The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

Shofar FTP Archive File: places/germany/kristallnacht/documents.007

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

      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

  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

      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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