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As a defense against the criminal, communist activities and a means of ruthless suppression of this source of peril, whose extremely dangerous scope has been revealed at the last minute, the Reich president decided on 28 Feb. 1933 to proclaim the decree for the protection of the people and the state. Reichsgesetzblatt, Part I, page 83.
For the actual application of the measures authorized in this decree, I give the following directions:
1. Sect. 1 of the decree not only suspends temporarily articles 114, 115, 117, 118, 123, 124 and 153 of the constitution; it rather eliminates all other Reich and state limitations in this matter, as far as this is necessary or practical in order to reach the aims of this decree. Within this framework police officials thus may go beyond the restrictions laid down by the provisions of sections 14 and 41 of the Prussian police code, their orders still remain police ordinances of police warrants and thus as far as form is concerned remain subject to the applicable regulations. However, violations are punished according to sect. 4 of the decree which in this respect prevails, according to p. 4 of the preceding decree. Conforming to the aim and purpose of the decree, the additional permissible actions will be directed primarily against the communists, but also against all those working with the communists or even indirectly supporting or promoting their criminal aims. To avoid any blunder, I remind you that the decree for the protection of the people and state, dated 28 Feb. 1933, should be used against members or institutions other than communist, anarchist or social democratic parties or organizations, when such measures serve for the defense against such communist tendencies in their broadest meaning. In other cases the decree of 2 April 1933 shall be applied. Labor unions shall not be put on the same level with socialdemocratic organizations.
2. The local police has principal jurisdiction for all those police measures, which are permissible after the legal limitations mentioned under 1. have been removed. The jurisdiction has been changed by my decree of 3 Feb. 1933, (G.S. page 33) based on section 3 par. 5 of the Prussian police Code. Consequently all regulations dealing with the suspension of a periodical or the restriction of property have to be issued from the state police offices. Regulations concerning personal liberty, the right to assemble and congregate, or restrictions concerning the secrecy of mails, communications, telegraph and cable may be ordered by the district police only, (Section 3, part 2, P.V.G.).
3. All orders under Section 1 of the decree of 28 Feb. 1933 must be in writing and signed by the competent chief of police of his general appointed deputies or a deputy appointed for such a measure. In cases of restriction of personal liberty, freedom of speech including freedom of press and property rights the involved person is to be served at the latest at the beginning of the procedure with a certified copy of such an order statement. In cases of interferences with the secrecy of mail, postal service, telegraph and cable one certified copy of the order is to be sent immediately to the post office concerned, as well as to the regional postal office. This order does not affect the existing formal requirements and prerequisites under which restrictions of personal liberty, of free speech incl. free press, of the right to organize and assemble, interference in the secrecy of postal, telegraph, and cable services, orders of search and seizure, and limitations upon property rights, could be carried out in accordance with prevailing legal provisions.
4. The state police departments have to keep themselves informed on all measures taken in their districts in accordance with sect. 1, of the decree of 28 Feb. 1933, and they have to report to me on the 5th and 20th of each month on measures taken in the second, resp. first half of the preceding month. Unless specially ordered, individual measures, including the suspension of periodicals in accordance with section 1 of this decree need not be reported unless it concerns a very important case.
5. If on principle (see figure 1, par. 2 of this circular) or for some special reason the application of the decree for the protection of the people and state (RGBl I, Page 83) dated 28 Feb., 1933, seems out of question or not advisable, the provisions of the decree for the protection of the German people (RGBl I, page 35) dated 4 February 1933, and the applicable executive directions remain in effect unchanged.To all police dept. M Bli v. 1, page 233.
In order to guarantee effective countermeasures against all activities endangering the existence and security of the state, the state government has decided to reform the organization of the political police more severely than before and to create the necessary conditions for speedy and successful operations. For this purpose and for the benefit of a uniform supreme management of the political police of Office of Secret State Police (Which is) directly subordinated to myself has been established in Berlin SW 11, Prinz Albrechtstrasse 8 by the law of 26 April 1933 printed in annex 1 (Gesetz-Sammlung, Seite 122) (collection of laws, page 122). Its duty is to investigate all political activities endangering the state by special executors with the assistance of outside bureaus for the individual provincial police districts (State-Police-Bureaus) and with the support of the ordinary police authorities within the entire territory of the state, to collect and exploit the results of these investigations, to keep myself, the minister for the Interior, permanently informed, to prepare and provide at all times the necessary proofs for my decisions, and finally to report all politically important observations and statements also to other police authorities and provide them with suggestions. Furthermore the Office of the Secret State Police is authorized within the sphere of its activity to request political measures from other police-authorities and to give them instructions.
Nazi Conspiracy and Aggression Volume IV
Office of the United States Chief Counsel for Prosecution of Axis Criminality
Washington, DC : United States Government Printing Office, 1946