He Who Holds The Devil

Globke's Holocaust

June 1940 and the German invasion of France is into its fourth week. The Battle of France had begun on the 10th of May 1940 with the launching of Fall Gelb. The army group B of the Wehrmacht had marched into the Netherlands and Belgium and army Group A had bypassed the French defensive line known as the Maginot line by marching through the forests thought by the allies to be impassable, the Ardennes. The French army caught by surprise, with a leadership lacking morale was harassed by Panzer divisions and pounded by sorts flown by the Luftwaffe. Churchill received a call from French Prime Minister Paul Reynaud on the 15th of May, just five days into the battle where the French prime minister reportedly stated “We are beaten; we have lost the battle.” A day later Churchill flew to Paris to find the French government already burning its papers. With a leadership in retreat and the German tanks, their operators eyes wide on Pervitin rolling over the sleeping French armies chaos was invited to play. By the forth week it was not just the French government in disarray, but also the city of Paris. The streets from the city are clogged with automobiles and carts, fleeing civilians sleep in fields and barns, steal from villagers homes and restaurants as they flee through, trains are over crowded if they are running at all. The war has brought out the worst in most. Gasoline is stolen from one car to be put into the next. The aristocracy finds it self disgusted to be surrounded by and begging with the lower classes, their upturned noses flinching with the smell of a people they, at least for some, had never encountered before. However, all the people are horrified to see the French armies fleeing faster than themselves. Amongst all of this chaos the french authorities, however, decide to empty the prisons.

A convoy of vehicles leaves the Fresnes prison south of Paris its destination the prison at Bourges. Already being outside of the city it manages to avoid the chaotic scenes. It trundles south, through the French countryside. Its not a significant journey in peace time, its little over 200 kilometres. But this isn’t peace time, the fields around are show the signs of war, pot holed by artillery, wrecks of French army vehicles burnt and torn, part of the hasty retreat. The little convoy moves on.

Its from the bright sun above that the first sounds can be heard, the source hidden by the blinding light. The sound, the whine of high revving motors piercing the air is followed by the screech that comes with the dive, a sound registering so loud in the ear that it induces a shiver in all persons unfortunate to be caught below. The Luftwaffe planes come diving from the light, their pilots looking through the cross hairs of their aiming devices, their fingers depress the triggers. A hail of bullets surround and strike at the convoy. Vehicles drive off of the road as their drivers slump over the wheels. Engines emit steam as their radiators are perforated, a panic ensues.

As quick as the planes arrived they are gone. To refuel or reload it doesn’t matter the damage has been done. The convoy is destroyed. From the wreckage the survivors start to appear. Hagged men some unscathed some bloodied, red with their own or of someone else’s blood. Those who feel able seize the unexpected opportunity to take something that had been denied to them run into their freedom, others don’t know what to do.

He certainly doesn’t. He’s only nineteen, he was never made for Prison life, but he was also never meant to be on the run especially within a country that he doesn’t speak the language of. He’s a good looking young man, not particularly tall, but he has swept back dark hair, a few strands falling over his face, his heavy and thick eyebrows are prominent over his deep dark eyes that have a 1,000 yard stare. He’s lost, alone and afraid. He decided that the only thing left to do was to continue the journey that he had been sent on, he was going to report to the prison in Bourges.

Paris has fallen, the news broadcasts announced across the world. The Germans had taken the city that the French had withdrawn from. On the 15th of June 1940 a day after the convoy was attacked, Friedrich Grimm a lawyer and SS Sturmbannführer Karl Bömelburg arrive in Paris tasked with finding the missing young prisoner, the one with the thousand yard stare.

After a long walk he had arrived in Bourges where he surrendered himself to the police. The police shocked and surprised by this young man’s arrival, and perplexed that a prisoner had handed himself in, decided once more to send him on his way. France was falling, what did they now care for a young prisoner who couldn’t speak their language. To avoid the problem they decided to send the young man to Toulouse.

He travelled by the means that he could find, but how exactly his entire journey unfolded is a mystery. But as he moved south, so did Grimm and Bömelburg. They found the wreckage of the convoy and questioned other prisoners that had been recaptured, or decided not to run.

When he arrived in Toulouse the French surrender had been announced. On the 22nd of June 1940, just six weeks after the war had begun France was defeated. A new regime was to be installed, and France divided. The Germans would occupy the north with the sympathetic and supporting Vichy regime taking the south, where Toulouse and therefore the young prisoner was located.

In Toulouse he reported himself in once more, Grimms and Bömelburg’s job of locating the young man was now easier but there was now a problem. A term of the French surrender was for “all Germans named by the German Government” to surrender to the occupation authorities. His name was on it. Yet he wasn’t a German, they had never given him that right, despite it was the country of his birth they had never accepted him, and besides he was in the Vichy area, not the occupied zone. Yet, when Grimm requested of the Vichy authorities that the young man be extradited, the Vichy authorities did not object. He was in the end just a Polish Jew.

So he was taken once more on a journey. Yet it was a strange one. For the reason this young man had been incarcerated was for his reaction to events that happened in Germany. On the 27th of October 1938 his family still living in Germany had been put aboard trucks as those around screamed “Juden Raus! Raus nach Palästina!” They were left at a train station, their goods and valuables stripped from them, their homes passing into the possession of the Reich, and ordered to walk 2 kilometres to the Polish border. Yet Poland didn’t want them either, as Poland had stripped all citizens who had lived abroad for over five years of their citizenship. So the family of the young man, and twelve thousand or more people wandered the lands of the borders, cast from society, and stateless.

Now the Germans were making an exception for him, where his family had been cast out and robbed, he was being flown to the capital of the Reich, to Berlin where he was to get a special room at No 8 Albrecht Straße, headquarters of the Geheime Staatspolizei, also known as the Gestapo.

So why the special treatment. Because this young man, in response to the horrors of what he heard his parents and others had to endure had decided to act. He had been known for his quick emotions, violent when threatened, often caught weeping when hearing of the plight of the Jews, and with the news of his parents forced exile from their home in Germany, he had travelled to the German embassy on 78 Rue de Lille, and shot five times Ernst vom Rath, a junior embassy official.

He made no attempt to resist arrest. In the pocket of his long overcoat a postcard that read; “With God’s help. My dear parents, I could not do otherwise, may God forgive me, the heart bleeds when I hear of your tragedy and that of the 12,000 Jews. I must protest so that the whole world hears my protest, and that I will do. Forgive me. Hermann.”

The date, 6th of November 1938. Three days later, as Hermann sat in a prison cell, French and German doctors lost their battle to save Ernst vom Raths life. Now it was the 9th of November 1938, a date better known in history as Kristallnacht, or the night of broken glass. The angered Jew used his German name on the postcard Hermann, Hermann Grünspan, but history will remember him better as Herschel Grynszpan. Whose actions were used by Joseph Goebbels to insight the horrors of Kristallnacht.

This is [Podcast name] Episode 4 – Globke’s Holocaust

Kristallnacht, Reichspogromnacht, Night of Broken Glass, whichever name a person or a nation prefers to use, is undoubtedly one of the most horrific nights in the history of a peoples. It was the event that was to precursor the holocaust.

Goebbels, of course had heard of the shooting of vom Rath, and he like others hung eagerly on, Hitler had sent his private doctor Brandt to help the doctors in France, whilst he, and the other leading lights of the Nazi party started to converge on Munich.

A great event was planned in the city. It was an event to coincide with the 15th anniversary of Hitler’s failed putsch. The first attempt that Hitler had on taking power, not by the political and legal means as he did later, but rather by force.

8th November 1923 Hitler and his SA, the so called brown shirts, converged on the Bürgerbraukeller where the Gustav von Kahr, the recently appointed State commissioner who held dictatorial powers was making a speech. Hitler, with Göring, Hess and others of the Nazi party stormed the building. Wishing for an event that we be similar to Mussolini’s march on Rome, Hitler envisaged something similar. Take Munich and then march on Berlin, to which he cried to the audience in the Bierhall stating that the actions taken were against “the Berlin Jew Government and the November criminals of 1918!”

Yet despite some movement the next day, the 9th his political march had progressed nowhere. Hitler decided to march but no one had a plan on where to march to. It was former Field Marshall von Luddendorf, the hero of world war one that Hitler had managed to bring to his cause, that decided to march on the Bavarian defence ministry. But as Hitler’s forces approached Odeonsplatz, marching through the narrow street, a force of 130 soldiers, who exchanged fire with the Hitler Putschists, 16 of which died. Hitler escaped, lightly injured and was later imprisoned for his failed revolution.

But it would be a day, that Hitler would use the dead as martyrs for his cause, and every year in a show of propaganda the Nazis would converge once more on Munich for a grand display of remembrance for what he called his old guard that fell that day, the scale increasing by the year as the Nazis seized and consolidated their power.

Now 15 years later, the city had been decked with the flag, the only flag as according to the Reichsflaggengesetz, the Nazi party banner. It hung from the Feldherrnhalle, where the Nazis of Hitler had fallen. It hung from the City hall, from the church steeples and palace walls. A day of special events was to be held. Soldiers, of an inflated number reenacted the failed putsch. The national anthems were played and the crowd remembered. Then vom Rath died. Goebbels had an opportunity.

To the Bierhall he spoke, he screamed of international Jewry and the Jewish World Conspiracy. He couldn’t directly and openly cry for anti-Jewish action but he did if it were to happen it would not be interfered with. The SA leaders and Gauleiters had their coded permission. Seek and destroy. The order that flowed from the Rheinischer Hof hotel that had become the epicentre for the crimes to follow read;

“All Jewish businesses are to be immediately destroyed by SA men in uniform. After the destruction an SA guard will be required to make sure no valuables can be stolen. Jewish synagogues are to be burned as are Jewish symbols. The fire department must not intervene. All Jews are to be disarmed, if they resist, shoot them immediately. Signs should be affixed to the destroyed Jewish shops reading “Revenge for the murder of vom Rath.”

Through the night synagogues burnt and shops were destroyed, there were a few instances where local police went against their orders and protected Jewish buildings and synagogues, quelled crowds and risked their own lives, but the waves of SA roaming the streets, smashing the lives of the Jewish people of Germany, destroying their businesses, stealing their possessions largely went unchecked.

Heinrich Müller a Gestapo leader sent a telegram stating that “It is preparing the capture of about 20-30,000 Jews in the Reich. There are mainly wealthy Jews to choose from.”

The next day as glass from the windows of shops littered the streets, and the sun rose to reveal the burnt timbers of synagogues, and ash that lay on the branches of the trees, four hundred Jewish people had been murdered, 1400 synagogues destroyed, thousands of shops and meeting halls devastated, Joseph Goebbels sat writing in his diary.

“I want to go to the hotel because I see the blood red sky. The synagogue is burning. We only destroy as far as necessary for the surrounding buildings, otherwise let it burn. The Führer has ordered 25-30,000 Jews be arrested immediately. They should see that now the measure of our patience is exhausted.”

The damage of that night was great. But then came the question, what about money. Was it a coincidence that it was as Müller wrote 20-30,000 wealthy Jewish people that was rounded up, for that would surely be a too greater coincidence. So who?

In any normal circumstance, both then and today it would be to the insurers to pay, but that idea was abhorrent to the Nazis. Why should German insurers have to pay for the destruction of Jewish shops, that was destroyed by Germans who, in the eyes of the Nazis, were justifiably angry at the death of a German diplomat at the hands of a Jew.

Nuremberg 1946.

[Nuremberg Audio Clip, Justice Jackson and Göring][Nuremberg 86th day, Wednesday 3/20/1946]

Transcript (pg 6 Göring transcript no. 3)

Mr. Justice Jackson, the american prosecutor, questions Göring: Then on the 11/12/1938 you also signed a decree that, under the Four Year Plan, all damage caused to Jewish property by the riots of 1938 must be repaired immediately by the Jews, and at their own expense; and their insurance claims were forfeited to the Reich. Did you personally sign that law?

Goering replies: I did sign a similar law. Whether it was exactly the same as you have just read, I could not say.

Mr. Justice Jackson presses : You do not disagree that that was the substance of the law, do you?

Goering: No.

The Reich was to profit from the destruction of Jewish businesses. Looting of a Jewish business was to be punished, as for the creator of the 4 year plan, Hermann Göring that was stealing from the Reich. The laws were to get stricter as the noose was tightened.

In December 1938, a decree was issued stating that Jews could not own retail stores, department stores, engage in handicrafts or offer goods or services. That they could no longer act as leaders of enterprises or be members of cooperatives. Then in February of the next year all Jewels and precious metals owned by Jews must be surrendered to the public office within two weeks. Decrees and laws that were extended as the Nazi Reich itself extended into new territories.

In February of 1938 the department of the Reich Ministry of the Interior to which Dr. Hans Globke belonged had drafted a bill. It was called the Law on Acquisition and Loss of German Citizenship. If it had been passed it would have set the out the rules for and legalise the appropriation of the wealth of those who had lost their citizenship as part of the Nuremberg Reichsbürgergesetz Law. Yet it wasn’t adopted. However it did prove to be the foundation work to a later decree.

By January 1941 the German Reich had incorporated, Austria, the Czech lands of Bohemia and Moravia, Poland, France, Belgium, the Netherlands, Denmark, Norway and Luxembourg. Nationality was an issue, and the head of Department 1 of the Ministry of the Interior to which Dr. Globke belonged, sent a telegram to Dr. Stuckart concerning nationality within the Greater German Reich.

A meeting was held three days later on the 15th of January 1941. Dr. Globke was in attendance. The meeting held within the Reichs and Prussian Ministry of the Interior discussed a draft decree on Jewish assets, which didn’t pass to law.

However the pace of persecution of the Jewish people was increasing as the war continued on and beginning to follow a new route.

[Nuremberg Audio Clip, Justice Jackson and Göring][Nuremberg 86th day, Wednesday 3/20/1946]

Transcript (pg 7 Göring transcript no. 3)
At Nuremberg, Mr. Justice Jackson continues his examination of Göring:
Mr. Justice Jackson: Then, it was you was it not, who signed, on the 7/31/1941, a decree asking Himmler, and the Chief of Security Police and the SS Grupenführer Heydrich to make the plans for the complete solution of the Jewish question?

Göring: No, that is not correct. I know that decree very well.

A to and through goes between Göring and Mr. Justice Jackson. Documents are shown and it appears there is a disagreement of a translation. READ OVER THE AUDIO OF THE CLIP The document over which they are disagreeing the translation of is a document that Göring had sent to SS Chief of Police Reinhard Heydrich.

Göring: Here is a mistake already. It says: “Complementing” not “completing” the task which has been assigned to you.

Mr. Justice Jackson: Very well, I will accept that “… which dealt with arriving at a thorough furtherance of emigration and evacuation, a solution of the Jewish problem, as advantageously as possible, I hereby charge you with making all necessary preparations in regard to organisational and financial matter for bringing about a complete solution of the Jewish question in the German sphere of influence in Europe.” Am I correct so far?

Göring: No, that is in no way correctly translated.

Mr. Justice Jackson: Give us your translation of it?

Göring: May I read it as it is written here? “Complementing the task which was conferred upon you already on 1/24/1939, to solve the Jewish question by means of emigration and evacuation in the best possible way according to present conditions, I charge you herewith to make all necessary preparations as regards organisational, factual and material matters….” Now comes the decisive word which has been mistranslated: “for total solution,” not “for a final solution”, “for a total solution of the Jewish question within the area of German influence in Europe. Should these come within the competence of other governmental departments, then such department are to co-operate.”

Much later in 1963 Adolf Eichmann, in his glass box to which he was confined as his trial in Jerusalem ran into its 77th session was handed the draft of the bill discussed on the 15th of January 1941.

Eichmann trial 77

Eichmann: This draft, which was submitted by department I of the ministry of the Interior, as far as I know, was the basis for the subsequent Regulation 11 under the Reich Citizenship Law.

The Eleventh Ordinance of the Reich Citizenship law was to expand even further the persecution of the Jews of Germany. If they lived abroad they can not be a German citizen. They will lose their citizenship if they have a habitual abode abroad. Upon loosing their citizenship they are stateless and therefore forfeit their property to the Reich. They can not inherit from a German that has passed. They can not receive money from a German or even the promise of money from a German national. Those who do loan or promise money can be imprisoned for up to two years, or receive a fine, or both. Those who are in possession of property that is forfeited must make the existence known to the Chief Finance President Berlin, or be imprisoned for up to 3 months. Pensions claims of Jews who lose their citizenship will end at the end of the month in which the loss of citizenship occurs.

Eichmann: It was, moreover, virtually the basis, virtually the legal basis which made possible the future deportations of Jews from inside the territory of the Reich, that is to say, Jews with German nationality. I cannot, today, say if it then made possible other measures of a dictatorial nature, but anyway, this legal basis made it very convenient for the leading authorities to give their instructions for deportations as being based on principle. Moreover, it raised and solved the question of regulating the assets, with both matters later becoming a model for a similar regulation, for example, in France – I cannot, at the moment, remember other countries. In France, I know exactly how the local German authorities or heads of legations brought their influence to bear on the French Government, or possible the Higher SS and Police Leader, to deprive their Jews of citizenship according to this model, precisely because it was easier to carry out the deportations on this legal basis.

The work of Dr. Globke and others within the Reich and Prussian Ministry of the Interior in creating the initial draft which created the later law, was in affects for those who physically carried out the deportations and subsequent incarcerations within the concentration camps that led to so the deaths of so many millions of people, was an Enabling act in itself. An enabling act, that made the removal and eventual murder as Eichmann said, easier.

At the trial Eichmann’s lawyer, Dr. Servatius, would continue: As a jew, one loses one’s nationality if one resides abroad or has transferred one’s residence there. later on, this comes to mean that one has also transferred it there when one is removed across the frontier by force. And this results in this legalistic trick, as I would call it, from paragraph 2, where it says: “The assets of Jews who have lost their nationality on the basis of paragraph such and such are forfeited to the Reich on the strength of this regulation, insofar as they have not already been forfeited.” That is also what happened to the French: As soon as they had been transported across the border, a similar state of affairs came about.

There was is no doubt that this is what was happening prior to the 11th Ordinance of the 25th November 1941, it had happened to Herschel Grynszpan’s parents, but they already weren’t German citizens. It is what Heinrich Müller on the orders of Hitler had mentioned on the night of the 9th of November 1938, when twenty to thirty thousand, in the words of Müller, wealthy Jews were to be rounded up. Now, thanks to the draft document on January, there was an ordinance that made the theft of assets by the states legal if someone was to leave the country, voluntarily or by force.

Something larger however was brewing. On the 5th of September 1941 and back dated to the 1st the Police had announced an order, an order that meant Jews as defined by Section five of the first order of the Reichsbürgergesetz of the 14th of November 1935, and who had celebrated their sixth birthday were forbidden from being scene in public without wearing the Jewish star. Those people defined by Section Five of the Reichsbürgergesetz 14th of November 1935 were defined by Dr. Hans Globke’s commentary. He, Dr. Hans Globke had got his wish, the wish that had failed with the passports to have “valid for Switzerland” written within, his wish that Jews could no longer be camouflaged with German society by their names. To have Israel or Sara added to their names as a means of identifying as with his law of the 17th August 1938. To stop them from trading on markets or in public spaces as they all had to wear the star of David.

In December of 1941 the laws of the 11th Ordinance were expanded on by the Reichs and Prussian Ministry of the Interior as was the ministries right to do so under section 13 of the ordinance. It was taking into account the vast areas that Germany had conquered during the summer and fall of the 1941 with Operation Barbarossa. German troops now were able to bath in the waters of Sevastopol or eat from the sea of Azoz so in the eyes of the ministry of the interior that the new areas also be subjected to the laws. Yet the war was advancing quicker than most had expected with the German armies expecting to capture Moscow imminently. The day before the expansion of the laws, the 258th Infantry division was only 24km or 15 miles shy of Moscow. With the war advancing quicker, the laws needed to allow for a swifter implementation.

The order stated that now all Jews who had their habitual abode where German troops operated were subject to the ordinance. It was a far reaching law, it meant that as the German armies marched any Jew that fell across their paths would forfeit their property and lose their citizenship becoming stateless.

The fate of this Jews was to be discussed shortly after.

In July of 1941, Hermann Göring had tasked Reinhard Heydrich, Protector of Bohemia and Moravia, Director of the Reichs Main Security Office, known as the butcher of Prague, the blond beast, the hang man and the Man with the Iron Heart, with finding a solution to the Jewish question. And on the 20th of January 1942 in the depths of the winter a gathering of select people came together in a house that overlooked the beautiful lake of Großer Wannsee. The collection of people, including Dr. Stuckart of the Interior ministry, Adolf Eichmann as adjutant to the meeting, Heinrich Müller of the Gestapo, Judge Roland Freisler and Heydrich himself along with 10 others became known as the Wannsee conference.

The conference began with a speech by Heydrich. He explained that the goal was to legally cleans the German lands of the Jew. Heydrich nodded to the work of department 1 of the Ministry of the Interior, Globke’s department, that thanks to the laws 9.5 million dollars had been expropriated from 537,000 Jews who had emigrated from the Reich. When converting from 9.5 million dollars from 1941 to today, the wealth that had be expropriated when converted to 2019 dollars would equate to 166,000,000 dollars.

Through this conference they discussed ideas of the deportation of the Jews of the conquered and occupied territories and deporting them to extermination camps. Heydrich explained that Himmler had prohibited the idea of further Jewish emigration and so now the new plan was to “evacuate” Jews to the east. To east became a euphemism for death. Dr. Stuckart put forward the idea for the forced sterilisation of the Jews as a means to settle the question, and Eichmann noted that Stuckart, the usually inattentive and procrastinating representative of the Ministry of the Interior was greatly excited by the meeting.

The problem that they faced and that needed to be settled was who was to be categorised as Jewish. For this they looked to the Nuremberg Laws and in particular the commentary on them. The commentary of Dr. Hans Globke.

The meeting and its decisions were brutal. Marriages were to be dissolved, Jews married to Germans were to be taken to ghettos. The children of a Jew and German would be transferred to ghettos if they were acquainted with the Jews, or if they had adopted the Jewish religion or rather as the minutes of the meeting state “evacuated.” The rules were sweeping and resulted in many thousands being “evacuated.” And Stuckart was insistent on the forced sterilisation.

A year later the laws were expanded further once again. The 12th Ordinance of the Reich Citizenship act extended the laws to Gypsies. And shortly after the 13th Ordinance. Now punitive acts of Jews are punishable by the police and if a Jew dies his fortune goes to the Reich. Later in November 1944 Dr. Hans Globke produced a circular, where he instructed the registrars and supervisors on how to record the deaths of Jews and which tax offices the information should be forwarded to.

At trial day 76 of Adolf Eichmann, footage of which is unfortunately cut from the recordings but the transcript of what Eichmann said reads:

Eichmann: This was, no doubt, a result of the initiative of Department I, I believe of the ministry of the Interior under Hering and Globke, regarding the endeavours to deny German citizenship and sequestration of property of Jews, as proved unequivocally by a document which is before us.

Eichmann 77

That follows from the fact that this is a consequence of Ordinance rv 11. It was not I who ordered it, but those who issued the legal regulations. It also had to be enforced. In this connection, I would still like to say that neither Dr. Rajakowitsch nor Government Counsellor Neifeind ordered it, but it had been contrived in Department I of the Ministry of the Interior. And once these administrative sections were given the order from the Head Office for Reich Security to go on from here, they could no longer raise fundamental reservations, they were not entitled to do so, these were purely juridical matters.

At trial day 78 also unfortunately missing but preserved by the transcript Eichmann states: (page 10)

I believe that, as far as in respects to the fundamental legal foundation, it was exclusively the Reich Ministry of the Interior that was responsible and not the head office of the Reichsführer SS or chiefs of the German army and Police. Here, you can see by yourself, on the basis of these many documents, on the basis of some documents that the leadership was with the respective bosses within the Ministry of the Interior, and that the lawyers of the RSHA, for example were asked to attend the meetings, because they were to participate marginally not in the lead. This means that these legal presidents fell into the primary responsibility of the departments of the Reich Ministry of the Interior and not in the Reichsführer SS and chiefs of the German Security Police.

When hearing of a note submitted by French delegates to the foreign office in protest to the resettlement of 6000 Jews from the Saar and Baden to France, Dr. Hans Globke, according to a foreign office memorandum ordered a copy of the note, stating that “The Reichs und Prussian Ministry of the Interior is the body responsible for Jewish Affairs!”

[End credits and Outro Music]

Episode 4

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