At the Federal Archives in Koblenz, I wanted to see documents: about the London Debt Conference, the Reparations Agreement between Israel and Germany – both from 1952 – and the “Operation Business Friend”, the secret financing of the Israeli nuclear program by the Adenauer state.
These are no historical trivialities. In the debt agreement was negotiated the German payment obligations before and after the Second World War and pushed the demand for reparations were referred forever and a day. This is hard to believe, given the millions of soldiers that were killed during the war.
But in Koblenz I found only a few documents: the text of the agreement, some newspaper articles. But no minutes of the committees or internal correspondence. For “Operation business friend” I found nothing. I asked where these papers are and received the answer: presumably in the Historical Institute of the Deutsche Bank. Director Hermann Josef Abs had been head of the German delegation in London and had negotiated details with Israel.
Hermann Josef Abs. During the Second World War, he was a member of the board of the Deutsche Bank and was responsible for the “Aryanization” of Jewish property. While up to six million Jews were murdered in the concentration camps, the Nazi state took posession of their properties, assets, stocks, and companies. A brilliant business for the banking world!
After the war, Abs became the close confidant of Chancellor Konrad Adenauer, a Catholic like himself. From the mid-fifties, a public relations agency based in the United States transformed the Aryanizer of the Deutsche Bank into the honorable “Mister Banker of Germany”. The Deutsche Bank prohibited me from accessing their archives, so I sued the German Federal Archives. Documents related to interstate contracts are official documents that belong to the Federal Archives and not to a private financial institution. The process dragged on for years, ending up at the Constitutional Court and at the end at the Berlin Administrative Court. At the hearing, the bank offered me a settlement: if I declared the matter settled, it would allow me access to the Abs legacy. I agreed. The bank is in crisis, the survival of its archive is unclear. I drove to the Frankfurt Rossmarkt. In this documentary I show the documents of Duetsche Bank about the London Debt Conference, the Agreement with Israel and other items.
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