The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

Nazi Conspiracy & Aggression
Volume I Chapter XIII
Germanization & Spoliation
The Western Occupied Countries
(Part 4 of 9)


D. The Nazi Conspirators Compelled the Occupied Countries and Their Nationals to Furnish the Monetary Requirements for the German Exploitation, by Means of Occupation Levies, Forced Loans, and the Requisition of Gold and Foreign Exchange in Amounts Far in Excess of the Needs of the Occupation Armies.

Except for the early period of the occupation, during which Reichskreditkassen certificates were issued to finance the needs of the occupation troops (Lemkin, Axis Rule in Occupied Europe, p. 329), the Nazis obtained the necessary local currency through

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the levy of excessive occupation charges, the imposition of clearing arrangements under which the local central banks were compelled to finance exports to the Reich, and by requisition of gold and foreign exchange.

(1) The Nazi conspirators exacted excessive occupation charges from the conquered countries.

Belgium

The Nazi conspirators demanded from Belgium both "internal occupation costs" and "external occupation costs" (ECR-2). The former was defined as "those sums which have gotten out of the country to finance the needs of the German military formations located in the country" (ECR-32). The term "external occupation costs" was used interchangeably with the title "antibolshevistic contribution" (EC-401). Under whatever theory, the exaction of occupation charges was made "to the limit of capacity". (ECR-59)

Throughout the period of German occupation, a substantial part of the contribution charges obtained from Belgium was used as a matter of regular practice "not for occupation cost purposes" (ECR-166; ECR-155-A; ECR-35), including:

(a) Exports to Germany, Holland, and France (ECR-89; ECR-104).

(b) Exchange for Belgian francs of RKK certificates, a "not inconsiderable part" of which did "not have the least thing to do with occupation costs" (ECR-39; ECR-142).

(c) "Political purposes (that is, SS, Propaganda, Hitler Youth)" (ECR-106).

(d) Purchases in the "black market" (ECR-106), many of them destined for export. (See supra, B, (2).)

(e) General war expenses, including the supply of troops based in Belgium for military operations against England (ECH-5); the Commander-in-Chief of the Army rejected a recommendation of the Military Commander that a distinction be drawn between occupation troops and those for military operations (ECH-5).

Notwithstanding the extensive use of occupation levies for nonoccupation purposes, the contributions exacted from Belgium

"were not only sufficient to cover the needs of the Wehrmacht *** but also made it possible *** to found a cash reserve which reached at certain times about 2,500,000,000 bfrs". (ECH-5)

France

The occupation cost accounts of the Reichskreditkasse in Paris disclose on their face that a large part of the occupation funds was obtained and used for nonoccupational purposes. Two sets of occupation cost accounts were maintained: Account A, into which payments were made on behalf of various Reichs ministries and agencies, and for specified purposes; and Account B, into which payments were made for disposal for the Wehrmacht (3615-PS)

The funds in Account A were used for obviously nonoccupational purposes, as follows:

June 1940 to end 1943

A I. Reich Minister for Economic Affairs (primarily for the buying agency, "Roges," also for the purchase of securities and devises) - RM 1,518,000,000

A II. Foreign Office (for propaganda purposes in France) 27,000,000

A III. Payment of support to dependents of laborers recruited in France for work in Germany 1,500,000

A IV. Reich Minister for Transportation (purchase of securities) 2,500,000

A V. Paris Agency of the Reichstierstelle (Reich Agency for Animals) -- imports of meat and meat products 19,000,000

A VI. Exchange by the Bank of France of RM notes for persons evacuated from Alsace-Lorraine 900,000

A VII. Financing purchases of raw sugar in North France by sugar refiner in South Germany 1,285,000

A VIII. Compensation for war damage to Reichsdeutsche and Volkdeutsche in France 8,500,000

A IX. Sale of French francs to the Reich (Commodity imports into Alsace-Lorraine) 66,000,000

A X. Reich Minister of Education (Purchases for libraries in the Reich of books destroyed in air raids) 1,000,000 (3615-PS)

The available records do not disclose the full extent to which the Wehrmacht used the funds at its disposal in Account B for nonoccupational purposes. It is certain, however, that large sums were expended for such purposes. Thus, a communication of the

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OKW to the Foreign Office of 6 November 1942, explaining the decrease in reserve for Account B, states:

"In addition, payments to a considerable extent had to be made from the occupation cost funds which were not allotted to meet the demands of those units of the German Wehrmacht stationed in France. On 15 January the B account of occupation costs was approximately 3 bill. RM. The reason for the decrease appears from the following compilation: Million RM

a. For procurement of goods exported from France during the period of 1 January 1942 -

31 October 1942 an estimated 10 X 90 mill. RM        900

b. To Roges Raw Material Trading Company Ltd. for
purchases on black market                            700

c. For procurement of foreign bills by the Navy (the
purchase of foreign bills with French francs was
necessary to buy and repair merchant ships in Spanish
harbors. These merchant ships are to serve for supplying
Rommel's Panzer army in Africa)                       40

d. Reimbursement to Foreign Office (account Syria)     4

e. Allotments in favor of families of French workers
working in Germany                                   1.5

f. Special commissioner Rumania                      1.3

g. Costs of building completions for directors of
French powder factories                              0.2
                                                 -------
                                                   1,647

Therefrom it appears that the decrease of reserves of occupation cost funds amounting to 3,000 mill. RM on 15 January 1942 is primarily due to expenditures for purposes unrelated to the occupation."


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