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

The Trial of German Major War Criminals

Sitting at Nuremberg, Germany
December 3 to December 14, 1945

Sixteenth Day: Monday, 10th December, 1945
(Part 1 of 9)

[Page 234]

THE PRESIDENT: The Tribunal has received a letter from Dr. Dix on behalf of the defendant Schacht. In answer to that, the Tribunal wishes the defendants' counsel to know that they will be permitted to make one speech only, in accordance with Article 24 (h) of the Charter, and this speech will be at the conclusion of all the evidence.

At the conclusion of the case for the prosecution, the defendants' counsel will be invited to submit to the Tribunal the evidence they propose to call, but they will be strictly confined to the names of the witnesses, and the matters to which their evidence will be relevant, and this submission must not be in the nature of a speech. Is that clear? In case there should be any misunderstanding, what I have just said will be posted up on the board in the defendants' counsel room so that they can study it there.

MR. ALDERMAN: May it please the Tribunal. When the Tribunal rose on Friday, I had just reached the point in my discussion of aggression against the U.S.S.R. where, with the campaign in the West at an end, the Nazi conspirators had begun the development, of their plans to attack the Soviet Union. Preliminary high level planning and action was in progress. Hitler had indicated earlier in November that more detailed and definite instructions would be issued. These would be issued as soon as the general outline of the Army's operational plans had been submitted to him and approved by him. We had thus reached the point in the story indicated on the outline submitted last Friday as Part 3 of the "Plan Barbarossa".

By 18th December, 1940, the general outline of the Army's operational plan having been submitted to Hitler, the basic strategical directive to the High Command of the Army, Navy and the Air Force for "Barbarossa", directive No.21, was issued. This directive, which for the first time marks the plan to invade the Soviet Union, was specifically referred to in an order, although the order was classified Top Secret. It also marked the first use of the code word "Barbarossa" to denote this operation.

The directive is No. 446-PS, and was offered in evidence in the course of my opening statement, as Exhibit USA 31. Since it was fully discussed at that time, it is, I believe, sufficient now merely to recall to the Tribunal two or three of the most significant sentences in that document. Most of these sentences appear on Page 1 of the English translation. One of the most significant, I believe, is this sentence with which the order begins:

"The German Armed Forces must be prepared to crush Soviet Russia in a quick campaign even before the end of the war with England."
On the same page it is stated:
"Preparations requiring more time to start are - if this has not yet been done - to begin at once and are to be completed by 15th May, 1941.

[Page 235]

Great caution has to be exercised that the intention of the attack will not be recognised."
The directive then outlines the broad strategy on which the intended invasion was to proceed, and the parts that the various services (Army, Navy and Air Forces) were to play therein, and called for oral reports to Hitler by the Commanders-in-Chief, closing as follows:-
"V." - That is on Page 2 - "I am expecting the reports of the Commanders-in-Chief on their further plans based on this letter of instructions.

The preparations planned by all branches of the Armed Forces are to be reported to me through the High Command, also in regard to their time.

Signed by Hitler, and initialled by: Jodl, Keitel, Warlimont and one illegible name."

It is perfectly clear, both from the contents of the order itself, as well as from its history, which I have outlined, that this directive was no mere planning exercise by the Staff. It was an order to prepare for an act of aggression, which was intended to occur, and which actually did occur.

The various services which received the order certainly understood it as an order to prepare for action, and did not view it as a hypothetical staff problem. This is plain from the detailed planning and preparation which they immediately undertook in order to implement the general scheme set forth in this basic directive.

So we come to the military planning and preparation for the implementation of "Plan Barbarossa". The Naval War Diary for 13th January, 1941 indicates the early compliance of the O.K.M. with that part of directive No. 21, which ordered progress in preparation to be reported to Hitler through the High Command of the Armed Forces. This entry in the War Diary is Document C-35 in our numbered series, and I offer it in evidence as Exhibit USA 132.

This document contains a substantial amount of technical information concerning the Navy's part in the coming campaign and the manner in which it was preparing itself to play the part. I feel, however, that it will be sufficient for the establishment of our point - that the Navy was actively preparing for the attack at this early date - to read only a small portion of the entry into the record, beginning on Page 1 of the English translation, which is Page 401 of the diary itself. The entry reads:-

"30th January, 1941, Page 401 of the diary. 7. Talk by Ia about the plans and preparations for the 'Barbarossa' case to be submitted to the High Command of Armed Forces."
I should note that "Ia" is in this case the abbreviation for a deputy chief of naval operations. Then follows a list of the Navy's objectives in the war against Russia. Under the latter, many tasks for the Navy are listed, but I think one is sufficiently typical to give the Tribunal an idea of all. I quote from the top of Page 2 of the English translation:-
"II. Objectives of War Against Russia. (d) To harass the Russian fleet by surprise blows such as:- 1. Lightning-like commitments at the outbreak of the war of air force units against strong points and combat vessels in the Baltic, Black Sea, and Arctic."

[Page 236]

The purpose of the offer of this document is merely that it indicates the detailed thinking and planning, which was being carried out to implement "Barbarossa", almost six months before the operation actually got under way. It is but another piece in the mosaic of evidence which demonstrates, beyond question or doubt, that the invasion of the Soviet Union was one of the most cold-bloodedly premeditated attacks on a neighbouring Power in the history of the world. Similarly, the Naval War Diary for the month of February contains several references to the planning and preparation for the coming campaign. Extracts of such references are contained in Document C-33, which I am now offering in evidence as Exhibit USA 133.

I think it will be sufficient to quote for the record, as typical, the entry for 19th February, 1941, which appears at Page 3 of the English translation, and at Page 248 of the diary itself.

"In regard to the impending operation 'Barbarossa' for which all S-boats in the Baltic will be needed, a transfer of some can only be considered after conclusion of the 'Barbarossa' operations."
On the 3rd February, 1941, the Fuehrer held a conference to assess the progress thus far made in the planning for "Barbarossa." The conference also discussed the plans for "Sonnenblume" - which was the code name for the North African operation - "Sunflower." Attending this conference were, in addition to Hitler, the Chief of the Supreme Command of the Armed Forces, the defendant Keitel; the Chief of the Armed Forces Operations Staff, the defendant Jodl; the Commander-in-Chief of the Army, Brauchitsch; the Chief of the Army General Staff, Halder; as well as several others, including Colonel Schmundt, Hitler's Adjutant.

A report of this conference is contained in our Document 872-PS, which I now offer as Exhibit USA 134.

During the course of this conference, the Chief of the Army General Staff gave a long report about enemy strength as compared with their own strength, and the general overall operational plans for the invasion. This report was punctuated at various intervals by comments from the Fuehrer.

At Page 4 of the English translation of the conference plan, which is at Page 5 of the German original, there is an interesting extract, which although written in semi-shorthand, is at least sufficiently clear to inform us that elaborate timetables had already been set up for the deployment of troops as well as for industrial operations. I quote:

"The intended time period was discussed with a plan: 1st Deployment Staffel (Aufmarschstaffel) transfer now, front Germany - East; 2nd Deployment Staffel (Aufmarschstaffel) from the middle of March will give up three divisions for reinforcement in the West. Army Groups and Army High Commands are being withdrawn from the West. There are already considerable reinforcements though still in the rear area. From now on, 'Attila'" - I might state here parenthetically that this was the code word for the operation for the occupation of Unoccupied France - "'Attila' can be carried out only under difficulties. Industrial traffic is hampered by transport movements. From the middle of April, Hungary will be approached about the march-through. Three deployment staffels from the middle of April. 'Felix' is now no longer possible, as the main part of the artillery is being entrained." - "Felix" was the name for the proposed operation against Gibraltar.

[Page 237]

"In industry the full capacity timetable is in force. No more camouflage.

From 25. IV-15- V. Four staffels to withdraw considerable forces from the West." - "Seeloewe", or "Sea Lion", was a code word for the planned operation against England, and "Marita", which we shall see a little later in the quotation, was the code word for the action against Greece-" 'Seeloewe' can no longer be carried out. The strategic concentration in the East is quite recognisable.

The full capacity timetable remains. Eight 'Marita' divisions complete the picture of the disposition of forces on the plan.

C.-in-C. Army requested that he no longer have to employ five control divisions for this, but might hold them ready as reserves for commanders in the West.

Fuehrer: 'When "Barbarossa" commences, the world will hold its breath and make no comment.'"

This much, I believe, when read with the conference conclusions, which I shall read in a moment, is sufficient to show that the Army as well as the Navy regarded "Barbarossa" as an action directive and were well advanced with their preparations even as early as February, 1941 - almost five months prior to 22nd June, the date the attack was actually launched. The conference report summarised the conclusions of the conference, in so far as they affected "Barbarossa", as follows; I am now reading from Page 6 of the English translation, which is on Page 8 of the German:-

1. 'Barbarossa'

(a) The Fuehrer on the whole was in agreement with the operational plan. When it is being carried out, it must be remembered that the main aim is to gain possession of the Baltic States and Leningrad.

(b) The Fuehrer desires that the operation map and the plan of the disposition of forces be sent to him as soon as possible.

(c) Agreements with neighbouring States, who are taking part, may not be concluded until there is no longer any necessity for camouflage. The exception is Roumania with regard to the reinforcing of the Moldau.

(d) It must, at all costs, be possible to carry out 'Attila.'

(e) The strategic concentration for 'Barbarossa' will be camouflaged as a feint for 'Seeloewe' and the subsidiary measure 'Marita'."

On 13th March, 1941, the defendant Keitel signed an operational directive to Fuehrer Order No. 21, which was issued in the form of "Directives for Special Areas". This detailed operational order is Document 447-PS in our numbered series, and I now offer it in evidence as Exhibit USA 135.

This order which was issued more than three months in advance of the attack, indicates how complete were the plans for practically every phase of the operation. Section I of the directive is headed "Area of Operations and Executive Power," and outlines who was to be in control of what and where. It states that while the campaign is in progress in territory through which the army is advancing, the Supreme Commander of the Army has the executive power, During this period, however, the Reichsfuehrer S.S.

[Page 238]

is entrusted with "special tasks". This assignment is discussed in Paragraph 2(b), which appears on Page 1 of the English translation, and reads as follows:-
"(b) In the area of operations, the Reichsfuehrer S.S. is, on behalf of the Fuehrer, entrusted with special tasks for the preparation of the political administration, tasks which result from the struggle which has to be carried out between two opposing political systems. Within the realm of these tasks, the Reichsfuehrer S.S. shall act independently and under his own responsibility. The executive power invested in the Supreme Commander of the Army (O.K.H.) and in agencies determined by him shall not be affected by this. It is the responsibility of the Reichsfuehrer S.S. that through the execution of his tasks, military operations shall not be disturbed. Details shall be arranged directly through the O.K.H. with the Reichsfuehrer S.S."
The order then states that, in time, political administration will be set up under Commissioners of the Reich, and discusses the relationship of these officials to the army. This is contained in Paragraph 2(c) and Paragraph 3, parts of which I should like to read:-
"(c) As soon as the area of operations has reached sufficient depth, it is to be limited in the rear. The newly occupied territory in the rear of the area of operations is to be given its own political administration. For the present, it is to be divided, according to its genealogical basis and to the positions of the Army Groups, into North (Baltic countries), Centre (White Russia) and South (Ukraine). In these territories the political administration will be taken care of by Commissioners of the Reich who will receive their orders from the Fuehrer.
(3) For the execution of all military tasks within the areas under the political administration in the rear of the area of operations, commanding officers who are responsible to the Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces (O.K.W.) shall be in command. The Commanding officer is the supreme representative of the Armed Forces in the respective areas and the bearer of the military sovereign rights. He will have the tasks of a Territorial Commander and the rights of a Supreme Army Commander or a Commanding General. In this capacity he will be responsible primarily for the following tasks:-
(a) Close co-operation with the Commissioner of the Reich in order to support him in his political tasks.

(b) Exploitation of the country and securing its economic values for use by German industry."

The directive also outlines the responsibility for the administration of economy in the conquered territory, a subject I will develop more fully later in my presentation. This provision is also in Section 1, Paragraph 4, which I shall read:-
4. The Fuehrer has entrusted the uniform direction of the administration of economy in the area of operations, and in the territories of political administration to the Reich Marshal, who has delegated the Chief of the 'Wi. Rue Amt' with the execution of the task. Special orders on that will come from the O.K.W./Wi./Rue/Amt."

[Page 239]

The second section deals with matters of personnel, supply, and -

THE PRESIDENT: Mr. Alderman, will you tell us at some time who these people are? Who is the Reich Marshal?

MR. ALDERMAN: The Reich Marshal is the defendant Goering.

THE PRESIDENT: And who was the Reichsfuehrer of the S.S. at that time ?

MR. ALDERMAN: Himmler.



Section II deals with matters of personnel, supply and communication traffic, and I shall not read it here.

Section III of the order deals with the relations with certain other countries, and states in part as follows - I am reading from Page 3 of the English translation:-

"III. Regulations regarding Roumania, Slovakia, Hungary and Finland.

(9) The necessary arrangements with these countries shall be made by the O.K.W., together with the Foreign Office, and according to the wish of the respective high commands. In case it should become necessary during the course of the operations to grant special rights, applications for this purpose are to be submitted to the O.K.W."

The document closes with a section regarding Sweden, which is also on Page 3 of the English translation.
"IV. Directives regarding Sweden.

(12) Since Sweden can only become a transit area for troops, no special authority is to be granted to the commander of the German troops. However, he is entitled and compelled to secure the immediate protection of railroad transports against sabotage and attacks.

The Chief of the High Command of the Armed Forces.

(signed) KEITEL"

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