The Charlotte News

Sunday, June 25, 1939


Site Ed. Note: Cash, in historical novel form, captures the Nazi mentality most perfectly in this short piece. Most pre-war Nazi gains, Austria and Czechoslovakia notably, came from just such strong-arm coercive machinations rather than military might.

Nazis' Business Deal

How To Acquire Control Of Valuable Properties Without Troubling To Pay Their Owners

From Prague comes the news that Nazi Germany's Hermann Goering Iron Works is to assume control of Wittkowitz Works, largest producer of iron and steel in Bohemia-Moravia--and once mainly the property of the Rothschild family. Says the dispatch of the deal under which title passed from that family:

The details of the transaction were not disclosed, but it was assumed the general conditions were arranged prior to the release of Baron Louis Rothschild, Austrian member of the banking family, at Vienna last May 13.

"Assumed" is good. First, you see, you arrest the Baron for imaginary "frauds" against the Austrian government (which the family had repeatedly saved). Then you let him see what happens to other Jews in concentration camps. Maybe you even duck his head in a latrine a few times, though it is probable that this is unnecessary. And all the time you watch him, and often you talk.

"Now Baron, we really want no trouble here. We should be very reluctant to hand a great gentleman like you over to the Storm Troopers. See how well we treat you here. (You may stop shining that light in his eye for the moment, Hermann.) No, Baron, all we want is for you to hand over your estates in Austria and Wittkowitz Works in settlement of these little accounts we have against you. Oddly enough, they come to exactly the value of those properties. What is that, you don't own all the Rothschild holdings in the Wittkowitz Works? Ah, but families should really stick together, don't you think? And, surely, Baron, your family would not consent to condemn you to the sort of thing you have seen? No, Otto, it is quite unnecessary to twist his arm--much, anyhow. He has seen the light. That's right, Baron, sign right here. Just a good clean business deal, and no hard feelings."

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