REICHSZENTRALE FUER JUEDISCHE AUSWANDERUNG
REICHSZENTRALE FUER JUEDISCHE AUSWANDERUNG (Center for Jewish Emigration), Nazi central agency for Jewish emigration matters, set up in the Ministry of the Interior by *Heydrich on *Goering's order (Jan. 24, 1939). Its principal aim was to increase and accelerate emigration, giving preferential exit to poor Jews, and speeding up individual cases. Heydrich appointed Heinrich *Mueller Geschaeftsfuehrer ("manager") of the Zentralstelle, which was run by a policy committee composed of representatives from different agencies and an executive which was, in practice, Department II of the *Gestapo. The Zentralstelle was modeled on *Eichmann's successful Zentralstelle fuer juedische Auswanderung set up in 1938 in Vienna. Employing Eichmann's methods, the Zentralstelle unified the various emigration authorities and coerced the wealthier Jews in Germany and abroad to pay for the exit of the poor Jews, using pressure and even imprisonment to gain its ends. The chief of the Zentralstelle on behalf of Mueller was Kurt Lischka, who was replaced by Eichmann after the establishment of *RSHA. The Zentralstelle set up its office in Berlin, and later others in Prague (July 15, 1939) and in Amsterdam (April 1941), but functioned in all other cities through the local Gestapo branches. This organization furthered Nazi policy, which prior to 1941 was to get rid of the Jews and to expropriate their property and possessions; it also ironically furthered Jewish interests, as leaving the Reich by whatever means possible was imperative. It literally was life saving. In 1940 the Zentralstelle joined up with the Gestapo section for evacuation but ceased its original functions when the order to stop emigration was issued in October 1941. Its personnel afterward organized deportations in the framework of the "Final Solution" (see *Holocaust, General Survey).
International Law Reports, 6 (1968), 63–67; Documents on German Foreign Policy 1918–45, Series D. vol. 5 (1953), 933–6.
[Yehuda Reshef /
Michael Berenbaum (2nd ed.)]
Source: Encyclopaedia Judaica. © 2008 The Gale Group. All Rights Reserved.