I would not say that they were happy. They knew what was going to happen to them. Of course, they were told what was going to happen to them, and they were resigned to their fate, and that is the strange thing about these people in the East.
After each firing order, when the shots were addressed, somebody looked at the victims, because the victims were then put into the grave when they did not fall into the grave themselves, and these tasks were in the field of tasks of the men of the individual Kommandos. The edge of the grave had to be cleaned, for instance. Two men who had spades dealt with this. They had to clean it up and then the next group was led there.
I have always used rather large execution squads, since I declined to use men who were specialists for shots in the neck (Genickschussspezialisten). Each squad shot for about one hour and was then replaced. The persons who still had to be shot were assembled near the place of the execution, and were guarded by members of those squads, which at the moment did not take part in the executions.
Every spy and saboteur knew what he had to expect when he was arrested.
The executions of agents, partisans, saboteurs, suspicious people, indulging in espionage and sabotage, and those who were of a detrimental effect to the German Army, were, in my opinion, completely in accordance with the Hague Convention.
The nervous strain was far heavier in the case of our men who carried out the executions than in that of their victims. From the psychological point of view they had a terrible time.
Our men taking part in the executions suffered more from nervous exhaustion than those who were to be shot.