Dr. Hans Fischböck, born January 1895 in Geras, Niederdonau northeast of Vienna in Austria, has neither been sentenced in absentia nor arrested after the war. He was wanted in both Austria and the Netherlands; in Austria he was considered missing and in the Netherlands, the public prosecutor assumed he was dead. He was held responsible for the systematic robbing of Dutch stocks of raw materials, agricultural products, foreign currencies and gold. In addition he was held responsible for the massive razzias and the Arbeitseinsatz (Labor employment).
During the First World War, he served in the Kaiserjäger Regiment in Tirol; in 1919 he graduated from law university and was employed in banking and insurance in Vienna. He became a member of the N.S.D.A.P. in 1937 and entered service with the SS in 1940. Along with Arthur Seyss-Inquart, he played a leading role in the Anschluß of Austria to Germany. In Austria he was appointed Secretary of Trade and Traffic and in this capacity he was instrumental in looting Jewish property. In the Netherlands, appointed Generalkommissar für Finanz und Wirtschaft (General commissioner of Finance and Economics) he alone had the authority to systematically rob the Netherlands of capital and goods and to take other measures which made the country slide down into the abyss. Just like he did in Austria, he liquidated hundreds of Jewish enterprises and expropriated their possessions to the benefit of the German Reich. Jews who had been deported were robbed by Fischböck’s administration of their shares, jewelry, money, bank accounts and mortgages which were subsequently deposited in the Lippmann-Rosenthal bank accounts. Being chief of the Dutch branch of the German Revisons- und Truehand AG, he also administered "enemy" assets apart from Jewish possessions. These entailed all kinds of possessions like movable and immovable goods, all sorts of currencies, shares and such. The robbing of Jewish property is known as the phase of Arisierung, the expropriation of Jewish businessmen. Around 1942, all Jewish accounts in the Netherlands were frozen and eventually deposited in the Lippmann-Rosenthal account.
Special income, meant to compensate for the lack of foreign currency, was obtained from the trade in emigration visa for Jews, recorded on Eichmann’s (Bio Eichmann) exclusion list. It was possible to escape from the Netherlands or evade deportation, albeit with German permission in case these so-called Angebotsjuden had relations abroad willing to "buy them out". Eichmann’s central agency and Fischböck’s Devisenschützkommando had compiled this list based on age, property and wealthy relatives abroad. In exchange for a ransom in the form of gold, foreign currency (preferably US $) and diamonds, "free" tickets were booked for relatives or friends in the Netherlands. Payment entailed, apart from exclusion of deportation to Bergen-Belsen or Westerbork, an exclusion stamp being put on their Ausweiss (ID card), meaning these Jews were eligible for emigration. After full payment of the required amount had been received, the Hoymann & Schuurman travel agency would provide them with a ticket to a South-American country or the United States. The Spanish Embassy in the Netherlands was also involved in the intervention between the Argentinean consulates in Spain and the local travel agency Viajes Cafrance in Bilbao and San Sebastian which was to guarantee the cross over by Jews to Argentina.
In 1942, Göring (Bio Göring) appointed Fischböck Reichskommissar für die Preisbildung (State commissioner for prices) and SS-Brigadeführer, enabling him to impose economic sanctions in both Germany and the Netherlands and he also recruited laborers in the Netherlands to work for the Arbeitseinsatz. Dutch military personnel, released after the capitulation, was ordered by Fischböck to report once more in order to be employed in German industry. Among the population, he became known as scoundrel for robbing the Netherlands dry. He also was involved in the illegal wholesale trade where huge profits were made by collaborating Dutch enterprises and with the trade in Jewish possessions.
After the war, Fischböck fled from Germany via Italy to South-America, assisted by the Nazi organization Odessa, staying in Argentina mainly until 1958. Fischböck’s attempt at escape was set up by Krunoslav Draganovic. He provided him with shelter at Via Lomellina 6 in Rome where Eichmann and Klaus Barbie had found shelter previously, before being able to escape to Argentina. During his stay, Draganovic also provided him with a new identity. According to the Red Cross papers he was carrying on his arrival in Argentina on February 2, 1951, his name was Jakob Schramm, an alias he later changed back into his own name. On arrival, Fischböck was welcomed by Ludwig and Rudi Freude’s immigration service who got him a job within the shortest time possible at Capri, part of Perón’s ambitious hydroelectric power project, headed by Carlos Fuldner. Capri was widely known as La Compania Alemana para recien Immigrados, which mainly employed members of the SS who had just arrived and spoke little or no Spanish. The main office where Fischböck had found work was the headquarters of German specialists and former high ranking SS officials. One floor above Fischböck’s office worked a former colleague of his, namely Eichmann.
When the Nazi hunt in Europe had eased up a little, he took up residence in Nordrhein-Westfalen where Simon Wiesenthal ultimately tracked him down in mid-January 1966. A request for extradition was rejected as he possessed three passports, a German, an Austrian and an Argentinean. Shortly after he returned to Argentina. He died there on June 3, 1967 in the small town of Florida in the Province of Buenos Aires before he could be effectually prosecuted.
Other articles on Nazi escape routes to Latin America: Abraham Kipp, Andries Riphagen, Auke Pattist, Erich Rajakowitsch and Jan Olij.
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