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Measures Against Jews Tonight: A Top Secret Communication

10 November 1938


Teletype Message Munich 47 767 10 November 1938 -0120-
To all State Police Main Offices and Field Offices
To all SD-Main Sectors and to SD-Sub-sectors


Flash Urgent to be submitted at once. Urgent to be submitted immediately to the Chief or his deputy.

Regards: Measures against Jews tonight.

Because of the attempt on the life of von Rath, Legation Secretary in Paris, demonstrations against the Jews are to be expected in the entire Reich in the course of this night -- from the 9th to the 10th of November 1938. For the handling of these actions the following directions are issued:

  1. The chiefs of the State Police Offices or their deputies will immediately after receipt of this teletype message establish telephone contact with the political leadership offices -- Gau Directorate or Kreis Directorate -- within their region and arrange a conference about the handling of the demonstrations. The respective inspectors and commanders of the Order Police are to participate in the conference. In this conference the political leadership offices are to be informed that the German police have received the following directives from the Reichsfuehrer of the SS and Chief of the German Police, which directives are to be conformed to by the political leadership offices in an appropriate manner:
    1. Only such measures may be taken which do not jeopardize German life or property (for instance, burning of synagogues only if there is no danger of fires for the neighborhood).
    2. Business establishments and homes of Jews may be destroyed but not looted. The police have been instructed to supervise the execution of these directives and to arrest looters.
    3. In business streets special case is to be taken that non-Jewish establishments will be safeguarded at all cost against damage.
    4. Subjects of foreign countries may not be molested even if they are Jews.
  2. Under the provision that the directives given under No. 1 are being complied with, the demonstrations are not to be prevented but merely supervised regarding compliance with the directives.
  3. Immediately after receipt of this teletype the archives of the Jewish communities are to be confiscated by the police, so that they will not be destroyed in the course of the demonstrations. Important in this respect is historically valuable material, not recent tax lists, etc. The archives are to be delivered to the respective SD Office.
  4. The direction of the measures of the Safety Police regarding the demonstrations against Jews is in the hands of the State Police Offices, in as much as the inspectors of the Safety Police do not issue different directives. For the performance of the measures of the Safety Police, officers of the criminal police as well as members of the SD, the special troops and the SS, may be used.
  5. As soon as the events of this night permit the use of the designated officers, as many Jews, particularly wealthy ones, as the local jails will hold, are to be arrested in all districts. Initially only healthy male Jews, not too old, are to be arrested. After the arrests have been carried out the appropriate concentration camp is to be contacted immediately with a view to a quick transfer of the Jews to the camps. Special care is to be taken that Jews arrested on the basis of this directive will not be mistreated.
  6. The content of this order is to be communicated to the respective inspectors and commanders of the Order Police and to the SD Chief Sectors and the SD Sub-sectors with the notification that these police measures have been issued by the Reichsfuehrer of the SS and the Chief of the German Police. The Chief of the Order Police issues appropriate orders to the Fire Department Police. The Safety Police and the Order Police are to work in closest coordination in the execution of these measures.

The receipt of this teletype is to be confirmed by the State Police Director or a deputy via teletype to the Secret State Police Office into the hands of SS Colonel [Standartenfuehrer] Muller.

SS General [Gruppenfuehrer]


Additional Information About Source

Source: Nazi Conspiracy and Aggression, Vol. 3. Washington, DC: United States Government Printing Office, 1946. 30151-PS.


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