The Soviet prisoners of war were left without suitable clothing; the wounded without medical care; they were starved, and in many cases left to die.

On 17 July 1941, the Gestapo issued an order providing for the killing of all Soviet prisoners of war who were or might be dangerous to National Socialism. The order recited:

"The mission of the Commanders of the SIPO and SD stationed in Stalags is the political investigation of all camp inmates, the elimination and further 'treatment' (a) of all political, criminal, or in some other way unbearable elements among them, (b) of those persons who could be used for the reconstruction of the occupied territories .... Further, the commanders must make efforts from the beginning to seek out among the prisoners elements which appear reliable, regardless of whether there are Communists concerned or not, in order to use them for intelligence purposes inside of the camp, and if advisable, later in the occupied territories also. By use of such informers, and by use of all other existing possibilities, the discovery of all elements to be eliminated among the prisoners must proceed step by step at once . . . ."

"Above all, the following must be discovered: all important functionaries of State and Party, especially professional revolutionaries . . . all People's Commissars in the Red Army, leading personalities of the State . . . leading personalities of the business world, members of the Soviet Russian Intelligence, all Jews, all persons who are found to be agitators or fanatical Communists. Executions are not to be held in the camp or in the immediate vicinity of the camp . . . . The prisoners are to be taken for special treatment if possible into the former Soviet Russian territory."
The affidavit of Warlimont, Deputy Chief of Staff of the Wehrmacht, and the testimony of Ohlendorf, former Chief of Amt III of the RSHA, and of Lahousen, the head of one of the sections of the Abwehr, the Wehrmacht's Intelligence Service, all indicate the thoroughness with which this order was carried out.

The affidavit of Kurt Lindown, a former Gestapo official, states:

" . . . . There existed in the prisoner of war camps on the Eastern Front small screening teams (Einsatz commandos), headed by lower ranking members of the Secret Police (Gestapo). These teams were assigned to the camp commanders and had the job of segregating the prisoners of war who were candidates for execution according to the orders that had been given, and to report them to the office of the Secret Police."