Holocaust-Era Assets

Civilian Agency Records

Department of Justice Records

General Records of the Department of Justice (RG 60)

The Department of Justice (DOJ) performed functions during World War II that fundamentally did not differ from those performed in peacetime, but the Department's work was nevertheless greatly influenced by the war. It had large responsibilities for enforcing the Federal laws; it rendered legal advice and opinions to the President and the heads of Government agencies; it investigated violations of most Federal legislation; it prosecuted offenders against Federal laws and otherwise represented the interests of the United States in the courts; and it supervised the activities of the United States attorneys and marshals in the various judicial districts.

With entrance of the United States into the war the Department became primarily concerned with the preservation of the internal security of the country, the protection of civil rights, and the maintenance of law and order that were essential to the successful prosecution of the war. It clarified many wartime legal problems through formal opinions and advice on the complex questions of laws involved in making and carrying out war plans. The Department also gave close attention to the drafting of legislation needed to safeguard internal security and to promote the activities of other agencies and to the preparation of Executive orders and proclamations implementing the powers of the President for carrying on the war.

Close cooperation existed between the Department of Justice and many other agencies in handling particular war problems. Several units of the Department cooperated with the Board of Economic Warfare and its successor, the Foreign Economic Administration, in handling problems presented by cartels.

Within the Department of Justice a War Division was established on May 19, 1942, to bring together in one division a number of nonprosecutive and noninvestigative activities having special relationship to the war that had hitherto been scattered among several of the Department's organizational units. The War Division's chief predecessor was the Special Defense Unit, which had originated in April 1940 as the Neutrality Laws Unit in the Office of the Attorney General. It was continued in the War Division as the Special War Policies Unit. The Division was abolished on December 28, 1945.

For some 15 months after the establishment of the War Division the Special War Policies Unit was responsible for directing and coordinating the activities of the Department of Justice relating to espionage, sabotage, sedition, subversive activities, and the registration of foreign agents. This Unit was abolished when the War Division was reorganized on August 28, 1943. Its functions in relation to the laws against subversive activities were transferred to the Department's Criminal Division. Its other functions were distributed among several of the other sections of the War Division. The records of the Unit and its predecessor are in Classes 146, World War II, and 148, War Policy, of the Department's Classified Central File.

On April 21, 1942, all nonlitigation functions that the Department of Justice had performed in the enforcement of the Trading with the Enemy Act, as amended by the First War Powers Act, were transferred by Executive order to the Office of the Alien Property Custodian (APC). The Alien Property Section was established in May 1942 as part of the War Division to represent the Office of Alien Property Custodian in all litigation in which it was interested. The Section also represented the United States in matters arising from the administration of foreign funds control by the Treasury Department, and it rended legal advice to the APC and the Treasury Department on problems related to alien property and foreign funds control and helped to formulate legislative recommendations. The cases handled by the Alien Property Section dealt largely with admiralty, copyrights, estates, enemy banks, patent problems, and suits against the APC for the return of property or the payment of debts. These activities were transferred to the Claims Division in December 1945. Most of the records of the Section, consisting of legal studies, interoffice memoranda, and court briefs, were filed in the Central Classified File, in Class 9-21, Alien Property, and Class 146, World War II.

The Economic Warfare Section, which originated as the Economic Section of the Antitrust Division in 1942, was transferred to the War Division on August 28, 1943. Its chief functions were to collect industrial information, prepare reports on enemy or enemy-controlled industrial organizations, and aid in making this information available for use in the economic warfare efforts of the Allies. In fiscal year 1944 the Bureau of the Budget designated the Section as the central agency of the Government to carry out research in the field of international cartels.

Among the objectives of the Economic Warfare Section were 1) to discover and analyze important intercompany connections among European firms and the control of these firms by Germans; 2) to analyze the means by which German control could be eliminated; 3) to examine the legal problems that might arise because of the use of intercompany connections by the German government as a means of espionage and economic warfare; 4) to analyze intercompany agreements between foreign and American companies in order to determine their effects on American trade and commerce; and 5) to examine the effect of cartel agreements among foreign companies upon the trade, commerce, and business structure of Latin America and other countries.

In carrying out these objectives the Economic Warfare Section engaged in studies of particular aspects of international cartels with emphasis on the techniques employed by the Germans to penetrate the economies of other countries, especially the United States and Latin American counties; participated in the formulation of plans and prepared guides for the investigations of industrial combines in enemy or enemy-held countries during the period of occupation; and made studies of the efforts of enemy interests to obtain control of important assets in conquered areas and to screen their efforts in order to avoid the economic consequences of defeat. The Section also made analyses of the French, Swedish, Swiss, and other banking institutions that might have helped to establish and maintain German economic influence outside of Germany. The Section was dissolved at the end of 1945. Its records were kept as a separate group and not filed with the Central Classified Files.

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Records of the Antitrust Division

Records of the Economic Warfare Section

Central Correspondence 1940-1944 (labeled as Entry 285A)
Boxes 1-4

Subject File (arranged alphabetically by subject) (labeled as Entry 285B)
Boxes 5-226

Box # File Title or Subject
7 Alien Property Custodian (4 folders)
9 American Bosch Corporation (Note 17) American Companies with Foreign Connections American European Securities Company
17 Argentina - Miscellaneous Argentine Cartels Argentina - Banking State Department Reports on Argentina
18 Armistice Agreements-Economic Clauses of [France] report prepared by the Board of Economic Warfare October 5, 1942 "Totalitarian Activities-Argentina Today" a 595-page printed report of the Federal Bureau of Investigation June 1943
23 Austria (9 folders)
24 Report on Axis Chemicals, June 17, 1942 Axis Businesses in Latin America Axis Controlled Countries Axis Measures Relating to U.S. Property in Foreign Countries
25 Axis Trademarks Axis Transportation (2 folders)
26-30 Banks
31 Bausch & Lomb Optical Company Bayer Belgium (5 folders) Belgian Congo
32 Blacklisting (2 folders) Blockade Blohm and Company
33 Board of Economic Warfare Bufors Bolivia
34 Bosch, Robert (12 folders)
36 Boston Office Correspondence: "Report on Norway: Economic Conditions"
37 Brazil (2 folders) British Embassy British-U.S. Economics-Spheres of Influence Budapest, Hungary Bulgarian-Money and Banking, a Federal Reserve Board report, September 1943
38 Cartels - Cable Cartels (2 folders) Cartel Charts
39-40 Cartels (7 folders)
41-43 Cartel Memoranda
43 Cartel Minutes
44 Cartel Miscellaneous Chase Bank France
44-46 Chemicals
50 Chile
51 Colombia
53 E.G. Constam - Swiss Railroad Project (2 folders) Costa Rica (FBI Report September 1943)
54 Czechoslovakia (8 folders)
56 Deutsche Bank
57 Deutsche Gold und Silber Scheideanstalt (Degussa)
58 "Digest of Current Intelligence" prepared by Board of Economic Warfare July 14, 1942 Digest of Greenbook Reports
59 Board of Economic Warfare - Directives, Instructions, etc. Dominican Republic (FBI Report November 1944)
60 Dupont (5 folders)
61 Ecuador
64 Report on European Bearing Industry May 1943 European Insurance
64-65 Explosive Cartels and Companies
65 Federal Reserve
66 File Search Abroad Cartels-Financial
67 Firms Having Foreign Contacts Forced Property Transfers Ford Motor Company
68 Foreign Economic Administration Foreign Economic Administration Reports, including: "Present Controls of German War Economy" April 12, 1944 "The Administration of German Foreign Trade Control" August 1944 "Field Intelligence Guide Series: I. Location and Records of Major Economic Control Agencies in Germany (1943-1944)" Feb. 1945 "German Manual" July 1945 "The German Uniform Accounting System As An Instrument of Allied Economic Control" October 1945 "Notes on Current Economic information," No. 13, February 24, 1943, contains information on Axis penetration of European insurance. "Notes on Current Economic Information," No. 27, August 1943, contains information on Nazi looting in Denmark. "Notes on Current Economic Information," No. 28, August 1943, contains information on increases in German imports from Turkey.
69 "Notes on Current Economic Information," No. 29, September 15, 1943, contains information on contributions of occupied countries to the National income of Germany and Nazi controls over Czech banking. "Notes on Current Economic Information," No. 35, November 23, 1943, contains information on financial aspects of German exploitation of France and German looting of Italian industry. "Notes on Current Economic Information," No. 22, June 15, 1943, contains information on German interest in Spanish cobalt. "Elimination of Fundamental Nazi Political Laws in Germany," n.d. "Civil, Commercial, and Family Law and Procedure in Germany," May 1944 "Property of the Nazi Party, Its Affiliates, Members, and Supporters in Germany," April 1944 "Property Transferred under the Nazi Regime in Germany," June 1944 "Foreign Property in Germany," May 1944 "Vichy Legislation: A Compendium and Check List of the Laws and Principal Decrees," February 1944
70 Foreign Economic Administration Reports: "Vichy Legislation," September 1944 "German Reichsbank Policy and Control," June 1944 "Elimination of Nazi Laws and Structure in Austria and Preparation for Austrian Independence," July 1944 "Elimination of Nazis from the German Banking Structure," June 1944 "German Economic Penetration and Exploitation of Southeastern Europe,." May 1944 "German Penetration of Corporate Holdings in Serbia," n.d. "German Penetration of Corporate Holdings in Croatia," n.d. "Elimination of Nazi Public Agencies in Germany," September 1944 "Social Insurance in Greece," July 1944 "Business Holdings in Germany of United States Firms," October 1944
71 Foreign Economic Administration Reports: "Policies and Control of German Industrial Operations, 1942-1943," Feb. 8, 1944 "Manpower and Population in Enemy Europe," July 1944 "Looted Art in Occupied Territories, Neutral Countries and Latin America," revised, August 1945 "German Economic Interests in Portugal," October 1945 "German Economic Interests in Sweden," November 1945 "German Economic Interests in Chile," November, 1945 Numerous reports on reparations
72 "Preliminary Studies of Reparations from Selected German Industries," prepared by the Foreign Economic Administration, May 1945
73 Foreign Economic Administration Reports: "Extra-Territorial Effect of Economic Measures taken by the Occupying Powers in Germany: Problems of Recognition and Enforcement in Neutral Countries," May 1945 "The Vesting of German Assets in Spain: A Case Study in the Vesting of German Assets Abroad," June 1945 "Private Insurance in Italy: Recommendations and Guide," Nov. 1943 "Technical Industrial Disarmament Committees: Organization and Personnel," October 1, 1945 "Notes on the Enemy Economies," Number 44, February 26, 1944, contains information on German financial position in Spain and Germany banking expansion in Yugoslavia
74 "A Program for German Economic and Industrial Disarmament," the Final Report and appendices, prepared by the Foreign Economic Administration, December 1945
75 Foreign Funds Control (2 folders) Foreign Law Foreign Property in Germany Foreign Subsidiaries of America Companies "Allied Activities Relating to German Assets, Economic Activities and Industrial Personnel Outside Germany," prepared by Foreign Economic Administration, August 6, 1945 "German Economic Control Institutions," prepared by Foreign Economic Administration, November 30, 1945 "German Participation in International Cartels," prepared by Foreign Economic Administration, October 10, 1945 France
76 France (3 folders)
77 French North Africa (4 folders)
78 French West Africa General Aniline & Film Co. General Dyestuff Corporation
79 General Motors German Acts of Dispossession "Archival Repositories in Germany" War Department Pamphlet, May 15, 1944
80 German Chemical Industry German Control of Occupied Countries (Finance) German-Controlled Business Firms in Argentina German Domination of Eastern Europe; included "Germany Economic Penetration and Exploitation of Southeastern Europe," a Foreign Economic Administration Guide, May 1944 German Domination of French Industry "Economic Controls in Nazi Germany" Army Service Forces Manual, February 1944 German Economic Penetration Germany Economic Control in U.S. German Economic Reporting
81 "Elimination of Fundamental Nazi Political Law in Germany," War Department Pamphlet, July 1, 1944 Germany-Finance German Foreign Trade Statistics "Germany: Government and Administration," Army Service Forces Manuals, November 3, 1943 and March 10, 1944 "Germany: Industry and Commerce," Army Service Forces Manual, April 26, 1944 "Germany: Industry and Commerce: An Appendix Indicating Recent Trends in German Foreign Trade," Army Service Forces Manual, July 4, 1944 German Industry
82 German Industry-Proposals for Control of "Military Government and Problems with Respect to the Jews in Germany," War Department Pamphlet, July 29, 1944 German Activities in Latin America Germany: Military Government "Germany: Legal Affairs," Army Service Forces Manual February 29, 1944 "German Manual," prepared by Foreign Economic Administration, July 1945 "Germany: German Military Government over Europe: The Nazi Party in Occupied Europe," Army Service Forces Manual, January 18, 1944 "Germany: German Military Government over Europe: The Protectorate of Bohemia- Moravia," Army Service Forces Manual, April 14, 1944 "Germany: German Military Government over Europe: Technical and Economic Troops in Occupied Europe," Army Service Forces Manual, January 19, 1945 "Germany: Proclamations, Ordinances and Laws Issued by Allied Military Government in Germany," Army Service Forces Manual, January 6, 1945 Germany-Military Government
83 "Germany-Money and Banking," Federal Reserve Board report, February 1945 "Germany: Money and Banking, prepared by Federal Reserve Board, February 1945 "Germany: Money and Banking," Army Service Forces Manual, March 1945 German Penetration of Southeastern Europe Germany-Post War Control German Property Control
84 "Information on German Records," War Department Pamphlet, February 3, 1945 "Preservation and Use of Key Records in Germany," War Department Pamphlet, June 6, 1944 "German Reichsbank Policy and Control," War Department Pamphlet, July 29, 1944 German Reparation Plans German State Property German Turkish Trade Agreement "Present Controls of German War Economy," prepared by Foreign Economic Administration, April 12, 1944 Germany
85 Germany-Banking; includes "Elimination of Nazis from the German Banking Structure," War Department Pamphlet, July 29, 1944; "German Banking Penetration in Continental Europe," prepared by the Federal Reserve Board, September 1944; and, "Germany-Money and Credit Institutions," prepared by the Federal Reserve Board, January 1944 Germany-Cartels
86 "The Hermann Goering Works: An Instrument of Nazi Economic Penetration and Consolidation," prepared by the Board of Economic Warfare, June 1943 Greece
87 Guatemala (FBI Report July 1944) Hoffmann La Roche, Inc. Holland
88 Honduras (FBI Report September 1942) Hungary I.G. Chemie
89-94 I.G. Farben Industrie
95 India Industrial Diamonds ( 2 folders) Insurance
96 International Business Machine Corporation International Cartel Policy International Cartel List
98 Iron and Steel
99 Italy (2 folders)
100 Italy-Banking and Money
109 Kalle and Co. (6 folders) Kilgore Committee
112 Latin America Leakage of Information-Insurance
123 Cartels-Metals Cartels-Metals (Precious Metals)
124 Mexico
124-126 Military Intelligence Reports
130 National City Bank of New York Navy Department Nazi Criminal Law Nazi Party Property Netherlands Economic Survey, prepared by the Ministry of Economic Warfare, October 1943 Netherlands-Money and Banking, printed report prepared by the Federal Reserve Board, July 1944
164 North Africa (5 folders)
164-165 Norway
165 Office of Censorship
166-167 Office of Strategic Services
167 Office of War Information
168 Organization Folder
170 Paraguay (includes 2 FBI reports)
170-171 Patents
173 Peru (includes FBI report, May 1942)
174 N.V. Philips (6 folders)
176 Poland Political Aspects of International Cartels
177 Precious Stones and Jewelry Economic Warfare Procedure Memos Proclaimed Lists (3 folders)
178 Property Control in Liberated Areas Operations Reports (BEW)
179 Board of Economic Warfare Reports (2 folders) Reports (3 folders)
183 Rumania (6 folders) Russia (4 folders) Safehaven; contains besides correspondence and memoranda two Safehaven reports: "The Vesting of German Assets in Spain: A Case Study in Vesting of German Assets Aborad" (July 1945) and "Extra-Territorial Effect of Economic Measures Taken by the Occupying Powers in Germany: Problems in Recognition and Enforcement in Neutral Countries" (May 1945)
187 Dr. Hermann A. Schmitz
188 Schroder Bank Securities and Exchange Commission (2 folders)
190 Siemans & Halske (6 folders)
191 Simplon Tunnel SKF Skoda Works
191-194 Societe Generals de Belgique
194 Economic Warfare-South America Inquiries- Central/South America (2 folders)
195 Spain (7 folders)
202 Standard Oil
203 State Department (5 folders) Cartels - Statutes and Translations
204-210 Sterling Products Inc.
212 Sweden (2 folders)
213 Switzerland
216-217 Trademarks
218 Treasury Department Tungsten (2 folders) Turkey United Nations Relief and Rehabilitation United States Commercial Corporation-Leitz
219-222 Universal Oil
223-224 War Department (6 folders)
224 M.M. Warburg and Co. [Aryanization of the German Banking Firm]
225 Yugoslavia
226 Carl Zeiss

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Records of the Special War Policies Unit

Subject File (labeled as Entry SWPU)

These records primary relate to the Foreign Alien Registration Act, Alien matters, the Voorhis Act, the Dies Committee, Fascist propaganda activities, and American neutrality matters. Arranged alphabetically by subject.
Boxes 1-22

Box # File Subject
1 Bank of France
British Censorship
20 Trading With The Enemy Act
Treasury Department - General

Miscellaneous Material
Boxes 23-26 (labeled as Entry SWPU)

Office Files (labeled as Entry SWPU)

Arranged under file designation 148-War Policy.
Boxes 27-80

Records of the Latin American Section

The Latin American Section acted as the technical legal staff of the U.S. representative on the Emergency Advisory Committee for Political Defense, also known as the Inter-American Advisory Committee for Political Defense. The Committee was created as an advisory body by Resolution XVII of the Third Meeting of the Ministers of Foreign Affairs of the American Republics, held at Rio de Janeiro, January 15-28, 1942. The Resolution provided that the Governing Board of the Pan American Union (PAU) consult the Governments of the American Republics, determine the functions of the Committee, prepare the regulations for governing its activities, and fix its budget of expenditures.

The report of the Special Committee of the Governing Board of the PAU was approved by the Board at its session on February 25, 1942, and was sent to the 21 Governments with the proposed regulations. The Governing Board gave approval of these two documents on April 6, 1942, and named the Governments of Argentina, Brazil, Chile, United States, Mexico, Uruguay, and Venezuela to be members of the Committee who would represent the 21 nations. Carl B. Spaeth and William Sanders were successively members from the United States.

In each country a liaison officer was named to serve the members of the Committee headquartered in Montevideo. Lawrence A. Knapp, Special Assistant to the Attorney General, was Liaison Office for the United States. Miguel A. de Capriles, Special Assistant to the Attorney General, was assigned to the staff of the Liaison Officer for the United States. He also served as Assistant Chief of the Latin American Section. The Committee for Political Defense attempted to establish a solid front of the Americas against common external dangers. The Committee recommended ways that the Governments of the Americas, acting individually and as a group, could prevent invasions by Axis powers or their nationals, agents, or sympathizers.

Reports of Sessions of Consultative Visit[s] to the U.S. 1942-1945 (Entry 286)

Consists chiefly of reports of the sessions of the consultative visit of the Advisory Committee for Political Defense to the United States, with annexes and exhibits for each session. The reports of the eight technical sessions related to the following subjects:

  1. Registration and Surveillance of Aliens;
  2. Detentional Internment, Expulsion, and Repatriation of Dangerous Axis Nationals;
  3. Entry and Exit of Persons, and Clandestine Crossing of Frontiers;
  4. Control of Organizations and Propaganda;
  5. Prevention of Abuses of Nationality;
  6. Protection of Plants and Facilities Against Sabotage;
  7. Protection of Ships, Ports, and Shipping Information; and,
  8. Control of International Communications.

There are also reports on inspection trips relating to plant protection and port security and on "Non-Technical Events." Arranged chronologically by date of session and there under numerically by numbers of annexes and exhibits.
Boxes 1-3

Records Relating to Consultative Visit[s] 1942-1945 (Entry 287)

Correspondence, memoranda, press releases, photographs, and negatives relating to arrangements for events, and the general report on the Consultative Visit.
Arranged by subject. Boxes 1-2

"Previously Classified Files" From Boxes 1-17 [which boxes 1-17 not identified!]

Boxes 1-2

Country Files (Entry 288)

Correspondence of Miguel A. de Capriles with other Government officials, memoranda, and other records relating to the work of the Committee in regard to particular Latin American countries and the United States. Many of the records are in Spanish, French, and Portuguese. Arranged alphabetically by name of country. Boxes 1-9

Subject File of Miguel A. De Capriles (Entry 289)

Correspondence with other Governments agencies, memoranda, reference material, and other records relating to such subjects as anti-Semitism; aliens, including citizenship, repatriation, and dealing with enemy aliens; annual reports and activities of the Committee; refugees; the Dies Committee (House Un- American Activities Committee); sabotage; intelligence operations; propaganda; and security of ports. Arranged alphabetically by subject with a separate section at the end on port and shipping security arranged alphabetically by subject or name of country. Boxes 1-13

Reference Material (Entry 290)

Arranged chronologically.
Boxes 1-3

Resolutions of the Emergency Advisory Committee for Political Defense (Entry 291)
Boxes 1-3

Administrative File (Entry 292)
Boxes 1-4

Records Relating to the InterDepartmental Security Service Committee (Entry 293)
Box 1

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Department of Justice Central Files

Classified Central Files 1914- (NARA's holdings basically end in 1939, with the exception of File Classification 146) The records are arranged in numerically designated classes, each of which covers some general subject based either upon a specific legislative act or group of related acts or upon specific functions assigned to the Department.  NARA has custody of most Class 146 files for the World War II period. Class 146 primarily deals with World War II matters.  Classes 146-154 were created during World War II to provide for records relating to certain specific problems that arose during that period. For access to many post-1939 case files which are indexed in the two series of indexes below, the researcher will have to contact the Department of Justice Records Officer.

Class 146-39 Trading with the Enemy Act Violations
Boxes 1-12

General Index to Classified Central Files 1928-1951

Arranged alphabetically by name of individuals, organizations, and other entities.
Boxes 1-1229
Boxes 1230-2060

Subject Index to Various Classified Central Files (Entry 1001) circa 1925-1980

Arranged alphabetically by subject. (Note 18)
Boxes 1-137

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