Leech The Economics of the holocaust (3)

Using the information on jewish assets provided by

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using the information on Jewish assets provided by the Registration to arrange for the transfer of assets shutting down of “ unwanted” Jewish enterprises and the administration of profit from “Aryanizations”. (Feldman) By the end of the summer the Property Transfer Bureau was responsible for the Aryan takeover of 5,000 Jewish businesses and shutting down 21,000 more. Subsequently, Jews were herded first into ghettos and then into concentration camps some of which ultimately became death-camps. Meanwhile, the material possessions of the Jews were stolen: Many of the most valuable collectors' items went to the top Nazi leader-ship. What remained was taken away when the Jews were forced into ghettos and transported to concentration camps. There most Jews were slaughtered and the last of their possessions collected. (Beker, 2001, p. 49) The systemic theft of Jewish wealth and possessions represents one pillar of the Nazi exploitation and extermination of the Jews; the use of Jews as forced laborers represents a second pillar of the Nazi exploitation and extermination of Jews. As the Third Reich expanded its conquests throughout Europe, the Nazis "confiscated the Jews' property and gradually herded them into ghettos, where they were expected to perform various forms of forced labor" (Niewyk & Nicosia, 2000, p. 11). In 1942 SS General Frank instructed all WVHA ( Wirtschafts- Verwaltungshauptamt) agents to report all Jewish property as “goods originating from thefts, receipts of stolen goods and hoarded goods” (Holocaust Research Project). It i s reported that collected personal property of Jews at the Majdanek camp was valued at 180 million RM or $72 4
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Leech million. Most of this money went straight to the SS and was divided between leaders and SS economic endeavors. Many Jews forced into labor worked for German industrialists who gave compensation to the SS for the workers that the SS provid ed for them. At Auschwitz, slave laborers who worked for the pharmaceutical and chemical company, I.G. Farben had a life expectancy of 3.5 months. Of the 35,000 laborers who worked at the factory, 25,000 of them died. In fact, some of the labor camps "were owned lock, stock, and barrel by the SS" (Niewyk & Nicosia, 2000, p. 18) and even those that were owned by the German army or private industry fell under the direct control of the SS. The resulting system of forced - labor and expropriation extended to both formal and informal means. The Jews' assets and property could be seized by the state, or an individual member of the SS could seize a given Jew’s assets and property for himself [?] . Similarly, Jews were evaluated by the SS upon being taken into custody and determined to be either of value regarding work-capacity or not of value. Those who were not of value were marked for immediate extermination while those who were determined to be capable of working were reassigned to labor camps or wartime factories in the Reich and its territories.
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  • Spring '10
  • Cante
  • Nazi Party, Adolph Hitler, Holocaust Research Project

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