High Command Of The Armed Forces. 20th March, 1945.
The Leader Issued The Following Order On 19th March, 1945.
Subject: Demolitions On Reich Territory.
The struggle for the existence of our Folk compels us, even within the territory of the Reich, to exploit every means of weakening the fighting strength of our enemy, and impeding his further advance. Every opportunity must be taken of inflicting, directly or indirectly, the utmost lasting damage on the striking power of the enemy. 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.
2. The following are responsible for carrying out these demolitions:
The military Commanders, for all military establishments, including the transport and communications network; the District Leaders and Reich Commissioners For Defence, for all industrial establishments and supply depots, and anything else of value. The troops are to give to District Leaders and Reich Commissioners for Defence such help as they require to carry out their tasks.
3. This Order will be made known to all Officers commanding troops as quickly as possible. Directives to the contrary are invalid.