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Translation of document C-50
Naval War Staff Berlin, 17 June 1941 Reg. No. 1 SKL. Ia 00149/41 MOST SECRET S.O. Only [illegible markings] MOST SECRET By hand of officer only ORDER 1. Address to: Group North Copy 1-2 Admiral Norway Copy 3-4 Baltic Station Copy 5-6 F.O. Cruisers Copy 7-8 Liaison Staff Finland for Copy 9-10 Naval Command “C” informa- Copy 11-12 Naval Command “D” tion Copy 13-14 1. Inclosed is an Order by the Fuehrer concerning the application of Martial law in the area “Barbarossa” and special military measures. 2. Make copies of the Fuehrer Order of 13th May and attach 2 copies of each to the document mentioned in 1. 3. I Op. Ii after departure Naval War Staff iA la initials [illegible notations]
Supreme Command of the Armed Forces WFSt/Section L (IV qu) Fuehrer’s Hq., 14 May 1941 No. 44718/41 Most Secret S.O. MOST SECRET Only by officer [illegible markings] 23 copies 7th copy Subject: Application of military jurisdiction and procedure in area "Barbarossa” and special military measures. Inclosed is an order by the Fuehrer concerning application of military jurisdiction and procedure in the area “Barbarossa” and special military measures. If possible further distribution will not be made until 1 June 1941. The Chief of the Supreme Command of the Armed Forces By order: [Signature illegible] [illegible notation] Distribution: C-in-C of the Army (Ops-Abt) 1st copy C-in-C of the Army (Gen Qu) 2d-3d copies Supreme Command of the Army (Chief H. Reust.u.Bd.E) 4th copy C-in-C of the Air Force (Lw. Fuehrungsstab) 5th copy C-in-C of the Air Force (Gen Qu) 6th copy C-in-C of the Navy (Naval War Staff) 7th copy Supreme Command of the Armed Forces/WFSt 8th copy Dept L — Chief 9th copy Dept L — IH 10th copy Dept L — IL 11th copy Dept L — IK 12th copy Dept L — IV/Qu 13th copy Dept L — II 14th copy Dept L — Ktb 15th copy WR 16th copy Armed Forces Propaganda 17th copy Foreign/Abw 18th copy Abw III 19th copy Reserve 20th-23d copies [Page 873] The Fuehrer and Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces. Fuehrer’s Headquarters, 13 May 1941 [Pencil note] One copy for Group South sent 15.12.1941. V.W. ORDER CONCERNING THE EXERCISE OF MARTIAL JURISDICTION AND PROCEDURE IN THE AREA “BARBAROSSA” AND SPECIAL MILITARY MEASURES The application of martial law aims in the first place at maintaining discipline. The fact that the operational areas in the East are so far-flung. the battle strategy which this necessitates, and the peculiar qualities of the enemy, confront the courts martial with problems which, being short-staffed, they cannot solve while hostilities are in progress, and until some degree of pacification has been achieved in the conquered areas, unless jurisdiction is confined, in the first instance, to its main task. This is possible only if the troops take ruthless action themselves against any threat from the enemy population. For these reasons I herewith issue the following order effective for the area “Barbarossa” (area of operations, army rear area, and area of political administration): I. Treatment of offenses committed by enemy civilians: 1. Until further notice the military courts and the courts martial will not be competent for crimes committed by enemy civilians. 2. Guerillas should be disposed of ruthlessly by the military, whether they are fighting or in flight. 3. Likewise all other attacks by enemy civilians on the Armed Forces, its members and employees, are to be suppressed at once by the military, using the most extreme methods, until the assailants are destroyed. 4. Where such measures have been neglected or were not at first possible; persons suspected of criminal action will be brought at once before an officer. This officer will decide whether they are to be shot. On the orders of an officer with the powers of at least a Battalion Commander, collective despotic measures will be taken with out delay against localities from which cunning or malicious attacks are made on the Armed Forces, if circumstances do not permit of a quick identification of individual offenders. 5. It is expressly forbidden to keep suspects in custody in order to hand them over to the courts after the reinstatement of civil courts. [Page 874] 6. The C-in-Cs of the Army Groups may by agreement with the competent Naval and Air Force Commanders reintroduce military jurisdiction for civilians, in areas which are sufficiently settled. For the area of the “Political Administration” this order will be given by the Chief of the Supreme Command of the Armed Forces. II. Treatment of offenses committed against inhabitants by members of the Armed Forces and its employees. 1. With regard to offenses committed against enemy civilians by members of the Wehrmacht and its employees prosecution is not obligatory even where the deed is at the same time a military crime or offense. 2. When judging such offenses, it must be borne in mind, whatever the circumstances, that the collapse of Germany in 1918, the subsequent sufferings of the German people and the fight against National Socialism which cost the blood of innumerable supporters of the movement, were caused primarily by Bolshevik influence and that no German has forgotten this fact. 3. Therefore .the judicial authority will decide in such cases whether a diciplinary penalty is indicated, or whether legal measures are necessary. In the case of offenses against inhabitants it will order a court martial only if maintenance of discipline or security of the Forces call for such a measure. This applies for instance to serious offenses originating in lack of self control in sexual matters, or in a criminal disposition, and to those which indicate that the troops are threatening to get out of hand. Offenses which have resulted in senseless destruction of billets or stores of other captured material to the disadvantage of our Forces should as a rule be judged no less severely. The order to institute proceedings requires in every single case the signature of the Judicial Authority. 4. Extreme caution is indicated in assessing the credibility of statements made by enemy civilians. III. Within their sphere of .competence Military Commanders are personally responsible for seeing that- 1. Every commissioned officer of the units under their command is instructed promptly and in the most emphatic manner on principles set out under I above. 2. Their legal advisers are notified promptly of these instructions and of verbal information in which the political intentions of the High Command were explained to C-in-Cs. 3. Only those court sentences are confirmed which are in accordance with the political intentions of the High Command. [Page 875] IV. Security. Once the camouflage is lifted this decree will be treated as “Most Secret.” By order Chief of the Supreme Command of the Armed Forces [signed] Keitel Checked Dressel (?) Major d.G.