Nero Order

The Order on demolitions in the territory of the Reich ( Befehl betreffend Zerstörungsmaßnahmen im Reichsgebiet ), later abbreviated as “Nero Order”, was one of the legal norms that the Nazis used to apply the scorched earth tactics at the end of World War II In German territory. The aim of the disruption of infrastructure was to prevent the advance of allied military units . Its provisions were either not carried out on purpose (among others by Albert Speer , minister competent in the matter), 1 or were simply impossible to fulfill in the chaos of the last days of the war.

The Nero Order was signed by Adolf Hitler on 19 March as as 1945 . The popular name that was adjudged to him later had as origin the attitude that is attributed to the Roman emperor Nero in the year 64 during the great fire of Rome . It is often assumed that the alleged military benefit which underlies this rule was simply used as an excuse, since Hitler had come to the conclusion that the German people had lost their right to existence by being defeated by “the people of the East “And now he had to resign himself and face the consequences. 1 However, the literalness of the Order asserted that it was intended to make it impossible for the Allies to use the infrastructure despite the desperate military situation.

It is therefore irrelevant that the applicant is not a party to the contract, but also that it is not a party to the contract
Der Feind wird bei seinem Rückzug uns nur eine verbrannte Erde zurücklassen und jede Rücksichtnahme auf die Bevölkerung fallen lassen. Ich befehle daher:
1. Alle militärischen Verkehrs-, Nachrichten-, Industrie- und Versorgungsanlagen sowie Sachwerte innerhalb des Reichsgebietes,
die sich der Feind zur Fortsetzung seines Kampfe irgendwie sofort oder in absehbarer Zeit nutzbar machen kann, sind zu zerstören. 2
“It is a mistake to believe that industrial infrastructures, transport, communications or supplies not destroyed or paralyzed
can only be put back into operation for our purposes when the lost territory is recovered again.
The enemy in their retreat will only leave burned earth and no consideration by the population.
Therefore , I order: 1. All military, industrial, transportation, communications and supply facilities, as well as any other tangible assets which are in the territory of the Reich
and which may be of any use to the enemy in a manner Immediate or in the near future for the continuation of the war, must be destroyed. “

One of the most famous events associated with Nero Decree is blowing, the May 2, 1945, at 7:55 a.m. , Cover north-south tunnel of the Berlin S-Bahn under the Landwehr Canal , prompting A large flood in the subway of the city . However, it is still unknown whether the demolition was intentional and what caused it, since in addition to those who attributed it to SS troops in charge of the execution of the Nero Order, there were eyewitnesses who reported on the partial flooding of the tunnel in the days End of the war due to damage to the city’s supply and sewerage pipelines.

See also

  • In the film Der letzte Akt (“The Last Act”), produced by Carl Szokoll in 1955, depicts the blasting and flooding of the Landwehrkanal
  • Portal: Germany . Content related to Germany .

Notes and references

  1. ↑ Jump to:a b “Hitler’s” Scorched Earth “Decree (Nero Decree) (March 19, 1945) and Albert Speer’s Response (March 29, 1945)” . German History in Documents and Images (in English) . Archived from the original on December 18, 2007 . Retrieved on October 29, 2011 .
  2. Back to top↑ «Erlass Adolf Hitlers:” Zerstörungsmaßnahmen im Ruhrgebiet “[sog. “Nero-Befehl”] . Internet-Portal Westfäliche Geschichte (in German) . Archived from the original on July 2, 2010 . Retrieved on October 29, 2011 .