The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

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Last-Modified: 1997/12/10

To General Lahousen by Col. Amen:

Q. What do you say about that?

A. I can only say that this order, as soon as it appeared,
quite independent of the official conferences that took
place about that --

General Reinecke: May I ask you again, what order?

A. The order went out for the first time that the Russian
prisoners of war were not to be regarded according to the
points of international law, but entirely new, cruel, and
brutal methods were to be applied to them. You know that
this order was discussed everywhere, in the offices, in the
quarters, and everywhere, and also the reaction against this
order. Therefore, I can't imagine that anyone in the
position  where I was, for instance, as a chief of a
section, much less some one superior to me in the
organization of the office, could not know about this order
or its principle contents. I think it is impossible that you
don't know about it.

To General Reinecke by Col. Amen:

Q. Now, you did know all about that order at the time,
didn't you?

A. No. I want to say this again. I knew that the
functionaries were to be shot.

Q. Well, everybody knew that.

A. I never denied that.

Q. I knew that myself.

A. Yes, that is cleared. I never received the original
order, or the particulars about that.

Q. Who cares whether you saw the original order or not?

A. At any rate, I did not work it out, I did not participate
in it, and I did not make any suggestions in the formulation
of this order. I was only involved by this trip that I took
to the front.

Q. You did nothing to oppose it; right?

A. You mean against this order?

Q. Yes, or any of the orders with regard to the treatment of
Russian prisoners of war.

A. It is impossible for me to say. Afterwards the order --
well, of course, we constantly worked against that.

Q. But you never accomplished anything?

                                                 [Page 1619]
A. No. That is quite clear; it was ordered and what could we

Q. And therefore the responsibility of it was yours?

A. You mean for these orders when they came out?

Q. Yes. Now, have you recollected about the order for the
branding of Russian prisoners of war? [See second footnote,
p. 1606 of this volume.]

A. You mean the one that was shown to me a little while ago?

Q. Yes.

A. I did not give this order. General Graevenitz gave that
order, and as soon as we learned about it, why it was
recalled at once.

Q. That doesn't correspond with the facts either.

A. Well, that is certainly so.

Q. No, it isn't so. I show you a photostatic copy of an
order dated 20 July 1942, and ask you if you can identify
that as an official order. (The document was submitted to
the witness.) [document referred to did not form part of
prosecution case as finally prepared and hence is not
published in this series.]

A. Yes. I have already read this; I read it before.

Q. What is the date of it?

A. The 20th of July. It is quite clear that it was not
issued by me, but by the Chief of the Prisoner of War
Department; and it does not say "AWA" up here.

Q. I don't care whether you issued it or not. I didn't ask
you anything about that. It is your responsibility, whether
you issued it or not. What I want to know is, what date did
you claim that order was withdrawn?

A. That I don't know any more. Just as soon as we learned
about this order --

Q. I am sure you don't know it any more, and you never did
know it.

A. Yes, I knew it, because we ourselves put it into effect.

Q. I know you put it into effect, but you didn't get it

A. Yes, it was recalled, and as far as I know it was never
carried out.

Q. That isn't true.

A. As far as I know, it never was applied.

Q. Are you trying to say that you personally withdrew it?

A. As far as I know and as far as I remember I gave the
order to Graevenitz to recall it, and that was with the
consent of Keitel. That is, after we had learned that
Graevenitz had issued such an order.

Q. Why would you give an order to withdraw an order which
you say you had nothing to do with?

                                                 [Page 1620]
A. I didn't say I had nothing to do with it; I merely said I
didn't sign it.

Q. You said you caused it to be withdrawn.

A. Yes, I said that.

Q. I say, why would you cause to be withdrawn an order which
you had nothing to do with issuing?

A. Graevenitz was my subordinate.

Q. Sure.

A. Well, as far as my powers of command were concerned, I
had to do this.

Q. Well, then, you knew all about the issuance of this

A. As soon as we learned about it, we had it recalled at

Q. How did you find out about it?

A. that I don't know any more today, but it is very probable
that somebody told me about it.

Q. I don't care what is probable; if you don't know it,
don't try to tell me about it.

Now, did Speer tell you that he wanted you to stop killing
off so many Russian prisoners of war so that he would have
more to do work?

A. That was discussed yesterday, but as far as I know Speer
was not even the Minister for Armaments at that time.

Q. Well, you saw the reference to Speer in the order which I
showed you yesterday, didn't you?

A. Yes.

Q. What do you think it was there for?

A. As far as I know, he always received copies so that he
could commit labor.

Q. So he could do that?

A. For labor commitments.

Q. Did you have any personal conversations with Speer with
regard to Russian prisoners of war?

A. Oh God, that is very difficult to say. I talked to Speer
so many times.

Q. And if Speer says he discussed the whole problem with
you, would you say he was not telling the truth?

A. I discussed this problem with many people, and it may
well be that I discussed it with Speer.

Q. Then you don't deny having discussed it with Speer?

A. It is possible.

Q. Anything is possible. I say do you deny it or do you
admit it?

A. Well, what I mean to say is that we discussed these
things with so many people because we were so much involved
in them

                                                 [Page 1621]
that it is difficult to say whether or not I discussed them
with Speer.

Q. I am glad to hear you say you were involved in them.

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