by J. A. Sexton | March 2011
Review of Jewish Emigration from the Third Reich by Ingrid Weckert
The horrific tales of Jewish people being forcibly ousted from Germany with few if any of their possessions or other material wealth (including money) is 100% false. Jewish banks assured that Jews emigrated with plenty of funds to their new homelands.
The Jewish Declaration of War Against NS Germany
Why did the Jews declare war on Hitler and Germany shortly after he was lawfully appointed Chancellor of the Reich? I’m not even going to attempt to understand this move, but suffice to say that the majority of those German Jews living in Germany wanted little if anything to do with the international Jewish “holy war.” Weckert asserts that Germany’s 500,000 Jews “did not anticipate any significant change in their situation.” In other words they were not worried about Hitler. Unfortunately for them, Jews living abroad and exercising immense power therefrom were determined to destroy any remnants of amicable relations between Germans and German Jews, hence their declaration of “holy war” against Germany.
The “war” was almost purely economic in character: the Jews abroad would crush Germans economically if they couldn’t do it via German internal politics. Their Soviet experiment had failed, so they were trying a different approach—from outside of Germany. Thankfully these international Jews failed to crush the German economy. Weckert: “That it did not, that on the contrary Germany’s economy recovered with astounding rapidity, thereby setting an example for other countries, was due entirely to the genius of its leadership. This is confirmed by contemporary reports, but also by recent studies devoted to presenting the facts.”
Jews in Germany
The international Jews’ boycott came with a price. The Hitler government retaliated in kind with a call for Jewish removal from German society. Since German Jews harbored a tendency to support their Jewish identity over their national German identity, they had to be removed. They were a potential hostile fifth-column. Hitler resolved to do so as kindly and lawfully as possible in spite of the world’s incredible hostility towards him and his political movement.
Weckert said there were four different general views of Germany and its relation to Jews. The first group was the CV, which was essentially formed of religious Jews. The second group was the ZVfD—the Zionist Union. This Zionist Union split in 1925, however, resulting in a breakaway faction of New Zionists (the “revisionists”) who wanted a Jewish State of their own (Jabotinsky and Kareski). The third group of Jews was the RjF, which consisted of Jewish soldiers. The last group was the VNJ, a group that was founded in 1921 and boasted some 10,000 members. These groups were all consolidated under an umbrella organization, save the VNJ which refused to be subordinated to a higher authority, called the RV (Reich Deputies of German Jews). From these groups two themes emerged:
(1) Germanism as top priority and Judaism as a religious matter to be resolved;
(2) A national Jewish consciousness united with Judaism (this theme became modern Zionism).
Goebbels interviewed Kareski and liked the idea of a separate Jewish state outside of Germany. Zionists and orthodox Jews also found Kareski’s views appealing.
The Zionists insisted on founding their new Jewish state in Palestine. The Nazis were generally supportive of this faction because they wanted to create a Jewish-free Germany. Thus the Nazi-Zionist alliance of utility was formed and three agencies helped it along. The first was the Hilfsverein für deutsche Juden (literally the “Relief Organization for German Jews”) which was responsible for Jewish “emigration to all parts of the world,” save Palestine. The second organization was the Palestine Office which specialized in emigration of young, able-bodied Jews to Palestine. The third organization was the Main Office for Jewish Migration Welfare which started out as a Jewish travel agency, but evolved into an emigration agency that helped resettle non-German Jews. The Nazi government helped all of these organizations in every way possible until the outbreak of the war, which made things much more challenging.
The Ha’avara Agreement
The Jewish representatives of a Palestinian citrus company approached the Nazi government about Jewish emigration in 1933. The Jews in Palestine needed workers and the Nazis wanted to find new homelands for their Jewish population. Jewish banks in Germany that remained untouched by the NSDAP made this “transfer” possible. The funds were used to invest in Palestine or to provide funds for the emigration of fellow Jews. Each Jewish emigre had to present his or her 1000 Palestine Pounds to the English occupation authorities upon arrival in Palestine—to prove they were able to support themselves in their new homeland.
Far from being thrown out with nothing, all money in each emigre Ha’avara account was his or hers and at his or her disposal, and Jews brought machines and instruments with them when they emigrated. They also purchased imported goods with this money and could even pay their friends still living in Germany with these funds.
Jews, unlike ethnic German emigres, did not have to pay the Reich flight tax. Poorer Jews were given emigration loans for 50 percent less than wealthier Jews and could even repay these half-priced loans years later once they were established and working. Even Jews who had sold their businesses and could not transfer these funds were offered lucrative sales representative positions in Palestine—they recouped their losses with the help of the Nazi authorities. Money was even illegally transferred via “last wills” which the German authorities secretly supported.
Opposition to Ha’avara
Edwin Black, a Jewish reporter, oddly opposes the transfer agreement in his book entitled The Transfer Agreement. He condemned collaboration between Nazis and Zionists as “incomprehensible” and “unpardonable.” Weckert: “Black’s attitude is all the more inexplicable because he is convinced that all Jews who remained in Germany became victims of the ‘Holocaust’.” One would think that he would express some sort of gratitude for this collaborative effort, which saved the lives of tens-of-thousands of Jews.
Most Jewish opposition to Ha’avara was purely economic in nature. Palestinian Jews were angry that German Jews made better products than they did, and had better services; thus they protested Ha’avara because it enhanced competition, not because it involved Nazi collaboration. Germans opposed it because it allegedly harmed, though to no significant extent, Germany’s global economic competitiveness. The Nazis were exporting goods and people with no fiscal return (outflow without inflow); the Nazis were making Arabs and German businessmen angry (by increasing Jewish numbers and competition); and the Nazis were angering Palestine’s English occupiers (German products were hurting English business interests).
In spite of this limited opposition, the agreement proceeded smoothly until December 1941 (by which time America officially entered the war). The Warburg bank in Hamburg and the Wassermann bank in Berlin continued to pay Jewish emigres until 1945. The Nazis never touched these funds.
Emigration and the SS
The Gestapo, SS and Reich Economic Ministry all helped Jews emigrate. The SS encouraged Jewish nationalism and emigration from the start. Weckert: “Only a Jew who had become conscious of his identity would be prepared to leave Germany and to immigrate to a future Jewish homeland.”
The SS and Gestapo, contrary to most historiography, protected Jewish institutions: to facilitate emigration and maintain amicable German-Jewish relations. In fact Jews turned to the Gestapo for protection and help when NS bureaucracies “disadvantaged them.” Leopold Edler von Mildenstein, head of the Jewish section of the SS mentioned earlier, published a short report about conditions and politics in English-dominated Palestine in 1934. Goebbels featured the report in the form of articles in his magazine Der Angriff from 26 September to 9 October 1934, and a commemorative medallion was even caste to commemorate Mildenstein’s travels and manifesto.
The SS and Gestapo financed and administered over 30 camps for Jews planning to emigrate. They were trained in various trade professions and agriculture at the NSDAP’s expense. The SS even provided the property for these camps. Adolf Eichmann supported this extensive training program. He also helped Jews emigrate illegally after Britain closed the Channel. SS units helped Jews emigrate safely across the Austrian border with Eichmann’s assistance. Far from a war criminal, Eichmann actually helped save thousands of Jewish lives.
The Rublee-Wohlthat Agreement
Few people know about the Rublee-Wohlthat Agreement which, regrettably, only lasted eight months. This agreement made Jewish emigration possible to every part of the world that was receptive with the exception of Palestine. The world was not very receptive, however. In the summer of 1938, the representatives of 32 prominent countries met in France to discuss NS Germany’s anti-Jewish sentiment. They condemned Germany’s policy towards Jews, but not a single one of them offered to help Jews emigrate. Thankfully this insensitive display of international arrogance and inhumanity did not stop New York lawyer and head of the “Intergovernmental Committee” in London, George Rublee, from helping in any way he could.
Rublee had repeatedly tried to get some sort of agreement with the Nazi authorities, but the subversive saboteur Weizsäcker prevented this from happening. Weckert: “Finally Hitler learned of Weizsäcker’s unauthorized conduct and immediately summoned Reichsbank president von Schacht to his office. He authorized Schacht to work out a financial plan that would enable Germany’s remaining Jews to emigrate. Schacht developed a proposal, and in mid-December 1938 Hitler dispatched him to London for a discussion with Rublee and other individuals.” Schacht distorted this story to benefit him in the postwar years of anti-Nazi mania, but the actual primary documents contradict Schacht’s self-serving account of these negotiations—all of which were Hitler’s idea, not Schacht’s. In 1938 ‘Schacht’s plan’ was adopted by the Intergovernmental Committee [IC] “as a basis for discussion.” In 1939 Rublee spoke with Schacht personally in Berlin—Göring’s ministerial director Helmut Wohlthat also met with Rublee at that time. Weckert:
“By establishing trust funds which would comprise 25 percent of the wealth belonging to Jews in Germany, Jewish emigration would be financed through foreign loans. Each emigrant would, in addition to receiving the requisite amount of cash for entry (“Vorzeigegeld”), receive a minimum amount of capital necessary to establish oneself. About 150,000 able-bodied Jews were marked for emigration, and their next of kin [relatives] were to follow later. The Intergovernmental Committee would concern itself with which countries Jews could migrate to. All Jews over 45 were to be able to remain in Germany and be protected from discrimination. Residential and work restrictions for these Jews were to be lifted.”
Hermann Göring presented the text of the Rublee-Wohlthat Agreement to Hitler, “who wholeheartedly assented to it.” Regrettably for the Jewish emigres, Rublee resigned shortly after the agreement was concluded, so they lost a prominent champion. In spite of this loss a finance company with $1 million in start-up funds was established in England and Jewish bankers in the U.S. “pledged to raise enough capital to guarantee the realization of every settlement project.” The new IC head, Sir Herbert Emerson, was sure that Jewish emigration from Germany would be complete in “three to five years time.” So in January 1939 the Reich Center for Jewish Emigration was founded in Berlin, an organization that worked intimately with the Reich Jewish Association to “simplify the emigration process.” Jews in Germany thanked Rublee for helping them receive better treatment under the NSDAP: “The Germans fulfilled all their obligations […].”
But alas, the Royal Navy blocked all sea routes and sealed off almost all emigration to Palestine at the outbreak of war, a move that devastated Germans and German Jews alike. In order to circumvent this blockade the NSDAP helped Jews find new routes: “Berlin—Warsaw—Moscow—Chita—Shanghai—Yokohama—San Francisco/Los Angeles. From there on either in easterly direction to Chicago—New York, or south to Mexico—Panama—Santiago de Chile.” The NSDAP even made sure that Jews got valid visas for travel “in occupied France to Spain and Portugal, from where they could then travel to their destination by ship.”
The Mossad le Aliyah Bet
The Office for the Second Immigration (Mossad le Aliyah Bet) was all about illegal emigration from the Reich. In fact the Israeli secret service emerged from this ‘illegal’ transfer organization. Jews from Palestine founded this organization in Paris in 1937 to subvert Britain’s restrictive, class-based Palestine immigration policies. So when Britain published a white paper on restricting immigration to Palestine on 17 May 1939, the Mossad began establishing operational offices all over Europe, which then made direct contact with the SS and Gestapo. This was the beginning of Mossad-Gestapo collaboration.
What did this collaboration entail? In 1938 Himmler ordered Jews who wished to emigrate released from the concentration camps. Mossad agents were allowed to go into the camps to recruit Jews for emigration to Palestine via “illegal migration ships.” The Gestapo helped the Mossad circumvent English obstacles by chartering the ships and getting visas made for the hopeful émigrés. It was the English, not the Gestapo or SS, that blocked the Channel and prevented one ship with 10,000 Jewish émigrés aboard from passing through.
In 1941 Abraham Stern was a leader of the Irgun resistance and freedom organization that opposed British occupation and tyranny in Palestine. He, and many other Irgunists, offered to assist Nazi Germany against England if Germany promised to “ship out 10,000 Jews in return.” But the Germans were unwilling to risk an attempt at breaking the blockade with women and children aboard the ships. Stern had earlier offered his services to Germany if she promised to recognize the Israeli freedom movement. Stern’s agents met with Werner Otto von Hentig about possible Nazi-Zionist collaboration—“if Hitler would agree to an independent Jewish Palestine”—while he was in Lebanon. Hentig could not accept such an offer “out of consideration for [Germany’s] Arab friends and [her] general principles.” This Irgun letter made it to Germany safely, but the German reaction to it is unknown to this day.
Implications of these Transfer Agreements
The Nazis had to genially decline assisting the Irgun openly because they were allied with the Grand Mufti and obligated to stand by their alliance with Muslims and Arabs. The Nazis accommodated both sides as best they could. Jewish illegal immigration to Palestine, according to Weckert, continued after the war ended in 1945. Indeed it went on until Israel was founded in 1948. From 1938 to 1948, over 100,000 Jews migrated to Palestine illegally. While Weckert acknowledges that exact figures will likely never be ascertained, according to the Wansee Protocol which most historians tout as “authentic,” “reliable” and “accurate”: “from the assumption of power until the October 31, 1941, deadline, altogether around 537,000 Jews emigrated.” Since this figure does not fit together with officially accepted historiography, most historians claim it is “inaccurate” and “inflated.” They only accept the portions of the protocol that suggest extermination. In other words they make the evidence fit their preconceived notions, an unacceptable standard for credible historians.