4 Jan. 46

this report such facts as appeared relevant to the issues before the Tribunal were extracted and a statement embodying them was prepared. This statement was then presented to the German officer at a later interview in the form of a draft, and the German officer was asked whether it truly reproduced what he had said and was invited to alter it in any way he saw fit. The object was to procure the most accurate testimony on organizational matters that we could.

I will take up these affidavits one by one, and I think the members of the Tribunal will see that they fully support the Prosecution's description of the group and conclusively establish that this group of officers was, in fact, the group which had the major responsibility for planning and for directing the operations of the German Armed Forces.

The Soviet and French Judges have copies in French and Russian, and the Defense has copies in German.

The first of these affidavits is that of Franz Halder, who held the rank of "Generaloberst" or colonel general — the equivalent of a four-star general in the American Army. His affidavit will be Exhibit Number USA-531 (Document 3702-PS). Halder was Chief of the General Staff of OKH. That would be the box second from the bottom on the left-hand side. He was Chief of the General Staff of the OKH from September 1938 to September 1942. He is, accordingly, a member of the group and well qualified by his position to testify as to the organization. His statement is short, and I will read it in full:
"Ultimate authority and responsibility for military affairs in Germany was vested in the head of the State, who prior to the 2d of August 1934, was Field Marshal Von Hindenburg and thereafter, until 1945, was Adolf Hitler.

"Specialized military matters were the responsibility of the three branches of the Armed Forces subordinate to the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces (at the same time head of the State), that is to say, the Army, Navy, and the Air Force. In practice, supervision within this field was exercised by a relatively small group of high-ranking officers. These officers exercised such supervision on the basis of their official instructions and by virtue of their training, their positions, and their mutual contacts. Plans for military operations of the German Armed Forces were prepared by members of this group, according to the instructions of the OKW, in the name of their respective commanding officers and were presented to the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces (at the same time the head of the State).

"The members of this group were charged with the responsibility of preparing for military operations within their