Course of History

Night and Fog Decree

Night and Fog Decree

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The 'Night and Fog Decree' was issued by Adolf Hitler on December 7th 1941. The 'Night and Fog Decree' (Nacht und Nebel Erlass) bypassed all forms of basic law and was an order from Hitler to his secret police to murder anyone in Nazi Germany and Occupied Europe who was deemed to be a threat. The decree stated that such people were not to be immediately executed but were “to vanish without a trace into the night and fog”.

The decree was directed at any “persons endangering German security”.

Hitler ordered General Wilhelm Keital to take the responsibility for ensuring that the decree was carried out.

The SD was given the task of hunting down any threats to Hitler. While they kept files that were captured at the end of World War Two it is still not clear how many people fell victim to the 'Night and Fog Decree' but it is certainly known that many people did simply disappear never to be seen again.

April 2012