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Decree from the Head of the Security Police to the Heads of all State Police Offices (September 3, 1939)

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5. Compatriots who are guilty of lapses not willfully but for excusable reasons must, after thorough interrogation on the point, be taken to the head of the State Police office in person, who shall lecture them and admonish them thoroughly. This lecture and warning must be carried out in such a way as to produce loyalty and to strengthen their will. While they must be left in no doubt that they are to expect tougher measures in the event of a repetition, the result of this warning should not be mere intimidation; it should rather have the effect of convincing and encouraging the person concerned. The attention of the relevant Party offices must then be drawn to the compatriot concerned and they must be requested to provide political supervision and supervision in material matters.

6. Appropriate steps should be taken at once against informers who for personal reasons make unjustified and exaggerated reports about compatriots, in the form of a serious warning and, in cases of malice, of transfer to a concentration camp.

7. The chiefs of the State Police offices are personally responsible for the effective suppression of any sign of defeatism in their area.

[Signed Heydrich]

Source of English translation: Jeremy Noakes, ed., Nazism, 1919-1945, Vol. 4: The German Home Front in World War II. Exeter: University of Exeter Press, 1998, pp. 137-138.

Source of original German text: Erlass des Chefs der Sicherheitspolizei an die Leiter aller Staatspolizei(leit)stellen (3. September 1939), Bundesarchiv Koblenz. R58, Vol. 243, AZ PP II- No. 223/39g; also reprinted in T. W. Mason, Arbeiterklasse und Volksgemeinschaft, No. 180, Cologne, 1974, pp. 1061-62.

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