Proceeds from the “flight tax” imposed on all emigrants by the German Government have totalled $70,000,000 since the Nazis came into power, according to the Frankfurter Zeitung, quoted in a Chicago Tribune dispatch.
The tax, introduced by Chancellor Bruening in 1931, amounts to 25 per cent of an emigres fortune. When introduced, it was levied on fortunes of $80,000 or more, but the Nazis reduced the minimum to $20,000.
“What was originally intended as a deterrent to prevent the flight of capital developed into a substantial item of German revenue,” says the Frankfurter Zeitung.
While the tax netted only $375,000 during the fiscal year 1932-3, this sum increased over $7,000,000 in the first year of the Nazi regime. The year 1934-5 saw the tax increase to $15,000,000 of which, the Zeitung says, $6,400,000 was paid by one Jewish family.
In the year 1935-6 receipts increased to $18,000,000, a result of the Nuremberg laws which induced many wealthy Jews to leave Germany. For the last fiscal year ending March 1, 1937, the tax proceeds reached a maximum of close to $28,000,000.
The Archive of the Jewish Telegraphic Agency includes articles published from 1923 to 2008. Archive stories reflect the journalistic standards and practices of the time they were published.