Nazi Conspiracy & Aggression Volume I Chapter XIII Germanization & Spoliation The Western Occupied Countries

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(This section is based on a brief originally prepared for
submission by the United States Prosecution in support of
the allegation, in Count One of the Indictment, of a plan or
conspiracy to commit war crimes. The evidence relating to
the plan or conspiracy, however, proved to be inseparable
from that on the execution thereof, a subject assigned to
the French Prosecution. The materials contained herein were
accordingly made available to the French for such use as
they might deem appropriate in connection with the proof of
their case.)

A. The Nazi Conspirators Obtained Enormous Quantities of
Foodstuffs, Raw Materials and Equipment From the Occupied
Western Countries.

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(1) The Nazis planned in advance of the invasion to secure
from the conquered territories the strategic materials which
Germany lacked and without which Germany could not prevail
in a war of long duration. In this war, as in the last,
German resources were sufficient only for a conflict of
short duration. As early as the winter of 1939-40, following
the swift and crushing defeat of Poland, Germany suffered
from a critical shortage of essential raw materials (EC-
615). The Nazi leaders were thus faced with the question
whether to conserve their supplies for a long war or to
commit their limited reserves in the hope of obtaining an
early decision. Hitler decided on the latter course. As
Goering told General Thomas:

“The Fuehrer is firmly convinced that he will succeed
in reaching a decision *** in the year 1940 by a big
attack in the West. He reckons that Belgium, Holland,
and Northern France will get into our possession and
*** had figured out that the industrial areas of Douai
and Lens and those of Luxemburg, Longwy, and Briey
could, from the point of view of raw material, replace
the supplies from Sweden. Therefore, the Fuehrer had
decided now to make use of our reserve of raw materials
without regard to future times. ***” (EC-606)

Careful plans were made in advance of the invasion in 1940
to secure for Germany the raw material resources of the to-
be occupied countries. A manual of directives and decrees
issued by the Quartermaster, OKH, for the economic
administration of the military government set forth an
exhaustive list of important raw materials to be seized
wherever found (EC-155). Directives were issued to the so-
called economic squads (Wirtschafts Truppe) attached to the
tactical units on the procedures to be followed in locating,
seizing, and preparing such materials for shipment to
Germany (EC-618). Also included in the manual mentioned were
drafts of decrees to be promulgated by the German occupation
authorities, for the establishment in the occupied countries
of Goods Offices, modeled after the German rationing boards,
to control production and distribution in the occupied
countries in the German interest. (EC-155)

(2) The occupied Western countries were ruthlessly exploited
according to plan. The occupied areas were systematically
stripped of their economic resources to feed the German war
machine. The extent of German exploitation is partially
indicated by the staggering totals of the occupation levies
and the “credit” balances of the local central banks under
clearing arrangements imposed

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by the Nazis, the principal sources of the funds with which
Germany financed the spoliation of Western Europe. (For a
brief explanation of the clearing system, see infra under D,

The total occupation charges exacted from Franco alone were
31,600,000,000 RM from 25 June 1940, to 5 September 1944
(3615-PS). They averaged more than 7,000,000,000 RM
annually, a sum more than four times the German annual
payments under the Dawes and Young Plans. This sum is in
addition to a “credit” of the Bank of France under the
Franco-German clearing, which, as of September, 1943,
amounted to 4,400,000,000 RM (3615-PS). For the period May
1942-43, the tribute exacted from Belgium (mainly from
occupation’ charges and clearing credits) amounted to more
than two-thirds of the Belgium national income (ECR-149).
These figures, large as they are, take no account of the
substantial quantities of materials seized and removed to
the Reich without compensation (see infra under B, (1)) nor
do they reflect the windfall to the Reich resulting from the
substantial over-valuation of the Reichsmark, particularly
in the case of France and Belgium. (EC-86)

A few illustrative examples of specific items, taken from
the report of the German Military Commander for France of 10
September 1942 (EC-267), will serve to show even more
concretely than monetary figures, the extent to which
materials and equipment were taken from the occupied
countries for the benefit of the Reich. Since the Armistice,
according to this report, the French contributed to the
Germans 73 percent of the normal annual French consumption
of iron, amounting to nearly 5 million tons. From the
Armistice to July, 1942, 225,000 tons of copper and 5,700
tons of nickel were delivered by France to Germany,
amounting to 80 percent and 86 percent of French supplies
respectively; also 55 percent of the French aluminum and 80
percent of the magnesium production. For her own needs
France retained only 30 percent of the normal production of
the wool industry, 16 percent of the cotton production, and
13 percent of the linen production. The total French
production of locomotives and the major part of the machine
tool industry were put at the disposal of the Germans. (EC-

B. The Foodstuffs, Raw Materials and Equipment Delivered to
Germany were Obtained by Compelling the Nationals of the
Conquered Countries to Produce and Distribute in Accordance
with German War Requirements, by Seizure and Requisition,
and by Purchases Financed with Funds Exacted from the
Occupied Countries and Their Nationals.

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(1) Much of the material and equipment removed to Germany
was obtained by seizure, requisition, and confiscation of
private property. During the first phase of the occupation,
the Nazis systematically removed to the Reich almost all
available supplies to satisfy the immediate German
requirements. This phase, according to the German Military
Commander’s description of the practice in France, was one
of “stripping” occupied areas of “foodstuffs, raw materials
and machinery”, leaving only enough to secure the “bare
subsistence” of the population (EC-614). In the words of the
report of the Wi-Rue Staff in France:

“In this period the legal concepts of the Hague
Regulations regarding Land Warfare are not yet strictly
observed. The main purpose is to get out of France
through seizure BeschIagnahme or purchase at
infinitesimal prices the materials of use for the
German armament.” (EC-422)

By order of the German High Command, booty was defined to
include not merely public property but “beyond the Hague
Regulations on Land Warfare,” also “privately owned finished
and semi-finished products if they were manufactured in
fulfillment of an order of the French armed forces” (EC-
422). At the same time, payments made by the French armed
forces on account of war material orders were likewise
treated as war booty. Even goods in transit were arbitrarily
placed in this category (EC-422). Machinery and equipment
affixed to the realty were seized and shipped to Germany in
wilful disregard of the limitations of the Hague Regulations
authorizing seizure only of chattels. (EC-84)

The “stripping phase” of Nazi spoliation was relatively
short-lived. Decision was soon reached to utilize at-least
part of the industrial capacity of the occupied areas to
relieve the burden on the armament plants in Germany (EC-
620). Throughout the period of occupation, however, the
Nazis continued the seizure and requisition of machinery and
certain raw materials in short supply in the Reich. From
December, 1942, to the end of the occupation, for example,
242 German demands for Belgian machinery were met, of which
110 were fulfilled by requisitions (ECH-10). In 79 instances
the requisitioned equipment was shipped to Germany. (ECH-10)

Support for such requisitions was found in an order of the
Military Commander of Belgium of 6 August 1942. This order
was explained as embodying the “modern” German view that, as
“total war is no longer limited in space but has become a
struggle of peoples and nations against each other,”
requisitions under Article 52 of the Hague Regulations
should no longer be

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limited to the “needs of the occupying forces” but may also
be used in the “general interest of the German war effort”;
and that requisitioned articles may be used not only in the
territory in which they were obtained but also “in other
territories in the sphere of the occupying power.” (ECH-10)

In April 1941, Goering ordered the removal of church bells
in France “which represent the most important and last
reserve of copper and tin,” stressing that “no church bells
would be removed in Germany before all bells had been
removed in France” (EC-323). In 1943, after the removal of
church bells from the other occupied countries and even from
the Reich, Hitler ordered their removal from Belgium (ECH-
11). The Belgians protested, invoking the Hague Regulations,
and refused an offer to buy; thereupon the Germans
requisitioned the bells against receipt. (ECH-11)

By circular letter, dated 23 June 1943, Speer ordered that
scientific instruments and apparatus be taken out of the
laboratories and research institutes in the occupied Western
countries, directing that applications for instruments be
made through channels and that the requisitions be made by
the Military Government. (ECH-14)

In many cases, representatives of German scientific
institutions sought to acquire scientific instruments in
order to modernize their own installations, appearing in
Army uniforms to give the impression that the requisition
was a military measure (ECH-15). The Military Government of
Belgium decided that Articles 52 and 56 of the Hague
Regulations were inapplicable because the Allies had
destroyed a number of German scientific installations in the
Reich through bombing, which therefore had to be replaced
from the occupied territories, and that “in a total war, no
consideration could be given to the cited articles of the
Hague Regulations”. (ECH-16)

As part of the design to supply the armament industry in
Germany with material from the occupied Western territories,
a program for the removal of copper and lead from
transmission installations of power distribution plants in
the occupied Western countries was instituted by a decree of
Speer dated 31 May 1943 (EC-101). The plan contemplated from
the outset that the transmission of facilities would not be
restored (as required by the second paragraph of Article 53
of the Hague Regulations) but that an equivalent amount of
metal would be returned after the war. (EC-101)

(2) The Nazis purchased war materials and consumer goods

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in the regular and black markets for shipment to the Reich,
all with funds exacted from the occupied countries.
Following the initial “stripping” phase of the occupation,
the Nazis promptly instituted an extensive “buying-out”
program (061-PS) with the object of procuring not merely
materials required for the German war effort, but to obtain
also consumer goods, including luxury items, for the
civilian population of Germany (EC-485).

No limitations, legal or moral, were observed in the
execution of this program. Supplies which could not be
obtained through normal channels were purchased on the black
market. The disastrous effects of competition among various
German agents led the central occupational authorities in
Belgium, France, and Holland to take over black market
operation directly (1765-PS). On 13 June 1942, by order of
Goering, Col. Veltjens was appointed to direct black market
purchases in all occupied territories and a new agency, the
so-called UEWA, was placed at his disposal. (ECH-7)

The actual purchases were made by several corporations,
including Pimetex, an agency of the Speer Ministry of
Armament and Munitions. The goods were distributed through
Roges according to directives of the Central Planning Board
(Speer, Koerner, Milch) and in appropriate cases by the
German Ministry of Economics and the Reichsstellen (ECH-7).
Black market operations were finally abolished by order of
Goering dated 2 April 1943, confirmed in Belgium by circular
of the Military Commander of 19 June 1943. (ECH-9)

Certain of the purchases made through the black market while
under the direction of Col. Veltjens are of special

Christmas Drive. On 22 September 1942, Goering ordered
a special drive in the Western occupied countries to
purchase present for the civil population in Germany
for the coming Christmas. The Roges Company effected
the distribution of the articles in Germany.

Special Drive WABO. This drive was pursuant to Hitler’s
order to Speer to procure Christmas packages for the
soldiers. The O. Todt Cantine accepted offers of sale
on the black market and Pimetex did the buying.

Special Drive LOWA (Degenkolb locomotive program). The
purchase were made by Pimetex. (ECH-7)

As of 15 January 1943, black market purchases totaled
approximately 1,100,000,000 RM, including:

RM 929,100,000 in France.
RM 103,881,929 in Belgium, and
RM 73,685,162.64 in Holland. (1765-PS)

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Payment in France was made out of occupation funds, in
Belgium out of such funds and through the clearing, and in
Holland through “normal bank transactions” (1765-PS; ECR-
132). As appears very clearly from the report of Col.
Veltjens of 15 January 1943, substantially all the goods so
purchased were shipped to the Reich. (1765-PS)

(3) The Nazi conspirators compelled the nationals of the
occupied countries to produce and distribute materials and
equipment in accordance with the German general war
requirements. The “stripping” and “buying-out” phases of the
Nazi spoliation were both gradually superseded by a
regulated program for the utilization of the industrial
plant of the occupied areas and the transfer of orders
(subcontracting) to local concerns. The Nazi conspirators
established comprehensive rationing controls under which
essential raw materials were made available only to those
who produced in the German interest; those reluctant to
produce on German order were placed under compulsory
administration. “This,” Keitel noted in commenting on the
controls established in France, “is *** booty of the
victor”. (EC-613)

The means employed in Belgium were typical. Production
quotas for coal, iron and steel, textiles and leather, and
other products were fixed by the Ministry of Economics and
its Reichsstellen, in some cases after consultation with the
Reich Minister (Funk). (ECH-2)

Comprehensive production controls were established in
Belgium to assure the fulfillment of these quotas. Pursuant
to plans developed in advance of the invasion (EC-155), a
decree was issued by the Military Commander on 27 May 1940,
creating so-called “Goods Offices,” endowed with authority
to issue general and special orders to Belgian firms
requiring production of designated products, and the sale
thereof to designated buyers, and with the further power to
prohibit production or sale without license (3604-PS). By
decree of the Military Commander of 29 April 1941, the
appointment of a commissar to direct operations of private
plants was authorized. (3610-PS)

The German Goods Offices (ECH-3) were transferred to similar
units established by Belgian decree of 3 September 1940.
(Whether this decree was issued on German order or
suggestion does not appear.) The Germans supervised the
Belgian Goods Offices and adopted as German orders both the
Belgian decree establishing the Offices and the orders
issued thereunder, and

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prescribed punishment by fine and imprisonment for
violations. (3609-PS)

For the first two years of the occupation, German control
was exercised mainly through prohibitions and restrictions,
that is, by a priority system (ECH-4), although even then
important sectors of the Belgian economy, notably textiles
and leather products, were controlled by “positive” orders
directing the amount in kind to be produced and the persons
to whom distribution must be made (ECH-4; ECH-2). During
this period the Military Commander issued instructions to
the Goods Offices through “command channels,” that is,
through the Belgian Minister of Economics. (ECH-3)

On 6 August 1942, the Military Commander, however, published
a decree reaffirming explicitly the power to compel
production of designated articles (3612-PS), a signal for
the introduction of “positive” controls. In 1943, on
instructions from the Reich Ministry of Economics, German
representatives selected from the Reichsstellen were
attached directly to the Belgian Goods Offices (ECH-3). At
the end of 1943, the office of the “Ruestungsobmann” of the
Speer Ministry for Armaments and War Production began
issuing “positive orders” for production to individual
concerns directly, without clearing with the Goods Offices,
pursuant to decree of the Minister for Armaments and War
Production (Speer). (ECH-3)

Production facilities in Belgium which were not deemed to
serve the German interest were shut down. By order of 30
March 1942, the Military Commander prohibited the
enlargement of existing plants and the construction of new
ones without German authorization, and provided for the
closing down of factories at his discretion (3616-PS). In
the iron and metal industry alone at least 400 plants “not
important for the war effort” had been closed down by 15
April 1943 (EC-335). By the end of the occupation, 1360 out
of a total of 2164 plants in the textile industry had been
closed down. (ECH-19)

France and Holland

Substantially the same system was put into effect in France
and Holland. German Goods Offices were established in
Occupied France at the same time as in Belgium (3604-PS).
These were subsequently abolished in November, 1940,
however, when the Vichy Government, at the “suggestion” of
the Nazis, created raw material rationing boards, on which
delegates of the German Military Administration served as
technical advisers (EC-613; EC-616). In the Netherlands,
controls were exercised by the

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local German Armament Inspectorate (EC-471; EC-472-A), who,
it is believed, made use of the rationing boards set up in
Holland before the outbreak of war.

C. The Nazi Conspirators Acquired Ownership of Belgian,
Dutch, and French Participations in European Industries by
Means of Governmental Pressure and Through the Use of Funds
Unlawfully Exacted from the Occupied Countries and Their

The Nazi conspirators were not content with securing for
Germany the supplies necessary for the period of the war.
They aimed at obtaining permanent ownership and domination
of European industry to the fullest extent possible, and
embarked on a program to that end even during the progress
of the war.

(1) The Nazi conspirators established a program to acquire
for German interests ownership of Belgian, Dutch, and French
participation during the war. On 23 May 1940, recommendation
was made that it would be opportune to secure all Dutch and
Belgian stocks “in order, especially in the case of holding
companies, to win influence *** over the controlled
companies” (EC-41). The memorandum recommended the taking
possession of stocks of the dominated companies located in
foreign countries and influencing the decisions of members
of holding companies located in Holland and Belgium or of
other owners of such stock. Because of the provisions of
Article 46 of the Hague Regulations prohibiting confiscation
of private property, it was deemed more advisable to
influence members of holding companies through careful
guiding than through plain force. (EC-41)

At a meeting held in the Reich Ministry of Economics on 3
June 1940 on the subject of “Belgian and Dutch capital
shares in southeastern European countries,” it was decided
that regulations should be issued immediately by the
Military Commander for Belgium prohibiting the destruction,
transfer, or disposition of any bonds or stocks of these
countries, and that registration should be required of
owners and trustees. (1445-PS)

In a memorandum of 2 August 1940 Goering declared that the
goal of the Germans’ economic policy was the “increase of
German influence with foreign enterprises,” that it was
“necessary already now that any opportunity is used to make
it possible for the German economy to start the penetration
even during the war f the interesting objects of the economy
of the occupied countries,” and directed that the transfer
of capital from Germany to

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the occupied countries be facilitated to make possible the
immediate purchase of enterprises in the occupied countries.

At a meeting at the Reich Ministry of Economics on 8 August
1940 on the subject of “Acquisition of shares of important
foreign enterprises in southeastern Europe,” Dr. Schlotterer
of the Reich Ministry of Economics commented that “private
economical penetration of the Southeast area by German
influence is desirable, likewise the supplanting of British
and French interests in that territory” (EC-4). The group
present, including representatives of the Reich Ministry of
Economics and the Reichsbank, agreed that “attempts should
be made immediately to acquire shares” and that “in doing so
the tendency should be preserved to present a bill for the
shares at the peace conference.” It was further agreed that
“it should be attempted if possible to transfer the shares
into private hands” but that “in order to make the right
selection it appears necessary to introduce an intermediary
stage” in which “first of all, enterprises should be taken
over through banks, thereupon the plants should be managed
as a matter of trusteeship for the Reich with the aim that
the Reich (Reich Marshal Goering)” undertake handing them
over to private industry. (EC-43)

(2) The Nazi conspirators carried out this program by
compulsory sale where necessary and by purchases financed
out of occupation charges and under clearing agreements with
the occupied countries.


Immediate steps were taken to implement these measures in
Belgium. The-annual report of the Commissar at the National
Bank from May 1940-41 states:

“According to the directions of the Reichsmarshal Goering as
early as September 1940 the first measures for a closer
formation of capital ties between the Belgian and German
economy were taken. Two different procedures were concerned

“1. Direct negotiations between German industrialists
and Belgian industrialists, for the purpose of
obtaining constructive participations in important
Belgian enterprises which offer the basis for
collaboration between the two economies even after the
war. furthermore, it is desired to transfer to German
hands important Belgian participations in foreign –
enterprises whose administration is located in Belgium,
particularly so far as enterprises are concerned which
are lo-

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cated in the Balkans and in which a general German
interest exists.

“2. Ties which result from purchases of stock by German
parties on the Belgium stock markets. For this purpose
the Reich Economic Minister has given general
permission to 32 German banks to obtain participation
rights, particularly stocks, in a limited quantity in
Belgium. Till now use has been made of this permission
in the amount of about 25 million RM for the
procurement of Belgian participations in Rumania,
Bulgaria, and the former Poland.” (ECR-24)

In his report for November 1940 the Military Commander for
Belgium stated:

“A certain readiness exists on the part of the Belgians
to give up investments in stocks in such countries
which, at the present time, are being ruled militarily
or economically by Germany. Among the important
business deals of this kind which have been concluded
should be mentioned the taking over of the
Kreditanstalt, Wien (Credit Institute, Vienna) of an
essential interest in the Allgemeiner Jugoslawischer
Bankverein (General Yugoslav Bank Association) from the
Societe Generale (capital approximately 1 million RM)
and the taking over by the Deutsche Bank of the
overwhelming majority [translators note: of shares] of
the Banca Commerciala Romana from the Societe Generale
(capital approximately 2 million RM). The Deutsche Bank
also succeeded in acquiring shares of the
Kreditanstalt, Wien, of approximately 800,000 RM
nominally from the Societe Generale and one of its
subsidiaries. Negotiations between the Deutsche Bank
and the Societe Generale on the transfer of
approximately 25% of the capital of the Banque Generale
du Luxembourg are about to be concluded. Through this
deal the Deutsche Bank together with other German
groups obtains the absolute majority of the
Luxembourger Bank (approximately 70% of the shares).
The Deutsche Bank gets the right to acquire another 25%
of the shares which for the time being, remained with
the Societe Generale.” (EC-34)

While the Military Commander of Belgium may have given some
assurance that the owners would not be compelled to sell
(ECH-22), in at least one instance, purchase could be
effected only by military order (EC-335). In this instance
the procurement for the Main Branch of Trustees East of
shares of the Bel-

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gian “Trust Metallurgique” in electricity and road
enterprises of East Silesia and the General Government, as
well as purchase of shares in the Iron works Ostrovica for
the Reichswerk Hermann Goering had “to be done, at the
request of the Reich Ministry fro Economics, forcibly, as an
agreement on a financial basis could not be obtained.” (EC-

The German acquisition of Belgian stock participations was
financed through the Belgium-German clearing. The Belgian
clearing balances of 20 March 1940 included an item of 296
million bfrs., which “is explained by out-payment of large
clearing transfers resulting from the German capital
penetration program precipitated a controversy with the
Emission Bank, which was resolved by the Commissars issuance
of an order requiring the bank to make payment. (ECR-24). As
a sequel, “Capital” payments were separated from those for
“goods and services” and financed by a separate “capital”
clearing agreement covering purchases of securities and
other “capital” transactions (ECR-24). The Belgian clearing
“credit” under the capital clearing, as of 31 July 1943,
amounted to 1,071,000,000 bfrs (ECR-173). As shown below,
(see infra, D, 2) the Belgian credit under the capital
clearing traffic represents a forced loan, exacted for a
purpose not even remotely related to the needs of the
occupation army.

France and Holland

The limited evidence in the presently available German
documents indicates that similar methods were employed in
French and Dutch participations. The procedure followed in
the Netherlands is indicated below in the discussion of the
removal of restrictions on the free transfer of Reichsmarks
in that country, (See infra, S, 5.) In France,
participations of a value of 121,000,000 RM were purchased
for German interests, paid for in part out of occupation
funds and in part through the clearing. (1991-PS)

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

[Page 1064]

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.


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

“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)


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)

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


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

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.”


Occupation charges were fixed at about 100,000,000 gulden a
month (ECR-174; EC-86). (100 RM = 75 gulden, approximately

Expenditures were divided between “occupation” purposes and
“nonoccupation” purposes, according to whether “the products
purchased or produced on orders of the armed forces of the
Netherlands remain in the Netherlands (occupation cost) or
leave the Netherlands (nonoccupation cost)” (ECR-174).
During the 20-month period from March 1941 to October 1942,
inclusive (the only period for which figures are available),
out of the total

[Page 1067]

occupation charges of 1,545,500,000 gulden, 433,800,000
gulden were expended for “nonoccupation” purposes (ECR-175-
193). A large part of the “pure” occupation expenditure,
moreover, was for general war expenses, including the
construction of fortifications and airfields, and the
letting of shipbuilding contracts. (ECR-180,

In theory, only the “occupation” costs were supposed to be
charged to the Netherlands (ECR-174); until April 1941, the
“nonoccupation” expenditures were returned to the Military
Commander in the Netherlands (ECR-175). The claim of the
Netherlands to the sums “returned,” however, was rejected.
Moreover, as appears from the above cited reports (ECR-175-
193), nonoccupation expenditure continued even after April
1941, when reimbursements ceased. (ECR-176)

During the first year of the occupation Germany exacted an
additional levy from the Netherlands under the heading of
“external occupation costs,” amounting to 500,000,000 RM
(ECR-194). Of this sum, 100,000,000 RM was paid in gold; the
remainder was paid by a transfer of the clearing balance of
the Netherlands Bank at the Verrechnungskasse to the German
Ministry of Finance, that is, was used to reduce a credit
which arose by reason of exports to the Reich. (ECR-194)

In April 1942, “at the instigation of the Reich Commissioner
Seyss-Inquart,” the Netherlands began to pay a “voluntary
contribution to the war against Bolshevism” of 50,000,000
guilders per month, retroactive to 1 July 1941, of which
10,000,000 per month was paid in gold (ECR-195). By 31 March
1944, this “contribution” amounted to 2,150,000,000 RM. (EC-

It is immaterial whether this “contribution” was made at the
direction of Seyss-Inquart or was in fact the “voluntary”
act of the then President of the Netherlands Bank and
Treasurer in the Ministry of Finance, Van Tonningen. Van
Tonningen was appointed by Seyss-Inquart and acted in the
German interest. His acts, like that of civilian
administrators in occupied territories generally, must be
charged to the occupant. (See infra, Conclusion.) The spirit
in which he discharged his duties is sympathetically
described by the German Commissar at the Netherlands Bank as

“The new President of the Netherlands Bank, Mr. Rost
van Tonningen, is, in contrast to a large part of the
leadership, penetrated in his movements and his
official acts by the greater German thought, and
convinced of the necessity o the creation of a greater
European economic space. This ideological attitude in
itself gives him the correct position

[Page 1068]

on financial and monetary policy questions for his
country in relation to the greater German economic
space. Furthermore, it makes easier cooperation with my
office, a fact which deserves special mention in
consideration of the frequently observed passive
conduct of the Netherlands agencies before the entrance
into office of the new President. I consider as a
fortunate solution the fact that the Reichskommissar
for the Occupied Dutch Areas has also entrusted Mr.
Rost van Tonningen with the Treasury of the Ministry of
Finance (Schatzamt des Finanzminsteriums). Mr. Rost van
Tonningen took over this office at the end of the month
of April. Thus there is a guarantee that the financial
and monetary policy of the country will be conducted
according to unified points of view.” (ECR-196)

(2) The Nazi conspirators financed exports from the occupied
countries to German by means of forced loans under the guise
of clearing agreements.


The principle of the clearing system is as follows:

The importer makes a deposit of the purchase price in his
own currency at the national clearing agency of his country,
which places the same amount to the credit of the clearing
agency of the exporting country. The latter institution then
pays the exporter in his own currency. Thus if trade between
two countries is unequal the clearing agency of one acquires
a claim against the agency of the other which, however, is
satisfied only when a shift in the balance of trade gives
rise to an offsetting claim.

In the order establishing the German-Belgium clearing, the
Belgium clearing agency was the National Bank of Belgium
(608-PS). The administration of the clearing was shortly
thereafter transferred to Emission Bank, an organization
originally incorporated by Belgian interests pursuant to
order of the Military Commander of 27 June 1940 (ECR-24).
The change was one in name only, however, since at this time
the management of the two banks was substantially identical
and the Emission Bank obtained its currency by loan from the
National Bank. The Emission Bank was, by its charter terms,
subject to orders of the Commissar at the National Bank; the
Commissar obtained the same powers over the National Bank by
German order of 116 February 1940. (ECR-24)

The Belgian total “credit” under the clearing, as of 31 July
1944, amounted to 60,837,000,000 bfrs = 4,867,000,000 RM, of

[Page 1069]

which 54,993,000,000 bfrs = 4,399,000,000 RM arose from the
Belgian-German clearing for goods and services. (ECR-173)

The continued increase in the Belgian “credit” was due
mainly to “the increasing Belgian export to Germany for
which there are only small imports from Germany on the other
side of the account.” (ECR-149)

The entire Belgian credit under the clearing constitutes a
forced loan, largely for nonoccupation purposes:

(a) The Belgian-German clearing was established by circular
of the Reichs Minister of Economics, 4 July 1940 (ECH-6),
which was published to the Belgians by proclamation of the
Military Commander of 10 July 1940 (EC-604; 608-PS).

(b) “Since it was to be foreseen that as the result of the
increased deliveries from Belgium to the Reich, which were
not matched by opposite accounts, particularly in the early
period, the clearing status would develop to the favor of
the Emission Bank” (ECR-24), an agreement was signed by the
Emission Bank and the German Reichsbank on 16/17 August 1940
under which each undertook to pay out clearing transfers
immediately (ECR-24; ECH-5).

(c) This agreement did not prescribe what must be financed
through the clearing; it merely provided for immediate
payment of claim arising thereunder without waiting until
the account should be balanced by equalizing of imports and
exports. As the Military Commander stated, the German-
Belgian clearing was “not regulated by an agreement, but has
been regulated unilaterally by my proclamation of 10 July
1940” (EC-604). The Military Commander made clear the
absolute power asserted by the German authorities over the
Belgian Note Banks (as the Germans described the Emission
and National Banks). He stated:

“*** The claim made to the Commissar that the Emission
Bank is entitled to ask in every case for detailed
explanation of compensation payments coming from
Germany is incorrect. The clearing activities between
Germany and Belgium are not regulated by an agreement
but have been regulated unilaterally by my proclamation
on 10 July 1940 and are not subject to any Belgian
control. Inter-alia the transfer of all payments which
have been specially authorized by the Reich Ministry of
Economy has been expressly permitted ***.” (EC-604)

(d) The Commissar freely invoked his directive power over
the Note Banks.

1. When, in April 1941, the clearing balance of the

[Page 1070]

sion Bank exceeded 1,500,000 bfrs the Emission Bank
refused to pay out several large sums arising by virtue
of German-Belgian “capital” transactions. Thereupon,
the Commissar issued an order directing the bank to
make the payment. (ECR-24)

2. In December 1941, the Emission Bank refused to pay
out a sum of 43,256,000 RM transferred from Paris. The
Commissar thereupon issued an order directing the bank
to do so. (ECR-172)

3. In October 1942, the Emission Bank refused to pay
out certain amounts expended for purchases on the
Belgian black market. The military administrator,
however, “held down the increasing resistance of the
Note Banks which culminated at the end of October of
this year in a public threat of resignation by the
Governor of the National Bank by the heaviest pressure,
and forced the Note Banks, while emphasizing his
willingness to negotiate on certain Belgian proposals,
again to take up the global clearing transfers for
German procurement agencies which were cut off for a
period” (ECR-132). The nature of this pressure is
explicitly shown in the following communication from
the Commissar to the President of the Emission Bank
dated 29 October 1942:

“The Military Commander has ordered me to inform you of
the following:

“The requested extension of time for the resumption of
business relations with the Armed Forces Clearing
Institute (Wehrmachtverrechnungskasse) and for the
payment of the arrears of RM 60 million have been
denied. An official will determine tomorrow at 10 a.m.
whether payment has been made.

“Severest measures against you and all responsible
parties must be expected in case of failure to pay.

“If acts of sabotage occur on the equipment and the
values of the National Bank or the Emission Bank, you
and the gentlemen designated on the enclosed list will
be held responsible personally and your property will
be seized. Your liability is a joint one.” (EC-605)


The “credit” balance of the Bank of France under the Franco-
German clearing established on 14 November 1940 amounted to
4,400,000,000 RM as of September 1943 (3615-PS). The

[Page 1071]

arrangement was designed, of course, principally for the
financing of exports, that is, for purposes not related to
the needs of the occupation army. (EC-619)

Coercion in the establishment of the Franco-German clearing
is readily demonstrable. Extreme pressure was brought to
bear, particularly in regard to the rate of exchange
established in the agreement, by threatening to cut off
communications between “occupied” and “nonoccupied” zones in
France (3602-PS; 3603-PS), a step which would have destroyed
the last vestige of economic order in France. The harsh
terms of the agreement, which required the Bank of France to
make immediate payment for exports to Germany regardless of
the balance of trade, fixed the rate of exchange at 20
francs to the mark (as compared to 10 to 1 before the war),
and gave Germany a unilateral option to cancel at any time,
forcibly suggest that the agreement would not voluntarily
have been accepted. (EC-619)


The clearing system between Holland and Germany was of short
duration, being cancelled effective 1 April 1941, when free
transfer of Reichsmarks to Holland was introduced. (See
infra, D, (5).) It is therefore not deemed of sufficient
importance to warrant discussion at this

(3) The Nazi conspirators unlawfully took over the gold
reserve of the National Bank of Belgium and the Netherlands
Bank in the interest of the German general war effort.


The gold of the National Bank, deposited with the Bank of
France and transferred to Dakar, was brought to Berlin
pursuant to German-French “agreement” in the amount of
545,700,000 RM (ECR-149), and there deposited with the
Reichsbank in Berlin (ECR-24). Because of the “high demands
on gold and foreign exchange” which led to a “considerable
straining of the reserves” (EC-401), the “Reich Government
felt itself required to lay claim to the gold of the
National Bank for the Reich” (ECR-149). A decision to
proceed by requisitioning under paragraph 52 of the Hague
Regulations (EC-401) was not executed, apparently because of
fears on the part of the Reichsbank that title thus acquired
would not be recognized (ECR-115). On order of Goering (ECH-
5, part 9, Annex XIII), the gold was then “requisitioned on
19 September 1942 by the Oberpraesident of the Province of
Mark Brandenburg for the Deputy of the Four-Year Plan, on
the basis of the Reich Contribution Law (Reichsleistungsgesetz)

[Page 1072]

of I.IX.1939 (Sec. 16, paragraph 1, No. 5, and Sec. 2a)”


As shown above, part of the Dutch “voluntary” contribution
to the “war against Bolshevism” was paid in gold. The gold
was, in fact, taken from the Netherlands Bank. (EC-401)

(4) The Nazi conspirators unlawfully compelled the nationals
of the occupied countries to surrender and offer for sale
all precious metals ad foreign exchange to the local central
banks, which delivered them to the German Reichsbank.


By German decree of 17 June 1940 and administrative orders
issued pursuant thereto the Belgians were required to
surrender gold and foreign exchange notes to the Emission
Bank, which in turn, delivered the loot to the Reichsbank

By May 1943, the Reichsbank had acquired in this fashion
gold and foreign exchange of the value of 23,400,000 RM.


Gold and foreign exchange delivered by the Netherlands Bank
to the Reichsbank “on the basis of the direction of the
Reichsmarshal” (Goering) amounted to 74,000,000 RM through
November 1940. (EC-465)


It is believed that the same practice was followed in
France, but evidence as to details has not been found in the
German documents presently available.

(5) The Nazi conspirators issued German Reichsmarks as
currency in the Netherlands, for purposes unrelated to the
need of the occupational troops, which currency they caused
to be freely exchanged for gulden by the Netherlands Bank.
The Nazi conspirators, animated in part by the view that the
Netherlands were “akin in blood to the German nation” (3613-
PS), sought to promote a “mutual interpenetration of the
German and Netherlands economies” through the acquisition by
Germans of Dutch participations (EC-468) and Dutch
investment in German securities. (ECR-174)

To this end, restrictions on the free transfer of Reichsmark
and gulden across the German-Dutch border were removed.
Conversations between the Reich Economics and Finance
Ministers in October 1940 led to the first step in this
direction, the issuance by the Economics Minister of a
Circular (Runderlass) — No.

[Page 1073]

89/40 — which produced substantial changes in the foreign
exchange control along the German-Dutch borders (EC-468).
This provided, inter-alia, that RM 1,000 or its equivalent
in gulden could be taken across the German-Dutch border by
travelers or in border trade without permit, and permitted
Germans to transfer to Holland up to 5,000 RM per person per
month for any purpose except purchase of goods without any
permission (EC-468).

These relaxations were made effective in Holland by free
exchange of Reichsmarks for gulden by the Netherlands Bank,
introduced “on the initiative” of the Commissar, and by
enforced acceptance of Reichsmark currency by the Dutch
business population. (EC-468)

The Reichsmarks thus made available in the Netherlands were
mainly used to purchase Dutch securities on the stock
exchange (EC-468). Permission to make such purchases was
extended to a large number of German banks by the German
Ministry of Economics. The transfers were made with
“reluctance” by the Dutch, in connection with which the
Reich Commissar at the Netherlands Bank observed, “it may be
pointed out with some justification that an out-payment of
gulden made against a Reichsmark credit, which can only
result through the burdening of the Netherlands State
credit, represents no genuine transfer” (EC-468) .

Notwithstanding the objections of the then Commissar at the
Netherlands Bank (EC-468), circular 87/40 was soon followed
by No. 29/41 of 31 March 1941, which abolished almost
completely all restrictions on the free use of the
Reichsmark in Holland (ECR-197). Circular 29/41 provided
that all foreign exchange transactions between Germany and
the Netherlands were freed of control, the only important
exception being that German investments of more than 100,000
gulden in Holland required permission of the Reichskommissar
in the Netherlands. The clearing agreement was abolished,
and payments between Germany and the Netherlands were
permitted by simple bank checks, drafts, or postal money
orders. A simultaneous order by the Reich Commissar for the
Occupied Netherlands Areas lifted all restrictions set by
Netherlands foreign exchange law on such transactions (ECR-

After this “introduction of free payments traffic” or
“removal of the foreign exchange frontiers,” payments for
exports from Holland were made in Germany “through the
accounts of the banks, mainly through the account of the
Netherlands Bank,

[Page 1074]

which takes on the exchange into gulden means of payment
without further formalities.” (ECR-174)

This exchange presumably merely continued the practice
introduced earlier at the “instigation” of Seyss-Inquart. At
all events, the President of the Bank, van Tonningen, was a
Nazi agent, and his acts may be charged to the Nazi

The result of this radical step was this:

“Ever since the introduction of free payments traffic
the status of the Netherlands Bank is mainly influenced
by the taking up of Reichsmarks. On 31 March 1941, the
day before the introduction of free payments traffic,
the Netherlands Bank had a total stock of about 83
million RM of Reichsmark credits, on 30 April 1941 of
about 213 million RM, and on 31 May 1941 of about 366
million RM. Thus, in the two months after the removal
of the foreign exchange frontier, it has taken up about
283 million RM, the gulden equivalent, at the rate of
RM 132.7 equals florin 100, on the basis of the
transfer agreement with the Reichsbank.” (ECR-174)

Thus the Netherlands Bank was caused to pledge its credit
(in the form of Dutch currency) in exchange for a Reichsmark
credit. In this manner the Nazi conspirators were enabled to
exact from the bank a loan unlimited in quantity and beyond
the bank’s control, by the simple expedient of writing out a
check in Germany.

E. Argument and Conclusion.

The acts of the Nazi conspirators as revealed by the
evidence constitute war crimes within the meaning of Article
6 (B) of the charter of the International Military Tribunal.
Two general observations should be made at the outset. In
the first place, the pertinent provisions of the Hague
Regulations (3737-PS) are controlling. The Germans entered
into an Armistice Agreement with only one of the countries
under discussion (France), and the Franco-German Armistice
Agreement of 22 June 1940 contains nothing which purports to
confer on the occupant powers broader than those which may
be exercised under the Hague Regulations. Article 3 of the
Armistice reserves to Germany in the occupied zone “all the
rights of the occupying power.” No other provision is
material here. The language of Article 3 plainly does not
purport to qualify in any way the otherwise binding terms of
the Hague Regulations. The German position (EC-11) that “the
rights of Article 3 are more extensive than the rights of
the occupation power in the Hague Regulations” and permitted
Germany to base thereon “all measures which are, according
to her own

[Page 1075]

judgment, necessary for the continuation of the war against
England,” is therefore plainly untenable.

Secondly, the collaboration of certain French, Dutch, and
Belgian officials is legally immaterial and does not serve
to shield the Nazi conspirators from responsibility for the
acts done in the territory under German control. Belgium,
Holland, and a large part of France were under German
occupation throughout the period in question and, after 10
November 1942, so-called Vichy France was overrun and
occupied as well. It is accepted doctrine that governmental
authority is completely, albeit temporarily, vested in the
occupant during the period of its control. Whether the
occupant elects to employ the existing administrative
machinery and personnel or substitute its own, is solely a
question of political and administrative convenience; the
choice is without legal significance. The civil
administration of an occupied country, it may be confidently
asserted, has no independent legal status whatever.

(1) The acts of the Nazi conspirators as revealed by the
evidence are prohibited by the Hague Regulations.

(a) The forcible removal of machinery, foodstuffs, and raw
materials. It has been shown above that the Nazis forcibly
removed large quantities of machinery, foodstuffs, and raw
materials to Germany, including even church bells and the
strategic metals contained in the transmission systems of
the occupied countries. Articles 52 and 53 of the Hague
Regulations (the only pertinent provisions) provide no basis
for such action.

Article 52 of the Hague Regulations declares that
requisitions in kind and services shall not be demanded
except for “the needs of the occupation army,” a limitation
deliberately substituted for the less restrictive one of
“military necessity” which had previously been contained in
the Brussels Declaration of 1874 (Conference Internationale
de la Paix, La Haye, 1899, Part I, p. 60; Part III, pp. 45,
181). It is settled that requisitions for export to the
country of the occupying power is violative of Article 52
(see Feilchenfeld, The International Law of Belligerent
Occupation, Washington, 1942, pars. 148-149, and cases

The argument, advanced by the Germans in defense of such
requisitions during the first World War (see Garner,
International Law and World War, Vol. II, p. 126,n) and
frequently again during the recent conflict (EC-44-7; ECH-
16), that the limitations of Article 52 may be disregarded
in case of military necessity, is not well founded. Article
23g, which permits the destruction of private property when
“imperatively demanded by the necessities of war,” is
included among the provisions re-

[Page 1076]

lating to the rights of belligerents in the conduct of
military operations, and has no relation to the powers of a
belligerent in an occupied area in which conflict has ceased
(see Garner, loc. cit. supra). The latter are governed, so
far as material here, by Articles 42-56.

Apart from Article 23g, there is no basis whatever for the
German position. The Hague Regulations are limitations on
the powers which may be exercised under the plea of military
necessity (II, Oppenheim, International Law, 6th Edition
Revised, edited by Lauterpacht, p. 185, n.1). An exception
for cases of alleged military necessity, therefore, cannot
be implied. The deliberate substitution of the present
terminology in lieu of the vague limitations of “military
necessity” as contained in the Brussels Declaration of 1874,
moreover, would seem to remove all basis for a contrary

Article 53 provides no better support for the Nazis’ action.
The second paragraph, relating to private property, states:

“All appliances, whether on land, on sea, or in the air,
adapted for the transmission of news, or for the transport
of persons or things, exclusive- of cases governed by naval
law, depots of arms and, generally, all kinds of munitions
of war, may be seized even if they belong to private
individuals, but must be restored and compensation fixed
when peace is made.”

This Article, it may be conceded, authorizes not only the
sequestration but the use of all matters within its reach.
The term “munitions of war,” however, clearly refers only to
chattels (Feilchenfeld, supra, par. 351). It does not,
therefore, include machinery affixed to the realty. The
German legal advisors uniformly so conceded during this war
(EC-560; EC-84; EC-263; EC-544-7). The suggestion that
Article 53 is subject to an implied exception in the case of
military necessity (EC-344-7) is, for reasons noted above,
untenable. It is equally clear that the deliberate removal
of the-metal content of the transmission systems in the
occupied areas is without legal basis. Article 53 in terms
requires restoration when peace is made and, whatever
exceptions may be implied in case of munitions which are
necessarily consumed by use, no basis can be found for the
deliberate destruction of transmission facilities.

The question as to the class of chattels included within the
deliberately general term “munitions of war” is not free
from doubt. The right of seizure is based on military
necessity, namely, the danger of leaving at large things
which are peculiarly adapted to warlike purposes (Spaight,
War Rights on Land, p.

[Page 1077]

512). It should accordingly be limited to those things which
are “susceptible of direct military use” (see British Manual
of Military Law, 1929, Amendment No. 12, par. 415; US Army
Basic Field Manual on Rules of Land Warfare, FM 27-10, 1940,
par. 332). Article 53, which contains no limitation
restricting seizures to the needs of the occupation army,
would otherwise completely nullify the deliberate
limitations on the right of requisition imposed in Article
52. In this view, raw materials and even semifinished goods,
save perhaps such goods as are normally part of military
equipment, would seem outside the reach of Article 53.

(b) The control and direction of production and distribution
in the German interest. The planned control and direction of
the economy of the occupied countries in the interest of the
German war effort constitute a violation of Article 52. This
seems clearly true to the extent that production and sale
for export to Germany were ordered by the Ruestungsobmann
pursuant to Speer’s directive late in 1943. It would seem
equally true of the earlier method of control by
prohibitions and restrictions. For the net effect of the
priority system was to leave no alternative to producing in
the German interest save to cease operations. And even this
alternative was not available, since the power to appoint a
commissar in case of recalcitrant plants was expressly

Article 53, which is limited to chattels and has no relation
to the demanding of personal services in any event, provides
not even a remote basis for the imposition of the controls
in question.

In what has been said, it is not meant to be suggested that
an occupant is without power to institute a system of
rationing for articles in short supply with the aim of
securing an equitable distribution among the population of
the occupied area. Such a measure is plainly related to the
promotion of economic order and there is nothing in the
Hague Regulations which restricts even requisition for the
needs of the local population. The Nazi controls, however,
were exercised, not in the interest of the local population,
but to fulfill the general war requirements of Germany, in
the Reich as well as in the occupied area.

(c) Levy of occupation charges for purposes not relate to
the needs of the occupation army. Article 49 of the Hague
Regulations limits the levy of occupation charges to the
“needs of the army or of the administration of the territory
in question.” The only purpose for which such contributions
may be levied (other than for the financing of the costs of
administration, a matter not material here), is to supply
the needs of the army of occupa-

[Page 1078]

tion (Conference Internationale de la Paix, La Haye, 1899,
Pt. I, p. 60; Feilchenfeld, supra, par. 167; Spaight, supra,
pp. 384-392). The power to levy contributions is reserved in
order to permit an equitable distribution among the entire
community of costs which, if supplies were requisitioned,
would fall directly and solely on the owners of the
requisitioned property (Spaight, supra, pp. 387-389).
Accordingly, the levy of contributions to finance exports or
for other purposes unrelated to the needs of the army in the
territory in question would seem plainly forbidden
(Feilchenfeld, supra, par. 167; Spaight, supra, pp. 384-

Moreover, as Article 49 refers to the occupation army only,
the levy of contributions to support the troops engaged in
military operations against an enemy located outside the
boundaries of the occupied country or to finance other
general war expenses would seem prohibited.

(d) Forced loans. Forced loans can be justified only as
contributions and are therefore subject to the same
limitations (Feilchenfeld, supra, par. 185). The forced
loans under the Belgian-German and Franco-German clearing
arrangements, were executed largely to finance exports to
Germany, that is, for nonoccupation purposes.

(e) The exchange of reichsmarks for gulden by the
Netherlands Bank. These transactions, whether viewed as
resulting in a loan or merely in an exchange, constitute a
contribution of money for nonoccupation purposes. It may be
assumed that they were carried out “voluntarily” while the
Netherlands Bank was under the immediate direction of Rost
Van Tonningen. This circumstance is immaterial, however,
since an Tonningen was a civil official appointed by Seyss-
Inquart, and his authority, like that of civilian officials
in occupied areas generally, was derived solely from that of
the occupant.

(f) The taking over of gold of the National Bank of Belgium
and the Netherlands Bank. That the gold of the National Bank
of Belgium was private property is not disputed; the Nazi
conspirators proceeded on this view in the original decision
to requisition under Article 2 (EC-401, second enclosure).
Confiscation under Article 53, first paragraph, therefore,
was not open to the Nazi conspirators; so far as appears
they never considered such a step.

It may be assumed for purposes of argument that gold is
subject to requisition under the Hague Regulations.
Requisition may be made, however, only for the needs of the
occupation army. It cannot be resorted to to relieve the
“considerable straining of the reserves” of Germany.

[Page 1079]

The gold reserve of the Netherlands Bank, it is believed, is
private property, no less than that of the National Bank of
Belgium. In this view, the taking over of the gold of the
Netherlands Bank was likewise illegal. There is, of course,
no basis in law for exacting a contribution for the so-
called “war against Bolshevism,” to use the Nazis’ phrase.
And, for the reasons indicated above, it is immaterial
whether these “contributions” were “voluntarily” made by Van

(g) The compulsory surrender of gold and foreign exchange.
The requirement of surrender of gold and foreign exchange
for ultimate delivery to the Reichsbank amounts in substance
to a requisition and cannot be supported because obviously
done solely to maintain the reserves of foreign exchange for
the total war effort, not for the needs of the occupation
army alone.

(h) The acquisition of business interests. The Nazis’
acquisition of Belgian, Dutch, and French participations was
unlawful. That this is so in the case of the sales ordered
by the Ministry of Economics is clear (EC-43). The
conclusion should be the same even when sale was not
expressly ordered. These purchases were financed through the
clearing system (which, as shown above, constituted a forced
loan) and out of occupation cost funds. Since such
expenditures bore no relation to the needs of the occupation
army or, indeed, served any purpose other than to enrich the
Nazi conspirators and their nominees, the Nazi program for
acquisition of participations was in plain violation of
Article 49 of the Hague Regulations.

(2) Such acts constitute “plunder of public or private
property” within the meaning of Article 6 (B) of the Charter
of the International Military Tribunal. Save as they may be
authorized by International Law (and’ hence “consented” to
by the occupied countries), the acts complained of are of a
character condemned by the criminal code of the occupied
countries and, indeed, of all civilized nations. Absent such
authority, the forcible permanent taking of money or other
property whether from Government agencies or private
persons, constitutes larceny or, as known in the
international law of belligerent occupation, “pillage”
(Garner, supra, pp. 472-473). The question of which court or
courts may try and punish for the offense is one of
jurisdiction only (see Garner, supra, pp. 475-480) and has
been resolved by the Agreement and Charter of the
International Military Tribunal.