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oners of war, and the high death rate among them, appears from the statements in a letter sent to him by Rosenberg on 28 February 1942. The letter stressed the need for better treatment of the Russians, so that they would be well impressed by the Germans. (081-PS)

An order of Keitel's OKW provided that escaped officers and non-working non-commissioned officers other than Americans and British were to be turned over to the SIPO and SD upon re'capture. The SIPO and SD, upon instructions from their chief, would then transport the men to the Mauthausen concentration camp under operation “Kugel” (L-158). Such prisoners were executed at Mauthausen upon arrival (2285-PS). Americans and British who were recaptured might be turned over to the SIPO and SD, upon decision of the "W.Kdos" from the OKW/ o.i.c. (L-158)

(4) Killing of Hostages. Keitel's criminal activities are shown by the following two documents. On 16 December 1941 he signed an order stating that uprisings among German troops in occupied territories must be considered as inspired by a communist conspiracy, and that the death of one German soldier must mean death for fifty or one hundred communists. (829-PS)

Keitel also signed an order (received by the OKH on 1 October 1941) specifying that hostages should be well known, and that they should come from Nationalist, Democrat, or Communist political factions. After each act of sabotage hostages belonging to the saboteur's group should be shot. (1590-PS)

(5) Plunder of public and private property. The looting of cultural property was carried on chiefly under Rosenberg by the Einsatzstab Rosenberg, an organization established for that purpose. In the West he was to act in his capacity as Reichsleiter, and in the East in his capacity as Reichsminister. Keitel's OKW cooperated with Rosenberg, and directions for carrying out the order were to be issued by the Chief of the OKW in agreement with Rosenberg (149-PS). Keitel ordered the military authorities to cooperate in this program (137-PS; 138-PS). A memorandum of 17 May 1944 in the Rosenberg Ministry states that the Wehrmacht was one of the principal agencies engaged in removing treasures from Russia. (1107-PS)

Keitel was also responsible for the removal of machine tools, foodstuffs, and other materials from occupied territories. (1161PS; 743-PS)

(6) The exaction of collective penalties. Collective penalties

were exacted from the population for acts of individuals for which it could not be held responsible. Keitel advocated such measures. This appears from correspondence on acts of sabotage in the shipbuilding yards. (C-48; 870-PS; 871-PS)

(7) Germanization of Occupied Territories. On 16 July 1941 Keitel was present at a meeting with Hitler where the policy was announced of exploiting occupied Russian territory and making it part of the Reich. (L-221)

In order to promote a racially valuable German heritage an order signed by Hitler, Lammers, and Keitel provides for payment of subsidies to Norwegian or Dutch women who had borne children of German soldiers. The Chief of OKW was authorized to extend its application to other occupied territories. (2926-PS)

(8) Persecution of minorities. Keitel's responsibility for the persecution of minorities in Germany appears from the fact that, with Hitler, Goering, and Lammers, he signed a decree on 7 October 1939 which provided that the harmful influence of foreigners must be eliminated from Germany; that Germans could be resettled by the Reichsfuehrer SS; and that the Reichsfuehrer SS could perform "all necessary general and administrative measures" to discharge this duty. (686-PS)

Keitel's responsibility for the criminal treatment of Jews is apparent from his own statement that the struggle against Bolshevism necessitated a ruthless proceeding against the Jews; the Wehrmacht was not to use them for any service, but they could be placed in labor columns under German supervision. (878-PS)


(1) Aggression against Austria. In June of 1937 von Blomberg ordered preparations for "Case Otto"-armed intervention in Austria in event of a Hapsburg restoration (C-175). New plans were made in 1938 under the same name. German policy in 1938 was to eliminate Austria and Czechoslovakia, and there was a campaign to undermine Austria's will to resist, by pressure on the government, by propaganda, and by fifth column activity. (1780-PS)

Keitel was present at Berchtesgaden when Schuschnigg visited Hitler there in February 1938. Schuschnigg was subjected to political and military pressure, which resulted in such concessions to the Nazis as the reorganization of the Austrian cabinet

(1780-PS). Keitel and Jodl and Canaris were instructed to keep up the military pressure against Austria by simulating military measures until 15 February. (1780-PS) The OKW submitted proposals to Hitler regarding the Austrian campaign; these included suggestions of false rumors and broadcasts. A note in Jodl's handwriting states that Hitler approved the memorandum by telephone and that Canaris was informed. (1775-PS)

Hitler ordered preparation of "Case Otto”—mobilization of army units and air forces (1780-PS). Hitler's directive for "Case Otto" was initialled by Keitel and Jodl. Jodl issued supplementary instructions (C-102; C-103). Jodl initialled Hitler's order for the invasion of Austria. (C-182)

(2) The Execution of the plan to invade Czechoslovakia. On 21 April 1938 Hitler and Keitel met and discussed plans for the taking of Czechoslovakia. They considered a military attack after a period of diplomatic friction, or as the result of a created incident, such as the assassination of the German ambassador at Prague. (388-PS)

After the invastion of Austria, Wehrmacht planning was devoted to “Case Green,” the operation against Czechoslovakia (1780-PS). Case Green was first drafted in 1937, when it was thought that a "probable warlike eventuality" would be "war on two fronts with the center of gravity in the southeast.” A surprise attack on Czechoslovakia was considered possible (C-175). Through the late spring and summer of 1938 Case Green was revised and modified. The memoranda and correspondence are frequently signed or initialled by Keitel, and it is clear that he knew of Hitler's intention to use force against Czechoslovakia and made the plans to carry out that intention. (388-PS; 1780-PS; 2353-PS)

There were many meetings on Case Green in September 1938, some with Hitler, some with Keitel and Jodl. The timing of troop movements was discussed; the question of advance notice to OKH; preparations of railroads and fortifications; even propaganda to counteract the anticipated violations of International Law which the invasion would entail (388-PS; 1780-PS; C-2). Assistance was given by OKH to the Sudeten German Free Corps, an auxiliary military organization which operated under Henlein to create disorder in Czechoslovakia. (1780-PS; 388-PS)

In October 1938 Hitler addressed to the OKW four specific questions about the time and the forces that would be required to break Czech resistance in Bohemia and Moravia, and Keitel submitted the answers prepared by the OKH and Luftwaffe (388

PS). On 21 October 1938 Hitler signed an order (and Keite initialled it) requiring the Wehrmacht to make preparations to take the remainder of Czechoslovakia. (C-136)

Two months later Keitel issued a supplement to this order, stating that on the order of the Fuehrer preparations for the liqui dation of Czechoslovakia were to continue, and stressing the importance of having the attack well camouflaged and unwarlike in appearance. (C-138)

Keitel was present at the interview between Hitler and Hacha at the Reich Chancellery on 15 March 1939, when the Czech representatives delivered their country to Hitler, after hours of duress, which included the threat of immediate bombing of Prague. (2798-PS; 2943-PS)

(3) Aggression against Poland. On 25 March 1939—four days after Ribbentrop pressed new demands for Danzig on the Polish Ambassador--Hitler told von Brauchitsch, Commander-in-chief of the Army, that he did not intend to solve the Polish question by force for the time being but requested that plans for that operation be developed. (R-100)

On 3 April 1939 Keitel, as Chief of the High Command of the Armed Forces, reissued over his signature the directive for the Uniform Preparation for War by the Armed Forces for 1939/40. The directive, noting that the basic principles for the sections on "Frontier Defense" and "Danzig" remained unaltered, stated that Hitler had added the following directives to "Fall Weiss":

"1. Preparations must be made in such a way that the oper-
ation can be carried out at any time from 1.9.39 onwards.
“2. The High Command of the Armed Forces has been di-
rected to draw up a precise timetable for "Fall Weiss" and
to arrange by conferences the synchronized timings between
the three branches of the Armed Forces.
“3. The plans of the branches of the Armed Forces and the
details for the timetable must be submitted to the OKW by

1.5.39." (C-120) It is noteworthy that, even in April of 1939, the tentative timetable called for the invasion of Poland to be carried out at any time from 1 September 1939 onwards.

About a week later, an order signed by Hitler was circulated to the highest commands of the Army, Navy and Air Force. This confirmed Keitel's directive to prepare for three eventualities: "Frontier Defense”, “Fall Weiss", and the Annexation of Danzig. Annex II contained further instructions for "Fall Weiss”. In the first paragraph, headed "Political Hypotheses and Aims”, it was

stated that should Poland adopt a threatening attitude toward Germany, a "final settlement” would be necessary notwithstanding the pact with Poland. "The aim is then to destroy Polish military strength ..."

It was further stated that the Free State of Danzig would be incorporated into Germany at the outbreak of the conflict, at the latest. The directive continued: “Policy aims at limiting the war to Poland, and this is considered possible in view of the internal crisis in France and British restraint as a result of this."

The general political background against which the Armed Forces were to work having thus been set down, the later paragraphs outlined the tasks and operational objectives of the three branches of the Armed Forces. It was also decreed that a "camouflaged or open ('general' added in ink) mobilization will not be ordered before D-Day 1 at the latest possible moment”, and further that the “preparations for the opening of operations are to be made in such a way that without waiting for the planned assembly of mobilized units-positions can be taken up immediately by the first available troops." (C-120)

On 10 May an order signed by Hitler promulgated his instructions for the seizure of economic installations in Poland and directed the commanders-in-chief of the three branches of the armed forces to report by 1 August 1939 on the measures taken in consequence of these instructions. (C-120)

On 23 May 1939 Hitler called a meeting of his military leaders at the Reich Chancellery. Keitel was at the meeting; Jodl was not, but Warlimont (also from the Planning Department of OKW) was. Hitler announced the necessity of a war against Poland, not over Danzig, but in order to acquire living space in the East. He recognized the possibility that this would provoke a war against France and England, but the Wehrmacht was instructed to prepare detailed plans. (L-79)

A directive dated 22 June 1939, signed by Keitel as Chief of the OKW, indicates an advanced stage of preparation. On the basis of particulars already available from the Navy, Army, and Air Force, he stated, he had submitted to Hitler a "preliminary timetable" for "Fall Weiss." The Fuehrer was reported to be in substantial agreement with the intentions submitted by the three branches; he had also made suggestions with regard to the need to camouflage the scheduled maneuvers "in order not to disquiet the population," and had commented on the disposition of an SS Artillery Regiment. (C-126)

Two days later, Keitel issued instructions for further study


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