The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)
Nuremberg, war crimes, crimes against humanity

The Trial of German Major War Criminals

Sitting at Nuremberg, Germany
7th June to 19th June 1946

One Hundred and Forty-Ninth Day: Friday, 7th June, 1946
(Part 3 of 10)

[Page 8]

THE PRESIDENT: All the Tribunal wants to know is that there is some really fresh point which is being brought out. You must have heard Mr. Roberts' cross-examination of the defendant upon the Yugoslavian attack; and I do not know what these documents of 22nd March and 28th March, are, or what you are asking to get out of them. If there is anything that is really fresh or new, of course, you may put it; but if it is not, then it is covered by what the Tribunal has already said, that cross-examination ought not to go over the same ground again.

COLONEL POKROVSKY: If you will permit me to say so, my Lord, I understood Jodl to mean that for him -

THE PRESIDENT: I am asking you ....

[Page 9]

COLONEL POKROVSKY: I have understood Jodl's testimony in reply to Mr. Roberts but it is still not quite clear who was in charge of the operations against Yugoslavia and I only want to have this point elucidated. Now, if the Tribunal considers that this question has already been replied to, I shall, of course, withdraw it.

HE PRESIDENT: Well, Colonel Pokrovsky, the Tribunal is not able to see what there is fresh in this matter that you are now raising, and unless you insist upon it yourself because you think it is of great importance, I think you should pass on to the next matter in your cross-examination.

COLONEL POKROVSKY: Very well. I shall continue; my Lord.


Your defence counsel has submitted Document 172-L, containing the following sentence addressed by you, in your speech to the Gauleiter of 7th November, 1943. I shall read out this sentence: "This dilemma of the shortage of men has brought us to the idea of utilising to the full the reserves of the population in the occupied territories."

Do you remember this document?

[ALFRED JODL] A. I did not understand the question.

Q. I can repeat it. Your defence counsel submitted to the Tribunal Document 172-L, which is a speech made by you.

THE PRESIDENT: What is the matter now? You cannot hear without your earphones on.

(To Dr. Exner): Do you wish to say something?

DR. EXNER: If your Honour pleases, the translation is such that we simply cannot understand anything. We receive half a sentence which makes no sense at all, at least, that is our opinion, and I believe the other gentlemen, including the defendant, have the same difficulty.

THE PRESIDENT: The defendant has not shown any sign that he was unable o understand the translation; he has never protested and he has answered the questions.

DR. EXNER: Do you understand, defendant?

THE WITNESS: I would say that I can guess what most of the questions mean; since I am fully acquainted with the problem it is easy for me, but I am not sure.

THE PRESIDENT: Colonel Pokrovsky, will you go a little bit slower. You heard, did you not, what Dr. Exner said?

COLONEL POKROVSKY: Yes, I heard him. I fear, however, my Lord, that the tempo of my speech may slow down the interrogation, but I shall try to speak more slowly.


Q. In the speech which you addressed to the Gauleiter on 7th November, 1943, you expressed, inter alia, the following idea:

"The dilemma of the shortage of men has brought us to the idea of utilising more fully-"
THE PRESIDENT: Colonel Pokrovsky, can you possibly indicate to us what page this is on. In our book we have not had any single document in English, as yet. This document we have not had in English.

COLONEL POKROVSKY: It is 172-L, my Lord.

THE PRESIDENT: Colonel Pokrovsky, this very passage that you have just read, or part of which you just read, was put by Mr. Roberts yesterday to the defendant. Surely that is contrary to our rules; we cannot have the same subject gone over twice. We already have it marked.

[Page 10]

COLONEL POKROVSKY: I am quoting this sentence, my Lord, not as a question to the witness, but only as a component part of my question. I am reminding him of this sentence in order to receive an answer.

THE PRESIDENT: Will you repeat what you said?

COLONEL POKROVSKY: My Lord, he will now receive the document in order to save time, and I shall then ask him the question. I want -

THE PRESIDENT: Colonel Pokrovsky, we want to know what the question is, so that we may see if it is not a question which has been gone into by Mr. Roberts. Colonel Pokrovsky, the Tribunal has indicated to you that it does not want you go over the same ground which was gone over yesterday. If you have some new question, by all means put it.

COLONEL POKROVSKY: Not a single one of the questions which I have asked the witness today has been a repetition of any question previously asked. Therefore, with your permission, I shall now ask my question. I should like you, witness, to look at Document 130-L and Exhibit USSR 447.

THE PRESIDENT: Do you see the red light? Go on, now.


Q. It is stated in these documents that they were issued with the consent of the OKW. They deal with the introduction of conscription in the occupied territories of Carinthia and Carriola. Have you found it? Have you found the passage that I have just read, i.e., the decree dealing with the introduction of conscription in the occupied territories of Carinthia and Carriola?

A. Yes, that document begins with the following sentence -

Q. It begins with the following sentence: "In agreement with the OKW".

Is that correct?

A. Yes.

Q. As Chief of the Operations Department of the OKW, you could not but know of such facts as the conscription for service in the German Army of the Yugoslav population - the population of the occupied territories. What do you have to say about these documents, which are gross violations of international law? Do you understand my question?

A. Yes. I can only say that I see it here for the first time. This is the first I have heard of it. After all I am not the OKW. I am Chief of the Wehrmacht Operations Staff. I never read this document during the war.

Q. You will read it - and immediately. Do you not consider it a gross violation of international law?

A. In order to give my opinion I would have to go into it more fully from a legal point of view, and I am not in a position to do that, and I believe it is not of interest to the Tribunal.

Q. On 4th June you testified before the Tribunal that the decisions of the Hague and Geneva Conventions were your reference book. You will now be shown Document 738-PS, submitted to the Tribunal on 20th March, as Exhibit USA-678. The authenticity of this document -

THE PRESIDENT: Well, 638 is the document which has been handed up.

COLONEL POKROVSKY: It is Document 638-PS, my Lord.

THE PRESIDENT: Colonel Pokrovsky; is the Document that you have just handed up to us "J-6". Are you offering that in evidence? Are you offering that?

COLONEL POKROVSKY: No, it was submitted in the nature of evidence. I am only submitting it for facilitating its perusal. It is submitted as Document 638.

THE PRESIDENT: Wait a minute. Are you referring to Document 638-PS, or are you referring to Document J-6?

COLONEL POKROVSKY: I am referring to Document 638-PS accepted by the Tribunal as USA evidence.

[Page 11]

THE PRESIDENT: I was not. I was referring to the Document J-6. The document which is here before me, which is 638, is the Yugoslav document.

COLONEL POKROVSKY: The document to which you, my Lord, refer, bears a double number: USSR-136 and J-6, and the second document also bears a double number, USSR-447.

THE PRESIDENT: I don't want to know about the second document. I only want to know whether you are offering the first document in evidence, or has it already been offered in evidence.

COLONEL POKROVSKY: It has already been submitted, my Lord, by the Delegation of the Soviet Union.


Q. You, Jodl, have probably had sufficient time to read the document. Is that right? Have you read it?

A. I know about this document from these proceedings.

Q. Quite correct. I only wish to remind you that Goering has twice confirmed the authenticity of this document and merely questioned the accuracy of certain entries in individual sentences. I should now like to ask you how you reconcile the highest concepts of international law with the formation of bands under German command, dressed in German military uniforms, bands recruited from the dregs of the criminal classes, who were officially authorized to plunder, murder burn and violate - all this during military operations? Have you understood my question? (A pause follows). You, of course, well remember that these bands were actually created and entered the ranks of the armed forces of the German Reich. You remember the testimony of the witness, von dem Bach-Zelewski, of 7th January, 1946, concerning the special brigades acting according to this official authorisation?

A. I do not know just how you know that the High Command gave its approval and that this actually took place. That escapes me. These are merely the notes of alleged statements by the Reichsmarschall, but I do not know how they concern me.

Q. I shall try and help you to understand this fact. Do you remember that at the end of 1941 and the beginning of 1942 a special brigade was formed to operate against the Partisans? The first commanding officer of that unit was Dirlewanger, and von dem Bach-Zelewski testified about him here, on 7th January, 1946. Do you remember that?

A. No. I do not remember that.

Q. You cannot remember? Very well. Then we shall prove it without your testimony. Do you remember the fact that units of the Yugoslav army wore regulation uniforms, complete with insignia, numbers of regiments and divisions? Do you remember that? Do you understand my question? Or do you not?

A. I understood. Do you mean the Brandenburg Regiment? 1 have some idea of that.

No, I have something else in mind. I wish to remind you that despite the fact that the accusations which you have enumerated before the Tribunal, when speaking of bands, did not apply to these units of the Yugoslav army, those units were referred to in every official document of the German command as bandits, in order to justify any atrocity perpetrated against them, and only in the top secret correspondence between German officers and staffs was the correct, factual nomenclature of the various regiments and brigades indicated. Perhaps this fact, in your opinion, also testifies to the adherence of the German High Command to the standards of international law? Have you understood me?

A. I understand you very well.

Q. Do you wish to say anything on the matter?

A. Yes. I can only say this assertion of yours is untrue. We -

Q. I would only ask you to reply as briefly as possible.

[Page 12]

A. Yes, I was going to answer very briefly. We always called those Yugoslav bandits partisans for propaganda reasons, but in practice uniformed fighters always were treated as prisoners of war; and there is no order which would have prevented them from receiving such treatment as prisoners of war. Otherwise, we would not have had so many prisoners.

Q. I am very obliged to you for having raised the question of the prisoners of war. You have testified on oath before the Tribunal that there was no decree which forbade taking prisoners of war. You have not yet forgotten that testimony of yours?

A. No, there are no regulations of international law which apply to a rebellion. There is no such thing.

Q. No, I asked you to confirm if I have rendered your testimony correctly to the Tribunal? You stated, before the Tribunal, that there was no decree not to take prisoners of war. Did you give such testimony before the Tribunal or did you not?

A. What you have stated here is not my verbatim testimony.

Q. Just a minute, just a minute. We shall have a special talk about the matter I have mentioned. First I want you to tell me the following: You stated, before the Tribunal, on oath, that there was no order to the German Army to the effect that prisoners were not to be taken. Did you give this testimony or not? Have you understood me?

A. I think I remember. I do not know of any such order that no prisoners of war were to be taken.

Q. Good. One moment more. I now want you to help me to elucidate another matter. A sentence of yours appears in the typed script to the effect that you considered it improper to question a prisoner of war if a decision had already been made that the prisoner of war was to be shot. Is that so? Is it correct?

A. Yes, I testified to the effect that I rejected that sentence from the moral and humane points of view.

Q. Excellent. Now I want you to tell me the following. Do you remember that there was a 4th Mountain Division in the German Army? It seems that you, at one time, were directly connected with it. Was there such a Division or not?

A. That there were four mountain divisions, that I do not remember. There were many more.

Q. I am not talking about four divisions. You have been given an inaccurate translation. I am asking you whether you remember that there was a 4th Mountain Division?

A. I certainly know about that. I wanted to be the Commandant of that division.

Q. Very well. In that case, you may also remember another responsible officer of the German Army, whose name was Kubler? He operated in Yugoslavia.

A. There were two men of the name of Kubler, an older man and a younger man.

Q. Major General Kubler is the one who interests me.

THE PRESIDENT: Shall we adjourn now for a few minutes?

(A recess was taken.)

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