LONDON (May. 10)
The Allied warning more than a year ago against payment of blackmail to the German authorities for the release of wealthy Jewish hostages side occupied Europe completely stopped German attempts to obtain foreign exchange that manner, it was officially revealed today in the House of Lords by Lord Selborne, Minister of Economic Warfare.
Lord Selborne said that two years ago the Germans had arrested wealthy Jews in Poland elsewhere and demanded that relatives in America pay $20,000 to $40,000 the German Embassy at Buenos Aires or the prisoners would be committed to concentration camps. The money was wanted by the Germans to finance espionage in the western hemisphere.
“The unfortunate victims of the blackmail came to us,” Lord Selborne said. After consultation with the Dutich Premier, we agreed that the only way to treat a blackmailer was to let him do his worst. After 30 or 40 cases of blackmail had been tried and a corresponding number of victims massacred when the money was not paid, the attempt to extract American exchange by this horrible method was dropped.”