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Partial translation of document C-2
1.10.38 Supreme Command of the Armed Forces No 1103.38 Most Secret Ausl. Vl. 7 Copies 7th Copy To: OKH (Section G. Army General Staff) OKM (Naval War Staff, 1st Division, for the attention of Min. Rat. Dr. Eckhardt) Reich Minister for Air and Civ C. Air Force (Air Force General Staff for the attention of Reg. Rat. Dr. Mueller) Foreign Office via the Foreign Office Representative (VAA) Enclosed is a list drawn up by Section L of the OKW of the violations of international law which may be expected on the part of fighting troops. Owing to the short time allowed for the compilation, columns C 1 and C 2 had to be filled directly here for the time being. The branches of the Armed Forces are requested to send in their opinion so that a final version may be drawn up. The same is requested of the Foreign Office. The Chief of the Supreme Command of the Armed Forces. By Order sgd. Burker 3 Enclosures ---------- MOST SECRET LIST OF INTERNATIONAL LAW INCIDENTS FOR THE PURPOSE OF PROPAGANDA HANDLING I. OUR OWN MEASURES (a) Incidents (b) Example (c) Attitude of the International Law [Gruppe Voelkenrecht] (1) Judgment by International(2) Justification Law by the laws of warfare (1) Bombing or (I) Art. 25 of the shelling attacks Hague Rules for on localities Land Warfare of where there are 1907 forbids no military attacks and firing installations. on undefended towns, villages, dwellings and buildings by whatever means. Bombing by aircraft is to be included in the special qualification “by whatever means". (a) Bombing of (1)(a) In an air- Giving the An accident of extraterritorial raid on Prague supposition that this kind can buildings and the British no orders for the best be explained areas. Embassy is bombing of extra- publicly by the destroyed territorial fact that the buildings and British Embassy areas will be is in the given by us under immediate any circumstances, vicinity of the action in the military case in question installations, would have been the bombing of carried out by which was an mistake. indispensible military necessity. If, therefore, theBritish Embassy was hit by mistake, it is to be described as a regrettable accident, as such are unfortunately unavoidable in war. The German Government will pay compensation for the damage. (2) Injuring or Englishmen or Since it must be The deaths and killing of Frenchmen are assumed that the injuries caused subject of injured or deaths or injuries unintentionally neutral states killed. were caused are to be excused outside the unintentionally by as being actual war zone our troops, there unavoidable is no question of accidents which a violation of the events of war international law. can cause even to non-belligerants. Compensation is to be guaranteed. (3) Bombing and (3) The Art. 17 of the It seems shelling attacks Hradschin is Hague Rules for appropriate, in on hospitals, destroyed in an Land Warfare lays this case, to military air raid on down that during make a public hospitals, Prague. sieges and announcement with churches, and bombardments all the corresponding cultural necessary steps justification monuments. must be taken to after the attack. spare, as much as possible, any building dedicated to religious services, art, science, welfare; also historical monuments, hospirals and centers for sick and wounded, provided that they are not at the same time being used for military purposes. The elucidation of the last named reservation above is always very difficult and lengthy. Unless such a case is indisputably established, it cannot be judged by international law. Deliberate firing on protected buildings which are above suspicion is contrary to International Law in any case. Under the supposition that the Prague Hradschin, as the seat of government, is used for military purposes, which include, among other things, the maintenance of the military power of the Czech people, air attacks upon it are justified. (4) Use of war (4) On account According to the If the assertion, weapons which can of a report that declaration agreed that the opponent be employed under the Czechs have to in June 1925 by — in this case certain used gas, the 40 states, the Czechs -- conditions or of firing of gas including used a projibited new types of war projectiles is Czechoslovakia, gas in warfare, weapons such as ordered. the employment of is to be believed gas, flame poison gases, by the world, it throwers, chemical warfare must be possible chemical warfare agents, and to prove it. If agents and bacteriological that is possible, bacteriological substances is the firing of gas substances. expressly projectiles is forbidden. Quite a justified and it number of states must be given out made the in public that it reservation to can be proved this declaration that the enemy on the projibition was the first to of gas warfare, violate the that they consider prohibition. It themselves exempt is therefore from the particularly prohibition should important to the opponent use furnish the gas. Therefore, proof. If the the burning assertion is question of who unfounded or only violated the partially prohibition first founded, the gas will always arise attack is to be when the decision represented only is made. Whether as the need for this can be carrying out a established is justified doubtful. reprisal, in the same way did the Italians in the Abyssinian War. In this case, however, the justification for such harsh reprisals must also be proved. (5) Retaliatory (5) Czech If the inhabitants If Czech measures against civilians, not of an enemy civilians, who enemy civilians recognizable as territory under are not who take part in soldiers are our occupation recognizable as combat or are caught in the commit hostile soldiers, are guilty of act of sabotage acts against us or seized while espionage (destruction of our allies, they committing the (Passing of important are guilty of war acts and crimes intelligence). bridges, treason, which mentioned in the destruction of must be judged by case 5b, and shot foodstuffs and German law (Armed out of hand, this fodder) or are Forces Penal type of discovered Gazette). The retaliatory looting wounded right to punish measure is or dead soldiers enemy civilians justifiable and and thereupon for committing permissible under shot. hostile acts International Law against the only if the lives occupying power of our own troops derives from Art. were endangered. 43 of the Hague If offenders of Rules for Land this kind are Warfare which taken prisoner, allows the they may not occupying power to simply be put carry out public against a wall, administration and but must be tried expressly assigns according to the to it the decrees relating responsibility for to the case. This the maintenance of procedure can public order and take place public life. briefly and summarily in the field. The experiences of the World War have taught us that this procedure offers the enemy no opportunity of attack, whereas executions without trial are the best foundations for the enemy's propaganda. Encroachments actually made on our part will have to be explained either as the necessity for our troops to defend themselves or by the assertion that the Czechs attempted to escape. (6) Forcing of (6) Captured Art. 31 of the The use of such prisoners and Czech soldiers agreement signed measures can be civilians into or Czech on 27 July 1929, justified as a employment in war civilians are concerning the necessity of war, work (road detailed to do treatment of or with the construction, road work or to prisoners of war, assertion that digging trenches, load munitions. forbids the the enemy acted production of directing of in the same way munitions, prisoners of war first. employment in the into work which is transport service directly connected etc.). with war measures. Enforcement to do such work is, in any case, contrary to international law. Prisoners of war and civilians may be employed in road building but not in the production of munitions. (7) Measures (7) For military Art. 52 of the Necessity is the against the reasons it is Hague Rules for only reason population necessary to Land Warfare justifying connected with requisition allows the excessive the billets, occupying powers requisitioning of requisitioning of foodstuffs and to claim payment toilets and the billets, supplies fodder from the in kind and deliveries of o f foodstuffs, Czech service from the foodstuffs and fodder and population. As a communities and fodder. Mention live-stock etc, result the inhabitants of an that the troops latter suffer occupied are suffering from want. territory. These from the same payments must be shortage would be in relation to the appropriate. resources of the Moreover it must country. be added that women, children, Harsh oppression and invalids will of the civil be provided for population is as far as justified only if possible. the occupying power is itself in need and must live. Oppression and the enforced delivery of goods unless they are a due military necessity are not only contrary to international law, they are also unworthy. (8) Compulsory (8) Czech According to Art. The most evacuation of the population is, 43 of the Hugue advisable population from for military Rules for Land justification is their homes. reasons, Warfare and if that the compulsorily military necessity inhabitants must evacuated to the ugently requires be protected rear area. it. The removal of against inhabitants to the bombardment. rear of the operational zone is authorized by international law. (9) Measures (9) Churches are German soldiers If the urgent which affect used for will use churches military religious and military as military necessity exists, church life. accommodation. accommodation for justification men and horses under only in the most International Law extreme case of is granted and need. must be given out in public with this as the reason. Experience has show, however, that the use of religious buildings for such purphoses offers effective propaganda material to the enemy. (10) Violation of (10) In the According to Art. An attempt at neutral course of their 1 of the 5th Hague denial should territorial duty, German Convention of 18 first be made. If rights by aircraft fly October 1907, the it is aircraft flying over Polish territory of unsuccessful, a over or by territory where neutral powers is request for bombing. they are not to be pardon should be involved in an violated. A made (on the air battle with deliberate grounds of Czech aircraft. violation by miscalculation of flying over this position) to the territory is a Polish breach of Government, and International Law, compensation for if the neutral damage powers have guaranteed. declared an air barrier for combat aircraft. If German planes fly over Polish territory this constitutes a violation of International Law, provided that this action is not expressly permitted. (11) Measures of 11(a) Stationing No judgment by naval warfare of U-boats and international law, which are part of war activity of the questions the mine-U-boat within the listed here, can war, the blockage approaches to be made without and the war of the Baltic or consultation with merchant shipping within neutral OKM, as it is not (on the basis of coastal water. known here, what material (b) Prize laws measures are available to the measures as part intended should Naval War Staff). of the war on the occasion merchant arise. shipping, which are objected to by the enemy or by neutrals as contrary to international law. (c) Use of armament by armed merchant ships. (d) Announcement of declared areas. (12) Measures (12) The spreading of Justification of aimed at Proclamations news by whatever our own measures stiffening the over the German means with a view is not necessary; will to resist on radio to to raising the in any case the the part of Hungarian, moral forces of opponents will national Slovak and people in the reply with their minorities either Polish enemy territories own, i.e. counter foreign or of minorities who who are racially propaganda. German origin in are opposed to related or enemy countries the Czech connected is (by the Government. included in the distribution of ruses of warfare, leaflets, by air allowed under Art. proclamations, 24 of the Hague broadcasts, Rules for Land training and Warfare. arming). II. THE OPPONENT’s VIOLATIONS (a) Incidents (b) Example (c) Attitude of the International Law Group (1) Judgment by (2) Justification International Law by the laws of warfare (1) Bombing or Judgment by If it is at all shelling attacks International Law possible, claim on localities as in Section I, that the enemy where there are (1a) In an air No. 1, c 1. carried out no military raid on Berlin, deliberate installations. the French precision bombing (a) Bombing of Embassy is and what is extra-territorial destroyes specially to be buildings and condemned is that areas. the French Embassy contains valuable art treasures and that subjects of enemy states are staying there, having found asylum there. Moreover, that the French Embassy made efforts to avert the conflict. (2) Injuring or American Subjects of It will be killing of subjects are neutral states difficult to subjects of injured or outside the actual prove that the neutral states killed in an air war zone are enemy did this outside the raid on Dresden. protected by with intent. The actual zone. International Law. only other possible assertion is that as the buildings and persons were clearly distinguishable by the indications of American territory, or white flags, there was no excuse for attacking them. There were no military objectives near the scene of the onslaught. (3) Bombing and (3) In an air Judgment by Accuse the enemy shelling attacks raid on Vienna, International Law of having aon hospitals, hospitals are as in Section I, violated Art. 27 military destroyed and No. 3, c 1. of the Hague hospitals, Red Cross Rules for Land churches and personnel and Warfare by cultural patients killed. omitting to monuments. provide suitable for the protection of the hospitals in Vienna which by day and night were marked sufficiently distinctly by the Red Cross. In this case, also, the intention of precision bombing must be imputed as much as possible. (4) Destruction (4) Detonators Prohibition of Such destruction of villages, are placed in international law as the blowing up settlements, the Aussig Dam exists only with of the Aussig Dam agricultural in order to regard to the can only be areas, industrial destroy the destruction and branded as the and surrounding area removal of enemy most inhuman, communications and the property, other senseless, and installations inhabitants by than in those useless method of which serve no flooding. cases where this taking revenge on military purpose. destruction or innocent people. removal is made Compare similar urgent by the cases of barbaric necessitites of action in the war (Art. 23g of Hussite Wars and the Hague Rules in the behavior for Land Warfare). of the Czech Legion in Siberia, 1918/1920. (5) Use of war When Czech Judgment by Making wells weapons which can troops withdrew International Law unfit for use by be employed under from the Sudeten as in Section II, throwing in certain — German area, par 5, C 1. stable manure, conditions and of wells in many for example, is new types of war places are an authorized weapons such as contaminated. means of war. gas, flame- International Law throwers, forbids only the chemical warfare poisoning of agents and wells. bacteriological Contamination by substances. bacteria, on which this example is apparently based, is forbidden by International Law both in the Hague Ruling for Land Warfare and in the Convention of 1925. A propaganda attack is therefore justified. (6) Underhand In Postelberg, Underhand means of The enemy must be means of waging Czech trucks and warfare as, for accused of war: continuing locomotives have example, feigning employing the fight after been camouflaged death and shooting unchivalrous the enemy has by German from the rear at means of warfare, apparently National advancing troops, and he will gain surrendered — markings and showing white little advantage camouflage by swastikas. flags and firing by means which abuse of German with hidden are dishonorable or neutral machine guns on and repugnant to national the approach of an honest markings. the unsuspecting soldier. enemy justify immeidate reprisals without mercy. The misuse of the flag of truce, they national flag or of the military badges or uniforms of the opponent or of the Red Cross is forbidden (Art. 23e, Hague Rules for Land Warfare) but it becomes misuse only if enemy operations are undertaken under the camouflage; these enemy operations also justify immediate reprisal measures. The camouflaging of Czech trucks and locomotives by German national markings and swastikas is not contrary to international law. It becomes contrary thereto only if they are employed in enemy operations, under this camouflage. (7) Maiming or When being taken Killing or In this case, killing of into the Eger injuring one’s own propaganda can wounded, hospital, a subjects does not only be directed prisoners, serious injured come under the once more against defenseless Sudeten-German judgment of Czech brutality persons, women motor cyclist is international law. in general. In and children. shot by Czech Killing or addition, it must soldiers, who injuring of be stressed that said: “The defenseless those injured and German swine persons, wounded killed were will die and prisoners of subjects who anyway.” enemy nationality belonged to Czech is expressly state only forbidden by because they were International Law. forced to and whose return to the Reich had already been promised. (8) Use of German prisoners Judgment by Discretion must prisoners of war of war are International Law be used in for war work employed under as in Section I, reproaches of (road guard as truck para. 8, C 1. this kind, for it contruction, drivers for is possible that digging trenches, transferring similar production of back raw accusaitons could munitions, materials of be made against employment in war. us by the transport opponent if the service, etc.). fact is to be made use of for propaganda purposes. All that can be asserted is that our prisoners were employed by the opponent for transporting munitions behind their front lines. (10) Compulsory Members of the a judgment from Also, all that evacuation of Polish minority the standpoint of can be referred national are compulsorily International Law to in propaganda minorities from evacuated to the does not come into are Czech acts of their homes, and interior of the the question. brutality. confiscating country in their food military stuffs, fodder transports. and live-stock, etc. (11) Measures for In localities on Measures for In this case it inciting, arming, the Czech- inciting one’s own would be and taking Silesian subjects, for appropriate to control of the frontier summons arming and give warnings civilian to fight German conducting referring to the population (Franc-troops are guerilla warfare, civilian warfare tireur warfare). issued, and arms are allowed. The of August 1914 in distributed to national warning Belgium, which the civilian itself, must not caused the death population. exceed the limits of thousands of prescribed by inhabitants. International Law Cunning snipers (Art. 1 and 2 of without uniform the Hague Rules and soldiers in for Land Warfare), civilian clothes, i.e., prescribed after pretending badges to be recognizable at a acquiescent, distance, bearing attacked soldiers arms openly, etc. on the march and in their billets and provoked the reprisals justified by such actions. For use in propaganda, it must be particularly stressed that the above-named conditions justifying a national uprising were not fulfilled and the outward identification marks of armed civilians were lacking. (12) Violation of Czech airmen It is contrary to The violation of neutral drop bombs on International Law the neutrality of territorial the German- for combat Polish territory rights by flying Polish frontier, aircraft to fly and the over or bombing destroying the over the destruction of it. town hall in territories of non-military Lissa and a neutral power. buildings of church in which the church Rawitsch. in Rawitsch is specially protected by International Law constitute a serious breach of International Law which must be correspondingly used to the full in propaganda. In addition, it is necessary to point out that it was obviously a deliberate air raid. (13) Slanderous The Melnick Making the enemy Remedy in this propaganda by Radio Station contemptible is a case is possible false reports on spreads reports stratagem of war only by the measures of that dum-dum allowed by correcting the the German projectiles have international law, reports, and command and on been used by even if in so better still by the combat German troops. doing many lies counter-attack, elements, by Polish and in which, of accounts of newspapers show misrepresentations course, we can atrocities in false are made. The also make use of press reports, photographs of efforts made by the spreading of news picture this. different powers, atrocity stories. broadcasts, etc. Germany amongst Nothing more can them, to form and be done than to international attempt to beat agreement to the opponent at restrict the his own game or propaganda of war get equal with atrocities failed him in some way in 1932. or other.