The Holocaust Historiography Project

Translation of document 3703-PS


Ultimate authority and responsibility for military affairs
in Germany was vested in the Head of State, who prior to 2
August 1934 was Field Marshal von Hindenburg and thereafter
until 1945 was Adolf Hitler.

Specialized military' matters were the responsibility of the
three branches of the Armed Forces subordinate to the
Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces (at the same time Head
of State), that is to say the Army, the Navy, and the Air
Force. In practice, supervision within this field was
exercised by a relatively small group of high-ranking
officers. These officers exercised such supervision in their
official capacity and by virtue of their training, their
positions, and their mutual contacts. Plans for military
operations of the German Armed Forces were prepared by
members of this group according to the instructions of the
OKW and were presented by them to the Supreme Commander of
the Armed Forces (at the same time Head of State).

The members of this group were vested with full authority to
prepare for military operations within their competent
fields and they actually did prepare for any such operations
as might be undertaken by troops in the field.

Prior to any operation, members of this group were assembled
and given appropriate directions by the Head of State.
Examples of such meetings are the speech by Hitler to the
Commanders-in-Chief on 22 August 1939 prior to the Polish
campaign and the consultation at the Reich Chancellery on 14
June 1941 prior to the first Russian campaign. The
composition of this group and the relationship of its
members to each other were as shown in the chart. In the
hands of those who filled the positions shown in the chart
lay the actual direction of the Armed Forces.

                                    [signed] von BRAUCHITSCH


Before me, Paul A. Neuland, Major, QMC, ASN O 385720, an
officer duly qualified to take oaths, appeared Field Marshal
Walter von Brauchitsch, to me known, who in my presence
signed the foregoing "Erklaerung" (statement) consisting of
two pages in the German language and swore that the same was
true on the 7th day of November 1945.

                                    [signed] Paul A. Neuland
                                             PAUL A. NEULAND
                                                  Major, QMC

[Transcription note: See 3702-PS for the Chart referenced in
this statement. Knm]