- Nazi Conspiracy and Aggression
- Vol. VI
Translation of document 3717-PS
1. From the beginning of the war in 1939 until autumn 1940 -
I was Ia of the Operations Section of the OKH, and from
autumn 1940-20 July 1944 I was chief of that section.
When Hitler took over supreme command of the Army, he gave
to the chief of the General Staff of the Army the function
of advising him on all operational matters in the Russian
This made the chief of the General Staff of the Army
responsible for all matters in the operational areas in the
east, while the OKW was responsible for all matters outside
the operational areas, for instance all troops (security
units, SS units, police) stationed in the
All police and SS units in the Reichscommissariate were also
subordinate to the Reichsfuehrer-SS. When it was necessary
to transfer such units into operational areas, this had to
be done by order of the chief of the OKW. On the other hand,
corresponding transfers from the front to the rear were
ordered by the OKW with the concurrence of the chief of the
General Staff of the Army.
The high SS and police leaders normally had command of
operations against partisans. If stronger army units were
committed together with the SS and police units within
operational areas, a high commander of the army could be
designated commander of the operation.
During anti-partisan operations within operational areas all
forces committed for these operations were under the command
of the respective commander-in-chief of the army group.
2. Directives as to the manner and methods of carrying on
counter-partisan operations were issued by the OKW [Keitel]
to the OKH upon orders from Hitler and after consultation
with Himmler. The OKH was responsible merely for the
transmission of these orders to army groups, for instance
orders like those concerning the treatment to be accorded to
commissars and communists, those concerning the manner of
prosecuting by courts martial army personnel who had
committed offenses against the population as well as those
establishing the basic principles governing reprisals
against the inhabitants.
3. The detailed working out of all matters involving the
treatment of the local populace as well as anti-partisan
warfare in operational areas, in pursuance of orders from
the OKW, was the responsibility of the
Generalquartiermeister of the OKH.
4. It had always been my personal opinion that the treatment
of the civilian population and the methods of anti-partisan
warfare in operational areas presented the highest political
and military leaders with a welcome opportunity of carrying
out their plans, namely the systematic extermination of
Slavism and Jewry. Entirely independent of this, I always
regarded these cruel methods as military insanity, because
they only helped to make combat against the enemy
unnecessarily more difficult.
Before me, Walter H. Rapp, Captain, Cavalry, ASN O-454231,
an officer duly qualified to take oaths, appeared General
Heusinger 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 1st day of December 1945.
[signed] Walter H. Rapp
WALTER H. RAPP