The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

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Q. Then when you go ... I omit one or two unimportant
documents. Will you go to document dated 1st October, 1943,
the fifth or sixth document of Your Lordship's file, No.
D-547, dated 1st October, 1943. It is to the OKW, from
Denmark, and reads as follows:

  "The Reich plenipotentiary in Denmark has given the
  following report to the Minister for Foreign Affairs: (1)
  The arrest of the Jews will take place on the night of
  1st-2nd of October; transportation from Seeland will be
  carried out by ship. (2) Should I receive no contrary
  instruction, I do not intend allowing the Jewish action
  to be mentioned, either on the radio or in the Press,"
  and then: "(3) I intend leaving the possessions of the
  evacuated Jews undisturbed in order that the seizure of
  these possessions cannot be imputed to be the reason or
  one of the reasons for the action."

Then you deal with the disadvantages, or rather, the writer
does, and there is a question: "Does the Reichsfuehrer SS
know?" The answer: "The Reichsfuehrer SS knows, is in
agreement," and then a pencil note in Jodl's handwriting,
"The Fuehrer agrees." Is that in your writing?

A. Yes, that is my handwriting, but that refers only to the
announcement of the release of the interned Danish soldiers.

Q. I see.

A. Then it is important to note in this document that the
Commander in Denmark said that he does not intend having the
property of the evacuated Jews disturbed. He said: "I intend
leaving the possessions of the evacuated Jews undisturbed."

He had the executive power at that time.

Q. Have you got the next document in the same bundle, 2nd of
October, 1943, to OKW/Operational Staff, from Denmark?

  "Jewish action carried out in the night of the 1st/2nd
  October by the German police without incidents," and then
  the last document, dated 3rd October 1943, to the
  OKW/Ops. Staff
  "According to the statement of the Reich plenipotentiary,
  the Reichsfuehrer SS has ordered that the Reichsfuehrer
  SS alone as the person ordering the Jewish Action is to
  receive the exact figures of arrest. The plenipotentiary
  has, therefore, given no figures to the Commander of the
  German troops in Denmark. Two hundred and thirty-two Jews
  have been handed over by the police via the assembly
  points set up by the Guard Battalion, Copenhagen."

What was the "Guard Battalion"?

A. I cannot say that at the moment, I do not know how it was
composed. It might have been a unit of the police; it might
have been part of the Army; I cannot say it with certainty.
At any rate it was a unit which was used only for guard
duties. But it is interesting that I wrote the remark: "Is a
matter of complete indifference to us," which proves that I
was not interested in the affair and refused to have any
part in it.

Q. Yes, I wonder. First of all, you said that the "Guard
Battalion" might have been a part of the Wehrmacht. Were you

A. That is not certain. I do not wish to dispute it
definitely. There were also Guard battalions of the Army,
but it might equally well have been a Guard formation of the
police. I cannot say it with certainty, but General von
Hanneken should have information about it.

Q. But were your "decent German soldiers," whom you
mentioned yesterday, were they called upon to round up Jews
who managed to get through the SS net?

A. No, it says here, "it was carried through by the police,"
and I do not believe that any unit of the Wehrmacht
concerned itself with deportation of Jews. I do not believe
it; the Wehrmacht rejected that.

                                                  [Page 412]

Q. Dirty work, was it not?

A. I do not believe that it happened. I do not believe it.

Q. Then your note, "is a matter of complete indifference to
us"; it was a matter of complete indifference to you how
many Jews were deported. You did not care?

A. The note does not imply that, but it does prove that the
matter was a political one, and with political matters I was
not concerned. My attitude to the Jewish question has, I
believe, been made clear already.

Q. Where did the Jews go to, Auschwitz?

A. No, your prosecution, the French prosecution, read it
here These Jews of whom we are speaking now were taken to
Theresienstadt, a few of the older people died there, but
all of them were treated well, and received clothing and
food. I had the same information and this document of the
Danish Government confirms it.

Q. You believe that, do you?

A. Yes, I believe that, because the Danish Government
confirms it here, it was confirmed in this Court by the
prosecution itself.

Q. Now I want to deal with one other topic, the topic of
forced labour. Did you say in your speech ... Will you look
at your notes of your speech, Pages 38 and 39, and it is
Page 298 of Document Book 7, the big one, the paragraph
which begins on Page 38 in the witness' copy, it has got a
frame. I think it is a piece of paper headed 38. I wonder if
you can find it for him.

  "This dilemma of manpower shortage has led to the idea of
  making more thorough use of the manpower reserves in the
  territories occupied by us. Right thinking and wrong
  thinking are mixed up together. I believe that in so far
  as concerns labour, everything has been done that could
  be done. Where this has not yet been achieved. it
  appeared to be more favourable politically not to have
  recourse to measures of compulsion, exchanging for these
  order and economic aid. In my opinion, however, the time
  has now come to take steps with remorseless vigour and
  resolution in Denmark, Holland, France and Belgium to
  compel thousands of idlers to carry out the fortification
  work, which is more important than any other work. The
  necessary orders for this have already been given."

Do you remember them?

A. There is no doubt that I drafted this one.

Q. Yes?

A. But that does not prove that I said it.

Q. But had the necessary orders been given for the civilians
in the occupied territories to work on the German

A. A compulsory work-order was issued in most countries, but
I - you may not know it - I state under my oath that in
Denmark and Holland, and also in Belgium, local firms who
recruited their own labour under the work-order, worked on
these fortifications and that the populations of these areas
were particularly glad about this, because the stronger
their coast was fortified, the more certain were they that
the invasion would not take place in their neighbourhood.
And, of course, they were greatly interested in preventing
an invasion, which they knew would destroy everything.
Though it sounds incredible, the local inhabitants did work
on these fortifications, some of them with the greatest
enthusiasm. That is a fact.

Q. No, I did not stop you. But had the necessary orders been
given - that is in the last sentence - to compel those
people who did not want to, to compel them to work on
fortification? I am not talking about the people who did
want it, but the people who did not.

A. I understand. I did not know details of the procedure, as
I did not concern myself with it, but I did know that
compulsory work-orders had been issued in the occupied

Q. Very good. I will leave that, if you have said all you
want to say. Will you look now, please, at a new document,
1383-PS, which I offer as Exhibit

                                                  [Page 413]

GB 489. This is a report of a discussion of the Current
Military Situation, 12th of December, 1942, Pages 65 and 66,
Jodl speaking:

  "The Military Commander of France reports: The number of
  French workers' deported into the Reich since 1st June
  has now passed 220,000. There are in round figures
  100,000 specialists in Berlin."

How many of these 220,000 were volunteers? Did you find out?

A. I cannot say that. I only quoted from a report which was
appended to the situation report from France. That a
large-scale exchange between prisoners of war and workers
had been in progress has already been stated in detail by

Q. I will leave that. I ask only two questions now on Sagan,
Stalag Luft. 3.

You said yesterday that after the incident of the Sagan
shooting, you thought Hitler was no longer "humane." Did you
say that?

A. I said yesterday, I had the impression then that he was
disavowing all humane conceptions of right.

Q. Had you thought that he was humane up to March of 1944?

A. Before this time, I personally knew of no action of his
which could not be justified legally, at least under
International Law. All his previous orders, so far as I
knew, could still be justified in some way. They were
reprisals. But this act was not a reprisal.

Q. This was - would you agree with me - the word is not too
strong - that this was sheer murder of these fifty airmen?

A. I completely agree with you; I consider it sheer murder.

Q. How could you honourable generals go on serving a
murderer with unabated loyalty?

A. I did not serve with unabated loyalty after this event,
but I did everything in my power to avoid further injustice.

Q. Now I come to something else, the question of destruction
in Norway. The document is 754-PS. It has not yet been
exhibited. I offer it as Exhibit GB 490. This document is
signed by you, is it not?

A. I have known this document for a long time; it is signed
by me.

Q. Yes. Perhaps I might just read parts of it to the
Tribunal. Dated 28th October, 1944. It is from your staff,
and the distribution is to the Army Supreme Command;
Commander-in-Chief, Norway; to the Reich Commissioner,
Norway; and the Navy:

  "Because of the unwillingness of the North Norwegian
  population to evacuate voluntarily, the Fuehrer has
  agreed to the proposals of the Reich Commissar, and has
  ordered that the entire Norwegian population east of the
  Fjord of Lyngen be evacuated by force in the interest of
  their own security, and that all homes are to be burnt to
  the ground.
  The Supreme Commander, Northern Finland, is responsible
  that the Fuehrer's order is carried out without
  consideration. Only by this method can the Russians with
  strong forces, aided by these homes and the people
  familiar with the terrain, be prevented from following
  our withdrawal operations during the winter and shortly
  appear in front of our position in Lyngen. This is not
  the place for sympathy for the civilian population."

Lyngen is in the very North of Norway, is it not, on the
West Coast?

A. No, on the Northern Coast, where Finland is closest to
the Polar Region and very near Norway.

Q. Now, that order was carried out according to the
Norwegian report, Document UK 79, which the Tribunal will
find as the last document in the small book, 7A, Page 26 of
the Norwegian report, at the bottom of the page.

  "As a result of the advance of the Russian troops and the
  retreat of the German Army in Finland, October-November,
  1944, the Germans practised the 'scorched earth' policy
  for the first time in Norway. Orders were issued that the
  civilian population was to evacuate, and that all houses,
  transport and stores were to be destroyed. As a result of
  this, about 30,000 houses
                                                  [Page 414]
  were damaged, apart from damage to 12,000 chalets
  amounting to 176,000,000 kroner."

And then, for photographs, will the Tribunal turn to Pages
62 and 63. Sixty-two is a copy of the German order, and 63
is a photograph of the ruins of a fishing village.

That was a cruel order, was it not, witness?

A. No, not exactly. I should like to make a few explanatory
remarks about it. Typically, as I have always said, this
order was urged upon the Fuehrer by the Reich Commissar
Terboven, not by the soldiers, and was much against their

Secondly, this order was not carried out, because otherwise
the towns of Kirkenes, Hammerfest and Altar would today no
longer exist. All these towns are east of the Lyngen Fjord.
In practice, this order was watered down by our forces in
agreement with me, and in conversations I had with my
brother, who was the commanding general in that region - and
whom I wanted to call as a witness since I expected this
document to be produced - it was watered down to such an
extent that, in fact, only what was necessary from a
military point of view, and could be justified under Article
23 of The Hague Convention on Land Warfare, was destroyed.
Otherwise no town or house would be left today in Northern
Norway; and if you were to travel there, you would see that
these towns are not destroyed, but on the contrary, are
still standing.

The Wehrmacht Commander-in-Chief in Norway strongly
protested against this attitude of Terboven, and I repeated
these objections to the Fuehrer in equally strong terms, but
even so, he demanded that this order be issued.

We who retained our humanitarian sentiments carried out the
order only in so far as it was absolutely necessary for
military reasons. These are the facts.

Q. I think you said, when you were interrogated, that your
brother complained of this order, did he not?

A. Yes, quite; he was enraged by this decree.

Q. Very well. I am now going to turn to two documents with
regard to the treatment of the Norwegian civilian

They are in your Document Book 1, Pages 99 and 100 - well,
it begins at Page 98.

These are regulations on the conduct during the occupation
of Denmark and Norway. And there are instructions to the
troops to treat the inhabitants politely and well, and to
behave themselves with due decorum. That is right, is it

A. Yes, that is correct.

Q. And they were to be told that they were entering Norway
for the protection of the country and the safety of its
inhabitants. That appears on Page 99.

That is rather a euphemistic description of a sudden
invasion with no declaration of war, is it not?

A. Yes, but at first it was carried out in a fairly peaceful
manner on the whole.

Q. From your point of view?

A. No, from the point of view of the Norwegians as well. The
most extraordinary things -

Q. Well, you know, we have seen ... we can see, in the
Norwegian Government's report, photograph after photograph
of these towns and villages bombed to ruins. Is that your
idea of an orderly occupation?

A. What was bombed on the day of the landing is hardly worth
mentioning; just a few coastal batteries and a few
fortifications, but no towns. Villages were destroyed only
later in the battle with the English brigade at Dombass and
at Delihammer; but nothing was destroyed when the country
was first occupied then the Norwegians only stood at the
quays, hands in their pockets, and looked on with great

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