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 2 of 9)

[MR. ALDERMAN continues]

[Page 239]

As was hinted in the original "Barbarossa" Order, Directive No. 21, which I discussed earlier, the plan originally contemplated that the attack would take place about the 15th May, 1941. In the meantime, however, the Nazi conspirators found themselves involved in a campaign in the Balkans, and were forced to delay "Barbarossa" for a few weeks. Evidence of this postponement is found in a document, which bears our Number C-170This document has been identified by the defendant Raeder as a compilation of official extracts from the Naval War Staff War Diary. It was prepared by naval archivists who had access to the Admiralty files, and contains file references to the papers which were the basis for each entry.

I offer that document in evidence as Exhibit USA 136.

Although I shall refer to this document again later, I should like at present to read only an item which appears in the second paragraph of Item 142 On Page 19 of the English translation, and which is in the text in a footnote on Page 26 in the German original. This item is dated 3rd April, 1941, and reads as follows:-

"Balkan Operations delayed 'Barbarossa' at first for about five weeks. All measures which can be construed as offensive actions are to be stopped according to the Fuehrer's order."
By the end of April, however, things were sufficiently straightened out to permit the Fuehrer to definitely set "D" day as 22nd June, more than seven

[Page 240]

weeks away. Document 873-PS, in our series, is a "Top Secret" report of a conference with the Chief of the Section "Landesverteidigung" of the "Wehrmacht Fuehrungsstab" on 30th April, 1941.

I now offer that document in evidence as Exhibit USA 137.

I think it will be sufficient to read the first two paragraphs of this report:

"(1) Timetable 'Barbarossa' report:

The Fuehrer has decided:-

Action 'Barbarossa' begins on 22nd June. From 23rd May, maximum troop movements performance schedule. At the beginning of operations, the O.K.H. reserves will have not yet reached the appointed areas. (2) Proportion of actual strength in the plan 'Barbarossa'

Sector North: German and Russian forces approximately of the same strength.

Sector Middle: Great German superiority.

Sector South : Russian superiority."

Early in June, practically three weeks before D-day, preparations for the attack were so complete that it was possible for the High Command to issue an elaborate timetable, showing in great detail the disposition and missions of the Army, Navy and Air Force.

This timetable is Document C-39 in our series, and I offer it in evidence now as Exhibit USA 138.

This document was prepared in 21 copies, and the one offered here was the third copy which was given to the High Command of the Navy. Page 1 is in the form of a transmittal, and reads as follows:-

"Top Military Secret.
Supreme Command of the Armed Forces.

Nr. 44842/41 Top Military Secret W.F.S.T. Abt. L (I op)

Fuehrer's Headquarters (no date)

Top Secret (Chefsache) 21 copies

Only through officer 1 op. 00845/41
Received 6 June

The Fuehrer has authorised the appended timetable as a foundation for further preparations for "Barbarossa". If alterations should be necessary during execution, the Supreme Command of the Armed Forces must be informed. Chief of Supreme Command of the Armed Forces (signed) KEITEL"

I shall not bother to read to you the distribution list which indicates where the 21 copies went.

The next two pages of the document are in form of a text outlining the state of preparations as of 1st June, 1941.

THE PRESIDENT : Mr. Alderman, the Tribunal does not think it necessary that you should read all those preliminary matters at the head of these documents, "Top Secret," "Only through officer," and then the various reference numbers and file information, when you give identification of a document.

MR. ALDERMAN: Yes, sir.

[Page 241]

The next two pages of the document are in the form of a text, outlining the state of preparations as of 1st June, 1941. The outline is in six paragraphs covering the status on that date under six headings: General, Negotiations with Friendly States, Army, Navy, Air Force and Camouflage.

I think it unnecessary to read into the record any of this textual material. The remainder of the paper is in tabular form with six columns headed from left to right at the top of each page-Date, Serial Number, Army, Navy, O.K.W., Remarks. Most interesting among the items appearing on this chart-

THE PRESIDENT: Mr. Alderman, will you read the first paragraph, for that seems to be important. There are two lines there.


THE PRESIDENT: The heading "General" on Page 2.

MR. ALDERMAN: Yes, sir.

"1. General

The timetable for the maximum massing of troops in the East was put into operation on 22nd May."


MR. ALDERMAN: Most interesting among the items appearing on this Chart, in my opinion, are those appearing on Pages 9 and 10. These are at Page 8 of the German version. At the bottom of Page 9, it is provided in the columns for Army, Navy and Air Force, and I quote:

"Till 1300 hours latest time at which operation can be cancelled."
Under the column headed O.K.W. appears the note that, and again I quote-:
"Cancelled by code word 'Altona' or further confirmation of start of attack by code word: 'Dortmund'."
In the Remarks column appears the statement that:-
"Complete absence of camouflage of formation of Army point of main effort, concentration of armour and artillery must be reckoned with."
The second entry on Page 10 of the chart for 22nd June, under Serial No. 31, gives a notation which cuts across the columns for the Army, Air Force, Navy and O.K.W., and provides as follows, under the heading:
"Invasion Day.

H-hour for the start of the invasion by the Army and crossing of the frontier by the Air Forces. 0330 hours."

In the Remarks column, it states that:
"Army assembly independent of any lateness in starting, owing to weather, on the part of the Air Force."
The other parts of the chart are similar in nature to those quoted, and give, as I have said, great detail concerning the disposition and missions of the various components of the Armed Forces.

On 9th June, 1941, the order of the Fuehrer went out for final reports on "Barbarossa" to be made in Berlin on i4th June, 1941, which was just eight days before "D-day". This order is signed by Hitler's Adjutant, Schmundt, and is C-78 in our numbered series of documents.

I offer it in evidence now as Exhibit USA 139.

[Page 242]

I read from Page 1 the matter under the heading "Conference 'Barbarossa'".
"1. The Fuehrer and Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces has ordered reports on 'Barbarossa' by the Commanders of Army Groups, Armies and Naval and Air Commanders of equal rank.

2. The reports will be made on Saturday, 14th June, 1941, at the Reich Chancellery, Berlin.

3. Time Table.

(a) 1100 hours. 'Silver Fox'.

(b) 1200-1400 hours. Army Group South.

(c) 1400-1530 hours. Lunch party for all participants in conference.

(d) From 1530 hours. Baltic, Army Group North, Army Group Centre in this order."

It is signed by Schmundt.

There is attached a list of participants, and the order in which they will report, which I shall not read. The list includes, however, a large number of the members of the defendant High Command and General Staff Group, as of that date. Among those to participate were, of course, the defendants Goering, Keitel, Jodl and Raeder.

I believe that the documents which I have introduced and quoted from, are more than sufficient to establish conclusively the premeditation and cold-blooded calculation which marked the military preparations for the invasion of the Soviet Union. Starting almost a full year before the commission of the crime, the Nazi conspirators planned and prepared every military detail of their aggression against the Soviet Union with all of that thoroughness and meticulousness which has come to be associated with the German character. Although several of these defendants played specific parts in this military phase of the planning and preparation for the attack, it is natural enough that the leading roles were performed, as we have seen, by the service figures - the defendants Goering, Keitel, Jodl and Raeder.

Next, preparation for plunder-plans for the economic exploitation and spoliation of the Soviet Union.

Not only was there detailed preparation for the invasion from a purely military standpoint, but equally elaborate and detailed planning and preparation was undertaken by the Nazi conspirators to ensure that their aggression would prove economically profitable.

A little later in my presentation, I shall discuss with the Tribunal the motives which led these conspirators to attack, without provocation, a neighbouring power. I shall, at that time, show that the crime was motivated by both political and economic considerations. The economic basis, however, may be simply summarised at this point as the greed of the Nazi conspirators for the raw material, food and other supplies which their neighbour possessed, and which they considered they needed for the maintenance of their war machine. To these defendants, such a need was translated indubitably as a right, and they early began planning and preparing with typical care and detail to ensure that every bit of the plunder which it would be possible to reap in the course of their aggression would be exploited to their utmost benefit.

I have already put into the record evidence showing that as early as August, 1940, General Thomas, the Chief of the Army Group B, received a hint from the defendant Goering about a possible attack on the U.S.S.R.,

[Page 243]

a hint which prompted him to begin considering the Soviet war economy. I also said at that time that I would later introduce evidence that in November, 1940 - eight months before the attack - Thomas was categorically informed by Goering of the planned operation in the East, and preliminary preparations were commenced for the economic plundering of the territories to be occupied in the course of such operation. Goering, of course, played the leading role in this activity, by virtue of his position at the head of the Four Year Plan.

Thomas describes his receipt of the information and this early planning at Page 369 of his draft, which is our Document 23S3-PS, introduced earlier as Exhibit USA 35; the part I shall read is at Pages 10 and 11 of the English translation.

"In November, 1940, the Chief of Wi. Rue, together with Secretaries of State Korner, Neumann, Backe and General von Hanneken were informed by the Reich Marshal of the action planned in the East.

By reason of these directives the preliminary preparations for the action in the East were commenced by the office of Wi. Rue at the end of 1940. The preliminary preparations for the action in the East included first of all the following tasks:

1.Obtaining a detailed survey of the Russian armament industry, its location, its capacity and its associate industries.

2. Investigation of the capacities of the different big armament centres and their dependency one on the other.

3. Determining the power and transport system for the industry of the Soviet Union.

4. Investigation of sources of raw materials and petroleum (crude oil).

5. Preparation of a survey of industries other than armament industries in the Soviet Union.

These points were concentrated in one big compilation 'War Economy of the Soviet Union' and illustrated with detailed maps, etc."

I am still quoting:-
"Furthermore a card index was made, containing all the important factories in Soviet Russia and a lexicon of economy in the German-Russian language for the use of the German war economy organisation.

For the processing of these problems a task staff, 'Russia', was created, first in charge of Lt.-Col. Luther and later on in charge of Brigadier General Schubert. The work was carried out according to the directives from the chief of the office, respectively" - I suppose - "by the group of departments for foreign territories (Ausland) with the co-operation of all departments, economy offices and any other persons possessing information on Russia. Through these intensive preparative activities an excellent collection of material was made, which proved of the utmost value later on for carrying out the operations and for administering the territories." -That ends the quotation.

By the end of February, 1941, this preliminary planning had reached a point where a broader plan of organisation was needed, and so General Thomas held a conference with his subordinates on 28th February, 1941, to call for such a plan. A memorandum of this conference, classified "Top Secret" and dated 1st March, 1941, was captured, and is our Document 1317-PS. I now offer it in evidence as Exhibit USA 140. The text of this memorandum reads as follows:-

[Page 244]

"The General ordered that a broader plan of organisation be drafted for the Reich Marshal.

Essential Points:-

1. The whole organisation to be subordinate to the Reich Marshal. Purpose: Support and extension of the measures of the Four Year Plan.

2. The organisation must include everything concerning war economy, excepting only food, which is said to be made already a special mission of State Secretary Backe.

3. Clear statement that the organisation is to be independent of the military or civil administration. Close co-ordination, but instructions direct from the Central Office in Berlin.

4. Scope of activities to be divided into two steps:-

(a) Accompanying the advancing troops directly behind the front lines, in order to avoid the destruction of supplies and to secure the removal of important goods.

(b) Administration of the occupied industrial districts, and exploitation of economically complementary districts."

And then, on the bottom of Page 1:-
"5. In view of the extended field of activity, the term 'war economy inspection' is to be used preferably, instead of 'armament inspection.'

6. In view of the great field of activity, the organisation must be generously equipped and personnel must be correspondingly numerous. The main mission of the organisation will consist in seizing raw materials and taking over all important concerns. For the latter mission reliable persons from German concerns will be interposed suitably from the beginning, since successful operation from the beginning can only be performed by the aid of their experience. (For example, lignite, ore, chemistry, petroleum.)

After the discussion of further details, Lt.-Col. Luther was instructed to make an initial draft of such an organisation within a week.

Close co-operation with the individual sections in the building is essential. An officer must still be appointed for the Wi. and Rue with whom the operational staff can remain in constant contact. Wi. is to give each section chief and Lt.- Col. Luther a copy of the new plan regarding Russia.

Major General Schubert is to be asked to be in Berlin the second half of next week. Also, the four officers who are ordered to draw up the individual armament inspections are to report to the office chief at the end of the week.
(Signed) Hamann."

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