Otto Carl Mohr on "The Position of the Jews" in Ostland in 1942

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Just like the German Empire, a number of special provisions apply to Jews in Ostland. These Regulations are only to a very limited extent drawn up by the administrative Authorities. Thus, only a single related regulation is seen to have been issued by the Minister of State for the Occupied Eastern Territories, see below under B.VIII, and the Office of the Commissioner of the Interior essentially confines himself to an Order of 13 October of the previous year, regarding the Treatment of Jewish Wealth in the State Commission of Ostland. The Area Commissioners or the Self-Government administrative Authorities have drafted the vast majority of provisions, and many of these Provisions are hardly published. As a result, the contents of the regulations in question are more difficult to access for the legation, and there may also be some minor differences in the rules at the various locations. In the following, the legation will refer to some of the special provisions applicable to the Jews of Ostland. Because of the foregoing, it is not certain that all the rules made

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under B. IV to VII apply throughout Ostland. However, the envoy has intended to refrain from conducting an examination of the extent to which they are applicable everywhere, as their applicability in most places is undoubted, and it is probably more the general principles which have been adopted by the authorities. The following draws upon some of the Special Provisions of Interest.

A. So far there is no provision for what is meant by the term 'Jew'.

However, one would assume that the rules of this term in Ostland, are similar to the ones used in Germany. […]

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B.I. The Commissioner of State issued on 13 October of the previous year a decree on Treatment of Jewish assets in the Reich Commissariat Ostland, stating that all the wealth of the Jewich population has been subject to seizure, commissarial administration and confiscation in accordance with the provisions contained in the device. This includes assets of all kinds, such as real estate and movable property with all accessories and claims, rights and all kinds of interests.

The right of confiscation is the responsibility of the Commissioner of State or the authority, which he announces. It may include individual persons or the Jews as a whole, and it may be restricted to individual property. Excluded from the seizure is the part of the household deemed necessary for the personal life and cash, bank and savings deposits and securities at a total value of 100 Reichsmark. […]

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Even before the Completion of the administrative order of 13 October of the previous year, There were within the various areas of which Ostland consists, local regulations, which had been drawn up, imposing a registration requirement for all Jewish property and prohibiting the Jews from disposing of their property.

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II. In the cities, the Jewich population lives in special Jewish neighbourhoods, separated from the rest of the city by high barricades. Within the Ghetto, the Jews are allowed to move freely, but they are prohibited from leaving the confined areas and could be sentenced to the death penalty if they do so and do not have special permission. The Jews living in the ghettos belong to their own administration, choosing a kind of Jewish Council, which through its chairman is obliged to receive the orders of the authorities concerning the Jews. The Chairman is responsible for the execution of such orders. All the Jews shall always obey the authorities’ provisions, which he issues.

III. All Jews are committed to wear a yellow Star of David, 8 to 10 cm in diameter on their chest - in for example Lithuania also on their back.

IV. All Jews that are able to work must do so. They are employed through the Employment Office. For the work done by the Jews, the employers must pay a tariff wage, but the labour profits are not paid directly, but they are paid to the authorities. These then pay what the Jews have earned for the work done to the Council mentioned under II, which in then settles with the individual.

V. Jews must not employ Aryan people or give them shelter, a provision that has a special significance for Jews in the country area.

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VI. The Jews are prohibited from using all public transport. They are also prohibited from staying in any public facility and park, visiting any public venue, restaurant, places of amusement, museums, theatres and bathing places. In Lithuania, they are not allowed to walk on the sidewalk, but are forced to use the right-hand side of the street thus two Jews are not allowed to walk beside each other but must follow one another.

The special permits required for bicycling in Ostland must not be issued to Jews.

VII. For the Jewish population, special food cards have been issued for which, in general, only half of the rations given to the rest of the native population are given. Generally, they have to make their purchases in certain designated stores. […]

VIII. According to the Prime Minister's Decree of 19 December 1941 on the Establishment and Construction of a German Jurisdiction in the Occupied Eastern Areas (§ 5), Jews do not have remedies against a German court decision. Nor can they petition for a resumption of a case or require a judge to vacate his seat on grounds of disobedience.

According to one of the Commissioner-General of the Reval issued on March 3, 1942, the Order for the Provisional Execution of Justice through the country's own judicial authorities (§ 4), all Jews, Jewish Mischlinge or persons who are

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married to Jews or in a straight line, excluded from any undertaking in the national administration of justice.

Otto Carl Mohr

References

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The German army occupied Denmark on 9 April 1940. Until 1943, the occupation regime appeared relatively benign: It dominated foreign policy, but allowed the Danish government complete autonomy in domestic affairs, including control of the legal system and police forces. The tone of the German occupation changed in early 1943. Rather than yield to German demands, the Danish government resigned on 29 August 1943. German authorities took direct control of the Danish military and police forces. Othe...

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