Our noble Reichsprasident Paul von Hindenburg yesterday signed the Order of the Reich President for the Protection of People and State, which comes into immediate effect. The people of the German nation must be aware that any perceived restrictions on personal liberties are in the purpose of the common good, and as such personal criticisms and ill-feelings towards these new laws are to be considered anti-German.
Germans should remember that only a few days ago our Parliament building, the Reichstag, was destroyed by Communist plotters. The burning of the Reichstag was intended to be the signal for a bloody uprising and civil war. Large-scale pillaging in Berlin was planned.... It has been determined that ... throughout Germany acts of terrorism were to begin against prominent individuals, against private property, against the lives and safety of the peaceful population, and general civil war was to be unleashed....
The new measures taken for our safety state that:
Articles 114, 115, 117, 118, 123, 124 and 153 of the Constitution of the German Reich are suspended until further notice. It is therefore permissible to restrict the rights of personal freedom [habeas corpus], freedom of opinion, including the freedom of the press, the freedom to organize and assemble, the privacy of postal, telegraphic and telephonic communications, and warrants for house searches, orders for confiscations as well as restrictions on property, are also permissible beyond the legal limits otherwise prescribed.
These measures are enshrined in legality based upon Article 48 paragraph 2 of the Constitution of the German Reich.
Further powers are expected to be issued by Minister Herr Göring to the Prussian police to aid them in their pursuit of the Communist menace. Our Chancellor, Herr Hitler himself, stated on witnessing the fire:
"There will be no mercy now. Anyone who stands in our way will be cut down. The German people will not tolerate leniency. Every Communist official will be shot where he is found. The Communist deputies must be hanged this very night. Everybody in league with the Communists must be arrested. There will no longer be any leniency for Social Democrats either."
We must stand shoulder to shoulder with our nation's government in this dark hour. Those who are not with us are against us.
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