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raised by WR needs no further discussion since the publication of the principle x- published in the Wehrmacht report of Oct. 7. As far as the intimidating effect goes -x should already be sufficient.

WFSt therefore proposes the order as submitted in the appendix. (Appendix 2.).

Note: x-.

W. [Warlimont]

-x indicate additions in pencil. /............../ indicate word or words crossed out in pencil.

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TO: Armed Forces Operational Staff/QM/Administration (WFSt)
Armed Forces Operational Staff/QM/PW Affairs (K)


SUBJECT: Treatment of PWs

To the discussions and measures which were announced by the High Command of the Armed Forces, 7 Oct. 1942, the following collective stand was taken.

(1) Shackling: Shackling is permitted within the realm of military necessities, and is therefore neither dishonorable nor inhuman.

(2) Treatment of sabotage units: sabotage units in uniform are soldiers and have the right to be treated as PWs. However, sabotage units, dressed in civilian clothes or in the uniform of the German soldier, have no right to be treated as PWs (armed insurgents).

(3) Reprisals on PWs: Reprisals on PWs, according to the PW agreement ratified in 1934 are absolutely not permitted. The English counter measures, for that reason, are also contrary to international law. The Foreign Office is in agreement with this opinion.

(4) Offers for adjustment by the International Red Cross or by the Swiss Government should be accepted according to the opinion of the Department.

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(5) Announced report on the British treatment of PWs.

It is requested that during the drafting of the report that these opinions already mentioned in paragraphs I-3 form the basis, since they are in our own interest.

(6) To avoid difficulties before the release of such important basic information, the prompt participation of the Department of Foreign Affairs with the Counter Intelligence service is requested.

(7) Referring to telegram Nr. 00381/42 TOP SECRET AUSL, Roman numeral I B 5, dated 10 Oct. 42 and the telephone conversation with Major Kipp concerning numbers 1, 3, 4 as well as the proposal to number 4 and that was mentioned over the telephone.

(WR and AWA/PW Department to receive message) Supreme Army Commander/ Office of Foreign Intelligence AUSL Nr. 1531/ 42 TOP SECRET AUSL Roman Numeral I (B5) (signed) CANARIS


15 Oct. 42


133/42 TOP SECRET (III/10a)

TO: Armed Forces Operational Staff WFSt (previous telephone conversation)

For the information of: the Foreign Intelligence Office

SUBJECT: Treatment of PWs

REFERENCE: OKW/Amt Ausl/Abw.Ag.Ausl.Nr.1531/42 TOP SECRET Ausl.I (B5) v.13 Oct.42

In reference to (1):

To be inserted: "As an exceptional measure in an emergency"

In reference to (2): It is fundamentally agreed.

Perhaps in special cases the following ideas may be represented:

Battle methods as they are today and as they should be combatted, came into being long after organization of the HLKO, especially thru aerial warfare; it is especially necessary to note the large usage of Paratroopers for sabotage purposes. Whoever performs acts of sabotage as a soldier with the idea in mind to surrender without a fight after the act is successfully completed does not conduct himself as an honorable warrior. He misuses the rights of article 23c HLKO since such methods of


warfare had not been thought of at the time this article was formulated.

The misuse lies in the speculation of surrendering without a fight after a successful sabotage mission. The concept of inadmissiblity of these sabotage units is one of unrestrained advocacy, unless we prevent it ourselves.

(3): WR does not agree completely to this.

Reprisals on PWs must be permitted after very serious infractions on the part of the enemy in their treatment of PWs. If the enemy would shoot for example 10,000 German prisoners of war, the untenableness of the theory governing the prohibition of reprisals would not be doubted. One can not deliver oneself for better or for worse to the enemy by the renunciation, based on principle, of reprisals. The sentence on the mutual obligations in case of a treaty is too obvious in that it could be simply eliminated by the Article 2, par. 3 of the agreement on PWs. In case it became necessary, the best thing to do would be to declare this without bothering to submit reasons.

Top Secret.

(signed) LEHMANN


Recd from: GWOKA. day: 13/10. time 14.15 by [signature] + KR
Woka 02901. 13/10 1253.

To Ops Staff of the Wehrmacht/QU/Administration-Ops. Staff
of the Wehrmacht/QU/K. 2 Addresses.

Top Secret.

Ref: Treatment of Prisoners of War.

Regarding the notice dated 7-10-42. issued by the OK W-The following attitude in abbreviated form is taken regarding the discussions and measures which have been commenced.

1. Chaining: Chaining is admissible within the framework of military necessity, as then it is neither dishonourable nor inhuman.

2. Treatment of Sabotage units: Sabotage units in uniform are soldiers and have the right to be treated as prisoners of war. Sabotage units in civilian clothes or German uniform have no claim to treatment as prisoners of war (francs tireurs).

3. Reprisals against prisoners of war: Reprisals against prisoners of war are absolutely inadmissible according to the prisoner of war agreement ratified in 1934. The British counter measures are therefore also contrary to international law. This conception is shared by the Foreign Office.

4. Officers of mediation by the International Red Cross or by the Swiss Government should, in the opinion of this department, be accepted.

5. The memorandum announced regarding the treatment of British prisoners of war:

It is requested, when drawing up the memorandum, to base it on the concepts laid down in pars. (1)-(3), as these lie in our own interests.

6. In order to avoid difficulties it is requested that, before publishing such important and fundamental announcements, the Foreign Dept Counter Intelligence be consulted in good time.

7. We refer to teleprint No. 00381/42 Top Secret, Foreign Dept. I B5 of the 10.10.1942 and the telephone conversations with Major Kipp about pars. (1), (3) and (4), as well as the proposal with regard to par. (4), passed on by telephone. (Wehrmacht Legal Department and Foreign Office-P.W. Dept have O K W Foreign Department Counter Intelligence AG. Foreign Dept No. 1531/42 Top Secret Foreign Dept. I (B5)

Signed: CANARIS.

WR [Legal Department of the Armed Forces] 133/42 Top Secret (III/10a) 993/42 Secret

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To: Operational Staff of the Armed Forces/Qu. Admin/(in confirmation of telephone conversation)

[Pencil note:]

On 15.10.19 [sic] "Written note of telephonic

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For information to:

Foreign Dept/Counter Intelligence.

Subject: Treatment of prisoners of war.

Ref: Supreme Command of the Armed Forces/Foreign Dept/ Counter Intelligence.

Ag. Foreign Dept. No. 1531/42 Top Secret

Foreign Dept. I (B 5) of 13.10 1942.

As regards (1) "As an extraordinary measure in case of emergency" is to be inserted.

As regards (2) Agreed in principle. But the following train of thoughts can perhaps be put forward for

special cases:

The methods of waging war which are now available and which are to be prevented, only came up long after the Hague regulations governing land warfare were created, in particular as a result of aerial warfare. The large scale employment of parachutists for purposes of sabotage must here be pointed out in particular. Now, whoever commits acts of sabotage as a soldier, with the intention of surrendering without a fight afterwards, does not behave like an honest fighter. He misuses the right of article 230 of the Hague land warfare regulations during the drawing up of which such methods of warfare were not had in mind. This misuse lies in the speculation of surrendering without a fight after successfully carrying out sabotage.

The conception regarding the inadmissibility of sabotage detachments can be supported without qualification if we make it apply to ourselves also.

As regards (3) The Wehrmacht Legal Dept. does not agree without limitations.

Reprisals against POWs must be admissible in the case of very serious violations by the enemy in the treatment of POWs. If, for instance, the enemy was to have 10,000 German POWs shot, then the untenableness of the thesis of the ban without exception on reprisals could hardly be doubted.

[Marginal note in Jodl's handwriting: "Quite right."] One cannot surrender to the enemy for better or for worse by renouncing reprisals on principle. The statute regarding the mutual obligation to keep a treaty is so obvious that it cannot be simply eliminated by article 2, paragraph 3 of the POW agreement. If necessary, it would be best to state this without offering any reasons for it.

[signed] LEHMANN.

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