The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

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   Nazi Conspiracy and Aggression, Volume One, Chapter 11

                                                  [Page 957]
Not only civilians of the occupied territories, but also
prisoners of war were subjected to the concentration camp. A
memorandum to all officers of the State Police, signed by
Mueller, Chief of the Gestapo, dated 9 November 1941,
discusses the "Transportation of Russian Prisoners of War,
Destined for Execution, into the Concentration Camps." (1165-
PS). This memorandum states in part:

     "The commandants of the concentration camps are
     complaining that 5% to 10% of the Soviet Russians
     destined for execution are arriving in the camps dead
     or half dead. Therefore the impression has arisen that
     the Stalags are getting rid of such prisoners in this
     "It was particularly noted that, when marching, for
     example, from the railroad station to the camp, a
     rather large number of PWs collapsed on the way from
     exhaustion, either dead or half dead, and had to be
     picked up by a truck following the convoy.
     "It cannot be prevented that the German people take
     notice of these occurrences.
     "Even if the transportation to the camps is generally
     taken care of by the Wehrmacht, the population will
     attribute this situation to the SS.
     "In order to prevent, if possible, similar occurrences
     in the future, I therefore order that, effective from
     today on, Soviet Russians, declared definitely suspect
     and obviously
                                                  [Page 958]
     marked by death (for example with typhus) and who
     therefore would not be able to withstand the exertions
     of even a short march on foot, shall in the future, as
     a matter of basic principle, be excluded from the
     transport into the concentration camps for execution."

Additional evidence of the confinement of Russian prisoners
of war in concentration camps is found in an official report
of the investigation of the Flossenburg concentration camp
by Headquarters Third United States Army, Judge Advocate
Section War Crimes Branch, dated 21 June 1945 (2509-PS).
This report states:

     "In 1941 an additional stockade was added at the
     Flossenburg Camp, to hold 2,000 Russian prisoners. From
     these 2,000 prisoners only 102 survived." (2309-PS)

Soviet prisoners of war found their allies in the
concentration camps. The same official report continues:

     "The victims of Flossenburg included among the Russian,
     civilians and prisoners of war, German nationals,
     Italians, Belgians, Poles, Czechs, Hungarians, British
     and American prisoners of war. No practical means was
     available to complete a list of victims of this camp,
     however, since the foundation of the camp in 1938 until
     the day of liberation it is estimated that more than
     29,000 inmates died." (2309-PS)

Escaped prisoners of war were sent to concentration camps,
which were specially set up as extermination centers. A
communication from the Secret State Police Office, Cologne,
dated 4 March 1944, transmitted the following orders of the
OKW -- for which Keitel is responsible -- concerning escaped
prisoners of war:

     "1. Every captured escaped prisoner of war who is an
     officer or a non-working non-commissioned officer,
     except British and American prisoners of war, is to be
     turned over to the Chief of the Security Police and of
     the Security Service under the classification 'Step
     III' regardless of whether the escape occurred during a
     transport, whether it was a mass escape or an
     individual one.
     "2. Since the transfer of the prisoners of war to the
     Security Police and Security Service may not become
     officially known to the outside under any circumstances
     other prisoners of war may by no means be informed of
     the capture. The captured prisoners are to be reported
     to the Army Information Bureau as 'escaped and not
     captured'. Their mail is to be handled accordingly.
     Inquiries of representatives of the Pro-
                                                  [Page 959]
     tective Power of the International Red Cross, and of
     other aid societies will be given the same answer."

The same communication carried a copy of an order of SS
General Mueller, acting for the Chief of the Security Police
and SD, which directed the Gestapo to transport escaped
prisoners directly to Mauthausen. The first two paragraphs
of Mueller's order provide:

     "The State Police Directorates will accept the captured
     escaped officer prisoners of war from the prisoner of
     war camp commandants and will transport them to the
     Concentration Camp Mauthausen following the procedure
     previously used, unless the circumstances render a
     special transport imperative. The prisoners of war are
     to be put in irons on the transport -- not on the
     station if it is subject to view by the public. The
     camp commandant at Mauthausen is to be notified that
     the transfer occurs within the scope of the action
     'Kugel'. The State Police Directorates will submit
     semiyearly reports on these transfers giving merely the
     figures, -the first report being due on 5 July 1944
     (sharp). *** For the sake of secrecy, the Supreme
     Command of the Armed Forces has been requested to
     inform the prisoner of war camps to turn the captured
     prisoners over to the local State Police Office and not
     to send them directly to Mauthausen." (1650-PS)

It is no coincidence that the literal translation for the
German word "Kugel" is "bullet", since Mauthausen, where the
escaped prisoners were sent, was an extermination center.

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