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Donovan Nuremberg Trials Collection

Nuremberg trial transcripts and documents from the Collection of General William J. Donovan

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Volume 005
Subdivision "Subdivision 10 / High Command and General Staff"
Part 2
Section 10.05 (Secret Report, Halder)
Title Index; This Report is Secret
Pages 1 + 49
Pages Supplemental Including the prefatory Index
Date 1945-08-07
Language English
Author Franz Halder
Witness Franz Halder; Muller-Hillebrand
Other Names Hitler; Witzleben; Chamberlain; Beck; Goerdeler; Keitel; Jodl; von Blomberg; Reichenau; von Hammerstein; Goering; von Fritsch; Thomas; von Brauchitsch; von Rundstedt; Mussolini; Frank; Himmler; von Bock; von Kluge; von Leeb; von Manstein; Zeitzler; Scherff; Moltke; Schließen; Ludendorff; Frank; General Schmundt;
Other Dates August 1940; 1 October 1940; January 1941; 19 December 1941; July 1942; 24 September 1942; 20 July 1944; 2 May 1945; 5 May 1945
Abstract This document is a report based on Franz Halder's notes, made while in the custody of the Allied Forces, concerning his role as a General in the German Army and the organization of the OKH and OKW. The paragraphs are numbered sequentially; paragraphs 1-8 (and, presumably, the Index) are the work of an unnamed American officer and/or interrogator; and the balance of the report, comprising paragraphs 9-220 and numerous footnotes, is an unabridged translation of the first part of Halder's notes. In recapitulating the prelude to the war and the planning and execution of the war itself, Halder emphasizes Hitler's antipathy to the traditional German Army Officers' Corps and the non-political nature of the German Army, as well as the pervasive and insidious powers of the OKW (High Command of the Armed Forces), which eventually came to serve as "the military office of the politician and revolutionary Adolf Hitler" (p.4, para. 11). The report addresses particular conflicts between the OKH and OKW, and Hitler's intermeddling between the two. As a member of the OKH, Halder is more than willing to blame the OKW, and most of all Hitler, for the various disputes and blunders that hindered the German war effort and led to the eventual defeat of the German Army; indeed, Halder's report generally reads like a post-mortem analysis of "What went wrong?" and "Who is to blame?" Many sections are similar to the account given in the so-called "Generals' Statement," sectioned as 10.04 of the Donovan Papers. This document is a typewritten original of good quality on paper that is slightly browning but generally stable.
Keywords OKH; OKW; German General Staff; German Army; Versailles Treaty; Czechoslovakia; Polish Campaign; SS; SA; SD; Seeloewe; Sea-lion; French campaign; Balkan campaign; Russian campaign