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Grundsatzlicher Befehl

Article about: I have this document/mini poster that I'm unsure of. It is 18 x 26 cm's and made of a heavy paper with a waxy feel to it. I haven't encountered paper like this before and do believe its old.

  1. #1
    bdc
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    Default Grundsatzlicher Befehl

    I have this document/mini poster that I'm unsure of. It is 18 x 26 cm's and made of a heavy paper with a waxy feel to it. I haven't encountered paper like this before and do believe its old. This was framed when I got it, but has holes where it had been pinned, though that may have been in someones basement. The colors are off, the pic looks a little blue, but the document is on a yellow/brownish paper and the print is black.

    I entered the text into an on line translator and it is an interesting subject matter. I believe this befehl would have been used in support of the Nuremberg defense. The document essentially states that you will be given what you need to know and are not to seek or pass on information.

    I haven't found any other examples of this which leads me to question it's authenticity. I suppose it could be some kind of Nuremberg trial fantasy souvenir, but I sure can't picture it flying off the shelves. Searching for a befehl of this date produces nothing in support. I'm not sure there ever was such an order or that any were printed in this manner. If anyone knows or has thoughts on this, I'd love to hear them.
    Greg

    Grundsatzlicher Befehl

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  3. #2

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    It's a Führer order containing what are essentially the basic rules of maintaining secrecy by strictly adhering to a "need-to-know" philosophy. It says:


    "The Führer and Reichs Chancellor

    Führer Headquarters, 25 September 1941

    Basic Order.

    1. Nobody: No agency, no official, no employee and no worker may learn of a matter that is to be kept secret unless they absolutely must be informed about it for official reasons.

    2. No agency, no official, no employee and no worker may learn anything more about a matter that is to be kept secret than is absolutely necessary for the execution of their duties.

    3. No agency, no official, no employee and no worker may learn about a matter that is to be kept secret or, respectively, the part that is necessary for them to know, any earlier than is absolutely necessary for the execution of their duties.

    4. The thoughtless sharing of edicts, decrees and notices whose nondisclosure is of crucial significance, particularly on the basis of any general circulation lists, is prohibited.

    Adolf Hitler
    "


    I cannot comment on authenticity.

  4. #3

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    I rummaged around a bit more and found that the text is based on an earlier Führer order for the armed forces of 11 January 1940 that is known as the Geheimhaltungsbefehl [Secrecy order]. That one said:


    "Der Führer und Oberste Befehlshaber der Wehrmacht

    Berlin, den 11. Januar 1940

    Grundsätzlicher Befehl.

    Niemand: Keine Dienststelle, kein Offizier dürfen von einer geheimzuhaltenden Sache erfahren, wenn sie nicht aus dienstlichen Gründen unbedingt davon Kenntnis erhalten müssen.

    Keine Dienststelle und kein Offizier dürfen von einer geheimzuhaltenden Sache mehr erfahren, als für die Durchführung ihrer Aufgabe unbedingt erforderlich ist.

    Keine Dienststelle und kein Offizier dürfen von einer geheimzuhaltenden Sache bzw. dem für sie notwendigen Teil früher erfahren, als dies für die Durchführung ihrer Aufgabe unbedingt erforderlich ist.

    Das gedankenlose Weitergeben von Befehlen, deren Geheimhaltung von entscheidender Bedeutung ist, laut irgendwelcher allgemeiner Verteilerschlüssel ist verboten
    ."


    ...meaning:


    "The Führer and Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces

    Berlin, 11 January 1940

    Basic Order.

    1. Nobody: No agency, no officer may learn of a matter that is to be kept secret unless they absolutely must be informed about it for official reasons.

    2. No agency and no officer may learn anything more about a matter that is to be kept secret than is absolutely necessary for the execution of their duties.

    3. No agency and no officer may learn about a matter that is to be kept secret or, respectively, the part that is necessary for them to know, any earlier than is absolutely necessary for the execution of their duties.

    4. The thoughtless sharing of orders whose nondisclosure is of crucial significance, particularly on the basis of any general circulation lists, is prohibited.

    Adolf Hitler
    "

  5. #4
    bdc
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    Thanks HPL2008, for the translation. I typed it into an online translator, but they leave much to be desired. As far as the Nuremberg defense goes, I thought that questions were raised about how high placed people would not be aware of all that was going on and this order would explain that.

  6. #5

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    Quote by bdc View Post
    Thanks HPL2008, for the translation. I typed it into an online translator, but they leave much to be desired. As far as the Nuremberg defense goes, I thought that questions were raised about how high placed people would not be aware of all that was going on and this order would explain that.
    And you're right. My (now deleted) remark about it not having a connection to the Nuremberg trial was a bit hasty. Both the initial Wehrmacht order and the subsequently extended version seen in post # 1 were entered as evidence in the trial.

    A brief excerpt from the trial transcript for day 205:


    "The next document, Number 43, is again by Hess, in January 1937. It refers to armaments, the purpose of which was to protect Germany against arbitrary actions coming from abroad.

    I will come to another subject, that of the question of secrecy regulations, which disproves the existence of a common plan. First of all, the well-known secrecy order issued to the Wehrmacht also applies to the Party, that no office and no officer may have more knowledge of any matter than is absolutely necessary.

    In Document Number 45 this order is extended to every agency, every official, every clerk, and every worker
    ."


    (source: The Avalon Project : Nuremberg Trial Proceedings Vol. 21 - Two Hundred and Fifth Day )

  7. #6
    bdc
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    That's very interesting HPL2008 and authenticates the order at least. I would also think that this befehl would have to have been posted at every government and military office/post, maybe even manufacturers. Everyone's got to know it. I tend to think this is good sign for my poster.

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