The Holocaust Historiography Project

Partial translation of document 3613-PS


   [Verordnungsblatt fuer die besetzten niederlaendischen
                 No. 1, June 5, 1940, page 6

       Proclamation of the Reich Commissioner for the
     Occupied Netherlands Territories to the Netherlands
                        May 25, 1940

On this day I have assumed supreme governmental authority
within the civil domain in the Netherlands.

It is due to the magnanimity of the Fuehrer and the power of
the German armed forces that within a few days after the
catastrophe brought about by the former leadership of the
Netherlands, an order of public life is restored which will
interfere with the usual and prevailing state of affairs
only to the extent demanded by the special conditions.

As Reich Commissioner I hold supreme governmental authority
in the civil domain in the Netherlands territories placed
under the protection of German troops, for the purpose of
safeguarding public order and public life. I shall take all
measures, including those of a legislative nature, which are
necessary for the fulfillment of this task. It is my will to
leave unimpaired, as far as this is possible, the
Netherlands law as heretofore in force, to avail myself
of the Netherlands authorities for the fulfillment of
administrative tasks, and to preserve the independence of
the judiciary. I expect, however, that all Netherlands
judges, officials, and employees presently active in public
service will conscientiously comply with my orders directed
toward that objective, and that the Netherlands nation will
follow this leadership with understanding and self-

The Netherlands soldiers have fought well in battle. The
Netherlands civil population has adopted a satisfactory
attitude toward the fighting troops. There is nothing which
should prevent us from meeting each other on a plane of
mutual respect.

Under their Fuehrer the German people are fighting a
decisive battle for their survival or destruction, a
struggle which the hatred and envy of their enemies have
forced upon them. This struggle compels the German nation to
exert all its strength and gives it the right to avail
itself of all means within its reach. This compulsion and
privilege will also necessarily affect the life of the
Netherlands nation and its economy. It will, however, be my
concern that the Netherlands nation, akin in blood to the
German nation, shall not be subject to living conditions
less favorable than those necessitated by the community of
fate and the destructive intentions of our enemies at this

As Reich Commissioner I have to safeguard the interests of
the Reich in the Netherlands territories placed under the
protection of the German troops and I shall safeguard them.
The Netherlands nation, in fulfilling the duties resulting
from the common task, will be able to secure its country and
its liberty for the future.

                  Headquarters of the Fuehrer, May 25, 1940.
       Reich Commissioner for the Occupied Dutch Territories