30 Nov. 45

you say at this conference about the effect of the execution of these orders on Russian soldiers?

LAHOUSEN: I pointed out, first of all, that through these orders some elements among the Russian soldiers who were inclined to surrender were prevented from doing so. Secondly, that people who for any reason would have offered their services to the Abwehr would also be hindered by these measures. And that, in summa, an effect opposite to that which they had desired would result and the resistance of the Red Army soldiers would be increased to the utmost.

COL. AMEN: And in order that we may be perfectly clear, what did you say about the effect of the execution of these orders on the German troops?

LAHOUSEN: I said, that from several reports we had from the front, the effect on the morale and on the discipline of the troops was devastating.

COL. AMEN: Was there any discussion about international law at this conference?

LAHOUSEN: No. In this connection there was no discussion of international law. The manner of selection of the prisoners of war was particularly stressed. It was completely arbitrary apart from the general order in itself.

COL. AMEN: We will get to that in a moment. Were your views accepted at this conference?.

LAHOUSEN: My views which were the views of the Amt Abwehr, which I was representing, were opposed in the sharpest possible manner by Müller, who with the usual cliches rejected the arguments that I had produced, and who made the sole concession that the executions, out of consideration for the feelings of the troops, should not take place before them but at a place some distance apart. He also made a few concessions in the question of the selection, which was completely arbitrary, and was just left to the Kommando leaders or to the prejudice of the Kommando leaders.

COL. AMEN: And subsequent to this conference did you learn whether an order was issued with respect to having these killings take place outside the sight of the German troops?

LAHOUSEN: Except for Müller's promise, which I have just mentioned, I heard no more about it at the time. I found a confirmation of the results of this conference and the promises then made to me in an order which was submitted to me only now.