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Barbarossa Decree
The Barbarossa Decree was a decree that was devised by Adolf Hitler on 30 March 1941 and issued by Wilhelm Keitel in June 1941. The order specified that partisans were to be ruthlessly eliminated in battle or during their attempts to escape, civilian resistance should be annihilated, every German officer was entitled to perform summary executions, collective measures of retaliation could be carried out against civilians, and German soldiers who committed crimes against humanity, the USSR, and prisoners of war were to be exempted of all crimes (even if they were punishable under German law). The Germans followed Hitler's idea that a war with Russia would be a war of extermination in which both political and intellectual elites would be eradicated through military action, not through courts. The decree led to the massacre of millions of Soviet soldiers and civilians during Operation Barbarossa and the ensuing Eastern Front campaign.

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