From Forced Emigration to Expulsion - the Jewish Exodus over the Non-Slavic Borders of the Reich as a Prelude to the “Final Solution”
The Nazi policy encouraging mass-emigration of German Jews between 1933 and 1938, and steps taken to facilitate their emigration are traced herein. In March 1938 the annexation of Austria became the catalyst for a general policy of expulsion. Hundreds of Jews were deported to Dachau, and Austrian Jews from neighboring states were forcibly repatriated. The Germans, specifically the Gestapo aided by the border authorities, helped smuggle illegal emigrants across the borders into Holland, Belgium, France, Luxembourg, and Switzerland. This policy caused repercussions: diplomatic complaints from the governments of the target countries and protests in the press. After Kristallnacht, expulsions across the western borders were halted. The policy of the Reich Center for Jewish Emigration, headed by Eichmann, was to step up emigration to Latin America or Shanghai. Some ships were denied entry at all ports of call (e.g., the SS Saint Louis), but others were allowed to dock. From January–July 1939, 70,000 Jews left the Reich.