The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

Nazi Conspiracy & Aggression
Individual Responsibility Of Defendants
Herman Wilhelm Goering
Part 11 of 11)

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Immediately after these riots, on 12 November 1938 Goering acted as Chairman of a meeting at the Reich Ministry of Air, on the "Jewish question," attended by Funk, Goebbels, Heydrich, and others (1816-PS). Goering made the purpose of the meeting clear at the outset. He said:

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

"Since the problem is mainly an economic one, it is from an economic angle that it shall have to be tackled. Naturally a number of legal measures shall have to be taken which

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fall into the sphere of the Minister for Justice and into that of the Minister of the Interior; and certain propaganda measures shall have to be taken care of by the office of the Minister for Propaganda. The Minister for Finance and the Minister for Economic Affairs shall take care of problems falling into their respective resorts." (1816-PS)

Goering then said that it was not sufficient to have demonstrations and to burn down Jewish property. In such cases the real loss usually fell on German insurance companies. He continued:

"I should not want to leave any doubt, gentlemen, as to the aim of today's meeting. We have not come together merely to talk again but to make decisions, and I implore the competent agencies to take all measures for elimination of the Jews from German economy and to submit them to me, as far as it is necessary.

"The fundamental idea in this program of elimination of the Jew from German economy, is first, the Jew being ejected from the economy transfers his property to the State. He will be compensated. The compensation is to be listed in the debit ledger and shall bring a certain percentage of interest. The Jew shall have to live out of this interest. It is a foregone conclusion, that this aryanizing, if it is to be done quickly, cannot be made in the Ministry for Economy in Berlin. That way, we would never finish ***.

"It is my lot, so that the damage will not be greater than the profit, which we are striving for.

"It is obvious, gentlemen, that the Jewish stores are for the people, and not the stores. Therefore, we must begin here, according to the rules previously laid down.

"The Minister for Economic Affairs shall announce which stores he'll want to close altogether. These stores are excluded from aryanizing at once. Their stocks are to be made available for sale in other stores; what cannot be sold, shall be processed through the "Winterhilfe" or taken care of otherwise. However, the sales values of these articles shall always be considered, since the State is not to suffer but should profit through this transformation. For the Chain and Department stores -- I speak now only of that, which can be seen, certain categories have to be established, according to the importance of the various branches.

"The trustee of the State will estimate the value of the property and decide what amount the Jew shall receive. Naturally, this amount is to be set as low as possible. The representative of the State shall then turn the establishment

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over to the "Arian" proprietor, that is, the property shall be sold according to its real value.

"There begins the difficulties. It is easily understood that strong attempt will be made to get all these stores to Party members and to let them have some kind of compensations. I have witnessed terrible things in the past; little chauffeurs of Gauleiters have profited so much by these transactions that they have now about half a million. You, gentlemen, know it. Is that correct?" (1816-PS)

Specific measures to effect the "Arianization" of Jewish businesses were then discussed. A representative of German insure companies was called in to assist in solving the difficulties created by the fact that most of the Jewish stores and other property destroyed in the rioting were in fact insured, in some cases ultimately by foreign insurance companies. All present were agreed that it would be unfortunate to pass a law which would have the effect of allowing foreign insurance companies to escape from liability, and that moreover, so far as the insurance companies were concerned, they had made a bargain and should stand by it. The defendant Goering then suggested a solution:

"Goering: No. I don't even dream of refunding the insurance companies the money. The companies are liable. No, the money belongs to the State. That's quite clear. That would indeed be a present for the insurance companies. You make a wonderful Petidum there. You'll fulfill your obligations, you may count on that." (1816-PS)

It is impossible here to quote further from the extensive division of all phases of persecution of the Jews which took place meeting. It is sufficient to point out that on the same day Goering, over his own signature, promulgated three decrees putting into effect the most important matters decided at the meeting. In the first of these decrees, a collective fine of 1,000,000,000 RM was placed on all German Jews (1412-PS). The second decree, entitled "A Decree on Elimination of Jews from German Economic Life" barred Jews from trades and crafts (2875-PS). The third decree took care of the insurance question raised in the mornings meeting by providing that insurance due to Jews for various losses sustained by them was to be collected by the State.

For other examples, the energetic manner in which Goering took part in driving the Jews from economic life at this period, see: 069-PS; 1208-PS.

As the German armies moved into other countries, the anti- Jewish laws were extended, often in a more stringent form, to the

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occupied territories. Many of the decrees were not signed by Goering himself, but were issued on the basis of decrees signed by Goering and introducing the Four-Year Plan in the occupied territories. For example, reference is made to the:

Order Concerning the Introduction of the Four-Year Plan in the Eastern Territories, 30 October 1939. 1939 Reichsgesetzblatt, Part I, p. 2125

Nevertheless, in his capacity as Commissioner of the Four- Year Plan, or as Chairman of the Ministerial Council for National Defense, Goering himself signed several anti-Jewish decrees for occupied territories, including the following:

1939 Reichsgesetzblatt I, p. 1703, Verordnung ueber die Ammeldung der Vermoegens von Juden in den sudetendeutschen Gebieten, 2 December 1938 (Order concerning the registration of the property of Jews in the Sudeten German territories), which was the preliminary for sequestration of such property,

1939 Reichsgesetzblatt I, p. 702, Verordnung ueber die Einfuehrung der Luftschutzgesetzes in den sudetendeutschen Gebieten, 31 March 1939 (Order concerning the introduction of the Air Defense Law in the Sudeten German territories), discriminating against Jews,

1940 Reichsgesetzblatt, I, p. 1270, Verordnung ueber die Behandlung von Vermoegen der Angehoerigen des ehemaligen polnischen Staates, 17 September 1940 (Order concerning treatment of property of nationals of the former Polish State), by which the property of Polish Jews was confiscated,

1940 Reichsgesetzblatt I, p. 147, Kriegsachschaeden Verordnung (War Damages Law), 30 November 1940, also discriminating against Jews, and

1941 Reichsgesetzblatt I, p. 759, Decree regarding Administration of Criminal Law against Poles and Jews in the Incorporated Eastern Territories, 4 December 1941, which introduced especially stringent penal laws for Jews.

During the later years of the war, the program of the Nazi conspirators for the complete physical annihilation of all Jews in Europe achieved its full fury. While the execution of this program was for the most part handled by the SS and the Security Police, Goering remains implicated in the final phases of the Nazi "Solution" of the Jewish problem. On 31 July 1941, he wrote the following letter to the conspirator Heydrich:

"Complementing the task that was assigned to you on 24 January 1939, which dealt with arriving at -- through furtherance of emigration and evacuation, a solution of the Jewish problem, as advantageous as possible, I hereby charge you with making all necessary preparations in regard to organizational and financial matters for bringing about a complete solution of the Jewish question in the German sphere of influence in Europe.

"Wherever other governmental agencies are involved, these are to cooperate with you.

"I charge you furthermore to send me, before long, an overall plan concerning the organizational, factual and material measures necessary for the accomplishment of the desired solution of the Jewish question." (710-PS)

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