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General Eugen Müller wrote the first draft of the infamous Commissar Order. He was, if I understand correctly, something like the top legal officer of the Wehrmacht during WWII (I found different job titles for him, probably a matter of translation).

One would have expected General Müller to have been a prime candidate for the war crime trials that took place after WWII but the wiki article on him is says nothing about his postwar fate. But since the date of death is given as 1951 he must have been doing something for 6 years.

Was he tried? Was he in hiding? What was he doing after the war ended?

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    I was unable to find anything post-war about him either. But I would point out that six years (1945-51) is not an unreasonable time span to actually do nothing (of note), except being a POW, falling ill, and dying. – DevSolar Jun 12 '17 at 8:48
  • Good question, I thought it would be easier to google in German, but I came up with nothing that wasn't mentioned in his wiki entry :( – nvoigt Jun 12 '17 at 10:42
  • Müller wrote the first draft of the commissar order, but he doesn't seem to have originated the idea. That happened in a speech by Hitler to a large group (200-250) of senior officers on March 30th 1941, at the New Reich Chancellery. It lasted over two hours, and many of them don't seem to have noticed the instruction to commit war crimes, according to Walter Warlimont, whose members . – John Dallman Jun 13 '17 at 12:23
  • (memoirs, not members) are my source for this. Müller's draft was amended by various people and finally approved by Hitler and circulated by OKW. Müller doesn't seem to have been a priority for war crimes prosecution. – John Dallman Jun 13 '17 at 12:32
  • @JohnDallman Well, what else would you expect Warlimont to say? Manstein even claimed in his memoirs to have supressed the order when it reached him, which was a blatant lie. But thanks, this is quite helpful! – Felix Goldberg Jun 13 '17 at 15:38
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Müller was a "general with special duties" on the staff of OKH. This made him the top legal officer for the Heer, the German Army, but meant he had no jurisdiction over the Luftwaffe, Navy or SS.

He wrote the first draft of the commissar order, but he doesn't seem to have originated the idea. That happened in a speech by Hitler to a large group (200-250) of senior officers on March 30th 1941, at the New Reich Chancellery. It lasted over two hours, and many of them don't seem to have noticed the instruction to commit war crimes, according to Walter Warlimont's memoirs, although those are often self-serving.

Müller was ordered to produce a draft order on 31st March 1941, apparently by Halder, and his legal adviser, Dr Lattmann, also produced one. These were merged, amended by various people, finally approved by Hitler and circulated by OKW.

It was recognised in OKH and OKW that the commissar order was contrary to international law, and Warlimont at OKW wanted to consider if such a written order was actually necessary. However, it all went ahead.

Müller doesn't seem to have been a priority for individual war crimes prosecution, being treated as a functionary. He was presumably considered part of the "General Staff and High Command" within the first Nuremberg Trial.

Sources: Warlimont's memoirs, and volume IV "The Attack on the Soviet Union," of Germany and the Second World War.

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At least, his whereabouts were known to the allied war crimes prosecution authorities: General Müller was interrogated during the preparation of the Nuremberg trials by the "Military Division" of the OCCWC (Office, Chief of Counsel for War Crimes) in 1947 and 1948; the Institut für Zeitgeschichte München (Institute of Contemporary History, Munich) provides a transcript of that interrogations together with some affidavits (no. ZS [Zeugenschrifttum] 1244, PDF). It seems that he was called as witness by the defense in the "High Command Trial" („Prozess Oberkommando der Wehrmacht / OKW-Prozess“), one of the "Subsequent Nuremberg Trials" („Nachfolgeprozesse“): see the the "List of Witnesses in Case 12", "Green Series" vol XI p. 705.

See also: Helmut Krausnick, Kommissarbefehl und „Gerichtsbarkeitserlass Barbarossa“ in neuerer Sicht, in: Vierteljahreshefte für Zeitgeschichte 1977, Heft 4, p. 682-738.

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