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The Wannsee Protocol (January 20, 1942)

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The work concerned with emigration was, later on, not only a German problem, but also a problem with which the authorities of the countries to which the flow of emigrants was being directed would have to deal. Financial difficulties, such as the demand for increasing sums of money to be presented at the time of the landing on the part of various foreign governments, lack of shipping space, increasing restrict ion of entry permits, or canceling of such, extraordinarily increased the difficulties of emigration. In spite of these difficulties 537 000 Jews were sent out of the country between the day of the seizure of power and the deadline 31 October 1941. Of these as from 30 January from Germany proper approx. 360.000

from 15 March 1938 from Austria (Ostmark)
appr. 147.000
from 15 March 1939 from the Protectorate, Bohemia and Moravia
appr. 30.000.

The Jews themselves, or rather their Jewish political organizations financed the emigration. In order to avoid the possibility of the impoverished Jews staying behind, action was taken to make the wealthy Jews finance the evacuation of the needy Jews, this was arranged by imposing a suitable tax, i.e. an emigration tax which was used for the financial arrangements in connection with the emigration of poor Jews, and was worked according to a ladder system.

Apart from the necessary Reichmark-exchange, foreign currency had to be presented at the time of the landing. In order to save foreign exchange held by Germany, the Jewish financial establishments in foreign countries were – with the help of Jewish organizations in Germany – made responsible for arranging for an adequate amount of foreign currency. Up to 30 October 1941, the foreign Jews donated approx. $ 9,500,000.

In the meantime the Reich Fuehrer-SS and Chief of the German Police had prohibited emigration of Jews for reasons of the dangers of an emigration during war-time and consideration of the possibilities in the East.

III. Another possible solution of the problem has now taken the place of emigration, i.e. the evacuation of the Jews to the East, provided the Fuehrer agrees to this plan.

Such activities are, however, to be considered as provisional actions, but practical experience is already being collected which is of greatest importance in relation to the future final solution of the Jewish problem.

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