851.4016/22: Telegram

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

104. According to a report just received from the Embassy in Paris,59 an ordinance dated October 18, authorizing the occupying authorities to define what are to be considered “Jewish economic enterprises” provides that such enterprises might be submitted to the control of “Administrative Commissioners”. The “Aryanization” is provided for in a subsequent instruction issued by the Chief of the German Military Administration.

Commissioners are now being named to assume control of these Jewish establishments. Jewish participation of any importance [Page 504] whatsoever brings a business enterprise within the provisions of these measures. While the Commissioners are confirmed in their functions by the military governors of the areas concerned, a French Government bureau, the “Bureau de Controle des Entreprises Juives” has been set up in Paris with Fournier, former Governor of the Bank of France, as director to carry out the “Aryanization” task.

From the moment the Commissioner assumes charge he and he alone is responsible for the management of the enterprise with respect to the occupying authorities. His administrative practices are extensive and supersede the prerogatives of the owner or former management. Transactions with banks become impossible without the signature of the Commissioner whose first object shall be to “Aryanize” the enterprise and to eliminate from it all Jewish influence. Jewish owners are permitted to sell their enterprises to Aryan French nationals. Transfer must be effected within a very brief time but if for any reason sale is not consummated “within a very short” unspecified period, or in the event of a refusal to sell, the Commissioner is required without further delay to effect the sale or liquidation of the enterprise. The Jewish character of the enterprise ceases upon the assumption of the control by the Commissioner and notice to this effect is posted on the establishment to replace an earlier notice of Jewish ownership.

The Department has received no reply or indication of the German Government’s attitude regarding its note of protest with relation to the ordinance of September 27 concerning similar racial discriminatory measures (see Department’s telegram 2972, November 8 and No. 3025, November 1560).

You are instructed again to bring this matter to the attention of the Foreign Office and to point out that this Government expects that steps will promptly be taken to insure that American citizens will be exempted from the application of both of these ordinances.61

  1. Telegram No. 7, January 4, not printed.
  2. Foreign Relations, 1940, vol. ii, pp. 568 and 570, respectively.
  3. Another note was sent to the German Foreign Office on January 16 but still there was no reply.