Hindu Tales from the Sanskrit; The Story of a Cat, a Mouse, a Lizard and an Owl.

This is the story of four creatures, none of whom loved each other, who lived in the same banyan tree in a forest in India. Banyan trees are very beautiful and very useful, and get their name from the fact that “banians,” as merchants are called in India, often gather together in their shade to sell their goods. Banyan trees grow to a very great height, spreading their branches out so widely that many people can stand beneath them. From those branches roots spring forth, which, when they reach the ground, pierce it, and look like, columns holding up a roof. If you have never seen a banyan tree, you can easily find a picture of one in some dictionary; and when you have done so, you will understand that a great many creatures can live in one without seeing much of each other.

In an especially fine banyan tree, outside the walls of a town called Vidisa, a cat, an owl, a lizard and a mouse, had all taken up their abode. The cat lived in a big hole in the trunk some little distance from the ground, where she could sleep very cosily, curled up out of sight with her head resting on her forepaws, feeling perfectly safe from harm; for no other creature, she thought, could possibly discover her hiding-place. The owl roosted in a mass of foliage at the top of the tree, near the nest in which his wife had brought up their children, before those children flew away to seek mates for themselves. He too felt pretty secure as long as he remained up there; but he had seen the cat prowling about below him more than once, and was very sure that, if she should happen to catch sight of him when he was off his guard seeking his prey and obliged to give all his attention to what he was doing, she might spring out upon him and kill him. Cats do not generally attack such big birds as owls, but they will sometimes kill a mother sitting in her nest, as well as the little ones, if the father is too far off to protect them.

The lizard loved to lie and bask in the sunshine, catching the flies on which he lived, lying so still that they did not notice him, and darting out his long tongue suddenly to suck them into his mouth. Yet he hid from the owl and the cat, because he knew full well that, tough though he was, they would gobble him up if they happened to be hungry. He made his home amongst the roots on the south side of the tree where it was hottest, but the mouse had his hole on the other side amongst damp moss and dead leaves. The mouse was in constant fear of the cat and the owl. He knew that both of them could see in the dark, and he would have no chance of escape if they once caught sight of him.


The lizard and the mouse could only get food in daylight; but the lizard did not have to go far for the flies on which he lived, whilst the mouse had a very dangerous journey to take to his favourite feeding place. This was a barley field a short distance from the banyan tree, where he loved to nibble the full ears, running up the stalks to get at them. The mouse was the only one of the four creatures in the banyan tree who did not feed on others; for, like the rest of his family, he was a vegetarian, that is to say, he ate nothing but vegetables and fruit.

Now the cat knew full well how fond the mouse was of the barley-field, and she used to keep watch amongst the tall stems, creeping stealthily about with her tail in the air and her green eyes glistening, expecting any moment to see the poor little mouse darting hastily along. The cat never dreamt that any danger could come to her, and she trod down the barley, making quite a clear path through it. She was quite wrong in thinking herself so safe, for that path got her into very serious trouble.

It so happened that a hunter, whose great delight was to kill wild creatures, and who was very clever in finding them, noticing every little thing which could shew him where they had passed by, came one day into the barley-field. He spied the path directly and cried, “Ha! ha! Some wild animal has been here; not a very big one; let’s have a look for the footprints!” So he stooped down to the ground, and very soon saw the marks of pussy’s feet. “A cat, I do believe,” he said to himself, “spoiling the barley she doesn’t want to eat herself. I’ll soon pay her out.” The hunter waited until the evening lest the creature should see what he was going to do, and then in the twilight he set snares all over the barley-field. A snare, you know, is a string with a slip-knot at the end of it; and if an animal puts his head or one of his paws into this slip-knot and goes on without noticing it, the string is pulled tight and the poor creature cannot get free.


Exactly what the hunter expected happened. The cat came as usual to watch for the mouse, and caught sight of him running across the end of the path. Puss dashed after him; and just as she thought she really had got him this time, she found herself caught by the neck, for she had put her head into one of the snares. She was nearly strangled and could scarcely even mew. The mouse was so close that he heard the feeble mew, and in a terrible fright, thinking the cat was after him, he peeped through the stems of the barley to make sure which way to run to get away from her. What was his delight when he saw his enemy in such trouble and quite unable to do him any harm!

Now it so happened that the owl and the lizard were also in the barley-field, not very far away from the cat, and they too saw the distress their hated enemy was in. They also caught sight of the little mouse peeping through the barley; and the owl thought to himself, “I’ll have you, my little friend, now puss cannot do me any harm,” whilst the lizard darted away into the sunshine, feeling glad that the cat and the owl were neither of them now likely to trouble their heads about him. The owl flew quietly to a tree hard by to watch what would happen, feeling so sure of having the mouse for his dinner that he was in no hurry to catch him.


The mouse, small and helpless though he was, was a wise little creature. He saw the owl fly up into the tree, and knew quite well that if he did not take care he would serve as dinner to that great strong bird. He knew too that, if he went within reach of the claws of the cat, he would suffer for it. “How I do wish,” he thought to himself, “I could make friends with the cat, now she is in distress, and get her to promise not to hurt me if ever she gets free. As long as I am near the cat, the owl will not dare to come after me.” As he thought and thought, his eyes got brighter and brighter, and at last he decided what he would do. He had, you see, kept his presence of mind; that is to say, he did not let his fright of the cat or the owl prevent him from thinking clearly. He now ventured forth from amongst the barley, and coming near enough to the cat for her to see him quite clearly, but not near enough for her to reach him with her claws, or far enough away for the owl to get him without danger from those terrible claws, he said to the cat in a queer little squeaky voice: “Dear Puss, I do not like to see you in such a fix. It is true we have never been exactly friends, but I have always looked up to you as a strong and noble enemy. If you will promise never to do me any harm, I will do my best to help you. I have very sharp teeth, and I might perhaps be able to nibble through the string round your beautiful neck and set you free. What do you think about it?”


When the cat heard what the mouse said, she could hardly believe her ears. She was of course ready to promise anything to anyone who would help her, so she said at once: “You dear little mouse, to wish to help me. If only you will nibble through that string which is killing me, I promise that I will always love you, always be your friend, and however hungry I may be, I will starve rather than hurt your tender little body.”

On hearing this, the mouse, without hesitating a moment, climbed up on to the cat’s back, and cuddled down in the soft fur near her neck, feeling very safe and warm there. The owl would certainly not attack him there, he thought, and the cat could not possibly hurt him. It was one thing to pounce down on a defenceless little creature running on the ground amongst the barley, quite another to try and snatch him from the very neck of a cat.

The cat of course expected the mouse to begin to nibble through the string at once, and became very uneasy when she felt the little creature nestle down as if to go to sleep, instead of helping her. Poor Pussy could not turn her head so as to see the mouse without drawing the string tighter, and she did not dare to speak angrily lest she should offend him. “My dear little friend,” she said, “do you not think it is high time to keep your promise and set me free?”

Hearing this, the mouse pretended to bite the string, but took care not to do so really; and the cat waited and waited, getting more miserable every minute. All through the long night the same thing went on: the mouse taking a little nap now and then, the cat getting weaker and weaker. “Oh,” she thought to herself, “if only I could get free, the first thing I would do would be to gobble up that horrid little mouse.” The moon rose, the stars came out, the wind murmured amongst the branches of the banyan tree, making the unfortunate cat long to be safe in her cosy home in the trunk. The cries of the wild animals which prowl about at night seeking their food were heard, and the cat feared one of them might find her and kill her. A mother tiger perhaps would snatch her, and take her to her hungry cubs, hidden away in the deep forest, or a bird of prey might swoop down on her and grip her in his terrible claws. Again and again she entreated the mouse to be quick, promising that, if only he would set her at liberty, she would never, never, never forget it or do any harm to her beloved friend.


It was not until the moon had set and the light of the dawn had put out that of the stars that the mouse, made any real effort to help the cat. By this time the hunter who had set the snare came to see if he had caught the cat; and the poor cat, seeing him in the distance, became so wild with terror that she nearly killed herself in the struggle to get away. “Keep still! keep still,” cried the mouse, “and I will really save you.” Then with a few quick bites with his sharp teeth he cut through the string, and the next moment the cat was hidden amongst the barley, and the mouse was running off in the opposite direction, determined to keep well out of sight of the creature he had kept in such misery for so many hours. Full well he knew that all the cat’s promises would be forgotten, and that she would eat him up if she could catch him. The owl too flew away, and the lizard went off to hunt flies in the sunshine, and there was not a sign of any of the four inhabitants of the banyan tree when the hunter reached the snare. He was very much surprised and puzzled to find the string hanging loose in two pieces, and no sign of there having been anything caught in it, except two white hairs lying on the ground close to the trap. He had a good look round, and then went home without having found out anything.

When the hunter was quite out of sight, the cat came forth from the barley, and hastened back to her beloved home in the banyan tree. On her way there she spied the mouse also hurrying along in the same direction, and at first she felt inclined to hunt him and eat him then and there. On second thoughts however she decided to try and keep friends with him, because he might help her again if she got caught a second time. So she took no notice of the mouse until the next day, when she climbed down the tree and went to the roots in which she knew the mouse was hidden. There she began to purr as loud as she could, to show the mouse she was in a good humour, and called out, “Dear good little mouse, come out of your hole and let me tell you how very, very grateful I am to you for saving my life. There is nothing in the world I will not do for you, if you will only be friends with me.”

The mouse only squeaked in answer to this speech, and took very good care not to show himself, till he was quite sure the cat was gone beyond reach of him. He stayed quietly in his hole, and only ventured forth after he had heard the cat climb up into the tree again. “It is all very well,” thought the mouse, “to pretend to make friends with an enemy when that enemy is helpless, but I should indeed be a silly mouse to trust a cat when she is free to kill me.”

The cat made a good many other efforts to be friends with the mouse, but they were all unsuccessful. In the end the owl caught the mouse, and the cat killed the lizard. The owl and the cat both lived for the rest of their lives in the banyan tree, and died in the end at a good old age.

SOURCE: Title: Hindu Tales from the Sanskrit (1919); Author: S. M. Mitra and Nancy Bell, Hindu Tales from the Sanskrit, Translated by: S. M. Mitra; Adapted by: Mrs. Arthur Bell


Napoleonic Wars: After Brienne January 1814

At Brienne Napoleon paused. He had failed in his attempt to score a dramatic success while his foe was still dispersed. But the strategic situation had begun to crystallize. In the centre, in eastern France, Napoleon with about 80,000 men confronted the Allied Grand Army, the latter was about 200,000 strong and its commanders were intent on marching on Paris. In the South of France Wellington, the ‘sepoy general’ as Napoleon contemptuously dubbed him, must eventually overwhelm Soult, unless by diplomacy Spain could be weaned from the alliance, but wellington distrusted his Continental allies and was unlikely to make any damaging stroke: he could be discounted for the present. In the north the situation was radically different. Here Bernadotte, the renegade Marshal of the empire and present Crown Prince of Sweden, commanded. Although he personally was less than lukewarm about fighting his old chief, large numbers of his troops could undoubtedly soon be free invade France. At Lyon Augereau was organizing an army but only extremely slowly: the powerfully built former Parisian street urchin showed few signs of recapturing the brilliant qualities that he had displayed long ago at Castiglione.

The elements of the situation stood out with stark simplicity. With 80,000 men Napoleon had to defeat an allied army of 200,000 and drive it across the Rhine in some two or three weeks, before fresh armies from the north made his position still more untenable. Perhaps even Napoleon himself did not comprehend the full magnitude of his task. The great commanders of the past on occasion had to face similar odds, but almost invariably their armies in every aspect of training and equipment were vastly superior to those of their enemies. Except for the incomparable Old Guard and some battalions of the New (Guard), the well seasoned troops of the Allied were superior to Napoleon’s conscripts both in equipment and experience. That in such circumstances he contemplated continuing the war may seem incredible.

However, besides his genius and his ability to inspire his men to accomplish the almost impossible, Napoleon had certain physical factors in his favor, which he had every intention of exploiting. The large armies he had compelled Europe to raise were now organized in army corps of all arms. The strength of any army corps could fluctuate widely and its composition was far from standard. A French corps might total about 15,000 men and on the line of march extend for approximately seven mile along a road. In battle it normally occupy a front of about a mile and a half or even less. At rest, if there was a danger of attack, it had to be concentrated ready for action. Moving a corps might be likened uncoiling and pulling an immensely long rope through a system of pulleys to coil it neatly again at the far end. A rope, of course, would have a constant thickness, whereas the thickness of corps during a move would vary according to the width of the width and structure of the roads and the number available. If a corps moved on a single road the last unit might get into camp perhaps two and a half hours after the first arrived; this delay would be increased if any defile like a bridge narrowed the width of the column and consequently elongated it.

Near the presence of the enemy it was vital that the last unit should arrive at the camping site well before daylight ended. Regiments had to know where to bivouac for the night, identify their next door neighbours, detail outposts and alarm posts. Food might have to be issued and ammunition replenished. Men would have to be given time to collect firewood and cook their soup. Failure to meet these requirements over any length of time would mean that the regiments faded away from sickness. The short winter days severely restricted the distances the Allied armies could cover. Moreover their generals, looking nervously over their shoulders and wondering what Napoleon had in store for them, trod with great caution. Napoleon, on the other hand, by almost always seizing the initiative, could generally chose where and when the battle would be fought and was not so bound by the hours of daylight.

The difficulties experienced by a single corps moving down a road were more than doubled if two tried to use it. A long column inevitably tended to ‘concertina’; while the head moved at a steady sedate pace the tail would be either standing still or running at top speed. In a very long column this characteristic could add enormously to the fatigue of the men marching in the rear. For this reason it was customary to leave an interval of half a day’s march, about eight miles, between the head of the second corps and the tail of the first. Winter, therefore vastly increased the difficulties of the invaders. The wet soggy ground made movement off the roads slow and fatiguing for the infantry and cavalry and virtually impossible for the guns and transports.

In the province of Champagne the rivers averaged about 50 yards in width and were deep; in the icy conditions the rare fords were scarcely usable, any marching column of troops would have to cross a river by bridge which would act as a funnel, compressing and extending it. In addition the Allied sovereigns repeatedly impressed on their generals that they were not fighting the French but only Napoleon, that a national uprising might imperil the whole enterprise and that on no account should the soldiers be allowed to plunder and antagonize the local population. A carefully organized system of supply was essential; but the problems of bringing forward supplies long distances in vehicles that moved little faster than the marching troops were considerable, and the need to protect then en route could drain away the strength of field armies.

Napoleon was singularly well qualified to turn these difficulties to his own advantage. He moved and struck so fast that a corps moving apparently within easy reach of its neighbour might be crushed before help could arrive. His phenomenal speed arose not solely from the marching powers of his soldiers, great though these were, it arose in the first place from the rapidity with which he thought and acted. Not for him the lengthy analysis of the situation by some earnest staff officer; he needed no one to tell him what to do. He would take time to deliberate over the form that his campaign might take and what he might be required to do, but, once he had that established in his mind, on the battlefield itself a quick glance or so, a few brief orders given with absolute authority, and matters would be in train. His marshals, inured to the vicissitudes of war, might lack inspiration, but they were superb technicians, master craftsmen of their trade. They translated their Emperor’s orders swiftly and undeviatingly into action and the whole army moved into battle with a speed and a smoothness that the Allied armies, seasoned and experienced though they were, cold not hope to match; and the sight of the bearskins of the Guard revealing the presents of Napoleon himself generated a feeling of awe almost as of the supernatural.

Slowly they marched to the hamlet of La Rothiére.

SOURCE: NAPOLEON: The Last Campaigns 1813-15; By James Lawford

Napoleonic Wars: Battle of La Rothière 1 February 1814


Napoleonic Wars: Minor States

Most know of the major states that warred during this period (France, Austrian, Prussia, Russia, England etc.) but their ranks were also filled from a multitude of smaller states.

Principalities of Anhalt (Bernburg, Dessau, Kӧthen)

The first standing troops of these principalities was the Jäger-Corps raised in 1795. From 1807-1813 the three states together provided one infantry battalion (1st Battalion, 5th Regiment of the Confederation of the Rhine). In 1813 Napoleon demanded that a regiment of Chasseurs à Cheval also be raised.

Battle History: 1807—in Prussia with the French at the siege of Glogau; 1809-1811—Spain as part of the German Division; 1812—Russia as part of the 1st Brigade of the ‘Division Princiere’; 1813 (Infantry)—besieged Danzig; Chasseurs à Cheval—captured by the Allies almost as soon as they took the field.

Grand Duchy of Baden

Joined the Confederation of the Rhine July 1806. In 1790 fielded a Leib-regiment, a Füsillier-Bataillon ‘Erbprinz’, and a Leib-grenadier Battalion. During 1806-1815 they formed four Line regiments the 1st (Leib-regiment) 2nd (Erbgrossherzog) 3rd (Graf Wilhelm von Hochberg) 4th (vacant), a Jäger-Batailion, a Foot Artillery Barttery, a Horse Artillery Battery. Cavalry was a Garde du Corps squadron, one Hussars Regiment, a Leichtes Dragoner-Regiment.

Battle History: 1806—Küstrin and Stettin; 1807—Friedland (with 2nd Division X Corps); 18008-1813—the 4th Infantry regiment in Spain as part of the ‘German Division’; 1809—with the Grande Armée (part of the 1st Divison, IV Corps) in Vorarlberg, Aspern; Wagram and Znaim; 1812—in Russia as part of the 26th Division, IX Corps, destroyed at Beresina crossing; 1813—in Saxony with Ney’s Corps.

Electorate/Kingdom of Bavaria

Infantry were Grenadier (4) Fusilier (14) Regiments, Light infantry (8), Cavalry were mixed as Kürassiers, Dragoner, Chevau Légers;

Battle History: 1800—Hohenlinden (against France); 1805— in Bavaria (with France against Austria); 1808—Tyrol, Aspern, Wegram (VIII Corps Grande Armée); 1812—Russia as VI Corps Grande Armée; 1813—Saxony as VI Corps until Armistice thence with the Alllies against France at Hanau; 1814-1815 with Allies in France.

Duchy of Brunswick

Until 1806—1st Regiment Foot (Warmstedt) 2nd Regiment Foot (Griesheim). Following the French victories at Jena and Auerstädt on 14 October 1806, Brunswick was dissolved and incorporated into the new Kingdom of Westfalia until late in 1813. When Austria again took up arms against Napoleon in 1809 the dispossessed Duke Friedrich of Brunswick raised a legion of all arms in Bohemia under Austrian patronage and invaded Westfalia, subsequently making his way to England where his Corps was tken in to British service until 1815.

Infantry Regiment ( three battalions); Scharfschützen-Kompagnie ( Sharpshooter Company); Hussar regiment; Lancer squadron; 1 each of Foot & Horse Artillery battery; Avantgarde &Gelernte-Jäger (2 Companies), Leib-Batailion, 1-3 Light Battalions, 5 battalions of Landwehr battalions

Battle History: 1806—Jena; 1809— invasion of westfalia; 1810-13—Spain, Fuentes d’Onoro, Vittoria, Maya, Rocesvalles, Sorauren (1st and 2nd), Nive, Orthez; 1815—Quarte-Bras, Waterloo

Free City of Danzig

Estiblished by Napoleon on 28 October 1807, absorbed by Prussia in November 1813. One battalion of infantry, defended in the Siege of Danzig January-November 1813

Kingdom of Denmark

Until 1814 Norway belonged to Denmark and troops were incorporated as such, from 1814 there was a personal union between Norway and Sweden, and they were listed as such.

Grand Duchy of Frankfurt

Joined the Confederation of the Rhine 18 July 1806 and was required to provide one infantry regiment.

Battle History: 1806—Prussia (saw no action); 1809-13—Sapin in 3rd Brigade, Leval’s Dision VI Corps. The Frankfurt battalion in Spain went over to the English in December 1813.; 1812—Russia as part of 1st Brigade ‘Division Princiére’; 1813—besieged in Danzig

Electorate/Kingdom of Hanover

Electorate until 1803; part of Westfalia 1806-13; 1815 Kingdom

British “King’s German Legion” 1803-16 ( 8 line battalions, 2 light battalions, 2 Dragoon regiments, 3 light dragoon regiments, 2 horse artillery batteries, 4 foot artillery batteries,)

Hanseatic Cities (Hamburg, Breman, Lubeck)

French 127,128, 129 Line regiments (last with Duchy of Oldenberg)

Battle History: 1812-Russia; December 1812-April-1814 Blockade of Hamburg by allies.

Grand Duchy of Hessen-Darmstädt

Battle history: 1806-Jena with the French; 1807-seige of Graudenz; 1808-12 Spain; 1809-With 1st division, IV Corps of Grande Armée (Wagram); 1812-Russia in the 4th Division, I Corps & in 30th Light Brigade, IX Corps & in 30th Division, XI Corps; 1813-Saxony with the French until after Leipzig, thence with the allies.

Electorate of Hessen Kassel

County till 1803, then an electorate, 1806 abolished by Napoleon, re-established 1813 as electorate.

Battle history: 1792-5 the Rhine; 1798-the Rhine; 1814-France

Republics and Kingdom of Italy

Battle history: 1796-8 and1800-campaigns in Italy against Austria; 1805 and 1809–against Austria; 1806-against Prussia; 1808-13 Against Spain and Portugal; 1812- in Russia as 14th and 15th Divisions IV Corps; 1813-in Saxony against allies.

Grand Duchy of Kleve-Berg

Battle history: 1808-13-Chevau Légers and 1st and 2nd Regiments in Spain as part of the Imperial Guard(Horse) and German Division ( Line); 1809-Aspern and Wagram part of reserve; 1812- Russia part of 26th Division IX Corps (destoryed at the Beresina Crossing); 1813-in Saxony. 1815- Cavalry became part of 11th Prussian Hussars, infantry parts of 28th & 29th Infantry regiments.

Principality of Lippe-Detmold & County of Schaumburg-Lippe

Joined Confederation of the Rhine 18 April 1807 (forming a 650 man infantry contingnt)

Battle history: 1807-siege of Glogau against Prussia; 1809-11 in Spain; 1812-Russia part of 2nd Brigade, “Division Princiére”; 1813-besiege in Danzig [1813-left Confederation in November-December]

Kingdom of Naples

Created by Napoleon for his brother Joseph, later given to Joachim Murat in 1806, from the mainland portion of the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies

Battle history: 1809-against Austria; 1809-14 against Spain; 1812-Russia as French 33rd Division XI Corps; 1813-Saxony against the allies

Duchy of Nassau

Formed of the principalities of Nassau-Usingen and Nassau-Weilburg, Joined Confederation of the Rhine 12 July 1806

Battle history; 1807-Berlin; 1809 Tryol (1st Regiment part of VIII Corps; 1809-13 Spain; 1814-France; 1815-Quatre Bras and Waterloo


Batavian Republic 1795-1806; Kingdom of Holland 1806-10; Part of Metro France 1810-14- Kingdom of Netherlands 1814


Kingdom 1792-05 Dismembered 1795 between Prussia, Russia and Austria; Partly reformed by Napoleon 1807as “Grand Duchy of Warsaw” until 1813 when Prussia and Russia regained control, Duchy of Krakow remained independent

Battle History: 1807 sieges of Danzig and Graudenz; 1807-14 June- Friedland; 1808-11 Spain, seige of Sargossa, Medina de Rio Secco, Talavera (28 July 1809), Almonacid (11 August 1809). The Vistula Legion Lancers destroyed Colbornes’s British Infantry Brigade at Albuferra (16 May 1811); 1812 –Russia as V Corps…Smolensk (17 August)…Borodino ( 7 September )…Winkowo (18 October)…Medyn (25 October), Beresina Crossing; 1813–Saxony as VIII Corps with various units in VII Corps…Katzbach (26 August)…Dennewitz (6 September); Liepzig (16-18 October); 1814-3rd Regiment Etranger

Kingdom Of Portugal

Battle history; November 1807- Spain and France invade (army disbanded)….1808 9May) Portuguese Legion in French Service; August 1808 British troops land and army reformes; 19 August 1808 –Rolica; 21 August 1808— Vimiero

Kingdom Sardinia

Battle history:1792-6 against France; 1798 December against France


Electorate till 1808 then Kingdom

Battle history: 1806-Jena as Prussia’s ally; 1807-Danzig and Friedland as French ally; 1809-Linz…Wagram….Poland and Saxony as IX Corps; 1812-Russia as VII Corps (detachments also in IX Corps); 1813-Saxony as VII Corps

Saxon Duchies (Coburg-Saalfeld; Gotha-Altenburg; Hildburghausen; Meiningen; Weimar)

Joined Confederation of the Rhine 15 December 1806; combined to form the 4th Line Regiment.

Battle history: 1806-Jena (Prussian side); 1807-seige of Colberg; 1809-Tyrol 9almost destroyed in the Sachsenklemme); 1809-11- Spain (Gerona and Manresa); 1812-Russia part of 2nd Brigade ‘Division Princiére’; 1813-seige of Danzig, then newly raised regiment in Saxony

Principalities of Schwarzburg-Rudolstädt & Schwarzburg-Sondershausen

Battle history: 1807-seige of Glogau (for Prussia); 1809-Tryol;1809-11 Spain; 1812-Russia part of 2nd Brigade Division Princiére; 1813- besieged in Danzig

Kingdom of Sweden

Battle History: 1805-10 war against France; 1806-7 War against Prussia; 1808-09 War against Russia; 1808-09 war against Britain; 1813-14 War against France; 1814 war against Norway.

Principality of Waldeck

Until 1798 a regiment in service to Batavia, Joined the Confederation of the Rhine 13 April 1807, provided three companies of the 2nd Battalion 6th Regiment, and part of the ‘Princely Battalion’ destroyed in Spain.

Battle history: 1807-Siege of Glogau (with Prussia); 1809-Tyrol; 1809-11 Spain; 1812- Russia part of 2nd Brigade ‘Divison Princiére’; 1813-besieged in Danzig.

Kingdom of Westfalia

Napoleon created this in November 1807 from the Electorate of Hanover, the Duchy of Brunswick and Electorate of Hessen-Kassel and minor parts of Prussia

Battle history: 1808-13 in Spain as part of German Division; 1809- in saxony as part of IX Corps; 1812-Russia as VIII Corps; 1813-Saxony as VII Corps.


Duchy until 1803, Electorate till 1896 then Kingdom

Battle history: 1793-7 Against France; 1806-Against Russia (Sieges of Glogau, Breslau, Schweidnitz, Neisse and Glatz); 1807-against Russia; 1809- against Austria; 1812- Russia as 25th Division III Corps; 1813-Saxony against allies; 1814-15 Against France


Bishopric until 1805, Grand Duchy until 1815 then absorbed by Bavaria ( Left Confederation of the Rhine November 1813and by Congress of Vienna was absorbed by Bavaria)

Battle history: 1806- Berlin…Stettin with Grande Armée; 1807- Danzig and Stralsund; 1808-13 Spain; 1812-Russia part of 1st Brigade ‘Division Princiére’; 1813-Saxony

SOURCE: Armies of the Napoleonic Era; BY: Otto von Pivka

World War Two: Aggression against Czechoslovakia 1938; The inside story

I turn now to the third section in the detailed chronological presentation of the aggressive war case: Aggression against Czechoslovakia.

The relevant portions of the Indictment are set forth in Subsection 3, under Section IV (F), appearing at Pages 7 and 8 of the printed English text of the Indictment. This portion of the Indictment is divided into three parts:

(a) The 1936-38 phase of the plan; that is, the planning for the assault both on Austria and Czechoslovakia.

(b) The execution of the plan to invade Austria; November 1937 to March 1938.

(c) The execution of the plan to invade Czechoslovakia; April 1938 to March 1939.

On Thursday, last, I completed the presentation of the documents on the execution of the plan to invade Austria. Those documents are gathered together in a document book which was handed to the Tribunal at the beginning of the Austrian presentation.

The materials relating to the aggression against Czechoslovakia have been gathered in a separate document book, which I now submit to the Tribunal and which is marked “Document Book 0.”

The Tribunal will recall that in the period 1933 to 1936 the defendants had initiated a program of rearmament, designed to give the Third Reich military strength and political bargaining power to be used against other nations. You will recall also that beginning in the year 1936 they had embarked on a preliminary program of expansion which, as it turned out, was to last until March 1939. This was intended to shorten their frontiers, to increase their industrial and food reserve, and to place them in a position, both industrially and strategically, from which they could launch a more ambitious and more devastating campaign of aggression.

At the moment-in the early spring of 1938-when the Nazi conspirators began to lay concrete plans for the conquest of Czechoslovakia, they had reached approximately the half-way point in this preliminary program.

The preceding autumn, at the conference in the Reich Chancellery on November 5, 1937, covered by the Hossbach minutes, Hitler had set forth the program which Germany was to follow. Those Hossbach minutes, you will recall, are contained in Document 386-PS as United States Exhibit Number 25, which I read to the Tribunal in my introductory statement a week ago today.

The question for Germany,” the Führer had informed his military commanders at that meeting, “is where the greatest possible conquest can be made at the lowest cost.”

At the top of his agenda stood two countries, Austria and Czechoslovakia.

On March 12, 1938 Austria was occupied by the German Army, and on the following day it was annexed to the Reich. The time had come for a redefinition of German intentions regarding Czechoslovakia. A little more than a month later two of the conspirators, Hitler and Keitel, met to discuss plans for the envelopment and conquest of the Czechoslovak State.

Among the selected handful of documents which I read to the Tribunal in my introduction a week ago to establish the corpus of the crime of aggressive war was the account of this meeting on 21 April 1938. This account is Item 2 in our Document Number 388-PS, as United States Exhibit Number 26.

The Tribunal will recall that Hitler and Keitel discussed the pretext which Germany might develop to serve as an excuse for a sudden and overwhelming attack. They considered the provocation of a period of diplomatic squabbling which, growing more serious, would lead to an excuse for war. In the alternative and this alternative they found to be preferable-they planned to unleash a lightning attack as the result of an incident of their own creation.

Consideration, as we alleged in the Indictment and as the document proved, was given to the assassination of the German Minister at Prague to create the requisite incident.

The necessity of propaganda to guide the conduct of Germans in Czechoslovakia and to intimidate the Czechs was recognized. Problems of transport and tactics were discussed, with a view to overcoming all Czechoslovak resistance within 4 days, thus presenting the world with a fait accompli and forestalling outside interventions.

Thus, in mid-April 1938, the designs of the Nazi conspirators to conquer Czechoslovakia had already reached the stage of practical planning. Now all of that occurred, if the Tribunal please, against a background of friendly diplomatic relations. This conspiracy must be viewed against that background. Although they had, in the fall of 1937, determined to destroy the Czechoslovak State, the leaders of the German Government were bound by a treaty of arbitration and assurances freely given, to observe the sovereignty of Czechoslovakia.

By a formal treaty signed at Locarno on 16 October 1925-Document TC-14, which will be introduced by the British prosecutor-Germany and Czechoslovakia agreed, with certain exceptions, to refer to an arbitral tribunal or to the Permanent Court of International Justice matters of dispute. I quote, they would so refer: “All disputes of every kind between Germany and Czechoslovakia with regard to which the parties are in conflict as to their respective rights, and which it may not be possible to settle amicably by the normal methods of diplomacy.”

And the preamble to this treaty stated: “The President of the German Reich and the President of the Czechoslovak Republic equally resolved to maintain peace between Germany and Czechoslovakia by assuring the peaceful settlement of differences, which might arise between the two countries; declaring that respect for the rights established .by treaty or resulting from the law of nations, is obligatory for international tribunals; agreeing to recognize that the rights of a state cannot be modified save with its consent, and considering that sincere observance of the methods of peaceful settlement of international disputes permits of resolving, without recourse to force, questions which may become the cause of divisions between states, have decided to embody in a treaty their common intention in this respect.”

That ends the quotation.

Formal and categorical assurances of their good will towards Czechoslovakia were both coming from the Nazi conspirators as late as March 1938. On March 11 and 12, 1938, at the time of the annexation of Austria, Germany had a considerable interest in inducing Czechoslovakia not to mobilize. At this time the Defendant Goring assured Masaryk, the Czechoslovak Minister in Berlin, on behalf of the German Government that German-Czech relations were not adversely affected by the development in Austria and that Germany had no hostile intentions towards Czechoslovakia. As a token of his sincerity, Defendant Goring accompanied his assurance with the statement, “Ich gebe Ihnen mein Ehrenwort (I give you my word of honor).”

At the same time, the Defendant Von Neurath, who was handling German foreign affairs during Ribbentrop’s stay in London, assured Masaryk, on behalf of Hitler and the German Government that Germany still considered herself bound by the Arbitration Convention of 1925.

These assurances are contained in Document TC-27, another of the series of documents which will be presented to the Tribunal by the British prosecutor under Count Two of the Indictment.

Behind the screen of these assurances the Nazi conspirators proceeded with their military and political plans for aggression. Ever since the preceding fall it had been established that the immediate, aim of German policy was the elimination both of Austria and of Czechoslovakia. In both countries the conspirators planned to undermine the will to resist by propaganda and by Fifth Column activities, while the actual military preparations were being developed.

The Austrian operation, which received priority for political and strategic reasons, was carried out in February and March 1938. Thenceforth the Wehrmacht planning was devoted to “Fall Grün” (Case Green), the designation given to the proposed operation against Czechoslovakia.

The military plans for Case Green had been drafted in outline from as early as June 1937. The OKW top-secret directive for the unified preparation of the Armed Forces for war-signed by Von Blomberg on June 24, 1937, and promulgated to the Army, Navy, and Luftwaffe for the year beginning July 1, 1937,-included, as a probable war-like eventuality for which a concentrated plan was to be drafted, Case Green, “War on two fronts, with the main struggle in the southeast.”

This document-our Number C-175, Exhibit USA-69-was introduced in evidence as part of the Austrian presentation and is an original carbon copy, signed in ink by Von Blomberg. The original section of this directive dealing with the probable war against Czechoslovakia-it was later revised-opens with this supposition.

I read from the bottom of Page 3 of the English translation of this directive, following the heading 11, and Subparagraph (1) headed “Suppositions”: The war in the East can begin with a surprise German operation against Czechoslovakia in order to parry the imminent attack of a superior enemy coalition. The necessary conditions to justify such an action politically, and in the eyes of international law must be created beforehand.”

After detailing possible enemies and neutrals in the event of such action, the directive continues as follows:

“(2) The task of the German Armed Forces-and that much is underscored-“is to make their preparations in such a way that the bulk of all forces can break into Czechoslovakia quickly, by surprise, and with the greatest force, while in the West the minimum strength is provided as rear-cover for this attack.” The aim and object of this surprise attack by the German Armed Forces should be to eliminate from the very beginning and for the duration of the war, the threat by Czechoslovakia to the rear of the operations in the West, and to take from the Russian Air Force the most substantial portion of its operational base in Czechoslovakia. This must be done by the defeat of the enemy armed forces and the occupation of Bohemia and Moravia.”

The introduction to this directive sets forth as one of ‘its guiding principles the following statement-and I now read from Page 1 of the English translation, that is, the third paragraph following Figure 1: “Nevertheless, the politically fluid world situation, which does not preclude surprising incidents, demands constant preparedness for war on the part of the German Armed Forces:”-and then-“(a) to counterattack at any time; (b) to make possible the military exploitation of politically favorable opportunities should they occur.”

This directive ordered further work on the plan for “mobilization without public announcement.” I quote: ‘...in order to put the Armed Forces in a position to be able to begin a sudden war which will take the enemy by surprise, in regard to both strength and time of attack.”

This is, of course, a directive for staff planning, but the nature of the planning and the very tangible and ominous developments which resulted from it, give it a significance that it would not have in another setting.

Playing along the lines of the directive was carried forward during the fall of 1937 and the winter of 1937-38. On the political level, this planning for the conquest of Czechoslovakia received the approval and support of Hitler in the conference with his military commanders on 5 November 1937, reported in the Hossbach minutes, to which I have frequently heretofore referred.

In early March 1938, before the march into Austria, we find the Defendants Ribbentrop and Keitel concerned over the extent of the information about war aims against Czechoslovakia to be furnished to Hungary. On 4 March 1938, Ribbentrop wrote to Keitel, enclosing for General Keitel’s confidential cognizance the minutes of a conference with Sztojay, the local Hungarian Ambassador, who had suggested an interchange of views. This is Document 2786-PS, a photo-stat of the original captured letter, which I now offer in evidence as Exhibit USA-81. In his letter to Keitel, Ribbentrop said: “I have many doubts about such negotiations. In case we should discuss with Hungary possible war aims against Czechoslovakia, the danger exists that other parties as well would be informed about this. I would greatly appreciate it if you would notify me briefly whether any commitments were made here in any respect. With best regards and Heil Hitler.”

At the 21 April meeting between Hitler and Keitel, the account of which I read last week and alluded to earlier this morning (Document 388-PS, Item 2), specific plans for the attack on Czechoslovakia were discussed for the first time. This meeting was followed, in the late spring and summer of 1938, by a series of memoranda and telegrams advancing Case Green (Fall Grün). Those notes and communications were carefully filed at Hitler’s headquarters by the very efficient Colonel Schmundt, the Führer’s military adjutant, and were captured by American troops in a cellar at Obersalzberg, near Berchtesgaden. This file, which is preserved intact, bears out Number 388-PS, and is United States Exhibit Number 26. We affectionately refer to it as “Big Schmundt”-a large file. The individual items in this file tell more graphically than any narrative the progress of the Nazi conspirators’ planning to launch an unprovoked and brutal war against Czechoslovakia. From the start the Nazi leaders displayed a lively interest in intelligence data concerning Czechoslovakian armament and defense. With the leave of the Tribunal I shall refer to some of these items in the Big Schmundt file without reading them. The documents to which I refer are Item 4 of the Schmundt file, a telegram from Colonel Zeitzler, in General Jodl’s office of the OKW, to Schmundt at Hitler’s headquarters.

THE PRESIDENT: Are you proposing not to read them?

  1. ALDERMAN: I hadn’t intended to read them in full, unless that may be necessary.

THE PRESIDENT: I am afraid we must adhere to our decision.

  1. ALDERMAN: If the Tribunal please, I should simply wish to refer to the title or heading of Item 12, which is headed, “Short Survey of Armament of the Czech Army,” dated Berlin, 9 June 1938, and initialed “Z” for Zeitzler, and Item 13, “Questions of the Führer,” dated Berlin, 9 June 1938, and classified “Most Secret.”

I should like to read four of the questions which Hitler wanted authoritative information about, as shown by that document, and I read indicated questions on Pages 23, 24, 25, and 26 of Item 13 of Document 388-PS.

Question 1: Hitler asked about armament of the Czech Army. I don’t think it necessary to read the answers. They are detailed answers giving information in response to these questions posed by Hitler.

“Question 2: How many battalions, et cetera, are employed in the West for the construction of emplacements?

“Question 3: Are the fortifications of Czechoslovakia still occupied in unreduced strength?

“Question 4: Frontier protection in the West.”

As I say, those questions were answered in detail by the OKW and initialed by Colonel Zeitzler of Jodl’s staff.

As a precaution against French and British action during the attack on Czechoslovakia, it was necessary for the Nazi conspirators to rush the preparation of fortification measures along the western frontier in Germany. I refer you to Item 8, at Page 12 of the Big Schmundt file, a telegram presumably sent from Schmundt in Berchtesgaden to Berlin, and I quote from this telegram. It is, as I say, Item 8 of the Schmundt file, Page 12 of Document 388-PS: “Inform Colonel General Von Brauchitsch and General Keitel.” And then, skipping a paragraph: “The Führer repeatedly emphasized the necessity of pressing forward greatly the fortification work in the West.”

In May, June, July, and August of 1938 conferences between Hitler and his political and military advisors resulted in the issuance of a series of constantly revised directives for the attack on Czechoslovakia. It was decided that preparations for X-Day, the day of the attack, should be completed no later than 1 October. I now invite the attention of the Tribunal to the more important of these conferences and directives.

On 28 May 1938 Hitler called a conference of his principal advisors. At this meeting he gave the necessary instructions to his fellow conspirators to prepare the attack on Czechoslovakia. This fact Hitler later publicly admitted. I now refer and invite the notice of the Tribunal to Document 2360-PS, a copy of the Volkischer Beobachter of 31 January 1939. In a speech before the Reichstag the preceding day, reported in this newspaper, reading now from Document 2360-PS, Hitler spoke as follows: “On account of this intolerable provocation which had been aggravated by a truly infamous persecution and terrorization of our Germans there, I have determined to solve once and for all, and this time radically, the Sudeten-German question. On 28 May I ordered first: That preparation should be made for military action against this state by 2 October. I ordered second: The immense and accelerated expansion of our defensive front in the West.”

Two days after this conference, on 30 May 1938, Hitler issued the revised military directive for Case Green. This directive is Item 11 in the Big Schmundt file, Document 388-PS. It is entitled, “Two-front War, with Main Effort in the Southeast,” and this directive replaced the corresponding section, Part 2, Section 11, of the previous quote, “Directive for Unified Preparation for War,” which had been promulgated by Von Blomberg on 26 June 1937, which I have already introduced in evidence as our Document C-175, United States Exhibit Number 69. This revised directive represented a further development of the ideas for political and military action discussed by Hitler and Keitel in their conference on 21 April. It is an expansion of the rough draft submitted by the Defendant Keitel to Hitler on 20 May, which may be found as Item 5 in the Schmundt file. It was signed by Hitler. Only five copies were made. Three copies were forwarded with a covering letter from Defendant Keitel to General Von Brauchitsch for the Army, to Defendant Raeder for the Navy, and to Defendant Goring for the Luftwaffe. In his covering memorandum Keitel noted that its execution must be assured -I quote: “As from 1 October 1938 at the latest.” I now read from this document, which is the basic directive under which the Wehrmacht carried out its planning for Case Green, a rather lengthy quotation from the first page of Item 11, Page 16 of the English version:

“1. Political pre-requisites.

It is my unalterable decision to smash Czechoslovakia by military action in the near future. It is the job of the political leaders to await or bring about the politically and militarily suitable moment. “An inevitable development of conditions inside Czechoslovakia or other political events in Europe, creating a surprisingly favorable opportunity and one which may never come again, may cause me to take early action.” The proper choice and determined and full utilization of a favorable moment is the surest guarantee of success. Accordingly the preparations are to be made at once.

“2. Political possibilities for the commencement of the action.

The following are necessary prerequisites for the intended invasion: “a. Suitable obvious cause and with it, b. sufficient political justification, c. action unexpected by the enemy, which will find him prepared in the least possible degree.” From a military as well as a political ‘standpoint the most favorable course is a lightning-swift action as the result of an incident through which Germany is provoked in an unbearable way for which at least part of world opinion will grant the moral justification of military action. “But even a period of tension, more or less preceding a war, must terminate in sudden action on our part, which must have the elements of surprise as regards time and extent, before the enemy is so advanced in military preparedness that he cannot be surpassed.

3. Conclusions for the preparation of Fall Grün.

“a. For the ‘armed war’ it is essential that the surprise element, as the most important factor contributing to success, be made full use of by appropriate preparatory measures, already in peacetime and by an unexpectedly rapid course of the action. Thus it is essential to create a situation within the first 2 or 3 days which plainly demonstrates to hostile nations, eager to intervene, the hopelessness of the Czechoslovakian military situation and which, at the same time, will give nations with territorial claims on Czechoslovakia an incentive to intervene immediately against Czechoslovakia. In such a case, intervention by Poland and Hungary against Czechoslovakia may be expected, especially if France-due to the obvious pro-German attitude of Italy-fears, or at least hesitates, to unleash a European war by intervening against Germany. Attempts by Russia to give military support to Czechoslovakia mainly by the Air Force are to be expected.

If concrete successes are not achieved by the land operations within the first few days, a European crisis will certainly result. This knowledge must give commanders of all ranks the impetus to decided and bold action.

“b. The Propaganda War must on the one hand intimidate Czechoslovakia by threats and wear down her power of resistance; on the other hand issue directions to national groups for support in the ‘armed war’ and influence the neutrals into our way of thinking. I reserve further directions and determination of the date.

“4. Tasks of the Armed Forces. Armed Forces preparations are to be made on the following basis:

“a. The mass of all forces must be employed against Czechoslovakia.

“b. For the West, a minimum of forces are to be provided as rear cover which may be required, the other frontiers in the East against Poland and Lithuania are merely to be protected, the southern frontiers to be watched.

“c. The sections of the Army which can be rapidly employed must force the frontier fortifications with speed and decision and must break into Czechoslovakia with the greatest daring in the certainty that the bulk of the mobile army will follow them with the utmost speed. Preparations for this are to be made and timed in such a way that the sections of the army which can be rapidly employed cross the frontier at the appointed time, at the same time as the penetration by the Air Force, before the enemy can become aware of our mobilization. For this, a timetable between Army and Air Force is to be worked out in conjunction with OKW and submitted to me for approval.

“5. Missions for the branches of the Armed Forces.

“a. Amy. The basic principle of the surprise attack against Czechoslovakia must not be endangered nor the initiative of the Air Force be wasted by the inevitable time required for transporting the bulk of the field forces by rail. Therefore it is first of all essential to the Army that as many assault columns as possible be employed at the same time as the surprise attack by the Air Force. These assault columns-the composition of each, according to their tasks at that time must be formed with troops which can be employed rapidly owing to their proximity to the frontier or to motorization and to special measures of readiness. It must be the purpose of these thrusts to break into the Czechoslovakian fortification lines at numerous points and in a strategically favorable direction, to achieve a break-through, or to break them down from the rear. For the success of this operation, co-operation with the Sudeten-German frontier population, with deserters from the Czechoslovakian Army, with parachutists or airborne troops and with units of the sabotage service will be of importance. The bulk of the army has the task of frustrating the Czechoslovakian plan of defense, of preventing the Czechoslovakian army from escaping . . .”

THE PRESIDENT: Is it necessary to read all this detail?

  1. ALDERMAN: I was just worried about not getting it into the transcript.

THE PRESIDENT: It seems to me that this is all detail, that before you pass from the document you ought to read the document on Page 15, which introduces it and which gives the date of it.

MR.ALDERMAN: I think so. It is a letter dated: “Berlin, 30 May 1938; copy of the fourth copy; Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces; most secret; access only through officer; written by an officer. Signed Keitel; distributed to C-in-C Army, C-in-C Navy, C-in-C Air Force.

“By order of the Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces, Part 2, Section 11, of the directive on the unified preparations for war of the Armed Forces dated 24 June 1937, (Ob. d. W)” -with some symbols, including “Chefsache” (top secret)-“(two-front war with main effort on the Southeast-strategic concentration Green) is to be replaced by the attached version. Its execution must be assured as from 1 October 1938 at the latest. Alterations in other parts of the directives must be expected during the next week.

By order of Chief of the Supreme Command of the Armed Forces, signed, Keitel. “Certified a true copy, Zeitzler, Oberstleutnant on the General Staff.”

In line with the suggestion of the presiding Justice, I shall omit the detailed instructions which are set out for action by the Luftwaffe and by the Navy, and I turn next to the last paragraph of the directive, which will be found on Page 19 of the English version: “In war economy it is essential that in the field of the armament industry a maximum deployment of forces is made possible through increased supplies. In the course of operations, it is of value to contribute to the reinforcement of the total war-economic strength-by rapidly reconnoitering and restarting important factories. For this reason the sparing of Czechoslovakian industrial and factory installations, insofar as military operations permit, can be of decisive importance to us.”

In other words, the Nazi conspirators, 4 months before the date, of their planned attack, were already looking forward to the contribution which the Czech industrial plant would make to further Nazi war efforts and economy.

And the final paragraph of this directive, Paragraph 7, on Page 19: “All preparations for sabotage and insurrection will be made by OKW. They will be made, in agreement with, and according to, the requirement of the branches of the Armed Forces, so that their effects accord with the operations of the Army and Air Force as to time and locality.

“Signed Adolf Hitler.

“Certified a true copy, Zeitzler, Oberstleutnant on the General Staff.”

Three weeks later, on 18 June 1938, a draft for a new directive was prepared and initialed by the Defendant Keitel. This is Item 14 at Pages 27 to 32 of the Big Schmundt file. It did not supersede the 30 May directive. I shall read the third and fifth paragraphs on Page 28 of the English translation, and the last paragraph on Page 29: “The immediate aim is a solution of the Czech problem by my own free decision; this stands in the foreground of my political intentions. I am determined as from 1 October 1938 to use to the full every favorable political opportunity to realize this aim.”

Then skipping a paragraph: “However, I will decide to take action against Czechoslovakia only if I am firmly convinced, as in the case of the occupation of the demilitarized zone and the entry into Austria, that France will not march and therefore England will not intervene.”

And then skipping to the last paragraph on the 29th page: “The directives necessary for the prosecution of the war itself will be issued by me from time to time.” “K”-initial of Keitel, and-“Z”-initial of Zeitzler.

The second and third parts of this directive contain general directions for the deployment of troops and for precautionary measures in view of the possibility that during the execution of the Fall Grün (or Case Green) France or England might declare war on Germany.

Six pages of complicated schedules which follow this draft in the original have not been translated into English. These schedules, which constitute Item 15 in the Schmundt file, give a timetable of specific measures for the preparation of the Army, Navy, and Luftwaffe for the contemplated action.

Corroboration for the documents in the Schmundt file is found in General Jodl’s diary, our Document Number 1780-PS and United States Exhibit Number 72, from which I quoted portions during the Austrian presentation. I now quote from three entries in this diary written in the spring of 1938. Although the first entry is not dated it appears to have been written several months after the annexation of Austria, and here I read under the heading on Page 3 of the English translation: “Later undated entry: “After annexation of Austria the Führer mentions that there is no hurry to solve the Czech question, because Austria had to be digested first. Nevertheless, preparations for Case Green will have to be carried out energetically. They will have to be newly prepared on the basis of the changed strategic position because of the annexation of Austria. State of preparation, see Memorandum L-1-A of 19 April, reported to the Führer on 21 April.”

“The intention of the Führer not to touch the Czech problem as yet will be changed because of the Czech strategic troop concentration of 21 May, which occurs without any German threat and without the slightest cause for it. Because of Germany’s self-restraint the consequences lead to a loss of prestige for the Führer, which he is not willing to take once more. Therefore, the new order is issued for Green on 30 May.”

And then the entry, 23 May: “Major Schmundt reports ideas of the Führer… Further conferences, which gradually reveal the exact intentions of the Führer, take place with the Chief of the Armed Forces High Command (OKW) on 28 May, 3 and 9 June,-see inclosures (War Diary).”

Then the entry of 30 May: “The Führer signs directive Green, where he states his final decision to destroy Czechoslovakia soon and thereby initiates military preparation all along the line. The previous intentions of the Army must be changed considerably in the direction of an immediate break-through into Czechoslovakia right on D-Day”-X-Tag-“combined with aerial penetration by the Air Force.

“Further details are derived from directive for strategic concentration of the Army. The whole contrast becomes acute once more between the Führer’s intuition that we must do it this year, and the opinion of the Army that we cannot do it as yet, as most certainly the Western Powers will interfere and we are not as yet equal to them.”

During the spring and summer of 1938 the Luftwaffe was also engaged in planning in connection with the forthcoming Case Green and the further expansion of the Reich.

I now offer in evidence Document R-150, as United States Exhibit 82. This is a top-secret document dated 2 June 1938, issued by Air Group Command 3, and entitled “Plan Study 1938, Instruction for Deployment and Combat, ‘Case Red’.” “Case Red” is the code name for action against the Western Powers if need be. Twenty-eight copies of this document were made, of which this is number 16. This is another staff plan, this time for mobilization and employment of the Luftwaffe in the event of war with France. It is given significance by the considerable progress by this date of the planning for the attack on Czechoslovakia.

I quote from the second paragraph on Page 3 of the English translation, referring to the various possibilities under which war with France may occur. You will note that they are all predicated on the assumption of a German-Czech conflict.

“France will either (a) interfere in the struggle between the Reich and Czechoslovakia in the course of Case Green, or (b) start hostilities simultaneously with Czechoslovakia. (c) It is possible but not likely that France will begin the fight while Czechoslovakia still remains aloof.”

And then, reading down lower on the page under the heading “Intention“: “Regardless of whether France enters the war as a result of Case Green or whether she makes the opening move of the war simultaneously with Czechoslovakia, in any case the mass of the German offensive formations will, in conjunction with the Army, first deliver the decisive blow against Czechoslovakia.”

By mid-summer direct and detailed planning for Case Green was being carried out by the Luftwaffe. In early August, at the direction of the Luftwaffe General Staff, the German Air Attaché in Prague reconnoitered the Freudenthal area of Czechoslovakia south of Upper Silesia for suitable landing grounds.

I offer in evidence Document 1536-PS as Exhibit USA-83, a report of the Luftwaffe General Staff, Intelligence Division, dated 12 August 1938. This was a top-secret document for general officers only, of which only two copies were made. Attached as an enclosure was the report of Major Moericke, the German Attach6 in Prague, dated 4 August 1938. I quote the first four paragraphs of the enclosure: “I was ordered by the General Staff of the Air Force to reconnoiter the land in the region Freudenthal-Freihermersdorf. . .”

THE PRESIDENT: Page 3 of the document?

  1. ALDERMAN: Yes. “. . . for landing possibilities. “For this purpose I obtained private lodgings in Freudenthal with the manufacturer Macholdt, through one of my trusted men in Prague. “I had specifically ordered this man to give no details about me to Macholdt, particularly about my official position. “I used my official car (Dienst Pkw) for the journey to Freudenthal taking precautions against being observed.”

By 25 August the imminence of the attack on Czechoslovakia compelled the issuance by the Luftwaffe of a detailed intelligence memorandum, entitled “Extended Case Green”; in other words, an estimate of possible action by the Western Powers during the attack on Czechoslovakia.

I now offer this document in evidence, Number 375-PS as Exhibit USA-84. This is a top-secret memorandum of the Intelligence Section of the Luftwaffe, General Staff, dated Berlin, 25 August 1938. Based on the assumption that Great Britain and France would declare war on Germany during Case Green, this study contains an estimate of the strategy and air strength of the Western Powers as of 1 October 1938, the target date for Case Green. I quote the first two sentences of the document. That is under the heading “Initial Political Situation”: The basic assumption is that France will declare war during the Case Green. It is presumed that France will decide upon war only if active military assistance by Great Britain is definitely assured.”

Now, knowledge of the pending or impending action against Czechoslovakia was not confined to a close circle of high officials of the Reich and the Nazi Party. During the summer Germany’s allies, Italy and Hungary, were apprised by one means or another of the plans of the Nazi conspirators. I offer in evidence Document 2800-PS as Exhibit USA-85. This is a captured document from the German Foreign Office files, a confidential memorandum of a conversation with the Italian Ambassador Attolico, in Berlin on 18 July 1938. At the bottom is a handwritten note headed “For the Reichsminister only”, and the Reichsminister was the Defendant Ribbentrop.

I now read this note. I read from the note the third and fourth paragraphs: “Attolico added that we had made it unmistakably clear to the Italians what our intentions are regarding Czechoslovakia. He also knew the appointed time well enough so that he could take perhaps a 2 months’ holiday now which he could not do later on.” “Giving an idea of the attitude of other governments, Attolico mentioned that the Romanian Government had refused to grant application for leave to its Berlin Minister.”

THE PRESIDENT: Would this be a convenient time to break off for 10 minutes?

  1. ALDERMAN: yes, Sir.

[A recess was taken.]

  1. ALDERMAN: May it please the Tribunal, a month later Mussolini sent a message to Berlin asking that he be told the date on which Case Green would take place. I offer in evidence Document Number 2791-PS as Exhibit USA-86, a German Foreign Office note on a conversation with Ambassador Attolico. This note is signed “R” for Ribbentrop and dated 23 August 1938. I now read two paragraphs from this memorandum: “On the voyage of the Patria Ambassador Attolico explained to me that he had instructions to request the notification of a contemplated time for German action against Czechoslovakia from the German Government.

“In case the Czechs should again cause a provocation against Germany, Germany would march. This would be tomorrow, in 6 months, or perhaps in a year. However, I could promise him that the German Government, in case of an increasing gravity of the situation or as soon as the Führer made his decision, would notify the Italian Chief of Government as rapidly as possible. In any case, the Italian Government will be the first one who will receive such a notification.”

THE PRESIDENT: You did not tell us what the initial was, did you?

  1. ALDERMAN: The initial “R” for Ribbentrop, and the date 23 August 1938. Four days later Attolico again asked to be notified of the date of the pending attack. I offer Document Number 2792-PS as Exhibit USA-87-another German Foreign Office memorandum, and from that document I read three paragraphs under the heading “R. M. 251.”

Ambassador Attolico paid me a visit today at 12 o’clock to communicate the following: “He had received another written instruction from Mussolini asking that Germany communicate in time the probable date of action against Czechoslovakia. Mussolini asked for such notification, as Mr. Attolico assured me, in order ‘to be able to take in due time the necessary measures on the French frontier.’ Berlin, 27 August 1938; ‘R‘ “-for Ribbentrop, and then: “N. B. I replied to Ambassador Attolico, just as on his former dkmarche, that I could not impart any date to him; that, however, in any case Mussolini would be the first one to be informed of any decision. Berlin, 2 September 1938.”

Hungary, which borders Czechoslovakia to the southeast, was from the first considered to be a possible participant in Case Green. You will recall that in early March 1938 Defendants Keitel and Ribbentrop had exchanged letters on the question of bringing Hungary into the Nazi plan. At that time the decision was in the negative, but by mid-August 1938 the Nazi conspirators were attempting to persuade Hungary to join in the attack.

From August 21 to 26 Admiral Horthy and some of his ministers visited Germany. Inevitably there were discussions of the Czechoslovak question. I now offer Document 2796-PS as Exhibit USA-88. This is a captured German Foreign Office account signed by Von Weizsacker of the conversations between Hitler and Ribbentrop and a Hungarian Delegation consisting of Horthy, Imredy, and Kanya aboard the S. S. Patria on 23 August 1938. In this conference Ribbentrop inquired about the Hungarian attitude in the event of a German attack on Czechoslovakia and suggested that such an attack would prove to be a good opportunity for Hungary.

The Hungarians, with the exception of Horthy, who wished to put the Hungarian intention to participate on record, proved reluctant to commit themselves. Thereupon Hitler emphasized Ribbentrop’s statement and said that whoever wanted to join the meal would have to participate in the cooking as well. I now quote from this document the first two paragraphs: “While in the forenoon of the 23rd of August the Führer and the Regent of Hungary were engaged in a political discussion, the Hungarian Ministers Imredy and Kanya were in conference with Von Ribbentrop. Von Weizsacker also attended the conference. Von Kanya introduced two subjects for discussion: Point 1, the negotiations between Hungary and the Little Entente; and 2, the Czechoslovakian problem.”

Then I skip two paragraphs and read the fifth paragraph: “Von Ribbentrop inquired what Hungary’s attitude would be if the Führer would carry out his decision to answer a new Czech provocation by force. The reply of the Hungarians presented two kinds of obstacles: The Yugoslavian neutrality must be assured if Hungary marches towards the north and perhaps the east; moreover, the Hungarian rearmament had only been started and one to two more years time for its development should be allowed.” Von Ribbentrop then explained to the Hungarians that the Yugoslavs would not dare to march while they were between the pincers of the Axis Powers. Romania alone would therefore not move. England and France would also remain tranquil.

England would not recklessly risk her empire. She knew our newly acquired power. In reference to time, however, for the above-mentioned situation, nothing definite could be predicted since it would depend on Czech provocation. Von Ribbentrop repeated that, ‘Whoever desires revision must exploit the good opportunity and participate.’ “The Hungarian reply thus remained a conditional one. Upon the question of Von Ribbentrop as to what purpose the desired General Staff conferences were to have, not much more was brought forward than the Hungarian desire of a mutual inventory of military material and preparedness for the Czech conflict. The clear political basis for such a conflict-the time of a Hungarian intervention-was not obtained.”

In the meantime, more positive language was used by Von Horthy in his talk with the Führer. He wished not to hide his doubts with regard to the English attitude, but he wished to put on record Hungary’s intention to participate. The Hungarian Ministers were, and remained even later, more skeptical since they feel more strongly about the immediate danger for Hungary with its unprotected flanks.

“When Von Imredy had a discussion with the Führer in the afternoon he was very relieved when the Führer explained to him that in regard to the situation in question he demanded nothing of Hungary. He himself would not know the time. Whoever wanted to join the meal would have to participate in the cooking as well. Should Hungary wish conferences of the General Staffs he would have no objections.”

I think perhaps that sentence, “Whoever wanted to join the meal would have to participate in the cooking as well,” is perhaps as cynical a statement as any statesman has ever been guilty of.

By the third day of the conference the Germans were able to note that, in the event of a German-Czech conflict, Hungary would be sufficiently armed for participation on 1 October. I now offer in evidence Document Number 2797-PS as Exhibit USA-89, another captured German Foreign Office memorandum of a conversation between Ribbentrop and Kanya on 25 August 1938. You will note that the English mimeographed translation bears the date 29 August. That is incorrect; it should read 25 August. I read the last paragraph from that document, or the last two: “Concerning Hungary’s military preparedness in case of a German-Czech conflict Von Kanya mentioned several days ago that his country would need a period of one to two years in order to develop adequately the armed strength of Hungary.  During today’s conversation Von Kanya corrected this remark and said that Hungary’s military situation was much better. His country would be ready, as far as armaments were concerned, to take part in the conflict by October 1 of this year.“-Signed with an illegible signature which probably is that of Weizsacker.

The account of the German-Hungarian conference again finds its corroboration in General Jodl’s diary, Document Number 1780-PS, from which I have already several times read. The entry in that diary for 21 to 26 August on Page 4 of the English version of the document reads as follows: “Visit to Germany of the Hungarian Regent. Accompanied by the Prime Minister, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, and the War Minister Von Raatz.” They arrived with the idea that in the course of a great war after a few years, and with the help of German troops, the old State of Hungary can be re-established. They leave with the understanding that we have neither demands from them nor claims against them, but that Germany will not stand for a second provocation by Czechoslovakia, even if it should be tomorrow. If they want to participate at that moment, it is up to them. “Germany, however, will never play the role of arbitrator between them and Poland. The Hungarians agree; but they believe that when the issue arises a period of 48 hours would be indispensable to them to find out Yugoslavia’s attitude.” The upshot of the talks with the Hungarians proved to be a staff conference on 6 September.

I quote again from Jodl’s diary, the entry for 6 September, beginning at the end of that same page: “Chief of General Staff, General of Artillery Halder, has a conference with the Hungarian Chief of General Staff Fischer. Before that he is briefed by me on the political attitude of the Führer, especially his order not to give any hint on the exact moment. The same with OAI, General Von Stülpnagel.” It is somewhat interesting to find a high-ranking general giving a briefing on such political matters.

Then we come to final actual preparations for the attack. With a 1 October target date set for Case Green, there was a noticeable increase in the tempo of the military preparations in late August and September. Actual preparations for the attack on Czechoslovakia were well under way. The agenda of the Nazi conspirators was devoted to technical details, the timing of “X-days,” questions of mobilization, questions of transport and supplies.

On 26 August the Defendant Jodl initialed a memorandum entitled, “Timing of the X-Order and the Question of Advance Measures.” This is Item 17 at Pages 37 and 38 of the English translation of the Schmundt file on Case Green, our Number 388-PS. I should like to invite the special attention of the Tribunal to this memorandum. It demonstrates beyond the slightest doubt the complicity of the OKW and of Defendant Keitel and Jodl in the shameful fabrication of an incident as an excuse for war. It reveals in bare outline the deceit, the barbarity, the completely criminal character of the attack that Germany was preparing to launch.

I ask leave to read this document in full: “Chief Section L; for chiefs only; written by General Staff officer; top secret; note on progress of report; Berlin, 24 August 1938; access only through officer; 1 copy. “Timing of the X-Order and the Question of Advance Measures.”The Luftwaffe’s endeavor to take the enemy air forces by surprise at their peacetime airports justifiably leads them to oppose measures taken in advance of the X-Order and to demand that the X-Order itself be given sufficiently late on X minus 1 to prevent the fact of Germany’s mobilization becoming known to Czechoslovakia on that day. “The Army’s efforts are tending in the opposite direction. It intends to let OKW initiate all advance measures between X minus 3 and X minus 1 which will contribute to the smooth and rapid working of the mobilization. With this in mind OKH also demands that the X-Order be given to the Army not later than 1400 on X minus 1.

“To this the following must be said:”‘Operation Green’ “-or Aktion Grün-“will be set in motion by means of an ‘incident’ in Czechoslovakia which will give Germany provocation for military intervention. The fixing of the exact time for this incident is of the utmost importance.”-I call special attention to that sentence-“The fixing of the exact time for this incident is of the utmost importance.” It must come at a time when the over-all meteorological conditions are favorable for our superior air forces to go into action and at an hour which will enable authentic news of it”-news of this prepared incident-“to reach us on the afternoon of X minus 1. It can then be spontaneously answered by the giving of the X-Order at 1400 on X minus 1.”

“On X minus 2 the Navy, Army, and Air Force will merely receive an advance warning. If the Führer intends to follow this plan of action, all further discussion is superfluous.

“For then no advance measures may be taken before X minus 1 for which there is not an innocent explanation as we shall otherwise appear to have manufactured the incident. Orders for absolutely essential advance measures must be given in good time and camouflaged with the help of numerous maneuvers and exercises.” Also, the question raised by the Foreign Office as to whether all Germans should be called back in time from prospective enemy territories must in no way lead to the conspicuous departure from Czechoslovakia of any German subjects before the incident.

“Even a warning of diplomatic representatives in Prague is impossible before the first air attack, although the consequences could be very grave in the event of their becoming victims of such an attack (that is the death of representatives of friendly or confirmed neutral powers). “If, for technical reasons, the evening hours should be considered desirable for the incident, then the following day cannot be X-Day, but it must be the day after that.”

“In any case we must act on the principle that nothing must be done before the incident which might point to mobilization, and that the swiftest possible action must be taken after the incident ‘(X-Fall).”

“It is the purpose of these notes to point out what a great interest the Wehrmacht has in the incident and that it must be informed of the Führer’s intentions in good time-insofar as the Abwehr Section is not also charged with the organization of the incident.”

“I request that the Führer’s decision be obtained on these points.”-Signed-“J”-(Jodl).

In handwriting, at the bottom of the page of that document, are the notes of the indefatigable Schmundt, Hitler’s adjutant. These reveal that the memorandum was submitted to Hitler on August 30; that Hitler agreed to act along these lines, and that Jodl was so notified on 31 August. There follows Jodl’s initials once more. On 3 September Keitel and Von Brauchitsch met with Hitler at the Berghof. Again Schmundt kept notes of the conference. These will be found as Item 18 at Pages 39 and 40 of the Document Number 388-PS. I shall read the first three short paragraphs of these minutes:

Colonel General Von Brauchitsch reports on the exact time of the transfer of the troops to ‘exercise areas’ for ‘Grün’. Field units to be transferred on 28 September. From here will then be ready for action. When X-Day becomes known field units carry out exercises in opposite directions.Führer has objection. Troops assemble field units a day march away. Carry out camouflage exercises everywhere.”-Then there is a question mark.-“OKH must know when X-Day is by 1200 noon, 27 September.”

You will note that Von Brauchitsch reported that field troops would be transferred to the proper areas for Case Green on 28 September and would then be ready for action. You will also note that the OKH must know when X-Day is by 12 noon on 27 September.

During the remainder of the conference Hitler gave his views on the strategy the German armies should employ and the strength of the Czech defenses they would encounter. He spoke of the possibility, and I quote, “of drawing in the Henlein people.” The situation in the West still troubled him. Schmundt further noted, and here I read the final sentence from Page 40 of the English transcript:

“The Führer gives orders for the development of the Western fortifications: Improvement of advance positions around Aachen and Saarbrucken; construction of 300 to 400 battery positions (1600 artillery pieces). He emphasizes flanking action.”

Five days later General Stülpnagel asked Defendant Jodl for written assurance that the OKH would be informed 5 days in advance about the impending action. In the evening Jodl conferred with Luftwaffe generals about the co-ordination of ground and air operations at the start of the attack. I now read the 8 September entry in General Jodl’s diary, Page 5 of the English translation of Document 1780-PS.

General Stülpnagel, OAI, asks for written assurance that the Army High Command will be informed 5 days in advance if the plan is to take place. I agree and add that the over-all meteorological situation can be estimated to some extent only for 2 days in advance and that therefore the plans may be changed up to this moment (X-Day minus 2)”-or as the German puts it-“X-2 Tag.”

“General Stülpnagel mentions that for the first time he wonders whether the previous basis of the plan is not being abandoned. It presupposed that the Western Powers would not interfere decisively. It gradually seems as if the Führer would stick to his decision, even though he may no longer be of this opinion. It must be added that Hungary is at least moody and that… Italy is reserved.”

Now, this is Jodl talking: “I must admit that I am worrying, too, when comparing the change of opinion about political and military potentialities, according to directives of 24 June ’37, 5 November ’37, 7 December ’37, 30 ,May 1938, with the last statements. In spite of that, one must be aware of the fact that the other nations will do everything they can to apply pressure on us. We must pass this test of nerves, but because only very few people know the art of withstanding this pressure successfully, the only possible solution is to inform only a very small circle of officers of news that causes us anxiety, and not to have it circulate through anterooms as heretofore.”

“1800 hours to 2100 hours: Conference with Chief of High Command of Armed Forces and Chief of General Staff of theAir Force. (Present were General Jeschonnek, Kammhuber, Sternburg, and myself). We agree about the promulgation of the X-Day order”-X-Befehl-“(X-1, 4 o’clock) and preannouncement to the Air Force (X-Day minus 1”-X minus 1 day-“7 o’clock). The ‘Y’ time has yet to be examined; some formations have an approach flight of one hour.”

Late on the evening of the following day, 9 September, Hitler met with Defendant Keitel and Generals Von Brauchitsch and Halder at Nuremberg. Dr. Todt, the construction engineer, later joined this conference, which lasted from 10 in the evening until 3:30 the following morning. Schmundt’s minutes on this conference are Item 19 in the large Schmundt file, on Pages 41 to 43 of Document 388-PS.

In this meeting General Halder reviewed the missions assigned to four of the German armies being committed to the attack, the 2d, the loth, the 12th and the 14th German Armies. With his characteristic enthusiasm for military planning, Hitler then delivered a soliloquy on strategic considerations, which should be taken into account as the attack developed. I shall quote only four paragraphs, beginning with the summary of General Von Brauchitsch’s remarks, on the bottom of Page 42: “General Oberst Von Brauchitsch: ‘Employment of motorized divisions was based on the difficult rail situation in Austria and the difficulties in getting other divs’ “-that is for divisions-” ‘ready to march into the area at the right time. In the West vehicles will have to leave on the 20th of September, if X-Day remains as planned. Workers leave on the 23d, by relays. Specialist workers remain according to decision by Army Command II.’

“The Führer: ‘Does not see why workers have to return home as early as X-11. Other workers and people are also on the way on mobilization day. Also the railroad cars will stand around unnecessarily later on.’

“General Keitel: ‘Workers are not under the jurisdiction of district commands in the West. Trains must be assembled.’

“Von Brauchitsch: ‘235,000 men RAD (Labor Service) will be drafted, 96 construction battalions will be distributed (also in the East). 40,000 trained laborers stay in the West.’

From this day forward the Nazi conspirators were occupied with the intricate planning which is required before such an attack.

On 11 September Defendant Jodl conferred with a representative of the Propaganda Ministry about methods of refuting German violations of international law and of exploiting those of the Czechs. I read the 11 September entry in the Jodl diary at Page 5 of the English translation of 1780-PS: “In the afternoon conference with Secretary of State Hahnke, for the Ministry of Public Enlightenment and Propaganda on imminent common tasks. These joint preparations for refutation”-Widerlegung-“of our own violations of international law, and the exploitation of its violations by the enemy, were considered particularly important.”

This discussion developed into a detailed study compiled by Section L, that is, Jodl’s section of the OKW. I now offer in evidence Document C-2 as Exhibit USA-90, which is a carbon copy of the original, signed in pencil. Seven copies of this captured document, as it shows on its face, were prepared and distributed on 1 October 1938 to the OKH, the OKM, the Luftwaffe, and the Foreign Office.

In this study anticipated violations by Germany of international law in connection with the invasion of Czechoslovakia are listed and counterpropaganda suggested for the use of the propaganda agencies. It is a highly interesting top-secret document and with a glance at the original you can see the careful form in which the study of anticipated violations of international law and propagandistic refutations thereof were set out.

The document is prepared in tabular form, in which the anticipated instances of violation of international law are listed in the left hand column. In the second column are given specific examples of the incidents. In the third and fourth column the position to be taken toward these incidents, in violation of international law and in violation of the laws of warfare, is set forth.

The fifth column, which in this document unfortunately is blank, was reserved for the explanations to be offered by the Propaganda Minister. I first quote from the covering letter: “Enclosed is a list drawn up by Section L of the OKW, of the violations of international law which may be expected on the part of fighting troops.” Owing to the short time allowed for the compilation, Columns c-1 and c-2 had to be filled in directly therefore, for the time being. “The branches of the Armed Forces are requested to send in an opinion so that a final version may be drawn up.” The same is requested of the Foreign Office.

“The Chief of the Supreme Command of the Armed Forces.

By order7′-signed-“Bürckner.”

I am sorry that I perhaps cannot take the time to read extensively from this document. I shall confine myself to reading the first 10 hypothetical incidents for which justification must be found from the second column, Column b of the table:

“First: In an air raid on Prague the British Embassy is destroyed.”

“Second: Englishmen or Frenchmen are injured or killed.

“Third: The Hradschin is destroyed in an air raid on Prague.

“Fourth: On account of a report that the Czechs have used gas, the firing of gas projectiles is ordered.

“Fifth: Czech civilians, not recognizable as soldiers, are caught in the act of sabotage (destruction of an important bridge, destruction of foodstuffs and fodder) are discovered looting wounded or dead soldiers and thereupon shot.

“Sixth: Captured Czech soldiers or Czech civilians are detailed to do road work or to load munitions, and so forth.

“Seventh: For military reasons it is necessary to requisition billets, foodstuffs, and fodder from the Czech population. As a result, the latter suffer from want.

“Eighth: Czech population is, for military reasons, compulsorily evacuated to the rear area.

“Ninth: Churches are used for military accommodations.

“Tenth: In the course of their duty, German aircraft fly over Polish territory where they are involved in an air battle with Czech aircraft.”

From Nuremberg on the 10th of September, Hitler issued an order bringing the Reichsarbeitsdienst (the German Labor Service) under the OKW. This top-secret order…

THE PRESIDENT: Are you passing from that document now?

  1. ALDERMAN: Yes.

THE PRESIDENT: Would you read the classification withreference to gas?

  1. ALDERMAN: Perhaps I should, Sir.

THE PRESIDENT: It is number 4.

  1. ALDERMAN: Incident number 4?


  1. ALDERMAN: Well, number 4 was the supposed incident. “On account of a report that the Czechs have used gas, the firing of gas projectiles is ordered.” Under the column, “Attitude of International Law Group”: According to the declaration agreed to in June 1925 by 40 states, including Czechoslovakia, the employment of poison gases, chemical warfare agents, and bacteriological substances is expressly forbidden. Quite a number of states made the reservation to this declaration on the prohibition of gas warfare.”

Then, under the column headed “Justification by the Laws of War”: “If the assertion, that the opponent-in this case the Czechs used a prohibited gas in warfare, is to be believed by the world, it must be possible to prove it. If that is possible, the firing of gas projectiles is justified, and it must be given out in public that it can be proved that the enemy was the first to violate the prohibition. It is therefore particularly important to furnish this proof. If the assertion is unfounded or only partially founded, the gas attack is to be represented only as the need for carrying out a justified reprisal, in the same way as the Italians did in the Abyssinian war. In this case, however, the justification for such harsh reprisals must also be proved.”

From Nuremberg on the 10th of September, Hitler issued an order bringing the Reichsarbeitsdienst (the German Labor Service) under the OKW. ..

THE PRESIDENT: There is another short passage which seems to be material.

  1. ALDERMAN: I was very much tempted to read the whole document.

THE PRESIDENT: The justification of number 10.

  1. ALDERMAN: Number 10 was, “In course of their duty, German aircraft fly over Polish territory where they are involved in an air battle with Czech aircraft.”

Under the heading, “Attitude of the International Law Group”: “According to Article 1 of the Fifth Hague Convention of 18 October 1907, the territory of neutral powers is not to be violated. A deliberate violation by flying over this territory is a breach of international law if the neutral powers have declared an air barrier for combat aircraft. If German planes fly over Polish territory this constitutes a violation of international law, provided that this action is not expressly permitted.”

Now, under the heading, “Justification by the Laws of War,” is this: “An attempt at denials should first be made; if this is unsuccessful a request for pardon should be made (on the grounds of miscalculation of position) to the Polish Government and compensation for damage guaranteed.”

I had referred to an order issued by Hitler on 10 September 1938 from Nuremberg, bringing the German, Labor Service under the OKW. This top-secret order, of which 25 copies were made, is Item 20 in the Schmundt file, Page 44. I will read that order:

 “1.) The whole RAD organization comes under the command of the Supreme Command of the Army effective 15 September.

“2.) The Chief of OKW decides on the first commitments of this organization in conjunction with the Reich Labor Leader (ReichsarbeitsFührer) and on assignments from time to time to the Supreme Commands of the Navy, Army, and Air Force. Where questions arise with regard to competency he will make a final decision in accordance with my instructions.

“3.) For the time being this order is to be made known only to the departments and personnel immediately concerned.

“Signed, Adolf Hitler.”

Four days later, on 14 September, Defendant Keitel issued detailed instructions for the reemployment of specific RAD units. This order is Item 21 in the Schmundt file, at Page 45 in the English translation. I do not think I need read the order.

There is another order issued by the Defendant Jodl on 16 September, Item 24, at Page 48 in the Schmundt file. I think I need ‘ only read the heading or title of that: “Subject: Employment of Reich Labor Service for maneuvers with Wehrmacht. Effective 15 September the following units will be trained militarily under direction of the Commander-in-Chief of the Army.”

Two further entries in the Defendant Jodl’s diary give further indications of the problems of the OKW in this period of mid-September, just 2 weeks before the anticipated X-Day.

I now read the answers for the 15th and 16th September, at Pages 5 and 6 of the English translation of the Jodl diary. “15 September: In the morning, conference with Chief of Army High Command and Chief of General Staffs of Army and Air Force, the question was discussed as to what could be done if the Führer insists on advancement of the date, due to the rapid development of the situation.

“16 September: General Keitel returns from the Berghof at 1700 hours. He graphically describes the results of the conference between Chamberlain and the Führer. The next conference will take place on the 20th or 21st in Godesberg. “With consent of the Führer, the order is given in the evening by the Armed Forces High Command, to the Army High Command, and to the Ministry of Finance, to line up the v.G.a.D. along the Czech border.“-That I understand to have reference to the reinforced border guard. “In the same way, an order is issued to the railways to have empty rolling stock kept in readiness, clandestinely! For the strategic concentrations of the Army, so that it can be transported starting 28 September.”

The order to the railroads to make rolling stock available, to which General Jodl referred, appears as Item 22, at Page 47 of the Schmundt file. In this order the Defendant Keitel told the railroads to be ready by 28 September but to continue work on the Western fortifications even after 20 September in the interest of camouflage.

I quote the first four paragraphs of this order: “The Reichsbahn (the railroads) must provide trains of empty trucks in great numbers by September 28 for the carrying out of mobilization exercises. This task now takes precedence over all others. Therefore the trainloads for the limes job-I understand the “limes job” to have reference to defense fortification in the West-“will have to be cut down after September 17 and those goods loaded previous to this date unloaded by September 20.”

The Supreme Command of the Army (Fifth Division of the Army General Staff) must issue further orders after consultation with the authorities concerned. However, in accordance with the Führer’s directive, every effort should be made to continue to supply the materials in as large quantities as feasible, even after 20 September 1938, and this for reasons of camouflage as well as in order to continue the important work on the limes.”

The penultimate stage of the aggression begins on 18 September. From that date until the 28th a series of orders was issued advancing preparations for the attack. These orders are included in the Schmundt file and I shall not take the time of the Tribunal by attempting to read all of it.

On the 18th the commitment scheduled for the five participating Armies, the 2d, 8th, 10th, 12th, and 14th, was set forth. That is Item 26 in the Schmundt file at Page 50 of the English translation. Hitler approved the secret mobilization of five divisions in the West to protect the German rear during Case Green, and I refer to Item 31 in the Schmundt file at Page 13-1 beg your pardon, it is Page 55, I had a misprint. I might refer to that. It is a “most-secret” order, Berlin, 27 September 1938, 1920 hours; 45 copies of which this is the 16th:

“The Führer has approved the mobilization, without warning, of the five regular West divisions (26th, 34th, 36th, 33d, and 35th). The Führer and Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces has expressly reserved the right to issue the order for employment in the fortification zone and the evacuation of this zone by the workers of the Todt organization. “It is left to the OKH to assemble as far as possible, first of all the sections ready to march and, subsequently, the remaining sections of the divisions in marshalling areas behind the Western fortifications.”-Signed-“Jodl.”

THE PRESIDENT: I think this would be a good time to adjourn. We will meet again at 2 o’clock.

[A recess was taken until 1400 hours.]

Afternoon Session

  1. ALDERMAN: May it please the Tribunal, my attention has been called to the fact that I misread a signature on one of the documents to which I adverted this morning. It is Item 31 of the Schmundt minutes. I read the name “Jodl” as being the signature on that item. I should have read Keitel.

In the course of presenting details of the documents which are being offered in evidence, I think it would be well to pause for a moment, and recall the setting in which these facts took place. The world will never forget the Munich Pact, and the international crisis which led to it. As this crisis was developing in August and September of 1938, and frantic efforts were being made by the statesmen of the world to preserve the peace of the world, Little did they know of the evil plans and designs in the hearts and the minds of these conspirators.

What is being presented to the Tribunal today is the inside story, in their own words, underlying the Pact of Munich. We are now able to spread upon the pages of history the, truth concerning the fraud and deceit practiced by the Nazi conspirators in achieving for their own ends, the Pact of Munich as a stepping stone towards further aggression. One cannot think back without living again through the dread of war, the fear of war, the fear of world disaster, which seized all peace-loving persons. The hope for peace which came with the Munich Pact was, we now see, a snare and a deceit-a trap, carefully set by the defendants on trial. The evil character of these men who were fabricating this scheme for aggression and war is demonstrated by their own documents.

Further discussions were held between the Army and the Luftwaffe about the time of day at which the attack should be launched. Conference notes initialed by the Defendant Jodl, dated 27 September, reveal the difference in views. These notes are Item 54, at Page 90 in the translation of Document 388-PS. I shall read these first three paragraphs as follows: The heading is:

MOST secret; for chiefs only; only through officers.

“Conference notes; Berlin, 27 September 1938; 4 copies, first copy. To be filed Grün.

To-ordinated Time of Attack by Army and Air Force on X-Day. ,

“As a matter of principle, every effort should be made for a co-ordinated attack by Army and Air Forces on 1. X-Day. “The Army wishes to attack at dawn, that is, about 0615. It also wishes to conduct some limited operations in the previous night, which however, would not alarm the entire Czech front.

“Air Force’s time of attack depends on weather conditions. These could change the time of attack and also limit the area of operations. The weather of the last few days, for instance, would have delayed the start until between 0800 and 1100 due to low ceiling in Bavaria.”

Then I’ll skip to the last two paragraphs on Page 91: “Thus it is proposed: “Attack by the Army-independent of the attack by the Air, Force-at the time desired by the Army (0615), and permission for limited operations to take place before then; however, only to an extent that will not alarm the entire Czech front. “The Luftwaffe will attack at a time most suitable to them.”

The initial at the end of that order is “J” meaning, I think clearly, Jodl.

On the same date, 27 September, the Defendant Keitel sent a most-secret memorandum to the Defendant Hess, and the Reichsführer SS, Himmler, for the guidance of Nazi Party officials. This memorandum is Item 32 in the Schmundt files at Page 56 of the English translation. I read the first four paragraphs of this message.

As a result of the political situation the Führer and Chancellor has ordered mobilization measures for the Armed Forces, without the political situation being aggravated by issuing the mobilization (X) order, or corresponding code words.

“Within the framework of these mobilization measures it is necessary for the Armed Forces authorities to issue demands to the various Party authorities and their organizations, which are connected with the previous issuing of the mobilization order, the advance measures or special code names.

“The special situation makes it necessary that these demands be met (even if the code word has not been previously issued) immediately and without being referred to higher authority.” OKW requests that subordinate offices be given immediate instructions to this effect, so that the mobilization of the Armed Forces can be carried out according to plan.”

Then I skip to the last paragraph: “The Supreme Command of the Armed Forces further requests that all measures not provided for in the plans which are undertaken by Party organizations or Police units, as a result of the political situation, be reported in every case and in plenty of time to the Supreme Command of the Armed Forces. Only then can it be guaranteed that these measures can be carried out in practice.

“The Chief of the Supreme Command of the Armed Forces, Keitel.”

Two additional entries from the Defendant Jodl’s diary reveal the extent to which the Nazi conspirators carried out all of their preparations for an attack, even during the period of negotiations which culminated in the Munich Agreement. I quote the answers in the Jodl diary for 26 and 27 September, from Page 7 of the translation of Document 1780-PS. 26 September…

THE PRESIDENT: Have you got in mind the dates of the visits of Mr. Chamberlain to Germany, and of the actual agreement? Perhaps you can give it later on.

  1. ALDERMAN: I think it will be covered later, yes.


  1. ALDERMAN: The agreement of the Munich Pact was the 29th of September, and this answer then was 3 days before the Pact, the 26th of September: “Chief of the Armed Forces High Command, acting through the Army High Command, has stopped the intended approach march of the advance units to the Czech border, because it is not yet necessary and because the Führer does not intend to march in before the 30th in any case. Order to approach towards the Czech frontier need be given on the 27th only. “Fixed radio stations of Breslau, Dresden and Vienna are put at the disposal of the Reich Ministry for Popular Enlightenment and Propaganda for interference with possible Czech propaganda transmissions.” Question by Ausland whether Czechs are to be allowed to leave and cross Germany. Decision from Chief of the Armed Forces High Command: ‘Yes.’

“1515 hours: The Chief of the Armed Forces High Command informs General Stümpf about the result of the Godesberg conversations and about the Führer’s opinion. In no case will X-Day be before the 30th. “It is important that we do not permit ourselves to be drawn into military engagements because of false reports, before Prague replies.

A question of Stümpf about Y-Hour results in the reply that on account of the weather situation, a simultaneous intervention of the Air Force and Army cannot be expected. The Army needs the dawn, the Air Force can only start later on account of frequent early fogs.” The Führer has to make a decision as to which of the Commanders-in-Chief is to have priority. “The opinion of Stümpf is also that the attack of the Army has to proceed. The Führer has not made any decision as yet about commitment against Prague.”

2000 hours: The Führer addresses the people and the world in an important speech at the Sportpalast.”

Then the entry on 27 September:

“1320 hours: The Führer consents to the first wave of attack being advanced to a line from where they can arrive in the assembly area by 30 September.”

The order referred to by General Jodl was also recorded by the faithful Schmundt, which appears as Item 33 at Page 57 of the file. I’ll read it in its entirety. It is the order which brought the Nazi Army to a jumping-off point for the unprovoked and brutal aggression:

“28. 9. 38.; most secret; memorandum.

“At 1300 hours 27 September the Führer and Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces ordered the movement of the assault units from their exercise areas to their jumping-off points.

“The assault units (about 21 reinforced regiments or seven divisions) must be ready to begin the action against Grün on 30 September, the decision having been made 1 day previously by 1200 noon.

“This order was conveyed to General Keitel at 1320 through Major Schmundt”-pencil note by Schmundt.

At this point, with the Nazi Army poised in a strategic position around the borders of Czechoslovakia, we shall turn back for a moment to examine another phase of the Czech aggression. The military preparations for action against Czechoslovakia had not been carried out in vacuo.

They had been preceded by a skillfully conceived campaign designed to promote civil disobedience in the Czechoslovak State. Using the techniques they had already developed in other uncontested ventures underhandedly, the Nazi conspirators over a period of years used money, propaganda, and force to undermine Czechoslovakia.

In this program the Nazis focused their attention on the persons of German descent living in the Sudetenland, a mountainous area bounding Bohemia and Moravia on the northwest and south. I now invite the attention of the Tribunal to Document Number 998-PS and offer it in evidence as an exhibit.

This exhibit is entitled; “German Crimes Against Czechoslovakia” and is the Czechoslovak Government’s official report for the prosecution and trial of the German major war criminals. I believe that this report is clearly included within the provisions of Article 21, of the Charter, as a document of which the Court will take judicial notice. Article 21 provides: “The Tribunal shall not require proof of facts of common knowledge but shall take judicial notice thereof. It shall also take judicial notice of official governmental documents and reports of the United Nations, including the accounts and documents of the committees set up in the various Allied countries for the investigation of war crimes and the records and findings of military or other tribunals of any of the United Nations.”

Since, under that provision, the Court will take judicial notice of this governmental report by the Czech Government, I shall, with the leave of the Tribunal, merely summarize Pages 9 to 12 of this report to show the background of the subsequent Nazi intrigue within Czechoslovakia.

NAZI organization in Sudentenland

Nazi agitation in Czechoslovakia dated from the earliest days of the Nazi Party. In the years following the First World War, a German National Socialist Workers Party (DNSAP), which maintained close contact with Hitler’s NSDAP, was activated in the Sudetenland.

In 1932, ringleaders of the Sudeten Volkssport, an organization corresponding to the Nazi SA or Sturmabteilung, openly , endorsed the 21 points of Hitler’s program, the first of which demanded the union of all Germans in a greater Germany. Soon thereafter, they were charged with planning armed rebellion on behalf of a foreign power and were sentenced for conspiracy against the Czech Republic.

Late in 1933, the National Socialist Party of Czechoslovakia forestalled its dissolution by voluntary liquidation and several of its chiefs escaped across the border into Germany. For a year thereafter, Nazi activity in Czechoslovakia continued underground.

On 1 October 1934, with the approval and at the urging of the Nazi conspirators, an instructor of gymnastics, Konrad Henlein, established the German Home Front or Deutsche Heimatfront, which, the following spring became the Sudeten German Party (SDP). Profiting from the experiences of the Czech National Socialist Party, Henlein denied any connection with the German Nazis.

He rejected pan-Germanism and professed his respect for individual liberties and his loyalty to honest democracy and to the Czech State. His party, nonetheless, was built on the basis of the Nazi Führerprinzip, and he became its Führer.

By 1937, when the powers of Hitler’s Germany had become manifest, Henlein and his followers were striking a more aggressive note, demanding without definition, “complete Sudeten autonomy“. The SDP laid proposals before the Czech Parliament which would in substance, have created a state within a state.

After the annexation of Austria by Germany in March 1938, the Henleinists, who were now openly organized after the Nazi model, intensified their activities. Undisguised anti-Semitic propaganda started in the Henlein press.

The campaign against Bolshevism was intensified. Terrorism in the Henlein-dominated communities increased. A storm-troop organization, patterned and trained on the principles of the Nazi SS was established, known as the FS, Freiwilliger Selbstschutz (or Voluntary Vigilantes).

On 24 April 1938, in a speech to the Party Congress in Karlovy Vary, Henlein came into the open with what he called his Karlsbad Program. In this speech, which echoed Hitler in tone and substance, Henlein asserted the right of the Sudeten Germans to profess German political philosophy which, it was clear, meant National Socialism.

As the summer of 1938 wore on, the Henleinists used every technique of the Nazi Fifth column^. As summarized in Pages 12 to 16 of the Czech Government official report, these techniques included:

(a) Espionage. Military espionage was conducted by the SDP, the FS, and by other members of the German minority on behalf of Germany. Czech defenses were mapped and information on Czech troop movements was furnished to the German authorities.

(b) Nazification of German organizations in Czechoslovakia. The Henleinists systematically penetrated the whole life of the German population of Czechoslovakia. Associations and social cultural centers regularly underwent “Gleichschaltung”, that is purification, by the SDP. Among the organizations conquered by the Henleinists were sports societies, rowing clubs, associations of ex-service men, and choral societies. The Henleinists were particularly interested in penetrating as many business institutions as possible and bringing over to their side the directors of banks, the owners or directors of factories, and the managers of commercial firms. In the case of Jewish ownership or direction, they attempted to secure the cooperation of the clerical and technical staffs of the institutions.

(c) German direction and leadership. The Henleinists maintained permanent contact with the Nazi officials designated to direct operations within Czechoslovakia. Meetings in Germany, at which Henleinists were exhorted and instructed in Fifth Column activity, were camouflaged by being held in conjunction with “Sanger Feste” (or choral festivals), gymnastic shows, and assemblies, and commercial gatherings such as the Leipzig Fair. Whenever the Nazi conspirators needed incidents for their war of nerves, it was the duty of the Henleinists to supply them.

(d) Propaganda. Disruptive and subversive propaganda was beamed at Czechoslovakia in German broadcasts and was echoed in the German press. Goebbels called Czechoslovakia a “nest of Bolshevism” and spread the false report of Russian troops and airplanes centered in Prague. Under direction from the Reich, the Henleinists maintained whispering propaganda in the Sudetenland which contributed to the mounting tension and to the creation of incidents. Illegal Nazi literature was smuggled from Germany and widely distributed in the border regions. The Henlein press, more or less openly, espoused Nazi ideology before the German population in the Sudetenland.

(e) Murder and terrorism. Nazi conspirators provided the Henleinists, and particularly the FS, with money and arms with which to provoke incidents and to maintain a state of permanent unrest. Gendarmes, customs officers, and other Czech officials were attacked. A boycott was established against Jewish lawyers, doctors, and tradesmen.

The Henleinists terrorized the non-Henlein population and the, Nazi Gestapo crossed into the border districts to carry Czechoslovak citizens across the border into. Germany. In several cases, political foes of the Nazis were murdered on Czech soil. Nazi agents murdered Professor Theodor Lessing in 1933, and engineer Forms in  1935. Both men were anti-Nazis who had escaped from Germany after Hitler came to power and had sought refuge in Czechoslovakia.

Sometime afterwards, when there was no longer need for pretense and deception, Konrad Henlein made a clear and frank statement of the mission assigned to him by the Nazi conspirators. I offer in evidence Document Number 2863-PS, an excerpt from a lecture by Konrad Henlein quoted in the book Four Fighting Years, a publication of the Czechoslovak Ministry of Foreign Affairs; and I quote from Page 29. This book has been marked for identification Exhibit USA-92, but without offering it in evidence, I ask the Tribunal to take judicial notice of it. I shall read from Page 29. This lecture was delivered by Henlein on 4 March 1941, in the auditorium of the University of Vienna, under the auspices of the Wiener Verwaltungsakademie. During a thorough search of libraries, in Vienna and elsewhere, we have been unable to find a copy of the German text. This text, this volume that I have here, is an English version. The Vienna newspapers the following day carried only summaries of the lecture. This English version, however, is an official publication of the Czech Government and is, under the circumstances, the best evidence that we can produce of the Henlein speech.

In this lecture on “The Fight for the Liberation of the Sudetens” Henlein said: “National Socialism soon swept over us Sudeten Germans. Our struggle was of a different character from that in Germany. Although we had to behave differently in public we were, of course, secretly in touch with the National Socialist revolution in Germany so that we might be a part of it. The struggle for Greater Germany was waged on Sudeten soil, too. This struggle could be waged only by those inspired by the spirit of National Socialism, persons who were true followers of our Führer, whatever their outward appearance.

Fate sought me out to be the leader of the national group in its final struggle. When in the autumn of 1933, the leader of the NSDAP asked me to take over the political leadership of the Sudeten Germans, I had a difficult problem to solve.

Should the National Socialist Party continue to be carried on illegally or should the movement, in the interest of the self-preservation of the Sudeten Germans and in order to prepare their return to the Reich, wage its struggle under camouflage and by methods which appeared quite legal to the outside world? For us Sudeten Germans only the second alternative seemed possible, for the preservation of our national group was at stake. It would certainly have been easier to exchange this hard and mentally exhausting struggle for the heroic gesture of confessing allegiance to National Socialism and entering a Czechoslovak prison. But it seemed more than doubtful whether, by this means, we could have fulfilled the political task of destroying Czechoslovakia as a bastion in the alliance against the German Reich.”

The account of Nazi intrigue in Czechoslovakia which I have just presented to the Tribunal is the outline of this conspiracy as it had been pieced together by the Czechoslovak Government early this summer. Since then, captured documents and other information made available to us since the defeat of Germany have clearly and conclusively demonstrated the implication, which hitherto could only be deduced, of the Nazi conspirators in the agitation in the Sudetenland.

I offer in evidence Document Number 3060-PS, Exhibit USA-93. This is the original, handwritten draft of a telegram sent from the German Legation in Prague on 16 March 1938 to the Foreign Minister in Berlin. It is presumably written by the German Minister Eisenlohr. It proves conclusively that the Henlein movement was an instrument, a puppet of the Nazi conspirators. The Henlein party, it appears from this document, was directed from Berlin and from’ the German Legation in Prague. It could have no policy of its own. Even the speeches of its leaders had to be co-ordinated with the German authorities.

I will read this telegram:

“Prague, 16 March 1938.

“Foreign (Office), Berlin; (cipher cable-secret); No. 57 of 16 March.

“With reference to cable order No. 30 of 14 March.

“Rebuff to Frank has had a salutary effect. Have thrashed out matters with Henlein, who recently had shunned me, and with Frank separately and received following promises:

“1. The line of German foreign policy as transmitted by the German Legation is exclusively decisive for policy and tactics of the Sudeten German Party. My directives are to be complied with implicitly.

“2. Public speeches and the press will be co-ordinated uniformly with my approval. The editorial staff of ZeitTime-” is to be improved.

“3. Party leadership abandons the former intransigent line, which in the end might lead to political complications, and adopts a line of gradual promotion of Sudeten German interests. The objectives are to be set in every case with.my participation and to be promoted by parallel diplomatic action. Laws for the protection of nationalities (Volksschutzgesetze) and territorial autonomy are no longer to be stressed.

“4. If consultations with Berlin agencies are required or desired before Henlein issues important statements on his program, they are to be applied for and prepared through the Legation.

“5. All information of the Sudeten German Party for German agencies is to be transmitted through the Legation.

“6. Henlein will establish contact with me every week, and will come to Prague at any time if requested. “I now hope to have the Sudeten German Party under firm control, as this is more than ever necessary for coming developments in the interest of foreign policy. Please inform Ministries concerned and Mittelstelle (Central Office for Racial Germans) and request them to support this uniform direction of the Sudeten German Party.”

The initials are illegible.

The dressing down administered by Eisenlohr to Henlein had the desired effect. The day after the telegram was dispatched from Prague, Henlein addressed a humble letter to Ribbentrop, asking an early personal conversation.

I offer in evidence Document Number 2789-PS as Exhibit USA-94. This is the letter from Konrad Henlein to Defendant Ribbentrop, captured in the German Foreign Office files, dated 17 March 1938.

“Most honored Minister of Foreign Affairs:

“In our deeply felt joy over the fortunate turn of events in Austria we feel it our duty to express our gratitude to all those who had a share in this new grand achievement of our Führer.

“I beg you, most honored Minister, to accept accordingly the sincere thanks of the Sudeten Germans herewith. “We shall show our appreciation to the Führer by doubled efforts in the service of the Greater German policy. “The new situation requires a re-examination of the Sudeten German policy. For this purpose I beg to ask you for the opportunity of a very early personal talk. “In view of the necessity of such a clarification I have postponed the nation-wide Party Congress, originally scheduled for 26th and 27th of March 1938, for 4 weeks.

“I would appreciate it if the Ambassador, Dr. Eisenlohr, and two of my closest associates would be allowed to participate in the requested talks.

“Heil Hitler. Loyally yours”-signed-“Konrad Henlein.”

You will note that Henlein was quite aware that the seizure of Austria made possible the adoption of a new policy towards Czechoslovakia. You will also note that he was already in close enough contact with Ribbentrop and the German Minister in Prague to feel free to suggest early personal talks.

Ribbentrop was not unreceptive to Henlein’s suggestion. The conversations Henlein had proposed took place in the Foreign Office in Berlin on the 29th of March 1938. The previous day Henlein had conferred with Hitler himself.

I offer in evidence Document Number 2788-PS as Exhibit USA-95, captured German Foreign Office notes of the conference on the 29th of March. I read the first two paragraphs: “In this conference the gentlemen enumerated in the enclosed list participated. The Reich Minister started out by emphasizing the necessity to keep the conference which had been scheduled strictly a secret. He then explained, in view of the directives which the Führer himself had given to Konrad Henlein personally yesterday afternoon, that there were two questions which were of outstanding importance for the conduct of policy of the Sudeten German Party.”

I will omit the discussion of the claims of the Sudeten Germans and resume the minutes of this meeting in the middle of the last paragraph of the first page of the English translation, with the sentence beginning, “The aim of the negotiations.”

“The aim of the negotiations to be carried out by the Sudeten German Party with the Czechoslovakian Government is finally this: To avoid entry into the Government by the extension and gradual specification of the demands to be made. It must be emphasized clearly in the negotiations that the Sudeten German Party alone is the party to the negotiations with the Czechoslovakian Government, not the Reich Cabinet.

The Reich Cabinet itself must refuse to appear toward the government in Prague or toward London and Paris as the advocate or pacemaker of the Sudeten German demands. It is a self-evident prerequisite that during the impending discussion with the Czechoslovak Government the Sudeten Germans should be firmly controlled by Konrad Henlein, should maintain quiet and discipline, and should avoid indiscretions.The assurances already given by Konrad Henlein in this connection were satisfactory.”

Following these general explanations of the Reichsminister, the demands of the Sudeten German Party from the Czechoslovak Government, as contained in the enclosure, were discussed and approved in principle. For further co-operation, Konrad Henlein was instructed to keep in the closest possible touch with the Reichsminister and the head of the Central Office for Racial Germans, as well as the German Minister in Prague, as the local representative of the Foreign Minister.

The task of the German Minister in Prague would be to support the demand of the Sudeten German Party as reasonable- not officially, but in more private talks with the Czechoslovak politicians, without exerting any direct influence on the extent of the demands of the Party.

“In conclusion, there was a discussion whether it would be useful if the Sudeten German Party would co-operate with other minorities in Czechoslovakia, especially with the Slovaks.

The Foreign Minister decided that the Party should have the discretion to keep a loose contact with other minority groups if the adoption of a parallel course by them might appear appropriate.

“Berlin, 29 March 1938,

“R-for Ribbentrop.

Not the least interesting aspect of this secret meeting is the list of those who attended: Konrad Henlein; his principal deputy, Karl Hermann Frank; and two others represented the Sudeten German Party. Professor Haushofer, the geo-politician, and SS Obergruppenführer Lorenz represented the Volksdeutsche Mittelstelle (the Central Office for Racial Germans). The Foreign Office was represented by a delegation of eight. These eight included Ribbentrop, who presided at the meeting and did most of the talking; Von Mackensen; Weizsacker and Minister Eisenlohr from the German Legation at Prague.

In May, Henlein came to Berlin for more conversations with the Nazi conspirators. At this time the plans for Case Green, for the attack on the Czechs, were already on paper, and it may be assumed that Henlein was briefed on the role he was to play during the summer months.

I again quote from General Jodl’s diary, Document 1780-PS, the entry for 22 May 1938: “Fundamental conference between the Führer and K. Henlein (see enclosure).” The enclosure unfortunately is missing from Jodl’s diary.

The Tribunal will recall that in his speech in Vienna Henlein had admitted that he had been selected by the Nazi conspirators in the fall of 1933 to take over the political leadership of the Sudeten Germans. The documents I have just read show conclusively the nature of Henlein’s mission. They demonstrate that Henlein’s policy, his propaganda, even his speeches, were controlled by Berlin.

I will now show that from the year 1935’the Sudeten German Party was secretly subsidized by the German Foreign Office. I offer in evidence Document 3059-PS as Exhibit USA-96, another secret memorandum captured in the German Foreign Office file.

This memorandum, signed by Woermann and dated Berlin, 19 August 1938, was occasioned by the request of the Henlein Party for additional funds. I read from that document: “The Sudeten German Party has been subsidized by the Foreign Office regularly since 1935 with certain amounts, consisting of a monthly payment of 15,000 marks; 12,000 marks of this are transmitted to the Prague Legation for disbursement and 3,000 marks are paid out to the Berlin representation of the Party (Bureau Biirger). In the course of the last few months the tasks assigned to the Bureau Bürger have increased considerably due to the current negotiations with the Czech Government. The number of pamphlets and maps which are produced and disseminated has risen; the propaganda activity in the press has grown immensely; the expense accounts have increased especially because due to the necessity for continuous good information, the expenses for trips to Prague, London, and Paris (including the financing of travels of Sudeten German deputies and agents) have grown considerably heavier. Under these conditions the Bureau Bürger is no longer able to get along with the monthly allowance of 3,000 marks if it is to do everything required. Therefore Herr Burger has applied to this office for an increase of this amount from 3,000 marks to 5,500 marks monthly. In view of the considerable increase in the business transacted by the bureau, and of the importance which marks the activity of the bureau in regard to the co-operation with the Foreign Office, this desire deserves the strongest support.

“Herewith submitted to the personnel department with a request for approval. Increase of payments with retroactive effect from 1 August is requested.”-signed-“Woermann.”

Under this signature is a footnote: “Volksdeutsche Mittelstelle“-Central Office for Racial Germans-“will be informed by the Political Department–handwritten marginal note.

We may only conjecture what financial support the Henlein movement received from other agencies of the German Government. As the military preparations to attack Czechoslovakia moved forward in the late summer and early fall, the Nazi command made good use of Henlein and his followers. About the 1st of August, the Air Attaché in the German Legation in Prague, Major Moericke, acting on instructions from Luftwaffe headquarters in Berlin, visited the Sudeten German leader in Freudenthal. With his assistance and in the company of the local leader of the FS, the Henlein equivalent of the SS, he reconnoitered the surrounding countryside to select possible airfield sites for German use. The FS leader, a Czech reservist then on leave, was in the uniform of the Czech Army, a fact which, as the Attaché noted, served as excellent camouflage.

I now read from the enclosure to Document 1536-PS, which I offered in evidence earlier and which bears United States Exhibit Number 83. I have already read the first four paragraphs of the enclosure: “The manufacturer M. is the head of the, Sudeten German Glider Pilots in Fr.”-that’s Freudenthal-“and said to be absolutely reliable by my trusted man. My personal impression fully confirmed this judgment. No hint of my identity was made to him, although I had the impression that M. knew who I was. “At my request, with which he complied without any question, M. travelled with me over the country in question. We used M.’s private car for the trip. “As M. did not know the country around Beneschau sufficiently well, he took with him the local leader of the FS, a Czech reservist of the Sudeten German Racial Group, at the time on leave. He was in uniform. For reasons of camouflage, I was entirely in agreement with this-without actually saying so.

“As M., during the course of the drive, observed that I photographed large-open spaces out of the car, he said. ‘Aha, so you’re looking for airfields!’ I answered that we supposed that in the case of any serious trouble, the Czechs would put their airfields immediately behind the line of fortifications. I had the intention of looking over the country from that point of view?’

In the latter part of the Air Attaché’s report, reference is made to the presence of reliable agents and informers, which he called “V-Leute” (V-people), apparently drawn from the ranks of the Henlein party in this area. It was indicated that these agents were in touch with the “Abwehr Stelle” (the Intelligence Office) in Breslau.

In September, when the Nazi propaganda campaign was reaching its height, the Nazis were not satisfied with playing merely on the Sudeten demands for autonomy. They attempted to use the Slovaks as well. On the 19th of September the Foreign Office in Berlin sent a telegram to the German Legation in Prague. I offer the document in evidence, Number 2858-PS, Exhibit USA-97, another captured German Foreign Office document-a telegram: “Please inform Deputy Kundt that Konrad Henlein requests to get in touch with the Slovaks at once and induce them to start their demands for autonomy tomorrow.”-signed-“Altenburg.”

Kundt was Henlein’s representative in Prague.

As the harassed Czech Government sought to stem the disorders in the Sudetenland, the German Foreign Office turned to threatening diplomatic tactics in a deliberate effort to increase the tension between the two countries. I offer in evidence Documents 2855-PS, 2854-PS, 2853-PS, and 2856-PS, as United States Exhibits respectively 98, 99, 100, and 101. Four telegrams from the Foreign Office in Berlin to the Legation in Prague were-dispatched between the 16th and 24th of September 1938. They are self-explanatory. The first is dated 16 September.

Tonight 150 subjects of Czechoslovakia of Czech blood were arrested in Germany. This measure is an answer to the arrest of Sudeten Germans since the Führer’s speech of 12 September. I request you to ascertain as soon as possible the number of Sudeten Germans arrested since 12 September as far as possible. The number of those arrested there is estimated conservatively at 400 by the Gestapo. Cable report.”

A handwritten note follows: “Impossible for me to ascertain these facts as already communicated to the charge d’affaires.”

The second telegram is dated September 17:

Most urgent.

“I. Request to inform the local government immediately of the following:

“The Reich Government has decided that:

“(a) Immediately as many Czech subjects of Czech descent, Czech-speaking Jews included, will be arrested in Germany as Sudeten Germans have been in Czechoslovakia since the beginning of the week;

(b) If any Sudeten Germans should be executed pursuant to a death sentence on the basis of martial law, an equal number of Czechs will be shot in Germany.”

The third telegram was sent on 24 September. I read it:

“According to information received here, Czechs have arrested two German frontier policemen, seven customs officials, and 30 railway officials. As counter measure all the Czech staff in Marschegg were arrested. We are prepared to exchange the arrested Czech officials for the German officials. Please approach Government there and wire result.”

On the same day the fourth telegram was dispatched, and I read the last paragraph: ” ‘Confidential’. Yielding of Czech hostages arrested here for the prevention of the execution of any sentences passed by military courts against Sudeten Germans is, of course, out of question.”

In the latter half of September, Henlein devoted himself and his followers wholeheartedly to the preparations for the coming German attack. About 15 September, after Hitler’s provocative Nuremberg speech in which he accused Benes of torturing and planning the extermination of the Sudeten Germans, Henlein and Karl Hermann Frank, one of his principal deputies, fled to Germany to avoid arrest by the Czech Government. In Germany Henlein broadcast over the powerful Reichsender radio station his determination to lead the Sudeten Germans home to the Reich and denounced what he called the Hussites-Bolshevist criminals of Prague. From his headquarters in a castle at Donndorf, outside Bayreuth, he kept in close touch with the leading Nazi conspirators, including Hitler and Himmler. He directed activities along the border and began the organization of the Sudeten German Free Corps, an auxiliary military organization. You will find these events set forth in the Czechoslovak official government report, 998-PS, which has already been offered as Exhibit USA-91.

Henlein’s activities were carried on with the advice and assistance of the German Nazi leaders. Lieutenant Colonel Kijchling was assigned to Henlein in an advisory capacity to assist with the Sudeten German Free Corps. In a conference with Hitler on the night of September 17, Kochling received far-reaching military powers.

At this conference, the purpose of the Free Corps was frankly stated-the maintenance of disorder and clashes. I read from Item 25, a handwritten note labelled “most secret,” on Page 49 of the Schmundt file, Document 388-PS: “Most secret. Last night conference took place between Führer and Lieutenant Colonel Kochling. Duration of conference 7 minutes. Lieutenant Colonel Kochling remains directly responsible to OKW. He will be assigned to Konrad Henlein in an advisory capacity. He received far-reaching military plenary powers from the Führer. The Sudeten German Free Corps remains responsible to Konrad Henlein alone. Purpose: Protection of the Sudeten Germans and maintenance of disturbances and clashes. The Free Corps will be established in Germany. Armament only with Austrian weapons. Activities of Free Corps to begin as soon as possible.”

THE PRESIDENT: Would that be a good place to break off for 10 minutes?

[A recess was taken.]

  1. ALDERMAN: May it please the Tribunal, General Jodl’s diary again gives a further insight into the position of the Henlein Free Corps. At this time, the Free Corps was engaged in active skirmishing along the Czech border, furnishing incidents and provocation in the desired manner. I quote from the entries in the Jodl diary, for the 19th and 20th September 1938, at Page 6 of the Document 1780-PS, which is Exhibit USA-72.

“19 September: Order is given to the Army High Command to take care of the Sudeten German Free Corps.

“20 September: England and France have handed over their demands in Prague, the contents of which are still unknown. The activities of the Free Corps start assuming such an extent that they may bring about, and already have brought about, consequences harmful to the plans of the Army. (Transferring rather strong units of the Czech Army to the proximity of the border.) By checking with Lieutenant Colonel Kochling, I attempt to lead these activities into normal channels.

“Toward the evening the Nhrer also takes a hand and gives permission to act only with groups up to 12 men each, after the approval of the corps headquarters.”

A report from Henlein’s staff, which was found in Hitler’s headquarters, boasted of the offensive operations of the Free Corps. It is Item 30 of the. Schmundt file, Page 54 of Document 388-PS. I read the last two paragraphs: “Since 19 September, in more than 300 missions, the Free Corps has executed its task with an amazing spirit of attack,”-now, that word “attack” was changed by superimposition to “defense”-“and with a willingness often reaching a degree of unqualified self-sacrifice. The result of the first phase of its activities: More than 1500 prisoners, 25 MG1s”-which I suppose means machine guns-“and a large amount of other weapons and equipment, aside from serious losses in dead and wounded suffered by the enemy.”-And there was superimposed in place of “enemy”, “the Czech terrorists.”

In his headquarters in the castle at Donndorf, Henlein was in close touch with Admiral Canaris of the Intelligence Division of the OKW and with the SS and the SA. The liaison officer between the SS and Henlein was OberFührer Gottlob Berger (SS).

I now offer in evidence Document 3036-PS as Exhibit USA-102, which is an affidavit executed by Gottlob Berger; and in connection with that affidavit, I wish to submit to the Tribunal that it presents, we think, quite a different question of proof from the Schuschnigg affidavits which were not admitted in evidence by the Court.

Schuschnigg, of course, was a neutral and non-Nazi Austrian. He was not a member of this conspiracy, and I can well understand that the Court rejected his affidavit for these reasons. This man was a Nazi. He was serving in this conspiracy. He has made this affidavit. We think the affidavit has probative value and should be admitted by the Tribunal under the pertinent provision of the Charter, which says that you will accept in evidence any evidence having probative value. We think it would be unfair to require us to bring here as a witness a man who would certainly be a hostile witness, who is to us a member of this conspiracy, and it seems to us that the affidavit should be admitted with leave to the defendants, if they wish, to call the author of the affidavit as their witness. I should have added that this man was a prominent member of the SS which is charged before you as being a criminal organization, and we think the document is perfectly competent in evidence as an admission against interest by a prominent member of the SS organization.

Defense Objection

  1. STAHMER: Mr. President, the Defense objects to the use of this document. This document was drawn up as late as 22 November 1945, here in Nuremberg, and the witness Berger could, therefore, be brought to Court without any difficulty. We must insist that he be heard here on the subjects on which the Prosecution wishes to introduce his testimony. That would be the only way in which the Defense could have an opportunity of cross-examining the witness and thereby contribute to obtaining objective truth.

[Pause in the proceedings while the Tribunal consulted.]

THE PRESIDENT: The Tribunal upholds the objection and will not hear this affidavit. It is open to either the Prosecution or the defendants, of course, to call the man who made the affidavit. That is all I have to say. We have upheld your objection.

  1. ALDERMAN: If the Tribunal please, I had another affidavit by one Alfred Helmut Naujocks which, I take it, will be excluded under this same ruling, and which, therefore, I shall not offer.

THE PRESIDENT: If the circumstances are the same.

  1. ALDERMAN: Yes, I might merely refer to i t for identification because it is in your document books.


  1. ALDERMAN: It is Document 3029-PS.

THE PRESIDENT: Very well. That also will be rejected as evidence.

  1. ALDERMAN: Yes. Offensive operations along the Czechoslovakian border were not confined to skirmishes carried out by the Free Corps. Two SS-Totenkopf (Deathhead) battalions were operating across the border in Czech territory near Asch.

I quote now from Item 36 in the Schmundt file, an OKW most secret order, signed by Jodl, and dated 28 September. This appears at Page 61 of the Schmundt file:

Supreme Command of the Armed Forces, Berlin, 28 September 1938; 45 copies, 16th copy; most secret.

“Subject: Four SS-Totenkopf battalions subordinate to the Commander-in-Chief Army.

“To: ReichsFührer SS and Chief of the German Police (SS Central Office) (36th copy).

“By order of the Supreme Command of the Armed Forces the following battalions of the SS Deathhead organization will be under the command of the Commander-in-Chief of  the Army with immediate effect.

Second and Third Battalions of the 2d SS-Totenkopf Regiment Brandenburg at present in Brieg (Upper Silesia). “First and Second Battalions of the 3d SS-Totenkopf Regiment Thuringia, at present in Radebeul and Kotzschenbroda near Dresden.

Commander-in-Chief of the Army is requested to deploy these battalions for the West, (Upper Rhine) according to the Führer’s instructions.These SS-Totenkopf units now operating in the Asch promontory (I and II Battalions of the SS-Totenkopf Regiment Oberbayern) will come under the Commander-in-Chief of the Army only when they return to German Reich territory, or when the Army crosses the German-Czech frontier.It is requested that all further arrangements be made between Commander-in-Chief of the Army and ReichsFührer SS (SS Central Office).”For the Chief of the Supreme Command of the Armed Forces, Jodl.”

According to the 25 September entry in General Jodl’s diary, these SS-Totenkopf battalions were operating in this area on direct orders from Hitler. As the time X-Day approached, the disposition of the Free Corps became a matter of dispute.

On 26 September Himmler issued an order to the Chief of Staff of the Sudeten German Free Corps, directing that the Free Corps come under control of the ReichsFührer SS in the event of German invasion of Czechoslovakia. This document is Item 37 in the Schmundt file, on Page 62.

On 28 September Defendant Keitel directed that as soon as the German Army crosses the Czech border, the Free Corps will take orders from the OKH. In this most-secret order of the OKW, Keitel discloses that Henlein’s men are already operating in Czechoslovak territory.

I read now from Item 34 of the Schmundt file on Page 58, the last three paragraphs of this most-secret order: “For the Henlein Free Corps and units subordinate to it the principle remains valid, that they receive instructions direct from the Führer and that they carry out their operations only in conjunction with the competent corps headquarters. The advance units of the Free Corps will have to report to the local commander of the frontier guard immediately before crossing the frontier.

“Those units remaining forward of the frontier should, in their own interests, get into communication with the frontier guard as often as possible. “As soon as the Army crosses the Czechoslovak border the Henlein Free Corps will be subordinate to the OKH. Thus it will be expedient to assign a sector to the Free Corps, even now, which can be fitted into the scheme of army boundaries later.”

On 30 September, when it became clear that the Munich Settlement would result in a peaceful occupation of the Sudetenland, the Defendant Keitel ordered that the Free Corps Henlein, in its present composition, be placed under the command of Himmler.

I read from Item 38, at Page 63, of the Schmundt file: “1. Attachment of the Henlein Free Corps. The Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces has just ordered that the Henlein Free Corps in its present composition be placed under command of ReichsFührer SS and the Chief of German Police. It is therefore not at the immediate disposal of OKH as field unit for the invasion, but is to be later drawn in, like the rest of the police forces, for police duties in agreement with the ReichsFührer SS.”

Munich Pact

I have been able, if the Tribunal please, to ascertain the dates the Tribunal asked about before the recess.

The first visit of Chamberlain to Germany in connection with this matter was 15 September 1938. Chamberlain flew to Munich and arrived at 12:30 o’clock on 15 September. He went by train from Munich to Berchtesgaden, arriving at 1600 hours, by car to Berghof, arriving about at 1650, for three talks with Hitler. On 16 September Chamberlain returned by air to London.

The second visit was on 22 September. Chamberlain met with Hitler at Bad Godesberg at 1700 hours for a 3-hour discussion, and it was a deadlock. On 23 September discussions were resumed at 2230 hours. On 24 September Chamberlain returned to London. The third visit was on 29 September. Chamberlain flew to Munich and the meeting of Chamberlain, Mussolini, Daladier, and Hitler took place at the Brown House at 1330 and continued until 0230 hours on 30 September 1938, a Friday, when the Munich Agreement was signed. Under the threat of war by the Nazi conspirators, and with war in fact about to be launched, the United Kingdom and France concluded the Munich Pact with Germany and Italy at that early morning hour of 30 September 1938. This Treaty will be presented by the British prosecutor. It is sufficient for me to say of it at this point that it was the cession of the Sudetenland by Czechoslovakia to Germany. Czechoslovakia was required to acquiesce.

The Munich Pact will be TC-23 of the British documents. On 1 October 1938 German troops began the occupation of the Sudetenland. During the conclusion of the Munich Pact the Wehrmacht had been fully deployed for the attack, awaiting only the word of Hitler to begin the assault.

With the cession of the Sudetenland new orders were issued. On 30 September the Defendant Keitel promulgated Directive Number 1 on occupation of territory separated from Czechoslovakia.

This is Item 39 at Page 64 of the Schmundt file. This directive contained a timetable for the occupation of sectors of former Czech territory between 1 and 10 October and specified the tasks of the German Armed Forces.

I read now the fourth and fifth paragraphs of that document: “2. The present degree of mobilized preparedness is to be maintained completely, for the present also in the West. Order for the rescinding of measures taken, is held over. “The entry is to be planned in such a way that it can easily be converted into operation Grün.”

It contains one other important provision about the Henlein forces, and I quote from the list under the heading “a. Army”: “Henlein Free Corps. All combat action on the part of the Volunteer Corps must cease as from 1st October.”

The Schmundt file contains a number of additional secret OKW directives giving instructions for the occupation of the Sudetenland.

I think I need not read them, as they are not essential to the proof of our case. They merely indicate the scope of the preparations of the OKW.

Directives specifying the occupational area of the Army, the units under its command, arranging for communication facilities, supply, and propaganda, and giving instructions to the various departments of the Government were issued over Defendant Keitel’s signature on 30 September. These are Items 40, 41, and 42 in the Schmundt file. I think it is sufficient to read the caption and the signature.


  1. ALDERMAN: Page 66 of the English version. This is the Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces, most secret: “Special Orders Number 1 to Directive Number 1. Subject: Occupation of Territory Ceded by Czechoslovakia.”-Signature-“ Keitel.”

Item 41 is on Page 70 of the Schmundt file. “Supreme Command of the Armed Forces; most secret IV a. Most secret; subject: Occupation of Sudeten-German Territory.” Signed-“Keitel.”

Item 42 in the Schmundt file is on Page 75, again most secret. “Subject: Occupation of the Sudeten-German Area.”-Signed-“Keitel.”

By 10 October Von Brauchitsch was able to report to Hitler that German troops had reached the demarcation line and that the order for the occupation of the Sudetenland had been fulfilled. The OKW requested Hitler’s permission to rescind Case Green, to withdraw troops from the occupied area, and to relieve the OKH of executive powers in the Sudeten-German area as of 15 October. These are Items 46, 47, and 48 in the Schmundt file.

Item 46, which appears at Page 77, is a letter from Berlin, dated October 10, 1938, signed by Von Brauchitsch: “My Führer: “I have to report that the troops will reach the demarcation line as ordered, by this evening. Insofar as further military operations are not required, the order for the occupation of the country which was given to me will thus have been fulfilled. The guarding of the new frontier line will be taken over by the reinforced frontier supervision service in the next few days.”

“It is thus no longer a military necessity to combine the administration of the Sudetenland with the command of the troops of the Army under the control of one person. “I therefore ask you, my Führer, to relieve me, with effect from 15 October 1938, of the charge assigned to me: That of exercising executive powers in Sudeten-German Territory. “Heil, my Führer, Von Brauchitsch.”

Item 47 of the Schmundt file, appearing on Page 78, is a secret telegram from the OKW to the Führer’s train, Lieutenant Colonel Schmundt: “If evening report shows that occupation of Zone 5 has been completed with0u.t incident, OKW intends to order further demobilization.

“Principle: 1) To suspend operation Grün but maintain a sufficient state of preparedness on part of Army and Luftwaffe to make intervention possible if necessary.

2) All units not needed to be withdrawn from the occupied area and reduced to peacetime status, as population of occupied area is heavily burdened by the massing of troops.”

Skipping to below the OKW signature, this appears, at the left:

“Führer’s decision:

“1. Agreed.

“2. Suggestion to be made on the 13 October in Essen by General Keitel. Decision will then be reached.”

On the same date additional demobilization of the forces in the Sudetenland was ordered by Hitler and Defendant Keitel. Three days later the OKW requested Hitler’s consent to the reversion of the RAD (Labor Corps) from the control of the Armed Forces. These are Items 52 and 53 in the Schmundt file.

As the German forces entered the Sudetenland, Henlein’s Sudetendeutsche Partei was merged with the NSDAP of Hitler. The two men who had fled to Hitler’s protection in mid-September, Henlein and Karl Hermann Frank, were appointed Gauleiter and Deputy Gauleiter, respectively, of the Sudetengau. In the parts of the Czechoslovak Republic that were still free the Sudetendeutsche Partei constituted itself as the National Socialistic German Worker Party in Czechoslovakia, NSDAP in Czechoslovakia, under the direction of Kundt, another of Henlein’s deputies.

The Tribunal will find these events set forth in the Czechoslovak official report, Document 998-PS.

The stage was now prepared for the next move of the Nazi conspirators, the plan for the conquest of the remainder of Czechoslovakia. With the occupation of the Sudetenland and the inclusion of German-speaking Czech within the Greater Reich, it might have been expected that the Nazi conspirators would be satisfied. Thus far in their program of aggression the defendants had used as a pretext for their conquests the union of the Volksdeutsche, the people of German descent, with the Reich. Now, after Munich, the Volksdeutsche in Czechoslovakia have been substantially all returned to German rule.

On 26 September, at the Sportpalast in Berlin, Hitler spoke to the world. I now refer and invite the notice of the Tribunal to the Volkischer Beobachter, Munich edition, special edition for 27 September 1938, in which this speech is quoted. I read from Page 2, Column 1, quoting from Hitler:

“And now we are confronted with the last problem which must be solved and will be solved. It is the last territorial claim” . . .

THE PRESIDENT: Is this document in our documents?

  1. ALDERMAN: No. I am asking the Court to take judicial notice of that.


  1. ALDERMAN: It is a well-known German publication. “It is the last territorial claim which I have to make in Europe, but it is a claim from which I will not swerve and which I will satisfy, God willing.” (Document Number 2358-PS.)

And further: “I have little to explain. I am grateful to Mr. Chamberlain for all his efforts, and I have assured him that the German people want nothing but peace; but I have also told him that I cannot go back beyond the limits of our patience.”

This is Page 2, Column 1.

“I assured him, moreover, and I repeat it here, that when this problem is solved there will be no more territorial problems for Germany in Europe. And I further assured him that from the moment, when Czechoslovakia solves its other problems that is to say, when the Czechs have come to an arrangement with their other minorities peacefully and without oppression-I will no longer be interested in the Czech State. And that, as far as I am concerned, I will guarantee it. We don’t want any Czechs!”

The major portion of the passage I have quoted will be contained in Document TC-28, which I think, will be offered by the British prosecutor.

Yet two weeks later Hitler and Defendant Keitel were preparing estimates of the military forces required to break Czechoslovak resistance in Bohemia and Moravia.

I now read from Item 48, at Page 82, of the Schmundt file. This is a top-secret telegram sent by Keitel to Hitler’s headquarters on 11 October 1938 in answer to four questions which Hitler had propounded to the OKW. I think it is sufficient merely to read the questions which Hitler had propounded:

“Question ‘1. What reinforcements are necessary in the situation to break all Czech resistance in Bohemia and Moravia?

“Question 2. How much time is requested for the regrouping or moving up of new forces?

“Question 3. How much time will be required for the same purpose if it is executed after the intended demobilization and return measures?

“Question 4. How much time would be required to achieve the state of readiness of 1 October?”

On 21 October, the same day on which the administration of the Sudetenland was handed over to the civilian authorities, a directive outlining plans for the conquest of the remainder of Czechoslovakia was signed by Hitler and initialed by the Defendant Keitel. I now offer in evidence Document C-136 as Exhibit USA-104, a top-secret order of which 10 copies were made, this being the first copy, signed in ink by Keitel.

In this order, issued only 3 weeks after the winning of the Sudetenland, the Nazi conspirators are already looking forward to new conquests. I quote the first part of the body of the document: “The future tasks for the Armed Forces and the preparations for the conduct of war resulting from these tasks will be laid down by me in a later directive. Until this directive comes into force the Armed Forces must be prepared at all times for the following eventualities:

“1) The securing of the frontiers of Germany and the protection against surprise air attacks.

“2) The liquidation of the remainder of Czechoslovakia.

“3) The occupation of the Memel.”

And then proceeding, the statement following Number 2:

“Liquidation of the remainder of Czechoslovakia: It must be Possible to smash at any time the remainder of Czechoslovakia if her policy should become hostile towards Germany. “The preparations to be made by the Armed Forces for this contingency will be considerably smaller in extent than those for Grün; they must, however, guarantee a continuous and considerably higher state of preparedness, since planned mobilization measures have been dispensed with. The organization, order of battle, and state of readiness of the units earmarked for that purpose are in peacetime to be so arranged for a surprise assault that Czechoslovakia herself will be deprived of all possibility of organized resistance. The object is the swift occupation of Bohemia and Moravia and the cutting off of Slovakia. The preparations should be such that at the same time ‘Grenzsicherung West’ “-the measures of frontier defense in the West-“can be carried out.

The detailed mission of Army and Air Force is as follows:

“a. Army: The units stationed in the vicinity of Bohemia-Moravia and several motorized divisions are to be earmarked for a surprise type of attack. Their number will be determined by the forces remaining in Czechoslovakia; a quick and decisive success must be assured. The assembly and preparations for the attack must be worked out. Forces not needed will be kept in readiness in such a manner that they may be either committed in securing the frontiers or sent after the attack army.

“b. Air Force: The quick advance of the German Army is to be assured by early elimination of the Czech Air Force. For this purpose the commitment in a surprise attack from peacetime bases has to be prepared. Whether for this purpose still stronger forces may be required can be determined from the development of the military-political situation in Czechoslovakia only. At the same time a simultaneous assembly of the remainder of the offensive forces against the West must be prepared.”

And then Part 3 goes on under the heading, “Annexation of the Memel District.”

It is signed by Adolf Hitler and authenticated by Defendant Keitel. It was distributed to the OKH, to Defendant Goring’s Luftwaffe, and to Defendant Raeder at Navy headquarters.

Two months later, on 17 December 1938, Defendant Keitel issued an appendix to the original order, stating that by command of the Führer preparations for the liquidation of Czechoslovakia are to continue.

I offer in evidence Document C-138 as Exhibit USA-105, and other captured OKW documents classified top secret. Distribution of this order was the same as for the 21 October order. I shall read the body of this order.

Corollary to Directive of 21. 10. 38.

Reference: ‘Liquidation of the last of Czechoslovakia.’ The Führer has given the following additional order: “The preparations for this eventuality are to continue on the assumption that no resistance worth mentioning is to be expected. “To the outside world too it must clearly appear that it is merely an action of pacification, and not a warlike undertaking. “The action must therefore be carried out by the peacetime Armed Forces only, without reinforcements from mobilization. The necessary readiness for action, especially the ensuring that the most necessary supplies are brought up, must be effected by adjustment within the units.

“Similarly the units of the Army detailed for the march in must, as a general rule, leave their stations only during the night prior to the crossing of the frontier, and will not previously form up systematically on the frontier. The transport necessary for previous organization should be limited to the minimum and will be camouflaged as much as possible. Necessary movements, if any, of single units and particularly of motorized forces, to the troop training areas situated near the frontier, must have the approval of the Führer.

The Air Force should take action in accordance with the similar general directives. “For the same reasons the exercise of executive power by the Supreme Command of the Army is laid down only for the newly occupied territory and only for a short period.” Signed-“Keitel.”

I invite the attention of the Tribunal to the fact that this particular copy of this order, an original carbon signed in ink by Keitel, was the one sent to the OKM, the German Naval headquarters. It bears the initials of Fricke, head of the Operation Division of the naval war staff; Schniewind, Chief of Staff; and of Defendant Raeder.

As the Wehrmacht moved forward, with plans for what it clearly considered would be an easy victory, the Foreign Office played its part. In a discussion of means of improving German-Czech relations with the Czech Foreign Minister Chvalkovsky in Berlin on 31 January 1939, Defendant Ribbentrop urged upon the Czech Government a quick reduction in the size of the Czech Army. I offer in evidence Document 2795-PS as Exhibit USA-106, captured German Foreign Office notes of this discussion. I will read only the footnote, which is in Ribbentrop’s handwriting: “I mentioned to Chvalkovsky especially that a quick reduction in the Czech Army would be decisive in our judgment.”

Does the Court propose sitting beyond 4:30?

THE PRESIDENT: No, I think not. The Tribunal will adjourn.

[The Tribunal adjourned until 4 December 1945 at 1000 hours.]

SOURCE: Trial of the Major War Criminals before the International Military Tribunal, Nurnberg Germany 1945-46; Volume 3, 11th day 3 December 1945 (LOC)

Evidence presented by Prosecutor: SIDNEY S. ALDERMAN (Associate Trial Counsel for the United States):

Napoleonic Wars: Battle of Brienne, 29 January 1814

On 29 January 1814, the Cossacks, who swarmed everywhere practicing their peculiar and predatory form of warfare, reported strong French columns marching on Brienne from the direction of St-Dizier. No one doubted that napoleon led them himself. Müffling recounted, ‘General Sacken received orders to join the Field-Marshal at Brienne. Immediately after, an officer was brought in prisoner who had been dispatched from Vitry the day before with written instructions to Marshal Mortier to join Napoleon from Troyes by way of Arcis. Thus informed we stepped into the castle court and erected telescopes to observe Napoleon’s approach, as from this height we could overlook the whole plain beyond the town of Brienne to Maizières (about four miles to the north-east). Count Pahlen ( who commanded the advance guard of Schwarzenberg’s army) arrived from Joinville and went to station himself with his cavalry and some Jäger Battalions in the plain towards Maizières, so that he covered and concealed the march of Sackens corps from Lesmont.’

Müffling and Gneisenau estimated that without Mortier Napoleon could only muster 30,000 men and that when Sacken arrived Blücher would have as many. At about 3 o’clock as the chill evening drew on, the French guns opened fire from the direction of Maizières. Olsufiev replied with his own 24. For a while Blücher watched developments from the terrace of the château, but dinner had been announced and he found this engagement the more pressing.

In the course of a cheerful meal cannon-balls began to slam into the château walls. Blücher, who had invited the French officer to dine at his table, politely suggested that he should withdraw with his escort. The French officer, not to be outdone in courtesy, replied that he had no desire to leave such excellent company. A citizen of Brienne who did not appear to share his sentiments, was visibly disconcerted when some of the paneling fell in and plaster dropped down from the ceiling. The Field-Marshal blandly inquired, ‘Do you own this castle?’ ‘N0.” “Then you can rest easy. The castle is solidly built, the cost of repairs will not be great, and in any case you won’t have to pay them.’

Having eaten his fill, Blücher stepped out on the terrace once more. The light was fast fading. Count Pahlen had fallen back on Brienne and Sackens men were filing through the town. On the French left he could see some columns of the Young Guard standing in amass without taking any precaution to cover their open left flank. By now many houses in Brienne were well a light and the French beginning to close in, but Blücher decided that such ineptness should not go un-penalized. Müffling galloped off to organize an attack of some of Pahlen’s cavalry. He recalled, ‘ We rode into the Young Guard and our right wing got as far as the reserve which stood a good way back on the road bordered by tress from Brienne to Maizières. We captured two batteries and the enemy fell back in the greatest disorder; but as often happens in a cavalry fight, when all are scattered all command ceased…darkness put an end to the combat.’

On returning to Brienne Müffling found the Château in the hands of the French. In the darkness a French battalion with great dash had clambered up the ridge and carried it with the bayonet. Blücher had left hurriedly and only just in time. When he learned of the check to the French left he swore ‘that fellow’ should not sleep in his bed that night and directed Sacken to retake the château. Climbing up the hill in the near-freexing darkness and silhouetted against the burning houses in the town below. Sacken’s men could make no impression on the defenders. The Château dominated the countryside. At about 10 o’clock that night Blücher broke off the engaement and withdrew to a strong position on the heights above Trannes, about eight miles to the south. The shrewd French thrust on the château had forced him out of Brienne, but his army had suffered no crippling damage and the next day the advanced columns of the Allied Grand Army would reach him.

Napoleon had covered the 30-odd miles from St-Dizier to Brienne with remarkable speed. By the morning of the 29 January his first troops arrived at Maizières. Their strength built up in the afternoon and by 3 o’clock with 10,000 men he had started to attack. He later reported to General Clarke, his Minster of War in Paris, ‘ Blücher has been beaten, he has lost five or six hundred prisoners and between three and four thousand men killed or wounded. Generals Forestier and Baste of the Young Guard have been killed and General Lefebvre-Desnouettes suffered a bayonet wound while charging in his usual intrepid fashion. Our loss is reckoned to be 2,000 men (he subsequently raised the estimate to 3,000). If I had veteran troops I might have done more, but with the troops I have, I am happy with what occurred. We have taken up a position two leagues (5miles) beyond Brienne with our right on Aube and our left on the wood. The Duke of Treviso [Mortier] is at Troyes and the Duke of Taranto [MacDonald] on the Marne. I approve of your recalling the General who from the first to last has shown that he is nothing but an imbecile.‘ (Possibly the latter was the general who failed to discover Blücher’s dispositions at St-Dizier)

Napoleon had good reason to be pleased with his conscripts of 1813-14, the ‘Marie-Louises’ as they were known. They had little training, but they made up for that lack in greatness of heart. In one often-quoted incident Marmont came on a “Marie-Louise‘ standing steadily in his rank under hot fire, but with butt of his musket grounded and making no effort to shoot back. “Why don’t you fire back?‘ asked the Marshal. ‘I Would do so gladly,‘ replied the conscript, ‘if someone would show me how to load my musket.’ Marmont quietly loaded it for him.

SOURCE: NAPOLEON: The Last Campaigns 1813-15; By: James Lawford

World War Two: Fall of Austria & Czechoslovakia 1938: The Planning

I recently made reference in comparison of the Ukraine crisis to the Munich concession’s that Britain and France  gave to Adolph Hitler allowing him to implement the destruction of the government of Czechoslovakia in 1938. I am sure some are wondering how I came to the comparison, one of the greatest sources of information to the events of those years can be found in the trial documents and in the words of their own testimony, of those who perpetrated the deeds. These occurred at the war trails in Nurnberg 1945-46, to which I now defer. We see the world events as happening today, but we must keep in mind that the events that unfold are not spontaneous, but well thought out and planned.

Trial of the Major War Criminals before the International Military Tribunal Nuremberg

14 NOVEMBER 1945 – 1 OCTOBER 1946

VOLUME I: Official Text in the English Language: Official Documents International Military Tribunal

(Details are the following)


COUNT ONE-THE COMMON PLAN OR CONSPIRACY: (Charter, Article 6, especially 6 (a))

  1. Particulars of the Nature and Development of the Common Plan or Conspiracy


  1. Aggressive action against Austria and Czechoslovakia.

(a) The 1936-1938 phase of the plan: planning for the assault on Austria and Czechoslovakia.

The Nazi conspirators next entered upon the specific planning for the acquisition of Austria and Czechoslovakia, realizing it would be necessary, for military reasons, first to seize Austria before assaulting Czechoslovakia. On 21 May 1935, in a speech to the Reichstag, Hitler stated that: “Germany neither intends nor wishes to interfere in the internal affairs of Austria, to annex Austria, or to conclude an Anschluss.” On 1 May 1936, within two months after the reoccupation of the Rhineland, Hitler stated: “The lie goes forth again that Germany tomorrow or the day after will fall upon Austria or Czechoslovakia.” Thereafter, the Nazi conspirators caused a treaty to be entered into between Austria and Germany on 11 July 1936, Article 1 of which stated that “The German Government recognizes the full sovereignty of the Federated State of Austria in the spirit of the pronouncements of the German Führer and Chancellor of 21 May 1935.” Meanwhile, plans for aggression in violation of that treaty were being made. By the autumn of 1937, all noteworthy opposition within the Reich had been crushed. Military preparation for the Austrian action was virtually concluded.

An influential group of the Nazi conspirators met with Hitler on 5 November 1937, to review the situation. It was reaffirmed that Nazi Germany must have “Lebensraum” in central Europe. It was recognized that such conquest would probably meet resistance which would have to be crushed by force and that their decision might lead to a general war, but this prospect was discounted as a risk worth taking. There emerged from this meeting three possible plans for the conquest of Austria and Czechoslovakia. Which of the three was to be used was to depend upon the developments in the political and military, situation in Europe. It was contemplated that the conquest of Austria and Czechoslovakia would, through compulsory emigration of 2,000,000 persons from Czechoslovakia and 1,000,000 persons from Austria, provide additional food to the Reich for 5,000,000 to 6,000,000 people, strengthen it militarily by providing shorter and better frontiers, and make possible the constituting of new armies up to about twelve divisions. Thus, the aim of the plan against Austria and Czechoslovakia was conceived of not as an end in itself but as a preparatory measure toward the next aggressive steps in the Nazi conspiracy.

(b) The execution of the plan to invade Austria: November 1937 to March 1938.

Hitler, on 8 February 1938, called Chancellor Schuschnigg to a conference at Berchtesgaden. At the meeting of 12 February 1938, under threat of invasion, Schuschnigg yielded a promise of amnesty to imprisoned Nazis and appointment of Nazis to ministerial posts. He agreed to remain silent until Hitler’s 20 February speech in which Austria’s independence was to be reaffirmed, but Hitler in his speech, instead of affirming Austrian independence, declared himself protector of all Germans. Meanwhile, underground activities of Nazis in Austria increased. Schuschnigg, on 9 March 1938, announced a plebiscite on the question of Austrian independence.

On 11 March Hitler sent an ultimatum, demanding that the plebiscite be called off or that Germany would invade Austria. Later the same day a second ultimatum threatened invasion unless Schuschnigg should resign in three hours. Schuschnigg resigned. The Defendant SEYSS-INQUAT, who was appointed-Chancellor, immediately invited Hitler to send German troops into Austria to “preserve order”. The invasion began on 12 March 1938.

On 13 March, Hitler by proclamation assumed office as Chief of State of Austria and took command of its armed forces. By a law of the same date Austria was annexed to Germany.

(c) The execution of the plan to invade Czechoslovakia: April 1938 to March 1939.

    1. Simultaneously with their annexation of Austria the Nazi conspirators gave false assurances to the Czechoslovak Government that they would not attack that country. But within a month they met to plan specific ways and means of attacking Czechoslovakia, and to revise, in the Light of the acquisition of Austria, the previous plans for aggression against Czechoslovakia.
    2. On 21 April 1938, the Nazi conspirators met and prepared to launch an attack on Czechoslovakia not later than 1 October 1938. They planned specifically to create an “incident” to “justify” the attack. They decided to launch a military attack only after a period of diplomatic squabbling which, growing more serious, would lead to the excuse for war, or, in the alternative, to unleash a Lightning attack as a result of an “incident” of their own creation. Consideration was given to assassinating the German Ambassador at Prague to create the requisite incident. From and after 21 April 1938, the Nazi conspirators caused to be prepared detailed and precise military plans designed to carry out such an attack at any opportune moment and calculated to overcome all Czechoslovak resistance within four days, thus presenting the world with a fait accompli, and so forestalling outside resistance. Throughout the months of May, June, July, August, and September, these plans were made more specific and detailed, and by 3 September 1938, it was decided that all troops were to be ready for action on 28 September 1938.
    3. Throughout this same period, the Nazi conspirators were agitating the minorities question in Czechoslovakia, and particularly in the Sudetenland, leading to a diplomatic crisis in August and September 1938. After the Nazi conspirators threatened war the United Kingdom and France concluded a pact with Germany and Italy at Munich on 29 September 1938, involving the cession of the Sudetenland by Czechoslovakia to Germany. Czechoslovakia was required to acquiesce. On 1 October 1938, German troops occupied the Sudetenland.
    4. On 15 March 1939, contrary to the provisions of the Munich Pact itself, the Nazi conspirators caused the completion of their plan by seizing and occupying the major part of Czechoslovakia not ceded to Germany by the Munich Pact.


SOURCE: Trial of Major War Criminals before the International Military Tribunal Nurnberg 1945-46 (LOC)


I am sure that a great many know of this Tribunal and its historical impact on the world by the mere formation of such a body, with the support of a truly United Nations. Most are aware of the reasons for this panel’s coming into being as a result of the atrocities committed during World War Two. But as I have referenced this in many articles, I feel that some are not fully aware of the rules that empowered and governed the proceedings this judicial body worked within, or, the mandate to wit they were charged.  I now present the charter for your review.



Article 1. In pursuance of the Agreement signed on the 8th day of August 1945 by the Government of the United States of America, the Provisional-Government of the French Republic, the Government of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, and the Government of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, there shall be established an International Military Tribunal (hereinafter called “the Tribunal”) for the just and prompt trial and punishment of the major war criminals of the European Axis.

Article 2. The Tribunal shall consist of four members, each with an alternate. One member and one alternate shall be appointed by each of the Signatories. The alternates shall, so far as they are able, be present at all sessions of the Tribunal. In case of illness of any member of the Tribunal or his incapacity for some other reason to fulfill his functions, his alternate shall take his place.

Article 3. Neither the Tribunal, its members nor their alternates can be challenged by the Prosecution, or by the defendants or their counsel. Each Signatory may replace its member of the Tribunal by his alternate for reasons of health or for other good reasons, except that no replacement may take place during a Trial, other than by an alternate.

Article 4.

             (a) The presence of all four members of the Tribunal or the alternate for any absent member shall be necessary to constitute the quorum.

             (b) The members of the Tribunal shall, before any trial begins, agree among themselves upon the selection from their number of a President, and the President shall hold office during that trial, or as may otherwise be agreed by a vote of not less than three members. The principle of rotation of presidency for successive trials is agreed. If, however, a session of the Tribunal takes place on the territory of one of the four signatories,’ the representative ‘of that Signatory on the Tribunal shall preside.

             (c) Save as aforesaid the Tribunal shall take decisions by a majority vote and in case the votes are evenly divided, the vote of the President shall be decisive: provided always that convictions and sentences shall only be imposed by affirmative votes of at least three members of the Tribunal.

Article 5. In case of need and depending on the number of the matters to be tried, other Tribunals may be set up; and the establishment, functions, and procedure of each Tribunal shall be identical, and shall be governed by this Charter.


Article 6. The Tribunal established by the Agreement referred to in Article 1 hereof for the trial and punishment of the major war criminals of the European Axis countries shall have the power to try and punish persons who, acting in the interests of the European Axis countries, whether as individuals or as members of organizations, committed any of the following crimes.

The following acts, or any of them, are crimes coming within the jurisdiction of the Tribunal for which there shall be individual responsibility:

(a) CRIMES AGAINST PEACE: namely, planning, preparation, initiation or waging of a war of aggression, or a war in violation of international treaties, agreements or assurances, or participation in a Common Plan or Conspiracy for the accomplishment of any of the foregoing;

(b) WAR CRIMES: namely, violations of the laws or customs of war. Such violations shall include, but not be limited to, murder, ill-treatment or deportation to slave labor or for any other purpose of civilian population of or in occupied territory, murder or ill-treatment of prisoners of war or persons on the seas, killing of hostages, plunder of public or private property, wanton destruction of cities, towns, or villages, or devastation not justified by military necessity;

(c) CRIMES AGAINST HUMANITY: namely, murder, extermination, enslavement, deportation, and other inhumane acts committed against any civilian population, before or during the war,* or persecutions on political, racial, or religious grounds in execution of or in connection with any crime within the jurisdiction of the Tribunal, whether or not in violation of domestic law of the country where perpetrated. Leaders, organizers, instigators, and accomplices participating in the formulation or execution of a Common Plan or Conspiracy to commit any of the foregoing crimes are responsible for all acts performed by any persons in execution of such plan:

[* Comma substituted in place of semicolon by Protocol of 6 October 1945.]

Article 7. The official position of defendants, whether as Heads of State or responsible officials in Government departments, shall not be considered as freeing them from responsibility or mitigating punishment.

Article 8. The fact that the defendant acted pursuant to order of his Government or of a superior shall not free him from responsibility, but may be considered in mitigation of punishment if the Tribunal determine that justice so requires.

Article 9. At the trial of any individual member of any group or organization the Tribunal may declare (in connection with any act of which the individual may be convicted) that the group or organization of which the individual was a member was a criminal organization.

After receipt of the Indictment the Tribunal shall give such notice as it thinks fit that the Prosecution intends to ask the Tribunal to make such declaration and any member of the organization will be entitled to apply to the Tribunal for leave to be heard by the Tribunal upon the question of the criminal character of the organization. The Tribunal shall have power to allow or reject the application. If the application is allowed, the Tribunal may direct in what manner the applicants shall be represented and heard.

Article 10. In cases where a group or organization is declared criminal by the Tribunal, the competent national authority of any Signatory shall have the right to bring individuals to trial for membership therein before national, military, or occupation courts. In any such case the criminal nature of the group or organization is considered proved and shall not be questioned.

Article 11. Any person convicted by the Tribunal may be charged before a national, military, or occupation court, referred to in Article 10 of this Charter, with a crime other than of membership in a criminal group or organization and such court may, after convicting him, impose upon him punishment independent of and additional to the punishment imposed by the. Tribunal for participation in the criminal activities of such group or organization.

Article 12. The Tribunal shall have the right to take proceedings against a person charged with crimes set out in Article 6 of this Charter in his absence, if he has not been found or if the Tribunal, for any reason, finds it necessary, in the interests of justice, to conduct the hearing in his absence.

Article 13. The Tribunal shall draw up rules for its procedure. These rules shall not be inconsistent with the provisions of this Charter.


Article 14. Each Signatory shall appoint a Chief Prosecutor for the investigation of the charges against and the prosecution of major war criminals.

The Chief Prosecutors shall act as a committee for the following purposes:

(a) to agree upon a plan of the individual work of each of the Chief Prosecutors and his staff,

(b) to settle the final designation of major war criminals to be tried by the Tribunal,

(c) to approve the Indictment and the documents to be submitted therewith,

(d) to lodge the Indictment and the accompanying documents with the Tribunal,

(e) to draw up and recommend to the Tribunal for its approval draft rules of procedure, contemplated by Article 13 of this Charter. The Tribunal shall have power to accept, with or without amendments, or to reject, the rules so recommended. The Committee shall act in all the above matters by a majority vote and shall appoint a Chairman as may be convenient and in accordance with the principle of rotation: provided that if there is an equal division of vote concerning the designation of a defendant to be tried by the Tribunal, or the crimes with which he shall be charged, that proposal will be adopted which was made by the party which proposed that the particular defendant be tried, or the particular charges be preferred against him.

Article 15. The Chief Prosecutors shall individually, and acting in collaboration with one another, also undertake the following duties:

(a) investigation, collection, and production before or at the Trial of all necessary evidence,

(b) the preparation of the Indictment for approval by the Committee in accordance with paragraph (c) of Article 14 hereof,

(c) the preliminary examination of all necessary witnesses and of the defendants,

(d) to act as prosecutor at the Trial,

(e) to appoint representatives to carry out such duties as may be assigned to them,

(f) to undertake such other matters as may appear necessary to them for the purposes of the preparation for and conduct of the Trial. It is understood that no witness or defendant detained by any Signatory shall be taken out of the possession of that Signatory without its assent.


Article 16. In order to ensure fair trial for the defendants, the following procedure shall be followed:

(a) The Indictment shall include full particulars specifying in detail the charges against the defendants. A copy of the Indictment and of all the documents lodged with the Indictment, translated into a language which he understands, shall be furnished to the defendant at a reasonable time before the Trial.

(b) During any preliminary examination or trial of a defendant he shall have the right to give any explanation relevant to the charge* made against him.

(c) A preliminary examination of a defendant and his trial shall be conducted in, or translated into, a language which the defendant understands.

(d) A defendant shall have the right to conduct his own defense before the Tribunal or to have the assistance of counsel.

(e) A defendant shall have the right through himself or through his counsel to present evidence at the Trial in support of his defense, and to cross-examine any witness called by the Prosecution.


Article 17. The Tribunal shall have the power:

(a) to summon witnesses to the Trial and to require their attendance and testimony and to put questions to them,

(b) to interrogate any defendant,

(c) to require the production of documents and other evidentiary Material,

(d) to administer oaths to witnesses,

(e) to appoint officers for the carrying out of any task designated by the Tribunal including the power to have evidence taken on commission.

Article 18. The Tribunal shall:

(a) confine the Trial strictly to an expeditious hearing of the issues raised by the charges,

(b) take strict measures to prevent any action which will cause unreasonable delay, and rule out irrelevant issues and statements of any kind whatsoever,

(c) deal summarily with any contumacy, imposing appropriate punishment, including exclusion of any defendant or his counsel from some or all further proceedings, but without prejudice to the determination of the charges. .

Article 19. The Tribunal shall not be bound by technical rules of evidence. It shall adopt and apply to the greatest possible extent expeditious and non-technical procedure, and shall admit any evidence which it deems to have probative value.

Article 20. The Tribunal may require to be informed of the nature of any evidence before it is offered so that it may rule upon the relevance thereof.

Article 21. The Tribunal shall not require proof of facts of common knowledge but shall take judicial notice thereof. It shall also take judicial notice of official governmental documents and reports of the United Nations, including the acts and documents of the committees set up in the various Allied countries for the investigation of war crimes, and the records and findings of military or other Tribunals of any of the United Nations.

Article 22. The permanent seat of the Tribunal shall be in Berlin. The first meetings of the members of the Tribunal and of the Chief Prosecutors shall be held at Berlin in a place to be designated by the Control Council for Germany. The first trial shall be held at Nuremberg, and any subsequent trials shall be held at such places as the Tribunal may decide.

Article 23. One or more of the Chief Prosecutors may take part in the prosecution at each trial. The function of any Chief Prosecutor may be discharged by him personally, or by any person or persons authorized by him.

The function of counsel for a defendant may be discharged at the defendant’s request by any counsel professionally qualified to conduct cases before the Courts of his own country, or by any other person who may be specially authorized thereto by the Tribunal.

Article 24. The proceedings at the Trial shall take the following course:

(a) The Indictment shall be read in court.

(b) The Tribunal shall ask each defendant whether he pleads “guilty” or “not guilty”.

(c) The Prosecution shall make an opening statement.

(d) The Tribunal shall ask the Prosecution and the Defense what evidence (if any) they wish to submit to the Tribunal, and the Tribunal shall rule upon the admissibility of any such evidence.

(e) The witnesses for the Prosecution shall be examined and after that the witnesses for the Defense. Thereafter such rebutting evidence as may be held by, the Tribunal to be admissible shall be called by either the Prosecution or the Defense.

(f) The Tribunal may put any question to any witness and to any defendant, at any time.

(g) The Prosecution and the Defense shall interrogate and may cross-examine any witnesses and any defendant who gives testimony.

(h) The Defense shall address the Court.

(i) The Prosecution shall address the Court.

(j) Each Defendant may make a statement to the Tribunal.

(k) The Tribunal shall deliver judgment and pronounce sentence.

Article 25. All official documents shall be produced, and all court proceedings conducted, in English, French, and Russian, and in the language of the defendant. So much of the record and of the proceedings may, also be translated into the language of any country in which the Tribunal is sitting, as the Tribunal considers desirable in the interests of justice and public opinion.


Article 26. The judgment of the Tribunal as to the guilt or the innocence of any defendant shall give the reasons on which it is based, and shall be final and not subject to review.

Article 27. The Tribunal shall have the right to impose upon a defendant on conviction, death or such other punishment as shall be determined by it to be just.

Article 28. In addition to any punishment imposed by it, the Tribunal shall have the right to deprive the convicted person of any stolen property and order its delivery to the Control Council for Germany.

Article 29. In case of guilt, sentences shall be carried out in accordance with the orders of the Control Council for Germany, which may at any time reduce or otherwise alter the sentences, but may not increase the severity thereof. If the Control Council for Germany, after any defendant has been convicted and sentenced, discovers fresh evidence which, in its opinion, would found a fresh charge against him, the Council shall report accordingly to the Committee established under Article 14 hereof, for such action as they may consider proper, having regard to the interests of justice.


Article 30. The expenses of the Tribunal and of the trials shall be charged by the Signatories against the funds allotted for maintenance of the Control Council for Germany.


Whereas an Agreement and Charter regarding the Prosecution of War Criminals was signed in London on the 8th August 1945, in the English, French, and Russian languages; And whereas a discrepancy has been found to exist between the originals of Article 6, paragraph (c), of the Charter in the Russian language, on the one hand, and the originals in the English and French languages, on the other, to wit, the semicolon in Article 6, paragraph (c), of the Charter between the words “war” and “or”, as carried in the English and French texts, is a comma in the Russian text; And whereas it is desired to rectify this discrepancy:

NOW, THEREFORE, the undersigned, signatories of the said Agreement on behalf of their respective Governments, duly authorized thereto, have agreed that Article 6, paragraph (c), of the Charter in the Russian text is correct, and that the meaning and intention of the Agreement and Charter require that the said semicolon in the English text should be changed to a comma, and that the French text should be amended to read as follows:

c) LES CRIMES CONTRE L’HUMANITE: c’est i dire l’assassinat, l’extermination, la reduction en esclavage, la deportation, et tout autre acte inhumain commis contre toutes populations civiles, avant ou pendant la guerre, ou bien les persecutions pour des motifs politiques, raciapx, ou religieux, lorsque ces actes ou persecutions, qu’ils aient constitue ou non une violation du droit interne du pays ou ils ont kt6 perpetres, ont ete commis i la suite de tout crime rentrant dans la competence du Tribunal, ou en liaison avec ce crime.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF the Undersigned have signed the present Protocol.

DONE in quadruplicate in Berlin this 6th day of October, 1945, each in English, French, and Russian, and each text to have equal authenticity.

For the Government of the United States of America


For the Provisional Government of the French Republic


For the Government of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland


For the Government of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics



(Adopted 29 October 1945)

Rule 1. Authority to Promulgate Rules.

The present Rules of Procedure of the International Military Tribunal for the trial of the major war criminals (hereinafter called “the Tribunal“) as established by the Charter of the Tribunal dated 8 August 1945 (hereinafter called “the Charter”) are hereby promulgated by the Tribunal in accordance with the provisions of Article 13 of the Charter.

Rule 2. Notice to Defendants and Right to Assistance of Counsel.

(a) Each individual defendant in custody shall receive not least than 30 days before trial a copy, translated into a language which he understands,

             (1) of the Indictment,

             (2) of the Charter,

             (3) of any other documents lodged with the Indictment, and

             (4) of a statement of his right to the assistance of counsel as set forth in sub-paragraph (d) of this Rule, together with a list of counsel. He shall also receive copies of such rules of procedure as may be adopted by the Tribunal from time to time.

(b) Any individual defendant not in custody shall be informed of the indictment-against him and of his right to receive the documents specified in sub-paragraph (a) above, by notice in such form and manner as the Tribunal may prescribe.

(c) With respect to any group or organization as to which the Prosecution indicates its intention to request a finding of criminality by the Tribunal notice shall be given by publication in such form and manner as the Tribunal may prescribe and such publication shall include a declaration by the Tribunal that all members of the named groups or organizations are entitled to apply to the Tribunal for leave to be heard in accordance with the provisions of Article 9 of the Charter. Nothing herein contained shall be construed to confer immunity of any kind upon such members of said groups or organizations as may appear in answer to the said declaration.

(d) Each defendant has the right to conduct his own defense or to, have the assistance of counsel. Application for particular counsel shall be filed at once with the General Secretary of the Tribunal at the Palace of Justice, Nuremberg, Germany. The Tribunal will designate counsel for any defendant who fails to apply for particular counselor, where particular counsel requested is not within ten (10) days to be found or available, unless the defendant elects in writing to conduct his own defense. If a defendant has requested particular counsel who is not immediately to be found or available, such counsel or a counsel of substitute choice may, if found and available before trial, be associated with or substituted for counsel designated by the Tribunal, provided that (1)only one counsel shall be permitted to appear at the trial for any defendant, unless by special permission of the Tribunal, and (2) no delay of trial will be allowed for making such substitution or association.

Rule 3. Service of Additional Documents.

If, before the trial, the Chief Prosecutors offer amendments or additions to the Indictment, such amendments or additions, including any accompanying documents shall be lodged with the Tribunal and copies of the same, translated into a language which they each understand, shall be furnished to the defendants in custody as soon as practicable and notice given in accordance with Rule 2 (b) to those not in custody.

Rule 4. Production of Evidence for the Defense.

(a) The Defense may apply to the Tribunal for the production of witnesses or of documents by written application to the General Secretary of the Tribunal. The application shall state where the witness or document is thought to be located, together with a statement of their last known location. It shall also state the facts proposed to be proved by the witness or the document and the reasons why such facts are relevant to the Defense.

(b) If the witness or the document is not within the area controlled by the occupation authorities, the Tribunal may request the Signatory and adhering Governments to arrange for the production, if possible, of any such witnesses and any such documents as the Tribunal may deem necessary to proper presentation of the Defense.

(c) If the witness or the document is within the area controlled by the occupation authorities, the General Secretary shall, if the Tribunal is not in session, communicate the application to the Chief Prosecutors and, if they make no objection, the General Secretary shall issue a summons for the attendance of such witness or the production of such documents, informing the Tribunal of the action taken. If any Chief Prosecutor objects to the issuance of a summons, or if the Tribunal is in session, the General Secretary shall submit the application to the Tribunal, which shall decide whether are not the summons shall issue.

(d) A summons shall be served in such manner as may be provided by the appropriate occupation authority to ensure its enforcement and the General Secretary shall inform the Tribunal of the steps taken.

(e) Upon application to the General Secretary of the Tribunal, a defendant shall be furnished with a copy, translated into a language which he understands, of all documents referred to in the Indictment so far as they may be made available by the Chief Prosecutors and shall be allowed to inspect copies of any such documents as are not so available.

Rule 5. Order at the Trial.

In conformity with the provisions of Article 18 of the Charter, and the disciplinary powers therein set out, the Tribunal, acting through its President, shall provide for the maintenance of order at the Trial. Any defendant or any other person may be excluded from open sessions of the Tribunal for failure to observe and respect the directives and dignity of the Tribunal.

Rule 6 . Oaths; Witnesses.

(a) Before testifying before the Tribunal, each witness shall make such oath or declaration as is customary in his own country.

(b) Witnesses while not giving evidence shall not be present in court. The President of the Tribunal shall direct, as circumstances demand, that witnesses shall not confer among themselves before giving evidence.

Rule 7. Applications and Motions before Trial and Rulings during the Trial.

(a) All motions, applications or other requests address to the Tribunal prior to the commencement of trial shall be made in writing and filed with the General Secretary of the Tribunal at the Palace of Justice, Nuremberg, Germany.

(b) Any such motion, application or other request shall be communicated by the General Secretary of the Tribunal to the Chief Prosecutors and, if they make no objection, the President of the Tribunal may make the appropriate order on behalf of the Tribunal. If any Chief Prosecutor objects, the President may call a special session of the Tribunal for the determination of the question raised.

(c) The Tribunal, acting through its President, will rule in court upon all questions arising during the trial, such as questions as to admissibility of evidence offered during the trial, recesses, and motions; and before so ruling the Tribunal may, when necessary, order the closing or clearing of the Tribunal or take any other steps which to the Tribunal seem just.

Rule 8. Secretariat of the Tribunal.

             (a) The Secretariat of the Tribunal shall be composed of a General Secretary, four Secretaries and their Assistants. The Tribunal shall appoint the General Secretary and each Member shall appoint one Secretary. The General Secretary shall appoint such clerks, interpreters, stenographers, ushers, and all such other persons as may be authorized by the Tribunal and each Secretary may appoint such assistants as may be authorized by the Member of the Tribunal by whom he was appointed.

             (b) The General Secretary, in consultation with the Secretaries, shall organize and direct the work of the Secretariat, subject to the approval of the Tribunal in the event of a disagreement by any Secretary.

             (c) The Secretariat shall receive all documents addressed to the Tribunal, maintain the records of the Tribunal, provide necessary clerical services to the Tribunal and its Members, and perform such other duties as may be designated by the Tribunal.

             (d) Communications addressed to the Tribunal shall be delivered to the General Secretary.

Rule 9. Record, Exhibits, and Documents.

             (a) A stenographic record shall be maintained of all oral proceedings. Exhibits will be suitably identified and marked with consecutive numbers. All exhibits and transcripts of the proceedings and all documents lodged with and produced to the Tribunal will be filed with the General Secretary of the Tribunal and will constitute part of the Record.

             (b) The term “official documents” as used in Article 25 of the Charter includes the Indictment, rules, written motions, orders that are reduced to writing, findings, and judgments of the Tribunal. These shall be in the English, French, Russian, and German languages. Documentary evidence or exhibits may be received in the language of the document, but a translation thereof into German shall be made available to the defendants.

             (c) All exhibits and transcripts of proceedings, all documents lodged with and produced to the Tribunal and all official acts and documents of the Tribunal may be certified by the General Secretary of the Tribunal to any Government or to any other tribunal or wherever it is appropriate that copies of such documents or representations as to such acts should be supplied upon a proper request.

Rule 10. Withdrawal of Exhibits and Documents.

In cases where original documents are submitted by the Prosecution or the Defense as evidence, and upon a showing (a) that because of historical interest or for any other reason one of the Governments signatory to the Four Power Agreement of 8 August 1945, or any other Government having received the consent of said four signatory Powers, desires to withdraw from the records of the Tribunal and preserve any particular original documents and (b) that no substantial injustice will result, the Tribunal shall permit photo-static copies of said original documents, certified by the General Secretary of the Tribunal, to be substituted for the originals in the records of the Court and shall deliver said original documents to the applicants.

Rule 11. Effective Date and Powers of Amendment and Addition.

These Rules shall take effect upon their approval by the Tribunal. Nothing herein contained shall be construed to prevent the Tribunal from, at any time, in the interest of fair and expeditious trials, departing from, amending, or adding to these Rules, either by general rules or special orders for particular cases, in such form and upon such notice as may appear just to the Tribunal.


SOURCE: Trial of the Major War Criminals before the International Military Tribunal, Nurnberg 1945-46; Volume I (LOC)

Napoleonic Wars: Allies invade France; January 1814

On 25 January at Châlons-sur-Marne the bleak winter night had closed on the empty streets. Then towards midnight came the clop-clopping of many hooves. A mud-splashed convoy of five coaches escorted by a handful of Chasseurs of the Guard, reeling in their saddles from fatigue, clattered over the cobbles and drew up at the Prefecture. As the occupants of the coaches prepared to alight the thunder of hooves increased. Rank upon rank the cavalry of the 1st Division of the Imperial Guard rode by to seek billets. Out of the second coach stepped a short, square, somewhat corpulent man of 44. The long plain grey overcoat flapped about the ankles of his black riding boots and as usual he wore an unornamented block cocked hat transversely on his head: his large deep-set eyes veiled a fire that few dared brave. As he walked into the house he carried with him an air of effortless, unchallengeable authority. Napoleon, on a purely statistical basis of battles fought and won the greatest soldier of any age, was about to take the field for the last but one of his many campaigns; almost inevitable it was to end in a failure, nevertheless it was to be one of his greatest.

He had left Paris early on the 25th, broken his fast at Château-Thierry and driven on to Châlons. Now he listened attentively with no sign of weariness while his senior officers told him their latest news. Their information was contradictory and confused; he learned to his annoyance that Marshal Victor had evacuated St-Dizier and pulled back 20 miles to Vitry-le-François. He dictated a testy letter to his Chief-of-Staff, Marshal Berthier, “I ordered him to hold it and it is not with a rearguard, every an ready to retire, that a position is held.” However it was no great matter. He proposed to concentrate most of his army south of Vitry and he thoughtfully instructed Berthier, , ‘Requistion two to three hundred thousand bottles of wine and eau-de-vie so that we can make an issue today and tomorrow. Never mind if it is all champagne; its better we should drink it rather than the enemy.’ Then he dictated the orders for the battle he intended to fight on the morrow.
“ Châlons-sur-Marne, 26 January, 9:445 in the morning.

The Emperor orders that the Duke of Belluno [Victor] takes up a question as close as possible to St. Dizier across the St. Dizier-Vitry Road with his right flank resting on the Marne.

The Duke of Ragusa [Marmont] will deploy astride the main road half a league [2,000-4,000 meters] behind the Duke of Belluno and remain ready to move instantly.
The Prince of Moskva [Ney] with the 1st and 2nd Divisions of the Young Guard will take up a position across the road half a league or a league behind Marmont…

General Lefebvre with his cavalry [about 2,500 Sabres] will take up a position behind the Prince of Moskva saddled and ready astride the road.

Imperial Headquarters will open this evening at a village behind the Duke of Belluno.
The Army will be informed that the Emperor intends to attack tomorrow morning.

All baggage not required for the battle will be dumped between Vitry and Châlons.
The artillery is to be deployed ready for action.

Bread and any brandy will be procured and distributed either at Vitry or where obtained.

Localities will be prepared for dealing with casualties.

A reconnaissance will be made of the River Ornain and care will be taken to ensure the good condition of the road bridge and that at Vitry-le-Brȗlé; a third will be constructed on a possible line of retreat’

As couriers departed with the orders Napoleon called for his coach. Before 4 P.M. he was in Vitry-le-François. The Battle for France was about to begin. After his disastrous withdrawal from Germany he had hoped the Allies would delay until the spring, but he had been granted no respite. However he was confident that the unlikely alliance would fall apart from the mutual jealousies and suspicions of its leaders. Tsar Alexander thought only of revenging his burnt Moscow and dreamed of dictating terms in a prostrate Paris. Blücher nursed a similar ambition; but his sovereign, Frederick William III of Prussia, remembering the humiliating defeats of Jena and Auerstädt, disliked the prospect of invading France and giving the old magician a chance to preform yet another miracle and win back all he had lost. The guileful Metternich and his Emperor, Francis I of Austria, thought the French Revolution the real enemy. Napoleon had tamed it and was more likely to control the turbulent French than the Bourbons; it remained to persuade him to leave his neighbours in peace. Once France was crippled, Russia would gobble up Saxony. Francis himself wondered if it was not lacking in family spirit to wage too harsh a war against the husband of his daughter, Marie-Louise, who had already presented Napoleon with a son. Castlereagh for Britain wished to preserve the balance of power in Europe, and like Metternich had no desire to encourage republicanism in France or to see an over-mighty Russia.

At Frankfurt in December, largely at the instance of Austria, the Allies had offered Napoleon the ‘natural boundaries of France, the Rhine, the Alps and the Pyrenees.’ Napoleon rejected the offer and on 4 January wrote to General Caulaincourt, the plenipotentiary he had appointed to negotiate on his behalf, ‘I think it is doubtful if the Allies are negotiating in good faith and that England seeks peace. I myself desire it but only on honourable and lasting terms. France without its natural boundaries, without Ostend, without Anvers (Antwerp) could no longer take its place among the other powers of Europe…Do they wish to confine France to its ancient borders? They are mistaken if they think the miseries of war can make the nation desire such a peace…Italy is intact and the Viceroy (Eugène Beauharnais) has a fine army. In a little more than a week I shall open a campaign even before my reinforcements from Spain have time to arrive. The depredations of the Cossacks will drive the people to arms and double our numbers. If the nation supports me the enemy marches to his doom. If fortune betrays me my resolution is taken; I will degrade neither the nation nor myself by accepting dishonourable terms. You must find out what Metternich intends. I is not in the interest of Austria to carry things through to a finish.’

As on the afternoon of 26 January his coach rumbled towards Vitry, Napoleon was far from despair. He could still trust to his star. A miracle such as the sudden death of the Tsar, as had saved Frederick the Great, might enable him yet to live like the monarch to an honoured old age. Despite the odds he still felt an inner certainty that he would triumph, that his destiny would bring him through to victory in the end if he would but trust to it.

Besides, unlike Frederick he was not a legitimate monarch. During the peace that had followed the Treaty of Amiens in 1802, France had teemed with intrigues and conspiracies; royalists and republicans alike had schemed to unseat him. Would the nation tolerate a peace that threw away so much that had been gained at so heavy a cost in blood?

There may have been a further, unacknowledged, motive for continuing the struggle. Napoleon himself set little store on courtly pageantry and ceremonial. Perhaps he felt most happy in the ordered simplicity of a military camp—listening to the sounds of the drums and trumpets, the clashing of arms and the shouted words of command—while for the highest stakes in the world he played the strategic gam at which he was the acknowledged supreme master.

For him in January 1814, it was unfortunately true that half a million well-trained troops from all the major stats in Europe stood poised on the frontiers of France and indeed had already pierced them, that many of his best soldiers were locked up in fortresses in Germany, in the Netherlands and on the borders of France. But one great victory and the whole ramshackle alliance of Britain and Austria, of Russia, Prussia and Sweden, of Saxony and Bavaria, of Spain and Portugal would fall apart. And even now the Prussian Blücher was pressing on impetuously with his Army of Silesia, well ahead of Prince Schwarzenberg and his Army of Bohemia. A quick stroke tomorrow and Paris once again would ring with the news of a new Imperial triumph, its citizens regaled by the sight of long columns of enemy prisoners.


SOURCE:NAPLEON; The Last Campaigns 1813-15; BY James Lawford
CONTRIBUTOR: Martin F. Elkins

World War Two: The Great Escape; Trial Transcripts

During World War Two 80 Royal Air Force officers escaped from Stalag Luft III at Sagan, 50 were recaptured and executed, the finding of Flight Lieutenant Alastair “Sandy” Gunn (who was one of the 50) downed Spitfire in Norway recently, has induced me to present the trail transcript’s of the International Military Tribunal of Major War Criminals at Nurnberg Germany 1945-46 pertaining to the event just mentioned.

INTERNATIONAL MILITARY TRIBUNAL–Vol IX: 78th Day Monday, 11 March 1946

Cross-exam of General Field Marshal Erhard Milch: By Mr. Justice Robert H. Jackson

  1. ROBERTS: I want to put to you now an incident with regard to the Camp Stalag Luft III at Sagan. Do you know about what I am talking?

MILCH: Yes, I know about that now.

  1. ROBERTS: Do you know that on 24 and 25 March 1944 about 80 air force officers, British and Dominion, with some others, escaped from the Stalag Luft III Camp?

MILCH: I know about this from the British interrogation camp in which I was kept, where the whole case was posted up on the wall.

  1. ROBERTS: We will come to that in a moment. Do you know that of those 80, 50 were shot?


  1. ROBERTS: In various parts of Germany and the occupied countries from Danzig to Saarbrücken; you have heard of that?

MILCH: I heard that about 50 were shot, but did not know where.

  1. ROBERTS: Have you heard that quite unusually the bodies were never seen again, but that urns said to contain their ashes were brought back to the camp; you heard of that?

MILCH: I heard of it In the camp where I was kept, from Mr. Anthony Eden’s speech in the House of Commons.

  1. ROBERTS: You heard that although these officers were reported by your Government as having been shot while offering resistance or trying to escape, yet not one was wounded, and all 50 were shot dead.

MILCH: At first I heard only the official report in Germany that these officers had been shot while resisting or trying to escape. We did not believe this version, and there was a lot of discussion about this without precise knowledge. We were afraid that these men might have been murdered.

  1. ROBERTS: You were afraid that murder had been committed. It does appear likely, does it not?

MILCH: We gat that impression, as the various details we heard could not be pieced together.

  1. ROBERTS: It is quite clear that if that was murder, the order for that murder would have to come from a high level, is it not?

MILCH: Certainly. I heard further details about this from the Inspector General for Prisoners of War, General Westhoff, while both of us were in captivity in England.

  1. ROBERTS: Now, I want to ask you, first of all, about the Prisoner-of-war Organization. Was the Prisoner-of-War Organization a department of the OKW?

MILCH: In my opinion, yes.

  1. ROBERTS: Which was called KGW, Kriegsgefangenenwesen?

MILCH: I cannot say anything about its organization, because I do not know. I only knew that there was a chief of the Kriegsgefangenenwesen with the OKW.

MR.ROBERTS: And was the chief of the Kriegsgefangenenwesen at that time Major General Von Graevenitz?

MILCH: Van Graevenitz, yes.

  1. ROBERTS: This was an air force camp? Stalag Luft III was an air force camp?

MILCH: Yes. So it was called, but I understand that all prisoners were under the OKW. That is what I thought. I cannot, however, state this definitely because I did not know much about that organization.

  1. ROBERTS: Was the directorate for supervising the air force camps, or the inspectorate, rather, called Inspectorate Number 17?

MILCH: There was an inspectorate, which as its name indicated had to deal with supervision. What it had to do and what were its tasks, I cannot say. Whether it was just for interrogation, I do not know.

  1. ROBERTS: Was the head of that Major General Grosch?

MILCH: I cannot say, it is possible, I know the name but not whether he held that post.

  1. ROBERTS: And the second in command, Colonel Waelde?

MILCH: Not known to me.

  1. ROBERTS: You were Number 2 in the Air Force at the Air Ministry in March 1944, were you not?

MILCH: There were several Number 2 people at that time. I held the same rank as the chief of the general staff, the chief of the personnel office, and the chief of technical armament, who were independent of me and on the same level. As to seniority, I ranked as second officer in the Air Force.

  1. ROBERTS: Was there a conference in Berlin on the morning of Saturday, the 25th of March, about this escape?

MILCH: I cannot remember.

  1. ROBERTS: Did not Gӧring speak to you about that conference?

MILCH: I have no recollection.

  1. ROBERTS: Did Gӧring never tell you that there was a conference between Hitler, Himmler, himself, and Keitel on that Saturday morning?

MILCH: No. I do not know anything about that. I do not remember.

  1. ROBERTS: At which the order for the murder’ of these recaptured prisoners of war was given?

MILCH: I cannot remember. According to what I heard later, the circumstances were entirely different. I had information about this from the previously mentioned General Westhoff and also from General Bӧdenschätz.

  1. ROBERTS: General Westhoff we are going to see here as a witness. He has made a statement about the matter saying…

MILCH: I beg your pardon. I could not hear you just now. The German is coming through very faintly. I can hear you, but not the German transmission.

  1. ROBERTS: General Westhoff…


  1. ROBERTS: …has made a statement. . .


  1. ROBERTS: …and we are going to see him as a witness.


  1. ROBERTS: So perhaps I had better not put his statement to you, because he is going to give evidence. Perhaps that would be fairer from the point of view of the Defense. But are you suggesting that action against these officers, if they were murdered-to use your words-having escaped from an air force camp that action could have been taken without the knowledge of Gӧring?

MILCH: I consider it quite possible in view of the great confusion existing in the highest circles at that time…

  1. ROBERTS: High confusion in March 1944?

MILCH: All through there was terrible confusion.

  1. ROBERTS: But it is quite clear. ..

MILCH: Hitler interfered in all matters, and himself gave orders over the heads d the chiefs of the Wehrmacht.

  1. ROBERTS: But did you never discuss this matter with Gӧring at all?

MILCH: No. I cannot remember ever speaking to Gӧring about this question.

  1. ROBERTS: Do you not think this is a matter which reflects shame on the Armed Forces of Germany?

MILCH: Yes; that is a great shame.

  1. ROBERTS: Yet Gӧring never spoke to you about it at all? Did you ever speak to Keitel?

MILCH: I could not say. During that time I hardly ever saw Gӧring.

  1. ROBERTS: Did you ever speak to Keitel about it?

MILCH: No, never. I saw even less of Keitel than of Gӧring.

  1. ROBERTS: Was there not a General Foster or Foerster at the Air Ministry?

MILCH: Yes, there was.

  1. ROBERTS: General Foerster?


  1. ROBERTS: Was he director of operations?

MILCH: No. He was chief of the Luftwehr. As such he had to deal with replacements of personnel and he worked with the departments concerned, with the General Staff, and also the Reich Marshal. During the war he was also in charge of civil aviation, and in that capacity he worked together with me, but during the war it was a very small job…

  1. ROBERTS: I was going to ask you, did he ever mention this shooting to you?

MILCH: I have been asked that before, but try as I may I cannot remember. It is possible that in the course of conversation he may have told me that officers had been shot, but whether he did so, and in what way, under what circumstances, I cannot recollect. I did not receive an official report from him; I had no right to ask for one either.

  1. ROBERTS: If Foerster told you, did you ever report it to Gӧring?

MILCH: I cannot remember a conversation with Foerster about it: I do not think I spoke to him. He did not give me a report either, which I should have had to pass on to Gӧring. Such a report would have been given by him to Gӧring direct, through quite different channels and much quicker.

  1. ROBERTS: Did you take any steps to prevent this shooting from being carried out?

MILCH: When I first heard about it was not clear to me what had actually happened. But even if it had been clear, it was evident from what Westhoff told me that it would unfortunately have been too late.

  1. ROBERTS: Why too late?

MILCH: Because Westhoff was the first officer to have knowledge of it. When he was informed he was told that the order had already been carried out. I may say that General Westhoff made this statement and will confirm it.

  1. ROBERTS: Very well, you never went to Gӧring at all in the matter, as you say.

MILCH: I do not know anything about it.


Cross-Exam (Defendant) Joachim Von Ribbentrop; BY: The Rt. Hon. Sir David Maxwell-Fyfe, P.C., K.C., M.P.

SIR DAVID MAXWELL-FYFE: You will say that to learned Counsel after you have answered my question on this. I want you now to direct your attention to Stalag Luft III. You may have heard me asking a number of witnesses a certain number of questions about it. These were the 50 British airmen who were murdered by the SS after they escaped. Do you know that? DO you know what I. am talking about?


SIR DAVID MAXWELL-FYFE: You remember that my colleague, Mr. Eden, made a strong statement in the House of Commons, saying that these men had been murdered and that Great Britain would exact justice upon the murderers? Do you remember that, in June of 1944?

VON RIBBENTROP: I heard of this through the speech made by Mr. Eden in the House of Commons, yes.

SIR DAVID MAXWELLFYFE: And do you remember that the Reich Government issued a statement saying that, in a communication by the Reich Government conveyed to the British via Switzerland, this unqualifiable charge of the British Foreign Minister had been sharply refuted, that being issued in July 1944? DO you remember that being issued?

VON RIBBENTROP: No, I do not remember it. I remember only the following: That at that time we received evidence of what had happened and that it was communicated to us in a note from the protecting powers. That is all I know about it.

SIR DAVID MAXWELL-FYFE: That is what I wanted to ask you: Did you know at the time that this statement was issued-did you know that these officers had been murdered in cold blood?

VON RIBBENTROP: No, I did not. I heard that these men had been shot while trying to escape. At that time, to be are, we did have the impression that everything was not in order, I know that. I remember that.

SIR DAVID MAXWELL-FYFE: Let me take it in two stages. Who told you the lie that these men had been shot trying to escape? Who informed you of that lie?

VON RIBBENTROP: I do not remember in detail. At that time we received the documentation from the competent authorities and a memorandum was forwarded to the Swiss Government.

SIR DAVID MAXWELL-FYFE: From whom did you get your documentation which contained that lie? Did you get it from Himmler or Gӧring?

VON RIBBENTROP: I do not know.

SIR DAVID MAXWELL-FYFE: Then you told us, I think, that You had a good idea that things were not all right, hadn’t you?



Direct Exam of (Defendant) Wilhelm Keitel, BY: DR. OTTO NELTE (Counsel Defendant Keitel):

We now turn to the case of Sagan. The Prosecution originally accused you of giving the order for the killing of 50 Royal Air Force officers who escaped from Stalag Luft III at Sagan.

I am no longer clear as to whether the Prosecution still maintain this grave accusation since Reich Marshal Gӧring and the witness Westhoff have been interrogated, the latter outside these proceedings. I have the report of Westhoff’s interrogation before me and I have also submitted it to you. I should like to ask you now to amplify the statement which the witness Westhoff made during the preliminary proceedings and which he will make shortly in this court, and to say what you yourself know about this extremely grave incident.

KEITEL: The facts are that one morning it was reported to me that the escape had taken place. At the same time I received the information that about 15 of the escaped officers had been apprehended in the vicinity of the camp. I did not intend to report the case at the noon conference on the military situation held at Berchtesgaden, or rather, at the Berghof, as it was highly unpleasant, being the third mass escape in a very short period. As it had happened only 10 or 12 hours before, I hoped that in the course of the day the majority of them would be caught and that in this way the matter might be settled satisfactorily.

While I was making my report Himmler appeared. I think that it’ was towards the end of my report that he announced the incident in my presence, as he had already started the usual general search for the escaped prisoners. There was an extremely heated discussion, a serious clash between Hitler and myself, since he immediately made the most outrageous accusations against me on account of this incident.

Things are sometimes incorrectly represented in Westhoff’s account, and that is why I am making a detailed statement. During this clash the Führer stated in great excitement, “These prisoners are not to be sent back to the Armed Forces; they are to stay with the Police.” I immediately objected sharply. I said that this procedure was impossible. The general excitement led Hitler to declare again and with considerable emphasis, “I am ordering you to retain them, Himmler; you are not to give them up.”

I put up a fight for the men who had already come back and who should, according to the. Original order, be brought out again and handed over to the police. I succeeded in doing it; but I could not do anything more. After that very grave clash…

  1. NELTE: Will you tell me, please who was present during that scene?

KEITEL: As far as I remember, Colonel General Jodl was certainly present, at least for part of the time, and heard some of it, though perhaps not every word, since he was in the adjoining room at first. At any rate, Jodl and I returned to our quarters together.

We discussed the case and talked about the extremely unpleasant consequences which the whole matter would have. On returning to my quarters I immediately ordered General Von Graevenitz to report to me the following morning.

In this connection I must explain that Reich Marshal Gӧring was not present. If I was a little uncertain about that during my interrogation it was because I was told that witnesses had already stated that Gӧring was present. But right from the beginning I thought it improbable and doubtful. It is also incorrect; therefore, that Gӧring raised any accusations against me at the time. There had not been a conference in Berlin either. These are mistakes which I think I can explain by saying that Graevenitz, who came with Westhoff and saw me for the first time, was present during the report and witnessed a scene of a kind unusual in military life, because of the violence of my remarks in connection with the incident.

Do you want me to say anything more about the discussion with Graevenitz?

  1. NELTE: The only thing which interests me in this connection is, whether you repeated to Graevenitz the order previously given by Hitler in such a way that both Graevenitz and Westhoff who was also present, might get the impression that you yourself had issued the order for the shooting of the escaped officers.

KEITEL: According to the record of Westhoff’s interrogation, which I have seen, I can explain it, I think, as follows: First of all, I made serious accusations. I myself was extraordinarily excited; for I must say that even the order that the prisoners were to be retained by the police caused me extreme anxiety regarding their fate. I frankly admit that the possibility of their being shot while trying to escape remained in my subconscious mind. I certainly spoke in extreme agitation at the time and did not weigh my words carefully. And I certainly repeated Hitler’s words, which were, “We must make an example,” since I was afraid of some further serious encroachments upon The Prisoners of War Organization in other ways, apart from this single case of the prisoners not being returned to the Wehrmacht. On reading the interrogation report I saw the statement by Graevenitz, or rather, Westhoff, to the effect that I had said, “They will be shot, and most of them must be dead already.” I probably said something like, “You will see what a disaster this is; perhaps many of them have been shot already.”

I did not know, however, that they had already been shot; and I must confess that in my presence Hitler never said a word about anybody being shot. He only said, “Himmler, you will keep them; you will not hand them over.” I did not find out until several days later that they had been shot. I saw among other papers also an official report from the British Government stating that not until the 31st-the escape took place on the 25th-that not until the 31st were they actually shot.

Therefore Westhoff is also wrong in thinking that orders had already been issued saying that an announcement was to be made in the camp stating that certain people had been shot or would not return and that lists of names were to be posted. That order did not come until later, and I remember it; I remember it because of the following incident:

A few days afterwards, I think on or about the 31st, before the situation report, one of the adjutants told me that a report had been received that some had been shot. I requested a discussion alone with Hitler and told him that I had heard that people had been shot by the police. All he said was that he had received it too-naturally, since it was his report. In extreme disgust I told him my opinion of it. At that time he told me that it was to be published in the camp as a warning to the others. Only upon this the announcement in the camp was,ordered. In any case, Westhoff’s recollection of some of the facts, which he has sworn to, is not quite accurate, even if such expressions as those used by him and explained by me here may have occurred. We shall hear his own account of that.

  1. NELTE: Did Hitler ever tell you that he had ordered those men to be shot?

KEITEL: No, he never told me that. I never heard it from him. I heard it very much later, as far as I can remember, from Reich Marshal Gӧring, with whom the whole incident was, of course, the subject of discussions and conversations, especially as an Air Force camp was involved.

  1. NELTE: I should like to say in conclusion: Are you stating under oath, here, that you yourself neither ordered these Royal Air Force officers to be shot, nor did you receive and pass on such an order, nor did you yourself learn who gave the order?

KEITEL: That is correct. I neither received that order nor did I know or hear of it; nor did I pass on such an order. I can repeat this herewith under oath.

Vol. XI: 104th DAY: Wednesday 10 April 1946

Cross-Exam (Witness) Adolf Westhoff; Testimony

THE PRESIDENT: Will you repeat this oath after me: I swear by God-the Almighty and Omniscient-that I will speak the pure truth-and will withhold and add nothing. [The witness repeated the oath.] You may sit down. General Westhoff, you made a statement before Brigadier Shapcott or before Captain J.B. Parnell, did you not?

WESTHOFF: I do not know the captain’s name. I made a statement in England.

THE PRESIDENT: Yes. On the 13th of June 1945?

WESTHOFF: That is possible, yes.

THE PRESIDENT: You don’t know English, I suppose?


THE PRESIDENT: Well, I will read you-have the Prosecution got another copy of this document?


THE PRESIDENT: Yes. Well, Sir David, if you would follow me whilst I read it and draw my attention to any passages which are really relevant. ..


THE PRESIDENT: Since it is a considerably long document, I don’t wish to read it all to the witness.

What the Tribunal wants to know, General Westhoff, is whether you adhere to this statement or whether you wish to make any alterations in it And I will read to you, so that you may remember it, the material passages from the statement.

WESTHOFF: Very well.

THE PRESIDENT: “I was in charge of the ‘General’ department (Abteilung ‘Allgemein’) when the shooting of the escaped R.A.F. P.W. from Stalag Luft III took place. It was the first occasion on which Feldmarschall Keitel had sent for me. I went with General Von Graevenitz. He had been sent for and I was to accompany him. A certain number of officers had escaped from the Sagan Camp.”

Am I going too fast? “I don’t remember how many, but I believe about 80…”

  1. NELTE: Mr. President, can I be of service to the Tribunal by handing him a German translation which has been placed at my disposal by the Prosecution?

THE PRESIDENT: Yes, thank you.

SIR DAVID MAXWELL-FYFE: I am very grateful to Dr. Nelte.

THE PRESIDENT: General Westhoff, would you read that statement of yours through as quickly as you can? You will be able to see what are the really material passages, and then tell the Tribunal whether that statement is correct.


  1. NELTE: Mr. President, there is still another part of the statement which I have also received from the Prosecution. It was a very extensive compilation. May I also in addition submit this to the witness?

THE PRESIDENT: Do you mean that he has not the whole document?

  1. NELTE: No, he does not have all of it yet.

THE PRESIDENT: Oh yes, certainly.

  1. NELTE: I received it from the Prosecution in three sections and I should now like to give him these three parts so he may have it complete.

THE PRESIDENT: The statement that we have here in English is five pages done in type, and is certified in this way: “This appendix contains an accurate translation of oral statements made to me by Major General Westhoff on 13 June 1945 in reply to questions concerning the shooting of 50 R.A.F. officers from Stalag Luft III. Dated this 23rd day of the ninth month of 1945.  J.E. Parnell, Captain, Intelligence Corps.” Is that on…

  1. NELTE: Mr. President, I do not know whether General Westhoff was not perhaps interrogated several times. In this document he also made statements regarding the whole policy regarding prisoners of war-in other words, not only about the Sagancase. We are here concerned with a continuous report, and the witness…

THE PRESIDENT: The only document which is in evidence is this document which I have in my hand, which is annexed to the report of Brigadier Shapcott.

SIR DAVID MAXWELL-FYFE: My Lord, I looked at the document, the part that Dr. Nelte has. I think my German is sufficient to identify it. It is the same document. If Your Lordship will look at Page 2, Your Lordship will see the passage, “Generalinspekteur, General Roettig.” My Lord, that is where it starts, and I have checked it as to the last paragraph. It is the same, “I cannot remember having received any reports….” As far as my German goes, that is the same here; so this part of the document is the last half of the document that Your Lordship has.

THE PRESIDENT: I see. Yes, Dr. Nelte, and Sir David, perhaps the best course would be if Sir David put the passages upon which he relies to the witness, and the witness could then be asked whether those were accurate.


THE PRESIDENT: And Dr. Nelte can ask any questions that he wishes to after that. [Turning to the witness.] Witness, counsel is going to ask you questions upon this document now, so you need not go on reading.

SIR DAVID MAXWELL-FYFE: Witness, have you had a chance of reading the first paragraph of this statement?

WESTHOFF: Yes, I have read it.

SIR DAVID MAXWELL-FYFE: And is that correct? Is that true?

WESTHOFF: There are a few things in it that are not entirely correct. For instance, on the first page there is. . .

SIR DAVID MAXWELL-FYFE: Let me take it, then I read it to you, and see how far it is correct: “I was in charge of the ‘General’ department (Abteilung ‘Allgemein’) when the shooting of the escaped R.A.F. P.W. from Stalag Luft I11 took place.” That is correct, is it not?

WESTHOFF: Here is missing the phrase, “. . . when the shooting took place.”

SIR DAVID MAXWELL-FYFE: Now: “It was the first occasion on which Feldmarschall Keitel had sent for me. I went with General Von Graevenitz. He had been sent for and I was to accompany him.” Is that right?


SIR DAVID MAXWELL-FYFE: “A certain number of officers had escaped from the Sagan Camp. I do not remember how many, but I believe about 80.” That is correct, too?


SIR DAVID MAXWELL-FYFE: Now, the next sentence: “When we entered, the ‘Feldmarschall’ was very excited and nervous, and said, ‘Gentlemen, this is a bad business.’ ” Is that correct?


SIR DAVID MAXWELL-FYFE: Then: “We were always blamed whenever P. W. escaped. We could not tie them to our apron strings!” That is your own comment. Then you go on as to what the Field Marshal said: “This morning, Gӧring reproached me in the presence of Himmler for having let some more P.W. escape. It was unheard of!” You go on with your comment that: “Then they must have had a row because the camp did not come under us; it was a G.A.F. camp.” Is that correct, that the Field Marshal said: “This morning, Gӧring reproached me in the presence of Himmler for having let some more P.W. escape?”

WESTHOFF: Not in Himmler’s presence, but in Hitler’s presence. Hitler’s presence.

SIR DAVID MAXWELL-FYFE: It ought to be in Hitler’s presence?


SIR DAVID MAXWELL-FYFE: Now, the next sentence: “All G.A.F. camps came directly under the G.A.F. itself, but the inspector of P.W. camps was in charge of all camps for inspection purposes. I was not inspector yet.” We have had all that explained. I do not think that there is any dispute about the organization. I won’t trouble you about that.

We have gone into that in this court in some detail. Unless the Tribunal wants it, I did not intend to trouble this witness again. You say, “I was not inspector yet. General Von Graevenitz was inspector, and all camps came under him in matters concerning inspection and administration.”

Then you say: “Gӧring blamed Keitel for having let those men escape. These constant escapes were a bad show. Then Himmler interfered-I can only say what the Feldmarschall told us-and he complained that he would have to provide another 60,000 or 70,000 men as ‘Landwachen,’ et cetera.” Is that right? Did the Field Marshal say that?


SIR DAVID MAXWELL-FYFE: Now, the second paragraph: “Feldmarschall Keitel said to us, ‘Gentlemen, these escapes must stop. We must set an example. We shall take very severe measures. I can only tell you that the men who have escaped will be shot; probably the majority of them are dead already.’ Keitel said that to us at the conference.” Is that correct?


SIR DAVID MAXWELL-FYFE: Then you say: “We were amazed as that was a conception we had never come across before. The affair must have happened in March. We were sent to the ‘Feldmarschall’ in Berlin a few days after the escape, not on that account but for some other business. We knew they had escaped, and we were taken by surprise by that declaration at the conference.”

Then you go on again with your account of the conference: “General Von Graevenitz intervened at once and said, ‘But, Sir, that is out of the question. Escape is not a dishonorable offense. That is specially laid down in the Convention.’ ” Is that correct, that General Von Graevenitz said these words?

WESTHOFF: General Von Graevenitz made objections with reference to the Geneva Convention, but there is missing in this report the fact that the Field Marshal said to General Von Graevenitz that this was a matter of a Führer decree. That is missing here.

SIR DAVID MAXWELL-FYFE: Well, if you look at the next sentence that I was going to read to you, you say: He“-that is General Von Graevenitz-“raised these objections, whereupon Keitel said, ‘I do not care a damn; we discussed it in the Führer’s presence, and it cannot be altered.’ ” Is that correct?

WESTHOFF: No. The Field Marshal said, “That is a matter of indifference to me. That is a matter of indifference to me.”

SIR DAVID MAXWELL-FYFE: I think it would be easier, General, if you told the Tribunal now, to the best of your recollection, what did the Field Marshal say after General Von Graevenitz had made his objections?

WESTHOFF: I have deposed a sworn statement to the Court on that subject, which I might perhaps read: “Regarding the presence of General Von Graevenitz and myself at the headquarters in March of 1944, Field Marshal Keitel .. .”

SIR DAVID MAXWELL-FYFE: General Westhoff, the Tribunal may want that later. It would be easier if you would try to stick to this statement for the moment-whether it is right or wrong at the moment-and then we will deal with any other one later on.

It is just this point, if you could direct your mind to it: After General Von Graevenitz had made his objection, as you have told us, on the ground of the Convention, what did the Field Marshal say? What did he say at that point? If you would just try and do that, it would be a great help to us all.

WESTHOFF: The Field Marshal then said, “It is now a matter of indifference; we must set an example.”

SIR DAVID MAXWELL-FYFE: I thought you said that he did mention that there was a Führer decree to that effect, or a Führer order, or something of that sort. Did he mention that?

WESTHOFF: That he had already said at the very beginning, that this was a matter of a Führer decree.

SIR DAVID MAXWELL-FYFE: In the next paragraph you point out in this statement-and I think it is only fair to yourself to read it; it is the second sentence: “But in this case none of our men-the men of the Wehrmacht-had shot any of the P.W. I made inquiries at once.”

Then you say: “None of them had been shot by a soldier, but by Gestapo men only or else police sentries. That proves that probably Himmler-of course, I do not know whether he made the suggestion to the Führer, or how they arranged it. It should be possible to find that out from Gӧring, who was present at the conference. Naturally, I do not know.” Do you remember making these answers?


SIR DAVID MAXWELL-FYFE: Then, you say again: “At any rate, it is a clear fact that our hen did not shoot any of them; they must all have been shot by policemen.”

And you point out in the last sentence: “But in this particular case, only those caught by our people were brought back to the camp, that is, those caught by soldiers.”

Now, in the next paragraph you say that you had no authority to give the police orders, and you repeat that the members of the Wehrmacht did not shoot any of them. And then in the third sentence you say: “I had a report sent me at once, and told General Von Graevenitz, ‘Sir, the only thing we can do is to see that no dirty business is carried out where we are in charge.’ ” Is that right: Does that correctly describe what you did, General?


SIR DAVID MAXWELL-FYFE: Now, you go on to say, a sentence or two later, that you were faced with a fait accompli; and then you say, after repeating General Von Graevenitz’s protests to Field Marshal Keitel, when he had said, “That’s quite impossible, we cannot shoot any people”: “How the shooting was carried out I heard from the representative of the protecting power, Herr Naville, of Switzerland.” Is that right?


SIR DAVID MAXWELL-FYFE: How did you hear of the shooting?

WESTHOFF: I turned to the Gestapo and wanted the particulars of the shootings for the Foreign Office, and I did not get them. The representative of Switzerland, Herr Naville, whom I had sent to the camp, visited me on his return, and from him I learned the only thing that I ever heard about this matter, namely, that apparently a prisoner of war who had returned to the camp had seen that the escaped airmen had been driven out of the Gorlitz Prison on a truck heavily chained and under strong guard. That is the only thing I learned about this affair at all, and I have up to now not found out in what way these airmen perished. The Gestapo refused to inform me of this.

SIR DAVID MAXWELL-FYFE: But it is correct that generally what information you did receive you received from the representative of the protecting power. I don’t know if you remember whether his name was Naville or not. But it is right, isn’t it?

WESTHOFF: I did not understand the question.

SIR DAVID MAXWELL-FYFE: What information you did receive-you tell us that it was very little-you received from the representative of Switzerland, of the protecting power. Is that right?


SIR DAVID MAXWELL-FYFE: Well now, I want to deal with the next bit in the statement where you tried to get in touch with the Foreign Office, and if you look down the paragraph you will see that you say: “At any rate, we did not get any news, and so it was pointed out to the Field Marshal that such a state of affairs was impossible, that we had to get in communication with the Foreign Office. Then he emphatically stated that it was forbidden to get in touch with the Foreign Office.” Is that correct?


SIR DAVID MAXWELL-FYFE: I will read on, two sentences: “Then the affair was raised in the House of Commons in England, and then a note was sent by our side. Then I was quite suddenly called up by Admiral Bürckner of the Foreign Department (Amtsgruppe Ausland) in the OKW, which keeps contact with the Foreign Office. He called me up by telephone at night and said, ‘The Feldmarschall has given me orders to prepare an answer for England immediately. What is it all about? I don’t know anything about the case.’ I said, ‘Herr Admiral, I am sorry, but General Von Graevenitz received strict orders not to talk to anyone about it. Nothing was allowed to be put down in writing either. Apart from that, we ourselves were faced with an accomplished fact. This order was apparently issued by Himmler, and the position was such that we could do nothing more at all about it.” Is that a correct account?

WESTHOFF: Here again the word “Himmler” stands where the word “Hitler” should stand.

SIR DAVID MAXWELL-FYFE: That should be Hitler. Apart from that, that is correct? I mean, in substance is that a correct account of the conversation between Admiral Bürckner and yourself?


SIR DAVID MAXWELL-FYFE: You then go on to say that Admiral Bürckner wanted you to tell him about the affair; that you only knew what the gentlemen from Switzerland had told you; and that you had made various attempts to approach the Gestapo. And then, if you look, at just before the end of that paragraph: “Then the Foreign Office itself got into touch and took charge of this affair. Then another of my men, Lieutenant Colonel Kraff, went to Berchtesgaden while I was on a journey. At that time a note to England was to be prepared. Then, when we read this note to England in the newspaper, we were all absolutely taken aback. We all clutched our heads. Mad! We could do nothing about the affair.” Is that correct? Did you say that, and is that correct?

WESTHOFF: The matter was then turned over to the Foreign Office, and the Foreign Office was charged with the preparation of a note to England. At this discussion Lieutenant Colonel Krab was apparently called in as a specialist for the Sagan case to clarify any doubts, if such were still at hand. That is not to mean at all, however, that Lieutenant Colonel Kraff was in any way concerned with the preparation of the note; that was purely a matter for the Foreign Office. The Foreign Office had only called him in so that, if there were still any doubts about the matter, they could be clarified on the spot.

SIR DAVID MAXWELL-FYFE: Now, General, the next part of the statement I did not intend to read unless the Tribunal wanted it, because you are making quite clear that in your opinion the Inspector General, General Roettig, had nothing to do with the affair at all. And if you accept it from me that that is the substance of the next two paragraphs, I won’t trouble you with it in detail. You are making clear that General Roettig had nothing to do with it. Is that right?


SIR DAVID MAXWELL-FYFE: Well, I am sorry. If you will look at the first sentence-I thought it represented it fairly. Look at the first sentence: “Generalinspekteur General Roettig had nothing to do with it, nothing at all. He did not have any hand in the affair at all. He was completely excluded from it by the fact that these matters were taken out of his hands, apparently at that conference with the Führer in the morning, that is to say, the conference between Himmler, Field Marshal Keitel, and Gӧring, which took place in the Führer’s presence.” Is that right? I only wanted to put it shortly that you were trying to and quite rightly if it is true, to give your view that General Roettig had nothing to do with it. Is that right, that is, that sentence I read to you? Did you say, “yes’?

WESTHOFF: The Inspector General was responsible for measures to prevent escape, but had nothing to do with this matter.

SIR DAVID MAXWELL-FYFE: There is no difference between us. That is what I was suggesting. Now, I’d like you to look at the next paragraph. It also deals with General Roettig. Then, after that, you explain the position of the officers. You say this: “I only know an order existed that only officers and, I believe; only those who were caught by the Gestapo should be handed over to them.”

Then you say-you talk about intelligence I don’t want to trouble you about that. Then, if you would look at the next paragraph: “I received a report from the camp saying so and so many men had been shot whilst attempting to escape. I did not hear from the Gestapo at all; It is like this. The reports are sent to the camp. Then the camp informed us that a certain number of men had been recaptured and a certain number shot. Things are reported in that way. The Gestapo sent me no information whatsoever; they merely told us casually whenever we made inquiries, that they had recaptured a certain number.”

Now the next sentence I want you to look at carefully: “The Field Marshal gave us detailed instructions to publish a list at the camp, giving the names of those shot, as a warning. That was done. That was a direct order which we could not disobey.” Is that correct?

WESTHOFF: It was ordered that a list of all those who were shot be posted up in the camp as a warning.

SIR DAVID MAXWELL-FYFE: And then the next sentence says: “Apparently the bodies were burned and the ashes put into urns and sent to the camp.” And then there is arrangement about the burial. Then you say that that raised great difficulties. A sentence or two later you say that matters of that sort were always passed to higher authority. They went to the Party Chancellery, and then there was hell to pay. The cremation of prisoners of war was forbidden.

And then later on, when you say that you raised the question of it being contrary to the Convention, you say: “Whenever I addressed the Officers’ corps and said, ‘Gentlemen, we only act according to the Convention,’ someone from higher authority from the Party Chancellery, arrived the following day and said, ‘Gentlemen, the Convention is a scrap of paper which doesn’t interest us.”‘ Is that correct as to the general procedure?

WESTHOFF: It is not entirely correct. The OKW took the point of view that the Convention should be observed, but the prisoner-of-war affairs as such in Germany were only apparently in the hands of the OKW. The people who really formed the decisions on prisoner-of-war affairs were the Party and economic offices.

Thus, for example, my office had to submit to the deputy of the Party Chancellery every order that was issued, and the Party Chancellery decided how this order was to be issued, and not the OKW at all.

SIR DAVID MAXWELL-FYFE: I don’t want to go into it in detail. You had an interview with Bormann’s deputy, Friedrich, at the Party Chancellery. And then in the next long paragraph beginning, “The Air Force P.W. camps were under G.A.F. administration...” We have gone into that, if Your Lordship agrees, in detail-the Air Force side of it. I did not intend to’ put that.

Then I want you to come to where it says, in the paragraph after you talked about the question of handing over prisoner-of-war camps tot Himmler’s organization-you see it reads, “We were told all men who get away are to be shot!” It may be the beginning of the next paragraph in my English version. Do you see it after a long paragraph about Air Force camps?

WESTHOFF: What page please?

SIR DAVID MAXWELL-FYFE: The trouble is the pages are different, but it begins, “We were told all men who get away are to be shot...” It is the third last paragraph of the document. If you start from the end of the document, you will see a paragraph: “I cannot remember...” One before it: “We arranged with the ‘Feldmarschall‘ …” It is the one before that: “We were told all men who get away are to be shot…” Have you got it?

“The ‘Feldmarschall’ prohibited anything concerning this to be put into writing, nothing at all. Only the camp was to be informed in order to put them in the picture. I discussed the matter with Graevenitz once more. I can’t. tell you the exact details anymore. We contacted the Gestapo regarding the return of the bodies. We had to have them back. Then Von Graevenitz left for the front.”

Now it is the next bit I want you to look at carefully. “I then said to Oberstleutnant Krafft, ‘I won’t do it like that; I am going to cover myself at all costs so that we are not involved in it afterwards. It is true the “Feldmarschall” has forbidden it to be put in writing, but I want to have it in writing. It must be signed by the Führer.‘ ” Now that is what you said to Krafft-comparatively unimportant.

WESTHOFF: That is not entirely correct.

SIR DAVID MAXWELL-FYFE: Tell us what you would like altered in it.

WESTHOFF: I wanted it in writing, signed by the Field Marshal, and for this ‘purpose I issued a memorandum describing this discussion. And thus I had the Field Marshal’s signature with my office for future events so that I would have something in writing to prove it actually true.

SIR DAVID MAXWELL-FYFE: Now, just look at the next sentence. I think that entirely agrees with what you have said: “Contrary to Feldmarschall Keitel’s orders-I pretended that I had not understood properly-I worked the thing out on paper. I said to Oberstleutnant Kraff, ‘I want to have the word “shoot” included so that Keitel can see it in writing. He may adopt a different attitude then.’ “When I got the thing back, he had written the following in the margin: ‘I did not definitely say “shoot”; I said, “Hand over to the police or hand over to the Gestapo.” ‘”

WESTHOFF: That is not entirely correct.

SIR DAVID MAXWELL-FYFE: What change would you like to make in that, General?

WESTHOFF: I stated that clearly in my sworn statement, that the Field Marshal had written on the margin, “I did not say ‘shoot,’ but ‘turn over to the Gestapo.’ ”

SIR DAVID MAXWELL-FYFE: Is that the same as is in this statement? It says he wrote in the margin, ” ‘I did not definitely say ‘shoot’ I said, ‘hand over to the police or hand over to the Gestapo.’ “

WESTHOFF: Well, that is right.

SIR DAVID MAXWELL-FYFE: I wanted this to be quite clear, General. The draft order or note of information that you had put up to the Field Marshal contained the word “shoot“?


SIR DAVID MAXWELL-FYFE: Now there is only one other bit. You go on to say: “We arranged with the ‘Feldmarschall’ to have the matter submitted to the Führer. We had the feeling that there was something not quite in order.”

And then you say that you had to approach the police authorities on a slightly lower level, and about 10 lines down you say this: “In the end, I could not get where I wanted with this affair. So I went to Berlin myself-it was the only time I ever saw Kaltenbrunner-and I said to Kaltenbrunner, ‘This matter is still outstanding. It should be submitted to the Führer. I can’t carry on like this. A decision must be made some time. But apart from that, I am of the opinion that the whole affair should be dropped. The whole thing is madness.’ It has already let us into so much unpleasantness and is so monstrous that I am still of the opinion that this affair should either be stopped in some way or the Führer be dissuaded from continuing it any further.’“ Is that generally, again, in substance, a correct version of what you said to the Defendant Kaltenbrunner?

WESTHOFF: This does not directly concern this matter, however, but rather an order that was to be hued by Wagner in connection with it and to be submitted to the Führer in two ways, one via the chief of the OKW and the other via Himmler. This order had been submitted to Keitel in draft form which then went to the Gestapo. The Gestapo read this draft, and then the matter was carried no further. I was never able to find out why this was so, and for this reason I myself duly addressed Kaltenbrunner about this matter.

SIR DAVID MAXWELL-FYFE: Was this the order in its final form that escaped prisoners of war should be handed over to the Gestapo or the police?


SIR DAVID MAXWELL-FYFE: I see. So this, General Westhoff, if I may have your attention, was really dealing with the future, was it? This was dealing with what was to be done in the future?


SIR DAVID MAXWELL-FYFE: My Lord, I don’t think one need go into it in details again, unless the Tribunal want My Lord, the rest of the statement is only a general account of the attitude of the British prisoners of war, and I have no complaint about it at all.

My Lord, there is me problem that has arisen which perhaps the Tribunal would now consider the convenient time. My friend, Colonel Pokrovsky, has certain quite different matters with regard to the treatment of Soviet prisoners of war which he wanted to raise with this witness, and perhaps the Tribunal would consider it a convenient time to do it.

THE PRESIDENT: It probably would be more convenient if Dr. Nelte put his questions to this witness, if he has any, first, before Colonel Pokrovsky.

SIR DAVID MAXWELL-FYFE: I should respectfully agree to clear up this topic first.

THE PRESIDENT: Unless Colonel Pokrovsky’s questions might relate to the Defendant Keitel?

SIR DAVID MAXWELL-FYFE: They do relate, of course, to the position of the OKW with these prisoners of war, but they have nothing to do with Sagan.

THE PRESIDENT: Dr. Nelte, have you any questions you want to put to this witness?

  1. NELTE: Witness, what was just read to you was called a “statement” and was presented here. Have you ever given this statement in complete form orally or in writing?

WESTHOFF: I was interrogated on different occasions, and this interrogatory which has been presented to me is a summation of my testimony. Of course, I found errors here and there because it has been summarized, and the questions have been omitted.

  1. NELTE: In other words, this is a summation of the answers you gave to questions at various interrogations?


  1. NELTE: Was this summation ever submitted to you?


  1. NELTE: I had the impression that the passages read to you here just now were on occasion very, long and that you actually answered always only the latter part of these passages. I should like to ask you whether after this interrogation in London you were not again interrogated?

WESTHOFF: I was interrogated here in Nuremberg.

  1. NELTE: By Colonel Williams?


  1. NELTE: What did Colonel Williams say to you at the conclusion of this interrogation? What did he request of you?

WESTHOFF: At the conclusion of the interrogation, Colonel Williams asked me to describe briefly the basic central point of my testimony and to sum it up in a sworn statement.

  1. NELTE: Did you swear to this statement before Colonel Williams?

WESTHOFF: Yes, I swore to it.

  1. NELTE: Now, I should like first of all to go through with you the interrogation that you had with Colonel Williams, and which is to be found in Document RF-1450. I am having this document handed over to you.

THE PRESIDENT: What do you mean by Document 1450?

  1. NELTE: RF-1450 is contained in the document book, in my document book as Number 5.

THE PRESIDENT: But you mean RF-1450, do you?

  1. NELTE: Yes, RF. This document is entitled, “Summary of Interrogation of General Adolf Westhoff by Colonel Curtis L. Williams, on 2 November 1945.”

THE PRESIDENT: Just one minute, Dr. Nelte. Dr. Nelte, the Tribunal think that you can put to this witness, “Did you or did you not make a different statement in an interrogation at some other time?” But the document that you are referring to now is a document which the Tribunal refused to admit on your objections. When the French presented that document, you objected to it and it was therefore not allowed to be put in, so that the proper way in which to put the question now is, “Did you say to Colonel Williams so and so?”

  1. NELTE: I have here a compilation of those points in the document or in the notes of Colonel Williams which according to your declaration are supposed not to be: correct. I now ask you, what did you, or did you not upon being questioned by Colonel Williams…

THE PRESIDENT: Dr. Nelte, it is not right for you to say that they are different-you must ask him questions about it, not make statements yourself.

  1. NELTE: What did you say to Colonel Williams to his question, whether the prisoner-of-war camps in their entirety were supposed to be subordinate to the OKW and to Field Marshal Keitel?

WESTHOFF: The prisoner-of-war camps were subordinate to the OKW only to the extent that the OKW had the legal control of them and insofar as the protective powers, that is, the International Red Cross was involved. The OKW did not have the power to give orders or dole out punishment in the camps.

  1. NELTE: What did you answer tom Colonel Williams’ question, on the right of the OKW regarding the inspection of the camps?

WESTHOFF: The OKW was entitled to inspect. That can be seen also in my official orders in which it states clearly that the inspector was entitled to inspect the camp.

  1. NELTE: What did you answer to Colonel Williams’ question, to whom Stalag Luft III, Sagan, was subordinate?

WESTHOFF: Stalag Luft III, Sagan, was subordinate to the Commander-in-Chief of the Luftwaffe, because the Commander-in-Chief of the Luftwaffe, on his own wish and already at the beginning of the war, had all prisoner-of-war camps containing airmen placed under his control.

  1. NELTE: Did you answer to one of Colonel Williams’ questions that Gӧring, Himmler, Keitel, and Hitler had decided to shoot the officers who escaped in Sagan?

WESTHOFF: No, that is a mistake. Colonel Williams asked me what the Führer had said to Field Marshal Keitel; thereupon, I answered clearly that I could give no information about this, since I had not taken part in that conference. I could only make statements about the conference which Field Marshal Keitel had with General Von Graevenitz.

  1. NELTE: Did you answer Colonel Williams that Field Marshal Keitel, during this conference with Graevenitz, said, “This is my order“?

WESTHOFF: No, the Field Marshal could not issue an order regarding the shootings, since the shootings were not within the competence of the Wehrmacht but in that of the Gestapo.

  1. NELTE: During your interrogation, particularly also with Colonel Williams, did you state clearly that it never had been a question of an order issued by Keitel himself or of an order which Keitel transmitted to you on higher orders?

WESTHOFF: It concerned information given to General Von Graevenitz. That is also stated with no reservations in my sworn statement.

  1. NELTE: Then, if I understand you correctly, you declare that Field Marshal Keitel never issued an order of his own nor ever expressed the idea that he at all wanted to give you an order regarding a shooting of the officers?

WESTHOFF: No, that he could also not do.

  1. NELTE: During the previous interrogation by the prosecutor there was talk of a report which the camp commander at Gorlitz is supposed to have delivered to you. This is also in the notes. Did you ask for or receive a report from the camp commander?

WESTHOFF: I had no personal connection at all with the camp commander at Gorlitz. That must be a confusion with the statement of the Swiss representative, Naville.

  1. NELTE: Is it correct that during the discussion between Keitel, on the one hand, and General Von Graevenitz and you, on the other, two matters were brought up: First, the case of the escaped Royal Air Force officers; and, second, the question as to what should be done in the future, or how escapes should be prevented?

WESTHOFF: Yes, that is so.

  1. NELTE: I now have questions to ask you which I request you to answer, if possible, with “yes” or “no.” Is it true that in the first case, namely, the affair of the 50 Royal Air Force pilots, only conversation afforded the possibility of gaining information of what had happened in the higher circles?


  1. NELTE: Did General Graevenitz, upon his return from headquarters, not say to you, “What can we do at all if the Gestapo once gets things into their hands”?


  1. NELTE: In other words, it is clear from your whole conversation with Keitel, that it was a question here of an order directed to Himmler from Hitler?

WESTHOFF: In regard to the shooting, yes.

  1. NELTE: After Professor Naville visited the SaganCamp, did he say to you that his impression was that certainly stronger forces were at work here against which the OKW could do nothing?

WESTHOFF: Yes, he said that.

  1. NELTE: With reference to the escaped pilots, did the OKW do anything regarding their capture or treatment, or was it clear that in this respect this matter was unfortunately settled so far as the OKW were concerned?

WESTHOFF: The OKW could do nothing further because the matter had been taken entirely out of their hands.

  1. NELTE: Accordingly, then, it is not correct to say that, after this discussion between Keitel, Graevenitz, and Westhoff, a conference was again called by the OKW?

WESTHOFF: No, there was no further conference in the OKW.

  1. NELTE: A document has been submitted in which Colonel Walde-it is Document D-731, Mr. President-in which Colonel Walde deposes-and to be sure, he says at the beginning that he had to reconstruct from memory what had happened-according to his recollection, he believed that the OKW had called a conference that took place in the Prinz Albrechtstrasse. Do you know anything about that?

WESTHOFF: I only know about this conference from you yourself. It could not have been called by the OKW, for then it would have been held by us in Torgau. Without a doubt, however, it was held in Berlin, as you told me, and that is no conference called by the OKW.

  1. NELTE: Is it correct that prisoner-of-war officers recaptured by the Wehrmacht were again put in the SaganCamp and also remained there?

WESTHOFF: Yes, that is right.

  1. NELTE: Were recaptured prisoners of war, who were turned over to the camp in any case, let oat again?


  1. NELTE: On the other hand, is it true that you gave the camp commander strict orders on the part of the OKW that recaptured prisoners should under no circumstances be let out of the camp again?

WESTHOFF: The order was not given by me to the camp commander but to the cosmmanders in the military administrative districts in charge of prisoners of war.

  1. NELTE: But by them to the camps?

WESTHOFF: To the camps, yes.

  1. NELTE: An order was mentioned to the effect that the names of the escaped prisoners who had not come back, were to be published. You stated before “as a warning.” In order to clarify this question-the purpose of this order which, of course, came from above-I should like to ask you whether Field Marshal Keitel did not say as justification, “I hope, however, that the prisoners will be so shocked by this that in the future they will not escape any more“?

WESTHOFF: Yes, the Field Marshal said that.

  1. NELTE: You deposed, or rather, it was read to you that Field Marshal Keitel said to you and General Von Graevenitz that nothing should be put down in writing about the whole matter, nor should it be discussed with any other office.


  1. NELTE: Is it then correct to say that you drew up a memorandum regarding this matter, namely, the conference, and had it submitted to Keitel?


  1. NELTE: Is it correct that Field Marshal Keitel did not find fault with this fact as one might certainly really have expected but wrote his initial “K” on the upper corner of this memorandum?


  1. NELTE: Is it furthermore correct that you, because you had to report, repeatedly got in touch with the Reich Security Main Office in order to find out something about the fate of these unfortunate officers?

WESTHOFF: Not only did I get in touch with the Reich Security Main Office but, since I myself did not succeed in this effort, I also reported the matter to the General Office of the Wehrmacht, but as far as I know, it also did not succeed in this effort.

  1. NELTE: Is it further correct that you asked the representative of the International Red Cross, Dr. Naville, to visit the Sagan Camp in connection with this event?

WESTHOFF: I brought a boat this visit, yes.

  1. NELTE: Is it furthermore true that Field Marshal Keitel called you up and told you that the Foreign Minister had to have precise knowledge of the whole occurrence, in order to draw up a note of reply?


  1. NELTE: And that consequently you were to tell the Foreign Office about the occurrence in all its details?


  1. NELTE: Did Keitel say on this occasion that you were to conceal anything or to put anything in a false light?


  1. NELTE: Was the OKW involved in the composition of the note as it was sent in final form?


  1. NELTE: Is it correct that your representative, Lieutenant Colonel Kraff, was ordered by the Foreign Office to attend a meeting in Berchtesgaden for the sole purpose of giving correct information is reply to possible further inquiry by the representative of the Foreign Office, in case the information were demanded?


  1. NELTE: Is it finally correct that Lieutenant Colonel Kraff reported to you that the Foreign Office had presented a note to Hitler, and Hitler had rejected it and then composed the text himself?

WESTHOFF: So far as I recall, that is right.

  1. NELTE: The second part of the conferences between Keitel, Graevenitz, and Westhoff concerned itself with the question of what action should be taken in the future: You stated in this connection that an order was to be drawn up, and that it was a question of certain spheres of competence that had to be discussed with the Reich Security Main Office. Tell me in this connection what, if anything, did the Reich Security Main Office or Himmler have to do with the administration of prisoners of war?

WESTHOFF: Himmler was responsible for the security of the Reich and, insofar as all the prisoners of war were concerned, he had to concern himself with the search for all escaped prisoners.

  1. NELTE: Did he, because of this, come into conflict in any way with your OKW Prisoner of War Department?

WESTHOFF: Insofar as we often asked, whenever prisoners of war escaped, what had been done with them and received no information, or information with which we could do nothing, for which we had no use.

  1. NELTE: Does that mean that it was possible that Himmler or his office gave you no information when they caught prisoners of war?

WESTHOFF: That is absolutely possible, and we also supposed that such was the case repeatedly.

  1. NELTE: Did you on one occasion, while drawing up or drafting orders which were concerned with the treatment of escaped prisoners of war, use the words “Stufe III”?


  1. NELTE: Do you know whether the meaning of these words signifying a death sentence were known at all in the OKW?

WESTHOFF: They were not known to me. I was asked about that the first time in London and had to state then also that I could not give any information about that.

  1. NELTE: When you say, you personally, then you probably mean the organization as well, since you belonged to the OKW.


  1. NELTE: I have a document here, Number 1514-PS. It concerns a collective order of the commander of Wehrkreis VI regarding the treatment of escaped prisoners of war. You will see in this order a whole number of references to years as far back as 1942.

I ask you now according to your knowledge and experience, would not an order supposed to have been issued on 4 March 1944 also have been entered here, had its contents been very important?

WESTHOFF: If it was a question of a secret order, yes.

  1. NELTE: It is in the German. ..

THE PRESIDENT: Just a minute Dr. Nelte. Aren’t you getting very far away from the subject upon which this witness was being examined? I mean, he was being examined about an interview which he had with the Field Marshal Keitel, and here you are asking him about something which has nothing to do with that at all, as far as I am able to see.

  1. NELTE: I believe that I shall make clear that this has something to do with the second part of this conference, namely, regarding the treatment of recaptured escaped officers. These are preparatory questions that I must ask to make clear, in my opinion. .. ,

THE PRESIDENT: But it is a very long cross-examination of a witness whom you did not wish to call. The Tribunal wish you to make your cross-examination as brief as possible.

  1. NELTE: I shall make it as brief as the interests of the defendant permit. [Turning to the witness.] Is it not customary in the German system of issuing orders that in referring to an order issued by higher authorities the date and archive number is given?

WESTHOFF: Yes, always.

  1. NELTE: Did you ever give any information to the representatives of the protecting powers or to the International Red Cross that prisoners of war, of whose capture you were fully aware, that these had not been recaptured?


  1. NELTE: Do you know anything about-and here I have the last document shown you, 1650-PS… [Document 1650-PS was submitted to the witness.]

THE PRESIDENT: What was the point of showing 1514-PS to him? He has not been asked any relevant questions about it at all.

  1. NELTE: From this document I found corroboration of the answer of the defendant through the witness that if an order had been issued on 4 March 1944, as it was presented here, it would have had to be contained in this document.

THE PRESIDENT: The Tribunal think it is a waste of time, Dr. Nelte.

  1. NELTE: I shall be through in a few minutes, Mr. President. [Turning to the witness.] Witness, would you please look on Page 3 of this document, under Number 2. It reads: “The OKW is requested to inform the prisoner-of-war camps that in the interest of camouflage the recaptured officers are not to be turned over directly to Mauthausenbut to the local State Police authority.”

Did you ever in your activity in the OKW know anything of such a request or such an order?

WESTHOFF: That is not familiar to me. That also took place at a time when I was not chief.

  1. NELTE: But on taking over on 1 April 1944 you must have known of all important events or must have taken note of them?


  1. NELTE: Did you ever find out in this connection that such a document had been presented?

WESTHOFF: No, I do, not know of it.

  1. NELTE: And now, the last question. Look at the first page of this document. It is a teletype from the Chief of the Sipo and SD, of 4 March ’44. It reads in the first part as follows: “The OKW has ordered the following: Every recaptured escaped prisoner of war officer-et cetera-“is, after his recapture, to be turned over to the Chief of the Sipo and SD with the code word ‘Stufe III’. …” The Defendant Keitel has stated here that he does not know of such an OKW order.

I ask you, did you find such a command, such an order in the files, in the files which must have been presented to you when you took over office on 1 April 1944?

WESTHOFF: I did not find such an order, but an order of this kind existed without a doubt.

  1. NELTE: In what way?

WESTHOFF: So far as I recall, General Graevenitz brought this order either from the field headquarters or from the General Office of the Wehrmacht.

  1. NELTE: How is it possible then that such an order was not in your files?

WESTHOFF: Because there was an order that this order was to exist only orally.

  1. NELTE: Then please tell me what the procedure was when such an order was given orally.

WESTHOFF: It could be transmitted orally:

  1. NELTE: That is, your office?

WESTIIOFF: It was then transmitted through the Chief of the Prisoner of War Department.

  1. NELTE: Chief?


  1. NELTE: And you know that such an order was transmitted?

WESTHOFF: General Von Graevenitz brought such an order with him and, as far as I know, the order was also transmitted further.

  1. NELTE: Then you certainly must have known what “Stufe III” meant?

WESTHOFF: No, that I did not know. I have said that I knew only that there was an order to turn over these recaptured prisoners to the Gestapo but I cannot remember details because I never saw a written order.

  1. NELTE: Can you then state that this order, as you see it there before you, was issued by the OKW?

WESTHOFF: No, that I cannot say.

  1. NELTE: Thank you.

THE PRESIDENT: The Tribunal will adjourn.



Napoleonic Wars: Chronology 1814

Events of 1814 leading up to Napoleon’s banishment to the Island prison of Elba.

1 January: Blücher crosses the Rhine River
4 January: Napoleon rejects Allied peace terms
25 January: Napoleon leaves Paris to join his Army
29 January: Napoleon captures Brienne. Murat declares for the Allies
1 February: Battle of La Rothière
7 February: Napoleon again rejects Allied peace terms
10 February: Olsufiev routed at Champaubert
11 February: Sacken and Yorck defeated at Montmirial
14 February: Blücher defeated at Vauchamps
18 February: Battle of Montereau. Schwarzenberg withdraws.
26 February: Augereau advances on Geneva
27 February: Wellington beats Soult at Orthez. Schwarzenberg defeats Oudinot at Bar-sur-Aube
1 March: Treaty of Chaumont; Allies pledge no separate peace. Blücher checked at river Ourcq
3 March: French surrender Soissons
7 March: Napoleon wins Battle of Craonne
9 March: Napoleon is checked at Laon
13 March: Napoleon captures Reims
19 March: Peace negotiations at Châtillion finally broken off
21-22 March: Battle of Arcis-sur-Aube
25 March: Battles at Fère-Champenoise
27 March: Napoleon routs Winzingerode
30 March: Battle of Montmartre: Paris capitulates
4 April: Marmont’s corps defects to Allies
12 March: Napoleon abdicates unconditionally
13 April: Napoleon attempts suicide, but recovers
4 May: Napoleon disembarks at Elba


SOURCE: NAPOLEON: The Last Campaigns 1813-15; BY James Lawford
CONTRIBUTOR: Martin F. Elkins