30 Nov. 45

Tribunal, exactly what was said and what took place at this conference in the Führer's train?

LAHOUSEN: First of all, Canaris had a short talk with Ribbentrop, in which the latter explained the general political aims with regard to Poland and in connection with the Ukrainian question. The Chief of the OKW took up the Ukrainian question in subsequent discussions which took place in his private carriage. These are recorded in the files which I immediately prepared on Canaris' order. While we were still in the carriage of the Chief of the OKW, Canaris expressed his serious misgivings regarding the proposed bombardment of Warsaw, of which he knew. Canaris stressed the devastating repercussions which this bombardment would have in the foreign political field. The Chief of the OKW, Keitel, replied that these measures had been agreed upon directly by the Führer and Göring, and that he, Keitel, had had no influence on these decisions. I quote Keitel's own words here-naturally only after re-reading my notes. Keitel said: "The Führer and Göring are in frequent telephone communication; sometimes I also hear something of what was said, but not always."

Secondly, Canaris very urgently warned against the measures which had come to his knowledge, namely the proposed shootings and extermination measures directed particularly against the Polish intelligentsia, the nobility, the clergy, and in fact all elements which could be regarded as leaders of a national resistance. Canaris said at that time--I am quoting his approximate words: "One day the world will also hold the Wehrmacht, under whose eyes these events occurred, responsible for such methods."

The Chief of the OKW replied--and this is also based on my notes, which I re-read a few days ago--that these things had been decided upon by the Führer, and that the Führer, the Commander-in-Chief of the Army, had let it be known that, should the Armed Forces be unwilling to carry through these measures, or should they not agree with them, they would have to accept the presence at their side of the SS, the SIPO and similar units who would carry them through. A civilian official would then be appointed to function with each military commander. This, in outlines, was our discussion on the proposed shooting and extermination measures in Poland.

COL. AMEN: Was anything said about a so-called "political housecleaning"?

LAHOUSEN: Yes, the Chief of the OKW used an expression which was certainly derived from Hitler and which characterized these measures as "political housecleaning". I recall this expression very clearly, even without the aid of my notes.