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The Haavara (Transfer) Agreement
Regulations by the German Ministry of Economics of August 1933, Concerning Conditions for Haavara
The following agreement has been made with the Jewish organizations concerned to enable German Jews to continue to
emigrate to Palestine with the aid of allocations of the required funds, but without making excessive demands on the foreign-currency
reserves of the Reichsbank. At the same time, German exports to Palestine will be increased.
Emigrants may obtain an
endorsement from the Emigrants Advisory Bureau to the effect that they require additional sums, over and above the minimum
of LP 1,000 required for capitalist immigrants, which are necessary and adequate for the establishment of a livelihood in
Palestine. This endorsement with respect to funds exceeding RM 15,000 [then equivalent to LP 1,000] will authorize them to
pay the additional sum into Special Account I of the "Bank of the Temple Society" Ltd., established by the Reichshauptbank,
in favor of a Jewish Trust Company to be established in Palestine (and in favor of the Anglo-Palestine Bank Ltd. until such
time as the Trust Co. is established). For the time being a total of RM 3 million has been budgeted for Special Account I
together with Special Account II, referred to below. Both will be administered by the Temple Society Bank as a Trust Account
for the above Jewish Trust Co. Exports of German goods to Palestine will be paid for through this account. Funds accruing
from the sale of the German goods in Palestine will be paid out by the Palestinian Trust Company in Palestine Pounds to the
emigrants in accordance with their payments in Germany, and in the order and relative sums in which these payments were made
into Special Account I. A "Palestine Trust Co. to Advise German Jews Ltd." has been established at Friedrichstrasse 218, Berlin,
to advise German Jews in matters concerning this form of capital transfer to Palestine. I would request that when endorsements
are issued the applicants [for such transfers] be emphatically advised to visit this office.
In addition, a Special
Account II has been opened for the Bank of the Temple Society in the Reichshauptbank. The German Foreign Currency Authorities
may, on application, give permission for the payment of sums up to a maximum of RM 50,000 per person to German citizens of
Jewish nationality (Volkstum) who are not yet emigrating but nevertheless wish already to establish a home in Palestine. (These
funds will also be paid in to the credit of a Jewish German Trust Company which is to be established in Palestine and to the
Anglo-Palestine Bank Ltd. until this Trust Co. has been set up.) Special Account II, like Special Account I, will be used
to pay for German exports to Palestine, with the difference that this account will be made use of only after Special Account
I has been entirely disbursed. Special Account II may also be used by emigrants for deposits in excess of the sums authorized
on their behalf as adequate by the Emigrants Advisory Organization, but also in no case more than RM 50,000 per person (including
sums allocated in foreign currency).
L. Pinner, "Vermoegenstransfer nach Palaestina 1933-1939" ("Transfer of Capital
to Palestine 1933-1939"), In zwei Welten Siegfried Moses zum fuenfundsiebzigsten Geburstag ("In Two Worlds for Siegfried Moses
on His 75th Birthday"), Tel Aviv, 1962, pp. 138-139.
* Transfer of Jewish property to Palestine.
The Haavara (Transfer) Agreement
German Foreign Ministry Memorandum on Policy Regarding Jews in 1938
Foreign Ministry Circular
Berlin, January 25, 1939
Subject: The Jewish Question as a Factor
in Foreign Policy in 1938.
1. Germanys Jewish policy as condition and consequence of foreign policy decisions in 1938.
The aim of German Jewish policy: emigration.
3. Means, ways and destinations of Jewish emigration.
4. The Jewish
émigré as the best propaganda for Germanys Jewish policy.
It is probably no coincidence that the fateful year of 1938
brought not only the realization of the concept of a Greater Germany, but at the same time has brought the Jewish question
close to solution. For the Jewish policy was both precondition and consequence of the events of 1938. More than the power
politics and hostility of the former enemy Allies of the World War it was the penetration of Jewish influence and the corrupting
Jewish mentality in politics, economy and culture which paralyzed the strength and the will of the German people to rise once
more. The cure of this disease of the body politic was probably one of the most important preconditions for the strenuous
effort which in 1938 enforced the consolidation of the Greater German Reich against the will of a whole world.
the need for a radical solution of the Jewish question also resulted from the developments in foreign affairs which added
200,000 persons of the Jewish faith in Austria to the 500,000 living in the old Reich. The influence of the Jews in the Austrian
economy, which had increased beyond measure under the Schuschnigg system, made it necessary to take immediate steps to eliminate
the Jews from the German economy and to apply Jewish financial resources in the public interest. The campaign launched in
reprisal for the assassination of Secretary of Legation vom Rath has speeded up this process so greatly that Jewish retail
trade so far with the exception of foreign-owned stores has vanished completely from our streets. The liquidation of Jewish
wholesale and manufacturing enterprises, and of houses and real estate owned by Jews, is gradually progressing so far that
within a limited period of time the existence of Jewish property will in Germany be a thing of the past....
aim of Germanys Jewish policy is the emigration of all Jews living in German territory....
The Jew has been eliminated
from politics and culture, but until 1938 his powerful economic position in Germany and his tenacious determination to hold
out until the return of "better times" remained unbroken.
...As long as the Jew could still make money in the German
economy there was, in the eyes of world Jewry, no need to give up the Jewish bastion in Germany.
But the Jew had underestimated
the consistency and strength of the National-Socialist idea. Together with the complex of states in Central Europe created
at Versailles for the purpose of holding Germany down, the Jewish position of strength in Vienna and Prague also collapsed.
With its race legislation, Italy took its place by the side of Germany in the struggle against Jewry. In Bucharest Professor
Goga, an expert on the Jewish question, took over the government with a program directed against the Jews, but was unable
to assert himself against the overwhelming international pressure from Paris and London. In Hungary and Poland the Jews were
subjected to special legislation. The German political success at Munich, like an earthquake with distinct tremors, is beginning
to shatter the position which the Jews have consolidated for centuries even in distant countries.
It is understandable
that world Jewry, which "has chosen America as its headquarters," recognizes as its own defeat the Munich agreement, which
in the American view signifies the collapse of the democratic front in Europe. Experience has shown that the system of parliamentary
democracy has always aided the Jews to obtain wealth and political power at the expense of the host nation. It is probably
for the first time in modern history that Jewry must now retreat from a previously secure position.
This decision was
only taken in 1938. It took shape in the efforts of the Western democracies, and the United States of America in particular,
to extend international control and protection to the now-finally decided Jewish withdrawal from Germany, that is, the emigration
of the Jew. The American President Roosevelt, "who, as is known, included a number of spokesmen of Jewry amongst his close
advisers," convened an international conference to discuss the refugee question as early as the middle of 1938, which took
place in Evian without producing any notable practical results. The two questions which needed to be answered as a condition
of organized Jewish emigration remained open: first, of how this emigration was to be organized and financed; and secondly,
the question of where the emigration was to be directed.
International Jewry, in particular, seemed disinclined to
make a contribution towards the solution of the first question. Rather, it considered the Conference and the Committee subsequently
established in London by the Conference under the leadership of an American named Rublee as having for its main aim to create
international pressure on Germany to enforce the release of Jewish funds to the largest possible extent....
question, to which countries the organized emigration of the Jews should be directed, could be solved just as little by the
Evian Conference;* each of the countries taking part expressed its agreement in principle to help solve the refugee problem,
but declared that it was unable to accept large masses of Jewish émigrés into its territory. While in the years 1933/34 more
than 100,000 Jews from Germany made their way abroad, legally or illegally, and were able to gain a foothold in a new host
nation, either with the aid of relatives living abroad, or the pity of humanitarian circles, by now almost all countries in
the world have sealed their borders hermetically against the burdensome Jewish intruders....
Even the migration of
only about 100,000 Jews has been sufficient to waken the interest in, if not the understanding of, the Jewish danger in many
countries, and it can be foreseen that the Jewish question will develop into an international political problem when large
numbers of Jews from Germany, Poland, Hungary and Rumania are set in motion by the increasing pressure of their host nations.
Even for Germany the Jewish question will not be solved when the last Jew has left German soil....
has already been designated by a popular catchword as the target of emigration, cannot be considered as such because its absorptive
capacity for a mass influx of Jews is insufficient. Under pressure of Arab resistance the British Mandatory Government has
limited Jewish immigration into Palestine to a minimum.
At first the emigration of German Jews to Palestine received
extensive support from Germany through the conclusion of an agreement with Jewish representatives in Palestine permitting
the transfer of Jewish funds by means of additional exports (the Haavara Agreement).** Apart from the fact that this method
enabled only a small number of well-to-do Jews to emigrate, but not the mass of Jews without property, there were also basic
considerations of principle and of foreign policy which created an objection to this form of emigration: the transfer of Jewish
property from Germany contributed in no small measure to the development of a Jewish State in Palestine. But Germany is obliged
to discern the danger in the creation of a Jewish State, which even in a miniature form could provide world Jewry with a basis
for action similar to that of the Vatican State for political Catholicism, and could absorb only a fraction of the Jews. The
realization that Jewry will always be the implacable enemy of the Third Reich forces us to the decision to prevent any strengthening
of the Jewish position. A Jewish State would give world Jewry increased power in international law and relations. Alfred Rosenberg
formulated this thought in his address at Detmold on January 15, 1939, in the follmanner:
"Jewry is striving today
for a Jewish State in Palestine. Not in order to offer a home to Jews from all over the world, however, but for other reasons:
world Jewry must have a little miniature state in order to send ambassadors and delegates with extraterritorial rights to
all countries in the world and through them to promote its lust for domination. But above all they want a center for Jewry,
a Jewish State where Jewish swindlers from the whole world can be given refuge when they are pursued by the police of other
countries, supplied with new passports and then sent to other parts of the world. It would be desirable if the friends of
the Jews in the world, and particularly in Western democracies, which have at their command so much space all over earth,
were to provide the Jews with an area outside Palestine, but of course not in order to set up a Jewish State, but a Reservation
for the Jews."
That is the program of German foreign policy as regards the Jewish question. Germany has an important
interest in seeing the splintering of Jewry maintained. Those who argue that this will cause the creation of sources of boycott
and anti-German centers all over the world disregard a development already evident, that the influx of Jews arouses the resistance
of the native population in all parts of the world and thus provides the best propaganda for Germanys policy towards the Jews.
North America, in South America, in France, in Holland, Scandinavia and Greece wherever the stream of Jewish migrants has
poured in, a clear increase in anti-Semitism has already been recorded. It must be an aim of German foreign policy to strengthen
this wave of anti-Semitism....
The poorer the Jewish immigrant is and the greater the burden he constitutes for the
country into which he has immigrated, the stronger the reaction will be in the host country, and the more desirable the effect
in support of German propaganda. The aim of this German policy is a future international solution of the Jewish question,
dictated not by false pity for a "Jewish religious minority that has been driven out" but by the mature realization by all
nations of the nature of the danger that Jewry spells for the national character of the nations.
zur deutschen auswaertigen Politik 1918-1945 ("Documents on German Foreign Policy 1918-1945"), series D (1937-1945), Vol.
V, Baden-Baden, 1953, pp. 780-785.
* See Document 45.
** See Document 20.
Table Estimated Population of Palestine 1870-1946 According to Rodinson
Figures are rounded.
Sources: The numbers in this table are estimates constructed
from the following: Yehoshua Ben-Arieh, "The Population of the Large Towns in Palestine During the First Eighty Years of the
Nineteenth Century, According to Western Sources" in Moshe Ma'oz, ed. Studies on Palestine during the Ottoman Period, Magnus,
1975; Alexander Scholch, "The Demographic Development of Palestine 1850-1882", International Journal of Middle East Studies,
XII, 4, November 1985, pp. 485-505; "Palestine", Encyclopedia Britannica, 11th edn, 1911; "Palestine", Encyclopedia of Islam,
1964; UN Document A/AC 14/32, 11 November 1947, p.304; Justin McCarthy, "The Population of Ottoman Syria and Iraq, 1878-1914",
Asian and African Studies, XV, 1 March 1981; Kemal Karpat, "Ottoman Population Records and the Census of 1881/82-1893", International
Journal of Middle East Studies, XCI, 2, 1978; Bill Farell, "Review of Joan Peters", 'From Time Immemorial', Journal of Palestine
Studies, 53, Fall 1984, pp. 126-34; Walid Khalidi, From Heaven to Conquest: Readings in Zionism and the Palestine Problem
until 1948, Institute for Palestine Studies, 1971 appendix I; Janet L. Abu Lughod, "The Demographic Transformation of Palestine",
in Ibrahim Abu Lughod, ed., The Transformation of Palestine: Essays on the Origin and Development of the Arab-Israeli Conflict,
Northwestern University Press, 1971 pp. 139-63.
It must be understood that the figures in the above table are estimates. The figures for "1946" are
actually the figures of the 1945 Anglo-American survey report. There was no census in most of the years given in the
table above, and likewise in the estimates given below for Mandate population. However, the estimates for mandatory Palestine
are in fair agreement. Rodinson gives 1.478 million total population in 1940, while the Esco figures estimate 1,544,530 for
the same year. There is no explanation for the fact that 1930 figures are larger than the census figures of 1931.