Leader's Decree

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A Fuehrer decree or a Fuehrerverordnung , also called Fuehrerbefehl , was an order by Adolf Hitler , which had the force of law for all authorities and all German citizens in the area of ​​the German Reich . The confirmation of a Führer decree by other constitutional organs was neither necessary nor intended. A driver's decree could change existing law or set new law .

Hitler opportunity by decree to make decrees with the force of law, went to the right of the President of the Weimar Republic back by adopting the organization of the national government and the supreme Reich authorities to change. As a result of the merger of the two state offices in 1934, his powers were transferred to Hitler as the new head of state . After the beginning of the Second World War , his Führer decrees went beyond state organization law .

After the National Socialists came to power in early 1933, the Enabling Act gave the Reich government the power to enact laws that were valid even without the consent of the Reichstag . From 1933 onwards the German Reich was a dictatorship under Hitler (the government did not appear as a collegial body ). By taking over the office of Reich President after Hindenburg's death in 1934, Hitler also received the right to issue so-called emergency ordinances under Article 48 of the Weimar Constitution .

In the Reichstag resolution of April 26, 1942 , Hitler's authority and domestic political power were strengthened by a far-reaching extension of his authority to issue orders (with the argument that he wanted to enable him to proceed flexibly):

“In the struggle of the German people to be and not to be […] the Führer […] must - without being bound by existing legal provisions - in his capacity as the leader of the nation, as the supreme commander of the armed forces , as the head of government and the supreme owner of the executive , as the supreme court lord and as the leader of the party , if necessary, be able at any time to give any German [...] in the event of a breach of duty after conscientious examination without regard to so-called well-earned rights with the atonement due and in particular to remove him from his office without the initiation of prescribed procedures to be removed from his rank and position. "

- RGBl. I 1942, p. 247


The following list is not complete and only gives examples:

Foundation of a German National Prize for Art and Science

Decree of the Führer and Reich Chancellor of the German Reich of January 30, 1937 on the foundation of a German National Prize for Art and Science .

February 4, 1938: "Decree on the leadership of the Wehrmacht"

Adolf Hitler had dismissed Werner von Fritsch , head of the OKH ( High Command of the Army ) (see Blomberg-Fritsch crisis ). With the Führer decree of February 4, 1938, Hitler took over the newly created High Command of the Wehrmacht (OKW) himself.

Leader's Decree on the Euthanasia Program (1939)

This secret letter from Hitler authorized certain physicians in particular that "at human discretion, incurably ill patients can be granted death by mercy if their condition is critically assessed".

For this purpose, all mentally ill people with more than five years of hospital stay were recorded on special registration forms. It is assumed that between 60,000 and 80,000 people with disabilities fell victim to the so-called “ euthanasia ” program, Action T4 .

Scheduled murder of the Jews ("Final Solution")

Among the representatives of intentionalism , it is considered certain that Hitler had given orders for the extermination of the European Jews (in Nazi parlance "final solution of the Jewish question") since the summer of 1941 at the latest , even if these orders were apparently not issued in writing or received as such . The functionalists in Nazi research doubt that there was a general extermination order.

Martial Law Decree

With the decree on the application of military law in the region "Barbarossa" and special measures of the troops of 13 May 1941, shortly " Military Jurisdiction Decree called" Hitler, the Soviet civilian population in fact of an outlaw state. He ordered that crimes committed by civilians in the eastern regions against the German armed forces could not be punished by ordinary proceedings in court martial or court martial . Rather were civilians, attack the Wehrmacht, "with extreme measures to fight down" arrested suspects at the discretion of an officer to shoot . Wehrmacht members did not have to expect to have to answer to a military tribunal after an assault or military crime . The decree thus formed the “legal basis” for the crimes of the Wehrmacht in the Soviet Union .

Commissar order

On June 6, 1941, Hitler issued the so-called “Commissar Order” ( guidelines for the treatment of political commissars ). It contained an instruction, contrary to international law, not to treat political commissars of the Red Army as prisoners of war , but to kill them without a trial.

Night and Fog Decree

On December 7, 1941, secret guidelines for the prosecution of crimes against the Reich or the occupying power in the occupied territories were issued, which later became known as the " Night and Fog Decree ". After that, around 7,000 people suspected of the resistance were deported from France , Belgium , the Netherlands and Norway to Germany and secretly tried there or, if they were found to be innocent, kept in custody without their relatives being given any information.

Fuhrer's order to the Commander-in-Chief of the German Africa Corps Erwin Rommel, June 9, 1942

This order was issued in writing to Erwin Rommel ( Colonel General at the time , later General Field Marshal ). It ordered that German political refugees who fought on the French side and were taken prisoner of war by Germany should be liquidated. Rommel refused to carry out this order.

Fuehrer's order to Rosenberg, March 1, 1942

Jews and Freemasons were accused by Hitler of being the initiators of World War II . Reichsleiter Alfred Rosenberg received an order from March 1, 1942 to confiscate libraries and archives whose ownership was assigned to Jews or Freemasons .

Führer order No. 11 of March 8, 1944

Location of the 29 "permanent places"

This order designated 29 locations as " permanent places" (for more information, see the article " Fixed place (Wehrmacht)" ).

Fuehrer's order of August 23, 1944 ("rubble field order")

This went to Dietrich von Choltitz , the city commandant of Paris: “The defense of the Paris bridgehead is of decisive military and political importance. [...] Within the city, measures must be taken with the sharpest means against the first signs of rioting. B. Blasting of city blocks, public execution of the ringleaders, evacuation of the affected district, as this is the best way to prevent spread. The bridges over the Seine are to be prepared for demolition. Paris must not fall into the hands of the enemy, or only as a field of rubble. "

Von Choltitz decided to refuse to give orders ; he capitulated on August 25, 1944 and surrendered Paris, which remained almost undamaged.

Führer order of March 19, 1945 ("Nero order")

According to the order for destructive measures in the Reich area , later called "Nero Order " for short, when the German army withdrew, all usable infrastructure and property were to be destroyed and literally nothing but scorched earth should fall into the hands of the enemy forces on the Reich territory .

Armaments Minister Albert Speer later claimed that he had achieved the weakening of the order on April 7, 1945 through his memoranda . The quotes from conversations about Hitler's reactions to Speer's memoranda, however, are post-war formulations.

Fuehrer's order to the Berlin population, April 22, 1945

This order was distributed through leaflets . He ordered the immediate shooting of people who weakened the German "resistance" in the fight for Berlin (so-called defeatists ).

See also


  • Walther Hubatsch (ed.): Hitler's instructions for warfare 1939–1945. Documents d. High Command d. Wehrmacht. Verlag Bernard and Graefe, Koblenz 1983 (from No. 1 to 51).
  • Martin Moll (Hrsg.): "Führer-Erasse" 1939–1945 : Edition of all the handed-down directives in the areas of state, party, economy, occupation policy and military administration issued by Hitler during the Second World War, not printed in the Reichsgesetzblatt . Franz Steiner Verlag, Stuttgart 1997, ISBN 3-515-06873-2 .
  • Heinrich Schönfelder : German imperial laws. Collection of constitutional, common, criminal and procedural law for everyday use . Beck, Munich [u. a.] 1944 (loose-leaf edition).
  • Carl Sartorius : Collection of imperial laws of constitutional and administrative content . Beck, Munich 1935–1937.

Web links

Wiktionary: Führer command  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations

References and comments

  1. Law on the Head of State of the German Reich of August 1, 1934 (RGBl. I p. 747), which was put into effect on August 2, 1934 .
  2. ^ Düring / Rudolf, Texts on German Constitutional History , CH Beck, Munich 1979.
  3. ^ Resolution of the Greater German Reichstag of April 26, 1942 (RGBl. I p. 247).
  4. ^ Decree by the Führer and Reich Chancellor on the foundation of a German National Prize for Art and Science of January 30, 1937 ( RGBl. I p. 305 ):

    “In order to prevent shameful processes for all future, I have the foundation of a German National Prize for Art and Science as of today. This national prize will be distributed annually to three well-deserved Germans in the amount of 100,000 Reichsmarks each . The acceptance of the Nobel Prize is forbidden for all future Germans. [...] "

  5. The Nuremberg Trial: One hundred and seventy-third day. Monday, July 8, 1946. The Nuremberg Trial .
  6. ^ Hitler's euthanasia order (“Gnadentoderlass”) of September 1, 1939 ( facsimile ).
  7. Wigbert Benz, there Chapter III "The Russian Campaign as a War of Extermination", accessed August 24, 2010
  8. ^ Text of the commissioner's order of June 6, 1941
  9. Fuehrer's order of June 9, 1942
  10. Führer Order No. 11 ( Commanders of Fixed Places and Combat Commanders ) of March 8, 1944; Quoted in: Walter Hubatsch (Ed.): Hitler's instructions for warfare 1939–1945 , Bernard & Graefe Verlag für Wehrwissen, Frankfurt am Main 1962, Doc. 53, pp. 243–250.
  11. ^ Photo of the order (facsimile).
  12. Magnus Brechtken: Albert Speer. A German career . Munich 2018, ISBN 978-3-570-55380-0 , p. 280.