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Dan Michman 
well-expressed in the instruction of December 10, 1938, signed by 
Göring (in his function as Commissioner for the Four Year Plan) and 
sent to all senior state and party authorities and leaders, which stated 
that “Die Ausschaltung der Juden aus dem deutschen Wirtschaftsleben ist 
Aufgabe des Staates” (the expulsion of Jews from German economic life 
is the task of the state).® This is important to emphasize vis-ä-vis the 
Hilbergian interpretation which views expropriation as a second phase 
in the escalation process or vis-a-vis other interpretations that view it 
only as part of the early exclusionary stage of anti-Jewish policies (which 
took place in the 1930s, 1. e. within Nazi Germany and annexed Austria) 
and pay little attention to the enormous investment in economic policies 
in Germany also in later years and in all occupied countries.® Even when 
radical means of removal of the physical Jews — physical elimination — 
were implemented later on, the results and leftovers of past economic 
damage caused by the Jews still had to be removed. The imagined sphere 
of life as shaped by long-standing images inflated by the Nazi discourse 
weighed much heavier than the factual situation (about which the 
authorities definitely had enough information). Consequently, economic 
persecution of the Jews — getting hold of Jewish assets, property, belong- 
ings and money, often carried out through (at face value) legal means — 
continued, broadened and deepened side by side with the evolving and 
escalating genocidal direction, its volume not decreasing at all. The 
unprecedented chapter in the history of antisemitism — the Final Solu- 
tion of the Jewish Question — was accompanied by intense activity in the 
economic domain; both were aspects of the comprehensive project to 
achieve a total “erasure” of any sign of (assumed) past Jewish power and 
presence. This was a pre-condition for the perfect future world. 
65 “Der Beauftragte fiir den Vierjahresplan an die obersten Reichsbehérden, die Leiter 
und Fiihrer der Gliederungen der Partei und der angeschlossenen Verbände, die 
Gauleiter, die Reichsstatthalter, die Landesregierungen, die Oberpräsidenten und 
Regierungspräsidenten, die Reichskommissare für das Saarland, für die Wiederver- 
einigung Österreichs mit dem Deutschen Reich, für die sudetendeutschen Gebiete”, 
10. Dezember 1938, Bundesarchiv Freiburg, RW 19/1580, p. 59. 
66 Aly, Hitlers Volksstaat, gives a series of examples of such activities, though — as 
pointed out in note 4 above — he interprets them in a different way. 
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