The Nazi theft of Jewish property in occupied Europe (1941-43)




The following sources describe the confiscation and theft of Jewish property by the SS in occupied Europe between 1941 and 1943:



 

Reichsfuhrer Himmler has ordered the collection of all fur coats, furs and hides of any kind whatsoever that have been found amongst and confiscated from Jews; together with those of still existing Jews, which are about to be confiscated immediately, particularly in the ghettos in the General-governement [occupied Poland]. The number is to be regularly reported to me by teleprinter from December 29th 1941, not later than 1800 hours. The Reichsfuhrer has commanded that his order be carried out without delay… The Jewish Councils are to be warned that they themselves, along with any Jews caught in possession of a fur or hide after the stipulated period has expired, will be shot.
Chief of the Security Police
December 24th 1941

 

I attach two statements regarding goods secured from the ghetto in Piaski. While some of the effects taken from the Hessian Jews are as new, the remaining textiles consist of fairly old and dirty fabric for the rag-chopping machines. The articles of clothing of the Hessian Jews are packed in cases. In addition, a sum of 8300 zloty (partly in Reichsmarks), 85 gold roubles, as well as five wedding rings has been secured. As the storerooms are urgently required for other purposes, I would ask for early collection.
Security Police, Piaski Transfer Office
April 11th 1942

 

The superabundant supply of textiles, shoes, etc. from the Warthbruecken resettlement camp and the evacuated ghettos necessitates the addition of further storerooms. For this purpose the Polish churches in Alexanderhof and Erzhausen have been placed at my disposal by the Gestapo…
Ghetto Administration in Litzmannstadt
June 8th 1942

 

A large proportion of the articles of clothing is heavily patched and in some cases also saturated with dirt and blood stains… The crates were forwarded unopened from the Litzmannstadt district office to different district offices in the region, so it was not discovered until later, when the crates were opened, that in a delivery to the Poznan Office, for example, the Jewish star had not been removed from 51 out of 200 coats! As in the district warehouses mainly Polish warehousemen have to be employed, there is a danger that the returning emigrants, provided for by the WHW (Winter Welfare Organisation) may come to know the source of the clothing…
Regional representative of the Poznan WHW
January 9th 1943

 

An inventory of all the goods and second-hand articles accruing as a result of evacuation measures, and still on hand (furs, clothing, jewellery and household articles, etc.) is to be drawn up and submitted to me. The term “second-hand articles” is to be applied in its widest sense. The inventory is to be regularly kept up to date with new additions.
Chief Burgomaster of Litzmannstadt
September 20th 1943