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,
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
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.
[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".
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
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.
Chief of the High Command of the Armed Forces