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Ribbentrop to Hitler Concerning Deportation of Danish Jews

(Stamped: submitted to the Fuehrer on September 23)

Re: Action Against the Jews in Denmark

(Handwritten remark: "Must be implemented as ordered")

September 23, 1943, initialed HW*

In accordance with the Fuehrer's order to implement the deportation of Jews from Denmark, Dr. Best was asked first to provide precise details on the method of implementing the deportation and on the number of additional police forces needed for the action.

Dr. Best reported that to carry out the action against the Jews he will need another fifty members of the Security Police. There is no need to augment the Order Police, because plans to do this have already been made. To remove the Jews from greater Copenhagen, a ship with a capacity of at least 5,000 passengers is needed. The remaining 2,000 Jews can be transported by rail.

Dr. Best also pointed out that this action against the Jews will greatly aggravate the political situation in Denmark. Afterwards, it will no longer be possible to assume that a legal Government can be formed in the near future.

(Note in the margin: "The Fuehrer doubts that the action will lead to these conclusions." Initialed: HW)

Riots and perhaps a general strike may break out. The King and the Rigsdag may stop participating in the state government. The King may even abdicate his throne.

Having taken into account the considerations of the Reich Minister in Denmark, I hereby request an instruction. Does the Fuehrer want the action against the Jews to be carried out now? If the answer is in the affirmative, it would be correct to do this while the state of emergency remains in effect.

(Note in the margin: “Yes”)

Westfallen, September 23, 1943


R. (Ribbentrop)

Source: Leni Yahil, "The Rescue of Danish Jewry: Test of a Democracy," Philadelphia: Jewish Publication Society, 1969, pp. 162-163.

*Hewel: Representative of the Foreign Ministry at Hitler's headquarters.

Source: Yad Vashem