The argument in defense of the charge with regard to the murder and ill-treatment of Soviet prisoners of war, that the U.S.S.R. was not a party to the Geneva Convention, is quite without foundation. On 15 September 1941 Admiral Canaris protested against the regulations for the treatment of Soviet prisoners of war, signed by General Reinecke on 8 September 1941. He then stated:

"The Geneva Convention for the treatment of prisoners of war is not binding in the relationship between Germany and the U.S.S.R. Therefore only the principles of general international law on the treatment of prisoners of war apply. Since the 18th century these have gradually been established along the lines that war captivity is neither revenge nor punishment, but solely protective custody, the only purpose of which is to prevent the prisoners of war from further participation in the war. This principle was developed in accordance with the new held by all armies that it is contrary to military tradition to kill or injure helpless people . . . . The decrees for the treatment of Soviet prisoners of war enclosed are based on a fundamentally different view-point " This protest, which correctly stated the legal position, was ignored. The Defendant Keitel made a note on this memorandum:

"The objections arise from the military concept of chivalrous warfare This is the destruction of an ideology Therefore I approve and back the measures"

Murder and Ill-treatment of Civilian Population

Article 6 (b) of the Charter provides that "ill-treatment of civilian population of or in occupied territory . killing of hostages . . . . wanton destruction of cities, towns, or villages" shall be a war crime. In the main, these provisions are merely declaratory of the existing laws of war as expressed by the Hague Convention Article 46, which stated: "Family honor and rights, the lives of persons and private property, as well as religious convictions and practice must be respected."

The territories occupied by Germany were administered in "violation of the laws of war. The evidence is quite overwhelming of a systematic rule of violence, brutality, and terror. On 7 December 1941 Hitler issued the directive since known as the "Nacht und Nebel Erlass" (Night and Fog Decree), under which persons who committed offenses against the Reich or the German forces in occupied territories, except where the death sentence was certain were to be taken secretly to Germany and handed over to the SIPO and SD for trial or punishment in Germany. This decree was signed by the Defendant Keitel. After these civilians arrived in Germany,