|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: Now for the damage the Jew has had. At Margraf's the jewels disappeared, etc. Well, they are gone, and he won't get them refunded. He is the one who has to suffer the damage. As far as the jewels may be returned again by the police, they belong to the State. Now for the consumer foods [probably goods] which were thrown into the street, stolen, or burned. There too, the Jew will be the one who has the damage.
As for the goods that were kept on the basis of commissions, the Jew shall have to make good for the damage.
Goebbels: That doesn't have to be put in the decree, though. This decree is quite sufficient the way it is.
Hilgard: I wonder to what an extent insurance companies in foreign countries might be involved in this.
Goering: Well, they'll have to pay. And we'll confiscate that.
Hilgard: As for this merchandise sold on the basis of commissions, I can imagine that the American supplier of fur coats, shipping them from England or from America would in many cases insure it with English or American insurance companies!
Goering: Then they'll pay him for the damage. The question merely is the following: do you think there are reinsurances for all this damage in foreign countries?
Hilgard: Very few, amounting to very little.
Goering: Of course, the Aryan cannot report any damage because he hasn't had any. The Jew will make good.
The Jew shall have to report the damage. He'll, get the refund from the insurance company but the refund will be confiscated. After it's all said and done, there will .remain some profit for the insurance companies since they can't have to make good for all the damage. Mr. Hilgard, you may enjoy yourself.
Hilgard: I have no reason for that-the fact that we won't have to pay for all the damage is called profit!
Goering: Just a moment ! If you are compelled under the law to pay 5 million and all of a sudden there appears an angel in my somewhat corpulent form before you, and tells you: you may keep 1 million-why, cannot that be called making a profit? I should actually split with you, or whatever you'd call it. I can see it, looking at you. Your whole body grins. You made a big profit.
(Remark : Let's initiate a tax for damages, resulting from public disturbance, to be paid by the insurance companies)
Hilgard: For me it goes without saying that the honorable German merchant cannot be the one who suffers. I have discussed this matter with the enterprises and I have spoken for it that the Aryan must not be the one who has the damage. But it is decidedly he who has it, because all the insurance companies, not one insurance company, are the ones that shall have to pay higher rates and at the same time shall receive lower dividends. Therefore, all the insurance companies are the losers. That is so, and that'll remain so, and nobody can tell me differently.
Goering : Then why don't you take care of it that a few windows less are being smashed! You belong to the people too! Send your representatives out. Let them instruct the people. If there should be any more questions speak to Mr. Lange.
(Reichsgruppenleiter Hilgard leaves the meeting)
Gentlemen, let us continue.
Woermann: I think that the foreign Jews are left out completely in Article 1. They are covered only by Article 2. But they should also be taken care of in Article 1. Otherwise they can be dealt with only if they are insured, and not if they are not insured.
Goering: Well, they'll have to insure themselves-or what else do you mean?
Woermann: As for insurance, the foreign Jews are, to my understanding, mentioned only in Article 2 and 3, and not in Article 1. If I remember correctly, you were going to say in Article 1: "Jews inside the country." Well, we'll have plenty of complaints then.
Goering: Pardon me. According to Article 2, they'll receive their compensation.
(Woermann : If they are insured!)
The number of those who are not insured is negligible.
Heydrich: I'd like to say one more thing of primary importance. In the decree we should not mention the confiscation. We can do that easily.
Goering: No, you cannot do that tacitly. A clear legal procedure will have to be employed there. But that is not what Mr. Woermann means, he is talking about these foreign Jews who are not insured. As far as they are insured, they are covered. This here concerns those who are not insured. That may be the case here and there.
Woermann: We shall then have plenty of, complaints.
Goering: I'd like to avoid paying too much attention to the foreign Jews.
Woermann: But if Article 2 contains that provision, Article 1 may as well have it. The first draft by the Minister for Justice covered it all very nicely.
Guertner: Now, if I ,don't misunderstand, Mr. Woermann, he is primarily concerned with the obligation for restoration which shall be valid generally while only Jews who have German citizenship are mentioned regarding the insurance. I'd like to know whether there are any objections against compelling also the foreign Jews to restore the damage, and to inform him that he shall not be paid the money from the insurance.
Goering: He is quite able to do that.
Woermann: Even if he is not insured?
Guertner. Oh !
Goering: There should hardly be such instances. Let's take a chance on it.
Stuckart: If he is not insured, he'll have to have the damage restored anyway. How can he then make claims against anybody?
Goering: He cannot.
Woermann: He can file claims against the State.
Stuckart: According to which law? Damage caused by riots? We won't recognize riots.
Goering: Perfectly right.
Woermmn: Generally speakitg, may I say: regarding foreign Jews, the reservation that the contract is to be taken into consideration was made only for the organization. That is valid for all branches which we have discussed today, and also for the ex-propriation.
Goering: Like the Fuehrer says, we'll have to find a way to talk this over with the countries which also do something against their Jews. That every dirty Polish Jew has a legal position here and we have to stand him-that ought to cease. The Fuehrer was not very happy about the agreement that was made with the Poles. He thinks we should take a few chances and just tell the Poles ; all right, we are not going to do that; let's talk over what we may be able to accomplish together ; you are doing something against your own Jews in Poland ; but the minute the Itzig has left Poland, he should suddenly be treated like a Pole! I'd like to disregard these stories from foreign countries a little.
Woermann: It ought to be considered whether or not, the U S might take measures against German property. This question cannot be handled equally for all countries. I have to make a formal and general reservation.
Goering: I have always said and I'd like to repeat it that our steamship companies and German companies in general should finally catch on and liquidate their investments in the U S, sell them, etc. That country of scoundrels does not do business with us according to any legal rules. Once before they stole everything from us, that is why I don't understand how we could do it again, just for some temporary profit. It is dangerous. You can do it with a regular country but not with one that cares for the Right as little as the U S. The other day I had the American ambassador with me, we talked about the zeppelin and I told him: "We don't need any helium, I fly without helium but the prerequisite will have to be that this ship will be flying to civilized countries where the Right prevails. It goes without saying that one cannot fly to such gangster-states." He had a rather silly look on his face. One ought to tell these Americans. But you are right, Mr. Woermann, it ought to be considered.
Woemann: In other words, the foreign office is granted the right to be consulted.
Goering: Granted, but I'd like to avoid mentioning the foreign Jews as long as'we can help it. We'd rather have the foreign office take part in these cases where that question becomes acute, so that some compromise can be reached.
Woermann: Generally, and in particular cases.
Funk: The decisive question is: Are the Jewish stores to be reopened or not?
Goering: That depends on how big a turnover these Jewish stores have. If it is big, it is an indication that the German people are compelled to buy there, in spite of its being a Jewish store, because a need exists. If we'd close all Jewish stores which are not open right now, altogether before Christmas, we'd be in a nice mess.
Fishboeck: Your Excellency, in this matter we have already a very complete plan for Austria. There are 12,000 Jewish artisan and 6,000 Jewish retail shops in Vienna. Before the National Revolution, we had already a definite plan for tradesmen, regarding this total of 17,000 stores. Of, the shops of the 12,000 artisans, about 10,000 were to be closed definitely and 2,000 were to be kept open. 4,000 of the 5,000 retail stores should be closed and 1,000 should be kept open, that is, were to be aryanized. According to this plan, between 3,000 and 3,500 of the total of 17,000 stores would be kept open, all others closed. This was decided following investigations in every single branch and according to local needs, in agreement with all competent authorities, and is ready for publication as soon as we shall receive the law which we requested in September; this law shall empower us to withdraw licenses from artisans, quite independently from the Jewish question.
Goering: I shall have this decree issued today.
Fischboeck: It was granted us in connection with the economic plan for Austria. I believe the only reason why it was not yet published was that negotiations between the Reich Ministry for Economic Affairs and the National Food Corporation were going on. A basic agreement had already been reached. We'll be able to close these 10,000 stores as a matter of mere routine as soon as the .decree will be issued. As for the actual execution of the matter, somebody will have to take care of the merchandise in these stores. Until last week we had intended to more or less leave it up to the Jews themselves to liquidate the warehouses. We cannot do that anymore. We intend to create a central agency which shall take care of the merchandise to be used. Generally, the best procedure might be to turn the merchandise over to the particular branch which in turn shall divide it up among .the Aryan stores. These, in turn, shall resell it on the basis of commissions or for a fixed price.
If this is carried out as planned, it'll concern only the approximately 3,000 remaining stores which shall be aryanized, according to the investigations made in the various branches. Actual buyers for about half of these stores are waiting: their contracts have been checked and are ready to be approved. If many of these cases were not approved sooner, it is only because the decision on the planning had not yet been made. As for the remaining 15,000 stores, negotiations have also gone rather far in many cases. We think that a deadline should be set, say until the end of the year. If, by the end of the year, definite buyers for the stores designated for Aryans, cannot be found, it' ll have to be examined once more whether the stores should not be liquidated. In most cases that will be possible ; an artisan' s shop is of a rather individual character. As for retail stores, it would never be urgent enough, so as to say that the economic worth was too big. The very few stores which would still remain and found to be necessary but for which no buyer was available, could be taken over by trustees. This way, I believe that fewer than 100 stores would be left, and by the end of the year we would have liquidated all the Jewish-owned businesses which so far have been obvious as such in the eyes of the public.
Goering: That would be excellent.
Fischboeck: Out of 17,000 stores 12,000 or 14,000 would be shut down and the remainder aryanized or handed over to the bureau of trustees which is operated by the State.
Goering: I have to say that this proposal is grand. This way, the whole affair would be wound up in Vienna, one of the Jewish capitals, so to speak, by Christmas or by the end of the year.
Funk: We can do the same thing over here. I have prepared a law elaborating that, effective 1 January 1939, Jews shall be prohibited to operate retail stores and wholesale establishments as well as independent artisan shops. They shall be further prohibited from keeping employees or offer any ready products on the market. Wherever a Jewish shop is operated, the police shall shut it down. From 1 January 1939, a Jew can no longer be employed as an enterpriser as stipulated in the law for the Organization of National Labor from 20 January 1934. If a Jew holds a leading position in an establishment without being the enterpriser, his contract may be declared void within 6 weeks by the enterpriser. With the expiration of the contract all claims of the employee, including all claims to maintenance, become obliterated. That is always very disagreeable and a great danger. A Jew cannot be a member of a corporation ; Jewish members of corporations shall have to be retired by 31 December 1938. A special authorization is unnecessary. The competent Ministers of the Reich are being authorized to issue the provision necessary for the execution of this law.
Goering: I believe that we can agree with this law.
(Remark : Yes)
Of course there remain a few things to be straightened out even after 1 January. We shall be able to handle them with these general methods which we shall have to employ for handling all other Jewish property. As for the Jewish stores, we may proceed vigorously ; we believe that by Christmas enough buyers shall be found to take over the stores which from now on shall be entirely under pressure. Also the merchandise may be taken the way you have proposed it. To me, all this seems to be prepared in an excellent manner.
Funk: In every single store everything is there.
Schmer: Everything is there, except that we have no control, anymore, over this business with the trustees. I personally am of the opinion that we don't need it at all; so far we have managed quite well with the aryanization. For those few stores that are to be kept open, we shall easily find buyers. All other rooms shall be rented without much ado. There is a great need for this right here in Berlin.
Goering: But my dear friend, that way the Jew will receive the full amount.
Schmer: He will receive the amount that is far below the value, and the aryanizing shall have to be authorized, as before.
Goering: The Jew will receive the amount which won't be put into the account book.
Schmer: No. We can arrange that later. He cannot swallow the money. The amount is fixed, and under the law the Jew is compelled to report every change in his financial status, so that it can easily be controlled. He won't run away; we'll keep it in the Reich. The only thing you'd have to do is to issue a decree, or to transfer the provisions of Article 7 on to the Ministry for Economic Affairs in order to confiscate the Jewish property. He cannot run away from us.
Goering: Mr. Schmer, could not the following be done: Somebody will become aryanized and get 300,000 marks into his hands. He runs into the next best jewelry store around the corner and buys one piece of jewelry after another, and on the same day disappears across the border.
Schmer: In that case, we'll have to report this, change in his property.
Goering: But if he wants to scram!
Fischboeck: The OK on the aryanizing is not being given the minute the price for the purchase is being paid. We do that the following way. The aryanizing is being authorized only under the condition that the price for the purchase is to be paid in installments lasting over a long period of time, in case the buyer is unable to pay ; or, in case payment is being made, that the amount is to be put in the bank of a frozen account.
Goering: We could do the same thing here.
Schmer: In the provisions for the execution of the law we may stipulate that from a certain level on, payment shall have to be made in bonds of the Reich or something similar. That would have to be a decree made by the authorities which OK the aryanizing.
Daluege: The number of Jewish stores is unknown. Until yesterday, 7,500 were reported to us and the number does not increase.
Fischboeck: Because of what has happened the day before yesterday in Vienna, 5,000 were shut down there. There were 40,000 altogether.
Schmer: Shall the arrangement made in Austria remain?
Goering: Nothing will be changed there.
Fischboeck: Everything can be shut down at any time.
Heydrich: I know that a very high limit has been set for registering, 3,000 I believe.
Fischboeck: More than 5,000.
Goering: Is that the same in the Reich?
Fischboeck: Yes, in the Reich too. In this connection, I'd like to make a few more remarks. What we are very much concerned with, is the situation regarding the Jewish apartment houses which contribute a large percentage of Jewish wealth. Surprisingly enough, the Jewish national wealth in Austria is reported to amount to 320 million marks only ; the value of the apartment houses alone amounts to 500 million. We should appreciate it very much if the regulation which makes it possible to requisition Jewish property would be made to be valid also for the apartment buildings ; thus we would be enabled to have these houses administered ,by a board of trustees and to give the Jews the right to have a claim on the debit ledger of the Reich. That could also be an occasion to cash the contribution, which might be deducted this way in advance. The administration of these blocks of apartment buildings wouldn't be a problem at all. The only thing we'd need for it would be managers, and there'd be plenty of them. We'd like to requisition the apartment buildings and also any bonds that way. This question of the bonds has been left open so far. In Austria, a very large part of Jewish wealth, 266 billion Reichsmarks, is invested in bonds of all kinds, in shares or simply in bonds bringing a fixed rate of interest. In my opinion, a danger for the market does not exist because the Ministry for Economic Affairs would have control over these bonds. We'll pay by handling out claims, on the debit-ledger of the Reich. Therefore, the finances of the Reich won't be affected, the Minister for Finance shall only pay 3% for the claims on the debit-ledger of the Reich. He in turn receives internal loans, that means saves money. And if the bonds are not being sold, one might keep them 30 years until those claims on the debit-ledger of the Reich shall be expired.
Funk: Why should Jews not be allowed to keep bonds?
Goering: Because that way he would actually be given a share.
Funk: That is entirely new.
Goering: No. I said very clearly before; bonds and shares.
Funk: Shares yes, but not internal loans.
Fischboeck: It is certainly better to pay the Jew 3% instead of 4%. We'd have no possibility to control Jewish wealth the minute we'd let him have shares.
Goering: Gentlemen, no arguments. It is out of the question that he'd keep the shares. He'll have to turn them in.
Fischboeck: In that case I'd like you to arrange this by calling the shares in so that the stock market won't be ruined. That can very easily be done. They'll be turned in. Administering the shares is also much simpler. ,The trustee turns the shares over to the depot and receives claims on the debit-ledger of the Reich in their place. With this, the whole affair is settled. The only question is whether you want to recall the shares or not.
Funk: This way, the Reich will become possessor of half a billion shares.
Goering: Yes, yes.
Goebbels: He'll be able to get rid of them according to its needs.
Fischboeck: But it is a business based on profits.
V. Krosigk: I am wondering, first whether it will bring us profits. I grant you that, though. But secondly, an entirely new point of view has to be entered here. I can very well see the point in what the Minister, Mr. Fischboeck, says. As for the values that otherwise ;bring fixed rates of interest, it is an entirely new idea to expropriate the Jew also in this, though the intention had been to refrain his status as the owner of the shares.
Fischboeck: The reason why this is so very important is that our whole action shall remain without success as long as the Jews shall be in the possession of values, which they may realize quickly and employ for any other undertaking.
Goering: That's it. We want to prevent the Jews from again secretly manipulating against us.
Fishboeck: For example, if we don't want the Jews to possess jewelry we can prevent them from having it by allowing them to possess only Internal Loan bonds, that means that they could acquire the jewelry only by paying with bonds.
Goering: Nobody would pay them claims on the debit-ledger.
Fischboeck: They are not transferable.
Goering: Only if authorized.
Heydrich: Is it not possible to issue an order forbidding the Jew to invest his money in certain values, such as art treasures?
Goering: The arrangement with the registration in the debit-1edger is much simpler. Claims on the debit-ledger are not transferable. He cannot do anything with them, and he cannot do much with those 3½ %.
Heydrich: But we'll also have to find an arrangement for confiscation of valuable objects in Jewish possession.
Goering: What he has now in his possession, that'll come.
Schmer: Article 7 of the decree states that the use of Jewish wealth in German economy shall be regulated through the Four Year Plan.
Goering: I think Fischboeck's proposal is very good. We should give it the form of a draft now, find the apartment buildings, the shares, etc.
Fischboeck: I should also like to have a decision made on the following question. In Austria, individuals, not institutions, owe the Jews 184 billion Reichsmarks. This way the Jews certainly have invested money in a way we don't like. That is money which they have loaned out to other Jews, oftener enough to an Aryan. This way, a dependency of the Aryan artisan from the Jewish creditor is created which we do not want. Now the question arises, and I would answer yes. Should trustees not be created to administer these debts and then pay with claims on the debit-ledger, according to demand coming in. The goal of this procedure would be to make the debtor independent from the Jewish creditor, to insert Aryan trusteeship and pay the Jew, as far as his demands could actually be met. Therefore it does not have to be paid. So we should have to insert trusteeship in this case also, but the difference to that in the case of the bonds would be that we won't simply pay but leave the decision for payment up to the trusteeship.
Funk: If word of this debate should reach the public, we'd have a run on the capital market tomorrow.
Fischboeck: That's why we have postponed these ideas all the time. We have examples for it that the Jews have sold, head over heel, bonds of internal loans, shares and everything they had.
Goering: I could stop that with a single decree, ordering the immediate stoppage of traffic of Jewish capital. He is punishable who buys from Jews, and his purchase shall be confiscated. I would not do it any other way.
Faculty of Humanities, Languages and Social Sciences