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JUDICIAL DECISIONS INVOLVING QUESTIONS OF

INTERNATIONAL LAW

GERMAN WAR TRIALS 1

SUPREME COURT AT LEIPZIG

JUDGMENT IN THE CASE OF KARL HEYNEN

Rendered May 26, 1921

IN THE NAME OF THE EMPIRE

In the criminal case against Karl Heynen, master cooper, of and born in Barmen on 22 June, 1875, for crimes and offences contrary to $$122, 55, 1, 121 Military Penal Code, and $74 Imperial Penal Code the Second Penal Senate of the Imperial Court of Justice at a Sitting in public on 26 May, 1921, at which there took part as Judges

The President of the Senate Dr. Schmidt and the Justices of the Impe

rial Court, Dr. Sabarth, Dr. Paul, Dr. Schultz, Dr. Kleine, Hagemann,

Dr. Vogt. As officials of the Public Prosecutor's Department. The Oberreichsanwalt, Dr. Ebermayer and Dr. Feisenberger, Attorney

for the State. As Clerk of the Court.

Risch, Official, after oral evidence. The accused is condemned to ten (10) months' imprisonment on fifteen charges of ill-treating subordinates, and on three charges of insulting subordinates, and on charges of having treated subordinates contrary to the regulations; in other respects he is acquitted.

The detention during the enquiry is to be taken into account in the sentence passed.

The costs of the proceedings, in the cases in which the accused is condemned, are imposed upon him and in the cases, in which he is acquitted, they are to be borne by the Imperial Treasury.

The Treasury is to bear also in the first-mentioned cases all expenses, including the necessary expenses of the accused.

By Right

British Parliamentary Command Paper No. 1450.

REASONS FOR THE DECISION

I. The accused served 1895–1897 with the 145th King's Infantry Regiment and in the year 1901, after training with the 138th Infantry Regiment, was promoted non-commissioned officer; he was called up in the autumn of 1914 as non-commissioned officer with the second Münster Landsturm Battalion. He took part in the campaign in Russia, was wounded on 29th December, 1914, on the Pelizza, then returned to Münster and was posted for a period of 7 months to the prisoners of war camp at Rheine. His camp commandant at that time, Deputy Officer Radenberg, has testified to his great zeal, absolute trustworthiness and faultless conduct. There has been no complaint of any kind of excess towards the Russian prisoners of war, who were placed under him and were occupied with agricultural work.

At the beginning of October, 1915, he was recalled to the first Münster prisoners' camp, in order to take over the command of the new prisoners' camp to be organized at shaft V of the “Friedrich der Grosse" mine near Herne. He received as his sentries a draft of 1 Lance Corporal and 12 Landsturm men, most of whom had only received their necessary training during the war.

There were placed under him 240 prisoners of war, of whom about 200 were English and 40 were Russians. They were to work in a colliery. This was kept secret from them, probably because it was foreseen that they might be unwilling to undertake such work. In fact they believed, from what they had been told, that they were to work at a sugar factory.

On 13 October, 1915, accused with his detachment of sentries and the prisoners left Münster for Herne. He had received no further orders than that he had to see to it that the prisoners undertook the work intended for them; he was to make his own arrangements; until his arrival in camp in Herne he was to keep silent about their place of destination and the work intended for them.

On the way already discontent became apparent among the prisoners, because they saw that they were going to be made to work in a mine. They vented their discontent by such utterances as “Nix Minen” and thus let it be understood that they would not work in a mine. It was impossible for the accused to make himself understood to the prisoners as he had not been allotted an interpreter.

II. After arrival at the railway station at Herne, the accused first endeavored to find amongst the English prisoners a man, who understood German sufficiently to be able to act to some extent as interpreter for his fellow prisoners. Such a man he found in the English prisoner Parry, who, however, at that time, had but little knowledge of German. Parry understood him only partially. In consequence the accused, according to Parry's statement which is considered to be credible, himself got angry and so irri

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PUBLIC DOCUMENTS RELATING TO INTERNATIONAL LAW

GREAT BRITAIN' British and Foreign State Papers, 1919. Vol. 112. Foreign Office. 318.

Copyright Convention, Berne. Brazil Order, April 21, 1922. (S. R. & 0. 1922, No. 464); Hungary Order, April 21, 1922. (S. R. & 0. 1922, No. 465.) 1 d. each.

Copyright. Order in Council regulating relations with Bulgaria. Feb. 6, 1922. (S. R. & O. 1922, No. 122.) 1 d.

East Africa. Papers relating to native disturbances in Kenya (March, 1922). (Cmd. 1691.) 7d.

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France, Convention between United Kingdom and, respecting legal proceedings in civil and commercial matters. (Treaty Series, 1922, No. 5.) 3 d.

Genoa Conference. Resolutions adopted by the Supreme Council at Cannes as the basis of. January, 1922. (Cmd. 1621.) 4d.

Telegram from M. Chicherin, Moscow, to the Governments of Great Britain, France, and Italy, respecting the. (Cmd. 1637.) 2 d.

Resolutions of the Financial Commission recommending certain resolutions for adoption by the conference; reports of the Committee of Experts appointed currency and exchange subcommissions of the Financial Commission. (Cmd. 1650.) 3 d.

Memorandum sent to Russian delegation, May 3, 1922. (Cmd. 1657.) 3 d.

Papers relating to, April-May, 1922. (Cmd. 1667.) 25. 2 d. German Reparation Recovery. Orders made by the Board of Trade under the Act of 1921: No. 1 (S. R. & 0. 1922, No. 139); No. 2 (S. R. & 0. 1922, No. 140). 1 d. each.

German Reparation Recovery Act, 1921, Statement showing the amounts paid during the period April 1, 1921, to March 31, 1922, into the special account under Sec. 1 (3) of the, and the application thereof. (Cmd. 1664.) 2 d.

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Hertslet's Commercial Treaties, Vol. 28. Foreign Office. 33s. 6d.

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International Labor Conference. Draft conventions and recommendations adopted at third session, Oct. 25-Nov. 19, 1921. (French and English.] (Cmd. 1612.) 10 d.

Irish Free State Agreement. (Ch. 4, 12 Geo. V.) 4d.

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Naturalization regulations, April 12, 1922. (S. R. & 0. 1922, No. 447.)

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Peace Treaties Orders (Amendment) Order, 1922. (S. R. & 0. 1922, No. 249.) 1 d.

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Reparation. Agreement between the Allies for settlement of certain questions as to the application of the treaties of peace and complementary agreements with Germany, Austria, Hungary, and Bulgaria, signed at Spa, July 16, 1920. (Cmd. 1615.) 4d.

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Decision of Reparation Commission on payments by Germany in 1922. (Cmd. 1634.) 4d.

Russian Soviet Government. Correspondence with the, respecting imprisonment of Mrs. Stan Harding. (Cmd. 1602.) 4d.

Treaty of Versailles, June 28, 1919. Agreement between the British and German Governments respecting Art. 297 (c). (Payment of compensation in respect of damage, etc., to property, rights or interests.) Signed, Nov. 23, 1921. (Treaty Series, 1921, No. 27.) 4d.

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table that he called him "Englischer Schweinhund" (Dog of an Englishman). He thus insulted this prisoner of war who, by being placed under his command, had become his subordinate. At this time the accused was endeavoring to carry out his duties. Therefore he is guilty of a breach of $121 para. 1, of the Military Penal Code and deserves increased punishment under $55, No. 2, of the Military Penal Code.

III. In consequence of the discontent generally prevailing among the prisoners, their march from Herne railway station to the camp at shaft V (a distance of about half-an-hour's walk) was very slow. On their arrival in camp the prisoners were very dilatory in obeying orders, which were repeatedly and emphatically given them; and this although most of them had already been prisoners for almost a year and must have known their obligations as regards obedience.

On this occasion the Englishman Gothard, in particular, disregarded the order to fall in, because he wished first to mix his cocoa at a hot-water pipe. Excited over this disobedience, the accused, as has been credibly stated by Gothard and other witnesses, hit Gothard on the head with the fist and as he ducked under the blows, gave him a blow on the nose and eye with his sheathed side-arm, thus drawing blood. In this the accused offended against $$122, para. 1, 55, No. 2, of the Military Penal Code. This case is the same as that in para. I, 20, of the indictment, which charges him with illusage of an unknown Englishman.

It has not been proved that the accused on this evening committed any further punishable offences. That he did so is asserted by some witnesses (Abel, McLaren), but there is apparently some confusion with events of the following day, the 14th October. These are dealt with later. The prisoners fell in and a roll was called. They were then divided into working shifts for the following day. At the same time clothes were handed out to them, which they were to wear while at work in the pit.

IV. During the night of 13th-14th October the English prisoners agreed jointly to refuse to work in the mine, partly because only a few of them were miners and they did not like this kind of work, and partly because they looked upon such work as a help to Germany in her conduct of the war. In consequence of this, on the morning of 14th October, only some of the English prisoners, who were to form the morning shift, put in an appearance. Some of these, however, had not put on the mining clothes, which had been given out to them, though they had the clothes with them. Others had left the mining clothes in the sleeping room. As they had planned, they refused to obey the repeated order to put on the mining clothing. There were loud shouts such as "Nix Minen." They informed the accused through Parry that they would not go down the mine and gave their reasons.

In view of the strict orders given to the accused to see that under any circumstances the work was undertaken, he found himself in a difficult position. In order to enforce obedience to his orders to change clothes, which

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