The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

Shofar FTP Archive File: places/germany/kristallnacht/documents.006


Newsgroups: alt.revisionism,soc.history
Subject: Holocaust Almanac: Kristallnacht Aftermath (2/3)
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.006
Last-modified: 1993/09/23 
XRef: holocaust index

        "Conference on the Jewish question, 12 November 1938

   Goebbels's action in initiating the pogrom had caused extreme
   irritation to certain other Nazi leaders, especially Go"ring, whose
   responsibilities for the economy caused him to see the events of the
   Kristallnacht in a different light.  Reactions abroad were highly
   unfavourable and resulted in a stricter boycott of German goods.  The
   total damage to property was estimated at around 25 million marks,
   but much of this was inflicted on property not owned by Jews (Jewish
   shopkeepers were often the tenants of German house-owners).  Go"ring
   immediately saw Hitler, who had apparently acquiesced in Goebbels's
   action, and convinced him of the need for dealing with the Jewish
   question more systematically from above.  Go"ring then at once called
   a conference on 12 November under his own chairmanship to decide on
   future policy.  Although he maintained that the problem was 'mainly
   economic', it was also much more than that.  Certainly, the events of
   9-IO November provided Go"ring with an opportunity to apply measures
   which he already had in mind, but the question was complicated by
   Party rivalries.  Jewish policy suffered from the fact that
   responsibility for it was divided between different 
   authorities.  Apart from Go"ring and Goebbels, those present at the
   conference included Walther Funk (Economics Minister), Schwerin von
   Krosigk (Finance Minister), Heydrich (Chief of Security Police),
   Daluege (Head of the Uniformed Police) and representatives of the
   Foreign Ministry and insurance companies.  Furthermore, the
   conference did not concern itself solely with economic measures.
   Goebbels proposed more segregationist restrictions on Jews in
   social life, and Heydrich hinted at the need to establish ghettos,
   since the policy of forced emigration with its slow processes did not
   provide a satisfactory solution to the Jewish question: 

   Go"ring:

      Gentlemen!  Today's meeting is of a decisive character.  I have
      received a letter written on the Fu"hrer's orders by Bormann, the
      Stabsleiter of the Fu"hrer's deputy, requesting that the Jewish
      question be now, once and for all, coordinated and solved one way
      or another.  And yesterday once again the Fu"hrer requested me on
      the phone to take coordinated action in the matter.  

      Since the problem is mainly an economic one, it is from the
      economic angle that it will have to be tackled.  Naturally a
      number of legal measures will have to be taken which fall within
      the sphere of the Minister of Justice and within that of the
      Minister of the Interior; and certain propaganda measures will be
      taken care of by the Minister of Propaganda.  The Minister of
      Finance and the Minister for Economic Affairs will take care of
      problems which fall into their respective fields....  

      Now we have had this affair in Paris, followed by more
      demonstrations, and this time something decisive must be done !
      Because, gentlemen, I have had enough of these demonstrations !
      It is not the Jew they harm but myself, as the final authority for
      coordinating the German economy.  If today a Jewish shop is
      destroyed and goods are thrown into the street, the insurance
      company will pay for the damage, which does not even touch the
      Jew; and furthermore, the goods destroyed come from the consumer
      goods belonging to the people....  

      I would not wish there to remain any doubt, gentlemen, as to the
      purpose of today's meeting.  We have not come together simply for
      more talk, but to make decisions, and I implore the competent
      agencies to take all measures to eliminate the Jew from the German
      economy and to submit the measures to me, so far as it is
      necessary....  

   Goebbels: 

      .  .  .  Furthermore, my advice is that the Jew should be
      eliminated from any position in public life in which he may prove
      to be a provocation.  It is still possible today for a Jew to
      share a compartment in a sleeping car with a German.  Therefore,
      we need a decree by the Reich Ministry of Transport stating that
      separate compartments shall be available to Jews; in cases where
      compartments are full up, Jews cannot claim a seat.  They will be
      given a separate compartment only after all Germans have secured
      seats.  They are not to mix with Germans, and if there is no more
      room, they will have to stand in the corridor.  

   Go"ring: 

      In that case, I think it would be more sensible to give them
      separate compartments.  

   Goebbels: 

      Not if the train is overcrowded!  

   Go"ring: 

      Just a moment.  There will be only one Jewish coach.  If that is
      full up, the other Jews will have to stay at home.

   Goebbels: 

      Suppose, though, there aren't many Jews going on the express train
      to Munich, suppose there are two Jews in the train and the other
      compartments are overcrowded.  These two Jews would then have a
      compartment all to themselves.  Therefore, Jews may claim a seat
      only after all Germans have secured one.  

   Go"ring: 

      I'd give the Jews one coach or one compartment.  And should such a
      case as you mention arise and the train be overcrowded, believe
      me, we won't need a law.  We'll kick him out and he'll have to sit
      all alone in the lavatory all the way!  

   Goebbels: 

      I don't agree.  I don't believe in that.  There ought to be a law.
      Furthermore, there ought to be a decree barring Jews from German
      beaches and resorts....  Jews should not be allowed to sit around
      in German parks.  I am thinking of the whispering campaign on the
      part of Jewish women in the public gardens on the Fehrbelliner
      Platz.  They go and sit with German mothers and their children and
      begin to gossip and work upon their feelings.  I see here a
      particularly grave danger.  I think it is imperative to give the
      Jews certain public parks, not the best ones, and tell them: 'You
      may sit on these benches.' These benches shall be marked 'For Jews
      only'.  Besides that they have no business in German parks.
      Furthermore, Jewish children are still allowed in German schools.
      That's impossible.  It is out of the question that any boy should
      sit beside a Jewish boy in a German grammar school and take
      lessons in German history.  Jews ought to be eliminated com-
      pletely from German schools.  They ought to take care of their own
      education in their own communities....  

   Heydrich: 

      .  .  .  As another means of getting the Jews out, measures for
      emigration ought to be taken in the rest of the Reich for the next
      eight to ten years.  The highest number of Jews we can possibly
      get out during one year is 8-10,000.  A great number of Jews will
      therefore remain.  Because of the Aryanizing and other
      restrictions, Jewry will become unemployed.  The remaining Jews
      will gradually become proletarians.  I shall therefore have to
      take steps to isolate the Jew so that he won't enter into the
      normal German routine of life.  On the other hand, I shall have to
      restrict the Jew to a small circle of consumers, but I shall have
      to permit them certain activities within the professions: lawyers,
      doctors, barbers, etc.  This question will also have to be
      examined.  As for the question of isolation, I'd like to make a
      few proposals regarding police measures which are important also
      because of their psychological effect on public opinion.  For
      example, anyone who is Jewish according to the Nuremberg Laws will
      have to wear a certain badge.  That is a possibility which will
      simplify many other things.  I don't see any danger of excuses,
      and it will make our relationship with the foreign Jews easier.  

   Go"ring: 

      A uniform ?  

   Heydrich: 

      A badge.  This way we could also put an end to the molesting of
      foreign Jews who don't look different from ours.  

   Go"ring: 

      But, my dear Heydrich, you won't be able to avoid the creation of
      ghettos on a very large scale in all the cities.  They will have
      to be created." (Noakes, 476-479)

                              Work Cited

Noakes, Jeremy, and Geoffrey Pridham. Documents on Nazism 1919-1945. New
York: Viking Press, 1974

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