Blaskowitz was indicted for involvement in preparing and waging an ‘illegal’ aggressive war against Poland, which led to war with the UK and France. His Affidavit [No. 5 in Volume I of the document book Exhibit Number USA-537.] was used as evidence against the High Command for involvement in aggressive war. The defence got him to add another affidavit ‘contruing’ his earlier affidavit to avoid implicating his colleagues but the damage was done. His affidavit tracks von Blomberg’s except he also said:
"After the annexation of Czechoslovakia we hoped that the Polish question would be settled in a peaceful fashion through diplomatic means, since we believed that this time France and England would come 'to the assistance of their ally. As a matter of fact, we felt that if political negotiations came to nothing the Polish question would unavoidably lead .to war, that is, not only with Poland herself but also with the Western Powers.
"When in the middle of June I received an order from the OKH to prepare myself for an attack on Poland, I knew that this war came even closer to the realm of possibility. This conclusion was only strengthened by the Fiihrer's speech on 22 August 1939 at the Obersalzberg when it clearly seemed to be an actuality. Between the middle of June 1939 and 1 September 1939 the members of my staff who were engaged in preparations participated in various discussions which went on between the OKH and the army group. During these discussions such matters of a tactical, strategical, and general nature were discussed as had to do with my future position as Commander-in-Chief of the 8th Army during the planned Polish campaign.
"During the Polish campaign, particularly during the Kutno operations, I was repeatedly in communication with the Commander-Chief of the Army; and he, as well as the Fuhrer, visited my headquarters. In fact, it was common practice for commanders-in-chief of army groups and of armies to be asked from time to time for estimates of the situation land for their recommendations by telephone, teletype, or wireless, as well as by personal calls. These front commanders-in-chief thus actually became advisers to the OKH in their own field, so that the positions shown in the attached chart embrace that group which was the actual advisory council of the High Command of the German Armed Forces."
He makes it clear in his affidavit that the military leaders knew of, approved, supported, and executed plans for the growth of the German Armed Forces beyond the Limits set by international treaties. Telford Taylor, the Prosecutor, used Blaskowitz’s signed document [Exhibit Number USA-539] dated 14 June 1939, in which he was planning the aggression on Poland. Blaskowitz at that time was Commander of the 3rd Army Group and he was made Commander-in-Chief of the German 8th Army.
Blaskowitz said in that document:
"The Commander-in-chief of the Army has ordered the working out of a plan of deployment against Poland which takes into account the demands of the political leadership for the opening of war by surprise and for quick success.
- "The order of deployment by the High Command of the Army, known as Fall Weiss, authorizes the 3rd Army Group (in Fall Weiss 8th Army headquarters) to give necessary directions and orders to all commands subordinated to it for Fall Weiss."
"For the middle of July a conference is planned where details of the execution will be discussed. Time and place will be ordered later on. Special requests are to be communicated to 3rd Army Group before 10 July."
Blaskowitz stated the aims of Operation Fall Weiss as:
"The operation, in order to forestall an orderly Polish mobilisation, is to be opened by surprise with forces which are for the most part armoured and motorized, placed on alert in the neighbourhood of the border. The initial superiority over the Polish frontier guards and surprise, both of which can be expected with certainty, are to be maintained by quickly bringing up other parts of the Army as well as by counter-acting the marching up of the Polish Army. ... Accordingly, all units have to keep the initiative against the foe by quick action and ruthless attacks."
Additionally, he was indicted for involvement in the execution of the "Commando" Order. On 18 October 1942 Hitler issued this order, that
"all enemies on so-called Commando missions in Europe or Africa challenged by German troops, even if they are to all appearances soldiers in uniform or demolition troops, either armed or unarmed, in battle or in flight, are to be slaughtered to the last man. . even if these individuals ... should be prepared to give themselves up, no pardon is to be granted them on principle."
On 30 July 1944 this Commando Order was extended to members of other military missions. These orders resulted in the murder of Allied troops. Blaskowitz was charged that: On or about 7 July 1944 near Poitiers in France, troops of the LXXX Corps of the 18th Army, under Army Group G, commanded by Blaskowitz, executed 1 American prisoner of war and 30 British prisoners of war.
He was also indicted for involvement in the illegal use of prisoners of war for forced labour, contrary to the Geneva Conventions. In particular, it was alleged that in February 1945, BLASKOWITZ, he ordered that the use of prisoners of war for the construction of fortifications.
He was also charged with involvement in the deportation for slave labour of civilian populations from occupied territory. The Nazi slave labour programme of the Third Reich, involved approximately 5 million victims and caused much suffering and thousands of deaths. Slave labourers were seized and sent under guard to Germany, packed in trains without adequate heat, food, clothing or sanitary facilities.
Other civilians were seized and compelled to work in poor conditions in the occupied lands to assist the German war effort. The German army played a key role in the enslavement operation. In particular, on 1 August 1944 Blaskowitz directed units under his command to give all help and assistance to labour drafting agencies, since additional foreign workers were needed to speed up production in Germany. He also ordered every able-bodied male suspected of belonging to or being in sympathy with the resistance movement to be deported to Germany for forced labour, and on 10 August 1944 he ordered all units under his command to arrest all able-bodied males between 16 and 55 years in sectors where resistance forces were observed and ordered that they be forcibly deported to Germany.
When Blaskowitz was interrogated, he basically denied any interest in what the civilian authorities got up to. It is not a very convincing denial of involvement in atrocities in occupied territories and, of course, he was never cross-examined.
It was, however, common knowledge that Blaskowitz, as commander in occupied Poland protested ainst the conduct of the police in the occupation and that, when this became known to Hitler, he was relieved of that particular command.