The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

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Last-Modified: 1999/10/05

Thus, this gold was delivered to the Reichsbank and was
requisitioned by

                                                   [Page 64]

order of the Plenipotentiary for the Four Year Plan. The
documents relative to this question are submitted as Exhibit
RF 240.

I shall simply add that after the liberation, the
Provisional Government of the French Republic transferred to
the National Bank of Belgium a quantity of gold equal to
that which the Belgian Bank had entrusted to the Bank of
France in the month of May 1940.

To conclude the gold question I shall indicate to the
Tribunal that Germany was unable to obtain the gold
resources of France, since these had been put in safe
keeping in good time. Finally, still according to the last
secret report of Hemmen, Page 29, and Page 49 of the French
translation, at the moment of their retreat the Germans
seized, without any right, the sum 6,899,000,000 francs from
branches of the Bank of France in Nancy, Belfort and Epinal.

I note for the record that in the course of the occupation
the Germans seized great quantities of gold which they
arranged to be bought from private citizens by
intermediaries. I cannot give figures for this. I simply
touch on the question for the record.

If we summarise the question of the means of payment which
Germany unduly raised in France, we shall reach - still
taking the calculation most favourable to the defendants,
and taking the maximum amount for the cost of maintaining
occupation troops - a minimum total of 745,833,392,550
francs, in round figures 750,000,000,000 francs (Page 43).

M. GERTHOFFER: Gentlemen, I pass over the remarks in my
written presentation in order not to take up the time of the
Tribunal. I have quoted some passages from Hemmen's report,
but I think it is superfluous, since the fact is known and

I now come to Page 50, which refers to the use which the
Germans made of these considerable sums, and first of all,
to the black market organised by the occupying power. Here
again I do not want to take advantage of your kind
attention. I have had the honour of presenting to you the
mechanism of the black market in all the occupied countries.
I have indicated how it arose, how the Germans utilised it,
how, under the orders of the defendant Goering, it was
organised and exploited. I do not wish to revert to this,
and I shall pass over the whole section of my written expose
which was devoted to the black market in France.

I come to Page 69 of my written expose, Chapter 3:
Ostensibly legal acquisitions appear.

Under the pressure of the Germans, the Vichy Government had
to consent to reserve for them a very high quota of products
of all kinds; in exchange the Germans undertook to furnish
raw materials, the quantities of which were determined by
them alone. But these raw materials, when they were
delivered, which was not always the case, were for the most
part absorbed by the industry which was forced to furnish
them the finished products. In fact, there was no
compensation, since the occupying power recovered, in the
form of finished products, the raw materials delivered, and
did not in reality give anything in return.

In the report of the Economic Control which has already been
quoted, submitted as Exhibit RF 1075 the following example
may be noted:

   "An agreement permitted the purchase in the free zone of
   5,000 trucks destined for the German G.B.K. whereby the
   Reich furnished five tons of steel per vehicle, or a
   total of 25,000 tons of steels destined for French
   industry. In view of the usual destination of the
   products of our metal industry at that time, this was
   obviously a one-sided bargain, indeed if our information
   is exact, the deliveries of steel to be made in return
   were never made, and they were partly used for the
   defence of the Mediterranean coast rails, anti-tank
   defences, etc."

[Page 65]

It is appropriate to call attention to the fact that a
considerable part of the levies in kind were the object of
no regulation whatever, either because the Germans remained
debtors in these transactions or because they considered,
without justification, that these levies constituted war

In regard to this there are no documents available; however,
the United States Army has discovered a secret report of one
Kraney representing the R.O.G.E.S., an organisation which
was charged with collecting both war booty and acquisitions
from the black market. It appears from this report that in
September, 1944, the R.O.G.E.S. had resold to Germany for
10,858,499 Mark, or 217,169,980 francs, goods seized in the
Southern zone as war booty. I submit this document as
Exhibit RF 244.

As a result of the means of payment exacted by Germany and
of requisitions, whether regulated or not, France was
literally despoiled. Enormous quantities of articles of all
kinds were removed by the occupying power. According to
information given by the French statistical services
preliminary estimates of the minimum of these levies have
been made. These estimates do not include damage resulting
from military operations, but solely the German spoliations
computed, in cases of doubt, at a minimum figure; they will
be summarised in the eight following sections.

1. Levies of agricultural produce.

I submit as Exhibit RF 245, the report of the Ministry of
Agriculture, and a statistical table drawn up by the
Institute for Statistics, summarising the official German
levies, which included neither individual purchases nor
black market purchases, both of which were considerable. It
is not possible for me to read to the Tribunal a table of
such length, so I will confine myself to giving a brief
resume of it.

Here are some of the chief agricultural products which were
seized, and their estimated value in millions of francs: (I
am indicating the totals in round figures).

   Cereals        8,900,000 tons; estimate: 22,000,000
   Meat:            900,000 tons;           30,000,000
   Fish:             51,000 tons;            1,000,000
   Wines liquors:13,413,000 hectolitres;    18,500,000
   Colonial products:47,000 tons;              805,900
   Horses and mules:690,000 heads;
   Wood:            36,000,000 cubic metres
   Sugar:        11,600,000 tons

I shall pass over the details. The Germans regulated by way
of clearing and occupation costs 113,620,376,000 francs, the
balance, that is 13 billions, was not subject to any

Naturally, these estimates do not include considerable
damage caused to forests as a result of abnormal cutting,
and the reduction of areas under cultivation. There is no
mention, either, of the reduction in livestock or damage
caused by soil exhaustion. This is a brief summary of the
percentage of official German levies on agriculture in
relation to the total French production

   Wheat     :                     13%
   Oats:                      75%
   Hay and straw:             80%
   Meat:                      21%
   Poultry:                    5%
   Eggs:                      60%
   Butter:                    20%
   Preserved fish:            30%
   Champagne:                 56%
   Wood for industrial uses:  50%
                                                   [Page 66]
   Forest fuels:              50%
   Alcohol:                   25%

These percentages, I repeat, do not include quantities of
produce which the Germans bought up either by individual
purchases or on the black market.

I have had the privilege of presenting to you the fact that
these operations were of a considerable scope, and amounted
for France approximately to several hundred billions of
francs. The quantities of agricultural produce thus taken
from French consumers are incalculable. I shall merely
indicate that wines, champagne, liquors, meat, poultry,
eggs, and butter were the object of a very considerable
clandestine traffic to the benefit of the Germans, and that
the French population, aside from certain privileged
persons, was almost entirely deprived of these products.

In section 2 of this chapter I shall discuss the important
question concerning levies of raw materials.

THE PRESIDENT: This would be a good time for us to adjourn
for ten minutes.

(A recess was taken)

M. GERTHOFFER: The summary of the levies on raw materials,
from the statistical point of view, is contained in charts
which I shall not take the time to read to the Tribunal. I
shall submit them as Exhibit RF 246 and point out that the
total amount of these supplies reaches the sum of
83,804,145,000 francs.

On Pages 77 to 80 of the brief I had thought it necessary to
make a summary of these charts, but I consider it impossible
to read even the summary because the figures are too

According to information provided by the French
administration, of that sum the Germans regulated by way of
occupation costs and clearing only 59,254,639,000 francs,
charging the difference of 19,506,109,000 francs to the
French Treasury.

The percentage of the German levies in relation to the whole
French production can be summarised in a chart which I have
reproduced in my brief, and I shall ask the Tribunal for
permission to read it. (Page 82.)

The percentage of levies of raw materials in relation to
French production,

  Coal                                     29%
  Electric power                           22%
  Petroleum and motor fuel                 80%
  Iron ore                                 74%
  Steel products crude and half finished   51%
  Copper                                   75%
  Lead                                     43%
  Zinc                                     38%
  Tin                                      67%
  Nickel                                   64%
  Mercury                                  50%
  Platinum                                 76%
  Bauxite                                  40%
  Aluminium                                75%
  Magnesium                               100%
  Sulphur Carbonate                        80%
  Industrial soap                          67%
  Vegetable oil                            40%
  Carbosol                                100%
  Rubber                                   38%
  Paper and cardboard                      16%
  Wool                                     59%
                                                   [Page 67]
  Cotton                                  53%
  Flax                                    65%
  Leather                                 67%
  Cement                                  55%
  Lime                                    20%
  Acetone                                 21%

This enumeration permits us to consider that officially
about three quarters of the raw materials were seized by the
occupying power, but these statistics must be qualified in
two ways:

A great part of the quota of raw materials, which were
theoretically left to the French economy, was in fact
reserved for industries which had a priority on them; that
is to say, those industries whose production was reserved
for the occupying power.

These levies and percentages include only the figures of
official deliveries. We have seen that the Germans acquired
considerable quantities of raw materials from the black
market, especially precious metals; - gold, platinum,
silver, radium, - or rare metals, such as mercury, nickel,
tin and copper.

In fact, one can say in general that the raw materials which
were left for the needs of the population were

Now, I come to Section 3. Levies of manufactured goods and
products of the mining industry.

As I had the honour to point out to you in my general
remarks, the Germans, using divers means of pressure,
succeeded in utilising directly or indirectly the greater
part of the French industrial production.

I shall not go over these facts again and I shall
immediately pass to a summary of the products which were
delivered. I submit as Exhibit RF 248 a chart which includes
statistical data listed according to industries, of levies
of manufactured goods during the course of the occupation by
the occupying power.

I do not want to tax the patience of the Tribunal by reading
this, I shall simply cite the summary of this chart, which
is as follows:

Orders for products finished and invoiced from 25 June 1940
until liberation.

   Mechanical and electrical industries
   Chemical industry
   Textiles and leather
   Building and construction material
   Mines, coal, aluminium and phosphates
   Steel products
   Motor fuel
   Naval construction
   Aeronautical construction
   Miscellaneous industries

a total, then, of 184,640,000,000.

These statistics may be commented upon as follows:

(1) The information which is contained here, does not
include the production of the very industrialised
Departments of Nord and of Pas de Calais, attached to the
German administration in Brussels, nor does it include the
manufactures of the Haut-Rhin, Bas-Rhin and Moselle
Departments, actually incorporated into the Reich.

(2) Out of the total sum of 184,640,000,000 francs worth of
supplies, the information which we have up to date does not
as yet permit us to fix the amount regulated by the Germans
by way of either occupation costs or clearing, or the
balance which was not made the subject of any final

(3) If one were to make, on the basis of contracts, an
estimate of the industrial production levied by Germany in
the Departments of Nord and Pas de Calais,

                                                   [Page 68]

one could obtain a figure for those two departments of
18,500,000,000, which would bring the approximate total up
to more than 200,000,000,000 francs.

The extent of the German levies on manufactured products is
summarised in the following chart, which I submit to the
Tribunal and which I have summarised on Page 87.

I shall take the liberty of re-reading it to the Tribunal
and it will show the proportion of the manufactured goods
which were withdrawn from French consumption.

   Automobile construction             70%
   Electrical and radio construction   45%
   Industrial precision parts         100%
   Heavy castings                     100%
   Foundries                           46%
   Chemical industries                 34%
   Rubber industry                     60%
   Paint and varnish                   60%
   Perfume                             33%
   Wool industry                       28%
   Cotton weaving                      15%
   Flax and cotton weaving             12%
   Industrial leather                  20%
   Buildings and public works          75%
   Wood work and furniture             50%
   Lime and cement                     68%
   Naval construction                  79%
   Aeronautic construction             90%
The scrutiny of this chart leads me to make the following
remarks: The proportion of entirely finished products is
very large, for instance:
   Automobiles                        70%
   Precision instruments             100%
   Heavy castings                    100%

The proportion of the products in the process of
manufacture, however, is not as large, for example:
   Foundry                            46%
   Chemical industry                  34% etc.

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