362.115/443: Telegram

The Chargé in Germany (Kirk) to the Secretary of State

1811. Reference Embassy’s despatch number 456, November 28, 1938.61 The following decree signed under date of October 19, 1939, [Page 592] by the Reich Minister for Finance, which is entitled “Second Executory Ordinance Concerning the Expiatory Payment by Jews” and which provides for an increase in the contributions to be collected for this purpose, is contained in a Reichsgesetzblatt dated October 21 distributed today.

“On the basis of section 2 of the order of November 12, 1938,62 concerning an expiatory payment by the Jews the following is herewith decreed.

  • “1. In order to attain the sum of one billion Reich marks the levy on the property of Jews is raised from 20 to 25 percent of the property.
  • “2. The differential contribution of 5 percent of the property falls due on November 15, 1939.
  • “3. Payment is to be made without any special summons.”

I learn that in the foreign press conference this evening the official spokesman announced without comment that the above step was being taken because it had proved impossible to collect the stipulated total fine of one billion marks by means of the previous scale of payments.

Repeated to London for Achilles.63

  1. Not printed.
  2. See telegram No. 621, November 15, 1938, 7 p.m., from the Ambassador in Germany, Foreign Relations, 1938, vol. ii, p. 399.
  3. Theodore C. Achilles, Third Secretary of Embassy in the United Kingdom.