Plunder of Jewish Property in the Nazi-Occupied Areas of the Soviet Union
As in other occupied areas, Jewish property in the USSR was plundered. The plunder’s special character derived from the unusual economic conditions in the country, the nature of the personal property there, and the variety of interested German functionaries. Specially appointed bodies were designated to deal with expropriating Jewish property, but this was complicated by the conflicting interests of the various German – civilian and military – and local authorities, with each desiring the property and seeking to profit from it. The plunder was undertaken through a variety of means, such as expropriating homes, financial levies (“contributions”), collecting furniture, household wares, work tools and clothing, etc. The plundered money and/or property was meant generally for immediate local use and was sometimes sent to other authorities. At times, the local authorities got part of the property (usually apartments), and in other cases the German authorities rewarded collaborators with this property. Alongside the official plunder, for which there are estimates, there was also private plunder for personal use, plunder whose volume reached several hundred million Reichsmarks, if not billions.