Hitler’s Order of March 19, 1945
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.
Source of English translation: Hitler’s “Scorched Earth” Decree (Nero Decree) (March 19, 1945)
The British bugged the rooms of the Nazis that they captured.
Hoppe, d. 1974
This Hoppe was Commandant of Stutthof in Poland. At least 85,000 people died there. Why did they let this pos walk free from 1960-1974?
SS man Greiser had a black record of cruelty towards the Polish population, advocating in a letter to Himmler of 1 May 1942 that tubercular Poles be sent for “special treatment” to Chelmno death camp. Greiser also supervised the anti-Jewish terror which led to the burning of synagogues, the sending of thousands of Jews to forced labour, deportations to Germany, to the Generalgouvernement and to the extermination camps. He also opted for the ‘ethnic cleansing ‘ of “Warthegau” region of Poland, wanting to drive all Poles out or reduce them to slaves (slavenherren).
Chelmno (camp in Poland) is recorded as having had at least 152,000 Jewish deaths, and an unknown number of Poles and gypsies.
Letter regarding the “special treatment” of Jews (English translation)
Theodor Malzmuller one of the members of the Chelmno Sonderkommando, recalled a visit to the death camp by Arthur Greiser:
“Shortly before the dismantling of the Chelmno death camp in March 1943 Gauleiter Greiser suddenly appeared at the camp, together with his staff – consisting of fifteen high-ranking SS officers. All members of the SS-Sonderkommando and the Wachkommando had to assemble in the courtyard of the castle where they were addressed by Greiser. In the presence of his staff he explained that Chelmno extermination camp would shortly be dismantled and he wanted to thank us on behalf of the Fuhrer for the work we had done in Chelmno.”
Gauleiter Greiser wrote to RFSS Heinrich Himmler on 19 March 1943 about Chelmno:
… The men have not only fulfilled the difficult task that has been set for them loyally, bravely and in all respects appropriately, but also their soldierly conduct is exemplary.
….That means that each of these eighty-five men in the Sonderkommando had contributed about 180 RM.
I have given instructions for the money to be put in the fund set up for the children of murdered ethnic Germans, unless you, Reichsfuhrer, wish it to be put to another or better use.
The men further expressed the wish that all of them, if possible, be put under the command of their Haupsturmfuhrer Bothmann when they are transferred to their new assignment. I promised the men that I would communicate this wish to you, Reichsfuhrer.
I should be grateful if you would give me permission to invite some of these men to be my guests on my country estate during their leave and to give them a generous allowance to make their leave more enjoyable.
Stutthof: Zbigniew Raczkiewicz recalled what the SS officer said to new arrivals:
“From now on you are no longer a person, just a number. All your rights have been left outside the gate- you are left with only one and that you are free to do – leave through that chimney.”
“The camp doctor had the right of selection to the gas chamber.”