London: Adolf Hitler-led Nazis looted
Europe's Jews so much that it were the latter who financed 30
per cent of the German war effort, say researchers.
A new study by the German finance ministry has found
that Nazi officials plundered 120 billion reichsmarks -- more
than 12 billion pounds -- by looting and through confiscation
laws, the 'Daily Mail' reported.
The study was carried out to uncover its crimes while
the Nazis were in power, from 1933 to 1945.
Hans-Peter Ullmann, a Cologne University history
professor who is heading the three-year investigation, said
that under the Nazis the tax authorities "actively worked to
destroy Jews financially".
Tax laws discriminated against Jews from 1934,
while some who managed to leave Germany before the Holocaust
had much of their wealth confiscated through an "exit tax".
The Nazis exterminated some six million European
Jews during World War II. Nearly two-thirds of the population
of nine million Jews who had resided in Europe before the
Holocaust were killed.
Nazi officials seized and sold the property of Jews
who left or were sent to extermination camps, both in Germany
and in the nations conquered during the Second World War, says
Professor Ullmann said: "Conservatively, their money
financed at least 30 per cent of the German war effort."
Christiane Kuller, of Munich University, who is
working on the study, said tax offices built hierarchies of
bureaucrats "who discovered dwellings and bank accounts and
First Published: Wednesday, November 10, 2010, 15:44