The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

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Q. And naturally, witness, if you could have landed without
opposition and occupied the country without opposition, so
much the better for you? That is obvious, is it not?

                                                  [Page 415]

A. Yes, undoubtedly, that would have been even better; and
the Norwegians would certainly have fared very well during
the occupation if Terboven had not come.

Q. Now, I want you to look at a part of that document which,
quite properly, of course, was not read.

MR. ROBERTS: It is Appendix 5 which will be part, my Lord, I
assume, of
AJ 14, the number which this document was given when it was
put in, in the examination-in-chief. But I am handing the
Tribunal copies of Appendix 5 because it does not appear in
the Jodl Document Book.


Q. Well, now, Appendix 5 I can describe as the sting in the
tail of this document:

  "Guiding Principles for the attitude of troops in
  occupied areas. Only - " I do not read the first few
  paragraphs - "only in the event of the civil population
  resisting or behaving rebelliously can the following
  decisions be carried out:
  "(1)If the civilian population offers resistance, or if
  attacks must be feared, the arrest of hostages should, on
  principle, be resorted to. Hostages should only be
  arrested on orders of the commander of a regiment or a
  commander of equivalent rank ...."
  "When accommodating and feeding hostages it should be
  borne in mind that they are not imprisoned because of
  crimes. Hostages and population are to be informed that
  the hostages will be shot at any sign of hostile action.
  Previous sanction of the shooting by the Divisional
  Commander must be obtained .... "
  Then: "Armed resistance by the civilian population is to
  be crushed by force of arms."
  The last sentence on that page: "The death penalty will
  be imposed for violence of any kind against the German
  Armed Forces.
  Immediate trials will take place by Field Courts Martial.
  The Regimental Commander can appoint the Summary Court
  which will be composed of one Captain, one Sergeant, one
  Corporal, hear witnesses and draw up the sentence in
  writing. The verdict will be the death penalty if guilty,
  otherwise acquittal. The sentence will be executed
  immediately after confirmation by the Regimental
  The following are to be considered as acts of violence:
  sabotage, destruction of our lines of communication,
  cutting of telephone wires, demolition, etc."

Rather drastic, that, was it not? Only the death penalty?

A. These instructions are, word for word, in complete accord
with our directives which, in times of peace, were laid down
by the group of experts on International Law in co-operation
with the Foreign Office and with German professors of
International Law. It would have been well, if only these,
our military precepts, our military court procedure laid
down before we went to war; had been followed consistently
everywhere. Our official directives with regard to the
question of hostages were in accordance with International
Law, and there is no doubt that under International Law, as
applicable in the year 1939, the taking of hostages was

Q. I suggest to you, as you raise that point, that nowhere
in International Law will you find the shooting of hostages
legalised at all.

A. But it is not expressly prohibited anywhere in
International Law. I believe it is an open question. In our
directives, even in the handbook on tactics, the concept of
taking hostages had been laid down for years.

Q. That may be so, and I do not want to argue with you about
it. I suggest to you that The Hague Regulations protect the
lives of civilians in occupied countries, unless they commit
crimes, of course, and also prohibit collective punishments
of the innocent.

                                                  [Page 416]

If you do not want to say any more on that ... I do not want
to stop you if you do.

A. I can only summarize and say that every word here is in
accord with the directives applicable in the German Army,
and these directives were not illegal. But one would have to
argue this problem with experts on International Law.

Q. Very good. Now, will you look at one other document
dealing with Norway? It is 582-D.

MR. ROBERTS: My Lord, it is a new document, and I offer it
as Exhibit GB 491.


Q. Is that a document which comes from your office?

A. Yes. It originated with the Wehrmacht Operational Staff,
Quartermaster Section.

Q. Do you know of it or not?

A. I cannot recall it exactly, but there are some notes of
mine on it, and so I undoubtedly saw the document.

Q. Oh, yes. Where are the notes, witness?

A. They are on the back page of the last teleprint message.

Q. Oh, I see what you mean, yes. Well, will you take first
of all ... I had forgotten that you were getting more than
one document. Will you take first of all the document dated
2nd February, 1945? I think it is the top one.

A. There are no remarks of mine on that document, so I
cannot say with certainty whether I have seen it.

Q. Just have a look at it and tell me whether you have seen

A. I do not think I have seen this. I do not ... I have no
recollection of having ever read it.

Q. Well, then, I do not think it would be right to
cross-examine you on that document.

MR. ROBERTS: My Lord, in that case, I would ask to withdraw
it, and I will not put it in as an exhibit.

THE PRESIDENT: I think the defendant said that it was from
his office.

MR. ROBERTS: Very well, then. I will ... He did that.

Q. You see what the document says, defendant. It is dated
2nd April, 1945 it deals with -

A. The 2nd of February.

Q. It is the 2nd of February. It deals with Reich Commissar
Terboven's report to the Fuehrer. It says:

  "Those responsible for attempts to murder and to carry
  out sabotage are the resistance elements within Norway
  with a bourgeois-national majority and a Communist
  minority, as well as individual groups which have come
  direct from England or Sweden.
  The bourgeois-national majority was opposed to the
  Communist minority as to the conception of sabotage and
  murder, and in particular with regard to their extent and
  nature. This resistance has become progressively weaker
  during the course of the past year.
  Official departments of the exile government, as for
  instance the Crown Prince Olaf, as so-called
  Commander-in-Chief of the Norwegian Armed Forces, and
  various other leaders, have called upon the population,
  in speeches and orders, to carry out sabotage. As a
  result, there are particularly good grounds for charging
  every supporter of the exile government with being an
  instigator or accomplice.
  The aim of the coming measures must therefore be, to
  strengthen the power and will, to turn once more against
  sabotage by threatening the very
                                                  [Page 417]
  influential class of leaders in the bourgeois camp;
  thereby to exacerbate more and more antagonism between
  the bourgeois and Communists."

And then "Suggestions." These are suggestions from your
office, apparently.

  "1. Outstandingly influential representatives of the
  definitely anti-German and anti-Nazi class of
  industrialists to be shot without trial on the accusation
  that they are instigators or accomplices and to be
  reported that they were convicted as a result of police
  2. Less important men to be sent to Germany to work on
  3. In cases where the circumstances warrant it,
  proceedings to be taken before the SS and police court,
  and the execution of the sentences of death to be given
  wide publicity."

There are other suggestions which I need not read.

And then the last paragraph but one:

  "The Fuehrer has only agreed to these suggestions in
  part. Especially in connection with efforts at protection
  against acts of sabotage, he has rejected taking
  hostages. He has rejected the shooting of influential
  Norwegian representatives without trial," which is
  underlined in blue pencil.

Is that your blue pencil?

A. No, it is not mine.

Q. You see, it is a remarkable document, witness, because
that is one instance where your department is suggesting a
course of what I submit is brutal action, which for once the
Fuehrer rejects.

A. I believe, Mr. Roberts, you are somewhat mistaken. No
suggestion at all is being made here, but the
Wehrmachtfuehrungsstab is advising the military commander in
Norway of what Reich Commissar Terboven had told the
Fuehrer. He reported to the Fuehrer first about the general
situation, and then he made the suggestions mentioned here;
and the Wehrmachtfuehrungsstab, the Operational Staff, which
obviously had a representative at this meeting - I, however,
was not there - immediately advised the military commander
of the magnificent suggestions of his "friend" Terboven.

That is what happened and these suggestions went beyond ...
they were too much even for the Fuehrer. But they were not
our suggestions.

Q. Very good, witness, I hear your answer, and the Tribunal
will consider it. It may be accepted. The document speaks
for itself.

THE PRESIDENT: Will you read the first ... the subject
description? Orientation about Reich Commissar Terboven's
report to the Fuehrer.


Q. That is the first, that is the subject, is it not, the
beginning, witness? Orientation about Reich Commissar
Terboven's Report? Whose orientation? Your department's?

A. Orientation of the 20th Mountain Army, that is, of
General Boehm. General Boehm as Commander-in-Chief of the
Mountain Army, High Command 20, is advised of the report
made to the Fuehrer by Reich Commissar Terboven, so that he
would know what his friend Terboven had suggested. It is no
more than information on what Terboven said to the Fuehrer.
I cannot tell you who was present, I was not there. The
entire thing did not originate with me, I have never seen

Q. Well, now, the second document, this is from Terboven to
Bormann on 28th October, 1944. That is with regard to the
evacuation east of Lyngen. I do not think I need read that.
Then, the next document, maybe the second document, it is a
teleprint of 6th April, 1945, from Oberfuehrer Fehlis, SS
Oberfuehrer to the Operational Staff, and it says:

  "In accordance with the instructions of the
  OKW-Operational Staff, dated 29-3-45, members of the
  Norwegian Resistance Movement who appear in organized
  units and who are easily recognizable as combatants owing
  to armlets or other insignia are to be treated as POW's."
  And then
                                                  [Page 418]
  the SS Oberfuehrer says: "I consider this instruction
  completely intolerable. I explained this clearly to
  Lt.-Col. Hass and Major Benzo from the Operational Staff
  who stayed here. There have been isolated appearances of
  uniformed groups in Norway, but there has been no
  fighting. According to an order of the Norwegian
  Resistance Military Organization which was found,
  inquiries were made from the Defence High Command in
  London as to whether armed resistance should be offered
  in case of German or Norwegian police action. So far
  there has been no partisan or other fighting in Norway.
  On one occasion, captured members of the Resistance
  Military Organization in uniform claimed the right to be
  treated as POW's. If this demand were met at the present
  moment, the result would be that active fighting on the
  part of the Military Organization would be set going.
  Please obtain cancellation of the order of the
  Operational Staff."

And you, you voted for the exemption being removed, did you

  "The objection is justified. Norway has a government in
  its own country. Whoever fights against it in the country
  is a rebel. It is another question in the case of
  Norwegian troops who were taken to England and from there
  brought into the struggle under England's order."

That is your note?

A. Yes.

Q. And you stick to that, do you? I mean you ... that is
your opinion today?

A. Yes, indeed. I am of the opinion, from the point of view
of International Law, that members of a resistance movement
against their own Norwegian government are certainly not to
be considered as normal troops, but as rebels. But if
Norwegian troops come to Norway from England, then they are
regular soldiers. And that, today, is still my opinion on
the basis of International Law.

Q. What do you call their own Norwegian government, the
puppet government which was set up by the Germans?

A. There was the government of Quisling at the time; and, in
any event, speaking now from the point of view of
International Law we were occupying the country, and
therefore, according to International Law, were justified in
issuing laws and enforcing them. That is accepted under
International Law, and resistance against it is considered
all over the world as rebellion. The same applies to us in
Germany today.

Q. Now, I want to deal quite shortly with three other
matters and then I have finished. I want to deal first of
all with what you have said with regard to Hitler's
suggestion to revoke the Geneva Convention. You say you were
instrumental in preventing him from renouncing that

A. Yes.

Q. Would you look at a document which has already been put
in, 158-C, which is Exhibit GB 209. I think you have loose
copies of it; it is not in a document book. This was put in
with regard to the case against Donitz. It is headed:

"Extracts from Minutes of the Hitler Conference on 19th
February, 1945": The Commander-in-Chief Navy was present on

  "The Fuehrer is considering whether or not Germany should
  renounce the Geneva Convention. As not only the Russians
  but also the Western Powers are violating International
  Law by their actions against the defenceless population
  and the residential districts, it appears expedient to
  adopt the same course in order to show the enemy that we
  are determined to fight with every means for our
  existence, and also to urge our people to resist to the
  utmost. The Fuehrer orders the C-in-C of the Navy to
  consider the pros and cons arid to state his own

Then, further down, my Lord, C-in-C Navy on the Hitler
conference of 20th February:

  "The C-in-C Navy informed General Jodl, and the
  representative of the Minister for Foreign Affairs,
  Ambassador Hewel, of his views with regard to Germany's
  possible renunciation of the Geneva Convention. From
                                                  [Page 419]
  a military standpoint there are no grounds for this step
  as far as the conduct of the war at sea is concerned. On
  the contrary, the disadvantages outweigh the advantages;
  even from a general standpoint it appears to the C-in-C
  Navy that this measure would bring no advantages. It
  would be better to carry out the measures considered
  necessary without warning, and at all costs to save face
  with the world. The Chief of Armed Forces Ops Staff and
  Ambassador. Hewel are in full agreement."

You were saying there, were you not; that you agreed with
Raeder when he said: "Break the Geneva Convention, but do
not tell the world that we are doing so"?

A. Grand Admiral Donitz.

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