7 Jan. 46

COL. TAYLOR: Your Lordship, the order I have just been discussing operated chiefly in the Western Theater of War. This was natural, since Germany occupied almost the entire western coast of Europe from 1940 until the last year of the war, and during that period land fighting in Western Europe was largely limited to commando operations.

I want to pass now to the Eastern Front, where there was large-scale land fighting in Poland and the Soviet Union, from 1941 on. Here the German forces were fighting among A hostile population and had to face extensive partisan activities behind their lines. I propose to show here that the activities of the German Armed Forces against partisans and against other elements of the population became a vehicle for carrying out Nazi political and racial policies and a vehicle for the massacre of Jews and numerous segments of the Slav population which were regarded by the Nazis as undesirable. I will show that it was the policy of the German Armed Forces to behave with the utmost severity to the civilian population of the occupied territories; and that its military operations, particularly against partisans, were so conducted as to advance the Nazi policies to which I have referred.

I will show that the Armed Forces supported, assisted, and acted in cooperation with the SS groups to which reference has been made in the presentation by Major Farr and Colonel Storey.

I do not plan to make a full or even partial showing of war crimes on the Eastern Front. That will be done by the Soviet Delegation. Nor do I plan to retrace the ground covered by Colonel Storey and Major Farr during their presentation of the evidence against the SS, SD, and Gestapo, except to the extent necessary to clarify the relations between these organizations and the German Armed Forces and to demonstrate their close collaboration in the occupied territories of Eastern Europe.

The first document to which I will make reference is Document C-501 which will be Exhibit USA-554; and it will show that these policies of severity were determined upon and made official even before the invasion of the Soviet Union took place. This document consists of an order by Hitler dated 13 May 1941 and two covering transmittal sheets of subsequent date. I ask the Tribunal to note on Page 4 of the translation that the order is signed by Keitel, the Chief of the Supreme Command of the Armed Forces, and also to note the distribution, which appears at the foot of the second sheet, showing the distribution to the principal staff sections. The order itself begins on the third page, and that is where I propose to read. The document is entitled, "Order concerning the exercise of martial jurisdiction and procedure in the area 'Barbarossa' and special military measures":