regiment, reports gatherings on the hills of Krupanj. Companies prepare for defense.

1045 hours, LXV Higher [Corps] Command orders immediate transportation of a company of 2d Battalion, 724th Regiment, Visegrad, with loading space which it will have to procure for itself, to Valjevo. To 2d Battalion, 724th Regiment, via radio.

9/2/1941, Valjevo - Higher [Corps] Command communicates:

1305 hours, 3d Battalion, 738th Regiment, fighting near Koviljaca and Loznica, forced to withdraw towards east. Croats are trying to cross the Drina near Koviljaca and Zvornik, succeeding only near Zvornik. There, after crossing the Drina, again repulsed.

1555 hours, 11th Company, 724th Regiment, Krupanj, reports - 11 men not yet returned, 2 of them certainly dead. At Stolica 300 kilograms of explosives and 2 machine guns, one of which was made unusable, fell into the hands of the Communists or the Chetniks.

9/2/1941 - 1630 hours, division inquires at LXV Higher [Corps] Command, whether 10th and 11th Company, 724th Regiment, may be withdrawn from Krupanj. Commander Serbia decides that the plant must be held.

1810 hours, LXV Higher [Corps] Command communicates - reconnaissance by aircraft has shown 50 men are defending themselves in the castle of Koviljaca and are under fire from the west. Over Koviljaca the Serbian flag is flying. On the road Loznica-Koviljaca a motor-ambulance burnt out. The aircraft was fired upon from the mountains, had to stop reconnoitering because of engine trouble. 12th Company, 724th Regiment, probably involved in the fighting near Koviljaca.

1820 hours, LXV Higher [Corps] Command communicates - according to report from 718th Infantry Division, 3d Battalion, 738th Regiment, likely to be able to hold out at Koviljaca. On 9/3/1941 the following are to be committed: Antitank Company Lazarevac (714th Infantry Division) via Sabac with 2d Battalion, 750th Regiment, [and] 5 companies of Croatian Ustasha. 2d Battalion 750th Regiment, will get contact with Croatian regimental staff on 9/3/1941. Koviljaca is free.

1835 hours, division orders on telephonic order by LXV Higher [Corps] Command that Krupanj is to be held under all circumstances.

1910 hours, 724th Infantry Regiment reports - Railway line Visegrad-Uzice blocked up by landslide between Vardiste-Mokra Gora. Track will be reopened on 9/3/1941, 1200 hours, 5th Company, 724th Regiment, left on 9/2/1941, 1815 hours; arrival at the place of the accident 2215 hours; change into train from opposite direction from Uzice. Arrival Uzice probably 9/3/1941 0200 hours.

2000 hours, Chetniks, who have surrounded Krupanj, demand surrender, threatening, for the reverse case, slaughtering to the last man.

9/11/1941, Valjevo - 6 wounded transported from Valjevo to Belgrade by a Junkers 52 [German transport plane.].

1025 hours, Staff of the 724th Regiment's 2d Battalion, the 6th and 7th Company of the 724th Regiment, marching from Valjevo to Uzice, are engaged in combat according to air reconnaissance.

1700 hours, another 28 wounded are transported to Belgrade by air. Weapons, rations, mail moved to Valjevo from Belgrade. * * * Railway line Valjevo-Lajkovac again destroyed over a stretch of 100 meters in the vicinity of Slovac.

2000 hours, the 3d Antitank Company of the 220th Regiment reports - railway line Valjevo-Lazarevac-Arandjelovac-Mladenovac open for traffic in the morning of the 12 September, Obrenovac line destroyed. No coal at Lajkovac for the railroad. The 3d Antitank Company of the 220th Regiment has dispersed a band near Stepojevac, but has been unable to destroy them. A band supposed to be 800 strong is reported on the march from Ocedina, 10 km. northwest of Valjevo.

9/11/1941, Valjevo - The division orders the alarm stations to be manned and strict check-up of the approaches to the city on the next morning; also by cavalry patrols in the neighborhood.

9/12/1941, Valjevo - Cattle receipts at Valjevo extremely small. Communist bands prevent delivery of farm products by the peasants around Valjevo. Four armed civilians detained on this occasion. Supply of fresh meat has to be secured by requisitioning in the surrounding villages. Food supply of the civilian population very much endangered.

According to Chetnik reconnaissance the town of Ub completely controlled by Communist rabble. Captured Serbian field policemen and respected citizens are shot dead, looting occurs.

At Banja Basta from 0600 to 1100 skirmish between Communists and Chetniks. German customs officials (22 men) from Ljubovijca and Banja [Banjina] Basta have made their way fighting over the Sokolina, north of Kremna, to Uzice. Bridges between Uzice and Banja [Banjina] Basta blown up. The Chetnik commander Prinska remarked at Banja [Banjina] Basta, showing a German army pistol: "For the rest, we are free Serbs, and we are just waiting for the time when the Germans will have left for good".

In the area 10 km. northwest of Uzice bands several hundred men strong are reported.

9/12/1941, Valjevo - Serbian field police station Divci raided by Communists according to a report, policemen captured, according to another report, forced to go over by the Chetniks. Chetniks posted guards on the road Valjevo-Lajkovac.

Fourth Company, 724th Regiment, is attacked by Communists during the night of 9/12-13/1941. Attack against barracks repelled. On 9/12/1941 4th Company, 724th Regiment, pursues with 2 officers and 37 enlisted men, as well as 10 Serbian field policemen as far as Arilja, incurring the following losses: 2 killed, 1 wounded. Strength and losses of enemy unknown; 1 bandit shot dead, 1 house burned down. Communists are in positions between the 4th Company at Pozega and the fuel depot Jemenicka Stena, which is 3-5 km. to the east of Pozega and protected by 1 platoon, and have occupied Pozega railway station.

9/13/1941 - 0000-0300, Ammunition depot Valjevo is fired upon from three sides with machine guns (tracer bullets), submachine guns and rifles. No casualties. Enemy strength and losses not known.

9/13/1941, Valjevo - Ammunition transports are reported northwest of Valjevo on the road Valjevo-Loznica. At Stave the staff of the bands apparently coming from Krupanj is supposed to be located; those bands are planning an attack against Valjevo. Agents report as the precise date 9/14/1941 0300 hours. Division orders manning of alert positions; the attack does not materialize.

2130 hours, 3d Antitank Company, 220th Regiment, Lazarevac, reports that railway line Lajkovac-Mladenovac was destroyed again by dynamiting at 1700 hours. Two railway engines on their way from Lajkovac to Mladenovac had to turn back. Repair work on the track has started.

Commander of the Kolobara Chetnik detachment writes again to station headquarters Valjevo. There are differences of opinion between him and the Chetnik commanders of Valjevo.

Arrest of a Communist worker in Belgrade, who is in possession of a Communist leaflet, by guard of 734th Infantry Regiment.

Raiding operation by 1st Battalion, 724th Regiment (2 officers and 46 enlisted men of 4th Company, 724th Regiment; 2 officers and 50 enlisted men of 3d Company of 724th Regiment), to Arilje. Houses searched and burned down. People escaping shot at. Army equipment, ammunition, weapons found.

9/15/1941, Valjevo - Bands advancing towards Valjevo from the north, northwest, west, and southeast. Strength unknown; at Stave supposedly 1000 men. Artillery shelling advanced detachments of the Stave band at Kotarci (6 km. west of Valjevo) with surprise fire during the night.

Raiding detachment 1st Battalion, 724th Regiment (2 officers and 28 enlisted men of 1st Company, 724th Regiment; 1 officer and 25 enlisted men of 2d Company, 724th Regiment; 3 officers and 75 enlisted men of 3d Company, 724th Regiment; 1 officer and 25 enlisted men of the 529th Regional Defense Battalion for special missions), goes to Kadinjaca, 4 km. northwest of road intersection Uzice-Visegrad/Uzice-Dub-Banjina Basta; supporter of the bands arrested, whereabouts of the bands ascertained; a farm building in which ammunition was found, burned down.

9/16/1941, Valjevo - 2000 hours, convoy arrives in Valjevo. Behind the convoy the road is against destroyed. Reportedly, a bandit force of approximately 300 men is moving in on Valjevo.
Last edited by David Thompson on 08 Oct 2004 03:41, edited 4 times in total.

David Thompson
Forum Staff
Posts: 23724
Joined: 20 Jul 2002 19:52
Location: USA

Post by David Thompson » 05 Oct 2004 04:02

This second set of extracts are from the war diary of the Military Commander Serbia. They can be found at "V: Hostages, Reprisals and Collective Measures in the Balkans. Measures Against Partisans and Partisan Areas: (B) Contemporaneous Documents: Partial Translation of List Document 202, List Defense Exhibit 46: Extracts from War Diary of Military Commander Serbia, 9/1941: Extract of 9/1/1941, Part 1", in Trials of War Criminals Before the Nuernberg Military Tribunals Under Control Council Law No. 10. Vol. 11: United States of America v. Wilhelm List, et al. (Case 7: 'Hostage Case'). US Government Printing Office, District of Columbia: 1950. pp. 951-964.
[Other parts of this document are reproduced in sections IV C and D.]
Commander Serbia
Headquarters Staff Ia [Operations Section]
Belgrade, 9/1/1941

In the evening, 8/31/1941, a thick wire tied around a tree was discovered in Dedinje, Chestnut Avenue, for the fastening of which there was a hook with a few links of chain on the tree on the opposite side of the street.

That is to say, it was a so-called automobile trap.

Further automobile traps of this and similar kind are to be feared. Therefore, cautious driving is necessary, especially during night trips, keeping the road under strict observation, in which connection it is once more reminded that recently foot traps were repeatedly set by Communists.

Distribution: A, B, C, D.
For the Commander Serbia
The Chief of the General Staff

BY ORDER: [Illegible signature] Major, GSC
To Armed Forces Commander Southeast (12th Army)
Ic [Intelligence Section]
LXV Higher [Corps] Command

Daily Report dated 9/1/1941

704th Infantry Division

Il/724 [2d Battalion of 724th Regiment] will be concentrated on 9/1/1941 at Visegrad.

714th Infantry Division

1. 9/721 [9th Company of 721st Regiment] will be transferred on 9/1/1941 from Kikinda to the Iron Gate.

2. Railroad line Cuprija-Senjski-Rudnik blown up at three points. Railroad ticket offices at Senjski-Rudnik and Ravna Reka 21 kilometers northeast of Cuprija, robbed, at the same place the consumers' cooperative shops were looted.

3. On 8/31/1941, bandits forced inhabitants of the village of Mirilovac, 6 kilometers southeast of Paracin, to join the guerrilla band by threatening them with the death penalty.

717th Infantry Division

9/1/1941, Raiding Detachment I/749 went into action in order to seize a meeting of Communists at Milicevci, 8 kilometers north of Cacak.

718th Infantry Division

1. As on 8/31/1941, police platoon was attacked by bands at Bogatic; 7/750 and a police platoon were set in march from Sabac, and a raiding platoon from Mitrovica to Bogatic. Both reached Bogatic without losses, towards 2000 hours.

2. Supply train on the way from Jajce to Banja Luka, fired upon at road blocks, reached Banja Luka without losses on 8/31/1941 at 1700 hours, and returned to Jajce with reinforced escort on 9/1/1941.

LXV Higher [Corps] Command

[Illegible initial]

Appendix 6

To Armed Forces Commander Southeast (12th Army), Ia

* * *

2. Bands' activity, 8/31/1941-9/2/1941 - raids by bands against 8 more villages. 9/2-3/1941 - 3 attempts at dynamiting railway lines (2 near Cacak, 1 between Zajecar and Paracin). Furthermore, for the first time, railway line Kraljevo-Skoplje damaged by dynamiting; 6 injured. Two raids by bands against the rural police station Boljevac (22 kilometers south of Zajecar) and Ivanjica. Policemen disarmed. 9/2/1941 - at 1530 hours surprise fire against maintenance party northwest of Kragujevac. One NCO dead, signal car burnt out. 9/2-3/1941 - telephone lines Uzice-Valjevo, Uzice-Cacak, Uzice-Kraljevo disturbed. 9/3/1941 - attempted raid against munition depot at Jafodina beaten off. 9/3/1941 - bridge dynamited between Vlasenica and Mesarci (30 km. southeast of Sabac). 9/3/1941 - attack with hand grenades against interpreter at Pozarevac. Two seriously injured.

3. Special. Bands are trying to seal off the Uzice, Cacak, and Valjevo areas by planned disruption of our communications and signal communication channels.

Commander Serbia/Headquarters Staff
Section Ia/F

Appendix 11

To Armed Forces Commander Southeast (12th Army) Ia

Daily Report

1. Armed forces activity - Fighting near Loznica continues. Dive-bombers went into action several times. Krupanj appears lost. Detailed news about troops missing. 9/3/1941 in Belgrade at the station two people suspected of an attempted attack arrested by patrol.

2. Bands' activity, 9/4/1941 - raid by the bands against supply train of the District Command Semlin near Ralja (25 km. south of Belgrade). Own losses - 4 wounded. 9/4/1941 - at 2112 hours armed forces transportation train in direction Nis stopped by strong band, held up by dynamiting of the track. 9/14/1941 - raids against 3 railway stations on the main line to Nis (40 km. south of Belgrade). Stations destroyed, tracks dynamited, train service discontinued. 9/4-5/1941 - dynamiting of railway tracks on the lines Belgrade-Sarajevo, Paracin-Zajecar, Belgrade-Kucevo, Lapovo-Kraljevo. Bands prevent repairs. 9/3/1941 - extraction work in the Drpca mines at Kos. Mitrovica temporarily paralyzed by Communist bands. 9/4/1941, 1300 hours - Sava steamer captured south of Sabac, the crew kidnapped. 9/3/1941 - raid by the bands against the Miseca mines (5 km. north of Arundelovac), machinery destroyed. 9/5/1941 - telephone lines south of Belgrade interrupted. 9/3/1941 - bands raid three more villages.

Commander Serbia/Headquarters Staff, Section Ia


Appendix 14
To Armed Forces Commander Southeast (12th Army)
Ia [Operations Section]
Daily Report

1. Activity of armed forces, 9/5/1941 - Stuka attacks ere able to free parts of units cut off in Krupanj. Our own losses are not yet known. 9/5/1941 - 1 company is guarding the work at the Ripanj tunnel on the Belgrade-Nis line. 9/6/1941 - traffic to Nis continues up to now by rerouting through Mala-Krsna. Line near Markovac free again. 1125 hours, partisan attack on line near Mala-Krsna is now interrupting rail communications.

Further details on destruction are not yet available, since wires cut. 9/6/1941, Stuka attack launched on Zlot (30 km. northwest of Zajecar). Objective - destruction of Communist preparations directed against Bor. Report on results follows.

2. Bands, activity, 9/4/1941 - , 0530 o'clock - rails blown up on Lapovo-Kraljevo line (5 kilometers south Kragujevac). 9/4/1941 - 100 meters of track removed again between Brgule and Stubline (50 km. southwest of Belgrade). Train traffic to Sarajevo not possible at present, since the line is destroyed in many places and almost all the stations are being attacked. 9/5/1941 - police in Bacevac disarmed (Bajina-Basta district). 9/6/1941 - all telephone lines to Uzice destroyed. 9/6/1941 - Sava steamboat on the trip from Mitrovica to Belgrade forced to turn back near Sabac by rifle fire. Further partisan attacks on 4 communities. Records burned.

3. Special, 9/6/1941 - Belgrade-Agram [Zagreb] line blown up near Slav. Brod (Croatia). In service again after 10 o'clock. Belgrade quiet up to now.

Commander in Serbia - Headquarters Staff Ia/F


Appendix 16
To Armed Forces Commander Southeast (12th Army)
Ia [Operations Section]

Daily Report

* * *

3. Bands' activity, 9/1-2/1941 - Lissa antimony mine (40 km. southeast of Uzice) shut down by bands. 9/1/1941 - one Serbian police lieutenant and 15 Serbian policemen in Ivanjica (40 km. southeast of Uzice) disarmed by bands. 9/5/1941 - Rudnik-Bare mine (north of Cuprije) attacked by Communists. Operations disturbed. Surprise machine gun fire on Wehrmacht army trucks near Cacak. Our losses - 7 dead, 2 wounded. 9/6/1941 - Wehrmacht patrol in Jagodina (near Cuprija) attacked by Communists. Our losses, 2 dead, 2 wounded. Lubovija occupied by 100 Communists. Sub-prefect [Landrat] fled. Police and customs guards withdrew before superior strength to Bajina Benta (30 km. west of Uzice). 9/7/1941 - operations in Vistad plant in Valjevo disturbed by continued sabotage. Five railway stations on the Uzice-Krusevac and Paracin-Zaejecar lines attacked by bandits. Traffic installations destroyed. Partisan attacks on 14 more communities. Records burned. Telephone installations destroyed. Mladenovac-Cacak and Jagodina-Kragujevac telephone lines cut in several places. Disturbances removed.

Commander in Serbia/Headquarters Staff Section Ia/F


Appendix 18 b
Radio Message 9/8/1941 1405 hours
To Commander in Serbia/Headquarters Staff Ia and Belgrade

1. Systematic character of the insurgent movement in encirclement of vitally essential mines and army billets. Interruption of means of communication and disturbance of supplies.

2. Attacks on 36 community offices, 13 railway stations, 6 government offices, 3 police stations, 5 customs stations, 400 kilograms explosives with accessories and 800 rounds of ammunition captured. 13 German soldiers dead.

3. Situation very serious due to lack of troops. Central leaderhip lacking. Local conditions apparently unknown higher up.

4. Administrative Area Headquarters unable to take special measures.

816th Administrative Area Headquarters

Appendix 24
To Armed Forces Commander Southeast (12th Army) Ia
Daily Report

* * *

2. Armed forces losses - Period of 9/1-8/1941 - dead, wounded, and missing, 414.

3. Bands' activity, 9/8/1941 - Passenger ship "Kraly Maria" fired upon by bandits between Belgrade and Sabac. Three injured. A tugboat and 1 barge of the waterways administration sunk by Communists near Drenovac, and 1 motorboat captured. Partisan attacks on 2 railway stations on secondary lines and almost all stations on the Belgrade-Sarajevo line around Uzice. Eastward rerouting line (Belgrade-Mala-Krsna-Velikaplana) again blown up at three places. Repairs will presumably take 2 days. 9/9/1941 - train collision due to sabotage near Milosevo (Lapovo-Nis main line). Civilian losses, 6 dead, 25 injured. Will take at least 24 hours to clear up. Partisan attacks on 62 more communities and public offices, 10 police stations. Part of Serbian policemen disarmed and carried off.


Appendix 38
For official use only
Belgrade, 9/13/1941
Commander Serbia/Headquarters Staff Section Ia/F

Subject: Instruction of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Serbia regarding the operative method of band warfare

A member of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Serbia, arrested by the Security Police, Einsatzgruppe Belgrade, had on his person the enclosed - Instructions of the Communist Party of Serbia for band warfare [The enclosure, titled "Partisan War" is reproduced immediately following.].

The tactics used up to now by the Communists at their execution of acts of sabotage and raids of all kinds, also against personnel of the army, show clearly that they are guided by these instructions.

The instructions are sent, therefore, by the quickest way to all command authorities, offices, and military units (down to company level), with the direction to instruct the troops immediately and comprehensively about orders and method of fighting of the Communist bands.

The exact knowledge of Communist tactics and method of fighting will, doubtlessly, contribute to a successful offensive war against the Communist bands.

The LXV Higher [Corps] Command may, for immediate delivery of the instructions to the troops, request aircraft from the Commander Serbia, if necessary.

Signed: Danckelmann, Lieutenant General, Air Force

[Illegible signature] Captain, Cavalry

Distribution: All military offices in the area of the Commander Serbia down to the company level
Copy of Translation


1. The lines of communication in the rear area [hinterland] are very suitable objects for the Guerrilla war. Therefore, organized bands frequently push into the hinterland of the enemy, destroy RR tracks, telegraph lines, and bridges, set magazines afire, raid transports, and harass the enemy in every conceivable manner.

2. Exact intelligence [service] and the great mobility of the troops are the best guaranty of success. The enemy is attacked at his weakest points, selecting those having the least guarding.

3. If the population actively supports the bushwar and the territory is favorable the enemy hinterland can be seriously menaced and the enemy forced to bring up stronger security forces.

During raids it is necessary to approach the enemy unnoticed and to attack him suddenly. Therefore, all movements must be carefully disguised, even from the population. Highways must be detoured, nightly shelter is to be taken either in lone houses or at well hidden places.
It is useful, sometimes, to set out in quite a different direction and to turn towards the true destination only later. The raids must take place at night if possible. It is, therefore, necessary to master well the territory and the position of the enemy. Intelligence [information] in regard to this must be carried by spies. At favorable places an ambush may be laid on highways used by the enemy, in order to make a surprise attack against the enemy driving by.

Destruction of the RR tracks:

The destruction of RR tracks is apt to freeze the traffic for a greater length of time. If no explosives are available the track is to be broken up shortly before the arrival of a train. The disturbance of the RR net is to be effected especially near sharp curves or in the neighborhood of woods. Removal of only one rail is not sufficient to impair the line, however it may put the railway temporarily out of commission.

Raiding of transports:

1. Above all, the strength and size of the transport, the distribution of the escorting force, as well as the direction and time of passage must be found out.

2. The best moment to attack is during the passing of a difficult spot, e.g., at a bridge, in a ravine, and while driving uphill into a forest.

3. The transports may be raided openly if the strength of the escort troop offers chances of success. Nevertheless, it is of advantage to entice the escort troop away from the transport in order to then launch a forceful attack against the transport. If the escort is too strong for a successful raid a surprise attack is imperative in which the vehicles must be damaged, the tires cut, and the motor magnetos removed. Here raiding from ambush is recommended. Smaller detachments, not suitable for larger scale raids, may specialize in destruction of bridges. If the transport tries flight, the horses leading the transport must be killed in order to delay the flight. Raids on strong enemy columns are not to be undertaken, but after the passage of the column, single groups or the train may be attacked.

Remarks concerning night fighting

1. At night, the knife plays the principal part. Firearms are to be used only in order to mislead the enemy. A night raid takes the enemy by surprise, thereby increasing the chances of success. The enemy has no possibility to ascertain the force and direction of the attack, all of which enables even a numerically small group to have great success.

2. The night raid is undertaken:

a. After, by day and by night, the position of the enemy and the points of approach have been well observed.

b. If the hostile forces can be sized up, with their distribution and equipment.

3. Firearms are outruled on principle, since their effect is small at night, and shots only serve to give away our position.

4. The greatest possible order and quiet must prevail. Neither smoking nor any use of light may be permitted. All communication is by whispering.

5. The knife attack takes place in deployed formation.

6. Ahead of the troop, a patrol with the guide will march. The storming is done by the combat lines. The reserves remain in back. Communication to the base, all along the front, is maintained by allies.

7. On the defensive, the troop holds together, yet always remaining in contact with the enemy.

Instructions for mountain warfare:

When executing tasks in mountain regions, spies and well oriented scouts must be used in greatest possible number. The best way for a mountain raid is, after surrounding the enemy, push in his flanks and rear. Mountain walls are the best position for defense, for they offer view and power of resistance. Narrow passes must be occupied. Nowhere is the chain system more advantageous than in mountains, as it precludes counterattacks.

The soldiers' tasks:

1. The soldier must come to the aid of his comrades, even when he exposes himself to the greatest danger.

2. He must courageously look ahead, even when his comrade in front of him is killed, as the man who persists 5 minutes longer than the enemy will be victorious.

3. If he meets with difficulties, he must only consider how to overcome them, and not reflect on their magnitude. Nothing is impossible

4. No shot must be fired without taking meticulous aim, except if this is necessary to deceive the enemy. Taking correct aim is the best protection for one's self.

5. Those who weaken the morale by failing to obey orders or by rumor propaganda, who throw away their weapons or ammunition, and who deliberately leave their allotted place will receive the death penalty.

6. Be considerate toward your own countrymen, do not loot or steal, but render assistance. The people should see in you the true fighter for their freedom, and consider you their upright friend.

1. Security for the terrain.

2. Knowledge of the terrain.

3 . The surroundings: (a) Gendarmerie posts, (b) Members of the fifth column, (c) Identification marks.

* * *

5. Food supply administrator, train.

6. Ammunition and arms depot.

7. Troop commanders and political leaders.

8. Meetings: (a) Military, (b) Political.

9. Discipline and distribution of work.

10. Reconnaissance parties for new terrain.

11. Detachments for agitation and propaganda.

12. Detachments for the collecting of food and supplies.

13. Detachments for operational duties.

14. Courier.

15. Bases in the surrounding villages.

16. Rest period, retreat, and reveille.

17. Practical military training.

18. Knowledge and experience gained in action.

19. Medical officer and medic.

20. First aid kit - iodine, dressing material, gauze, alcohol, chinine, aspirin, vaseline, cotton wool, hydrogen peroxide.

21. Rewards for bravery and success.

22. Criticism and self-criticism.

23. Suggestions, remarks, and complaints.

24. Vengeance for fighters killed in action.

25. Naming of partisans.

* * *

27. Tents, rucksacks, knapsacks, water bottle, helmet, various pieces of apparel, blankets, rope, battery, knuckle ring, stone, pickaxe, spade, hatchet, nails, horse, bicycle.

28. Literature on partisans.

29. Recruiting of new people.

30. Preserves, peximit, food supplies for 3 days.

31. Lighting material - gasoline, petroleum, wick [Fetzer] phosphorus, matches.

32. Pass word and watchword.

33. Attitude towards the population - Do not steal or loot, assist them in their work.

34. Fight cowards and talkative persons.

35. Scouts, spies.

36. How to take charge in any operation.

37. How to save the wounded.

38. Opiates and anesthetics - Various poisons for dogs and horses.

39. Three-cornered cloth for first aid purposes.

40. Binoculars and compass.

41. Hammer, pair of tongs, wire shears, spanners, watches, awl, drill, chisel, files, circular saws.

42. Disguises and camouflage.

43. Battle songs and gusla [musical instrument].

Appendix 63
To Armed Forces Commander Southeast (12th Army) Ia

Daily Report

* * *

3. LXV Higher [Corps] Command ordered to protect the coal mines north of Pozarevac, vital to the city of Belgrade, because the bands already have interfered with work-willing laborers. Increased safeguarding of the main railway routes ordered. German Danube fleet not yet arrived.

* * *

5. Attack on railroad station at Ostruznica (Belgrade-Obrenovac) and on three additional railroad stations near Uzice. 9/16/1941 - attempted attack on viaduct near Ralja prevented by German soldiers and Serbian rural policemen. 9/18/1941 - attack on night train prevented near Martinica (8 km. southeast of Petrovgrad), 10 Communists will be hanged. Attack on railroad tunnel near Ks. Mitrovica. One rural policeman killed, wounded. 9/18/1941 - due to the blowing up of a bridge between Jagodina and Jovac, traffic to Nis and Bulgaria interrupted for about 4 days. Train toppled into river and burned. 9/16/1941 - all telephone communications from Nis to Skoplje, and on the routes Uzice-Valjevo, Uzice-Belgrade, Uzice-B. Basta interrupted.

Traffic interrupted due to acts of sabotage on highways in the direction Belgrade-Obrenovac, Belgrade-Lazarevac, Jagodina-Kragujevac, Uzice-Valjevo. Bands prevent repair work from being accomplished.

* * *

7. During the attacks by bandits on Bajina-Basta enemy casualties 2 dead, 1 wounded, 8 prisoners. Own casualties - 1 Serbian rural policeman dead. On 9/16/1941 - attack on munition depot at Mrsao (10 kilometers northwest of Kraljevo) repulsed. Attacks by bands on 10 more rural communities. Archives burned. Means of communication destroyed.

8. During the last few days repeated attacks by bands on the mines at Ravna-Reka and Seniski-Rudnik repulsed. Own casualties - 2 dead; enemy casualties - 1 dead, 1 wounded. Bandits disturb operation. Cessation of operation has to be taken into consideration.

Commander Serbia/Headquarters, Staff Ia

[Illegible signature] Captain, Cavalry

* * *

Appendix 67
Commander Serbia/Headquarters Staff Section Ia/F
Belgrade, 9/18/1941

Important Enemy Report

According to a report on hand Chetniks and Communists intend to avenge their comrades who died in the Cer Mountains, in Sabac and in Obrenovac. They intend to carry out an attack on Dedinje, dressed in German officers' and soldiers' uniforms. The uniforms are those of captured German soldiers. By this disguise the insurrectionists intend to deceive the German guards and murder them. The intended time of the plan's execution so far could not be ascertained.

It is of interest to note that Dedinje was particularly chosen as target of attack.

For the Commander Serbia
The Chief of Staff

Signed: Gravenhorst, Lieutenant Colonel, GSC

[Illegible signature] Captain, Cavalry

Appendix 92
Commander Serbia/Headquarters Staff Section Ia/F
Belgrade, 9/25/1941

To the Plenipotentiary Commanding General Belgrade

Daily report

1. No change.

2. No change.

* * *

4. 9/23/1941 - gun battle between Serbian gendarmery and Communist bands at Beljina (30 km. southeast of Obrenovac). Enemy losses - 15 dead, 10 wounded.

5. Attacks on railway stations Glibovac (line, Belgrade-Velika Plana) and Vitkovac north of Kraljevo (line, Lapovo-Kraljevo). Sidings and installations destroyed. Attack on German Army train at station Vitkovac repulsed. Communications with Athens out of order.

Detour via Salonika possible.

Telecommunication lines to Agram [Zagreb] clear again on 9/24/1941 1400 hours. Sabotage act on telephone poles between Semlin and Batajnica.

6. No change.

7. Larger band concentrations south of Milanovac-Kucevo endanger the cataract-line on the Danube. Strong band concentration in the Rudnik mountains (15 km. northwest of Kragujevac). Band attacks on three more communities.

There is no more communication with the area around Uzice. Field Commander Nis [administrative area headquarters] reports all quiet at 0930 hours in Krusevac. Sixty bandits killed in battle. Own losses - 23 dead. The insurgent Vojvode is said to have died in battle.

8. 9/23/1941 - band attack on antimony mine in Bujanovac south of Vranje (in the Albanian settlement area). Dynamite and money stolen. Bands menace those willing to work. Enemy losses - dead, several wounded. Bands act in this area exactly like those in the insurgent area of Serbia.

For the Commander Serbia
The Chief of the General Staff

Signed in draft: Gravenhorst, Lieutenant Colonel, GSC

[Illegible signature] Captain, Cavalry

Appendix 101
Daily report

1. No change.

2. No change.

3. Order issued - To transfer the 6th Regional Defense Company of 920th Regiment from Grn. Milanovac (north of Cacak) to Kragujevac. If necessary, support by one battalion from Cacak and Stuka unit [squadron].

* * *

5. 9/25/1941 - through sabotage on track yard near Jagoidina and between Ripnik and Laniste (5 km. north of Jagodina) 2 derailments, slight damage. 9/25-26/1941 - between Brgule and Stubline (Belgrade-Cacak) track explosion caused by bandits. Considerable damage.

9/22-23/1941 - on line Lapovo-Kragujevac 197 telephone poles sawed off or damaged. Further damages on telephone communications on the lines Mladenovac-Velika Plana, Belgrade-Indija as well as at Cacak. 9/25/1941 - through acts of sabotage on road Jagodina-Lapovo and Jagodina-Varvarin, traffic interrupted.

* * *

7. In the area Paracin-Cuprija-Krusevac the insurgents are systematically carrying out intensified forced recruitings.

9/25-26/1941 - 50 insurgents attack the Rumanian border guards at Jimbola (20 km. east of Gross-Kikinda) with machine guns. Three Rumanians wounded. Besides the damage reported in the daily report of 9/26/1941 in Mjr. Julia (at Nem. Crnja 20 km. southeast of Gross-Kikinda), bands have burned 35 wagons of hemp. A hand grenade was thrown into a Rumanian border guard house. Band attacks on 5 more communities, 4 attacks on Serbian country letter carriers. Money stolen.

9/27/1941 - an ethnic German shot at by Communists in Belgrade. Travel of aliens into Belgrade decreases considerably in consequence of intensified check. During the last 10 days the commander of the city has checked at the town border 9904 persons, 2346 vehicles, and 2225 automobiles.

9/27/1941 - in the north of Belgrade a police company and a unit of the Serbian gendarmery carried out a raid. Result is yet outstanding.

8. 9/25-26/1941 - during attack on dynamite depot at Vinoraca (8 km., southwest of Jagodina) two insurgents are captured, several wounded.

For the Commander Serbia
The Chief of Staff

Signed in draft: Gravenhorst, Lieutenant Colonel, GSC

[IIIegible signature] Captain, Cavalry

David Thompson
Forum Staff
Posts: 23724
Joined: 20 Jul 2002 19:52
Location: USA

Post by David Thompson » 07 Oct 2004 23:05

From "V: Hostages, Reprisals and Collective Measures in the Balkans. Measures Against Partisans and Partisan Areas: (B) Contemporaneous Documents: Translation of Document NOKW-084, Prosecution Exhibit 42: Directive of Defendant List, 9/5/1941, Concerning Suppression of Serbian Partisan Movement", in Trials of War Criminals Before the Nuernberg Military Tribunals Under Control Council Law No. 10. Vol. 11: United States of America v. Wilhelm List, et al. (Case 7: 'Hostage Case'). US Government Printing Office, District of Columbia: 1950. pp. 964-966.
[Stamp] Top Secret

The Armed Forces Commander Southeast and the Commander in Chief of the 12th Army
Ia No. 1857/41, Top Secret
Headquarters, 9/5/1941

6 copies - 6th copy

Subject: Suppression of the Serbian insurrection movement

1. The situation in Serbia does not seem to eliminate the possibility of a spread of the insurrection movement. Increased attacks on soldiers and armed forces installations by strong, well-armed bands apparently organized and adroitly led prove that previous countermeasures are not adequate.

Commander Serbia and LXV [Higher] Corps Command consequently are to make all preparations immediately to enable them to cope with any aggravation of the situation and to pacify the country completely before the beginning of the winter.

2. In regard to the above, the following aspects are to be taken to consideration:

a. If the tension in the situation in Serbia increases, the divisions are to be concentrated at the focal points and at the local centers of the insurgent regions. (Area Sabac-Valjevo-Krupanjbznica; area Topola-Kragujevac-Kraljevo-Uzice-Lazarevac; and area Bor-Zajecar-Nis-Krusevac.) Villages are to be garrisoned not below battalion strength! Considerations of comfort and improved billets must be secondary! The units are to regard themselves as living under campaign conditions. They will have to do without permanent billets during this period and make their billets more like those of mobile warfare. This requires a constantly maneuverable composition and equipment free of any unnecessary ballast.

b. Surprising, sudden attacks on the centers of insurrection by surrounding them with superior forces (including artillery)! The operations are to be commanded by senior, experienced officers, divisional commanders, according to detailed plans of operation and after preceding patrolling and reconnaissance. It is obvious that the weak light infantry commandos assigned up to now as need arose are no longer sufficient in the present situation.

c. The billeting, which at present is spread over a wide area, and the desire to protect and to supervise everything simultaneously, harbors in it the great peril of being split up. It must necessarily lead to setbacks which, in the interest of the reputation of the German armed forces, are not tolerable.

The protection must therefore - when not necessary - be limited to objects whose preservation is vital. In this category belong primarily - Belgrade, as the capital (here sufficient mobile reserves!) the railway Leskovac-Nis-Belgrade direction Zagreb, the Danube, and the Sava bridges, the Danube break-through ;near the Iron Gate, the copper mines of Bor, etc.

d. Active strengthened propaganda in the Serbian language with all means at our disposal (radio, leaflets, newspapers, picture posters, etc.).

e. Increased pressure on the population in areas where insurgents are tolerated in order to bring the residents to a point where they will report the appearance of bands to the German authorities or otherwise cooperate in neutralizing the focal points of unrest.

f. Ruthless and immediate measures against the insurgents against their accomplices and their families. (Hangings, burning down of villages involved, seizure of more hostages, deportation of relatives, etc., into concentration camps.)

g. Close supervision of the Serbian gendarmerie. Effective punishment must follow immediately in case of passive behavior, for instance, permitting oneself to be disarmed without suffering casualties! On the other hand it is recommended that the prospect of rewards be held out for courageous behavior and for corresponding procedure.

h. Increased commitment of confidential agents to find out who and where the ringleaders, organizers, and focal points of insurrection are.

i. Full employment of the influence of the Serbian Government, which is to be made to accept responsibility and to cooperate actively.

3. All members of the German armed forces in Serbia are to be instructed again and again on the situation in Serbia and on their behavior in case of attacks, etc. These instructions are to stress that initiative and prompt action must be demanded from every German soldier. That in no situation may he negotiate with insurgents, and that he may never surrender.

4. I particularly expect of the unit leaders of all ranks exceptional energy and initiative as well as full personal devotion to the task assigned which at this time consists solely and exclusively of suppressing the Serbian insurrection movement rapidly and finally.

Incapable leaders are to be relieved without delay and if circumstances warrant, they are to be called to account!

[Signed] List, Field Marshal


LXV [Higher] Corps Command
Commander Serbia
Commander Salonika-Aegaen
Ia [Operations]
Id [Training]
War Diary

David Thompson
Forum Staff
Posts: 23724
Joined: 20 Jul 2002 19:52
Location: USA

Post by David Thompson » 07 Oct 2004 23:06

From "V: Hostages, Reprisals and Collective Measures in the Balkans. Measures Against Partisans and Partisan Areas: (B) Contemporaneous Documents: Translation of Document NOKW-1424, Prosecution Exhibit 48: Request of Defendant List to OKW, 9/13/1941, for Unification of Command in Fight Against Serbian Partisans", in Trials of War Criminals Before the Nuernberg Military Tribunals Under Control Council Law No. 10. Vol. 11: United States of America v. Wilhelm List, et al. (Case 7: 'Hostage Case'). US Government Printing Office, District of Columbia: 1950. pp. 967-968.
[Handwritten] Oberquartiermeister
Quartiermeister 2 [Illegible initials]
[Initials] M.V.
[Handwritten] 9/14/1941
[Stamp] Top Secret - Priority

5 copies - 4th copy

To OKW/Operations Group
same text High Command of the Army
Army General Staff

Threatening development of the over-all situation in Serbia demands energetic measures. Even the new Serbian Government does not come up to expectations, according to reports of the commander in Serbia. The gendarmerie is unreliable on an increasing scale. Association between the insurgents - in my opinion not aptly described as Communists by the commander in Serbia - and the Chetniks, has been confirmed.

First requisite is a rigid uniform leadership of the offensive operations which are necessary for the restoration of unconditional authority. Moreover it is essential that the over-all executive power, including command over the troops which will be committed, should be united in one agency. This can only be that of the supreme troop commander. The present command regulations are based on peaceful conditions and are unbearable under the present turbulent combat conditions.

Lieutenant General Boehme is a person to be considered as especially suited for this position since at the same time he has an excellent knowledge of conditions in the Balkans. Together with his staff, he could be made free for this task.

[Stamp] 12th Army
Received 9/13/1941
Oberquartiermeister No. 1163
[Handwritten] Oberquartiermeister/Administration

134/41 Top Secret

It is fully understood that the interests of the Four Year Plan will also be taken into consideration in this case. The main condition for its realization is security and order in the country.

Even after the transfer of the reinforced 125th Infantry Regiment, the German armed forces are in no way sufficient for carrying out the necessary operations in Serbia. The divisions of the 15th stage of mobilization, both as regards personnel and material composition, as well as regards leadership, are unsuitable according to experiences made up to now - for the destruction of this revolt, which is universally breaking out. Mobile supply installations for larger sized operations are also lacking.

I therefore see myself forced, in spite of my appreciation of the over-all situation, to propose the speedy transport of at least one powerful front line division with tanks.

Armed Forces Commander Southeast (12th Army)

Ia No. 1913/41 Top Secret

Signed: List, Field Marshal

Certified: [Illegible signature] Colonel, GSC

After release.
Chief (Teletype)
War Diary

David Thompson
Forum Staff
Posts: 23724
Joined: 20 Jul 2002 19:52
Location: USA

Post by David Thompson » 07 Oct 2004 23:07

From "V: Hostages, Reprisals and Collective Measures in the Balkans. Measures Against Partisans and Partisan Areas: (B) Contemporaneous Documents: Translation of Document NOKW-1492, Prosecution Exhibit 49: Hitler Order, 9/16/1941, Charging Defendants List and Boehme with the Task of Suppressing the Insurgent Movement in Southeastern Area", in Trials of War Criminals Before the Nuernberg Military Tribunals Under Control Council Law No. 10. Vol. 11: United States of America v. Wilhelm List, et al. (Case 7: 'Hostage Case'). US Government Printing Office, District of Columbia: 1950. pp. 969-970.
[Stamp] Top Secret
[Handwritten] Directives
Fuehrer and Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces OKW/Armed Forces
Operations Staff/Department National Defense (I Operations) No. 44 1538/41
Fuehrer Headquarters, 9/16/1941
Top Secret Matter
[Stamp] Top Secret matter, through Officer only
[Illegible handwritten notes]

22 copies - 11th copy

[Initial] W [Warlimont] 17/9

1. I charge the Armed Forces Commander Southeast, Field Marshal List, with the task of suppressing the insurgent movement in the southeastern area.

The primary task is to secure in the Serbian area the traffic arteries and objects which are important for the German war economy, and to reestablish order in the entire area on a long term basis by the application of the most severe means.

In Croatia (up to the line of demarkation) measures deemed imperative against the bands are to be taken in agreement with the Croatian Government through the mediation of the German General in Zagreb.

2. For the duration of the execution of these tasks all army forces stationed in the insurgent area, as well as those to be fought there, are to be concentrated under the order of the Commanding General of the XVIII Infantry Corps, Lieutenant General (Infantry) Boehme. The latter will exercise executive power in the insurgent area itself, pursuant to directives of the Armed Forces Commander Southeast. Insofar, all military and civilian offices must follow his instructions. The Armed Forces Commander Southeast will regulate a more accurate definition of his authority. The interests of the Four Year Plan are to be taken into consideration as a matter of principle.

3. An infantry division, Panzer platoons [The German word "Panzerzuege" conveys two meanings - tank platoons and/or armored trains.], and captured tank will be sent by the Commander in Chief of the Army into the Serbian area in addition to other security forces (these for Croatia also). He prepares for the bringing up - in case of need - of an additional division as soon as one is released in the east. I request that the measures be reported in detail to the OKW.

4. As before, the Commander in Chief of the Air Force will support the operation in the insurgent area with all the forces available for this purpose. He will designate to the Armed Forces Commander Southeast a leader for tactical cooperation with Lieutenant General (Infantry) Boehme.

5. It is not permissible to employ forces of the Hungarian Rumanian and Bulgarian armies and air forces for these operations without the approval of the OKW. However, Hungarian and Rumanian ships which are offered may be employed together with the Danube fleet for the security of Danube traffic. With a corresponding commitment of the German flotilla they are to be assigned such duties as will prevent them having anything to do with each other.

The use of Croatian troops in the Serbian border areas adjoining Croatia has been conceded by the Croatian government, and may therefore take place.

The Italian High Command will be informed of the intended measures and will be requested to take suitable energetic action in the territory occupied by the Italians, in agreement with the Armed Forces Commander Southeast

6. The Foreign Office will carry out a joint political action of the Balkan States against the Communist Central Offices in these countries.

A representative of the Reich will inform the Armed Forces Commander Southeast regarding the details.

[Initialed] W [Warlimont]
[Initialed] K [Keitel]
[Signed] Adolf Hitler

Armed Forces Commander Southeast, copy 1
Military Commander Serbia, copy 2
German General in Zagreb, copy 3
German Armed Forces Mission in Rumania, copy 4
German General with the Headquarters of the Italian Armed Forces, copy 5
Commander in Chief of the Army: (Oberquartiermeister I) copy 6,
(Operations Section) copy 7
Naval High Command (Naval Operations), copy 8
Air Force High Command (Air Force Operations Staff), copy 9
Chief, Armed Forces Transportation, copy 10
OKW: Armed Forces Operations Staff, copy 11;
Department National Defense, copies 12-17;
Armed Forces Signal Communications, copy 18;
Armed Forces Propaganda, copy 19;
Foreign Counter Intelligence Office, copy 20;
Branch Foreign Countries, copy 21;
Armament Economy Office, copy 22

David Thompson
Forum Staff
Posts: 23724
Joined: 20 Jul 2002 19:52
Location: USA

Post by David Thompson » 07 Oct 2004 23:44

"V: Hostages, Reprisals and Collective Measures in the Balkans. Measures Against Partisans and Partisan Areas: (B) Contemporaneous Documents: Translation of Document NOKW-203, Prosecution Exhibit 70: Order from Defendant List to Commanding General Serbia, 10/4/1941,
Concerning Treatment of Male Population in Clearing Areas of Partisans", in Trials of War Criminals Before the Nuernberg Military Tribunals Under Control Council Law No. 10. Vol. 11: United States of America v. Wilhelm List, et al. (Case 7: 'Hostage Case'). US Government Printing Office, District of Columbia: 1950. pp. 975-976.
[Handwritten] Supplement 28, War Diary
Teletype Office, XVIII Infantry Corps
HMYX/FUE 24 611
Remarks - Priority
10/4/1941 2000 hours German summer time

To Plenipotentiary Commanding General in Serbia

The male population of the territories to be cleared of bandits, is to be handled according to the following points of view:

1. Men who took part in combat are to be judged by courts martial.

2. Men in the insurgent territories who were not encountered in battle, are to be examined, and:

a. If a former participation in combat can be proved of them, to be judged by courts martial.

b. If they are only suspected of having taken part in combat, of having offered the bandits support of any sort, or of having acted against the armed forces in any way, to be held in a special collecting camp. They are to serve as hostages in the event that bandits appear, or anything against the armed forces is undertaken in the territory mopped up or in their home localities, and in such cases they are to be shot.

c. All other unsuspicious men are to be led under guard into their home towns. In the most simple form they are to be obliged to offer the bandits no support of any kind and not to undertake anything against the armed forces. The mayors of the individual localities who are to be replaced, circumstances permitting, must testify as to the local residence of the individual.

Men foreign to the region are to be held in the collecting camps. The localities are to be searched for weapons first.

3. This regulation is to be made known to all the men named under 2 above. It is to be explained to them, furthermore, that the most severe measures of punishment will be used without further investigation against localities, above all against the male population of such localities, in which or in the proximity of which bandits appear, bandits are supported, surprise attacks take place, sabotage acts take place, or anything is undertaken against the armed forces.

4. It is to be explained to them further, that similar treatment will be meted out to the male population of localities and to localities themselves, from which men join the bandits, surprise attacks and sabotage acts are practiced, or anything is undertaken against the armed forces.

Signed in draft: List, Field Marshal
Certified true copy:
[Illegible signature] 1st Lieutenant
Last edited by David Thompson on 07 Oct 2004 23:46, edited 1 time in total.

David Thompson
Forum Staff
Posts: 23724
Joined: 20 Jul 2002 19:52
Location: USA

Post by David Thompson » 07 Oct 2004 23:44

"V: Hostages, Reprisals and Collective Measures in the Balkans. Measures Against Partisans and Partisan Areas: (B) Contemporaneous Documents: Translation of Document NOKW-192, Prosecution Exhibit 78: Order of Commanding General in Serbia, 10/4/1941, Declaring that 2100 Concentration Camp Inmates Be Shot for the Killing of 21 German Soldiers", in Trials of War Criminals Before the Nuernberg Military Tribunals Under Control Council Law No. 10. Vol. 11: United States of America v. Wilhelm List, et al. (Case 7: 'Hostage Case'). US Government Printing Office, District of Columbia: 1950. pp. 976-977.
The Plenipotentiary Commanding General in Serbia
Quartiermeister Section
[Handwritten] Supplement 24, War Diary
Local Headquarters, 10/4/1941

Supplement 24

Subject: Reprisals for the cruel murder of German soldiers by Communist bandits

Chief of the Military Administration with the Commander of Serbia
342d Infantry Division
449th Corps Signal Battalion

Twenty-one soldiers were tortured to death by Communist bandits in a bestial manner on 10/2/1941 in a surprise attack on units of the signal regiment between Belgrade and Obrenovac. As reprisal and retaliation, 100 Serbian prisoners are to be shot at once for each murdered German soldier. The chief of the military administration is requested to pick out 2100 inmates in the concentration camps Sabac in Belgrade (primarily Jews and Communists) and to fix the place and time as well as burial place. The detachments for the shooting are to be formed from the 342d Division (for the Sabac concentration camp) and from the 449th Corps Signal Battalion (for the Belgrade concentration camp). They are to be furnished by the chief of the military administration through the Plenipotentiary Commanding General of Serbia.

The chief of the military administration is requested to order the camp leaders to inform the prisoners of the reason for the shooting.

[Handwritten] Only verbally ordered.

Lieutenant General, Infantry [Illegible initial]
Last edited by David Thompson on 07 Oct 2004 23:46, edited 1 time in total.

David Thompson
Forum Staff
Posts: 23724
Joined: 20 Jul 2002 19:52
Location: USA

Post by David Thompson » 07 Oct 2004 23:48

"V: Hostages, Reprisals and Collective Measures in the Balkans. Measures Against Partisans and Partisan Areas: (B) Contemporaneous Documents: Partial Translation of Document NOKW-557, Prosecution Exhibit 88: Order of Commanding General Serbia, Boehme, 10/10/1941, Directing the Shooting of 50 and 100 Prisoners or Hostages for Each German, or Ethnic German, Soldier Wounded or Killed, Part 1", in Trials of War Criminals Before the Nuernberg Military Tribunals Under Control Council Law No. 10. Vol. 11: United States of America v. Wilhelm List, et al. (Case 7: 'Hostage Case'). US Government Printing Office, District of Columbia: 1950. pp. 977-978.
The Plenipotentiary Commanding General in Serbia
III/Chief of Military Administration/Quartiermeister
No. 2848/41 Secret

[Handwritten] Supplement 48
[Stamp] Secret
Local Headquarters, 10/10/1941
Quartiermeister Section No. 47041 Secret

[Crossed out] Top Secret

Subject: Suppression of Communist insurgent movement

Reference: Supplements of the Plenipotentiary Commanding General in Serbia to "The Chief of OKW Armed Forces Operations Staff/Department National Defense (IV/Quartiermeister) No. 00 206041 Top Secret of 9/16/1941"

1. In Serbia it is necessary, on the basis of the "Balkan mentality" and the great expansion of insurgent movements both Communists and camouflaged as national, to carry out the orders of the OKW in the most severe form. Speedy and ruthless suppression of the Serbian resistance is a consideration not to be underestimated for the German final victory.

2. In all garrison towns in Serbia all Communists, male residents suspicious as such, all Jews, a certain number of nationalistic and democratically inclined residents are to be arrested as hostages, by means of sudden actions. It is to be explained to these hostages and to the population that the hostages will be shot in case of attacks on Germans or on ethnic Germans. The LXV [Higher] Corps [Command] and the Chief of the Military Administration (for Belgrade and Banat) are to report on the 10th, 20th and last of each month (for the first time, on 10/20/1941) the number of hostages.

3. If losses of German soldiers or ethnic Germans occur, the territorially competent commanders up to the regimental commanders are to decree the shooting of arrestees according to the following quotas:

a. For each killed or murdered German soldier or ethnic German, (man, woman, or child) 100 prisoners or hostages;

b. For each wounded German soldier or ethnic German, 50 prisoners or hostages.

The shootings are to be carried out by the troops.

If possible, the execution is to be carried out by the part of the unit suffering the loss.

In each individual case of losses a statement is to be made in the daily reports, whether and to what extent the reprisal measure is carried out or when this will be finished.

4. In the burying of those shot, care is to be taken that no Serbian shrines arise.

Placing of crosses on the graves, decorations, etc., is to be prevented. Burials are, accordingly, to be carried out best in distant localities.

5. The Communists captured by the troops in combat actions are to be hanged or shot as a matter of principle at the place of crime [Tatort] as a frightening measure.

6. Localities which have to be taken in combat are to be burned down, as well as farms from which troops were shot at.

[Signed] Boehme, Lieutenant General, Infantry

Commander Serbia/Headquarters Staff, 2 copies.
Commander Serbia/Military Administration, 2 copies.
Commander Serbia/for Administrative Area Headquarters, 4 copies.
LXV [Higher] Corps [Command] and Divisions, each 2 x, 10 copies.
342d Infantry Division, 2 copies.
125th Infantry Regiment, 1 copy.

David Thompson
Forum Staff
Posts: 23724
Joined: 20 Jul 2002 19:52
Location: USA

Post by David Thompson » 07 Oct 2004 23:50

"V: Hostages, Reprisals and Collective Measures in the Balkans. Measures Against Partisans and Partisan Areas: (B) Contemporaneous Documents: Translation of Document NOKW-1202, Prosecution Exhibit 106: German Proclamation to Serbian Population, 10/1941, Announcing the 100:1 Reprisal Ratio", in Trials of War Criminals Before the Nuernberg Military Tribunals Under Control Council Law No. 10. Vol. 11: United States of America v. Wilhelm List, et al. (Case 7: 'Hostage Case'). US Government Printing Office, District of Columbia: 1950. pp. 979-980.

The German armed forces do not want to take your freedom and to prevent you from working peacefully. But just like your Belgrade Government, it demands peace, order, and security in the country.

Insurgent Communists, Jews, and plunderers have united. They force you to join their ranks, endanger your property and life.

Repeatedly, German soldiers have been murdered cruelly. Also, individual national organizations of your country have made alliance with these insurgents in order to harm the German armed forces.

The German armed forces have looked on at this activity for a long time, to give you time to think it over. Instead of acknowledging gratefully the generous attitude of the German armed forces you, in many cases, have believed more in the lies and provocative whispers of Communist and ambitious leaders. So it happened, that many of you not only did not resist the insurgents but even supported them. Thereby, you have become accomplices to the criminal acts of the insurgents.

Lately, raids on vital installations of economy and traffic have increased, as well as organized attacks on German forces. Here again many German soldiers were murdered brutally.

The German armed forces must and shall put an end to this activity with all means and unyielding severity to restore peace and security - also for you.

The following directives become effective immediately:

1. Anyone who supports the insurgents or their accomplices, by means of arms and ammunition, by erecting road blocks, by destroying bridges, by transmitting information, by giving food, by providing transportation, or by any other manner, will be shot.

2. Anyone who carries fire arms, pointed weapons, hand grenades, or other weapons, will be shot.

3. Anyone who conceals arms and ammunition will be shot.

4. The communities in whose areas arms and ammunition are found, in whose areas road blocks or destroyed bridges are found, without being prevented or immediately averted by you, in whose area other hostile acts occur - will be severely punished by the burning down of houses and shooting of inhabitants.

For every killed German soldier, 100 inhabitants will be shot.

Do not permit yourself to be deceived by Communist leaders or other ambitious leaders. The German armed forces are strong and victorious. Armies of millions of your alleged friends in Russia have been destroyed with their entire equipment.

The rest is being destroyed.

St. Petersburg [Leningrad] and Moscow are about to fall.

The German armed forces are also in a position to break all resistance in Serbia.

Beware of heavy penalties! Keep peace!

The German Commandant

[Back strip of file containing NOKW-1202]

342d Infantry Division, Operations Section
Supplements 2
War Journal III, Serbia
[Stamp] Checked [Illegible Signature]
[Handwritten] 3/4/1942
Current No. 4
[File number] 15.365.8

David Thompson
Forum Staff
Posts: 23724
Joined: 20 Jul 2002 19:52
Location: USA

Post by David Thompson » 07 Oct 2004 23:51

"V: Hostages, Reprisals and Collective Measures in the Balkans. Measures Against Partisans and Partisan Areas: (B) Contemporaneous Documents: Partial Translation of Document NOKW-387, Prosecution Exhibit 99: Report to Commanding General in Serbia, 10/29/1941, Concerning Severe Reprisal Measures", in Trials of War Criminals Before the Nuernberg Military Tribunals Under Control Council Law No. 10. Vol. 11: United States of America v. Wilhelm List, et al. (Case 7: 'Hostage Case'). US Government Printing Office, District of Columbia: 1950. pp. 980-
* * *

[Handwritten] Supplement 37

Kragujevac, 10/20/1941
District Headquarters I/832
Diary - A./41

To the 610th Administration Area Headquarters Pancevo

And simultaneously for information:

To Commander Serbia, Section Ia, Belgrade

During the period 10/14-17/1941, the 3d Battalion, 749th Regiment, stationed in this area carried out an operation at G. Milanovac, where the 6th Company, 920th Regiment, had been kidnapped. The unit was accompanied by two interpreters, in German uniform, of the district headquarters who informed me about details. The unit, marching on the highway, was allegedly shot at numerous times from the surrounding heights whereby they sustained losses of 9 dead and 27 wounded (of the latter one more died later). The interpreter, who knew the country, called the attention of the battalion's commanding officer numerous times to the fact that different tactics were necessary in this terrain in order to be able to combat the bandits, otherwise he would have unpreventable losses, without being able to do anything himself. That is what actually happened in the end. Eighty-seven of the enemy were killed.

The battalion found G. Milanovac rather empty. About 40 male habitants who had concealed themselves, according to information of the battalion commanding officer and had waited for the return of the German armed forces, were arrested and brought back with them as hostages.

G. Milanovac was completely destroyed; likewise the villages bordering on the highway on the way back.

After the return from there the battalion of the 749th Regiment received the order to shoot 100 Serbs from Kragujevac for each soldier killed and 50 [Serbs] for each wounded.

Accordingly, in the late evening hours of 10/18/1941, all male Jews and a number of Communists, altogether about 70 men, were arrested according to lists.

Since this number was not sufficient by far for the 2300 to be shot, it was proposed to collect the number lacking through arrests on the streets, squares, and dwellings in a unified action in the town of Kragujevac by both the 3d Battalion, 749th Regiment, and the 1st Battalion, 724th Regiment, stationed in Kragujevac.

Since the planned measure was in contradiction to the orders of the Plenipotentiary Commanding General - file note 73/41 Secret (Section III) of 10/9/1941 and file note III/Chief of Military
Administration/Quartiermeister No. 2842/41 Secret of 10/10/1941, as well as Commander Serbia, Administration Staff-Diary No. 224/41 of 10/10/1941 - I attempted to inform the senior garrison officer, Major Koenig, of the execution, in the sense of the order cited, in that I
suggested that the villages in the vicinity and surroundings of Kragujevac, known to the district headquarters for a long time as completely strewn with Communists, be surrounded and the necessary number to be shot obtained there. He accepted my suggestion voluntarily at once, and it was proposed that the 1st Battalion of the 724th Regiment mop up the villages Grosnica and Belosovac on Sunday. On Monday both battalions were to mop up, by a joint action, the villages Meckovac, Marzic, Korman, Botunje, and Dl. and Gor Komarice in the middle of which the ill-famed Parlog mountain lies, where the bandits allegedly have their forest quarters.

If then the number of those arrested would not have been sufficient, I suggested the combing through of villages further infested with Communists according to my information. I emphasize expressly that in the whole time of the existence of the district headquarters, not a single member of the German armed forces or ethnic German was wounded or shot in the city.

The citizens of the city, numbering about 42000, always showed themselves loyal and inclined toward cooperation with the German armed forces, whereby it should not be disregarded that a part of these citizens were always inclined to the bandits; but nothing happened.

In the evening of 10/19/1941, I was invited to a renewed conference with Major Koenig, where I learned to my astonishment that the whole plan had been thrown over. On 10/19/1941, the villages Grosnica and Milatovac were mopped up by the 1st Battalion, 724th Regiment, and burned down, and Meckovac and Marzic by the 3d Battalion, 749th Regiment. At the same time 422 men were immediately shot on the spot in the villages without any losses on our side, among them a priest of the Russian church in whose church tower munition had been found concealed.

In order to obtain the number of 2300 lacking, a combing of the town Kragujevac was ordered again for 10/20/1941.

The arrests on the streets, squares, shops, dwellings, stores, etc., took place accordingly today without regard for the persons involved, taking men between 16 and 60 years of age.

According to a statement of Major Koenig, the following were to be pulled out from those under arrest in German hands:

a. Those who were in possession of a special pass of the district headquarters or another troop unit stationed here.

b. Members of a vital profession or trade (doctors, druggists, bakers, butchers, grocers, technicians, workers of the light and water plants, etc.)

c. Those who could prove themselves members of the Ljotic movement.

In this case, no consideration was taken in any way for the points stated under paragraph 2 in the order 2848/41 secret. Furthermore, the last sentence of the second paragraph in the order, diary 4224/41 ("in order to prevent the annihilation of completely innocent people * * *"), was observed in no way.

This order of State Counsellor Turner which I brought expressly to the attention of Major Koenig, the latter did not even wish to read saying that he had to act exclusively according to the order of the regimental commander of the 749th Infantry Regiment, which set him the task of bringing together the necessary number of those to be shot from the men of the town of Kragujevac.

By radio, I urgently requested at 0600 hours, 10/20/1941, an airplane from the Ic section, Commander of Serbia, in order to attain through personal conference in Belgrade that the orders issued would be carried out according to their sense. Unfortunately the airplane was not sent so that an interference of the superior office is no longer possible because the shootings were set for 7 o'clock in the morning of 10/21/1941. I should like to state that the losses of the 3d battalion 749th Regiment occurred in an operation against the guilty locality G. Milanovac and not in the city of Kragujevac. If 2300 bandits and those sympathizing with them had been captured and shot, the order issued would have been taken care of to a sufficient extent.

According to my viewpoint, the shooting of people from this city, some of whom are entirely innocent, can have directly harmful effects. It is to be expected that embittered relatives of those shot will now practice acts of revenge on members of the German armed forces.

Sabotage acts on drinking water and on the current temporary light supply, as well as a large attack of the bandits against the city, in which the units could suffer more losses than before, are not out of the realm of possibility. Above all, the psychological effect will be catastrophic. The residents of Kragujevac have expected of the German armed forces the elimination of the Communist danger and the aligning into the new framework of Europe. With the methods used here, we shall certainly not manage to win back the favorably inclined elements.

Signed: v. Bischofshausen, Captain and Commandant

Captain v. Bischofshausen reported personally in the above affair: On 10/28/1941, to the Chief of Staff, Commander Serbia. On 10/29/1941, at Plenipotentiary Commanding General in Serbia (through Major Jais).

Certified true copy:

[Illegible Signature] Captain

michael mills
Posts: 9002
Joined: 11 Mar 2002 12:42
Location: Sydney, Australia

Post by michael mills » 08 Oct 2004 00:45

It is interesting that the German documents reveal an attempt to comply at least formally with the rules of war in dealing with insurgents in Serbia.

For example, Field Marshal List's order of 4 October 1941 states that persons captured in combat against German occupation forces, or proved to have formerly engaged in such combat, were to be tried by courts martial, ie not summarily executed.

Those only suspected of activity against the German forces were likewise not to be executed, but held as hostages. The laws of war did allow the taking of hostages and in some cases their punishment as reprisal for illegal acts of violence, provided that there was a connection between the persons held hostage and the persons committing the illegal acts, and provided the punishment of the hostages was in proportion to the illegal acts committed.

Persons not suspected of any illegal activity against the German occupation forces were to be released to their homes, subject to their good behaviour.

The above provisions were generally consistent with the laws of war at the time.

The order of Lieutenant-General Boehme of 10 October 1941 also shows that reprisal actions were not supposed to be directed against the Serb civilian population as a whole, but against population elements that were considered to be supporters of, or otherwise linked with, the insurgents who were committing illegal acts against the German occupation forces.

The population elements that were subject to arrest and holding as hostages are described as "all Communists, male residents suspicious as such, all Jews, a certain number of nationalistic and democratically inclined residents ". One might argue as to the nature of the link between the named population elements and the insurgents committing the illegal acts, but it is clear that the German authorities genuinely believed that such a link existed.

It could also be argued that the prescribed reprisal execution ratio of 100 hostages for every German or ethnic German killed and 50 for every German or ethnic German wounded was vastly disproportionate, and hence underminsed the legality of the German reprisal actions.

Despite the orders issued by the German commanders, it is clear that reprisal actions taken by their subordinates went beyond the limits set in those orders, and that often quite innocent Serb civilians were taken as hostages and sometimes summarily executed. That is shown by the report of Captain von Bischofshausen of 20 October 1941 on the shooting of 2300 hostages in Kragujevac.

It is apparent that one of the major reasons for the inclusion of totally innocent Serb civilians in the reprisal actions was the prescribed execution ration of 100:1. It was simply impossible to find enough hostages who were "guilty" according to the criteria laid down by List and Boehme, and hence innocent civilians were rounded up to make up the "quota" for execution, as happened at kargujevac according to Captain von Bischofshausen's report.

As the prescient Captain von Bischofshausen pointed out, the shooting of innocent civilians had the opposite effect to that intended by the German authorities, and increased hatred for the Germans and support for the insurgents.

Perhaps governments of our own time could learn a lesson from the German experience in Serbia.

David Thompson
Forum Staff
Posts: 23724
Joined: 20 Jul 2002 19:52
Location: USA

Post by David Thompson » 08 Oct 2004 01:04

Michael -- You said:
As the prescient Captain von Bischofshausen pointed out, the shooting of innocent civilians had the opposite effect to that intended by the German authorities, and increased hatred for the Germans and support for the insurgents.

Perhaps governments of our own time could learn a lesson from the German experience in Serbia.
I agree. That's one of the reasons I thought I'd post this material.

David Thompson
Forum Staff
Posts: 23724
Joined: 20 Jul 2002 19:52
Location: USA

Post by David Thompson » 08 Oct 2004 01:05

"V: Hostages, Reprisals and Collective Measures in the Balkans. Measures Against Partisans and Partisan Areas: (B) Contemporaneous Documents: Partial Translation of Document NOKW-1379, Prosecution Exhibit 137: Extract of Intelligence Report of 342d Infantry Division, 11/1/1941, Concerning Insignia Worn by Chetniks and Partisans", in Trials of War Criminals Before the Nuernberg Military Tribunals Under Control Council Law No. 10. Vol. 11: United States of America v. Wilhelm List, et al. (Case 7: 'Hostage Case'). US Government Printing Office, District of Columbia: 1950. pp. 984.
342d Inf. Div., G-2 (Open) of 11/1/1941 - Enemy Information/Sheet 5

* * *

10. The insignia of the various units have not changed. The Chetniks as a rule wear on their lamb fur caps a Serbian cockade and, underneath it, a skull and cross bones; the Communists wear on their headgear a red star, sometimes below it a narrow strip of ribbon in Yugoslav colors or the Soviet emblem with hammer and sickle, or also plain red stripes. Arm bands with the word "partisan" written on them have been noticed.

Leaders of ten wear, in addition, tassels in their caps - the Chetniks gold colored ones, the Communists red ones.

11. Clothes as already known - mostly peasant costumes in all units; only few in uniforms, almost exclusively among the Chetniks; the Chetnik officers often wear over their peasant costume a Serbian officer's coat with epaulettes.

12. Valid passes in green color which are certified by the German military offices by means of a stamp are only at the disposal of a part of the Chetnik group Valjevo. The remaining Chetniks who are loyal to the government have in their possession passes issued by Pecanac.

[Handwritten] Probably dating from the period before the split of the Chetnik units.

David Thompson
Forum Staff
Posts: 23724
Joined: 20 Jul 2002 19:52
Location: USA

Post by David Thompson » 08 Oct 2004 01:07

"V: Hostages, Reprisals and Collective Measures in the Balkans. Measures Against Partisans and Partisan Areas: (B) Contemporaneous Documents: Partial Translation of Foertsch Document NOKW-83, Foertsch Defense Exhibit 72: Extracts from Situation Report Balkans, 11/2/1941, Issued by Intelligence Section, Armed Forces Commander Southeast: Preliminary Remarks", in Trials of War Criminals Before the Nuernberg Military Tribunals Under Control Council Law No. 10. Vol. 11: United States of America v. Wilhelm List, et al. (Case 7: 'Hostage Case'). US Government Printing Office, District of Columbia: 1950. pp. 985-990.
Armed Forces Commander Southeast
Section Ic/Counter Intelligence Officer
No. 7324/41 Secret
Army Headquarters, 11/2/1941

Situation Report Balkans

Preliminary Remarks

To be used only for the instruction of officers (up to company commander), as a basis for a discussion of the political situation; public display - for instance on bulletin board - is prohibited. The paragraphs lined in the margins are only for oral instruction of the commanders - written transmission is prohibited.


I. State territory (compare attached sketch) - The borders of today's Serbia coincide essentially with the language borders. In the West, however, the Serbian settlement territory still goes deeply into Croatia. In the Northeast a territory was separated from the Serbian area to form a "German Protectorate." On 10/10/1941, the territory of Semlin (west of Belgrade) was ceded to Croatia. The details of determining the border - especially in regard to Bulgaria and Montenegro - are still to be worked out, on the spot, by mixed commissions. Serbia contains about 3.8 million inhabitants; about the same number lives outside the borders.

II. Government - The provisional government of Acimovic, which was first set up, was unable to operate. The people rejected it as a German puppet government. The government of former General Milan Nedic, which was then formed, worked dependently under German administration. Gen. N. [Nedic] is known as a convinced Serbian patriot, and an enemy of communism, as energetic, incorruptible, and relentless. As Minister of War he supported collaboration with Germany. He is credited with farsightedness and discernment.

N. [Nedic] has known how to surround himself with a number of strong personalities. After some failures in the beginning, the government seems to be gaining ground with the people; only the future will show whether it can assert itself against the extremists, who have always been numerous in Serbia.

III. Serbia is under German military administration. All important administrative acts (for instance, decrees) must have the approval of the commander in Serbia.

Internal reconstruction is greatly restricted by the continuous disorders. In part it has not gotten past the stage of giving orders. But in spite of everything, a strong desire for reconstruction can be recognized.

IV. Economy - Important for the German conduct of the war is:

a. Navigation route on the Danube; especially important are the rapids between V. Gradiste and Turnus-Severin (Iron Gate), because it is especially easy to sabotage the river bed and the system of sluices.

b. The railway line Belgrade-Nis-Salonika as well as the main road and communication lines.

c. Industrial installations, especially the copper mine Bor in the northeast; Preussag mines in the northwest, Trepca mines in the south, as well as numerous individual plants scattered over the country.

V. Armed forces and police - Since the armistice, Serbia no longer has any armed forces. In 9/1941 the Military Commander Serbia allowed the Serbian Government to increase the strength of the police force within a certain limit. It shall be used in agreement with the German army commanders to fight the insurgents. It has proved its worth after initial setbacks.

VI. Insurrectionist movement

a. Reasons for the insurrection are:

1. Recovery from the shock effect of the short campaign, which scarcely touched large parts of the country or did not touch them at all.

2. Panslav and Communist tendencies.

3. Merger of remaining parts of the Serbian Army.

4. The Serbian refugees expelled from the separated territories (from Croatia 110000, from Hungary 7000, from Bulgaria 20000) who were transported across the frontier without means and without sufficient care.

b. Mainsprings of the insurrection are:

1. Remaining parts of the former Yugoslav Army.

2. Communist bands.

3. National units of the Chetniks. The Chetniks are a free corps organized in a military manner (Cheta-Group, Company), which has been in existence since the war of liberation against Turkey and received a legal basis for existence after the World War through the establishment of a Chetnik organization. The words with which their secret broadcasting station opens each broadcast, "It is not Communists who are speaking here but National Chetniks who are ready to fight for the liberation of Serbia and Yugoslavia", characterize their political attitude. Strictest discipline, silence, and absolute dedication of personal efforts are the basic pillars of this organization. The Vojvode (leader of the band) is master over the life and death of his people - only his will governs.

Today part of the Chetniks fight together with German troops and the Serbian police under the Vojvode Kosta Pecanac against the Communists.

4. Mixed bands (Chetniks and Communists).

c. Territories in rebellion - Main territories in rebellion at the present time are (1) around Valjevo and westward past the Croatian border (remainder of the Serbian Army and Chetniks); (2) around Kragujevac (mixed bands), (3) around Bor and northward up to the Danube (predominantly Communist bands).

The Chetniks of the Vojvode Kosta Pecanac, who participate in the fight against the Communists, are in the Jastrebac mountains (west of Nis). After beginning with single cases of sabotage, the rebellion now extends almost over the entire Serbian state. Bands appear in strength up to 1000 men and possess light and heavy weapons, and in some cases even artillery. Between 10/2 and 10/11/1941, for instance, there were 62 acts of sabotage and 51 ambush attacks in the Serbian sector. In 32 cases the sabotage affected traffic installations and in 26 cases it was directed against lines of communication. Five ambush attacks were made on members of the German armed forces, while 46 attacks were directed against Serbs (civilians and police).

* * *

The population of Belgrade is troubled because of the daily increasing difficulties in food supply, and the hitherto unsolved problem of fuel supply to Belgrade. Not the insecurity caused by the insurgents, but the German occupation forces are blamed for it. There are rumors running that Belgrade itself is blockaded. An operation of the insurgents against Belgrade is expected. In this case - it is said - the population will side with the "just cause". The events at the east front are eagerly discussed; an English victory is hoped for.


I. State territory (compare the attached sketch) - After the transfer of the Semlin territory from Serbia to Croatia, performed on 10/10/1941, the frontiers towards Serbia are now determined in general.

The frontier towards Hungary is still in dispute, since the Mur Island is kept occupied by the Hungarians. The Mur Island was Croatian possession up to the beginning of the 18th century and then again from 1848-1867, and from 1919-1941 it belonged to Yugoslavia. 98% of its population profess allegiance to the Croatian ethnic group.

The present frontiers coincide approximately with those of old Croatia, Slavonia, Bosnia, Hercegovina, and parts of the coastal regions and of Dalmatia. Considerable parts of the last mentioned territories were ceded to Italy.

Croatia is divided into a German and an Italian sphere of interests. The cooperation between Croatians and Italians is strained.

The population of Croatia amounts today to about five million, whereof nearly two million are Serbs.

II. Government - State Leader (Poglavnik) of the "independent State of Croatia" is Dr. Ante Pavelic. He is assisted by a council of 12 members (Doglavnici); besides by another council of 7 members (Poglavni-Pobocnici).

The acceptance of a king from the Italian royal house is not welcomed by all parts of the people. The Duke of Spoleto is being considered as king, however is not yet elected.

III. Administration - The administration is but in a state of organization and is very much handicapped by encroachments of the Ustasha on the one hand and by revolts of the oppressed Serbians on the other hand. The German military interests are safeguarded by the German General in Zagreb, Brigadier General Dr. H. C. von Glaise-Horstenau.

IV. Armed forces - Minister of War and commander of the Croatian armed forces is Marshal Kvaternik; chief of the General Staff, General of the Air Force Laxa. At present the Croatian Army consists of - 5 division staffs, 46 infantry battalions activated as regards personnel, and 1 bicycle battalion. The 10 activated artillery battalions are not yet fully equipped. Furthermore, there exists 15 infantry replacement battalions. Three cavalry battalions are employed for the most part as infantry units, since there is lack of horses. Three corps staffs, one more division staff, two signal battalions, and four engineer battalions are being activated. The arms are for a great deal material captured by the Germans, and only a small part of the army are trained with them so far.

A Croatian Legion (army, navy and air force units) is attached to the German armed forces for the fight against bolshevism.

V. Internal political situation

a. The Ustasha - Dr. Pavelic established in Italy the organization of the Ustasha (insurgents). In Yugoslavia Eugen Kvaternik saw to a further extension and consolidation of this formerly secret organization.

The goal of the Ustasha was the creation of an independent Croatian national state by uncompromising fight against the Serbs.

According to its organization statute the Ustasha consists of:

The political organization - It has the task to educate the members, to imbue the minds of the whole nation with the Ustasha spirit, and to care for the youth.

The Ushtasha militia (para-military organization) - It is responsible for the pre and post military training, and has also to do some racial education work.

The Ustasha are fanatical enemies of the Serbs. After Dr. Pavelic's accession to power the unbridled attitude of numerous Ustasha men, especially against the Serbian part of the people, was very detrimental to the reputation of the movement. The Ustasha ministry is now doing what is necessary for discipline and for a strict organization of the Ustasha units. They are organized into Stuerme (units corresponding to a company) and are also operating in the insurgent areas under the command of Croatian army officers. There they proved themselves.

b. The Jewish and Serbian problem - There have always been strained relations between the Roman Catholic Croatians and the Greek Orthodox Serbs (Pravoslavs). The young Croatian State at once issued laws according to the model of the Nuernberg Laws concerning Jews, to which Jews and Serbs were subject in like manner. This resulted in most severe persecutions of Serbs, and at some places degenerated into a religious war against the Orthodox Church. Serbs were chased by thousands over the frontiers and thereby robbed of their last property.

c. Insurgent movement - The reasons for the insurrection were the partly artificially intensified animosity towards the Serbs, Communist and English agitation, and the disunion within the Ustasha.

Upholders of the insurrection are undisciplined Ustasha units, Serbian, and Communist bands. The insurrection is kept alive by atrocities, committed on both sides, and by foreign agitators.

Fight against the insurrection - In the Italian sphere of interest, after its being occupied by numerous Italian divisions, the situation is generally calm. In the German sphere of interest Croatian units, partly with German assistance, are fighting the insurrection centers with varying success. Acts of sabotage against railroads and means of signal communication increase in number. In Zvornik (near the Serbian-Croatian frontier) a German battalion successfully defended itself for weeks against continuous enemy attacks. A large scale relief operation is being staged by the Croatians.


Montenegro is an independent kingdom under a King of the Italian royal house. The King was not yet elected, since here, as in Croatia, the people reject the Italians.

In the area of the Sandshak Novi Pazar, all over northern Montenegro as well as near Kolasin, bands with military organizations under the command of Serb General Ljubo Novakovic are fighting against Italians and Croatians. Southern Montenegro is calm. The population complied here with the request of the Italians to deliver up the arms.


Albania is an Italian Protectorate. The Albanian Government is experiencing a continuous crisis. The public opinion accuses Prime Minister Verlaci of a too great deference to Italian demands. The Ministers of Party, of Education, and of the Interior tendered at the beginning of 10/1941 their resignations, which, however, were refused.

By strong troop concentrations and energetic measures the Italians are masters of the situation. There are isolated islands of insurrection. Rumors of an imminent national insurrection are spreading.

Guerrilla bands are gaining ground. Raids and burglaries frequently occur. Communist pamphlets are distributed. The police cannot do anything against this.

The population is discontented because the promised autonomy was not yet granted.


I. Government - After King George II and his government escaped from Greece in 4/1941, General Tsolakoglou, former Commander in Chief of the Albania Army, formed a new government. After a reshuffling, made on 9/20/1941 under pressure of public opinion, its members are:

Tsolakoglou: Prime Minister.

Logopetopoulos: Vice-President, Minister for National Welfare, and Minister for Education.

Papadopoulos: Minister of the Interior and Minister of Security.

Gotsamanis: Minister of Finance.

Livieralos: Minister of Justice and Labor.

Bakos: Minister for National Defense.

Markou: Minister without Portfolio.

Mutussis: Minister of Communications and Minister for the Merchant Marine.

Hatismichalis: Minister for Economics.

Karamanos: Minister for Agriculture and Food.

This government cannot fully assert itself either. Tensions within the government are partly based on old class and party feelings.

Although Tsolakoglou owing to his successful combat engagements in Albania enjoys, to a certain extent, a good reputation among the population, he nevertheless is generally accused of nepotism and an all too great deference in all important questions.

II. a. Domestic situation - In spite of the generally prevailing stressing conditions, large scale acts of sabotage have not occurred. Numerous British subjects - most of them with Greek identification papers - could be recaptured. The British officers and soldiers who are still in hiding have allegedly received the order recently to remain in the country and join Greek organizations. Very recently sabotage equipment is said to have been brought to Athens from abroad in order to carry out acts of sabotage during British air raids, especially on German food depots.

Greek officers and soldiers have fled into Turkey. Turkish authorities are supposed to back up the departure to Palestine if the Greek Government in exile requests so. A Greek Legion does already exist in Egypt.

b. Executive power - As a result of the dismissals, decreed by the Italians for the constabulary and police, their numbers have decreased to one-third of the prewar strength. The executive power, as a result of its insufficient numbers, but also due to its present attitude, can no longer be regarded as an element of security. It takes a passive attitude towards the various abuses.

c. Economic and food situation

1. The economic life is dominated by the black market, price rigging, and illicit currency traffic. Organized bands are buying up food in the country in order to sell it on the "black market" at fantastic prices. Decrees against these conditions are disregarded. The government attempts in vain to ease the lot of the population through increases in pensions and salaries, settlement of military compensation, maximum price regulations, etc. All measures, however, are in no proportion to the devaluations of the currency.

2. The food situation has furthermore deteriorated. The rate of infants' mortality is said to have risen from 6% to 50% as a result of the famine.

In bringing up food the government has to cope with extraordinary transportation difficulties. The steamer "Theophile Gautier" which, among other items, was carrying German flour from the Banat to Athens and Piraeus was sunk by the British.

Besides this, owing to the advanced season, the products of the summer season, especially fruits and vegetables, were gradually disappearing. The bread ration had to be temporarily reduced from 60 drams (192 grs.) to 30 drams (96 grs.) since an anticipated transport of grain and flour failed to arrive. The present issue of bread is again 50 drams (160 grs.) daily per head, which is the result of the arrival of one Italian and two German steamers laden with grain. Moreover, a steamer under the Turkish flag of the red half-moon, laden with 1200 tons of food supplies, arrived in Piraeus. The Minister for Agriculture and Food, Karamanos, declared that, for the moment, even the greatest difficulties in the procurement of bread could be regarded as overcome. In spite of the temporary improvement the over-all situation with regard to food is as bad as before.

The supply with coal and fuel continues to remain insufficient. Negotiations between a German coal company and the Croatian Government were conducted in Agram for the purpose of delivering 200000 tons of coal to Greece. The negotiations reached a deadlock since Greece at the present time is in no position to deliver the products requested as compensation (resin, sesam-oil, etc.).

d. Morale - The people bear the acute food situation with indifference and apathy.

The political sentiment of certain groups has changed considerably. The Communist propaganda, in view of the enormous German victories in the East, has lost some of its driving power although the British propaganda in this matter does not work without skill. One begins to realize that the German fight against bolshevism meets the interests of all European nations and hopes that a just solution will be found for the Greek question in the framework of the European reorganization. Particular attention is directed to the tobacco regions of Kavalla and Xanthe which are occupied by the Bulgarians. The export of tobacco is the economic backbone of Greece. One hopes that in future settlements of territorial questions Germany will take those vital economic problems into consideration.

David Thompson
Forum Staff
Posts: 23724
Joined: 20 Jul 2002 19:52
Location: USA

Post by David Thompson » 08 Oct 2004 01:09

"V: Hostages, Reprisals and Collective Measures in the Balkans. Measures Against Partisans and Partisan Areas: (B) Contemporaneous Documents: Translation of Document NOKW-235, Prosecution Exhibit 140: Order of General Boehme, 11/2/1941, Concerning Suppression of Serbian Resistance", in Trials of War Criminals Before the Nuernberg Military Tribunals Under Control Council Law No. 10. Vol. 11: United States of America v. Wilhelm List, et al. (Case 7: 'Hostage Case'). US Government Printing Office, District of Columbia: 1950. pp. 993-995.
Supplement 113

[Handwritten] War Diary
The Plenipotentiary Commanding General in Serbia
Quartiermeister/Military Administration/Ic
No. 3345/41, Secret
Quartiermeister Section No. 586/41, Secret
Local Headquarters, 11/2/1941

[Stamp] Secret

Subject: Suppression of the Serbian resistance - signs of dissolution among the insurgents

1. Under the pressure of the ruthless and successfully carried out operations of the unit, in consideration of the approach of winter and on the basis of the destruction of the Russian armed forces, which is gradually becoming noticeable, the first indication of signs of dissolution are to be recognized among the insurgents.

2. These signs were to be expected; they do not signify by any means that the opponent will give up his aims. It depends on:

a. Destroying communism in Serbia in such a manner that flaring up again under more favorable circumstances is impossible.

b. Destroying Serbian chauvinistic circles which now and in the future refuse close economic and political cooperation with the Reich.

3. At the same time those parts of the Serbian population must now be won, which have placed themselves on the side of the Serbian Government of Nedic, installed by the Reich. (See directive of the Plenipotentiary Commanding General in Serbia/Ia No. 33446/41, Secret, of 11/2/1941).

4. The following directives are published for the commitment of the units and the conduct of the administrative offices:

a. As before, all insurgents who were taken in combat, even if they deserted, are to be shot as partisans. Negotiators who come from territories in which combat actions take place or will happen soon, are likewise to be shot.

The arrest and shooting of hostages is regulated by the order of the Plenipotentiary Commanding General in Serbia/Chief of Military Administration/Quartiermeister No. 284841, Secret, of 10/10/1941 and No. 3208/41 of 10/25/1941.

b. Negotiators who do not offer the capitulation of small or large groups under the pressure of combat actions taking place or to take place are to be told that the battle against insurgents will be continued with unabated severity and only unconditional capitulation with surrender of all weapons will be accepted.

c. Unconditional surrender is to be carried out as follows: The insurgents are to lay down their weapons at a place determined by one of the troop commanders or the administrative area and/or district commandant and are to be brought together in a reception camp of the battalion, regiment, or division. They are to be examined there by the Secret Field Police, SD, and Serbian auxiliary police. For this purpose, administrative orders in my mission proceed through the chief of the military administration.

d. The divisions are to report in the daily reports, place of the reception camps and the number of prisoners.

5. The exploitation of the signs of dissolution lies exclusively in the hands of the German armed forces (unit and administrative offices). Serbian auxiliary police may not accept offers of capitulation, but must obtain the decision of the German offices. The insurgents will, nevertheless, first of all approach the units of the Serbian auxiliary police with offers of capitulation. Through getting into close touch with them, it is to be guaranteed that the initiative will remain unequivocally with the German offices. It is understood that a crossing over of insurgents into the Serbian auxiliary police is to be prevented with all possible means.

Orders of this sort to the Serbian Government are issued through the Chief of the Military Administration. A copy of the order of the Prime Minister Nedic to the branches of the Serbian Government is enclosed as a supplement.

6. The larger number of the insurgents will attempt to strike through to their home localities unnoticed, in order to conceal themselves there. Such groups are to be arrested by the units or by the Serbian auxiliary police, if necessary with force of arms, and are to be brought into collection camps.

The following is valid for the seizure of insurgents who succeed in escaping and reaching their home localities:

a. The administrative offices have received from the Chief of Military Administration an order to prepare exact reports and submit lists, from which the names of leaders of the bandits, members thereof, and all persons absent from the localities or returning there may be obtained. They are to note in addition the localities which have offered the bandits assistance.

b. In addition, frequent surprise raids are to be carried out by the unit in collaboration with the administrative offices. Because of their knowledge of the locality and population, it will often be practical to use the Serbian auxiliary police.

7. In doubtful cases - above all, when it is uncertain whether individual groups are to be regarded as "insurgents" or not - the decision of the Plenipotentiary Commanding General in Serbia to be obtained.

[Signed] Boehme, Lieutenant General, Infantry

Distribution: Down to battalion and district headquarters
[Stamp] Secret

Return to “Holocaust & 20th Century War Crimes”