From the files of MI5 in the Public Record Office, London: PRO file WO.208/685a, item 91B
3 Letters in Hebrew
15.1.43, 12.2.43 and 3.3.43
1. Mr . W. Pomeraniec, Istanbul
Union of Hechaluz and Executive Committee of the Histadruth, Tel Aviv.
Jewish Negotiations with Hitler regarding Jews under Nazi domination.
These three letters have been copied in Zuerich by Nathan Schwalb who omitted the signatures.
A précis translation of each is given:
and the Executive.
Thanks for your letter. You ought to know that the suspension of the deportation of the Jews all over Europe differs from our case. Here (Note: Slovakia) two kinds of money are required, namely
As regards the case of the Jews all over Europe, only money of category (a) is required at present. Official payments to the Government for the maintenance of camps of deported Jews is not under consideration at the moment. For the past three months we have been making hints and drawing out the negotiations so that they may not reach a final stage and commit us before we are sure that, if the other party decided to conclude the agreement, the money will be ready for delivery by us. We are unable to enquire how much is demanded because the reply will immediately commit the Jews to paying the amount, failing which massacres will take place as happened here on the last Day of Atonement (Examiner's Note: the 21st September, 1942). The only remaining alternative is to make an offer. Over two months ago our Adviser (Note: apparently the German Adviser for Jewish Affairs in Slovakia) obtained the consent of the well-known wicked man (Note: on the whole, and taking into consideration further references in this letter, it seems probable that by 'the wicked man' addressee refers to Adolf Hitler), who is responsible for Jewish sufferings, to the following three conditions. Considering all the circumstances we estimate that at least one million of Allied (Note: or British. Text reads Bnei Brit which may stand for either Allied or British) currency will be required as follows:
(a) for suspension of the deportation of Jews to Poland from all occupied countries with the exception of the Reich and the Protectorate.
(b) for the cessation of the massacre of deported Jews and a promise that they will not be deported again.
(c) for following relief to deported Jews in the form of parcels, remittances, and limited correspondence with them.
Now, only our final relief consent is required. We can in no way agree to your suggestion since the rule here is that "the nefarious Jews should believe the trustworthy and clean German."
The terms of payment are as follows:
10% of the entire amount should be paid at the beginning, and the remaining
Each monthly instalment is divided into three payments according to the three conditions mentioned above.
It would have been easier for us had the negotiations been carried out by one of your people. However, as this is impossible, we are unable to conclude the agreement before we are sure that the money is ready with you, since every word on our part commits us and if the second party proves willing to carry out the terms of the agreement while we are unable to do so - then woe betide us.
We hope that we may be able to suspend the deportation of Jews from the Old Reich, Austria and the Protectorate, and also to extend condition (b) to the Jews of Poland proper. There is a still better outlook for the Jews of the Reich. However, all this requires an additional sum which we estimate to be 500,000 in respect of the Jews within the Reich and 500,000, or even a million, in respect of the Jews of Poland.
Your suggestion of obtaining the money from Miklos, Hungary, is not feasible. Regarding the three conditions - this was the situation two months ago. We are unable to state what is the present position before we resume negotiations. This, however, cannot be done unless we know for certain that, if the other party agrees to the terms, we shall be able to make the payments.
The money required now is intended for bribes to individuals and not as payment to the State Treasury of the Wicked Man (Note: Almost certainly Hitler). This should be sufficient to allay the apprehensions of those Jews who are so afraid of contravening the currency regulations of the free countries. We do not wish - nor are we able - to make payments for the maintenance of camps in Poland as this may prove an endless affair and immense funds will be required for the maintenance of the people oppressed by the Wicked Man in Poland. However, the camps in Slovakia are under the authority of the Slovaks - most of whom hate Germany and are working for their own ends and not for the war effort. No German has access to these camps. Those to be bribed secretly are the German Adviser (Note: for Jewish Affairs in Slovakia) and the junior advisers, while the Slovak chief for Jewish affairs - March - is not involved in these secret bribes. However, in order to overcome him as well, official payments for the camps are required.
So much for Slovakia. As regards the great affair (Note: Namely, concessions to Jews all over Nazi-occupied Europe) only A. (Note: apparently therefore Hitler) or Himmler should be bribed secretly as he alone decides and alone receives. It is no longer possible to defer the decree for another four-six weeks by means of negotiations without making immediate payments.
Regarding our own affair Mrs Fleischmann is writing. There remained here only 20,000 Jews thanks to the money of which you know. From Hager (Note: Correct transliteration is difficult). Hungary, it is impossible to get anything. We owe our Wicked Man arrears amounting to over 30,000 of Allied (Note: or British) currency and over a million of our (Note: This may mean Czechoslovak crowns or Reichmarks which are the currency in use) currency. We possess no means of making the monthly payments. We are in despair because the other party abides by the terms whereas we fail to do so. March is approaching when the present agreement suspending deportation expires and what is going to happen to us. With the aid of secured money and Jews abroad can save many people. Will they stand aloof? 20,000 of your currency (Note: apparently Swiss francs) are insufficient to alleviate our sufferings. For this purpose 100,000 official money and 40,000 secret money are required every month. Where shall we get this money? How can the Jews disregard the cries of 20,000 souls?
The enclosed letters (Note: refers to 1., which may have been originally two letters) could not be sent for many reasons. Meanwhile a great change has taken place. The Adviser referred to has also been appointed to deal with the Jews of Greece and Bulgaria. He went there and will return here at the beginning of March when he will say what he will be able to do and we shall have to state what we can do. The attached letter remains valid. Please allow us to state how much we may offer for the suspension of the deportation of the Jews of those countries. Do make a sacrifice which will save the hundreds of thousands of Jews of those countries from death. Please reply immediately through the bearer of this letter. Do not indulge in war politics as numerous human beings are threatened.
Spring is approaching and the wicked people here want to destroy the remaining 20,000 souls here. Send us the necessary money. We beseech you!
Zürich on the 8th March, 1943).
Willi the "Interceder" arrived here for a few hours from his new place. He assured us that not a single soul will be deported and that everything will be arranged according to the practice here (Note: that is, Bulgarian and Greek Jews will be allowed to stay in exchange for ransom money). You already know that nothing may be asked of him gratis. We are therefore awaiting your action. He is satisfied with the Rabbi of Greece. The latter has probably entered into negotiations with him about ransoms. We have therefore not spoken to him on that subject in order to avoid double payments.
Regarding the general decree in all occupied territories he is going to the capital (Note: Berlin) to speak to his chief. He says there are good prospects. Before his return six weeks hence, we hope to see results from you (Material means - they think. N.S.) (Note: This parenthesis is apparently added on the copy by Nathan Schwalb in Zürich).
He spoke with Mach (Note: Slovak Secretary for Jewish affairs) regarding our fate and it was with much difficulty that he succeeded in changing Mach's opinion. The terms (Note: that is, those applying to Slovakian Jews) were valid until the Spring and now fresh terms should be drawn up. No less than 300,000 Allied (Note: or British) currency are required. We are definitely sure that if the money is paid no deportation will take place (Note: that is of Slovakian Jews) and vice-versa - which God forbid.
Thanks for the transfer of S.Frs. 80,000 for the needs of the one with a blinded eye and for the S.Frs. 100,000 for camps. "(I have arranged this with S.M.)" (Note: probably also an addition by Schwalb). Are you able to pay in respect of March an additional 20,000 so as to bring the amount up to 100,000 instead of the former 80,000?
Do see to it that no delays take place regarding us, the Jews of Greece and the Jews of other occupied countries. Learn from our example "(Slovakia. N.S.)" (Note: Parenthesis again an addition by N. Schwalb) and from the example of Athens and see how matters stand. Nothing need be added to these examples.
Our agents bring very bad news. 300,000 Jews are being kept in camps in Poland. We have now access to those who were deported for a second time and are scattered in small groups. Many are still alive and we are trying to keep them alive through agents. Any gift from you for this purpose will be most valuable.
© Focal Point 2003 write to David Irving