The Holocaust Historiography Project

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5. Alfred Jodl


Operations Department of the Army (Heer), 1932-35.

Chief of the National Defense Section in the High Command of
the Armed Forces (Abteilung Landesverteidgung im OKW), 1935
-- Oct. 1938.

Artillery Commander ("Artillerie Kommandeur") of the 44th
Division. Vienna and Brno, Oct. 1938 — 27 August 1939.

Chief of Operation Staff of the High Command of the Armed
Forces (Chef des Wehrmachtsfuhrungstabes in Oberkommndo der
Wehrmacht), August 1939 — 1945.

Dates of Promotion:

1932 — Major and Oberstleutnant
1936 — Oberst
1939 — Generalmajor
1940 — General der Artillerie
1944 — Generaloberst (2865-PS).


Jodl’s most important office was that of Chief of the
Operations Staff (Wehrmachtsfuehrungstab) in OKW. In this
capacity he was directly subordinate to Keitel and equal in
status to other departmental chiefs in OKW. However, insofar
as the planning and conduct of military affairs are
concerned, Jodl and his staff were more influential than the
other departments.

The OKW Operations Staff was also divided into sections. Of
these the most important was the “National Defense” section,
of which Warlimont was chief. He was primarily concerned
the development of strategic questions. From 1941 onwards
Warlimont, though charged with the same duties, was known as
Deputy Chief of the OKW Operations Staff. (3707-PS)

Jodl drafted many directives for Hitler to sign, for the
preparation of military operations and plans of deployment,
and for the possible initiation and commencement of military
measures relating to matters of organization, operations, or
"war economics.” While in a theater of operations, Jodl
would report twice daily to Hitler about operations, and
then prepare the Fuehrer directives. There was direct
contact between Hitler and Jodl, though Keitel was kept
informed of what passed between them.

In addition to certain ministerial functions, the OKW was
Hitler’s military staff. Its most important duty was the
development of strategic and operational plans. Such plans
were worked out by the OKW Operations Staff in broad
outline, and then in more detail by the Commanders and
Chiefs of Staffs of the Army, Navy, and Air Force. After
Hitler had approved the plans they were transmitted by the
OKW to the appropriate military authorities (3705-PS; 3702-PS;


Jodl’s loyalty to the Nazi party doctrine is evident in a
speech he delivered on 7 November 1943. He spoke of the
National Socialist Movement and its struggle for internal
power as the preparation for liberation from the Treaty of
Versailles. (L-172)

He also stated, in a speech on the occasion of the attempted
assassination of Hitler, that his aims had been in general
agreement with the aims of the party. (1808-PS)

At the sixth meeting of the Working Committee of the Reich
Defense Council on 7 February 1934 Jodl pointed out that the
practical execution of the preparations for mobilization,
which had been ordered by the Army and the highest Reich
authorities, were making a considerable enlargement of
personnel necessary. He suggested, however, that this
enlargement of personnel ought not to result in “the
disquieting of foreign countries through conspicuous
mobilization measures.” (EC-405)

In the presence of Jodl, Generalmajor Keitel pointed out at
the eleventh meeting that the mobilization year was to begin
on 1 April and to end on 31 March of the following year. A
"Mobilization Book for Civilian Agencies” was to be issued
for the first time on 1 April 1936. Keitel said that this
day, to the extent
possible, should find the nation ready and prepared. He
declared that, according to the will of the Fuehrer, the
economic management of the country should put the
enhancement of military capacity deliberately above all
other national tasks It was the function of all members of
the Reich Defense Council, he emphasized, to use all
available resources economically and to ask for only such
funds and raw materials that were absolutely and exclusively
needed for the defense of the Reich. Colonel Jodl said that
the Mobilization Book for the Civilian Departments
constituted the unified basis for the carrying out of
mobilization outside of the Army (EC-406).


(See “F,” 1 through 7, in Section 4 of this Chapter on
Keitel, where the joint responsibility of Keitel and Jodl
for these activities is discussed.)


(1) Murder and ill treatment of civilian population in
occupied territories and on the high seas. Jodl ordered the
forcible evacuation of all persons in a northern district of
Norway, and the burning of all their dwellings. This was to
be done so that the inhabitants of that area could not help
the Russians (754-PS). Shortly thereafter an evacuation took
place in Finnmark County in northern Norway, in the course
of which 30,000 houses were damaged. (1800-PS)

Jodl was aware that in 1942 there were continual arrests in
Belgrade, and that from fifteen to thirty followers of
Mihalovic were shot every day. (1383-PS)

Jodl initialled an order signed for Hitler by Keitel, which
provided that enemy civilians guilty of offenses against
German troops should be killed without a military trial, and
that punishment could be waived in the case of German
soldiers who committed offenses against enemy civilians.

Rosenberg was appointed by Hitler on 20 April 1941 “Deputy
for a Centralized Treatment of Problems concerning the
Eastern Territories.” The highest Reich authorities were to
cooperate fully, and Keitel was asked to designate a
representative of OKW to sit with Rosenberg. Jodl was
appointed as Keitel’s representative with Warlimont as his
deputy, and Keitel wrote
to Rosenberg on 25 April 1941 that Jodl and Warlimont would
be the OKW representatives. (865-PS)

Responsibility for crimes committed under Rosenberg's
authority thus attach to Jodl as well. In this connection
reference is made to Section 7 of this chapter on Rosenberg.

(2) Deportation of civilian populations of and in Occupied
Territories for slave labor and for other purposes. Jodl
knew of the deportation of workers, for he once told Hitler
that the military commander of France had reported tat over
220,000 workers had been deported into the Reich in the past
six months. (1383-PS)

(3) Murder and ill treatment of prisoners of war, and of
other members of the Armed Forces of the countries with whom
Germany was at war and of persons on the high seas. On 18
October 1942 Hitler ordered that commando troops, even if in
uniform, should be killed, not only in battle, but in flight
or while attempting to surrender. This order was issued by
Jodl’s department. (498-PS)

A supplementary explanation of the commando order, signed by
Hitler, was distributed to commanding officers only, with a
covering memorandum dated 19 October 1942, signed by Jodl
(503-PS). Several cases are known in which the order was
carried out. (508-PS; 509-PS)

Three specific instances were mentioned by the G-3 of the C
in C, Norway, where captured members of sabotage units were
executed after interrogations which resulted in valuable
intelligence. These occurred at Gloafjord, Drontheim, and at
Stavanger. (512-PS)

On 23 June 1944 C in C West requested instructions re-
defining the scope of the commando order. In view of the
extensive landings in Normandy, it had become difficult to
decide which paratroops should be considered sabotage troops
under the terms of the order, and which should be considered
as engaged in normal combat operations. The question was
answered by an order of 25 June 1944, one copy of which was
signed by Keitel, reaffirming the full force of the original
order. (531-PS; 551-PS)

When allied fliers were forced to land in Germany, they were
sometimes killed by the civilian population. The police had
orders not to protect the fliers, nor to punish civilians
for lynching them. A proposal was considered to order the
shooting without court-martial of enemy airmen who had been
forced down after engaging in specified “acts of terror.” It
is not certain that the
order was ever issued, but it is certain that Keitel and
Jodl knew of the lynchings, did nothing to prevent them and
in fact considered giving them official justification.

(See also “F” at the end of Section 4 of this Chapter on
Keitel, where the joint responsibility of Keitel and Jodl
for the lynching of Allied airmen is discussed.)


Charter of the International Military Tribunal, Article 6.
Vol. I, Pg. 5

International Military Tribunal, Indictment Number 1,
Section IV (H); Appendix A. Vol. I, Pg. 29,66

[Note: A single asterisk (*) before a document indicates
that the document was received in evidence at the Nurnberg
trial. A double asterisk (**) before a document number
indicates that the document was referred to during the trial
but was not formally received in evidence, for the reason
given in parentheses following the description of the
document. The USA series number, given in parentheses
following the description of the document, is the official
exhibit number assigned by the court.]

*388-PS;  File of papers on Case Green (the plan for the
attack on Czechoslovakia), kept by Schmundt, Hitler's
adjutant, April-October 1938. (USA 26). Vol. III, Pg. 305

*444-PS;  Original Directive No. 18 from Fuehrer's
Headquarters signed by Hitler and initialled by Jodl, 12
November 1940, concerning plans for prosecution of war in
Mediterranean Area and occupation of Greece. (GB 116). Vol.
III, Pg. 403

*446-PS;  Top Secret Fuehrer Order No. 21 signed by Hitler
and initialled by Jodl, Warlimont and Keitel, 18 December
1940, concerning the Invasion of Russia (case Barbarossa).
(USA 31). Vol. III, Pg. 407

*448-PS;  Hitler Order No. 22, initialled by Keitel and
Jodl, 11 January 1941, concerning participation of German
Forces in the Fighting in the Mediterranean Theater of
Operations. (GB 118). Vol. III, Pg. 413

*498-PS;  Top Secret Fuehrer Order for killing of commandos,
18 October 1942. (USA 501). Vol. III, Pg. 416

*503-PS;  Letter signed by Jodl, 19 October 1942, concerning
Hitler’s explanation of his commando order of the day before
(Document 498-PS). (USA 542). Vol. III, Pg. 426

*508-PS;  OKW correspondence, November 1942, about shooting
of British glider troops in Norway. (USA 545). Vol. III, Pg.

*509-PS;  Telegram to OKW, 7 November 1943, reporting
"special treatment” for three British commandos. (USA 547).
Vol. III, Pg. 433

*512-PS;  Teletype from Army Commander in Norway, 13
December 1942, concerning interrogation of saboteurs before
shooting; and memorandum in reply from OKW, 14 December
1942. (USA 546). Vol. III, Pg. 433

*531-PS;  OKW memorandum, 23 June 1944, citing inquiry from
Supreme Command West about treatment of paratroopers. (USA
550). Vol. III, Pg. 435

*551-PS;  Order signed by Keitel, 26 June 1944, concerning
treatment of Commando participants. (USA 551). Vol. III, Pg.

*754-PS;  Teletype Order signed by Jodl, 28 October 1944,
for evacuation of Norwegians and burning of houses. (GB
490). Vol. III, Pg. 544

*789-PS;  Speech of the Fuehrer at a conference, 23 November
1939, to which all Supreme Commanders were ordered. (USA
23). Vol. III, Pg. 572

*865-PS;  Correspondence between Keitel, Rosenberg and
Lammers, April 1941, concerning appointment of Jodl and
Warlimont as OKW representatives with Rosenberg. (USA 143).

874-PS;  Draft letter to Todt, initialled K, J, and W, 9
March 1941, concerning Deception measures. Vol. III, Pg. 634

886-PS;  Fuehrer decree, 13 May 1941, on courts martial and
treatment of enemy civilians in the district “Barbarossa",
signed by Keitel for Hitler, and initialled by Jodl. Vol.
III, Pg. 637

*1039-PS;  Report concerning preparatory work regarding
problems in Eastern Territories, 28 June 1941, found in
Rosenberg’s “Russia File". (USA 146). Vol. III, Pg. 695

*1229-PS;  OKW Directive to the German Intelligence Service
in the East, signed by Jodl, 6 September 1940. (USA 130).
Vol. III, Pg. 849

*1383-PS;  Extract from transcription of stenographic report
on discussion of current military situation, 12 December
1942. (GB 489). Vol. III, Pg. 958

*1541-PS;  Directive No. 20, Operation Marita, 13 December
1940. (GB 117). Vol. IV, Pg. 101

1642-PS;  Distribution list, 1 March 1941, for secret map of
Soviet Union. Vol. IV, Pg. 154

*1746-PS;  Conference between German and Bulgarian Generals,
8 February 1941; speech by Hitler to German High Command on
situation in Yugoslavia, 27 March 1941; plan for invasion of
Yugoslavia, 28 March 1941. (GB 120). Vol. IV, Pg. 272

*1775-PS;  Propositions to Hitler by OKW, 14 February 1938.
(USA 73). Vol. IV, Pg. 357

*1780-PS;  Excerpts from diary kept by General Jodl, January
1937 to August 1939. (USA 72). Vol. IV, Pg. 360

1800-PS;  Preliminary report on Germany’s crimes against
Norway, prepared by the Royal Norwegian government. Vol. IV,
Pg. 375

*1808-PS;  Excerpt of speech by Jodl to Officers and
officials of Armed Forces Operations Staff, 24 July 1944.
(GB 493). Vol. IV, Pg. 377

*1809-PS;  Entries from Jodl’s diary, February 1940 to May
1940. (GB 88). Vol. IV, Pg. 377

*2865-PS;  Statement by Jodl, showing positions held by him.
(USA 16). Vol. V, Pg. 526

*3702-PS;  Affidavit of Colonel-General Franz Halder, 7
November 1945. (USA 531). Vol. VI, Pg. 411

*3705-PS;  Affidavit of Field Marshal Walter von
Brauchitsch, 7 November 1945. (USA 535). Vol. VI, Pg. 415

*3707-PS;  Affidavit of Colonel-General Franz Halder, 13
November 1945. (USA 533). Vol. VI, Pg. 419

*3786-PS;  Stenographic transcript of a meeting in the
Fuehrer’s Headquarters, 27 January 1945. (USA 787). Vol. VI,
Pg. 655

*C-2;  Examples of violations of International Law and
proposed counter propaganda, issued by OKW, 1 October 1938.
(USA 787). Vol. VI, Pg. 799

*G-39;  Timetable for Barbarossa, approved by Hitler and
signed by Keitel. (USA 138). Vol. VI, Pg. 857

*C-59;  Order signed by Warlimont for execution. of
operation “Marita", 19 February 1941. (GB 121). Vol. VI, Pg.

*C-64;  Raeder’s report, 12 December 1939, on meeting of
Naval Staff with Fuehrer. (GB 86). Vol. VI, Pg. 884

*C-72;  Orders postponing “A” day in the West, November 1939
to May 1940. (GB 109). Vol. VI, Pg. 893

*C-75;  OKW Order No. 24 initialled Jodl, signed Keitel, 5
March 1941, concerning collaboration with Japan. (USA 151).
Vol. VI, Pg. 906

*C-78;  Schmundt’s Order of 9 June 1941, convening
conference on Barbarossa on 14 June. (USA 139). Vol. VI, Pg.

*C-102;  Document signed by Hitler relating to operation
"Otto", 11 March 1938. (USA 74). Vol. VI, Pg. 911

*C-103;  Directive signed by Jodl, 11 March 1938, on conduct
towards Czech or Italian troops in Austria. (USA 75). Vol.
VI, Pg. 913

C-123;  Jodl Order on capitulation of Leningrad, 7 October
1941. Vol. VI, Pg. 929

*C-134;  Letter from Jodl enclosing memorandum on conference
between German and Italian generals on 19 January  1941 and
subsequent speech by Hitler, 20 January  1941. (GB 119).
Vol. VI, Pg. 939

*C-152;  Extract from Naval War Staff files, 18 March 1941,
concerning audience of C-in-C of Navy with Hitler on 18
March 1941. (GB 122). Vol. VI, Pg. 966

*C-167;  Report of meeting between Raeder and Hitler, 18
March 1941. (GB 122). Vol. VI, Pg. 977

*C-182;  Directive No. 2 from Supreme Commander Armed
Forces, initialled Jodl, 11 March 1938. (USA 77). Vol. VI,
Pg. 1017

*D-777;  Draft of directive, 15 June 1944, from OKW to
Supreme Commander of “Luftwaffe” concerning treatment of
Allied “Terrorist"-flyers. (GB 310). Vol. VII, Pg. 234

*D-779;  Letter from Reichsmarshal to Chief of OKW, 19
August 1944, regarding treatment of Allied “Terrorist"-
flyers. (GB 312). Vol. VII, Pg. 235

*EC-405;  Minutes of Tenth Meeting of Working Committee of
Reichs Defense Council, 26 June 1935. (GB 160). Vol. VII,
Pg. 450

*EC-406;  Minutes of Eleventh Meeting of Reichs Defense
Council, 6 December 1935. (USA 772). Vol. VII, Pg. 455

*L-79;  Minutes of conference, 23 May 1939, “Indoctrination
on the political situation and future aims". (USA 27). Vol.
VII, Pg. 847

*L-172;  “The Strategic Position at the Beginning of the 5th
Year of War", a lecture delivered by Jodl on 7 November 1943
at Munich to Reich ad Gauleiters. (USA 34). Vol. VII, Pg.

Statement II;  A Short Historical Consideration of German
War Guilt, by Alfred Jodl, Nurnberg, 6 September 1945. Vol.
VIII, Pg. 662

Statement IX;  My Relationship to Adolf Hitler and to the
Party, by Erich Raeder, Moscow, fall 1945. Vol. VIII, Pg.

**Chart No. 7;  Organization of the Wehrmacht 1938-1945.
(Enlargement displayed to Tribunal.). Vol. VIII, Pg. 776