Ingo Loose

Plunder by Decree
Review of Martin Dean’s Robbing the Jews: The Confiscation of Jewish Property in the Holocaust, 1933–1945


For the Nazis, seizing Jewish-owned property was one of the most important objectives, first in Germany, after 1933. Later, the seizures continued systematically in the annexed or conquered and occupied territories, and even in countries that were under the influence or dominance of the Axis powers, but remained officially independent. The essay discusses and evaluates Martin Dean’s book Robbing the Jews, which may be called the first comprehensive account of the entire confiscation process the Nazis imposed on Jewish financial assets, businesses, and movable and immovable property. The book’s opening chapters cover the period beginning with the Nazi seizure of power in 1933 until the invasion on Poland in 1939, then the text ranges over the entire war and the Final Solution, and concludes with a detailed look at the parallels and peculiarities of Judenpolitik in a variety of European countries.