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Schacht Plan to Form Basis of Rublee Talks, Opening in Berlin Today

January 11, 1939
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

The so-called “Schacht plan,” which seeks to ride the Jews out of the Reich on increased German exports, forms the basis for the conversations beginning tomorrow between George Rublee, director of the Intergovernmental Refugee Bureau, and Dr. Hjalmar Schacht, president of the Reichsbank, it was definitely learned today.

No counter-proposals or other concrete plan were brought by Mr. Rublee, who arrived here this morning accompanied by Robert T. Pell, American State Department official assigned as assistant director of the bureau, and Joseph Cotton, American financial expert.

The conversations may last but a few days or they may be prolonged to a fortnight, depending on developments. Mr. Rublee is due in Paris on Jan. 23 for a meeting of the chairman and vice-chairmen of the Intergovernmental Committee. Three days later he will lay the results of his negotiations before the plenary session of the committee in London.

Present plans provide that Dr. Schacht will act as master of ceremonies and will act directly as Reich reporesentative in much of the negotiations, introducing the delegation, however, to other authorities when and if the occasion arises making such contacts desirable.

Despite the chilly reception accorded the Schacht plan in London, there is evidence to indicate that Mr. Rublee believes that there is sufficient salvageable material to warrant careful consideration. In any case, the proposals submitted by Dr. Schacht have never been reduced to writing, it is declared here, and have been exceedingly sketchy in outline. Mr. Rublee’s task is to fill in the outline with a full picture for the Intergovernmental Committee.

The Schacht plan is in reality a double proposal, dealing in the first part with the emigration problem as a whole and in the second part with the transfer problem.


Dr. Schacht outlined roughly, during his recent visit to London, an emigration scheme dividing Germany’s 600,000 Jews — the figure used by Dr. Schacht — into three categories: (1) Wage-earners, numbering 150,000, who will be brought out of the Reich at a monthly rate to be fined during the negotiations; (2) direct dependents of wage-earners, who will be {SPAN}##{/SPAN} as {SPAN}##{/SPAN} as warning members of the family can afford to accept them in new homes; (3) aged and infirm, who will be permitted to remain in the Reich under guarantees of “satisfactory provision” made for them.

The financial part of the Schacht plan, which has already been published, envisages the raising of an international loan with the property left by the emigrants as security. Dr. Schacht is reported to be willing to allow the entire loan to be used for Jewish settlement abroad, with no strings attached that would bring in part of the money to the Reich.

The loan would be serviced by increased Reich exports over and above the “norm,” which would be fixed during the negotiations. Germany, of course, will demand that only a portion of the income derived from the increased exports be used for servicing the loan and the remainder — what proportion is also subject to negotiation, but it is likely to be very large — must come to the Reich as foreign exchange. The loan reportedly would be between 300 and 375 million dollars, to be raised by world Jewry.


According to Dr. Schacht the transferable portion of Jewish wealth in Germany totals 1,500,000,000 marks after all taxes have been paid, including the ” flight tax” and the 20 per cent “reprisal levy” for the slaying of a German Embassy official in Paris by a Polish Jews. The figure corresponds to estimates by Jewish sources, which are based on the total Jewish wealth of 5,000,000,000 marks last April, with a deduction of 30 per cent for devaluation through forced liguidation of property, damage during the November anti-Jewish excesses, as well as deductions for the “flight tax” and “fine.”

This 1,500,000,000 marks would be used as a security, which presumably would be converted into liguid form, possibly into bonds. The emigrants would leave the Reich without their funds, which would be made available to them by a central clearing house, not on the basis of what they left behind but on the basis of their possible needs for future livelihood.

One of the brighter aspects of the picture, from the Jewish viewpoint, is the possibility that should the transfer plan fall to the ground, the remainder of the scheme would be carried through. Should, for example, funds be made available outside the Reich for Jewish settlement, the Intergovernmental Committee members would be in a position to present a definite plan of settlement. It is possible that the Reich might give assurance to people not able to emigrate that they would be taken care of should they find themselves trapped in the Reich.

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