Excerpts from the Nuremberg Trials

 

Besides this terrible treatment of the captured soldiers of the Yugoslav National Army of Liberation and the Partisan Detachments, the Germans also treated prisoners of war from the ranks of the old Yugoslav Army in complete contravention of international law and contrary to the Geneva Convention on the Treatment of Prisoners of War, of 1929. In April 1941, immediately after the occupation of the Yugoslav territory, the Germans drove into captivity in Germany about 300,000 noncommissioned officers end men. The Yugoslav State Commission has at its disposal much evidence of the unlawful ill-treatment of these prisoners. We shall give here a few examples only.

 

On 14 July 1943 in the officers' SS camp at Osnabruck, 740 captured Yugoslav officers were separated from the remainder and placed in a special penitentiary camp called Camp D. Here they were all crowded together in four huts; all contact with the rest of the camp was prohibited. The treatment of these officers directly contravened the provisions of the Geneva Convention even more so than the treatment of the other prisoners. In this penitentiary camp were placed all those whom the Germans considered as supporters of the National Liberation movement and against whom they very frequently applied measures of mass punishments. 

 

The Germans gambled with the lives of the prisoners and frequently shot them from sheer caprice. Thus, for instance, at the aforesaid camp at Osnabruck, on 11 January 1942, a German guard fired at a group of prisoners, severely wounding Captain Peter Nozinic. On 22 July 1942 a guard fired on a group of officers. On 2 September 1942, a guard fired on the Yugoslav lieutenant, Vladislav Vajs, who was incapacitated by a wound he had received some time before. On 22 September 1942, a guard from the prison tower again fired on a group of officers. On 18 December 1942 the guard fired on a group of officers because, from 
their huts, they were watching some English prisoners passing by.

 

20 February 1943 a guard fired on an officer merely because this officer was smoking. On 11 March 1943 a guard opened fire on the doors of a hut and killed General Dimitri Pavlovic. On 21 June 1943 a guard fired at the Yugoslav lieutenant colonel, Branko-Popanic. On 26 April 1944 a German noncommissioned officer, Richards, fired on Lieutenant Vladislav Gaider, who subsequently died of his wounds.

 

On 26 June 1944 the German captain, Kuntze, fired on two Yugoslav officers, severely wounding Lieutenant Djorjevic.

 

All these shootings were carried out without any serious reasons or pretext and only as a result of brutal orders issued by the German camp commandants, who threatened that firearms would be used even in the case of the most insignificant offenses.

 

All these incidents occurred in one single camp. But this was the treatment applied in all the remaining camps for Yugoslav officers and soldiers-captives in the hands of the Germans.