Hitler’s Nero Decree

Nero

Killing millions in concentration camps wasn’t enough for Hitler. On March 19 he issued the “Befehl betreffend Zerstörungsmaßnahmen im Reichsgebiet” (Demolitions on Reich Territory Decree)but subsequently became known as the Nero Decree, named after the Roman emperor Nero who ordered Rome to be burned to the ground.

This is basically what Hitler wanted for all of German and the occupied territories , still at the last phase of the war he was so delusional he thought he could win by denying the allies anything of value.

Below is the translated text of the decree.

RE: Destruction Measures within Reich Territory
Our nation’s struggle for existence forces us to utilize all means, even within Reich territory, to weaken the fighting power of our enemy and to prevent further advances. Any opportunity to inflict lasting damage on the striking power of the enemy must be taken advantage of. It is a mistake to believe that undestroyed or only temporarily paralyzed traffic, communications, industrial, and supply installations will be useful to us again after the recapture of lost territories. During his retreat, the enemy will leave behind only scorched earth and will abandon all concern for the population.

I therefore command –

1. All military traffic, communications, industrial and supply installations as well as objects within Reich territory that might be used by the enemy in the continuation of his fight, either now or later, are to be destroyed.

2. It is the responsibility of the military command posts to execute this order to destroy all military objects, including traffic and communications installations.

The Gauleiters and Commissioners for Reich Defense are responsible for destroying the industrial and supply installations, as well as of other objects of valuable; the troops must give the Gauleiters and Commissioners for Reich Defense the assistance they need to carry out this task.

3. This command is to be transmitted to all troop commanders as promptly as possible; orders to the contrary are null and void.

Adolf Hitler.

The order was disobeyed, in a similar way when Hitler ordered Dietrich von Choltitz  to blow up the Eiffel tower shortly before Paris was liberated. Dietrich von Choltitz  surrendered to the allies instead.

eiffel

Albert Speer responded on March 29

“When I gave you my memorandum on 18 March, I was convinced that the conclusions which I was drawing from the present situation for the maintenance of our national energy would definitely meet with your approval. For you yourself had already on one occasion determined that, in the event of a lost war, it was the task of the leadership to preserve the nation from a heroic end.

However, that evening you made statements to me from which – unless I have misunderstood you – it is clear and evident that if the war is lost the nation will also be lost. This fate is unavoidable. It is not necessary to show any consideration for the bases, which the people will need for their very primitive further existence; on the contrary, it is better to destroy even these things. For the nation has showed itself to be the weaker one and the future belongs exclusively to the stronger eastern nation. Those remaining after the struggle are in any case the less valuable ones because the good ones have been killed.

On hearing these words I was deeply shocked. And when, a day later, I read your destruction order and shortly afterwards the tough evacuation order, I interpreted these as the first steps in the implementation of these intentions.

Until then, I had believed with all my heart in a successful conclusion to this war. [ . . . ]

However, I can no longer believe in the success of our good cause if, during these decisive months, we simultaneously and systematically destroy the foundations of our national life. That is such a great injustice towards our people that fate could no longer favour us.

I therefore beg you not to carry out a step so destructive of the nation.

If you could decide to do this in some form then I would regain the faith and courage with which to continue working with the greatest energy.

You will be able to understand my inner conflict. I cannot work to my full capacity and generate the necessary confidence if, at the same time as I am demanding from the workers their fullest commitment, I am preparing to destroy the foundation of their lives.”

speer

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Sources

http://ghdi.ghi-dc.org/docpage.cfm?docpage_id=2382

Bundes Archiv

 

Disobeying the Führer

htler_last_picture

Even one of his last acts Hitler showed he was nothing else but a fraud on the 19th of March 1945  he issued the “Nero Decree”

The decree ordered the destruction of German infrastructure to prevent their use by Allied forces as they penetrated deep within Germany. It was officially titled Demolitions on Reich Territory Decree (Befehl betreffend Zerstörungsmaßnahmen im Reichsgebiet) and has subsequently become known as the Nero Decree, after the Roman Emperor Nero, who supposedly engineered the Great Fire of Rome.

while rome burns

Hitler had copied so much of the Roman empire so it is not surprising that the decree had similarities with Nero’s orders.

It was up to Albert Speer to implement and carry out the decree, but on this occasion Speer refused and disobeyed the order. I don’t think it was because of his endless love for the German people, I think it was more out of self preservation that Speer disobeyed, he knew the war was coming to an end and he still had a chance to escape punishment by the allies. however if he would have carried out the orders he would surely have been sentenced to death by either the Germans or the allies after the war.

Bundesarchiv_Bild_183-1984-1206-511,_Albert_Speer

Albert Speer was not the only one who directly disobeyed Hitler in relation to destroying cities.

Shortly before the Liberation of Paris, Hitler ordered explosives to be placed around important landmarks, such as the Eiffel Tower, and key transportation hubs. If the Allies came near the city, the military governor, Dietrich von Choltitz was to detonate these bombs, leaving Paris “lying in complete debris.”Von Choltitz, however, did not carry out the order and surrendered to the Allies.

Nazi Surrender

How great would it have been if this picture would have been sent to the Führer as a birthday card.

American_soldiers_watch_as_the_Tricolor_flies_from_the_Eiffel_Tower_again

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I am passionate about my site and I know a you all like reading my blogs. I have been doing this at no cost and will continue to do so. All I ask is for a voluntary donation of $2 ,however if you are not in a position to do so I can fully understand, maybe next time then. Thanks To donate click on the credit/debit card icon of the card you will use. If you want to donate more then $2 just add a higher number in the box left from the paypal link. Many thanks

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Sources

Independent.ie