Nazi Chief of Staff Denies Knowledge of Under of Jews, Challenged by Prosecution

Col, Gen. Alfred Jodl, former chief of staff of the German High Command, today denied before the International Military Tribunal that he knew of the extermination of Jews by German troops, although the prosecution submitted evidence showing that the Security Police, who carried out the massacres of Jews, operated under the Wehrmacht’s direction.

Jodl said that he had never seen any order dealing with the murder of Jews. However, he was unable to explain an army directive issued during the campaign in Russia, which said that all “Jewish spies and Soviet commissars” were to be delivered to the army for “special treatment.” Although many sources, including Nazi documents, have revealed the extent of Jewish participation in the partisan movements, Jodl denied that there were any Jews among the guerrillas captured by his troops.

The prosecutors also introduced a report by the Wehrmacht commander in Denmark, issued in Sept., 1943, in which he acknowledged orders to round up 6,000 Danish Jews. The same officer, in a subsequent document, said that the Jews were primarily responsible for the trouble in Denmark and should be treated accordingly. Other documents included a report on the arrest of 283 Jews in Denmark, which Jodl had annotated: “This is a matter of complete indifference to us.”

During the cross-examination Jodl was asked what happed to the Jews turned over to the S.S. by his troops. He replied that they had been sent to Theresienstadt, where they lived under good conditions.

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