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Goering Letter to Heydrich Regarding Aryanization of Jewish Firms

One method is apparently to approach Jewish firms with an offer to help them as Party members by joining their board of directors, administrative board, executive board or in some other “advisory” capacity, naturally in return for a fee. It is suggested that any difficulties which might arise can then be easily cleared up as a result of existing close ties and cooperation with the Party and government administration. Once the ties to the Jewish firm have been firmly established and people have managed in some way to “get inside”, then difficulties of a personal or political nature are soon created for the Jewish owner. One wishes to help as a friend of the firm, but the situation, it is alleged, appears very serious, since it is known that the matter is already being looked into at a high level. During the next phase, the Jewish owner or owners are arrested by senior level officials, but one goes to great lengths to aid them after their arrest. In the meantime, the agent for sale or transfer of the properties makes his appearance. After release—generally the person is not held in custody longer than three days—the Jewish proprietor or proprietors are informed of the great efforts that were made to help get them released. Without the personal assistance, without the aid of the police or Gauleiter, where one has excellent connections, the Jew(s) in question would undoubtedly have been placed in a concentration camp. Thus, it is wise for the Jew to show his gratitude to his helper or to the district office in a concrete manner—i.e., to pay. This formula can be played out in a great many different variations based on the same principle.

Source: A. Barkai, "From Boycott to Annihilation: The Economic Struggle of German Jews 1933-1943," New England, 1989, pp. 71-2.

Yad Vashem