|TRANSLATION OF DOCUMENT 1816-PS
Source:Nazi Conspiracy and Aggression. Volume IV,USGPO, Washington, 1946/pp.425-457
STENOGRAPHIC REPORT OF
THE MEETING ON "THE JEWISH QUESTION" UNDER THE CHAIRMANSHIP OF FIELD MARSHALL
GOERING IN THE REICHS AIR FORCE
Goering: Gentlemen! 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 the economic angle that it shall have to be tackled. Naturally a number of legal measures shall have to be taken which fall into the sphere of the Minister for Justice and into that of the Minister of the Interior; and certain propaganda measures shall be taken care of by the Minister for Propaganda. The Minister for Finance and the Minister for Economic Affairs shall take care of problems falling in their respective resorts.
In the meeting, in which we first talked about this question and came to the decision to aryanize German economy, to take the Jew out of it, and put him into our debit ledger, was one in which, to our shame, we only made pretty plans, which were executed very slowly. We then had a demonstration, right here in Berlin, we told the people that something decisive would be done, but again nothing happened. We have had this affair in Paris now, more demonstrations followed and this time something decisive must be done!
Because, gentlemen, I have enough of these demonstrations! They don't harm the Jew but me, who is the last authority for coordinating the German economy.
If today, a Jewish shop is destroyed, if goods are thrown into the street, the insurance company will pay for the damages, which the Jew does not even have; and furthermore goods of the consumer goods belonging to the people, are destroyed. If in the future, demonstrations which are necessary, occur, then, I pray, that they be directed, so as not to hurt us.
Because it' s insane to clean out and burn a Jewish warehouse then have a German insurance company make good the loss. And the goods which I need desperately, whole bales of clothing and what-not, are being burned ; and I miss them everywhere.
I may as well burn the raw materials before they arrive. The people of course, do not understand that; therbfore we must make laws which will show the people once and for all, that something is being done.
I should appreciate it very much if for once, our propaganda would make it clear that it is unfortunately not the Jew who has to suffer in all this, but the German insurance companies.
I am not going to tolerate a situation in which the insurance companies are the ones who suffer. Under the authority invested in me, I shall issue a decree, and I am, of course, requesting the support of the competent Government agencies, so that everything shall be processed through the right channels and the insurance companies will not be the ones who suffer.
It may be, though, that these insurance companies may have insurance in foreign countries. If that is the case, foreign bills of exchange would be available which I would not want to lose. That shall have to be checked. For that reason, I have asked Mr. Hilgard of the insurance company, to attend, since he is best qualified to tell us to what extent the insurance companies are protected against damage, by having taken out insurance with other companies. I would not want to miss this, under any circumstances.
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 the elimination of the Jew 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.
On the other hand, it is very necessary to have safety precautions so that the lower echelons, Statthalter, and Gauleiter will not do things unreasonably. One must issue correction directives, immediately.
The aryanizing of all the larger establishments, naturally, is to be my lot-the Ministry for Economy will designate, which and how many there are-it must not be done by a Statthalter or his lower echelons, since these things reach into the export trade, and cause great problems, which the Statthalter can neither observe, nor solve from his place.
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, what can be seen, certain categories have to be established, according to the importance of the various branches.
The trustee of the State wilI 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 over to the "Aryan" proprietor, that is, the property shall be sold according to its real value.
There begins the difficulties. It is easily understood that strong attempts 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?
Of course, things like that are impossible. I shall not hesitate to act ruthlessly in any case where such a trick is played. If the individual involved is prominent, I shall see the Fuehrer within two hours and report to him.
We shall have to insist upon it, that the Aryan taking over the establishment is of the branch and knows his job. Generally speaking he is the one who must pay for the store with his own money. In other words, an ordinary business transaction is to be sought-one merchant selling, the other one buying a business. If there are party members among the contenders, they are to be preferred, that is if they have the same qualifications: first shall come the one who had the most damage, and secondly, selection should be according to length of Party membership.
Of course, there may be exceptions. There are party-members who, as may be proven, lost their business concessions by action of the Schuschnigg or Prague Government, and so went ,bankrupt. Such a man has naturally first option on a store for sale, and he shall receive help if he does not have the means to help himself. The trustee of the State can justify this help, if he is more business like in the transfer. This party-member should have the chance to buy the store for as cheap a price as possible. In such a case the State will not receive the full price, but only the amount the Jew received. Such a buyer may even receive a loan besides, so that he; will get off to a good start.
I wish to make it clear that such a proceeding shall only be legal if the party-member has once owned such a store. For example, a party-member was the owner of a stationery store, and Schuschnigg took away the concession to operate it so that the man lost the store and went bankrupt. Now, if a Jewish stationery store is being aryanized, this party-member should get the store on conditions which he'll be able to fulfill. Such a case shall be the only exception though, in all other cases the procedure shall be of a strictly businesslike nature whereby the party-member, like I said before, shall have the preference, if he has the same qualifications as any other candidate, who is not a member of the party.
When selling for the actual value we shall find only about 60 Aryans ready to take over 100 Jewish stores. I don't think that we have a German for every Jewish store. You must not for-get that the Jew sees his main activity in the field of trade, and that he owns 90% of it. I doubt that we'd have a demand big enough. I even doubt that we'd have enough people, particularly now since everybody has found his field of work.
Therefore, I ask the Minister for Economy to go beyond what we think ought to be done for the sake of the principle, in liquidating the establishments. I ask him to go further, even though there won't be any candidates. That'll be perfectly alright.
The transfer of stores and establishments shall have to be executed by the lower echelons, not through Berlin but through the Gaue and through the Reichstatthalterschaft. Therein shall be the seat of the members of the Board of Trustees, even if it consists of a few people only. The Statthalter and his people cannot do this job; the trustees will have to tackle it. But the Statthalter shall be the authority which supervises, according to the regulations given him, the trustees, particularly in dealings such as the transfer to party-members.
Naturally, these establishments cannot disappear all at once but we'll ,have to start by Monday, in a manner that shall make it obvious that a change has begun to materialize. Besides that, certain stores could be closed which will make things here easier.
Another point! I have noticed that Aryans took over a Jewish store and were then so clever to keep the name of the Jewish store as "formerly," or kept it altogether. That must not be; I cannot permit it. Because it may happen-what has just happened: stores were looted because their signboards bore Jewish names because they had once been Jewish, but had been "aryanized" a long time ago. Names of former Jewish firms shall have to disappear completely, and the German shall have to come forward with his or his firm's name. I ask you to carry this out quite definitely. That much then regarding aryanizing of stores and wholesale establishments, particularly in regard to signboards and of all that is obvious!
Of the consequences resulting from this for the Jew, I shall speak later, because this' is connected with other things.
Now for the factories. As for the smaller and medium ones, two things shall have to be made clear.
If such a factory is to be transformed or razed, the first thing to be done is check the equipment. The questions arising will be : Where can this equipment be used? Could it be used after the place is transformed? Where else might it be needed badly? Where could the machinery be set up again? It follows that aryanizing factories will be an even more difficult task than the aryanizing of stores.
Take now the larger factories which are run solely by, a Jewish owner, without control by a Board of Directors ; or take corporations where the Jews might be in the Supervisory Council or Board of Directors. There the solution is very simple: the factory can be compensated in the same manner as in the sale of stores and factories; that is, at a rate which we shall determine, and the trustee shall take over the Jew's interest as well as his shares, which he in turn may sell or transfer to the State, which will then dispose of them. So, if I have a big factory, which belonged to a Jew or a Jewish corporation, and the Jew leaves, perhaps with his sons who were employed there, the factory will still continue to operate. Maybe a director will have to be appointed because the Jew has run the factory himself. But otherwise, particularly if the maintenance of the establishment is very essential everything will run smoothly.
Everything is very simple. I now have his shares. I may give them to, some Aryan or to another group or I may keep them. The State takes them over and offers them at the stock market, if they are acceptable there and if it so desires, or it makes use of them in some other way.
Now, I shall talk of the very big establishments, those in which the Jew is in the Board of Directors, in which he holds shares etc., and so is either the owner or one of the coowners; in any case in which he is greatly interested. There too, things are comparatively simple ; he delivers all of his shares which shall be bought at a price fixed by the trustee. So the Jew gets into the account book. The shares shall be handled like I've just explained. These cases cannot be taken care of by the Gaue and Reichsstatthalter, but only by us here on top; because we are the only ones to decide where these factories are to be transferred to, how they may be affiliated with other establishments or to what an extent the State shall keep them or hand them over to another establishment belonging to the State. All this can only be decided here. Of course, the Gauleiter and Statthalter will be glad to get hold of the shares, and they'll make great promises to beautify our capital cities, etc. I know it all! It won't go! We must agree on a clear action that shall be profitable to the Reich.
The same procedure shall be applied where the Jew has a share in, or owns property of German economy. I am not competent .enough to tell off hand in what forms that might be the case, and to what an extent he'll have to lose it. Anyway, the Jew must be evicted pretty fast from German economy.
Now, the foreign Jews. There we'll have to make distinctions between the Jews who have always been foreigners-and who shall have to be treated according to the laws we arranged with their respective countries. But regarding those Jews who were Germans, have always lived in Germany and have acquired foreign citizenship during the last year, only because they wanted to play safe. I ask you not to give them any consideration. We'll finish with these. Or have you any misgivings? We shall try to induce them through slight, and then through stronger pressure, and through clever maneuvering-to let themselves be pushed out voluntarily.
Woermann: I'd like the Foreign Office to be included, since a generally valid decision could hardly be made.
Goering: We cannot consult you in every case, but on the whole we will.
Woermann: Anyway, I'd like to make known the claim of the Foreign Office to participate. One never knows what steps may become necessary.
Goering : Only for important cases ! I do not like to take this category under special consideration. I have learned only now to what extent that has been done, particularly in Austria and Czechoslovakia. If somebody was a Czech in Sudetenland, we do not have to consider him at all, and the Foreign Office doesn't have to be consulted because that person now belongs to us. And in Austria and also in Sudetenland, too many become all of a sudden Englishmen or Americans or what-not-and generally speaking we cannot consider that a great deal.
Faculty of Humanities, Languages and Social Sciences