Monday, September 21, 2009

Haavara: Transfer of Death to Palestine

Taken from Robert Hand's Photos - Middle East History

Haavara (Transfer) Agreement Documents was a company established in 1935 as the the result of an agreement between the Jewish Agency (the official Jewish executive in Palestine) and the Nazi regime.

The agreement was designed to facilitate Jewish emigration to Palestine.

Though the Nazis had ordered Jewish emigrants to surrender most of their property before leaving Germany, the Ha'avara agreement let them retain some of their assets by transferring them to Palestine as German export goods.
Approximately 50,000 Jews emigrated to Palestine under this arrangement.

“Nazi Germany and the Jewish Agency concluded the "Ha'avara" (transfer) negotiations, allowing Jews immigrating to Palestine to deposit part of their assets in Germany and receive Palestine pounds upon arrival in Palestine.

After three months of talks, the Zionist Federation of Germany, the Anglo-Palestine Bank, and the German economic authorities signed the agreement, which permitted the transfer of Jews’ capital from Germany to Palestine by immigrants or investors in the form of goods.
The German authorities thereby partially removed a barrier that had greatly impeded the efforts of German Jews to emigrate to Palestine and, at the same time, increased the production and export of German goods.

For the Zionists, the agreement facilitated immigration to Palestine by allowing Jewish emigres to salvage some of the value of their property as they left, and to meet one of the criteria for obtaining a certificate of immigration from the British authorities.

For a time, the Ha'avara Agreement helped the Nazis in undermining the anti-Nazi boycott.

The Transfer Agreement: the Untold Story of the Secret Pact Between the Third Reich & Jewish Palestine"
by Edwin Black

Hitler's early anti-Jewish measures provoked worldwide efforts at a boycott of German goods, a measure that would have injured a still precarious economy. Jews orchestrated these efforts at a boycott, but hesitated over whether it would inflame or moderate German anti-Semitism.

Meanwhile Zionist leadership and the Third Reich agreed on arrangements whereby German Jews could emigrate to Palestine under somewhat more favorable financial conditions and whereby German trade with Palestinian Jewry would increase. In turn, majority Zionists (as against the Revisionists) backed away from the boycott.

The author documents the divisions within Jewry, insisting that the Zionists put their cause-German emigration to Palestine-ahead of the possible protection of Jews via more militant economic measures. Although shockingly deficient in his grasp of German developments, Black explicates the several Jewish positions, and seems to argue both that an early boycott might have succeeded and that
"the Zionists were the coldest realists-perhaps the only realists-of the period."

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