The Barbarossa jurisdiction order 1941

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The Barbarossa jurisdiction order 1941

Post by David Thompson » 21 Oct 2004 11:49

This is another research thread, collecting German source documents on this specific subject:

The Barbarossa Jurisdiction Order, 13 May 1941, With Transmittal Letters From the High Command of the Armed Forces, 14 May 1941, and From the Naval War Staff, 17 June 1941", in Trials of War Criminals Before the Nuernberg Military Tribunals Under Control Council Law No. 10. Vol. 10: United States of America v. Wilhelm von Leeb, et al. (Case 12: 'The High Command Case'). US Government Printing Office, District of Columbia: 1951. pp.

Partial Translation of Document C-50, Prosecution Exhibit 594.

[stamp] Top Secret,
Fuehrer Headquarters,
14 May 1941
[Handwritten] Submit to Naval War Staff
[initial] S [Schniewind]
[Stamp], Matter for Chiefs
Through officer only
23 copies--7th copy.

High Command of the Armed Forces
Armed Forces Operations Staff, Dept. National Defense, (IV Qu.)
No. 44718/41 Top Secret
Chief-matter
Ia [Illegible initial]
Ig; If [Illegible initial]
6 June 1941
Ii [Illegible initial] 19 May 1941.

[Stamp] High Command of the Navy, I Op 00663/41
Received 15 May 1941.
Enclosures: I G...; 1 Distribution (attached).

Subject: The exercise of military jurisdiction in the "Barbarossa" area and special measures to be taken by the troops.

[Handwritten] Later to Ic. Clear case! But this is not easy to decide upon by the officer in charge when troops threaten to get out of hand.
I. i. [Illegible initial] 17 May 1941
[Illegible initials] 19 May 1941.

Enclosed please find Fuehrer decree on the exercise of military jurisdiction in the "Barbarossa" area and special measures to be taken by the troops, if possible further transmittal will not be made before 1 June 1941.

The Chief of the High Command of the Armed Forces.
By Order:
[Signed] von Tippelskirch
[Chief of Quartiermeister Branch, Department National defense of the High Command of the Armed Forces.]

[Handwritten] have received copy with 1045/41 [Illegible initials]: Group North, Admiral Norway, Station Baltic, Comdr. of Coastal Defense, Liaison Staff, Naval Commanders "C" & "D".

Distribution:
Commander in Chief of the Army (Operations Section): 1st copy;
Commander in Chief of the Army (Generalquartiermeister): 2d-3d copies;
High Command of the Army (Chief of Army Equipment and Commander of the Replacement Army): 4th copy;
Commander in Chief of the Air Force (Air Force Operations Staff): 5th copy;
Commander in Chief of the Air Force (Generalquartiermeister): 6th copy;
Commander in Chief of the Navy (Naval War Staff): 7th copy;
High Command of the Armed Forces: Armed Forces Operations Staff: 8th copy;
Dept. National Defense, Chief: 9th copy;
Dept. National Defense, I H: 10th copy;
I L: 11th copy;
I K: 12th copy;
IV/Quartiermeister: 13th copy;
II: 14th copy;
War Diary: 15th copy;
Armed Forces Legal Department: 16th copy;
Armed Forces Propaganda: 17th copy;
Office Foreign Counter Intelligence: 18th copy;
Counter Intelligence III: 19th copy;
Extra copies: 20th-23d copies.

Berlin, 17 June 1941.
Naval War Staff, File No. 1st Naval War Staff Ia 001049/41
Matter for Chiefs.
[Stamp] Top Secret,
[Stamp] Through officer only,
[Handwritten] 7 copies made and forwarded 17 June 1941
[Illegible initials].

I. Send letters to: Group North, Control Nos. 1-2; Admiral Norway, Control Nos. 3-4; Station Baltic, Control Nos. 5-6; Commander of Coastal Defense, Control Nos. 7-8; Liaison Staff Finland, Control Nos. 9-10; Naval Commander "C", Control Nos. 11-12; Naval Commander "D", for information Control Nos. 13-14.

Please find enclosed a Fuehrer decree on the exercise of military jurisdiction in the "Barbarossa" territory and on special measures to be taken by the troops.

[Handwritten] In folder OKW (Supreme Command of Armed Forces),
Directions OKW 44718/41 [Illegible initials].
[Handwritten] 35 copies made.

II. Make copies of Fuehrer decree of 13 May 1941 and attach two copies each to the letter under I. [Handwritten:] Extra copies Control Nos. 15 to 30.

III. I Op.: By Order Ii, After dispatch, [Illegible initial] 18 June 1941.

1/Naval War Staff, By Order: Ia [Illegible initial].

[Handwritten] Dollman distribute follow-up matters accordingly.

Fuehrer Headquarters,
13 May 1941.
The Fuehrer and Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces
[Handwritten] One copy for Group South sent 15 December 1941 [Illegible initials].

Decree concerning the exercise of military jurisdiction in the "Barbarossa" area and special measures to be taken by the troops.

The armed forces jurisdiction serves primarily the maintenance of discipline.

The further extension of the eastern theater of operations, the battle strategy conditioned thereby, and the peculiar qualities of the enemy, confront the courts of the armed forces with problems which, being short-staffed, they cannot solve while hostilities are in progress, and until some degree of pacification has been achieved in the conquered areas, unless jurisdiction is confined, in the first instance, to its main task.

This is only possible if the troops defend themselves relentlessly against any threat from the enemy population.

The following regulations are, therefore, issued for the "Barbarossa" area (operational area, army group rear area and the area of political administration):

I: Treatment of offenses committed by enemy civilians:

1. Until further notice the courts martial [Kriegsgerichte] and the summary courts martial [Standgerichte] will not be competent for offenses committed by enemy civilians.

2. Guerrillas will be ruthlessly liquidated by the troops, either in combat or in flight.

3. Similarly, all other attacks by enemy civilians on the armed forces, its members and employees, will be suppressed on the spot by the troops, using the most extreme methods, until the assailants are annihilated.

4. Where such measures have been neglected or were not at first possible; persons suspected of an offense will be brought immediately before an officer. This officer will decide whether they are to be shot.

On the orders of an officer, with the powers of at least a battalion commander, collective coercive measures will be carried on immediately against localities from which cunning or malicious attacks are made on the armed forces, if circumstances do not permit a speedy determination of individual perpetrators.

5. It is expressly forbidden to detain suspects in order to transfer them to the courts after the reinstatement of jurisdiction over indigenous population.

6. The commanders in chief of the army groups may by agreement with the competent naval and air force commanders reintroduce military jurisdiction for civilians, in areas which are sufficiently pacified.

For the area of the "political administration" this order will be given by the Chief of the Supreme Command of the Armed Forces.

II. Treatment of offenses committed against inhabitants by members of the armed forces and its employees:

1. With regard to offenses committed against enemy civilians by members of the armed forces and its employees, prosecution is not obligatory even if the deed is simultaneously a military violation or crime.

2. When judging such deeds, it must be borne in mind, whatever the circumstances, that the collapse in 1918, the subsequent suffering of the German people and the fight against national socialism which cost the blood of innumerable supporters of the movement, were caused primarily by Bolshevist influence and that no German has forgotten this.

3. The judicial authority [Gerichtsherr] will, therefore, decide in such cases whether disciplinary punishment is indicated, or whether judicial proceedings are necessary.

In the case of offenses against indigenous inhabitants, the judicial authority will order a court martial only if maintenance of discipline or security of the troops call for such a measure. This applies for instance to serious offenses based on lack of sexual restraint, or resulting from a criminal tendency, or indicating that the troops are threatening to become out of hand. As a rule offenses resulting in the senseless destruction of billets, stores or other captured material to the disadvantage of our forces will not be judged more leniently.

The order to institute investigation proceedings requires the signature of the judicial authority in each individual case.

4. Extreme caution is indicated in assessing the credibility of statements made by enemy civilians.

III. Responsibility of military commanders: Within their sphere of competence military commanders are personally responsible for ensuring that:

1. Every officer of the units under their command is instructed promptly and with the utmost emphasis on the principles set out under I above.

2. Their legal advisers [Rechtsberater] are notified promptly of these instructions and of the verbal information which elucidated the political intentions of the leadership to the commanders in chief.

3. Only these sentences are confirmed which are in line with the political intentions of the leadership.

IV. Security: Once the camouflage is lifted this decree will be classified as "Top Secret" only.
By Order:
Chief of the High Command of the Armed Forces
[Signed] Keitel.

Certified:
[Signed] Dressel,
Major, GSC.

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Post by David Thompson » 21 Oct 2004 11:49

"Formulation and Distribution: Brauchitsch Order and OKH Distribution List, 24 May 1941, Amplifying Barbarossa Jurisdiction Order", in Trials of War Criminals Before the Nuernberg Military Tribunals Under Control Council Law No. 10. Vol. 10: United States of America v. Wilhelm von Leeb, et al. (Case 12: 'The High Command Case'). US Government Printing Office, District of Columbia: 1951. pp.

Partial Translation of Document von Roques 49, von Roques Defense Exhibit 9.

[The Barbarossa Jurisdiction Order is included in the preceding Document C-50, Prosecution Exhibit 594.]

Headquarters, High Command of the Army
24 May 1941.
[Stamp] Top Secret
340 copies--133d copy.
The Commander in Chief of the Army, File No.

General for Special Missions with the CinC of the Army (Group Legal Affairs),
No. 80/41
Top Secret,
Matter for Chief,
Special distribution list.
Matter for Chief,
[Stamp] Through officer only.

Subject: Treatment of enemy civilians and criminal acts of members of the armed forces against enemy civilians.

Attached Fuehrer decree is [hereby] announced. It is to be distributed in writing down to the commanders with jurisdiction of their own; beyond that, the principles contained in it are to be made known orally.

Supplements to I:

I expect that all counterintelligence measures of the troops will be carried out energetically, for their own security and the speedy pacification of the territory won. It will be necessary to take into account the variety of ethnic strains within the population, its over-all attitude, and the degree to which they have been stirred up.

Movement and combat against the enemy's armed forces are the real tasks of the troops. It demands the fullest concentration and the highest effort of all forces. This task must not be jeopardized in any place. Therefore, in general, special search and mopping-up operations will be out of the question for the combat troops.

The directives of the Fuehrer concern serious cases of rebellion, in which the most severe measures are required.

Criminal acts of a minor nature are always in accordance with the combat situation, to be punished according to detailed orders from an officer (if possible, a post commander) by resorting to provisional measures (for instance, temporary detention with reduced rations, roping [to a tree], assignment to labor).

The CinC's of the army groups are requested to obtain my approval prior to the reinstatement of armed forces jurisdiction in the pacified territories. The commanders of the armies are expected to make suggestions in this respect in time.

Special instructions will be issued about the treatment to be given to political dignitaries.

Supplements to II: Under all circumstances it will remain the duty of all superiors, to prevent arbitrary excesses by individual members of the army and to prevent in time the troops becoming unmanageable. It must not result that the individual soldier commits any act he thinks proper toward the indigenous population; he must rather feel that in every case he is bound by the orders of his officers. I consider it very important that this be clearly understood down to the lowest unit.
Timely action by every officer, especially every company commander etc., must help to maintain discipline, the basis of our successes.

Occurrences with regard to "I" and "II" and which are of special importance are to be reported by the troops to the High Command of the Army as special events.
[Signed] von Brauchitsch.

Distribution: Top Secret
Army Group B, with copies for the Commander of Army Group Rear Area 102, 221st, 286th, and 403d, Security Division, and for 14 Feldkommandanturen: Copies 1-21.
2d Army Command, with copies for Corps Hq., Divs., etc: Copies 22-36.
4th Army Command, with copies for Corps Hq., Divs., etc: Copies 37-71.
18th Army Command, with copies for Corps Hq., Divs., etc: Copies 72-89.
Army Command Norway, with copies for Corps Hq., Divs., etc. (insofar as it is necessary that they be informed): Copies 90-95.
Panzer Group 2, with copies for Corps Hq., Divs., etc: Copies 96-110.
Panzer Group 3, with copies for Corps Hq., Divs., etc: Copies 111-121.
Panzer Group 4, with copies for Corps Hq., Divs., etc: Copies 125-129.
Sector Staff Silesia, with copies for the Commander of Army Group Rear Area 103, 213th, 444th, and 454th Security Division, and for 14 Feldkommandanturen: Copies 130-150.
Sector Staff East Prussia, with copies for the commander of Army Group Rear Area 101, the 207th, 281st, 285th Security Division, and for 14 Feldkommandanturen: Copies 151-171.
Sector Staff Staufen, with copies for Corps Hq., Divs., etc: Copies 172-196.
Fortress Staff Blaurock, with copies for Corps Hq., Divs., etc.: Copies 197-216.
Sub Sector East Prussia I, with copies for Corps Hq., Divs., etc: Copies 217-236. Operational Staff Gotzmann, with copies for Corps Hq., Divs., etc: Copies 237-254. Operational Staff R.G., with copies for Corps Hq., Divs., etc: Copies 255-274.
Chief Construction Group South, with copies for Corps Hq., Divs., etc: Copies 275-286. High Command of the Army, Adjutant of the CinC of the Army: Copy 287.
High command of the Army, Adjutant of the Chief of Staff of the Army: Copy 288.
High command of the Army/Oberquartiermeister I: Copy 289.
High Command of the Army/Operations Section: Copy 290.
High Command of the Army/Organization Section: Copy 291.
High Command of the Army/Army Affairs Section: Copy 292.
High Command of the Army/Generalquartiermeister Section II: Copy 293.
High Command of the Army/Chief of Transportation: Copy 294.
High Command of the Army/Chief of the Army Signal Communications: Copy 295. High Command of the Army/General of the Engineers and Fortifications with the CinC of the Army: Copy 296.
High Command of the Army/Army Supply officer: Copy 297.
High Command of the Army/Personnel office: Copy 298.
High Command of the Army/Chief of Army Armament and Commander of Replacement Army: Copy 299.
High Command of the Army/General Army Office/ Army Legal Sec.: Copy 300.
Extra copies: Copies 301-340.

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Post by David Thompson » 21 Oct 2004 11:50

"Letter From Defendant Lehmann to Defendant Warlimont's Office, 4/28/1941, Transmitting Lehmann's Draft of Barbarossa Jurisdiction Order", in Trials of War Criminals Before the Nuernberg Military Tribunals Under Control Council Law No. 10. Vol. 10: United States of America v. Wilhelm von Leeb, et al. (Case 12: 'The High Command Case'). US Government Printing Office, District of Columbia: 1951. pp. 1121-1123.

Partial Translation of Document NOKW-209, Prosecution Exhibit 590.

28 April 1941.
Armed Forces Legal Department
30/41 Top Secret
Matter for Chiefs--Matter for Chiefs
[Stamp] Top Secret.

To Chief Armed Forces Operations Staff, Chief National Defense,
[Handwritten] one copy each, [Initial] W. [Warlimont], 28 April 1941.

Subject: Barbarossa.

I herewith submit draft of the directive concerning the jurisdiction of courts martial in the "Barbarossa" area.

[Signed] Lehmann.

Fuehrer Headquarters.
The Fuehrer and Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces
30/41
Top Secret
Matter for Chiefs
Armed Forces Legal Dept.
2d copy.

Matter for Chiefs
[Stamp] Top Secret
Subject: Exercise of military jurisdiction in the "Barbarossa area (operational area, army rear area and political administration area).

1. Guerrillas [In the original document the term is "Freischaerler."] will be ruthlessly liquidated by the troops either in combat or in flight.

2. Other attacks by enemy civilians against the armed forces, their members, and their auxiliaries will be dealt with by the troops on the spot, with the same determination and with every means at their disposal, until the attacker is annihilated.

II: 1. Military law and its enforcement agencies [Wehrmachtgerichtsbarkeit] serve primarily the enforcement of discipline. Punishable acts committed against the troops will be dealt with by the troops themselves as set out under I. Only in those exceptional cases in which this has not been done, will judicial prosecution take place. [In previous directives as approved by the Fuehrer, it was provided in addition that it should be possible to bring the culprit before a court immediately, and that the guilt of the culprit must be so obvious that he could be sentenced immediately. All other offenses committed by indigenous civilians were to be transferred to the nearest office of the Reich Leader SS.

Since, contrary to the previous assumption, sufficient number of offices of the Reich Leader SS will not be available, the only alternative left is, therefore, to have civilians, whose guilt cannot be proved immediately, nevertheless tried by the courts, or to have them shot by the troops. If they are handed over to the courts, the courts must decide on guilty or impossibility to prove guilt, and acquit the defendant in the latter case. I stress this particularly.]

[Handwritten] No.

2. For the rest, punishable acts committed by enemy civilians will only be prosecuted by court martial if this is indispensable for political reasons. [This sentence, too, was not contained in the previous directives, but it seems necessary. Example--A Bolshevik shoots a pro-German Ukrainian the sentence can only be dispensed with if the troop commanders undertake the responsibility for dealing with such cases without court procedure in conformity with the intentions of the political leadership.]

III: 1. In case of offenses committed by members of the armed forces and their auxiliaries against enemy civilians, prosecution is not mandatory, even though the offense is simultaneously a military offense or crime.

2. When judging such acts, it must be considered that the collapse of 1918, the subsequent period of suffering endured by the German people, and the struggle against national socialism, which caused a great number of casualties among the members of the movement were mainly brought about by Bolshevist influence, and that no German has forgotten all this.

3. The [military] judicial authority will therefore consider in such cases whether disciplinary punishment is indicated or whether judicial proceedings are necessary. The judicial authority will, in cases of offenses against indigenous civilians, authorize court martial proceedings only if this is called for in the interests of discipline or for the security of the troops. This applies, for instance, to serious offenses based on utter lack of sexual restraint or which are caused by criminalistic tendencies and further, offenses resulting in the senseless destruction of billets, stores or other captured materials to the disadvantage of our forces.

Authorization of investigation proceedings requires the signature of the judicial authority in each individual case.

4. Utmost caution is indicated when considering the credibility of statements by enemy civilians.

IV: Within the jurisdiction of their commands, it is the personal responsibility of the military commanders to ensure:

1. That all officers of the units subordinate to them are instructed concerning the principles set out under I in good time and with the utmost emphasis.

2. That their legal advisers are informed in good time of these directives and of the oral information which elucidates the leadership's political intentions to the commanders in chief.

3. That only those sentences are confirmed which are in line with the political intentions of the leadership.

By Order:
The Chief of the OKW.

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Post by David Thompson » 21 Oct 2004 11:51

"Army High Command Draft of Barbarossa Order, May 1941, Addressed to Army Group Commanders", in Trials of War Criminals Before the Nuernberg Military Tribunals Under Control Council Law No. 10. Vol. 10: United States of America v. Wilhelm von Leeb, et al. (Case 12: 'The High Command Case'). US Government Printing Office, District of Columbia: 1951. pp. 1124-1126.

Partial Translation of Document 877-PS [The covering letter from General Mueller transmitting this draft to defendant Warlimont's office (first part of Document 877-PS, Pros. Ex. 53) is reproduced above in section A 2.], Prosecution Exhibit 53.

[Stamp] Draft.
The Commander in Chief of the Army
File Number General for Special Missions with Commander in Chief of the Army
No. 75/41
Top Secret
Matter for Chiefs
[Stamp] Top Secret.

[Stamp] Matter for Chiefs
Through Officer Only
May 1941
15 copies--copy.

To: The Commanders in Chief of Army Groups A, B, and C; The Commanders of the 2d, 4th, 6th, 9th, 11th, 16th, 17th, 18th Army; and the Army Command Norway.

Subject: Treatment of enemy inhabitants and punishable offenses by members of the armed forces against enemy inhabitants in the zone of operation, "Barbarossa".

The vast extent of the Eastern theater of operations, the combat methods conditioned thereby, the specific character of the Eastern enemy require a particularly comprehensive and effective security of the combat troops in relation to the enemy armed forces and to the enemy civilian population, and also a speedy pacification of the conquered territory.

Of course mobility and combat with the enemy armed forces remain the primary mission of the troops; this requires greatest concentration and fullest commitment of all forces. The troops must not let themselves be diverted from this primary mission.

On the other hand the troops will frequently be the first and only element to find themselves in a position to take timely effective measures for their own security and for the pacification of the country. Here one must state, that this time in addition to the usual enemies which the troops have to face, they are opposed by the bearer of Jewish-Bolshevik ideology who is an especially dangerous and seditious element among the civilian population. There is no doubt that he will employ his weapon of undermining the morale wherever he can insidiously and from ambush against the German Armed Forces who are fighting and pacifying the country. That is why the troops have the right and the duty to protect themselves fully and effectively from these demoralizing forces.

Pursuant to directives given to me by the Fuehrer and Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces I, therefore, order the following the execution of operation "Barbarossa":

I. Treatment of enemy inhabitants: Attacks of any kind by indigenous inhabitants against the armed forces are to be suppressed by force of arms immediately, ruthlessly and by the most extreme means.

Indigenous inhabitants participating or intending to participate in the hostilities as guerrillas, who, by their appearance, indicate an immediate threat to the troops or who, by any action whatsoever, revolt against the German Armed Forces (for instance attacks against armed forces personnel or armed forces property, sabotage, resistance) are to be shot in combat or in flight.

Whenever such criminal elements cannot be eliminated in this way, they are to be brought to an officer immediately. He will decide whether they are to be shot.

Collective coercive measures will be carried out against localities from which insidious and treacherous attacks of any kind have emanated, pursuant to orders from an officer with the rank of at least a battalion, etc., commander, if the circumstances are such that a speedy determination of the individual perpetrators cannot be expected.

It is the law of self preservation and the duty of all commanding officers to proceed with an iron hand without delay against cowardly attacks from a misguided population.

Special regulations will be issued concerning the treatment of political functionaries, etc.

II. Alleviation of mandatory prosecution of punishable offenses by army personnelagainst enemy inhabitants:

I. Punishable offenses committed by army personnel under provocation because of atrocities or the undermining of morale by bearers of the Jewish-Bolshevik system, are not to be prosecuted unless, in an individual case, intervention is necessary in order to maintain discipline.

Under all circumstances it remains the task of all superiors to prevent arbitrary excesses by individual members of the army and to prevent the troops getting out of hand. The individual soldier must not reach the point where he acts arbitrarily against inhabitants in the way he thinks is right, but in every case he is subject to the orders of his superiors.

In those cases in which the motive for the provocation is not shown until the main trial before a court martial in the field, the commanders and commanding officers who have been appointed by me as confirming authorities are responsible for ensuring that only those sentences are confirmed which correspond completely with the above outlined military and political points of view.

2. Otherwise, punishable offenses by army personnel are to be dealt with as before.

III: I am taking this occasion to point out again the necessity for the immediate application of punishment subsequent to the crime. Frequently it may be more important and more effective even in the course of operation to mete out punishment immediately rather than too late and then, particularly severely. Paragraph 16a of the Wartime Rules of Court Martial Procedure and my decree dated 11/12/1939 (Army orders 1939, Part C, page 416), create the possibility of imposing disciplinary punishment in all cases in which it is justifiable according to the punishable offense and to the character of the culprit; this should be exploited to its fullest extent by all disciplinary superiors. The regimental, etc., commanders, are to instruct their subordinate officers again concerning the possibility and meaning of the amplified disciplinary powers extended to them.

IV: This decree loses its special secret classification when camouflage is removed.

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Post by David Thompson » 21 Oct 2004 11:52

"Letter From Defendant Lehmann to Defendant Warlimont, 9 May1941, Concerning the Proposed Barbarossa Jurisdiction Order, and Enclosing a Further Draft", in Trials of War Criminals Before the Nuernberg Military Tribunals Under Control Council Law No. 10. Vol. 10: United States of America v. Wilhelm von Leeb, et al. (Case 12: 'The High Command Case'). US Government Printing Office, District of Columbia: 1951. pp. 1126-1131.

Partial Translation of Document NOKW-209, Prosecution Exhibit 590.

[This draft, and Lehmann's earlier draft of the proposed Barbarossa Jurisdiction Order, 28 April 1941, appearing immediately above, were introduced into evidence as one document and were therefore given identical document and exhibit numbers. These drafts have been arranged in chronological order for convenience of the reader.]

Armed Forces Legal Dept.
32/41
Top Secret Matter for Chiefs,.
9 May 1941,.
3 copies--2d copy.

To Chief Armed Forces Operations Staff, Chief National Defense,
[Handwritten] 1 copy each
[Initial] v.T. [von Tippelskirch];
[Handwritten] Quartiermeister 2.

[Stamp] OKW/Armed Forces Operations, Staff Dept. National Defense, 9 May 1941
No. 44686/41
Top Secret
Matter for Chiefs.

[Handwritten] Take along for oral report the previous draft Armed Forces Legal Dept., and proposal High Command of the Army, also "directive". [Initial] W [Warlimont].

1 Enclosure.

I: As per agreement I had the discussions concerning the [armed forces] jurisdiction with General Mueller and General Jeschonnek; I also discussed it yesterday with the chiefs of the legal sections.

The draft submitted to Dept. National Defense by the army [OKH] (letter of 6 May 1941 General for Special Missions with the CinC Army 75/41, Top Secret Matter for Chiefs) is based on an oral report made to General Halder by General Mueller, after Mueller's conversation with me.

The draft of the army comes very near to our own proposals. The only sentence missing is the provision that the courts of the armed forces have no jurisdiction at all over indigenous inhabitants. General Halder wished to have this jurisdiction maintained for those cases in which the troops have had no time to investigate; and also for the large number of minor offenses in which execution by shooting is not justified. I have objections to this, as has General Jeschonnek.

[Handwritten] Yes.

Once we take this step, we must take it fully. Otherwise the danger arises that the troops will hand over to the courts anything they consider burdensome (and that means just those doubtful cases), and thereby the contrary to what was intended will materialize.

[Handwritten] Yes.

I have discussed these considerations with the chiefs of the legal sections. Eventually all of them agreed. They all, however, argued that it is absolutely necessary to provide for the possibility of reinstating court jurisdiction in due course.

The measures expected from the troops can be carried out in the course of the actual fighting and in the initial period of pacification. Even at this stage, however, it seems probable that the officers will be less harsh than judges who are used to severe sentences.

After the end of the fighting and in more stable conditions however, the troops will definitely no longer be willing to take measures of that kind. Furthermore, the chiefs pointed out unanimously that conditions in this enormous theater, containing populations of quite different ethnical origin, are so varied, that it is not possible to decide [on this. level] on the question of whether the jurisdiction of the courts over the indigenous population should be reinstated in cases of offenses against the troops (such as cutting of cables and other acts of sabotage). They unanimously suggested that this authority be delegated to the commanders of the armies and authorities on equivalent level. It will not be possible to disregard these wishes completely. My own suggestion took a middle course.

[Handwritten] Upon request.

It is significant that General Jeschonnek, too, felt that the troops will probably release unpunished quite a number of people who would deserve different treatment. However, he feels that this risk must be incurred.

II: Otherwise, the following new points are contained in the enclosed draft:

I have inserted a preamble in order to make the subject a little more palatable. From the draft of the Commander in Chief of the Army, I have taken over what is laid down in I 4. This has been expressly approved by General Halder; as far as collective measures are concerned, it has been suggested by General Halder himself.

Section I 5 is new and was inserted by me. The aim is to cope with attempts to shift the responsibility for doubtful cases to the courts.

In II 2, the Chief Armed Forces Operational Staff has replaced at the end, the words "no German has forgotten", contained in my old draft, by the words "no Germans must forget". I suggest that it be considered whether "has forgotten" is not perhaps more to the point. Excesses of a certain kind can be condoned only if it is submitted that no soldier has forgotten these things.

A new point, adopted from the draft of the Commander in Chief of the Army, is the principle, contained in II 3, that action must also be taken if the troops threaten to become out of hand. As a matter of fact, this is already contained in the preceding sentence. But it is perhaps just as well to stress this important point expressly and to illustrate it by examples.

[Handwritten] Yes.

III: The branches of the armed forces, ask most urgently that this directive be issued to them not later than 14 May 1941.
[Signed] Lehmann.

[Handwritten] Conference with Chief, Armed Forces Legal Dept. 12 May 1941, afternoon. [Initial] W [Warlimont]


*****************************************************

Partial Translation of Document NOKW-209, Prosecution Exhibit 590.

[Draft]
[Stamp] Top Secret,
Enclosure to 32-41
Top Secret Matter for Chiefs
Armed Forces Legal Dept.
Copy No. 2
Matter for Chiefs
Fuehrer Headquarters
The Fuehrer and Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces.

Decree concerning the exercise of military jurisdiction in the "Barbarossa" territory:

The armed forces jurisdiction serves primarily the maintenance of discipline.

The vast extent of the Eastern theater of operations, the battle tactics conditioned thereby and the peculiar qualities of the enemy confront the courts of the armed forces with tasks which, being short-staffed, they cannot solve while hostilities are in progress and until some degree of pacification has been achieved in the conquered areas, unless jurisdiction is confined in the first instance to its main task.

This is only possible if the troops defend themselves relentless against any threat from the enemy civilian population.

The following regulations are, therefore, issued for the "Barbarossa" area (operational area, army group rear area and the area of political administration).

I: Treatment of offenses committed by enemy civilians:

1. Until further notice, the courts martial and the summary courts martial will not be competent for offenses committed by enemy civilians.

2. Guerrillas will be ruthlessly liquidated by the troops either in combat or in flight.

3. Similarly, all other attacks by enemy civilians on the armed forces, its members, and employees, will be suppressed on the spot by the troops using the most extreme means, until the assailants are annihilated.

4. Where such measures have been neglected or were not at first possible, persons suspected of an offense will be brought immediately before an officer. This officer will decide whether they are to be shot.

On the orders of an officer on the level of at least battalion commander, collective coercive measures will be carried out immediately against localities from which cunning or malicious attacks are made on the armed forces, if the circumstances do not permit a speedy determination of the individual perpetrators.

[Handwritten] Handing over [Abgabe] Sonderkommandos?
Enclosure to L
No. 44686/41
Top Secret,
Matter for Chiefs,
9 May 1941. [Refers to paragraph 4, above.]

5. It is expressly forbidden to detain suspects in order to transfer them to the courts after the reinstatement of jurisdiction over the indigenous population.

6. The commanders in chief of the army groups, after consultation with the competent commanders of the air force and the navy, may reintroduce jurisdiction of the armed forces courts over Civilians in those areas which have been sufficiently pacified.

For the political administration area this order will go through the Commander in Chief of the Army after consultation with the commanders in chief of the other branches of the armed forces.

[Handwritten] No.

II: Treatment of offenses against indigenous inhabitants committed by members of the armed forces and its auxiliaries:

1. In the case of offenses committed against enemy civilians by members of the armed forces and its employees, prosecution is not obligatory, even if the deed is simultaneously a military violation or crime.

2. When judging such deeds, it must be borne in mind, whatever the circumstances may be, that the collapse in 1918, the subsequent suffering of the German people, and the fight against national socialism, which cost the lives of innumerable supporters of the movement were caused primarily by Bolshevist influence, and that no German has forgotten this.

3. The judicial authority will, therefore, decide in such cases whether disciplinary punishment is indicated or whether judicial proceedings are necessary. In the case of offenses against indigenous inhabitants, the judicial authority will order a court martial only if maintenance of discipline or security of the troops calls for such a measure. This applies for instance, to serious offenses based on utter lack of sexual restraint, or resulting from a criminal tendency or indicating that the troops are threatening to become out of hand. As a rule, offenses resulting in the senseless destruction of billets, stores, or other captured material to the disadvantage of our forces will not be judged more leniently.

The order to institute investigation proceedings requires the signature of the judicial authority in each individual case.

4. Extreme caution is indicated in assessing the credibility of statements made by enemy civilians.

III. Responsibility of military commanders: Within their sphere of competence, military commanders are personally responsible for ensuring that:

1. Every officer of the units under their command is instructed promptly and with the utmost emphasis on the principles set out under I above.

2. Their legal advisors are notified promptly of these instructions and of the verbal information which elucidated the political intentions of the leadership to the commanders in chief.

3. Only those sentences are confirmed which are in line with the political intentions of the leadership.

IV: Security: Once the camouflage is lifted, this decree will be classified as, "Top Secret", only.

By Order:
The Chief of the High Command of the Armed Forces.

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Post by David Thompson » 21 Oct 2004 11:55

"Extracts From Activity Report No. 2 of Panzer Group 3, January 1941 to July 1941, Concerning Treatment of Commissars, Partisans, Etc.", in Trials of War Criminals Before the Nuernberg Military Tribunals Under Control Council Law No. 10. Vol. 10: United States of America v. Wilhelm von Leeb, et al. (Case 12: 'The High Command Case'). US Government Printing Office, District of Columbia: 1951. pp. 1132-1134.

Partial Translation of Document NOKW-2672, Prosecution Exhibit 598.

[Handwritten] Homeland, Russia.
Panzer Group 3, Section Ic.

Activity Report No. 2, January 1941 to July 1941.

Campaign against the Soviet Union
Preparations; Campaign until the end of the battle of Smolensk.

[Handwritten] seen 25 September 1941, [Signed] Hoth.
Reference to enclosures:

General affairs until the beginning of the campaign: About the end of 1940, beginning 1941, the intelligence officer was instructed about an operative study of Army Group B, concerning preparations for a campaign against Russia.

From 6 January 1941 until 15 February 1941, a Ic instruction course was held at the 2d Army in Feldafing near Munich. The intelligence officer of Panzer Group 3 was assigned to the course as instructor. Main topic of this course was the indoctrination of reserve officers as intelligence officer of a division. The tactical tasks were within the field of activities of the division. Map maneuvers alternated with staff maneuvers. The Red Army was considered as enemy as far as organization, equipment, battle strength, etc., was concerned. In spite of the short time the course has satisfactory results, as can be said in retrospect (today 8 August 1941) on the basis of practical experiences with these reserve officers who are now assigned as division intelligence officers to tank and motorized divisions.

As a whole it can be said, that with the victories of the German Army and the information course on Soviet Russian conditions there was no hope for the Red propaganda to succeed. Through leaflets and radio broadcasts our own propaganda should have been used to a much greater extent on the members of the Red Army.

For further information see spiritual welfare [Geistige Betreuung], page 99 ff.

The special treatment of political commissars by the troops soon became well known on the Russian side and increased the resistance. To avoid publicity, special treatment should have been carried out at first in camps located more to the rear. Also the majority of the captured Red Army soldiers and officers know of such special treatment. They had been informed of it through their own orders and through reports of political commissars who had escaped [from German captivity].

Legal questions:

A. Treatment of guerrillas, etc.: On 11 June 1941 the intelligence officer and the judge advocate of the group were ordered to Warsaw to a meeting of the General for Special Missions with the Commander in Chief of the Army. The General for Special Missions, Major General Mueller, after having read the Fuehrer decree, explained that in future operations the necessity of war might possibly have to come before a feeling for law.

Necessary therefore is: A return to the old warfare methods; our present rules of warfare were only established after WWI.

One of the two enemies must die; do not spare the bearer of enemy ideology, but kill him.

Every civilian who impedes or incites others to impede the German Armed Forces is also to be considered a guerrilla (for instance instigators, persons who distribute leaflets, nonobservance of German orders, incendiaries, destruction of road signs, supplies, etc.).

The population is denied the right to take up arms voluntarily. Neither are para-military associations (Komsomol, Ossoaviachim) entitled to do so.

Punishments, principles: immediately at any rate no delay in the proceedings. In lighter cases individual persons can, under certain circumstances be punished by flogging. The hardships of the war require severe punishments (remember WWI--the Russians in Gumbinnen. [The writer here is referring to the battle of Gumbinnen (19-20 August 1914) in which the Russian 1st Army defeated the German 8th Army.] If the railroad Tilsit-Insterburg was be damaged, all village inhabitants who lived along that line were to be shot). In cases of doubt as to guilt, suspicion will often have to suffice. Clear evidence often cannot be established.

Reference to enclosures: Collective coercive measures by burning down; shooting of a group of people, etc. The troops should not let themselves be diverted or indulge in an orgy of bloodshed. No unnecessary harshness, that is only as far as required for the security of the troops and a speedy pacification of the country. As far as individual persons are concerned, any officer can make a decision, in case of collective coercive measures any officer of battalion commander level or above.

B. In case of offenses or crimes committed by soldiers of the German Army against the indigenous population, the judicial authority will decide whether judicial or disciplinary action should be taken. Any regulation contradicting his opinion are herewith rescinded.

In retrospect, on 14 August 1941, it can be stated that against all expectations, guerrilla activity occurred only to a limited extent and, therefore, severe punishment had to be applied only in individual cases. But it became obvious that the political commissars personified the Bolshevist ideology. Their influence over the troops under their control was considerable. The determined resistance of the Bolshevist troops probably can be based on the fact that they convinced many soldiers that the only existing alternatives were resistance to the end of a painful death after capture.

In the first weeks of the campaign, only very few political commissars and officers were captured. Up to the beginning of August 1941, approximately 170 political commissars (with the troops) were reported as captured for the whole army group area and evacuated separately according to army corps' reports. The execution [Durchfuehrung] did not create any problem for the troops.

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Post by David Thompson » 21 Oct 2004 11:55

"Extracts From Affidavit of Dr. Erich Lattmann, 15 May 1948.", in Trials of War Criminals Before the Nuernberg Military Tribunals Under Control Council Law No. 10. Vol. 10: United States of America v. Wilhelm von Leeb, et al. (Case 12: 'The High Command Case'). US Government Printing Office, District of Columbia: 1951. pp. 1134-1137.

Partial Translation of Document Lehmann 217, Lehmann Defense Exhibit 89.

I, Dr. Erich Lattmann, born 11 December 1894, at Goslar, residing at Clausthal-Zellerfeld in the Harz, Goslarschestrasse 20, having been warned that I render myself liable to punishment if I make a false affidavit, do hereby declare on oath that my statements are the full truth and were made to be submitted in evidence to the Military Tribunal in the Palace of Justice at Nuernberg, Germany.

During the war, between 1 September 1939 and 31 October 1942, I was chief of Group III of the Generalquartiermeister that is, the Legal Group with the General for Special Missions attached to the CinC of the Army, and between 1 November 1942 and 2 May 1945, judge at the Reich Military Court.

I. In April 1941, Dr. Lehmann invited the three chiefs of the legal sections of the branches of the armed forces (Neumann, von Hammerstein, and Rudolphi) and me as the chief of the Legal Group of the Field Army to attend a conference.

We all realized that Dr. Lehmann was bitterly opposed to Hitler's demands and had done, and was still doing, all he could to thwart them. Accordingly, he did not content himself with giving us an account of the developments and the present position, but asked us to encourage the commanders in chief of the three branches of the armed forces to resist since they were the only ones in a position to bring about an improvement. He had the idea that the commanders in chief might make representations to Hitler. To this I replied that Brauchitsch was not likely to prevail on Hitler to change his mind, because relations between them were too strained, but I did think that Brauchitsch might couch the implementation order pursuant to the decree in such terms as virtually to defeat its original purpose.

What I had in mind was to couch the decree in such terms as to offer some loophole. This Dr. Lehmann promised me to do.

During the whole conference Dr. Lehmann's inner excitement was clearly visible. He was resolved to go the whole length and to obstruct the decree to the utmost. He quite openly sided with us against Keitel and Hitler and described the practical effects of the projected order with such a certainty as to inspire every one of us with the conviction and the will to act against it while there was time. What mattered to him was obviously this--he wanted either to make sure that the courts could function as before, i.e., according to the established law and procedure, or, if that was impossible, to keep them wholly out of responsibility.

Subsequently Dr. Lehmann briefly touched upon another order which dealt with the treatment of the commissars. He mentioned that Keitel had pointed out to him in this connection that this was no business of the legal department since it was a command matter, not one of the administration of law. He accordingly asked us not to concern ourselves with this matter. Needless to say he flatly rejected the idea just as we did.

II. In May 1941, Dr. Lehmann invited the chiefs of the legal sections and me to visit him several times. He again mentioned that he was concerned with the administration of armed forces law in general. For this reason he had worked a clause into the "Barbarossa" decree to the effect that the troops were forbidden to get rid of unwanted matters by passing them on to the rear echelons and to delegate them, after the introduction of military jurisdiction to the courts which would then be held responsible for the judgment which, in the absence of any evidence, could only be an acquittal. It was therefore up to the troops to decide what had to be done with the offender. That, of course, could only be done after having heard the offender. However, Lehmann said he opposed the idea of making the courts into tools of the fight. Courts must remain courts. There must be a clear distinction between the responsibilities.

As regards the abolition of mandatory prosecution, Dr. Lehmann pointed out that the prohibition had been relaxed in that every judicial authority was entitled to examine whether the maintenance of discipline called for judicial action. This offered a possibility actually to punish real excesses.

III. Subsequently I informed Dr. Lehmann about the implementation orders of theCommander in Chief of the Army pursuant to the "Barbarossa" decree. In essence, they amounted to this:

a. In dealing with punishable offenses committed by enemy civilians, every arbitrary action was prohibited. This put a bar on all encroachments and arbitrary actions.

b. As regards punishable offenses committed by soldiers against indigenous inhabitants, it was pointed out that excesses must be prevented right from the beginning and that no slackening of discipline must be allowed to occur, as had been the case in the previous campaigns.

The implementation orders changed the intention of the decree into its reverse, because on the one hand indigenous inhabitants were to be judged only by the gravity of their offense, whereas on the other hand the mandatory prosecution was represented as the normal procedure. That was how things worked out in practice. Of this I informed Dr. Lehmann. He approved the directives of the Commander in Chief of the Army. Subsequently, in July 1941, in agreement with me, Dr. Lehmann was in the area of the Army Group South and also visited the 17th [Army] and 1st Panzer Army. Staying with me, after his tour, he reported to me that things worked out as we had thought they would. In other words, he agreed to a Hitler order of which he had been a coauthor being practically reversed. This, more clearly than anything else, showed Dr. Lehmann's true attitude. One has to realize what it means if the chief of the Legal Department in the OKW personally and quite openly urges the judges, unknown to him, to do the contrary of what Hitler had ordered.

Dr. Lehmann never made any comments on the Commissar Order, nor did we discuss it later on. The order did not concern us.

Clausthal-Zellerfeld, 15 May 1948.
[Signed] Dr. Erich Lattmann.

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