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Night and Fog Decree

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Adolf Hitler issued the Night-and-Fog Decree (Nacht-und-Nebel Erlass) on December 7, 1941.[1] This order called for the summary execution after military tribunal, or transfer to Germany with no information released, of persons deemed a threat to Nazi security in areas under German occupation. In present legal theory, this falls under the general legal classification of extrajudicial detention, and, when applied to civilians, a violation of the Fourth Geneva Convention, but the Convention was not yet in force.

Areas in which it was to apply were to be prescribed by the High Command of the Armed Forces (OKW). Complicity in this article were part of the war crimes charges for which Wilhelm Keitel and Alfred Jodl were executed by the Trial of the Major War Criminals.

Field commanders were personally made responsible for it being carried out; those were treated as indictable war crimes in the High Command and the Hostages Cases at the Nuremberg Military Tribunals.


  1. The Fuehrer and Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces , Adolf Hitler, [Night-and-Fog Decree (Nacht-und-Nebel Erlass) Directives for the prosecution of offences committed within the occupied territories against the German State or the occupying power, of December 7th, 1941], vol. Volume VII, United States, Office of United States Chief of Counsel for Prosecution of Axis Criminality, Nazi Conspiracy and Aggression, International Military Tribunal (Nuremberg), at 873-874 (Doc. No. L-90)