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Nazi Conspiracy and Aggression, Vol. II, Chapter XVI

                                                  [Page 509]

The sense of this seems to be that if they were-not lynched
under the first scheme, by the crowd, then they were to be
kept from prisoners of war, where they would be subject to
the protecting power's intervention. And if the suspicion
was confirmed, they would be handed over to the SD to be

The conference reached a decision on what would be regarded
as justifying lynch law:

     "At a conference with Colonel von Brauchitsch,
     representing the C-in-C, Air Force, on the 6th of June,
     it was settled that the following actions were to be
     regarded as terror actions justifying lynch law:
     "Low-level attacks with aircraft armament on the
     civilian population, single persons as well as crowds.
     "Shooting our own men in the air who had bailed out.
     "Attacks with aircraft armament on passenger trains in
     the public service.
     "Attacks with aircraft armament on military hospitals,
     hospitals, and hospital trains, which are clearly
     marked with the Red Cross."

These were to be the subject of lynching and not, as
Ribbentrop had suggested, the case of the bombing of a city.

In the latter part of this report there occurs a somewhat
curious comment from Keitel:

     "If one allows the people to carry out lynch law, it is
     difficult to enforce rules!
     "Minister Director Berndt got out and shot the enemy
     aviator on the road. I am against legal procedure. It
     doesn't work out."

That is signed by Keitel.

                                                  [Page 510]
The remarks of Jodl then appear:

     "This conference is insufficient. The following points
     must be decided quite definitely in conjunction with
     the Foreign Office:
     "1. What do we consider as murder?
          "Is RR in agreement with point 3b?
     "2. How should the procedure be carried out?
          "a. By the people?
          "b. By the authorities?
     "3. How can we guarantee that the procedure be not also
     carried out against other enemy aviators?
     "4. Should some legal procedure be arranged or not?
                                  "(Signed) Jodl" (735-PS) .

It is important to note that Ribbentrop and the Foreign
Office were fully involved in these breaches of the laws and
usages of war. The clarity with which the Foreign Office
perceived that there were such violations is indicated by a
document from the Foreign Office, approved of by Ribbentrop
and transmitted by one of his officials, Ritter (728-PS).
The approval of Ribbentrop is specifically stated in a
memorandum of 30 June 1944 (740-PS). The Foreign Office

     "In spite of the obvious objections, founded on
     international law and foreign politics, the Foreign
     Office is basically in agreement with the proposed
     "In the examination of the individual cases, a
     distinction must be made between the cases of lynching
     and the cases of special treatment by the Security
     Service, SD.
     "1. In the cases of lynching, the precise establishment
     of the circumstances deserving punishment, according to
     points of the communication of 15 June, is not very
     essential. First, the German authorities are not
     directly responsible, since death had occurred before a
     German official became concerned with the case.
     Furthermore, the accompanying circumstances will be
     such that it will not be difficult to depict the case
     in an appropriate manner upon publication. Hence, in
     cases of lynching, it will be of primary importance
     correctly to handle the individual case upon
     "2. The suggested procedure for special treatment by
     the S.D., including subsequent publication, would be
     tenable only if Germany, on this occasion,
     simultaneously would openly repudiate the commitment of
     International Law, presently in force, and still
     recognized by Germany. When an enemy aviator is seized
     by the Army or by the Police, and is delivered to the
     Air Forces (P.W.) Reception Camp Oberursel,
                                                  [Page 511]
     he has received, by this very fact, the legal status of
     a prisoner of war.
     "The Prisoner of War Treaty of 27 July 1929 establishes
     definite rules on the prosecution and sentencing of the
     Prisoner of War, and the execution of the death
     penalty, as for example in Article 66: Death sentences
     may be carried out only three months after the
     protective power has been notified of the sentence; in
     Article 63: a prisoner of war will be tried only by the
     same courts and under the same procedure as members of
     the German Armed Forces. These rules are so specific,
     that it would be futile to try to cover up any
     violation of them by clever wording of the publication
     of an individual incident. On the other hand the
     Foreign Office cannot recommend on this occasion a
     formal repudiation of the Prisoner of War Treaty.
     "An emergency solution would be to prevent suspected
     fliers from ever attaining a legal Prisoner of War
     status, that is, that immediately upon seizure they be
     told that they are not considered Prisoners of War but
     criminals; that they would not be turned over to the
     agencies having jurisdiction over Prisoners of War;
     hence not go to a Prisoner of War Camp, but that they
     would be delivered to the authorities in charge of the
     prosecution of criminal acts and that they would be
     tried in a summary proceeding. If the evidence at the
     trial should reveal that the special procedure is not
     applicable to a particular case, the fliers concerned
     may subsequently be given the status of Prisoner of War
     by transfer to the Air Forces (P.W.) Reception Camp
     "Naturally, not even this expedient will prevent the
     possibility that Germany will be accused of the
     violation of existing treaties, and maybe not even the
     adoption of reprisals upon German prisoners of war. At
     any rate this solution would enable us clearly to
     define our attitude, thus relieving us of the necessity
     of openly having to renounce the present agreements or
     of the need of having to use excuses, which no one
     would believe, upon the publication of each individual
     "It follows from the above, that the main weight of the
     action will have to be placed on lynchings. Should the
     campaign be carried out to such an extent that the
     purpose, to wit 'the deterrence of enemy aviators', is
     actually achieved, which goal is favored by the Foreign
     Office, then the strafing attacks by enemy fliers upon
     the civilian populations must
                                                  [Page 512]
     be stressed in a completely different propagandist
     manner than heretofore." (728-PS).

Those words show clearly Ribbentrop's point of view:

"Ambassador Ritter has advised us by telephone on 29 June
that the Minister for Foreign Affairs has approved this
draft." (740-PS)

Thus, on the treatment of aviators, Ribbentrop furthered the
deliberate adoption of a procedure evading International

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