1943 Tax Decision (That won’t help Andrew’s hits…)

Ed Philp here. Beyond buying my partner 21 tiny fuzzy chicks and hiding them for her in our apartment to create a scavenger hunt, I don’t really celebrate Easter.

I’m going to follow one of Andrew’s modus operandii (? stopped Latin in Grade 12) today and post something largely uncut, namely excerpts from a tax decision by the German Reichsfinanzhof (Supreme Tax Court until 1945). The judgment is dated March 17, 1943.

I don’t want to comment on the judgment extracts, and Andrew may decide to provide some context in a later blog post on German judicial Gleichschaltung at a later point. I will provide some brief factual context and note in passing that the Federal Tax Court in Munich has a large and noticeable plaque commemorating the injustices committed under tax court authority in the Nazi era (among them, upholding a so-called Reichsfluchtsteuer – emigrant exit tax – of 25%, primarily aimed at Jewish and other persecuted persons fleeing Germany). In fact, a number of dissertations (e.g. here and here) have been written on the subject of the National Socialist tax programs.

Here goes:

A German charitable foundation (Stiftung) appealed against a decision by the tax authorities revoking the foundation’s tax-free charitable status. Under German laws, if such an organization pursues a non-charitable purpose among its charitable endeavors, tax-free status is denied for the entire organization. Charitable is defined as serving the public good.

Status was revoked because the organization in question, a Bible Society, had – among numerous other missionary activities – printed and distributed Old Testament bibles translated into Swahili in Africa.

For a tax decision, the obiter dicta (my translation) is quite something:

"A public benefit may only be assumed where the activity serves the common weal, i.e. the German national community (Volksgemeinschaft) in a material, spiritual or moral manner … whether this is the case is determined by the views of the people, whereby according to § 1 StAnpG (Tax Amendment Act) the National Socialist worldview (Weltanschauung) is determinative".

"It is subject to no doubt whatsoever that the preparation and distribution of the Old Testament, in which the Jewish race and its history is glorified, cannot be compatible with the National Socialist worldview. The National Socialist German people would find it incomprehensible that the publication and dissemination of a text which glorifies Judaism – against which the German people is fighting a life and death battle – and which presents these as God’s chosen people, should be supported and accorded preferential tax status."

"Since the heathen mission is primarily intended to convert foreign-raced people to Christianity, the purposes and effects thereof – even where these serve the benefit of the German people – cannot provide a basis for preferential tax status, as merely indirect purposes."

3 thoughts on “1943 Tax Decision (That won’t help Andrew’s hits…)

  1. WOW, some say history is boring, others say taxes are pure boredom.
    Not me, I say history of taxes is the ultimate perfection of boredom.

  2. Regrettably little attendance over the holidays, so taking some liberties to fill the gap seems in order. I’ll care for (some) pertinence, when dropping a light-hearted egg into the like minded nest.

    > Not me, I say history of taxes is the ultimate perfection of boredom

    I don’t agree at all. Besides, it’s not only about the past, but about the present, too, as National Socialist worldview on (not!) converting foreign-raced people to our creeds hasn’t changed much. To quote a NPD spokesperson: “Islam contributes eminently to the ethno-biological preservation of the Germans,” so it has to be kept “intact” — tax exemptions for contrarian efforts surely being a non-issue. Some cherished contributors may experience an itching desire to wade through the linked document’s morass and to debate me about its remarkable dialectics. I’m not sure if that would be a good idea, but wrestling in the mud is always an option.

  3. blah blah Islam blah blah

    There goes Marek’s promise to subject us to his inane ramblings only when Andrew brings up Islam.

    Oh, wait!

    He never said “only.”

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