The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

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(1) Murder, Extermination, Enslavement, Deportation, and
other Inhumane Acts Committed against Civilian Populations
before and during the War. In 1936, Himmler became Chief of
the German Police. Goering was thereafter able to devote his
attention chiefly to the tasks of creating the German Air
Force and preparing the nation economically for aggressive
war. As was inevitable from his position, however, Goering
continued to be concerned from time to time with the
institutions of his creation, such as the Gestapo and the
concentration camps. For example, on 14 February 1944, he
sent the following teletype to Himmler:

     "I received your request to form another squadron of
     air force group for special purposes 7 (Z.B.V.7) and
     ordered examination by the air force operational staff
     [Luftwaffenfuerungstab]. At the same time I ask you to
     put at my disposal as great a number of concentration
     camp [KZ-] convicts as possible for air armament, as
     this kind of manpower proved to be very useful
     according to previous experience. The situation of the
     air war makes subterranean transfer of
                                                  [Page 445]
     industry necessary. For work of this kind concentration
     camp [KZ--] convicts can be especially well
     concentrated at work and in the camp. Such
     installations are necessary in order to secure
     production of the now fully developed most modern
     airplanes. The Fuehrer upon his visit in Insterburg has
     attached great value to these airplanes. Intermediate
     negotiations have already been held between my and your
     departments. I would be especially grateful for your
     support in carrying out this task." (1584-I-PS)

On 9 March 1944 Himmler replied to the foregoing teletype as

     "Most honored Reichsmarshal:
     "Following my teletype letter of the 18 February 1944 I
     herewith transmit a survey on the employment of
     prisoners in the aviation industry.
     "This survey indicates that at the present time about
     36,000 prisoners are employed for the purposes of the
     air force. An increase to a total of 90,000 prisoners
     is contemplated.
     "The production is being discussed, established and
     executed between the Reich Ministry of Aviation and the
     chief of my Economic-Administrative Main Office, SS-
     Obergruppenfuehrer and General of the Waffen-SS, Pohl
     "We assist with all forces at our disposal."

There follows a report on the use of concentration camp
prisoners he aviation industry. (1584-III-PS)

In Chapter XI on Concentration Camps and Chapter XV, section
5, on the SS, reference is made to medical experiments
performed on humans at the concentration camp in Dachau. On
20 May 1942, Field Marshal Milch, Secretary of State and
Deputy to Goering as Air Minister, wrote to SS-
Obergruppenfuehrer Wolff the following letter:

     "Dear Wolffy:
     "In reference to your telegram of 12 May our sanitary
     inspector reports to me that the altitude experiments
     carried out by the SS and Air Force at Dachau have been
     finished. Any continuation of these experiments seems
     essentially unreasonable. However, the carrying out of
     experiments of some other kind, in regard to perils at
     high seas, would be important. These have been prepared
     in immediate agreement with the proper offices; Major
     (M.C.) Weltz will be charged with the execution and
     Capt. (M.C.) Rascher will be made available until
     further orders in addition to his duties within the
     Medical Corps of the Air Corps. A change of
                                                  [Page 446]
     these measures does not appear necessary, and an
     enlargement of the task is not considered pressing at
     this time.
     "The low-pressure chamber would not be needed for these
     low-temperature experiments. It is urgently needed at
     another place and therefore can no longer remain in
     Dachau. "I convey the special thanks from the supreme
     commander of the Air Corps to the SS for their
     extensive cooperation. "I remain with best wishes for
     you and in good comradeship and with
                                                Heil Hitler!
                                                   /s/ yours
                                         E. Milch" (343-PS).

That Milch kept informed of the progress of the experiments
may be seen from the following letter which he sent to
Himmler on 31 August 1942:
     "Dear Mr. Himmler:
     "I thank you very much for your letter of the 25 Aug. I
     have read with great interest the reports of Dr.
     Rascher and Dr. Romberg. I am informed about the
     current experiments. I shall ask the two gentlemen to
     give a lecture combined with the showing of motion
     pictures to my men in the near future. "Hoping that it
     will be possible for me to see you at the occasion of
     my next visit to Headquarters I remain with best
     regards and
                                                Heil Hitler!
                                                   /s/ yours
                                         E. Milch" (343-PS).

Thus it is clear that the highest circles in the Air
Ministry, of which Goering was the head, were interested in
these experiments.

(2) Persecution of the Jews. As was to be expected from his
position as Number 2 Nazi, Goering took an active part in
the waging of the Nazi program of persecution, the ultimate
purpose of which was the extermination of all Jews. To quote
from Goering's own book:

     "The solution of the Jewish question has not yet been
     reached. Whatever has happened so far has been done in
     a state of necessity, in the interest of our own
     people; it was a reaction against the ruin which this
     race has brought upon us." (3461-PS)

In 1935 Goering, as President of the Reichstag, in a speech
urging that body to pass the Nurnberg race laws, said:

     "God has created the races. He did not want equality
     and therefore we energetically reject any attempt to
     falsify the
                                                  [Page 447]
     concept of race purity by making it equivalent with
     racial equality. *** This equality does not exist. We
     have never accepted such an idea and therefore we must
     reject it in our laws likewise and must accept that
     purity of race which nature and providence have
     destined for us." (3458-PS)

Again, on 26 March 1938 Goering said in a speech in Vienna:

     "I must direct a serious word to the City of Vienna.
     Today Vienna cannot rightly claim to be a German City.
     One cannot speak of a German City in which 300,000 Jews
     live. This city has an important German mission in the
     field of culture as well as in economics. For neither
     of these can we make use of the Jews." (3460-PS)

In the late fall of 1938 using as an excuse the murder of
von Rath, Secretary of the German Legation in Paris, the
Nazi conspirators, acting within the frame-work of economic
preparation for aggressive war, began the complete
elimination of Jews from economic life, preparatory to their
physical annihilation. Goering head of the Four-Year Plan,
was in active charge of this phase of the persecutions. The
first step in his campaign was a law requiring registration
of all Jewish-owned property. In April 1938 Goering and
Frick signed such a law (1406-PS). Armed with the
information thus secured, the Nazi conspirators were fully
prepared to take the next step. The killing of von Rath in
Paris on 9 November 1938 was made the pretext for widespread
"spontaneous" riots, which included the looting and burning
of many Jewish synagogues, homes, and shops, all of which
were carefully organized and supervised by the Nazi
conspirators. Goering was fully informed of measures taken.
(3051-PS; 3058-PS)

Immediately after these riots, on 12 November 1938 Goering
acted as Chairman of a meeting at the Reich Ministry of Air,
on the "Jewish question," attended by Funk, Goebbels,
Heydrich, and others (1816-PS). Goering made the purpose of
the meeting clear at the outset. He said:

     "Today's meeting is of a decisive nature. I have
     received a letter written on the Fuehrer's orders by
     the Stabsleiter of the Fuehrer's deputy, Bormann,
     requesting that the 'Jewish Question be now, once and
     for all, coordinated and solved one way or another. And
     yesterday, once again did the Fuehrer request by phone
     for me to take coordinated action in the matter'.
     "Since the problem is mainly an economic one, it is
     from an economic angle that it shall have to be
     tackled. Naturally a number of legal measures shall
     have to be taken which
                                                  [Page 448]
     fall into the sphere of the Minister for Justice and
     into that of the Minister of the Interior; and certain
     propaganda measures shall have to be taken care of by
     the office of the Minister for Propaganda. The Minister
     for Finance and the Minister for Economic Affairs shall
     take care of problems falling into their respective
     resorts." (1816-PS)

Goering then said that it was not sufficient to have
demonstrations and to burn down Jewish property. In such
cases the real loss usually fell on German insurance
companies. He continued:

     "I should not want to leave any doubt, gentlemen, as to
     the aim of today's meeting. We have not come together
     merely to talk again but to make decisions, and I
     implore the competent agencies to take all measures for
     elimination of the Jews from German economy and to
     submit them to me, as far as it is necessary.
     "The fundamental idea in this program of elimination of
     the Jew from German economy, is first, the Jew being
     ejected from the economy transfers his property to the
     State. He will be compensated. The compensation is to
     be listed in the debit ledger and shall bring a certain
     percentage of interest. The Jew shall have to live out
     of this interest. It is a foregone conclusion, that
     this aryanizing, if it is to be done quickly, cannot be
     made in the Ministry for Economy in Berlin. That way,
     we would never finish ***.
     "It is my lot, so that the damage will not be greater
     than the profit, which we are striving for.
     "It is obvious, gentlemen, that the Jewish stores are
     for the people, and not the stores. Therefore, we must
     begin here, according to the rules previously laid
     "The Minister for Economic Affairs shall announce which
     stores he'll want to close altogether. These stores are
     excluded from aryanizing at once. Their stocks are to
     be made available for sale in other stores; what cannot
     be sold, shall be processed through the "Winterhilfe"
     or taken care of otherwise. However, the sales values
     of these articles shall always be considered, since the
     State is not to suffer but should profit through this
     transformation. For the Chain and Department stores --
     I speak now only of that, which can be seen, certain
     categories have to be established, according to the
     importance of the various branches.
     "The trustee of the State will estimate the value of
     the property and decide what amount the Jew shall
     receive. Naturally, this amount is to be set as low as
     possible. The representative of the State shall then
     turn the establishment
                                                  [Page 449]
     over to the "Arian" proprietor, that is, the property
     shall be sold according to its real value.
     "There begins the difficulties. It is easily understood
     that strong attempt will be made to get all these
     stores to Party members and to let them have some kind
     of compensations. I have witnessed terrible things in
     the past; little chauffeurs of Gauleiters have profited
     so much by these transactions that they have now about
     half a million. You, gentlemen, know it. Is that
     correct?" (1816-PS)

Specific measures to effect the "Arianization" of Jewish
businesses were then discussed. A representative of German
insure companies was called in to assist in solving the
difficulties created by the fact that most of the Jewish
stores and other property destroyed in the rioting were in
fact insured, in some cases ultimately by foreign insurance
companies. All present were agreed that it would be
unfortunate to pass a law which would have the effect of
allowing foreign insurance companies to escape from
liability, and that moreover, so far as the insurance
companies were concerned, they had made a bargain and should
stand by it. The defendant Goering then suggested a

     "Goering: No. I don't even dream of refunding the
     insurance companies the money. The companies are
     liable. No, the money belongs to the State. That's
     quite clear. That would indeed be a present for the
     insurance companies. You make a wonderful Petidum
     there. You'll fulfill your obligations, you may count
     on that." (1816-PS)

It is impossible here to quote further from the extensive
division of all phases of persecution of the Jews which took
place meeting. It is sufficient to point out that on the
same day Goering, over his own signature, promulgated three
decrees putting into effect the most important matters
decided at the meeting. In the first of these decrees, a
collective fine of 1,000,000,000 RM was placed on all German
Jews (1412-PS). The second decree, entitled "A Decree on
Elimination of Jews from German Economic Life", barred Jews
from trades and crafts (2875-PS). The third decree took care
of the insurance question raised in the mornings meeting by
providing that insurance due to Jews for various losses
sustained by them was to be collected by the State.

For other examples, the energetic manner in which Goering
took part in driving the Jews from economic life at this
period, see: 069-PS; 1208-PS.

As the German armies moved into other countries, the anti-
Jewish laws were extended, often in a more stringent form,
to the

                                                  [Page 450]
occupied territories. Many of the decrees were not signed by
Goering himself, but were issued on the basis of decrees
signed by Goering and introducing the Four-Year Plan in the
occupied territories. For example, reference is made to the:

     Order Concerning the Introduction of the Four-Year Plan
     in the Eastern Territories, 30 October 1939. 1939
     Reichsgesetzblatt, Part I, p. 2125

Nevertheless, in his capacity as Commissioner of the Four-
Year Plan, or as Chairman of the Ministerial Council for
National Defense, Goering himself signed several anti-Jewish
decrees for occupied territories, including the following:

     1939 Reichsgesetzblatt I, p. 1703, Verordnung ueber die
     Ammeldung der Vermoegens von Juden in den
     sudetendeutschen Gebieten, 2 December 1938 (Order
     concerning the registration of the property of Jews in
     the Sudeten German territories), which was the
     preliminary for sequestration of such property,
     1939 Reichsgesetzblatt I, p. 702, Verordnung ueber die
     Einfuehrung der Luftschutzgesetzes in den
     sudetendeutschen Gebieten, 31 March 1939 (Order
     concerning the introduction of the Air Defense Law in
     the Sudeten German territories), discriminating against
     1940 Reichsgesetzblatt, I, p. 1270, Verordnung ueber
     die Behandlung von Vermoegen der Angehoerigen des
     ehemaligen polnischen Staates, 17 September 1940 (Order
     concerning treatment of property of nationals of the
     former Polish State), by which the property of Polish
     Jews was confiscated,
     1940 Reichsgesetzblatt I, p. 147, Kriegsachschaeden
     Verordnung (War Damages Law), 30 November 1940, also
     discriminating against Jews, and
     1941 Reichsgesetzblatt I, p. 759, Decree regarding
     Administration of Criminal Law against Poles and Jews
     in the Incorporated Eastern Territories, 4 December
     1941, which introduced especially stringent penal laws
     for Jews.

During the later years of the war, the program of the Nazi
conspirators for the complete physical annihilation of all
Jews in Europe achieved its full fury. While the execution
of this program was for the most part handled by the SS and
the Security Police, Goering remains implicated in the final
phases of the Nazi "Solution" of the Jewish problem. On 31
July 1941, he wrote the following letter to the conspirator

     "Complementing the task that was assigned to you on 24
     January 1939, which dealt with arriving at -- through
     furtherance of emigration and evacuation, a solution of the
     Jewish problem, as advantageous as possible, I hereby charge
     you with making all necessary preparations in regard to
     organizational and financial matters for bringing about a
     complete solution of the Jewish question in the German
     sphere of influence in Europe.

     "Wherever other governmental agencies are involved, these
     are to cooperate with you.

     "I charge you furthermore to send me, before long, an
     overall plan concerning the organizational, factual and
     material measures necessary for the accomplishment of the
     desired solution of the Jewish question." (710-PS)

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