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In 1939, Adolf Eichmann established the Central Bureau for Jewish Emigration (Zentralstelle für jüdische Auswanderung) in Vienna. Initially, the bureau was tasked with expediting the emigration of Austrian Jews and systematically dispossessing them of their assets. To that end, Eichmann centralized all the administrative offices involved in the emigration process which until then had been scattered. When World War II began, the criteria for emigration were swiftly toughened and deportation became the general policy. The Vienna model of Eichmann’s bureau was replicated in several occupied countries and various staff members who had operated under Eichmann subsequently played key roles in the deportation and murder of Jews across Europe. For example, in the spring of 1941, following the Nazi occupation of the Netherlands, a Central Office for Jewish Emigration was established in Amsterdam as well and placed under the charge of Ferdinand Aus der Fünten. Officially the office operated under the supervision of Willi Lages, Commander of the Security Police and Security Service in Amsterdam, but it took its orders from the Department of Jewish Affairs (Referat IVb4) in The Hague, headed by Willi Zöpf. The Central Office forwarded instructions regarding the Jewish population to representatives of the Joodse Raad. The Bureau was central in the implementation of the deportation of the Dutch Jews who were initially sent to transit camps such as Westerbork and then to the extermination camps in Eastern Europe.

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