7 Jan. 46

Colonel Von Bonin. Since anti-partisan warfare also was under the sole command of the respective army group commander in operational areas — for instance, in Army Group Center under Field Marshal Kluge and later Busch — and since police troops for the most part could not be spared from the Reich Commissariats, the direction of this warfare lay practically always entirely in the hands of the Army. In the same way orders were issued not by Himmler but by the OKH. SS and Police troops transferred to operational areas from the Reichskommissariate to support the army groups were likewise under the latter's command. Such transfers were frequent and therefore resulted in harm to anti-partisan warfare in the Reichskommissariate. According to a specific agreement between Himmler and the OKW and OKH, the direction of individual operations lay in the hands of the troop leader who commanded the largest troop contingent. It was therefore possible that an Army general could have SS and Police under him; and, on the other hand, that army troops could be placed under a general of the SS and Police. Anti-partisan warfare in operational areas could never be ordered by Himmler. I could merely request the OKH to order it, until 1944, mostly through the intervention of Generalquartiermeister Wagner or through State Secretary Ganzenmüller The OKH then issued corresponding orders to the army groups concerned for compliance.

"The severity and cruelty with which the intrinsically diabolical partisan warfare was conducted by the Russians had already resulted in Draconian laws being issued by Hitler for its conduct. These orders, which were passed on to the troops through the OKW and OKH, were equally applicable to army troops as well as to those of the SS and Police. There was absolutely no difference in the manner in which these two components carried on this warfare. Army soldiers were exactly as embittered against the enemy as were those of the SS and Police.

"As a result of this embitterment orders were ruthlessly carried out by both components, a thing which was also quite in keeping with Hitler's desires or intentions. As proof of this, the order of the OKW and OKH can be adduced which directed that all captured partisans, for instance, such as Jews, agents, and political commissars, should without delay be handed over by the troops to the SD for special treatment. This order also contained the provision that in anti-partisan warfare no prisoners except the above-named be taken. That