For what crimes the German generals were punished their soldiers

History 12/01/20 For what crimes the German generals were punished their soldiers

it is believed that the soldiers of the Wehrmacht were exempted from all responsibility for crimes against the civilian population of the occupied territories of the USSR. It is not so. Punishment was another thing that they did not meet the degree of the offense.

most Importantly, a personal impression

13 may 1941, more than a month before the German attack on the Soviet Union, signed by the chief of the Supreme command of the Wehrmacht, Wilhelm Keitel, was published “the Decree on military jurisdiction in the district “Barbarossa” and special measures of the troops”. The document actually governed the conduct of German officers and soldiers in the occupied territories of the USSR and the determined measure of responsibility for possible complications of relations with the civilian population.
Immediately it should be noted that the task “Instructions” to ensure the discipline and safety of the German army in the occupied territories, the fate of civilians affected by Wehrmacht soldiers cared for the German command in the least, if they cared at all. This is eloquently demonstrated by the first line of the document. In order to avoid possible threats that could come from the civilian population, the soldiers of the Wehrmacht were allowed to apply in respect of any actions, including execution.
have a Special attitude of the German authorities was to persons suspected of any ties to the guerrillas. In the Keitel Directive of 16 December 1942 it was reported that the troops have the right to use without limitation any leading to success means even if they are directed against women and children.
Merciless destruction on Soviet territory was to be partisans, Jews and other radical elements, leading sabotage, or sabotaging the orders of the occupation authorities. It was spelled out in the Directive of the SS, Reynard Heydrich, dated July 2, 1942 year. It is noteworthy that the Jewish person if they were in the party or were employed in the public service, the German command default referred to radical elements and were subject to immediate elimination.
the Fate of Jewish and non-Jewish workers were instructed to solve one of three possible ways: shot, sent to concentration camps or to pass into the hands of Sonderkommando SD. The latter option also actually meant imminent death. However, when addressing the question of “guilt or innocence” were encouraged to rely on personal impression.
as easily have decided the fate of entire settlements, in which German soldiers suffered “insidious or treacherous attack.” If circumstances do not allow you to quickly identify the perpetrators, the officers not below the rank of battalion commander was allowed to use the massive violent measures.

to Punish in an extreme case

the Following section “Orders” Keitel refers directly to the crimes committed by the Wehrmacht on the Eastern front against the civilian population. The main message is recorded already in the first paragraph, which says that the punishment of persons for illegal actions against hostile locals “is not required”. But the fact that no German court would not understand whether there was a hostile population in a particular case or not. It is a priori stand on the side of a German soldier. Some German generals, including Heinz Guderian, criticized these orders, considering them as contributing to the decomposition of the discipline of the German army.
the drafters of the document in advance to justify any actions of German soldiers against the civilian population the fact that after the defeat in 1918, the German people have suffered enough from Bolshevism and now the men are eager to compensate moral and material damage.
However, the punishment of German soldiers who committed crimes against residents of the occupied territories, has still been applied. However, it is not due to the illegal nature of the actions themselves, and, in the words of field Marshal Walter von Prowhich, because they contributed to the violation of military discipline or created threat of security of the troops.
first and foremost it was about serious misconduct on the grounds of sexual immorality, or criminal inclinations, which could lead to degradation of the troops. Also punished for criminal acts, which were destroyed to the detriment of the troops, the food supplies or other captured property.
German commanders paid special attention to the poor treatment of civilians in the settlements of the surrounding area which was full of partisans. It was believed that the illegal actions of the German soldiers will only contribute to the care of local residents to the guerrillas.
After the war, the German military archive Freiburg was found about 80 thousand criminal cases brought against the German soldiers on the Eastern front. Most of them were associated with desertion, but a considerable part belonged to the persons who committed illegal actions against the civilian population. As a rule, such cases rarely ended with the execution (less than 1% of cases), most often the culprit waited for the penalty part, labor camps or prison.

First of all, reputation

the Main article, in which German military personnel were prosecuted for actions against Soviet civilians, was rape. Despite the fact that on the Eastern front operated organized system of brothels to stop sexual chaos in the German army, she could not. However, military courts pass excessively soft decisions, encouraged abuses against civilians.
They were guided by the constant principle that “the Russian concept of sexual honor of women differs from the German”, and, therefore, moral or physical damage, nUnesennye desecrated the Russian girl, was minimal. While violence on the Western front, say, against the French, became the subject of a thorough investigation.
the idea of Soviet women is reflected in the legal case of lance corporal David M who commits rape with aggravating circumstances. Really tried not soldier for the rape and murder that followed – the accused, having encountered tough resistance from the victim, shot twice in her head. The court sentenced the corporal to ten years hard labor. In the verdict it was reported that his actions Wehrmacht inflicted serious damage to the reputation of the German army and had undermined the trust of the local population to the German authorities. And not a word about the victim.
In 1944, the court of the Eastern territories was considered a matter of five German soldiers who committed a gang rape of two minor girls. The court qualified this offense as “particularly brutal”, but as mitigating circumstances taken into consideration the merits of the defendants to the Fatherland. The verdict – two years of hard labor.
it is Interesting that the military judge of a Cavalry Brigade of the SS gave his assessment of the crime, criticized the sentence as too lenient. He drew attention to the fact that the convicted acted not as soldiers of the German army, but as “inhuman scum”, seriously harming the reputation of the Wehrmacht. In his opinion, the correct sentence here would have been the death penalty. However, the court found that the death penalty will be too harsh of a punishment and upheld the previous decision. As in the previous case, attention was focused not on the victims of crime, and the reputation of the German army.

Taras Repin

© Russian Seven

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