Hello to all
Generaloberst (Colonel General) Rudolf Schmidt. Think and act in the war of annihilation.
Commander-in-chief of the army (1941-1943): not just a leader.
Christmas of 1941 Schmidt became commander-in-chief of the 2nd Armored Army. He had more than 200,000 soldiers and hundreds of thousands of civilians in his area of responsibility. He combined two key functions in his person: in the first place he was a military leader; but he was also responsible for the occupation policy in his command area. The latter was considered by many commanders as ballast; Schmidt, on the other hand, fulfilled this challenge more and more.
The war against the Soviet Union was planned from the beginning as a racial ideological war of conquest and extermination. Especially the "Criminal Orders" ("Order of the Commissar", "Decree of Military Jurisdiction", "Guidelines for the Conduct of the Force in Russia") shaped the conduct of the war, but they had an even stronger influence on the policy of occupation. Schmidt tried to counteract the negative consequences of the political indoctrination of German soldiers and their greater willingness to use violence. He was one of the first to protest energetically against the "Order of the Commissar" in September 1941 with his own memorandum. "Immediately, the order of the political commissars must be annulled." Schmidt's letter and the objections of other commanders were finally successful: Hitler temporarily suspended the commissar's order on May 6, 1942 temporarily, without it ever going into effect again.
On March 3, 1942, Schmidt issued an "Army Order for the Treatment of Prisoners of War, Partisans, Suspects peoples and the Population," which was fundamental to his occupation policy and, in particular, instructions for disciplined behavior. He demanded to suppress hatred, preserve discipline and not wage any war against the population and captured soldiers. But a piece of paper can not influence the attitude of an entire army or prevent attacks. Also in the Schmidt area it happened that the population "was treated as annoying insects" and there were "unfair shots", as reported by an interpreter. Again and again, Schmidt had to act to maintain discipline, also in April 1942: "The longer the war lasts, the more the thickening and corruption of customs must be avoided. The strength and discipline of the troops, must be kept within limits. " In contrast to the intentions of the "Military Jurisdiction Decree," Schmidt did not shy away from the martial court punishments against his own troops, seeking to impose unilaterally violent measures as a preventative measure. In the spring of 1942, he even had two Wehrmacht soldiers condemned to death for murdering a Russian resident.
The prisoners of war.
One of the great crimes of the war of annihilation in the East was the inhuman treatment of the Soviet prisoners of war. The Wehrmacht was responsible for the deaths of some three million Soviet prisoners of war. Unlike other commanders, Schmidt tried to make sure that the prisoners in his area received a good treatment. In addition to his occupation policy order for the army of March 1942, Schmidt had already issued in December 1941 and again in January 1942 instructions for the best treatment of prisoners of war. In it he demanded a good and fair treatment without torture and beatings, as well as better accommodations and adequate food, if necessary also feed them with the food rations of the troops (own). The latter was a novelty and violated the guidelines of the High Command of the Army (OKH).
Source: Militärgeschichte. Zeitschrift für historische Bildung. Heft 1/2017.
http://www.lexikon-der-wehrmacht.de/Per ... idtR-R.htm
Cheers. Raúl M
Serás lo que debas ser o no serás nada. General José de San Martín.