On 24 January 1939 Hermann Göring orders the founding of the Reich Central Agency for Jewish Emigration1BArch, R 58/276, fols. 195–196, published in Hans Buchheim, Martin Broszat, Hans-Adolf Jacobson, and Helmut Krausnick, Anatomie des SS-Staates (Munich: dtv, 2005 ), pp. 594–595. This document has been translated from German.
Letter from the Plenipotentiary for the Four-Year Plan, signed Göring, to the Reich Minister of the Interior, dated 24 January 1939 (copy)
The emigration of the Jews from Germany must be advanced by all possible means.
In the Reich Ministry of the Interior a Reich Central Agency for Jewish Emigration will be set up, composed of representatives of the departments involved. The Reich Central Agency will undertake the following tasks, consistently across the entire Reich territory:
- To carry out all measures to prepare an intensified emigration of the Jews, including the establishment of a suitable Jewish organization for the standardized preparation of immigration petitions abroad. To do everything in its power to obtain the provision of domestic and foreign funding and its appropriate utilization, and to determine suitable destination countries for emigrants in cooperation with the Reich Office for Emigration Affairs.2The Reich Office for Emigration Affairs (Reichsstelle für das Auswanderungswesen) in Berlin, with branches in several German cities, had been founded in 1902 as the Central Information Bureau for Emigrants (Zentralauskunftsstelle für Auswanderer). The authority fell under the remit of the Reich Ministry of the Interior as the Reich Migration Office (Reichswanderungsamt), 1919–1924, and subsequently as the Reich Office for Emigration Affairs, 1924–1945.
- To channel the emigration, also ensuring the preferential emigration of poorer Jews.
- To speed up the emigration process in individual cases through the central processing of emigration applications by obtaining the necessary state identification papers and certificates required for each individual emigrant and by monitoring the enforcement of the emigration.
The Chief of the Security Police will be in charge of the Reich Central Agency.3Reinhard Heydrich. He will appoint the manager and direct the management of the Reich Central Agency.
I will be informed of the Reich Central Agency’s work on an ongoing basis. My opinion must be sought before any significant measures are taken. Apart from the representatives of the departments otherwise involved, Envoy Eisenlohr,4Ernst Eisenlohr (1882–1958), lawyer and diplomat; from 1911 in the diplomatic service, with postings in cities including Sao Paulo, Lisbon, and Belgrade; envoy in Athens, 1931, and in Prague, 1935; worked at the Reich Foreign Office in Berlin, 1939–1943; mayor of Badenweiler, 1946–1955. as the plenipotentiary for official negotiations between states, and Ministerial Director Wohlthat, as the plenipotentiary for the negotiations on the Rublee plan, will both belong to the committee.5The Reich Central Agency for Jewish Emigration (Reichszentrale für jüdische Auswanderung) was assigned a committee that in its working meetings in the Gestapo Central Office (Gestapa) discussed the activities of the Reich Central Agency, the progress of Jewish emigration, and anti-Jewish policy. On the Schacht–Rublee Plan, see Introduction, p. 48, Doc. 207, 20 Dec. 1938, and Doc. 230, 1 Jan. 1939.