Online Module: The Holocaust and Fundamental Rights

Doc 7: Schlegelberger's honourable discharge

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The "Völkischer Beobachter", the central organ of the Nazi movement, announces Schlegelberger's honourable discharge and the appointment of the radical Nazi minister Otto Thierack.

Sources

  • Völkischer Beobachter, 25 August 1942.

Article in the Völkischer Beobachter on Schlegelberger's honourable discharge, 25 August 1942

Schlegelberger's honourable discharge

Translation:

Restaffing of the Reich Justice Ministry

Dr Thierack Reich Justice Minister – Dr Rothenberger State Secretary in the Reich Justice Ministry – Dr Freisler President of the People’s Court

Berlin, 24 August

We are officially informed that the Führer has decided in view of the particular importance of the task of administering justice in wartime to fill the position of Reich Justice Minister left vacant since the death of Reich Minister Dr Gürtner. The Führer has therefore nominated the President of the People’s Court and former State Minister Dr Thierack, who was Minister of Justice in Saxony from the seizure of power through to the Nazification of justice, as Reich Justice Minister.

At the same time, the Führer has relieved State Secretary Professor Dr Schlegelberger, who had been acting as head of the Reich Justice Ministry of this duty and, at his own request, granted him permission to retire. The Führer has sent State Secretary Dr Schlegelberger a handwritten letter of thanks for his decade of self-sacrificing work and outstanding service to the German Reich. Moreover he has received him in the Führer’s Head Quarters to bid him farewell in person.

The Führer has appointed the President of the Hanseatic Supreme Court in Hamburg, Senator Dr Rothenberger, as State Secretary in the Reich Justice Ministry, and Dr Freisler, the State Secretary in the Reich Justice Ministry as the President of the People’s Court.

The Reich Press Office of the Nazi Party has also announced that:

Dr Frank, the former leader of the National Socialist Association of German Legal Professionals, President of the Academy for German Law and head of the Reich Legal Office of the Nazi Party, has asked the Führer to relieve him of these offices to enable him to devote himself completely to his duties as General Governor. The Führer has responded to this request and appointed the newly designated Reich Justice Minister, Dr Thierack, as the President of the Academy for German Law and as head of the National Socialist Association of Legal Professionals. The Führer has dissolved the Reich Legal Office of the Nazi Party and the Gau and District Legal Offices, and integrated the former leaders of the Gau and District Legal Offices into the Gau and District Staff Offices. The National Socialist Legal Advice Centres will continue to carry out their duties from these offices.

Special Powers for the Reich Justice Minister

We are officially informed that the Führer has granted the newly designated Reich Justice Minister, Dr Thierack, special powers under the following decree:

Decree from the Führer regarding special powers for the Reich Justice Minister
A strong administration of justice is required to fulfil the obligations of the Greater German Reich. I therefore commission and empower the Reich Justice Minister to build up a National Socialist administration of justice in accordance with my guidelines and in consultation with the Reich Minister and Head of the Reich Chancellery and the leader of the Party Chancellery. For this purpose he may deviate from existing law.

Führer’s Head Quarters, 20 August 1942.
The Führer – signed Adolf Hitler
Reich Minister and Head of the Reich Chancellery – signed Dr Lammers

 

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