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Business and the Holocaust
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© The Boston Globe 2001.  Used by permission.
The Secret History of World War II
PART IV: THE HOLOCAUST

by Mark Fritz / Globe Staff / July 1, 2001

Page 3 of 8

Continued from page 2

The order then strips the Jews of their citizenship and prevents them from transferring their ''movable goods'' without special permission of a German official for each article.

''Neither can the Jews conceal, hide, deposit or decrease the value of any of their property. It is particularly prohibited to transfer, sell, make gifts, or employ or give in custody to other persons their property or deeds.''

Then come a series of dramatic revelations:

''The Jewish problem is being partially solved in the Protectorate, as it has been decided to eradicate all the Jews and send some to Poland and others to the town of Terezin [sites of concentration camps], whilst looking for a remote place.''

Jews deported to Poland and Terezin were sent there to be killed, Breitman said, and American diplomats suspected as early as late 1941 that Jews deported to the East were to be annihilated.

''The German triumph will leave Europe freed of Semites,'' the order continued. ''Those who escape with their lives from this trial will certainly be deported to Siberia, where they will not have much opportunity to make use of their financial capabilities.

''In proportion to the USA increasing its attacks on the Reich, Germany will expedite the destruction of Semitism, as she accuses international Judaism of all the calamities which have befallen the world.''

The document was dated the day before the new anti-Jewish rules were enacted in Czechoslovakia, Breitman said. It was obtained by British intelligence, most likely by a mole in the Chilean consulate, though it is not clear when. According to the routing marks on the paper, it was shared with the Americans on March 20, 1942, and made it to an aide to Roosevelt's director of intelligence, Colonel William Donovan, who would form the OSS in the coming months.

Until now, the earliest known date that the US had evidence of Hitler's intentions was late summer of 1942, according to Breitman's 1998 book, ''Official Secrets,'' considered by many historians to be the definitive account of the roots of the Final Solution.

The earliest previously known date that England had advance knowledge of the Holocaust was January 1942, when a British memo quoted an official German document as saying that ''the only things Jewish that will remain in Poland will be Jewish cemeteries.''

The 1941 Chilean document is among a series of dispatches that Britain's ''most secret source'' poached from the Chilean envoy, who was clearly siding with Nazi Germany, despite the official neutrality of his country.

In an economic report he filed the same day, Rivas noted that a new law rationed onions. ''The consumers will be able to receive up to 200 [grams] of onions, but the Jews are excluded, so that in future the children of Israel will no longer be able to eat onions in the Protectorate.''

After the harsh new laws were put into effect - among other things, Jews were forced to wear a Star of David so they could be identified - another intercepted Chilean dispatch, in February 1942, has a paragraph with the heading ''The Jewish Problem.''

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