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Yehuda Bauer: My Brother's Keeper

A History of the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee 1929-1939

[Holocaust preparations in Europe and resistance without solution of the situation]

The Jewish Publication Society of America, Philadelphia 1974

Transcription with subtitles by Michael Palomino (2007)



Chapter 6. The Beginning of the End
[A.] Austria

[6.4. NS Austria: "US" Jewish organizations can only watch]

["US" Jewish organizations have to accept the emigration wave in Austria - JDC money for emigration]

Löwenherz, who soon became the guiding spirit of IKG, was not trusted by JDC; at the end of 1938 Morris C. Troper, who succeeded Kahn as European director of JDC, called him a "Gestapo agent".

(End note 18: Germany-ICA, Troper memo, 12/26/38 [26 December 1938])

[This seems to be the right trace: Gestapo "organized" emigration to Palestine of German and Austrian Jews for the Holy Land by Haavarah and Zentralstelle and the Zionists are satisfied, and the liberal Jews can only watch, and the Yiddish Jews have no chance].

Yet there was no alternative, and IKG had to be supported. Of the JDC contribution, 60 % went to emigration. This was not done, however, through a direct contribution of American dollars to the German treasury. The procedure was to pay for the prospective emigrant's tickets and other expenses outside the Reich; in return, money paid by the emigrant to IKG was utilized to cover that institution's expenses. It is true that this cost the Germans nothing - or, as Heydrich put it, Jewish emigration was effected "without any payment by the German side, not even in the form of 'additional exports.' "

(End note 19: Helmuth Krausnick: Judenverfolgung; In: Martin Broszat et alia: Die Anatomie des SS-Staates; Olten und Freiburg 1965, 2:341)

[It's even more extreme: NS occupation robbed the Jews and the Jewish organizations are financing also their emigration trip. Also "neutral" Swiss "friends" were granted by Hitler during the aryanizations...].

But Germany did not acquire any foreign currency through this method - and Jewish property was in the Nazis' hands in any case. JDC visitors were treated well by the Gestapo, and the Nazi agents they met became "rather amiable young fellows" when discussing financial arrangements; but the message that they welcomed "our cooperation in getting the Jews out of Austria as quickly as possible", and that emigration "was proceeding at much too slow a rate" was very definite and unmistakable.

(End note 20: CON-48, Jaretzki report, 7/3/38 [3 July 1938])


According to Encyclopaedia Judaica (1971) between 1938 and 1939 there were about 50% of the Austrian Jews emigrating:

<1938 until the outbreak of World War II in September 1939, about one-half of Austrian Jewry succeeded in leaving the country, many of them for Palestine, mostly by "illegal" routes.>