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To the Municipal Pawn Brokerage

R

Berlin N 4, Elsaesser St. 74

September 15, 1942

We submit to you the following valuables with the request for the best possible utilization:

247 rings of platinum and silver with stones.

Item 2:

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42 gold watch chains and watch pendants.

0,685.5

245 silver watch chains and watch pendants.

4,047.5

Item 3:

207 earrings, with stones believed to be diamonds... 0,337

[blocks in formation]

0,759

Item 4:

Item 5:

41 bracelets and wrist bands, said to be of gold with
precious and semi-precious stones

0,512

9 bracelets and wrist bands

0,161

13 brooches with stones said to be diamonds.

0,085

[blocks in formation]
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Item 10:

5 necklaces and collieres with stones said to be diamonds

48 necklaces and collieres of gold..

5 necklaces and collieres with pearls, and 49 loose pearls

317 necklaces and collieries of silver

5 necklaces and collieres with garnets.

1 collar pin with stone said to be diamond.

13 collar pins of gold

3 collar pins of silver

5,788

2 studs with stone said to be diamond.

23 studs of gold

60 studs of silver

*160 diverse dentures, partly of gold.

Various parts of jewels and watch cases. 187 pearls

4 stones said to be diamonds

10 precious and semi-precious stones 27 corals

kg. gross...

We should like itemized statements for the individual items and further request that the amount be transmitted by check as soon as possible to the "Precious Metal" ["Edelmetall"] account. Deutsche Reichsbank

Hauptkasse [Signature illegible]

[*This line is crossed out in original.]

TRANSLATION OF DOCUMENT 3949-PS

September 19, 1942.

Concerning: Conversion of notes, gold, silver, and jewelry in favor of the Reich Minister of Finance.

1-Partial statement of values received by
our "Precious Metal" ["Edelmetall"]

1. Shipment received on August 26 of this year.

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1. Foreign notes and coins (compare encl. 1)... RM 123,827.65 2. 32 gold ingots (cf. encl. 2) 3. 116 silver ingots (cf. encl. 3) 4. Diverse jewelry...

5. Diverse strings of pearls, pearl jewelry, and loose pearls

6. Diverse gold coins (cf. encl. 4)

446,234.93 38,229.40

not yet

examined and
evaluated

77,692.06

2. Shipment received September 4 of this year.

The examination of the nine locked trunks re-
ceived revealed the five objects indicated,

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whose conversion has been begun. In addi-
tion, the following have been ascertained.

a. Gold coins (cf. encl. 6)

b. Silver coins (cf. encl. 7)

c. Foreign notes (cf. encl. 8) contents of
two trunks

3. Shipment of September 7 of this year. The
locked trunk received contained the gold coins
evaluated in enclosure 9 in the amount of...
In addition we took foreign notes in the
amount of (cf. encl. 10)....

Statement of the ten gold ingots given us
separately, ca. kgr. 139,189 in the amount
of (cf. encl. 11)

1,953.68 53.16

77,452.71

112,037.70

89,130.64

217,763.66

RM 1,184,375.59

Before we turn over the total amount taken in to date, to the Reichshauptkasse, account of the Reich Minister of Finance, we beg to be informed under what initial this and later amounts should be disposed of.

It might further be of advantage to call the attention of the responsible office of the Reich Ministry of Finance in time to the amounts to be transferred from the Deutsche Reichsbank.

Deutsche Reichsbank

Hauptkasse

[stamp] Paid by check Berlin, October 27, 1942.

Hauptkasse

COPY OF DOCUMENT 3951-PS

8 May 1946

STATEMENT OF ALBERT THOMS

1. One of the first steps in the series of state sanctioned confiscations in Germany was a decree by the Four Year Plan, dated 26 April 1938, which required that all Jews declare their property, together with estimated values. This was followed by a series of decrees which, at first, forbade trading in such property and subsequently permitted the possessors to turn in their jewels and silverware to the Municipal Pawn Shops for conversion into currency and to deposit securities in Devisen Banks. The instructions to carry out these orders were issued by the Minister of Economics. On 21 February 1939 a decree was issued making compulsory the delivery of the personal property of Jews to the appropriate organizations. I am not certain whether the pro

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ceeds of the sale of the items so confiscated were placed to the credit of the Ministry of Finance or to the credit of local governments.

2. Certain of these items did, in the normal course of events, come to the Reichsbank. Coin and gold bars are in that category. 3. Therefore, except in so far as gold coins and bars were concerned, the Reichsbank had no participation whatsoever in this program of confiscation of property.

4. The first time that the Reichsbank was placed in the position of having to handle jewelry was when it began to receive Wehrmacht booty, usually from Reichsbank branches closer to the western front. These branches transmitted the jewelry to the Reichsbank which, in turn, immediately transmitted the items to the Reichshauptkasse and notified the shipper of that action.

5. In the summer of 1942, however, I was called into the office of Reichsbank director Frommknecht, who said that the Reichsbank was going to handle a special transaction, of which he knew very little. However, he said Puhl would know all the details and wanted to see me about them. I went to Puhl's office and Puhl explained to me that the Reichsbank was going to act as custodian for the SS in the receipt and disposition of deposits. He said that the SS would deliver usual property with which the Reichsbank dealt, namely, gold, silver and foreign currency. He also explained, however, that the SS had intended to deliver numerous other kinds of property, such as jewelry, and we must find a way to dispose of it. I suggested to Mr. Puhl that we transmit the items to the Reichshauptkasse, as we made it in the case of Wehrmacht booty, or that the items could be given by the "Reichsfuehrer SS" directly to the Pawn Shop for disposition so that the Reichsbank had no more to do with it than it did in the case of confiscated Jewish property. Puhl told me that it was out of the question and that it was necessary that we arrange a procedure for handling this unusual property in order to hold the whole business secret.

6. This conversation with Puhl occurred just a short time, approximately two weeks, before the first delivery, which occurred on August 26, 1942. The conversation was in the office of Mr. Puhl; nobody else was present. I don't remember if Mr. Frommknecht was present during the whole time; and Puhl said it was very important not to discuss this with anybody, that it was to be highly secret, that it was a special transaction, and if anybody asked about it that I say I was forbidden to speak about it.

7. This was the first time in a very long time that I ever had occasion to speak with Puhl on business. Since Puhl was Vice

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I

President I very rarely dealt with him. I normally dealt with only the Reichsbank director in charge of cash, Mr. Frommknecht, or with the Reichsbank director in charge of Devisen, Mr. Reinel. The only other case I remember dealing with Puhl concerned the Belgian Gold Situation.

8. I was told by Mr. Puhl that if I had any questions on this matter I was to get in touch with Brigadenfuehrer Frank or with Gruppenfuehrer or Obergruppenfuehrer Solff of the Wirtschaftabteilung of the SS. I remember getting the telephone number of this office, and I think I recall it was furnished me by Mr. Puhl. I called Brigadefuehrer Frank about this and he stated that the deliveries would be made by truck and would be in charge of an SS man by the name of Melmer. The question was discussed whether Melmer should appear in uniform or civilian clothes, and Frank decided it was better that Melmer appear out of uniform. I was told merely to give Melmer a preliminary conditional receipt for the cases that constituted the deliveries and Frank told me that Melmer would later tell me what account was to be credited with the proceeds of the items upon their disposition.

9. I do not believe that anybody overheard this conversation. I called from my office which was separated from other offices by glass partitions.

10. When the first delivery was made, however, although Melmer appeared in civilian clothes, one or two SS men in uniform were on guard, and after the first one or two deliveries, most of the people in the Hauptkasse and almost everybody in my office knew all about the SS deliveries.

The

11. The procedure, upon receiving the goods, was to sort them and distribute the goods to the appropriate departments in the Reichsbank for handling and disposition. The stocks, securities, and bonds were transmitted to the Wertpapierabteilung. coin and gold were retained by me in the Precious Metals Department, as well as the jewelry. In the early deliveries, Melmer always had a short statement of the contents of the delivery, on the original of which was placed a Reichsbank signature as a receipt. Then the goods were itemized in detail and a final receipt delivered to Melmer. Subsequently, the Reichsbank also prepared even the abbreviated preliminary receipt.

12. Included in the first statement sent by the Reichsbank and signed by me to Melmer was a question concerning the name of the account to which the proceeds should be credited. In answer to that I was orally advised by Melmer that the proceeds should

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