Order removing Jews from German economic life (1938)

On November 12th 1938, as the dust was settling from the Kristallnacht pogrom, the Nazis issued this order removing Jews from German economic life:

“On the basis of the Decree of October 18th 1936 for the execution of the Four Year Plan, the following is ordered:

Article One

1. From January 1st 1938, operation of retail shops, mail-order houses, independent exercise of handicrafts is forbidden to Jews.

2. Moreover, it is forbidden to Jews from the same date to offer goods or services in the markets of all kinds, fairs, or exhibitions or to advertise such or accept orders therefor.

3. Jewish shops operated in violation of this order will be closed by police.

Article Two

1. No Jew can manage a firm according to the interpretation of the term “manager” under the law for national labour of January 20th 1934.

2. If a Jew is a leading employee in a business concern he may be dismissed with notice of six weeks. At expiration of this period, all claims resulting from the employee’s contract, especially claims of compensation or pensions, become null.

Article Three

1. No Jew can be a member of a cooperative society.

2. Jewish members of cooperatives lose membership from December 21st 1938. No notice is necessary.

Article Four

Competent Reich Ministers are empowered to issue rules required by this decree. They may permit exceptions so far as this is necessary for the transfer of Jewish firms into non-Jewish hands or for liquidation of Jewish concerns and in special cases in order to ensure supplies.”

Berlin, 12 November 1938

The Commissioner for the Four Year Plan
Hermann Goering, General Field Marshal