|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
Funk: That is quite a decisive question for us: should the Jewish stores be reopened?
Goebbels: If they will be reopened is another ,question. The question is will they be restored ? I have set the deadline for Monday.
Goering: You don't have to ask whether they'll be reopened. That is up to us to decide.
Goebbels: Number 2. In almost all German cities synagogues are burned. New, various possibilities exist to utilize the space where the synagogues stood. Some cities want to build parks in their place, others want to put up new buildings.
Goering: How many synagogues were actually burned?
Heydrich: Altogether there are 101 synagogues destroyed by fire ; 76 synagogues demolished ; and 7,500 stores ruined in the Reich.
Goering: What do you mean "destroyed by fire?"
Heydrich: Partly, they are razed, and partly gutted.
Goebbels: I am of the opinion that this is our chance to dissolve the synagogues. All these not completely intact, shall be razed by the Jews. The Jews shall pay for it. There in Berlin, the Jews are ready to do that. The synagogues which burned in Berlin are being leveled by the Jews themselves. We shall build parking lots in their places or new buildings. That ought to be the criterion for the whole country, the Jews shall have to remove the damaged or burned synagogues, and shall have to provide us with ready free space.
Number 3: I deem it necessary to issue a decree f:orbidding the Jews to enter German theaters, moving houses, and circuses. I have already issued such a decree under the authority of the law of the chamber for culture. Considering the present situation of the theaters, I believe we can afford that. Our theaters are overcrowded, we have hardly any room. I am of the opinion that it is not possible to have Jews sitting next to Germans in movies and theaters. One might consider, later on, to let the Jews have one or two movie houses here in Berlin, where they may see Jewish movies, But in German theaters they have no business anymore.
Furthermore, I advocate that the Jews be eliminated from all positions in public life in which they may prove to be provocative. It is still possible today that a Jew shares a compartment in a sleeping car with a German. Therefore, we need a decree by the Reich Ministry for Communications stating that separate compartments for Jews shall be available ; in case where compar-ments are filled up, Jews cannot claim a seat. They shall be given a separate compartment only after all Germans have secured seats. They shall not mix with Germans, and if there is no more room, they shall have to stand in the corridor.
Goering: In that case, I think it would make more sense to give them separate compartments.
Goebbels: Not if the train is overcrowded!
Goering: Just a moment. There'll be only one Jewish coach. If that is filled up, the other Jews will have to stay at home.
Goebbels: Suppose, though, there won't be many Jews going on the express train to Munich, suppose there would be two Jews in the train and the other compartments would be overcrowded. These two Jews would then have a compartment all themselves. Therefore, Jews may claim a seat only after all Germans have secured a seat.
Goering: I'd give the Jews. one coach or one compartment. And should a case like you mention arise and the train be over-crowded, believe me, we won't need a law. We'll kick him out and he'll have to sit all alone in the toilet all the way!
Goebbels: I don't agree. I don't believe in this. There ought to be a law. Furthermore, there ought to be a decree barring Jews from German beaches and resorts. Last summer * * *
Goering: Particularly here in the Admiralspalast very disgusting things have happened lately.
Goebbels: Also at the Wannsee beach. A law which definitely forbids the Jews to visit German resorts!
Goering: We could give them their own.
Goebbels: It would have to be considered whether we'd give them their own or whether we should turn a few German resorts over to them, but not the finest and best, so we cannot say the Jews go there for recreation.
It'll also have to be considered if it might not become necessary to forbid the Jews to enter the German forests. In the Grunewald, whole herds of them are running around. It is a constant provocation and we are having incidents all the time. The behavior of the Jews is so inciting and provocative that brawls are a daily routine.
Goering: We shall give the Jews a certain part of the forest, and the Alpers shall take care of it that various animals that look damned much like Jews-the Elk has such a crooked nose, -get there also and become acclimated.
Goebbels: I think this behavior is provocative. Furthermore, Jews should not be allowed to sit around in German parks. I am thinking of the whispering campaign on the part of Jewish women in the public gardens at Fehrbelliner Platz. They go and sit with German mothers and their children and begin to gossip and incite.
Goebbels: I see in this a particularly grave danger. I think it is imperative to give the Jews certain public parks, not the best ones-and tell them: "You may sit on these benches" these benches shall be marked "For Jews only." Besides that they have no business in German parks. Furthermore, Jewish children are still allowed in German schools. That's impossible. It is out of the question that any boy should sit beside a Jewish boy in a German gymnasium and receive lessons in German history. Jews ought to be eliminated completely from German schools; they may take care of their own education in their own communities.
Goering: I suggest that Mr. Hilgard from the insurance company be called in ; he is waiting outside. As soon as he'll be finished with his report, he may go, and we can continue to talk. At the time Gustloff died, a compensation for the damage Germany had suffered, was prepared. But I believe that at present we should not work it through raised taxes but with a contribution paid only once. That serves my purpose, better.
Mr. Hilgard, the following is our case. Because of the justified anger of the people against the Jew, the Reich has suffered a certain amount of damage. Windows were broken, goods were damaged and people hurt, synagogues burned, etc. I suppose that the Jews, many of them are also insured against damage committed by public disorder, etc.
(Hilgard : "Yes")
If that is so, the following situation arises; the people, in their justified anger, meant to harm the Jew; but it is the German insurance companies that will compensate the Jew for damage. This situation is simple enough ; .I'd only have to issue a decree to that effect that damage, resulting from these risks, shall not have to be paid by the insurance companies. But the question that interests me primarily, and because of which I have asked you to come here, is this one: In case of reinsurance policies in foreign countries, I should not like to lose these, and that is why I'd like to discuss with you ways and means by which profit from reinsurance, possibly in foreign currency will go to the German economy, instead of the Jew. I'd like to hear from you, and that is the first question I want to ask: In your opinion, are the Jews insured against such damage to a large extent?
Hilgard: Permit me to answer right away. We are concerned with three kinds of insurances. Not with the insurance against damage resulting from revolt or from risks. But with the ordinary fire insurance, the ordinary glass insurance, and the ordinary insurance against theft. The people, because of their contracts, who have a right to claim compensation are partly Jews, partly Aryans. As for the fire insurance, they are practically all Jewish, I suppose. As for the department stores, the victim is identical with the Jew, the owner and that applies more to the synagogues, except for neighbors to whose places the fire may have spread. Although the damage done to the latter's property seems to be rather slight, according to the inquiries I made late last night.
As for the glass insurance which plays a very important part in this, the situation is completely different. The majority of the victims, mostly the owners of the buildings are Aryans. The Jew has usually rented the store, a procedure which you may observe all over, for example on Kurfuerstendamm.
Goering: That is what we've said.
Goebbels: In these cases, the Jew will have to pay.
Goering: It doesn't make sense, we have no raw materials. It is all glass imported from foreign countries and has to be paid for in foreign currency! One could go nuts.
Hilgard: May I draw your attention to the following facts: the glass for the shop windows is not being manufactured by the Bohemian, but by the Belgian glass industry. In my estimation, the approximate money-value to which these damages amount is $6,000,000-that includes the broken glass, glass which we shall have to replace, mainly to Aryans because they have the insurance policies. Of course I have to reserve final judgment in all this, Your Excellency, because I have had only one day to make my inquiries. Even counting on about half of the $6,000,000 being spent in transacting the business-specialists from the industry itself are more confident in this matter than I am, we might well have to import glass for approximately $3,000,000. Incidentally, the amount of the damage equals about half a whole year's pro-duction of the Belgian glass industry. We believe that half a year will be necessary for the manufacturers to deliver the glass.
Goering: The people will have to be enlightened on this.
Goebbels: We cannot do this right now.
Goering: This cannot continue! We won't be able to last with all this. Impossible! Go on then ! You suggest that the Aryan is the one who suffers the damage ; is that right?
Hilgard: Yes, to a large extent, as far as the glass insurance goes.
Goering: Which would have to replace the glass.
Hilgard: Yes. Of course there are cases in which the Aryan, the owner of the store is identical with the owner of the building. That is so with all department stores. In the case of the department store Israel, the owner is the Jew.
Goering: And now the third category.
Hilgard: Under this fall the victims of thievery.
Goering: I have to ask you a question. When all kinds of goods were taken from the stores and burned in the streets, would that also be thievery?
Hilgard: I don't think so.
Goering: Could that be termed as "Riot"?
Hilgard: That is just the question which we are unable to decide at this moment. Is it ordinary theft if entry into a dwelling or a container of any kind is forced and something is taken away? Goering: That is a case of "Riot."
Hilgard: Riot does not mean much since we have very little insurance against damage caused by riots-these were discarded by us long ago.
Goering: But this here is "Rioting." That is the legal term. There was no theft, and no individual broke into any place. But a mob rushes in and knocks everything to pieces, or "Public Disturbances."
Hilgard: Public disturbance. It is no riot.
Goering: Are they insured against damages caused by public disturbances ?
Hilgard: No, no more. May I show this by an example. The most remarkable of these cases is the case Margraf Unter Den Linden. The Jewelry store of Margraf is insured with us through a so-called combined policy. That covers practically any damage that may occur. This damage was reported to us as amounting to $1,700,000 because the store was completely stripped.
Goering: Daluege and Heydrich, you'll have to get me this jewelry through raids, staged on a tremendous scale!
Daluege: The order has already been given. The people are being controlled all the time. According to reports, 150 were arrested by yesterday afternoon.
Goering: These things will otherwise be hidden. If somebody comes to a store with jewels and claims that he has bought them, they'll be confiscated at once. He has stolen them or traded them in all right.
Heydrich: Besides that, looting was going on in the Reich in more than 800 cases, contrary to what we supposed; but we have already several hundred people who were plundering, and we are trying to get the loot back.
Goering: And the jewels?
Heydrich: That is very difficult to say. They were partly thrown into the street and picked up there. Similar things happened with furriers, for example, in Friedrichstrasse, district C, there the crowd was naturally rushing to pick up minks, skunks, etc. It' ll be very difficult to recover that. Even children have filled their pockets, just for fun. It is suggested that the Hitler Youth is not to be employed and to participate in such actions without the Party' s consent. Such things are very easily destroyed.
Daluege: The Party should issue an order to the effect that the police will immediately receive a report in case the neighbor' s wife, (everybody knows his neighbor) has a fur coat altered or in case somebody appears wearing new rings or bracelets. We' d like the Party to support us here.
Hilgard: These damages are not covered by the policy, I believe. May I say a word in general about our liabilities and a "Petidum" of the Versicherungswirkschaft report. We' d like to make it our point, Mr. General Field Marshall, that we shall not be hindered in fulfilling the obligations for which our contracts call.
Goering: But I have to. That is important for me.
Hilgard: If I may give reasons for this request, I' d like to say that it simply has to do with the fact that we carry out, to a large extent, quite a number of international transactions. We have a very good international basis for our business transactions, and in the interest of the equilibrium of the Foreign exchange in Germany, we have to make sure that the confidence in the German insurance shall not be ruined. If we now refuse to honor clear-cut obligations, imposed upon us through lawful contract, it would be a black spot on the shield of honor of the German insurance.
Goering: It wouldn' t the minute I issue a decree-a law sanctioned by the State.
Hilgard: I was leading up to that.
Heydrich: The insurance may be granted, but as soon as it is to be paid, it' ll be confiscated. That way we' ll have saved face.
Hilgard: I am inclined to agree with what General Heydrich has just said. First of all, use the mechanism of the insurance company to check on the damage, to regulate it and even pay, but give the insurance company the chance to * * *
Goering: One moment! You' ll have to pay in any case because it is the Germans who suffered the damage. But there' ll be a lawful order forbidding you to make any direct payments to the Jews. You shall also have to make payment for the damage the Jews have suffered, but not to the Jews, but to the Minister of Finance.
(Hilgard : Aha !)
What he does with the money is his business.
Schmer: Your Excellency, I should like to make a proposal. A certain rate should be fixed, say 15% or maybe a little higher, of all the registered wealth, I understand one billion is to be confiscated so that all Jews shall pay equally, and from the money raised this way, the insurance companies shall be refunded.
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,
Kerl: It seems that in one respect, we'll have to arrange this somewhat differently. As far as the glass insurance goes, the fact of the matter is that the owners of the buildings will definitely have to be paid for the damage, as stipulated. The majority of these companies, with the exception of one Joint Stock Company in Cologne, are all very small reciprocity companies [ Gegenseitsvereine] . They won't be able to make up for the damage. We'll have to find out how far they are covered by reinsurance which I cannot tell at the moment.
Hilgard: In this connection, the reinsurance plays a relatively small role, except for the large fire-insurance policies taken out by department stores. There is not reinsurance in the glass insurances, for the simple reason that, under normal conditions glass insurance is one of our best branches in the insurance business ; and therefore does not need reinsurance. I have to add, though, that the amount of this damage is approximately twice as high as the amount of damage for an average year. It makes all our calculations wrong and completely wipes out our chance for profit.
(Interrupted by Kerl)
No, sir, that is the way it is. The whole premium of the German glass insurance amounts to $14,000,000, if I am not wrong. Under normal conditions it amounted to 4 or 5 million. The glass insurance is our greatest asset. So far, the greatest profits were made in it. But now, the amount ofthis damage is alone twice as high as the amount for one ordinary year. With the various special glass insurances, it is altogether different.
Goering: One moment ! 4 to 5 millions normally. Twice as much would be about 10 million. You suggested 14 million. There are still 4 million left.
Hilgard: We' ll also have to pay for the expenses. No, it is a very great catastrophe for us. Let me point out that the damage in the whole of Germany, in my estimation, shall amount to approximately 25 million mark. I wanted to be careful.
Heydrich: We estimate that the damage to property, to furniture and to consumer-goods amounts to several hundred million ; although that includes the damage the Reich shall suffer from loss of taxes-sales taxes, taxes on property, and on income. I assume that the Minister for Finance too, has been informed of all this.
V. Krosigk: I have no idea about the extent.
Heydrich: 7,500 destroyed stores in the Reich.
Daluege: One more question ought to be cleared up. Most of the goods in the stores were not the property of the owner but were kept on the books of other firms, which had delivered them. Then there are the unpaid for deliveries by other firms, which definitely are not all Jewish but Aryan, those goods that were delivered on the basis of commission.
Hilgard: We' ll have to pay for them, too.
Goering: I wished you had killed 200 Jews, and not destroyed such values.
Heydrich: There were 35 killed.
Kerl: I think we could do the following: Jews we don' t pay anyhow. As for Aryans, payment shall have to be made. The insurance company may contact us through the "Reichsgruppe" and we shall investigate each case. I am thinking of the small reciprocity companies; it should be easy to find out whether they are capable of paying or not. In their cases, the amounts involved are not too large. We may find an arrangement for this later on; I am thinking of one in which the insurance companies arrange for recompensation exclusively to Aryan, and once they know the results of their inquiries, contact us. We shall then find a way out for these small companies. Of course only in cases where it is absolutely necessary.
Funk: That is not necessary. I' d like to refer to what I' ve . said before about the decree. That seems to be the easiest solution.
Goering: We cannot do that. These people make a point of their ability to pay.
Funk: If the Jews pay for it, the insurance companies don' t have to pay.
Goering: Right, well, gentlemen, this is all very clear. We' ll stick to it. At this moment every insurance company, except Mr. Hilgard who is here, counts on having to pay for the damage. They want to pay too, and I understand this very well. They'll have to want that, so they cannot be reproached for not being secure enough to pay. The glass insurance, and a point was made of that, has brought the highest profits so far. That means they'd have enough surplus money, and if they haven't divided it all up in dividends, they'll have savings enough for the compensation. Such an insurance company will have to be in a position to pay for a damage of 10, 12, 15 million, that is three times the amount paid in the normal year. If they are unable to do that, then we'll have to wonder whether we should let small companies live at all. It would be insane to keep insurance companies which would be unable to pay for such a damage. To permit an insurance company like that to exist would simply mean to cheat the people. I suggest now the following. The damage shall be determined in each case. And for the time being, the insurance companies shall have to honor their contract in every respect and shall have to pay.
Faculty of Humanities, Languages and Social Sciences