American prisoners of war, should on recapture be handed over to the SIPO and SD. This order was distributed by the SIPO and SD to their regional offices. These escaped officers and NCO's were to be sent to the concentration camp at Mauthausen, to be executed upon arrival, by means of a bullet shot in the neck.

In March 1944 fifty officers of the British Royal Air Force, who escaped from the camp at Sagan where they were confined as prisoners, were shot on recapture, on the direct orders of Hitler. Their bodies were immediately cremated, and the urns containing their ashes were returned to the camp. It was not contended by the defendants that this was other than plain murder, in complete violation of international law.

When Allied airmen were forced to land in Germany, they were sometimes killed at once by the civilian population. The police were instructed not to interfere with these killings, and the Ministry of Justice was informed that no one should be prosecuted for taking part in them.

The treatment of Soviet prisoners of war was characterized by particular inhumanity. The death of so many of them was not due merely to the action of individual guards, or to the exigencies of life in the camps. It was the result of systematic plans to murder. More than a month before the German invasion of the Soviet Union, the OKW were making special plans for dealing with political representatives serving with the Soviet Armed Forces who might be captured. One proposal was that "political Commissars of the Army are not recognized as Prisoners of War, and are to be liquidated at the latest in the transient prisoner of war camps." The Defendant Keitel gave evidence that instructions incorporating this proposal were issued to the German Army.

On 8 September 1941 regulations for the treatment of Soviet prisoners of war in all prisoner of war camps were issued, signed by General Reinecke, the head of the prisoner of war department of the High Command. Those orders stated:

"The Bolshevist soldier has therefore lost ah claim to treatment as an honorable opponent, in accordance with the Geneva Convention . . . . The order for ruthless and energetic action must be given at the slightest indication of insubordination, especially in the case of Bolshevist fanatics. Insubordination, active or passive resistance, must be broken immediately by force of arms "bayonets, butts, and firearms) . . . . Anyone carrying out the order who does not use his weapons, or does so with insufficient energy, is punishable . . . . Prisoners of war attempting escape are to be fired on without previous challenge. No warning shot must ever be fired . . . . The use of arms against prisoners of war is as a rule legal."