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HOLOCAUST & JEWISH PROPERTIES
by Alexander Kimel
One of the least known aspects of the Holocaust is how the plunder of
Jewish properties influenced the course of the Holocaust. Hitler, with
all his irrationality, had a keen understanding of human weakness and
always corrupted his future victims with shared spoils of other
victims. For example:
POLAND AND RUSSIA.
In 1938, Hitler dismembered Czechoslovakia, giving away chunks of Czech
territories to Poland and Hungary. Polish Cavalry units, lined up with
German tanks, helping them in the assault on a brotherly Slav nation.
Poland was his next victim.
In 1939 Hitler corrupted his next victim, Russia, with the ceded Polish
territories. This was a pattern of corruption and victimization.
In Germany and Austria, the confiscated Jewish properties, businesses
and apartments were given away to the Nazis. The greater the thug, the
larger the property. A new class of Germans were thus created, a class
that had an economic interest in maintaining of the victimization of the
Similar corrupting practices were maintained in all occupied
territories, like Poland, Ukraine, Lithuania, etc. For example, Poland
was an agricultural country in which the Jews constituted about 40% of
the urban population and owned about 50% of businesses, properties,
houses, etc. There was A Polish saying - "Polskie Ulice, Zydowskie
Kamience" (The streets are Polish but the houses are Jewish). During
the Holocaust most of the properties were taken over by Poles,
Ukrainians or Lithuanians.
Looking from another angle, about 3.5 million of Jews were eliminated
from the economic life, and displaced by at least equal number of
people. In reality about 11-15% of the population enriched themselves
during the Holocaust. Did this influenced the course of the Holocaust
and contributed to the dismal rate of Jewish survival? This is an open
The Report from the Homeland to the Government in Exile (Report #5 of
June 1943, p. 135), contains the following remarks:
"The Jewish population of entire villages and towns, big and small, has
been shot down, sometimes-it is rumored- in a bestial way. But to hear
about this from afar is not the same as to see it. And we have said to
ourselves, at least some of us: 'These methods are horrible, the
dishonor falls on these ruffians, on the murderers of women and
children, " but ... in the political perspective of our future internal
relations in Poland, this is liable to be quite positive importance,
because we certainly had a disproportionate high number of Jews".
Another document states that the Homeland understands that the
Government has to have a pro-Jewish policy; the Government must realize,
however, that the concerns and the property cannot be returned to their
former owners, because the population would forcibly oppose this.
It looks like that besides the Swiss, others were also reaching out for Jewish properties, and this quest influenced the outcome of the Holocaust.