4000bce - 399
400 - 1399
1400 - 1499
1500 - 1599
1600 - 1699
1700 - 1799
1800 - 1899
1900 - 1999
Re: Supply of Bombed Districts Since the supply of textiles and household goods for the bombed populations is becoming increasingly difficult, the proposition was made repeatedly to effect purchases in the occupied territories in greater proportions. Various district leaders proposed to let these purchases be handled by suitable private merchants who know these districts and have corresponding connections. I have brought these proposals to the attention of the National Economic Minister and am quoting his reply of 16 December 1943 on account of its fundamental importance: I consider it a specially important task to make use of the economic power of the occupied territories for the Nation. You are aware of the fact that since the occupation of the Western territories the buying out of these countries has been affected in the greatest proportion. Raw materials, semi-finished products and stocks of finished goods have been rolling to Germany for months, valuable machines were sent to our armaments industry. Everything was done at that time to increase our armament potentialities. Later on the shipments of these important economic goods were replaced by the so-called distribution of orders from industry to industry. These measures are running smoothly and with good success for a long time. They were again strengthened these last few months because we were more than ever before forced by the shuttingdown of the consumer goods industry in favor of armament to use the economic powers of the Western occupied territories for these German needs.
With the growing volume of the distribution of orders the black-market also lost more ground and the termination of products as to kind, quality and price was taken into our hands much more effectively. In the spring of this year, therefore, the Reichsmarschal was able to decide to prohibit all black-market purchases through German agencies. Since, besides the industrial fabrication from old stocks and from uncontrollable production in the Western occupied territories, certain supplies always exist which are not covered by the industrial displacement, the proper German agencies have received the order from me to get also these free stocks of finished goods besides securing production for the displacement. In doing so, one must not form a wrong idea of the amount of these stocks. They usually are not as big as they might appear to be in the display window of some cities of the Western territories. These purchases are being made under the control of central purchase agencies and according to the regulatioins of the national agencies. Moreover, these purchases have already been in the hands of German companies proven in foreign business. Since, in addition to these firms, buyers have recently acted who used to be active in the black-market and are not sufficiently competent nor always reliable, I have formed recently for France and Belgium each a common buying office for the companies permitted for certain businesses. It is the task of these offices to purchase the finished goods without disturbing the distribution of orders specially for the supply for air attack losses. These offices represent a coordination of the especially experienced German companies in Belgium and France. Among them are, for instance, also a number of respectable Hamburg firms. The offices are getting general directions from the Reich offices as to which goods are urgently needed for the provision for bombed out people. Besides, it is up to their private economical initiative to develop fully these possibilities, on which I am also putting the greatest importance.
Accordingly, I may assume that your proposals have already been carried out. Difficulties in the delivery of the goods to the Reich are solely due to the present specially strained transport situation. Frequently during the last few weeks it was not possible to bring in even the most important goods destined for the bombed out civilians from the Western occupied territories. Upon an improvement of the transport situation, the provision with these goods will also improve. Special actions, therefore, can also not change this situation. They would only disturb the order of the practice established after many troubles.
Nazi Conspiracy and Aggression Volume III
Office of the United States Chief Counsel for Prosecution of Axis Criminality
Washington, DC : United States Government Printing Office, 1946