Volume 3  –  document 92

On 3 July 1940 Franz Rademacher makes proposals at the Reich Foreign Office for settling all the European Jews on the island of Madagascar1PA AA, R 100 857, fols. 230–231. Published in Akten zur Deutschen Auswärtigen Politik 1918–1945, series D: 1937–1945, vol. 10 (Göttingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 1963), pp. 92–94. This document has been translated from German.

Notes by Legation Counsellor Franz Rademacher,2Franz Rademacher (1906–1973), lawyer; member of the SA, 1932–1934; joined the NSDAP in 1933; in the diplomatic service from 1937; between 1938 and 1940 in Uruguay; legation counsellor, 1940; headed the section for Jewish affairs (D III) in the Reich Foreign Office, 1940–1943; became a naval officer in April 1943; sentenced to three and a half years in prison by Nuremberg Regional Court in March 1952; temporarily released in July and fled to Syria; returned in 1966. Reich Foreign Office (D III 200), dated 3 July 1940

The Jewish question in the peace treaty

The imminent victory gives Germany the opportunity and in my view also the duty to find a solution to the Jewish question in Europe. The desirable solution is for all Jews to be out of Europe. In this regard, it is the task of the Reich Foreign Office:

(a) to anchor this demand in the peace treaty and to assert the same demand through separate negotiations with the countries in Europe that are not affected by the peace treaty;

(b) to guarantee, in the peace treaty, the necessary territory for settlement of the Jews and to define the principles for cooperation by the enemy nations in resolving this problem;

(c) to specify the constitutional position of the new Jewish overseas settlement area;

(d) as groundwork:

(1) clarification of the wishes and plans of the concerned domestic German [Nazi] Party, state, and academic bodies and tailoring  of these plans to the wishes of the Reich Minister of Foreign Affairs, further including:
(2) creation of an overview of the documentation available from the individual bodies (number of Jews in the individual countries), liquidation of their assets through an international bank;
(3) initiation of negotiations with our friend Italy regarding these questions.

Concerning the initiation of the groundwork, Section D III, through the Department for Germany, has already approached the Reich Minister of Foreign Affairs3Joachim von Ribbentrop. to offer proposals and has been tasked by him with setting this groundwork in motion without delay. Discussions with the Office of the Reichsführer SS, the Ministry of the Interior, and several Party offices have already taken place. These offices endorse the following plan put forward by Section D III:
Section D III suggests, as a solution to the Jewish question: in the peace treaty, France must make the island of Madagascar available for the solution of the Jewish question and must relocate and compensate the approximately 25,000 French residents there. The island will be assigned to Germany as mandated territory. Diégo Suarez Bay, which is important in terms of naval strategy, and the port of Antsiranana will become German naval bases (it may be possible to expand these naval bases, depending on the German navy’s wishes, also to the ports – open roadsteads – of Tamatave, Andevorante, Mananjara, etc.). Besides these naval bases, suitable parts of the country will be taken away from the Jewish territory for installation of air bases. The part of the island not needed for military purposes will be placed under the administration of a German police governor who is accountable to the administration of the Reichsführer SS. In other respects the Jews obtain self-governance within this territory: their own mayors, their own police, their own postal and railway administration, etc. The Jews, as joint debtors, will be held responsible for the value of the island. To this end, all their previous European assets will be transferred to a European bank, which is to be established, for liquidation. If these assets are not sufficient to pay for the land values that the Jews get hold of and for the purchase of goods in Europe that are needed for development of the island, the same bank will make loans available to the Jews.

As Madagascar will be only a mandate territory, the Jews residing there will not acquire German nationality. All Jews deported to Madagascar will, however, from the time of their deportation, be stripped by the individual European countries of their national- ity in these countries. Instead, they will be subjects of the Madagascar Mandate. This arrangement prevents the Jews from founding something like a Vatican State of their own in Palestine and thus being able to harness for their own purposes the symbolic value that Jerusalem possesses for the Christian and Mohammedan parts of the world. In addition, the Jews remain in German hands as collateral for future good conduct by members of their race in America.

One can utilize as propaganda the magnanimity that Germany displays towards the Jews by granting them cultural, economic, administrative, and judicial self-governance, and in so doing can emphasize that our German sense of responsibility to the world prohibits us from immediately bestowing an independent state upon a race that has not possessed statehood for thousands of years. A period of historical probation is required before that can happen.


This document is part of:
German Reich and Protectorate September 1939–September 1941 (Berlin, Boston: De Gruyter, 2020)