The Holocaust Historiography Project

Translation of document 3715-PS


I, Ernst Rode, was formerly chief of the Commando Staff of
the Reichsfuehrer-SS, having taken over this position in the
spring of 1943 as successor to former SS-Obergruppenfuehrer
Kurt Knoblauch. My last rank was Generalmajor of Police and
of the Waffen-SS. My function was to furnish forces
necessary for anti-partisan warfare to the higher SS and
police leaders and to guarantee the support of army forces.
This took place through personal discussions with the
leading officers of the Operations Staff of the OKW and OKH,
namely with General Warlimont, General von Buttlar,
Generaloberst Guderian, Generaloberst Zeitzler, General
Heusinger, later General Wenk, Colonel Graf Kielmannsegg,
and Colonel v. Bonin. Since anti-partisan warfare also was
under the sole command of the respective Army commander-in-
chief in operational areas (for instance in the Central Army
Group under Field Marshal Kluge and later Busch) and since
police troops for the most part could not be spared from the

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Reichscommissariate, the direction of this warfare lay
practically always entirely in the hands of the army. In the
same way orders were issued not by Himmler but by the OKH SS
and police troops transferred to operational areas from the
Reichscommissariate to support the army groups were likewise
under the latter's command. Such transfers often resulted in
harm to antipartisan warfare in the Reichscommissariate.
According to a specific agreement between Himmler and the
OKH, the direction of individual operations lay in the hands
of the troop leader who commanded the largest troop
contingent. It was therefore possible that an army general
could have SS and police under him, and on the other hand
that army troops could be placed under a general of the SS
and police. Anti-partisan warfare in operational areas could
never be ordered by Himmler. I could merely request the OKH
to order it, until 1944 mostly through the intervention of
Generalquartiermeister Wagner or through State Secretary
Ganzenmueller. The OKH then issued corresponding orders to
the army groups concerned, for compliance.

The severity and cruelty with which the intrinsically
diabolical partisan warfare was conducted by the Russians
had already resulted in Drakonian laws being issued by
Hitler for its conduct. These orders, which were passed on
to the troops through the OKW and OKH, were equally
applicable to army troops as well as to those of the SS and
police. There was absolutely no difference in the manner in
which these two components carried on this warfare. Army
soldiers were exactly as embittered against the enemy as
those of the SS and police. As a result of this embitterment
orders were ruthlessly carried out by both components, a
thing which was also quite in keeping with Hitler's desires
or intentions. As proof of this the order of the OKW and OKH
can be adduced, which directed that all captured partisans,
for instance such as Jews, agents, and political commissars,
should without delay be handed over by the troops to the SD
for special treatment. This order also contained the
provision that in antipartisan warfare no prisoners except
the above-named be taken. That anti-partisan warfare was
carried on by army troops mercilessly and to every extreme I
know as the result of discussions with army troop leaders,
for instance with General Herzog, Commander of the XXXVIII
Army Corps and with his chief of staff, Colonel Pamberg in
the General Staff, both of whom support my opinion. Today it
is clear to me that anti-partisan warfare gradually became
an excuse for the systematic annihilation of Jewry and

                                         [signed] ERNST RODE

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Before me, Walter H. Rapp, Captain, Cavalry, ASN O-454231,
an officer duly qualified to take oaths, appeared Ernst
Rode, Major General of Police and Waffen-SS, 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 30 November 1945.

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