\ Trials of German Major War Criminals: Volume 16

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 4 of 10)

[Page 12]


Q. Now you and I, defendant Jodl, will attend to these two documents. Please take Exhibit USSR 132. It is a directive to the 118th Light Infantry Division.

[ALFRED JODL] A. 118th Light Infantry Division.

Q. It says: "Instructions for conduct of troops during attack". Paragraph 2, Prisoners: Any man who has openly fought against the Armed Forces of Germany and has been captured is to be shot after questioning." Is that correct? It says so precisely in those words? (Silence). Do you hear me?

[Page 13]

A. That is approximately what it says in that one sentence, but I should like to have the whole document. Nothing can be gathered from one sentence. What is decisive is what comes before it, and that is not stated in the document.

Q. It is written above: "Instructions for the Conduct of Troops during Attack."

Now for the second document. It bears the stamp of the 4th Mountain Regiment. It was issued on 6th October, 1943, and contains Keitel's instructions, written in his own hand, on how to deal with prisoners of war. I will ask you to look at sub-paragraph 3. It says, in the second part of this sub-paragraph: "Commanders having at least the rank of divisional commanders, are authorized to issue orders to take no prisoners, i.e., prisoners and the civilian population in the combat area may be shot."

THE PRESIDENT: Wait a minute. Apparently the translation was not coming through correctly. Perhaps you are going too fast. It was coming through correctly to me, but it apparently was not coming through correctly to the defendant. Would you put your question again?


Q. In sub-paragraph 3 of the document issued to the 4th Mountain Regiment it says:

THE PRESIDENT: Did you give us the number of it?

COLONEL POKROVSKY: Yes, my Lord. It is Exhibit USSR 470, and it bears a double number - JU-127.

(Turning to the defendant Jodl)

Q. Have you found sub-paragraph 3, defendant Jodl?

A. Yes, but this cannot possibly be described as a document. This is not a document.

Q. This document says how prisoners of war are to be treated.

I do not know what you feel about it, but it is quite clear to me.

A. But it is not an original. It is a fantastic translation. Any soldier would have thrown it straight into the wastepaper basket. It is a falsification. But I admit that it may be due to the foolish translation. In my opinion, all it contains is nonsense. The heading says 4th Mountain Regiment, and it is a Roman four. It should be an Arabic number. It was never called a Mountain Regiment. It then goes on to say, the Commanders of the 4th Mountain Division, Section Ic. All that is nonsense. Pure, unadulterated nonsense. This is not a document. It is a scrap of paper.

Q. I cannot guarantee the quality of the translation.

THE PRESIDENT: The Tribunal would like to see the original of these documents. They were put in, apparently, as USSR 132 and USSR 470. Is USSR 470 a new document?

COLONEL POKROVSKY: No, my Lord, this document has already been submitted, and the original is in the records of the Tribunal. Now I am only showing a copy of this document which is at our disposal. Both documents were previously submitted in the original. If it is necessary, we can obtain these original documents and submit them a second time.

THE PRESIDENT: One of the secretaries to the Tribunal says that it was not submitted before, not offered in evidence before, USSR 470. Are you sure?

COLONEL POKROVSKY: There may have been some technical discrepancy. I was informed that it had already been submitted. We shall now go into this matter thoroughly. I believe, my Lord, that the original of the second document is in your possession.

THE WITNESS: I can say something to clarify this.

[Page 14]

THE PRESIDENT: Colonel Pokrovsky, the Tribunal is uncertain about the admission of this Document 470. Could you tell us exactly what the document is, and in what circumstances it is now being offered in evidence?

What the document is, and where it came from?

COLONEL POKROVSKY: I can give quite a definite answer to the last question, my Lord, but perhaps I shall have to answer the first part of your question a few minutes later. The matter is being investigated.

On the second page of Exhibit USSR 470, to the right, at the bottom of the page, there is an affidavit:

"This is to certify that this is a correct and certified copy of an original document which was captured during military operations in June, 1944, at Pancrazza, by the Yugoslav National Army of Liberation. The original document is kept in the archives of the State Commission for the Investigation of Atrocities perpetrated by the Occupants and their collaborators in Belgrade, dated 4th January, 1946, Belgrade," signed by the President of the State Commission, University Professor Dr. D. Nedelkowitsch.
I am just having investigations made as to whether this document has been submitted, by what member of the Soviet Delegation it was submitted and on what date. If the document has not been submitted, then we can demand the original from the Belgrade archives, the German, the captured copy, or else certified photostat, whichever is most acceptable to the Tribunal, and have it presented in evidence.

My Lord, I have just been informed that this document was not presented. Therefore it will be submitted for the first time and we shall ask for the original as additional evidence.

THE PRESIDENT: Colonel Pokrovsky, with reference, for the moment, to Document USSR 132, which I understand has already been put in evidence ... offered in evidence, the Tribunal would like to see the original of that document because there are only two paragraphs put out in the copy that we have before us, and that was the point that was taken by the defendant Jodl, that he wanted to see the whole document.

Colonel Pokrovsky, first of all, with reference to Document-132 which the Tribunal understands has already been offered in evidence, the Tribunal thinks that that document in full should be put before the defendant for him to make any comments. With reference to Document-470, which you are now offering in evidence, the Tribunal is of the opinion that you should go on cross-examining with reference to that document, subject to the production, as soon as possible, of the original or a photostatic copy of the original, and subject to the right of .the defendant's counsel to apply to have that cross-examination struck out if there is any substantial difference between the translation in the Yugoslav language, which is now being put to the defendant or used for the purpose of cross-examination of the defendant, and the original document.

Is that clear to you and to Dr. Exner?

COLONEL POKROVSKY: It shall be done, my Lord.

DR. EXNER: Mr. President, I think that a discussion of this document ought not to be permitted at the moment. There are too many discrepancies in it. As it stands it cannot be correct. Roman numeral IV, for instance, The "IVth Mountain Regiment", is referred to. That Roman numeral IV is quite wrong. Then it says "the commanders delivered", which is not German. Then, on line four there is mention ....

THE PRESIDENT (Interposing): Dr. Exner, the Tribunal wants to know what you are talking about. Are you talking about 470?

DR. EXNER: Yes. I am merely trying to show that this cannot be a genuine document because it is not proper German.

For instance, in the fourth line it says, "Armed Forces Operations Staff, OBH". The Operations Staff is attached to the OKW, not the OBH.

[Page 15]

Then, there is no signature. It is signed "Keitel" on the first page, but he signs as a Colonel General, whereas I am told he was already a Field Marshal at that time.

Furthermore, this signature is part of the quotation and it says, "The OKW supplies the following information". Then there is the quotation, and Keitel's signature is a part of that, whereas the document itself is supposed to originate from the 4th Mountain Regiment and there is no signature of the 4th Mountain Regiment.

I really do not think there would be any sense in talking about the document until the original has been supplied.

For instance, on Page 2 of the document there is the statement that this goes to the commanders of 6, 7, etc. They are not commanders, these company commanders. No German military person could have written this document.

THE PRESIDENT: Dr. Exner, the Tribunal adheres to its decision that this document may be used now. All the points which you are now raising, and any other points which you may wish to raise upon the document will be open to you, if you wish to move to have the cross-examination struck out at a later stage when the original has been produced.

DR. EXNER: I understand.

THE PRESIDENT: For the purposes of not wasting time, it is, the Tribunal thinks, more convenient to have the cross-examination now upon this document. We will leave it to you to move hereafter to strike the whole cross-examination out.


THE PRESIDENT: Now, Colonel Pokrovsky, here is the original Document-132 which the defendant ought to have for the purpose of making any comments that he wishes to make.

COLONEL POKROVSKY: The instructions of the Tribunal will be carried out, my Lord. We shall submit the original document.


Q. Have you acquainted yourself with the contents of the document?

A. It is an order of the 118th Light Infantry Division.

Q. You have no doubts at all about the authenticity of the document?

A. No, there is no doubt that it is an order of the 118th Light Infantry Division, but the connection between the 118th Light Infantry Division and myself is puzzling. But the order is genuine.

Q. Perhaps you would like to admit now that this is not a question of stupidity but of villainy. Perhaps you would like to amplify your testimony in this sense?

A. I did not understand you.

THE PRESIDENT: Defendant, when you were asked about Paragraph 2 of Exhibit USSR 132, you said that the whole document was not before you. Now you have the whole document.

THE WITNESS: I have it, yes. I have the entire document. The entire order from Kuebler is perfectly in order in my opinion. Apparently the doubts which the Prosecutor has, refer to Point 2, where it says:

" ... any man who has fought openly against the German Armed Forces and is captured is to be shot after interrogation."
That of course, does not refer to normal troops. That refers to the population. At least, that is how I see it.

Paragraph 8 says:-

"Attitude towards the Population".
That is also in order from the point of view of international law. It draws a distinction between the attitude towards a hostile population and the attitude towards a peaceful population.

[Page 16]


Q. Is that all you wish to say?

A. Yes, but as I said, I do not understand the connection between Major General Kubler's order and myself. I do not understand it.

Q. You confirm that the question of the treatment of the civilian population has been isolated to form an independent paragraph, No. 8? Is that correct? You have just referred to that.

A. Yes, Paragraph 8 mentions the treatment to be meted out to the civilian population.

Q. I am satisfied with your answer. Let us pass on to another group of questions.

THE PRESIDENT: Walt a minute.

THE WITNESS: But I wished, with the permission of the Tribunal, to object -

THE PRESIDENT: One moment. Defendant, are you suggesting that there is anything in the order itself which indicated that the prisoners dealt with in Paragraph 2 are not, as you have put it, normal troops?

THE WITNESS: In that respect, the paragraph is not very clear, but the next document which the Prosecutor has submitted might give the proof regarding what other orders have been issued. However, I consider that it is out of the question that Kubler gave an order saying that Yugoslav troops captured in battle should be shot. That is impossible and had he done so, then he would have done so against the orders of the High Command of the German Armed Forces. But how can I give my views on an order from Major General Kubler? It would be best to ask him, he is alive.

THE PRESIDENT: Well, your answer to my question, then, is in the negative, that there is nothing in the order itself which shows or indicates that the prisoners referred to in Paragraph 2 are not normal troops.

THE WITNESS: That cannot be concluded from the wording of that order.

THE PRESIDENT: Perhaps I ought to draw your attention to the words under "General directives for the conduct of troops in action".

At any rate, that is your answer upon the whole document.

THE WITNESS: May I please have permission to look at the original again? I have only a copy here before me.

(A document was submitted to the witness.)

THE PRESIDENT: You now have the original document before you. Do you want to add anything to what you have said?

THE WITNESS: I just wanted to add, if you are dealing with this order of Major General Kubler that it is not certain whether this order refers to any particular action in a given territory, for example, the mopping up of guerrillas who were not regarded as regular troops at that particular moment, but were regarded as a revolt of the population. That is feasible.

At any rate, I cannot answer these questions because I am not Major General Kubler.

THE PRESIDENT: Now you can pass on to 470.

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