Newsgroups: alt.revisionism,soc.history Subject: Holocaust Almanac: Kristallnacht Aftermath (3/3) Summary: Conference held to deal with problems associated with Kristallnacht, Jews fined in order to pay for the damage to their property Keywords: Goebbles,Go"ring,Kristallnacht Archive/File: pub/places/germany/kristallnacht/documents.007 Last-modified: 1993/09/24 "Decree for the restoration of the appearance of the streets as regards Jewish businesses, 12 November 1938 Goring acted decisively in enforcing the programme outlined at the conference. Several measures were at once announced on the day of the conference itself. The cost of the damage of the Kristallnacht was borne partly by the insurance companies (who compensated for the losses suffered by non-Jewish property owners) and partly by the Jews themselves. Goring decreed that Jewish property owners should meet the costs of repairing the damage done to their property: 1. All damage to Jewish businesses or dwellings on 8, 9 and 10 November 1938 through the indignation of the people over the agitation of the international Jews against National Socialist Germany must be repaired at once by the Jewish occupant or Jewish businessmen. 2. (i) The costs of restoration will be borne by the occupants of the Jewish businesses and dwellings concerned. (ii) Insurance claims by Jews of German nationality will be confiscated in favour of the Reich. Collective fine for Jews 12 November 1938 A later order permitted Jews to deduct these costs from their contributions towards the collective fine of one billion marks imposed on German Jews by another decree of Goring on the same day: The hostile attitude of Jewry towards the German people and Reich, which does not even shrink from committing cowardly murder, requires harsh atonement. Therefore, on the basis of the Decree for the Implementing of the Four-Year Plan of 18 October 1936, I make the following Order: Section 1: The payment of a contribution of 1,000,000,000 Reichsmarks to the German Reich has been imposed on the Jews of German nationality as a whole. Section 2: Provisions for its enforcement will be issued by the Reich Minister of Finance in agreement with the Reich Ministers concerned. Decree eliminating Jews from German economic life, I2 November 1938 The most decisive measure taken on 12 November was Goring's decree excluding Jews from the retail business, thus formalizing the extensive 'Aryanization' of Jewish-owned property which had begun in the autumn of 1937. On the basis of the Decree of 18 October 1936 for the Implementing of the Four-Year Plan the following is decreed: Article 1. 1. From 1 January 1939 the running of retail shops, mail order houses and the practice of independent trades are forbidden to Jews. 2. Moreover, Jews are forbidden from the same date to offer goods or services in markets of all kinds, fairs or exhibitions or to advertise them or accept orders for them. 3. Jewish shops which operate in violation of this order will be closed by the police. Article 2. 1. No Jew can any longer be manager of an establishment as defined by the Law on the Organization of National Labour, of 20 January 1934. 2. If a Jew is a leading employee in a business concern he may be dismissed at six weeks' notice. After the expiration of this period, all claims of the employees derived from the denounced contract become invalid, especially claims for retire- payment or dismissal pay. Article 3. 1. No Jew can be a member of a cooperative society. 2. Jewish members of cooperatives lose their membership from 21 December 1938. No special notice is necessary. Article 4. The Minister of Economics is empowered to issue regulations necessary for the enforcement of this decree with the approval of the Reich ministers concerned. He may allow exceptions in the case of the transfer of Jewish business establish- ments into non-Jewish hands, or of the liquidation of Jewish business establishments, or in special cases. The enforcement of the economic legislation against the Jews in 1938 An administrative order of 23 November provided for the dissolution of all Jewish retail business as a question of principle, while a further decree issued on 3 December legalized the 'Aryanization' of Jewish industrial firms, securities and real estate. Jews were no longer allowed to sell their property. All these measures systematized the process of 'Aryanization' and were intended to assert State control, but the following report of 5 January 1939 to the Reich Minister of Economics by the Office of the City President of Berlin on the final three months of 1938 underlined the discrepancy between the legal requirements and the facts. The execution of the decrees was complicated by other factors: the arbitrary assumption of powers by Party-affiliated organizations and even State authorities; the unfulfilled promise that the independent middle-class businessman would benefit from the abolition of the Jewish-owned chainstores and other large businesses; and generally a whole host of corrupt practices. There was a mad rush to benefit from the 'Aryanization' while it lasted: Egoism in economic life The confused weeks after the new decrees of November 1, 1938 concerning the Jews reflected a coarsening of business methods, perhaps also as a result of the September crisis. Not only in the retail trade, in the competition of applicants for the Jewish retail shops, but in general the impression prevails of an increasingly ruthless exploitation of positions of power. This begins with the fight for the allocation of raw materials, continues with the fight for labour and leads to the ruthless exploitation by people of their own, sometimes merely apparent, financial power, in order to attract workers with wage increases. It sometimes leads to agreements to ignore the wage freeze announced by the Trustee and not even to make an application The number of interventions on the ground of an alleged acquaintanceship with me of the most superficial kind has increased in influential quarters, despite the fact that such interventions were already criticized by the Party authorities in September 1938 at the beginning of Aryanization. Every group has its favourite for whom it would like to procure, let us say, the plant just ripe for Aryanization.... Such drastic actions as those initiated by the Decree on the Exclusion of Jews from German Economic Life, of 12.xi.38, easily tend to 'get out of hand' at the lower levels of the executive authorities. With the first newspaper announcement or the first announcement by an influential figure on the radio, forces are set in motion which claim the right to carry out such measures themselves, whereas in reality their function is at best advisory. Thus the illegal use of private 'commissioners' has developed, with Jewish owners of plants giving them extensive plenary powers in order to get rid of the factory as quickly as possible (since they hope for the biggest advantage thereby); also, there are attempts at notarial transfers of properties on the basis of such plenary powers, etc. This can be prevented by the issuing, when possible, of executive regulations simultaneously with the basic decree. The main task of my office in the context of Aryanization in retail in trade has been to mitigate the uncontrollable actions of such forces. Arbitrary interpretation of the law In the same way I have noticed in connexion with the Aryanization programme that legal regulations and decrees are supplemented by a somewhat arbitrary interpretation not only on the part of organizations affiliated to the Party but also on the part of State authorities. Thus, in the process of drawing up the registry of Jewish businesses, a factory was declared Jewish simply because the Aryan proprietress was married to a Jew, although, according to the instructions for the drawing up of this register, there is no such regulation. In fact, according to the edict of the Minister of the Interior of 14.vii.38, the decision is to be made in the light of individual circumstances and according to whether or not the Jewish partner had a dominant influence over the business. The other regulation may even have been avoided on purpose. The further development of legal regulations on the basis of a progressive refinement of the sense of legality within the community is certainly a supplement to legislation which must not be underestimated. It becomes dangerous only if in this sphere, away from the legislator and without knowledge of his motives, the varying strength and power of penetration of the organizations taking part, and of the State and non-State authorities, begin to get out of hand. This happened when the Jews were prohibited from being landlords. Pressure was exerted that Jews should be forced to interpose German administrators over their own house property; basically this was certainly an aim worth striving for, but it was something which had not yet been expressed in legislation (Law for the Alteration of the Industrial Code of 6.vii.38). Thus, letters were written to Jews stating that an administrator had been appointed for their house property and that the owner had to appear at the office so that the 'take-over of administration' might be effected; he was also to bring along any managers who had been appointed by other agencies. He was threatened with 'further measures' if he did not appear. Subsequently, for such measures the explanation was given 'that it was found necessary to keep various Jewish managements under observation during the critical days of November'. Moreover, this procedure was justified since another authority had also given orders for the same property to be supervised. In this way, through the simultaneous actions of two different organizations, several representatives appeared without authority and sometimes even tried to collect the rent....
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