A Little Known Piece of History Never Taught in School: The Haavara Agreement

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by Chris Black

The Haavara Agreement was an agreement signed on 25 August, 1933, for the exchange of Jewish people between National Socialist Germany and British-controlled Palestine. The agreement itself was signed by the Reich Economics Industry, the Anglo-Palestine Bank, and the Zionist Federation of Germany – the last two mentioned naturally being Jewish-controlled.

The whole purpose of the agreement was to allow the Jewish people to leave Germany with their wealth intact in German goods. The Jewish immigrants sold their existing assets in Germany from their German bank accounts for German goods and then transferred them to their new homeland in Palestine.

Once they arrived in Palestine, they would acquire land equal to the wealth of which they transferred. This part of the agreement helped the German economy in its production of German goods greatly since the Jewish boycott of early 1933, of which was promoted worldwide so that the German economy would crash. It is also worth noting that these assets, that the Jews had, were protected under the agreement and the immigrants were not persecuted for them.

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During the time of 1933, 505,000 Jewish people were living in Germany. This was made so since the Jews, mostly from the East, came into the Kaisers Reich of 1871-1919.

The Haavara Agreement had success in transferring a rounded-figure of 60,000 Jews to Palestine between 1933 and 1939 and would have continued had it not been for the outbreak of the war. Following the outbreak of the war, many half-Jews, or people with descending Jewish blood, were still fighting in service of the Reich up until 1941.

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After 1941, Jews, as well as other people such as political prisoners and others, were taken to camps to work in factories for the war effort. I am of the firm opinion that following the success of the war, these Jews, that were due for transfer, would have been transferred but perhaps under different terms and conditions.

In conclusion, the transfer agreement was not perfect, but it offered a compromise between the Germans and the Jews so that they could go their separate ways.


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