Hierarchy of the acts introduced by the German occupation authorities in the General Government in the years 1939–1945

Andrzej Wrzyszcz


Under the decree of 12 October 1939 by the Reich Chancellor the competences to constitute legal provisions for the General Government were vested in the Ministry for the Reich Defense, the plenipotentiary for the Four-Year Plan and the Governor-General. In practice other central government bodies not provided for in the 12 October decree also issued normative acts – mainly Führer and Chancellor themselves. No formal hierarchy of legal acts was ever introduced within the General Government. On the basis of the content layout of the official journals of law one can attempt to list normative acts issued by the General Government bodies with regard to their importance. The General Governor Hans Frank’s ordinances could be acknowledged as the framework of the legislation. Apart from that he also issued proclamations and decrees. Proclamations were of a political and propagandist character, decrees concerned in most cases political system issues while ordinances were to constitute surrogate for acts. Implementing regulations, implementing provisions, notices, police ordinances, tariff ordinances, ordinances, notices, proclamations by a higher commander of Hitler’s SS and police could be placed lower in the hierarchy. It should be firmly stressed that a lot of the provisions issued by the German occupation authorities in the General Government may be regarded as “shameful law – statutory lawlessness”.

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.17951/sil.2014.22.0.695
Date of publication: 2015-04-18 11:34:25
Date of submission: 2015-04-14 19:06:06


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