Présentation au sujet: "Wehrmacht et SS contre la Résistance La Perspective Allemande"— Transcription de la présentation:
1Wehrmacht et SS contre la Résistance La Perspective Allemande Dr Peter LiebDepartment of War StudiesRoyal Military Academy Sandhurst (RU)
2Plan de la Presentation Introduction et questions de la présentationLa signification du Jura dans la stratégie allemandeLes étapes stratégiques vers la radicalisation du combat contre le MaquisLes acteurs allemands de la répression dans le JuraLes trois opérations majeures militaires au Jura FrançaisKorporal (février 1944)Frühling (avril 1944)Treffenfeld (juillet 1944)Conclusion
3Introduction L’historiographie de l’occupation allemande en France La Wehrmacht: « propre » ou « criminelle »?Bouleversement dans les années 1990 (Meyer, Delacor)Jeune génération dans les années (Eismann, Laub, Lieb)Le problème central: Lacune dans les sources allemandesHistoriographie: First academic studies written in the late 1960’s. They do not deny that the German occupation authorities in France had always acted according to the rules of the Geneva Convention. But: Draw a distinct line between the military (“correct behaviour”) on the one side and Hitler and the SS on the other side.This changes in the late 1990’s and early 2000’s. Closely linked to a controversial exhibition on the crimes of the Wehrmacht that toured in Germany. Large public debates. In the following years, historians draw a more and more gloomy picture about the Wehrmacht (“criminal Wehrmacht”). Two studies also deal with France (Regina Delacor and Ahlrich Meyer, the latter translated into French as “L’occupation allemande in France”) and draw a very obscure picture of the German military in France. Both, however, give only snapshots of the German occupation.Next generation (young generation): Gael Eismann (first French historian on this subject) on the security policy of the German military administration. By large confirming Meyer’s view. The latest book: Thomas Laub (American) who gives as the first historian for decades an overall analysis of German occupation and confirms overall the studies from the 1960’s. Peter Lieb (myself) deals with the last year of the German occupation and asks for factors for the undeniable radicalisation of German policy against the Resistance. Empirically demonstrates that there was a distinction in the behaviour of troops, between Wehrmacht and SS.Yet: Not overall concesus amongst historians about the German occupation in France, and in particular of the behaviour and role of the militaryProbleme central: One of the reasons why no consensus has been reached: Deplorable situation of German documents (destroyed mostly in an RAF air raid on Potsdam in 1945). Situation particularly poor for the last year of the occupation and here again especially for Southern France where most of the fighting against the Maquis took place. To make matters worse for the Jura region: Virtually no German records available. It is: Operational order and an after-action report, both for operation in February and April These are the key documents. Besides: French documents, particularly from the war crimes investigations of French authorities, today stored in Depot Central des Archives de la Justice Militaire in Le Blanc. Normally classified for 100 years, but with a special permission from the Ministere de la Defense I was able to look at the files against the Gestapo Lyon.
4QuestionsQuelles ont été les étapes de la radicalisation allemande dans le combat contre le Maquis en France?Qui sont les acteurs de la répression dans le Jura?Comment se déroulèrent les trois opérations militaires contre le Maquis en 1944 du point de vue allemand?Quels facteurs contribuèrent à la radicalisation?
5La signification du Jura dans la stratégie allemande Divisé entre la zone occupée et libreAucun intérêt économique, pas d’axes de communicationPassages illégaux à la frontière Franco-suisseProblème avec le MaquisJura is split between the occupied and the free zone. This has some implications on theOverall the Jura is only of very limited significance to the German occupiers: Few industries and no major railway lines go through the areaJura a “problem child”: Illegal border crossings to Switzerland (agents, Jews, Resistants etc)As of late 1943: Problems with the Maquis. Not yet a military threat to the Germans, but ignoring it would mean to question the legitimacy of the Vichy government. And the Germans are fully dependant on Vichy – until the retreat in Besides, by ignoring the Maquis in the Jura could have had knock on effects in adjacent areas which could have also fallen into Maquis control.In short: For the Germans the Jura was an area where they could only gain very little, but lose a lot.
6Les étapes stratégiques vers la radicalisation en combat contre le Maquis Août 1941: Premier ordre de combattre une insurrectionJusqu’au début de 1944 la méthode préférée de répression: Déportation des Résistants pour l’AllemagneFirst order to quell a possible insurrection dates from August 1941 when the first Communist bombings against German soldiers began. Even though this order remained theoretical as no insurrection happened, the key words for later events were already used in this order: “ruthless measures”, “most severe punishment”, “pay no heed to political or humane consideration”However, in the following years with the situation in France remaining relatively calm, this order falls into oblivion and no further military orders are issued with regards to fighting the Resistance. Orders from Eastern Europe are not introduced in France.The preferred method of repression and to fight the Resistance is the deportation of captured enemy personnel. This all happens under the authority of the Gestapo. The suppression of the Resistance is a police task, not yet a military task.
7La radicalisation en 1944 avant le 6 Juin Deux ordres fondamentaux avant le débarquement:“Sperrle-Décret” du 3 février donne carte blanche à la troupe pour répondre aux attaques de la ResistanceOrdre du Keitel du 4 mars 1944: Maquisards pris prisonniers avec l’arme à la main sont à fusillerMais: après les premières exactions (par exemple massacre d’Ascq en avril 1944) des ordres suivent pour modérer la troupeThis only changes in late 1943 when the first smaller military operations are launched against the Maquis. Resistance activity is on the rise in the whole of France and German soldiers become more frequently targets. The military district Lyon alone reported 1157 cases of sabotage acts in the last three months of the year 1943.Crucial are two orders. They were the basis for the German operations against the Maquis: Sperrle-Decree from 3 February 1944 and the Keitel order from 4 March Sperrle Decree is the most important German order for fighting the Maquis. It allowed troops who had been ambushed to return the fire immediately. If innocent civilians are hit, it is regrettable, but exclusively the Maquis’ fault. The order also allowed the torching of houses from where the ambush was launched. The crucial bit is, however, the last phrase: Commanders who overreact will not be punished, only those you reacted too softly. In other words: The German troops have received a carte blanche from the top level in fighting the Maquis. At least in theory, because in the following months a number of other orders tried to temper the tone again, particularly after the massacre at Ascq with 86 and the massacre in Nimes with 17 civilian fatalities. Both atrocities were tellingly carried out by SS troops.The second key order stems from Field-Marshal Keitel, the head of the High Command of the Wehrmacht (OKW): Captured armed Maquisards were to be shot on the spot. Trialled only when caught later.
8La radicalisation après le 6 juin Nouveaux ordres pour appliquer des “mesures sans égards”L’OKW décide le statut des membres du Maquis/FFI: Francs-TireursInitiatives de modération par certains commandants (Blaskowitz, Stülpnagel etc.)Ordre du OKW datant de fin juillet: Déportation de toute la population masculine dans les régions “infestées par des bandits”; ordre très contesté parmi les militaires en FranceWith the rise of the Resistance directly after D-Day the German orders radicalised further, but remain very vague on many points. Constant repetition of the word “ruthless measures” which had to be applied against the Maquis, but it remained until what it actually meant specifically. Bottom line here is: The single units engaged in fighting the Maquis had a lot of room for interpretation and it depended very much on the individual commander.On one point, however, very clear: Members of the FFI were treated as and mostly shot on the spot. It was the result of a lengthy debate amongst the German authorities about the legality of the FFI. In the end the OKW decided that the FFI were not treated as combatants and their status as prisoners of war denied. Whilst there was a lot of room for interpretation about how to deal with the civilian population, this order was clear and it was almost unanimously followed by the troops. Captured Maquisards were mostly shot on the spot.I do not want to discuss the complicated legal status of the FFI here, but keep it very short: The German arguments were not wrong from a strictly legal point of view. The French Resistance themselves did not protest in 1944 that their captured members were shot. And at the International Military Tribunal in Nurnberg in 1945/46 the French also admitted that the FFI were not legal fighters. This may come as surprise to many people here in the audience. However, I would like to stress an important point here, too: The two terms of “legality” and “legitimacy” should not be confused. The Resistance may not have been legal, but it was legitimate.As atrocities against the civil population became more and more frequent in June/July 1944 and the Germans were unable to fully suppress the Maquis, some German senior commanders issued orders exhorting the troops not to kill innocent people. Also a recognition of a difference in the behaviour of Gaullist and communist resistance. Whilst the Germans acknowledged the Gaullists’ attempts to adhere to the laws of war, the Communists behaved in German eyes like criminals.Last step of the radicalisation was that the OKW ordered to deport all male population from FFI controlled areas. This was also the result of a lengthy debate and the militairies in France had tried to avoid this order being issued. In the end the order did not have much consequences as due to the lack of means of transport and the imminent German retreat it was only rarely executed.
9Pourquoi la radicalisation au niveau stratégique? Réaction à l’avancement de la RésistancePolitique de intimidationDépendance allemande à VichyIdéologie nazi insignifiante, mais:Toutes les étapes décisives vers la radicalisation stratégique proviennent de Hitler lui-même ou de l’OKW et non des militaires en FranceWhy the radicalisation?Radicalisation closely linked to the growth of the Resistance and hence to the potential danger it posed. Harsh German orders in 1944 are a REACTION to this evolution, or more precisely: an OVER-REACTION.Deterrence policy: Germans have to cope with a manpower shortage (discussed in detail for the Jura later), so the Frenchmen need to be deterred from joining the ResistanceGermans still dependant from Vichy to keep the country’s administration running. Hence, a recognition of the FFI/Maquis as combatants would have undermined Vichy’s authority and legitimacy in the eyes of the Germans.Nazi ideology does not play a role in this radicalisation. Important when we look at the behaviour of single units, but not on the strategic level. Orders against the Resistance mostly lack ideological overtones (nothing about Jewish-Bolsheviks etc)Hitler and the high command of the Wehrmacht (OKW)What is also important for this presentation and the case study of the Jura: The radicalisation on the strategic level can be observed on the regional level as we will see.
10Les Acteurs Allemands dans la Répression WEHRMACHTSS/POLlCE(SIPO/SD)HitlerOKWOKHHSSPFBdS ParisKdS LyonAKLons-le-SaunierHimmlerOB WestMBFCommandant Nord-Est FranceHGeb SudfrankreichIt is wrong to believe German military hierarchy was coherently organised during the Second World War. The occupation apparatus in France and particularly in Southern France constitutes a classical example for a “rule of many”. In this “divide-and-rule principle” a clear chain-of-command was missing and as a consequence, competences between or within various military and police authorities remained often vague or contradictory, hence leaving a lot of room for interpretation and rivalry amongst the separate factions. This diagram can hence give you only a rough overview on the German occupation apparatus.EXPLAINTo simply a bit: Until May 1944 the Sipo/SDHVSt Lyon(region)FK (Besancon)VSt (Bourg, Lons-le-Saunier)Troupes d’occupation157. Division de Reserve
11Les Acteurs (Wehrmacht) Who were on a regional the men in this diagram, the human actors, the personalities responsible for the repression?Heinrich Niehoff: He was the “Commander of the Army Area Southern France” (Kommandant des Heeresgebiets Suedfrankreich) and as such part of the military administration. During the Second World War he held exclusively occupation posts, initially in Lille in Northern France from 1940 and then in 1942 as “Commander of the Army Area Southern France” in Lyon. From the few remaining traces it seems Niehoff had a conflicting personality. On the one hand there is some evidence that portrays him as a fairly ruthless officer sympathising with national-socialist ideology. In his “New Year’s Order” in early 1944 he named the French resistance “bandit-like sub-humanity”. On the other hand Niehoff successfully interceded for the release of 1,300 arrested citizens in the provincial town of Bourg during the large scale anti-partisan operation “Treffenfeld” in early July As Kommandant des Heeresgebiets Südfrankreich Niehoff was in charge of the overall direction for the military operations in France. In the very last days of the German occupation he left France and retired from the armed forces in early August 1944; the reasons for his relief are unknown.Karl Pflaum: He was the commander of the 157th Reserve Division. Units of 157th Reserve Division, actually a training division, took part in all three major operations against the Maquis in the Jura. Before, in 1941/42, Pflaum had commanded a regiment and later a division on the Eastern Front, but was relieved of his post due to his critical medical. In autumn 1942 he assumed command of 157th Reserve Division. As this was a training division, this appointment was a kind of career killer for him. As a young boy Pflaum had spent some time in France. In contrast to as what he has often been portrayed in French local historiography, Pflaum was deemed a Francophile and a dear character. Initially he believed – as we shall see – in being able to wage a “clean” war against the Maquis by avoiding reprisals against the civil population. In late August 1944 Pflaum was dismissed as divisional commander partly again due to his heart problems, partly due to insufficient performance during the general German withdrawal.Franz Schwehr: The spearhead of Pflaum’s 157th Reserve Division in the operations against the Maquis was the Reserve Mountain Infantry Regiment 1. Its commander was Colonel Franz Schwehr, a dubious character. He had also served on the Eastern front as a battalion commander, but suffered a psychological breakdown. Like his divisional commander Pflaum he was therefore no longer assessed fit for frontline duty, although he was also described physically robust and a good mountaineer. From a tactical point of view Schwehr led his regiment with skill and success against the Maquis in spring/summer Initially, he seemed to have favoured a rather moderate approach against the Maquis. But even more as his divisional commander Pflaum, this attitude seemed to hardened during the summer of 1944, particularly in the operations in the Alps. Schwehr left his regiment in January 1945 due to illness. After the war he committed suicide. The reasons for this are unknown.Of the other key personalities only very little is known except for the names. But even this is not always the case.Franz SchwehrCommandant du Régiment de Réserve de Chasseurs Alpins No. 1Heinrich Niehoff“Commandant du Territoire d’Armée du Sud de la France”Karl PflaumCommandant de la 157e Division de Réserve
12Les Troupes Troupes d’occupation (Sicherungsbataillone), (K,T) Régiment de police « Todt » (K)Gebirgsjäger de la 157e Division de Réserve (K, F, T)“Volontaires de l’Est” (Osttruppen), (T)Milice Française (T)K = “Korporal”F = “Frühling”T = “Treffenfeld”Four types of troops used for the operations in the Jura:1) Occupation Troops (Security battalions): Basis for the German occupation troops: guard duties (bridges, railway lines etc). Normally: 1 battalion per department, but in the Jura there were none. For the operations in the Jura some of those units were used for the encirclement ring in the area of operation, such as battalions of the Security Regiment No 200. Consisted of over-aged personnel, poorly armed.2) Police units: In the Jura only used for the first operation in February. The policemen came from the SS Police Regiment “Todt”. Nothing specific known about this regiment. It took part in the destruction of the Vieux Port in Marseille in 1943 and carried out some small operations against the Maquis before it was transferred to Slovenia in spring 1944.3) 157th Reserve Division: Units of this division took part in all three operations against the Maquis. The spearhead were the Gebirgsjaeger (chasseurs alpins) of the Reserve Gebirgsjaeger Regiment 1. They were extremely versatile and adapted to fight in mountainous and difficult terrain in the Jura. The men were young conscripts receiving their basic military training in this division before being sent to frontline units. They had joined the Gebirgsjaeger as volunteers and stemmed mostly from Bavaria; the division cadre were battle-experienced veterans, who suffered from injuuries, mostly from the Eastern Front.4) Eastern Troops (Osttruppen): These men had served in the Soviet Army, were taken prisoner on the Eastern Front and later more or less volunteered to fight on the German side. In autumn 1943 they had been transferred to France, because they had deserted to the Soviet side again on the Eastern Front. Overall, 64 of these Eastern Battalions were garrisoned in France and organised corresponding to their nationalities (i.e. Russian, Armenian, Cossacks etc). The training division for the “Eastern volunteers” was the Freiwilligen Stamm Division whose units took part in the operation “Treffenfeld” and where they were responsible for numerous crimes as we shall later see. The Germans deliberately deployed them in operations against the Maquis, because here the chances of desertion were low.5) Finally, there was the Milice Francaise. They only played a minor role in all these operations and actively took part only during “Treffenfeld” with smaller detachments. A handful of Miliciens were used during “Fruehling” was translators, but the commander of the security police, SS-Obersturmbannfuehrer Werner Knab, did not want use the Milice further, because – according to him – they did not burn enough houses and did not like to act against their French country-fellows.Summary: Mishmash of various units were deployed to each of the operations. Shows the German manpower shortage. What was available was deployed for the operations against the Maquis. With the exception of the Gebirgsjaeger of 157th Reserve Division none of the troops were deemed fit for frontline duties. They were all not even second, but third class troops.
13? ? Les acteurs (Sipo/SD, SS) Klaus Barbie Werner Knab Parallel to the military hierarchy ran the police hierarchy (police part of the SS in the Third Reich). The “Commander of the Security Police and the Security Service“ in Lyon, SS-Obersturmbannführer Dr. Werner Knab, was responsible for the départements Rhône, Ain, Haute-Savoie, Savoie, Isère, Drôme and Loire. Prior to his posting in Lyon Knab had been in Noraway and in the Ukraine. In Kiev he was made head of section IV in the Einsatzgruppe C. His areas of responsibility encompassed anti-partisan operations and the quest for “unwanted elements” such as Jews or communists.Transferred to Lyon in autumn 1943 Knab’s infamous right hand was here SS-Hauptsturmführer Klaus Barbie, the “butcher of Lyon”. As head of the section IV Barbie had to deal with the “enemies of the Reich”, i.e. resistance fighters and Jews. Barbie certainly took part in the at least two of the operations against the Maquis in the Jura, during “Fruehling” and “Treffenfeld”.The local Sipo/SD outpost in Lons-le-Saunier was commanded by Hermann Luetjens. He had been in the secret field police of the army, before he was transferred to the Sipo/SD in Not a lot is known about Luetjens. In an after-war statement he called Barbie “a great colleague”, “dynamic” and “intelligent” who was the “soul of the fight against the Maquis”. Given Barbie’s personality and trying to match them to these statements, it is relatively simple to draw the conclusion that Luetjens was certainly not a man of moderation or leniency. Luetjens held only the rank of an SS-Oberscharfuehrer, i.e. he was not even an officer, but a non-commissioned officer. This shows how insignificant the Germans deemed the Jura region. Despite the belief during and after the war of the SS’s omnipresence the number of their personnel was very low.Overall, there were only about 3,000 German policemen from the Sipo/SD in the whole of France and in the Jura never more than a handful. However, they had far-reaching powers when it came to the execution of reprisals and the handling of the prisoners, as we shall see later.Was there any difference between Wehrmacht and SS in their attitude towards the resistance and the civil population in fighting the Maquis? For a long time it was believed that there was a neat distinction between both authorities. The Wehrmacht remained “clean”, whilst all the crimes were committed by the SS. In recent years this image has been completely overthrown and the difference between both were considered negligible. The reality, however, was somewhere in between as we shall see in the case study of the French Jura.Klaus BarbieChef de la Section IV (Gestapo) du Commandant de Sécurité de Police à LyonWerner KnabPas de photoHermann LütjensPas de photo
14Les 3 opérations militaires contre le Maquis « Korporal » (5 – 13 fevrier 1944): Bas-Bugey et Haut-Bugey« Frühling » (7-18 avril 1944): Haut-Bugey« Treffenfeld » (10-19 juillet 1944): Bas- et Haut-BugeyImportant: None of these operations can destroy the Maquis in Bugey, only disrupt
15« Korporal » et « Frühling »: SUISSERhôneApproche Militaire« Korporal » et « Frühling »:Région divisée en deux secteursEncerclement du premier secteur4 Jagdkommandos (commandos de chasse) opèrent à l’intérieur du secteur pendant 4-6 joursRegroupement des forces et même procédure pour le deuxième secteurForces d‘encerlementNantuaAinBellegardeSecteur B10 – 13/2/1944PoncinBrénodForces d‘encerlementSecteur A5 – 8/2/1944RuffieuHauteville-LompnesAmbérieu-en-BugeySeysselRhôneForces d‘encerlementRhôneFierRumillyVirieu-le-GrandCulozOpération „Korporal“5 – 13 Février1944Belley20 km10
16Approche Militaire: « Treffenfeld » Lons-le-SaunierNeuville-sur-AinNantuaen-MichailleChâtillon-BellegardeDortan„Colonne Sud-Est“„Colonne Sud“Bourg-en-BresseBelleydouxVerjonPoisouxen-MontagneMoirans-LavanciaLongchaumoisCoyrièrePressiatCuisiatOyonnaxResGebJgBatl I/98ResGebJgBtl 100ResGebJgBtl 99CharchillaCerdonMatafelonOpération„Treffenfeld“10 à 19 juillet 1944„Colonne Nord“201316241211.7.17./22.214.171.124.10.7.12.7.17.7.12. u.14. 7.11./12.7.Mâcon30 kmApproche Militaire: « Treffenfeld »Trois groupes de combatAttaque concentrique contre le centre du Maquis (Nantua – Oyonnax – Dortan)« Nettoyage » scrupuleux du centre
17Les Engagements Militaires OpérationNombre des AllemandsPertes AllemandesDonnées du MaquisPertes MaquisProportion Pertes Allemandes : MaquisKorporalCa2 morts, 1 blessé?21 morts1:10FrühlingCa6 morts, 14 blessés500 morts, 700 blessés40 morts1:7TreffenfeldCa32 morts, 90 blessés1.500 morts170 morts1:5Three things which can be seen from this chart:The number of German soldiers deployed rises with each operationThe German casualties increase correspondinglyThe French casualties, too, increase with each operationThe relation between German and French casualties considerably favours the Germans. However, the proportion gets more and more favourable for the French side.Overall conclusion from this chart: The French resistance in the Jura becomes a force the Germans have to reckon with over the months. It does not come as a surprise that prior to “Treffenfeld” the Germans called the area a “particularly well organised terrorist centre”. In direct combat the Maquis was mostly left without any chance, but it was a military force strong enough to control the area.
18La Répression contre la Résistance et la Population Civile OpérationMorts au totalVictimes RésistantesVictimes CivilesProportionArrêtés/DéportésKorporal6021391:2460 (dont 287 déportés)Frühling1204080Ca. 600 (dont ca. 400 déportés)Treffenfeld3501701801:1Ca. 230 déportésConclusions:Each operation bloodier than the previous one. This can be partly explained by the growth of the Maquis, but also by the radicalised German approach. I have spoken earlier about the radicalisation on the strategic level. These figures reflect this policy in situ. In addition, during “Korporal” and “Fruehling” the Germans torched a number of houses, but not yet entire villages. This happened only during “Treffenfeld”, in particular in Dortan, Lavancia or Cerdon.It may come rather as a surprise that even though the operations become bloodier in absolute numbers, in relative numbers the first two operations were bloodier for the civil population. In these two operations the SS was solely responsible for all sorts of reprisals in the operation, during “Treffenfeld” the responsibilities were shared between Wehrmacht and Sipo/SD. The Sipo/SD targeted more specifically against the civil population. This can also be seen by the fact that the Sipo/SD shot a number of maires in smaller communities which were believed to have supported the Maquis.
19Opération „Treffenfeld“ Lons-le-SaunierNeuville-sur-AinNantuaen-MichailleChâtillon-BellegardeDortan„Colonne Sud-Est“Eléments duRégiment de Chasseurs Alpins N°1(157e Division de Réserve)„Colonne Sud“Régiment de Volontaires de l‘Est N° 3Unités de SapeursSipo/SD LyonFeldgendarmerie Bourg/MâconBourg-en-BresseBelleydouxVerjonPoisouxen-MontagneMoirans-LavanciaLongchaumoisCoyrièrePressiatCuisiatOyonnaxResGebJgBatl I/98ResGebJgBtl 100ResGebJgBtl 99CharchillaCerdonMatafelonOpération„Treffenfeld“10 à 19 juillet 1944„Colonne Nord“Régiment de Cosaques N° 5Ecole d‘ Enseignes DijonUnités de l‘Armée de l‘Air de DijonSipo/SD de Dijon, Besançon, Lons-le-SaunierFeldgendarmerie Langres/Gray/St. DizierMilice Francaise2013162412Commune avec plus que 20 maisonsbrûléesCommune dans laquelle des massacresde la population civile ont été commis(avec le nombre des victimes)Sources:DCAJM, TMP de Lyon. Carton N° /9 und 9/9.WASt, Verlustlisten 157. Reservedivision11.7.17./126.96.36.199.10.7.12.7.17.7.12. u.14. 7.11./12.7.Mâcon30 km
20Crimes perpétrés par Colonne pendant « Treffenfeld » Colonne – Groupe de CombatUnitésProportion Maquisards : Civils tuésAutres crimesNordCosaques (Osttruppen)Ecole d‘ Enseignes DijonUnités de l‘Armée de l‘Air de DijonSipo/SD Dijon, Besançon et Lons-le-SaunierFeldgendarmerieMilice Française2:3Lieux principaux: Dortan, CharchillaDestructions: Dortan, Matafelon, Moirans-en-Montagne, Longchaumois, Coyrière, Lavancia, Belleydoux, Poisoux, Cuisiat, Verjon, PressiatViols: DortanPillages organisés et individuelsSudOsttruppenSapeursSipo/SD Lyon (Klaus Barbie etc)1:2Lieux principaux: Bourg-en-Bresse, Cerdon, Nantua, DortanDestructions: Cerdon, Belleydoux, Matafelon, LavanciaSud-estGebirgsjäger (157e Division de Reserve)Sipo/SD?5:1Destructions: BelleydouxBouclier humain:Châtillon-en-MichaillePillages organisésConclusions that can be drawn from this chart:The Gebirgsjaeger of the “South-Est Column” burnt far less houses than the other two battle groupsThe victims in the Gebirgsjaegers’ area of operations were mostly Maquisards, whilst in the other two slightly more civilians. Hence, the Gebirgsjaeger tried to fight the Maquis and not the civilian populationKlaus Barbie operated in the “South” column and left a trail of bloodBoth columns with Osttruppen committed much more crimes than the Gebirgsjaeger and with rape a crime only very rarely committed by German troops in occupied France. Reasons for this: a) Different culture of warfare b) Social isolation in a foreign country and fighting for a lost cause 3) Germans encourage the Osttruppen to commit atrocities, so that it makes it difficult for these soldiers to desert the Maquis; However
21Extrait du Retour d‘Expérience de la 157e Division de Réserve après l‘Opération „Frühling“, Mai 1944 « Il est certain que les mesures sévères prises par le SD, sont favorable à la pacification d’un territoire. Les habitants ont peur d’héberger des terroristes, de les nourrir ou de les soutenir d’une quelconque manière, parce qu’ils craignent pour leur vie et pour leurs biens. Les soldats voient cependant ces mesures d’un mauvais œil car très souvent des innocents ont à souffrir de ces mesures. Des querelles en ont parfois résulté avec les hommes détachés par le SD. […] La troupe fera ce qui est nécessaire, elle évitera toutes formes d’injustice et de dureté exagérée. »How was the relationship between the Wehrmacht and Sipo/SD?Here is a quote from the divisional commander of 157th Reserve Division, General Karl Pflaum, after operation Fruhling. It shows that Pflaum and at least a number of his officers did not approve the brutal measures taken by the Sipo/SD to pacify the area. Pflaum wanted to fight the Maquis, not the civilians. He drew a distinct line between the two. In the same report the Wehrmacht general also wrote that the aim of the operation was to support the “peaceful local population against the terrorists’ robberies”. And Pflaum also criticised the military skills of the Sipo/SD men. In one case the Sipo/SD officer was “an absolute zero”. By cross-checking various documents, it becomes clear who Pflaum was referring to: Klaus BarbieAnother two episodes that can be added to confirm the different attitude and the tensions between Wehrmacht and Sipo/SD officers. Both happened during “Treffenfeld”.At the start of the operation Klaus Barbie arrested 1,200 people in Bourg-en-Bresse and wanted to deport them to Germany. However, the local military commander intervened and was able to free almost all of the arrested.The intelligence officer of the Freiwilligen-Stamm-Division, Major Karl Koch, intervened and tried to save the lives of the wounded Maquisards the Germans had found in the hospital in Nantua. However, the Sipo/SD insisted that the prisoners should be shot. As a consequence and also due to other crimes perpetrated by the Sipo/SD, the initial humane attitude of the Maquis towards German prisoners turned into merciless revenge, according to Karl Koch.However, it often depended on personalities and the circumstances. For example, the military commander for the Wehrmacht forces during “Korporal” rated the cooperation between Wehrmacht and Sipo/SD as “very good”. And it must be added another important fact: For both, the Wehrmacht and the Sipo/SD the enemy was the Maquis.
22Conclusion Radicalisation du combat contre le Maquis? Oui, mais... Différence Wehrmacht – SS? Oui, mais...Troupes de la Wehrmacht agissaient de façon uniforme? Non, mais...Le Jura, la région la plus touchée par la guerre en France? Oui, mais...Was there a radicalisation in fighting the Maquis in France in general and in the Jura in particular? Yes, one can definitely see an overall radicalisation, both in France and in the Jura. This evolution was directly linked to the growth of the Resistance. The more powerful the Resistance was, the more radical the means were the Germans applied. And: This radicalisation was also a result of the manpower shortage the Germans experienced in In theory it would have needed a “clear-hold-build” approach for a lasting pacification of the area. “Clearing” the area was not the biggest problem for the Germans, but they did not have the manpower to “hold” the area and Vichy no longer the legitimacy to “build”. So, a “search-and-destroy” approach was pursued and believed to be the only feasible option. Two aims should be achieved and both aimed at driving at wedge between the population and the Maquis: 1) By destroying farmhouses the Maquis should to withdraw the Maquis all the basis for 2) Spreading terror should deter the population to support the Maquis. In theory, this terror should have been directed against the Maquis and its supporters. But in every operation this terror also hit the innocent civil population like the events in Dortan showed.However: In relative (not in absolute!) numbers, the operations in winter and spring hit the civil population harder than in the summer Until May 1944 the SS was sole responsible for the execution of reprisals and the treatment of suspects and prisoners. In the summer of 1944 these responsibilities were shared between Wehrmacht and SS.2) So, was there a difference of the behaviour of the Wehrmacht and the the SS (or Sipo/SD)? First, it needs to be stressed that the Wehrmacht, too, was responsible for crimes and an important actor in the repression. Yet, as we could see in the case study of the Jura the means they applied were less drastic and brutal than those favoured by the SS. There were a number of Wehrmacht units and commanders who tried to operate with leniency against the civil population, at least until summer This is particularly true for the Gebirgsjaeger of 157th Reserve Division and their divisional commander Karl Pflaum. This leniency cannot nowhere be seen in the ranks of the SS. The SS also ruthlessly and systematically applied torture in their interrogations. This was not or only very rarely the case with the Wehrmacht.Before “Treffenfeld” a meeting of the most senior officers took place in Dijon: All agreed that only the most drastic measure will have success. Burning down of houses and the killing of captured Maquisards was unanimously approved. At this time the Wehrmacht’s approach did no longer differ fundamentally from the one pursued by the Sipo/SD.3) However, in the execution of the of the orders and operations, the single units acted differently. During “Treffenfeld” there was a fairly strict distinction between the Gebirgsjaeger of the Wehrmacht and the Osttruppen who were actually also part of the Wehrmacht. The Osttruppen committed by far the worst crimes and exceed by far those committed by the Gebirgsjaeger. This does not mean the Gebirgsjaeger fought a “clean” war; they also applied nasty measures, but these remained generally within certain boundaries. It has to be noted that troops were fighting in a Total War for a criminal regime and they were deployed in anti-partisan operations, i.e. in type of warfare that is generally considered “dirty”. Yet, in one point during the summer of 1944 almost all German units acted uniformly: Captured armed Maquisards were shot on the spot.4) Was the Jura one of the bloodiest regions in France? Leaving Normandy aside, we can say yes. No other region in France experienced three large scale operations against the Maquis and each one left a trail of blood and destruction behind. But: The Jura escaped from suffering a large scale SINGLE massacre. There was no Oradour-sur-Glane, no Maillé, no Ascq, no Vassieux-en-Vercors. In the sad list of the largest single German massacres in France against the civilian population, Dortan comes “only” on position number 25 with its 24 victims. This of course is no consolidation, but rather shows that the violence in the Jura was much more evenly spread than in other areas of France.History is complex and can not be explained or analysed by seeing everything in terms of black and white. I hope to have been able to present you this complexity with a sad example of the local history in this part of France.