Night of 14th-15th September 1941
Criminals in war-time—
The habits of the Jurists.
I’ve ordered Himmler, in the event of there some day being reason to fear troubles back at home, to liquidate everything he finds in the concentration camps. Thus at a stroke the revolution would be deprived of its leaders.
The old Reich knew already how to act with firmness in the occupied areas. That’s how attempts at sabotage to the railways in Belgium were punished by Count von der Goltz. He had all the villages burnt within a radius of several kilometres, after having had all the mayors shot, the men imprisoned and the women and children evacuated. There were three or four acts of violence in all, then nothing more happened. It’s true that in 1918 the population adopted a hostile attitude towards German troops going up into the line.
Nowadays it’s the same thing. During the campaign in Poland, the lawyers tried to blame the troops because the latter had shot sixty civilians in a region where wounded soldiers had been massacred. In such a case, a lawyer opens legal proceedings against X. His enquiry leads nowhere, of course, for nobody has ever seen anything, and if anyone knows the guilty man, he’ll take good care not to inform against a “member of the Resistance”.
Lawyers cannot understand that in exceptional times new laws become valid. I shall be interested to know whether they’ll pass the death sentence on that madman who set fire to the Bremen—deliberately, it’s said, from a liking for setting things alight. I’ve given instructions for the event of the man’s not being condemned to death. He’s to be shot immediately.