7 Jan. 46

COL. TAYLOR: Were any effective steps taken by the higher military authorities or by the commanders of army groups to stop these excesses?

VON DEM BACH-ZELEWSKI: I remember that General Von Schenkendorff in particular made innumerable reports in this connection and discussed them with me; both of us forwarded them through our service channels.

COL. TAYLOR: Did these reports by General Von Schenkendorff have any effect?


COL. TAYLOR: Why not?

VON DEM BACH-ZELEWSKI: Quartermaster General Wagner certainly attempted to effect a change by suggesting that more rigid supervision be imposed on the troops, but he did not succeed in his purpose.

COL. TAYLOR: Was an order ever issued by the highest authorities, that German soldiers who committed offenses against the civilian population were not to be punished in the military courts?

VON DEM BACH-ZELEWSKI: Yes, this order was issued.

COL. TAYLOR: Was this order an obstacle to correcting the excesses of the troops?

VON DEM BACH-ZELEWSKI: Yes, in my opinion this order prevented the orderly conduct of operations, since one can train troops only if one has adequate disciplinary powers and jurisdiction over them and is able to check excesses.

COL. TAYLOR: What decorations did you win during the war?

VON DEM BACH-ZELEWSKI: In this war I received the clusters to the Iron Cross I and II, the German Cross in gold, and the Knight's Cross to the Iron Cross.

COL. TAYLOR: Your Lordship, the witness is available for examination by others.

THE PRESIDENT: Does the Soviet Prosecutor wish to ask any questions?

COL. POKROVSKY: With your permission I wish to ask a series of questions.

[Turning to the witness] What forces of the Police and SS were at your disposal in 1941 and 1942, when you were Chief of the Police and SS in the rear zone of Army Group Center?

VON DEM BACH-ZELEWSKI: Directly under my command in 1941 were one police regiment of the Regular Police, and occasionally, for about 2 or 3 months at a time, one SS cavalry brigade.