Trying to establish total costs of Endloesung. Help apreciated.

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criticus1952
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Trying to establish total costs of Endloesung. Help apreciated.

Post by criticus1952 » 19 Dec 2016 17:33

Hallo All,

I am researching the total economic effects caused by the decission to free Europe of all Jews. I am studying those effects in relation to the breakdown of the 6th army at Stalingrad in january 1943, resulting in the ultimate 'Wendepunkt' in WW2.

It is a rather daunting project. It covers areas such as Einsatsgruppen, Lawmaking, costs of efforts by SD. and Gestapo, pogroms, transport of prisoners, economic damage through riots, pogroms, arrests, closing down of businesses etc. But naturally also the cost caused by setting-up consentration camp and building crematoria etc.
And such costs as to the maintenance of Einsatzgruppen made through the Wehrmacht, which was not only responsible for transport fascilities to the Einsatzgruppen, but also for their Verpflegung and munitions. It is a vast area which can be covered by this search. I have thusfar not been able to find any study/book covering or touching this theme.

Any suggestions means help to me.

Criticus1952

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wm
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Re: Trying to establish total costs of Endloesung. Help apreciated.

Post by wm » 21 Dec 2016 00:48

Then, I think the "benefits" should be included too.
A few thousands of tons of foods saved every day, and diverted to badly supplied Germany. Millions of items of clothing and furniture for the bombed out Germans - providing badly needed morale boost for the frequently desperate people, or simply sold to the highest bidder. Similarity Jewish shops, houses, apartments - sold or rented. And of course tons of gold and jewelry, and millions of confiscated dollars.
The security forces used were minimal and they were basically free, they were there around anyway providing security in the occupied territories, and in 1942/1943 they still didn't have much to do.
The number of trains used was insignificant, and frequently Jews had to pay for their transport - so it was mostly free. Concentrations and death camps were built very cheaply - by the prisoners themselves.
I suppose, from the economic point of view, the Holocaust was rather a highly successful operation.
A downside was a severe shortage of craftsmen in the occupied territories: like boot-makers, hat-makers, jewelers, furriers. One might say it wasn't the Nazis' problem, but they actually were doing something about it by running various training courses for the "Aryans".

Boby
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Re: Trying to establish total costs of Endloesung. Help apreciated.

Post by Boby » 21 Dec 2016 12:42

Not too much. Aly mentions in "Hitler Beneficiaries" that Germany spent more than 600 billion RM during the war in armaments alone.

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wm
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Re: Trying to establish total costs of Endloesung. Help apreciated.

Post by wm » 21 Dec 2016 14:12

It should be noted that at that time money couldn't buy any additional food, clothing, furniture for those Germans in need - they simply weren't available. The occupied Europe was "maxed out" by the Nazis in this regard, they could only be obtained by confiscating them from somebody.

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Re: Trying to establish total costs of Endloesung. Help apreciated.

Post by steve248 » 23 Dec 2016 12:55

There is probably something to be found amount the US Military Tribunal records for the WVHA prosecution.
Among the documentary exhibits there are whole lists of confiscations and acquisitions from the camps, giving monetary values.

There are also available - possible at Bundesarchiv Berlin - copy of camp invoices to manufacturers for the daily costs of their use of prisoner-labour. Maybe some also in the Auschwitz State Museum Archives.

Maybe the first step would be Adam Tooze, "The Wages of Destruction. The Making and Breaking of the Nazi Economy" - printed in English (my paperback copy by Penguin is dated 2006).

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Re: Trying to establish total costs of Endloesung. Help apreciated.

Post by steevh » 27 Dec 2016 18:40

Good luck. This looks like a nightmare project, as there was no single overall budget governing the Endlosung. You have a hundred different departments involved, most of which I imagine did not make formal expenditure allocations marked down as "Endlosung". Even if the budgets weren't secret, they most likely would have been ad hoc.

Taking rail expenditures, did they even have a separate budget for the trains used? I'd be surprised if they did. And assuming they didn't, this is not an easy thing to calculate. Especially when involving rail transport from various different countries.

And if you're thinking of this as a book or PhD project, your estimates will face political pressure from different sources. eg There already exists a body or writing that argues that the Endlosung was a financial disaster for the Germans. If you prove the Germans did it on a shoestring you might find yourself lumped among the Holocaust deniers.

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wm
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Re: Trying to establish total costs of Endloesung. Help apreciated.

Post by wm » 29 Dec 2016 22:38

Rail expenditures were negligibly small compared to the "benefits" so precise calculations are not really needed.
Today it's less than $4 per person to be transported between Warsaw and Treblinka by train. Then it was about $1 if I'm not mistaken, and in many cases the Jews were required to cover the costs anyway.
Auschwitz produced 120-140 kg of gold per year from Jewish gold teeth, so the teeth alone were sufficient to cover all the rail expenditures. There were other gold "producing" camps, not to mention jewelry, clothing. Even those were dwarfed by the value of the confiscated Jewish property, only the Polish Jews wealth can be crudely estimated at tens of billions of today's dollars.
The other expenditures are even more negligible, as most of the work were done by prisoners of the death/concentration camps.

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Re: Trying to establish total costs of Endloesung. Help apreciated.

Post by Sheldrake » 29 Dec 2016 23:37

Back in the 1970s, when military history was an unfashionable, if not less than respectable subject a fellow student took this exact topic for his undergraduate history dissertation at the University of Sheffield under Ian Kershaw. He was awarded a 3rd so it might have been his methodology or the basis of his judgement. He was known to his chums as "The Fuhrer," for his personality, obsession with Austrian military glory and his mother's war service in the Bund Deutscher Mädel. I never read his paper, but it sounded interesting at the time and occupied much of his third year.

The problem with this is determining a rational basis for costs because, as any fule kno accountancy is a creative art.

The cost isn't simply a matter of adding up the cost of a rail ticket to Auschwitz and the labour and equipment for the Final Solution less for the value of slave labour plus recovered value of confiscated possessions. (Though, I suspect you could find some numbers as the Third Reich did operate a market economy and kept records of contracts and payments.) What exactly was the real value of a Reichsmark in an economy which was on a war footing and isolated from the world economy?

The true cost to Germany was not as much an economic cost but the opportunity cost of using resources to accomplish the Final solution when they might have been better employed elsewhere. I am not sure that the IG Farben synthetic oil factory serviced by Auschwitz Birkenau ever delivered oil in any quantity. Furthermore the extermination policy in the East may have created more partisans. The true cost of the rail transport supporting the final solution was felt inm France where there was a shortage of engines and rolling stock.

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wm
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Re: Trying to establish total costs of Endloesung. Help apreciated.

Post by wm » 30 Dec 2016 22:13

In France the deportations were carried out between March 1942 and July 1944. It was maybe 100+ trains.
Per month it was such a miniscule number I don't quite understand how any shortages could have happened.

The number of Jewish partisans was negligibly small in comparison with the number of the "Aryan" partisans, even if many of them never did anything useful. Anyway the Soviets were very good at creating partisans by the thousands thanks to their tactic of intentionally provoking German repressions against the civilian population.

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Re: Trying to establish total costs of Endloesung. Help apreciated.

Post by michael mills » 31 Dec 2016 01:24

There is an interesting document on the subject of the cost of transporting Jews from France to Auschwitz in this book:

"Auschwitz war fuer mich nur ein Bahnhof : Franz Novak, der Transportoffizier Adolf Eichmanns", by Kurt Paetzold and Erika Schwarz (Berlin, Metropol, 1994).

The document is a memorandum of August 1942, written by a Dr Siegert, a finance officer in the RSHA. It states that the cost of transporting the Jews was divided between the German Military Administration in France and the RSHA, with the former covering the cost to the French border and the latter the cost the remainder of the way to Auschwitz. Since the greater part of the transport cost was borne by the RSHA, it was proposed to reduce it sending the French Jews the much shorter distance to a collection camp (Auffanglager) that was to be built in the western part of Germany.

That shows that the cost of transporting Jews from Western Europe all the way to Auschwitz was considered to be a burden that needed to be reduced.

Documents containing further information about the proposed Auffanglager are in two books by Serge Klarsfeld:

"Vichy-Auschwitz : le rôle de Vichy dans la solution finale de la question juive en France, 1942 " (Paris : Fayard, c1983)

and

"Die Endlösung der Judenfrage in Frankreich : deutsche Dokumente 1941-1944 ", ( Dokumentationszentrum für Jüdische Zeitgeschichte CDJC Paris, 1977).

The former contains an instruction from Heinz Roethke, head of the Gestapo Jewish Office in Paris, to one of his subordinates who was to attend a meeting at Eichmann's office in September 1942. Roethke asks his subordinate to obtain more information about the proposed Auffanglager, which he has heard is to be built near Duesseldorff.

The latter contains the report back to Roethke by his subordinate after the meeting. Rather oddly, the report states that the camp is to be built in RUSSIA (Russland), and that each transport of Jews leaving The Hague is to carry materials for its construction, which is to be undertaken by the transportees.

Presumably the reference to "Russland" was a mistake for some location near Duesseldorff.

Raoul Hilberg believed that the camp planned for the Duesseldorff area was to be an extermination centre on the model of Auschwitz. That is however unlikely; the Jews being deported from France in August 1942 were supposed to be aged between 16 and 40 and fit for labour, so it is more likely that the proposed camp was to be a labour camp, with the Jewish prisoners used as forced labour in the nearby industrial area.

In any case, it appears that the proposed camp was never built, and Jews deported from France continued to be sent to Auschwitz.

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wm
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Re: Trying to establish total costs of Endloesung. Help apreciated.

Post by wm » 02 Jan 2017 23:49

I think this is the first substantial "expense" identified so far. Today it's about 90 Euros per person, so in the case of the French Jews the total cost would be several millions Euros. This is because they were transported on real, passengers trains, unlike the East European Jews.
But still it was equal to the price of, let's say, two large houses in Paris, so economic effects were basically nonexistent.

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Re: Trying to establish total costs of Endloesung. Help apreciated.

Post by Exlurker » 03 Jan 2017 05:43

Hello Criticus1952
As to "hard costs"/impact associated with the transport of deportees to the vernichtungslager/Eastern killing fields, I have some leads for you to follow up on.

This is taken from Alfred C. Mierzejewski: "The Collapse of the German War Economy..."; 1988, Chapel Hill.
Pp. 200-201 (in my copy) in the notes to the Preface; note 8:

Quote: "The transport of the Jews to the death camps was unimportant from the perspective of transport operations for three reasons. First, the camps were situated on heavily traveled routes behind the eastern front and in Silesia and therefore did not create diversionary flows. Second, they received low priority, as the delays reported by witnesses attest. They moved more slowly than coal trains that weighed twice as much because they were pulled by older and weaker locomotives. Third, the overall volume of cars and locomotives was minute. Using statistics developed by Raul Hilberg, it can be estimated that no more than 3,000 trains were used to take Jews to the death camps between October 1941 and October 1944. This (i.e. the total number of trains over three years: my add; clarity) equaled about 15% of the number of trains run each day (my emphasis; clarity) by the Reichsbahn. Clearly even if the estimate is doubled or tripled there would be no statistical difference. None of this is intended to diminish the moral significance of this traffic. It is conceivable that the death transports denied logistical support to the Wehrmacht on the Eastern front at critical junctures by diverting car space. See Hilberg, "German Railroads/Jewish Souls", pp 67, 70 and "Sonderzuege nach Auschwitz", pp. 61, 63, 71, 78, 89, 96; Lichtenstien, "Raeder rollen fuer den Mord," pp. 86-99, and Mit der Reichsbahn in den Tod, pp. 9, 34, 56, 96. End Quote.

If you have access to the works cited by Professor Mierezejewski, you will most likely find a wealth of information on the matter.
As the subject was tertiary to the thesis of the work from which I've drawn the above quote (a detailed examination of the German Economy/DRB under the Allied bombing during 1944-45), it seems mention was only made to the matter in the form of a de rigeur acknowledgement (and refutation) of it's often overstated importance.

And since I have gone this far, I walked over to my bookshelves and pulled down "The Most Valuable Asset of the Reich: Vol. 2"; 2000, Chapel Hill by the same author.
Chapter 3, Part C. "The Nazi Racial Restructuring of Europe"(pp. 114-128 in my copy) deals with the matter in considerable detail and provides an extensive list of primary sources used by the author. In this work, he reaches much the same conclusion as is expressed in the "Cole's Notes" version (cited above in it's entirety) contained in "The Collapse...".
As far as costs are concerned, Mierezejewski has this to contribute:

Quote: "The Reichsbahn billed the SS for the cost of operating the special trains. The SS directed some payments to Mitropa or, in the case of at least some trains from the occupied west, to an Account W maintained by RBD Cologne. The Reichsbahn allowed the SS to use the special tariff of one-half of the standard third class fare reserved for groups of over 400 people. The SS calculated that the cost of moving eighteen trains from France to Auschwitz was 515,000 RM. The nineteen trains that brought 48,533 Jews from Salonika to Auschwitz cost 1.9 million RM." End quote.
Citation: "The Most Valuable Asset..." p 126
Mierezejewski cites the same documents that Mr. Mills has referred to up thread (i.e. Siegert to RFM; cited in Hilberg) although there is, curiously, no mention made of any splitting of the associated costs in the case of the French transports. This must be contained within the primary documents themselves?
Both of these works I have mentioned are very well researched books that deal primarily with the results of the author's extensive research within the primary operational records of the DR during the Nazi period. The brief section of Chapter 3 dealing specifically with the DRB and the Endloessung contains references to a veritable mountain of archival documents/reputable secondary sources and if you can get your hands on some of these, it should prove most helpful to you with regards to this particular piece of your puzzle.

Off topic to the discussion here but nonetheless relevant? Mierezejewski's thesis in "The Collapse of the German War Economy, 1944-45" will be of particular interest to students of the WAllied bombing offensive as it presents a much different picture than that which is considered to be "general knowledge" when the subject is discussed on forums such as this. Specifically how the Allied bomber forces stumbled their way to success from the Autumn of 1944 forward and basically collapsed the distribution of hard coal (and thus the German arms industry) without even realizing it was happening.

Cheers

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Re: Trying to establish total costs of Endloesung. Help apreciated.

Post by Guaporense » 04 Jan 2017 16:42

The biggest cost was certainly the loss of GDP involved in killing 6 million civilians. For effect of comparison each German worker added on average 4,000 RM of value per year so if 40% of the jews killed in the holocaust could be used as labor that would in effect mean 10 billion RM of value added by labor wasted every year or about 40-50 billion RM in tax revenues wasted.
"In tactics, as in strategy, superiority in numbers is the most common element of victory." - Carl von Clausewitz

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Re: Trying to establish total costs of Endloesung. Help apreciated.

Post by Boby » 04 Jan 2017 19:07

Guaporense wrote:The biggest cost was certainly the loss of GDP involved in killing 6 million civilians. For effect of comparison each German worker added on average 4,000 RM of value per year so if 40% of the jews killed in the holocaust could be used as labor that would in effect mean 10 billion RM of value added by labor wasted every year or about 40-50 billion RM in tax revenues wasted.
. Do you think all of them were a strong male labor force? Reality is: the vast majority were from an economic POV = USELESS). And big numbers were used: that was called selection.

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Re: Trying to establish total costs of Endloesung. Help apreciated.

Post by criticus1952 » 22 Oct 2017 09:58

Hello All,

Through a rather severe accident I have not been able to sign-in untill now.

Many thanks for your reactions and kind suggestions.
This goes especially to Exlurker, who kindly took much effort in answering to my query.

Thanks again.

criticus1952

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