Cornell University Law Library

Donovan Nuremberg Trials Collection

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

More information

Volume 009
Subdivision Subdivision 16 / Prisoners of War and Concentration Camps
Part Not applicable
Section 16.15 (report on POWs)
Title Translation of report received from Philip Bastedo, Strategic Services Unit, Berlin, 16 October 1945. Prepared for Maj. Gen. W. J. Donovan by Capt. Nordon. / Draft - translation / Subject: Treatment of Prisoners of War
Pages 5
Pages Supplemental None
Date 1942-03-27
Language English; the translator is Capt. Nordon
Author Tiessler [?]
Witness Not applicable
Other Names Gutterer; von Gravenitz; Goebbels; Hitler; Sauckel; Passe; Waechter
Other Dates 1 February 1942
Abstract This document is an English-language translation of a report on prisoners of war and a conference to address relevant propaganda points. The report states that the high mortality among Soviet POWs is attributable to a harsh winter and scarcity of food, rather than "epidemics or similar conditions" (p.2). The report makes no mention of ill or inhumane treatment of POWs, much less of executions of suspected communists, by the German Army. The report also indicates a change in German policy, with the purpose of keeping Soviet POWs fit for work; the slogan, "The Russian is a Beast, he must croak," is repudiated and the conferees address the necessity of using propaganda to induce the German people to accept improvements in the food and clothing of Russian POWs. This document is a typewritten original of excellent quality on slightly browning paper.
Keywords Prisoners of war; Russian POWs; Propaganda; Red Cross; DAF; Armament industry; Ministry of Economics; Ministry of Food Supply; War crimes; French POWs; Eastern front