The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

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Shortly after, on 4 October, 1942, the defendant Goering
made a speech on the occasion of the Harvest Festival - a
speech that is reported in "Das Archiv" of October 1942,
Number 103, Page 645. In this speech he clearly showed that
he meant purchases on the black market in the occupied
countries to continue for the benefit of the German
population. I submit a copy of this article as Exhibit RF
111 and I quote from the following passage:

   "I have examined with very special attention the
   situation in the occupied countries. I have seen how the
   people lived in Holland, in Belgium, in France, in
   Norway, in Poland and in every place where we have
   become settled. I have noticed that although very often
   their propaganda spoke officially of their food
   situation being difficult, in point of fact this was far
   from being the case. No doubt everywhere, even in
   France, the system of ration cards has been introduced,
   but what one is able to obtain in exchange for these
   ration cards is but a supplement, and people live
   normally on illegal commerce.

                                                    [Page 6]
   This state of things has caused me to make a firm
   decision, a principle which I shall relinquish under no
   pretext. The task which must come before all others is
   to ensure to the German people the first place in the
   battle against hunger and in the problem of food supply.
   This is why I have decided that, in territories which
   have been conquered and placed under our protection, the
   population shall no longer suffer from hunger. But if
   the enemy should get the idea of opposing our policy of
   food supply, it is then necessary that all should know
   that if there is to be famine anywhere it shall in no
   case be in Germany."

The United States Army has discovered a secret report, made
on the 15th of January, 1943 by Col. Veltjens, in which he
gives to the defendant Goering an account of his activity
over a period of six months. This is Document 1765-PS, which
I submit now to the Tribunal as Exhibit RF 112. It is not
possible for me to give a complete reading of this report,
so I shall read only certain passages from it.

In the first part of his report Veltjens explains the
reasons for the rise of the black market in these terms:

   "(a) The reduction in merchandise as a result of the
   regulations and rationing.
   (b) The impossibility of making an effective blocking of
   our maintenance of prices.
   (c) The impossibility of making an adequate survey of
   prices, on the German model, by reason of the lack of
   personnel in the surveillance organisations.
   (d) The neglect in the appliance of counter-measures on
   the part of the local administrative authorities,
   especially in France.
   (e) The imperfect penal justice of the local judiciary
   (f) The lack of discipline amongst the civilian

Then under the same number (f), a little further, Veltjens

   "The activity of the German services on the black market
   assumed little by little such dimensions that it created
   more and more unendurable situations. It was known that
   the black market operators offered their merchandise to
   several Bureaus at the same time and that it was one
   which offered the highest price who obtained it. Thus,
   the different German formations not only vied with each
   other in obtaining the merchandise, but also caused the
   prices to rise."

Further on in his report, Veltjens indicates that he has
assumed the leadership of the service created for the "Four-
Year-Plan" Office in these terms:

   "Finally, in June 1942, in accord with all the central
   services, the delegates for the Special Missions,
   (B.F.S.), were charged with taking in hand the seizure
   and the direction of the black market. Thus, for the
   first time, was fulfilled the first necessary condition
   for effectively dealing with the problem of the black

In the second part of his report, Veltjens expounds the
advantages of the organisation in charge of which he was
placed and he writes, among other things:

   "It has been claimed that purchases on the black market
   in their present volume and at the existing prices,
   became in the long run too much for the budget of the
   Reich. One could answer that by saying that the greater
   part of the purchases effected took place in France, and
   were financed by occupation costs. Thus, for purchases
   to the total amount of Rm 1.107.792.819, an amount of Rm
   929,100,000 were charged to the French for occupation
   costs, and in no way were put on the account of the
   Reich budget."

                                                    [Page 7]

After having indicated the conveniences of the black market,
Veltjens concluded:

   "In recapitulating, it must be recognised that the food
   situation of the Reich no longer makes it possible to do
   without purchases in the black market, even though this
   has nearly been exhausted, as long as there are hidden
   stocks to be utilised for the conduct of the war. To
   this vital interest all other considerations must be

In a third part of this same report, Veltjens deals with the
technical organisation of his bureaus. Here are some
interesting passages:

   "The General Directorate of the supervision specially
   organised for this purpose, i.e.:
   (a) supervisory service in France, with headquarters in
   (b) supervisory service in Belgium and North of France,
   headquarters in Bruxelles.
   (c) supervisory service in Belgium and in North of
   France, auxiliary service Lille,
   with headquarters in Lille.
   (d) supervisory service in Holland with headquarters in
   the Hague.
   (e) supervisory service in Serbia with headquarters in

Then Veltjens tells us that the purchases were carried out
by a restricted number of licensed purchasing organisations,
i.e. 11 for France, 6 for Belgium, 6 for Holland, 3 for

   "It is thus (he writes) that all the purchases arc
   subject to the central  surveillance of the delegate for
   the "Special Missions."

Further on Veltjens adds:

   "The financing of the purchases and the transport of
   merchandise are effected by the R.O.G.E.S. of the Reich.
   The merchandise is then distributed in the Reich by the
   R.O.G.E.S. in conformity with the instructions of the
   Central Plan, or by departments designated to the
   Central Plan, and each time in order of the emergency of
   the needs of the different qualified services."

In the fourth section of his report Veltjens mentions the
volume of the operations affected up to November 30, 1942,
that is to say in less than five months, since his
organisation had not begun its activity earlier than July
1st, 1942. Here are the figures that Veltjens gives:

   "The volume of purchases made:
   (a) Since the inauguration of the purchases directed by
   the German commander or the Reich Commissar, and of the
   directed distribution of merchandise in the Reich, there
   has been purchased a total of 1, 107,792,818, 64
   Reichsmark. In France, total amount of 929,100,000,
   Reichsmark; in Belgium 103,880,929, Reichsmark: in
   Holland 73,685,162, 64 Reichsmark; and in Serbia 1,
   125,727, Reichsmark."

Veltjens adds:

   "The regulation has been carried out in France on the
   basis of the occupation costs and in the other countries
   by means of the clearing device."

Then Veltjens gives a table of merchandise purchased in this
way over the period of these five months. I shall give
merely a summary to the Tribunal.

   (1) Metals - 66,202 tons for a value of 273,078,287
   (2) Textiles, for a total value of 439,040,000,
   (3) Leather, skins and hides to a total value of
   120,754,000, Reichsmark.

Veltjens adds:

   Besides these purchases there have been the following:
   Oils and industrial fats, oils and fats for consumers,
   Wool, household articles, mess articles,
   Wines and spirits,
                                                    [Page 8]
   Engineering equipment,
   Sanitary articles,
   Bags etc.

He then gives a table of the increase in prices during the
five months. Then he states the principle that the black
market must be used solely for the benefit of Germany, and
must be severely repressed when it is used by the
populations of the occupied countries. On this subject he
actually writes:

   "1. Develop the control of prices. Inasmuch as
   reinforcement of a control personnel, of a German
   control personnel is not possible, or is possible only
   to a limited extent, it will be necessary to obtain from
   the local administration authorities a greater activity,
   greater zeal, in this realm.
   2. Apply severe penalties, according to the German
   methods, for violations of regulations. This is, indeed,
   the only means of finding a remedy for the lack of
   discipline of the populations, a lack of discipline
   which can be traced to their individualistic and liberal
   ideas and ways. A control of the sentences that have
   been passed by the local tribunals seems to be
   3. The promise of a reward in case of denunciation of
   the violations. The amounts of these rewards should be
   sufficiently high, in relation to the value of the goods
   which are involved in the denunciation, and which have
   lead to their seizure.
   4. The hiring of spies and of agents provocateurs.
   5. Arrest or stoppage of all businesses that are not
   working for the war industry.
   6. Stoppage or fusion of businesses whose capacity or
   production is only being partly exploited.
   7. Increased control of the productivity of plants.
   8. Close examination of the quantity of raw materials to
   be distributed at the moment of transfer of the market.
   9. Policy of prices which affords the businesses
   sufficient benefits and are of a nature to guarantee an
   adequate price level."

Examining the demands of the rulers of the occupied
countries with relation to the German purchases on the black
market, Veltjens writes:

   "In the recent period, the French and Belgian economic
   governmental circles, among others the chief of the
   French Government himself, have complained about
   purchases methodically carried out by the Germans. In
   response to protests of this kind, it should be
   observed, without prejudice to other arguments that, on
   the part of the Germans too, there is naturally the
   greatest interest in the disappearance of the black
   market, but that the chief responsibility for its
   persistence falls upon the governmental authorities
   themselves by reason of the incapacity which they show
   in controlling prices, and the weakness which they show
   in judiciary punishment of violations, whereby they
   encourage the spirit of rebellion, and lack of
   discipline of the population."

The Tribunal will allow me to stress the value of the
argument developed by Veltjens by reminding it that the
Germans were the principal purchasers on the black market,
and that their agents benefited from it by complete

Finally, speaking of the machines in the factories, Veltjens
writes in his report:

   "The delegate to the special missions has moreover the
   duty of arranging for the recuperation of machines in
   inactive factories. Machines which
                                                    [Page 9]
   thus are not in use, in particular tool machines, of
   which Germany has an urgent need for its war production,
   are extremely numerous. After an agreement among the
   delegates of special missions, the military commander
   and the plenipotentiary of machine production, there has
   been created in France, at the armament inspection
   service, a service for the for the distribution of
   machines (Maschinenausgleichstelle).
   The creation of a distribution service of machines which
   is comparable to this is provided for Belgium and
   Holland. One must expect to meet a serious resistance in
   this direction, on the part of the owners of factories
   as well as on the part of the local governmental
   The occupation authorities will have to use every means
   to break this resistance."

In conclusion, Veltjens alludes in his report to the
R.O.G.E.S., which was a specialised organisation for the
transport to Germany of the booty captured in occupied
countries, and, more particularly, of produce obtained by
operations in the black market.

Ranis, one of the directors of this service, was
interrogated on the 1st of November, 1945, and declared in
substance "that the R.O.G.E.S. had begun its activity in
February 1941, succeeding another organisation."

On the whole he confirms the facts that are reported in
Veltjens' report. I shall therefore simply submit his
interrogatories before the Tribunal as Exhibit RF 113.

The scope of the operations on the black market -

THE PRESIDENT: Are you asking us to take notice of this

M. GERTHOFFER: The interrogation was made in Nuremberg.

THE PRESIDENT: Yes; but unless you read all the parts of it
that you wish, now, in court, it will not be in evidence.

M. GERTHOFFER: I think that it is not necessary, because Mr.
Ranis only repeats the indications given by Mr. Veltjens. It
seems to me superfluous.


M. GERTHOFFER: The scope of the operations on the black
market is thus established by German documents which cannot
be contested by the opposition. I allow myself to remind you
that these documents establish that in five months, in three
countries, these operations amount to the sum of
1,107,792,818 Reichsmark. We shall come back to certain
details in examining the special missions in certain
countries, but it is necessary to indicate the reasons why
the defendant Goering, in the end, decided that the black
market operations should be suspended.

Indeed, on 15 March 1943, under the pretext of avoiding the
risk of inflation in the occupied countries, Goering decided
that the black market purchases be suspended. We have just
seen that the defendant Goering worried little what became
of the population of the occupied countries since he had
decided that the black market purchases were to continue,
even at the risk of inflation.

The real reason is the following: as the officials of the
German services bought at prices which were strictly fixed
by their services, the black market organisations accepted,
at the same time, much higher prices. The merchandise was
therefore always gravitating to the black market, to the
detriment of the official market, and clandestine production
in the end absorbed the normal production.

Finally, it must be added, that the corruption resulting
from such practices in certain circles of the German Armed
Forces became disquieting to the German leaders. The black
market was suppressed officially on 15th March 1943, but
certain purchasing bureaus continued their clandestine
activities until the time of Liberation, though on a much
smaller scale than before.

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