Confiscated Jewish wealth 'helped fund the German war effort'

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DavidFrankenberg
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Confiscated Jewish wealth 'helped fund the German war effort'

Postby DavidFrankenberg » 04 Dec 2017 21:27

Nearly 120 billion Reich marks – over £12 billion at the time – was plundered from German Jews by laws and looting.
The official study commissioned by the ministry examined the years from 1933 to 1945. Hans-Peter Ullmann, a Cologne history professor, said the tax authorities under the Nazis actively worked to "destroy Jews financially" and to loot wealth in the nations the Germans occupied.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldne ... ffort.html

Inb this Telagraph's article, the author talks about a study published by Hans Peter Ullmann about the confiscated jewish wealth that helped fund the German war effort. But what is the title of this study ? Was it published ? Where could we find it ?

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wm
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Re: Confiscated Jewish wealth 'helped fund the German war effort'

Postby wm » 04 Dec 2017 22:45

In 1937 the entire Germany's GDP was 74 billion Reichsmarks, so 120 billion is nonsense.

Another nonsense is that the confiscated Jewish wealth helped fund the German war effort.
The Jewish wealth didn't improve the state of the German economy for the reason it had been a part of the economy already. From the economic point of view the confiscation was like rearranging the deck chairs on the Nazi Titanic.

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Re: Confiscated Jewish wealth 'helped fund the German war effort'

Postby DavidFrankenberg » 05 Dec 2017 00:31

wm wrote:In 1937 the entire Germany's GDP was 74 billion Reichsmarks, so 120 billion is nonsense.
This is huge.

Another nonsense is that the confiscated Jewish wealth helped fund the German war effort.
The Jewish wealth didn't improve the state of the German economy for the reason it had been a part of the economy already. From the economic point of view the confiscation was like rearranging the deck chairs on the Nazi Titanic.
It did improve the german economy, it represents 30% of the total war effort. This is huge.
If Hitler had not confiscated this whole wealth, it would have made him miss 120 billions of RM. This is huge again.

Nearly 120 billion is x15 more than the conservative estimate of Adam Tooze (at least 8 billions). viewtopic.php?f=46&t=231724&start=45
Last edited by DavidFrankenberg on 05 Dec 2017 11:03, edited 2 times in total.

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Gorque
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Re: Confiscated Jewish wealth 'helped fund the German war effort'

Postby Gorque » 05 Dec 2017 02:37

What the confiscated Jewish wealth funded was in assisting with the current monetary requirements towards meeting Reich expenditures as well as assisting with the clearing account in within the German Großraum, which, BTW, was highly skewed in the Germans favor .

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wm
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Re: Confiscated Jewish wealth 'helped fund the German war effort'

Postby wm » 05 Dec 2017 11:16

So in other words, the wealth allowed the government to maintain illusion of its financial stability without losing face.

The slogan was "all wheels are rolling for victory" - before some of the wheels were Jewish, later the Jewish were repainted in Nazi colors but still they all were rolling - as you couldn't transfer your wealth abroad (it was forbidden for everyone), you couldn't hide it (where do you hide a supermarket) you could only "roll".
The Nazi Germany was a socialist country with a proper command economy - your independence as an owner of some wealth, as a businessman was illusory. You couldn't refuse to be part of all that "rolling".

The later confiscation of conquered countries' wealth was something entire different, that was true new, external money - they really helped to make more tanks.

It should be mentioned that punishing taxes and confiscation of wealth wasn't nothing new, it was first implemented in the USSR (where the wealthy were eventually physically eliminated too) later in China, and in Eastern Europe.
At least in Germany the confiscated property was returned to the owners or their rightful heirs after the war, in most of the socialist countries it wasn't and never will.

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Re: Confiscated Jewish wealth 'helped fund the German war effort'

Postby Gorque » 05 Dec 2017 14:39

wm wrote:So in other words, the wealth allowed the government to maintain illusion of its financial stability without losing face.


Exactly. Additionally, the regime used other means in order to maintain its facade, such as the weekly deductions from participating workers paychecks, as down payments for the promised "People's Car." Then there were the MeFo bills, which the regime used early in it rule, to finance rearmament.

wm wrote:At least in Germany the confiscated property was returned to the owners or their rightful heirs after the war, in most of the socialist countries it wasn't and never will.


To the victors, the spoils, no? :)

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Waleed Y. Majeed
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Re: Confiscated Jewish wealth 'helped fund the German war effort'

Postby Waleed Y. Majeed » 05 Dec 2017 14:49

DavidFrankenberg
I think what you are looking for is
an "in-house" commission report
by Prof. Dr. Jane Caplan (Oxford),
Prof. Dr. Ulrich Herbert (Freiburg),
Prof. Dr. Hans Günter Hockerts (München),
Prof. Dr. Werner Plumpe (Frankfurt),
Prof. Dr. Adam Tooze (Yale),
Prof. Dr. Patrick Wagner (Halle) headed
by Prof. Dr. Hans-Peter Ullmann (Köln).
This government link should provide
some insight into the commissions work.
http://www.bundesfinanzministerium.de/C ... ssion.html

Maybe worth reading before disgarding
the claims of finanzial support to the
armed forces and war effort as rubbish.

w

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Re: Confiscated Jewish wealth 'helped fund the German war effort'

Postby DavidFrankenberg » 05 Dec 2017 18:20

Waleed Y. Majeed wrote:DavidFrankenberg
I think what you are looking for is
an "in-house" commission report
by Prof. Dr. Jane Caplan (Oxford),
Prof. Dr. Ulrich Herbert (Freiburg),
Prof. Dr. Hans Günter Hockerts (München),
Prof. Dr. Werner Plumpe (Frankfurt),
Prof. Dr. Adam Tooze (Yale),
Prof. Dr. Patrick Wagner (Halle) headed
by Prof. Dr. Hans-Peter Ullmann (Köln).
This government link should provide
some insight into the commissions work.
http://www.bundesfinanzministerium.de/C ... ssion.html

Maybe worth reading before disgarding
the claims of finanzial support to the
armed forces and war effort as rubbish.

w

Thank you. They say :
Zum Raub des Vermögens deutscher Juden traten Plünderungen in den eroberten Gebieten hinzu, die über „Kriegsbeiträge“ der besetzten und verbündeten Länder bis Mai 1945 mindestens 119 Mrd. RM erreichten – etwa 30 % des Bedarfs der Wehrmacht.

I dont understand very well what is said there... 119 bilions of RM was the total money pillaged in the occupied Europe (?), but not only from the Jews but also from "gentiles" (non jews)...
So it seems that the Telegraph's article is completely wrong by assuming that 120 billions was the total of the german jewish wealth pillaged by Hitler.

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Re: Confiscated Jewish wealth 'helped fund the German war effort'

Postby Waleed Y. Majeed » 05 Dec 2017 19:59

I would have to agree. The Telegraph
got some of it wrong. I think this would
be more correct:
The plundering of the property of German Jews was accompanied by looting in the conquered territories, which reached at least 119 billion Marks through "war contributions" from the occupied and allied countries by May 1945 - about 30% of the Wehrmacht's needs


w

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Re: Confiscated Jewish wealth 'helped fund the German war effort'

Postby ColinWright » 05 Dec 2017 22:10

DavidFrankenberg wrote:If Hitler had not confiscated this whole wealth, it would have made him miss 120 billions of RM. This is huge again.

Nearly 120 billion is x15 more than the conservative estimate of Adam Tooze (at least 8 billions). viewtopic.php?f=46&t=231724&start=45


First, your claim implies that absent its confiscation, Jewish wealth would have been exempt from taxation. Obviously, that's improbable. Almost any conceivable German state would have enjoyed at least some of the benefits of this wealth.

Second, you ignore the detail that 120 billion is more than the entire wealth of Germany, Jewish and gentile. One can certainly doubt the figure. It's probably hyperbole.

Third, violent confiscation isn't really the best way of milking a cow. To cite one example, the Germans got far, far more out of France, with a regime of measures enforced by an acquiescent French administration, than they did in Poland, where they pursued a course of disruptive confiscation and violence. Here, see Mark Mazower, Hitler's Empire.

Whatever assets the Germans did seize from Jews, it's debatable if that was the best way of making use of them. From a point of view of funding the war effort, what probably would have been best would have been a regime of exorbitant and discriminatory taxation, calculated so as to make German Jews work desperately to pay but not actually give up hope.

This of course assumes that the goal is to extract the most funds for the war. It would at least arguably have worked better than outright confiscation -- but equally important, almost any programme would have allowed the Germans some use of the wealth. What's important is that the perambulator factory starts making AT gun chassis -- not who owns the factory.

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Re: Confiscated Jewish wealth 'helped fund the German war effort'

Postby ColinWright » 05 Dec 2017 22:30

Waleed Y. Majeed wrote:I would have to agree. The Telegraph
got some of it wrong. I think this would
be more correct:
The plundering of the property of German Jews was accompanied by looting in the conquered territories, which reached at least 119 billion Marks through "war contributions" from the occupied and allied countries by May 1945 - about 30% of the Wehrmacht's needs


w


Even this must somewhat misstate matters. Did all this wealth simply flow with 100% efficiency into the Wehrmacht's coffers?

One is inclined to doubt it. Even absent Goering collecting paintings et al, there is the fact that much or most of it all helped the German war effort considerably more indirectly. Ukrainian wheat made it possible to draft German farm workers, etc. Then too, Germany was under rigorous rationing even before the war. The policy of allowing massive public and private shipments of acquisitions back to the Reich helped to make such deprivation tolerable. Germans could use Dutch cheese instead, and so on. How one would quantify that effect and how it translated into more Tigers at Kursk I'm not sure how one would say.

Then too, too what extent it was 'plundering' often varied, and I don't see how the quantity of it could reasonably be assessed. The 'plundering' ran the gamut from simple seizure to purchases made with artificially inflated marks to perfectly legitimate business transactions. One is reminded of the 'forced trade' model used to describe the practices of the Vikings. To what extent was it looting and to what extent trade? Well, the deal tended to vary according to the strength of the town's defenses and the size of the Viking band...

To get back to the Germans, what was happening clearly varied. Certainly if they bought Oerlikons from Switzerland, it wouldn't be 'plunder.' At the same time, it would probably behoove Switzerland not to make her price exorbitant. At the other extreme, if a Ukrainian village did give up its wheat quota willingly, well, it wouldn't get sacked and burnt, and it might get passed over in the next labor levy. Gnome-Rhone built engines for the Luftwaffe. It presumably got paid -- even if in inflated marks. Finally, Major _____ discovers a wine cellar on this chateau. He wants to buy the contents for one hundred marks. Is it a good idea to say no? You decide...

The points are that even the figure of 119 billion for all expropriations leaves unanswered who got all that wealth, and it is kind of suspect number in the first place. How is it arrived at, and how are all the transactions quantified? One would want to read the whole book to know what to think of it. It's like one of those claims that pre-Columbian Mexico had a population of forty million. Go back and look at the original paper.
Last edited by ColinWright on 05 Dec 2017 22:58, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Confiscated Jewish wealth 'helped fund the German war effort'

Postby ColinWright » 05 Dec 2017 22:43

It is all a bit like the number who died in King Leopold's Congo Free State.

One can wave one's arms and claim that 'ten or more million died.' Hey: all the villages along the rivers came to be deserted.

Indeed. They probably did come to be deserted. What that means happened to the inhabitants is a different matter. Were there even ten million Congolese in the first place? Interesting question.

Conversely, one could rely on the reports filed by the traders themselves. Huh: no one died at all. Look at that.

Or...one could seriously research the matter and come up with some carefully thought out estimate. Say -- as a random number -- 700,000. Now, what to think of that figure depends on what one thinks of the research, and that in turn requires reading the research. It's all but meaningless to simply quote the ten million, the zero, or the 700,000 as if it were a bald fact.

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Re: Confiscated Jewish wealth 'helped fund the German war effort'

Postby ColinWright » 05 Dec 2017 22:46

Gorque wrote:To the victors, the spoils, no? :)


This isn't actually a moral principle.

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Re: Confiscated Jewish wealth 'helped fund the German war effort'

Postby ColinWright » 05 Dec 2017 22:52

wm wrote:S
The Nazi Germany was a socialist country with a proper command economy - your independence as an owner of some wealth, as a businessman was illusory. You couldn't refuse to be part of all that "rolling".

The later confiscation of conquered countries' wealth was something entire different, that was true new, external money - they really helped to make more tanks...


There you go. I'd differ with you that it was 'entirely different.'

Just as German (and all other) manufacturers operated under some degree of coercion, so, conversely, foreign concerns operated often with less independence, but still as independent concerns. See Gnome-Rhone and Renault. Moreover, there was often considerable variation in the degree of cooperation. Some French firms participated whole-heartedly, while others dragged their feet and even facilitated sabotage of their own facilities.

One would have a continuum. There were probably some German concerns that did exactly as they pleased right through 1945. I'm equally sure Russian factories were expropriated outright and run by German staff. The point is that there was probably every imaginable gradation in between.

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Re: Confiscated Jewish wealth 'helped fund the German war effort'

Postby wm » 06 Dec 2017 00:02

Although that might have been true earlier, but post-Stalingrad the entire economy was totally mobilized and dictatorially controlled by Speer, Keitel, Lammers, and Borman. Their authority over the economy was absolute.

I think it should be mentioned the Germans themselves were robbed blind too - only more subtly. After the war their country was "worth" 40 percent less. And mostly it was the ordinary Germans who lost everything - their money (because inflation made them worthless) and lots of them their homes.
There is a saying "bomb them back to the Stone Age", from the economic point of view they were bombed back to the year 1885 - not quite the Stone Age but most modern inventions including cars didn't exist yet at that time.


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