Nero Decree: Adolf Hitler Orders Destruction of German Infrastructure Hot

Nero Decree: Adolf Hitler Orders Destruction of German Infrastructure

Adolf Hitler, April 20, 1945

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The infamous "Nero Decree" is issued by Adolf Hitler in the final days of World War II. Named after Roman Emperor Nero who is thought to have set the Great Fire of Rome in 64 CE, Adolf Hitler's instructions are to deny the advancing Allied military forces the use of German infrastructure by blowing up everything useful: transportation facilities, communications facilities, bridges, industrial sites, etc.

The relevant section of the order, officially named Demolitions on Reich Territory, states:

"It is a mistake to think that transport and communication facilities, industrial establishments and supply depots, which have not been destroyed, or have only been temporarily put out of action, can be used again for our own ends when the lost territory has been recovered.

The enemy will leave us nothing but scorched earth when he withdraws, without paying the slightest regard to the population. I therefore order:

1) All military transport and communication facilities, industrial establishments and supply depots, as well as anything else of value within Reich territory, which could in any way be used by the enemy immediately or within the foreseeable future for the prosecution of the war, will be destroyed."

When Albert Speer receives this order he is appalled and, finally, is convinced that Adolf Hitler is insane. He is determined to undermine the order. Speer gets sole and exclusive authority over administering and carrying out the plan; he uses his authority to convince others to disobey Hitler.

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1945 - Hitler's Nero Decree

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