Forces was concentrated in the hands of Keitel who signed the major part of the decrees concerning the execution of the prisoners of war and of the civilians in occupied territories.

Thus the comparisons made with the organization of the supreme commands in Allied countries cannot be considered valid. In a democratic country, not one self-respecting military expert would agree to prepare plans for mass reprisals and merciless killings of prisoners of war side by side with plans of a purely military and strategic character.

Meanwhile it is precisely such matters that occupied the supreme command of the General Staff and of the OKW in Nazi Germany. The commission by them of the heaviest Crimes against Peace, of the War Crimes, and of the Crimes against Humanity is not denied but is particularly emphasized in the verdict of the Tribunal. And yet the commission of these crimes has not brought the logical conclusion.

The verdict states: "They have been a disgrace to the honorable profession of arms. Without their military guidance the aggressive ambitions of Hitler and his fellow Nazis would have been academic and sterile . . . . "

And subsequently:

"Many of these men have made a mockery of the soldier's oath of obedience to military orders. When it suits their defense they say they had to obey; when confronted with Hitler's brutal crimes, which are shown to have been within their general knowledge, they say they disobeyed. The truth is they actively participated in all these crimes, or sat silent and acquiescent, witnessing the commission of crimes on a scale larger and more shocking than the world ever had the misfortune to know. This must be said."
All these assertions in the verdict are correct and are based on numerous and reliable depositions. It remains only incomprehensible why "these hundred or so higher officers" who have caused the world and their own country so much suffering should not be acknowledged a criminal organization.

The verdict advances the following reasons for the decision, reasons quite contradictory to the facts:

a) That the crimes were committed by representatives of the General Staff and of the OKW as private individuals and not as members of a criminal conspiracy.

b) That the General Staff and the OKW were merely weapons in the hands of the conspirators and interpreters or executors of the conspirators' will.

Considerable evidence disputes such conclusions.