This is from Shofar FTP Archives: imt/nca/nca-06/nca-06-3712-ps Here is the article: STATEMENT [This statement is substantially the same as the testimony given by Bach-Zelewski on direct examination before the International Military Tribunal at Nurnberg, 7 January 1946.] 1. I was born in 1899 in Lauenburg in Pomerania. In 1914 I joined the German army. I was twice wounded and received the Iron Cross Second and First Class. After 1918 I was taken on in the 100,000-man army. I had to give up active service in 1924 when two of my sisters married Jews. I remained active as an battalion commander in the Frontier Defense and also went on exercises every year as an officer of the reserve. In this war I have held various commands at the front in addition to my activities as Chief of Anti-Partisan units and on the recommendation of my superiors in the Armed Forces I have received clasps to the Iron Cross Second and First Class, the German Cross in Gold and the Knight's Cross to the Iron Cross. 1. I joined the Party after the elections of September 1930, which showed that sooner or later the NSDAP would enter the government. My ideological reason was my nationalist viewpoint; my personal motive was fear of once more -- as in 1924 -- seeing [Page 426] my career and my living sacrificed because of Anti-Semitism. I hoped by joining the movement to avert the danger which was threatening my family and myself. The question of what I would do in the Party now arose. Pure politics did not appeal to me as a professional soldier. The SA leaders in my district were young men without military experience, to whom I did not wish to be subordinated. Moreover the SA refused to have anything to do with Frontier Defense. Since at this time the new semi-military body -- the SS -- was beginning to be set up, I joined it. Between then and 1934 I established Allgemeine SS and SS Frontier Defense units in the districts of Frankfurt/Oder and Schneidemuehl. From 1934 to the beginning of the Russian campaign I was Oberabschnittsfuehter in East Prussian and Silesia. I was opposed to Himmler's exaggerated racial and Germanic ideas as early as 1934 when his pronouncements were becoming clearer and clearer. At the beginning of the Polish campaign and after Himmler's speech at the Wewelsburg I was filled with the profoundest misgivings because I saw that my national status would be questioned by reason of my half Slav descent and my Jewish relations. 3. At the beginning of the war I had the rank of SS- Gruppenfuehrer and Generalleutnant of the Police. I took part in the opening phase of the Russian campaign as Higher SS and Police Leader in Central Russia, i.e. in the Rearward Zone of Army Group Centre. The commander of this Rear Zone under the Army Group commander was General von Schenkendorff. I was mainly concerned with Anti-Partisan warfare. In 1941 I was promoted to the rank of SS- Obergruppenfuehrer and General of the Police. In 1943 I was appointed Chief of Anti-Partisan units, a post created for me and in which I was directly subordinated to Himmler. My functions involved close cooperation with the Wehrmacht and the use of Wehrmacht units, since SS and police units would not have sufficed by themselves. The conduct of an operation was always entrusted to that arm -- whether Wehrmacht, Waffen SS, or Police -- which provided most of the troops. The Wehrmacht had charge of most of the operations since it usually provided the greater part of the force. Both participants, however, had the same experiences with the result that Schenkendorff and I always agreed in our reports to Himmler and QMG of the Army. 4. The opening of Partisan warfare found the German soldier entirely unprepared. Quite apart from the material losses, tens of thousands of German soldiers were without question killed by partisans, not to mention the wounded. The troops took to reprisals. These reprisals differed in scope and severity according [Page 427] to the quality of the troops and the character of their commander. However, when whole peoples rise, as was the case in the east and southeast, leaders at the top who are conscious of their responsibilities cannot abandon the execution of reprisals to the caprice of individual commanders. This lack of direction in responsible quarters is a cowardly devolution of responsibility on to lower echelons. But if it is obvious to everyone that lack of direction leads to chaos of reprisals and nevertheless no clear orders are given, then the only possible conclusion is that this chaos is intended by the leaders at the top. There is no question but that reprisals both by Wehrmacht and by SS and Police units overshot the mark by a long way. This fact was repeatedly established at conferences with Generals held by Schenkendorf. Moreover the fight against Partisans was gradually used as an excuse to carry out other measures, such as the extermination of Jews and gypsies, the systematic reduction of the Slavic peoples by some 30,000,000 souls (in order to ensure the supremacy of the German people), and the terrorization of civilians by shooting and looting. The Commanders-in-Chief with whom I came in contact and with whom I collaborated (for instance, Field Marshals von Weichs, von Kuechler, Bock and Kluge, Col. General Reinhardt and General Kitzinger) were as well aware as I of the purposes and methods of Anti-Partisan warfare. At a conference with the QMG of the Army at Headquarters I was able to establish, that he also was as well informed as I about Anti-Partisan warfare. Throughout the whole of 1943 I was flying from one C-in-C to another and organizing countless conferences and I constantly observed the close collaboration between Wehrmacht, SS, Police and SD units. Examples of this are as follows: (a) In the summer of 1943 the Higher SS and Police Leader in the Ukraine -- Obergruppenfuehrer Pruetzmann -- was given by Himmler the newly set up 1 SS Calvary Division for the fighting against the Partisans in the Pripet marshes north of Zhitomir. I flew to Rovno in order to get information on the spot about the Partisan situation and to find out how it was proposed to use the Cavalry Division. The conference took place in the Wehrmacht casino. Not only was the Wehrmacht commander present in person, but also the two other generals and his whole staff. The Wehrmacht commander, as well as Pruetzmann, held forth at length on the situation. I got the impression that both of them were working together most closely on all details. This was further evidences by the fact that the Wehrmacht commander kept a permanent liason with Pruetzmann's staff in the person of the Wehrmacht Major von Bredow. [Page 428] (b) The liaison between the chiefs of the SD Operations Groups and the Intelligence officers of the Army Groups was particularly close. In the case of Army Group Centre the HQ of the Chief of the Operations Group was always at the same place as the HQ of the Army Group. (c) In Autumn 1943 almost the entire area on the junction of Army Groups North and Centre was occupied by a boldly-led Partisan group. On my map of Partisan dispositions I labelled this area "Partisan Republic." Both the competent army commander in Vitebsk -- Col. General Reinhardt -- and I drew attention to this danger in memoranda. These memoranda were exchanged between the RFSS HQ Staff and the OKW. It was suggested that there should be one chief of Anti-Partisan units and the supposition was that I myself should lead the undertaking, for the Partisan area overlapped the areas of two commanders. That the OKH recognized the operational significance of this undertaking is shown by the fact that it appointed a liaison officer of its own to my Battle HQ. This officer was of the greatest service to me for he kept both Army Groups currently informed on the battles my units were engaged in and also organized at Army Group the bringing up of artillery and the whole question of ammunition supply. For both these every Anti-Partisan undertaking was always referred to Wehrmacht depots anyway because the Police had not supply organization of its own. Even the fuel required for the movement of the troops could only be supplied by the Wehrmacht. First I flew to Army Group Centre, where I and Gruppenfuehrer von Gottberg negotiated with the Chief of Staff, General Krebs, for the setting up of a Corps von Gottberg. Krebs assented to everything, the corps was set up and deployed without any sort of friction and Gottberg set up his Corps Battle HQ in Polock. Then I flew to Army Group North. First the Wehrmacht Commander (Cavalry General Bremer) Obergruppenfuehrer Jeckeln and I held a conference in Riga. Bremer stressed that his support went without saying as he was a bosom friend of Jeckeln. From Riga I drove with Jeckeln to Army Group at Pleskau. Here everything had been prepared for a conference. It was led by Field Marshal Kuechler in person. He had also invited the three or four army generals who were carrying on the fight against the Partisans in the North on behalf of the army. First there was a general discussion on the whole question of the Partisans and how to combat them. Kuechler himself made quite a long speech and indicated on a map which Partisan- held territories were to be pacified first. Then he turned to me and stressed [Page 429] how close and good cooperation with Jeckeln was and how he could only continue to express to him his gratitude and his recognition for the services he rendered. Then we discussed the large scale undertaking planned and Kuechler promised the fullest support. While the battle was in progress Kuechler came to visit Jackeln's Corps Battle HQ in a Fieseler-Storch aircraft. [Signed] von dem BACH 27.11.45 Whats interesting is that he names a number of Wehrmacht Generals who knew what was going on and yet dont seem to have been prosecuted. He mentions the 1st SS Cavalry Division which of course doesnt exist but he might be referring to 8th SS Florian Geyer as it was the 1st SS Cavalry Division formed.