Interrogation record of General Weidling, Commandant of Berlin (I)
Statement of charges for war crimes
7 September 1951. Moscow
Weidling, Helmut, born 1891
native of the town of Halbertstadt, German,
secondary school education, former Military
Commandant of Berlin, General der Artillerie
Interrogation conducted in German. Translator for the Investigations Section of the 2nd M[ain] Adm[inistration] MGB USSR, Lieutenant Makeev, had been advised of his responsibility in conducting a correct translation according to Article 95 of the Criminal Code of the USSR.
Interrogation beginning at 1355 hours
Interrogation ending at 1645 hours
Question: You have been charged according to points 1 “a” and 1 “b” of Article II, Law No. 10, of the Control Council in Germany*. Do you understand?
Answer: I understand the charges.
Question: Do you acknowledge yourself guilty of the charges brought against you?
Answer: I acknowledge myself fully guilty of the charges brought against me.
Question: In what specifically do you acknowledge your guilt?
Answer: I acknowledge my guilt first of all in that being a career officer in the German Army and occupying a leading position in it, I carried out in practice Hitler's idea of aggressive wars of conquest conducted by Germany in Europe. Due to the intensive propaganda conducted by the National Socialist party along racist lines and against other peoples, I became a Nazi by conviction, although I was not formally a member of the party.
I acknowledge the fact that I participated in the war against the USSR and that this war, which was directed at the destruction of the Soviet people, which took place throughout the occupied territory, was an atrocity.
This especially relates to the generals of Hitler's Army, who – in prosecuting the war – carried out the delirious ideas of Hitler and his ruling circle in the destruction of some peoples and the subjugation of others.
I was a participant of the First World War and also took part in the war against Poland, France and Balkan countries. I also actively participated in the war against the USSR and thus I can state that the war against Soviet Russia was distinguished from all other wars Germany conducted. This was a war not only between Hitler's Army and the Soviet Army but also a war against the Soviet people. It was conducted with the intention of destroying the Soviet people and eliminating Bolshevism. For four years, Hitler's army – under the leadership of his generals – did everything possible in pursuit of these goals.
Question: Describe your active participation in Hitler's aggressive forces, in particular, against the Soviet Union.
Answer: In the aggressive war against Poland in 1939, I commanded an artillery regiment of the 20th Division and took part in the fighting against the Polish Army. I took part in the fighting against the French Army as an artillery commander of a panzer corps. I served in this same post during the fighting in the Balkans. I began the war against the Soviet Union as the artillery commander of XL Panzer Corps and then, from January 1942, commanded the 86th Infantry Division. From October 1943, I continued fighting against the Soviet Army as the commander of a panzer corps. On 24 April 1945, I was appointed by Hitler as the Military Commandant of the city of Berlin and under his direction carried out the defense of the Berlin, resisting Soviet forces until 2 May 1945, when I was taken prisoner.
Question: In what atrocities did you take part?
Answer: I am guilty of the fact that the 86th Infantry Division, under my command, destroyed populated centers during the withdrawal in the area of Rzhev, according to a general plan developed earlier by the German command, and drove the civilian population westwards. I took no part in other atrocities committed against the civilian population or against Soviet prisoners of war.
Interrogator: Dep[uty] Ch[ief] of the 5th Section, 2nd M[ain] Adm[inistration] MGB USSR, Major GONCHAROV
Translator: Translator for the Investigations Section of the 2nd M[ain] Adm[inistration] MGB USSR, Lieutenant MAKEEV