7 Jan. 46 |
affidavit by Wilhelm Scheidt, a retired captain of the
German Army, who worked in the War History Section of the OKW from 1941
to 1945. It sheds considerable light on the relations between the
Wehrmacht and the SS at the top with respect to anti-partisan warfare. I
will read the affidavit:
"I, Wilhelm Scheidt, belonged to the
War History Section of the OKW from the year 1941 to, 1945.
"Concerning the question of partisan warfare I state that I
remember the following from my knowledge of the documents of the
Operations Staff of the OKW as well as from my conversations in the Führer's
headquarters with Major General Walter Scherff, the Führer's
appointee for the compilation of the history of the war.
"Counter-partisan warfare was originally a responsibility of
Reichsführer SS Heinrich Himmler, who sent police forces to
handle this matter.
"In the years 1942 and 1943, however, counter-partisan war- fare
developed to such an extent that the Operations Staff of the OKW had
to give it special attention. In the Army Operations Section of the
Operations Staff of the OKW, a specific officer was assigned the
development of counter- partisan warfare as his special task. It
proved necessary to conduct extensive operations against the partisans
with Wehrmacht troops in Russian, as well as Yugoslavian territory.
Partisan operations for a long while threatened to cut off the lines
of communication and transport routes that were necessary to support
the German Wehrmacht. For instance, a monthly report concerning the
attacks on the railroad lines in occupied Russia revealed that in the
Russian area alone from 800 to 1,000 attacks occurred each month
during that period causing among other things the loss of from 200 to
"It was a well-known fact that partisan warfare was conducted
with cruelty on both sides. It was well known that reprisals were
inflicted on hostages and communities whose inhabitants were suspected
of being partisans or of supporting them. It is beyond question that
these facts must have been known to the leading officers in the
Operations Staff of the OKW and in the Army's General Staff. It was
further well known that Hitler believed that the only successful
method of conducting counter-partisan warfare was to employ cruel
punishments as deterrents.
"I remember that, at the time of the Polish revolt in Warsaw, SS
Gruppenführer Fegelein reported to Colonel General