The Emigration Of The Jews From the Third Reich

Published: 1994-01-01

Contemporary historiography has grown accustomed to the habit of painting with dark colors all events related to the Third Reich regardless of what had really transpired. This happens foremost in respect to the Jewish people. Thus the history of the emigration of the Jews from Germany has been absolutely distorted.

There are still many publications which proclaim that the emigration of the Jews from Germany amounted to some sort of secret undertaking as if those Jews who wished to leave had to escape under the cover of darkness, sneaking secretly across some odd border crossings, leaving behind all their goods and property. In other dramatizations one can read how dearly they had to pay for an exit visa. The fantasy as well as the stupidity of the storytellers knew no moderation.

However, the German government did in truth favor emigration and it took place under steadily growing pressure. The anti Semitic legislation of the Third Reich is a matter of fact that nobody can deny. The psychological pressure to which the Jews living in Germany had been exposed since 1933, as well as its all too often tragic consequences for individuals and families, must not be belittled. But this has been carried into the public consciousness with innumerable publications as well as radio and television broadcasts. We need not discuss this subject presently.

Nevertheless, contrary to many adventure stories and memoirs, it must be stated that the emigration was not a venturesome escape but a legal event in accordance with established, published procedures.

German government offices and Jewish organizations worked hand in hand to facilitate the emigration. Interested Jews were extensively counseled and received considerable aid. All talk about a dangerous flight in the middle of the night is sheer nonsense. The German government wanted the Jews to leave the country, to prevent them from doing so would have been counter-productive.

1. The Jewish "Declaration of War"

FOLLOWING ADOLF HITLER'S appointment to the office of Reich's chancellor, January 30, 1933, and the following seizure of power by the National-Socialist party, the majority of the 500,000 Jews who lived in Germany assumed that the new political situation" would not lead to fundamental changes in the conduct of their daily life. At worst they feared temporary impediments, but not their general exclusion from public life and beyond this a possible expulsion. Thus only politically exposed persons, known for their opposing views, packed their suitcases and left for a foreign haven, convinced that they would return sooner or later.

However, as early as March 24, 1933, not even two months after the National-Socialists had assumed power, did a self-proclaimed "World Jewry" declare war on Germany. Inasmuch as this World Jewry possessed no sovereign state to found its action, it placed its might where it exercised the greatest influence, namely the international forces of the world-economy, and declared a world-wide boycott of Germany.

After this spectacular declaration, which appeared in the London "Daily Express" , it should have become crystal clear to all Jews, and foremost those living in Germany, that such a provocation calls for a response. No self-respecting country, and such was the Germany of those days, would have simply turned the other cheek. Furthermore, an economic boycott would have hit our country at its most vulnerable spot.

The economic situation amounted to a catastrophe. The unemployed numbered above six millions, countless factories and enterprises had gone out of business, a totally collapsed economy burdened the new government with new tasks and apparently insolvable problems. The boycott of German export could have triggered the execution of the death sentence for German industry.

It speaks for the genius of the then existing leadership that the mortal collapse did not happen, but just the opposite, for within an incredibly short period of time Germany recovered in a manner" which provided direction for many other countries.

2. The Jews inside Germany

One result of the hostile position demonstrated by the self-styled World Jewry was the endeavor of the new German government" to discharge all Jewish citizens from influential job positions; Only after that "declaration of war" did there arise the will to remove them from Germany altogether, to compel emigration. This led subsequently to a state-supported Jewish emigration policy.

There should be no doubt about it: For the German Jews this was a tragic development. For regardless of the fact that the self-appointed World Jewry had declared war against Germany, Germany had been the fatherland for hundreds of thousand of them who had lived in that land for many generations. The very thought of "Auswanderung"/emigration, appeared at first as some unthinkable monstrosity. For a long time many German Jews would not entertain such a suggestion.

Among them were many groups and subgroups holding various political viewpoints. Apart from purely religious subdivisions there existed many varieties of interest groups which often expressed opposing points of view in regard to specific issues.

The four most important Jewish groups in Germany were:

  1. The "Central-Verein Deutscher Staatsbürger Jüdischen Glaubens," for short 'Central Verein' or "CV". This central unit was founded in 1893 and renamed in 1935 "Central-Verein der Juden in Deutschland," with approximately 70,000 members. Its political newspaper was the "C.V.-Zeitung"

    [Translator's Note: The 3rd Reich authorities eventually rejected the term "Deutsche Juden," German Jews, and replaced it categorically with "Juden in Deutschland," Jews in Germany. The established old Jewish families, ("We have found a father land, Oh Lord, we have finally found a fatherland") considered this an insult, for it put them on one level with the orthodox "Kaftanjuden" of Eastern Europe to whom a portion of Palestine should be allotted as their 'Promised Land, realized.']

  2. The "ZIONISTISCHE VEREINIGUNG FÜR DEUTSCHLAND," which the Zionists founded in 1897, membership about 10,000 people. They published the "Jüdische Rundschau". This Zionist Union split in 1925. A new zionistic movement was launched, the "Neu-Zionistische Bewegung," also called the "Revisionisten" or "Staatszionisten." They indeed advocated the creation of an independent Jewish state, and Georg Kareski became their representative in Germany.
  3. "Der "Reichsbund Jüdischer Frontsoldaten", an association of 10,000 Jewish combat soldiers founded in 1919, they issued a newsletter called "Der Schild" (The Shield).
  4. The "Verband national-deutscher Juden," founded in 1921, about 10,000 members, issued the newspaper "Der National-Deutsche Jude".

To represent the Jewish interest vis-`a-vis the national-socialist government more effectively, a "Reichsvertretung der deutschen Juden" (RV), renamed "Reichsvertretung der Juden in Deutschland" in 1935, was established in 1933. The "VNJ", however, refused to join this union..

In spite of all those differentiation two basic directions can be clearly recognized: One in which being German was the major issue and being Jewish of a secondary religious concern. The other direction bound the Jewish religion to an ethnic/folkish identity, and they felt to belong to a Jewish people indeed. Among the German Jews these amounted to a minority, though in the course of time their influence dominated.

However, the overwhelming majority of the German Jews had lived for more than a century in the land. With the emancipation edict of 1812 they had been granted full political rights as equal citizens and all still existing restrictions had been removed.

Subsequently they felt they were Germans indeed and not aliens. This feeling of belonging to Germany caused (even during early NS time) an outspoken animosity against the Zionists who increased their campaign against any form of assimilation, and for emigration.

Nevertheless, the zionistic "Jüdische Rundschau" emphasized, "The German people should know that centuries of historical connection cannot be simplistically dissolved." (April 13, 1933), and on August 29, 1933, "We believe that the German Jews, too, must find their place and position in this state and we hope that an agreement which is in harmony with this state can be developed."

Furthermore, even after the Nuremberg Laws had been promulgated, this German Zionists' paper declared that it would be a continued challenge of the Jews to develop positively their special position within the German nation.

Following are quotes which show how much Jewish citizens identified themselves with Germany in those days. Of course, this must not invite the impression that the majority of Jews had not taken a position of distrust or rejection, yet there were also positions taken about which nowadays few people dare to speak.

The opening statement of the Union of National German Jews declared:

"The VNJ is an organization of Germans of Jewish descent who, though freely acknowledging their roots, are insolubly bound to being German and to German civilization, so much that they can neither feel nor think but German."

Dr. Max Naumann, chairman of the VNJ, had already prior to the rise of National-Sozialismus , and foremost in the critical years 1920-1924, repeatedly published essays dealing with the Jewish question. In these writings he took the position that there was a difference between "Deutschjuden" and "Fremdjuden" and said:

"The Deutschjuden are a part of the German nation, the Fremdjuden an alien element from all corners of the earth, a people without a land, for even British ruled Palestine is not theirs and will never be theirs."

He suggested that those alien Jews are characterized by a convulsive orthodox backwardness and the insane belief of belonging to a chosen community, which for other people amounts to a problem. Among those Fremdjuden he counted the Zionisten.

But among those he differentiated between "honest and straight thinking Zionists" who on their part freely acknowledged their separateness and agreed to dwell in Germany as guests, possibly under restrictive laws. But those who were neither" established German Jews nor Zionists-as-defined, might as well go to hell. For it is better for a small group" to vanish than hundred of thousands who do" know where they belong. To say, "Nicht zugrundegehen darf unser deutsches Volk," ("Our German people must not perish.").

One may now object that such was the opinion of just one person. However, this one person had been time and again reelected as chairman of the Nationaldeutsche Juden. We may therefore rightfully assume that such a group, expressing seemingly extreme views about their own Jewishness, did in fact exist. And, as stated earlier, the Union of the Nationalistic German Jews refused to join the confederation of all the other Jewish groups, for the members thought so intensely of themselves as Germans that - to their understanding - they had no business in a Jewish confederation.

Still more radical was the position taken by the youth group, the "Schwarze Fähnlein," which disbanded in 1934 in order to demonstrate their total separation from all Jewry after most of its member had abandoned their ties to formal Judaism.

In respect to "National-Sozialismus" other positive attitudes are recorded. Back in 1931 the periodical" "Der Nationaldeutsche Jude" posed the question, "Can Jews be Nationalsozialisten?", and replied in the affirmative. It reported:

"Have not we Jews equally bled on the battle-fields for Germany? Was not a Jew the president of the first German parliament meeting in the [Frankfurt] Paulskirche? [Error, please see Notes/Anmerkungen] Wasn't the founder of the Conservative Party a Jew? To whom owe the political parties which proclaim a united German fatherland to be their first aim their initial impetus and organization?" To Jews, indeed. - Who formulated and defined with clarity the major demands which today [January 1931] are the focus points of the national-socialist party? A Jew, Walter Rathenau."

After Hitler's appointment to office the same newspaper editorialized:

"The Germany of the future faces new tasks which can be accomplished only by a reborn people. To create such a people, to create a national community the like never before existed in German history, is the great – and if properly undertaken – truly liberating task of the national leadership."

Herr Naumann of the National German Jews declared in 1934:

"We have always placed the well-being of the German people and fatherland, to whom we feel insolubly bound, above our own well-being, Therefore we welcomed the national uplifting of January 1933, though it brought us hardship, for we saw in that uprising the only chance to correct all the damage which in the preceding fourteen years had been done by un-German elements."

And an orthodox rabbi from Ansbach declared in 1934:

"From a Jewish position, I reject the teachings of Marxism and embrace (bekenne mich)" Nationalsozialismus, naturally without its anti-semitic components. Without anti-semitism this National-Socialism would find a most loyal following among observing Jews."

As mentioned above, although these views were not expressed by a majority; nevertheless such positions did exist and indeed expressed a point of view which did not please the national-socialists. For they desired not that their ideas be affirmed by Jewish citizens but that the Jews should get out of Germany.

This attitude taken by the national-socialists agreed in principle with the Zionists' position who advanced an ethic/folkish Jewishness and for that very reason denied a potential inner bonding of Jews to Germany. Nevertheless, they favored Nationalsozialismus as it shared with Zionism the same basic positions, namely the affirmation of one's own people and statehood.

In regard to the recently proclaimed Nuremberg Laws a reporter of Goebbel's evening tabloid, "Der Angriff" interviewed Georg Kareski, the chairman of the German "Staatszionisten" in December 1935. Kareski responded in a very positive fashion, stating that those laws fulfill old Zionist demands. Such is the separation of German and Jewish civilization and folkishness, the establishment of Jewish schools for Jewish students advancing a specific Jewish "Kultur", and foremost the prohibition of mixed marriages which according to Jewish law had been forbidden in the first place.

Alas, the Kareski interview remained not without disagreement in Jewish circles, but most orthodox as well as all Zionist groups voiced agreement.

3. Emigration

For the future of the Jews only one country was considered by the Zionists, the Palestine of those days. The idea that all Jews should have to leave Germany was even for them at first unthinkable. They desired to recruit the younger people, those capable of doing heavy physical labor in Palestine. To promote this aim they considered close collaboration with the national-socialist government and their own organization not only possible but mandatory in order to obtain positive, realistic results. And their prognosis was correct. In the following years a steadily improving co-operation between them, representing the Jews who wished to leave for Palestine, and the NS authorities developed.

The German officials wished to finish the emigration assignment as fast and early as possible. To repeat once again: Most Jewish groups and organizations did not recognize a need for emigration in the beginning and yielded only as, in time, pressures were exerted upon them.

Three Jewish aid-to-emigration societies existed in Berlin, in part since the turn of the century.

The "Hilfsverein für deutsche Juden," the assistance-society for German Jews, concerned itself with emigration to all countries except Palestine. It maintained worldwide contacts with Jewish groups which checked local conditions and helped immigrants to adapt to their new habitats.

The "Palästina-Amt" concerned itself exclusively with "ALIJA," a Hebrew synonym which should be understood as a stepping up toward Jerusalem, designed for younger Jews capable of the hard work which a resettlement in Palestine demanded.

A third institution was "Haupstelle für jüdische Wanderfürsorge," which had dealt originally with unsettled and in a way migratory Jewish persons. Later the care and repatriation of non-German Jews became their main task.

The NS government, seeking to push the emigration of the "undesirable""Jewish population, entered two major agreement designed to regulate/advance their emigration:

  1. the "Haavara Abkommen," and
  2. the "Rublee-Wohlthat-Abkommen."

The Haavara was active from 1933 to 1941 and concerned itself with emigration to Palestine. For that matter, this agreement is discussed in most research literature. Haavara's erstwhile" director, Werner Feilchenfeld, published in 1972 his own brochure on this subject, but it seems that most people who wrote about Haavara had failed to read Werner Feilchenfeld's text or they would not have composed so much nonsense about "Haavara."

The Ablee-Wohlthat-Abkommen/agreement is commonly swept under the carpet. It dealt with a far greater number of the emigrating Jews, all those who did not leave for Palestine but for another European or overseas country, that is approximately two thirds of the total emigration. This agreement, unfortunately, was in force for only 8 months immediately prior to the outbreak of WWII, which put an end to all regular emigration efforts.

We mention this with emphasis for it proves that nothing was further from the mind of the German government in those day than an annihilation of the Jewish people, i.e. that assumed Judenvernichtung.

4. "Haavara"

Representatives of the citrus-plants production company Hanotea Ltd. approached the German government as early as February 1933 in order to explore how to serve their mutual interests from the German position on emigration and from a Jewish-Palestinian position on immigration to the then British ruled "Mandats-Gebiet Palestina. The Jewish party sought to secure the best possible terms for emigration which would subsequently benefit Palestine. The German authorities greatly agreed with the Jewish proposals and thus the first eco-political agreements were reached in early May, 1933. In the course of the year this led to the Haavara Treaty. Haavara is a Hebrew noun meaning "transfer", and in the present context mainly the transfer of property and tangible goods. Under this Hebrew word, "Haavara", the treaty has been officially recorded by the Germans.

The Haavara provided for the following arrangements: Jews who considered emigration to Palestine could deposit their estate/funds with two Jewish banking institutions in Germany. They could do so even when they only considered emigration but for the time being wished to remain in Germany. Nevertheless, they could transfer funds to the accounts of Jewish settlers who had already established themselves in Palestine, or they could invest their money in Palestine. Furthermore, they could prepay their German health-insurance up to ten years, a privilege not accorded to the ordinary German citizens.

Werner Feilchenfeld wrote:

"The preparation for a new home in Palestine for those persons still living in Germany constituted, in view of the German foreign-exchange difficulties, an extraordinary circumvention of the regulations concerned with foreign investment by Germans."

Built into the Haavara agreement was a travel-credit-arrangement with a Tel-Aviv travel agency, which made it possible for German Jews to visit Palestine and explore the living and working conditions prior to their final decision. They paid for their journey in Reichsmarks and, according to Feilchenfeld, page 49, received in Palestine travel coupons for their expenses. This was an exception to then governing German foreign-exchange regulation which made foreign travel for ordinary citizens hardly possible. The "Raft Dutch Freud", Energy thru Joy state supported travel groups of the NS "Arbeitsfront" paid for their pleasure plus vacation trips via a clearing house accounting system .

When the time had come for German Jews to emigrate for good and settle in Palestine, they could exchange Reichsmarks for 1,000 Palestine Pounds which were equal to British Pound Sterling. Those funds they had to show when they entered Palestine for settlement. In a publication which had appeared some years ago it was claimed that they had to pay 1,000 Pounds for the visa. That claim is total nonsense. The money was theirs in fact and they had to render proof that they could sustain themselves and start a new source of livelihood/income, and would not become a burden to society in Palestine.

The balance of whatever funds remained at their disposal in their Haavara-account. They could take along their household goods and tools, as well as equipment required to practice their job-skills and related items required for the conduct of civil life. The "Reichsfluchtsteuer," a special tax introduced by Chancellor Heinrich Brüning in 1931 and imposed on all German citizens who wished to emigrate, did not apply to Jews who left via Haavara.

By way of the Haavara-accounts Palestinian merchants could pay for merchandise imported from Germany. Additional protocols extended that privilege to traders from Egypt, Syria and Iraq. In Palestine the new settlers received for their products tangible goods in exchange, houses, real estate and citrus groves, as well as cash.

There were numerous additional agreements, among them that all pensions and social-insurance income would be transferred, without penalty payments or fees, to those Jews who had left for Palestine. As Werner Feilchenstein wrote, page 49. Jews living in Palestine could – via the Haavara – send money to relatives and friends in Germany.

Wrote Herr Feilchenfeld, page 61ff.:

"The supporting client/sponsor made payment in Palestinian funds via Haalava in favor of his client/ receiver who then would be paid by 'Paltreu' of Berlin in Reichsmarks. This system of a private Clearing House for support payment to Jewish people in Germany was extended to a world-wide system in 1937, and it was its task to execute the support payments which arrived from all parts of the world for Jews in Germany, and to employ the imported foreign currency as a 'Kapitaltransfer' to Palestine."

For those Jews who did not own the means to present the one thousand Pounds required for entry to Palestine, the "Vorzeigegeld," the Haavara offered another immense advantage. They could arrange for credits which had to be repaid years later. Therefore all Jews who wished to leave Germany for Palestine were indeed in the position to do so.

The Haavara arrangement, fitting the fundamentally positive attitude of the German government regarding Jewish emigration, encouraged some of the German responsible parties to operate in shadowy areas. Rolf Vogel, the former Jewish Bonn correspondent of "Deutschlandberichte", which was dedicated to the advancement of Jewish-German understanding, writes in his book "Ein Stempel hat gefehlt", ("One stamp was missing", documents concerning the emigration of German Jews, Munich, 1977):

"Numerous were the individual actions which occurred beyond the actual legal limits, foremost when the concerned Jews wished not to go to Palestine, or when no other assistance seemed possible. Thus it did happen that Jews had to sell their business enterprises but lost their money because they could not transfer it. To prevent such a loss, German officials suggested to several Jewish business owners not to emigrate "pro forma," but to work abroad as sales representatives of the companies they once owned. In this manner they earned salaries and sales dividends which subsequently were paid to them in foreign valuta, and they recovered a portion of their lost Reichmarks."

Other neat tricks involved the forwarding of sealed packages which had been deposited in German courts of law as "My last Will and Testament" to sympathetic foreign courts acting on behalf of the deceased who were still very much alive. And the NS Party official daily newspaper, the "Völkische Beobachter" favored the placement of advertising which led to phony Swiss addresses, and mail forwarded without much ado. In spite of all, the true advantage to the total German economy must not be overestimated. Somewhere between 200,000 and 300,000 consumers – and this was about the total number of the "Jischuw", the Jewish community in Palestine – were hardly capable of giving 60 million people a substantial foreign export market. Furthermore, the export to Palestine produced no foreign currency because all transactions took place by way of Haavara, and Reichsmarks.

On the other hand, the Haavara produced immense benefits for Palestine, and Dr. Ludwig Pinner, a member of the board of directors of the Haavara company, never grew tired of repeating his high praise.

"Palestine had been until the early thirties an agricultural country on a low level of development.

"Only the immigrants from Germany changed the economic structure and the social fabric of the Jischuw profoundly and contributed to its development decisively. Their participation and impact doubled industrial production, modernized technology and the produced merchandise rose slowly to European standards.

"The participation of the German Jews, both as industrialists and investors, determined that development which advanced the economy of the Jischuw out of its preindustrial and precapitalistic state.

"Its impact on the development of a Jewish Palestine found expression not just in the economic and social spheres, but also the cultural, scientific and artistic. The modernization of hospitals which the Transfer had made possible elevated Palestine to a first class medical center. The employment of those human beings in research and teaching institutions, production and administration, in the public life and maintenance of order was of immeasurable importance in the preparation of those challenges which destiny held in store."

The funds of the "Kapitalisten"( that is, "moneyed people" in this context) which could flow into Palestine without an upper limit made the emigration of labor equally possible. "Palestine as a country under construction can absorb immigrants proportionally as the incoming capital and its accompanying spirit of enterprise creates new job opportunities," explained Dr. Georg Landauer, chief of the German Department of the Jewish Agency and member of the Haavara' Board of Directors in an interview with the "Jüdische Rundschau."

There existed then the fear that moneyed Jews with their capital strength would move on to other countries and only the poor Jews would get to Palestine. Dr Landauer cautioned: "An immigration of job-seekers, workers (Arbeitnehmer)" without an immigration of work-providers (Arbeitgeber) , cannot take place," according to "Jüdische Rundschau", February 18, 1936.

4.1" Resistance against the Haavara

4.1.1 …from a Jewish position

Nevertheless, there existed a formidable resistance raised by Jewish parties in spite of the Haavara agreement's positive aspects for both Jews and Palestine. Edwin Black, in his book "The Transfer Agreement," describes details about such bickering behind the lines. The very fact of collaboration between the Third Reich and zionistic groups to the benefit of Israel seems to him incomprehensible and inexcusable and he consequently charges the concerned Jewish groups with Nazi-collaboration. This is understandable if one considers that according to his belief all those Jews who remained in German became victims of the Holocaust.

Jewish organizations the world over lamented the failure of the boycott which their own people had earlier declared. To them all the advantages which had been negotiated for Jews leaving Germany amounted to null and zero if considered in relation to general Jewish interests.

Inside Palestine specific troubles developed, too. The Haavara's monopoly position in regard to the German import/export business triggered the anger of Palestinian merchants as it impaired their own business activities. The foremost emerging Jewish industry in Palestine, seeking to sell its own manufactured goods, opposed the import of the far better and less expensive merchandise from Germany. Under pressure, the Haavara eventually yielded to requests of established Jewish manufacturers and declared an import-stop for selected items, the "Tozeret Haarez" clauses for the protection of indigenous products. Clever operators, of course, learned how to juggle the paragraphs and derived advantages from such regulations to their own blessings first and foremost.

Thus a manufacturing enterprise could import all its machinery by way of the Haavara from Germany and then produce with these machines home-made goods which sold under the "Tozeret-Haarez" protective cover. This reduced naturally the need for merchandise which earlier had been imported and the Haavara accounts' available transfer funds.

Thus reported the "Jüdische Rundschau," November 12, 1935 :

"A large scale emigration is not possible without Kapitaltransfer. Inasmuch as this remains a subject of public debate in Palestinian circles one may assume that it has, in part, to do with an ignorance of the real circumstances/connections, and in part the influence of groups which for economic as well as others reasons wish to eliminate the Haavara as a competitor."

4.1.2 From the German position

The Haavara did not meet with unopposed agreement among Germans either. For it not only imposed a burden on the foreign-exchange currency market but the political situation as well. Hans Döhle, the German Consul General at Jerusalem, emphasized in a study dated March 22, 1937, that the German government, under the terms of Haavara, downgraded all considerations which in all other countries applied for the maintenance of German interests, and did so – in Palestine – to advance Jewish emigration from Germany and the settlement of those Jews in Palestine. The strengthening of the Jewish economy, made possibly by the ease of transferring German-Jewish industrial enterprises to Palestine, claimed Herr Döhle, would in time work on the world market against Germany. And, he emphasized, ". . . the enmity of the Palestinian Jews against the German shows at any given opportunity."

Great Britain, too, felt disadvantaged by the imports and launched newspaper attacks against Germany. The Haavara arrangement carried the following negative factors, according to Consul Döhle:

  1. Loss of foreign currency on account of exports not paid for with foreign currency;
  2. The creation of a German-Jewish economy strengthened the anti-German Jewish influence in Palestine.
  3. Limiting the administration of German exports to Palestine to the Jewish Agency disregarded other German sales initiatives.
  4. Bad blood among the native Arabic and German traders who had to conduct their export/import business with Germany via the Jewish Agency.
  5. Frustration among the British colonial powers who felt threatened by the German economic competition.

Consul Döhle's skeptical account was not unjustified, considering that he had been a constant witness of daily local anti-German demonstrations thoughout the land that owed so much to the German immigrants. Palestine was like an animal that bites the hand which feeds it. And the hostile attitude of the Palestinian Jews toward Germany expressed itself on many levels. For example, at a Purim festival ( see attached Notes for Purim) Germany was shown as a fire-breathing, venomous green dragon covered with swastikas; an attached sign demanded the "Tozeret-Haarez" trade protection and a boycott of German imports, as reported in "Der Angriff," October 1, 1934.

Adolf Hitler, in spite of all those thoughts and events, declared that an abandonment of the Haavara agreement was out of the question and that the emigration of the Jews must be promoted by all means.

Haavara capital transfers – by ways of neutral countries – continued even after the outbreak of the Second World War and ceased only as late as December 1941, when the United States entered the war.

The Haavara accounts in Germany were maintained by two Jewish banks, Warburg of Hamburg and Wassermann of Berlin. Early in the war the accounts were frozen because they did then amount to "Feindvermögen", that is technically property belonging to the enemy. Following the end of the war, 1945, these accounts still existed and were available to the rightful owners.

5. Emigration and the "SS"

Paradoxically it was exactly the SS which – next to the Reich's Ministry for Economics – advanced and supported the Jewish emigration. From the very beginning the SS had sought to influence German policies regarding the Jews. It recommended a mass emigration but simultaneously cautioned not to pressure those Jews who thought of themselves primarily as Germans and only secondarily as Jews. Among those one had to awaken first a Jewish consciousness and identity; this had to happen through the support of Jewish cultural institutions. Only a Jew who had first become conscious of his separate identity would be willing to leave Germany for a future Jewish homeland.

All auspices of promotion, care and protection which the SS subsequently provided for Jewish institutions followed that logic. As strange as it may sound today, the Gestapo addresses were the first to which Jews turned when they felt disadvantaged or abused by ordinary German officialdom. Thus, when in the course of the Reich's Crystal Night, November 1938, the Jewish emigration offices at the Berlin Meinekestrasse were damaged, it was the SS which promptly dispatched cleanup crews and did as much as possible to return that office to operational status.A propaganda pamphlet advocating emigration to Palestine was composed by a later "Judenreferent der SS", Leopold Edler von Mildenstein, and published in Goebbels' newspaper "Der Angriff" in several installments between September 26th and October 9th, 1934, under the title "A Nazi visits Palestine". Mildenstein had spent half a year there and his report, vividly and convincibly written, renders a fascinating picture about the conditions in the erstwhile British trust territory and the then existing political currents. Mildenstein used the pseudonym "Lim", the first three letters of his name read in the Hebrew order from right to left.

Meanwhile, SS and Gestapo partook in the maintenance and financing of training camps which Zionist organizations had established all over Germany. There young Jews acquiring agricultural and craftsmen's skills were prepared for a very different life in Palestine. In part, the SS even provided land for the establishment of such camps. Francis R. Nicosia, in" "The Third Reich and the Palestine Question," Austin 1985, shows a location map of some forty institutions which could be found all over the Reich from the Gut Lobitten estate in East Prussia, and the Danish border district of Flensburg, to the Gut Winkelhof estate near the Swiss border.

Following the Anschluss such training camps were also established in Austria. Adolf Eichmann, the director of the SS main office for Jewish emigration in Vienna, was one of the major sponsors. He also collaborated effectively with the (parent organization of the later) Mossad. Indeed, at times SS specialists escorted Jewish groups across borders and took care of their unimpeded passage.

Hannah Arendt expressed the opinion that Eichmann's argument at the Jerusalem tribunal, 1960, claiming that he had saved the lives of hundreds of thousands of Jews, does in fact agree with the truth though his statement was met with the laughter of derision at that court.

6. The Rublee-Wohlthat Agreement

The Haavara Agreement concerned itself exclusively with the emigration to Palestine. The second official regulative paper, the Rublee-Wohlthat agreement, concerned itself with the emigration to other countries and therefore the greater number of Jews. Similar to the Palestine requisites all those countries demanded proof of financial independence which, in turn, made emigration more difficult, for the German Reichbank was compelled to provide more foreign currency which was already in short supply. To top it all, many countries now refused to accept further Jewish immigration.

This problem was the subject of an international conference for refugees which deliberated at the French spa Evian-les-Bains along the shore of Lake Geneva, summer 1938. Delegates from 32 countries met July 6 to 17 at the Hotel Royal for shared discussions about various ways of aiding the German Jews. All participants were united in their condemnation of the prevailing German government anti-semitism. They expressed compassion for the poor Jews who were driven from their home-country and affirmed resolutions stating the absolute necessity to find places where those Jews could be resettled. However, each and every speaker emphasized that it so happened that his own country was not in the position to accept a significant number of immigrants.

The only tangible result of that conference was, finally, the establishment of an "Interstate Committee" with headquarters in London. George Rublee, an attorney from Washington, became its president.

Rublee searched from the very beginning for contacts with the German government. His efforts were supported by the German ambassador in London, Herbert von Dirksen, as well as Ernst Woerman, chief of the political department of the Foreign Office. Ernst von Weizsäcker, then a "Staatssekretär" in that Foreign Office and father of a later President of the German Federal Republic, sabotaged for months on end all such efforts. About that power-play extensive files survived in the official German records.

Weizsäcker had Rublee informed that he should entertain no hopes whatever for any collaboration from the German site. He rejected repeatedly the attempts of other diplomats who tried to introduce Rublee to German authorities. He even prohibited the German embassy at London from responding to Rublee or mentioning his efforts in their reports. At the British embassy, Berlin, Herr von Weizsäcker inquired whether or not Rublee was an "Aryan" in the first place. When Rublee offered to go to Berlin, he rudely rejected that offer because – according to his point of view – it had no value.

Eventually Hitler learned about von Weizsäcker's intrigues and without much ado he asked Reichsbankpräsident von Schacht to develop a financing plan which made it possible for all Jews, who were still in Germany to emigrate. Schacht responded and Hitler dispatched him to London, mid-December 1938, to meet Rublee and other concerned individuals. After the war Herr von Schacht made it appear as if the plan and his journey to London had been his idea and it had taken some trouble to convince Hitler to agree. Still existing documentation speaks differently.

In any case, the above-mentioned Interstate Committee accepted the Schacht plan as a foundation for further discussion and in January Rublee was invited to go to Berlin, circumventing Herr von Weizsäcker and Ribbentrop's Aussenministerium. In Berlin, Rublee continued to negotiate with Schacht and then with Göring's Ministerialdirektor Helmut Wohltat. [Note: Göring was plenipotentiary of the second Four Years Plan with extensive executive powers.] This led within four weeks to the Rublee-Wohlthat treaty.

The basic ideas of this treaty were as follows -

1. There shall be an international trust fund to which 25% of all German Jewish estate/ property (Vermögen) shall be transferred.

2. Foreign, non-German creditors shall advance funds to aid the emigrants, rendering credits which the Reichs government would repay over a period of twenty years in foreign valuta, hard currency. Accordingly immigrants will not only have the required "Entry Money" but additional capital required for a productive resettlement. 150,000 skilled/productive Jews would be a vanguard, their families to follow afterward. All Jews above the age of 45 may remain in Germany and there shall be no further discriminations against them. All restrictions regarding their employment and housing shall be eliminated.

The text of the memorandum of this agreement between Rublee and Wohlfahrt was officially called a "treaty." It was actually composed by Rublee after his return to London and then forwarded to Wohlfahrt. Herr von Weizsäcker, however, refused to recognize the treaty because the Foreign Office had not been a party of those arrangements, ("Pagraphierung von Vereinbarungen mit Mr. Rublee kommt nicht in Betracht".) which was exactly of his own doing.

It was Hermann Göring who subsequently submitted the text to Adolf Hitler, and Hitler approved the treaty without further ado.

Rublee, on the other hand, submitted the text to that international commission of representatives from thirty countries. The commission then requested Rublee to inform Wohlthat that they had acknowledged the agreement with interest and would do whatever possible to render assistance to Jews emigrating from Germany, and do so on the basis of that treaty. In real life, however, that assistance looked quite differently, but not on account of any German initiatives.

Upon the successful conclusion of the negotiations, Mr. Rublee, now a gentleman 72 years of age, retired from his office as the director of the Interstate Committee. In England a finance company with a starting capital of $1,000.000.- was launched, and in the United States various Jewish bankers committed themselves to raising sufficient funds to assure the realization of all resettlement projects. Sir Herbert Emerson, the new director of the Interstate Committee, was convinced that the Jewish emigration was secured and would be finished within the next three to five years.

In January 1939 the "Reichszentrale für die Auswanderung der Juden" opened in Berlin. This central office for the emigration of the Jews based its activities on the Rublee-Wohlthat treaty arrangements which had now, at least, eliminated earlier existing barriers.

Later Mr. Rublee spoke about those days:

"The Germans fulfilled all their obligations during the months which followed my departure from Germany and up to the outbreak of the war there were few – if any – persecutions of the Jews. Some left and those who remained behind enjoyed an easier life. I received a good number of letters from Germany in which Jewish people expressed their gratitude for the work I had done."

The outbreak of the war greatly diminished the chances of emigrants to find a new home-country. Additionally, the British naval blockade shut down German exit-ports and the Palestine immigration had been significantly reduced on account of earlier restrictions imposed by the British. New exit routes via Turkey and Greece evolved. The "Jüdische Nachrichtenblatt" reported in its editions of June 18 and 24, 1940 on a venturesome journey which led via Yokohama to America. A map illustrated the long way from Berlin to Warsaw – Tschita – China -Yokohama – San Francisco/Los Angeles. And from there to destinations either in the United States or Latin America. Following the occupation of France, the German government offered emigrants with a valid entry visa secure regular commercial transportation to ports in Spain and Portugal where they could board regular merchant marine ships of a neutral country, including the United States.

The fact that emigration, though on a much smaller scale, did continue after the outbreak of the war is due to three major factors:

  1. International Jewish connections which in many cases applied considerable ingenuity and fantasy
  2. The inclination of German authorities to continue the good work and greatly
  3. A task-force which eventually would serve quite different assignments, namely the "Mossad le Aliyah Bet".

7. The Mossad and the Illegal Immigration

"Mossad le Aliyah Bet" translates literally as "office for the second immigration," and covered in fact the illegal immigration to Palestine. Out of this developed later the Mossad secret state police maintained by the modern state of Israel. The original office was founded by Palestinian Jews in Paris, back in 1937. It grew out of the conceived necessity to counter British- Palestine-policies, for the English issued only a limited number of entry permits, and surely considerably fewer than the number of Jews who wished to settle in Palestine.

Potential immigrants were grouped into specific categories, considering their personal wealth and position/skills, and entry visa were issued according to desirability. If a person with some tough luck belonged to a category which according to the British Mandate administration was not desirable, that person could not count on an entry visa.

Between 1932 and 1945 the following immigration categories applied:

A-1: Persons with 1,000 Palestinian Pounds own capital
A-2: Educated people with 500 Pounds, to the extent the overall economic situation assures them a position according to the immigration authorities' judgment
A-3: Craftsmen/artisans showing a minimum of 250 Pounds
A-4: Retirees with a minimum income of 5 Pounds a month
A-5: Persons of special, rare skill or knowledge with at least 500 Pounds of their own

Category B: Persons with assured means of support
B-1: Orphans under the age of 16 whose support was guaranteed by a public institution
B-2: Persons engaged in a religious calling/profession
B-3: Students and pupils whose support had been assured until they completed their education.

Category C were workers/employable labor between the age eighteen to thirty-five. The number of visa was determined twice a year by the Palestine British Mandate government.

Category D were wives, children and parents of Jews dwelling in Palestine, to the extent that the sponsor could support them.

"Jugendaliya" was a special category for young people between the ages of fifteen and seventeen.

One can understand that such cataloging of potential immigrants according to their utility enraged the Jewish leadership. This the more so since the Palestine Mandate, dated July 24, 1922, providing for an easing and support of Jewish immigration, though under proper consideration of other minorities' rights. Subsequently they sought to circumvent British regulations and to organize their own ways of immigration, which according to British understandings were simply illegal.

Notably, those British rules were further tightened May 17, 1939. However, starting in 1937, the Mossad had opened offices in many European countries; the Berlin office established contacts with the SS and Gestapo and a close collaboration developed. Corresponding with their fundamental attitude toward Jewish emigration, SS and Gestapo often assisted the Mossad agents.- In December 1938 the Reichsführer-SS Heinrich Himmler ordered the release of all Jewish concentration camp inmates who wished to prepare for emigration. Mossad agents were permitted to recruit in the camps a following among those who were willing to make a run for Palestine aboard chartered ships.

[Translator's note: In those days there were only three KZ in Germany, Dachau, Buchenwald and Sachsenhausen, with a total inmate population of -30,000 people; among them German Jews were a distinct minute minority; most inmates were either "asocials" or political dissenters.]

To the extent Pino, the Mossad operative, could guarantee the Gestapo an immediate emigration, he could effect the release of many young Jews. A paper, signed by him, was sufficient to prompt their discharge.

Inasmuch as that Palestine route was not officially recognized, the emigrants needed transit visa and related documentation. The Gestapo assisted in providing the required cover as well as the charter of suitable ships plus payment for services rendered. Subsequently, in 1939, many ships carried thousands of immigrants illegally from Europe to Palestine.

[Translator's note: This became eventually known as "Jew dumping", a term not used by Ms. Weckert.]

The Gestapo-Mossad collaboration did not end with the outbreak of the war but increased in some areas. Immigration papers to phony destinations were issued and the emigrants drilled not to reveal their true destination. This Mossad action was made possible by the SS/Gestapo and unofficial cooperation of other German offices. The departure of some 10,000 emigrants from German ports was scheduled for the summer of '39. But the war started before the ships could leave those ports and the Royal Navy blocked all exit routes.

8. Suggestions advanced by the "Irgun"

This plan (of moving 10,000 Jews from German held ports to Palestine) was reconsidered by Abraham Stern, then one of the leaders of the "Irgun", the Jewish anti-British resistance group and freedom fighters ( see footnote/Anmerkungen). He proposed to the Germans the Irgun's help and assistance in their fight against England and suggested, as the German show of good will, the immediate transshipment of 10,000 Jews in spite of the ongoing war, summer 1941. He expressed the opinion that the German ships were well in the positions to get through the British blockade and move the immigrants to the shores of Palestine. Once they had reached that point, the British could not return them.

[Translator's note: As fantastic as it may seem today, this dare-devil plan may not have been overly absurd. In summer '41 the Wehrmacht won great battles against the Red Army and Rommel's Afrika Korps was equally advancing. The German and allied Italian forces were mostly supplied by ships spiting the Royal Navy. Alas, at a most unfortunate moment two Italian tankers carrying fuel for Rommel's panzers were sunk by the Navy, but that was due to British intelligence work and Italian treachery which in fact delivered those tankers to their destruction. Had the tankers reached Libya and the gasoline Rommel's Korps, Egypt was for the taking and an Irgun uprising in Palestine – where the Irgun & Co. were already tying down some 30,000 British combat soldiers – would have put the whole Middle East plus all its oil under German control. The Arabs, on the other hand, had sided in two world wars against Germany and German fascination was bound to Ancient Egypt and the cradles of civilization which once existed between Nile and the two-river-country Mesopotamia, and the stories of Harun-el-Raschid and "1001 Nights", but not the Arab'Massenmenschen of our time.]

Furthermore, the "Jew-dumping fleet" could have gathered in Greek waters, under German control, as well as Turkish waters, for the Turks were as German-friendly as they were on guard against the assuming neo-roman Italians. From the northern Mediterranean shoreline the ships could have made it in a long-night's run to Palestine.- Furthermore, a late friend of mine piloted one of the giant Blohm & Voss flying boats of the Luftwaffe there and then, and those giants could have, in part at least, amounted to the "on the wings of eagle you shall return" prophecy.

Finally, the attention of interested readers is invited to the "Struma" story, a tightly packed aged freighter carrying potential Jewish immigrants bound from Constanta to Palestine, back in 1942. She had reached Instanbul where British authorities made it clear that she will never make it to Palestine and compelled the Turks to return her to her Roumanian home-port, Lacking escort, the "Struma" was sunk by a Soviet submarine and not, as touted all over the world after the war, torpedoed by the Roumanians or SS-hirelings.)

It seems questionable whether the above Stern proposals had indeed reached the proper address in Berlin, for their negotiators were later captured in Syria. In any case, in Berlin it may have been out of the question to run a convoy with women and children across the western Mediterranean Sea and to get them unharmed to Palestine. For such action the German government would not have assumed responsibility.

However, already in a writing dated January '41, that is to say half a year before the above reported event, the Irgun approached the German government and in a letter suggested to fight with the Germans against England in Palestine and, by means of its network of agents, in other countries as well.

For this participation the Irgun demanded "recognition of the national aspiration of the Israelite Freedom Movement on the part of the German Reich's government, the creation of a Jewish brigade, military organization of training of the Jewish manpower in Europe under the auspices and leadership of the National Military Organization/Irgun Zewai Leumi, and their participation in combat actions aimed at the conquest of Palestine, if such a combat area should develop.

[Translator's note: A year later Rommel had indeed crossed into Egypt from Libya. But another year later, at El Alamein, British intelligence defeated German armor, and it was all over.]

The above letter must have been dispatched at the same time when two Stern agents were negotiating with Werner Otto von Hentig who early 1941 had journeyed on German government business to Beirut, then a French Mandate still loyal to the government of Marshal Petain and not yet occupied by British forces. His "talks" must have been similar in content to that letter, for Hentig writes about it as follows:

"In Beirut I took quarters at the Hotel Monopol . . .

"The oddest delegation came from Palestine proper. Its leader, a young officer-type man of excellent appearance, proposed collaboration with the Nationalsozialisten against their own folks, and foremost the orthodox Zionists, if Hitler would guarantee/affirm the full independence of a Jewish state in Palestine."

"To that Jewish delegation I could only reply that their offer of an alliance, on account of their conditions and in consideration of our Arabian friends as well as our own basic principles , could certainly never be accepted."

This letter of the Irgun, composed in the German Language, certainly made it to Berlin. A German response, if there was one, the available records do not show.

9. Conclusion

ILLEGAL IMMIGRATION CONTINUED even after the end of the war, 1945, and until the founding of the modern state of Israel, because the British continued to keep the Palestinian borders closed to Jewish immigration. However, in the course of the ten years between 1938 and 1948 far more than one hundred thousand immigrated to Palestine illegally. The total number of those who left Germany (and Austria) after 1933 cannot be determined statistically because neither the concerned emigration nor immigration offices followed proper accounting procedures. Estimates run between 200,000 and 507,000, a discrepancy which shows the trustworthiness of those figures.

All those numbers – with one exception – are based on conjectures based on different groups and times. To repeat, statistical data embracing all emigration simply does not exist. And some authors classify "Germany" as the Reich within the borders of 1937, others include Austria. Still others limit their data to the time 1933-1939, though emigration continued after the start of the war and the full-scale illegal emigration to Palestine was not launched until 1938.

There is only one number which is based on official German documents, and this number is generally rejected because it seems too high. Curiously, this number is contained in one document which otherwise is accepted as one of highest authority because with it the German plan for a scheduled destruction of Jewry is contained, namely – the" "Wannseeprotokoll". All data of this document are considered trustworthy and accurate, except the emigration data.

On page 4 of that protocol it stated that "since the Machtübernahme , January 30, 1933, until the accounting day, October 31, 1941, a total of about 537,000 Jews had been brought to emigration:

360,000 from within the old borders, the Altreich," starting 1/30/33
147,000 from Austria, the Ostmark, starting 3/15/38
30,000 from Bohemia/Moravia, the Protektorat, starting 3/15/39

We shall not discuss the problems of the Wannsee-protokoll's historical genuineness and validity, which is earnestly questioned, but point out that contemporary historiographers arbitrarily determine which part of a document must be accepted as trustworthy and correct, and which portion must be rejected as unbelievable. In regard to our subject the fact remains that accurate figures dealing with the emigration simply are not available, or in fact do not exist. However, about 1/4 to 1/3 of the emigrants went to Palestine, 1/3 to other European countries and all the others went overseas, mostly North and South America.

The Haavara, as we reported earlier, is occasionally mentioned in technical non-fiction literature, rarely by the public information media. The Rublee-Wohlthat treaty is practically unknown. On the other hand, the great majority of Germans are certainly well indoctrinated about the Holocaust; about an emigration plan which permitted the German Jews to leave the country without much trouble very few know. This is apparently one of the "volkspädagogisch unerwünschten Wahrheiten," as the Swiss Professor Walther Hofer once formulated it, speaking of that unwanted factual truth which for the people's sake must be suppressed.

However, it remains the task of the historian to bring truth to the forefront, to move out of darkness to bright daylight a knowledge about what had really happened in those days.


Basic Outline of the proposal advanced by the National Military Organization "Irgun Zewai Leumi" regarding the solution of the Jewish Question in Europe and a participation of the N.M.O./Irgun in the war as an ally of Germany.

Responsible leaders of the national-socialistic Germany repeatedly emphasized in their remarks and public speeches that the restructuring of Europe includes a radical solution of the Jewish Question, "a Europe free of Jews", by means of evacuation.

The evacuation of the Jewish masses from Europe is a precondition to the solution of the Jewish Question, and is solely possible and "endgültig" – please see translator's note at the end of this chapter – by means of a transfer of those masses to the homeland of the Jewish people which is in Palestine, and the creation of a Jewish state within its historical borders.

The N.M.O./Irgun, fully aware of the positive attitude of the German Reichsregierung's policy in regard to Zionist activities inside Germany, and equally informed about the Zionist immigration plans, held the opinion that:

  1. a shared interest (community of interests) in matters concerning the restructuring of Europe according to German concepts and the true national aspiration of the Jewish people, represented by the N.M.O./Irgun, may well exist;
  2. co-operation between the new Germany and a reborn, folkish-national Hebrew nation would be possible and
  3. the recreation of the historical Jewish state on a national and totalitarian basis, treaty connected with Germany and thus strengthening Germany's own position in the future Middle East.

[Translator's note: "Der Judenstaat als ein Vorposten Europas", a Jewish state as the vanguard of Europe, was a thought that had emerged during the time of Kaiser Wilhelm II. The German Jews, alas, thought of this as a home-state not for them but the oppressed masses of the East etc. – for whom they felt compassion but no shared folkishness.]

Assuming the above consideration as a starting point, the N.M.O./Irgun, representing the national aspirations of the Israelite freedom movement, approached the German Reich's government with the offer to partake in the war on the side of Germany.

This offer of the N.M.O,/Irgun – whose activities in the military, political and information realm would extend to areas outside Palestine after a period of organizational preparations – would be bound to the military training and organization of the Jewish manpower of Europe under its own leadership and its active participation in combat action if a front suitable for the conquest of Palestine should develop.

The indirect participation of the Israelite Freedom Movement in the restructuring of Europe, foremost in conjunction of a positive-radical solution to the Jewish Problem but under consideration of the enumerated aspiration of the Jewish people, would in the eyes of all mankind greatly enhance the moral standing of the New Order. [See additional text under" Notes/Anmerkungen]

This cooperative expression of the Israelite Freedom Movement would also be in line with the last speeches of the German Reich's chancellor in which Herr Hitler emphasized that he would engage any combination and coalition necessary to isolate and defeat England.

A brief overview of the origin, nature and activity of the N.M.O./Irgun in Palestine

The N.M.O./Irgun evolved, in part, from the Jewish Home Protection [German "Sebstschutz", the American term "vigilante" seems to fit best] and the New Zionist's Revisionists Movement, with which the H.M.O./Irgun had been loosely connected until the death of Herr V. Jabotinsky. However, the pro-English position of the Revisionist Movement rendered a renewal of this union impossible and led to separation.

The purpose of the N.M.O./Irgun was the building of a Jewish state within its historical borders.

The N.M.O./Irgun rejected the suggestion of a colonializing slow infiltration as the only means of retaking the fatherland and did so in opposition to all other Zionist currents; instead it raised the banner of combat and sacrifice as the only true way to reconquer and liberate Palestine. Due to its own militant character and anti-English position, and the corresponding ongoing persecution imparted by the English colonial administration, the N.M.O./Irgun had been compelled to go underground in its political activities as well as the military training of its members.

Its partisans' actions were launched as early as autumn 1936, and following the publication of the English White Book (restricting further immigration) it increased its underground terrorist activities and sabotage against British properties in the summer of 1939. Such actions, as well as the secret daily radio broadcasts from Palestine, had been registered and editorialized by the world information media.

Until the outbreak of the war, independent political N.M.O./Irgun offices were in Warsaw, Paris, London, Geneva and New York. Foremost, the Warsaw office concentrated on the organization of the national-zionistic youth and maintained close contacts with the Jewish masses which – especially in Poland – embraced with ardor the combative spirit of the N.M.O./Irgun and sought to support it by many means. Two N.M.O./Irgun newspapers were published in Warsaw, the "Jerozalima wseljona" and the German language "Die Tat".

The Warsaw office also maintained close contacts with the erstwhile Polish government and its military circles which met the M.N.O./Irgun endeavors with the greatest interest and understanding. Thus selected groups of N.M.O./Irgun members traveled 1939 to Poland where their military training was further advanced by Polish officers in Polish military installations. Records of those negotiations between the N.M.O./Irgun and the Polish government, conducted in Warsaw for the purpose of activating assistance, should be found easily in the archives of the last Polish government which ceased at the outbreak of the war.

In its weltanschauung and structure the N.M.O. resembles the present totalitarian movements of Europe. Neither the extremely sharp counter-measures of the English administration, nor those of the Arabs, nor the arguments of the Jewish socialists could or did paralyze or severely impair the combat capacity of the group.


This text is a free but textually correct translation of the original German "Die Auswanderung der Juden aus dem Dritten Reich" as published in "KRITIK", ISBN 3-88037-068-0, Kritik-Folge 88," Copyright by Ingrid Weckert, Nordwind Verlag, Molevey 12," DK – Kollund, Denmark. Rights for the American-English translation and edition granted by the author, Ms. Ingrid Weckert, 1996. Ms. Ingrid Weckert's original German text contains 24 notes/Anmerkungen. The following may be of interest to the general American reader:

Page 2: This is an error. The president of the first German parliament meeting at the Frankfurt Paulskirche church was Heinrich Freiherr von Gagern, a scion of old nobility from Rügen, Pomerania, whose family roots can be traced back to the 13th Century. Possibly, the writer of the article was victim of an error and actually meant Martin von Simson, a baptized Jew, who in 1871 was the first president of the new Reichstag of the recently founded Second German Reich, Otto von Bismarck serving as Reich's chancellor.

Page 15, Purim: The biblical Book of Esther relates an event for which no historical data exist. Accord to the story, Esther, the Jewish wife of the Persian king, had learned that there existed a plan to exterminate all the Jews of the Empire, and the court officer Haman was in charge of its execution. Artaxerxes, the Persian king, was in the beginning inclined to consent. Then Esther, in order to save her people, resorted to a ruse. – During a court festival she seduced Haman but arranged for the king to catch them in the act. She then lamented that Haman had tried to rape her. The enraged king ordered that Haman be hanged. Esther, persuaded the king to permit the Jews living in the Persian empire to avenge themselves against their perceived enemies.

[Translator's note: The above is a very sloppy reading/interpretation of the biblical text. Though the story is fiction, composed about 170 B.C. when the Maccabees fought for the reestablishment of a Jewish state, the storyline relates court intrigues and when the antagonist Haman was caught by the king lying on Esther's couch, he was pleading for his life for he feared justly that his goose had been cooked. For details check Esther VII 6-8. In any case, this is the only book of Holy Scripture in which God is not mentioned, not even the word "God ," and the ancient rabbis, when they determined what is and what is not Scripture, intended to kick Esther out. But the Esther story was already so deeply implanted in the people's mind that it had become, like The Holocaust in our time, an element of the Jewish religion.]

The Bible reports that in two days 75,000 human beings were murdered by the Jews. Alas, the story has no historical basis. Preuss/Berger in their theological textbook "Bibelkunde", pg. 118, remark:

"In the Esther story Jewry found that wish fulfillment which in reality did not exist. In memory of this event that had never happened – and even in the story nothing had happened to the Jews in the first place – the Esther festival evolved and is celebrated in a carnival fashion to this day."

Page 23: The complete name reads "Irgun Zewai Leumi", that is "National Military Organization". For that matter, already in September 1940 did Abraham Stern divorce himself from the original "Irgun" and launch his own group "Lechi", that is "Lochamei Cherut Israel" which translates as "Fighters for the Freedom of Israel". Nevertheless, during the first few months following that separation, he still presented himself as a representative of the legitimate/regular "Irgun".

Page 28: This is an essential element of a very complex issue. Therefore, to avoid easily possible distortion, the translator will first render the German text and then his translation.

"Dieser sich kompliziert lesende Satz heisst mit klaren Worten: Die deutsche Judenpolitik, d.h. die Ausweisung der Juden aus Deutschland, ist möglicherweise in den Augen der Welt unmoralisch. Sie gewänne aber an moralischer Gerechtigkeit, wenn Dutch die Ausweisung ein Judenstaat entstehen würde. Der Zweck heiligt die Mittel, oder: Was den Deutschen eigentlich nicht erlaubt wäre, ist für die" jüdischen Nationalisten eine willkommende Unterstützung ihres Kampfes and damit gerechtfertigt."

Translated: "This hard to read sentence expresses with clear words: The German Anti-Jewish policy, that is the expulsion of the Jews from Germany, may in the eyes of world appear to be immoral. It would obtain moral justification if this expulsion would lead to the creation of a Jewish state. The end justifies the means. Or, what is actually not permissible for Germans is to the Jewish nationalists a welcome support of their own struggle and is therefore justified."

Page 27: about the word "endgültig"/final, a word from the translator:

"Endlösung" as well as "endgültig" are certainly the buzz-words most closely related to "Holocaust". The idea of an "engültige Endlösung der Judenfrage" was well known to the translator when he was still a youngster in Berlin. He related it then with the "Blutapfelsinen", those fantastic Jaffa-Oranges with the thick red juice and other fruits grown by Jews in Palestine, produced by a people returned to the land, a people showing that they can be so much more than peddlers and bankers. I remember distinctly a sentence spoken by one of my teachers, and this fellow turned out to be an SS-officer, "We must provide for the Jews to return to their homeland, we must force them to live in a nation-state of their own that they may commit the same dumb mistakes all other nation-states make and stop setting themselves up as our teachers in morality."

The oddity in the working of an old man's mind: He may forget his social security number, his telephone number, more numbers, his wife's birthday, but what stays undead down there, deep down in that gray mass, is some absolutely irrelevant trivia that somehow impacted his life, like Jaffa blood-oranges perhaps, and lyrics of a fairy-tale opera written by a Herr Schickaneder for Mozart's majestic Magic Flute. Crazy, isn't it?


  • Adler-Rudel, Schalom: Jüdische Selbsthilfe unter dem Nazi-Regime 1933-1939. Im Spiegel der Berichte der Reichsvertretung der Juden in Deutsch-land. M.ei. Vorwort v. Robert Weltsch (Schriftreihe wissenschaftlicher Abhandlungen des Leo Baeck Instituts 29), Tübingen 1974
  • Akten zur Deutschen Auswärtigen Politik 1918-1945, (ADAP) Serie D (1937-1945) Bd.5: Polen, Südosteuropa, Latein-Amerika, Klein und Mittel-staaten, Juni 1937 – März 1939, Baden-Baden 1953
  • Arendt, Hannah: Eichmann in Jerusalem, ein Bericht von der Banalität des Bösen, München 1965
  • Bann-Kaduri, Kurt Jakob: Illegale Judenauswanderung aus Deutschland nach Palästina 1939/1940 – - Planung, Durchführung und internationale Zusammenhänge, in : Jahrbuch des Insituts für Deutsche Geschichte," " hrsg. von Walter Grab, Bd.4, Tel Aviv 1975, S.387-421
  • Barkai, Avraham: Vom Boykott zur "Entjudung". Der wirtschaftliche Existenzkampf der Juden im Dritten Reich 1933-43, (Fischer 4368), Frankfurt 1988
  • Black, Edwin: The Transfer Agreement. The untold story of the Secret Agreement between the Third Reich and Jewish Palestine, New York/London 1984
  • Brenner, Lenni: Zionism in the Age of the Dictators, Westport 1983
  • Eckert, Brita (Hrsg.): Die jüdische Emigration aus Deutschland 1933-41. Die Geschichte einer Austreibung. Eine Ausstellung des Leo Baeck Instituts, New York, Frankfurt am Main 1985
  • Feilchenfeld, Werner/Dolf Micchaelis/Ludwig Pinner: Haavara -Transfer nach Palästina und Einwanderung deutscher Juden, (Schriftenreihe wissen-schaftlicher Abhandlungen des Leo Baeck Instituts 26) Tübingen 1972
  • Hentig, Werner Otto v.: Mein Leben eine Dienstreise," Göttingen" 1962
  • Herrmann, Klaus J.: Das Dritte Reich und die deutsch-jüdischen Organisationen 1933-1934 (Schriftenreihe der Hochschule für politische Wissenschaften, München, N.F.H.), Köln 1969
  • Katz, Samuel: Tage des Feuers. Das Geheimnis der Irgun, Königsstein/Ts. 1981
  • Kimsche, Jon und David: Des Zornes und des Herzens wegen. Die illegale Wanderung eines Volkes (The Secret Roads, dt.)" Berlin 1956
  • Kroh, Ferdinand: David kämpft. Vom jüdischen Widerstand gegen Hitler. M.ei. Nachw.v. Nathan Schwalb-Dor (rororo aktuell 5644)" Hamburg 1988
  • Mildenstein, Leopold Edler von: Ein Nazi fährt nach Palästina, in: "Der Angriff", 26.9.-9.10. 1934
  • Nicosia, Francis R.: Hitler und der Zionismus. Das 3. Reich und die Palästina-Frage 1933-39 (The Third Reich and the Palestine Question, dt.) Leoni, 1989
  • Nicosia, Francis R.: The Third Reich and the Palestine Question, Austin 1985, the orginal of the foregoing German translation recommended by the author because the translation distorts the text and is filled with typographical errors.
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Additional information about this document
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Author(s): Ingrid Weckert
Title: The Emigration Of The Jews From the Third Reich
Sources: translated from "Auswanderung der Juden aus dem Dritten Reich," Kritik-Folge 88, Nordwind Verlag, Kollund, DK, 1994
Published: 1994-01-01
First posted on CODOH: June 29, 1995, 7 p.m.
Last revision:
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