On Jan. 7, 1946, General Telford Taylor called to the stand SS Obergruppenfuehrer Erich von dem Bach-Zelewski. He testified that at the beginning of the war he was a Higher SS and Police Leader in the central section of the campaign against the Soviet Union. “My principal task was fighting partisians.” He stated that “the principal task of the Einsatzgruppen was the annihilation of the Jews, Gypsies and political commissars.” At the end of 1942, he became the Chief of Anti-Partisan Combat Units for the entire Eastern Front. He confirmed that orders were issued by the highest authorities that German soldiers committing excesses were not to be punished in the military courts.
Produced by US Army Signal Corps 1945-1956, housed in National Archives and Records Administration (NARA). Digitized and provided by The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum; Steven Spielberg Film and Video Archive.