BERLIN (Nov. 14)
Police today began the task of collecting the billion-mark “fine” imposed upon the Reich Jews for the assassination of a German diplomat in Paris by a Polish Jewish youth. About 300 of Berlin’s wealthiest Jewish families were visited and were given 24 hours to pay their contributions. These were reported to amount to 18 to 22% of their fortunes as registered under the recent property registration decree, but police sources asserted that the levy amounted to 11 per cent.
At a meeting yesterday in the Jewish Brotherhood House called at the direction of the authorities and attended for the most part by wives of arrested Jews, demands were presented for payment of 16,000,000 marks damages. It was believed that many of the families represented were unable to pay the full levy. In many cases the contribution demanded will necessitate liquidation of stocks, business enterprises and realty.
The group was also held responsible for damage to their own enterprises by Nazi bands in last week’s campaign of devastation. Brokers, however, were forbidden to dispose of or sell Jewish-owned stocks. It was reliably reported that Berlin Jewry was given only three or four days to repair and restock their shops for the “Aryan” owners who will shortly be installed.
The conviction is growing that only emigration will save most of the 35,000 arrested Jews from permanent imprisonment.