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Military government weekly information bulletin
Number 99 (June 1947)

Press and radio comments,   pp. 13-18 PDF (3.9 MB)

Page 17

BELLS RETURN - Two bells, which
escaped the Nazi furnace, were re-
turned to Landshut, Bavaria, amid
colorful and joyous welcome by the
people of the city.
These bells were the two-meter high
Dechant-Bell and the 75-cm. high Chri-
sten-Lehre-Bell, both originally in the
St. Martin Church of Landshut. They
were removed by the Nazis during the
war for melting down to make guns.
The war ended before the bells got
to the furnace. They were among
several thousand church and town
bells found by the British near Ham-
burg. Recently the British MG released
them. Those belonging to the US
Zone were being turned back to their
rightful owners under the American
MG restoration program.
The two bells arrived in Landshut
on 13 June, and with great solemnity
were taken from the railroad station
through the streets of the city to the
St. Martin's Church.
The picture above shows the cere-
mony in front of the main door of the
St. Martin's Church as the mayor
turned the bells over to the vicar of
the church.     (photo from DENA-Bild)
Dresdner Bank gained such a repu-
tation for itself that firms coveting
certain  Jewish  properties  often
solicited it for assistance. To such
requests the bank had a dignified
"form letter," stating:
"The Dresdner Bank is very ac-
tively engaged in Aryanization pro-
blems, and is, thanks to its connec-
tions, in a position to help you."
The directors of the Big Banks took
big bites of this rich fruit for them-
selves also. For example, in 1939
Heinrich Koppenberg, member of the
board of the Dresdner Bank since 1935,
acquired the Argus Motor Company
from Mr. Stauss, a Jew then in a con-
centration camp, and the Dresdner
Bank extended a RM 2 million loan
to complete the transaction.
This experience gained in "Aryani-
zation" activity in Germany served
the banks in good stead when they
helped the government in its program
for the economic spoilation of oc-
cupied Germany. Plans for economic
penetration were always worked out
in detail before the military attack
and occupation of a given country.
A good deal of competition arose
between the Deutsche Bank and the
Dresdner Bank as to which would
take over the biggest local banking
institutions in each occupied area.
Sometimes one, sometimes the other
acquired the richest plums, but as
one country after another fell under
the shadow of Nazi Germany, their
banks and big industries were sucked
in by the Deutsche or Dresdner Bank.
IN Czechoslovakia, for example,
I Mannesmann made five important
acquisitions between 1939 and 1941.
The Hermann Goering Works, second
largest steel producing company in
Germany, acquired seven Czech com-
panies through the mediation of the
Dresdner Bank and its subsidiaries.
These included mighty Skoda, largest
European munitions factory . This
pattern was repeated in almost every
country conquered by the Germans.
Another black mark against the Big
Banks in the way in which they
aided with huge loans in the so-called
"re-settlement  programs"  wherein
whole areas were seized and their
populations evicted to make room for
the settlement of "ethnic" Germans.
Most of the original populations were
taken to Germany for forced labor.
US Military Government realized
from the beginning of our occupation
of Germany that the military defeat
of Germany could only be effective,
and long term, if it was linked with
measures to break up the network of
evil control exercised by the banks.
This policy was implemented in the
Potsdam Declaration, and American
MG officials planned a new decentra-
lized banking system, which they
undertook to leave in the hands of
German authorities for organization
and e'xecution.
However, the Germans displayed
30 JUNE 1947

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