Friday, October 12, 2007

Prisoners of War when they aren't......

"It is impossible to complete this account without referring to a terrible decision of policy adopted by Hitler towards his new foes, and enforced under all the pressure of the mortal struggle in vast barren or ruined land and winter horrors. Verbal orders were given by him at a conference on June 14, 1941, which to a large extent governed the conduct of the German Army towards the Russian troops and people, and led to many ruthless and barbarous deeds. According to the Nuremberg documents, General Halder testified:

Prior to the attack on Russia the Fuehrer called a conference of all the commanders and persons connected with the Supreme Command on the question of the forthcoming attack on Russia.....At this conference the Fuehrer stated that the methods used in the war against the Russians would have to be different from those used against the West....He stated that since the Russians were not signatories of the Hague Convention the treatment of their prisoners of war did not have to follow the Articles of the Convention.....

And according to Keitel:

Hitler's main theme was that this was the decisive battle between the two ideologies and that this fact made it impossible to use in this war [with Russia] methods, as we soldiers knew them, which were considered to be the only correct ones under international law."

Winston Churchill, The Grand Alliance, 1950, Houghton Mifflin, Boston, pg. 368

Wilhelm Keitel was hung at Nuremberg, 16 Oct 1946