Tag: Nacht und Nebel

America’s Night and Fog



The reasons for Nacht und Nebel were many:

   * First, distinct complaints by other governments or humanitarian organizations against the German government were made far more difficult because the exact cause of internment or death, indeed whether or not the event had even occurred, was obscured. It kept the Nazis from being held accountable.

   * The decree and hidden events afforded the Nazis the ability to act cruelly and unjustly without public outcry.

   * It allowed an across-the-board, silent veto of international treaties and conventions: one cannot apply the limits and terms of humane treatment in war if one cannot locate the victim or discern his destiny.

   * Additionally, it lessened the moral qualms and confrontations of the German public as well as that of servicemen, in an agreed and/or ignorant silence.

wapo editorial sept 06


the actual decree



keitel letter

Efficient and enduring intimidation can only be achieved . . . by measures by which the relatives of the criminals do not know the fate of the criminal. The prisoners are, in future, to be transported . . . secretly, and further treatment of the offenders will take place at the new destination]; these measures will have a deterrent effect because – A. The prisoners will vanish without a trace. B. No information may be given as to their whereabouts or their fate.Prisoners taken . . . are subjected to military procedure only if particular military interests require this. In case [any authorities inquire about such prisoners, they are to be told that they were arrested, but that the proceedings do not allow any further information.