On 18 April 1941 Commissioner General for Security Hanns Albin Rauter orders the establishment of a Central Office for Jewish Emigration1NIOD, 020/9137. This document has been translated from German.
Letter from the Higher SS and Police Leader as commissioner general for security (B.d.S. III B.-Nr. 783/41), signed Rauter (SS-Brigadeführer), to the Commissioner General for Administration and Justice2Friedrich Wimmer. – Legislation Department, dated 18 April 1941 (copy)
Re: establishment of a Central Office for Jewish Emigration in Amsterdam.
Case file: discussion between Dr Rabl3Dr Kurt Rabl (1909–1992), lawyer; joined the NSDAP in 1934; representative of the Ethnic German Liaison Office for the German minority in Slovakia, 1938–1940; head of the legislation department at the office of the commissioner general for administration and justice in the Netherlands, 1940–1942; served in the Waffen-SS in the Netherlands from 1942; appointed lecturer at the University of Innsbruck in 1964; denied further employment following protests. and SS-Sturmbannführer Dr Hammer.4Dr Walter Hammer (1907–2003), lawyer; joined the NSDAP in 1933 and the SS in 1937; member of the Gestapo from 1936: leader of Einsatzkommando 2 of Einsatzgruppe IV of the Security Police from 1939, then reassigned to the Security Police in Warsaw, and from Jan. 1941 to 15 Feb. 1942 to the Security Police in The Hague, and thereafter held positions in Berlin, Verona, and Prague; sentenced to twenty-five years of forced labour by a Soviet military tribunal in 1945; returned to Germany in 1955. Legal proceedings relating to his involvement in executions by firing squad following the ‘Bloody Sunday’ massacre of ethnic Germans in Bromberg in 1939 were discontinued in 1971.
Enclosure: one draft regulation.5Not in the file.
Following a personal request from the Reich Commissioner, Reich Minister Dr Seyss-Inquart has ordered the Chief of the Security Police and the SD, SS-Gruppenführer Heydrich, to establish a Central Office for Jewish Emigration in the occupied Dutch territories, which is to serve as a model for the solution to the Jewish question in all European countries.
The Central Office for Jewish Emigration will be tasked with registering all Jews in the Netherlands, conducting surveillance of Jewish life, and centrally steering emigration. Just as in Prague, a public fund charged with providing the resources required to finance emigration and the forthcoming final solution to the Jewish question in Europe should be set up alongside the Central Office.
I ask that a regulation be issued in line with the enclosed draft (expedited circulation procedure). Within my remit as commissioner general, I will put the Senior Commander of the Security Police and the SD6Dr Wilhelm Harster (1904–1991), lawyer; official at Stuttgart police headquarters from 1929; joined the NSDAP and the SS in 1933; began working for the SD in 1935; posts included head of the Gestapo in Innsbruck, 1938–1940, senior commander of the Security Police (BdS) in the Netherlands, July 1940 to August 1943, and BdS in Italy, 1943–1945; in British captivity from 1945; extradited to the Netherlands, where he was sentenced to twelve years in prison in 1949; pardoned in 1955; Regierungsrat in the Bavarian Ministry of the Interior, 1956–1963; sentenced in Munich to fifteen years in prison in 1967; pardoned in 1969. in charge of handling all related matters. In terms of the issues he will be working on, he will also be subject to instructions from the special representative for the solution to the Jewish question (SS-Gruppenführer Heydrich), and will carry out the work in this specialist field under my responsibility and in accordance with the wishes of the Reich Commissioner for the Occupied Dutch Territories.
I request your authorization and, in view of the urgency of the matter, a prompt decision.7Rauter failed to push through his proposal. Compared with the Central Offices in Vienna and Prague, the Central Office in Amsterdam had only limited responsibilities. See Introduction, pp. 36–37.