Documents on Real History
From PRO file WO.208/3466: optically scanned. Please report obvious scanning errors. [Report]

EXPLANATION: After World War II it was proposed to use the Intelligence gathered by secret means -- codebreaking and secretly recorded conversations -- in the war crimes trials. This raised Intelligence issues. Victor Cavendish-Bentinck, later Lord Portland, was chief of the British Joint Intelligence Committee throughout WWII.



Meeting to be held on TUESDAY, 15th May, 1945

Note on J.I.C./636/45.



In this note Mr CAVENDISH-BENTINCK raises an all-important subject. He states that the leaders of the German armed forces are likely to do their utmost to show that they were not guilty of any atrocities, and that if it had not been for HITLER, Germany would have won. He therefore urges that we should do our utmost to discredit these leaders and for this purpose produce proof that they have been guilty of atrocities,

I am in most emphatic agreement with Mr CAVENDISH-BENTINCK. Tho campaign of self-justification has indeed already begun - a typical example is shown at Flag "A", (Note that this subject is dealt with in paras 2-6 of' JIC (45) 1543 (o) also currently under brief). I regard it as of the utmost importance that everything possible should be done to discredit tho German General Staff and Officer class in such a way that they may never regain their former influence.

There is abundant evidence of atrocities committed under the authority of German Armed Forces leaders in the occupied countries. It should therefore be possible to conduct an effective propaganda campaign both inside and outside Germany. Moreover it should not be difficult in our propaganda to Germany to discredit the plea that HITLER was alone responsible for Germany's military failure.

I recommend that you advise the Meeting to agree to Mr CAVENDISH-BENTINCK's proposal.

14th May, 1945


Objections raised to above proposal
Cavendish Bentinck said Aug 1943 there were no Intelligence data of gas chambers
Selected reports on interrogations obtained by C.S.D.I.C. methods

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