The Holocaust Historiography Project

Translation of document 3713-PS


As Chief of Staff of the 4th Army from May 1942 to June
1943, to which was later added the area of the 9th Army, I
often had occasion to concern myself officially with anti-
partisan warfare. During these operations the troops
received orders from the highest authority, as for example
even the OKH, to use the harshest methods. These operations
were carried out by troops of the Army Group and of the
Army, as for example security battalions.

At the beginning in accordance with orders which were issued
through official channels only a few prisoners were taken.
In accordance with orders Jews, political commissars, and
agents were delivered up to the SD.

The number of enemy dead mentioned in official reports was
very high in comparison with our own losses. From the
documents which have been shown to me I have now come to
realize that the order from highest authorities for the
harshest conduct of the anti-partisan war can have been
intended to make possible a ruthless liquidation of Jews and
other undesirable elements by using for this purpose the
military struggle of the army against the partisans.

                                          [signed] ROETTIGER


                                                  [Page 430]

Supplementary to my above declaration of 8 December 1945, I
declare: As I stated orally on 28 November 1945 my then
Commander-in-Chief of the 4th Army instructed his troops
many times not to wage war against the partisans more
severely than was required at the time by the position. This
struggle should only be pushed to the annihilation of the
enemy after all attempts to bring about a surrender failed.
Apart from humanitarian reasons we necessarily had an
interest in taking prisoners since very many of them could
very well be used as members of native volunteer units
against the partisans.

Alongside the necessary active combatting of partisans there
was propaganda directed at the partisans and also at the
population with the object by peaceful means of causing them
to give up partisan activities. For instance in this way the
women too were continually urged to get their men back from
the forests or to keep them by other means from joining the
partisans. And this propaganda had good results. In the
spring of 1943 the area of the 4th Army was as good as
cleared of partisans. Only on its boundaries and then from
time to time were partisans in evidence at times when they
crossed into the area of the 4th Army from neighboring
areas. The army was obliged on this account on the orders of
the Army Group to give up security forces to the neighboring
army to the south.

                                          [signed] ROETTIGER


Before me, Walter H. Rapp, Captain, Cavalry, ASN 0-454231,
an officer duly qualified to take oaths, appeared General
der Panzertruppen Hans Roettiger, to me known, who in my
presence signed the foregoing statement consisting of two
pages in the German language, and swore that the same was
true on the 8th day of  December 1945.

                                     [signed] Walter H. Rapp
                                              WALTER H. RAPP
                                                Captain, Cav