Robbing the Jews reveals the mechanisms by which the Nazis and
their allies confiscated Jewish property; the book demonstrates the
close relationship between robbery and the Holocaust. The
spoliation evolved in intensifying steps. The Anschluss and
Kristallnacht in 1938 reveal a dynamic tension between pressure
from below and state-directed measures. In Western Europe, the
economic persecution of the Jews took the form of legal decrees and
administrative measures. In Eastern Europe, authoritarian
governments adopted the Nazi program that excluded Jews from the
economy and seized their property, based on indigenous antisemitism
and plans for ethnically homogenous nation-states. In the occupied
East, property was collected at the killing sites - the most
valuable objects were sent to Berlin, whereas items of lesser value
supported the local administration and rewarded collaborators. At
several key junctures, robbery acted as a catalyst for genocide,
accelerating the progression from pogrom to mass murder.
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