The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

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Q. Now, I suggested to you that that is not correct but that
even though you proposed to issue a decree absolving the
German insurance companies, the companies insisted on
meeting their obligations and then Heydrich interposed and

                                                  [Page 262]

  "By all means, let them pay the claims and when payment
  is made it will be confiscated. Thus we will save our

Correct ?

A. Heydrich said that, but I issued a law.

Q. Did you not then say:

  "One moment. They will have to pay in any case because
  Germans suffered damage. There will, however, be a law
  forbidding them to make direct payments to Jews. They
  will also have to make payment for damage suffered by
  Jews, not to the Jews, but to the Minister of Finance.
  Hilgard: Aha."

A. I said so.

Q. You accepted Heydrich's suggestion, which was quite
contrary to the one you made?

A. No, I did not accept Heydrich's suggestion, but I issued
a law to the effect that insurance money due to Jews must be
paid to the Minister of Finance, as I did not agree with
Heydrich that insurance money should be paid out and then
surreptitiously confiscated. I went about it in a legal way
and was not afraid to make the necessary law and to take the
responsibility for the claims to be paid to the State, that
is, to the Minister of Finance.

MR. JUSTICE JACKSON: Well, the Tribunal will judge for
itself, we have the. evidence.


Q. Now, Hilgard, representing the insurance companies, then
raised the question that the amount of glass insurance
premium was very important, that glass insurance was the
companies' greatest asset, "but the amount of the damage now
caused is twice as high as in an ordinary year" and he
pointed out that the whole of the profits of the German
insurance companies would be absorbed, did he not?

A. Yes.

Q. And also the question of the number of the stores
destroyed - Heydrich reported 7,500, is that right?

A. Yes.

Q. Now, I call your attention to the following conversation:

  "Daluege - "

Who, by the way, was he?

A. Daluege was the leader of the Schutzpolizei, Municipal

  Q. "One question has still to be discussed. Most of the
  goods in the stores were not the property of the
  shopkeepers but were on consignment, from other firms
  which had supplied them. Now the unpaid invoices are
  being sent in by these firms which are certainly not all
  Jewish, but Aryan, in respect of these goods on
  Hilgard: We will have to pay for them too.
  Goering: I wish you had killed two hundred Jews instead
  of destroying such valuables.
  Heydrich: There were thirty-five killed."

Do I read that correctly?

A. Yes, this was said in a moment of bad temper and

Q. Spontaneously sincere, was it not?

A. As I said, it was not meant seriously. It was the
expression of spontaneous excitement caused by the events,
and by the destruction of valuables and the difficulties
which arose. Of course, if you are going to bring up every
word I said in the course of twenty-five years in these
circles, I myself could give you instances of even stronger

                                                  [Page 263]

Q. Then Funk interposed to discuss the foreign exchange
point, did he not? He contributed to the discussion, did he
not, for a while? I will not bother to go into it.

A. Yes, but not everything is put down in the minutes. They
are not clear on this point. I regret the minutes are
incomplete. That is strange.

Q. I join you in that. Hilgard returned again to the subject
of the profit of the insurance companies, did he not?

A. Yes, of course.

Q. And you made this statement, did you not?

  "The Jew must report the damage. He will get the
  insurance money but it will be confiscated. The final
  result will be that the insurance companies will gain
  something, as not all damages will have to be made good.
  Hilgard, you can consider yourself damned lucky.
  Hilgard: I have no reason for that. The fact that we will
  not have to pay for all the damage is called a profit.
  Goering: Just a moment. If you are legally bound to pay
  five millions and all of a sudden an angel, in my
  somewhat corpulent shape, appears before you and tells
  you you may keep one million, hang it, is this not a
  profit? I should like to go fifty-fifty with you or
  whatever you call it. I only have to look at you, your
  whole body exudes satisfaction. You are getting a big

Am I quoting correctly?

A. Yes, of course, I said all that.

THE PRESIDENT: We will break off now.

(A recess was taken.)

DR. SEIDL (counsel for the defendant Hess): Mr. President,
the defendant Hess has expressed the wish to be excused from
attending this afternoon's session, because he wants to
prepare himself for his examination as a witness, which will
take place in the next few days. I do not believe that this
will cause a delay in the proceedings, and I should like to
ask the Tribunal to grant this request.

THE PRESIDENT: Certainly, on the same conditions as before,
namely, that you arrange with somebody to protect your
interests whilst you are absent.

DR. SEIDL: I will not be absent myself, only Hess.




Q. I would like to call your attention again to the Exhibit
USA 261, Document 1816-PS. Would you turn to Part 5, where
you were speaking of the Markgraf's jewels that disappeared?

A. That is, going back to something already dealt with.

Q. Yes, for a time, to Part 5. I call your attention to your
statement as follows:

  "Now we come to the damage sustained by the Jews, the
  disappearance of the jewels at Markgraf's, etc. Well,
  they are gone and he will not get them refunded. He is
  the one who has to suffer the damage. Any of the jewels
  which may be returned by the police will belong to the

Do you find that?

A. Yes, that is correct, but on the basis of the laws he was
compensated for that.

                                                  [Page 264]

Q. Now, there was a representative of Austria present at
this meeting, was there not?

A. Yes.

Q. And I ask you to turn to his statement in reference to
conditions in Austria, a page or so further on.

A. Yes.

Q. And I ask you whether he did not report to your meeting
as follows:

  "Your Excellency, in this matter, we have already a very
  complete plan for Austria. There are 12,000 Jewish
  handicraft shops and 5,000 Jewish retail shops in Vienna.
  Even before the National Socialist revolution we already
  had, concerning these 17,000 shops, a definite plan for
  dealing with all tradesmen. Of the 12,000 handicraft
  shops about 10,000 were to be closed definitely" . . .

A. The interpreter did not follow ...

Q. Do you find it?

A. I have found it, but not the interpreter:

  Q. "Regarding this total of 17,000. stores, of the shops
  of the 12,000 artisans, about 10,000 were to be closed
  definitely and 2,000 were to be kept open. 4,000 of the
  5,000 retail stores were to be closed and 1,000 kept
  open, that is, were to be Aryanised. According to this
  plan, 3,000 to 3,500 of the total of 17,000 stores would
  be kept open, all others closed. This was decided
  following investigations in every single branch and
  according to local needs, in agreement with all competent
  authorities, and is ready for publication as soon as we
  receive the law which we requested in September. This law
  should empower us to withdraw licences from artisans
  quite independently of the Jewish Question. That would be
  quite a short law.
  Goering: I shall have this decree issued to-day."

A. Of course. This concerns a law for the curtailment of the
heavy retail trade which even apart from the Jewish Question
would have reduced the number of retailers. That can be seen
from the minutes.

Q. Very well, let us go on a little further. Do you mean to
inform the Tribunal that this did not apply to Jewish shops,
that it had no connection with the Jewish Question?

A. I have said that independently of the Jewish Question, in
view of the overfilled retail trade, a limitation of the
number of tradesmen would have followed, and that it can be
seen from the following statement by Herr Fischbock which
you have read, that I asked for a law which would authorise
us, without connection with the Jewish Question, to withdraw
licences. That would be a brief law. Whereupon I answered,
"I will issue the decree to-day."

Q. Now, if you will -

A. Naturally, above all, Jewish stores were to be
eliminated, as I said in the beginning.

Q. Please go on down two paragraphs to where this was

  "But I do not believe that there will be 100 stores,
  probably fewer, and thus, by the end of the year, we
  would have liquidated all the recognised Jewish-owned
  Goering: That would be excellent.
  Fischbock: - "

A. Yes, yes, that was the import of that meeting.

  Q. "Fischbock: Out of 17,000 stores 12,000 or 14,000
  would be shut down and the remainder Aryanised or handed
  over to the Bureau of Trustees, which belongs to the
                                                  [Page 265]
  Goering: I have to say that this proposal is grand. This
  way the whole affair in Vienna, one of the Jewish
  capitals, so to speak, would be wound up by Christmas or
  by the end of the year.
  Funk: We can do the same thing here. I have prepared a
  law elaborating that. Effective as from 1st January,
  1939, Jews shall be prohibited from operating retail
  stores and wholesale establishments, as well as
  independent artisan shops. They shall be further
  prohibited from keeping employees or offering any ready
  products on the market, from advertising or receiving
  orders. Whenever a Jewish shop is operated the police
  will shut it down.
  From 1st January, 1939, a Jew can no longer be head of an
  enterprise, as stipulated in the law for the organisation
  of national labour from 20th January, 1934. If a Jew has
  a leading position in an establishment without being the
  head of the enterprise, his contract may be declared void
  within six weeks by the head of the enterprise. With the
  expiration of this period all claims of the employee,
  including all claims to maintenance, become obliterated.
  That is always very disagreeable and a great danger. A
  Jew cannot be a member of a corporation. Jewish members
  of corporations will have to be retired by 31st December,
  1938. A special authorisation is unnecessary. The
  competent Ministers of the Reich are being authorised to
  issue the provision necessary for execution of this law.
  Goering: I believe we can agree with this law."

A. Yes.

Q. Now I ask you to pass over a considerable dialogue
relating to the Vienna situation and I call your attention
to the point at which Funk inquires of you, "Why should the
Jew not be allowed to keep bonds?"

  "Goering: Because in that way he would actually be given
  a share."

A. Yes, that was the purpose, to get them out of the
enterprise. If he kept the bonds, on the basis of his rights
as stockholder, he still had an interest in the enterprise,
and on the basis of part ownership of the stocks his will
would still carry weight in the enterprise.

Q. You turned Funk's suggestion down - that the Jews be
allowed to keep bonds?

A. Yes. I replaced the bonds with credits.

Q. Well, we will pass several more pages of debate, unless
there is something you want to call attention to, and I come
to the point where Heydrich is stating his position. I call
your attention to this dialogue:

  "Heydrich: At least 45,000 Jews were made to leave the
  country by legal measures.
  Goering: - "

A. One moment, please ... I have found it now.

  Q. "At least 45,000 Jews were made to leave the country
  by legal measures.
  Goering: How was this possible?"

and then Heydrich tells you that:

  "Through the Jewish societies we extracted a certain
  amount of money from the rich Jews who wanted to
  emigrate. By paying this amount and an additional sum in
  foreign currency they made it possible for a number of
  poor Jews to leave. The problem was not to make the rich
  Jews leave but to get rid of the Jewish mob."

Is that correct?

A. One moment. I have not found it here yet, but generally
that is correct, yes.

                                                  [Page 266]

Q. Pass on a little further. Heydrich is making suggestions
and says:

  "As for the isolating, I would like to make a few
  proposals regarding police measures, which are important
  also because of their psychological effect on public
  For example, anybody who is Jewish according to the
  Nuremberg laws will have to wear a certain badge. That is
  a possibility which will facilitate many other things. I
  see no danger of excesses, and it will make our
  relationship with the foreign Jews easier.
  Goering: A uniform?
  Heydrich: A badge. This way we could put an end to
  foreign Jews being molested who do not look different
  from ours.
  Goering: But my dear Heydrich, you will not be able to
  avoid the creation of ghettos on a very large scale in
  all the cities. They will have to be created."

Is that what you said?

A. I said that. At that time the problem was to get the Jews
together in certain parts of the cities and along certain
streets, because on the basis of the tenant regulations
there was no other possibility, and if the wearing of badges
was to be made obligatory, each individual Jew could have
been protected.

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