7 Jan. 46

members of the German Armed Forces, where, for example, prisoners of war were handed over to and mistreated by the SS or SD, we will show that in those cases members of this group were well aware that they were assisting in the commission of War Crimes. We will show that many crimes committed by the SS and SD were committed with the knowledge and necessary support of the General Staff and High Command group.

The first matter which I will take up relates to the killing, in violation of international law and the rules of war, of Allied commandos, paratroopers, and members of military missions, and the first document to which I wish to refer is 498-PS, which will be Exhibit USA-501.

This story starts with the order embodied in that document, which is an order issued by Hitler on 18 October 1942, and which Mr. Storey has already mentioned in the presentation of charges against the Sicherheitsdienst. The order begins with a recital that Allied commandos were using methods of warfare alleged to be outside the scope of the Geneva Convention, and thereafter proceeds to specify the methods of warfare which German troops should use against Allied commandos, and the disposition which should be made of captured commandos.

This order is one of the two basic documents in the story. I will read it in full:
"1. For some time our enemies have been using in their warfare methods which are outside the international Geneva Conventions. Especially brutal and treacherous is the behavior of the so-called commandos, who, as is established, are partially recruited even from freed criminals in enemy countries. From captured orders it is divulged that they are directed not only to shackle prisoners, but also to kill defenseless prisoners on the spot at the moment in which they believe that the latter, as prisoners, represent a burden in the further pursuit of their purpose or could otherwise be a hindrance. Finally, orders have been found in which the killing of prisoners has been demanded in principle.

"2. For this reason it was already announced, in an addendum to the Armed Forces communiqué of 7 October 1942, that in the future, Germany, in the face of the sabotage troops of the British and their accomplices, will resort to the same procedure, that is, that they will be ruthlessly mowed down by the German troops in combat, wherever they may appear.

"3. I therefore order:

"From now on all enemies on so-called commando missions in Europe or Africa, challenged by German troops, even if they are to all appearances soldiers in uniform or demolition troops,