Economies under Occupation: The hegemony of Nazi Germany and Imperial Japan in World War II by Boldorf Marcel & Okazaki Tetsuji

Economies under Occupation: The hegemony of Nazi Germany and Imperial Japan in World War II by Boldorf Marcel & Okazaki Tetsuji

Author:Boldorf, Marcel & Okazaki, Tetsuji [Boldorf, Marcel]
Language: eng
Format: azw3
ISBN: 9780415835336
Publisher: Taylor and Francis
Published: 2015-03-23T16:00:00+00:00

8. Increase of aryanisations

Immediately after the invasion of Prague, the new Czech government under Prime Minister Rudolf Beran took the initiative to start aryanisation in the Protectorate. The reason was to secure more Czech influence than German by taking over Jewish properties. An order of 21 March 1939 empowered the Czech government to appoint trustees in order to run Jewish companies according to Czech interests. For these purpose, lists of Jewish properties and of proposed commissioners and purchasers were hastily drawn up. All these attempts, however, were soon prohibited by the German occupation authorities. They regarded the aryanisation as a strictly German affair that should be kept entirely in their hands.36

Anti-Jewish measures were taken until the first days of occupation mainly by German military authorities who usurped the administration of Jewish properties. The German administration on the Hradschin pursued by anti-Jewish legislation the aim of a far-reaching Germanisation of the Czech lands. Aryanisation was intended to bring as many German administrators into the Protectorate as possible and to transfer Jewish properties into the hands of German owners. The Reich Protector’s order of 29 March 1939 stipulated that all aryanisation measures should be controlled by his administration. The right to appoint trustees for Jewish properties was reserved to the Protector, who exclusively appointed Germans. Another even more important decree was issued in June 1939 which gave a broad definition for ‘Jewish companies’. The expropriation should be executed if the firm owner or his partner was Jewish. A joint stock company was ‘Jewish’ if one of member of the board of directors was declared Jewish or if a quarter of the equity was in Jewish hands.

The appointment of suitable trustees by the Reich Protector could be also applied to Czech companies. Hacha protested against this, but the Reich Protector answered that the new decree was only confirming the Czech government’s own order of 21 March. Since July 1939, all these regulations were used to follow the aim of a far-reaching Germanisation. The Nuremberg laws were applied to the Protectorate in order to extend the control of Jewish properties.37

Further orders and decrees regulating aryanisation followed in fast succession. In January 1940, Jews should deposit their assets and securities with banks, which they could draw only with the Ministry of Finance’s permission. The centre for Jewish emigration granted them permission to emigrate after they had relinquished their property. By the end of 1940, exit visas were issued to 27,000 Jews who wanted to emigrate. German banks with their affiliations in the Protectorate were given preference in aryanisation deals. With the help and support of the German banks, concerns such as the Reichswerke Herman Göring could acquire large parts of Jewish property in the Czech industry, whereas the German bourgeoisie could acquire plenty of Jewish shops and workshops. The Jews in the Protectorate first lost their civil rights, then their property and finally their lives.38 In autumn 1940, aryanisation intensified, being extended to all private limited and public limited companies employing more than 100 persons and having an annual turnover of more than 3 million crowns as well as to banks and insurances.


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